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13 Ups & 3 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (July 23)

Kevin Owens' rise spells the end for Shane McMahon's goon squad.

WWE.com

Perhaps it's because it took place just 24 hours after the bloated, uneven Raw Reunion, but last night's WWE SmackDown was such good sh*t, pal.

In one of the best weekly TV episodes of 2019 thus far, the stars of today (accompanied by a wonderfully complimentary Shawn Michaels appearance) helped deliver two sharp, well-written hours that took SmackDown one step closer to SummerSlam with aplomb. There was little to complain about throughout. Yes, SD had its Downs, but each was as minor as minor gets - though they do need to be pointed out.

Kevin Owens' rise continued with another night of Shane McMahon-baiting, and in Roman Reigns, he found an ally with just as big a bone to pick with the self-proclaimed 'Best in the World' and his army of goons. Elsewhere, career rivals The Miz and Dolph Zigler went face-to-face on MizTV, Kofi Kingston wrestled Samoa Joe and tied his SummerSlam opponent up, while Ember Moon burst out of her shell in spectacular fashion. We're still waiting for Daniel Bryan's "career-altering" announcement, but this was teased rather than promised this week. It's not an issue.

A fantastic show, so let's break it down...

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. 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.