“Hello there friend. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Let’s try and make this a regular thing.” *Doesn’t hear from me again for 6 months*. That’s how I treat every casual acquaintance so I shouldn’t treat you any differently. So I guess I’m back doing my thing. For now. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

This episode of SmackDown Live was predominantly about the United States Championship tournament, and so, The New Day opened the show. They addressed the WWE Universe with their campaign for Xavier Woods to be the new US Champion. I have to give credit to Woods as he’s been busy on social media promoting the match with some really funny promos in a comedic electoral campaign fashion. His catchphrase being: “remember, a vote for me is a vote for three”. At least it would be if this tournament was actually won via a poll and not the traditional wrestling match ups.


The first of the semi-final matches saw Woods take on the former WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal. As we’ve come to expect, the Singh Brothers interfered but Big E and Kofi chased them off faster than your Dad ran me out of your house when he caught me with your Mum. With things now at an even keel, Woods went for a springboard elbow drop but Mahal dodged and hit the Khallas to advance to the final.

The second semi-final thankfully saw Bobby Roode put an end to Mojo Rawley’s push. With not much to mention other than Mojo’s hypnotically annoying entrance music, Roode picked up the victory with the Glorious DDT.

It was after the match when things got interesting. The Maharaja’s minions hit the ring and beat down Bobby Roode. Jinder proceeded to cut a promo from the ramp and said he will put a glorious end to Roode at the Royal Rumble. Roode offered a proposal to have the tournament finals on the night but Mahal declined to say he’ll do it on “his terms”. Forgetting he’s no longer a privileged champion, Jinder was interrupted by Daniel Bryan who announced the finals would indeed take place tonight. More on this later!

In the in-between:

Separating the events of the US Championship Tournament, we saw the Riott Squad once again pick up a win against the trio of Naomi, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Maybe now Paige is reportedly finished we could see the Ruby Riott’s faction grow stronger than Absolution.


Fashion Files now airs via the WWE website. Seems to me like they’re trying to pull the plug on that one. By “they’re” I mean WWE Creative. By WWE Creative I mean Vince McMahon.

American Alpha 2.0 aka Gable and Benjamin attacked the Usos whilst they were being interviewed backstage. It appears that they are now the main heel tag team on SmackDown Live.

I said we’d come back to this:

The night’s main event was the aforementioned United States Championship match between Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal. The two head honchos of SmackDown Live, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, were both at ringside for this match. Interestingly, the Singh Brothers were barred. It was a slow burner of a match that, at one time, looked as though Jinder would be taking the gold. Yet, as the modern-day Maharrrrrrrrrajah went for the Khallas, Roode reversed and hit the Glorious DDT to claim the vacant United States Championship.


This is Roode’s first title on the main roster since he won the NXT Championship. Keep your eyes peeled as surely Dolph Ziggler will be making a return to reclaim his title soon.

By Bradley Tiernan

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