WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from July 10
Just one week ahead of The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, Friday Night SmackDown promised a pair of huge tag team matches starring SmackDown's pair of tag team champions on its July 10 edition.
The New Day put the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against the formidable duo of Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. Kofi Kingston and Big E have struggled to combat these technical performers, but they could no longer lose without consequences.
In a non-title rematch, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross wanted to get one up on Sasha Banks and Bayley. The WWE women's tag team champions have dominated all three brands, but The Goddess and her best friend remain one of WWE's best female tag teams.
After a controversial segment last week where Sheamus once again taunted Jeff Hardy over his alcoholism, The Miz and John Morrison invited The Charismatic Enigma on Miz TV to address this growing rivalry.
In preparation for the Wyatt Swamp Fight, the blue brand promised to replay the first battle between Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt at WWE Money in the Bank.
SmackDown has been chaotic in recent weeks as blue brand talent continue to look for fresh opportunities. Those who stand out could be champions and mainstays far beyond the summer.
Miz Taunts Jeff Hardy into Bar Fight vs. Sheamus at Extreme Rules; Miz vs. Hardy
The Miz and John Morrison introduced Jeff Hardy, taunting him through a video package about his failures with Sheamus. The A-Lister told The Charismatic Enigma that he needed to face his fears and take down The Celtic Warrior for good in a "bar fight." Hardy accepted then challenged Miz and Morrison to a match.
The A-Lister wanted that fight. Miz dominated much of this contest, but The Charismatic Enigma found his second wind when it mattered. He hit his signature offense in sequence on Miz then connected on the Twist of Fate.
As he prepared for the Swanton Bomb, Sheamus appeared on the titantron to taunt. The distraction almost allowed Miz to roll up Hardy. Instead, The Charismatic Enigma reversed the pressure, stacking up Miz for three.
Hardy def. Miz by pinfall.
Hardy has never been great on the mic. It shows working off more charismatic performers like Miz. The opener was largely unnecessary. Last week should have set up the "bar fight," not The A-Lister.
Miz has seriously improved in the ring, but he still is not made to carry contests. He had to do all the work in this match, and it made this overlong clash lag. Hardy played the underdog throughout, despite his status as a supposed future title contender.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross jumped on Bayley's back as the SmackDown women's champion prepared for this tag team match. Alexa Bliss saved her best friend from a two-on-one attack including Sasha Banks, and officials had to gain control in order to officially ring the bell.
Cross was on a mission in this match as she seemed ready to beat the tag team champions on her own. The Goddess helped spell her and keep her in check, but Bliss was not able to save her friend from a careless mistake. The Role Model caught Cross in a roll-up with her foot on the rope, stealing a three count.
Banks and Bayley def. Cross and Bliss by pinfall.
No one is working on a higher level in the women's division right now than Banks and Bayley. That statement could extend to all of WWE. They are putting on great performances on all three brands. This was another great tag team match against worthy rivals.
Cross is among the few women who can match the champions right now for pure motivation. She is putting on the best performances of her career. She finally looks fully comfortable in the ring after a transition from NXT that took a while. She and Bayley could steal the show at Extreme Rules.
From Money in the Bank 2020: Universal Champion Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
In a replay from Money in the Bank 2020, the Firefly Fun House version of Bray Wyatt did not take this fight truly seriously from the start. However, he realized quickly that he was outmatched by the power of Braun Strowman.
Wyatt got back in the fight after throwing The Monster Among Men over the announce table and hitting a DDT, but Sister Abigail did not win the match. Strowman put on his black sheep mask and pretended to turn. Instead, he hit the running powerslam on Wyatt for the win.
Strowman def. Wyatt by pinfall.
Replaying WWE Network matches on live TV is often a mistake. WWE is always moving forward. It is rare that a match—no matter how good—has relevance on replay. If fans want to watch back an old clash, it should be on their own time with their own context.
This was not the best contest to replay. Wyatt and Strowman did what they could with the story, but the contest was short and limited. Wyatt's Firefly Fun House persona is not meant for title matches. The Wyatt Swamp Fight will certainly be better, even if there is less wrestling.
Naomi Wins the Karaoke Showdown; Naomi vs. Lacey Evans
Jey Uso officiated the Karaoke Showdown between Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Tamina and Naomi. Evans sang Jeff Jarrett's "With My Baby Tonight" to some applause. Brooke tanked on Honky Tonk Man's "Cool, Cocky, Bad." Uso cut off Tamina early on Triple H's "The Game."
Naomi pulled off the best performance of the group with Dusty Rhodes' "Common Man." The Performance Center crowd overwhelmingly voted for The Glow. The Sassy Southern Belle attacked Naomi, angry about the loss.
An impromptu match between Evans and Naomi broke down when Tamina and Brooke got involved. As the two other women brawled, Naomi and The Sassy Southern Belle walked off.
Naomi wins the Karaoke Showdown
This was a time-sink segment. None of the women truly benefited beyond getting TV time where they could have been wrestling instead to show their strengths. Even the obvious winner, Naomi, would have looked better just performing.
It was an embarrassing use of the women, who have barely been given TV time in recent weeks. The follow-up match was arguably worse because WWE pretended to get to some real wrestling only to quickly cause a no contest.
New Day vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro
Early offense favored Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro, who managed to isolate Kofi Kingston and grind him down. The swift striking of The Artist coupled with the power of The Swiss Cyborg kept Big E out of the action for a while.
E lost his cool, causing a brawl in the center of the ring. The brawling caused the referee to throw out the contest as he could no longer get control of the action.
The heels dominated from there, and Cesaro hit a powerbomb off the second rope on to Big E through a table. The challengers held the titles over the champions to end the night.
New Day vs. Cesaro and Nakamura goes to a no-contest.
While the action was solid, this had potential to be so much more. Instead, despite the promise of a major main event, the action broke down before the 10-minute mark. The follow-up was solid, but it was all too much of a tease on a night that made the main event feel like the only hope to save the show.
Cesaro and Nakamura continue to build momentum. They have made a lasting impact on The New Day in a way few heels have in recent memory. Arguably, The Bar was the last team to dominate New Day, so Cesaro has gone from Sheamus to Nakamura and is back to tag team dominance.