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Cody Rhodes comes out and talks about him being the longest reigning champion in the WWE. He says he is going to pull an Ultimate Warrior, holding the IC Title and the World Championship at the same time. He says it begins when he wins the Royal Rumble. A quick and effective promo by Rhodes as he is walking out for his match. It did enough to have him in our minds as a potential winner of the Royal Rumble. He did not waste time, and was able to gain quick heat before his match.
Cody Rhodes def. Ezekiel Jackson
What I Liked
A nice way to have Jackson on TV, even if he gets beaten pretty quick by the guy who took his title. Rhodes' Beautiful Disaster is a great move, even though I am not a huge fan of finishers that are performed on the ropes. Rhodes also was able to escape and reverse a more powerful Jackson, as well as keeping the pace of the match fast and in his hands.
What I Disliked:
Why was this match so quick? It devalues any competition for Rhodes currently, as well as still leaving him without some sort of feud. There needed to be someone, even Goldust, to come out and cause some sort of adversity or obstacle he will be facing. They may be trying to push that feud back a couple of weeks, possibly when Goldust eliminates Rhodes in the Rumble match. This would set up a match either at Elimination Chamber or WrestleMania. I would be alright with either of them. Main point, give this match more time, build an angle within the match, and continue the push of Rhodes.
Santino talks to Teddy Long about some ideas he has, and Otunga walks in and discusses the superstars in the Royal Rumble. Santino vs. Otunga is booked for tonight, and Aksana comes in. She does her usual, and then Drew McIntyre enters. Teddy says he better win tonight, and his match is next.
Ted DiBiase def. Drew McIntyre
What I Liked:
Hunico and Camacho come out to distract DiBiase. I am okay with this, because at least they are recognizing a feud from the past two weeks. McIntyre's angle is interesting, because I keep wondering where it will go. I continue to guess, and guess wrong. McIntyre and DiBiase put on a pretty solid match here, even though it was less than five minutes. Both guys have solid chemistry together, as they both rely on brute strength and intelligence.
What I Disliked:
Hunico and Camacho come out, but do not do much? This would be a perfect time for McIntyre to get a victory and begin his rise back to relevancy. I wish there was some sort of light shining to figure out what is going to happen with McIntyre next. I personally think he needs a partner, some sort of alliance with another struggling star. This would set up an interesting tag team, build guys who have talent in a different way besides a mid card match on Smackdown, and be able to utilize their skills. WWE needs new tag teams, that is a given.