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WWE SmackDown recap & reaction (8/1)

WWE SmackDown Live

United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens

Owens started off the match in control and applied a Headlock. Styles broke free and went for a Dropkick but Owens held onto the ropes and Styles fell to the mat. Owens then knocked Styles out of the ring and leveled him with a Clothesline as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Owens knocked Styles to the mat with a boot to the face and then went for the cover but Styles kicked out at two. AJ then connected with a Dropkick to Owens’ face. Styles continued the attack and dropped a knee across Owens’ face for a one count as Owens grabbed the bottom rope during the cover.

Styles bounced Owens’ head off the top turnbuckle and followed it up with a Suplex for a one count. Styles knocked Owens to the mat in the corner and stomped on him a couple of times. AJ went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Owens rolled out of the ring. AJ then connected with the Phenomenal Forearm onto Owens outside the ring. Styles charged at Owens and Owens lifted him up and launched him into the barricade. Owens then hit a Cannonball on Styles against the barricade.

The action returned to the ring and Owens hit a Senton for a two count. Owens then applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. AJ battled out of the hold and Owens slammed him to the mat for a two count. Owens Suplexed Styles back into the ring from the ring apron for a two count. Owens once again applied the Chin Lock but Styles quickly powered to his feet.

Owens clubbed AJ across the back but Styles responded with a Clothesline that sent Owens to the mat. AJ followed it up with a forearm to the face and Owens retreated to the corner. Styles planted Owens with a Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker for a two count. AJ went for the Styles Clash but Owens blocked it. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Owens avoided it and connected with a Superkick to AJ for a two count.

AJ locked in the Calf Crusher in the middle of the ring. Owens headbutted Styles to break the hold. AJ charged at Owens in the corner but Owens moved out of the way and Styles launched himself into the turnbuckle. Styles connected with the Pele Kick and once again locked in the Calf Crusher in the middle of the ring. Owens was able to fight through the pain and successfully reached the bottom rope to break the hold.

Owens connected with two Superkicks in a row and AJ fell to the mat. Owens picked up Styles and went for a punch but AJ ducked and he accidentally hit the referee. Owens then went for the Pop-Up Powerbomb but AJ reversed it into a roll-up for the victory. Owens’ shoulder was clearly off the mat but the referee didn’t see it due to being punched in the face by Owens.

After the match, Owens was pissed off and was screaming at the referee.

Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were talking to Mike Chioda backstage. They informed Chioda that he made a mistake. Owens stormed in and started freaking out. Shane informed Owens that he will get his rematch against AJ Styles for the United States Championship at WWE SummerSlam. Daniel Bryan then announced that Shane McMahon will be the referee for the match at SummerSlam. Owens screamed at Shane and said that he was even more incompetent than the referees on SmackDown.

Reaction: This match was decent. The crowd was pretty quiet, which says everything because there were two incredibly talented Superstars in the ring. There has been speculation that Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens would have a match at SummerSlam. Instead, Owens will once again face AJ Styles for the United States Championship with Shane as the referee. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is another controversial finish in that match that leads to a confrontation between SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens.

Winner & Still United States Champion: AJ Styles

The Usos came down to the entrance ramp while New Day’s theme played. The Usos poked fun at New Day and stole their catchphrase. Their promo ended with The Usos chanting “Uso rocks”.

A new episode of Fashion Files was shown. Breeze was looking for his tag partner Fandango that was taken on the last episode. Fandango and The Ascension showed up and appeared to be possessed. They all started psychotically laughing as Breeze shouted “no more metaphors!” over and over again. Breeze then woke up from the nightmare and stated that he finally knew who kidnapped Fandango.

Sami Zayn vs Aiden English

English performed a song before the match as he made his way up the entrance ramp. English controlled the match early and knocked Zayn to the mat with a shoulder tackle. Zayn fought back and locked in an Arm Bar. English reversed it into a roll-up for the victory.

Mike and Maria Kanellis then came down to the entrance ramp and said that they love each other and that Sami Zayn lost.

Reaction: This was as stupid as it gets. First of all, I find it ridiculous that Sami Zayn lost to Aiden English, but it is what it is at this point. Mike and Maria Kanellis’ simply came down to the entrance ramp and all that they said is that they are happy that Zayn lost. It was laughable. The Zayn and Kanellis feud has been boring and I have no idea why it is continuing.

Winner: Aiden English

Carmella & Natalya vs Naomi & Becky Lynch

Natalya and Carmella took turns beating down the SmackDown Women’s Chamion Naomi to start off the match. Natalya booted Becky off the ring apron and then locked in the Sharpshooter on Naomi in the middle of the ring. Naomi tried to get to the bottom rope but Natalya dragged her back to the middle of the ring. Naomi once again made her way to the ropes and this time the hold was broken. Carmella tagged herself in and applied the Code of Silence. Naomi countered it into her own submission hold and Becky Lynch hit Natalya with an Exploder Suplex. Carmella then tapped out.

Winners: Naomi & Becky Lynch

Renee Young interviewed Jinder Mahal backstage. The Singh Brothers were with them and were bandaged up from their injuries at the Punjabi Prison. Jinder Mahal said that it didn’t matter if he faced Nakamura or Cena at SummerSlam. Mahal said that he will defeat either of them. Mahal went on to say that he will be watching tonight’s so-called “dream match” from his own personal sky box. Mahal also stated that whenever he walks down the street he feels xenophobia, but it has not deterred him and he will continue to be WWE Champion as long as he wants to.

Rusev vs Chad Gable

The match started out slow as Rusev kept avoiding Gable by grabbing the ropes. Rusev tossed Gable out of the ring but Gable got right back into the ring. Gable then wrestled Rusev to the mat and attacked Rusev’s left knee. Rusev booted Gable in the midsection and connected with a Suplex for a two count as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

Rusev continued to control the match during the break. When SmackDown returned, Gable connected with two Belly to Belly Suplexes in a row. Gable followed it up with a German Suplex for a two count. Rusev charged at Gable in the corner but Gable got out of the way and Rusev’s head bounced off the ring post. Gable then hit a Moonsault off the top rope for a two count.

Rusev blocked another Suplex attempt from Gable and kicked Gable on the side of his head for a two count. Rusev went for the Accolade but Gable blocked it and applied an Ankle Lock in the middle of the ring. Rusev broke out of the hold and connected with a kick to Gable’s face. Rusev then locked in the Accolade for the submission victory.

After the match, Rusev said that nobody can beat him. Rusev said that he has no opponent for SummerSlam because everyone if afraid of him. Rusev’s music then hit and Rusev was caught off guard by it. Rusev celebrated in the ring and then Randy Orton’s music hit. Orton walked down to the ring.

The crowd chanted “Randy!” as Orton grabbed a microphone. Orton got into the ring with Rusev and stated that Rusev has never defeated him. Orton said that he is not afraid of Rusev and said that he wanted to face Rusev at SummerSlam. Rusev then ranted in Bulgarian and charged at Orton. Randy was ready and planted Rusev with an RKO.

Winner: Rusev

Reaction: Gable and Rusev had a good match. Randy Orton versus Rusev at SummerSlam does absolutely nothing for me. I hope that in the next two weeks this feud becomes interesting heading into SummerSlam.

John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Winner Faces WWE Champion Jinder Mahal At SummerSlam)

Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers were shown watching the match from a sky box in the arena. Cena and Nakamura taunted each other in the beginning of the match. Nakamura connected with a kick to the head that knocked Cena to the corner. Nakamura shoved his boot in Cena’s face. Cena battled back and charged at Shinsuke in the corner. Nakamura avoided it and once again stuck his boot in Cena’s face. Cena slammed Nakamura to the mat and applied a Chin Lock as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Nakamura connected with a kick that knocked Cena to the mat. Shinsuke connected with a running kick and then connected with a flurry of kicks to Cena. Nakamura perched Cena up across the top rope and kneed him in the the chest for a two count.

Cena connected with a shoulder tackle and went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Nakamura reversed it into an Arm Bar in the middle of the ring. Nakamura then transitioned the Arm Bar into a Triangle submission hold. Cena lifted Nakamura with one arm but Nakamura countered it into a Suplex that sent Cena face-first to the mat.

Nakamura went for the Kinshasa but Cena countered it into the STF submission hold in the middle of the ring. Nakaura broke the hold but Cena leveled him with a massive Clothesline. Nakamura went for another Kinshasa but Cena countered it into an Attitude Adjustment for a two count.

Cena lifted Nakamura for another Attitude Adjustment but Shinsuke blocked it. Cena then hit another Attitude Adjustment and went for a third. Nakamura reversed it into an Exploder Suplex and Cena landed on the back of his head. Nakamura then hit the Kinshasa for the victory.

After the match, Nakamura and Cena shook hands in the ring as Cena shouted “this right here is your new champ”.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Reaction: This match was good. I was very surprised by the outcome, as I thought Cena versus Mahal made sense for SummerSlam. It will now be Shinsuke Nakamura versus Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. I’ve hated how WWE has booked Shinsuke Nakamura up until this point, but I’m not going to complain about him getting a shot at the WWE Championship.

After SmackDown went off the air, Baron Corbin attacked Nakamura from behind. Cena came down to the ring and made the save. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Corbin through the announce table and then shook hands with Nakamura once again.

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Let us know in the comments below.