11th Jul2018

WWE Smackdown – July 10th 2018: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to this week’s Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and this is the final Smackdown before we reach Extreme Rules, which features AJ Styles fighting Rusev for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at the PPV. We have a ten-man tag main event to get to, so let’s not waste any more time!

Match #1: AJ Styles beat Shinsuke Nakamura via disqualification

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura rekindled their epic rivalry as Rusev watched from ringside, providing guest commentary and spouting off about how was ready to dethrone The Phenomenal One for the WWE Championship this Sunday.

Styles and Nakamura picked up right where they left off, laying into one another with hard-hitting strikes and counters for the other’s counters. During the contest, the hard-hitting action spilled out of the ring to the commentary desk, where Styles could not help but clock a chattering Aiden English, who was getting too close for comfort.

The King of Strong Style used the distraction to knock AJ down on the outside, but the WWE Champion evaded the Kinshasa and caused Nakamrua to drill English instead. An incensed Rusev blindsided Styles, who won by disqualification. Rusev and Nakamura then began to put the boots to The Phenomenal One, but the tables turned quickly when United States Champion Jeff Hardy came out to even the odds.

During this melee, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige arrived with an announcement that would prolong the insanity, as a tag team match pitting Styles & Hardy vs. Rusev & Nakamura would happen… oh, and it would be next.

My Take: It’s not every day when you get an opener of this caliber, at least in terms of star power. AJ and SN, whose best match was still their first in New Japan Pro Wrestling for the wrestling league’s annual Wrestle-Kingdom card, had another strong match here, even with the lousy finish in place. It’s remarkable to see how these two have been cut off at the knees during nearly every match they’ve had with each other, yet they’ve still managed to have a good series of matches any-way. You can expect lots of hard shots and big moves here, which will give this whole card a lot more momentum than Monday’s RAW, which became the lowest-viewed episode in history.

Match #2: AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy beat Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura – Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The four Superstars wasted no time getting right back into the thick of their conflict, with each clearly wanting to make a major statement ahead of their championship clashes on Sunday.

Jeff Hardy & AJ Styles caught fire during the free-for-all, but Rusev knocked Styles out of the ring with a Machka Kick, then leveled Hardy with a second one to claim a valuable win just five days before his WWE Title bout at WWE Extreme Rules.

My Take: This was a short burst of a match, but it got four very talented people in the ring for a little while so they could wrestle a very nice match. The finish some-what redeemed the end of the last match, as Rusev was able to get a fall on Jeff Hardy, which is a great name to add to his record, if only for the sake of television.

Match #3: Asuka beat James Ellsworth in a Lumberjack Match – Inter-Gender Rules

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Due to the controversial conclusion to last week’s battle of the sexes between James Ellsworth and Asuka, Paige declared that Ellsworth would have to face off with Asuka again tonight… in a Lumberjack Match. Having been given strict instruction by Carmella to take care of The Empress of Tomorrow, Ellsworth kicked off the proceedings with some insulting words for the lumberjacks.

Once the contest got going though, it was more of the same from last week: Asuka terrorizing Ellsworth. With nowhere to run for Ellsworth, it appeared The Empress was on her way to an emphatic victory just five days before her SmackDown Women’s Championship rematch at WWE Extreme Rules. At one point, Ellsworth attempted to bolt, but the lumberjacks grabbed him and then started going at it with one another.

During all this commotion, Carmella attempted to hand Ellsworth a spray that he used to try to blind The Empress. Asuka was hip to their plan though and stopped the ploy, knocking Ellsworth into Carmella to send her flying off the apron, and then putting Carmella’s lackey in the Asuka Lock for the submission victory.

Just after the bell, Carmella rushed the ring to try to get the jump on Asuka. While The Empress attempted to deal with The Princess, Ellsworth retrieved the spray and blinded Carmella’s foe, allowing the champion to make a major statement by downing her challenger yet again.

My Take: This was just a lot of smoke and mirrors, to get by having them wrestle. I don’t have an actual match to review, so screw it.

Match #4: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega beat Sin Cara

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Fueled off aggression after being blindsided by Andrade “Cien” Almas several weeks ago in a vicious backstage assault, Sin Cara came out at a rapid pace against El Idolo on SmackDown LIVE.

However, Almas soon took control after leaping from the top rope and planting both of his feet into Sin Cara’s chest before putting away the masked luchador with his vicious Running Double Knee attack for the biggest win of his blue brand tenure.

My Take: This was a short, but sweet match that gave Cien some necessary television exposure. In CMLL, Cien wrestled as La Sombra and was a big deal, but he can barely get any attention from the WWE. Sin Cara looked good here too and helped make this a good night for Cien.

Match #5: Main Event – Team Hell No & The New Day beat The Bludgeon Brothers & SAnitY – Ten-Man Tag Team Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Due to the chaotic brouhaha that kicked off SmackDown LIVE, Paige made a massive 10-Man Tag Team Match, and the two sides fought ferociously with tons of bruising offense.

The Bludgeon Brothers and SAnitY used their size and strength advantages to wear down Team Hell No & The New Day for a good chunk of the contest, but Daniel Bryan led a rally for his squad that saw a flurry of high-impact maneuvers, including Big E launching Kofi Kingston over the top rope and onto Harper, clearing the way for Bryan to catch Eric Young with the Running Knee for the 1-2-3.

After the big victory, The New Day and Team Hell No began to celebrate. When Bryan & Kane reached the top of the ramp, they went back and forth, first over who should lead the “Yes!” chant. Bryan then attempted Kane’s signature fire-summoning technique. At first, The “Yes!” Man’s attempts rendered nothing, but then, miraculously, his final attempt worked, with Bryan conjuring the iconic flames of The Big Red Machine. Could this potentially be a precursor for a lit performance from Team Hell No en route to a SmackDown Tag Team Championship victory this Sunday?

My Take: This was an excellent match that capped off a good episode of Smackdown. This match had lots of wild action and is the kind of thing that gets you hooked in for a big card like Extreme Rules, which is this Sunday. I really enjoyed this bout and I say this is worth your time.

News of the Night:

  1. James Ellsworth is going to be locked in a shark cage for the Smackdown Women’s Title match at Extreme Rules.
  2. The Daniel Bryan/Miz feud is still being teased.

Final Verdict: This was an excellent episode of Smackdown and one that did a nice job of selling Extreme Rules as a good event to watch. There have definitely been better go-home shows in the history of wrestling, but this was one of the better ones and it’s good to have a quality go-home show from a wrestling league that often has some severe problems making them work.

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