For once, I find myself writing my opening preamble with relative happiness following the events of last night’s episode of SmackDown Live. There have been interesting developments across the board, most surprisingly with the story between Aiden English, Rusev and Lana with English threatening to disclose information about “that night in Milwaukee”. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.


– Miz defeated R-Truth to reclaim Miz TV (all will be explained).

– Sheamus beat Big E in singles action.

– The team of Asuka and Naomi won a tag match against Many Rose and Sonya Deville.

– Tye Dillinger beat Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ from Randy Orton.

– Becky Lynch made Lana tap out to the Dis-arm-her.

It’s a YES from me:

The show was set to open with yet another thrilling instalment of MizTV, yet it wasn’t Miz on presenting duty. As a recently new mix-match duo R-Truth and, a now babyface Carmella, took the reigns in Miz’s place. The pair welcomed out Daniel Bryan to talk about his upcoming Super Show-Down matchup against Miz for a chance to fight for the WWE Championship. Miz eventually came out and asked what R-Truth was doing. Entertaining us, right? R-Truth declared because he beat Miz previously, he would have taken a title opportunity if Miz was a champion, but as he’s not, he took his show instead. Miz talked down Bryan before R-Truth interrupted him and challenged him to a match for the rights to the show. This was then made official by the general manager, Paige. The Miz was able to show a more ruthless side to himself, defeating R-Truth with Bryan’s finisher, the running knee, to retain the rights to MizTV.

Rusev called out Aiden English after he was attacked last week. English recapped the rise of Rusev Day and blamed the team’s demise solely on Lana. Making things that little bit more interesting, he then asked Lana if she’d tell Rusev about the “one night in Milwaukee.” As stunned as the rest of us, Rusev claimed to not believe his former partner’s words alluding to the possible infidelity of his wife. In a later interview, English said he’ll show video evidence of what happened in Milwaukee next week.

Tye Dillinger was punching away at Shinsuke Nakamura in the corner of the ring when Randy Orton pulled him down and attacked him. Orton hit the DDT off the apron onto the outside which was followed up by Nakamura hitting the Kinshasa on the helpless Dillinger. They say the best wrestling personas are an exaggerated version of one’s actual personality. So when Orton revealed he attacked Dillinger because he’s pissed off with the “perfect 10 crap”, I actually believed him. After years of being thrust into feuds he seemingly has no interest in, it finally appears as though WWE has found the right character balance for The Viper.

The closing segment of the show featured AJ Styles in the ring signing his contract for Super Show-Down against Samoa Joe. Yet, the challenger was nowhere to been seen and appeared by video link at Styles’ house. The mind games continue, with Joe clearly pressing Styles buttons in more ways than one, the show went off the air just as the Samoan submission machine rang the doorbell to Style’s house.

Ah hell no:

The first match of the night was a solid bout between Sheamus and Big E which the former won with a Brogue Kick. It was straight to the point from Sheamus and Cesaro as they put the New Day in their place, stating they’re here to win matches and not just dance around and make jokes. It would be nice to see this feud gain a little more traction in the coming weeks though.

A story with nothing to it saw Asuka and Naomi defeat Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose with the IIconics sat in on commentary. To be frank, it was a poor choice of match that simply acted as a buffer between the bigger stories.

A video played from earlier in the day showing Becky Lynch attacking Charlotte Flair during a photoshoot and demanding the photographer to take her picture above Charlotte. While this did well to increase Becky’s status as the top heel, it doesn’t reflect how the fans feel about the underdog finally getting the break she deserved. This was followed by Lynch easily defeating Lana via submission later in the show. I guess we’ll wait and see how this one plays out further into her reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion.

By Bradley Tiernan

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