By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins and Kane Interrupted Roman Reigns and Mark Henry
While everyone involved played their role week, no one had anything particularly interesting to say. Thankfully, Reigns was kept limited here, but I was hoping for something more from him after the solid promo he cut on Monday's Raw. Everything Henry said was basically a repeat of what he said before, but at least he explained why he was teaming with Reigns tonight after getting his ass handed to him last week. Rollins and Kane were decent, but with Rollins and Reigns currently focused on other feuds, it's hard to invest in what they're doing with each other.
Paige def. Brie Bella
How weird was it that this match went shorter than the one between AJ Lee and Nikki Bella on Raw? Usually it's the other way around. They had a fine bout, but there's only so much they could do with the few minutes they were allotted. I'm also hoping to hear from the ladies involved in the tag match at WrestleMania as all we've seen so far is singles matches them. It's better than nothing, but they could be doing more with it.
Dolph Ziggler def. Daniel Bryan, Luke Harper, R-Truth, Stardust and Dean Ambrose in an Intercontinental Contender Gauntlet Match
I loved the way this match was planned out. Ambrose had an impressive showing early on (I have never been happier to see Truth out so quickly) only to be eliminated by Harper. Bryan and Harper worked a great match that saw Harper look strong in defeat. And to top it all off, we were treated to an excellent outing from Bryan and Ziggler in the match we should be seeing at WrestleMania. Technically, we still are, but not like we saw it here. The constant counters and nearfalls were awesome, and my only complaint was that it didn't take place in the main event. Ziggler winning clean was a pleasant surprise, but that might say more about WWE not caring for Bryan than it does them getting behind Ziggler. No matter how much momentum Barrett has gotten over the last week, nothing he does will make me take him seriously after how badly he's been booked for the last three months.
WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Tyson Kidd and Natalya def. Los Matadores in an "Inter-species" Six-Person Tag Team Match
I think we all knew what we were getting ourselves into when it was first announced on Raw, and it was every bit as terrible as we expected it to be. Unfortunately, not even the involvement of Cesaro, Kidd and Natalya could save this from being a total disaster. Seriously, who writes this crap? I've spoke of my disdain for Los Matadores in the past and I still couldn't care less about them, but at the very least, Natalya won everyone over by taking out El Torito for the win.
Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins and Kane in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
I feared Reigns would be made out to look weak so close to WrestleMania by either losing this match (stranger things have happened) or needing help from Randy Orton in order to win, but thankfully, that wasn't the case. The match was decent while it lasted, but I, like many others, have grown tiresome of seeing handicap matches every single week. The loss didn't hinder Rollins too much since he wasn't the one pinned, but why have him in the match at all in that case? I suppose they needed one worker to made it somewhat entertaining. The post-match stuff with Rollins barely escaping Orton's wrath was very well done. I wish Orton didn't unleash everything he had on Rollins a few weeks ago, but if they save the brawl between them for WrestleMania, it will still mean something when Orton finally exacts his revenge.
Honestly, I expected a half-assed effort from WWE as they typically treat SmackDown like crap (well, more so than usual) so close to WrestleMania, but there was a lot of solid build for a number of the matches on the card here. I could have done without the crazy amount of video packages and Raw recaps, but the Gauntlet match alone made it all worthwhile. That's well worth checking, and the show on the whole was about average and better than expected.