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WWE SmackDown live results: ThunderDome debuts, Vince appears

The WWE ThunderDome viewing experience debuts on tonight's SummerSlam go-home edition of SmackDown.

The ThunderDome features a "state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics, and drone cameras." It's part of WWE's residency at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida and will "virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and WWE pay-per-view event."

Vince McMahon will make an appearance to kick off tonight's show. It will be the first time he's been on WWE television since Triple H's 25th anniversary celebration in April.

Two title matches are set for tonight. AJ Styles will put his Intercontinental title on the line against Jeff Hardy. The Lucha House Party's Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado are also challenging Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro for the SmackDown Tag Team titles.

Big E vs. Sheamus is also set for tonight. Plus, the show will feature the final build to Braun Strowman vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship at Sunday's PPV.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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SmackDown opened up with a wide shot of the Thunderdome, which included pyro and the opening theme song.

Mr. McMahon was already standing in the middle of the ring. He welcomed everyone to the Thunderdome. Fans appeared virtually on LED boards in the stands and were visible on camera. There was a lot of cheering and noise as McMahon spoke. It's unclear if that was the fans or added fan noise.

At first glance, the Thunderdome looks cool, is an improvement, and has a very different atmosphere than the Performance Center. 

The Fiend Bray Wyatt's music hit and interrupted McMahon. The Fiend went face-to-face with McMahon when Universal Champion Braun Strowman interrupted. He entered the ring and had a brief staredown with The Fiend. McMahon disappeared. 

Suddenly, the lights started flickering, and Retribution ran out. They surrounded the ring and Strowman and The Fiend. The Fiend waved at Strowman, and the lights went out.

When the lights came back on, The Friend was gone. Retribution jumped Strowman and beat him down. The roster, including AJ Styles, Sheamus, Otis, Matt Riddle, Shorty G, Dana Brooke, King Corbin, and more, ran out for the save and cleared the ring. 

The Miz ran out last after the roster ran off Retribution. 

Drew Gulak helped up Strowman, but he snapped and pushed him to the mat. Strowman then tossed Jey Uso across the ring and left. 

Big E defeated Sheamus 

Big E and Sheamus had a fine match. The virtual fans made noise but did seem dead at one point, although it might have just appeared that way.

The roster remained at ringside. 

Sheamus had the early advantage, but Big E tackled Sheamus into the steps to take over. He followed up with a big splash on the apron. Sheamus recovered and hit a flying clothesline off the top. 

Sheamus hit the Irish Curse backbreaker for a close near fall.

Suddenly, the lights started flickering again. On commentary, Michael Cole wondered if Retribution was back already, and they cut to commercial. 

Back from the break, Big E hit a belly-to-belly overhead suplex and splash for a near fall. Sheamus took back over and scored a near fall. Big E attempted the spear through the ropes, but Sheamus blocked it with a knee.  

At ringside, King Corbin kept yelling at Matt Riddle and finally attacked him. They started fighting, and the rest of the roster tried to break them up.

Sheamus was setting up for the Brogue Kick, but the fight distracted him. Big E then rolled up Sheamus for the win.

In the back, the trainer checked on Jeff Hardy. He injured his knee earlier when someone hit him from behind, but he didn't see who it was. He asked for a knee brace because he can't miss his match later. 

Lucha House Party was on their way to the ring when Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura jumped Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik from behind. 

SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Lucha House Party (w/Kalisto) to retain the titles 

This was a good match while it lasted. The fans made noise, but they weren't reacting as a normal crowd would. 

The heels were in control early as Cesaro used a chin lock. Metalik briefly took over with tilt-a-whirl head scissors. The heels quickly took back over and scored several near falls.

They cut to The Miz & John Morrison in the back. They talked over Cole and Graves as they called the match, which was annoying. 

Metalik recovered and hit a massive hurricanrana on Cesaro off the top. Dorado got the tag and ran wild. He hit a superkick on Nakamura and hit three moonsaults in a row for a near fall, but Cesaro made the save. 

Dorado hit a hurricanrana on Cesaro, sending him to the floor. Metalik hit a dive taking on Cesaro on the floor, but Metalik had a rough landing. Cesaro made a blind tag and scored a near fall with a sunset flip. 

The finish saw Dorado attempt to roll up Cesaro, but he rolled through and pinned Dorado for the win. 

After the match, Dorado and Kalisto got into an argument and started shoving each other. Metalik tried to keep the peace. 

Michael Cole and Corey Graves showed footage from earlier of AJ Styles injuring Jeff Hardy's knee during the brawl with Retribution. 

Kayla Braxton interviewed Styles. He mocked Hardy and gloated about Hardy injuring his knee. 

Styles ran into Bayley and Sasha Banks. They all praised each other. 

Back from the break, Kalya Braxton interviewed Mandy Rose. Rose is hesitant about facing Sonya Deville at SummerSlam and wants to put it all behind them. She's offering to cancel the match for the sake of their friendship. 

Bayley and Sasha Banks Promo

Corey Graves interviewed WWE Women's Tag Team Champions and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley & Raw Women's Champion Sasha Banks in the ring. 

Michael Cole noted they both defend against Asuka at SummerSlam in separate matches, and whoever goes second has the advantage. 

Graves tried to cause problems between them immediately. He asked if Bayley and Banks are breaking up. They mocked Graves and denied the claim. Graves wondered if they could defeat Asuka at SummerSlam without help.

Graves pointed out that Bayley suggested facing Asuka second. Banks seemed upset and wondered if Bayley's volunteering her to go first again. Graves noted they seem to be arguing. 

Naomi's music hit, and she challenged them to a match. They mocked her and noted she couldn't defeat both of them. Graves suggested Naomi taking on them both in separate beat the clock matches. Presumably, the person with the better time takes on Asuka second at SummerSlam.

Beat The Clock Challenge: Sasha Banks defeated Naomi 

The match dragged at certain points and was a bit clumsy at times. 

Banks and Bayley were funny rooting against each other. 

Michael Cole confirmed the person with the better time takes on Asuka second at SummerSlam. Graves noted they have to defeat Naomi for that to happen. 

Naomi had the early advantage and was firmly in control. In a clumsy-looking spot, Naomi stopped to do a handstand and sent Banks to the floor with the head scissors. She followed up with a plancha to the floor. 

Banks briefly gained control, but Naomi scored a close near fall. Suddenly, Banks locked on the Bank Statement at 3:39 to win the match.

Beat The Clock Challenge: Naomi defeated Bayley

It does seem odd that they both have to face Naomi instead of having separate matches. 

Bayley jumped Naomi at the bell and beat her down. Bayley was firmly in control, but Naomi fought back and hit a bulldog into the middle turnbuckle. 

The finish came out of nowhere. Bayley missed a knee, and Naomi hit the rearview for the win.

Banks defends against Asuka second at SummerSlam. After the match, Bayley was unhappy, and Banks tried to hide her smile. 

Asuka came out and promised to win both the Raw and SmackDown titles. Banks ran towards Asuka, but Asuka knocked her out with a kick to the head. 

Asuka went after Bayley in the ring, but Bayley ran off. Bayley grabbed her belt and left Banks on the ramp knocked out. She then ran back to her friend to make sure she's okay. 

In the back, Kayla Braxton tried to approach Sonya Deville, but she wants to talk to fans in the arena. Deville got a big reaction from the fans. 

Dana Brooke approached Deville. She tried to comfort Deville because of everything she went through during the week. Deville said it's nothing she can't handle and slapped Brooke. 

Sonya Deville Promo

Sonya Deville walked onto the ramp to address Mandy Rose. Deville noted she knew Rose would try to back out of her own stipulations. Deville doesn't care if she's bald or not. However, she raised the stakes and made the match No DQ and loser must leave WWE. Deville pointed out that cutting Rose's hair isn't enough. She doesn't want to see Rose's face anymore.

This was a good promo. Deville is one of the highlights of SmackDown. It was short, but she didn't need more time. 

They recapped the Braun Strowman, Alexa Bliss, and Fiend angle. In the back, Nikki Cross noted she talked to Bliss, but she's a different person. Cross has a bad feeling that something terrible is going to happen. 

Bray Wyatt hosts a new episode of the Firefly Funhouse later. 

Jeff Hardy defeated A.J. Styles to win the Intercontinental Championship

Daniel Bryan appeared via Zoom and mocked Styles. He hopes Hardy can give the Thunderdome the champion they want. 

Hardy and Styles had a good match. The story of the match was Hardy's knee injury and Styles exposing the knee brace, which played into the finish. 

Hardy limped out on his bad knee as he made his entrance. He sold the injury huge as he couldn't put any weight on it.

Styles wasted no time and tried to go after Hardy's knee. Hardy fought Styles off and hit a back body drop. Styles took over after attacking Hardy's knee as he stood on the second turnbuckle. 

Styles exposed the knee brace and injured knee. Styles whipped Hardy across the ring, but his knee gave out. Styles continued to attack Hardy's knee. 

Styles charged at Hardy. Hardy backdropped Styles over the top rope. Styles tried landing on the apron, but he slipped off. Hardy attempted a sliding dropkick, but Styles caught the leg and slammed it into the apron. 

Back from the break, Styles was firmly in control, but Hardy hit a basement dropkick for a near fall. He followed up with a front face slam for another near fall.

Hardy attempted the Twist of Fate, but Styles countered with the Pele Kick. Hardy fought off Styles. He jumped up for the Whisper in the Wind, but his knee gave out and he collapsed to the mat.  

Styles attempted the Phenomenal Forearm, but Hardy caught Styles with a shot to the gut. Styles then locked on the Calf Crusher, but Hardy made it to the ropes. 

Styles attempted the Styles Clash, but Hardy hit Styles in the face with the knee brace. Hardy then hit the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb to win the Intercontinental title. 

After the match, Kalya Braxton interviewed Hardy in the ring. Hardy talked about overcoming his personal struggles. 

In the back, Styles was yelling at Joseph Park because he lost the title. He was furious and blamed Park for his statistics being wrong. 

Firefly Funhouse

Bray Wyatt hosted another episode of the Firefly Funhouse. He told the audience he loves them. He said love is a tricky thing. Too much love can turn a beautiful field of flowers into a wasteland. 

Wyatt put on his glove and spoke with someone on his hand. Ramblin Rabbit and The Pig then parodied Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman from last week. Wyatt was furious when they went off-script. 

Wyatt noted that "He" can't wait to get his hands on Strowman.

Suddenly, Wyatt stopped talking and looked around. He looked at the camera and said, "What took you so long?"

Braun Strowman ran in and beat down Wyatt. Strowman's not done and dragged Wyatt out as they cut to commercial. 

Back from the break, Corey Graves and Michael Cole noted they're trying to get their cameras in the back to catch the fight between Strowman and Wyatt.

Graves pointed out that Strowman somehow entered The Firefly Funhouse, which Graves said is in an alternate universe. He also said they couldn't find the entrance, but Strowman knows where the door is located. 

The cameras then cut to the backstage area where they were brawling. Strowman and Wyatt fought near a ledge. Storman smiled and then tossed Wyatt off the ledge to the concentrate below. They portrayed it as a huge fall and serious injury. Wyatt didn't move for several minutes. Officials and referees ran out to check on Wyatt. 

An ambulance arrived, and they quickly loaded Wyatt in the back. Adam Pearce yelled at the ambulance to hurry up and leave, but it suddenly stopped.

The ambulance then started to back up. Pearce yelled that they're going the wrong way. The lights in the ambulance turned red. They did a close up on Pearce, Sonjay Dutt, and the other officials. 

The camera spun around. The Fiend emerged from the ambulance and just stood there, which was an awesome sight. He then started to laugh to end the show. 

This was a good show-closing angle and probably the best involving these two. It had a supernatural feel considering everyone that was involved. The closing image of The Fiend was epic.