Opening Promo: Since when is Josh Mathews a ring announcer? The fans will go crazy for Orton whether he’s announced or not before he enters. Did Josh even have to ask those questions? Orton could’ve given his answers in the form of a promo without the need for an in-ring interview. I mean Josh was out there for all of a few minutes. Is Christian taking a page out of CM Punk’s playbook? He got personal by bringing up Orton dad, Cowboy Bob Orton, and saying the only reason he’s in the Hall Of Fame is to keep Orton happy. Seems like an inside info aided jab at The Viper. Orton counters by saying Christian needed Edge to win the WHC. I like how the past is being used in promos more and more lately as it gives a sense of realism, in that feuds can have backstory and not be made up on the spot.

IC Title Match: DiBiase gets a shot at the IC Title? The WWE is actually showing faith in him? I don’t know which is more surprising. The reason given is he pinned Jackson in the tag match last week, which is how it should be, since they seem to have no other way to determine who gets a title shot. Those were some lame kicks by DiBiase to Big Zeke in the corner. It looked like they were being batted away effortlessly. Repeated Body Slams are not that impressive as they are a basic move. Of course Jackson retains, but I’m thinking in the future a DiBiase/Rhodes feud over the IC Title would be entertaining and perhaps bring some prestige back to the title. Post-match promo teased a breakup, which has to happen at some point.

Rhodes vs Bryan: They actually put together a promo video together for these two? Creative must be actually paying attention now. This is what the WWE used to be about, well crafted storylines leading to good matches which in turn make the feuds watchable. It was pretty funny when Cole was mocking Booker T with a bag over his head, but they could focus on the actual match and not talk about other stuff. What’s with these A Rod type nicknames? D Bry? A Ry as well? Are people just trying to be cool? That LaBell Lock on the rope was pretty sweet, reminded me of The Tarantula.

Teddy Long: Why call in a ref to pass along that message? For that matter why have it on screen? When Long mentioned getting the craps table, I immediately thought of the opening of last night’s Impact show with their poker table. Is this a coincidence or is WWE taking subtle jabs at TNA? I would be as scared as Teddy was if I had Kane yelling at me.

Sheamus: That’s a pretty elaborate new cross he’s wearing. Does this mean he’s getting fancier tights? The way they’re building him up lately he is the front runner for the Smackdown MITB, but that seems like the way-too-obvious route. They even got Wade Barrett on commentary, which I thought was a nice addition, as he had a turn behind the announce table down in FCW. He was actually quite good and seemed a natural with the headset on. Do you think Sheamus is excited to be number one in Booker’s Fab 5? He’s doing a pretty good job of grounding Sin Cara, which I think does wonders for mat psychology and in-ring storytelling. I like how made the sign of the Cross before going for the High Cross. In the same vein as Batista’s both thumbs down gesture, it builds a but of suspense and excitement. With the post match attack, who were people supposed to cheer?

Twin Colossi: As if they would really attack each other and their match on Sunday would be cancelled. People are smart WWE, better figure that out soon. Did Mark Henry get his own shirt? That’s the sign that your push is real. I mean this is really the most relevant Henry has been in years and Big Show kind of made that same point in their ‘Face Off’. Instead of threatening a match cancellation, Teddy Long could’ve made their match a no DQ or some other stipulation. Their feud has that fire to it, or maybe they’re saving that for the bigger PPV Summerslam.

Justin Gabriel: Did he just turn face? It’s about damn time. He seems like a natural face and looked a bit awkward during his heel days in Nexus. I’m also surprised they did this during a match on Smackdown and not during the MITB match. It would have been the perfect opportunity to break them up. Slater could’ve cut the same promo next Smackdown after Gabriel purposefully or on accident cost Slater the briefcase. Though I would prefer if Slater got no mic time to be honest, as he just doesn’t have the voice, let alone the talent. Hopefully now we’ll see Justin getting some sort of push. They trusted him enough to put in the main event during their recent South Africa tour, granted he’s from Capetown, but still he performed quite well. The crowd popped big when he hit the 450 Splash.