7 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (July 31)

Alliances are stretched as SmackDown races towards SummerSlam.

Becky Lynch Charlotte Flair
WWE.com

One night removed from the most tedious Raw that WWE have excreted in months, SmackDown delivered a strong, steady episode that sits comfortably on their post-WrestleMania line of best fit, though there were a couple of notable downgrades from the previous week.

Last night was all about the women. Two of the show's three matches came from the division, with Zelina Vega answering Lana's social media challenge and Charlotte Flair meeting Carmella in the main event. The latter came from a well-played opening segment featuring Becky Lynch, who'd already secured her SummerSlam title shot, only for her supposed best friend to sweep in and snatch the spotlight.

There was no sign of WWE Champion AJ Styles, but Samoa Joe cut a killer promo in his absence. Elsewhere, there were further developments in the Daniel Bryan/The Miz saga, though they won't be wrestling each other quite yet, and the tag contendership tournament continued as Sheamus and Cesaro faced The Usos.

The gulf between Mondays and Tuesdays hasn't been this apparent since late 2016, and while SummerSlam still doesn't feel nearly as important as it should, WWE's blue half are at least upholding their end of the bargain. Shows like this are leaving Raw in the dust...

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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.

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