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


1. Tension In The Ranks

Last night's backstage segment between Lana and Aiden English wasn't bad, but 'The Ravishing Russian's' performances have become weirdly inconsistent in recent months. She has taken to switching between accents at will, often doing so several times within the same conversation, as was the case here.

It makes for jarring viewing. If someone is asking her to do this, then it's a bewildering move, but if she's doing it herself, it gives the impression she doesn't care. American or Russian: pick one, and stick to it. We know that Catherine Joy Perry was born in Gainesville, Florida, and doesn't use the accent on Total Divas, but this line-blurring shouldn't extend to SmackDown's fantasy world.

On the plus side, teasing tension between English, Lana, and Rusev is a smart move that should, if handled correctly, address the problems with Rusev's alignment. 'The Bulgarian Brute,' like his betrothed, must choose a side. 'Rusev Day' has top babyface potential, but he can't keep playing to the crowd while beating down fan favourites.


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