WWE SmackDown Live aired from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Now that we're on the road to WWE SummerSlam, SmackDown Live is becoming way more entertaining than it has been over the last month.
To start the show, Jeff Hardy cut an awkward in-ring promo regarding his loss at Extreme Rules. The former WWE Intercontinental champion faced Nakamura in a rematch for the main event of SmackDown Live, and Hardy's promo was solely about Shinsuke. Strangely, he didn't mention Randy Orton at all, who attacked Hardy at Extreme Rules. Jeff seemed lost during his promo, and not mentioning "The Viper" could have been an oversight on his part.
AJ Styles vs. Andrade Almas
The WWE seems to really like "Cien," and that's very justifiable considering he's a phenomenal athlete. It was revealed before their nontitle contest that if Almas could beat Styles on SmackDown, then he would later receive a title match. This is exactly what it was expected to be, a solid bout bell to bell, and it was the match of the night. AJ made Andrade tap out to the calf crusher, but "Cien" looked very strong.
Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose
Becky Lynch is getting another well-deserved push. She has seen several clean victories over the last several weeks, and that trend continued on Tuesday's SmackDown. This was a swift and good bout that accomplished what it needed to. For the finish, Lynch won by making Rose tap out to the dis-arm-her.
Afterward, Becky cut a promo challenging Carmella for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship. Later in the back, general manager Paige told "The Irish Lass Kicker" that if she could defeat Carmella in a nontitle match next week on SmackDown, then she will challenge for the title at SummerSlam. It'll be interesting to see how Charlotte Flair fits into the picture once she returns.Samoa Joe vs. Tye Dillinger
Last week before SmackDown started airing on television, Samoa Joe attacked and beat down Tye Dillinger. The two squared off this week, and as expected, the match only lasted a few minutes. Dillinger attacked Joe right away, and not long thereafter, he was tapping out to Joe's coquina clutch. For those keeping score at home, that's three tap outs in a row. It looks like the WWE is again building Samoa Joe as the monster he deserves to be, and it wouldn't be surprising if he ends up facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
The Miz's Team Hell No Funeral
Team Hell No briefly reunited for a title match at Extreme Rules, and it seems that Kane, otherwise known as politician Glenn Jacobs, is probably gone for a bit to continue campaigning. Team Hell No was beaten in convincing fashion by The Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules, and The Miz made sure to point this out during his "funeral" for the team, and Kane's mask was featured in the center of the ring. The WWE website recalls the actions from the segment.
"After hearing The Miz call Team Hell No 'dead' and claim that Daniel Bryan is 'destroying his legacy,' Bryan stormed the ring, attacking The Miz from behind. Soon, the pallbearers interjected, allowing The Miz to escape. However, Bryan turned the tables on the pallbearers, wiping them out with a barrage of suplexes and eyeing Miz down with the deadliest of intentions."Per Miz's usual, this was a brilliant and highly entertaining segment. The WWE universe has been clamoring for a match between "The A-Lister" and Bryan for quite some time. It's likely that they will finally square off at SummerSlam, and it could easily become the pay-per-view's match of the night.Kofi Kingston vs. Eric Young
These two ring veterans got it on at SmackDown, and their match did not disappoint. Sanity needs to be built strong, and the WWE is doing just that. They beat The New Day in a tables match during the Extreme Rules kickoff, and on Tuesday night, Young beat Kingston after delivering his wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the three-count.
United States Championship
Several weeks ago, Jeff Hardy was supposed to defend the title against Nakamura, but Shinsuke got bit by a dog, so that bout didn't happen on that night. At Extreme Rules, the duo finally squared off, but it only lasted a matter of seconds, so the WWE universe were still waiting for a barnburner between these two. That barnburner happened on Tuesday, and it would have been the match of the night had it not ended in a disqualification.The two put on a clinic in the ring, and Nakamura delivered a series of stiff blows and moves on the challenger. For the finish, it looked like Hardy was going to get the three-count after he hit the Swanton bomb, but as expected, Randy Orton dragged Jeff out of the ring and attacked him. "The Viper" rammed the back of Hardy's head several times against the steel steps, and CTE doesn't seem to be a concern from either wrestler. After delivering many stiff strikes and a DDT to Jeff on the ringside floor, in a gross-out moment, Orton put his finger through Hardy's ear where he wears his plugs, and he looked like he was going to rip Jeff's ear clean off. "The Viper" told Hardy that he will have to wait to find out why Randy is attacking him, and this was likely supposed to be mentioned during Hardy's awkward promo. This was a vicious attack that's rarely done in this manner in modern WWE, and it's likely building to a fight between the two at SummerSlam. Overall, this week's SmackDown was solid and entertaining, and it's nice to see that the WWE is booking toward SummerSlam in an effective manner, unlike the way they treated Extreme Rules.