About Last Night

WWE SmackDown 07/10/18: FINISH HIM

Nakamura wins. FATALITY.

by Owen Douglass | July 11, 2018

About Last Night is a quick reflection on the matches and segments, or random observations, from a wrestling show that sticks out to us the morning after we watch them. If you would like to get your comments featured, chime in below in our comments section or tweet us. You can also help support us on Patreon.

About Miz TV...

Everyone talks too much

SmackDown kicked off with Miz TV with Team Hell No as the guests. This was a good way to continue to tease the tensions between The Miz and Daniel Bryan, since next week begins the build to SummerSlam where these two will almost definitely have a match. This segment didn't quite hit the highs of their Talking Smack (it never could, really), but Bryan calling out Miz for being bad at wrestling while Miz uses his smarts to bring up footage of Kane trying to kill Bryan and kidnap his wife was really well done. The Miz always seems to be right in the most obnoxious way, and all we want is to see Bryan get his hands on him. We still didn't get that this time since The Bludgeon Brothers, SAnitY, and The New Day all ran in for a big brawl to set up the main event.

The best part of this is you can see The Miz slink into the background and disappear as soon as shit went down. He plays the chickenshit heel so perfectly and I really hope they ramp up the intensity of these promos next week, delving more into reality once again. I know this isn't likely in the body of the actual show, but maybe they could bring back Talking Smack for a one-off episode.

About AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, or a Tag Team Match, Playa...

Aiden English was having a bad night

When they announced AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for SmackDown during Raw (yes, I was actually watching since I have to cover both now), I laughed out loud in disbelief. We're really doing this again? Fortunately, this match had a little extra flavor with Rusev being on commentary. He was talking about his tank at WrestleMania, commenting on how he has scouted Styles and none of his moves would work on him, stealing Nakamura's moves that are effective, and telling Byron Saxton to follow him on Instagram to see how large his quads are. Eventually Aiden English got attacked which led to Rusev ripping Styles off the apron as he was attempting the Phenomenal Forearm for the disqualification. Jeff Hardy came out to help even the odds, and Paige did a Teddy Long by making it a tag team match.

The second match was fine and just served to give a taste of the two title matches on Sunday. It wasn't bad, just not that memorable. Nakamura pulled Jeff Hardy's leg off the top rope as he went for the Swanton Bomb and Rusev hit the Machka kick for the victory. It's not really that surprising that the heels get the advantage on the go-home show, but I hope Nakamura still wins the United States Championship. I've enjoyed Hardy's run, but Nakamura having it would be fresh and be really beneficial for SummerSlam.

About Battle of the Sexes II...

Seriously, why did they start fighting for no reason?

We had a second shot at making Asuka vs. James Ellsworth a good match like the match he had with Becky Lynch, but the Lumberjack stipulation just served as a bad distraction. When Ellsworth was tossed to the outside, instead of throwing him immediately back in all the women began to fight each other for no reason. Ellsworth tried to escape, but eventually Becky Lynch and Naomi threw him back in the ring. Carmella tried to give him something to spray in Asuka's eyes, but she put the Asuka Lock on first and made him tap. The spray would play a part in the post-match beatdown as Asuka got blinded and knocked out by Ellsworth and Carmella.

It wasn't just the distractions of the stipulation that made this bad. Asuka seemed to lack any intensity in her strikes, perhaps getting in trouble for the slap last week. Without that, Asuka doesn't really have much and it hurt the match. Asuka shouldn't appear to be holding back when she's an unstoppable machine.

About Sin Cara vs. Andrade "Cien" almas a Month Later...

Balls. To. Face.

A month ago we had a storyline going on with Andrade "Cien" Almas looking for competition on SmackDown and only getting squashes. We then got the backstory with Sin Cara and him being friends back in the old days when Almas wore a mask, but now he hates him because Zelina Vega or something. Zelina interrupted his interview, said he'd face Almas next week, and then was attacked from behind by Almas. Then a month passed and we never saw any of these people again.

We got the match this week, and they replayed the backstage segment with the "next week" taken out. Was it worth the wait? Sure, because Sin Cara brough a surprising amount of energy to the match and Almas did his thing where he is good wrestler. I'm just not sure where Almas goes from here. Will he actually get a build to something at SummerSlam, or will he disappear for a month again? He seems like a good wrestler to put in front of that crowd at Barclays. Speaking of disappearing acts, where the hell is Samoa Joe?

About The Main Event...

And with that, Daniel Bryan opened a gate to hell.

The main event was a 10-man tag team match between Team Hell No & The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers & SAnitY. But before that, we need to talk about the promos both teams had throughout the night. We had Bryan and Kane arguing between attacking their opponents in the legs or setting them on fire and opening a gate to hell. Big E stopped them and got everyone hyped up, including Kane quoting N*SYNC after Miz had earlier compared Team Hell No's reunion to one by the band. On the other side, SAnitY were in a dark room talking about chaos or whatever and The Bludgeon Brothers said it's time to bludgeon.

The actual match felt a bit like a house show match, with a bunch of wrestlers all involved and it building up to Xavier Woods hot tagging Daniel Bryan for the win. But the biggest moment of the night happened after the match on the entranceway. Daniel Bryan tried to do the Kane arms thing to summon fire, but it didn't work the first two times. On the third one, to Kane and everyone's surprise it actually worked. HE SUMMONED PYRO IN 2018. I hope this means Kane can come out to it now during his entrance, because the sound they're currently using is super lame.

What did you think of this week's SmackDown? Let us know in the comments!

About Owen Douglass

Owen Douglass is a co-founder of ProWrestling.Cool and one of the hosts of the Heel Turn podcast. With over 20 years of wrestling experience, there isn't much that shocks him these days.



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