Here’s a run-down of what transpired on the November 8th, 2013 edition of WWE Smackdown and some corresponding analysis.
CM Punk def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (Non-title)Punk’s pre-match promo was solid and furthered his feud with The Wyatt Family. Axel interrupting was logical given his association to Paul Heyman, but the live crowd couldn’t have cared less. Although his promo showed that he has improved on the mic, he simply has no heat at the moment. That was evident during the match, as the crowd wasn’t into the action at all. It was well wrestled, but it was pretty predictable that Punk would reign supreme. The loss made Axel look especially weak even with the distraction from The Wyatt Family.

The Usos and R-Truth def. 3MB

The commentators played up the fact that this was the rematch from Monday’s Raw that saw The Usos defeat 3MB, so at least this match had some purpose. It was fine for what it was, but basically what you would expect from the competitors involved. It was mainly a showcase for the hometown hero R-Truth, who received a nice reaction from the live crowd upon entering and after picking up the win for his team.

Divas Champion AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka def. The Funkadactlys

This match was absolutely atrocious. Although AJ is the best worker in the Divas division right now, not even she could salvage this matchup from being an absolute train wreck. It was a mistake to have Cameron do most of the in-ring work for her team, as there several sloppy spots early on that did not come off well. Naomi is still slightly green, too, and the finish was awkward. If nothing else, it allowed AJ and Tamina to bounce back from their tag team losses on last week’s SmackDown as well as the most recent episode of Raw.

World Heavyweight Champion John Cena Interrupted Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio’s pre-match promo was better than most of his recent promos, but John Cena’s subsequent “comedic” shtick was horrendous. Why can’t he ever take any of his opponents seriously? Not even the live crowd seemed to be humored by his lame one-liners. Del Rio and Cena ganging up on Vickie Guerrero was also a stupid way of explaining why they were placed in matches on this show. I appreciate the effort WWE is putting into building the feud between Cena and Del Rio, but their promos together thus far have not been good.

Alberto Del Rio def. The Great Khali

Khali hasn’t meant anything in ages, so although there was a massive size difference between the two, Khali wasn’t much of a threat to Del Rio. The crowd (nor was I) entertained in the slightest and most of the back-and-forth action was boring. It was nice to see Del Rio score the win via submission, but it didn’t do much to boost his momentum going into his upcoming world title match with Cena.

Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper by Disqualification

Similar to the match between Punk and Harper on Raw this week, Harper held his own in this bout and had an impressive outing against Bryan. The match maintained a consistent pace throughout and the disqualification protected Harper, which was smart since he lost via pinfall to Punk on Raw. The post-match attack on Bryan was logical, as it allowed Punk to make the save and clear the ring. I have been thoroughly enjoying the feud between the two former WWE Champions and The Wyatt Family, and I am sure the promos between the two tandems should be excellent as well.

SD_742_Photo_098World Heavyweight Champion John Cena def. Ryback (Non-title)

The reason why I enjoyed past matches between Cena and Ryback was because they had stipulations that hid their lack of chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, this was still a solid match, but it wasn’t as entertaining as their past encounters. That being said, they picked up the pace down the stretch and Ryback looked strong in defeat. The sad thing is that it doesn’t even matter any more since his character is all but done for by this point. What was the point of Del Rio attacking Cena after the match only to get his ass handed to him? That doesn’t make Del Rio look like a threat against Cena and doesn’t give viewers the belief that Del Rio has a chance of beating Cena come Survivor Series.

Overall Show

After last week’s strong effort from the blue brand, this show was a bit of a letdown. Although the show was packed with star power (Cena, Punk, Bryan, etc.), most of the matches felt inconsequential or forgettable. I enjoyed the main event match, but not even that was going out of your way to see due to the sheer predictability of it. I was disappointed not to see Damien Sandow featured at all, as I fear his brief “push” might already be over. The Raw recaps were extremely excessive and there was no need to show the main event segment from Raw in its entirety. With a little over two weeks until Survivor Series, I hope WWE confirms the rest of the card in the coming week, as what we have now (Randy Orton vs. Big Show and Cena vs. Del Rio) don’t spark my interest whatsoever.

~~This article was originally posted on Next Era Wrestling~~