Daniel Bryan def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
Bryan and Brie Bella called out The Miz and Maryse for the second straight week, only to be confronted by Almas and Zelina Vega again instead. Their verbal back-and-forth was fine and set up another entertaining encounter between Bryan and Almas. I had hope that the non-finish to last week's match meant WWE would go back to this bout down the road (preferably at a big pay-per-view), but it didn't take long for WWE to give Bryan a definitive win over Almas. If nothing else, I was glad Almas looked credible in defeat and there wasn't as much interference this time around.
Tom Phillips Interviewed SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
Charlotte wasn't booed nearly as much here as she has in recent weeks, but Lynch still received the more favorable reaction, which (and you knew this was coming) drives home how miscast they are right now. That aside, this was a strong segment with great promos from both women. Lynch continues to kill it on the mic and Charlotte is holding her own with the material she's being given to work with as well. Their SmackDown Women's Championship clash was made official for Hell in a Cell as well.
Naomi def. Peyton Royce
I'm happy Naomi and The IIconics are getting more television time now than they were before, but I honestly couldn't care less about their rivalry. It doesn't help that the promos The IIconics are cutting are just flat-out awful. This lasted all of a minute before it ended in a roll-up win for Naomi. Before The IIconics could inflict further damage on Naomi, Asuka made the save as many figured she would eventually. That will likely lead to a tag team matchup that will mean absolutely nothing.
WWE Champion AJ Styles Attacked Samoa Joe
Joe teased going to the Styles household this week on last week's show and that could have been really campy, so it was for the best that they took this approach instead. Joe's promo was straightforward and intense, while Styles finally battling back and getting a measure of revenge over Joe was well done. The crowd was hot for their brawl, too. I still say that their match at the next pay-per-view belongs inside Hell in a Cell, and at least they have the go-home show to add that stipulation if they so wish.
Rusev Day def. SAnitY and The Usos in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to Advance in the SmackDown TaG Team Championship Tournament
I suppose Rusev Day winning wasn't exactly a foregone conclusion considering the notoriety of The Usos, but either way, SAnitY taking the losing fall was predictable as all hell. Those guys just can't catch a break, can they? I actually enjoyed last week's Triple Threat match a bit more than this one, probably because this bored me up until the final few minutes, but it was solid and set up Rusev Day vs. The Bar in the finals of the tournament for next week.
R-Truth def. The Miz
I appreciated Miz bringing up his history with Truth from years ago and how the latter hasn't been relevant since (which is true, by the way). I was stunned this wound up in the main event slot, but the Bryan-Miz angle was furthered throughout the night, so it made sense. Plus, the match itself was better than expected and led to an upset victory for Truth. If Miz can lose to Truth, why can't Bryan get beaten by Almas just once? Nevertheless, the Bryan vs. Miz feud has been very fun to follow thus far.
Similar to SummerSlam, SmackDown Live has many more engaging additions to the Hell in a Cell card than Raw does and the build has been excellently executed for the most part. Brie, Bryan, Miz and Maryse were featured heavily on this show, but I liked almost everything else with Styles and Joe, Charlotte and Lynch, the tag team three-way, and especially the video packages for Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton. Only Naomi vs. Royce felt like a waste of time to me.
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