WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 25
Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at WWE SmackDown to recap the action, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.
This week's show featured great action from some of WWE's rising stars, particularly from Dean Ambrose and Cesaro in a No Disqualification match.
Several major feuds were addressed, but one interesting program developing is between Miz and Dolph Ziggler. The two former World champions seem like the next logical intercontinental title feud.
The Usos had an entertaining bout with RybAxel, Roman Reigns and Alberto Del Rio put on a good main event and the Rhodes brothers continue to confuse and entertain with their strange antics.
Let's take a look at what went down on this week's SmackDown.
SmackDown kicked off the action right away with The Usos taking on RybAxel. The champions just got through a months-long feud with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, so it was good to see them face a different kind of team.
It looks like The Usos pulled the ole witcheroo without really meaning to in this one. Both Usos were down outside the ring when Axel brought the wrong Uso back in the ring, only to be pinned in a small cradle by the wrong brother.
The Usos seemed upset when the wrong brother took the pin recently, but they seem fine with having the wrong brother pick up the win.
This was a fun match to get the show started. It went a full two segments and featured some good wrestling from all four men. RybAxel have really started to jell in recent months. It would be interesting to see how they do with the titles.
Some notes from the match:
- It was great to hear JBL call The Usos' tag match at Battleground one of the best he has seen in years. It was really something special.
- I was a little surprised to see RybAxel not realize they had the wrong brother pin Axel. It seems like fodder for the beginning of a feud.
- The Usos are two of WWE's best workhorses. They had the best match on Sunday and then went out and had two matches on Tuesday when this was taped along with Main Event.
I cannot be happier that Miz is back to being the most conceited heel in WWE. It's such a great fit for his character. He knows how to generate genuine heat, which is rare in today's world of heels being cheered.
He came out and talked about winning the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground, calling it his acceptance speech. He even used a few Hollywood terms to remind us of what a big movie star he is.
He went into the crowd and asked his own parents a few questions about how proud they are of him. The funniest part came when he asked his mom who her favorite Superstar was and she said Roman Reigns.
Bo Dallas came out and said that Miz won the Battle Royal for the IC title because he Bolieved. I actually wanted to see these two massive egos have more interaction, but they were quickly joined by Ziggler.
Ziggler went after Miz, but he was taken out by Dallas in the process. It makes sense that Miz and Ziggler would begin a program after the events of Battleground, and this was a decent way to get that going.
Some notes from the segment:
- I liked how Miz mentioned his wife, Maryse. It's cool when little details the casual fan might not know come out on the mic.
- I want to see more of Bo Dallas and Miz for some reason. I get the feeling they could be hilarious together.
- This segment led to a match between Dallas and Ziggler.
Ziggler is arguably the biggest opponent Dallas has faced in terms of star power. He did well against someone who is known for their great performances, but this match was more about Miz and Ziggler.
Ziggler faked out Miz with a Superkick that caused Miz to fall back in his chair and cover his money-maker, as he likes to call it.
Miz got his revenge by providing a distraction that allowed Dallas to roll up Ziggler for a quick win with a handful of tights.
Miz attacked Ziggler after the match, which makes it pretty obvious what the IC title match at SummerSlam is going to be.
The bout wasn't too long, but it was long enough to be mildly entertaining. Dallas continues his winning streak, and we have a solid feud between Miz and Ziggler beginning to come together.
Some notes from the match:
- Cole came off as kind of a bully when he was mocking the interview between Miz and his mom.
- Did anyone else laugh when Miz fell back in his chair?
This rematch featured a No Disqualifications rule due to the way their last encounter ended. It didn't take long for these two brawlers to take the fight outside the ring so they could grab whatever weapon was closest.
Kendo sticks, steel chairs and the ring bell were all brought into play before the commercial break, with Ambrose actually breaking the ring bell while using it.
This match got violent very quick. Ambrose took a few big bumps on steel chairs, and there were several big kendo stick shots to both men.
Rollins came out to attack Ambrose, but he was sent into the timekeeper's area before he could really do anything. Ambrose ended up picking up the win with a small cradle, but he didn't get to enjoy his victory since Rollins came in and attacked him right after the bell.
Cesaro helped by delivering a running boot and a Neutralizer to the Lunatic Fringe. Rollins finished him off with a Curb Stomp to end the segment.
This could have been a pay-per-view match with how exciting it was. Both men really went for it, and because of their efforts, we got a very entertaining show.
Some notes from the match:
- I'm really disappointed that they broke up Cesaro and Paul Heyman just because Brock Lesnar is back.
- I don't know if the Russian leg sweep with the kendo stick was a nod to The Sandman, but I liked seeing Ambrose pull that move out of his bag of tricks.
- The way Ambrose suplexed Cesaro onto the steel chair looked so painful. The chair folded the wrong way immediately.
- However, the spot of the night goes to the superplex into the pile of chairs. That was so incredibly dangerous.
Two for One
This match barely lasted 30 seconds. Cameron came out right after the bell, distracting Naomi and giving Paige the opportunity to attack.
A quick cradle DDT and the PTO forced Naomi to tap out. Cameron came down and attacked Naomi after the match was over, leaving her former partner battered and bruised.
This might not have been very fun to watch, but two different feuds were addressed and it really helped solidify the heel turns of Paige and Cameron.
Some notes from the match:
- I need to point out how great the video package for the AJ vs. Paige feud was. The Divas division finally has a feud worth promoting with this one.
- It's also worth noting that WWE has four different programs going on right now involving Divas. Summer Rae/Layla, Brie/Nikki/Stephanie, Paige/AJ and Naomi/Cameron. The Divas division hasn't had this much attention in a long time.
- Paige skipped to the ring like AJ and gave a really weird promo before the match got started about how she still likes AJ.
Goldust and Stardust Search for the Infinity Gauntlet
I didn't think it was possible, but somehow the strangest brothers in all of wrestling managed to outdo their previous level of weirdness in this segment.
Watching Goldust evolve his character over the years has been great, but seeing Cody Rhodes embrace this gimmick and take off with it is even better.
They keep talking about some kind of cosmic key and mentioning an ominous "they" quite a bit. WWE is really beginning to embrace strange characters again, and it is becoming more entertaining for it.
These two crack me up every time they get screen time. I just hope WWE doesn't mess this up.
R-Truth vs. Bray Wyatt
It looks like this match only happened because R-Truth was there last week when medics were checking on Chris Jericho following the attack from Bray Wyatt.
It was a quick match that served to give Wyatt an easy win as well as to send a message to Jericho that none of his friends are safe.
It was filler, but Wyatt always makes whatever he does worth watching. There is really nothing else worth noting about this one.
A note from the match:
- If WWE is doing an all African American stable, it needs R-Truth. I was a little surprised Xavier Woods didn't come out to recruit him.
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
Once I realized this was a match we have never seen before, I got a lot more excited. Say what you will about Del Rio's character, but the guy knows how to work with anyone and make it look good.
This was a good match, but I can't help but feel like the No DQ match from earlier would have made a better main event.
Del Rio controlled a lot of the action, which was smart since he is the more experienced of the two. Reigns held his own against the veteran, though.
This turned into the second-best bout of the night very quickly thanks to some unique offense from both men. This was an impressive victory for Reigns. He went the distance and won the match using all of his signature moves.
Some notes from the match:
- Roman Reigns did a great job selling a lot of Del Rio's offense. He really looked like he was in a lot of pain.
- I was surprised to see Reigns get such a decisive victory over someone like Del Rio. This is arguably his biggest singles win to date.
Final Thoughts and Predictions
This was an above-average episode of SmackDown. Many feuds were addressed, but more importantly, we had a few very entertaining matches.
Ambrose and Cesaro stole the show with their No DQ match, but Reigns and Del Rio came close to matching them in the main event.
The only bout officially set for SummerSlam as of right now is John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, but a few other feuds seem destined to end up on the card.
Miz and Ziggler seem to be heading for a showdown, Rollins and Ambrose still need to have their grudge match and there are a few Divas feuds to choose from to fill up the show.
- Ziggler will challenge Miz for the IC title at SummerSlam.
- John Cena will have a showdown with Paul Heyman on Monday.
- RybAxel will contest The Usos' victory on Monday, earning a rematch in the process.
- Wyatt and Jericho will have some kind of stipulation to their SummerSlam match when it eventually becomes official.
- Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella will have a match for Brie's job at SummerSlam.
- Woods will recruit at least one more member for his stable.
What did you think of SmackDown?
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