WWE SmackDown returned last night (Oct. 26) as the last major stop before Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV). WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Big Show were scheduled to meet face-to-face to cap off the show. In actual ring action, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No had singles action against members of their Hell in a Cell opposition, Team Rhodes Scholars. Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow butted beards, while Kane took on the grandson of a plumber, Cody Rhodes.
Also, there was a potential collision between Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton in the works.
Let's get right into the reactions!
- The big payoff of this show was Sheamus facing off with Big Show. No, not wrestling, but literally just talking. Considering Sheamus' mic skills border atrocious, I don't really understand why you'd want to end your show with that. The two men jawed at each other until it hit a boiling point and Sheamus charged through the security force that was in the ring to attack Big Show. Both men cleaned security out and Sheamus was about to Brogue Kick Big Show, but he turned tail and left the ring. Of course, the logical thing here would be to have your other top babyface Brogue Kick a security guard, so they did that. This segment wasn't the worst thing ever, but it certainly proves why Sheamus is a novelty for people ten or under.
- The other major story here was Team Hell No taking on Team Rhodes Scholars in singles competition. Cody Rhodes took on Kane first. Rhodes had some offense, but Kane ended up dispatching the smaller competition. Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow sat ringside for this at the announce table and talked some smack to each other, as they would square off later. In that match, a little chicanery went down at ringside that lead to Rhodes shoving Bryan into the ring post. Sandow took advantage of this by hitting his finisher and splitting the series at one win for each team. Good booking here to build what should be a fantastic match.
- The show kicked off with Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton exchanging words, but nothing came to fruition as Alberto Del Rio decided it would be best to wait until Sunday. Wade Barrett clocked Orton from behind per Del Rio's direction, setting up an Orton vs. Barrett match later that night. These two had a long match before Alberto Del Rio caused sufficient distraction to allow Barrett to score the upset. Del Rio attempted to pick up the scraps post match, but ended up escaping an RKO by the skin of his teeth. I must say, this a good feud. I'd like people to give Del Rio a bit more heat, but nonetheless, well-executed stuff.
- The Miz beat Yoshi Tatsu. While I'll pour a little out here for a Tatsu loss, it does build Miz up as angry for this Sunday. Makes sense and fun squash here.
- Teddy Long set up a triple-threat match for the WWE Divas Championship in lieu of this whole "mystery blonde" fiasco between Eve, Kaitlyn, and Layla. Booker had enough of the bickering and set up a tag match between Aksana and Eve taking on Kaitlyn and Layla. Eve got a victory after she ducked under a Layla head kick attempt that KO'd Kaitlyn. Planting some seeds for Sunday's match, I presume. While this is nearly impossible to care about, still not bad execution here.
This show felt somewhat empty, honestly. It isn't as if there was anything bad going on, but this wasn't really the typical SmackDown quality that I've come to expect on Friday nights. Perhaps it is ending the show on a dry Sheamus vs. Show segment or the somewhat irrelevant matches that went down this week.
With all that taken into consideration, this show gets a "C+" from me. It didn't make me want to buy Hell in a Cell anymore than Raw did on Monday. It wasn't bad, but it could have delivered a bit more.
What did you Cagesiders make of this episode of SmackDown?