The latest episode of SmackDown was presented to us from Birmingham, AL, and was the go-home show to the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. The main event pitted an eight-man tag team match, involving the two superstars vying for the vacant WWE Championship, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton.
The Usos vs. Rowan/Harper was a good match, and the Usos picking up the win was a good way to build momentum for them heading to Hell in a Cell. The Miz's involvement saved some dignity for Rowan and Harper, making the finish not "clean." The WWE is trying to make Miz relevant again by feuding him against Bray Wyatt, but he'll just be another victim and and most likely an afterthought when this feud is over. As far as the Usos; great team, but relevant at the wrong time. The Rhodes brothers are too hot of a commodity to lose the titles right now.
AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella was rather predictable, as Nikki was the sacrificial lamb to enhance the feud between AJ and Brie. The match was not bad, and made sense leading to Hell in a Cell. This feud has not been the most exciting, and it is highly doubtful if Brie wins the title at the PPV. She just has not garnered enough steam as a babyface yet, but she has the potential to in the future.
Los Matadores vs. Slater/McIntyre was purposed to bring more light to the storyline vs. Real Americans, which it did. Zeb Colter continues to show why he is an asset to Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, because he is really making this angle worthwhile. The match at the PPV should be decent, and I expect Los Matadores to retain their winning streak.
Ryback/Paul Heyman vs. CM Skunk was rather funny. The parody was a good addition to the feud, and Skunk played the part well. It would've been even funnier if Necro Butcher would have appeared as CM Skunk, seeing how he parodied Punk in Chikara. Either way, it gave light to the feud, even without Punk actually being involved.
Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) October 26, 2013
The only matter of importance in the Great Khali vs. Fandango match is the bewilderingly unknown reason why WWE is relegating Natalya back to being Khali's manager again. It seemed as it she finally was going to have her moment and become the Diva's champion again, but once more, she pulls the short straw. I'm sure she is not pleased with her spot whatsoever, and hopefully we get to see her in the title scene sooner than later. If anything positive could come out of this, it may be a mixed tag match at the PPV, which could build some steam for Natalya as a potential next No. 1 contender.
Daniel Bryan/Big E. Langston/Cody Rhodes/Big E. Langston vs. Randy Orton/The Shield was a very good match. The crowd was very much into it, and the spots helped salivate the interest even more. Since Big E. Langston was involved in the match, it would make sense for him to have a match against Dean Ambrose since Axel is injured. Moreover, Ambrose does not have a spot for the PPV, so that would be a good fit for him.
As far as the winner of the WWE Championship match, I expect Shawn Michaels to reluctantly assist Randy Orton in winning the title, either by an order that HHH sent out or commotion between he and Orton during the match that leads to an accidental Sweet Chin Music to Daniel Bryan.
Sound off with your predictions below.