WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 14
The August 14 edition of SmackDown Live was also the go-home show for SummerSlam, with major clashes promised ahead of the Biggest Party of the Summer. In particular, we had multiple promises that rivals in Sunday's event would be in the same ring at the same time.
Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Carmella would face off and get in their final words before the SmackDown Women's Championship Triple Threat match. AJ Styles promised a scathing retort for Samoa Joe before the first time they clash in WWE.
For major matches, The New Day were set to once more clash with Sanity in a six-man tag team match, potentially putting that rivalry behind them before fighting The Bludgeon Brothers on Sunday.
Aiden English would also look to get his hands on Andrade "Cien" Almas, who has slowly destroyed his relationship with Rusev.
Once again, SmackDown would put the focus on building stories rather than wrestling, which made sense with a huge night of all wrestling coming at SummerSlam.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Charlotte, Lynch and Carmella opened the show for their final face-off.
The SmackDown women's champion started out trying to incite the two best friends to turn on one another, but they refused to bite. The Irish Lass Kicker made clear she was frustrated but motivated.
The Queen then promised that the end of Carmella's title reign would come Sunday. As The Princess of Staten Island taunted them further, general manager Paige arrived to announce a tag team match with Tea-Generation X facing Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville while the champ watched from commentary.
Just when it looked like the former members of Absolution had Lynch down, Becky Balboa got fired up and took out both heels without any help from Charlotte on the apron, catching Rose in the Dis-arm-her for the tap out.
Charlotte and Lynch def. Rose and Deville by submission
The opening promo felt a bit rushed, with Lynch and Charlotte only getting a minute to speak before the match was announced, but it continued to establish the dynamic of the forthcoming Triple Threat. Carmella has been one of if not the best heel promos on SmackDown lately.
The match was disappointingly sloppy. While Rose and Deville are still clearly inexperienced, it was actually the experienced faces who did not seem to be completely focused. This bout included one of the worst offensive sequences I have seen Lynch attempt.
It got better down the stretch, but it is likely the veterans were just too focused on preparing for Sunday. The finish was the right call, letting Lynch stand out, but the match should not have been as long as it was.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. the Triple Threat
This match never even started. Three local competitors did not stand tall long against the SmackDown tag team champions as Harper and Rowan ran over everyone in their path.
They slammed one of the competitors into the chest of their final victim, who then took an elevated clothesline.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Triple Threat never starts
This was a largely unnecessary segment that would have been a squash if it was allowed to be a match.
It just did not connect that well with what the champions are currently doing, coming off as new monsters being built up rather than champions about to face their greatest threat.
The History of Daniel Bryan and The Miz
The full history of Daniel Bryan and The Miz was explored through three separate video packages.
First, the focus was on their early history in NXT, with Miz trying to play the mentor and Bryan laughing at the idea of listening to the WWE veteran.
In the second part, Bryan credited Miz with motivating him to get back in the ring because he could not sit back any longer as The A-Lister taunted him and stole his moves.
Finally, the series turned to Bryan's return and his need to prove to Miz that he's truly back.
This was absolutely phenomenal, selling just how much heat is behind this rivalry.
Bryan and Miz were on point throughout the interview process, while the focus was perfect, reflecting on their whole history before their biggest match.
SmackDown may have several quality matches set for SummerSlam, but nothing can match the excitement of finally seeing these two clash.
The New Day vs. Sanity
Sanity celebrated Kofi Kingston's birthday by isolating him in their corner and beating him down.
After a float-over DDT, Kofi got the hot tag to Xavier Woods, who steamrolled Alexander Wolfe but took a surprise diving elbow drop from Eric Young.
Kofi dived into both Young and Wolfe at ringside to allow Big E to tag in and set up the UpUpDownDown with Woods on Killian Dain for the win.
New Day def. Sanity by pinfall
This was a fun warmup match for New Day, but it was a shame to see this formerly heated rivalry so easily thrown aside. These two trios were set up for a big feud on SmackDown until Kofi, Big E and Woods were needed in the title scene.
Sanity could be a major force on SmackDown, but they have not been protected at all. Dain was almost unstoppable in NXT, but now it is not treated as a big deal that he took the pin in this superfluous match.
Aiden English vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas
English promised in a song to redeem himself by fighting for Rusev Day against Almas.
While the singer fought hard, connecting with a frog splash, The Idolo did not stay down long. He hit the running double knees in the corner and hammerlock DDT for the win.
Zelina Vega and Almas mocked Rusev and Lana until the two came out to promise victory at SummerSlam.
Almas def. English by pinfall
This was a fine segment but largely forgettable. English was thrown aside pretty quickly in a one-sided match, and the promo that followed was basically a series of catchphrases.
This feud has been good for both sides, but the mixed tag that will result likely won't be a great spotlight of anyone.
Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
A damaged and distracted Jeff Hardy rarely seemed on his game against Shelton Benjamin. However, a Slingblade into a Twist of Fate and quick running splash allowed The Charismatic Enigma to survive with a win.
Shinsuke Nakamura headed to the ring to try to get another edge on Hardy, but the veteran caught The Artist with a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb. Randy Orton was shown watching intently from just behind the curtain.
Hardy def. Benjamin by pinfall
Hardy is clearly not fighting at full capacity right now, but this was a solid enough match from two veterans. Benjamin looked a real threat even if it did not even take the Swanton for Hardy to put him down.
As with typical WWE booking, the challenger had to overcome the champion on SmackDown to make it seem like he might win. There is almost no way that Nakamura does not leave SummerSlam still holding the United States Championship.
Samoa Joe Again Uses AJ Styles' Wife to Taunt Him
Styles tried to play off Joe's head games, complimenting his strategy, but he was not prepared for his challenger to come out and read a letter.
The Samoan Submission Specialist smirked as he revealed this letter, which said all of Joe's statements were true, was written by Styles' wife, Wendy.
This was a massively rushed segment. The payoff didn't land as well as it should have because time ran out just as Joe finished speaking. This is the WWE Championship feud that SmackDown needs right now, and both men are great mic workers as well as in-ring performers.
I have no idea why they got so little time to sell this segment. The Phenomenal One's reaction was basically not even seen, leaving the tension unresolved. Are we supposed to take Joe's words seriously? Does Styles take him seriously? It's tough to say right now.