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WWE SmackDown live results: The AJ Styles era begins


They started the show with a recap of Backlash, including AJ Styles pinning Dean Ambrose to become the new WWE champion.

AJ Styles is introduced as the new champion to a big pop.

He hates to say this, but he told you so. He did everything he said he was going to do and now he’s the face that runs this place. He is now the champ that runs the camp.

That brings out John Cena, who also gets a nice ovation, though a few people were chanting “John Cena sucks” with his song. Cena says these people all know whe he knows, that AJ has something he wants back. AJ thought he meant his armband, so he agreed and threw it at him.

Cena said no, you still have something I want, pointing at the WWE title. If he could have that belt just one more time, he’d be right there with the man, alluding to Ric Flair’s sixteen world title reigns. Cena admits AJ is now the face that runs the place, but he says that we wants to announce the sixteen time champ is here. 

Dean Ambrose’s music hits as he enters the ring. He says he can handle losing a match, titles come and go but when you kicked me in the jewels you made me your enemy. He promises to make his life miserable. He’ll take the title, and take it with interest.

Cena goes face to face with Ambrose, saying he was the one who crotched AJ a few weeks ago and now he’s complaining about a low blow? Cena says Stone Cold was right, he hasn’t stepped up since becoming champion and he’s shown the WWE Universe that he has no balls. That got a big “Cena” chant.

Ambrose says he must be mistaking him with someone that gives a damn. Ambrose called Cena a lazy part timer, he should go do reality shows and the like because he can’t get it done in the ring anymore. He couldn’t even get past AJ at SummerSlam, what makes you think you can get past me? 

Shane McMahon follows. He puts over everyone, including the match at Backlash. Shane mentions AJ took the easy way out, and that’s now he would have seen the WWE champion being crowned. Shane says he will get a one on one rematch at a later date.

He says at No Mercy, AJ Styles will defend the WWE championship against John Cena….AND Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match. But let’s talk about tonight. He makes a tag match with John Cena and Dean Ambrose teaming to take on AJ Styles and a partner of his choosing. McMahon mentions if AJ can’t find a partner, the General Manager (Daniel Bryan) would love nothing more than to assign him one.

The Usos defeated The Hype Bros

This didn’t last long at all. Mojo mounted a brief comeback, but Jimmy Uso superkicked him and Jey finished him off with a splash.

The Miz and Maryse came out as the announcers went over the Intercontinental title match at Backlash. Miz says for weeks people like Daniel Bryan Dolph Ziggler have been calling him a coward. You can call me a coward all you want, but I left Backlash with my beautiful wife and the Intercontinental title around my shoulder. He has made the Intercontinental title more prestigious than at any time in the titles history.

This brings out Dolph Ziggler. It’s funny as he’s selling himself as champion and trying to assure himself. But deep down inside, anytime he hears a WWE Superstar laughing at him, he knows why. They’re never going to see you as a top guy or a main eventer because the WWE Universe will never see him as a top guy. Miz said if he lived and died by the WWE Universe's reaction, he would already be dead, much like Dolph’s career.

Dolph says he agrees, his career is at a crossroads. But he wants one more match. No gimmicks, no valets, no pneumonia or stunt doubles, no excuses - just you and me. Maryse says she wants to get this straight. She gets a lot of heat, causing Miz to tell the fans to shut up when Daniel Bryan’s music hits.

Bryan points out that Maryse was the only reason why Miz retained his title at Backlash and that Ziggler will get a rematch. Miz says no, because remember, he wants his contract renegotiated. He will not get what he wants until HE gets what HE wants. He’s calling his own shots and there’s nothing he can do about it. Miz exits through the crowd as Bryan enters the ring, ending the IC title drama in confusion.

Backstage, AJ runs into Baron Corbin, trying to recruit him to be his partner. Corbin says he’d rather be his opponent and walks off. 

Baron Corbin vs. Apollo Crews never got started

Corbin destroyed him and left him for dead as he entered the ring. Suddenly, Jack Swagger’s music hits as Corbin bails. Swagger says as of 12:01 am Smackdown is his new home. "You think you know my abilities but you don’t know Jack. He’s going to be a big problem...wait, no, check that. WE are going to be a problem."

Becky Lynch comes out to a good reaction. The journey is greater than the destination, but this destination is pretty friggin’ sweet. She is fighting woman, so come at me, bros. This brings out Naomi to start the next match, a fatal five way match to determine the number one contender for the Smackdown women’s title.

Alexa Bliss beat Naomi, Carmella, Nikki Bella and Natalya in a fatal five way match

Everyone starts off hot with Nikki getting the upper hand on everyone to start. Nikki wiped out Carmella on the floor with a clothesline off the top of the stairs. There was a spot where everyone was laid out and Bliss came in to start making pins, but Natalya came in and attacked her. Naomi mounted a comeback as Nikki came back into the picture. Naomi hit the Rear View but Nikki kicked out.

Natalya caught a sliding Naomi and blasted her head on the steel steps but Nikki wiped her out with a forearm. Bliss met her back in the ring as she was going for the Twisted Bliss but Nikki got her on her shoulders. Carmella came back with a superkick on Nikki. Bliss recovered and threw her out, then covered Nikki for the win.

Styles was still looking for a partner when he came across Kane. His response was just laughing at him and walking off.

Shane McMahon came out as the ring was set up like your normal contract signing. He reiterated that Smackdown was all about opportunity, and he wants to single one guy out - Heath Slater. Shane says go ahead, sign the contract, he’s earned it. Slater signs the contract and is officially a part of the Smackdown brand.

Slater says he wants to thank Shane, Bryan and his wife Beulah and says he’s moving into a double wide! He thanks Rhyno, saying he couldn’t think he could get it done but they did. They’ll take on anyone at any time. He also thanks his kids and starts naming them until the Ascension came out.

Konnor and Viktor says they want a title shot right now. Slater isn’t so sure about that and wants Shane to agree to agree with him. Shane says well, actually, there’s no better time than right now. They clear out the ring for the title match.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater and Rhyno defeated The Ascension to retain

This was pretty short too, not a lot to it. Ascension dominated for a bit, but after a few minutes Rhyno gored Viktor for the win.

AJ was still backstage looking for a partner. He runs into Bryan who asks if he’s found a partner yet. AJ says he doesn’t need one. Bryan says he found a partner for him, James, one of the jobbers who Braun Strowman destroyed about a month ago. AJ left in a huff, unamused.

Randy Orton came out to address Bray Wyatt. Orton says he’s ready for a fight, so Bray if you have the balls, come down and face your fear.

Bray opted to talk in a spooky place. A wise man knows when to lay down. He gave you way out, but you didn’t. You chose to embarrass me, and I didn’t like that. He can’t stop now, Randy. Don’t sleep, Randy.

Wyatt appeared in person, outside the ring as Orton goaded him. But instead the camera jumped again and Rowan appeared, attacking Orton from behind. That didn’t last long, however, as Orton laid him out with the RKO.

They are actually pushing that James Ellsworth is teaming with AJ Styles in the main event tonight.

...Or not. As Ellsworth came out for the main event, Miz jumped him from behind, eventually laying him out with the Skull Crushing Finale. He and AJ Styles shook hands, so they are partners for tonight.

John Cena and Dean Ambrose defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles and I-C Champion The Miz

Pretty fast paced main event, all good action. AJ and Miz worked well as a team and got the upper hand on Dean at one point in the match. Dean came back and wiped out Styles on the outside with a suicide dive. Miz charged toward Cena, but Cena got Miz on his shoulders and pinned him with the AA.

Ambrose laid out Cena with the dirty deeds after the match, leading to boos from the crowd. Ambrose stared down Styles as the show ended.


This was a very good show that set up all the big matches for No Mercy on 10/9. There wasn’t a whole lot of wrestling action in the two hours, but every segment had focus and was building towards something, which is pretty damn nice considering you don’t always get that on Monday nights.