The blue brand tries to follow-up a critically reviled pay-per-view (PPV) in Richmond, Virginia.
We should have known when WWE champ Jinder Mahal repeatedly told us he would defeat Randy Orton in the Punjabi Prison at Battleground by himself. To the Modern Day Maharajah’s credit, he did come up with the plan to hide Samil and Sunil Singh under the ring, and fly The Great Khali in from India as an insurance policy.
What lies ahead for @WWE Champion @JinderMahal? #SDLive comes your way TOMORROW NIGHT at 8/7c on @USA_Network! pic.twitter.com/bjRl5dWhyj— WWE (@WWE) July 25, 2017
Now that he’s beaten Orton at three PPVs in a row... what’s next? The Viper has a case for a rematch - the Singhs interfered in all of their title bouts - but I’m not even sure Randy wants that match again.
And a more pressing question for a lot of observers is, is Khali sticking around and, if so, to do what? The massive former WWE champion is a well known commodity in his home country, but he doesn’t exactly evoke fond memories, especially as an in-ring competitor.
They’re not promising us much in the official preview, but the above teaser is focused on Jinder, so it’s fair to expect answers to at least a few of these questions tonight.
The Title Scene
The United States title is back with Kevin Owens, which pleases him to no end. What does AJ Styles think about dropping the strap so quickly, and after a match finish that appeared to give him reason to complain? The Phenomenal One likely has a rematch coming, but is he on to bigger things with SummerSlam less than a month away?
Battleground left us with a lot of questions, but it provided one answer (for now, anyway). And that’s that Natalya is the #1 contender for Naomi’s Women’s championship. The Queen of Harts celebrated pinning Charlotte Flair in the 5Way elimination match on Sunday by big-timing the champ, and the mind games continued after the show. No reason to expect them to stop now.
Another title changed hands, and The New Day are now the first team to be Raw and SmackDown tag team champions. But while Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods celebrated history, Jimmy and Jey Uso were plotting revenge. Considering how good their feud’s been, that’s fine with us.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Now that he’s successfully defended Old Glory’s honor, what are John Cena’s plans? He’s a free agent, and beefing with a big Raw star on Twitter, so it might not even happen on Tuesday nights, so I guess we shouldn’t worry about it.
- Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin lost his match at Battleground, but he earned a measure of satisfaction when he hit Shinsuke Nakamura below the belt. Don’t expect the King of Strong Style to let that, or the post-match briefcase assault, go unanswered.
- Speaking of briefcases, last show until Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella’s get her friend-o James Ellsworth back from suspension.
- Love doesn’t look as powerful as it did last week, now that Sami Zayn has pinned a loss on Mike Kanellis in only his second WWE match.
- After proving his art can transcend perfection, can Aiden English get on tonight’s broadcast?
- WHAT HAPPENED TO FANDANGO!?!?
It’s the Battleground fallout show!
What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?