Liam Hoofe with this week’s SmackDown rankings…
WWE SmackDown has been on fine form lately, and with WWE’s next PPV event, Hell in a Cell, a little over a week away, the brand continued to build towards the event this week.
SmackDown has done an excellent job at building rivalries post SummerSlam and once again, it managed to put plenty of focus on the brand’s four major feuds heading into the event. Let’s take a look at this week’s SmackDown rankings, and see who is building momentum for the upcoming event.
Daniel Bryan defeated Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas (*** 3/4)
Naomi defeated Peyton Royce (*)
Rusev Day defeated The Usos and Sanity (*** 1/2)
The Miz defeated R-Truth (** 3/4)
Yes, you read that right, R-Truth has made his way onto the SmackDown weekly rankings. Truth has been used a comedy character for years now, but this week was a nice reminder that he is also an incredibly capable in-ring worker.
While The Miz’s match with R-Truth didn’t exactly set the world on fire, it was a fun encounter, and it helped get over Truth’s new alliance with Carmella. The duo are clearly being given some screen-time to build towards this year’s mixed match challenge, which starts in September, and I’ve no problem with that.
9: Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy may not have made an appearance on this week’s SmackDown, but his upcoming match with Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell is quickly becoming one of the brand’s biggest feuds.
Hardy appeared in a video package on the show and talked about how Orton is not prepared for how unhinged Hardy is about to become inside the structure and while the package was nothing new, it was a simple and effective way of continuing to build hype for the match-up.
Rusev and Aiden English picked up a big win on this week’s SmackDown, defeating Sanity and The Usos to secure their place in next week’s tag tournament final against The Bar. The company appears to have dropped the storyline break-up between the two men and they took part in an excellent match on this week’s show.
While Raw has been falling behind massively in the tag-team department, SmackDown has continued to excel, and the two triple threat matches on the last two shows have been an excellent example of that. Rusev is still one of the most over acts on the main roster, and seeing him feud with The New Day over the tag titles is an interesting prospect.
7: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
While Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas is basically just a pawn in the feud between Daniel Bryan and The Miz, it is still great to see him getting some exposure on the main roster. Almas is one of the most consistently hard-working performers in the company, and he proved that once again this week, taking part in the match of the week against Daniel Bryan.
While Almas once again come out on the losing end of this match, he has now put in excellent performances against both AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan and hopefully, that doesn’t go unnoticed backstage.
6: The Miz
The Miz’s feud with Daniel Bryan is quickly becoming one of the best things on SmackDown, and The Miz was on fine form once again on this week’s show. The pre-taped promo inside the empty arena was something different, and really played well with The Miz’s character, and having him and Maryse trick Bryan and Bella into leaving the arena was a nice touch as well.
The Miz took on R-Truth in the night’s main event in what was a fun encounter. While The Miz did lose the match, it was down to a distraction from Bryan, who then proceeded to take out Almas and Vega as The Miz watched on to close the show.
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