Exactly one week away from SmackDown’s landmark 1000th episode, we find out what really happened during that “one night in Milwaukee” and we see more matches from a World Cup qualifying tournament that, so far, only competitors from the United States have qualified for. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.


– Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte ended in a double count-out with Lynch retaining the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

– Jeff Hardy def. Samoa Joe by referee stoppage to qualify for the WWE World Cup.

– AJ Styles beat Shelton Benjamin by pinfall.

– Randy Orton def. Big Show by pinfall to advance to the WWE World Cup.


It’s a YES from me:

SmackDown wasted no time in getting straight to business as the show opened with Becky Lynch defending her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte. After a number of close calls, the pair continued to brawl outside the ring which triggered the referee’s count of 10 and ending the match in a double count-out. As Becky made an escape with her title in hand, Charlotte chased her down, spearing Lynch through the electronic entrance board. Later in the show, Paige announced Charlotte and Becky will face each other in a Last Woman Standing match at WWE Evolution. This opening match could easily have headline last night’s show but it is still great to see these two competitors stealing the blue brand’s spotlight.

In another epic edition of MizTV, the host tried to turn Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles against each other but to no avail. Bryan revealed his dream was “not to reform Team Hell No or to come back and fight this jerk (Miz)”. His dream was to come back and win the WWE Championship. Enraged that the focus was no longer on himself, Miz then cut a promo on how he beat Daniel Bryan twice before Super Show-Down before disparaging Styles for having de-valued the WWE Championship in the past year. Following this, Miz declared he’ll fight the winner of the Crown Jewel title match. This enticing segment was then followed up by AJ Styles defeating Shelton Benjamin (who beat Bryan last week) with the Phenomenal Forearm.


Ah hell no:

One of the two needlessly forced matches of the night saw Jeff Hardy defeat Samoa Joe via referee stoppage for a place in the WWE World Cup Tournament at Crown Jewel. Hardy targetted Joe’s damaged knee and the referee called for the bell when Joe couldn’t make it to his feet. This was frustrating for a number of reasons. Hardy was seemingly written out of TV for a while after his Hell in a Cell defeat to Randy Orton and, despite Samoa Joe having lost to AJ Styles at Super Show-Down, he should be looking to bounce back with a win here. More so, he is being made to look weak by a referee throwing in the towel, when really, a ruthless challenger such as Joe should be fighting through any injuries to get what he wants. This was a cheap and easy win for Hardy.

Aiden English gave the Director’s Cut of “One Night in Milwaukee”, showing just a bit more of the video from last week. English called out Rusev and said he’ll destroy the video if Rusev reunites Rusev Day. Being from the Kremlin, Lana revealed that English had been hacked, and she demanded the rest of the video be played. This showed English as the one coming onto Lana to which she stopped his advances. Rebuffed, English said, “the offer still stands when Lana gets tired of Rusev Day, to come and get some Aiden Night.” For delivering such a terrible line, Rusev gave chase but luckily English escaped Rusev’s attempted attack.


An “interesting” main event – and the second needlessly forced match of the night – saw Randy Orton defeat a returning Big Show for a place in the WWE World Cup Tournament. Why Big Show? I have no idea. It should really have been Tye Dillinger or R-Truth where there has been more of a story involved in recent weeks but apparently the Perfect 10 is “injured”.

SmackDown 1000 hype:

After the reformation of DX at the latest RAW, SmackDown made sure to promote Evolution’s return for the special 1000th episode next week. The landmark occasion will also see the return of Rey Mysterio as he goes one on one with Shinsuke Nakamura in a World Cup Tournament Qualifying match. The first of which, may I add, to feature two non-US competitors.

By Bradley Tiernan

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