The August 1, 2017 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on August 1, 2017 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Oh, what a tangled, patriotic web we weave.
After AJ Styles regained the United States Championship from Kevin Owens last week in a high-octane Triple Threat Match that also included Chris Jericho, The Phenomenal One immediately went from hunter to hunted as Kevin Owens invoked his rematch clause to kick things off on SmackDown LIVE.
The two fierce rivals held nothing back, giving the WWE Universe a dazzling show of athleticism and grit in equal measure. However, much like their match at WWE Battleground, this contest wasn’t without controversy, as the referee was accidentally knocked down by a brutal haymaker from Owens, and Styles caught KO in a rollup to score the three-count. However, because of the damage he sustained earlier in the match, the referee never saw that Owens’ shoulder was up before his hand hit the mat for the third time.
Styles celebrated the victory and KO flipped out, heading backstage to look for SmackDown LIVE Commissioner management.
When Owens found both Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, the irate former U.S. Champion shoved the referee before Shane-O-Mac intervened. The result of the match was deemed final, but even amidst all the chaos, Owens was granted a rematch for the United States Title at SummerSlam. However, Owens, now weary of the refereeing of the last several weeks, made a point to say that he didn’t trust the current crop of officials. The Team Blue front office yet again agreed, and Bryan said he would provide Owens a referee who would meet his lofty standards … and his name was Shane McMahon.
Following their savage attack on SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day last week, The Usos mocked the titleholders signature entrance announcement, then smugly made their way onto the ramp.
Jimmy & Jey made it clear that they had the SmackDown Tag Team division on lock and that The New Day’s days were numbered.
Essentially, The Usos dare be sour.
Coming off his victory over Tye Dillinger at WWE Battleground, Aiden English looked to carry the momentum forward here tonight against Sami Zayn, who claimed a win of his own at the SmackDown LIVE-exclusive pay-per-view over Mike Kanellis.
Zayn appeared to have The Rembrandt of Rage on the edge of signing the blues, but English suddenly caught Zayn by surprise with a unique rollup for three. After the match, Maria Kanellis and her husband, Mike Kanellis, entered the arena to express their passionate love for one another and for something very specific … seeing Sami Zayn lose.
The Power of Love ain’t always sweet.
In this first-ever tag team match, SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi paired up with Becky Lynch to take on the woman who will challenge Naomi for the title at SummerSlam, Natalya, and Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella.
With all four Superstars competing at a break-neck pace, Carmella got too overzealous and tagged herself in to the match, much to her partner’s chagrin. The Princess of Staten Island would regret her bold move when Naomi reversed the Code of Silence into a submission hold of her own, forcing Carmella to tap and claiming the victory for her squad.
Now breaking out on his own, Chad Gable looked to make an immediate statement against Rusev on SmackDown LIVE.
Gable brought all the fight he could to The Bulgarian Brute, taking his best shots and firing back every chance he got. However, Rusev fended off everything in Gable’s impressive arsenal, knocking him down to the canvas and locking in the spine-bending Accolade for the submission victory.
After the match, Rusev began to vent on the microphone, claiming that he has been incredibly disrespected since he had yet to be slotted into a match at SummerSlam. However, Rusev was soon interrupted by Randy Orton, who informed The Super Athlete that he would gladly take him on at SummerSlam. This enraged The Bulgarian Brute, who went on a tirade until The Viper promptly planted him with a thunderous RKO.
Following this explosive episode between the two Superstars, it was announced that Rusev would indeed be getting his wish, as he will square off with The Apex Predator at The Biggest Event of the Summer.
The dream match no one ever thought they’d see became reality, as John Cena clashed against Shinsuke Nakamura in a monumental Team Blue main event, with the winner going on to SummerSlam to face WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.
The Modern-Day Maharaja and The Singh Brothers watched the action from high above in a luxurious skybox as The Cenation Leader and The King of Strong Style matched might in the squared circle. The atmosphere in Cleveland was electric as the two combatted one another with a barrage of strikes, high-impact maneuvers and excruciating submission holds.
Cena looked to have the match won when he planted WWE’s Rockstar with a thunderous Attitude Adjustment, then rolled through and attempted to seal the victory by once again hitting his signature move.
The ever-resilient Nakamura wiggled free, however, and The King of Strong Style hit Cena with a devastating Reverse Exploder followed by a head-ringing Kinshasa, allowing WWE’s Rockstar to book his next major gig — a WWE Championship Match against The Modern-Day Maharaja at The Biggest Event of Summer.
After the contest, the two Superstars shook hands in a well-earned showing of mutual respect.
After SmackDown LIVE went off the air, Baron Corbin tried to ruin Shinsuke Nakamura’s victory party, exclusively on WWE Network, with a blindside attack on The King of Strong Style just moments after his nemesis defeated John Cena to earn the right to challenge WWE Champion Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam.
However, Mr. Money in the Bank’s attempt to take out his rival was quickly dashed by Cena, who ran to the aid of his opponent from moment’s prior and began combatting The Lone Wolf. The two jockeyed for position both in and out of the ring, but Cena stood tall after sending Corbin crashing through the announce table with a massive Attitude Adjustment off the steel steps.
After he vanquished Corbin (at least for now), The Cenation Leader returned to the ring and raised the hand of the recovering Nakamura while WWE Champion Jinder Mahal observed from his luxurious skybox.
What will happen next in the chaotic main event scene of SmackDown LIVE? Find out next week!
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Shinsuke Nakamura defeated John Cena to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam (12:00)
Other on-screen talent