The Big Takeaway:
Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens gained momentum as they defeated A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamaura in the main event. The Punjabi Prison made it’s return to WWE television after 10 years and Rusev laid out John Cena before their Flag Match on the go-home episode of Battleground.
WWE SmackDown Live Recap
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal brings the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown Live
The Singh Brothers were on the ramp as they introduced the WWE Champion. Mahal told the Singh Brothers to explain the rules of the Punjabi Prison match. Mahal vowed to take Orton down inside the prison and then took the time to speak to his people in Punjabi.
Orton came out and started to climb to the structure slowly. Orton put over Mahal saying he’s the 50th WWE Champion and he represents 1.4 billion people in India. Orton ended the promo by saying he will become the new WWE Champion and then did his classic pose on top of the Punjabi Prison.
- A fine opening segment. The Punjabi Prison looks impressive.
Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso) def. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E & Xavier Woods)
Kingston stomped on Jimmy in the corner as Woods played the trombone to the New Day’s theme. Jimmy took control after the commercial break but Kingston made a comeback by delivering a foot stomp and then followed it up with the boom drop. Finish came with Kingston delivering a cross body but Jimmy rolled through and got the win.
Backstage: Shane McMahon with Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Tamina & Lana
All the women for the Fatal-5-Way Elimination match were in Shane McMahon’s office and said he wanted to see some competition. Charlotte, Becky and Natalya said they all wanted to face Lana. Tamina said no one will face Lana and then Natalya suggested that Charlotte should face Becky. Charlotte wasn’t interested because Shane said he wanted to see some “real competition” Becky was offended and started to argue with Charlotte. Shane ended up making the match as the crowd cheered.
WWE aired a recap of Kurt Angle announcing to the WWE Universe that Jason Jordan is his biological son.
Chad Gable sit-down interview with Renee Young
Gable said he spoke to Jordan last night and understood what he was going through. Gable brought up that he won the SmackDown Tag Team Titles with Jordan. Gable said he supports Jordan and now the WWE Universe can look forward to seeing him on his own.
- Gable sounded good in the sit-down interview. Interested to see where this storyline leads and how WWE pushes both Gable and Jordan as single stars.
Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis) def. Sami Zayn
Zayn took control for most of the match as he tossed Mike into the barricade and delivered an exploder suplex into the corner. Zayn was setting up for the Helluva Kick but Maria entered the ring and stopped him. Off the distraction, Mike delivered a big right hand and followed it up with the Samoan Driver for the win.
John Cena promotes the Flag Match for Battleground
John Cena came out to a massive mixed reaction and plugged all the matches for the Battleground pay-per-view. Cena then cut a passionate promo as he hyped up the Flag Match. Cena started to wave the American flag but was blindsided by Rusev. Rusev delivered a super kick and then applied the Accolade. Cena tried to power out of the hold but Rusev applied more pressure as Cena passed out. Rusev then waved the Bulgarian flag as the WWE Universe booed.
- Cena was great here as he did his best to hype up the Flag Match.
Backstage: A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura
Styles and Nakamura were in the locker room as they received big reactions. Styles noticed that Nakamura was staring at his U.S. Title. Nakamura said “One day, you call, I answer!” as the crowd popped. (This was great as WWE just continues to tease fans with a potential dream match)
Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair via Submission
Becky and Charlotte were evenly matched in the early going as the crowd chanted for both women. Lynch went for the Dis-Arm-Her but Charlotte escaped. Charlotte made a comeback as she clipped the knee and went for the Natural Selection but Lynch countered into the Dis-Arm-Her. Charlotte broke out of the hold and delivered a big boot for a near fall. Finish came with Charlotte missing a moonsault attempt as Lynch applied the Dis-Arm-Her and got the submission win. (It wasn’t long but I liked the match)
Charlotte and Lynch shook hands after as Tamina and Lana walked down the ramp. Natalya attacked the babyfaces from behind. Natalya attempted a Sharpshooter on Tamina but Lana pulled her off. Tamina then delivered a super kick to Natalya.
Backstage: SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi and Carmella
Naomi said she wasn’t here to play, but she came here to glow. Carmella interrupted and said where ever Naomi goes, Carmella and her MITB contract won’t be far behind.
The Fashion X Files with Breezango
Tyler Breeze and Fandago heard a strange ghost like-noise from behind a curtain. It was Aiden English was getting ready to sing a song. Then a delivery guy came in and brought a box for Breezango. Fandango opened the box it was the head of their toy horse. There was also a note that read “Battleground” and this will likely conclude at the PPV.
Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin def. WWE U.S. Champion A.J. Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura
Corbin and Owens jumped Nakmaura during his entrance as Styles made the save. Nakamura was about to deliver his running knee in the corner to Corbin but Owens caused a distraction which led to Deep Six but Styles made the save. Styles made the hot tag and delivered the Phenomenal Blitz and a sliding forearm to Owens for a two count. Owens recovered by delivering a clothesline to Styles and then tagged in Corbin.
After blocking it on the first attempt, Styles applied the Calf Crusher but Corbin grabbed the bottom rope. Styles was setting up for the Phenomenal Forearm but Owens yanked him off the ropes.
Nakamura went after Owens on the floor but was attacked by Corbin as he tossed The King of Strong Style into the time keepers area. Styles was setting up for the Styles Clash but Owens made the blind tag delivered a super kick and followed it up with the pop up powerbomb and got the win.
- A fun main event as everyone looked good in the match
It was a fine go-home show as most of the Battleground matches were made weeks in advance. The PPV looks pretty strong and the matches should be good. Once again it will be interested to see how WWE books the show with SummerSlam approaching.
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image credit — WWE
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