Randy Orton delivers an RKO to Alberto Del Rio.
Decent opening segment featuring Big Show, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio. I'm not intrigued by any of the three at the moment, but at least we're seeing fresh faces in the World Heavyweight Championship picture. Show did well with his promo and I liked the fact he mentioned his past history with the title after what occurred last year. Orton hitting Del Rio with an RKO so quickly felt unnecessary at first, but it later made sense after what transpired at the end of the show.
Fine match between Antonio Cesaro defeating Santino Marella to successfully retain his United States Championship. Most of the silliness we usually see from these two was left out, so I appreciated that aspect of it. Santino beat Cesaro last night, so it only made sense to give him a title show this week. It was a basic bout, but I hope this is the end of the feud between Cesaro and Marella, as Cesaro needs legitimate opponents so he can get over as champion.
Great match between Beth Phoenix and Natalya. It consisted of excellent reversals and nice story telling seeing that Phoenix and Natalya were once a part of Divas of Doom together. Phoenix's hometown crowd made for suitable environment and the roll-up victory for the Glamazon somewhat solidified her face turn. My only complaint is that it didn't go longer, but having it go for the five minutes that it did was still good to see. Obviously, this was the Divas match of the year thus far, but even that's not saying much. Eve suspending Phoenix didn't make much sense to me nor did Natalya's crying following the bout, but hey, at least they're giving the division something to do.
Nice match with Wade Barrett defeating Zack Ryder. While it was obvious Barrett would pick up the victory, Ryder was still able to score some offense and create some good chemistry with Barrett. Since this was a first-time-ever match, it also felt fresh. Only thing that could've made this more meaningful was if Barrett cut another awesome promo following the bout, but it wasn't meant to be apparently. Hopefully he gets entered into a feud soon before these squash matches start to grow tiresome.
World Champion Sheamus speaks with IC Champion The Miz.
Solid Miz TV segment featuring World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion The Miz. This is what I hoped to see the segment accomplish when it first made its debut last week. It promoted a handful of story-lines and was actually entertaining. Sheamus was great on the mic here and finally allowed his aggressive side to shine through without cutting any corny jokes. Dolph Ziggler coming out might be foreshadowing his eventual Money in the Bank cash-in, which makes for a suspenseful teaser. Sure, Sheamus got the best of both Miz and Ziggler at the same time, but that wasn't all that surprising anyway.
Brief match with Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes defeating The Usos to advance in the WWE Tag Team Championship tournament. The tournament itself is a brilliant idea and is yet another awesome way to restore relevance in the tag division. While the inevitable outcome might be a bit predictable, it still highlights each of the teams in WWE today. The match was short and nothing to write home about, but it helped establish the Rhodes Scholars as a tandem and a threat in this tournament.
Impressive outing from Ryback with his victory over Tensai. The match was as short and basic as anything other Ryback match, but Ryback still came off as an absolute beast for dominating someone with Tensai's size. Ryback hitting his finisher on Tensai was an extremely cool sight and made Ryback look even more like a force to be reckoned with.
Boring main event match between Big Show and Randy Orton, however, it was filled with smart booking. Alberto Del Rio attacking Orton prior to the match gave Orton an out for losing, while Show's clean victory gives him credibility. It took two chokeslams to put away Orton, so the Viper looked strong in defeat. Del Rio's attack on Orton at the conclusion of the show indicates that he'll be taking some time off to film the sequel to 12 Rounds, so that was well-done. Sheamus vs. Show for the World title might not be the most exciting match, but it's certainly fresh, unprecedented and ten times better than yet another Sheamus-Del Rio contest.
Overall, a great show filled with enjoyable moments, solid action, and smart booking. They progressed handful of story-lines happening at the moment and I'm excited for each of them. The show also featured some hype for Hell in a Cell next month, which is also great to see since they usually wait until the last possible minute to start building towards their pay-per-views.