Would have been better if Orton talked about his team kicking ass, and let Barrett give the history lesson on why Orton is a sucky teammate and Barrett is a leader. Instead these two basically said the same thing to each other. Christian's stuff was solid since he furthered a story and helped put over Barrett's character. But this was overall pretty boring.
SHEAMUS vs. CHRISTIAN
Sheamus' face act has come a long way from his first month. He's really got it going on. His selling is sympathetic without losing his terminator aura and he's figured out how to string together some fun moves that get a decent pop. Christian was solid at bumping and structuring the pace. Sheamus has a problem with rushing his work, and he needs to slow some stuff down so the audience can have a second to get behind the actions. It's a really fun match though and worth seeking out.
TED DIBIASE vs. JINDER MAHAL
It's too bad that Dibiase's character has gone through so many muddling changes because he's actually starting to wrestle better. You can see he incorporates some Japanese stuff and he does it really well. He feels a lot more fluid and comfortable moving around. It's hilarious that Jinder Mahal is a nobody now. It's too bad Yoshi Tatsu was still jobbing to him not long ago.
DANIEL BRYAN vs. MARK HENRY
These two work amazingly well together, which isn't surprising, Daniel Bryan works well with anyone. It's unfortunate that DB had to get killed, but Mark Henry gave him quite a bit and they did enough to convey some sympathy and respect for his character. The post match stuff was well done, as Bryan still almost managed to mount a come back, which I don't remember anyone trying to do. At the end of the day he's still not on the level as Mark Henry or Big Show, which is fine for now. Hopefully they start to change that perception before long, or else he'll just be Santino. Entertaining guy that you care about but know will never be important.
BIG SHOW vs. 3 JABRONIES
This was fun, as Big Show squashing clowns usually is. I love the intensity between him and Big Show. It's not as awesome as Sheamus/Henry, but it's a decent substitute for now.
TAMINA vs. ALICIA FOX
HUNICO & EPICO vs. THE USOS
|Primo thought it was just going to be a little gas, but it was more.|
RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT
The early work with Randy Orton was a little boring. Barrett did something right, because his control section was a high point in the match. He likes working the back, and I think he needs to make more of a show of it. It's like subscribes to Fit Finlay's philosophy on body part work, but he can't execute it as well. Still the intentions are there, and I like it. Orton still has tremendous body language and he's got comebacks down like a clown Charlie Brown. I like that Wade didn't roll out to the apron and that Randy just tossed him out there so he could do the move. Ever since coming to Smackdown, Randy and whoever he's working with have come up with great ways to set that move up. Barrett winning off a thumb to the eye was hilarious and awesome. I don't know if I buy him as a top guy, but he's better than he was say three months ago, so it's a start.
Some solid work here with a couple of interesting stories to follow. Back when I was reviewing Smackdown more regularly, my big complaint was that they basically had ONE story worth following with all the other characters kind of trading wins and losses. Now we've got Orton/Barrett and their Survivor Series team battle, Big Show and Mark Henry and their kaijuu big batel, and we even have some character development from guys like Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. It feels like they have a little more direction for people and that's a lot better than where they were a month or so ago. It's one of the benefits to having Mark Henry as champ, I say.