Written by: The Immortal KB
This impactful go-home edition of SmackDown is live from the Legacy Arena at The BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. The next SmackDown PPV is WWE Battleground this Sunday live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on July 23rd exclusively on the WWE Network. My WWE Battleground predictions will follow the recap.
The show opened with footage of the Punjabi Prison with a narrator talking about how it is brutal and unforgiving.Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers walked to the ring to their music.Jinder and the Singh Brothers entered the inner cage. Then the outer structure lowered around them.
Jinder said this structure will be the final resting place of Orton’s legacy. The fans chanted “USA!” He said as their WWE Champion, he demanded silence as the Singh Brothers explained the rules of the match. They explained there are four doors, and four referees will open the doors when ordered for 60 seconds. The outer structure has no doors. So the only way to win is by climbing out of both structures. Singh said the most important rule is there are no rules no DQ, no countout. He said there is no escape for Orton. He said he will smash Orton’s face against the prison walls until his face matches the ugliness of the nation that he represents. He said he would then speak in his native language. Orton walked out and said Jinder is either the bravest SOB he’s ever met or he’s just that all that bright. Jinder and the Singhs were outraged. He said Jinder is making a conscious decision to be caged up like an animal with him, isolating any real advantage he ever had the Singh Brothers. He said the Singh Brothers are the only reason he took his title from him in the first place. Orton walked up to the cage and said on Sunday they’ll be locked up inside that Punjabi Prison. He said Jinder cannot run or hide or escape. Orton began to climb the side of the cage. I thought a few times he would slip and fall
Orton said he has nothing to lose. He said Jinder is the 50th WWE champion ever. He said Jinder has the entire weight of India on his shoulders 1.3 billion souls. He asked what he’ll do when those 1.3 billion souls consider him a disgrace. Orton made it to the top of the structure and sat down. Once again I thought he was going to fall. He said that will be his view on Sunday “when I leave your jacked up ass for dead in that ring.” (which could be a PED shot) Orton said Jinder will have to listen to Orton being announced as the new World Champion.
The Punjabi prison looked much larger than it did ten years ago and it also looked majestic.
The first match of the night was Jimmy Uso vs Kofi Kingston in a singles match. It started with
Kofi taunting Jimmy with his butt in his face a minute into the match. When Uso charged, Kofi ducked and Use flew to the floor. Kofi then did a springboard spot where he bounced on the top rope and then flipped once Uso got within range. New Day celebrated at ringside as they cut to a break. Coming back they stayed with the action in split-screen during the break. When Kofi went for a kick from the ring apron, Uso caught his boot and yanked him hard to the edge of the ring. Uso rammed Kofi’s face into the edge of the ring apron. Uso settled into a chinlock mid-ring. Kofi escaped with a jaw-breaker. Uso countered back with a round kick to the head. Kofi came back and set up a Trouble in Paradise, but Uso caught him and rammed him into the top turnbuckle for a near fall. Uso set up a superplex, but Kofi headbutted himself free. Jey stood on the ring apron to distract Kofi. Kofi yelled at him. Jimmy charged, but Kofi shouldered him in the chest and then leaped off the top rope with a crossbody. Jimmy rolled through and scored the pinfall victory in the eight minute contest.
Giving this match a grade of C+. It was very average and at this point I’m bored of this feud.
Shane stood between the five women and gave them a pep talk, asking who would earn the right to face Naomi for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Summerslam. He asked who would step up to wrestle tonight. Charlotte said that’s easy, because she wants to fight Lana. Naomi said that’s a shocker that the delusional queen thinks she can fight whomever she wants. Natalya said she’s fighting Lana. After Becky chimed in, Tamina yelled at her and said nobody’s fighting Lana tonight. Natalya suggested Charlotte face Becky tonight. Charlotte said she won’t fight Becky because Shane wants a competitive match. Shane got excited at the notion of Becky vs. Charlotte. “It’s tea time, ladies,” he said.
This was unnecessary and made Lana look weak which by default makes all the other women look weaker because Lana has been the only one to face Naomi for the championship so recently.
Renee Young interviewed Gable in a sit-down interview. She asked if Gable had a heads up that this was happening. “No. And a little heads up would have been nice. This didn’t just change Jason and Kurt’s life; it changed my life, too.” He said Jordan did call him after Raw, but his life changed when he watched Raw. He said it was obvious to him that Jordan was being distant recently in their travels and now he understands what he’s going through. Renee asked what this all means for him. Gable said they accomplished a lot together. He said they beat Orton & Bray Wyatt to win the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. He said he’s a great guy and supported him in huge matches against Kevin Owens and A.J. Styles. He said he has some ideas for what’s next for him. He said this is a great chance for everyone to see him on his own now. Renee thanked him for his time.
This interview was horrible in a ridiculous way the two of them had the type of smile when something is so ridiculous you have to laugh but can not but your actual face muscles do the smile against your will. What is not ridiculous is that Kurt Angle is a Black man.
The second match of the evening was Mike Kanellis vs Sami Zayn. Mike Kanellis came out looking like a fusion of Heath Slater, Shawn Michaels, and a crackhead turned born again Christian Dolph Ziggler all that combined with a little head. Sami clotheslined Mike over the top rope a minute later, then threw him hard into the ringside barrier. The announcers talked about Mike taking Maria’s last name. He landed an exploder suplex in the corner of the ring then Maria entered the ring, showing off her legs in a short skirt while protecting Mike. That delay gave Mike a chance to recover. He surprised Sami with a punch to the jaw during the distraction, then hit the Samoan Driver for the win in the six minute match.
Giving this match a D for being a waste of time. HOT TAKE Maria not that fine at all. If anything she should be in the Women’s division with her husband managing her.
Cena made his way out doing his full ring entrance. He began hyping the BattleGround line-up, including Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and the Punjabi Prison match. He asked fans of all the things they see, “what will you remember?” He said Rusev, every chance he gets, runs down the country he loves.
Cena said fans will remember one thing – the flag being waved for the USA or Bulgaria. He said he knows he hasn’t always been their favorite son and some fans haven’t liked him. He said that’s fair, but tonight they can agree that they all love the U.S. flag. He pointed at it. He asked if on Sunday, that flag will fly or will that flag fall. He said he is ready. He said he knows how the fans will feel if he doesn’t get the job done. “I promise you, I am ready!” he shouted. He said if it was any one of them, they’d stand there and do the same thing “because the United States of America is a country of fighters. We are not afraid to stand up and fight for what we believe in, and we never give up.” He said the fans proudly chant “USA” because they believe in what he believes. He said as a country they went to war with themselves, and in the end, the flag flew high. He talked about other key moments in American history when the flag flew high. He closed by saying when the towers fell, the flag flew high. He said on Sunday, fans will remember the same thing he does those colors on the flag do not run, they kick ass. He climbed up and grabbed the flag. He closed: “On Sunday, this flag will fly high!”
This was cringey like those stolen valour videos. John Cena played a marine in a movie and started acting like he was Captain America. To talk about 9/11, the Civil War, and World War II was disgusting. Plus this took place is racist ass birmingham the same city where in september it’s 54 years since the 16th street church bombing.
Luckily, Rusev attacked Cena from behind as his music began to play and he was waving the flag. The flag fell to the mat. Rusev put Cena in the Accolade. Cena powered up to a standing position. Cena backed Rusev hard into the corner turnbuckle, but Rusev held on and Cena sunk back down and wrenched back on the hold. Rusev angrily waved the flag on the stage and his music played as he looked on at Cena.
In the backstage locker room A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura prepared for their match with some talking. Shinsuke shook his head no. Styles said that’s okay, they didn’t need it last time they teamed. Styles asked Shinsuke if he wanted to reminisce about Japan “because I can tell you all the things I miss about Japan.” Shinsuke pointed down at his U.S. Title. He said, “One day, you call, I answer.”
The third match of the night was Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair. Natalya joined the announcers on commentary. Early in the match Charlotte did two back handsprings. Becky countered Charlotte into an attempted Disarmer. Charlotte rolled to the floor to force a break and applauded Becky from ringside. Coming back from the break Charlotte gave Becky a Razor’s Edge off the top rope and then settled into a chinlock. Becky came back by backdropping Charlotte over the top rope and kicking her off the ring apron. Then she leaped at Charlotte with a forearm at ringside.Charlotte and Becky exchanged heavy blows mid-ring. The crowd “woo” ed along to the chops. They cut to Naomi watching the match on a monitor from that stupid side view angle while making cartoon faces in response to the action. Becky rallied and played to the crowd and got some cheers. She took Charlotte down with a flying forearm for a two count. Becky set up her Disarmer, but Charlotte countered and clipped Becky’s knee. Then she set up a Natural Selection, but Becky countered with an armbar attempt. Charlotte countered with a roll-up which popped the crowd. Charlotte gave Becky an immediate big boot as the pace accelerated. Charlotte stomped on Becky and then climbed the top rope and went for a moonsault. Becky avoided the moonsault and then applied her Disarmer. Charlotte put her foot on the bottom rope. Becky yanked Charlotte to mid-ring without fully breaking. She reapplied the hold and Charlotte tapped out to lose the six minute match.
After the match Charlotte stood and looked upset with the loss, but then shook Becky’s hand. Suddenly Tamina’s horrible music played leading to Tamina and Lana coming out. Natalya attacked Becky from behind. Tamina and Natalya attacked Charlotte as Lana rammed Becky’s face into the mat. Tamina joined in with Lana. The three heels cleared the ring of the two faces, but then Natalya tried to put Tamina in a quick sharpshooter. Lana yanked Natalya off of her and yelled at her. Tamina superkicked Natalya in the face. Lana and Tamina looked at each other. There was tension.
The last six minutes of the match was some of the best Women’s wrestling seen in many months. Giving that match an A+. Charlotte and Becky obviously have chemistry but Naomi is the top gal the lady with a body so stupid fat of course it missed class.
Renee Young interviewed Naomi backstage. She said whoever wins at Battleground could lead to her toughest challenge yet at Summerslam. Well, unless Lana wins. Naomi said she wants every match to be her biggest challenge. “I didn’t come here to play; I came here to glow.” She said whoever wins at Battleground, they better be ready to glow. Carmella walked in with the Money in the Bank briefcase. She told Renee to shoe. Carmella said wherever Naomi goes, her MITB briefcase goes, “so I guess I’ll see you at Battleground.”
Phillips said it might not even be Naomi who is defending at Summerslam against the winner at Battleground.
The Fashion X Files: They did a spoof opening of X Files. A bulletin board had a photo of a UFO with the caption “Bo-Lieve.” Another picture of R-Truth with the caption “R-Truth is Out There.” Of course, Tyler Breeze played the role of Agent Scully. He was the skeptical one. They heard a ghost sound behind a curtain. They opened the curtain and it was Aiden English warming up. Suddenly a light shone from above. They looked up. Tyler said he wants to meet E.T., Alf, Max Moon, and Chewbacca. Someone walked in with a box and asked them to sign for it. Fandango thought he was an alien. The guy said he turned on the light above them. Fandango said, “You breath air. You are so human-like!” still thinking the guy came from outer space. Breeze opened the box and told Fandango not to look. He did, and he pulled out the horse head from his hobby horse. Fandango was despondent. Breeze pulled out a note that said “Battleground.” It closed with “To Be Concluded at Battleground.”
Stuff was so funny unfortunately this could end on Sunday the last three months of these have been gold.
Styles made his full ring entrance. Then Nakamura began his, but Corbin ugly ass attacked him from behind with the MITB briefcase. Owens joined in. Styles charged up to the stage to even the odds. Coming from the break the “Main event” began
AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin. The match was in progress after the break with Corbin attacking Styles. The heels had Styles down. Owens stomped away at Styles. Styles came back with a nice high dropkick. Styles tagged in Nakamura who went to work on Owens including a step-up enzuigiri. The heels took over on Nakamura. Eventually Nakamura fought back, but thanks to Owens teasing a run-in, Corbin was able to come back with a Deep Six for a near fall. Nakamura caught Corbin with a punch and rolled over and hot-tagged in Styles just after Corbin also tagged in Owens. Styles went to work with rapid-fire offense against Owens. He slammed Owens face-first to the mat and scored a two count. Styles tried to lift Owens, but Owens slipped out and clotheslined Styles. Owens tagged in Corbin. Styles went for a Calf Crusher, but Corbin blocked it and tossed Styles across the ring. Styles tried again and this time got it locked on. Corbin crawled to the bottom rope to force a quick break. Styles elbowed Corbin and signaled for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Owens yanked Styles off the ring apron. Nakamura attacked Owens at ringside. Corbin dumped Nakamura over the barrier into the timkeeper’s area. Back in the ring Styles blocked an End of Days and hit an enzuigiri. Then he hit a Pelé Kick. He set up a Styles Clash, but Owens entered and kicked Styles in the face. Then he hit a Pop-Up Powerbomb and scored the pin.
This match was one of the best Tag team matches in a long time. I would not be surprised that down the line Styles & Nakamura have a run with the Tag Team titles.
I’m giving this match a B+. This match showcased the two leads of SmackDown Nakamura and AJ Styles.
Overall, minus a few dead spots this was a great SmackDown to move forward to Battleground and beyond to Summerslam.
At Battleground including the preshow there are eight matches.
In the preshow match of Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English I think that Tye will win to pop the crowd.
In the Baron Corbin vs Shinsuke Nakamura match my pick to win is Shinsuke.
In the SmackDown Tag Team championship match The New Day beat the Usos to become the Champions.
In the dumbass Flag Match John Cena is going to lose to Rusev in by getting put to sleep. This will lead to Cena getting his seventeenth world title reign with the Universal Championship by beating Roman Reigns.
In the Women’s Fatal Five Elimination match Tamina is winning but Carmella might also tease a cash in.
AJ Styles will retain the US Championship in the match against Kevin Owens.
The Fashion Police will beat whoever they face in the Tag team match.
In the main event in the only third ever Punjabi Prison match I’m rocking with mahal jam. Jinder is going to destroy Randy Orton then move on to new challengers. Like The King Of Strong Style