WWE SmackDown Results and Grades: The greatest tribute ever

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


Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Result: Shinsuke Nakamura gets the pinfall victory

Grade: A-, This rivalry is tremendous and is carrying the men’s tag division on Friday nights. And this match is worth checking out.

Kofi Kingston and Shinsuke Nakamura are two of the best wrestlers in the world and future Hall of Famers, so this looked like another treat on WWE SmackDown as a surprise match. The New Day are the tag team champions, while Nakamura and Cesaro are on the rise and looking poised to be tag champs in their won right. Cesaro’s always been so good in tag teams, whether with Sheamus or Tyson Kidd, but there’s something extra special about the pure wrestling ability between Nakamura and Cesaro.

The match began with Kingston wasting no time, hitting Nakamura with a dropkick and putting Nakamura in the corner. As Corey Graves brought up on commentary, Kingston knew he couldn’t afford give Nakamura any time to get the first shot in. You don’t want a striker like Nakamura to throw the first kick or knee.

Nakamura hit Bad Vibrations on the ropes, and while the ref was preoccupied, Cesaro gave Kingston a smack in the face. And when Big E tried to get retribution on Cesaro, Nakamura tied up Kingston in the ropes and was bought even more time when the ref threw out both E and Cesaro.

With Cesaro and E out of the picture, Nakamura vs. Kingston became more focused on the wrestling, and it was a treat. The precision and selling from both men, especially from Kingston as the babyface, were wonderful to watch.

Kingston went to the top rope, Nakamura tried to catch him in a pin, and Kingston countered. But Nakamura still kicked out at two! Both men were getting more desperate to pick up the winning pin. Kofi hit the SOS and was SO close to getting three!

Kofi was setting up for Trouble in Paradise, but Nakamura baited him in. And after he dodged Kofi’s finisher, he hit a running knee for the win. A huge singles victory that helped Nakamura and Cesaro earn a tag title shot against The New Day next week on SmackDown.

But Cesaro and Nakamura weren’t done there. Cesaro came out to “celebrate”, but really he was there to bring out a table. Big E, though, made the save for Kingston, sending Cesaro and Nakamura out of the ring to protect Kofi.