Havoc erupts apart of the Great American Bash battle royal.
Effective opening segment featuring Alberto Del Rio and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. While I do agree Del Rio showed shades of JBL with the "show me the papers" line, it worked to great effect and helped him garner heat. What was even better was the fact that he was able to get the better of Sheamus by smashing the hood of the car on the Celtic Warrior's skull. If they continue to book Del Rio strong going into Money in the Bank, then their title match at the event will be ten times more interesting.
Throwaway mixed tag team match with Divas Champion Layla and Great Khali defeating Antonio Cesaro and Aksana. It seemed to serve no purpose, but I guess it makes sense in the fact that Teddy Long wanted revenge on Antonio. Nonetheless, the action was exactly what you'd expect, but thankfully, it wasn't Antonio taking the loss. Why feature four foreigners in one match at an event labeled the Great American Bash?
Great match between Intercontinental Champion Christian and Cody Rhodes. These two never cease to produce entertaining match-ups, and this bout was no exception. Rhodes was in desperate need of getting his heat back, so beating Christian clean and advancing to Money in the Bank was the perfect way to do so. Cool finish as well.
Fine match between Dolph Ziggler and Alex Riley. I'm glad Riley was able to score some offense against Ziggler, so it wasn't a complete squash. Inserting Ziggler into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is a brilliant move and he is easily my odds on favorite to walk out with the briefcase.
Solid segment featuring Michael Cole, WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ. AJ has been absolutely perfect in her role the last few months and her kissing both Bryan and Punk adds an extra sense of intrigue into this love triangle. Punk and Bryan were also of course great on the mic here and played their roles well. However, the only issue I had with this segment was the involvement of Michael Cole, who felt random here and came off as just insanely creepy.
AJ prevents CM Punk and Daniel Bryan from fighting.
Harmless six-man tag team match with United States Champion Santino Marella, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Sgt. Slaughter defeating Drew McIntyre, Hunico and Camacho. Sure, it's comedy comedy, but it fit well with the theme of the show and it's always fun to see Duggan and Slaughter.
Typical Ryback squash match. However, the only thing that changed is that the opponent wasn't a local athlete, but rather Curt Hawkins. Finally! Legitimate competition! Okay, Hawkins may not be much of a threat, but at least he's a contracted Superstar who sold well. If nothing else, I enjoyed seeing Hawkins get some television time while also settling up for a possible Ryback vs. Tyler Reks encounter.
Decent 20-man battle royal to close the show. Most of these battle royals aren't all that suspenseful, but I honestly enjoyed this one more than others mostly because my favorites to win the match (Bryan, Punk, and Cena) were all tossed out early on. When it did end up coming down to Kane and Zack Ryder, it was at that point that I was officially interested and excited that Ryder could possibly win, in which he eventually did. It was a nice touch having those two being the final two standing given their past history, and having Ryder as next week's SmackDown Interim General Manager should give the Long Island Iced Z the mini-push he needs to get his career back on track.
Overall, an enjoyable show that certainly exceeded my low expectations. Usually, these SmackDown specials are disasters, so it will be interesting to see what the final rating will be, but it was much better than I originally hoped. It's always irritated me that they always have parties for every special occasion, but that's nitpicking things. This show has its fun moments and nothing really throughout the two hours was a complete miss as a whole.