It would've taken something monumental for SmackDown to not outdo its big red cousin after a particularly ramshackle episode of Monday Night Raw this week, but while a number of the flagship show's biggest problems did bleed into Team Blue's two hours, SD's superior writing team pulled through with another solid episode.
SmackDown, like Raw, was all over the place, with sublime individual performances nestled alongside bewildering booking decisions, often within the space of the same match. Regardless, it was impossible to come away from this broadcast feeling overly negative.
NXT invaders Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Ricochet, and Aleister Black were back, as WWE threw them up against a fresh set of main roster opponents. Elsewhere, an Elimination Chamber follow-up saw Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles, and Jeff Hardy face Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, culminating in a new number one contender's coronation. The women's division saw Charlotte Flair spit hot fire and Asuka throw down an open challenge, while The Miz had big news for partner Shane McMahon on the Tag Team Title front.
Not a great show by any stretch of the word, but SmackDown's writers were forced to make lemonade from Raw's lemons. Let's take a look at where they succeeded, and where they fell short...
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