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Opening Segment
That was a great looking brawl. Despite the fact that Show has looked like a total wuss in recent weeks, he had the crowd behind him and put up a hot fight against the usual numbers game-style attack from the Shield. He took two big bumps that looked like they were a bit rough on him, but his effort can’t be denied. I still don’t get what’s “iron clad” about a contract that they can threaten to terminate at any time, but it’s clear they don’t really care.

Natalya, Naomi, and Brie Bella beat Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana by DQ in about 2:00.
Whoever is overseeing this Diva’s program has no concept of babyfaces and heels. Why are the Total Divas suddenly all getting along? Why are the three “babyface” Divas putting a gang-style beatdown on the “heel” champion? I get that they’re building up to AJ tapping to Nattie’s Sharpshooter, but I think there’s more sympathy on AJ than anyone else in this angle.

Vickie Guerrero promo segment with ryback asking questions
It’s always cool to see a familiar face on the big stage. That said, who would make Ryback an interviewer just so he could beat up and berate extras? Why is every authority figure in the wrestling world an illogical heel?

Santino Marella beat Damien Sandow in about 2:00.
With every loss, I’m more certain that Sandow will be cashing in successfully. I think a vulnerable title reign from a character as entertaining on the mic as Sandow would be really fun.

Paul Heyman's in ring promo
Heyman is doing a better job of selling this pay-per-view than the rest of the company combined. I’m surprised they had him talk so in-depth and virtually guarantee that Punk would be getting his hands on him. The fan in me would be really disappointed to see this be the end of Heyman for a while, but I fully expect him to resurface when Brock Lesnar does. Also, halfway through SmackDown with two two-minute matches? Weak.

Alberto Del Rio beat Ricardo Rodriguez in about 2:30.
Another match barely over two-minutes. Meh. I’m more okay with this because they told a good story in a short amount of time. Del Rio gets heat, Ricardo gets sympathy, and RVD gets the upper-hand on Del Rio; can’t really complain about that.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ in about 6:00 
Pretty good action while it lasted. It’s understandable that they wanted to hold back considering they’ll likely put on a great match this Sunday.

The Shield beat The Usos and Dolph Ziggler in about 5:30.
Pretty hot match, as usual with the Shield’s style of six-man. I wouldn't have been opposed to that one getting some more time, but match length and quality clearly aren’t the M.O. of this go-home episode.

Final segment: Cutting Edge with Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan 
Really good promo segment. Bryan is as intense and easy to get behind as any babyface in the business and Orton is playing his role excellently. They say the best heels speak with a sense of righteousness for their actions, and when he isn’t being overshadowed by the McMahons, Orton does a great job of conveying that. This episode was incredibly storyline heavy going into the pay-per-view, so it served that purpose well. The lack of in-ring focus was frustrating, especially considering the one-hour show.

Credit: Zack Zimmerman


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