Wade Barrett strategically dissects Randy Orton.
Decent opener involving Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio. Orton's promo wasn't anything special, but at least he didn't start it off with the usual "Hi, my name is Randy Orton" line. Del Rio was fine here as well, and at least it was fresh to see a feud kick off the show that hasn't been highlighted all that much in recent weeks. Barrett's attack on Orton was also effective and help set up the match between the two later in the night.
Brief match with WWE Tag Team Champion Kane defeating Cody Rhodes. The match was decent while it lasted, but it was too short to mean anything. It was a standard match that was enhanced by Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow on commentary. If nothing else, it helped further the tag team title feud going into Hell in a Cell.
Basic squash match with The Miz defeating Yoshi Tatsu. It was long enough for Miz to score enough offense on Tatsu to come off as aggressive. Of course, it's too little too late to start making Miz look like a threat at this point, but I appreciate the effort in attempting to make him look somewhat credible as he invokes his rematch clause for the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday.
Solid match between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. It involved some nice back and forth action that brought out the best in both competitors. They provided an entertaining match as always which received great time. Smart booking with Barrett going over here, as it helps further Del Rio's feud with Orton while Barrett scores a major victory.
WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan avoids Damien Sandow.
Fine tag team match with Divas Champion Eve and Aksana defeating Layla and Kaitlyn. The action was basically what you'd expect from the Divas, but nothing too bad. It helped establish tension between Kaitlyn and Layla going into Sunday's Triple Threat match for the Divas Championship, so it was successful in that aspect.
Good match between Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow. Despite being short, it involved fun action that kept a good pace, unlike the Kane vs. Cody Rhodes matchup. Sandow defeating a former World Champion will certainly help boost his credibility as a singles star and give Rhodes Scholars even more momentum heading into their WWE Tag Team Championship match.
Strong segment to close the show between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Big Show. Although their feud over the last month has been mostly lackluster, this segment was undoubtedly the rivalry's saving grace. This was the best we've seen Sheamus on the mic in a great while, and this is the side of him we need to see more often. Show was also great here, and despite running away to avoid the Brogue Kick, showed his intense persona when it mattered most. I could've done without the two taking out all the security guards, but it was the best way to close their go-home show.
Overall, a good show that featured some decent action, but none of it was worth going out of your way for a second look. The promos and segments helped build towards Hell in a Cell, which was obviously the major focus of this show. However, this SmackDown certainly felt like it dragged, and the various recaps didn't help matters.