WWE SmackDown Results and Grades: The greatest tribute ever

WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo: WWE.com
WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo: WWE.com /
3 of 7

AJ Styles vs. Drew Gulak

Result: AJ Styles wins after hitting everything

Grade: A-, A strong match between two of WWE SmackDown’s best wrestlers, with a great finish that teases Styles facing Bryan in a big match down the road. 

Although Drew Gulak and AJ Styles are two technicians, their Intercontinental Championship match did not begin with any catch wrestling. No, after brawling on the outside post-John Morrison vs. Matt Riddle, Styles and Gulak continued the fight in the ring.

Well, until Styles drove Gulak out of the ring, brutally beating Gulak and using the ring apron to his advantage. Styles was menacing, making it into a fight to avoid playing into Gulak’s strengths by testing Daniel Bryan’s workout partner’s technical prowess.

A nice touch occurred when Daniel Bryan was speaking on Zoom about Drew Gulak’s match. Bryan is at home protecting his family during the pandemic, and we hope they are all safe!

On Zoom, Bryan spoke about one thing Gulak can take advantage of with Styles, even though he admits Styles has few weaknesses, is countering in the air. Bryan brought up how good Gulak was at countering aerial attacks on 205 Live, and that’s the one way they can get a leg up on Styles.

But Styles showed that his strategizing and technical work are also to be reckoned with, as he did a good job of targeting the leg and grounding Gulak. He went for the Calf Crusher, but then Gulak found a way to put in a devastating submission on Styles in the center of the ring.

Gulak’s baseball slide before the commercial was one of the most vicious recently.  After the break, though, Styles slammed him into the ring post, and you could feel the momentum shifting again in the Phenomenal One’s favor.

A flurry of dropkicks came at one point, with Gulak looking fired up and poised to get the win. But Styles kicked out at 2.9 after being hit with a modified Michinoku Driver. But Styles caught Gulak in a powerbomb position, powerbombed him, and then seamlessly hit the Styles Clash. But instead of pinning him immediately, Styles shook his head, got up, and walked around. He picked up Gulak, propped him up on the ropes, and then hit a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.

He was clearly sending a message to someone, presumably Gulak’s friend Daniel Bryan, but when will Bryan wrestle again?