Mutual respect does not equal friendship. Example: WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose and his new No. 1 contender Dolph Ziggler.
The Lunatic Fringe kicked off SmackDown Live, wasting no time in calling out The Showoff in order to try and get the mental edge leading to their pay-per-view showdown. The two engaged in a war of words with Ambrose targeting everything from Ziggler’s appearance to his infatuation with ”stealing the show.”
Refusing to back down, Ziggler fired right back at Ambrose with a passionate plaea promising to beat him at SummerSlam, one that Ambrose simply debunked and then walked away.
As Ambrose made his exit, Ziggler was left to question whether he was as good as he thought he was alone … until the lights flickered ominously and then suddenly the No. 1 contender was met with a Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt.
With The Showoff at his feet, Wyatt got on the microphone and claimed that Ziggler was not deserving of the title opportunity at SummerSlam, challenging an out cold Ziggler to a match tonight where if Ziggler lost he would relinquish his No. 1 contendership to The New Face of Fear.
Earlier in the evening, The Miz complained to SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan that he wasn’t getting the respect he felt he deserved as Intercontinental Champion. Bryan agreed and, looking to put proper spotlight on the title, he set up a No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match between Apollo Crews, Kalisto and Baron Corbin, as the A-Lister and his wife Maryse looked on from the commentary desk.
When Corbin was sent to the outside of the ring in the height of the action that followed, the powerful Crews seized his moment and rolled up Kalisto to ultimately secure the championship opportunity at SummerSlam.
As Crews began to celebrate his monumental victory outside the ring, an enraged Corbin blindsided the war torn Kalisto. Seeing this beat down occurring, Crews returned to the ring to come to Kalisto’s aid.
However, the numbers game caught up to the outnumbered Crews when the opportunistic Miz struck the new No. 1 contender with a Skull Crushing Finale while trying to fend off The Lone Wolf. However, the celebration was also short lived for The A-Lister as he then ate an End of Days from Corbin who walked away coldly with a wake of destruction behind him.
Becky Lynch and Eva Marie’s contest ended in controversy before it could even begin. Is that an oxymoron?
Following The Red Queen’s entrance, where she so graciously allowed the crowd to be seduced, enchanted, dazzled and entranced by her presence, she began to prepare for the contest. However, a red flag (get it?) was raised when she seemed to “injure” herself in the process.
The Irish Lass Kicker (and the WWE Universe) seemed incredibly skeptical of the injury; however, the referee was convinced enough to call off the match, leaving Lynch beside herself in the ring.
Much to the delight of the WWE Universe, American Alpha made their SmackDown Live debut and they proved to be ready, willing and … alright, alright, we’ll hold off.
Squaring off with The Vaudevillains, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable showed why they are one of NXT’s most dominant tag teams, putting on a clinic against Simon Gotch and Aiden English, defeating them in impressive fashion with Grand Amplitude.
John Cena and AJ Styles are ready to “face” off.
Styles and Cena continued their ever expanding rivalry on SmackDown Live and in the process agreed to a mega-match for SummerSlam.
The fact that both held one pinfall over the other did little to temper their verbal jousting, as Styles proposed that they run it back again at SummerSlam, but this time with a twist — if Styles snags the victory at the Biggest Party of the Summer, Cena will have to claim The Phenomenal One is the better Superstar.
Never one to scurry away from pressure, Cena immediately accepted. And now, at SummerSlam, someone is guaranteed to face the music.
Following Randy Orton’s surprise attack and subsequent RKO on Brock Lesnar Monday night on Raw, an eager Viper clamored to Shane McMahon for even more of The Beast after … careful what you wish for, Randall Keith.
With the ring surrounded by security guards in event of a Lesnar sighting, Orton took on a disgruntled Fandango who was still upset over the disparaging remarks Orton made about him at WWE Battleground.
Yet, even with his Breezango partner Tyler Breeze at ringside, Fandango did not have enough in the tank to get out of Viperville … until Viperville suddenly transformed into Suplex City when Lesnar emerged.
Repaying the favor from Monday night, Lesnar charged the ring and hit a brutal F-5 on Orton, laying out The Apex Predator before security intervened and escorted The Beast out of the arena while Orton laid lifeless on the mat.
Coming off being betrayed by his now former friend Jinder Mahal on Raw, Slater was back at it on SmackDown, yet again crashing the party in hopes of pleading his case as to why he deserved to be signed to a contract on Team Blue.
This time it would be Daniel Bryan to attempt to reason with Slater as he literally snuck in the backdoor of the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Naturally, refusing to take no for an answer, the idea of Slater having a match to win his way onto the SmackDown roster was broached. With both Slater and Bryan agreeing, it was now time to find Slater an opponent, or maybe, better yet, have an opponent find Slater.
Resembling shades of last week, Rhyno appeared and viciously hit Slater with a Gore in Bryan’s office. Bryan then made it official – Slater vs. Rhyno next week.
God bless, Heath Slater’s soul … and abdomen.
In the wake of her loss to Becky Lynch to kick off the New Era of SmackDown Live last week, Natalya was all business as she now set her attention on Carmella, attacking her would-be opponent from behind before the match could even begin. From there, the results were not F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S for the hottest chick in the ring. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter before referees pried her off The Princess of Staten Island, ensuing in the Queen of Black Harts leaving on her own power.
Accepting Bray Wyatt’s challenge from earlier in the show, Dolph Ziggler put his SummerSlam No. 1 contendership up for grabs in the SmackDown Live main event.
The Showoff and The New Face of Fear went at it full tilt from start to finish in a knockdown, drag out brawl, until, in the final moments, Ziggler exposed the steel underneath the top turnbuckle, which he eventually smashed Wyatt’s head over, allowing him to connect with a superkick and pick up the hard-fought victory to secure his chance at glory.
After the match, Dolph’s celebration was short lived as Erick Rowan attacked the No. 1 contender out of nowhere.
The Lunatic Fringe, watching from the commentary desk, refused to stand for the ambush and attempted to help his now confirmed SummerSlam opponent. However, the darkness of Wyatt and Rowan proved too much to handle, as they threw Ambrose out of the ring and Wyatt struck Ziggler with Sister Abagail.
When the smoked cleared, the horrific contingent stood triumphant over a prone Ziggler and Ambrose.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Apollo Crews defeated Kalisto & Baron Corbin to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship (6:47)
- Becky Lynch vs. Eva Marie ended in a No Contest
- American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) defeated The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch & Aiden English) (3:27)
- Randy Orton defeated Fandango (w/ Tyler Breeze) by DQ (3:04)
- Natalya vs. Carmella ended in a No Contest
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Bray Wyatt (11:34)
Other on-screen talent