WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Aug. 1, 2017) from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Brooklyn.
Advertised for tonight: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with the winner getting Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam, AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the US title, 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 AUG. 1
The light in the window is a crack in the sky; a stairway to darkness in the blink of an eye. A levee of tears to learn she'll never be coming back. The man in the dark will bring another attack. Your mama told you that you're not supposed to talk to strangers, but me, I'm just here to liveblog this pro wrestling show, folks.
The show opens with a recap of our United States Championship three-way main event from last week and a hype package for our singles rematch tonight, as well as for Shinsuke Nakamura vs. John Cena, which are words I get to type and that's swell.
AJ Styles makes his entrance, so we'll be getting right on that US title match!
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship)
Intense collar and elbow, Owens grabs a side headlock and takes Styles to one knee but AJ keeps swinging and eventually shoots him off. Shoulder block into a cover, KO with a head and arm clutch but Styles reverses to a side headlock and forces Kev to throw kidney punches and reverse back to a headlock of his own. Shoot off, leapfrog, drop down, dropkick but Owens holds onto the ropes and dodges.
Northern lariat sends the Phenomenal One outside, KO charges around after him and wipes him out with a lariat to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Styles whips Owens across but runs into a boot and the challenger covers him for two before firing a boot to the back of the head in passing. Jawing at the champion, disdainful slaps, pulling him up by the hair, off the ropes and KO runs right into a dropkick. AJ with a boot that puts him in the corner, pair of chops, snapmare to a kick to the shoulder blades follows.
Off the ropes, knee drop to the face barely gets two, Styles smashes his face into the turnbuckle and drags him in the middle of the ring for a straight suplex that only gets a one count. Owens fires back with a chop but AJ puts him in the corner and puts boots to him, whip reversed, boot up and over to the apron, springboard, KO bails!
Slingshot forearm to the outside connects! Charging in but Owens pops him up into the barricade and follows up with the cannonball! And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Owens throws a back suplex but Styles lands on his feet and follows with Styles rush! Off the ropes for a sliding forearm strike, leaping corner lariat, fireman's carry and the Ushigoroshi connects... NO GOOD! AJ to his feet first, back on the offensive, thinking Styles Clash but KO counters with a back body drop and finds sanctuary in the corner.
Charging in, up and over, Styles catches him, springboards but Kev ducks under, superkick... NOT ENOUGH! Off the ropes, Styles holds on, picks the leg, rolls through, the Calf Killer is locked on! Owens breaks with a headbutt! AJ charges in, sidestepped, face to turnbuckle, flipping out of the package Flowsion, Pele kick! Looking for the Styles Clash, KO throws him off, right back to the Calf Killer!
Owens is clawing forward, reaching back, trying to get a hold of anything to block it, desperate, he gets the ropes! Back after the leg, Kev blocks, a superkick, another lays the champion out and he heads over to draw him up. AJ ducks a punch and referee Mike Chioda takes the brunt of it! Superkick, off the ropes, pop-up powerbomb countered, Chioda wakes up...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with a victory roll pin, retaining the WWE United States Championship.
Commentary talks about KO's shoulder being up and he jaws at Chioda while the veteran ref gestures at his eye and heads out to get checked by a medic.
Mike Chioda is backstage getting examined when Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan roll up. Shane tells him he should have gotten a second opinion and Chioda is apologetic but Shane says they'll handle it. Kevin Owens rolls up, apoplectic, throwing things and yelling. Shane tells him to respect the official and he shoves Chioda away, so McMahon gets in his face and tells him to calm down.
The referee's decision stands despite KO's protests, and Shane gives him a rematch at SummerSlam, but Owens says that's not enough, and he wants a referee that can do his job and won't get knocked down at the first gust of wind. Bryan gets involved and pokes KO and says he has a referee for him... Shane McMahon!
Owens says that he's the worst one here, the most incompetent, but McMahon doubles down, saying if he wants the rematch, he's gonna be the referee and he should go cool off. KO flips a table and storms off yelling.
Commentary hypes up Cena/Nakamura, but up next, Welcome to Fashion Peaks, after the break.
Back from commercial, we get a recap of New Day's abortive celebration from last week and the beatdown from the Usos that took its place.
Big E does the deal... wait, that's not Big E's voice! It's not paranoia, either, it's the Usos! Jimmy asks what we thought it was gonna be, three clowns on a tricycle? Jey adds the idea of three grown men talking about their popsicles. It ain't no more games, the Usos will pick you up and put you right back in your lane and welcome you to the Uso penitentiary.
They're the reason New Day aren't here now, and last week they had it sounding like a cartoon, biff, boom, pow. They mock New Day for being three grown men blowing their own trombone, and they can keep their unicorns, ice cream bars, and New Day socks, because they're taking their titles and their catchphrase, because Usos rock.
And now, Fashion Peaks. Fandango is shown missing on the board and Tyler is speaking into an audio recorder about how the Ascension have weird taste in music and Dango has been abducted, possibly by extra terrestrials. He doesn't know how the mail works, but first, a damn fine cup of coffee... that he pours out and realizes isn't coffee when it falls out, sludgy.
An apparition appearing to be Fandango shuffles into the room speaking unintelligibly. He's joined by the Ascension, and Konnor pours maple syrup on a log. They laugh as Tyler proclaims he's had enough of the metaphors and wakes from an unpleasant sleep. He gets back on the recorder and says he knows who kidnapped Fandango, prompting a "To Be Continued" screen.
Sami Zayn makes his entrance, he has a match against Aiden English after the break.
Back from commercial in time for English's entrance, complete with spotlight and song.
Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn
Circling, collar and elbow, English gets a side headlock and takes Zayn to one knee, wrenching it in. Off the ropes, should block, Aiden takes a bow and draws a line in the sand on the canvas. Sami with a waistlock, reversed to a wristlock, English wrenching it in, forcing Zayn to his knees but he rolls through and reverses, yanking the arm a few times and grabbing a side headlock.
Aiden shoots him off, springboard leapfrog, arm drags follow, big float-over on the third and into a kneeling armbar, English reverses...
Aiden English wins by pinfall with an over-rotated schoolboy pin.
Enter Mike and Maria Kanellis. They say it's a fact that they love each other and they love that Sami lost.
Becky Lynch and Naomi are walking backstage, they have a tag match against Natalya and Carmella after the break.
Back from commercial, our rulebreakers are already in the ring and we get the rest of our entrances for the match.
Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Carmella & Natalya
Lynch and Natalya to start, circling, Nattie gets an armbar, Becky rolls through and reverses to a hammerlock but is forced to break. Rolling solebutt, whip to the corner, up and over, drop toehold and Lynch grabs a front chancery before tagging Naomi in. Roll through, forearm from Lynch, leg drop from the champ, only a nearfall and Neidhart wants a time out.
Carmella in, Naomi ducks a clothesline and fires leg kicks off. Carmella catches the third, slap to the face, but she gets leveled by an enzuigiri! Sliding slap off the ropes, fireman's carry, Carmella slips out but gets caught by a knee. Natalya running interference finally gets the Princess of Staten Island a break and she tags Nattie right back in.
Neidhart gets a nearfall off some quick double team maneuvers and grabs a sleeper hold, but the champion soon powers out, looking for a tag but she gets caught by a spinebuster and then the Sharpshooter is locked on. Dragging Naomi back in the middle of the ring but the champion fights hard and gets the ropes at the same time Carmella tags in.
Demanding Nattie leave the ring, she locks the Code of Silence on but Naomi reverses, Becky runs interference...
Becky Lynch & Naomi win by submission with A Bad Place from Naomi on Carmella.
Jinder Mahal is interviewed backstage. He says he doesn't care who wins the #1 contender's match, whether it's the man from Japan or the American, he'll walk out of SummerSlam as WWE Champion. Every time he walks down the street the only thing he feels is xenophobia, but that just makes him prouder of his heritage, and he destroys every hero put in front of him.
He's the WWE Champion, and nobody can end the reign of the Modern Day Maharaja.
Rusev is walking backstage, he has a match against Chad Gable after the break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Chad Gable vs. Rusev
Feeling out, Gable gets tossed away the first time he closes but gets most of a waistlock the second time before Rusev pushes him away. Picking the leg on the third, again he's tossed away, and on the fourth try Rusev backs into the corner to force a break. Waistlock finally applied, but Chad is unable to capitalize and the Bulgarian Brute gets the ropes to force the break.
Back to the leg but Rusev tosses him outside. Back in, drop toehold, waistlock applied, the Olympian has his man where he wants him and drops a knee on the knee! Another, spinning toehold, wrenching it in! Rusev fires off a knee and follows with an overhead gutwrench suplex for two as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Gable looking for a backslide but Rusev hosses him out. Chad hits a pair of belly-to-belly suplexes but Rusev blocks a third with clubbing blows only to swing himself into a bridging German suplex for a nearfall with a big haymaker! The Olympian climbs the turnbuckles and fights Rusev off, moonsault comes up empty but he passes the Bulgarian Brute into the corner, climbs again, moonsault connects... NO GOOD!
Charging in, thinking Chaos Theory but Rusev blocks the German suplex and hits a back suplex of his own, following it with a head kick... NOT ENOUGH! Rusev getting hot, slapping the mat, he orders himself to crush, stomp to the back, but Gable slips out of the Accolade, picks the leg, ankle lock applied!
Rusev kicks him clean out of the ring to break the hold, Chad comes back in right into a superkick...
Rusev wins by submission with the Accolade.
Rusev gets on the mic and says Cena may have waved his flag around at Battleground but he didn't beat him because nobody can beat him. And now he doesn't have an opponent for SummerSlam because everybody is scared of him and he beats everybody...
Enter Randy Orton. He gets a mic and says if he was Rusev he wouldn't want him to get in that ring either. So of course, he gets into the ring. He continues, saying Rusev has never beaten him and he's not afraid of him either, so if he wants an opponent at SummerSlam, look no further, you've got one right here. Rusev laughs and speaks Bulgarian at length until Orton charges him... RKO!
Commentary hypes up Nakamura/Cena one last time, it'll be happening after the break.
Back from commercial we get an allegedly fun fact about how many people are watching WWE's new show in India. (Spoiler: A lot.)
Commentary recaps the events of our opening match and the segments following up on it.
Entrances for our main event follow, but the match itself will wait just one more break before starting.
Back from commercial, we're told that Naomi vs. Carmella will be happening next week.
John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship #1 Contender's Match)
Nakamura ducks a lockup and then Cena ducks one in return. Collar and elbow, struggling, Shinsuke backs Cena in the corner and does his arm wiggle break before indicating that he can see John just fine. Cena gets a wristlock, wrenching it in, but Nakamura rolls through for the reversal and grabs a side headlock.
John shoots him off, drop down, leapfrog, Shinsuke catches the ropes and calls Cena over. Strike rush finishes with an enzuigiri, Cena down in the corner, Good Vibrations but John gets a few punches in, Irish whip, the charge sidestepped, thinking Good Vibrations again but John powers him out and hits a Rock Bottom into a reverse chinlock to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Cena goes for a punch and Nakamura blocks. Whip reversed, John ducks the roundhouse kick and gets caught by the reverse roundhouse and both men are laid out on the mat. Shinsuke ducks a lariat, jump kick, kip-up, he's fired up, chest kicks ahoy! Whip across, charge in with a knee lift, he sets Cena up on the top turnbuckles for the big corner knee lift!
Only a nearfall, looking for the inverted exploder suplex but John comes off the ropes, shoulder block, shoulder block, duck the lariat into the falling Blue Thunder Driver, "You can't see me!", Nakamura pops up and tries for an armbar! Cena keeps his hands together so Shinsuke shifts to a triangle choke, wrenching his head forward!
Cena struggles him off, Nakamura slips out and hits a gourdbuster, he's fired up and calling for it, but he charges into a drop toehold! The STF is on in the middle of the ring! Shinsuke reaching, crawling, finally he counters into the armbar! Cena breaks with a cover and levels the King of Strong Style with a lariat!
John crawling over, Shinsuke lying in wait, strike combination, Kinshasa! In the corner, firing up for the big one but Cena passes him aside, Attitude Adjustment... NOT ENOUGH! Stumbling over, he draws Nakamura up, fireman's carry... REVERSED INTO A GUILLOTINE CHOKE! CENA HOSSES HIM BACK UP... ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT! HE ROLLS THROUGH FOR ANOTHER BUT NAKAMURA CONNECTS WITH THE INVERTED EXPLODER SUPLEX AND DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD! HE'S CALLING FOR IT...
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA WINS BY PINFALL WITH THE KINSHASA, BECOMING #1 CONTENDER FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP!
Nakamura and Cena shake hands in the middle of the ring and Cena raises his opponent's hand before leaving him to celebrate his victory in his usual style.
That's the show, folks.