5 Takeaways from this week's WWE SmackDown Live (26 June 2018)
The show began with The Miz hosting an edition of Miz TV with special guests The Bludgeon Brothers. Following an interruption from Daniel Bryan, it was confirmed that “The Leader of the Yes Movement” would take on Harper later in the night.
The first match of the show took place in the second segment between Rusev and Xavier Woods. The New Day member put in an impressive showing but the #1 contender for the WWE Championship picked up the win after locking in The Accolade.
Next up, in the absence of the injured Shinsuke Nakamura, Jeff Hardy issued a United States Championship open challenge, which was accepted by Eric Young. After interference from The Usos and SAnitY, the match became a six-man tag, which Jeff won for his team after he pinned Alexander Wolfe.
Elsewhere on the show, Becky Lynch defeated Sonya Deville via submission and Paige interrupted James Ellsworth to announce that he will have to face Asuka in a match next week.
In the main event, Bryan looked set to defeat Harper but Rowan interfered to cause a disqualification, leading to the return of Kane, D-Bry’s former Team Hell No tag partner, who helped fend off The Bludgeon Brothers to close the show.
Let’s take a look at five things we learned from this week’s episode.
#5 The New Day should compete in singles matches more often
Between late 2014 and early 2018, The New Day dominated the tag divisions on Raw and SmackDown Live and they rarely found themselves without a meaningful tag-team storyline no matter which brand they were on.
Now, for the first time since they formed as a trio, WWE is testing Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods out as singles performers again, with one man competing in a match while the other two watch on from ringside or from backstage.
While the four-time Tag Team champions always keep their act fresh with new ideas and gimmicks (cereal, trombones, pancakes etc), it’s fair to say that their continued presence in tag storylines had become a little tedious, so it’s great to see that all three guys are getting an opportunity to show what they can do in singles matches again.