This week's episode of SmackDown comes on the heels of the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view. It centered around further building up the "All-Stars" ladder match, with the main event being two of the participants, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus.
Daniel Bryan vs. Christian was a great match, and a good way to start off the show to build the MITB hype. These two have very good chemistry working together, and could make for an interesting feud in the future. I still wonder if the WWE will notice the fact that Christian is receiving more heel heat than expected and decide to turn him sooner than later. Hopefully his likely feud with Dean Ambrose will help him garner more face pops.
Seth Rollins vs. Jey Uso was a decent match, that showcased each of them in singles competition. It made sense for Rollins to win, because The Shield has lost a bit of steam, and they shouldn't be at the stage yet where any of them can lose on any given show. Since Rollins won on SmackDown, it would be interesting to see if the Usos end up pulling off the upset and capturing their very first WWE Tag Team Championship.
Chris Jericho vs Curtis Axel was okay. Axel losing by countout made it look like he is vulnerable to lose against The Miz at MITB, but a disqualification or countout via walkout would have made his character look stronger. Jericho beat Axel on both Raw and SmackDown, but we all know why—to put over Ryback at MITB.
Ryback vs. The Miz also left some unanswered questions. Based on what we have seen in the past couple of weeks, Miz vs. Ryback and Jericho vs. Axel actually would have been better choices as matches for the pay-per-view. Miz losing clean loses some momentum leading to his match with Curtis Axel, but seemingly the greater emphasis was further developing the character of Ryback.
The AJ Lee/Kaitlyn contract signing was different, but it worked. For all it's worth, the Divas division is doing what it can to become a focal point in the WWE, and having segments like this would help the cause. I am a little leery about Layla continuing to be at Kaitlyn's side, though. I smell a heel turn coming, maybe as soon as the PPV.
Fandango vs. Wade Barrett made an attempt to hype the World Heavyweight Championship MITB ladder match, but fell flat. Wade Barrett by no means should be utilized the way that he has been over the past year and a half, as he has what it takes to be one of the top heels in the business. Maybe this foreshadows a win at MITB, seeing how Daniel Bryan had a pretty abysmal win-loss record before he won the briefcase in 2011.
The Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara "match" was an innovative way to bring some life into this feud, that has been mildly lackluster. Showing all signs of Sin Cara being Ziggler, and them having him talk to Teddy Long next to the real Sin Cara backstage was a good idea, and quite amusing.
Vickie Guerrero coming out and complaining about having to buy a ticket just shows how much of a top heel she is. Even still, she gets more heat than anyone in the entire company. It still amazes me to see how she has earned such a deafening amount of jeers, and what caused her to elicit that kind of reaction. To my recollection, it started when she become Edge's "wife," and has remained consistent ever since.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus was a good match, that had a well-played ending. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton are the top two candidates to win the match, and the WWE has shown that—especially with Bryan. It does cause intrigue to see whether a swerve will be pulled and another person wins the match.
Who is the dark horse to win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match? Sound off below.