After Randy Orton invaded RAW the previous night to hit his SummerSlam opponent Brock Lesnar with an RKO, Randy Orton is backstage with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon and SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan. Shane explains to “The Viper” that he “jeopardized everything” by putting his hands on Brock Lesnar, saying that he wouldn’t be surprised if Brock tries to get some payback on Orton before SummerSlam. Shane then says that there will be “personal repercussions” for Orton and he will deal with them later before Shane admits that what Orton did was “pretty awesome”. Orton then gestures towards the crowd of security standing nearby, asking if it’s really “necessary”. Shane assures Orton that it is necessary because they want to be prepared for anything but “The Viper” says that, if Brock Lesnar invades SmackDown Live tonight, he’s already proven that it only takes “one RKO” to drop Brock Lesnar. Orton then exits before Shane and Daniel give their instructions to the security to keep an eye out for Brock Lesnar.
Shane & Daniel are then confronted by Intercontinental Champion The Miz and his wife Maryse as The Miz expresses his disappointment that he wasn’t praised or celebrated when he retained the Intercontinental Title at Battleground and brought the championship to SmackDown Live. Daniel Bryan reiterates what he said when they drafted The Miz; that they didn’t want The Miz on SmackDown Live in the Draft, they wanted the Intercontinental Championship. The SmackDown General Manager then informs The Miz that, tonight, they are going to have a Triple Threat Match between Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews, and Kalisto with the winner of that match facing The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam!
SmackDown Live then officially gets underway as, after finding out last week that he will be defending the WWE World Championship against Dolph Ziggler in just under three weeks at SummerSlam, SmackDown Live kicks off with WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose. The champion says that he likes being on top of SmackDown Live and being the captain of the blue brand and he likes representing the great history of the WWE World Championship, declaring that he is there to stay. Wasting little time, Dean Ambrose calls out his SummerSlam opponent and the #1 Contender for the WWE World Title, Dolph Ziggler. Dolph makes his way to the ring to confront the champion, saying that they are pretty “similar”. However, Ambrose disagrees, saying that Dolph is all “show” and he is all “go” and he worked his entire life to make it to the WWE World Championship and he’s not letting it go anytime soon. Dolph says that, as a member of The Shield, Dean Ambrose came in at the top, reminding the champion that he debuted in WWE as a male cheerleader.
Ambrose then asks Dolph if he’s done “feeling sorry” for himself before the champion says that, when people put “roadblocks” in front of him, he overcomes them. Ambrose then says that he overcame it all to become the WWE World Champion before saying that Dolph is too worried about what people think of him, whether it be the fans, the internet community, or management. The champion continues, saying that Dolph should be worried about “winning”, not about where he should be on the card before saying that Ziggler is going to lose at SummerSlam. Ambrose then says that Dolph is going to “steal the show”, but he is going to what he does and that’s win. Ziggler says that he broke records at Kent State University in the hopes of getting his foot in the door in WWE.
Dolph then says that he’s the guy that, for the past seven years, has been “disrespected, undervalued, overlooked” and has been told one day that he’s “not good enough” and told the next day that he’s “too good”. Ziggler then proclaims that he is going to walk into SummerSlam, beat Ambrose, and walk out as the WWE World Champion because he is “that damn good”! The champion disagrees, saying that, at SummerSlam, Dolph is going to find out what his “problem” is and that problem is that Ziggler is “not as good” as he thinks he is. Ambrose then leaves the ring, leaving the #1 Contender with a lot to think about heading into SummerSlam. However, that is when the lights would go out and, when they came back on, Bray Wyatt had a hold of Dolph Ziggler as “The Eater of Worlds” plants the #1 Contender with Sister Abigail in the middle of the ring!
Bray then tells Dolph that he is not “worthy” of being the WWE World Champion before saying that Ziggler “stole” something from him and he wants it back. Bray then challenges to a one-on-one match tonight and, if Ziggler wins, then he will prove that he is “worthy” of his title shot, but if Bray wins, then he will take Dolph’s spot as the #1 Contender for the WWE World Championship at SummerSlam! Wyatt then dares Ziggler to prove to him that he is “that damn good” before kneeling next to Dolph, shouting “follow the buzzards”.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler confronts Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan as Dolph tells them that he wants the match with Bray Wyatt with his #1 Contender’s spot on the line! Daniel Bryan tries to talk Dolph out of it, but Ziggler insists that no one believes that he deserves to be the #1 Contender and he wants to prove it tonight, demanding that Shane make the match and make it now with the SmackDown Commissioner agreeing to the match!
In the opening match of the night, a new #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship would be decided as Apollo Crews, “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin, and the high flying Kalisto would compete in a Triple Threat Match with the first man to score a pinfall or submission earning a match against The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam with Intercontinental Champion The Miz and his wife Maryse guests on commentary. In the end, Apollo Crews would help Kalisto send Baron Corbin out of the ring before Crews surprises Kalisto with a roll-up, scoring the three-count to become the new #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship!
After the match, Baron Corbin would blindside Kalisto, looking to take his frustrations out on the high flyer. However, Apollo Crews would return to the ring, taking it to Baron Corbin before The Miz sneaks in and hits Apollo with the Skull Crushing Finale. The Intercontinental Champion then turns around into a waiting Baron Corbin as “The Lone Wolf” plants The Miz with the End of Days as Corbin is the one left standing tall after coming up short in the Triple Threat Match.
In a women’s division match, “The Irish Lass Kicker” Becky Lynch was set to go one-on-one with the debuting Eva Marie. However, before the match can begin, Eva Marie claims to have an injury to her left leg as the referee calls for the trainer before informing the ring announcer that, due to Eva Marie being unable to compete, the match will not be taking place! Eva Marie is then helped to the back by the referee and the trainer.
Then it was time for the SmackDown Live debut of the hyper-athletic American Alpha as Chad Gable & Jason Jordan would face The Vaudevillains on SmackDown Live. At the end of an impressive match, it was Jason Jordan throwing Aiden English to Chad Gable, who hits English with a back suplex with the bridge, pinning English to pick up the win for American Alpha.
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles would then make his way to the ring on SmackDown Live with a message for John Cena. AJ says that he came out there for one reason and one reason only and that is to talk about John Cena. However, with that, Styles is interrupted by the man himself as “The Face That Runs The Place” John Cena makes his way to the ring to hear what AJ has to say. AJ says that he has beaten John Cena up and Cena is still in WWE, saying that he doesn’t want Cena in WWE. Styles says that people think that Cena is some kind of “noble hero” before AJ addresses the fans, saying that the children in the audience are “delusional” and the only ones who are equally as delusional are their parents. AJ continues, saying that Cena is just as delusional as the kids and their parents because Cena believes what the kids and parents think about John Cena. AJ declares that he is a “winner” because he beat John Cena, proclaiming that he is the “elite”.
Cena responds by saying that he’s never forced the fans into thinking anything, saying that the fans form their own opinions about him. Styles then states that he is going to prove that Cena is a “fraud”, saying that he beat Cena at WWE Money-in-the-Bank before asking why Cena is still here. Cena says that he is there to shut AJ up before saying that Styles has the right to say whatever he wants, but at a certain point, he has to back up what he says. Cena then says that he is there out of “love” and he loves the reactions he gets from the fans. Cena continues, saying that, no matter what he does outside of WWE, WWE will “always” be his “home”. Cena then tells AJ that the only reason that he’s in WWE is because he’s a “really good wrestler” and Styles has proven that, if it doesn’t work for him, he is more than ready to pick up shop and move somewhere else! Cena then states that there is nowhere for him besides WWE, saying that he is there out of “love” before asking Styles what he is doing there!
Styles says that Cena said exactly what he expected him to say, saying that’s the John Cena that he knows and that’s the Cena that never backs away from a challenge. AJ then challenges Cena to a one-on-one match at SummerSlam with Cena not hesitating to accept the match! Styles then says that the best part about SummerSlam will be when he beats John Cena and, then, on SmackDown Live the Tuesday after SummerSlam, Cena is going to come out there and say that AJ Styles is “better” than him. AJ then says that, if Cena doesn’t admit that AJ is better than him, then he is a “liar” and, if he does, then Cena is a “loser”, saying that, either way, he wins! Styles then leaves the ring, leaving a stone-faced John Cena, clearly ready to collide with “The Phenomenal One” at SummerSlam.
With security surrounding the ring, ready for Brock Lesnar if he decides to try and get some payback against Randy Orton, “The Viper” was in action on SmackDown Live as Randy Orton would go one-on-one with Fandango, with Tyler Breeze in his corner. During the match, Randy Orton would hit his signature DDT on Fandango, but as Orton sizes Fandango up for the RKO, “The Beast” would show his face as Brock Lesnar would appear in the crowd with security doing their best to keep Brock at bay. Meanwhile, in the ring, Orton hits Fandango with the RKO, but this is when Lesnar breaks through the security and enters the ring, grabbing “The Viper” and leveling Randy Orton with the F-5! Shane McMahon then rushes out with more security, as well as a group of referees, as security, led by Shane McMahon, escort Brock Lesnar out of the arena with “The Beast” getting his payback for the RKO from Randy Orton on RAW.
With security pre-occupied with Brock Lesnar, Heath Slater would find his way into the office of SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan as the free agent would again try to get a spot on the SmackDown Live roster. The GM would give Heath Slater an opportunity to do just that on next week’s SmackDown Live as Heath Slater will compete in a match and, if he wins, he will get a SmackDown Live contract. However, before Bryan can reveal the identity of Heath’s opponent, Rhyno appears out of nowhere with a Gore to Heath Slater! A surprised Daniel Bryan then informs Slater that his opponent will be none other than “The Man Beast” next week.
Following a confrontation earlier in the night, SmackDown Live was about to see the in-ring debut of Carmella, but Carmella was ambushed by Natalya during her entrance. Natalya would beat Carmella down before locking in the Sharpshooter on Carmella on the outside with Carmella frantically tapping out before referees are able to break it up.
Then it was time for the main event as, following an attack by Bray Wyatt earlier in the night that was followed by a challenge, the #1 Contender for the WWE World Championship at SummerSlam, Dolph Ziggler, would put his #1 Contender’s spot on the line against “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt with WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose a guest on commentary. During the match, Bray Wyatt would take the time to loosen the turnbuckle pad and it would nearly cost “The Eater of Worlds” as Dolph Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on Bray, but it fails to put Wyatt away. Ziggler then decides to finish the job that Bray started by removing the turnbuckle pad completely, exposing the steel underneath.
Shortly after this, Dolph would narrowly avoid contact with the exposed turnbuckle before sending Bray Wyatt face-first into the steel, following it up with a super kick, pinning Bray to pick up the win and ensure that he keeps his match at SummerSlam for the WWE World Championship! After the match, Dean Ambrose would stand on the announce table, holding up the WWE World Title belt as Dolph Ziggler yells at the champion from in the ring. However, this is when Erick Rowan would blindside the #1 Contender, beating Dolph Ziggler down. This brings Dean Ambrose into the ring as the champion takes it to Erick Rowan before Bray Wyatt gets involved, giving Rowan the opening to hit a big side slam on Ambrose. Rowan then kicks Ambrose out of the ring before Bray picks Dolph up, drilling the #1 Contender with Sister Abigail before kneeling next to Dolph with Rowan standing behind him, shouting “follow the buzzards”.
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