WWE SmackDown Live Results: Highlights, Analysis, and Grades for July 18

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Mike Kanellis vs Sami Zayn

Match Result: Mike Kanellis wins via pinfall

Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Before our next match of the evening, Chad Gable took part in an interview in the backstage area. Discussing the shocking announcement that his partner Jason Jordan was Kurt Angle’s son, Renee Young asked Gable what’s next for him. While the attention may be centered on his friend for now, Gable believes the future is bright for him as well. He wishes the best for Jordan, but makes it clear that the best is yet to come.

Now onto the second singles match featured on tonight’s show. Stemming from a number of interactions during the past few weeks, Sami Zayn fought Mike Kanellis in his SmackDown Live debut. Along with his wife Maria Kanellis, Mike feels that Zayn lacked respect and that his frequent interruptions required a retaliatory response. As for Zayn, he felt remorseful for the accidental disruptions, but following the backstage attack he relieved last week, no longer shares that belief. Due to this growing animosity, holding the match back any longer wasn’t an option.

Right off the bat, Sami Zayn made it his priority to go on the offensive first. Keeping Mike from mounting any sort of response, the Underdog from the Underground had things firmly in control. His success in that regard didn’t last long though, as Maria offered a timely distraction for her husband. Taking advantage of the situation, a cheap shot was all that Mike needed to do to give himself a big opportunity. Just a few moments later, Mike nailed a Samoan Driver to earn his first victory on the Blue Brand.

To end the in-ring segment, Mike and Maria Kanellis kissed each other in the center of the ring to celebrate the moment.