This episode of SmackDown featured further development of feuds heading to the SummerSlam pay-per-view scheduled for next week. Namely, the programs of Ziggler/AJ Lee, Kane/Bray Wyatt, Christian/Alberto Del Rio and Damien Sandow/Cody Rhodes.
Randy Orton vs. RVD was a fantastic match. I am thoroughly impressed with the work of RVD so far. The three years that he was in TNA does not even compare with what we've seen so far since MITB. Yes, he had good matches with Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolfe and AJ Styles, but most could tell that his passion was withering away by the week. I suppose the bigger question is why they did not save this match for SummerSlam, by hopefully the WWE has bigger plans at the PPV for at least Orton.
Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston just proves to me that Kofi Kingston—despite his seven midcard championship and three tag team title reigns—is desperately seeking to even have his head above water in the WWE, and they have no desire to push him any further than that. Although he returned from injury, debuted a "new look," and defeated Fandango on Raw, it looks like it is business as usual for Kingston. Only this time, his has long pants and highlighted locks.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett was simply used to be a continuation of Monday's segment on Raw. Wade Barrett, similar to Kofi Kingston, is also on the boat of stars the WWE has little interest to push. At least he has a revolving door of cool theme songs, though, which says more than the same song we've heard for Kingston over the years.
Kane vs. 3MB was just a way to make Kane look stronger heading to his match with Bray Wyatt. Since Kane has been such a lesser-intimating character over the past year and a half, it is going to take much more than having him beat 3MB. In fact, 3MB actually gained a bit of leverage on him for a short period of time. This was not a good decision, as Kane should have totally squashed the trio, leaving them motionless. Bray Wyatt's promo—while good—did not help Kane either. At least they could show that Wyatt is a little intimidated by Kane. This will make his win at SummerSlam look better.
Brock Lesnar's pre-taped interview was actually well put together. He had a nonchalant scowl throughout the interview to increase his intimation to CM Punk, and the footage shown to narrate his intentions was good. Much better than his live "Paul, say something stupid" blooper.
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio was a great match, but I would venture to say that I am not the only one that wondered why they would have a full match a week before the PPV with Christian getting a clean win. Maybe ADR goes on a losing streak and Christian wins again next week? Doubtful, but Christian would be a much better champion than ADR at this time.
We saw the first fake cash-in for the World Heavyweight Championship by Damien Sandow after Christian executed the Killswitch on ADR. Of course we know that he was not going to officially cash it in, because 1) it would have been all over the WWE.com site and 2) it would have changed the make-up of the current card, but at least it was a fun tease. Cody Rhodes ruining his chances was a good idea as well. Even if Rhodes loses at SummerSlam, the feud can be prolonged by him continuing to block Sandow from cashing the case in.
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