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WWE SmackDown Live results (July 24, 2018): AJ Styles’ next title challenger

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WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 24, 2018) from the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view scheduled for next month in Brooklyn.

Advertised for tonight: AJ Styles learns his next WWE title challenger, Becky Lynch tries to earn a title shot, the first round of the tag team tournament begins, 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.)


Hungry and wild she was born to the night a demon, a daughter of madness. One look from her eyes could burn you alive, drown you in oceans of sadness. Oh, even the deadly shades of night won’t let me hide from her eyes of fire, but what I can do is liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with a limo pulling up to the arena.

The driver opens the back door and Miz gets out, extending his hand to help Maryse get out. She kisses him and gets back in the car momentarily, and when she emerges, she has their child in hand and they make their way into the arena.

Live in the arena, Randy Orton makes his entrance.

We get a recap of him torturing Jeff Hardy’s ear from last week.

He gets on the mic and says he’s heard all our theories as to why he did what he did. It wasn’t unfinished business from a decade ago or bitterness about the Top Ten list from months ago, no, if you want to know why he did what he did, look in the mirror. He did it because of us. He busted his ass for sixteen years for us, and who’s even around now that was around when he got started?

Randy says he’s the one constant in WWE, and every superstar that comes down the aisle eats at the table he set for them, and yet he gets no respect. Why is that? Is it because he doesn’t paint his face and flail his arms like some kinda idiot, or because he doesn’t change his merch every month, or is it because he competes year round, or maybe because he doesn’t dive off of cages, ladders, and turnbuckles?

He’s not some indie darling that competed in rundown bingo halls and he didn’t steal some sweet hand gesture either, is that why? He didn’t pay his dues in front of hundreds of people, he learned from the best in the business and paid his dues in front of millions and accomplished everything there is to do in WWE. He started as the Legend Killer, and now he knows the true Legend Killer is each and every one of us.

So he’s tearing everyone else down, starting with Jeff Hardy, who won’t ever be coming back when he’s done. The only part of the story he cares about is the part he gets to write, the final chapter. You can call him what you want, Apex Predator, Viper, even Legend Killer, but you only need to refer to him as the three most devastatingly destructive letters in sports entertainment... RKO.

Commentary promises us a recap of last night’s all-women pay-per-view announcement and we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary reminds us about Paige’s big announcement for who will wrestle AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.

The promised recap of the announcement of Evolution follows.

Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Rusev

Circling, Almas backs off but gets in with a front kick, into a side headlock, wrenching it in, Rusev with a back suplex, Andrade lands on his feet, off the ropes, knocked down with a shoulder block. Drop down, back body drop scouted and Cien is tranquilo in the ropes but backs off when the Bulgarian Lion comes after him. Around the corner, back in, another front kick but Rusev catches it and drops him with a lariat.

Drawing Almas up, soaking in the “Rusev Day!” chants, straight suplex can’t even get one but Rusev gets Lana on the apron and taunts anyway as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Almas is in control with an armbar but Rusev is fighting back with slaps. Escape with an arm drag, block a punch, throw one of his own, a few cycles of that, punching away is the Bulgarian Lion but El Idolo catches him with a knee. Pair of roundhouse kicks from Rusev, that beautiful Shinjiro Ohtani spinning wheel kick of his, but Cien gets a boot up on the charge.

Off the ropes, countered with Alarm Clock, another roundhouse... NOPE! Machka Kick sidestepped, big slap but Rusev is just fired up by it! Throwing vicious forearms, shove into the ropes, off with a boot, butterfly the arms, countered into a back body drop, Andrade gets a huge elbow off! Corner knees countered with a Machka Kick but the Bulgarian Lion is out of gas and can’t capitalize!

Both men’s managers shout encouragement from the apron and Zelina walks around and gets into Lana’s face! They have a shouting match and Vega hauls off and slaps her! Lana with the double leg and here comes Aiden English to try and make the peace but Zelina knocks him over and into Lana! Rusev is distraught to see his friend attack his wife even accidentally, Almas takes advantage...

Andrade “Cien” Almas wins by pinfall with the hammerlock DDT.

Andrade and Zelina celebrate up the ramp as Rusev Day bicker amongst themselves.

Commentary hypes up a premiere party for Miz & Mrs. later tonight.

We go to backstage with R-Truth, talking to Tye Dillinger about his first match since WrestleMania, a bout tonight against Samoa Joe. Tye psyches him up, telling him he’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and Ron pledges to show Joe what’s up as we go to break.

Back from commercial we see Aiden English and Lana bickering backstage.

Aiden complains about Rusev not returning his calls, Lana says he doesn’t want to talk to him, and Rusev has had enough, shouting and saying maybe neither of them are good for Rusev Day.

R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe

Joe in hot, headbutts in the clinch, overhead elbows, but Truth dodges him off the ropes and lands a heel kick. Stinger splash, duck a lariat, corkscrew forearm and he’s fired up! The splits, scissor kick dodged, Joe with a headbutt, he gets the huge Rock Bottom out of the corner and locks the Coquina Clutch on...

Samoa Joe wins by submission with the Coquina Clutch.

Commentary hypes up an opening round match in our tag team tournament between New Day and SAnitY later.

Asuka is interviewed backstage. She’s very excited for Evolution and ready for it, but tonight, Billie Kay isn’t ready for her.

On that note, we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

The Iconic Duo get a handcam promo during their entrances about how excited they are to make Evolution Iconic and how not-Iconic Asuka is and how they’re both better than she is.

Asuka vs. Billie Kay

Kay taunting at the bell and Asuka immediately hooks her in an armbar and leaves her screaming! Billie manages to reverse, get a takedown, and claws at the Empress of Tomorrow’s face before shoving her into the mat repeatedly and with disdain. Asuka’s face fills with resolve as she rises to her feet, off the ropes, dropkick, pop-up knee, sliding knee strike... NOPE!

Peyton Royce running interference but Asuka has the ankle lock, into a waistlock, O’Connor roll denied, big boot sidestepped, roundhouse kick connects, reverse roundhouse...

Asuka wins by pinfall with a buzzsaw roundhouse kick.

We get a handcam promo from Shinsuke Nakamura telling Jeff Hardy he was so close last week but he’s still champion.

Commentary hypes up Becky Lynch vs. Carmella and Paige’s big announcement for later and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we see the Mizanin family making a media appearance.

In the arena, Paige is in the ring to preside over her announcement / contract signing.

She says being GM is so much fun and she’s very excited to see her gals of SmackDown steal the show at Evolution in October. She’s excited to see Trish Stratus and Lita take part with the rest of the over fifty women on the show, but we’re riding into the biggest show of the summer and it’s about time she announced the challenger for the most important WWE Championship.

So without further ado, she introduces AJ Styles and he makes his entrance and soaks in the chants from the audience before getting on the mic himself. He says for those of us who don’t know, he’s a husband and a father and when Stephanie McMahon announced Evolution, the first person he thought of was his daughter. He feels like he can look into her beautiful brown eyes and tell her if she wants it bad enough she can go get it and there’s nothing she can’t accomplish.

It’s another reason for him to be proud of the company he works for. And he’s proud to defend the most prestigious championship in the world at SummerSlam, where two years ago he and John Cena tore the house down and last year he and Kevin Owens ended their rivalry, and as far as he’s concerned it’s just as important as WrestleMania. He signs the contract and asks for his opponent.

Paige asks for a drumroll before announcing is opponent...


Paige waves him off but he introduces himself anyway, saying Ellsworth is exquisite and he’s out here to tell us that the real reason he came back to WWE is for the WWE Championship. After all, who’s more worthy than him, he’s beat Styles three times! And as they say, the fourth time’s the charm. AJ points out that’s not the saying at all but Jimmy brushes it off and says they will after he wins.

He sees the look in AJ’s face and he knows he’s scared, but he’ll make it quick, wham bam Ellsworth’s the new champ hot damn! Paige intercedes and tells Jimmy to just stop it and calls him a joke. Ellsworth disagrees and calls Paige the joke, saying we can’t understand what she says half the time and mocking her appearance. Paige scolds him but he continues, calling her pale as a ghost.

Paige gets in his face and strokes his arm before saying she’s had enough of him and she’s got two words for him-- YOU’RE FIRED! SHE HAS SECURITY DRAG HIM OFF BODILY! Paige follows them backstage as Jimmy kicks and screams and literally boots him out the doors!


Back from commercial, we get a recap of what we just saw, because it was awesome.

Paige rolls up on Joe backstage to berate him for jumping AJ, but Joe defends it, saying what she had planned was pedestrian, but what he did was phenomenal.

He leaves and Carmella rolls up to complain about Paige firing Ellsworth, to which Paige tells her to go buy a new boyfriend. Mella says she’s champ and plans on staying that way until Evolution and she’s going to beat Becky Lynch right now.

Becky Lynch vs. Carmella

Circling, go-behind, Lynch with a waistlock into an arm drag and Dis-Arm-Her but Carmella makes the ropes before she can lock it on! Becky catches a kick, tries a takedown again, reversed to a pin, forearm into a mat slam and the champion gets back into it. Cover, bridging evasion, off the ropes, duck a lariat, flying forearm into a kip-up and Lynch is rolling!

To the apron, falling forearm puts Mella on the floor, back inside but the champion rolls out the next corner and sidesteps a baseball slide, putting the Lasskicker into the barricade as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Carmella is scraping Becky’s face into the mat and screaming at her abut being champion. Disdainful slaps, off the rope she’s caught by a heel kick and both women are slow to rise. Slugging it out forearm for forearm, headbutt from Lynch into lariats, rolling solebutt, an uppercut, the exploder blocked and Mella hits a reverse STO for a nearfall!

Up in the corner, tornado DDT blocked and Becky gets the exploder suplex! Into the corner, back body drop to the apron, forearm connects, Lynch up top but she gets crotched, handspring Frankensteiner... NOPE! Going for the arm again, Carmella takes her down and puts her feet on the ropes... ONLY A NEARFALL! Stalking her, superkick blocked, leg-feed enzuigiri connect, Lynch off the top with a diving leg drop, nobody home... HER GLUTES!

Basement superkick gets a nearfall, jockeying for position in the aftermath, rolling into an armbar...

Becky Lynch wins by submission with Dis-Arm-Her, earning a WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam.

Commentary hypes up the Miz & Mrs. preview party as well as our tag team tournament match for later.

We cut to a dark room with the Bludgeon Brothers bathed in red light, talking about how the tag team tournament has no winner, because they’ll all be bludgeoned.

New Day make their entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for SAnitY to make their entrance and to see that the Usos have joined the commentary booth.

New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round Match)

Wolfe and Woods to start, side headlock from the German, shot off, shoulder block, off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, shove, duck a lariat, again, duck a kick, rolling elbow from Xavier! Cover gets two, arm wringer, whip reversed, boot up on the charge and Eric Young runs interference. Honor Roll countered into a German suplex, tag to Dain, in with a front kick, but Woods fights back with punches.

Into the corner, out of it, kick to the knee but Killian catches him and drops him with a Wasteland into a running senton to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Dain has Woods up in the corner and climbs to meet him. Jockeying for position, Xavier clubs out of it, perches, and hits a missile dropkick that knocks the Beast of Belfast over! Crawling for the tag, reaching, tags made! Overhead belly-to-belly suplexes from Big E, the trifecta, he’s fired up, hip swivel, off the ropes, EY blocks the big splash and Dain catches Kofi!

Woods takes Dain out with a somersault senton, Wolfe with a boot, Young up top, Kofi runs interference, tag made...

New Day win by pinfall with Up Up Down Down on Alexander Wolfe, advancing to the tournament finals.

The Bar make their entrance and announce that they’re back.

They didn’t miss any of us, but they do miss being tag team champions, and that’s why they’re gonna beat the Usos next week and then beat the Bludgeon Brothers for the tag titles at SummerSlam, because as everybody knows, they don’t just set the bar, they ARE the Bar!

Miz and Maryse are backstage meeting with Paige, who has arranged for Sin Cara to babysit Monroe.

The A-Lister decides he’d rather not have a babysitter who wears a mask and they take the kid to ringside with them. Sin Cara says he tried and Paige agrees that they’ve both had a rough day as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Miz, Maryse, and Monroe make their entrance together.

Miz gets on the mic and launches into a modified version of his MizTV introductory spiel, saying last week we mourned the end of Team Hell No but tonight we celebrate the future by way of Miz & Mrs. He’s been lucky to share the spotlight with the most radiant woman in the world, his beautiful, gorgeous, sexy wife Maryse. She thanks him and talks up Evolution, saying the women’s evolution started with her, and her evolution keeps going after SmackDown on Miz & Mrs. tonight.

The A-Lister talks up the concept of the premiere party and the presence of his baby, saying in her short life she’s accomplished more than Daniel Bryan has in his return to WWE. Miz says the mere mention of Bryan has put her to sleep and tosses to a special preview of the show. The preview reel eventually gives way to a montage of Miz’s most embarrassing moments in WWE and he is livid.

Daniel Bryan is shown smiling on the tron and says Miz & Mrs. looks like the greatest reality show ever and he doesn’t know what happened in the truck but he apologizes. He stops himself short and realizes he should be apologizing in person.

Ergo, the American Dragon makes his entrance. Miz’s hired goon security tries to block him from coming to ringside and Bryan acts like he’s gonna leave before he takes them out with punches and passes into the barricade! He moves the velvet rope aside and replaces it before coming into the ring. Maryse warns him off... MIZ THROWS THE BABY AT HIM! IT WAS A FAKE! SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!

Miz berates Dan for trying to steal his spotlight and says he knew his ego couldn’t handle him having a party in the main event but everybody sees now that it was a ruse and the baby backstage was an actor! He wouldn’t bring his precious angel to a city like this! He tells us if we want to see his daughter we can tune into Miz & Mrs. and he guarantees that it will be... awesome.

They leave and jaw at Bryan while he recovers.

That’s the show, folks.