It seems as though the WWE have finally read my ramblings and decided to make a change. What I’m referring to of course was the shower of sh*te we witnessed last week but last night’s episode changed everything as I can once again tell you that this episode of SmackDown was “good”. Obviously I’ve restricted myself to downgrade it as good simply because we’re so used to absolute horse sh*t of late so I will take what I can right now. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

AJ Styles opened the show and once again reinstated the United States Open Challenge. Unsurprisingly Kevin Owens had something to say about this and complained that Shane McMahon screwed him (careful now) at SummerSlam. Shane made his way out and protested his innocence in this debacle like when you tell your parents you “only had a few” when coming back absolutely steaming from the pub. However, KO continued to complain until eventually Styles granted him a rematch for the night’s main event and even allowed Owens to pick the referee. Shane made himself abundantly clear that this would be Owens’ last shot at the US title while Styles is champion.

For the rest of the show Owens searched for a referee backstage. At one point it looked as though Sami Zayn was prepared to put their past behind them and take charge of the match. Yet, he refused for obvious reasons. Then Breezango declared themselves available to which Owens refused in disgust. In the end it was Baron Corbin who stepped in to referee in exchange for first dibs at your mum if Owens won. Which, if you think about it, wouldn’t work because Styles would technically be owed a rematch first. Wait, there’s more…


– Aiden English was interrupted by a debuting Bobby Roode. Obviously the Glorious One won the match with ease.

– In a backstage segment, Chad Gable met with Daniel Bryan to discuss his future. Gable was promised a new tag parter after Jason Jordan decided he had Daddy issues deeper than your sister. A returning Shelton Benjamin will team with Gable and debut next week – finally something worth coming back for!

– The Usos squashed the Hype Bros.

– Shinsuke Nakamura beat the Singh Brothers in a Handicap match. Jinder Mahal jumped Nik-Naks after the match but the latter responded with the Kinshasa.

– Natalya and Carmella lost a tag match to Naomi and Becky Lynch. Carmella teased cashing in her Money in the Bank contract but Natalya lost her her cool and attacked Carmella when the latter would not tag in to the match. Natalya ended up outside the ring and Naomi hit the split-legged moonsault on Carmella to get the pin.

– Dolph Ziggler cut a backstage promo where he declared he has discovered the formula to have what it takes to become a champion. He’s set to return to action next week.

…I told you there was more!

AJ Styles retained his United States Championship against Kevin Owens. Corbin’s officiating was pretty good up until he pretended that Owens had got his foot on the ropes to prevent Styles from winning the match. Shane McMahon ran to the ring to complain and argued with Corbin. While they argued, Owens hit Styles with a desperate low blow and went for the pin. McMahon pulled Corbin out of the ring to prevent the pin which resulted in Corbin storming off like the moody teenager he is. Shane put the sweat stained refs jersey on just in time for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Owens and get the pin to retain.

It was a show that featured debuts, returns and some teasers. Something for everyone on an episode of SmackDown is unheard of since April so for once, I’m happy. Come back next week where I’ll be furious about Dolph Ziggler beating Benjamin and Gable on their debut.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver