WWE brought us this week's episode of SmackDown Live from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. With the brand split proceeding towards its eventual end, the blue brand didn't have much to offer as a fallout from the Stomping Grounds PPV.
WWE had already completed most of the groundwork for their next PPV Extreme Rules on this week's Raw and SmackDown Live just had to pick up the crumbs from under the red brand's table.
The WWE planted the seeds for the next WWE title feud between Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe on Raw, and it's obvious Heavy Machinery is already in contention to challenge Daniel Bryan & Rowan for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships. WWE only had to take care of the rest of the blue brand's mid-card on this week's show.
With Extreme Rules only three weeks away, the SmackDown Live title pictures have been set on this week's show, and the mid-card feuds are also taking shape. With that in mind, let's take a look at four genius bookings by WWE on this week's episode of SmackDown Live:
Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in their steel cage match at WWE Stomping Grounds and retained the WWE Championship. The ending of the bout saw Kingston leaping over Ziggler to escape the cage and secure the victory.
However, the champion had little time to celebrate his victory as he got brutalized by a vicious attack at the hands of Samoa Joe. WWE made the match official, and Samoa Joe will take on Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.
Kingston's win over Ziggler at Stomping Grounds looked more like a desperation move, and the champion needed a more impactful win to seal off their feud for good. That's what exactly happened on this week's SmackDown Live as Kingston took on Ziggler in a 2-out-of-3 falls match on the condition that Ziggler will get added to the WWE title match at Extreme Rules if he defeats the champion.
Kingston defeated Ziggler in an excellent back and forth match securing two pinfalls over the Show-Off. The victory has officially written off Dolph Ziggler from the WWE title picture, and Kingston will now have to concentrate on his next opponent Samoa Joe.