The July 31st edition of WWE SmackDown Live took place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL, and was the latest stop on the road to SummerSlam ’18.
– Fans are now entering the arena in Tampa and being seated.
– SmackDown opens up from inside the Amalie Arena, and Becky Lynch comes down to kick off the show with an in-ring interview. Becky talks about her intentions for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and then Carmella quickly comes out to interrupt. Carmella steps into the ring and gives Becky credit for earning her shot, and adds that the feeling “hit her like a tidal wave” that she would be taking part in the first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view. Carmella says they should help each other instead of bashing each other, and she is really just jealous of Becky because she was better in NXT. Carmella starts pretending to cry and talking about how everyone hates on her. Carmella says she’s proud to be competing at SummerSlam with Becky, and she goes to shake her hands, but then James Ellsworth’s music hits. Becky looks up at the stage, and then Carmella attacks her from behind. Carmella kicks Becky down and then gets a steel chair. Charlotte comes out for the save and suplexes Carmella out of the ring. Charlotte helps Becky to her feet as Carmella retreats up the ramp.
– Samoa Joe is shown waiting backstage, he will issue a statement about AJ Styles tonight.
– Jeff Hardy is shown backstage listening to music in his locker room. He is scheduled to confront Randy Orton later tonight.
– We see a pre-taped promo from The Usos who talk about facing The Bar tonight, and channel some of The Rock’s catch phrases.
– Carmella meets with Paige backstage, and Paige isn’t happy about Carmella’s behavior out in the ring. Carmella complains about always having the odds against her and not receiving fair treatment. Paige decides to book Carmella against Charlotte in a non-Title match tonight, and if Charlotte wins, she is added to the Title match at SummerSlam.
– The Bar vs. The Usos: Before the bell, The New Day comes out to interrupt. The New Day has their own orange announce table set up at ringside with pancakes all over it. They will be on commentary for this one. Sheamus and Jey start this one off and they trade some big strikes. Jey boots Sheamus through the ropes down to the floor, where he regroups with Cesaro. Cesaro tags in and drops Jey then keeps him grounded with a chin lock. Sheamus tags in and boots Jey down, then they hit a double team clothesline on Uso for a two count. Sheamus follows up with some knee drops to keep Uso down. Jey fights back with right hands, then Sheamus misses a spear and slams into the ring post. Jimmy and Cesaro tag in, and Jimmy starts laying into Cesaro with clotheslines and kicks. Jimmy hits a Samoan Drop for a two count. Jimmy follows up with a kick to the head, then Cesaro rolls outside for a breather. Jimmy goes flying for a suicide dive but Sheamus takes the shot. Jimmy hits Cesaro next and takes him back in the ring. Jimmy hits a splash for a two count. Jimmy goes back up top, but Cesaro shoves him off and Jimmy crashes down onto the fan barricade at ringside. Back in the ring, The Bar looks for the double team on Jimmy, but Jey pulls Sheamus out to ringside. Jimmy goes flying off the top with a corkscrew plancha on Cesaro on the mat. Jimmy and Cesaro trade right hands now until Sheamus tags in. The Bar looks for the double team again, but Jey breaks it up with a superkick on Cesaro. Sheamus dumps Jey outside and Jimmy superkicks Sheamus. Jey tags in now and hits the Uso splash , then he pins but Cesaro breaks it up. Jey dumps Cesaro outside, then Jimmy tags in. Jey and Jimmy both go up top for splashes, but Cesaro takes down Jey with an uppercut, and then Sheamus blocks Jimmy’s splash. Sheamus rolls up Jimmy for the three count.
Winners: The Bar
– The Bar celebrates in the ring and they call out The New Day. The three New Day members get in the ring and exchange words with Sheamus and Cesaro. The Bar backs down and heads to the back.
– Still to come: Lana vs. Zelina Vega in a match sponsored by Sonic.
– We go back to Charlotte’s locker room for an interview with Renee Young. Charlotte says she was only here to support Becky, but had to get involved due to Carmella. Charlotte says she didn’t even think she would be at SummerSlam, let alone in a Title match. Charlotte says she hasn’t forgotten that Carmella has beaten her before, but she’s back and ready to reclaim her throne.
– The announcers introduce a replay of Samoa Joe beating down AJ Styles last week and signing their SummerSlam contract. Joe is scheduled to deliver a personal message to AJ next.
– Tonight’s “Classic superstar” presented by Sonic is The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.
– Samoa Joe comes down to the ring and gets on the mic. Joe says what he did to AJ last week was sending a message. Joe says he respects AJ and the house he built, and he says AJ has made the WWE Title the most prestigious Championship in WWE. Joe says AJ put being Champion above being a member of his family, because he’s barely home long enough to hug his kids. He calls AJ a failure as a husband and father. Joe says AJ’s wife and kids will love Joe, because Joe is going to put AJ out of action so they can have him back at home, but Joe will be WWE Champion. Joe drops the mic and heads to the back.
– We go to replays of Randy Orton beating down Jeff Hardy two weeks ago. Hardy is shown backstage putting his face paint on and getting reay to come out to the ring.
– Jeff Hardy comes out to the ring and gets on the mic. Jeff says the U.S. Title is the most important thing to him, it’s part of his life force and is his fifth eye. He says the only thing almost as important as that, is beating the hell out of Randy Orton. Jeff calls out Orton, and Orton comes down the ramp to answer. As Orton steps in the ring, Shinsuke Nakamura comes from out of the crowd and attacks Jeff from behind. Nakamura beats down Jeff and looks for the Kinshasa, but Randy Orton steps in front of him and stares down Nakamura. Orton and Nakamura have a stare down while Jeff gets to his knees. Orton steps aside and Nakamura hits the Kinshasa. Orton stares down Nakamura again and Nakamura leaves. Orton tells the crowd to make some noise as Jeff gets to his feet, then he tackles Jeff back down. Orton repeatedly stomps on Jeff while he’s down. Jeff rolls out to the apron, and then Orton pulls him over the middle rope and DDTs him on the mat. Orton then DDTs Jeff off the apron onto the ringside floor. Orton lays Jeff on the announce table and pummels on him. Orton rips off Jeff’s shirt and necklace, then he pours a water bottle on Jeff. Orton starts wiping the facepaint off of Jeff with a rag while he’s still laying on the table. Orton leaves and takes Jeff’s necklace with him.
– Becky Lynch is backstage for an interview with Renee Young. Becky says she’s glad that Charlotte is back, but she’s not so happy at the thought of her Title shot becoming a triple threat match. Becky says she won’t be rooting against her best friend Charlotte tonight.
– We see a replay from last week of Lana and Zelina Vega getting into it at ringside during the Rusev vs. Almas match, and then Aien English’s involvement.
– Lana vs. Zelina Vega: Andrade “Cien” Almas is at ringside in Zelina’s corner. The opening bell sounds and they talk trash to each other in the opening moments. They exchange shoves and slaps, then Lana spears Zelina down. Zelina rolls outside to regroup with Almas. Back in the ring, Zelina drops Lana and applies a sleeper hold. Lana backs Zelina up against the turnbuckle, but Zelina turns around and lays into her with kicks. Zelina follows up with the running double knees in the corner for a two count. Zelina looks for the DDT, but Lana reverses into a back body drop. Lana starts to mount a comeback and hits a neckbreaker. Lana does a spinaroonie back to her feet, then hits a running knee strike for a two count. Lana goes up top but Almas causes a distraction on the apron. Aiden English runs down and drops Almas. Zelina rolls up Lana from behind with a handful of tights for the three count.
Winner: Zelina Vega
– Vega and Almas celebrate on the ramp while Lana freaks out in the ring.
– The Bludgeon Brothers are backstage with their Tag Title belts. They say they will shatter The Bar and The New Day, or anyone else in their path. They say no one will escape the bludgeoning at SummerSlam.
– Aiden English is backstage looking for Lana. English finds her and apologizes for getting involved, but Lana tells him to go. Aiden leaves as Rusev walks in. Rusev is not happy about the finish, and Lana tells Rusev she could have really used him out there tonight.
– Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring and gets on the mic. Bryan talks about his love for his wife, and how proud he is of the upcoming all-women’s pay-per-view. Bryan changes the subject to last week’s incident with The Miz, where Miz threw a baby doll at him pretending it was real. Bryan says The Miz never thought Bryan would be medically cleared again, but he is, and now The Miz has no protection from him. Bryan says Miz knows in a fair fight he would destroy him, and if he’s wrong, The Miz should come out and prove it. The Miz appears on the big screen and says he’s an elite talent so Bryan will have to earn a fight with The Miz. The Miz says right now he’s on the set of his USA Network reality show. Bryan says he doesn’t care about the Miz’s TV show, Bryan is here to fight, and Miz is hiding from him. Miz says he made Bryan famous, but Bryan says he isn’t in this for the fame. Bryan says better men than The Miz have done the wrestler-turned-actor thing, and Miz will never be The Rock or John Cena. Bryan says no-one will remember Miz as a great wrestler because he’s too soft. Miz says The Yes Movement and Bryan’s career are over, and people have moved on from Bryan. Miz says Bryan is a crybaby and plays crying baby sounds over the big screen to finish the segment.
– We see a graphic on the screen announcing that AJ Styles is returning to SmackDown next week.
– Carmella does an interview at the gorilla position where she says her mat skills are just as fabolous at her fashion sense, and she’ll beat Charlotte tonight so she can get Becky alone at SummerSlam. Carmella says she knows she can beat Becky one-on-one, and that she knows Becky is rooting against Charlotte tonight.
– Charlotte vs. Carmella: This one is a non-Title match. The opening bell sounds and they fight into the corner. Charlotte misses a shot and Carmella taunts her, as we see Becky Lynch backstage watching on a monitor. Charlotte takes Carmella down and looks for the Figure Four, but Carmella escapes. They run the ropes and Charlotte takes Carmella down a couple times before hitting a fallaway slam. Carmella rolls outside and Charlotte misses a suicide dive. Carmella throws Charlotte into the ring apron and then the fan barricade to take control at ringside. Back in the ring, Charlotte mounts a comeback and looks for a moonsault off the top, but Carmella blocks it with her knees. Carmella throws Charlotte back outside and the ref counts. Carmella follows her out to the floor now and takes Charlotte into the fan barricade, then she throws Charlotte into the timekeeper’s area. Back in the ring, Carmella continues the beat-down and applies a chin lock. Carmella hits a kick, but Charlotte answers with a kick of her own. They trade pin attempts and Charlotte looks for the Figure Four, but Carmella escapes and rolls outside. Charlotte rolls outside and hops up on the fan barricade, then hits a moonsault on Carmella on the floor. Back in the ring, Charlotte hits the Natural Selection for a two count. Charlotte looks for a spear, but Carmella blocks it with a kick. Charlotte looks for the Figure Four, but Charlotte reverses into a pin attempt. Charlotte escapes, but Carmella kicks her back down for another two count. Carmella is slow to get to her feet, and she picks up Charlotte by the leg . Carmella looks for the Figure Four, but Charlotte reverses into a Figure Four of her own and Carmella taps out.
– Charlotte has now earned a spot in the Women’s Title match at SummerSlam. Becky Lynch is shown watching backstage on a monitor and she does not look happy. Carmella will now be defending her Women’s Title in a triple threat match at SummerSlam against Charlotte and Becky. Charlotte celebrates in the ring as Carmella recovers at ringside. Becky Lynch is shown glaring at the monitor backstage as SmackDown goes off the air.