The Big Takeaway:
A.J. Styles and John Cena teased the WWE Universe with another showdown but it doesn’t happen as Kevin Owens and Rusev ruin the party. WWE announces more matches for Battleground on a in-between episode of SmackDown Live.
WWE SmackDown Live Recap:
SmackDown Live open with WWE showing a recap of Styles defeating Chad Cable and winning the Independence Day Battle Royal. WWE then show footage of Styles wining the WWE United States Title during the WWE Live Event in Madison Square Garden.
WWE United States Open Challenge hosted by A.J. Styles
Styles came out as the WWE Universe chanted his name and said he wanted to bring back the US Title Open Challenge. He said who ever held the US Title would be considered the best and then issued an open challenge. Cena came out and asked if he can partake in the challenge? Styles said the challenge is especially for him. A referee ran down as the WWE Universe cheered. Owens came out and said nobody wants to see another stupid Cena-Styles match. Cena and Owens went back-and-forth on the mic as Rusev appeared from behind and attacked Styles. Owens delivered the Popup Powerbomb to Styles and Rusev applied the Accolade to Cena.
- A good opening segment. Just like Cena in the past, Styles made the US Title look like the most important championship in the WWE.
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/Singh Brothers) def. Tye Dillinger — Non-Title Match
A short but decent back-and-forth match as Dillinger got in some offence with a running cross body and then delivered punches in the corner to the WWE Champion. Mahal quickly cut off the comeback with a running knee and then delivered the Khallas and got the win.
- After the match Mahal cut another heel promo on Orton and said he’s bringing the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown Live next week.
WWE aired a clip of last week’s “Rap Off” between the SmackDown Tag Team Champions Usos and New Day.
Xavier Woods (w/Big E & Kofi Kingston) def. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso)
Charles Robinson quickly tossed Big E, Kingston and Jimmy Uso from the match after some outside interference. A really short match as Jey went for the big splash from the top turnbuckle but Woods got his knees up. Finish came with Woods delivering a springboard elbow drop with Jey hanging from the middle rope.
Shane McMahon announce Fatal-5-Way Elimination Match for Battleground
Shane was on the phone with Daniel Bryan as Naomi entered and wanted to know her next challenger. Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Lana and Tamina followed soon after. Shane announced an elimination match at Battleground. Everyone left except for Naomi, Carmella entered the room and had a letter from her lawyer and wanted James Ellsworth suspension to be uplifted. Shane ripped up the paper as Carmella screamed and left.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin get into a Brawl
The match never started as Nakamura came out first. Corbin came out and started to argue with a fan in the crowd as Nakamura attacked him. This led to a pull apart.
- Looking forward to seeing to Corbin and Nakamura work in the ring.
WWE announced that Nakamura will face Corbin at Battleground
Backstage: A.J. Styles and John Cena
Cena said that he will accept the match for one day. Styles wanted him too because last time Cena beat him at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Cena respected Styles for wanted to face the best and said he had his back tonight.
Natalya & Tamina defeated Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
The heels got the advantage on Charlotte but made a comeback and tagged in Lynch. Lynch attacked and then attempted a baseball slide but Natalya moved and slammed Lynch into the steel steps. Lana made her way down to the ring as Lynch escaped a sharpshooter. Charlotte got the tag and delivered chops, a knee drop and a suplex. Charlotte went for the Figure-8-Leg Lock but Lana stepped on the apron and distracted the Queen. Natalya tagged in Tamina who delivered a super kick and pinned Charlotte.
Backstage: Maria Kanellis & Chad Gable
Maria knocked on the “Male Locker Room” as Chad Gable opened the door. Maria said she was looking for Sami Zayn. Gable responded by saying “Oh, Sami Wow-Wow?” Maria had no clue what Gable was talking about told him that she is looking for Zayn.
Sami Zayn felt the “Power of Love” curtesy of Maria & Mike Kanellis
Maria and Mike were interrupted by Zayn again. Maria wanted an apology but Zayn didn’t want to offer one. Zayn notes that Maria and Mike are always in his way and questioned if Mike was a fighter? Maria slapped him and Mike smashed a glass vase over his head.
- This backstage segment was fine and will like lead to a match at Battleground
Runway Walker: Texas Ranger — Starring Tyler Breeze & Fandango
Fandago and Tyler Breeze was dressed up as cowboys and approached Zack Ryder. Ryder was kinda entertained by this and Mojo Rawley walked in and wondered what was going on. Breeze accused him of destroying their office. Mojo said he wouldn’t do anything that shady. Ryder asked about the battle royal from last week, Mojo said it was every man for himself and needs to get their heads back in the game and walked off. Ryder said the same thing and walked off. Segment ended when Breezango noticed the horse.
WWE announced that Styles will defend the US Title against Owens at Battleground.
WWE US Champion A.J. Styles & John Cena def. Kevin Owens & Rusev
Rusev got the advantage early by delivering a spinning wheel kick but Cena kicked out. Styles got the hot tag and applied a Calf Crusher to Rusev but Owens broke it up. Owens and Rusev applied pressure and got the heat on Styles until he made the hot tag to Cena. Cena made his familiar comeback and ended it with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment on Owens but Rusev delivered a kick to the head. Finish came with Styles delivering a Phenomenal Forearm to Rusev and Cena delivered the AA and pinned Owens.
- A good match to close the show and was nice to see Cena and Styles team up.