By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler (Non-title)
The pre-match promo was well done and both delivered good mic work. It was a solid segment that nicely led into their subsequent match. Yes, it's a match we've seen countless times before over the last four months, but it's one pairing I never get tired of seeing because their matches are always enjoyable. Additionally, Ziggler is so over that the crowd bought into all of his nearfalls down the stretch. The final few minutes were fun even if the ending outcome was never in doubt. This is the third consecutive non-title loss. I guess it starts to happen to every midcard champion eventually. Dean Ambrose's post-match promo also set the stage for his main event match against Kane later in the night.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Layla (Non-title)
I could complain about the match being as brief as it was, but it's been the norm for the Divas for as long as I can remember, so it's not even worth it. It's just disappointing to me that two very good workers aren't allowed to have the match they're capable of having. The post-match attack on AJ from Paige and Alicia Fox was effective in giving them heat as Paige's next title encounter with AJ draws near.
United States Champion Sheamus and The Usos def. The Miz and WWE Tag Team Champions Gold and Stardust
These six-man tag team matches have grown extremely tiresome with this viewer. I can't be the only one, right? The entertaining action saves it from being a complete miss, but it's the same match and familiar finish every time. It's just different combinations of the same wrestlers. It's a weak way of furthering the feuds involved, which is why not many people care about them. I praised WWE earlier this week for doing something out of the ordinary when it came to the Triple Threat tag team match on Raw, but they're back to basics, it seems.
Rusev Interrupted Big Show and Mark Henry
This segment was everything one would expect it to be after the events of Raw this week. It was obvious Henry was going to "apologize" for inserting himself in Show's match with Rusev, but the joking around before that was terrible and completely unnecessary. Honestly, this whole segment was throwaway until Show's intensity toward the end. I've been content with this feud on the whole so far, but this wasn't the best we've seen from these three up to this point.
Nikki Bella def. Naomi
Nikki has improved immensely when it comes to her in-ring work, and Naomi is an amazing athlete in her own right, but the match was over within minutes. Similar to AJ vs. Layla, it was a simple squash designed to give Nikki her heat back after losing on Raw, but it had potential to be better. On a side note, the stipulation for the Bella vs. Bella match at Hell in a Cell does nothing for me personally, but at least the feud isn't being given as much airtime as it was the last two months.
Dean Ambrose def. Kane by Disqualification
How many times have we seen these two clash this year? And how many times have their matches ended in disqualification? This could have been a decent feud at one point, but Kane's been so devalued since the spring that a win over him virtually means nothing at this point. That said, why not have Ambrose go over via pinfall? The disqualification finishes, as I've said time and time again, are incredibly annoying and don't benefit anyone. Rollins and Ambrose have such a hot feud going that I can't believe officials are actually contemplating putting John Cena vs. Randy Orton in the main event at Hell in a Cell, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
There wasn't much about this show that stood out as being notable. The six-man tag, albeit fun, has been done before, the two Divas matches were forgettable, the Big Show segment was mediocre, Ambrose vs. Kane was decent at best, and Rollins vs. Ziggler was the only match I'd suggest someone who didn't watch this edition of SmackDown go and check out. This episode could have been worse, don't get me wrong, but it was hardly memorable to say the least.
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