6: The Bar
The Bar have been largely absent from SmackDown since they made their post-Mania move but last night’s encounter was a nice reminder of just how awesome the duo are between the ropes. The match, which was to determine the number 1 contenders for SummerSlam was far and away the best thing on the show, and was probably the best tag team match we’ve seen in the WWE so far this year.
Full of beautiful back and forth action and some thrilling near falls, this had everything you’d want from a tag team encounter, and it would be nice to see the two teams feuding it out over the tag team titles later in the year.
5: The New Day
The Bar’s opponents in that match, The New Day, also put on their finest performance in the ring since their battles with The Usos last year, and they will no go on to face The Bludgeon Brothers for the belts at SummerSlam.
The former tag team champions have been booked fairly weakly against Harper and Rowan in the past, but on the strength of their performance last night, management should allow them to look equal to the tag champs in Brooklyn.
In fact, The New Day should win the belts at the event. They are easily one of the best tag teams in the world right now, and their matches always guarantee a certain degree of quality. If you’re going to watch anything from this week’s SmackDown, make sure you check this out.
4: Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch’s winning streak continued this week as she picked up a tag team victory over The Iiconics, alongside her long-time friend, Charlotte Flair. Lynch and Flair are always a delight in the ring together, and it looks as though the WWE is clearly setting up a feud between the two.
Lynch has spent the majority of the last 18 months living in Charlotte’s shadow, and it’s about time she broke away from Flair, turning on her friend and establishing herself as one of the top heels on SmackDown.
3: Samoa Joe
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 8, 2018
Samoa Joe is the best heel in the WWE right now. His mic work is rivalled by perhaps only, The Miz, on SmackDown, and his sheer presence makes him a must-see attraction on Tuesday nights.
Joe only appeared backstage on this week’s SmackDown, laughing at AJ Styles as the WWE champion addressed Joe’s recent actions. It’s the little things that make Joe such a menacing character though, and seeing him snigger as AJ threatened him was an excellent touch.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura failed to live up to their promise when they met at WrestleMania, I’ve got a funny feeling that Samoa Joe won’t make the same mistake.
2: Shinsuke Nakamura
Talking of Shinsuke Nakamura, the US Champion has been on fine form in recent weeks, and he even managed to get a half-decent match out of R-Truth on this week’s SmackDown.
Nakamura has come along leaps and bounds since turning heel, and his mannerisms and general presence in recent weeks have been a reminder of what a top-level talent the former NXT champion really is.
Nakamura has made the US title feel relevant again after the belt spent months being passed between just about everyone at the start of 2018, and his reign should extend long past SummerSlam, where he will defend his belt against former champion, Jeff Hardy.
1: AJ Styles
AJ Styles remains as the king of Tuesday nights, for now. The WWE champion has been in fine form lately, and he cut a great promo in response to Samoa Joe on this week’s show.
Styles’ reign with the WWE title is the best the company has seen in a long time, and his match with former TNA rival, Samoa Joe, could be one of his finest matches in the company yet. The two men have a well-documented history together, and if the WWE is wise, they will extend this feud for as long as possible.
With Styles only months away from becoming the first superstar since CM Punk to hold the WWE title for a year, he should find a way to overcome Joe at SummerSlam, before dropping the strap to the Samoan Submission Machine later down the line.
Liam Hoofe – @liamhoofe
Photo Credits: WWE.Com