By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Daniel Bryan Confronted Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox
Seeing Vickie and Maddox in the ring wasn't the most exciting visual to kick off the show with. Weren't these two at each other's throats a few short months ago? Anyway, their promos were practically pointless in the sense that they accomplished very little. Bryan's promo was decent, but I would have preferred to see him more serious and cut an intense promo similar to the one he had with John Cena prior to SummerSlam. If nothing else, at least the announcement of the main event match gave viewers something to look forward to for the rest of the show.
Luke Harper and Erik Rowan def. Kofi Kingston and The Miz
Since both Miz and Kingston have history with The Wyatt Family, it made sense for this match to happen with Bray Wyatt currently out of action with an injury. The match was good while it lasted, but it certainly could have used a few more minutes. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere, but that clothesline from Harper onto Kingston was brutal. This also helped further the feud between Miz and Wyatt without Wyatt having to even step in the ring, so job well done there.
Brie Bella def. Divas Champion AJ Lee (Non-title)
Oddly enough, this was a better match than their Battleground bout. Granted, they didn't receive a whole lot of time here, but I think that actually worked to their benefit, as they were forced to pick up the pace a bit. The finish was well done in that it gave Brie the victory she needed without having to make AJ look weak. I questioned in my Raw review how WWE would get Brie back in the title picture at Hell in a Cell, and it appears this was their way of going about it.
Big Show Addressed the WWE Universe
The fact Show was still able to access the ring and cut a promo despite being "fired" is absolutely asinine. Sure, he had a ticket to the show, but wouldn't that mean that anyone could make their way into the ring if they wanted to? His promo was as basic as it gets, so I don't understand why it was even necessary. However, I will say that the sole highlight of this segment was Brad Maddox selling Show's knockout punch as if he had been shot.
CM Punk def. Big E Langston
Unlike their Raw match from a few weeks ago, this match received much more time and Langston was looked like Punk's equal even in defeat. Langston scored a substantial amount of offense and Punk was able to get the crowd into the action. The GTS was excellently executed and it was a nice win for Punk, even if Langston doesn't mean much at the moment. The post-match verbal exchange between Punk and Paul Heyman was great and helped hype the Hell in a Cell match next Sunday. The best part about this entire segment, though, was Langston aligning with Punk to take out Ryback and Curtis Axel. Langston works much better as a babyface and it was only a matter of time before he finally turned. If there is anything that is credible enough to take the Intercontinental Championship off Axel, it's Langston.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio Addressed John Cena
In my opinion, Del Rio is highly underrated on the mic, and this promo is pure proof of that. It wasn't a fantastic promo, but it was good enough to build anticipation for the world title match at Hell in a Cell. The Cena video package aired on Raw this past week as well, so that was nothing new, but it was still well done and a nice way to re-establish Cena (if that was even necessary). Who in their right mind booed when Josh Matthews was attacked by Del Rio? In all seriousness, it was a nice touch and it helped Del Rio generate good heat.
The Usos def. The Real Americans
The live crowd didn't appear to be into the early portion of this match at all, which is odd because it involved some fun action. However, Los Matadores showing up not only woke up the crowd, but it helped kick off their feud with The Real Americans. The distraction gave Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger an out to loss and The Usos needed the win given the fact they are due for a WWE Tag Tag championship match at some point.
Daniel Bryan and WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust def. The Shield
I found this match far more entertaining than their six-man tag team match from Raw a few weeks ago. They received great time and maintained a consistent pace throughout. Everyone involved was able to having their shining moment and the final few minutes were extremely exciting. I liked how Bryan and the Rhodes brothers were able to pick up the win by themselves as opposed to receiving help from Big Show. Also, Randy Orton's pre-match promo was effective in building towards the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell.
I would certainly say that this was one of the more memorable matches in recent memory. Every match served a purpose and I was thoroughly entertained over the course of the show. There was plenty of hype for the Hell in a Cell, despite the fact no new matches were confirmed for the card. Nonetheless, go out of your way to check out Big E Langston's face turn as well as the main event match if you happened to miss it.