Today is one of those magical days when WWE is in Europe and we get some information in advance which helps us decide if we want to spend two hours with WWE (or three, counting 205 Live) for SmackDown.
Team Blue is coming to us from the same place the red brand did last night - London’s O2 Arena. Thanks to the five hour time difference between the United Kingdom and the East coast of the U.S. of A., that means advance reports about what goes down on a show which is scheduled to feature a stipulation-determining showdown between WWE Champ AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, a Mellabration from the Women’s Titleholder, the debut of Andrade “Cien” Almas, at least one Money in the Bank qualifying match and more!
We'll still be watching along with our usual live blog tonight, which will of course cover any segments not shown to the fans in attendance, but more importantly feature Reverend Claire Elizabeth’s unmatched play-by-play. You can join the fun at 8PM Eastern here.
Spoilers will updated here as they come in after 2PM Eastern, so keep refreshing for the latest:
- Daniel Bryan starts the show, talking about how disappointed he was to lose to Rusev last week. When he came back, he was just happy to be doing what he loves. Now, he wants to be on top and he’s willing to scratch and claw to climb up there. Before all is said and done, he will be WWE champ again.
- Big Cass is here, and he wants DB to hold on. He’s sick of hearing Bryan running his mouth, he may have fans fooled with his inspirational story, but he’s not buying it. He’s the reason for the Rusev loss, and he’s going to make sure he keeps Bryan from his dreams. Cass didn’t tap at Backlash because he was in pain - he did it because he couldn’t wait to get up and inflict more pain on Bryan. And that’s what he’s gonna keep doing, following DB around like a shadow to hurt him. He brags about eliminating Bryan after his record-breaking run at Greatest Royal Rumble. He mocks the “Yes” chant with a series of questions he answers, ending with “should Daniel Bryan stay home and let Brie Bella wear the pants in the family?”
- Bryan attacks and targets Cass’ leg. A pair of referees pull him off, but he evades them to attack more, eventually putting on a YES Lock. A team of officials and agents pull him off to end the segment.
- The New Day def. The Bar, winning one spot in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match
- Bludgeon Bros got a promo/video
- Paige puts Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose in a MitB qualifier Triple Threat against Becky Lynch. The former Absolution members are again shocked their former leader doesn’t have their backs.
- Renee Young interviews AJ Styles, and they riff about match stipulations (including a “pole on a pole” match). No matter what he picks, everyone will be entertained - except that con artist Shinsuke Nakamura. AJ speaks forearm to face, and there’s no way Nakamura beats him in the house he built.
- Andrade “Cien” Almas def. Ric Constantino (I think? It was a presumably local enhancement guy)
- Backstage, Lana talks to Rusev, revealing she has a match against Billie Kay for a spot in MitB. She wants them to be “Mr and Mrs Money in the Bank”
- The Royal Mellabration starts with a Palace Guard-type introducing her by saying “God Forget The Queen, but God Save Carmella”; she rags on the crowd for not giving her respect when they’ll “line up outside a hospital for a glimpse at a royal baby”. She demands they bow down to her. The audience reminds her of the women’s locker room, because none of them thinks she deserves to be champ. She runs down how she’s better than everybody in “not so Great Britain”, because “Mella is Money”. She runs down a list of everyone she’s better than, including Ronda Rousey and Trish Stratus...
- That brings out the GM (to a big pop). She heard how Carmella thinks she’s better than everyone else, so she’s here to announce the challenger for Money in the Bank. The champ tries to claim she’s not working that show, Paige says she is and she’s facing... Asuka.
- The Empress of Tomorrow enters. Asuka gets in Carm’s face, and the Champ slides out of the ring behind Paige. The Royal Rumble winner poses to end the segment.
- Backstage to Young interviewing Nakamura. She asks about his chances tonight, he says “what does chance mean?” She rephrases to possibility, and Shinsuke says he understands, but she’s using the wrong word. It’s a certainty he’ll win after he destroys AJ’s face with his knee.
- Total Bellas commercial, and Paige says we’ll see The Miz vs. Jeff Hardy in a U.S. Title match later (probably dark match after 205 Live)
- Becky Lynch def. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose via submission (Rose tapped to Dis-Arm-Her) to win a spot in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match
- Titantron promos feature Samoa Joe trash-talking and setting up a match against Big Cass for next week, and The IIconics talking trash about Lana and saying Billie Kay will win the briefcase after beating Lana
- Ronda Rousey is announced as making her UK debut on the Aug. 29 London house show
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. AJ Styles via pinfall, wins the right to pick the stipulation for their WWE Title match at Money in the Bank (fans on Twitter reported the usual “This is awesome” chant, but many also said this was the best Styles/Nak match in WWE)
- Tyler Bate def. Kenny Williams, Kalisto and TJP in a Fatal 4Way (pinned TJP after Tyler Driver ‘97)
- DRAKE MAVERICK here to announce Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami for next Tuesday; we’re reminded about Cedric Alexander’s defense against Buddy Murphy on May 29
- Flash Morgan Webster, Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander def. Drew Gulak, James Drake and Joseph Connors via pinfall (Ali on Gulak after an 0-5-4)
- Jeff Hardy def. The Miz via pinfall following a swanton bomb to retain the U.S. Title