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   October 20, 2014



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Smackdown: Last dance before the big stage
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown was its usual mix of taped matches and shots from the site of WrestleMania tonight on this, the last official WWE broadcast before 'Mania takes over.

Matches mean little as it's a last shot celebration but let's see what happens.

Match 1 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Titus O'Neil

A match between two of the Andre Battle Royal participants made total sense here, but maybe having two of the favourites, say Ziggler and Show, would've made more sense. O'Neil needs to be built up more, and having him lose tonight, which happened, doesn't help.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Next we cut to Axxess and Renee Young with Jerry Lawler who introduce a video about Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. I said it in the preview - this match just hasn't been built well.

Next, we're back to Lawler and Young who talk up WWE Slam City (not a bad 2 minute claymation cartoon by the way) before cutting to a video with Michael Cole interviewing Stephanie McMahon. The topic of conversation goes to Daniel Bryan and the claws come out. Joy.

Next up is more Axxess shown with an intro into a package on John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. Like I said on TSN 1290 (cheap plug), this is the match I'm most looking forward to and really has had the best build.

Next up, Young and Lawler throw an interview Booker T did with Randy Orton. What you'd expect from the champ but it was decent still.

Match 2 - Real Americans vs. Los Matadores

A good preview as well for tomorrow's action, but in this case it's for the preview show (which Cole noted). This turned into a pretty good showcase, but let's be honest, the hero of these four is Cesaro, who ended up winning the match for the RA's with the Neutralizer.

Winners: Real Americans

The next match preview is the Shield vs. DX (and yes, for those who don't remember, Kane was a part of DX for a short period, so it does apply).

Up next is the Batista interview on the main event. Again, it's effective but what you'd expect. The reality is the main event has been extremely solidly booked with as much of a question mark hanging over it as there is.

Next comes Hall of Fame discussion and talk of a Legends of WrestleMania roundtable on the WWE Network. If anyone saw this I'm curious to know how it was, because from the reports I've seen online it sounded incredible.

We wrap up SmackDown with Hogan coming out to give the last push, which is appropriate. We still, by the way, don't know what his hosting duties entail. Will he end up being the ref for the main event like Rock was a couple years ago? If so, man... could it be that the Hulkster has sold out to the Authority and gets The Game not only into the match but gives him the screwy win? If that happens, expect a riot, but I wouldn't put it past WWE.

Enjoy 'Mania folks! Thanks for reading.