The SmackDown Review – 24th July 2018

With the announcement of an all women’s PPV the previous night on Raw, the Blue Brand looked to capitalise on this momentum by putting the female talent front and centre. Or, they would have done if they had any sense. Instead, all we got was a recap of the announcement and two short women’s matches sandwiched between angles and matches from the men’s roster. Yet, Rome wasn’t built in a day or so the saying goes, and we were treated to some stellar storytelling in the form of the growing feud between the Miz and Daniel Bryan and the mystery of who will face AJ Styles at SummerSlam. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

The results:

– Andrade Cien Almas claimed a huge victory by defeating Rusev.

– Samoa Joe squashed R-Truth in minutes.

– Asuka defeated Billie Kay.

– Becky Lynch beat Carmella to become the No. 1 contender for the SmackDown Live Women’s title at SummerSlam.

– New Day defeated SAnitY to advance in the No. 1 contenders’ tournament for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

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It’s a YES from me:

The first match of the night saw Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas square off with Rusev after both men claimed they deserved to face AJ Styles at SummerSlam. The accompanying managers, Lana and Zelina Vega began to brawl on the outside during the match, which saw Aiden English try and break it up. This resulted in Lana being knocked off the canvas and was enough to distract Rusev into the Hammerlock DDT where Almas would claim the win. After the match, Lana and English were blaming each other for Rusev’s defeat, but Rusev wasn’t impressed with either of them stating that maybe neither of them should be a part of Rusev Day.

Paige was in the ring with AJ Styles to announce who his opponent would be for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. Just when we were expecting any number of names, it was James Ellsworth that would come out and interrupt the SmackDown GM. Ellsworth boasted that he beat Styles 3 times previously and rightfully deserves an opportunity at the title. For his disrespect and behaviour over the last few weeks, Paige straight up fired the chinless one and had him ejected from the building backstage. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe attacked Styles and signed his own name on the contract for the championship match.

The opening segment of the show saw The Miz, Maryse and their baby climbing out of a limousine. I mean, the child didn’t climb out but you get the picture. This was ahead of their scheduled special appearance to promote their new “reality” series ‘Mr & Mrs’. At the end of the night, Miz hosted a segment where he would present a highlights package of what’s to come. Only, all of the footage was of Miz either getting battered in matches or just making a fool of himself. As it turned out, Daniel Bryan had been showcasing his Adobe Premiere Pro skills and changed the footage. He began to run down the Miz before coming out and attacking his security. This led to a standoff between the pair in which the Miz flung his infant child at Daniel Bryan before hitting him with the Skull Crushing Finale. Oh, don’t worry, it wasn’t really his baby, it was a doll.

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Ah hell no:

Despite making it to the main roster, new boys SAnitY suffered a blowing defeat to the New Day and are out of the running to be the number 1 contenders for the Bludgeon Brother’s SmackDown Tag Team titles. It was Alexander Wolfe who took the fall once again for the trio as Big E pinned him following the UP UP DOWN DOWN.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that we finally have a heel Randy Orton again but his promo explaining his reasoning for attacking Jeff Hardy was very unimaginative. In what was seemingly a carbon copy of Dolph Ziggler’s promo after he relinquished the US title and disappeared, Orton, lay the blame for the attack on the fans. RKO even said the old heel clichè that the fans don’t respect him enough yet they cheer for Hardy and buy his merch even though he’s the one that has been a constant presence in WWE for the last 16 years. Edge lord.

The show recapped the women’s only PPV, Evolution, that was announced on Monday Night Raw. It was disappointing that this wasn’t followed up with a bigger focus on the ladies of SmackDown as there were only two women’s matches during the show. Asuka easily defeated Billie Kay, which leaves her back at square one after months of being made to look foolish by Carmella and James Ellsworth. However, Becky Lynch moved up the ranks and is now the number one contender for Carmella’s championship after making the aforementioned champ tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her.

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Looking forward:

It’s exciting to see Almas getting a slight push and possibly forcing his way into the championship match at SummerSlam. Likewise, Miz and Daniel Bryan are heating things up, which hopefully lasts for an eternity. The Bar also made a return to declare their entry into the tag team no.1 contenders’ tournament and will face the Usos next week. With Ellsworth being fired (in kayfabe), what will happen to Carmella now that she no longer has someone around to save her? I guess that question will be answered next week!