Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt is just one part of UFC 200 on Saturday. Less than a month after Lesnar makes his return to MMA and the UFC Octagon, Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton will mark Brock's return to WWE's squared circle at WWE SummerSlam 2016. The announcement was made official on this week's WWE SmackDown, one of the last taped episodes of the show to air on Thursday nights. On July 19, WWE Tuesday Night SmackDown airs live for the first time with the much-hyped WWE Draft. Given the fact that it seems neither Lesnar nor Orton will return to WWE prior to SummerSlam, it's unclear whether Lesnar or Orton will be a part of the upcoming WWE Draft.Although John Cena was not present on this week's WWE SmackDown, the beating he took at the hands of The Club on Monday Night RAW aired before The Bullet Club encountered Enzo and Big Cass and a singles match ensued. The match builds towards the big tag team match at WWE Battleground 2016 between Cena, Enzo, and Cassady vs. The Club. It's highly possible that the Battleground match is the last time these six men could have a match together, with the WWE Draft possibly tearing the feud (or even the teams) apart.
Seth Rollins once again managed to bring up Roman Reigns to help build towards their Triple Threat Match at Battleground 2016 against Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins faced Reigns' cousin Jey Uso in a singles match while Dean Ambrose watched from ringside.
There will only be one more episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown after this week, as the WWE Draft is scheduled for July 19 when WWE SmackDown goes live on Tuesday nights. The full results for this week's WWE SmackDown and the updated match list for the WWE Battleground 2016 card are below.
WWE Thursday Night SmackDown ResultsThe following includes all of the matches and televised segments from the episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown that the USA Network first aired on July 7. The episode was recorded at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, on July 5. Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo, and Jerry Lawler provided commentary from ringside and JoJo was the ring announcer. Jerry Lawler's suspension has been lifted, so he has returned to his regular spot on the SmackDown commentary team.
- WWE SmackDown started with Ranallo announcing that The Club would have a response to Enzo Amore and Big Cass teaming up with John Cena at WWE Battleground. Pre-recorded comments from Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho about the night's main event match -- and a backstage interaction between Seth Rollins and Jey Uso -- also aired before the SmackDown title sequence.
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose interrupted JoJo and made himself the guest ring announcer for the opening match, then stuck around during the match for random announcements over the microphone during the match.
- Seth Rollins defeated Jey Uso and left the ring before a physical altercation ensued with Dean Ambrose.
- Zack Ryder defeated Sheamus in what appears to be part of a push for Ryder, given his Monday Night RAW main event victory. In an interview with Tom Phillips at the top of the ramp, he declared his intention to regain the WWE United States Championship. Rusev and the ravishing Russian Lana did not make an immediate appearance.
- As they did on WWE RAW this Monday, WWE aired a Baron Corbin vignette rather than putting him in the ring on SmackDown.
- In a backstage interview, Rusev and Lana accepted Ryder's U.S. Title challenge and said it would happen on Monday Night RAW next week.
- Becky Lynch was scheduled for a Submission Match but was attacked by Natalya before she could get to the ring and the match never happened.
- A recap aired of Monday Night RAW's segment featuring The New Day and The Wyatt Family. They also aired a clip of a WWE website interview in which Xavier Woods expressed his concern for facing the unknown at the Wyatt Compound.
- A recap aired of Enzo and Big Cass saving John Cena from The Bullet Club on WWE RAW this week. Cena's tag partners for WWE Battleground 2016 performed their standard intro as they made their way to the ring. Cassady was explaining that they have no special allegiance to John Cena when they were interrupted by The Club. AJ Styles noted that Cena wasn't present on SmackDown and that The Club could just beat up Enzo and Big Cass instead. The mic battle resulted in the singles match that followed.
- AJ Styles defeated Enzo Amore in a match that ended with no controversy.
- In a backstage segment, Chris Jericho finds Kevin Owens wearing the blue scarf that Y2J has been looking for all day. Owens let Jericho know that he'd be at ringside for Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho in the SmackDown main event.
- In a pre-recorded backstage segment, The Miz challenged Kalisto to a match for throwing food at Maryse on Monday Night RAW during the Fourth of July BBQ.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz defeated Kalisto in a non-title match after Miz hit Kalisto with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
- In a backstage segment beginning with Renee Young, Sasha Banks ran into WWE Women's Champion Charlotte and her ally Dana Brooke, setting up a match between Brooke and Banks on Monday Night RAW this week.
- A replay of the "Make Darren Young Great Again" segment aired featuring Bob Backlund and Darren Young discussing Young using Backlund's signature crossface chicken wing submission finisher.
- Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam 2016 was made official by Booker T, Cory Graves, and Scott Stanford in a segment recorded at WWE Headquarters (where the trio generally host the WWE Monday Night RAW Pre-Show on the WWE Network).
- R-Truth and Goldust cut a backstage promo/commercial for Sonic and their $5 "Boom Box."
- Kevin Owens was his usual entertaining self on guest commentary for the SmackDown main event between Jericho and Zayn.
- Sami Zayn defeated Chris Jericho, although Jericho gave Zayn a solid post-match beat-down, which was followed by Kevin Owens doing further damage to Sami Zayn ahead of their match at Battleground.
RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR
- Brock Lesnar Vs. Randy Orton Confirmed For 'SummerSlam' [WWE News]
- WWE News: Who Are The 'Bullet Club' And Why Do They Matter?
- 'WWE Monday Night RAW' Results: Roman Reigns Suspension Addressed, Match Added to 'Battleground'
- WWE News: Jim Ross With Controversial Remarks About The Futures Of Brock Lesnar & Jerry Lawler
- 'WWE Monday Night RAW' Results: Brock Lesnar At 'SummerSlam' — John Cena At 'Battleground'
Updated WWE Battleground CardWWE Battleground 2016 is set for Sunday, July 24.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
- Six-Man Tag Team Match: John Cena, Enzo and Big Cass vs. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
- Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
- Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
- WWE United States Championship Match: Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder (unconfirmed)
- The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family (unconfirmed)
- WWE Women's Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks (unconfirmed)
Where To WatchUSA airs WWE Thursday Night SmackDown weekly at 8/7c. Episodes of WWE SmackDown are made available to stream on-demand through the WWE Network several weeks after the episodes air on the USA Network. Replays of SmackDown are made available on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription beginning Friday.
WWE Battleground airs live on the WWE Network on Sunday, July 24, at 8/7c. The Battleground Kick-off Show begins at 7/6c.
[Image via WWE]