With Battleground just under two weeks away, San Antonio, Texas hosted this week’s edition of SmackDown Live. Superstars looked to send across their message to their opponents, while controversies continued to dominate the headlines. Carmella has found herself in a bit of a pickle lately, with James Ellsworth being suspended last week by the General Manager.
Jinder Mahal dropped a bomb shell, when he announced the return of the dreaded Punjabi Prison match. The WWE Championship will be contested inside the devious structure, as Mahal defends the title against Randy Orton.
On the women’s side of things, with Naomi disposing off Lana last week, who will step up next to challenge the SmackDown Women’s Champion? Also, when will Carmella finally cash – in her MITB contract?
Also, Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura have crossed paths, with neither man backing down. So what happened between the two Superstars this week? Here is our SmackDown review.
AJ Styles throws an Open Challenge, Cena answers
The new WWE United States Champion kicked things off this week, as the San Antonio crowd ate it up. Styles won the United States title last week during a house show, when he defeated Kevin Owens. Both men were scheduled to face each other at Battleground, but now, the roles have been reversed!
AJ Styles talked about winning the US title, and brought up its legacy and prestige. Styles then said he would bring back the Open Challenge, that was started by John Cena, and invited any Superstar in the locker room to face him. His challenge was answered by none other than the Leader of CeNation himself, John Cena!
However, before both men could tangle with each other, Kevin Owens made his way out and cried foul. Owens then attacked Styles, as Rusev came out and attacked Cena! Rusev and Owens laid both the Superstars out, as the heels basked in the glory.
Jinder Mahal faced Tye Dillinger in a non title match. After some good back and forth action, Jinder defeated Tye with Khallas.
Post match, Mahal cut a promo on Orton, and said he would be bringing the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown Live next week!
Jey Uso faced Xavier Woods in a singles match. During the bout, Jimmy tried to interfere, leading to the referee throwing The New Day and Jimmy out of the match and to the back. After more back and forth exchange, Woods picked up the victory.
Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura get into a brawl
The rivalry started couple of weeks ago, and Shinsuke said he had his sights set on Corbin, after Baron defeated Zayn. Since then, Corbin has taken every opportunity possible to get under Shinsuke’s skin. This included an attack last week, and to settle the scores, both men were booked in a singles match on SmackDown Live.
However, the match never got under way, as Corbin blindsided Shinsuke. Corbin and Nakamura brawled in the stands and near the ringside area, before WWE officials separated both men. Corbin retreated to the back, as Nakamura stared him down!
A Fatal Five Way match booked for Battleground
Backstage, the SmackDown Women’s Champion approached Shane McMahon, and asked him who she’d face at Battleground. Tamina, Lana, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Natalya then walked up to Shane, and staked their claim to face Naomi for the gold.
Shane McMahon then announced a Fatal Five Way match at Battleground, with the winner challenging Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
This week however, Natalya and Tamina teamed up to face Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Becky started strongly, taking on Natalya and Tamina. However, the heels soon turned things around and worked on Becky.
Lana then came down to ringside, as she took pleasure in Becky and Charlotte Flair’s misery. This distraction led to Tamina dropping ‘The Nature Girl’ with a Superkick, as Tamina and Natalya picked up the victory.
Backstage, Sami was walking backstage, but Mike and Maria Kanellis were in his way. Sami and the couple then got into an argument, with Maria asking Zayn to apologise. Maria then slapped Sami, as Mike broke a vase on Sami’s head! The couple left Sami in a heap to end the segment.
Breezango played the roles of characters from Walker: Texas Ranger, as they tried to tie up Ryder and Mojo. Ryder and Mojo then talked about the Battle Royal for the number one contender’s spot last week.
Someone ended up stealing Tyler’s toy horse to end the segment.
John Cena and AJ Styles stand tall
In the main event, John Cena and AJ Styles teamed up to face Kevin Owens and Rusev. Rusev and Owens attacked Cena and AJ earlier on in the evening, and the faces had the opportunity to get their revenge on the heels.
After a good back and forth action, John Cena dropped Owens with the AA to pick up the victory for his team. Cena and Styles celebrated to bring down the curtains on this week’s SmackDown Live.