The July 24th, 2018 edition of WWE SmackDown Live took place at the Ford Center in Evansville, IN.
– This week’s broadcast starts off with a limo pulling up to the back of the Ford Center. The Miz gets out, and Marye and their new baby follow. The Miz family makes their way into the building, and then the broadcast team talks about Miz’s new reality show on the USA Network.
– Randy Orton’s music hits and the former U.S. Champion makes his way down to the ring. We go to replays of Orton assaulting Hardy as he steps into the ring. Orton says his issue with Jeff isn’t unfinished business from the past, or Jeff’s popularity, it’s because of the fans. Orton says he busted his ass for the fans for 16 years, and he is the only one still around from back when he started with WWE. Orton says all of the new WWE stars eat at the table that Orton set for them, yet he gets no respect. Orton asks if it’s because he doesn’t paint his face, flail his arms, change his merch colors every month, or steal the ‘too sweet’ gesture. He says he used to be the Legend Killer, but the fans are the true legend killers. Orton says he didn’t pay his dues in bingo halls, he paid his dues in WWE, and now he is going to destroy all of the fans’ favorite WWE stars. Orton assures that he is going to end Hardy’s career, and he is going to write Hardy’s final chapter for him.
– We see a replay of Stephanie McMahon last night announcing the upcoming all-women’s Evolution pay-per-view.
– Rusev and Lana come out to the ring as we go to some footage from earlier tonight of them arguing with Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega backstage.
– Rusev vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas: Lana and Zelina are both at ringside for this one. Rusev drops Almas erly on and goes to throw him outside, but Almas latches on to the ropes and hangs out. Almas looks for a kick but Rusev clotheslines him down. The crowd chants “Rusev Day” as the Bulgarian Brute hits a vertical suplex. Almas rolls outside as Rusev briefly celebrates with Lana. Back in the ring, Almas turns things around and works over Rusev’s left shoulder. Rusev fights back with right hands to the face and he follows up with some kicks to the face. Rusev hits a splash in the corner and then a spinning heel kick. Rusev charges in the corner for another splash but Almas blocks it with a big boot. Rusev answers with a kick of his own for a two count. Rusev misses a big boot and Almas chops him across the chest. Almas hits Rusev in the head and Rusev no-sells it. Rusev fires back with elbows to the face, and Almas hits a kick to the face. Almas looks for the DDT but can’t get it, so he hits a spinning back elbow to Rusev’s face. Almas wastes some time and runs the ropes, and he runs into a big boot from Rusev, and both men are down. Lots of “Rusev Day” chants from the crowd. Lana and Zelina get into it at ringside now until Aiden English runs down the ramp and pulls them apart. Zelina jumps on English from behind and causes him to bump into Lana. The distraction leads to Almas hitting the hammerlock DDT for the three count.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
– Almas and Vega celebrate on the ramp as Lana gets in the ring with Rusev. Lana doesn’t look happy with Aiden.
– R-Truth approaches Tye Dillinger backstage to consult about Samoa Joe. Tye gives Truth a pep talk about this being his first match back in a while, and it’s his chance to show that he’s the truth against Joe. Truth vs. Joe is up next.
– Aiden English is shown backstage arguing with Lana. Aiden complains that Rusev isnt returning his calls or texts. Rusev tells them to stop and says maybe neither of them are good for Rusev Day.
– R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe: R-Truth raps on his way down to the ring first, for his first match since the WrestleMania Kickoff Show. The opening bell sound and Joe starts off strong, but R-Truth stuns him with a heel kick to the face. Truth hits a big splash in the corner and then a spinning forearm shot to the face. Truth wastes some time asking the crowd “What’s up,” and Joe comes back with a headbutt. They scuffle into the corner and Joe side-slams Truth onto the mat. Joe follows up with the Coquina Clutch and Truth taps out.
Winner: Samoa Joe
– Joe looks happy after the match as he stares into the camera. The broadcast team talks about a tag team tournament between the SmackDown teams to determine who will face the Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam.
– We go backstage to Asuka who does an interview about the women’s Evolition pay-per-view. She says she’s excited and ready, but tonight, Billie Kay isn’t ready for Asuka.
– Asuka vs. Billie Kay: Peyton Royce is at ringside in Billie’s corner. We see a brief pre-taped promo from Billie and Peyton. The opening bell sounds and Asuka immediately goes for the arm. Billie fights back with a knee to the body an then she tries to keep Asuka grounded. Asuka fights back with some knee strikes of her own and then a Shining Wizard for a two count. Peyton tries to get involved but she gets bumped off the apron. Asuka delivers a couple kicks to the head of Billie for the finish.
– We go to a pre-taped promo from Shinsuke Nakamura taunting Jeff Hardy about having the U.S. Title, and Orton attacking him.
– Still to come: Paige will introduce AJ Styles’ opponent for SummerSlam.
– We see The Miz, Maryse and their baby backstage taking some photos to promote their new USA Network reality show.
– The ring is set up with carpet and a table, and SmackDown GM Paige is on the mic. Paige talks about the announcement of the women’s Evolution pay-per-view, and then she gets into the subject of SummerSlam. First she introduces WWE Champion AJ Styles, who comes down to the ring to find out who his SummerSlam opponent will be. The crowd chants AJ’s name as he gets on the mic and thanks the fans. AJ also talks about the all-womens pay-per-view and how it made him think of his daughters. AJ talks about his previous SummerSlam matches with John Cena and Kevin Owens, and he compares SummerSlam to WrestleMania. AJ signs the contract on the table and then asks to find out who his opponent is. Paige asks for a drum roll, but then James Ellsworth comes out to interrupt. Ellsworth comes out to the stage and gets on the mic. Ellsworth introduces himself and says the real reason he came back to WWE is the WWE Title. He says he’s beaten AJ three times, so no one is more worthy than him. Ellsworth says AJ is scared of him, and he’ll be the new Champion at SummerSlam. Paige tells James to stop and calls him a joke. Ellsworth says Paige is the joke and she makes fun of her for being pale. Paige walks up to Ellsworth on the ramp and says she’s had enough to him. Paige says she has two words for Ellsworth – you’re fired. Security comes and hauls off Ellsworth, and Paige follows them backstage. AJ looks confused in the ring. We cut to the back where Paige instructs the security to put Ellsworth in front of the door, and Paige kicks him through the door. Meanwhile in the ring, Samoa Joe attacks AJ Styles from behind. Joe puts AJ in the Coquina Clutch and he puts AJ to sleep. Joe signs his name to the contract and then throws the table at AJ while he’s down. Joe heads up the ramp as AJ recovers in the ring.
– Back from the break, we see a replay of Joe beating down AJ and signing the contract.
– Samoa Joe is walking backstage when Paige approaches him and asks what he’s doing. Paige says she did pick Joe to be AJ’s opponent, but she didn’t want that. Joe says that’s his killer instinct at work, and what he just did was phenomenal. Joe walks off, and Carmella walks in, and Carmella questions Paige about kicking Ellsworth out of the building. Carmella talks about beating Charlotte and Asuka, and now she’s going to go out and beat Becky Lynch.
– Carmella vs. Becky Lynch: Becky starts off with a take-down on Carmella, and she looks for the Disarm-her early on but can’t lock it in. Carmella fights back with some elbows to the face and she drops Becky. They run the ropes and Becky hits a flying forearm shot, then the fight spills out to ringside. Becky misses a kick and Carmella throws her into the fan barricade to take control of the pace. Carmella control the next few moments until Becky fires back with a kick and then a series of strikes. Becky looks for a t-bone suplex, but Carmella escapes and hits a facebuster for a two count. Carmella looks for a tornado DDT, but Becky reverses it into a t-bone suplex. Becky goes up top, but Carmella stops her and hits a frankensteiner down for a two count. Carmella covers again with her feet on the ropes for leverage, but Becky still kicks out. Becky fights back and looks for a flying leg drop off the top, but Carmella rolls out of the way. Carmella follows up with a kick to the face for a two count. Carmella gets frustrated and goes to pick up Becky, but Becky catches her in the Disarm-her for the win.
Winner: Becky Lynch
– Becky celebrates her win, and she’ll now have a shot at Carmella at SummerSlam.
– We go to a pre-taped promo from The Bludgeon Brothers, who say no matter who wins the shot at their Tag Team Titles, they’re in for a bludgeoning.
– The New Day vs. Sanity: This is the first match in a four-team tournament to decide who earns a shot at the Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam. The Usos are on commentary, and they face The Bar next week in the tournament. Woods and Big E will represent The New Day in this one, and Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain will represent Sanity. Wolfe starts off strong, but Woods dodges a shot and drops him with an elbow to the face. Eric Young causes a distraction, which leads to Wolfe hitting a suplex on Woods. Dain tags in and continues the offense on Woode with a slam and then a senton bomb. Woods starts fighting back against Dain and the fight spills out to ringside. This one falls apart as Young and Kofi get involved, which leads to The New Day hitting the Midnight Hour on Wolfe for the three count.
Winners: The New Day
– The New Day will now face the winners of The Usos vs. The Bar next week. The New Day celebrates their win, and as The Usos hit the ring, The Bar’s music hits, and Sheamus and Cesaro make their return. Sheamus and Cesaro are on the stage with mics, and they say while they didn’t miss any of us, they miss being Tag Team Champs. They announce their intentions to become Tag Champs at SummerSlam, and then do their “we are the bar” catch phrase.
– The Miz and Maryse are backstage with their baby, talking to Paige. The Miz says it’s time to introduce their baby to the WWE Universe, and he gets ready to strap the baby to his chest.
– The Miz comes out to ther ing with Maryse and their child strapped to Miz’s chest. The Miz talks about last week being the farewell to Team Hell No, and tonight is the premiere party for their new reality TV show. Maryse also mentions the all-womens pay-per-view news, and she says the evolution really started with her. Maryse promotes their new show, and then Miz talks about it some more. The Miz introduces his baby, who in her short life has accomplished more than Daniel Bryan, and her name is Monroe Sky. The Miz says the mention of Daniel Bryan has put Monroe to sleep. The Miz says it’s time to skip to a special preview of their show, and they roll the footage. The footage ends up being clips of The Miz getting beat up by other wrestlers and botching spots. The screen cuts to Daniel Bryan who apologizes for the footage mix-up. Bryan then says he wants to go to the ring and join the party, and apologize to Miz in-person for that. Bryan makes his way down to the ring next. Two people who appear to be The Miz’s security guards stop Daniel. Daniel lays the two security guards out and he hits the ring. Bryan steps in the ring and The Miz throws the baby at it — which is a doll and not his real baby. Bryan is confused for a moment as he catches the doll, and Miz drops Bryan with a big boot to the face out of nowhere. Miz follows up with a Skull Crushing Finale on Bryan. The Miz gets on the mic and says he knew Bryan would try to ruin his night, so he planned this all along. Miz says he baby we saw earlier was an actor. The Miz says if you want to see his real kid, you can tune into his show on the USA Network right now, and it will be awesome. We go to a replay of Miz throwing the baby doll and beating down Bryan. The Miz and Maryse embrace on the ramp as Bryan recovers in the ring and SmackDown goes off the air.