Here’s a run-down of what transpired on the November 15th, 2013 edition of WWE Smackdown and some corresponding analysis.

Luke Harper and Erik Rowan def. The UsosIt was great to see a match kick off the show for once instead of the standard segment we usually receive. Both teams worked hard and had a fun outing that set the tone for the rest of the show. The pace was kept consistent throughout and The Usos lost nothing from coming up short to The Wyatt Family, as they have been doing some of the best work of their careers in recent months. This win also gave The Wyatt Family credibility as they head into their match against Daniel Bryan and CM Punk at Survivor Series.Natalya def. Tamina Snuka

After the Divas Championship match was given great time on WWE Main Event this week, I was disappointed that this match ran so short. I realize this isn’t Main Event, but it isn’t Raw, either, so they should have given the match more time, especially considering most of this show consisted of filler. Obviously, they have had far better matches in the past and I hope a rematch takes place at some point in the near future. It also appears Natalya is still in the hunt for the Divas title, which is nice to know since she and AJ Lee have the potential to have a great feud together.

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The Prime Time Players and R-Truth def. The Union JacksI already said this in my reviews for Raw and Main Event, but it still boggles my mind that WWE would put 3MB (the heels) in colors that appeal to the country they are in. Aren’t they supposed to be getting booed? Thankfully, that didn’t matter here, as the crowd didn’t care for them or even the match itself. It was good to see The Prime Time Players get their win back over 3MB after losing to them on Main Event, but it didn’t have much of a purpose outside of that.World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio in an Arm Wrestling Challenge

The traditional arm wrestling challenge has to be one of the stupidest stipulations in all of wrestling. I am all for WWE hyping SmackDown on Raw, but they did they really think promoting an arm wrestling challenge for the show was really going to boost the rating? Cena basically buried Del Rio by beating him within seconds, but at least the attack on Cena from Del Rio put some heat on the former world champion. Unfortunately, though, I think it is too little too late for that, as I highly doubt the fans think Del Rio has a chance of beating Cena for the title next Sunday.

The Funkadactyls def. The Bella Twins

Wait, two Divas matches in one night?! The sky is falling, the sky is falling! In all seriousness, I have been liking the fact that the Divas division has been getting a bit more focus as of late, but this match was pretty pointless. The Bella Twins, and more specifically Brie, appeared to be feuding with AJ Lee as of Monday’s Raw, yet she lost cleanly in this match to The Funkadactlys of all people. If they plan on pushing Naomi into the title picture, then this might make sense, but if not, then this was just random.

The Great Khali def. Hunico and Camacho in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match

Hunico and Camacho had a very competitive matchup against The Usos last week on Main Event, but they were back to being utilized as enhancement talent on this show, which is a shame. I have never been fond of their gimmick, but they are a talented tandem, so why not have them mix it up with the rest of the tag team division instead of facing a directionless waste of talent in Khali? The crowd didn’t care for Khali, either (they actually booed him), so I am curious as to what the point of this match was supposed to be aside from killing time.

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CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel Went to a No ContestI liked the fact that the commentators played up how Bryan and Punk had never before teamed up on SmackDown, which gave this match more importance. Their styles meshed well with those of Ryback and Axel, but the competition was uneven considering how much Axel and Ryback have been devalued in recent months. They teased tension prior to the bout, and I was hoping it would lead to a babyface turn for Ryback in this match, but the focus wasn’t on him at the close of the show. Rather, it was on The Wyatt Family, who interfered to get the better of Punk and Bryan only to be outsmarted, but that was probably for the better since that it is a marquee match for the Survivor Series card.
SD_743_Photo_145Overall ShowIt is a well known fact that England is one of the hottest wrestling crowds there is, but not even they were loud and vocal for this show. It is hard to blame them, as they weren’t given much to care about with most of the matches being filler or meaningless garbage. The opening match was fun and the main event was solid, but everything else wasn’t worth watching at all. You would think WWE would have put more emphasis on building toward Survivor Series and confirming for more matches for the card, but apparently not. They have one more week to rectify that mistake, but I think it is too little too late by that point, especially with the pending pay-per-view intended to be one of the biggest events of the year.