What I thought this week’s show did particularly well was create interest in already established feuds. Alberto Del Rio’s tedious dispute with Randy Orton has been gracing our screens for less than a month but it feels like it’s been trundling on for around six months. Not having the two interact physically on this week’s show was a good move as it heightened anticipation for their eventual tussle and allowed them to play to their individual strengths.
For ‘The Viper’ this meant working an enjoyable bout with The Miz, allowing his opponent to look competitive before defeating him. For ADR it meant cutting a promo on Orton, proclaiming himself to be incredibly tough while avoiding a physical confrontation.
Team Hell No’s programme with the Rhodes Scholars was advanced too. The heels attacked the bickering champions after their victory over Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, indicating that they will defeat Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara on Monday’s RAW (if the match even happens at all, what with Mysterio having the flu and all). Having heels attack faces only for the faces to seek retribution later in the show is a standard trick, but that’s not to say it’s bad.
There's no such thing as too many pictures of Daniel Bryan
The show even managed to make the Big Show and Sheamus programme seem momentarily interesting. Show stood at ringside during ‘The Celtic Warrior’s’ enjoyable match with Wade Barrett. That he didn’t interfere made it clear that he doesn’t feel the need to sneak attack the champ as he’s confident in his own abilities to beat him when his chance rolls around at Hell in a Cell.
On a side note I think it’s good that WWE are booking Barrett and Sheamus against one another regularly. It may not be the World Heavyweight title feud that the former Nexus leader should have returned to but it’s better than weekly squashes of jobbers. Barrett is natural opponent for ‘Great White’ and I hope the two men get to clash on pay-per-view at some point. Barrett has earned that spot.
After the match Dolph Ziggler made another attempt to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract. It met with failure after he was KOed by ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’. This developed the Show and Sheamus feud in an interesting fashion as it allows Show to claim that he saved the world title for ‘Great White’. Unfortunately this was overlooked by Show immediately taking a microphone and saying he’d definitely take the world title at HIAC.
I remain unconvinced of that.
Miz TV, featuring Kane, Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Dolph Ziggler
Tweet 1: Soooooo... let's watch SmackDown.Tweet 2: Nine nights from Hell in a Cell. I've never liked PPV countdowns. Dunno why.
Tweet 3: Miz TV is overplayed already.
Tweet 4: Kofi v Miz should be a Hell in a Cell match. For the laughs.
Tweet 5: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 6: Miz is a fan of combined tag team entrances. Didn't he and JoMo used to enter separately? Am I making that up? Maybe...
Tweet 7: 'World's Toughest Vegan'. He's not actually a vegan anymore but who cares.
Tweet 8: Nice use of the Van Dam thumbs by Bryan there.
Tweet 9: Even with this ridiculous size difference Bryan could have a great match with Show. #mosttalentedmanontheroster
Tweet 10: Speaking of talented members of the roster... it's Dolph Ziggler!
Tweet 11: Here's Booker T, rocking a sweet sweater vest. He almost forgot his lines within seconds. That's some classic Book right there.
Tweet 12: Randy Orton will be jobbing out 'The Awesome One' tonight.
Tweet 13: WWE should be pleased that fans chanted "Feed me more" when waiting to find out who would face Miz. That shows Ryback's popularity.
Randy Orton v The Miz
Tweet 14: "Our first main event is next" - Josh Mathews, not understanding that the main event, whether it's big or not, is the show's final segmentTweet 15: ADR getting the sky box gimmick there. It's a classic.
Tweet 16: Where did the Miz TV set go? Where did the four other people in the ring go? WWE needs to work on their continuity.
Tweet 17: I want to see stagehands walking up the ramp carrying couches. Is that too much to ask?
Tweet 18: Striker's attempt at selling his ribs was comical. Perhaps almost as comical as Josh ask for JBL's response to ADR's comments.
Tweet 19: Josh Mathews would fit in well on Newsround.
Tweet 20: "Randy Orton going to the place where he hears voices in his head" - Josh Mathews, taking entrance music lyrics a little too far
Tweet 21: Wouldn't it be funny if Miz kicked out of the RKO? Yes. But it would never happen.
Tweet 22: Felt like Orton was celebrating for about five minutes there.
Teddy Long and Sheamus chat backstage
Tweet 23: Teddy Long just made a match. Someone needs to tell him he's not GM anymore.Tweet 24: There's Eve standing in the background, looking seductively sinister... or sinisterly seductive.
Rhodes Scholars v Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd
Tweet 25: Rhodes Scholars v Gabriel and Kidd. This is a fine example of a wasted babyface tag team.Tweet 26: I'm pleased JBL mentioned Cody's various tag team title reigns. Cole never bothered. Neither did Josh.
Booker T, Eve and Teddy Long backstage
Tweet 27: "If I didn't know any better I'd say Teddy was trying to take credit for my idea" - Eve Torres, delivering an unsubtle line unsubtlyTweet 28: If Booker actually bothered to watch the show he's supposedly in charge of back to himself every week he'd know Eve's lying.
Tweet 29: Booker has a meeting. In the middle of SmackDown. The show he runs. Brilliant.
Big Show and Dolph Ziggler v Team Hell No
Tweet 30: Anyway... In the ring Dolph Ziggler is showboating and telling Big Show that's "his deal".Tweet 31: Big Show is the world's largest athlete. You can see him from space.
Tweet 32: #nokicks
Tweet 33: Big Show and Dolph Ziggler should form a tag team called... wait for it... The Big Show Offs.
Tweet 34: Josh just said that Big Show is the offiicial challenger to the World Heavyweight championship. Is there an unofficial challenger?
Tweet 35: You don't see many back body drops these days.
Tweet 36: Ziggler loses again. Whaddashock! Good match though. Any time Bryan and Ziggler wrestle each other it's a good thing.
Tweet 37: The Rhodes Scholars jump Team Hell No. Guess we know who's winning the number one contenders final on Monday.
Tweet 38: Little recap of what happened between Show, Sheamus and Barrett on RAW, there. Needs more Tensai.
Antonio Cesaro v Ted DiBiase
Tweet 39: Antonio Cesaro... Heeeey!!Tweet 40: Cesaro experiencing "Americana" is gold, Jerry! Gold!
Tweet 41: Ted Dibiase is still a babyface. Even worse he's a lazy babyface who relies on shouting "USA!" to gain support.
Tweet 42: "I know where I am" - Nigel McGuinness in response to "USA" chants
Heath Slater v Brodus Clay
Tweet 43: The Slater Freebirds getting themselves matching gear is the best career move they could have made.Tweet 44: Drew McIntyre looks like Sean Waltman. But without a perm.
Tweet 45: Brodus Clay still gets a reaction. Astonishing.
Tweet 46: Somebody better call Heath Slater's momma...
Tweet 47: Apparently we've slipped into a parallel reality where Heath Slater can beat Brodus Clay.
Tweet 48: That's the Funkasaurus push over then.
Matt Striker interviews Wade Barrett
Tweet 49: BARRETT KLAXON!!Tweet 50: Barrett should be wrestling Sheamus at Hell in a Cell. They have good matches and he's got more to offer WWE than Big Show.
Layla v Natalya
Tweet 51: Josh Mathews seems to know a lot about the Divas' locker room.Tweet 52: Natalya or Layla? Who will win? It really doesn't matter...
Tweet 53: This just in: Teddy Long's middle name is Rufus!
Tweet 54: Layla wins. Natalya, one of the best female wrestlers on the roster, is not going anywhere fast.
Teddy Long accosts Kaitlyn backstage
Tweet 55: "Kailtyn, I've got something you need to see" - Teddy LongTweet 56: Teddy is showing Kaitlyn Eve's iPad and it's being shown on the Titantron. Wasn't Eve at ringside as that vignette started? She'd have seen.
Sheamus v Wade Barrett
Tweet 57: Lumberjack match = jobberfestTweet 58: BARRETT KLAXON (again)!!
Tweet 59: FELLAAAAAAAAAA!!
Tweet 60: It feels like the Attitude Era had a lot less facial hair than current WWE.
Tweet 61: Humorous name alert: Wade's dad was called Larry Barrett.
Tweet 62: I've just noticed that Sin Cara is a lumberjack. He doesn't have a clue what's going on.
Tweet 63: Chaotic little finishing sequence there. Good stuff. Better than the standard non-finish or babyface win.
Tweet 64: Show just saved the title for Sheamus. I doubt we'll get an explanation. Doesn't matter, it adds an interesting angle to Show v Sheamus.