The show began with another entry in the interminable Swagger vs ADR feud. The match itself was decent. I want to say it was a Hardcore match, but WWE doesn't do those anymore because of the PG era. Street fight, no holds barred, whatever you want to call it the only way to win was by pinfall or submission. It was good to see two guys waling on each other with tables, ladders, and chairs again. Swagger got his lip busted open courtesy of a ladder in the face from ADR. Swagger eventually won through pinfall. Now if only creative had a clear direction for either of these guys. It still pleases me to see Dirty Dutch Mantell every week.
Next was a Divas match between... between... oh who cares?
Fandango got a clean win against Justin Gabriel. There's still considerable speculation about whether Fandango the man or the Fandango theme song is over with the crowd. I hope it's the former. Johnny Curtis is a talented performer even with this silly gimmick. The crowd definitely loves his theme. Understandable since the UK has propelled it to the number two spot on iTunes.
Next was Big Show vs Sheamus part 58. Look up any episode of Smackdown or Raw for the year 2013 on YouTube, and I guaran-damn-tee you're going to see this same match 75% of the time. Mark Henry interfered at the end which resulted in Sheamus getting knocked out by Big Show. I will say this: the WMD or Knockout Punch that Show does definitely looks like it's brutal. I guess Mark Henry is going to be Sheamus's new feud. The sooner the better. I actually like Sheamus as a performer and a character. That's why it is doubly cringe worthy when the writers are shoe horning him into a kid-friendly guy with lame jokes. You don't have to make him a full blown heel who swears and profanes a lot. Just return him to his old persona: a soccer hooligan who loves to fight.
I marked out when William Regal's music came on. He's actually been with the company for a long time but we seldom see him on camera anymore. This is his second appearance on WWE television this week. He got thunderous home turf pops from the crowd. His opponent was the other Englishman on the roster, Wade Barrett. I think that was the first clean win Barrett has had on television in weeks.
Randy Orton won by disqualification in his match against Mark Henry. Sheamus showed up to give Mark the Brogue Kick and Orton gave him an RKO for good measure. Orton has had several injuries and wellness policy violations over the last year. The last memorable angle he had was in 2011. Since then he's drifted around upper-midcard status when he should still be main event material. Instead, he's been in this triangle with Big Show and Sheamus for what feels like forever and a day. Groundhog Day: WWE Edition.
The big news for the night was the singles debut of the Shield's Dean Ambrose vs. the Undertaker. Every time the Shield wrestles I feel like that old magic has returned. The suspension of disbelief comes back. My only complain about this match was that it was too short. There was no way Ambrose was going to win clean over Taker but he held his own throughout the match. He managed to escape getting Tombstoned but Taker turned it around and caught Ambrose in the Hell's Gate leading to his win via submission. Rollins and Reigns came to Ambrose's aid and Taker held them off for a bit but numbers won in the end. Shield destroyed Taker with a triple powerbomb through the announce table. Again I implore, how is it possible for WWE creative to get the Shield so right and everyone else so wrong? If they laid out the Undertaker, that means they're eventually going to the top. Good.