– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from Birmingham, Alabama with Tom Phillips, JBL and Byron Saxton.
– Greg Hamilton introduces The Singh Brothers and they are out to the stage. They introduce WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and out he comes to the ring. We see the Punjabi Prison structure in place around the ring.
Jinder and The Singh Brothers enter the Punjabi Prison, then wait as the outer structure is lowered. Jinder says this colossal structure will be the final resting place of Randy Orton’s legacy on Sunday at WWE Battleground. The USA chants start up but Jinder demands silence so The Singh Brothers can go over the rules. There are 4 doors and each one will be attended by a referee. When instructed by a competitor, each door will open and remain open for just 60 seconds. The door will shut after the 60 seconds and it will remain shut for the rest of the match. The outer structure has no doors. The only way to win the match is by climbing out of both structures.
Jinder says the most important rule is that there are no rules. Fans chant for Orton now. Jinder says he’s going to smash Orton’s face into the structure until his face matches the ugliness of the nation that Orton represents. Jinder threatens to drop Orton from the top of the structure with the Khallas. Jinder says they both will enter the Punjabi Prison on Sunday but only The Modern Day Maharaja will leave as WWE Champion. Jinder speaks to his people now but the USA chants continue. The music interrupts Jinder and out comes Orton to a pop.
Orton says either Jinder is the bravest SOB he’s ever met or he’s just not all that bright. Orton can’t believe Jinder is actually choosing to be locked inside the Punjabi Prison with him, without the only advantage Jinder ever had – The Singh Brothers. Orton says they are the only reason Jinder took the title in the first place. Orton has walked to the outside of the structure now. Fans chant Orton’s name. Orton says he and Jinder will be locked in the Prison on Sunday and there will be no escape for Jinder. No running, no hiding, no escape. Orton starts climbing the outer structure now. Orton stops a few feet up and tells Jinder he has nothing to lose. Jinder took his title, embarrassed his family, tried to take his dignity and left him for dead. Orton climbs up a few more feet. Orton says he has nothing to lose but Jinder has everything to lose. Orton mentions Jinder being the 50th WWE Champion ever. Jinder raises the title to boos. Orton says Jinder has the weight of 1.3 billion people in India on his back. Orton climbs up a few more feet and asks Jinder what he’s going to do when those 1.3 billion people consider him a disgrace.
Orton climbs some more and gets one leg over the top of the outer structure. Orton speaks from the top of the structure and says he’s going to leave Jinder’s jacked-up ass in the ring on Sunday. This will be Orton’s view when he takes back the title on Sunday, when he’s announced as the new WWE Champion. Orton’s music hits as Jinder and The Singh Brothers talk trash from the ring. Orton poses on top of the Punjabi Prison to a pop.
– Still to come, John Cena will address Sunday’s Flag Match. Also, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens in the main event. We see SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos backstage walking. We go to commercial.
Jimmy Uso vs. Kofi Kingston
Back from the break and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. The New Day are out next.
The bell rings and Jimmy takes Kofi to the corner. Kofi turns it right around and beats Uso down with kicks. Kofi stomps away now as Xavier Woods plays Francesca and Big E dances. Kofi with the big dropkick in the corner for a 2 count. Kofi ends up dumping Jimmy over the top rope. Kofi runs the ropes for a dive but is forced to put on the brakes as Jimmy is talking trash to Woods and Big E. Jimmy turns back towards the ring and Kofi comes over the top to take him out. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Jimmy has been in control since dropping Kofi on the apron. Jimmy works Kofi over until Kofi hits a jawbreaker. Uso comes right back with a kick to the face for a 2 count.
Kofi finally makes another comeback and hits the Boom Drop. Kofi gets the crowd to clap as he waits for Uso to get up. Uso counters and drops Kofi in the corner for a 2 count. Uso runs into a kick in the corner. Kofi goes to the top but Uso rocks him in the jaw. Jimmy climbs up for a superplex but Kofi resists as Jey Uso looks on. Kofi headbutts Jimmy to the mat.
Jey gets on the apron but Big E and Woods warn him. Kofi ends up hitting a big crossbody on Jimmy but Jimmy rolls through and takes the pin for the win.
Winner: Jimmy Uso
– After the match, The Usos take the titles up the ramp as we go to replays. The two teams talk trash as The Usos head to the back.
– SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon is backstage with Lana, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Tamina Snuka and Natalya. The Fatal 5 Way is on Sunday but he needs something for tonight. Charlotte wants a match with Lana. Natalya says the delusional queen just thinks she can fight who she wants but that’s not happening because Natalya has Lana tonight. Shane says no one is fighting Lana. Becky comes with a pun but Tamina shuts her up and says no one is fighting Lana tonight. Natalya proposes Becky vs. Charlotte. Charlotte says that won’t be happening because Shane is looking for a competitive match tonight. Becky is shocked. Charlotte says she’s beaten Becky every time. Shane makes Becky vs. Charlotte for tonight.
– Still to come, a look at Jason Jordan being revealed as Kurt Angle’s “long lost” son on RAW, plus Chad Gable’s reaction. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see how Jason Jordan was revealed to be RAW General Manager Kurt Angle’s son on RAW last night. The announcers send us backstage to Renee Young and Chad Gable for an interview. Gable mentions his world being turned upside down by tuning into RAW last night. Jordan didn’t give him a heads up but it would’ve been nice. Gable says this has changed his life as well. They did talk after RAW. Gable had noticed that Jordan was changing and going through something but he did explain everything. Renee asks what this means for Gable. He talks about the success they have had together and says he will support Jordan. But what’s next for Chad Gable? He says he has some ideas. Renee asks him to share but he doesn’t want to ruin the surprise. Gable says Angle and Jordan have a new beginning together but now so does he. Everyone will be able to see Gable on his own now. They thank each other and that’s it for the interview.
Mike Kanellis vs. Sami Zayn
We go to the ring and out comes Mike & Maria Kanellis. We see their attack on Sami Zayn backstage at last week’s SmackDown. Mike & Maria do their thing as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Mike & Maria are wrapping up their entrance. Sami Zayn is out next. The bell rings and they go at it. Sami strikes first and takes control.
Sami keeps control for several minutes. Sami mounts Mike in the corner and unloads. They end up on the floor and Mike looks to take control as they come back in. Sami comes right back with a clothesline and then the exploder suplex into the corner as Maria looks on. Maria comes in the ring and gets in the way, yelling at Sami and the referee.
Maria protects Mike in the corner. She leaves the ring and Mike takes advantage of the distraction, hitting Sami with a cheap shot. Mike scoops Sami and hits the Samoan Driver for the pin.
Winner: Mike Kanellis
– After the match, Mike & Maria celebrate with a kiss at ringside as we go to replays. We come back to Mike & Maria making their exit as Sami looks devastated.
– Still to come, John Cena will be here. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes John Cena as some fans sing their own version of this theme song.
Cena hits the ring and we see the American flag posted up on one ring post. The Bulgarian flag is on the opposite corner. Cena says the WWE Universe is excited about the amazing things they will see at Battleground on Sunday. He hypes the card and says when it’s all over, we will remember the Flag Match. He mentions the Bulgarian flag and fans boo. Fans pop and start chanting USA when he mentions the American flag. Cena says one must grab their flag and securely plant it at the finish line to win the match. Cena says everyone knows there’s a lot more to it than that. He doesn’t like Rusev. Cena talks about how Rusev disrespects America every chance he gets.
Cena goes on about the match and says there are people that don’t like hm but we can all agree on liking the American flag. Cena asks if the flag will fly or if the flag will fall on Sunday. Cena just wants the fans to know he’s ready for the match. Anything can happen and he has his work cut out for him but he’s ready. He goes on and announces again that he is ready, not wanting to let the fans down on Sunday. Cena says anyone in his shoes would do the same thing because America is a nation of fighters and we do not give up. Fans chant USA again. Cena says fans chant that proudly because they believe what he believes. Cena goes on and retrieves the flag from the post. He declares that the flag will fly high on Sunday. Cena waves the flag as his music hits. Rusev comes through the crowd and attacks Cena out of nowhere.
Rusev unloads and beats Cena down as fans boo. Rusev charges with a big kick and floors Cena. Rusev stomps and applies The Accolade. Cena eventually powers up and tries to break the hold but Rusev shuts him down. Rusev leaves Cena laying and goes to retrieve the Bulgarian flag from the post. Rusev stands over Cena with the flag before making his exit to boos.
– Still to come, Becky vs. Charlotte. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see WWE United States Champion AJ Styles backstage with Shinsuke Nakamura. AJ wants to talk strategy but Nakamura doesn’t look interested. AJ wants to talk about Japan but Nakamura not so much. Nakamura points at the US Title and says one day when AJ calls, he will answer.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
We go to the ring and out first comes Becky Lynch. Natalya is already out for commentary. Charlotte Flair is out next.
Back and forth to start. Becky gets some offense in and lands a dropkick. They tangle again and show each other up some more. Charlotte with a 2 count and a German suplex attempt but it’s blocked. Becky ends up going for the Disarm Her but Charlotte scrambles to the floor. Charlotte applauds Becky as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Becky has taken control after dropping Charlotte on the floor. They return to the ring and trade shots. Charlotte unloads with chops as fans “wooo!” along. Flair drops a knee and covers for a 2 count. We see SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi watching backstage. Becky blocks a Figure Four attempt.
Becky comes back and drops Charlotte. Becky with a dropkick and another kick. Becky with the Bexploder suplex next. Becky goes on and hits the Firearm for a 2 count. Flair blocks the Disarm Her again. Charlotte goes for a Natural Selection but Becky puts her in the Disarm Her. Flair with a 2 count. Flair with a big boot for another 2 count. More back and forth. Flair misses the moonsault. Becky with the Disarm Her, bringing it to the middle of the ring. Flair taps for the win.
Winner: Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky celebrates and has her arm raised as Charlotte recovers. They meet in the middle of the ring after the match but the music hits and out comes Tamina Snuka. Lana is with her. Natalya comes from behind and drops Becky. Charlotte goes after Natalya. Natalya sends Flair to the floor as Lana and Tamina double team Becky. Tamina fights off Natalya. Lana and Natalya argue until Tamina drops Natalya. Lana and Tamina stare each other down. Tamina leaves first, continuing the staredown with Lana.
– The announcers plug Battleground and the WWE Network.
– Still to come, the tag team main event and The Fashion X Files. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Renee is with Naomi backstage. While she’s not wrestling on Sunday, she will be at Battleground to enter the ring and congratulate the new #1 contender after the Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match. She goes on about retaining at SummerSlam until Carmella appears behind her with the Money In the Bank briefcase. Carmella dismisses Renee and reminds Naomi that she and the briefcase go wherever Naomi and her title go. Carmella says Naomi she will see her at Battleground on Sunday.
– We go to The Fashion X Files with Tyler Breeze and Fandango. Aiden English makes a brief appearance. The segment ends with Breezango receiving a package they have to sign for. Breeze is shocked to see what’s in the box. He warns Fandango not to look or grab for what’s in the box. It’s the head of the toy stuffed horse that Fandango had last week. There’s a note in the box that says Battleground. Fandango says this will end on Sunday.
– Still to come, Styles and Nakamura vs. Corbin and Owens. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Drew Gulak cuts a backstage promo on his 2 of 3 Falls Match against Mustafa Ali on WWE 205 Live tonight.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens
We go to the ring and out first comes WWE United States Champion AJ Styles. Shinsuke Nakamura is out next. Baron Corbin suddenly attacks Corbin out of nowhere and beats him down. Kevin Owens is out next to join in but Styles runs up the ramp and meets him. The teams separate as AJ and Nakamura head to the ring and wait. Corbin and Owens take their time getting to the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we see Corbin knocking AJ out of the air with a big right hand. Corbin works AJ over and talks trash to Nakamura. Owens tags in and talks trash as he unloads on AJ. Nakamura finally gets a tag and takes over on Owens. Nakamura drops Owens in the corner and gives him some good vibrations. Owens cuts Nakamura off but Nakamura drops him with an enziguri. Nakamura keeps control and drops a knee. Nakamura with a forearm and a knee. Corbin pulls the top rope down and dumps Nakamura to the floor. Corbin rolls Nakamura back into the ring. Owens follows up with a senton for a 2 count.
Owens takes Nakamura to the corner and works him over before Corbin tags in. Corbin stomps away as the referee warns him. Corbin yells back and in comes Owens again. They keep Nakamura down in their corner. Owens with a boot to the head. Corbin comes back in as Owens yells to the crowd about being the Face of America. Corbin catches Nakamura in a bear hug. Nakamura gets out and ends up dropping Corbin with a kick. Corbin stops Nakamura from tagging and drops AJ off the apron with a cheap shot. Nakamura with a forearm and kicks to Corbin. Corbin misses in the corner and Nakamura puts him up top. Owens runs in but Nakamura boots him in the head. Corbin with a Deep Six on Nakamura as AJ breaks the pin. Corbin mounts Nakamura on the mat with forearms.
Nakamura fights back and knees Corbin in the gut. Nakamura drops Corbin with a left. AJ finally gets the tag and unloads on Owens as he comes in. AJ with a clothesline and a forearm for a 2 count. AJ ends up planting Owens on his face for a close 2 count. Owens shuts AJ down with a clothesline. Corbin comes in but AJ goes for the Calf Crusher. Corbin tosses AJ. AJ counters and gets the Calf Crusher applied but Corbin gets the bottom rope and breaks the hold. Corbin dumps AJ to the apron. AJ decks him and goes to springboard in but Owens takes him out. AJ lands on the floor hard.
Nakamura comes over and fights Owens but he gets dumped into the timekeeper’s area. Corbin comes back in with AJ but AJ blocks End of Days with an enziguri. AJ with a pele kick but Corbin is still up. AJ goes for the Styles Clash and didn’t see Owens get the tag. Owens nails AJ and hits a pop-up powerbomb for the pin.
Winners: Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin
– After the match, Owens and Corbin stand tall as Nakamura checks on AJ. Owens leaves and Corbin is right behind him with the MITB briefcase in the air. SmackDown goes off the air with the Battleground opponents staring at each other.