This week’s episode of SmackDown Live ended with a five-man gauntlet match featuring Big E, Rusev, The Miz, Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan, with the winner set to face AJ Styles at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
But there was plenty of excitement earlier in the night. Here is a look at the WWE SmackDown Live results and recap with grades for June 19, 2018.
Carmella opens SmackDown Live
Carmella started out talking about how she worked so hard to get to the top before she then flipped back into character and said she was money.
When she bragged about beating Asuka by herself, that brought out Asuka — except it was James Ellsworth dressed as Asuka.
Ellsworth said that he is back to serve the “greatest woman in history”, calling her better than Charlotte Flair, Lita, Trish Stratus, Mother Teresa, Beyonce, Rond Rousey and Asuka. That brought out the real Asuka without any pageantry.
Asuka was ready to fight and Ellsworth was ready to go, so Asuka kicked him before Carmella delivered a kick to Asuka’s head and escaped with Ellsworth.
Becky Lynch vs. Billie Kay
The IIconics were out first and Peyton Royce and Billie Kay made fun of the crowd before the match — followed by making fun of Becky Lynch. It was brutal, outside of Royce’s imitation of Lynch.
The best thing about this match was the aggression of Becky Lynch. She started out on fire but Billie Kay was able to keep it even thanks to Peyton Royce interfering. However, Kay was not very good and it held the match back. Lynch won with the Disarmer.
Winner: Becky Lynch by submission (1.5 Stars)
Jeff Hardy cut a bizarre promo against Shinsuke Nakamura. After this, SAnitY arrived in a weird backstage promo. Daniel Bryan came out for an interview next, and while they mentioned Big Cass, nothing else was said about him. Instead, Bruan talked about tonight’s main event — continuing to push his “legs, lungs, heart” motto.
The Usos vs. SAnitY
The Usos came out and talked down to SAnitY, saying they need to prove themselves. When SAnitY entered the ring, they started to run around and The Usos attacked. SAnitY then destroyed The Usos and stood tall over them.
Winners: No Contest
Shinsuke Nakamura made an excuse for losing to AJ Styles at Money in the Bank (the referee didn’t count in Japanese) and then said he will shut Jeff Hardy’s eyes.
WWE Tag Team Championship: Bludgen Brothers vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Last night’s match was a lot more competitive than anyone expected. Once again, Gallows and Anderson looked good but they were still not up to the challenge of beating the Bludgen Brothers.
Winners: The Bludgen Brothers (2.5 Stars)
Gauntlet Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Big E vs. Samoa Joe vs. The Miz vs. Rusev
This match sees two men in the ring at a time. When one loses, they are out and the next person enters the match. The last man standing wins.
Daniel Bryan came out first for the Gauntlet match and had a scary moment where he found himself in between the Bludgen Brothers. He started off against Big E in a face-vs-face showdown. This match was a long and hard fought match, which did not bode well for the winner, as they still had to beat three other wrestlers.
Daniel Bryan won the first fall with the Running Knee and that brought out Samoa Joe as the third entrant — which was very bad news for Daniel Bryan.
Despite that, Bryan fought hard and his match against Samoa Joe kept him out there even longer. This was another match that pushed Bryan to the limit. What is amazing — and shocking — is that Samoa Joe was eliminated by count out (some experts thought he was getting the next shot against AJ Styles).
After this, The Bludgen Brothers returned and got revenge against Daniel Bryan for the possible disrespect when they were leaving their match by taking down Bryan. Then, perfectly, The Miz came in next and hit the Skull Crushing Finale to pin Daniel Bryan.
This will help further their long-running and much-anticipated feud.
Rusev was out next as the last man in the match. The two fought a great match and in a surprising and crowd-pleasing finish, Rusev beat The Miz and earned his first ever chance for a world championship title opportunity.
AJ Styles came out after the match. He laid his title down between them and extended his hand. Rusev shook the hand in a sign of respect. Then, Aiden English came in and extended his hand but pulled it away when Styles tried to shake. Styles punched English and Rusev just looked at them and did nothing.
Winner: Rusev by submission (4 Stars)