Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live opens up from The Amway Center in Orlando, Florida as Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show. He is joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
We go to the ring and out comes Randy Orton.
He gets on the mic and says that last week Jeff Hardy called him out, asking how that turned out for him before proceeding to roll tape his attack on the Charismatic Enigma. He then says that the question is, “Do you still believe?” and that he could have warned the squeamish to turn their heads, but seeing people writhe is half of why he did it in the first place.

Orton then says that he is here to dismantle our favorites’ identities and become so violent that we will want to change the channel. But we won’t, because we believe in heroes, and we think that Hardy is going to come down and save the day right now, but he won’t because the Viper erased the Enigma.
Randy then complains about not getting the respect he deserves from anyone, in the crowd or in the back, and gives us a history lesson. Orton says that he started the youngest man in the locker room and became the youngest world champion ever. Orton then says that he is a thirteen time world champion, he’s main evented every major show on multiple occasions, but we still don’t respect him.
Orton then says that sometimes in life you have to make choices. We have all made our choice, he says, and so has he, so he will erase every superstar that we choose to believe in, starting with Jeff Hardy. Piece by piece by piece, but it’s not his fault, it’s on each and every one of us. Call him what you want, Apex Predator, Viper, even Legend Killer, but the only thing you need to call him is the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment, RKO. Orton drops the mic and walks off.
We see The Bar talking strategy backstage momentarily before cutting to Becky Lynch stretching. Charlotte Flair rolls up on Becky Lynch and they both try to talk at once but Becky lets Charlotte go first. Charlotte says that she wasn’t trying to ruin Lynch’s moment, and Becky says that she gets it, they both want the same thing, but it put her in a tough position. Lynch then says that she wanted to be happy for Flair but she also wanted Carmella to herself, and now the hill she has to climb got a little bigger, but that’s okay. At SummerSlam she’ll prove that she’s the best by beating the best, and Charlotte says that that means a lot and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She asks if they’re okay for their tag match tonight and Becky says of course, they’re not Sasha and Bayley.

Carmella makes her way down to the ring to do commentary for the next match and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the entrances of our opening contest.
Billie Kay & Peyton Royce play a word association game while cutting a promo during their entrance. They run down the city that they’re in. They also run down Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.

Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce): The opening bell sounds and Charlotte and Becky dump both members of The IIconics outside early on, and Charlotte hits a suicide dive on them. Back in the ring, Becky hits a t-bone suplex and a flying forearm off the top on Peyton for a two count. Becky looks for the Dis-Arm-Her, but Billie breaks it up. Charlotte tags in and hits a moonsault off the top on both members of The IIconics. Charlotte puts Peyton in the Figure Eight and Peyton taps out. Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
After the match, Flair and Lynch stand tall as Flair’s music hits. They celebrate together as Carmella stands on top of the announce table and raises her title, running her mouth on her SummerSlam opponents.
We head backstage where Renee Young is interviewing The New Day. Big E starts by saying that last week they were dynamite on commentary and this week they’re trying something different. A besuited Kofi Kingston puts on a blonde wig to become a backstage interviewer named Kramer Kingman and he grills his partners about The Bar. Xavier Woods says that they smell like rancid meat and that they have beat them before and they’ll beat them again. And as for The Bludgeon Brothers, Big E says that they are no stranger to danger and that they will make sure The Bludgeons bow down to the power of positivity. Kofi takes off the wig and they go on about how they can do anything. Kofi hands the wig to Renee and they walk off.
We see a pre-taped video of The Miz saying that it seems like all he does is give, and after a week of negotiations, he’s decided to give something to Daniel Bryan, the gift of relevancy in a match at SummerSlam.
We see The WWE Champion AJ Styles walking backstage to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and Flair and Lynch are walking backstage and Charlotte is talking in effusive terms about how much she loves tagging with her. Becky is more pensive, saying that things will be a little different at SummerSlam, to which Flair says that they will just have to be great against each other then, and they have an awkward tea salute to end the segment.
Commentary shows us a video package recapping Samoa Joe’s promo from last week as well as the feud between him and WWE Champion AJ Styles.
WWE Champion AJ Styles makes his way down to the ring. He starts by saying that a lot goes on between these ropes, trash talking and contested manhoods, and when that happens, it gets personal. Styles then says that last week Joe made it personal by talking about his family, so here’s the thing – he wants to be one of the greatest WWE Superstars for his family, and that doesn’t make him special.
Styles then says that we all make sacrifices for our family, but that is what he’s supposed to do as a father and as a real man. Styles then says that he is away from home over 200 days a year, he misses sports, birthdays, his 18th anniversary with his wife was on Sunday even, but the reality is his wife is basically a single parent because he can’t be there, but the point is to give your kids what they need, that’s why he is here.
Styles then says trust him, when his little one falls down he wants to be there to pick them up and wipe their tears from their face. That’s what pisses him off the most – Samoa knows his wife and kids and long before this was The House That AJ Styles Built, they shared a cockroach-infested apartment complex and stale pizza together, and Joe threw over a decade of friendship away in a few seconds.
So here’s the thing, he’s not gonna let him put his hands on this title. Screw that, actually, at SummerSlam, Joe isn’t walking out WWE Champion, in fact he’ll be lucky to walk out at all, period. AJ stands tall as his music hits. We see Joe backstage watching again, smiling and laughing at AJ.
We head backstage where we see that Lana is training ahead of her rematch with Zelina Vega. Rusev rolls up and puts his hand on her shoulder before saying that she was right last week, he should be more supportive, and that’s why he’ll be in her corner tonight to make it a Happy Lana Day. Lana thanks him, and Aiden English rolls up, hands up in a gesture of peace. He just wants to apologize, and after that, if he wants to hit him, hit him. He says that it hasn’t been fair to any of them, but he had their best intentions at heart and he doesn’t know who he is without them and he’s here to say he’s sorry. Rusev looks to Lana, she gives him the nod and all is forgiven. Rusev Day are back together. They go to leave but Rusev stops short and asks Aiden to hang back during the match.
Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega make their way down to the ring to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for Rusev Day to make their way down to the ring.
Lana vs. Zelina Vega: Lana starts off strong and backs Zelina into the corner. Zelina fights back with strikes and keeps Lana grounded with a rear chin lock. Zelina misses a kick, and Lana fires back with a knee and a vertical suplex for a two count. Lana hits some elbow drops then works over Zelina in the corner. Lana hits a running facebuster for a two count. Lana hits two vertical suplexes, then Almas causes a distraction from the apron and Zelina drops Lana. Rusev goes after Almas now and whips him into the fan barricade. Zelina kicks Rusev in the head from the apron and Almas drops Rusev from behind. Meanwhile in the ring, Lana hits a big boot on Zelina. Lana goes up top while Rusev and Almas still brawl. Aiden English runs down and spears Almas, but he bumps into Lana in the process and Lana goes down. Zelina takes advantage and pins Lana for the win. Winner: Zelina Vega
After the match, Rusev goes to the ring to check on Lana as English looks disappointed at ringside. We go to replays. Vega and Almas leave as their music plays. Rusev and Lana look on at English from the ring.
We head backstage where WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura is being interviewed. He questions the idea that he has to defend against Jeff Hardy, since he’s been erased, but he’ll fight whatever’s left of him. R-Truth and Tye Dillinger roll up, and Truth demands a title match at SummerSlam. Nakamura asks why he would do that, and Truth says that he is going to earn the match by pinning Carmella. Tye sputters and Truth says that he is not going to wrestle Renee. Shinsuke says something in Japanese to him and Truth is shocked, saying that the match with Carmella is off and he wants Nakamura tonight.
Byron Saxton is shown getting up from the commentary desk and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are told that R-Truth vs. Shinsuke Nakamura has been made official for later tonight.
Byron Saxton is in the ring and introduces The Miz…on the video screen. He asks if The Miz is afraid and The A-Lister cuts him off and calls him a second-rate commentator. Saxton changes to ask if Miz & Mrs. will have the same kind of success as Total Bellas, and The Miz says that they have had more viewers in two episodes than the entire third season of Total Bellas.
The Miz then puts over all the accolades they have gotten and Byron asks about the SummerSlam Match, to which The A-Lister plugs tonight’s episode of Miz & Mrs., which Bryan should watch to learn how to resuscitate his career. Saxton tries one more time, invoking their history going back to the original NXT in 2010. The Miz says that he has been too busy to think about Daniel Bryan, and he should be WWE Champion. The Miz then grows increasingly unhinged, saying that he is done sharing the spotlight with someone who hasn’t earned it and rails against Bryan for calling him soft. The Miz then says that he is not hiding from anybody, and at SummerSlam he will expose Bryan for being beneath him, like he’s always been. The Miz then tells Byron to go find “that bearded bozo” to hear from him while he eats kale or.
Daniel Bryan suddenly attacks The Miz. He’s punching The Miz’s face in just like he said he would. One of The Miz’s guards nails Daniel Bryan with a vase full of flowers and The A-Lister runs off. Daniel Bryan recovers and slowly gets to his feet.
Commentary hypes up the finals of the SmackDown Live Tag Team Tournament for later on tonight and Shinsuke Nakamura makes his entrance to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for R-Truth to make his way down to the ring.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. R-Truth: This one is a non-title match. Nakamura starts off with a kick to the midsection and some right hands. Nakamura stomps on Truth in the corner, but Truth comes back with a roll-up attempt for a one count, then he mocks Nakamura. They run the ropes and Truth hits a Frankensteiner and then a spinning heel kick. Truth hits a hip toss and then wastes some time playing to the crowd. Truth misses a scissors kick and Nakamura answers with a kick of his own. Truth misses a shot and Nakamura goes for a triangle choke. Truth reaches the ropes to break the hold and the referee breaks it up. Nakamura follows up with kicks and knee drops on Truth while he’s down. Nakamura hits a reverse suplex and then the Kinshasa for the three count. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the match, Nakamura raises the title as his music hits.
The Bludgeon Brothers cut a promo about their two potential challengers and the test that awaits them tonight, after which they will be waiting and excited, ready to break them mentally and physically. Harper then says that this is going to be fun.
The Bludgeon Brothers make their way down to the ring as they will be having a match after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the opening bell of the next match.
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. 3SK (Alechi Lee, Julio Rivera, & Pavel Koslov) (3-on-2 Handicap Match): Harper and Rowan make quick work of them, knocking them all outside. They hit the powerbomb/Doomsday device combination on one of the enhancement talent for the three count after a short squash match. Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan)
After the match, Harper and Rowan stand tall with the titles as their music hits.
Commentary runs down / hypes up The SummerSlam card as announced.
The Bar make their way down to the ring to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for The New Day to make their way down to the ring.
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro): The winners of this match will go on to face The Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam. Cesaro and Big E starts this one off, and Big E drops him with an elbow to the face. Kofi tags in and puts the boots to Cesaro. Sheamus tags in and Kofi lays into him with strikes, but Sheamus stops him with a big shot that sends Kofi falling down to ringside. Sheamus follows and hits a big uppercut on the floor. Back in the ring, Cesaro continues the offense on Kofi and tries to keep him grounded. Sheamus tags back in and they double team Kofi. Big E finally gets the tag and cleans house. Big E hits a suplex on Sheamus for a two count. Cesaro and Kofi tag back in and Kofi hits the SOS for a two count. Big E tags in and looks for a splash on Cesaro but misses. The fight spills out to ringside where Kofi looks for a splash on Sheamus, but Sheamus catches him and hits a rolling senton on the floor. Sheamus tags in and he works over Big E in the corner. Cesaro tags back in for the double team on Big E. Sheamus and Cesaro continue to trade frequent tags to control the match. Cesaro superplexes Big E off the top, and Sheamus immediately follows up with a flying knee drop off the top for a two count. Sheamus looks for a Texas Cloverleaf, but Big E kicks him away. Kofi and Cesaro get the tags, and Kofi hits a big springboard clothesline on Cesaro. Kofi cleans house and hits the Boom Drop on Cesaro. The Bar rolls outside for a breather, and Kofi hits a suicide dive on both of them. Back in the ring, Sheamus comes back with a backbreaker for a two count. Sheamus looks for the big boot, but Kofi ducks. Cesaro tags in but Kofi knocks him outside and then kicks down Sheamus. Big E tags in and picks up Sheamus, but then Cesaro runs in and knocks down Kofi and Big E. The Bar hits a double team White Noise on Big E, but Kofi breaks up the pin. Sheamus drops Kofi at ringside while Cesaro and Big E fight in the ring. Cesaro swings Big E and locks in the Sharpshooter. Big E fights out and holds up Cesaro while Kofi tags in. They successfully hit the Midnight Hour on Cesaro for the three count, and The New Day has now earned a SmackDown Tag Team Title shot at SummerSlam. Winners: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston)
After the match, Woods hits the ring and The New Day celebrates as fans pop. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers is now official for SummerSlam. We go to replays. The celebration continues as we see the SmackDown Tag Team Champions watching from the crowd near the concourse with their Tag Titles and their mallets. SmackDown goes off the air with the new #1 contenders celebrating in the ring.

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