WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 18, 2017) from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, featuring the go home show to the upcoming Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Advertised for tonight: the Punjabi Prison, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JULY 18
Anyway I look at it now, the doors are closed and cannot be opened. Bury your anger and bury your dead or you'll be left with nothing and no one. There's no point in screaming, 'cause you won't be heard. Now the tables have turned, and I'm here to liveblog this pro wrestling show, folks.
The show opens with a video package hyping how Jinder Mahal has brought the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown TV.
Enter the Singh Brothers to give Jinder his big introduction.
The trio enter the inner cage and the outer cage is lowered upon them, and Jinder gets on the mic, bidding that we behold the Punjabi Prison, a colossal structure that will be the final resting place of Randy Orton's legacy. He demands silence as the crowd gets a "USA!" chant going, and the Singh Brothers explain the rules.
There are four doors on the inside cage, each attended to by a referee, and when instructed by a a wrestler, the door will open for sixty seconds, and once that sixty seconds has elapsed, the door shuts and will remain shut and never open again. The outer cage has no doors, and so the only way to win is to climb out of that one.
Jinder says to chant for Randy all you want, because he's gonna take him to the top of the prison and then Khallas him to the mat. This Sunday, two men enter, but only one Modern Day Maharaja will leave. He cuts a promo in Punjabi--
Enter Randy Orton. He says either Mahal is the bravest SOB he's ever met or he's just not all that bright. Choosing to be locked up in that prison with him? Making a conscious decision to be caged up like an animal with him, isolating any real advantage that he ever had, the Singh Brothers, the reason he won the title in the first place!
Orton gets casual and leans against the cage and reminds Jinder that there will be no running, no hiding, and you see, he has nothing to lose. He took his title, embarrassed his family, tried to take his dignity, and he left him for dead. Orton climbs part way up before continuing, telling Jinder that he has everything to lose, as the 50th WWE Champion ever.
Mahal has the weight of the entire country of India on his shoulders, the weight of 1.3 billion souls on his back. The Viper slithers further upward and asks what Jinder is gonna do when those 1.3 billion souls
run wild on you consider him a disgrace?
He reaches the top of the outer cage and says on Sunday that's gonna be his view after he leaves Jinder's jacked up ass in the ring, his view right before he takes back what's his, and it'll be his view when Mahal hears the words "and your new WWE Champion, Randy Orton" and realizes his fate. The two then stare each other down.
Commentary tells us John Cena will address his flag match, and our main event is Styles & Nakamura vs. Owens & Corbin, but first, the Usos are walking backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances, and Big E does the deal.
Jimmy Uso vs. Kofi Kingston
Circling, collar and elbow, Jimmy pushes Kofi in the corner and breaks dirty but Kingston ducks the punch and puts boots to him. In and out, more stomps, a veritable one man Unicorn Stampede. Hesitation dropkick connects, only a one count and Kofi twerks in Uso's face before low bridging him outside.
Jimmy steps back from a dive, Kingston adjusts, slingshot tope con giro and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Jimmy is well in charge, grabbing a rear chinlock in passing on his way to a reverse chinlock. Kingston to his feet, jawbreaker, he catches the boot on a kick but gets caught by the roundhouse on the second try but it's only a nearfall. Kofi drawing himself up in the corner, Uso charges in but eats the pop-up double stomp!
Kingston putting it together, dropkick, jumping lariat, off the ropes, Boom Drop, lying in wait but Uso has the Trouble in Paradise scouted, fireman's carry... Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckles! NOT ENOUGH! To the apron, counter kick, Jimmy with the slicing right to cut him off on the turnbuckles, thinking superplex but Kingston knocks him down with strikes.
Jey running interference from the apron, Kofi catches Jimmy with a shoulder block, diving crossbody, Uso rolls through...
Jimmy Uso wins by pinfall with a lateral press.
Shane McMahon is backstage meeting with the women in the #1 contender's match this weekend. That's five days from now, but tonight, he's gotta figure out who's going to give them a competitive match tonight. Charlotte Flair says it's simple, after the inference last week, she wants to fight Lana.
Natalya calls her delusional and says she's fighting Lana tonight. Shane says no one's fighting Lana and Becky Lynch implies that she wants the match. Tamina calls her tea stupid and says nobody's fighting Lana tonight. Nattie pitches a Lynch/Flair match and Charlotte says that won't work because it wouldn't be competitive.
Becky sputters and Charlotte says she's beat her every time. McMahon says Nattie's right and makes the match!
Commentary informs us that we'll be taking a look at Jason Jordan's recent announcement of his true parentage after the break.
Back from commercial, we get a video package covering the "Kurt Angle has a secret" story and the big reveal that Jason Jordan is actually his son.
And thence into an interview with Chad Gable. He says he didn't expect his life was gonna get turned upside down like that and a little warning would have been nice, but Jason called him after and they talked it over. They do everything together on the road and he knew something was wrong, and Chad understood what he was going through.
As to what that means for Chad Gable, first he talks about all they've achieved together and puts Jordan over as a great guy and says he'll still support him same as ever. As far as what's next he has some ideas but he doesn't want to ruin the surprise. This is a new beginning for Jason but also a chance for everyone to see Chad Gable on his own.
Mike and Maria Kanellis make their entrance, Mike has a match after the break.
Mike Kanellis vs. Sami Zayn
Sami in hot, slinging Kanellis into the turnbuckle and punching away. Shift to chops, climbing, mounted punches, rapid fire, and Mike takes a breather. Zayn around the corner with a lariat for him, tossing him back in the ring, but he runs into a boot, a forearm, whip, Sami runs him over with a lariat in return before lariating him outside!
Following after, the underdog puts loverboy into the barricade before rolling him back in the ring once more. Kanellis catches him with clubbing blows, a kick to the chest, off the ropes, but Zayn has another lariat in the tank for him! Corner exploder suplex, Maria gets in the ring to block the Helluva Kick!
Referee Jason Ayers admonishes her to leave and she eventually does so, giving Mike the opportunity to fire off a huge right hook...
Mike Kanellis wins by pinfall with Divine Intervention.
John Cena will be here after the break.
Back from commercial, John Cena makes his entrance.
He heads to the ring, where the Bulgarian and US flags are hung on poles as they will be on Sunday. He says you can hear, you can feel it, let it rain, let it roar. The WWE Universe is excited because they know that Sunday they'll see amazing things, titles on the line, the Women's Revolution rolls on, the artist known as Shinsuke Nakamura, something you haven't seen in ten years in the Punjabi Prison match...
But of the things you see, what will you remember? Cena posits that you'll remember the flag match. He talks up the basic outline of the match and the freedoms America stands for, including raising hell on SmackDown, and the reason you'll remember the flag match is because you'll remember either the victory of the United States or of Bulgaria.
He knows he hasn't always been our favorite son, there are people who don't like him and that's fair. But he thinks that tonight we can all agree that we all love the flag, and the question will be whether the flag flies or falls. He can already hear how we feel about that, and that rests squarely on his shoulders, and he wanted to come out here tonight to tell us that he's ready.
He knows it's not a typical match, that he has his work cut out for him, but he's ready. He knows how everyone will feel if he can't get it done, and look him dead in the eyes, he'll promise that he's ready. And if any of us were in his spot, we'd do the same thing, because the United States is a nation of fighters who stand for what they believe in and never give up.
The crowd chants "USA!" and John says that's because they believe in what he believes, that America fought for independence and fought to keep it, fought brother against brother, fought against the Axis Powers in World War II, in recession, depression, sit-ins, marches, the Cold War, all of it, every time the flag flew high. When the towers fell, in the end, the flag flew high.
And on Sunday, you'll remember the same thing he does, and these colors don't run, they kick ass. He retrieves the flag and pledges that on Sunday, the flag will fly high, giving it a few waves to make sure we know what that looks like-- AND RUSEV BLINDSIDES HIM! Stomping away, thrust kick, Cena's laid out on the mat!
Stomp to the back, Accolade locked on, wrenching it back... CENA'S STANDING IN IT! He backs Rusev into the corner, trying to break the hold but he can't get the job done! Rusev manhandles him back to the middle of the ring and wrenches back on it! Rusev breaks the hold... Cena's out cold!
Rusev retrieves the Bulgarian flag and holds it high as he walks to the ramp, kicking one of the stands away and waving it before placing the flag in its resting place.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair will wrestle after the break.
Back from commercial, AJ Styles is getting ready in the locker room when Shinsuke Nakamura rolls up. Shinsuke doesn't want to talk strategy, which is fine, because they won no problem last time. Nor does he want to reminisce about Japan, he points to the United States Championship and says one day, AJ will call, and he will answer.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Circling, Flair hits the ropes and lets a "Wooo!" out, feeling out, Lynch gets an wristlock, rolls it through but Charlotte kicks her away. Collar and elbow, Becky with a side headlock, takeover, Flair slips away, goes for the leg a moment and grabs a side headlock of her own. Reversed, shoot off, drop down, leapfrog, roll over, stalemate.
Pass to the side, arm drags, single leg dropkick, Flair ducks a lariat, whip reversed, up and over, backflip handsprings just to show off, Charlotte's Web... NOPE! Thinking O'Connor roll, denied, From Dusk Til' Dis-Arm-Her but the Queen rolls outside to escape the armbar and we go to break.
Back from commercial, they're fighting on the outside with Lynch in control, rolling Flair back in but getting a forearm for her trouble. Slugging it out, Charlotte shifts to chops, off the ropes, running knee strike and a bit of a strut leading into a knee drop to the back of the neck.
Figure four time but Lynch counters with a wristlock, pulling her over, to the corner, double jump forearm, single leg dropkick, rolling solebutt, exploder suplex, Straight Fire forearm, only a nearfall! Thinking Dis-Arm-Her, Flair counters with a chop block, going for Natural Selection, Becky gets the armbar for a second, reversed into a schoolboy pin... NOPE!
Big boot gets the Queen another nearfall, giant step, climbing the turnbuckles, thinking high rent but nobody's home on the moonsault and Lynch locks Dis-Arm-Her in! Repositioning, Charlotte tries to roll out but Becky's one step ahead...
Becky Lynch wins by submission with Dis-Arm-Her.
Tamina and Lana introduce the post-match and Natalya attacks from behind! They clear the babyfaces out and fight amongst themselves, Lana saving Tamina from a Sharpshooter and Snuka running Neidhart over with a kick in turn.
Commentary shills the WWE Network by way of pumping Battleground up and then hypes our tag team main event, but up next, the Fashion X-Files, after the break.
Back from commercial, Naomi is interviewed.
She says although she won't be defending the title on Sunday, she'll be the first in the ring to congratulate her SummerSlam opponent, and she wants every match to be her biggest challenge, because she didn't come here to play. No matter who it is, they better be ready to go, because when it's glow time--
Carmella rolls up, Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. She just wanted to remind Naomi that everywhere she goes, she'll be following, so see you at Battleground.
Behold, the Fashion X-Files: The Truth is Not H. Breeze asks Fandango if he's still up to this and says the Hype Bros are right, they have to get real and serious up-- there are no ghosts or aliens and they have to believe in sky-ence. Dango doubles down on the ghosts and an eerie wail comes in the room as Tyler is telling him none of that exists but it's just Aiden English warming up.
There's a bright light and Breeze is ready to meet ET, Alf, Max Moon, and Chewbacca when a delivery guy rolls up and admits to turning the light on while they sputter over him being an alien. They take the package and Tyler opens it but won't tell Fandango what's in the box, telling him not to look, reach for it, or pull it out.
It's Tully the stick horse's severed head! There's a note inside that reads "Battleground!" Fandango says this ends Sunday and we get a graphic to send us off to the break.
Back from commercial, Drew Gulak cuts a promo hyping up his 2/3 falls against Mustafa Ali tonight on 205 Live, pledging to ground Ali for good.
AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin & Kevin Owens
Corbin tries to blindside Nakamura during his entrance but Shinsuke turns it around! Throwing hands and knees, Owens comes down and Styles joins them and we have an all-out brawl on the ramp! The odds even, they separate and referee Charles Robinson gets the babyfaces in the ring as we go to break.
Back from commercial the bell has rung and the match is in progress, with Baron working AJ over in the ring. Clubbing forearm, knee lift, choking the Phenomenal One over the bottom rope before tagging KO in. Right hand into stomps, just firing away, more punches but he runs into a dropkick and Styles gets some separation.
Tag to Nakamura, forearm connects, beating on Owens in the corner, Good Vibrations but Kev stands up, throws a lariat that gets ducked and gets nailed with an enzuigiri! Shinsuke with a snapmare to a knee drop and Owens has to crawl up the ropes for stability. Forearm and a knee against the ropes, Irish whip blocked on the first try and reversed on the second and the Lone Wolf low-bridges him to the outside.
Back in, KO with a senton for a nearfall and he follows up smashing him into the turnbuckle and tagging Baron in. Stomping away, yelling at Charles Robinson and telling him he can count, quick tag, Owens in with a chop and repeated punches and kicks before Robinson backs him off. Running kick to the jaw, another quick tag and Corbin comes back in.
Nakamura off the ropes and right into the bear hug! I can hardly bear it! Shinsuke fights out with back elbows and sidesteps the charge, Baron around and back in and he runs into a Sick Kick! Looking for the tag, Corbin pulls him back and knocks Styles off the apron for good measure but Nakamura has a strike rush when he returns.
Whip reversed, charge sidestepped, Shinsuke sets him up top, boots KO in passing but when he comes back, Baron is on his feet, Deep Six... AJ MAKES THE SAVE! Lone Wolf firing off mounted forearm strikes, wristlock, drawing the King of Strong Style to his feet, whip reversed, roundhouse ducked but the reverse roundhouse kick finds its mark, tags all around!
Double leg into mounted punches, Styles running wild! Block a punch, Styles Rush, off the ropes for a sliding forearm, only a nearfall! Stinger splash sidestepped but Owens fires a lariat wide and AJ counters into the back suplex facebuster for another nearfall! Firemans carry attempt blocked, Kev hits a falling lariat and both men are out on the mat.
Baron tags in, charge in the corner, AJ looking for the roll-through Calf Killer but Corbin blocks and biels him across the ring. A second try in the middle of the ring and the Calf Killer is on but Baron makes the ropes. Up and over to the apron, Styles lands a forearm but KO chop blocks him on the apron! Shinsuke is over running hot and forcing Owens against the barricade and Corbin dumps him over!
In the ring, End of Days blocked, enzuigiri connects, Pele kick, blind tag from KO, AJ looking for the Styles Clash but he doesn't realize the Lone Wolf isn't the legal man, Owens sends him off the ropes...
Baron Corbin & Kevin Owens win by pinfall with the pop-up powerbomb from Owens on AJ Styles.
The two teams have a staredown from ramp to ring.
That's the show, folks.