John Cena returns, AJ Styles becomes the number one contender for the WWE US title
On last week’s episode of SmackDown Live, we witnessed the replay of the Women’s MITB Ladder match. In the end however, Carmella managed to retain the briefcase – thanks to Ellsworth. While Bryan kicked Ellsworth out of the arena, James ensured that Becky Lynch wouldn’t retrieve the briefcase.
On this week’s show, the 16 time world champion, John Cena was advertised to make his return to WWE. Not only did we see the Leader of CeNation make his comeback, but we also witnessed a familiar foe confront Cena.
The SmackDown Women’s Championship was on the line as well, as Naomi defended her title against Lana one last time.
Last but not least, we witnessed the number one contender’s battle royal, for Kevin Owens’ United States Championship. So what transpired on this week’s show? Let’s take a look.
John Cena makes his WWE return
This week’s broadcast of SmackDown Live kicked off with John Cena’s return! The Leader of CeNation made his way out a rapturous applause, as the fans got behind John. Cena immediately addressed the elephant in the room, and said that he wasn’t a part timer or a full timer. Cena called himself an all – timer, and acknowledged the fact that his WWE career was winding down.
Cena then said he would take on the best that RAW and SmackDown Live had to offer. John then brought up Roman Reigns’ name, but before he could say anything else, Rusev made his way out. The Bulgarian Brute told Cena that he seeks attention, and tried to take the spot light when Rusev had been working every day.
Cena then asked Rusev to put his money where his mouth was, and challenged him to a Flag match. Rusev however backed down, saying he would name the place and time. The crowd chanted “USA” as Rusev made his way to the back.
John Cena will face Rusev at Battleground.
AJ Styles and Chad Gable face an uphill battle
Kevin Owens went to Daniel Bryan, and told him that Gable and Styles could not compete in the number one contender’s battle royal. Owens said that since he beat both of them before, they weren’t worthy of facing him. Bryan then made a match between Styles and Gable, with the stipulation that the winner would be able to compete in the battle royal.
Styles and Gable faced each other, and both them put on a stellar bout. Gable was able to out – wrestle Styles, and had the upper hand for the majority of the bout. However, Styles turned the tables, and survived an Ankle Lock submission to drop Gable with the Styles Clash. Styles picked up the victory, and earned the right to compete in the battle royal.
Daniel Bryan lays down the law
Last week, Ellsworth defied orders from Bryan when he interfered in the Women’s MITB Ladder match. This cost Becky the MITB contract, as Carmella retrieved the briefcase. Carmella and Ellsworth made their way out, as Ellsworth gloated about Carmella winning the match last week. Ellsworth called for a Carmellabration, and said Carmella was the ‘first, second and only Ms. Money In The Bank’.
Carmella then talked about proving the people wrong, but before she could say anything else, Naomi made her way out. The SmackDown Women’s Champion said she was scared of Carmella or Ellsworth. She then introduced Daniel Bryan, who proceeded to fine Ellsworth $10,000 and suspended him for 30 days! He then threw Ellsworth out of the building, and promised Carmella that he would strip her of her contract if Ellsworth defied his orders again.
Naomi faced Lana with the SmackDown Women’s title on the line. Naomi quickly took Lana down and locked her in the Crucifix choke. Lana tapped out, to give Naomi the easy victory!
Post match, Tamina made her way out, and stared Naomi down. She then ordered Lana to follow her to the back.
Rap off between The New Day and The Usos
Grammy nominated rapper, Wale, made his way out to officiate the rap off between the champions and the challengers, who will face each other at Battleground. The New Day went first, as Big E talked about how The Usos were on pre – shows before they came along. The Usos however hit back, referencing Xavier Woods’ controversial leaked tape, and asked him to keep it PG.
Woods and Kofi then hit back, with Woods saying The Usos were brought on Total Divas because of Jimmy’s wife. Woods then told The Usos to do what they do best – carrying Roman Reigns’ bags. This led to a scuffle, as The Usos were disqualified. The New Day celebrated their victory, as The Usos made their way to the back.
Jinder Mahal gets inside Orton’s head
Orton dropped Aiden English with an RKO last week, and the Drama King sought retribution this week, as he went one – on – one with Orton. Aiden attacked Orton before the match even began, attacking Orton’s shoulder. After some back and forth exchange, Orton threw English into the guardrails. The Viper then used the steel steps to deck English, there by getting disqualified!
Orton proceeded to drop English with an RKO, and post match, Jinder Mahal made his way out. Mahal told Orton that he will teach him a lesson at Battleground, inside the confines of the Punjabi Prison match. Randy called Jinder a jackass, and vowed to win the WWE Championship back at Battleground. Orton ended the segment by hyping the fans.
AJ Styles wins the Independence Day Battle Royal
In the main event, SmackDown Live Superstars took part in a battle royal, with the winner receiving a shot at the WWE United States Championship. Sami and AJ Styles looked solid throughout the match, and were the last two Superstars remaining. Sami nearly eliminated Styles, but it was Styles’ Pele Kick that did the trick, as he eliminated Zayn.
Kevin Owens then ran down, and got in Styles’ face. Styles kicked Owens, and tried to go for the Styles Clash! Owens then made a beeline out of the ring, leaving the US title. Styles then posed with the WWE United States Championship, as Owens ran his mouth at ringside. SmackDown Live went off the air with Styles standing tall with the US title.