Wade Barrett collides with The Miz and Fandango.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Solid segment to kick off the show with Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Fandango appearing on Miz TV. Everyone involved played their respective roles well and provided good mic work. It was effective in leading into the subsequent Intercontinental Championship match and giving it some significance. All in all, this was probably the best edition of Miz TV we've seen in quite some time that was successful on all fronts.
Decent match between Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and The Miz. Although it was rather brief, they made the most out of the time they were allotted. That being said, the match should have gone much longer than it did given the fact they have had some great matches together in the past. Fandango's interference was logical and helped insert him into the Intercontinental title picture while also making the belt feel somewhat relevant for the first time in ages.
Great match between Daniel Bryan and Jack Swagger. These two had excellent chemistry with one another and put together a nice matchup while it lasted. I'm throughly enjoying Bryan's aggressive antics as of late, as it makes his matches much more engaging in my opinion. I was surprised to see Swagger take the loss here merely due to the fact that he lost at WWE Extreme Rules and on Raw the next night.
Throwaway segment involving Damien Sandow and Sheamus. While I'm usually entertained by Sandow's promos, this was a rare exception. He wasn't given anything good to work with, and adding Sheamus into the mix didn't exactly save the segment. To make matters even worse, The Celtic Warrior once again displayed heel antics by randomly attacking both Sandow and Matt Striker. What was this segment supposed to accomplish anyway?
Good match between Big Show and Chris Jericho. Show was able to score quite a bit of offense over Jericho while Y2J played the underdog role to perfection. The count-out victory was effective in protecting Show while allowing Jericho to score a victory over a notable name. I'm not sure how they plan to use both guys going forward, but it was still a fun bout for what it was worth.
Nice match with Curtis Axel defeating Sin Cara. Axel's pre-match promo was an improvement over the mic skills displayed on Monday's Raw, but he still has a ways to go before he can engage in a a verbal exchange with another Superstar. As for the match, it was used to further Axel's momentum and for him to showcase his in-ring abilities. On a side note, I found it humorous that Axel lost to Sin Cara on last week's edition of WWE Superstar while still under his Michael McGillicutty moniker only to defeat him the following week on SmackDown after being repackaged.
Brief match between United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Kofi Kingston. Needless to say, the sole purpose of the match was to set up the six-man tag team match that followed. However, the two provided an enjoyable exchange before being ultimately interrupted by Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Furthermore, I liked how this match was given major hype throughout the show, as it was the first time in a long while that a U.S. title match actually felt significant.
Entertaining six-man tag team match with United States and WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield defeating Randy Orton, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. Not only did the bout receive great bout, but the action was fast-paced and nonstop. The Shield never cease to impress this viewer with their consistently awesome matches with this contest being a prime example. Sure, The Shield winning was a foregone conclusion, but the match was excellent enough that the predictability of the finish hardly mattered. It goes without saying that the treacherous trio continue to be the best booked and hottest act in all of WWE at the moment.
Overall, a good show with a substantial amount of awesome action and successful story-line progression. Some matches were rather random, but there's still quite a bit of time to build towards next month's WWE Payback pay-per-view. There was hardly any filler on the show, which helped the two hours fly by. WWE Extreme Rules and this week's Monday Night Raw were great as well, so it perfectly fitting to end the week in wrestling on a high note with an enjoyable edition of SmackDown.