Daniel Bryan Crashed Miz TV with The Miz and Maryse
At this point, I solely looking forward to Miz beating Bryan just so I can hear Miz brag about it on the subsequent SmackDown Live. He did so in glorious fashion here, and even though you could see the "swerve" with Miz and Maryse coming from a mile away, the angle was well done. Bryan has appeared on Miz TV countless times in recent months, so although this was nothing new, they successfully furthered their feud going into WWE Super Show-Down.
Cesaro def. SmackDown Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston
I'm sure it will be a great match, but The Bar getting a SmackDown Tag Team Championship shot at WWE Super Show-Down against The New Day feels really random considering they've lost in the last two tournaments. Nevertheless, this was a quality contest between Cesaro and Kingston, who have always worked well together dating back to 2012. It made sense for Cesaro to pick up the victory so The Bar has a bit of momentum on their side.
United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev
Even though Rusev did nothing to deserve a shot at the strap, general manager Paige's logic was that the title wasn't defended at Hell in a Cell and thus it needed to be on the line on this show. The match itself was fine but mostly served as a backdrop for Aiden English's turn on Rusev. I figured English would be the face in the feud, but I like the roles being reversed because Rusev has been due a full-fledged babyface turn for a while.
WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Andrade "Cien" Almas (Non-title)
I don't believe Styles has been in action on SmackDown since his last match against Almas two months ago, so it was cool that his first bout back on the show was also against Almas, especially considering how strong their chemistry is. They were given a ton of time and I was glad Almas was able to get as much offense in as he did. My only minor complaint is that Samoa Joe attacked Styles afterward instead of before the finish, which would have prevented Almas from eating another defeat.
Asuka def. Billie Kay
I realize they're building toward a tag team match at Super Show-Down with Naomi and Asuka taking on The IIconics, but I honestly could not care less about these two tandems trading wins back and forth in the weeks preceding the event. On the bright side, Asuka was back to her dominating ways here by making quick work of Kay instead of going 50/50 with her, which would have been a mistake. Keeping this short and sweet was smart.
Charlotte Flair Interrupted Becky Lynch's SmackDown Women's Championship Coronation
Lynch continues to kill it as a heel, even though she should be a babyface. I really enjoyed their exchange here and thought it was a quality next chapter in their ongoing feud, but the biggest issue with them being miscast as characters is that Flair isn't sympathetic as a babyface whatsoever. I suppose that could change over time, but it's been apparent in the past that she is way more comfortable in the heel role.
Unlike Monday's Raw, SmackDown did a much better job of following up on certain strorylines from Hell in a Cell and wasting no time in hyping up matches for Super Show-Down in early October. Styles vs. Almas was far and away the best bout of the night, the closing segment with the women was excellent, Rusev Day is finally no more, Bryan and Miz progressed their rivalry, and the tag team title feud started to heat up with Kingston vs. Cesaro.
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