11 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (3 Sept)

KOTR's brilliance continues as Bryan's belligerence earns an unexpected beatdown.

Rowan Daniel Bryan

Now that was a great episode of SmackDown.

The usual caveat applies when reviewing this brand's stronger shows: yes, there are Downs, but each is relatively minor and had a minimal negative impact on the overall viewing experience. They were significant enough to necessitate a mention, but neither stunk SmackDown up.

Last week saw Rowan definitively revealed as the man behind the recent attempts on Roman Reigns' life. His (former?) ally, Daniel Bryan, ate a 'Big Dog' Spear in the chaos and decided he still wanted an apology from the former Shield man ahead of this show. Predictably, this did not go well for him. SmackDown also highlighted Kofi Kingston's attritional war with Randy Orton, the oft-neglected Women's Tag Team Championship division, Bayley's surprising heel turn on the previous night's episode of Raw, and the King of the Ring tournament, with Chad Gable vs. Andrade and Elias vs. Ali both going down.

Segment-by-segment and match-by-match, the quality ceiling was high and the floor low. This is generally the case when SmackDown is in peak form. The show's a breeze to watch and almost fat-free thanks, primarily, to sharply written material.

Let's break it down...


WhatCulture's big bad wrestling news baron. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.