The build towards SummerSlam continues tonight on SmackDown. Since winning the WWE Championship last fall, AJ Styles has taken on all challengers. Tonight, general manager Paige announces Styles' next title challenger and opponent at SummerSlam.
Randy Orton made his return at Extreme Rules and targeted Jeff Hardy. Last week, Orton viciously and brutally attacked Hardy once again. The motivation surrounding Orton’s attacks remains a mystery.
The Miz hosted a funeral for Team Hell No last week. He claimed that Daniel Bryan’s return from injury has been a bust and his career is dead. Bryan attacked Miz, but Miz ran off before any serious damage could be done. Their feud continues tonight and is headed towards WWE's biggest event of the summer.
Becky Lynch takes on SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella in a non-title match tonight. If Lynch wins, she receives a title shot at SummerSlam. Plus, a tag team tournament begins to determine the next challengers for The Bludgeon Brothers titles. The New Day take on SAnitY in a first round match.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
SmackDown started with The Miz, Maryse and their baby Monroe Sky arriving in a limo in the back. Miz was booed heavily, Maryse got a mixed reaction and the crowd popped for Monroe. They're hosting a special premiere for their new show Miz & Mrs., which debuts after SmackDown tonight.
Randy Orton came down the ring to explain why he attacked Jeff Hardy. He said he did it because of the fans. He pointed out that he worked hard for the fans but feels the fans don't respect him. He wondered if they don’t respect him because he’s not some indie darling that competed in bingo halls and stole a hand gesture. He did the Too Sweet hand sign.
Orton called the fans the true legend killers. He won’t let them win and it’s his mission to eliminate every superstar the fans put on a pedestal. That’s why he started with Hardy and he promised to end Hardy’s career.
A recap aired of Stephanie McMahon’s announcement from Raw last night. It included reactions from the women.
Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Rusev (w/ Lana)
Earlier today, the match was set up after Almas and Vega argued with Rusev and Lana over who should challenge WWE Champion AJ Styles at SummerSlam. Aiden English wasn’t in Rusev’s corner and didn’t do the ring introduction.
Rusev was firmly in control early in the match. Almas briefly took over but Rusev regained control. Rusev nailed Almas with a kick to the head for a near fall. Almas rocked Rusev with a back elbow. He attempted the double knees but Rusev hit the Machka kick.
Vega and Lana started to argue at ringside. Vega slapped Lana and they started fighting. Aiden English ran out and pulled off Lana. Vega jumped on English’s back and he ran into Lana knocking her out. Rusev was distracted and Almas hit the Hammerlock DDT for the win.
In the back, Tye Dillinger pumped up R-Truth for his upcoming match with Samoa Joe.
Aiden English and Lana argued backstage about the previous match. Rusev interrupted and said that maybe nobody is good for Rusev.
Samoa Joe defeated R-Truth
This was Truth’s first match since the WrestleMania kick off show. Truth hit a brief series of moves before Joe took over. Joe locked on the Coquina Clutch for the win.
Asuka was interviewed in the back. She said she’s so excited and ready for the all women’s pay per view Evolution but Billie Kay isn’t ready for Asuka.
Asuka defeated Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce)
Royce distracted Asuka to give Kay the early advantage. Asuka fired back and hit a shining wizard for a near fall. Finish came when Asuka hit three kicks to the head for the win.
In the back, United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura mocked Jeff Hardy and said that a viper bit Hardy. Nakamura warned Orton that he bites back.
Paige came out to announce the next challenger for WWE Champion AJ Styles at SummerSlam. First, she mentioned she’s excited about the women’s pay per view Evolution.
Paige introduced Styles. Tom Philips noted that Styles has been WWE Champion for 259 days. Styles said when he heard about the first women’s PPV that he thought about his daughter. He can now look in her brown eyes and tell her she can do anything she wants. He said he’s proud of the company he works for.
Styles is looking forward to his match at the biggest event of the summer and signed the SummerSlam contract. Paige asked for a drumroll to announce the challenger but was interrupted by James Ellsworth. Ellsworth said he came back for the title and pointed out that he beat Styles three times.
Paige called Ellsworth a joke. Ellsworth made fun of the way she dresses and that she’s pale as a ghost. She said that they don’t make fun of people around here and fired Ellsworth.
Security dragged him away to the back. Paige literally kicked Ellsworth out of the building.
Back in the ring, Samoa Joe jumped Styles from behind and locked on the Coquina Clutch. Joe then signed his name on the SummerSlam contract.
Paige met with Samoa Joe in the back. Paige said she picked Joe to be the challenger but didn’t want to announce it that way. Joe said his way was phenomenal.
Carmella approached Paige and noted that the power has gone to her head. She promised to defeated Becky Lynch next.
Becky Lynch defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella in a non-title match
Lynch was in control early but Carmella took over after throwing her into the barricade. Lynch fought back but Carmella regained the advantage. Lynch attempted the Dis-arm-her several times but Carmella avoided it.
Lynch missed a leg drop and Carmella hit a superkick for a near fall. Suddenly, Lynch locked on the Dis-arm-her for submission win. Lynch receives a title shot at SummerSlam.
The New Day (w/ Kofi Kingston) defeated SAniTY (w/ Eric Young) in a Tag Team Tournament match
The Usos joined the commentators for the match. They face The Bar next week in the other tournament match.
The heels isolated Woods on their side of the ring. Xavier Woods nailed Killen Dain with a missile drop kick and tagged Big E. Young tired to interfere but Kingston shoved him off the top. Finish came when The New Day hit the Big Ending on Alexander Wolfe to advance to the finals.
After the match, The Bar returned to SmackDown and promised to defeat The Usos. Then they’ll win the tournament and beat the Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam.
In the back, Miz was upset that Paige hadn’t arranged for a babysitter. She said she did and introduced Sin Cara. Miz didn’t like that and took his daughter to the ring.
The Miz, Maryse and Monroe Sky came down to the ring for their special Miz and Mrs. premiere party. Miz came out with Monroe strapped to his front but she was actually never shown on screen.
Miz introduced Monroe and said she’s done more than Daniel Bryan has since his return. He went to unstrap her and show her to the crowd. However, Miz said she was put to sleep at the mention of Bryan’s name and was once again not shown on screen.
Miz showed a video package to promote Miz & Mrs. but Bryan replaced it with embarrassing footage of the Miz. Bryan came down to the ring and attacked the two security guards standing in front of a red rope.
Bryan entered the ring and Miz threw Monroe at him. It was actually a toy baby doll. Miz attacked Bryan and hit the skull-crushing finale. He said the baby from earlier was an actor and he’d never bring Monroe to this city. The only place to see Monroe is on Miz & Mrs., which debuts next.
Next Week: The Usos take on The Bar in the second tag team tournament match.