– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens up with hype for the WWE United States Title match and the big #1 contenders match.
– We’re live from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL and Byron Saxton.
WWE United States Title Match: Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles
We go right to the ring and out comes new WWE United States Champion AJ Styles. Kevin Owens is out next for his rematch.
Greg Hamilton does formal ring introductions before the bell. Fans chant AJ as the bell rings and they lock up. Owens with a headlock. They trade holds and go back & forth. Owens drops AJ with a shoulder for a 2 count. They go on and run the ropes but Owens avoids a dropkick. Owens ends up sending AJ out to the floor as fans boo. Owens follows and hits a clothesline on the floor. Owens talks trash and looks down at AJ as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Owens drops AJ with a boot for another 2 count. Owens takes his time with AJ, allowing AJ to connect with a dropkick. AJ turns it around and hits chops in the corner now. AJ keeps control and drops a big knee for a 2 count as Owens grabs the bottom rope.
AJ keeps control and hits a suplex for a 1 count. AJ stomps away in the corner now while Owens is down. Owens looks to turn it around but AJ gets boots up in the corner. Owens avoids a Phenomenal Forearm and goes to the floor for a breather. AJ launches himself from the ring to the floor, taking Owens down with a forearm.
AJ charges but Owens side-steps and sends AJ into the barrier. Owens with a corner cannonball against the barrier. Owens grabs AJ and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Styles is making a comeback. Styles with the fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a 2 count. Owens blocks a Styles Clash. AJ charges but gets dumped to the apron. AJ with a shot to the face. AJ springboards in for another Phenomenal Forearm attempt but Owens avoids it. Owens drops AJ with a superkick for a close 2 count. Owens argues with the referee.
AJ blocks a pop-up powerbomb and gets the Calf Crusher applied but Owens grabs AJ’s hair and breaks it with a headbutt. Styles misses from the top. Owens goes for the powerbomb again but AJ slides out and nails a pele kick. Owens blocks a Styles Clash but AJ counters and gets the Calf Crusher applied again. Owens makes it to the bottom rope and breaks the hold.
Owens ends up hitting two big mule kicks to AJ, sending him to the mat. Owens swings at AJ but the referee gets knocked down. Owens hits a superkick on AJ. Owens looks for another pop-up powerbomb but AJ rolls him up for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles
– After the match, AJ’s music hits but Owens and JBL are ranting about Owens having his shoulder up. AJ leaves with the title as Owens yells at the referee in the corner. A trainer comes over to check on the ref. Owens continues ranting as we see the controversial pin on the replay.
– We go backstage to SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon with ref Mike Chioda. They admit he made a bad call and he’s shaken up from the bump. Owens appears and he’s furious. Owens sends the referee down and Bryan checks on him. Shane says Owens can’t put his hands on an official and his decision stands. Shane gives Owens another title shot at SummerSlam. Owens goes on about how he wants a referee that can do his job at SummerSlam. Bryan suggests Shane be the special referee. Shane nods in approval. Owens says Shane is the most incompetent person here. Shane says he will be referee and Owens can have the match if he wants it. Owens agrees and Shane tells him to go cool off. Owens storms off, still furious.
– Still to come, Cena vs. Nakamura, The Fashion Police and more. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see how SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day were attacked by The Usos last week.
– We go to the ring and it sounds like The New Day’s entrance is beginning with the usual Big E intro but it’s The Usos instead. They head to the ramp mocking The New Day and their entrance.
The Usos cut promos on The New Day and take credit for them not being here tonight. They say The New Day can keep their ice cream and all that other stuff because The Usos are taking their titles and their catchphrases. The music starts back up as they mock The New Day some more.
– The announcers send us to another edition of The Fashion Files with Tyler Breeze and Fandango. This one has a Fashion Peaks theme, playing off Twin Peaks. The Ascension also appear in this video. It ends to be continued.
Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn
We go to the ring and out comes Sami Zayn. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Aiden English is out with a spotlight. He sings a song about beating Sami tonight but fans boo him. They lock up and go back & forth for the first few minutes of the match. Sami takes control and keeps English grounded. Sami with some hip tosses and arm drags to take English back to the mat. English catches Sami out of nowhere and pins him for the quick, surprise win.
Winner: Aiden English
– After the bell, English rolls right to the floor and can’t believe it. Sami sits in the ring shocked as well. The music hits and out comes Mike & Maria Kanellis with a mic. They remind us how much they love each other. They also love that Sami lost. The music hits and that’s it. They raise their arms and stare at Sami from the stage as the music plays.
– Becky Lynch and Naomi are backstage walking. We go to commercial.
Natalya and Carmella vs. Naomi and Becky Lynch
Back from the break and Natalya is wrapping up her entrance. Carmella waits in the ring with her Money In the Bank briefcase. Becky Lynch is out first for her team. SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi is out next.
The bell rings and Becky starts out with Natalya. They go back & forth until Becky takes control. Naomi tags in and rolls Natalya up for 2 as Becky stands guard. Naomi keeps control for another pin attempt after a big leg drop. Natalya calls for a time out and goes to her corner. Naomi crosses her arms and waits. Carmella tags in and talks trash to Naomi, telling her to bring it.
They go at it and Naomi connects with a few kicks. Carmella blocks a kick and nails Naomi in the face. Naomi comes right back. Naomi with a slap of her own. Naomi keeps control and decks Natalya on the apron, allowing for Carmella to send Naomi to the mat. Natalya tags in and they double team the champ. Natalya with a 2 count. Naomi ends up tossing Natalya across the ring but she still can’t get the tag. Natalya locks the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring.
Naomi crawls and almost makes it to the bottom rope but Natalya pulls her back and tightens the hold. Naomi crawls again but Carmella tags in. Natalya doesn’t look happy. Carmella tells Natalya to get out of the ring. Carmella with the Code of Silence on Naomi. Naomi counters into her own submission. Becky runs in and hits a Bexploder on Natalya as she comes in. Naomi makes Carmella tap.
Winners: Naomi and Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky and Naomi stand tall in the ring as Naomi’s music hits. Carmella throws a fit at ringside while Natalya looks on from the stage. We go to replays. Becky and Naomi taunt their opponents from the ring as Natalya storms off to the back.
– Renee Young is backstage with WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers, who are wearing a sling and a neck brace. Renee asks Jinder if he prefers John Cena or Shinsuke Nakamura to win tonight. Jinder says he does not care who wins and it doesn’t matter who wins because he will still leave SummerSlam with the title. Jinder is going to watch the match from his personal sky box tonight. He says he feels nothing but xenophobia when he walks down the street but that keeps pushing him to do what he does. Jinder says he’s knocked down every hero put in front of him and no one can stop the reign of The Modern Day Maharaja.
– Rusev is backstage walking. We go to commercial.
Rusev vs. Chad Gable
Back from the break and out comes Rusev. Chad Gable is out next.
They lock up to start. Rusev tosses Gable first but they trade more holds in the middle of the ring. Fans chant USA for Gable. They tangle some more until Rusev tosses Gable to the floor. Gable runs right back into the ring and wrestles Rusev to the mat. Gable goes to work on the knee now. Gable ties the left knee up and keeps Rusev down.
Rusev uses his other knee to drop Gable. Rusev hits a suplex and covers for a 2 count. We go to commercial with Rusev in control.
Back from the break and Gable hits a big belly-to-belly suplex on Rusev. He keeps it held but Rusev breaks the hold with a headbutt. Gable comes right back with a big German suplex and holds it for a 2 count. Gable goes to the top for a moonsault but Rusev cuts him off. More back and forth now. Rusev misses and hits the corner. Gable goes back to the top and nails the moonsault but Rusev kicks out at 2.
Gable waits for Rusev to get up and tells him to bring it. Rusev is dazed and slow to get to his feet. Gable runs Rusev into the corner and rolls him up, going right into another German attempt but it’s countered. This leads to Rusev flooring Gable with a big kick. Gable still kicks out at 2. Rusev shows frustration now. Rusev yells out and stomps on Gable’s back. Rusev goes for The Accolade but Gable avoids it and applies the ankle lock in the middle of the ring.
Rusev turns the ankle lock and kicks Gable out of the ring. Gable runs right back into the ring but Rusev nails a superkick. Rusev applies The Accolade and makes Gable tap.
– After the match, Rusev has his arm raised as his music hits. We go to replays. Rusev takes the mic and says ever since he came to SmackDown, he’s been promised competition, an opponent worthy to be in the ring with him. They gave him John Cena and Cena may have waved his flag around at Battleground but he did not beat Rusev because nobody can beat Rusev. Rusev says he has no opponent for SummerSlam because everyone is afraid of him, because he beats everyone. Rusev rants and his music hits. Rusev stays in the ring until Randy Orton’s music interrupts and out he comes. Orton slowly walks to the ring, staring Rusev down. Orton finally takes a mic after fans chant his name. Orton says if he were Rusev, he wouldn’t want Orton to get into the ring either. Orton walks up to the apron now. Rusev backs away some but holds his arms open. Orton is in the middle of the ring now. Orton says Rusev has never beaten him and he’s not afraid of Rusev either. Orton says if Rusev wants a SummerSlam opponent, he’s got one. Fans chant for Orton again. Rusev starts speaking Bulgarian. He goes to attack but Orton ducks and nails the RKO. Orton’s music hits and he stands tall as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Orton vs. Rusev is confirmed for SummerSlam.
#1 Contenders Match: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers are watching from a skybox. John Cena is out first. The winner of this match will go on to face Mahal at SummerSlam. Shinsuke Nakamura is out next as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and here we go. Nakamura with some showing off early on. Cena comes back with some taunting of his own. They go at it and Nakamura takes it to the corner. Cena is confused by some of Nakamura’s antics. They lock up and Cena takes control with a hold. Fans do the dueling Cena chants now. Nakamura turns it around and stops Cena with a headlock. They run the ropes and show each other up again. Nakamura tells Cena to bring it. Cena attacks but Nakamura drops him in the corner with an enziguri.
Nakamura with some good vibrations in the corner. Cena comes back with right hands. Cena sends Nakamura to the corner and charges but Nakamura moves. Cena catches a kick and drives Nakamura to the mat for a 2 count. Cena has Nakamura grounded with a headlock now. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Nakamura fights back, dropping Cena with a kick. We see Jinder and The Singh Brothers watching from their skybox. Nakamura with more kicks to Cena, sending him back to the mat. Nakamura charges in the corner with a shot to the gut. Nakamura takes Cena and places him on the top. Nakamura runs with the high knee and covers for another 2 count.
Cena makes his comeback with the usual moves as some fans boo. Cena calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle as boos continue. Cena takes his time and Nakamura stops the “you can’t see me” gesture, catching Cena in an armbar. Cena fights it. Cena ends up powering up and putting Nakamura on his shoulders. Nakamura avoids an Attitude Adjustment and drops Cena again. Nakamura waits in the corner as Cena is slow to get up. Cena counters the Kinshasa and applies the STF in the middle of the ring.
Nakamura gets out of the STF and applies the cross armbreaker. Cena gets out of that and covers for a pin attempt. Nakamura kicks out but Cena levels him with a big clothesline. We see Jinder and The Singh Brothers watching again as fans chant “this is awesome” now. Cena gets up but Nakamura drops him and connects with a big left knee. Nakamura waits in the corner again. Cena side-steps and nails an Attitude Adjustment. Nakamura kicks out just in time.
Cena can’t believe it as we get a replay. Cena goes for another AA but Nakamura turns it into a guillotine in the middle of the ring. More back and forth. Nakamura plants Cena on the back of his neck. Nakamura nails the Kinshasa for the pin and the SummerSlam title shot.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, Nakamura’s music hits as he and Cena are down on the mat trying to recover. We go to replays. We come back to Cena and Nakamura standing tall in the middle of the ring for a show of respect. Jinder looks down from the skybox. Cena leaves the ring as Nakamura’s celebration continues and we get more replays.