Off the back of a SummerSlam which featured an interesting turn of events in the story of Becky Lynch and a continuation for many of the blue brand’s storylines, last night’s episode of SmackDown Live looked to set the stage for the feuds that will take place over the coming weeks heading towards Hell in a Cell. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.


– A frustrated Jeff Hardy hit Randy Orton with a low blow to gift Orton the win via disqualification.

– Peyton Royce beat Naomi.

– Rusev and Lana defeated Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Zelina Vega.

– The New Day finally bested The Bludgeon Brothers to win the SmackDown tag team titles.

It’s a YES from me:

Opening the show, The Miz cut a tearful promo announcing his retirement (from ever facing Daniel Bryan again). This lead to Bryan coming out and repeatedly calling Miz a coward. Defending her husband’s honour, Maryse started to insult Bryan but was cut short by a returning Brie Bella. As Maryse rolled out of the ring, Brie turned her attention towards Miz, laying a few punches on him before he managed to escape. Bryan said his wife can “hit hard” to which she threw up her fists like an old lady sitting on her porch angry at passers-by. Bryan revealed that General Manager Paige has already scheduled a Mixed Tag Match between the two couples for Hell in a Cell. A backstage segment followed where Miz confronted Paige about what had happened but she rebuffed Miz’s attempts to get out of the match and confirmed it will go ahead as planned.

We finally got to see a glimpse of the extreme Jeff Hardy we have grown to love over the years. After losing his cool with Randy Orton, Hardy snapped and stomped Randy in the crotch, causing a disqualification. However, the Charismatic Enigma wasn’t finished there as he continued to brawl with Orton after the match. Jeff gained the upper hand and then leapt off an equipment box in the audience to Swanton Bomb Orton through a table.

After turning on Charlotte at SummerSlam, Becky Lynch made her way to the ring to cut her first heel promo and it was straight fire. The Lasskicker gave a convincing performance, starring down the hard cam lambasting the SummerSlam card for not being more about her instead of the likes of Reigns, Rousey and Flair. Lynch then targeted Charlotte for stealing her shot at glory to which the SmackDown Women’s Champion ran out and the two fought. It was eventually brought to an end when Paige ordered the entire women’s roster to pull apart the brawl.

The main event would see the New Day once again take on the Bludgeon Brothers in an attempt to claim the SmackDown tag team titles. Before the match, Kofi and Woods inquired about Big E’s ribs and if he was fit to compete, but the big man would get the wrong end of the stick thinking the pair were talking about the barbecue ribs he was eating. Jokes aside, Kofi and Woods teamed up to put on a fantastic display of athleticism to finally get the better of the Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The Bludgeon Brothers dominated the early stages of this No DQ Match, but just when Harper was about to powerbomb Woods, Kingston hit Harper with one of the Bludgeon Brothers’ hammers and a Trouble in Paradise. This set up Woods to put Harper through a table and get the pin. Recent reports and a tweet from Luke Harper suggests this was decided by a bicep injury suffered by Rowan at Sunday’s PPV.

Ah hell no:

The first bout of the night saw Peyton Royce take care of Naomi after the latter was left distracted by Billie Kay. Later in the show, Rusev and Lana defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega when Aiden English helped his estranged teammates by stopping Almas from bringing a steel chair into the ring. This reunited the trio and seemingly completes the story arch to little fanfare. As for the IIconics, they are great heels but are still yet to make an impact within the SmackDown women’s division.

Interviewing The Bar backstage, Renee Young asked the pair about their ambitions for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Stumbling their lines, they were interrupted by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson putting on weird barely-English accents and wearing Harry Potter glasses. Maybe there’s something I missed but it made little sense and was a deliberate attempt at shoehorning in a match for next week. Shinsuke Nakamura also took his turn with a video promo proclaiming himself to be an American hero and welcomed everyone to the “United States of Nakamerica”. Yep.

Renee Young, again on interview duty, spoke with AJ Styles on a platform by the stage. Probably the same platform Braun Strowman tipped over during the Kevin Owens show a few weeks back on Raw. Besides WWE trying to get the most out of their terrible set investments, Styles revealed that he doesn’t regret how he treated Samoa Joe at SummerSlam, ultimately causing a disqualification after hitting him with a chair. Suddenly, the WWE Champion was attacked by Joe, leaving the champ unconscious. Joe then cut an intense promo addressing AJ’s wife, Wendy. This is a strange road to go down considering the history the two have on the independent circuit which could have been used for the basis of their feud. Yet, creative is going for the ‘edgier’ route by bringing AJ’s family into the fold.

Looking ahead:

Paige confirmed that Becky and Charlotte had been escorted from the building and that AJ Styles was getting medical attention. With Carmella also showing up to demand her rematch, Paige confirmed the rematch between Carmella and Charlotte will take place next week.

By Bradley Tiernan

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