The Rock confronts WWE Champion CM Punk.
Effective opening segment featuring WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No, Team Rhodes Scholars, Big Show and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. This helped hype the WWE Tag Team title match on Sunday, which was desperately needed after failing to do so on Raw this week. This segment was pretty basic, but it did a nice job in hyping the night's main event matchup.
Solid match between Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrrett. As seen on Raw this week, these two always work well together and once again provided an entertaining contest. Sheamus going over does nothing for me, but at least the bout was given a substantial amount of time.
Fine match with Natalya defeating Rosa Mendes. I'm not exactly sure what the point of it was, but it wasn't anything bad at all. Mendes wrestled half decently for a Diva who hasn't competed in ages, so that was pleasantly surprising. That aside, though, this contest was mostly meaningless.
Strong promo from WWE Champion CM Punk and The Rock. I'm glad Punk addressed The Shield after all the accusations that the two parties are aligned, but since Shield didn't attack Punk, there's a chance that could still be possible. Punk once again cut a good promo, but I felt Rock's was even better this time around. He came off as passionate and really helped make this match feel even more important than it did before, which I thought was impossible. Sure, the two didn't have a war of the words as we saw a few weeks back, but both Superstars' individual promos were excellent.
Big Show attacks World Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Meaningless match with Randy Orton defeating Drew McIntyre. It was over before it even started, which I shouldn't be surprised by given the people involved. I understand it was used to help hype the Royal Rumble match, but the match was so short that it shouldn't have even happened at all. I surely hope Orton doesn't win the Rumble on Sunday, as I personally believe he doesn't need the Rumble win at this point.
Brief match between The Miz and Darren Young. The match never really got started due to being only two minutes, but it still a nice victory for Miz nonetheless. Antonio Cesaro was effective on commentary and really helped hype his upcoming United States Championship defense against Miz on Sunday.
Disappointing six-man elimination tag team match with World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeating Big Show and Team Rhodes Scholars. The action was fine for what it was, but I expected more from this match. I thought the elimination stipulation would help enhance the bout, not hinder it. My major gripe with this was the fact that three of the eliminations were due to count-out. I understand Big Show's count-out loss since that was to tie into his Last Man Standing match at Royal Rumble, but why bother protecting Team Hell No at this point? Aside from that, the post-match attack on Del Rio from Show was well done and gave Show the momentum he needed going into his upcoming title match.
Overall, a good show that was highlighted by the mid-show Rock and Punk promo as well as the show's conclusion. Aside from those things, there wasn't much to watch on this week's episode of SmackDown. However, the build for Royal Rumble on Sunday was solid and helped hype most of the matches on Sunday's card.