#rumbleking: They should’ve done this show-opening promo with Rumble winner Sheamus on RAW the night after he won. They pushed that back for the Laurinaitus storyline, making the Rumble win seem inconsequential, almost like what they did when they had The Pale One win King of The Ring. For that matter what the hell is Booker talking about when he wonders will Sheamus ‘cash in his ticket’? The Rumble winner always makes their choice of champion, it’s not like anyone’s every declined a spot in a main event at Wrestlemania? At least during that ramble, Josh looks at Cole, who proceeds to give a little laugh, so it’s an acknowledgement of how absurd most of what comes out Booker’s mouth is to everyone. Sheamus, on the other hand, talks more about how he was bullied growing up then his Mania spot. Then again, there is the Be A Star campaign, so they have to promote any chance they get. Then again, Wade Barrett and his awful new entrance music come out to rip on Sheamus and boast about how he’ll win the Smackdown EC, then Cody Rhodes to start the cliche string of everyone saying how they’ll win the match, blah, blah, blah.

#punjabiputdown: So what a way for Khali to continue his return, eh? Facing a guy in Jindar Mahal who he previously had a lackluster feud with? I suppose I shoudn’t expect anything innovative from Creative. Khali still is as awkward as ever in the ring, on the other hand, Mahal had added a full beard and a but before he enterst he ring, where he puts his head covering into a protective case. I feel the little things like that can make Mahal’s character stand out from the rest, if they actually invested more in that kind of stuff for other wrestlers then we’d have a deeper appreciation for them, even if they are ones we’re supposed to boo.

#invisiblechampion: Well that is what Beth is as the Divas champ, since she’s been barely featured on TV lately. So it’s a bit of surprise when she has a non-title match against Alicia Fox, but at least she wins and isn’t the victim of a surprise roll-up. Not even the post-match run-in and subsequent staredown by Tamina can save this segment, or the Divas division for that matter. Nothing can until they get rid of that disgusting flatulence gimmick for Natalya.

#teddylongspecial: So I figured this Show-Sheamus vs Barrett-Rhodes tag team match was going to happen when they all started brawling in the opening segment. Of course I assumed Teddy would come out and ‘this will be a TAG TEAM MATCH!’. However, maybe they’re wising up in Creative and subsequently announced this match after the segment was over. The heels playing chicken over who will start the match against Show really does nothing for them since they’re trying to be built up as formidable opponents. They don’t need to play the cowardly heel role because they can stand on their own in the ring. At least they get more aggressive as the match goes on and show great chemistry together. Of course the commentators are more interested in hyping the blue brand’s EC match then this match itself. I understand that this match is supposed to hype the EC one, but they could stand to be a bit more invested in the here and now. The match flows as expected with the heels beating down on Show until he gets a hot tag to Sheamus. The Pale One then flattens Barrett with a Brogue Kick for the win, bit not before Show decimates Rhodes with a monster Spear. Sheamus does get time to celebrate in the ring, which is a good choice since they need to make it so the Rumble winner is dominant and has a chance to beat the champ he will eventually face.

#colemined: So as if hearing Cole on commentary is bad enough, we now have to listen to him conduct an in ring interview with AJ. Of course she’s not introduced as herself, but as ‘the girlfriend of Daniel Bryan’, indicating she has no identity outside of her relationship with Bryan. She spouts some sappy stuff about how she’s on her way back before Cole interrupts to rip on her for being a nobody. At least she doesn’t become timid and instead throws it back at Cole for always ragging on Bryan and puts him in his place. That’s a sure way to garner someone face points by putting them up against Cole. At least Bryan shows up to chase off Cole and give a role model speech. I still think it’s a poor choice to use Bryan’s vegan lifestyle as a way to garner heel heat, plus now he’s added environmentalism, but it still makes for a great character. His holier then thou attitude reminds me of Punk during his Staright Edge Society days.

#lowercard: This DiBiase-Hunico feud has some potential, but having them continuously face each other runs the risk of making it stale. I really like how Hunico zeroes in on DiBiase hurt wrist and focuses almost all of his offense on it. It shows great ring psychology and general ring knowledge. Ted wins with a surprise rollup, but I’m wondering when Hunico’s bodyguard Camacho will get really involved, like be in a match or something. Maybe he offers to avenge this loss for Hunico next week?

#heresjohnny: So they have a segment where Cole announces that Laurinaitus has been retained by the Board of Directors. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Cole has to have yet another interview, this one a phone interview with Johnny all the way from Abu Dhabi. Nothing earth shattering was discussed other then Cole effusively praising Ace, but that was expected.

#dragonvsviper: Normally you would think a dragon would destroy a viper in any situation, or any serpent for that matter. But of course this isn’t a normal dragon or viper we’re talking about. It’s an American Dragon versus The Viper, so the odds seem to favor the latter winning. On a side note, Show is down for commentary, which already bears fruit with Show taking Cole to task. He even mentions how great a ‘wrestling’ match is going on in the ring at one point. Not something Cole would ever say, because he’s too busy ripping on Bryan, Booker or anyone else for that matter. At least he’s discussing Orton’s history with the Chamber and how many of them he’s been in, which is presumably one reason Show is also there. He’s been in a few so he’s there to hype how dangerous a match the EC is to wrestlers. That’s really what needs to be done to properly hype the match. The Chamber is intimidating as it is, but getting insight into its effects and startegy from those who have been in it makes it much more meaningful as a match. The match right now is much better then I expected and doesn’t tread into one man dominating the other. It’s very even and Bryan actually wrestles and doesn’t use the usual heel tactics of leaving the ring, etc. Well at least not until the end, when he decides to get in Show’s face. That earns him a toss back into the ring, right into an RKO. However, he still earns the victory via DQ, which doesn’t sit well with The Viper. The two start brawling as a grinning Bryan looks on from the ramp to close the show.