Match Ratings For WWE Smackdown Live 7/17/18, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp

Writhing on the Balls

  • Jeff Hardy comes out to the ring and says that he looks and sounds like Jeff Hardy, but he doesn't feel like Jeff Hardy. His heart is...........BROKEN.
  • He says he's going to beat Nakamura for the United States Title tonight.
  • Backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura calls Jeff Hardy a sad clown, and that it's his time.
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AJ Styles defeated Andrade 'Cien' Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

  • Almas does his tranquilo spot to mess with Styles before the break, but they go wild during the break.
  • Styles with a sliding forearm, but Almas answers after the commercial. 
  • Almas is treating this match like the big chance that it is. Rope hung backbreaker, and a big dropkick to Styles, who is on the top rope.
  • Styles lands an Ushigoroshi, but gets knocked off the ropes. AJ Styles has mastered the art of bumping off of a springboard.
  • Almas cleverly doubles up on his moonsault when Styles moves. Great spot and great nearfall. He eats a Pele kick on the top. 
  • Stop doing that dumb spot where you hold on to the ropes and wait for someone to stomp you.
  • Double knees in the corner, but Styles turns a hammerlock DDT into a Calf Crusher. Almas taps.
  • Almas walks off pissy. 

Backstage Crappenings

  • Aiden English is pleading with Lana backstage, and he's blaming himself. He wants Lana to talk to Rusev for him.  Lana is only using her accent when she says "Rusev." Fantastic. English wants a second chance.
  • R-Truth asks Tye Dillinger if he's ready backstage, but he was actually talking to his mom on Bluetooth. 


Becky Lynch defeated Mandy Rose (w/ Sonya Deville)

  • Becky has her corner kick scouted, and Mandy yanks her out of the corner.
  • Mandy applies a modified Octopus Stretch, but Becky Lynch comes back and hits the Bexploder and Disarmher for the win.
  • Becky Lynch tells Carmella that she's coming for the title.
  • We have a backstage segment where Paige tells Carmella she's facing Becky Lynch next week, and if Becky wins she gets a title shot at Mania.
  • Ratings talk: This is the kind of match that can't get over the 5/10 hump for me. The leap between 5-6/10 is huge. There was nothing that was bad about this match. It was just there, short and basic, and will get the standard 5/10. I know I give a wide array of matches the range of 5/10 to 5.75/10, but that just means it was an average TV match.

Samoa Joe defeated Tye Dillinger

  • This match is happening because Joe attacked Dillinger last week.
  • Dillinger attacks, but quickly gets his ass kicked and choked out.

R.I.P Team Hell No

  • Miz gets "MVP" chants for his celebrity game performance. He shakes hands with people in the crowd and gets a big pop for Miz & Mrs. 
  • Miz cuts a promo on Team Hell No, but Daniel Bryan comes out and kicks one of the pallbearers' ass with a nasty German suplex and a running knee. The crowd goes WILD for Bryan. 
  • Miz managed to escape.

Eric Young (w/ Sanity) defeated Kofi Kingston (w/ New Day)

  • Kofi Kingston has to get amped up backstage.
  • Kofi uses a nice baseball slide trip on Young, which is the highlight of the match before the break.
  • Eric Young hangs Kofi Kingston with a Dragon Sleeper from the second rope, but is caught with a big dropkick.
  • Kofi misses a Trouble in Paradise and almost gets rolled up.  Young Flair turnbuckle bumps and gets belly to belly superplexed off the top. This match was average at best before this spot. 
  • Kofi turns it up a notch with a Trust-y Con Hilo. Back in the ring, SOS can't get the job done.
  • Fuck finishes aplenty, lots of distractions lead to Young winning with the Wheelbarrow neckbreaker.

WWE United States Championship 
Jeff Hardy defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c) via DQ, no title change

  • Nakamura tries to punch Hardy RITP, but Hardy gets away. Nakamura's facials are great here. 
  • Jeff Hardy's leg drop pin is really, really hard to kick out of.
  • Hardy hits a Whisper in the Wind, but Nakamura counters the dropkick and attacks with his own knees.
  • Nakamura really hammering away with knees.
  • Shinsuke sets up for a Kinshasa, but Hardy accidentally lands a Slingblade. I think he was just going for a sleeperslam.
  • Twist of Fate, Swanton Bomb, but Randy Orton pulls Jeff Hardy out of the ring.
  • Orton rams Hardy's head into the stairs. ORTON STARTS TEARING ORTON EAR OFF!
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