12 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (13 Aug)

Reigns battles Murphy, Owens vs. Shane rumbles on.

Randy Orton

A few bum months aside, SmackDown's quality has genuinely outdone Raw's since WWE brought the brand split back in 2016. It isn't reflected in the viewership, but for the most part, the former 'Land of Opportunity' is a sharper, easier-to-watch show with a far higher floor than the flagship. While it might not always blow you away, SD rarely makes you feel like you've wasted two hours.

The dynamic has shifted somewhat in recent weeks. Mondays have been excellent since the erratic Raw Reunion, pressuring SmackDown to maintain its spot atop the main roster pile. Fortunately, Team Blue's heads remain above the rising tide, and last night was a roaring success.

This excellent show was once again built largely around the Roman Reigns whodunit saga, not only giving us 'The Big Dog' vs. Buddy Murphy, but also strong, strong rebuttals from Daniel Bryan and Rowan. Elsewhere, there were continuations of the Randy Orton/Kofi Kingston and Shane McMahon/Kevin Owens feuds, fresh opponents for Xavier Woods and Big E, and a mouthwatering Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair throwdown.

The criticisms, once again, are minor. SmackDown ruled last night. Let's hope the Clash of Champions build stays this strong...


A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.