6 Ups & 3 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Sept 11)

Key performances elevate an otherwise formulaic go-home show.

Brie Bellas The Miz Daniel Bryan

A typical modern WWE pay-per-view go-home show in many ways, last night's SmackDown was carried by several excellent performances from key players.

WWE Champion AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were kept apart, but still find time to shoot barbs at each, with both delivering on completely different levels. Their feud feels important. Built on an "I want to f*ck your wife" dynamic that would've fallen to pieces in the hands of lesser personalities, they continue to show why they've been positioned as the brand's top dogs.

There were further developments in the Miz vs. Daniel Bryan saga. Brie Bella met Maryse in the main event, but as expected, it was far from a straightforward wrestling match. Elsewhere, we got the conclusion of the Tag Team Title contendership tournament as Rusev Day faced The Bar, Jeff Hardy wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura for what felt like the 72nd time this year, and an overdue win for Andrade 'Cien' Almas. Oh, and Carmella is apparently still a babyface. Make sense of that one if you can.

Though not quite up to SmackDown's usual standards, this week was a net positive nonetheless. Let's see what Hell In A Cell brings, because it's shaping up to be a fun show on the blue side...


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.