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WWE SmackDown Live preview (July 11, 2017): Love is a battleground

WWE stays in Texas, as the blue brand comes our way from the home of the 2017 Royal Rumble - San Antonio (but not the Alamodome - that would be nuts)!

The Headliners

Last Friday, the new Face of America became the old Face of America when AJ Styles pinned Kevin Owens at Madison Square Garden to claim the United States championship.

Styles just won the right to face Owens at the next blue brand pay-per-view, Battleground, but plans change - maybe even the booking of that match for Philly. WWE removed it from the event page, but the official preview for tonight’s show questions whether KO will exercise his rematch clause now or on July 23.

Meanwhile, the Phenomenal One is teasing possibly colluding with General Manager Daniel Bryan to make Owens qualify for his rematch.

Might we suggest a #WeinerChallenge?

The Title Scene

Their third PPV match will take place inside the Punjabi Prison, which is new for their feud. The road there feels kind of familiar, however. WWE champ Jinder Mahal is cutting promos about teaching America a lesson in tolerance and respect via beating Randy Orton, while the Viper says he just wants to shut the Modern Day Maharajah up.

After successfully lobbying for a third shot at Naomi’s Women’s title, Lana was put down by the Master of the Glow - even quicker than the previous two times. The Ravishing Russian will have a hard-time getting another chance, but her new ally(?) Tamina might have a better case. And speaking of cases, we’ll all have to keep an eye on Ms. Money in the Bank. Carmella is still dangerous, even with James Ellsworth suspended for 30 days after interfering in the ladder match do-over despite being banned from the building.

A controversial loss in a rap battle with their Battleground opponents won’t keep tag team champions The Usos down, Uce. Especially since so many fans thought they were winning handily when Wale called for the disqualification due to Jimmy & Jey putting hands on The New Day. Now we’re probably back to singles matches pitting one of the twins against Big E, Kofi Kingston or Xavier Woods for the next couple weeks.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Not only did he return on Independence Day, but John Cena immediately resumed fighting for his country... he’ll face old nemesis Rusev in a flag match on July 23.

- Tye Dillinger got on TV and made it to the final three of the battle royal AJ won for a PPV title shot he no longer needs, but he wasn’t able to drive a wedge between Breezango. Tyler Breez... er, I mean, Tenee Young and Fandango are on the same page, and presumably still on the case of who keeps wrecking their detective office.

- Everyone isn’t on the same page in the tag ranks, however. Zack Ryder seemed pretty upset his Hype Bro Mojo Rawley dumped him from the U.S. title #1 contenders match last week...

- When he’s not making it to the final three of battle royals, Sami Zayn is annoying the heck out of Mike & Maria Kanellis. Good thing they have the power of love to see them through.

- Oops... almost forgot. Shinsuke Nakamura faces Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin. I’ll let you decide if my forgetfulness is a sign of how SmackDown’s presented either man of late.

Two weeks to Battleground!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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