WWE SmackDown: Results, Grades and Analysis
The SmackDown following Summerslam came with a lot promise. And the shoe did not disappoint. A lot of major storylines were advanced heading into Hell in a Cell. Here we take a look at everything that happened on Tuesday and analyse the effect they are going to have in the future.
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The Miz and Maryse Kickoff the show
The Miz was at his best here, bragging about his win at Summerslam and how he is never going to face Daniel Bryan. Maryse would then go on to advise Bryan to change his name to 'Daniel Bella'. This led to the return of Brie Bella and her attack on The Miz.
While a match that nobody would mind seeing, it feels like keeping Bryan and Miz away from each other would have made more sense. Bryan gains nothing out a mixed tag team win over the man who has held him back for 8 years now.
This is a rivalry that should culminate at Wrestlemania with the underdog Bryan finally overcoming The Miz. Overexposing them before that is not a smart move. Yet, the promos were solid for this segment and the mixed tag team match is not the worst idea ever.
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy via disqualification
After weeks of being tortured by Randy Orton, Hardy finally got his hands on The Viper. They were having a solid match before Orton tried to attack Hardy's ear again. This led to Hardy giving Orton a low blow and the disqualification victory as a result.
The two heated rivals would then continue to brawl outside the ring. The brawl concluded with Hardy hitting a Swanton Bomb on Orton through a table.
Peyton Royce def. Naomi via pinfall
The IIconics marked their return to television with a win over Naomi. Before the match started, the two cut a usual heel promo trying to get heat from the Brooklyn crowd.
Royce then controlled the match for the most part before Naomi made a comeback. But this would be cut short as a Billie Kay distraction led to Royce hitting a fisherman suplex on Naomi for the pinfall victory over the former SmackDown Women's Champion.
While we have to wait and watch what future implications this match has. This was a solid way to bring The IIconics back on television.
Becky Lynch Promo
WWE did a good job here by having Lynch only deal in facts to explain her attack on Charlotte after her championship win at Summerslam. She mentioned how she had seen all her hard work evaporate in front of her eyes when Charlotte swooped in at the last moment to steal the SmackDown Women's Championship from under her nose at Summerslam.
Flair then interrupted Lynch and a brawl would ensue between the two former best friends. The whole women's roster coming out to separate the two just added to the drama and sold the hate that they have for each other now.
Rusev & Lana def. Andrade 'Cien' Almas & Zelina Vega via submission
Almas has kicked off his run on the main roster in a typical lower card feud that the company seems to deal out to all fresh NXT graduates. Two nights after losing to Almas & Vega, the pair of Rusev & Lana got their win back here with some help from Aiden English.
While the decision to hand the newcomers might be questioned, at least it was nice not to see another entertaining act being broken up before their time. For weeks, it seemed that was destined to happen to the pairing of Rusev and English.
AJ Styles interview and Samoa Joe's attack
I have to admit, I was not convinced at all about the family angle when this feud began. But these two elite performers have won me over in the past few weeks. Now it feels like this is setting up to be the hottest feud of the year.
Styles began the segment with a solid promo where he warned Joe that he would rip his heart out if Joe mentioned his wife's name again. But a blindside attack from Joe led to Styles getting choked unconscious with the Coquina Clutch. Joe then went on to taunt Styles' wife and family again, telling them that he would not be coming home that night.
It is hard to imagine a family-based feud being booked in this era of wrestling. But these two masters of the art are managing to pull it off just perfectly.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship - New Day def. The Bludgeon Brothers (c) via pinfall to win the titles
The injury suffered by Rowan at Summerslam meant that the WWE had to put the belts on someone so that the former Wyatt Family member could go home and heal his injuries. New Day proved to be the perfect solution to this problem. The three are proven as champions and have silently put on a Hall of Fame worthy run over the years.
While not the greatest match in the world, watching New Day overcome the seemingly unbeatable monsters to win their fifth tag team championships. This was an instance of WWE making lemonade out of the lemons they had been handed. And the lemonade tasted pretty good.