The Blue Brand looked to follow on from Extreme Rules by continuing feuds and potentially developing new ones. The saddest takeaway heading into this show was that we still have to wait to experience the greatest Rusev Day of them all once he finally claims the gold. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.


– AJ Styles defeated Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas.

– Becky Lynch beat Mandy Rose with yet another Dis-arm-her.

– Samoa Joe squashed Tye Dillinger.

– Eric Young beat Kofi Kingston in singles competition with a dope AF Wheelbarrow Cutter.

– US Championship match: Jeff Hardy defeated Shinsuke Nakamura by DQ after being attacked by Randy Orton, which meant Nakamura retained.

It’s a YES from me:

The best moment of the night was by far the opening match as AJ Styles took on new competition in Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. The pair clearly have great chemistry and I can only hope that – with a 5* match already under his belt in NXT – Almas will bring the very best out in AJ Styles if they are to have an extended feud. Almas looked very strong, dominating Styles with a double stomp from the top rope, then following it up with the double knees. To finish it off, Andrade went for the Hammerlock DDT but Styles rolled through into a Calf Crusher, forcing the former NXT Champion to tap out.

The long fuse to the ever-burning dynamite stick of a potential match between Miz and Daniel Bryan burned a little longer this week. The Awesome One held a eulogy for Team Hell No in the wake of their defeat to the Bludgeon Brothers on Sunday. Miz didn’t get far before being interrupted by Daniel Bryan’s music where he fled before the Yes Man could get his hands on him. Instead, Bryan took out his frustration on a Performance Centre talent “bodyguard”.

Heel Randy Orton is back and he has Jeff Hardy in his sights. Orton beat Hardy to a pulp, potentially furthering his broken status, even gruesomely stretching and pulling on the enigmatic ear holes of the former United States champ. This leaves Nakamura still holding the US Championship, being played by the master manipulator that is Orton, and not knowing what to expect next.

Ah hell no:

A weird opener to the show saw a watered-down, but still quite enraged, Jeff Hardy cut a promo on Shinsuke Nakamura. Ahead of their rematch for the United States Championship for the night’s main event, Hardy declared that the man you see before you might look like Jeff Hardy but the actions of Nakamura at Extreme Rules has left him feeling “broken”. This, of course, alludes to Hardy returning to the Brother Nero persona he developed alongside his brother in TNA. However, when he ended the promo with a “woo, enjoy the show”, it kind of took the edge right out of it.

Becky cut a stale promo after winning what must be her fifth or sixth consecutive win with a Dis-Arm-Her. Though lacking any real energy, it’s good to see that Becky is seemingly getting a push as she declared that she will be coming after Carmella and the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Tye Dillinger looked weak being squashed so easily by Samoa Joe, which in turn was a fairly pointless match for a behemoth like Joe to be in. For Joe, this comes only a few months after being a legitimate contender for the Universal Championship and then WWE Championship albeit briefly in a qualifying match.

Looking forward:

Moving on, it’ll be interesting to see where certain feuds go from here. Almas has more than proved he can go with the best so let’s hope he has more time in-ring with Styles. Like any good tv show, we’ve been left with questions unanswered as Orton declared he has reasons for attacking Hardy but will reveal it in good time. Also, we desperately want to see Daniel Bryan get his hands on the Miz!

By Bradley Tiernan

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