8 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (June 19)

Five run the gauntlet in Ohio.

Rusev The Miz Accolade

One week removed from one of 2018's most skippable weekly shows, SmackDown rebounded with a cracking Money In The Bank follow-up dominated by 43-minute gauntlet match.

This colossal showdown occupied the entirety of the show's second half. With AJ Styles defeating Shinsuke Nakamura on Sunday, WWE needed to establish a number one contender for Extreme Rules, so up stepped Big E, The Miz, Rusev, Daniel Bryan, and Samoa Joe. They didn't disappoint, delivering four varied falls that kept the audience enthralled throughout, and more importantly, a huge crowd-pleasing victor.

The gauntlet wasn't the night's only major talking point, though. There were developments in the women's division, as Carmella and James Ellsworth were in prime gloating form after thwarting Asuka at Money In The Bank, while Becky Lynch met Billie Kay in singles competition. Elsewhere, Sanity finally debuted with a one-sided pounding of The Usos, Gallows and Anderson worked their second tag title bout in three days, and a defeated Shinsuke Nakamura learned his next opponent.

This week's SmackDown was all about the in-ring action, and the show was stronger for it. We can't have it this way every week, and the night wasn't without its flaws, but let's mark this episode down as one of the year's finest so far.


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.