WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 31, 2018) from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view scheduled for next month in Brooklyn.
Advertised for tonight: The tag team tournament continues with The Usos vs. The Bar, Lana vs. Zelina Vega, 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 31
In the dark the vultures wait; I can hear them knocking at my gate but I’m not here. The brew was cold, the meat is stale, in the L.A. night the sirens wail. The song you can feel, pale stars that never shine, scotch and the Whiskey and the Rainbow, local wine. She’s done more bad than good, but me, I’m here to liveblog this pro wrestling show, folks.
The show opens with Renee Young introducing Becky Lynch for an interview.
Lynch says when you wait so long for something, sometimes you doubt it’s ever gonna happen, and she did that, but she knew if she kept pushing she’d get where she wanted. But she hasn’t been champion since December 2016 and hasn’t had a title shot in over a year and a half, and she hasn’t been able to sleep with the opportunity weighing on her mind. The honor, the excitement, the pressure, knowing you have to fight mind, body, and soul for the title every week.
She wasn’t born to be a champion, she fought to be a champion, and at SummerSlam she’ll fight mind, body, and soul to beat Carmella and it’ll be her honor to walk into Evolution as champion.
Enter Carmella. She says normally she’d come out here and make excuses but that’s not the case tonight. Last week, Becky beat her fair and square and earned an opportunity for SummerSlam, and in fact she was so focused on their match that she didn’t get a chance to think about Evolution. It hit her like a tidal wave in the locker room that they’re gonna get to be a part of the first-ever all-women pay-per-view, and they’ll represent every woman who’s ever wrestled for WWE...
...and that made her skin crawl because she feels like she failed as a representative. They should be building each other up and honestly that comes from a place of jealousy-- in NXT they told her she’d only ever be a manager, but Lynch was killing it. Then in WWE, Becky’s the first woman drafted for SmackDown and Carmella was last-drafted overall, and the WWE Universe looks up to her while they don’t think Mella even deserves to be champion.
Carmella starts crying and talks about how she spends all this time and effort blocking out the haters who say she sucks. Legends in the industry are online saying she should just go away and it’s exhausting, but she has to put on a brave face and tell herself she deserves to be here just like Becky does, and to walk into SummerSlam against someone she’s always looked up to, she couldn’t be more excited.
She can’t wait to tear the house down with her and prove everybody wrong, and she wishes Lynch luck before offering a hand. Becky is skeptical and doesn’t answer... and James Ellsworth’s music hits? CARMELLA BLINDSIDES HER! SUPERKICK! Mella gets a chair from under the ring and lays it on the mat, thinking about a DDT... AND CHARLOTTE FLAIR MAKES THE SAVE!
Charlotte boots the chair out of her hands and hits an exploder suplex! Carmella stalks off up the ramp clutching her title as Flair checks on her pal and helps her to her feet.
We see Samoa Joe backstage staring intently and are told he has a message for AJ Styles later tonight.
Cut to Jeff Hardy hanging out in the locker room, he intends to confront Randy Orton.
The Usos are clapping backstage and say everything top to bottom comes through them first, and it’s the Usos vs. the Bar tonight. They borrow a bit of Rock’s schtick and welcome the Bar to the Uso Penitentiary to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Carmella rolls up on Paige in her office to complain.
Paige says she actually believed her at first but she should be ashamed of herself. Mella says she poured her heart out, but she’s not a role model, and she’s one thing Paige will never be again, champion. Paige says she’ll teach her to be a real champ with the odds stacked against her, so tonight she’ll wrestle Charlotte Flair, and if Flair wins, the title match becomes a three-way.
New Day make their entrance and take a seat at their own pancake-festooned announce table to watch the match.
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) vs. the Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round Match)
Sheamus and Jey to start, back elbow from the big man, uppercut, whip across, Uso back with right hands, running dropkick and the Celtic Warrior goes to the floor! Cesaro holds him back and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Cesaro makes a cover on Jey and only gets a nearfall, so he moves onto a reverse chinlock. Jey posts to his feet, body blows, Cesaro keeps his wrist and pulls back with great strength to tag Sheamus in. Double whip to a double lariat, only two, off the ropes, big knee drop to the face, again, and moving onto the top wristlock.
Knees to add pressure, slamming Uso back down as he begins to rise. Back to his feet, out with big right hands, a knee lift catches Jey, he lands on his feet on a back suplex and puts the Celtic Warrior shoulder-first into the post! Cesaro with the assist, reaching... tags made! Jimmy in hot with lariats, low kick, big right, Samoan drop when the Swiss national comes off the ropes!
Catch the kick, leg-feed enzuigiri, Uso is fired up! Call and response, Cesaro slides away from the running hip attack and a dive takes Sheamus out! Superkick connects, back in, up top... diving crossbody for two! Shove into the corner, uppercut from Jimmy, he goes up top... AND CESARO SHOVES HIM OFF AND INTO THE BARRICADE TO SEND US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, jockeying in the corner, Sheamus gets pulled to the floor, Jimmy knocks Cesaro down with a headbutt... DIVING CORKSCREW LEG DROP! Slugging it out in the middle of the ring, tag to the Celtic Warrior, up for White Noise, Cesaro with a springboard and Jey cuts him off with a superkick! Jimmy with a quick schoolboy, no good, superkick, tag made, diving splash... CESARO BREAKS IT UP!
Headed up top... CESARO CUTS A DIVE OFF WITH AN UPPERCUT! SHEAMUS WITH A ROLL-THROUGH OF HIS OWN...
The Bar win by pinfall with a folding press from Sheamus, moving onto the tournament finals.
New Day get in the ring and square up with their opponents in the tournament finals, jawing at them as the Bar decide discretion is the better part of valor.
Commentary promises us comments from Daniel Bryan about Miz throwing a baby at him last week as well as Lana vs. Zelina Vega for later tonight.
We go in the locker room where Charlotte Flair is being interviewed. She says it’s been a wild night and she was just here to support her best friend, but thanks to Carmella’s big mouth she’s got a golden opportunity. She knows Carmella’s beat her twice, but the Queen is back and ready to reclaim her throne, wooo.
We get a recap of Samoa Joe’s attack on AJ Styles last week and go to break.
Back from commercial, Samoa Joe makes his entrance.
He gets on the mic and calls AJ Styles out, saying what he did last week was a message and he thinks AJ is more than familiar with his favorite form of communication, so no hard feelings. Truth be told, he respects Styles, the house that he built, and the fact that he’s made the title the most prestigious in WWE. He respects the grind and what he’s sacrificed.
AJ’s put being champion in front of friends, in front of vices, and even in front of being a member of his own family, which he finds kind of funny. Last week Styles told a tale about staring his lovely daughter in her eyes and telling her she can be anything she can put her mind to, but he’s known AJ for a long time and he knows the truth is he’s barely home long enough to hug her, let along looking lovingly in her eye.
No, the truth is Styles feels more comfortable on the road living out of a suitcase than he does being at home, a husband to his wife. It’s the sacrifice, he gets it, and he’s put the title ahead of anything, even if it means being a failure as a father. It hurts, he knows, but no matter how hard he works, he’s coming soon to take it from him, and at SummerSlam when the whole world is cheering him on, his family, in their realest feelings, will be cheering for Joe.
After he’s done tearing the house down and putting AJ to sleep, his family will be happy to have their daddy back, but Samoa will be WWE Champion.
Joe drops the mic and walks out.
We go backstage and see Jeff Hardy putting the finishing touches on tonight’s facepaint and go to break.
Back from commercial, Jeff Hardy makes his entrance.
He says the United States Championship is part of his life force, his fifth eye that deepens his connection with the WWE Universe, and when he lost it, a piece of him was severed and nothing is more important than taking it back from Shinsuke Nakamura. However, almost as important is beating the hell out of Randy Orton! That’s what he’s out here to do, and he calls Orton out!
Randy obliges and makes his entrance, but before he gets in the ring Nakamura blindsides Hardy and rains knees down on him... and Orton blocks Kinshasa?! He and Shinsuke go toe-to-toe as he backs the champion into the corner before giving him the nod... KINSHASA! Nakamura takes his leave and the Viper lies in wait, going to that special place...
And just clocking Jeff to the mat when he gets up! No RKO! Doing the Garvin Stomp now, making his way around as he puts boots to the Charismatic Enigma. Hung up in the ropes... THE DDT! A second DDT off the apron to the floor! The Viper dismantles the announce table, sets Hardy atop it, pummels him a bit and rips his sleeves and shirt off, stripping him to the waist!
The necklace is next, and Randy jams it in his pocket before getting a bottle of water from the timekeeper’s area. He opens it up and pours it on Jeff’s face to wake him up for another round before getting in his face and using a washcloth to wipe the paint off his face! Slamming him into the table one more time for good measure, Orton pulls the chain out and walks off to send us to break.
Back from commercial, we see Becky Lynch leave her locker room and roll into an interview.
She’s happy for Charlotte to be back and have this opportunity. When she’s in the ring she relies on instinct more than math, but she’s not too happy at the prospect of a triple threat and she’s been fighting for months for this opportunity. One-on-one she can beat anyone, but when pressed she says she never roots against her best friend.
Lana vs. Zelina Vega
Circling, Vega rolls through and is feeling tranquilo. Lana returns a handstand pose and they jaw at each other. Trading shoves, a pieface gets a double leg and Zelina rolls to the floor as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Vega has a Dragon sleeper in, firmly in control. Lana fights to her feet, mat slam, back into the Dragon sleeper, transition to a reverse chinlock, shove to the mat, drawing her up and into a bodyscissors sleeper, but the Ravishing Russian backs her into the corner to force the break. Zelina shoves her back over, step-up front kick, charging double knees... NOPE!
Looking for the hammerlock DDT, countered with a back body drop, Lana fired up, flying forearms, front kick, Regal Cutter! Spinarooni, double knees to the back of the neck... NOT ENOUGH! Short whip, back elbow, whip reversed, elbow up on the charge, Andrade “Cien” Almas runs interference, Aiden English comes down to counter him, Vega from behind...
Zelina Vega wins by pinfall with an O’Connor roll and a handful of tights.
Commentary hypes up next week’s tournament final and we go backstage with the Bludgeon Brothers. They say if Cesaro and Sheamus set the Bar, they’ll break it, and they’ll shatter the New Day, and no one will escape the bludgeoning.
Back in the arena, Daniel Bryan makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Aiden English hunts Lana down to apologize.
He says he just wanted to do the right thing and she tells him to leave just as Rusev comes shouting and stomping down the corridor. Rusev asks if Lana is okay and says that wouldn’t have happened if he was out there, and Lana says she needed him out there tonight before leaving in a huff herself.
Daniel Bryan is in the ring on the microphone. He starts off with Evolution, and he talks about how his wife, Brie, was in a thirty-second match when #GiveDivasAChance started trending, and this announcement is a huge step forward. But every time we take two steps forward, we take one step back, and he asks the truck to roll last week’s baby toss footage.
Bryan continues, saying watching that bothers him, because for two years Miz taunted him, baited him, antagonized him all because he felt protected since he wasn’t cleared to compete. Miz felt the things he said and did wouldn’t haunt him and then he’d be safe... but then he was cleared, and that wall came crumbling down. So what did Miz do? He brought his wife to the ring, he brought what he thought was his very own baby to the ring, to build a new wall between them since he knows in a fair fight, Dan destroys him.
So, Miz, if you think he’s wrong, come out and prove it. He’s here all by himself and he’d like nothing more than to punch him in the face right now. Miz appears on the tron flanked by security and says he thought Dan would have learned he’s not on the indies anymore and this isn’t a high school gym where he can just call him out. You want him? Call his agent, because right now he’s on location for Miz & Mrs., the highest-rated reality series on USA in seven years.
Miz hypes tonight’s episode of his show and says he’s been assigned security he didn’t want because fans have been trying to sneak on set. Bryan says he doesn’t care about his stupid show or his pretentious lifestyle, and all being on set shows is that he’s hiding and nothing more than a coward like he’s said all along. The A-Lister takes offense to this and polls the crowd before remembering the last time he called Bryan a coward, and what happened?
Dan got up and walked away, he didn’t want a fight, he just wanted a conflict because Miz has carried him on his back since he was his pro on NXT, ten years of fighting on the indies to be noticed and it took five minutes to make him famous. Bryan says that’s the difference between them, for him it’s about passion and for Miz it’s about fame, and Miz’s dream of being wrestler turned star has already been done and by better men than him.
Let’s face it, the reality is Miz is never going to be the Rock. Heck, he’s never gonna be John Cena! And nobody will ever remember him as a great superstar because he’s too soft. So if he wants to prove he can be that guy, why not come down here and challenge him to a fight at SummerSlam? Miz says he’s done with Dan riding his coattails and the Yes! Movement is over!
His career is over, the WWE Universe has moved on, let your contract expire and entertain dozens of people in high school gyms, because the people don’t care that he defied the odds at WrestleMania 30, so why not be quiet and go away? All these people look at him and all they see is one thing, a crying baby, for which we get the point proven with graphics and audio.
On that note, we go to break.
Back from commercial, commentary hypes up AJ Styles’ return for next week.
Carmella is interviewed backstage. Her math skills are just like her fashion sense, fabulous, and she wants Becky Lynch alone. She’s not buying the “best friends” deal and the real tea is that Becky Lynch is rooting against Charlotte.
Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair
Circling, into the corner, Carmella moonwalks out and we move onto the collar and elbow. Side headlock applied, a takeover but Flair rolls through, figure four denied and the champ jaws at the Queen. Back to the lockup, side headlock, shot off, shoulder block and Charlotte struts. Duck a lariat, roll through, Charlotte’s Web for one, exploder suplex into a kip-up and Mella’s on the floor.
Slingshot plancha, nobody home, Carmella capitalizes by shoving her into the apron and then the barricade as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Flair comes off the top with a double axehandle and lays in the chops! Knocking Carmella down, a back suplex follows, kip-up, stepping over her, climbing the turnbuckles... FEET UP ON THE MOONSAULT! Dumping Charlotte out of the ring, Carmella orders referee Mike Chioda to count! Ducking kicks on the floor, a headscissors takeover puts Flair into the barricade!
Mella dumps her over the timekeeper’s barricade and returns to the ring to try and take the countout. Back inside, Carmella with the grounded clubs and into the reverse chinlock. Backed into the corner to break, Carmella puts boots to her, trading boots and Flair nearly ends the match then and there! Folding press comes up empty, figure four blocked and the champ rolls to the floor.
Dropkick through the ropes... MOONSAULT OFF THE BARRICADE! Taking the match back in the ring, Natural Selection... NOT ENOUGH! Figure four reversed into a pin, no good, superkick... CHARLOTTE FINDS THE WILL TO KICK OUT! Spinning toehold from Mella, Flair reverses, gets the figure four, bridges back...
Charlotte Flair wins by submission with the Figure Eight, earning a spot in the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam.
We see Becky Lynch realizing she’s lost her one-on-one title match backstage as Charlotte celebrates in the ring.
That’s the show, folks.