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WWE SmackDown live results: Fallout from Battleground


Date: July 25, 2017
Location:  Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA

The Big Takeaway --

John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura was announced for next week’s show with the winner earning a WWE Championship match against Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam. Cena initially declared himself Mahal’s next opponent, but Daniel Bryan interrupted to make the announcement since Nakamura picked up a win over Baron Corbin earlier.

AJ Styles won the US Championship in a triple threat match against Kevin Owens and a returning Chris Jericho. Owens invoked his title rematch with Styles in a singles match next week.

Show Recap -- 

Kevin Owens came out to start the show. JBL tried to describe the title change as AJ Styles slipping on a banana peel, but he wasn’t trying to disparage the win, either. Owens wore a suit and said Battleground was proof that good things happen to you if you’re pure of heart and a good person. The crowd chanted for Styles, but Owens never acknowledged him. Owens said he was reinstating the Open Challenge... next week. He certainly wasn’t doing it in front of hicks from Richmond, Virginia.

Styles interrupted. Owens said he better be out here to congratulate him and call him the better man, to which Styles said, “Nope.” Styles wanted his rematch. Owens said no. Chris Jericho’s music went off on the crowd erupted.

Jericho has grown out his hair a bit and he still has the list. Owens started babbling so Jericho repeatedly said, “Quiet!” until he stopped. Jericho said the last time he was on SmackDown, he left on a stretcher, but since then he’s been getting ready, eating well, doing crossfit and having a few beers. He wanted a US Title match tonight.

Styles said he was the next guy in line. Jericho asked if Styles knew what happened when you try cutting in line ahead of him. Jericho told a story about somebody doing it to him in the grocery store and Styles figured he ended up on the list. Jericho said no, he punched that guy in the face and put him in the Walls. He put Styles on the list.

Owens was leaving during all of this so Shane McMahon came out next. Shane said both men deserve rematches. McMahon announced a triple threat match for the title tonight in Richmond. Big pop. Good opening segment.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin

Nakamura received a big reaction on the way out. He took the fight to the outside, but Corbin cut him off with a big clothesline. Nakamura hit a flurry of offense but missed a Kinshasa and Corbin came back with a weak-looking chokeslam.

Corbin then did knee strikes and mocked Nakamura’s pose. Nakamura kicked out of a Deep Six and slipped out of an End of Days. Corbin tried a low-blow, but Nakamura dodged, hit kicks to the head and knee and finished him off with a Kinshasa for the win at 9:23. Good match. Everything about this was better than the PPV match.

They announced that Jinder Mahal would be demanding an opponent for his WWE title at SummerSlam.

Dasha Fuentes asked Naomi about Natalya refusing to shake her hand. Naomi said Natalya was tough as nails, but was disrespectful. Natalya showed up and asked Fuentes to leave. Natalya said Naomi disrespected the title by turning the belt into a kids’ toy and has no respect for legends like the Hart family. Natalya said she would return honour to the division at SummerSlam.

Naomi said Natalya was stuck in the dungeon. The title represented the now and the women’s “evolution.” Naomi respected tradition. She earned her champion and added a piece of her to it. Naomi said Natalya could keep throwing shade because she would feel the glow at SummerSlam. Natalya left. Carmella showed up to remind Naomi she and her contract still exist.

Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch defeated Tamina & Lana  

Byron Saxton said Tamina had a reputation in the locker room of never showing her hand. JBL asked, “What are you doing in the girls’ locker room?” The heels got the heat on Lynch briefly and the crowd lightly chanted “You can’t wrestle” at Lana. Lynch hit an enziguri, made a hot tag, and Charlotte ran wild on Tamina.

Tamina cut her off with a superkick, but Lana tagged herself in. Charlotte kicked Tamina out of the ring and gave Lana a big boot for the pinfall win. Match was only 4:27, but this didn’t need to go any longer than that. Charlotte and Lynch came off like clearly the better wrestlers, which they are, so this was fine. They hugged afterwards and appear very much on the same page. Tamina was pissed at Lana, who was sad.

Jinder Mahal demands a SummerSlam opponent 

Mahal came out alone, wearing a blue suit. There’s a carpet in the ring. Mahal talked about his win as the crowd booed, so he held up the title and smiled. Mahal said Randy Orton underestimated him. Mahal wanted to know who his SummerSlam opponent was and began speaking Punjabi.

John Cena interrupted. Mahal said he knew exactly what Cena was going to say and rambled on. Cena told him to stop moving his mouth. Cena said Mahal was wrong, he was out here to congratulate him. He complimented Mahal on being in the best shape of his life and was happy the title meant so much to him, to the point where he would do anything to keep it.

Cena did want to warn him, though. Cena didn’t care if Mahal had a giant, Singh brothers, Singh sisters, the cast of ‘Sing,’ his mom, dad, a prison or porta potty -- none of it would be enough, because at SummerSlam, he was facing “Super Cena.” Cena said he would become 17-time champion and called for his music.

Cena was about to leave but Daniel Bryan came out before he could. Bryan congratulated both men on their wins at Battleground. Bryan said it was clear Cena was on a quest to make history, but he doesn’t make the matches. Opportunities were earned, even if your name is John Cena. Bryan said Cena would have to face Shinsuke Nakamura next week for the first time ever, and the winner will get Mahal at SummerSlam. Well then. Another good segment, that announcement aside.

Owens confronted Shane backstage. Owens didn’t think this match was fair. Shane didn’t care who the champion was, as long as they defend the championship. He said the match tonight would be amazing and that was for the fans. Owens didn’t care for the fans and didn’t care about Shane either. Owens got in Shane’s face. This was clearly a tease for a match.

Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger defeated Aiden English & Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis)

English sang before the match. They might be running long because they went to commercial at a pretty random moment in the match.

The crowd chanted “Let’s go Sami” and he made a hot tag to Dillinger. Dillinger tried to show some fire and hit ten punches in the corner. Dillinger tagged Zayn back in and he finished off Kanellis with a Helluva kick for the win. Like the women’s match earlier, this was a fine match where the superior team won without much problem.

Big E began making his usual introduction (with the New Day backstage and the camera on the crowd) when he was abruptly stopped. The Usos attacked them from behind and the fight spilled on the stage. All three New Day members were laid out and officials ran out to stop the Usos. This was great.

They plugged John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for next week. Renee Young interviewed Nakamura backstage. (Unfortunate timing for Nakamura. As he started speaking, the crowd chanted “New Day rocks” in the background, as they presumably recovered at this moment.) Nakamura said, “Next week, John Cena... you can’t see me. Which means, I’ll see Jinder at SummerSlam.”

AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho to become U.S. Champion (Triple Threat Match)

A highlight early on saw Jericho break up a Calf Crusher by nailing a Lionsault. Later on, Styles hit a 450 splash on Jericho and Owens tried to steal the pin but Jericho kicked out. Jericho countered a Styles Clash into a Walls of Jericho. Owens tried to break it up, so Jericho caught him, launched him into Styles, then applied the Walls. Styles tried to break that up, so Jericho caught him with a Codebreaker for a nearfall.

Jericho went for a Lionsault but Owens tripped him and hit cannonballs to both opponents. Styles nailed Owens with a forearm, Jericho hit Styles with an enziguri, Owens hit Jericho with a superkick, and Styles hit Owens with a Pele kick. All three men are down. “This is awesome” chants.

Styles tried a springboard move but Jericho caught him with a springboard dropkick. Owens nailed Jericho with a pop-up powerbomb but Jericho kicked out. Owens nailed Jericho with a frog splash but Styles jumped in, tossed out Owens, and pinned Jericho for the win at 14:08. Very good match. Owens reaction to this was perfect.

Styles’ music played and he posed on the ramp. Owens grabbed a mic and told everyone to shut up. He said none of this was fair. It wasn’t fair that Jericho came back, that Shane made him defend in a triple threat, that Styles stole his victory. Owens invoked his title rematch next week in a singles match with Styles.

Final Thoughts --

I thought this was an excellent show and a big rebound from Battleground. Obviously, I don’t think they should do Cena vs. Nakamura on free TV, but we’ll see what happens. You can also argue that they could’ve saved Jericho vs. Owens, since Jericho was left for dead several months ago, but it looks like they have other plans for Owens.