WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 11

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJuly 12, 2017

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 11

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Rivalries progressed on Tuesday's WWE SmackDown by way of a brawl, a vase smashed over Sami Zayn's head and a petulant former champion throwing a tantrum.

    The show relied too heavily on tag team matches with minimal stakes, but the majority of the blue brand's feuds added more fire. The trip to San Antonio, Texas, saw Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura batter each other before the bell. Rusev ambushed John Cena, while Mike Kanellis put his hands on Zayn.

    Naomi, meanwhile, found herself spinning her wheels as the SmackDown Women's Championship picture takes its time in developing.

    Some stories took baby steps. Some made significant strides ahead of the July 23 Battleground pay-per-view.

    Read on for a look at a full breakdown of Tuesday's SmackDown from AJ Styles' open challenge to a tag team headline bout.

AJ Styles Issues an Open Challenge

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    Styles celebrated his United States Championship win, talking about what the title represents. He said he would bring back the open challenges that Cena issued for much of 2015.

    Cena answered the call.

    Just as the match was about to begin, Kevin Owens emerged. Chaos broke out as Rusev attacked Cena and KO laid out Styles.

               

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I still can't believe we're about to see this matchup."—Byron Saxton.
    • "No one cares about either of you."—Owens to Cena and Styles.

                 

    Grade

    A-

                      

    Analysis

    San Antonio welcomed the stars with great energy. WWE teased the hell out of giving us Cena vs. Styles on free TV only to give KO some heat for breaking it up.

    Everyone had strong promo work in a short space. 

    Styles actually doing the open challenge in the future is going to be tremendous; he can thrive against just about anyone. His going up against random opponents has the potential to the best part of the show for months to come. 

    SmackDown making the U.S. title a priority is a welcome move, too.

Jinder Mahal vs. Tye Dillinger

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    Jinder Mahal and Tye Dillinger traded control to open the contest. The Maharaja slowed the bout down, though, and pounded on his foe.

    After beating down The Perfect 10 for most of the match, he hit the Khallas to end it.

    Mahal talked trash about Orton after the bell, and he promised to bring the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown next week.

                   

    Result

    Mahal wins via pinfall.

                       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Mahal floors Dillinger with a running knee to the face.
    • "Jinder Mahal believes he's unbeatable right. And Jinder Mahal may be."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

                     

    Grade

    C

                    

    Analysis

    Mahal looked menacing here, while Dillinger did well to play the babyface in peril. It was just an uninspired means to make the champ look dominant.

    Mahal's slow in-ring style is underwhelming without bells and whistles to aid him.

    The Maharaja didn't say much of note in his promo. He's doing fine overall but will need to evolve his character to keep the audience interested.

Xavier Woods vs. Jey Uso

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    Jimmy Uso tripped up Xavier Woods behind the referee's back. The official then ejected both Jimmy and the rest of The New Day.

    Woods used his speed to leave Jey Uso reeling.

                  

    Result

    Woods wins via pinfall.

                           

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Woods hits a diving elbow to Jey as he's tied up in the ropes.

                       

    Grade

    D

                          

    Analysis

    The New Day got a measure of revenge against The Usos, but it wasn't much fun getting to that point. The match was extremely brief, and we didn't see much of The New Day's antics, either.

    A brawl between the teams that resulted in a no-contest would have been more memorable.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

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    Nakamura and Corbin didn't even make it to the ring.

    Corbin ambushed The King of Strong, and the two men then brawled in the stands and at ringside. Officials eventually separated them. 

    The Lone Wolf retreated as Nakamura stared him down from the ring.

                   

    Result

    Match never begins.

                        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "This entire rivalry is out of control."—JBL.
    • "It'll be sayonara, Nakamura."—Corbin.

                     

    Grade

    B-

                      

    Analysis

    This wasn't a great brawl, but it moved the feud along. Nakamura and Corbin's animosity has been solid, but there's a lot of room for it to expand in the coming weeks, though.

    Corbin is developing a reputation for attacking folks from behind and that could be a quality wrinkle for his character.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya and Tamina

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, Naomi asked Shane McMahon who would challenge her for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

    Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Lana and Tamina all emerged to stake their claim on that chance. McMahon booked a Fatal 5-Way match between them all at Battleground to determine the new No. 1 contender.

    Once the match began, a fiery Lynch put a hurting on Tamina. She and Flair teamed up to leave Natalya reeling.

    The heels then pounded on The Irish Lass Kicker. Lana came down to the ring and smiled at Lynch's pain.

    A distraction from Lana led to Flair leaving herself vulnerable to a superkick from Tamina, costing her and her partner the match.

                        

    Result

    Tamina and Natayla win via pinfall.

                         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I thought this was the land of opportunity, not the land of make-believe."—Flair.
    • Natalya sends Lynch crashing into the ring steps.

                        

    Grade

    B-

                          

    Analysis

    Tamina getting the pin here is a smart move. She's long come off as the biggest long shot in the chase for the women's title. She came off a bit more dangerous thanks to knocking Flair in the teeth.

    And these four rivals produced a solid, engaging match.

    The decision to go with another multiple-wrestler contest for the women's title is disappointing, however. SmackDown isn't telling enough stories with its women division. Bouts like the upcoming Fatal 5-Way contest are quickly becoming a crutch to mask that.

Sami Zayn Suffers the Power of Love

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    Mike and Maria Kanellis confronted Sami Zayn backstage. Maria demanded an apology from Zayn, and he said he was tired of the power couple getting in his way.

    Mike responded by laying out Zayn.

                       

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Chad Gable refers to Zayn as "Sami Wow Wow."
    • "What do you actually do around here?"—Zayn to Mike.
    • Mike smashes a vase over Zayn's head.

                  

    Grade

    B+

                        

    Analysis

    A short, effective segment gave us both a goofy Zayn and a vicious Mike Kanellis, making for an intriguing juxtaposition.

    The Kanellis couple has had little airtime thus far. This was the most we've learned about their characters, and they upped the volume on their rivalry with Zayn in a hurry.

Fashion Files

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    Breezango spoofed Walker: Texas Ranger in their latest segment.

    Tyler Breeze and Fandango tried to wrangle Zack Ryder. They believed The Hype Bros were responsible for trashing their office. Mojo Rawley and Ryder bickered about how the Battle Royal unfolded last week.

    Someone stole Breezango's toy horse.

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Breeze and Fandango refer to themselves as "sexy fashion rangers."
    • "Of course. I'm not a hippy."—Breeze on if he wears a bra when he goes undercover.

                        

    Grade

    A-

                        

    Analysis

    These segments have become the highlight of SmackDown. This was silliness with a purpose, continuing the mystery surrounding Breezango while also showing more cracks in the union between The Hype Bros.

    These could easily go on much longer, but they pack a good amount of comedy into a minimal space.

    The tag team division is sharing its spotlight better of late. The Hype Bros and Breezango each have their separate stories, while The New Day chases down The Usos for the gold.

John Cena and AJ Styles vs. Rusev and Kevin Owens

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Cena bowled over Rusev in the early going. Owens managed to get Cena down, and he and Rusev teamed up to punish the powerhouse.

    Styles briefly charged back for his team.

    KO and Rusev soon grounded The Phenomenal One. Cena led the next momentum swing. An Attitude Adjustment put Owens away eventually.

                  

    Result

    Cena and Styles win via pinfall.

                        

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "This is like having Jordan and LeBron on the same team."—JBL on Cena teaming with Styles.
    • Styles rolls Rusev into the Calf Crusher from a standing position.
    • Owens flips over Styles with a clothesline.

                      

    Grade

    B-

                            

    Analysis

    An energetic, chaotic ending capped off a solid contest. This didn't feel important, but it was intriguing to see Styles and Cena on the same side.

    The opening segment did more to push the rivalries forward. The match itself failed to do so.

    It's worth noting that the U.S. title got the main event spotlight again, a pattern we've seen emerge in 2017.

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