One week after delivering what will likely go down as one of the year's blandest events, SmackDown fired back with two extremely solid hours of television last night, delivering fun, easy-to-watch show that pushed the United States Title to the forefront.
Bobby Roode, Xavier Woods, Jinder Mahal, and Mojo Rawley were gunning for tournament glory, but while their semi-finals took place as planned, Daniel Bryan had a huge surprise in store for the victors. This wasn't the only time WWE flipped the script throughout the night, though. The writers eschewed over-the-top dramatics for pure competition, and thankfully, the previous week's drudgery was nowhere to be found.
WWE Champion AJ Styles was in the house, but restricted to one short segment, while Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were nowhere to be found. Elsewhere, The Usos' issues with Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin escalated, the absent Randy Orton literally phoned it in, and The Riott Squad clashed with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Naomi.
There was nothing groundbreaking on the show, but last night's SmackDown was extremely watchable, with the wrestling-centric format a welcome change of pace.
Let's break it down...