Nice match between Damien Sandow and Sin Cara. It wasn't anything special, but Cara didn't botch any manuevrs from what I saw, so that's all that matters. The Shield making an appearance was a pleasant surprise. Having them ambush Cara following his loss to Sandow was smart booking, since Cara needs to rehabilitate the minor injury he suffered during the Tables match at Sunday's WWE TLC event.
Fine match with Santino Marella defeating Tensai. It was logical after what occurred between the two at the Slammy Awards, so at least it made some sense. The match was basically what you'd expect from the two and I hope the mention of Tensai's recent losing streak from the commentators is a sign of a story-line for him, which is something he desperately needs at this point. Also, it seemed strange that he would acknowledge the Albert chants from the crowd after trying for so long to drown them out.
Fun six-man tag team match with Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeating Wade Barrett and the Prime Time Players. It was very well wrestled and the styles of all six competitors meshed nicely. Furthermore, it received great time and furthered all feuds involved. Although I would've preferred to see the heels go over to regain some lost momentum, I'm content with the faces going over instead.
Strong promo from WWE Champion CM Punk and Ryback. Punk was solid on the mic as always and it was great to see his feud with Ryback furthered on this show. I'm glad they picked up where they left off with this feud from a few weeks ago and Ryback did an exceptional job on the mic as well. They also successfully managed to hype their pending match over the WWE Championship on the first Raw of 2012, which should be extremely exciting to say the least.
Betted than expected match with Eve successfully defending her Divas Championship against Kaitlyn by disqualification. This was probably the best match of their series and unlike their clash on Raw, this bout actually received some substantial time. Sadly, it was hardly advertised, but the disqualification finish keeps Kaitlyn in chase mode. Also, the backstage segment between AJ and Kaitlyn was well done and they've done an excellent job of maintaining their personal history together over the past year.
Typical squash match with Brodus Clay dominating Brad Maddox. I didn't like Maddox at first, but he's gradually growing on me, and his story-line of attempting to obtain a contract could be fun. The Shield's attack on Clay was also well done, logical, and a nice way to garner even more heat.
Solid tag team match with John Cena and Sheamus defeating World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and Dolph Ziggler by disqualification. The finish was predictable, but the action was fine for what it was worth. It incorporated two top-tier feuds and managed to further both of them. Big E Langston once again looked impressive by man-handling Cena and I look forward to see where he goes from here with AJ and Ziggler.
Overall, a solid show that was really enhanced by the live format as well as the commercial-free format, which really helped make the broadcast flow better and go by quicker. Most of the matches and segments on this show served a purpose and made for an enjoyable two hours. The star power also made this a noteworthy show and probably the best live SmackDown special they've ever produced.