WWE SmackDown Live lived up to expectations, especially following the somewhat uneventful Monday Night Raw. SmackDown Live saw the return of John Cena, who teamed up with newly crowned United States Champion AJ Styles to defeat Rusev and Kevin Owens in the main event to punch their tickets to the next WWE big event, Battleground.
SmackDown Live opened up hot with United States Champion AJ Styles announcing that he is reinstating the U.S. Open Challenge introduced by John Cena. Moments later, Cena burst into the scene and approached Styles to challenge him for the title. Styles and Cena were about to fight when Kevin Owens cut in, stating that nobody wants to see a Styles-Cena match and re-iterating that it should be him who gets a chance to win back the title he lost to Styles. After trading barbs and insults, Cena challenges Owens to take him out of the ring. Rusev slides into the ring to attack Cena when the latter was distracted, and Owens turned his sights to Styles, setting up a tag team match for the main event of the evening.
Jinder Mahal defeats Tye Dillinger (Pinfall)
Bleacher Report reports that Jinder Mahal beat Tye Dillinger via pinfall in SmackDown Live. The WWE champ scored his first clear victory in what seems to be a long while by making quick work of Tye and pinning him for the full count. Mahal is scheduled to fight Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in a Punjabi Prison Match at WWE Battleground, which is scheduled on July 23, 2017.
Xavier Woods defeats Jey Uso (Pinfall)
Xavier Woods, in retaliation to Jimmy Uso’s sneak outside just moments after their match began, utilized a springboard elbow into Uso, who at that moment was pinned between the top and middle rope. Moments later, Woods pinned Uso for the pinfall victory. Jey Uso will team up with Jimmy Uso, collectively The Usos, to defend their SmakDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day including composed of Big E., Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods, at WWE Battleground.
Shinsuke Nakamura versus Baron Corbin
Before the match even began, Nakamura and Corbin figured in a brawl outside the ring and into the crowd. The Nakamura-Corbin match didn’t make the official fight result for SmackDown Live, but they will have the chance to fight each other again at WWE Battleground.
Tamina Snuka and Natalya defeats Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch (Pinfall)
Who says these ladies don’t fight dirty? Flair was distracted by the appearance of Lana in the middle of the fight. Snuka takes advantage of a distracted Flair, making a blind tag. Flair trapped Natalya in the Figure Eight when Snuka super-kicked the Flair for the win.
The five fighters — Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Lana, and Tamina Snuka — will figure in a Fatal Five-Way Elimination Match at WWE Battleground. The winner will become the No. 1 contender for the Women’s Championship. The Fatal Five-Way Elimination Match meant that Naomi will not be able to defend her title against a legit fighter.
AJ Styles and John Cena defeats Kevin Owens and Rusev (Pinfall)
In what seemed to be an impromptu tag team match at SmackDown Live, AJ Styles teams up with John Cena to beat Kevin Owens and Rusev. The foursome figured in a massively entertaining back-and-forth action. Cena and Styles clearly have the upper hand as they seem to work together better. Styles threw a Phenomenal Forearm to Rusev and a Pele Kick to Owens to clear the ring and Cena utilized Attitude Adjustment on Owens before pinning his opponent for the win.
AJ Styles will defend his U.S. Championship belt against Kevin Owens, provided his rumored injuries are false, on WWE Battleground. Meanwhile, John Cena takes on Rusev in a Flag Match, also during the WWE Battleground pay-per-view.
[Featured Image by George Napolitano/AP Images]