ANAHEIM, Calif. - If you had a dime for every time Enzo Amore beat Chris Jericho, you’d have zero dimes. But luckily, Muscles Marinara might get one over on The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla in the long run: After Jericho and his new pal Kevin Owens stepped to Enzo & Big Cass, the “G.O.A.T.” defeated Smacktalker Skywalker in the ensuing singles match when Big Cass rushed the ring and booted him in the face in retaliation for some attempted shenanigans by Owens.
Loopy as Jericho was, that meant he got the DQ win (drink it in, man) and Owens, true to his word, had his back. Big Cass, however, was quick to double-down against him and ‘Zo’s new rivals, challenging them to a match at SummerSlam, and the Canadian destroyers readily accepted. Somewhere, Jimmin Marvinluder weeps for what might have been.
At least the locals are getting smarter: After Braun Strowman ground James Ellsworth and Evan Anderholm’s bones to make his bread, his third intended opponent, Jorel Nelson, didn’t even bother locking up with Strowman, opting instead to hit the bricks once the bell hit. Braun wasn’t having any of that, so he chased the poor guy down and destroyed him without fear of reprisal before finishing the job with the reverse chokeslam.
Looks like Bob Backlund gave Darren Young one lesson all those vignettes missed out on: Turnabout is fair play. One week after Titus O’Neil updended Mr. No Days Off in less-than-sportsmanlike fashion, D. Young returned the favor against his old tag team partner by beating him with a rollup and a handful of tights. All of which was to the consternation of The Big Deal and the unmitigated delight of Mr. Backlund, who luckily didn’t see his protégé skirt the rules.
Finn Bálor kicked the smile off of Seth Rollins’ face last week, but The Architect, as the WWE Universe knows, loves to get the last word. And, with a win over Sami Zayn boosting his confidence, “The Man” re-upped on trash-talking his opponent for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam by proclaiming “Finn Bálor” as a cobbled-together identity the Irishman created for himself to bolster his previous legacy. He even went one better than last week, writing off the so-called “Demon” side of Bálor as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, before declaring he was every bit the living legend Bálor claimed to be.
Last week, Mick Foley challenged Cesaro or Sheamus to “impress” him, and Cesaro did so, upending The Celtic Warrior to earn a future championship opportunity. This week, The Hardcore Legend had the two go at it again, this time to see who was the more physically dominant, as last week’s bout was a dead heat until The King of Swing pulled ahead and it ended in a brawl anyway.
Again, Cesaro notched the win, and it was even more glorious (no he won’t give in, he won’t give innnn) because Sheamus rallied from a near-perfect performance to seize what could have, would have, and should have been the win by socking Cesaro in the face and rolling him up. Only problem was, the referee was knocked over in the process and missed the count, but rallied in time for The King of Swing to notch a rollup of his own.
New Era, same old Dudley Boyz bravado. The ECW Originals got in Neville’s face on Raw Pre-Show and challenged The Man That Gravity Forgot to prove he could “fly” with a partner of his choosing. Turns out Neville can fly, and his ankle is just fine, thank you very much. It helped that his chosen partner, Sin Cara, was firing on all cylinders, and that D-Von accidentally clotheslined Bubba Ray in a bit of miscommunication. But that Red Arrow that finally put D-Von down for three? Well, let’s just say that everyone in attendance, especially the Dudleys, believed a man could fly.
Roman Reigns rained (reigned?) on Rusev and Lana’s figurative honeymoon last week when he punched The Super Athlete in the mouth, but now he’s gone and done one better by ruining their post-wedding victory lap on Raw. What was originally slated to be a recitation of Rusev and Lana’s vows and a viewing of their slideshow turned into an international incident when Reigns showed up with a wedding toast and a challenge for the U.S. Championship.
Both were declined, so Reigns poured some bubbly and gave the toast anyway. It started off contentious and got worse when The Big Dog insulted the groom’s, erm, masculinity, at which point a scuffle ensued that ended with Rusev accidentally shoving his bride into their wedding cake. And when he went to complain to Mick Foley about it, The Hardcore Legend turned the tables and sanctioned the U.S. Title Match for SummerSlam after all.
It is known that Sasha Banks can beat Charlotte just fine without Dana Brooke at ringside, but it is also known that Charlotte rarely goes anywhere without her muscle at her side. So The Boss’ bout against Brooke on Raw was doubly important, because if Sasha won, Dana would be banned from ringside at SummerSlam and if she lost, Dana would join the fray and the title defense would turn into a Handicap Match.
Well, pencil Sasha and Charlotte in for a one-on-one, because Dana is outta here, and ironically enough, it’s probably Charlotte’s fault. Dana was in control when she attempted to tee Sasha up for a slap in the face from Charlotte at ringside, only The Boss dodged and Dana caught the strike instead. Once Charlotte was dispatched, The Boss rammed Dana into the ringpost and drove her to the mat with the double-knees.
For anyone who was wondering what, exactly, Big E suffered from after his attack at the hands of Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the good brothers revealed the diagnosis as ringpostitis, and they attempted to infect Kofi Kingston with it as well following his match with Gallows on Raw. That, of course, would mean two members of The New Day were stricken with the dreaded disease, but even though "The Suntan Biker Man" managed to defeat Kingston, Xavier Woods stopped Gallows & Anderson from injuring Kingston down below by chasing them away with a steel chair.
They say it isn’t how you start a night, it’s how you finish. And so it went when Cesaro, who began Raw with a hard-fought win over Sheamus, and Rusev, who was humiliated by Roman Reigns, underwent a mutual reverse of fortune in an impromptu U.S. Title Match set up by Raw and SmackDown General Managers Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan during their much hyped sit-down over the Orton-Lesnar invasions of the previous week.
Cesaro seemed primed to claim his second win of the evening and make good on the championship match Foley had promised him, but some well-timed interference and an injury to the official saved Rusev’s hide. First, the zebra got taken out in a scrum when Sheamus tried to break up the match, so he missed the three-count of a Cesaro Neutralizer. Then, with the official still reeling, Rusev thumbed The King of Swing in the eye and sent him stumbling straight into a kick from Sheamus. A final kick from The Super Athlete spelled Cesaro’s doom, though Roman Reigns sprinted to the ring for the final Spear of the night. In other words, Rusev survived one title defense, but the next one is always around the corner.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Chris Jericho (w/ Kevin Owens) defeated Enzo Amore (w/ Big Cass) by DQ (11:11)
- Braun Strowman defeated Jorel Nelson (0:50)
- Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) defeated Titus O'Neil (1:58)
- Cesaro defeated Sheamus (11:00)
- Neville & Sin Cara defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) (5:18)
- Sasha Banks defeated Dana Brooke (w/ Charlotte) (2:43)
- Luke Gallows (w/ Karl Anderson) defeated Kofi Kingston (w/ Xavier Woods) (1:32)
- Rusev (c) defeated Cesaro to retain the WWE United States Championship (9:36)
- Dark Match: Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt
Guest star of SmackDown Live:
- SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan.
Other on-screen talent