By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose
As much as I've enjoyed Ambrose's antics on Raw as of late, we haven't heard from him on the flagship show since before Elimination Chamber. Thus, it would have been nice if we got this promo from him on Raw this week, but at least it happened at all. He and Rollins have so much great chemistry together that they instantly make anything they're involved in ten times better than I got a kick out of Ambrose's title being a replica belt. Kane continuing to tease tension with Rollins doesn't interest me anymore because they should have pulled the trigger while the angle was hot two months ago.
Intercontinental Champion Ryback def. The Miz (Non-title)
In addition to being deserving of holding the Intercontinental title, Ryback being champion means he won't be losing meaningless non-title matches at random like past champions have, so that's reassuring. Ryback and Miz have had some history from over the last few weeks, so a match between them made sense. He scored some nice momentum with the win going into his pay-per-view title defense against Big Show, with whom he had a decent exchange with on the mic following the bout.
King Barrett def. Jack Swagger
I would love for someone to tell me why this Barrett-Truth feud is happening and how it benefits Barrett in any way. Truth is fine as a comedy character, but he shouldn't be involved in programs with people who have potential unless he's putting them over. And I'm fearful Truth will win on Sunday seeing how Barrett lost to him twice just a few weeks ago. Barrett and Swagger contested a solid match, but it was essentially an afterthought to Truth's distracting commentary. Needless to say, this didn't make me want to see them face each other on the Money in the Bank Kickoff show.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler (Non-title)
Every time Rollins and Ziggler work together, they always knock it out of the park and this was no exception. It feels like they've had a million matches together over the last year, but it's been a while since their last singles encounter, so I didn't mind this match one bit. The in-ring action, as expected, was highly entertaining and made this far and away the best bout on the show. Rollins cheating to win put him on him, gave him a necessary victory going into Sunday and protected Ziggler, so job well done all around.
Paige def. Alicia Fox
As I mentioned in my Raw review from this past week, it's getting more and more difficult to care about the Divas matches because there is zero character development and the lines are getting blurred as to who to cheer for. Fox has turned too many times for people to care about her, and Paige could easily be the heel in her feud with Nikki Bella given all the complaining she's been doing lately. This match was actually pretty passable and I was glad they got some time to work, but establishing identities for each of the women would go a long way in making these matches less forgettable.
Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Neville def. Sheamus, Kane and WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston by Disqualification
It was cool to see six of the seven combatants in Sunday's Money in the Bank Ladder match compete in the same match, but it was formulaic for the most part. I enjoyed it for what it was, but it built to the predictable flurry of finishers in the final stretch. I didn't understand why the disqualification finish was necessary seeing how Kingston has been pinned before, but it wasn't that big of a deal. It was awesome to see Neville showcased with that sweet spot to the outside before ascending the ladder and retrieving the briefcase. It's just a shame they haven't done more to establish him as a potential threat to win until two days before the show.
Go-home editions of SmackDown are rarely ever noteworthy and this was much of the same. By SmackDown standards, it was a solid show and there wasn't much wrong with it, but it didn't do anything to get me more excited for the pending pay-per-view (although I'm already amped for it as it is). Rollins vs. Ziggler was very good, but you could easily watch any one of their other matches and it wouldn't be much different, so you're likely better off skipping this show.
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