SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Randy Orton:Heel Orton is the best Orton. He kicked off Smackdown Live with one of the best promos in the company in some time. This was the promo fans who believe Orton mails in performances have been waiting for. The 16-year vet vowed to end Jeff Hardy’s career next time they step in the ring together.
Rusev vs. Andrade Cien Almas:It wasn’t as smooth as Sin Cara and Almas from a couple weeks ago but it worked. Rusev, sans Aiden English, was the babyface according to crowd reaction with Almas garnering heel reactions. Almas produced more offense and stole a huge victory over Rusev. Almas capitalized off a distracted Rusev after English came down and inadvertently bumped into Lana, knocking her down. Almas hasn’t had a bad match since joining the main roster. He should be in for a solid heel run as time goes on.
R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe:I have a soft spot for Truth. The guy just has undeniable charisma and the crowd has always loved him back. A shame he never mounted to anything above comedic jobbing. Joe made quick work of Truth in dominating fashion.
Paige’s announcement of A.J. Styles’s Summerslam Opponent:It’s a shame such an important setup had to involve James Ellsworth. WWE doesn’t learn sometimes. The segment didn’t need it. Samoa Joe is a stud. Killer on the mic, machine in the ring, and now is the number one contender for Styles’ WWE championship at Summerslam. Joe snuck up on Styles while Paige was in the locker room area tossing the now fired Ellsworth out of the building. Joe locked in the Kokina Clutch on the champion after signing the Summerslam contract.
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella:Good match between the two with Lynch clearly the better worker. Lynch carried the match and tapped out the current Women’s Champion with the armbar. The win solidified Lynch’s spot at Summerslam where she look to take Carmella’s championship. We can a hope so.
Miz and Mrs:Great ending segment. The Miz is probably the best personality in the business and Maryse is great at playing right along with her husband. It was assumed their new baby, Monroe, would be introduced to the live crowd for the very first time. Didn’t happen. Daniel Bryan entered the ring to personally ‘apologize’ to Miz. Didn’t necessarily work out as Bryan probably had planned. Miz tossed a doll baby at Bryan and then kicked him in the face. The show ended after Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Bryan. This is all leading up to a match at Summerslam it seems.
Asuka promo and match against Billie Kay:Asuka’s promos have become very hard to watch. It’s her her character and makes her come off very cartoonish. I do not understand why WWE feels Asuka needs to cut promos. Her match against Kay was a squash. Kay is just not a good worker and that’s become glaringly obvious.
New Day vs. Sanity:This feud has gone on now for a few weeks. This match kicked off the tag team tournament and it was just OKAY. There was no heat and the fans weren’t really into it. Part of it could’ve been the lack of time this match received. The Usos graced us with color commentary and after New Day’s win we saw the return of The Bar.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS ARTICLE: 5 YRS AGO – WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (7-26-13): Orton vs. Sandow, C.M. Punk talks about Lesnar & Heyman, RVD, Del Rio, Wyatt Family, Tons of Funk