8 Ups & 1 Down From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (July 17)

Big nights from Orton, Almas, and Styles save SmackDown's summer.

Randy Orton Jeff Hardy
WWE.com

Extreme Rules was a wet fart of a pay-per-view that disappointed on almost every level (even a potentially electric Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler clash fell short), so fans could've been forgiven for expecting little from last night's follow-up SmackDown. Fortunately, the blue brand blew every doubt out of the water. This was an excellent, excellent show, and if the next few weeks are of a similar standard, WWE's traditional summer slump might be exclusive to Monday nights.

Paige's pre-show announcement that Andrade 'Cien' Almas would face WWE Champion AJ Styles in the opener sparked excitement hours before the show. No spoilers (yet...), but the duo delivered, and while we're no closer to learning who 'The Phenomenal One' will face at SummerSlam, both performers left the ring in a stronger position than when they'd entered.

Becky Lynch emerged as a potential challenger for Carmella's Women's Title elsewhere, but there was no sign of 'The Princess Of Staten Island's' Extreme Rules victim, Asuka, whose credibility lies in tatters. Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy engaged in a rematch spoiled by a rampant Randy Orton, the New Day/Sanity rivalry rumbled on, and The Miz held a funeral for Team Hell No.

Let's take a look at how it all went down...

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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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