This edition of SmackDown hailed from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. After a very shocking decision on Raw of Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family, many were looking for an answer of why the choice was made. Also, CM Punk looking to continue to drive a wedge in the unity of the Shield.
R-Truth vs. Fandango
Decent midcard match between the two. It appears as if R-Truth is getting a push on behalf of making Xavier Woods more of a star, which is fine. It is also good that the Funkadactyls have an alluring position right now, distracting competitors with their music and dancing. These four should be happy about their spot on the roster right now. Fandango, on the other hand, not so much.
Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Erick Rowan/Luke Harper
This was a good match, and finally did a good job regaining some momentum for the Rhodes brothers. Every week, they prove to be one of the most polished tag teams in the WWE, and losing too many times in non-title matches to various teams does not help them at all. They should continue to gain victories over teams, as this would make whomever defeats them for the titles look better.
WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 4, 2014
Nikki Bella vs. Aksana
Well, at least Aksana got to be featured in a singles match after finally winning on Raw for a change. WWE should be creating fallbacks for AJ for top heel Divas, and Aksana would be a good choice. That music has to go, though. Does not have a "top Diva" feel to it. Nikki Bella did showcase improvement as an in-ring singles competitor, and maybe a turn in the near future may be good for her to potentially take that top heel Diva spot.
Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Nothing outside of what was widely predicted here. Big E. Langston continues his great slow build up the ranks, while Curtis Axel continues to become irrelevant. It looks like that will continue to happen until Curtis Axel has a permanent spot on NXT or as a jobbing tag team with Ryback. At least him teaming with Ryback takes some of the pressure of him losing so much. He has someone else to join him.
CM Punk/Usos vs. The Shield
I suppose it makes sense that the Shield is losing to tease the breakup in the near future, but there is a fine line between losing for the sake of a storyline and losing momentum. WWE must be very careful with this, as there should be little argument that Roman Reigns will get the best part of the split. However, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose must still be presented as a threat. There have been discussions of filling Roman Reigns' spot, which would be a good idea instead of splitting the group up altogether. The Shield, as a group, can still work individually and as a faction, whereas Rollins and Ambrose aren't guaranteed to have successful careers post-Shield.
Who would your pick be for a new member of the Shield? Sound off below.