This episode of WWE SmackDown was brought to us from Charlotte, NC, and was build around the opponents for the World Heavyweight Championship—John Cena and Alberto Del Rio—given tough matches to prepare them for their showdown at Survivor Series. General Manager Vickie Guerrero confirmed the title match for the pay per view, after Cena proposed it to Del Rio on the show.
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel just proved how much Axel is a non-factor without Paul Heyman. In fact, he was struggling to be relevant even with Heyman, and now it will be much harder. He has no charisma, and repackaging is not an option, since we are already seeing a repackaged version now. He should drop the title immediately, because since he won it in June, it has not been revitalized. Since Big E. Langston has shifted to the US title picture, the only two logical options would be either Dolph Ziggler or a returning RVD, since he has a history with Heyman and it can be tied into a storyline.
R-Truth/Usos vs. 3MB was a very good match. It just goes to show how exciting the Usos are and how they should be the go-to tag team of the division after the Rhodes angle ends. R-Truth had some hometown pops, and the match had some thrilling action throughout. R-Truth should continue to be a solid midcarder, and have more segments selling the WWE merchandise. I think he's found his niche—that segment on Raw was hilarious.
AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka vs. The Funkadactyls was much better than I expected. Mainly due to the noticeable progression of Cameron's in-ring skills. It takes much training and confidence to get past the ring jitters, but it certainly looks like she is doing well.
Alberto Del Rio vs. The Great Khali was not very good, but at least it gave Del Rio some credit for beating a big man on his way to competing against John Cena at Survivor Series. Honestly, that is the only thing Khali is good for nowadays. It was pretty obvious that ADR was going to win. Maybe someone else would have been a better opponent to make him look impressive, but I suppose making the big man tap fulfilled the purpose.
Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper had a purpose to it, which was to extend the feud between CM Punk/Daniel Bryan and the Wyatt Family. The disqualification finish was appropriate, as well as the attack on Bryan afterwards that led to Punk making the save. This feud looks to be developing well, and should be a good match at Surivivor Series.
John Cena vs. Ryback was surprisingly a pretty good match. Without a doubt, the best match of their series of matches together. Ryback was a much better opponent for John Cena them The Great Khali was for Alberto Del Rio, which gave Cena the nod for having the more impressive night. Although the Cena/Del Rio feud is not ideal, at least it is something fresh for SmackDown.
One other thing to note is that, although many will not admit it, Cena is getting much more pops on SmackDown than he has in a number of years. Probably since the last time he was a SmackDown mainstay. Super Cena is back in full force.
Goes to show how much he cares about the show...
Sound off with your thoughts of SmackDown below.