This week’s show took place in Birmingham, AL just 5 days prior to the big pay per view, Battleground. And like most shows right before a big pay per view, there was not much to speak of. With that being said, let’s get to it.
The Punjabi Prison
The show opened with a very short package about the history of the Punjabi Prison followed by the Singh Brothers announcing Jinder Mahal. Mahal proceeds to come out to the usual sound of boos and chants of “USA”. They all make their way to the ring and the Singh Brothers give the rules of the Punjabi Prison Match that will take place during Battleground on Sunday.
Mahal then gives his usual speech and throws out his usual threats to Orton as the WWE Universe chants for Orton to appear. Finally, Randy Orton appears and slowly begins to climb the prison structure as he tells Mahal that he must be crazy to want to be locked inside the prison with him. Orton proceeds to explain that Mahal will be in serious trouble because when he is locked inside the prison on Sunday with him the Singh Brothers will not be able to help him. Orton claims that he has absolutely nothing to lose while Mahal has everything to lose. The promo ends with tensions running high and panic seemingly setting in for Mahal.
Jimmy Uso (w/ Jay Uso) vs. Kofi Kingston (w/ The New Day)
Once again they flashback to the rap battle from July 4th in which the USO’s were disqualified. I guess this keeps being done to reiterate the personal attacks that were made between the two groups, thus securing the rivalry.
Jimmy gets taken into the corner quick by Kofi and he puts a small hurting on him until taking him to the center of the ring for a cover that results in a kick out by Jimmy. After the kick out, Jimmy stays down while Kofi has a little fun dancing and twerking in the face of downed Uso. After he has had enough, Jimmy gets up and leaps at Kingston. Kofi gets out-of-the-way sending Jimmy out of the ring via going over the top rope. Kofi decides to do a delayed dive onto Jimmy, he does, Kingston lands on Jimmy and we go to commercial break.
During the break Kingston controlled much of the action in the ring, twisting Jimmy up and throwing him around. At one point he tossed Jimmy back out and got cocky going out on the apron and Jimmy had reached his limit. When Kofi went to kick Jimmy in the face from the apron, Jimmy grabbed him by the foot and slammed him down face first. With that, Jimmy Uso takes control of the match. After several kicks and upper cuts, Kofi was now at the mercy of Jimmy Uso. Using the ring to his advantage, Uso, had the match all but won when he took Kingston down with a strong kick to the side of the face.
With the WWE Universe behind Kingston, he was able to rally with some offensive maneuvers that seemed to have put him back in control. But that would not last long. After some strong back and forth, Jimmy gets Kingston on the top ropes in the corner. Kofi is able to headbutt Jimmy down to the ground and is looking to finish him off when Jay goes in for the distraction. As the rest of the New Day answer back, Kofi goes back to the top rope and comes down with a splash for a cover but Jimmy uses Kofi’s forward momentum against him and pins Kofi for the win.
Shane McMahon and Women’s Division
Shane and all of the SDL women argue over who should be fighting Lana tonight. Shane says that nobody is fighting Lana. In an effort to break up their friendship, Natalya suggests that maybe Becky and Charlotte should fight each other. Shane thinks it’s a great idea and makes the match.
Renee Young interviews Chad Gable
Chad Gable talks with Renee Young about the news that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angles son. Gable says it would have been nice to have had some heads up on the situation, noting that Jordan had been acting weird for some time. Gable stated that they had accomplished a lot during their time as a tag team and they he will continue to support Jordan as they venture out on their own as singles competitors.
Mike Kanellis (w/Maria) vs. Sami Zayn
A video package runs to remind us of what happened last week when Sami was attacked by Mike with the vase to the back of the head backstage after Mike and Maria make their way to the ring. And we go to commercial. We come back from commercial and Sami Zayn enters to a nice pop and it gives us hope that this could be the time that Sami finally comes out on top!
Zayn comes in aggressive with punches as Mike rolls out of the ring. Zayn decides to clothesline Kanellis to the floor outside the ring. Once back in the ring, Zayn gives Mike two more clothesline’s that lead to Kanellis being back outside the ring and ultimately into the barricade by Zayn. Once back in the ring Kanellis tries to get his licks in but Zayn isn’t letting him. Maria jumps in to protect her husband, distracting Zayn enough for Mike to get a good right hand to connect to Sami’s face. This allows Kanellis to get Zayn into a Samoan Driver for the win.
John Cena Loves America!
John Cena comes out to the usual song of “Cena Sucks” and after he makes his way to the ring that has an American flag in one corner and the Bulgarian flag in another, Cena begins his pandering. Cena basically reminds everyone that whether you like him or not, if you love America, you have to root for him on Sunday if you love the USA. It was a little much, to be honest. Completely boring. After what seemed like hours of Cena talking about how much he loves America, USA chants, explaining what happens in a flag match, and talking about Battleground, Rusev comes out of nowhere and knocks him out. Rusev then takes his flag down, waves it around, and plants it in the flag stand on the ramp. End very long advertisement for Battleground.
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (w/ Natalya on commentary)
Both women go for take downs early. A lot of acrobatics and arm twisting between the two. When Lynch when for the Disarmer, Flair was able to get out of it and roll out of the ring. Commercial break.
Back from break, Charlotte is laid out by Lynch outside the ring. Once in the ring blows are exchanged until Charlotte starts giving some massive chops to Becky. After tossing Lynch into the corner, Charlotte lays Becky out on the mat and with a shin the face, Charlotte does the famous Flair strut. Knee drop to the back of Becky’s head and then a cover but Becky is able to kick out. Lynch tries the Disarmer once again but Charlotte breaks free. Becky takes a giant boot to the face, Flair for the cover but Lynch kicks out again. CHarlotte goes to the top rope for the moonsault, jumps but Lynch rolls out-of-the-way. Becky puts Charlotte in the Disarmer but Flair gets her foot on the top rope. Lynch reposition’s Flair in the center of the ring and gets the tap out! Becky Lynch wins by submission.
Tamina and Lana come out to ring side. Natalya jumps Lynch from behind. All the women begin to fight. Charlotte and Lynch leave the ring and Natalya begins to take out Tamina. Lana defends Tamina. Tamina drops Natalya, eyes Lana, leaves the ring.
Renee Young Interviews Naomi
Naomi tells Renee that she is ready for the challenge at Summer Slam and says she is always ready to glow. Carmella interrupts and says that wherever Naomi is, she is and wherever she is, the MITB contract is.
The Fashion X Files
This was a parody, of course on the X Files, and it talked about ghosts and the trashing of their office and the missing hobby-horse from last week. The two received a delivery and inside the box was their stuffed horse’s head and a not saying Battleground. We find out that the case should be solved Sunday at Battleground.
AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin
Corbin jumps Nakamura during his entrance and then they all start fighting on the ramp. Once they are broken apart we go to commercial break.
We come back from the break to find that the match had already begun. Thanks a lot, guys. Corbin takes Styles out in mid-air. Corbin continues to stomp Styles into the mat. Owens tags in and keeps control over Styles, talking shit and continuing to beat him. Styles hits a desperation dropkick and tags in Nakamura. Nakamura works over Owens with strikes and follows with an enziguri. Nakamura follows with knee strikes, but Corbin low bridges Nakamura, sending him to the floor. He rolls him back in and Owens hits the running senton, and Corbin tags in beats down Nakamura in the corner. He and Owens work quick tags, isolating Nakamura. He escapes the bear hug and takes out Corbin with the running kick. Corbin stops the tag attempt, but Nakamura fires up with kicks and takes out Owens, but runs into deep six by Corbin. Nakamura fights back with kicks, and Styles and Owens get the tag. Styles pummels Owens with strikes, hits a clothesline and a sliding forearm for a near fall. Styles follows with a wheelbarrow slam, which gets the near fall. Owens turns Styles inside out with a big lariat, Corbin tags back in and tosses Styles across the ring. Styles then rolls into the calf crusher, Corbin fights and makes the ropes. Styles gets taken out by Owens, Nakamura attacks him and they brawl on the floor and Corbin slides Styles back in but Styles counters end of days, hits the PELE and Owens blind tags in, superkicks Styles and hits the pop up powerbomb for the win.
Overall not the best night for Smackdown Live but not the worst. I can’t wait to see what Battleground holds for the WWE Universe. See everyone on Sunday!