The Big Takeaway:
WWE announced a WrestleMania dream match as John Cena will face Shinsuke Nakamura next week on SmackDown Live and the winner will challenge Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. A.J. Styles recaptured the U.S. Title after defeating Kevin Owens and the returning Chris Jericho in a triple threat match.
Chris Jericho Returned to SmackDown Live
Kevin Owens came out in a suit and gloated about recapturing the U.S Title when he defeated A.J. Styles at Battleground. The WWE Universe cheered loudly for Styles, but Owens never acknowledged the chant. Owens said he was going to reinstate the Open Challenge… next week. Styles came out and received a huge reaction from the WWE Universe. Styles said he wanted a rematch as Chris Jericho’s music played and the crowd went nuts.
Owens kept on yapping so Jericho repeatedly said, “Quiet!” until he stopped. Owens left the ring as Jericho and Styles went back-and-forth with each other. Jericho told a story about someone who interrupted him at the grocery store and then put Styles name on the “List of Jericho” Owens was about to leave as Shane McMahon came out. Shane announced that Owens will defend the U.S. Title in a triple-threat match tonight in Richmond as the WWE Universe cheered loudly.
- This was a very good opening segment
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin
Nakamura received a huge reaction as he took the fight to the floor, but Corbin cut him off and delivered a big clothesline. Nakamura recovered by delivering a series of strikes but missed a Kinshasa attempt as Corbin delivered a terrible looking chokeslam. Corbin delivered knee strikes and connected with the Deep Six but Nakamura kicked out. Corbin went for the End of Days but Nakamura slipped away. Corbin went for another low-blow but Nakamura moved and delivered a series of strikes to the head. With Corbin out, Nakamura delivered the Kinshasa and got the win.
- WWE basically wanted its fans to forget about Battleground and this match was a prime example of that. Nakamura looked strong in the win and his booking has been good.
Dasha Fuentes interviewed SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi
Naomi said Natalya was tough as nails, but was disrespectful for not shaking her hand at the pay-per-view. Natalya appeared and said Naomi disrespected the title by turning the belt into a kids’ toy. Naomi said Natalya can keep throwing shade because she would feel the glow at SummerSlam. Carmella approached Naomi and said she still has the Money in the Bank contract.
Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch def. Lana & Tamina
The heels got the heat on Lynch as the WWE Universe lightly chanted “You can’t wrestle” at Lana. Lynch delivered an enziguri, made a hot tag, as Charlotte ran wild on Tamina. Tamina cut her off with super kick, but Lana tagged herself in. Charlotte kicked Tamina out of the ring and delivered a big boot, and pinned Lana.
- The length of this match was good and the booking was even better as the better team won. After the match Becky and Charlotte hugged each other. Tamina was pissed at Lana, who looked sad.
WWE makes a dream match as Jinder Mahal demands an opponent for SummerSlam
Jinder Mahal came out and gloated about defeating Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match. Mahal wanted to know who his opponent for SummerSlam and began to talk to his people in Punjabi.
John Cena came out and received a massive reaction from the WWE Universe. Cena complimented Mahal on being in the best shape of his career and was happy that the WWE Title meant so much to him. Cena then warned Mahal and told him at SummerSlam he will be facing “Super Cena” Cena said he would become a 17-time WWE World Champion and asked for his music to play.
Daniel Bryan came out and received a huge reaction. Bryan congratulated both Cena and Mahal for their victories at Battleground. Bryan acknowledged that Cena wanted to make history. But, Bryan also reminded Cena that he had to earn a oppertunity even if your name is John Cena. Bryan announced that next week Cena will face Shinsuke Nakamura for the first-time ever and the winner will face Mahal at SummerSlam.
- Say What? Cena vs. Nakamura next week on SmackDown Live? Ohh My! This segment was awesome (the announcement aside)
Backstage: Kevin Owens confronts Shane McMahon
Owens confronted Shane and didn’t think this match was fair. Shane said he didn’t care who the champion was, as long as they defend the title. He said the match tonight would be amazing and for the fans. Owens said he didn’t care for the fans and didn’t care about Shane either. Owens and Shane started each other down.
- WWE is clearly teasing a match between Owens and Shane. SummerSlam maybe?
Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger def. Aiden English & Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis)
Aiden English was in the ring and sung a song for the WWE Universe as he introduced his parter Mike Kanellis. The heels got the heat on Zayn as the crowd chanted “Let’s go Sami” Dillinger got the hot tag as he ran wild on both English and Kanellis. The finish came as Zayn got the tag, delivered the Helluva Kick and pinned Kanellis.
The Usos ruin the New Day’s Tag Team Championship Celebration
Big E began to make his usual introduction (with the New Day backstage and the camera focused on the crowd) but was abruptly stopped as the Usos attacked the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Usos laid out both Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods and then delivered a double super kick to a staggering Big E.
- This was very good.
Renee Young interviewed Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura told Renee: “Next week, John Cena… you can’t see me”
WWE United States Championship Match: A.J. Styles def. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens to become the new U.S. Champion
Highlights included Jericho break a Calf Crusher attempt with a Lionsault. Styles delivered the Springboard 450 but Owens try to steal a victory but Jericho kicked out. Jericho countered a Styles Clash by applying the Walls of Jericho, Owens tried to break it up, so Jericho placed him in the Walls. Styles tried to break the hold, so Jericho caught him with the Code Breaker for a good near fall.
Owens delivered cannonballs to both Jericho and Styles in the opposite sides of the corner. Styles delivered a forearm to Owens, Jericho hit Styles with an enziguri, Owens delivered a super kick to Jericho, and Styles nailed Owens with a Pele kick. All three men were down selling as the WWE Universe chanted “This is awesome”.
Styles attempted the Phenomenal Forearm, but Jericho caught him with a springboard dropkick. Owens recovered, delivered a super kick and followed it up with a pop-up power bomb but Jericho kicked out as Owens couldn’t believe it. Owen then delivered a frog splash, but Styles jumped in, tossed Owens to the floor and pinned Jericho. Owens reaction to the pin fall was awesome.
- A great match. Styles music played as he posed on the ramp with the U.S. Title. Owens grabbed the mic and cut a great heel promo on the crowd and demanded a rematch on next week’s show.
This was an excellent show. Next week show is going to be nuts as Cena faces Nakamura. My guess no one wins the match as the Singh Brothers cause an interference. Bryan will come out and announce that Mahal will defend the WWE Title against both Cena and Nakamura at SummerSlam.
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Image Credit – WWE