SmackDown Live is coming at us with another packed show. While the WWE Universe is gearing up for The Biggest Party Of The Summer a few big matches need setting up. But first, there’s SmackDown Live. John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura is a dream match becoming a reality and AJ vs KO for the US Title only makes it better.
AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens (US Title Match)
They got SmackDown Live off with a bang in Cleveland with a US Championship match. AJ Styles came to the ring looking very intense and ready for action. KO looked like he was going to destroy someone and it might as well be AJ Styles.
These two went right at each other as soon as the timekeeper rang the bell. KO got a headlock and tried to hold AJ down before business picked up. AJ tried to escape, but KO kept a headlock in. Finally, the headlock was reversed but KO reversed it right back. They were doing some wrestling until AJ leapfrogged him off the ropes and then dropkicked mid-air when Kevin held onto the ropes and didn’t shoot back to him.
KO tossed AJ out of the ring and ran out to clothesline his head off. “It’s my title!” Kevin yelled.
When they returned to the ring AJ tried to take control but KO put his boot up and Styles ran into it. KO maintained control after that for a bit. “You think you’re phenomenal?!” Owens yelled.
Suddenly AJ caught a drop kick and turned things around for a bit. AJ chopped KO in the corner and landed a kick to the back of his neck after sitting him down. Styles landed a signature knee drop and went for the pin but KO grabbed the rope to break it up.
Later on, after taking a nice suplex, KO chopped AJ only to have it returned and get sat down in the corner. Kevin tried to collect himself and shot AJ in the corner only to eat a boot when he charged in. AJ missed a Phenomenal Forearm as Owens rolled outside.
AJ landed a sick flying forearm over the top rope to KO but soon took a bump on the barricade. KO followed it up with a cannonball and tossed him back in the ring for a two count.
Kevin hit a running senton for another two count and then got another headlock on AJ. Styles soon broke free but took a high back drop from Kevin as the punishment continued. AJ crawled to the apron and KO followed just to try a suplex but Styles blocked it. Suddenly AJ tried to counter and almost had Owens up but he was reversed again at the last second and took the suplex into the ring. Then KO went for another headlock.
Kevin clubbed AJ across the back and taunted the crowd. Suddenly AJ hit a forearm to find an opening in the match. AJ hit the fireman’s carry neckbreaker 1-2-almost!
AJ signaled for the Styles Clash but Owens countered with a backdrop. AJ got lifted to the apron and went for another Phenomenal Forearm but KO ducked again and hit a superkick. 1-2-kickout!
KO threw AJ to the ropes to set up a pop-up powerbomb but Styles held onto the ropes and turned it into a Calf Crusher. KO grabbed AJ’s hair and hit a headbutt to break it up. After another little deal, it looked like Kevin was setting up for the package piledriver but Styles reversed out and KO ended up in the Calf Crusher once again.
KO acted like he was going to tap out but finally decided to reach for the rope and grab it to break up the hold. KO shoved AJ and hit two kicks in a row to AJ’s face.
AJ ducked a wild swing and the ref took the bump. AJ reversed out of another pop-up powerbomb and rolled KO up in a pin. 1-2-3 and AJ Styles was declared the winner. Because a dazed official did the counting he didn’t notice Kevin’s shoulder was off the mat.
“But my shoulder was up!” Kevin yelled as AJ Styles’ music played on after the match.
The referee from the US Title match was having his eye looked at when Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon came up to him and said they had a problem. Shane said he should have called for a second official.
Suddenly KO came in throwing a chair and a fit about the match. Shane said you don’t put your hands on an official and his call stands.
Shane said he knew Kevin’s shoulder was up so he gets a SummerSlam rematch. KO said he wanted a ref for the match who was competent. Daniel Bryan said he’s got a referee for KO and it’s Shane McMahon.
Kevin Owens wasn’t happy and trashed some more of the backstage area as he walked off.
“Well, that went well,” McMahon said.
The New Day
The Usos did a spot-on Big E impression and told the crowd to cheer for their “busted up tag team champs” then they came out to disappoint. They said “what did you think it was gonna be? Three clowns on a tricycle or three men talking about each other’s popsicles?” Everything they said rhymed which is what they’re going with now because they did so well in that rap battle.
Usos said New Day can keep their gimmicks because they’re stealing their catch phrase because “Uso rocks.”
That was a neat little promo.
Breeze and Fandango are back after a week away and boy, did we miss them. Seriously these guys are outstanding. They did a Twin Peaks parody that was awesome.
Dango is missing since their Battleground segment and Tyler was looking for his tag team partner.
Breeze was great and played off the creepy Dango character well. The Ascension were there too and poured syrup on a block of wood. It wasn’t creepy at all. Yeah, it was super creepy. “No wonder this show got canceled the first time” Breeze said refering to the OG Twin Peaks show.
“No more metaphors!” Breeze screamed.
He woke up and it was all a dream. But now he apparently knows who kidnapped Fandango.
Sami Zayn vs Aiden English
Aiden came out after Sami and demanded a spot light. He really is getting some nice heat for his gimmick. Now the Mozart Of Mayhem walked to the ring as he sang his own acapella entrance music. There was a kid with a big Conrad Thompson head in the crowd and that was pretty neat too.
Sami looked disgusted and bewildered at Aiden’s song, especially when he shushed the crowd in the middle of singing “WWE.”
“Do you think Aiden English ever gets dry mouth?” they asked on commentary. Nope, but Enzo Amore probably does. BA-ZING!
English hit a shoulder block and Zayn took a flat back bump. English acted like he had just done something masterful and Sami looked on even more confused.
Sami soon took control of the match and leaped over English followed by a few arm drags. He brought Aiden English to the mat and locked on an armbar.
Suddenly Aiden English rolled up Sami Zayn and got a three count. English looked just as shocked as the crowd as he walked up the ramp.
English’s celebration would be short lived because Mike and Maria Kanellis came out just to tell Sami that they loved each other and they also love the fact that Sami just lost. Thanks for the update.
Natalya and Carmella vs Naomi and Becky Lynch
Carmella was wearing her “Free (picture of Ellsworth’s face)” shirt. Wonder if his suspension will be over by SummerSlam?
Becky and Nattie started things off and Becky did some playing with Nattie until Natalya decided to make things serious. Becky hit a kick and leaped over her in the corner. She used a leg takedown and moved around so Naomi could get the tag.
Becky took Nattie down and The Glow hit a legdrop for the two count. Carmella wanted the tag so she got it. But what she didn’t want were all those stiff kicks from Naomi. Carmella slapped her across the face but that wasn’t a good idea either because Naomi just kicked her in the head.
Naomi hit Carm in the face with a knee and Nattie got the cheap shot on The Glow. Natalya tagged back in and got a two count on Naomi. She kept The Glow grounded for a bit as Becky hyped up the crowd looking for a hot tag.
Nattie caught Naomi and slammed her down before she could make the tag. Nattie locked in a sharpshooter but Naomi couldn’t make it to the ropes. She crawled a second time to the ropes as Carm made the tag.
Then Carmella locked on the Code Of Silence lock and Naomi reversed it into a submission of her own. Naomi ran in to stop Nattie from breaking up the hold as Carmella tapped out.
The babyfaces win this one early on. Carmella clutched her MITB briefcase as she shouted at them while she walked up the ramp.
Renee Young was backstage, she’s just everywhere now. She interviewed Jinder Mahal about who he wanted to see win between Cena and Nakamura.
The Modern Day Maharaja said he didn’t care if it was the man from Japan or the American. He is still going to beat them.
Jinder said every xenophobic comment makes him even prouder of his heritage and nobody can end his reign. Like we expected him to root them on and say “may the best man win, I’m just looking for competition.”
Rusev vs Chad Gable
It’s the battle of two guys who could really use a push.
Rusev tossed Gable across the ring and didn’t let him shoot on him. He kept up this strategy until he decided he wanted to try and wrestle Gable.
“USA” chants broke out as Rusev made it to the ropes to break up Gable’s grasp. Chad kept trying to wear Rusev down. Rusev tossed him outside but Gable jumped right back in the room and eventually got Rusev down on the canvas.
Gable hit Rusev’s knee with a few shots and then tied up his knee to wrench at it. Rusev counted another leg take down attempt with a knee to the face and followed it up with a big suplex. 1-2-kick out.
Rusev kept kicking Gable to keep him down but he didn’t forget to sell the leg damage from earlier in the match.
Handsome Rusev kept smashing at Gable and hovered over him. Rusev locked in a bear hug because he likes that move. Chad tried as hard as he could to break the hold for a bit but they were in a commercial break so Rusev just kept on the hold for a little longer.
Rusev finally hip tossed Gable across the ring to break up the bear hug himself. Gable got his foot up as Rusev charged in the corner and hit a belly to belly suplex and he held on for another one. Rusev broke up Gable’s hold but Chad hit another German Suplex.
Chad climbed to the top but Rusev popped up. Chad flipped over Rusev and charged into another empty corner. Gable hit a moonsault and almost got a three count.
“You are seeing the emergence of a Superstar in Chad Gable,” JBL said.
Gable went for another suplex, Rusev tried to suplex but Chad landed on his feet. Superkick from Rusev for another two count and The Bulgarian Brute started to look angry and ready to crush. He stomped on Gable’s spine and locked for an Accolade but Gable slid out of it and caught an Ankle Lock.
Rusev kicked him off before tapping, hit a quick superkick, and locked on the Accolade. Gable submitted in a match he probably should have won.
Rusev grabbed the microphone and took a moment before speaking. He said ever since he came to SmackDown Live he was promised competition and so far he hasn’t met someone worthy of being in the ring with him. He said Cena may have waved his flag around at Battleground but nobody can really beat him.
He said they have SummerSlam but he has no opponent because everyone is afraid of him. Then he spoke in Bulgarian and his music played until Randy Orton’s music chimed in.
The Viper walked out on the stage and it looks like SummerSlam has a new feud.
Orton made his way to the ring and looked Rusev in the eyes. This one might be interesting. They looked at each other a bit and Rusev started to charge every time Orton started to get in the ring.
So Orton called for a mic and after soaking in the “Randy” chants he said, “if I was you I wouldn’t want me to get in that ring either.”
Rusev offered the ring to Orton and Randy slowly got in. “You’ve never beaten me,” Randy said, “and I’m not afraid of you either. You want an opponent at SummerSlam? Look no further, you’ve got one right here.”
Rusev laughed at Randy and started speaking Bulgarian as the crowd chanted “what” after every phrase. Then Randy hit an RKO outa nowhere and this feud was off to the races.
John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura (#1 Contender Match For WWE Championship)
“I am fired up!” John Cena said as he made his entrance to a packed arena of screaming fans. Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers were shown in their luxurious skybox watching on so at least we know where they are.
Baron Corbin is Mr. Money In The Bank and he wasn’t seen at all during this episode of SmackDown Live. So Shinsuke Nakamura pulled off his stellar entrance without a hitch.
The bell rang and things started off with Shinsuke being Shinsuke by sidestepping Cena. Then Cena sidestepped Nakamura and gave him a “you can’t see me” taunt.
They finally locked up and Nakamura backed Cena in the corner. Nakamura did his deal where he put his head on his opponent’s chest and waved his arms around while Cena looked confused.
“Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chants broke out as Nakamura flipped out of Cena’s hold and got a headlock. Cena shot Nakamura to the ropes, dropped down, and leap frogged him. Nakamura hit an enziguri and got the Good Vibrations while Cena sold the move looking shocked that it hurt that much.
Cena powered out of the corner and hit a slam for a two count.
Nakamura and Cena traded shots and Nakamura landed a kick to the head. Jinder and the Singh Brothers were still in their private skybox so that’s a good thing. Nakamura started landed stiff kicks to Cena and took him down.
He shot John to the turnbuckle and hit a running knee then he draped Cena across the turnbuckles and landed his running knee to Cena’s ribs for a two count.
Big Match John fought out of Nakamura’s next hold and hit some shoulder blocks and a slam. He geared up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle as the crowd seemed conflicted. But Nakamura wrapped Cena up in an armbar and brought him to the canvas.
Cena struggled to get free as Nakamura transitioned into a triangle choke. Cena easily picked up Nakamura and tried to hoist him into an AA but Nakamura countered into a facebuster. Nakamura geared up in the corner looking for a Kinshasa but Cena reversed it into an STF.
Nakamura shook his head “no” when the ref asked him if he’d submit and then slipped out of the hold for another armbar attempt. Cena pinned him for a two count. As soon as Nakamura got up Cena hit him with a clothesline that turned Nakamura inside out.
“This is awesome” chants broke out as both men got up. Nakamura hit Cena and then connected with a left knee. Cena sidestepped a Kinshasa and hit the AA. 1-2- kick out!
The crowd was pumped and everyone’s adrenaline was going at this point. Is Cena going to put over The King Of Artist Style on his way to make a Bumblebee Movie?
Cena went to pick Nakamura up and hoisted him up for another AA but Nakamura countered with a guillotine lock. Cena got him right back on his shoulders and hit another AA. Then Cena went to pick him up for a third AA but Nakamura countered and before we knew it Nakamura hit a Kinshasa and got the win.
The camera picked up a shot of a young boy wearing John Cena gear from head to toe going like “what the hell?” But Cleveland was ecstatic.
Shinsuke Nakamura is going to SummerSlam to face Jinder Mahal!
After the match, John Cena shook Nakamura’s hand and they bowed to each other before Cena left Nakamura in the ring alone to celebrate his victory.
It looks like the Bumblebee Movie is already making its impact on WWE.