By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Miz Hosted 'Miz TV' with Big Show
Miz TV has now gotten ten times more entertaining with the dynamic that Miz and Mizdow have, and I liked how Daniel Bryan mentioned that Mizdow is stealing the spotlight away from Miz. Speaking of whom, Bryan did a much better job of setting the stage for the rest of SmackDown than he did on Raw. The segment wasn't dragged out in any way and he had some fun banter with the heels. There really much to say about Big Show other than I just don't care about his latest heel turn.
United States Champion Rusev Won a Battle Royal
Most Battle Royals tend to be hit or miss and this one fell in the former for me. The match mostly consisted of nobodies, but they were taken out early to leave the better workers and bigger names for the end. The ending outcome was predictable, though they did a good job of making me doubt it with the suspenseful spots with Rusev almost getting eliminated. With Jack Swagger being the last one taken out, it appears he and Rusev will be reigniting their rivalry soon over the star-spangled prize.
Bray Wyatt Addressed Dean Ambrose
Wyatt's promo was decent, but it wasn't anything we haven't heard before. The delivery, as always, was strong, but Wyatt's are getting to the point of being repetitive. I'm a big fan of the Wyatt character and hope this doesn't become the norm for his promos, but I got the feeling that it was just an off night for him. It didn't further his feud with Ambrose in any meaningful way, though.
Divas Champion Nikki Bella def. Emma (Non-title)
It was a basic squash match for the new Divas Champion, but it still sucked to see Emma utilized as an enhancement talent. It should go without saying but Emma is far better than this and it boggles my mind that WWE hasn't done more with her since bringing her to the main roster earlier in the year. Nikki's post-match promo was actually pretty good despite the fact it came across as heavily edited. I don't have any problem with the Brie Bella situation not being acknowledged here because as I've said before, I expect it to culminate at some point soon with Brie betraying her sister.
Ryback def. Seth Rollins by Disqualification
This was one of Ryback's better bouts since returning a month ago which should be no surprise considering how great of a worker Rollins is. They had a solid match going up until the inference from Kane. It's a finish that's been done to death, but it was a logical way of protecting both guys and establishing the feud between Kane and Ryback (if it wasn't already clear on Raw this week).
The New Day def. Curtis Axel and Slater Gator
I really like the trio of Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E and I'm glad to see them finally on TV as a group after disappearing over the summer. Granted, I thought they'd return to TV in a different capacity, but the fact they're back at all is a plus. The happy-go-lucky gimmick doesn't do much for me, and while it may grow on me over time, I can't help but shake the feeling that it won't get beyond a certain level. I'm sure they'll make it work, though, and it was encouraging to see Gold and Stardust tease that they're first feud might be with them.
Dolph Ziggler def. Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper by Count-ount
As expected, Ziggler and Harper worked a very enjoyable match that had a nice pace to it. The action intensified down the stretch, but you had to know there wasn't going to be a clean finish to this one. I didn't have a problem with the count-out, but it made no sense for Ziggler to want to get counted out. He didn't win the title! It was a sloppy way of continuing the feud, but it appears this won't be the last we see of them in the ring together and I expect them to clash at the TLC pay-per-view, hopefully in a Ladder match.
Is it just me or has the quality of the blue brand been picking up as of late? The shows haven't been stellar, but they've been far better than they were a few months ago. This was no exception with the two title matches, the entertaining main event, the debut of The New Day and a fun appearance by Daniel Bryan. That said, there isn't much if anything at all I would recommend anyone go back and watch from this episode, but it was a solid show from start to finish, especially considering it aired the day after a holiday in the States.