The Aug 1st edition of WWE SmackDown airs live on the USA Network from The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Brooklyn.
Advertised for tonight: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with the winner getting Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam, AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the US title, and more!
The show opens up with a recap of the United States Championship three-way main event from last week and a hype package for our singles rematch tonight, as well as for the Shinsuke Nakamura vs. John Cena main event match up.
We are welcomed to the show by Tom Philipps.
WWE United States Champion AJ Styles comes out to the ring first to kick off this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. Owens makes his way out to the ring next, and we’ve got a U.S. Title match to open up the show.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens: Owens and Styles trade headlocks to start off, then a missed dropkick attempt by AJ leads to Owens throwing AJ out to ringside. Owens follows AJ outside and drops him with a lariat. Back in the ring, Owens puts the boots to Styles, but AJ gets up and levels the challenger with a dropkick. AJ follows up with chops and a snapmare, then a kick to the back. The Champion then hits a knee drop then a vertical suplex on Owens.
AJ continues the offense then sets up for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Owens rolls out of the ring. AJ heads to the other side of the thing and hits a springboard forearm to the outside on Owens. Styles charges at Owens at ringside, but Owens dodges and throws AJ into the fan barricade. Owens follows up with a cannonball splash on AJ up against the barricade, then he takes AJ in the ring for a senton drop. Styles comes back with a forearm shot and a Fireman’s carry into a neck-breaker over the knee. Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm but Owens dodges it again then super-kicks AJ.
Owens goes to whip AJ off the ropes but AJ grabs Owens’ leg for the Calf Crusher. Owens fights out and goes for a powerbomb, but Styles gets out and hits the Pele kick. AJ goes for the Styles Clash and fails, but he’s able to lock Owens in the Calf Crusher again. Owens accidentally bumps the ref then he super-kicks AJ. Owens goes for the powerbomb, but AJ rolls him up and the ref awakens to count the three. Owen’s had his shoulder up but the ref’s vision was impaired from the bump. After the match, Owens freaks out as a medic checks on the referee.
Commentary talks about Owen’s shoulder being up and he jaws at Chioda while the veteran referee gestures at his eye and heads out to get checked by a medic.
Mike Chioda is backstage getting examined when Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan enters. Shane tells him he should have gotten a second opinion and Chioda is apologetic but Shane says they’ll handle it. Kevin Owens enters, really upset, throwing things and yelling. Shane tells him to respect the official and he shoves Chioda away, so McMahon gets in his face and tells him to calm down.
The referee’s decision stands despite Owen’s protests, and Shane gives him a rematch at SummerSlam, but Owens says that’s not enough, and he wants a referee that can do his job and won’t get knocked down at the first gust of wind. Bryan gets involved and pokes Owens and says he has a referee for him and it is going to be Shane McMahon.
Owens says that he’s the worst one here, the most incompetent, but McMahon doubles down, saying if he wants the rematch, he’s gonna be the referee and he should go cool off. Owens flips a table and storms off yelling.
Commentary hypes up Cena/Nakamura for tonight, but up next, will be the Fashion Peaks, after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get a recap of New Day’s celebration from last week which was cut short and the beat-down that The usos dish out to The New Day.
Big E does the New Day entrance. But, it is not the voice of Big E. It’s not paranoia, either, it’s the Usos. Jimmy asks what we thought it was gonna be, three clowns on a tricycle? Jey adds the idea of three grown men talking about their popsicles. He says that it ain’t no more games, the Usos will pick you up and put you right back in your lane and welcome you to the Uso penitentiary.
They’re the reason New Day are not there right now, and last week they had it sounding like a cartoon. They mock The New Day for being three grown men blowing their own trombone, and they can keep their unicorns, ice cream bars, and New Day socks, because they’re taking their titles and their catchphrase, because Usos rock.
And now, its time for the Fashion Peaks. Fandango is shown missing on the board and Tyler is speaking into an audio recorder about how the Ascension have weird taste in music and that Fandango has been abducted, possibly by extra terrestrials. He doesn’t know how the mail works, but first, a damn fine cup of coffee that he pours out and realizes isn’t coffee when it falls out, sludgy.
An apparition appearing to be Fandango shuffles into the room speaking unintelligibly. He’s joined by the Ascension, and Konnor pours maple syrup on a log. They laugh as Tyler proclaims he’s had enough of the metaphors and wakes from an unpleasant sleep. He gets back on the recorder and says he knows who kidnapped Fandango, prompting a “To Be Continued” screen.
Sami Zayn makes his entrance, he has a match against Aiden English after the commercial break.
Back from commercial break, we are just in time for English’s entrance, as we get his usual song that we get each before every match.
Aiden English def. Sami Zayn: Zayn hits a series of arm drags early on to take control of the match. Zayn has English in an arm hold when English rolls him over and pins him for the three count after a very short match. English looks just as shocked as Zayn at his victory, and he immediately heads back up the ramp.
After the match, before Zayn can get to his feet, Mike and Maria Kanellis come out. They say they love each other, and they love that Zayn just lost. Their music hits after that one-liner and they raise their hands then head to the back.
Becky Lynch and Naomi are walking backstage, they have a tag match against Natalya and Carmella right after the commercial break.
Back from commercial break, we get the the entrances for the match coming up next.
Becky Lynch & Naomi def. Natalya & Carmella: Becky and Naomi control the opening moments and Naomi hits a leg drop on Natalya for a two count early on. Carmella tags in and Naomi chops her across the chest and hits a leg kick. Carmella slaps Naomi across the face stiff, and Naomi responds with a kick and an uppercut. Naomi hits a knee to the face, but then she gets distracted by Natalya on the apron and Carmella pulls Naomi down by the hair. Natalya comes in and briefly double teams Naomi with Carmella.
Natalya hits an Alabama slam on Naomi then locks in the Sharpshooter. Naomi reaches the ropes, then Carmella tags herself in. Natalya and Carmella briefly argue, then Carmella locks Naomi in the Code of Silence. Naomi reverses into a Rings of Saturn on Carmella. Natalya runs in but so does Becky, and Becky takes out Natalya with a T-bone suplex. Carmella taps out to the Rings and Becky and Naomi win it.
We go backstage where Jinder Mahal is being interviewed. He says he doesn’t care who wins the #1 contender’s match, whether it’s the man from Japan or the American, he’ll walk out of SummerSlam as WWE Champion. Every time he walks down the street the only thing he feels is xenophobia, but that just makes him prouder of his heritage, and he destroys every hero put in front of him.
He also says that he is the WWE Champion, and nobody can end the reign of the Modern Day Maharaja.
Rusev is seen walking backstage, he has a match against Chad Gable next after the commercial break.
Back from commercial break, we are just in time for the entrances, as the match between Gable and Rusev is coming up next.
Rusev def. Chad Gable: Gable tries to take down Rusev off the bell but Rusev overpowers him early on. Gable gets a hold of Rusev and Rusev runs to grab the ropes to get away from him. Gable shoots for the single leg takedown but Rusev throws Gable to the outside. Gable runs back in and gets Rusev down, then starts working on Rusev’s left knee. Rusev comes back with a kick and a gut wrench suplex. Rusev continues the offense on Gable until Gable catches him in a series of belly to belly suplexes.
Gable follows up with a belly to back suplex for a two count. Gable throws Rusev into the corner and Rusev hits his head off the ring post. Gable goes up top and hits a moonsault for a two count. Gable goes for a German suplex, but Rusev gets out and tosses Gable then kicks him in the head. Rusev goes for the Accolade, but Gable fights out and puts Rusev in the ankle lock. Rusev fights Gable off then hits the big boot. Rusev locks Gable in the Accolade and Gable appears to be unconscious so the referee calls for the bell.
After the match, Rusev gets on the mic and says Cena may have waved his flag around at Battleground but he didn’t beat him because nobody can beat him. Rusev complains that he has no opponent for SummerSlam because everyone’s afraid of him. Randy Orton’s music hits and Orton makes his way down to the ring. Orton grabs a mic then steps in the ring. Orton says Rusev has never beaten him, and he’s not afraid of Rusev. Orton says he’ll face Rusev at SummerSlam. Rusev says something in Bulgarian, then the two charge at each other and Orton hits an RKO. Orton poses on the turnbuckle then leaves.
Commentary hypes up the Nakamura/Cena match one last time, the match will happen right after the commercial break
Back from commercial break, commentary recaps the events of our opening match up between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens.
We get our entrances next for our main event, but the match itself will start right after the commercial break.
Back from commercial, we are told that there will be a match next week between Naomi and Carmella.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. John Cena: They start off with a collar and elbow tie-up, then they trade wrist locks and head locks. Nakamura hits two kicks on Cena then stomps on him in the corner. Cena comes back with a belly to belly suplex then keeps Nakamura grounded with a chin lock. Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers are shown watching up in Jinder’s skybox. Nakamura comes back with some kicks and a running knee strike for a two count. Cena fights back with shoulder blocks then hits a back suplex. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Nakamura grabs his arm and goes for an armbar and a choke.
Cena escapes, but Nakamura sends him back down to the mat with a reverse vertical suplex. Nakamura charges towards Cena and Cena drops him into the STF. Nakamura gets out and goes for the armbar on Cena again. Cena gets out of the hold and up to his feet, then he drops Nakamura with a lariat. Nakamura comes back with an elbow to the face then a running knee to the face. Nakamura goes for another knee but Cena dodges it and hits Nakamura with the AA. Cena pins and Nakamura kicks out at two. Cena goes for another AA, but Nakamura reverses it into a choke hold. Cena overpowers Nakamura and gets him on his shoulders and hits the AA. Cena goes for a third AA, but Nakamura escapes this one and hits Cena with a T-bone suplex. Nakamura follows up with the Kinshasa on Cena for the three count. Nakamura wins and will be heading to SummerSlam to face Jinder Mahal for the WWE Title.
After the match, Cena gets up, shakes Nakamura’s hand and raises Nakamura’s hand in victory. Nakamura celebrates in the ring as Jinder looks on and as SmackDown goes off the air.