Hello and welcome to SmackDown!
We open with a series of “earlier today” segments, starting with AJ Styles and The Club conspiring. Chris Jericho has apparently lost his scarf. Sami Zayn taunts Jericho from afar. Seth Rollins tries to pick a fight with Jey Uso and ends up making a match for later on tonight.
I can’t remember if I’ve ever said this before, but I actually really like the SmackDown theme music. Sometimes I sing it in my car while I’m driving around.
JoJo starts to announce that the following contest is scheduled for… something, because then Dean Ambrose’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Byron and Mauro are again joined on commentary by Jerry Lawler, but I’m trying not to focus too much on that. Dean wants to use his clout as WWE champion to become a ring announcer for a night, because it’s always looked like fun to him and he thought he’d be good at it. I feel like you can set your sights just a tiny bit higher, Deano.
MATCH: Jey Uso vs. Seth Rollins
Dean introduces Jey Uso very well, and I’m happy to say that he probably would make a very good ring announcer. As for Seth? Well, apparently he hails from “somewhere he probably didn’t get enough hugs as a child” and weighs in at “217 pounds, and that’s just his ego”. Good work, Dean. You get a cookie. Seth comes out looking very unhappy, and Dean looks a little bit excessively pleased with himself.
- Seth immediately gets Jey in a side headlock; Jey tries to break the hold by rebounding the both of them off the ropes, and is successful, but Seth takes him to the mat with a shoulder.
- Seth is caught rebounding off the ropes by Jey, who hits a pair of arm drags. Seth creates distance with some strikes then gets some boots in on Jey in the corner.
- Whip across the ring from Seth to Jey, but Jey strikes Seth coming after him then picks him up for a back suplex.
- Seth in the corner, Jey tries to come after him but takes a kick. Seth closes the distance and hits a pendulum backbreaker for an unsuccessful cover.
- Dean picks up a microphone and starts advertising the merch stand, which seems to deeply offend Seth on principle and gives Jey the opportunity to go for a rollup, however unsuccessful.
- Seth gets out of the ring to challenge Dean, but Jey comes after him, striking him. Seth makes his way back into the ring and Jey hits a crossbody from the turnbuckle.
- Jey clotheslines Seth over the top rope, then dives after him. Dean picks up the microphone again to tell us that five minutes have elapsed in this contest so far which… no, it’s been about two and a half minutes, but thank you for trying, Dean.
- Dean motions for them to cut to commercial, and when we’re back, Seth and Jey are in the ring together and Jey apparently in control, with Seth’s arm in his hands, working the shoulder.
- Seth tries to break out with a strike, but Jey releases, stepping back, and striking Seth in the chest.
- Jey whips Seth into the corner; Seth throws up his leg to boot Jey in the chest on his approach, but Jey catches it. However, this still gives Seth recovery time, and he slips away and sends Jey headfirst into the turnbuckle.
- High knee to the back sends Jey out of the ring, Seth hits him with another knee to take him to the floor then poses like he thinks he’s Randy Orton.
- Seth throws Jey back into the ring then slides in after him, sending him into the corner and then hitting him with a splash for an unsuccessful cover.
- Chinlock from Seth on Jey, and Seth is taunting Dean but I can’t make out what he’s saying. Jey takes a neckbreaker from Seth, who then climbs onto the middle rope just as Dean picks up the microphone again to tell the unfortunate owner of a pickup truck that they’re about to be towed.
- Seth flies at Jey, but he’s had time to recover now and counters. Jey Uso hits Seth with a clothesline, then a superkick. Jey tries to lift Seth into a fireman’s carry, but Seth slips out and goes behind. Standing switch by Jey still achieves little as Seth creates enough distance for an enzuigiri.
- Seth bounces off the ropes but Jey turns it into a pop-up Samoan Drop for another nearfall.
- Seth cowering in the corner, Jey flies at him but takes a kick. Seth tries to hit the Pedigree, but Jey rolls out of it. Seth tries to roll Jey into a jackknife cover but is unsuccessful.
- Seth tries to hit a superkick as Jey gets to his feet, but misses, and Jey hits a superkick as though to say “here’s how you do it”.
- Jey on the turnbuckle for a crossbody, but hits Seth’s knees. Seth gets to his feet and hits a Pedigree for a successful pin.
Seth, despite getting the victory, looks absolutely mutinous as he points at Dean and shouts at him to announce that he is the winner. Dean finally climbs up on the announce table after dithering for a bit, and announces that the winner of the match was “the human equivalent of a root canal”. Dean climbs in the ring, but Seth rolls away and demands that Dean keep his distance. Dean claims he was only going to raise Seth’s hand in triumph, but hey, if he can’t raise Seth’s hand, he’ll just raise his title instead. Because he’s champion. In case we forgot.
I didn’t forget. I’m still smiling.
Seth walks up the ramp screaming at Dean that Dean can’t beat him, and I just can’t help but think that I’m very sure that Dean has beaten him several times? I feel like Seth has some selective memory issues when it comes to Dean.
MATCH: Zack Ryder vs. Sheamus
Zack Ryder got the winning pin on Sheamus in the 16 man elimination tag-team match on RAW, as we are reminded, so now he’s going one on one with Sheamus. Zack Ryder has a new theme song now, which it took me a moment to notice! That’s pretty exciting for him.
- The bell rings and Sheamus gets in there right away with a knee and then a series of clotheslines, taking his frustration out on Ryder.
- Ryder in the corner takes a shoulder from Sheamus, then another knee in the midsection., and another clothesline.
- Sheamus drapes Ryder over the ropes and strikes him several times in the chest. When the ref creates separation, Sheamus punches Ryder in the head then backs off, but on his next approach Ryder strikes him twice, then drops down to send Sheamus over the rope.
- Sheamus picks Ryder up and bodyslams him onto the apron, then both men climb back into the ring. Sheamus comfortably on his feet, Ryder crawling. Sheamus helps Ryder to his feet, and takes a strike then a kick. Back and forth strikes, then Sheamus hits an Irish Curse backbreaker.
- Sheamus puts Ryder onto the turnbuckle, then climbs up after him. Ryder tries to fight him off with strikes to the back and midsection, and eventually manages to send him back to the mat.
- Ryder hits a (sigh) Elbro Drop for a successful cover.
Ryder stumbles up the ramp, breathing heavily. When Tom asks what his plans are for the future after these two victories, he says he needs to get his back adjusted, and also to try to regain the US title. That is, he officially challenges Rusev for his championship. Sheamus, meanwhile, is furious.
A video about Baron Corbin. He tells us that he doesn’t care about us, and I’m sorry to say that the feeling is just a little bit mutual. We are reminded that Corbin aggressively beat on Dolph Ziggler, and I assume that’s going to become relevant again soon.
Rusev is asked how he feels about Zack Ryder’s challenge, and he dismisses Ryder, but says that if Ryder challenges him face-to-face then he will at least believe that not all Americans are cowards.
Fresh from her big win over Summer Rae on RAW, Becky makes her way to the ring – and oh, Natalya flies out after her, attacking her from behind with several strikes and throwing her in to the barricade. Natalya climbs on Becky and strikes her in the head several times, then locks in the Sharpshooter on the ground next to the ring. Two referees come out to break her hold, and Natalya walks away while Becky is crumpled on the floor.
We are told that we will be seeing the grudge match between Becky and Natalya at Battleground.
A recap of the New Day segment on RAW, with Kofi and Big E making fun of the Wyatt family until Bray interrupts to directly challenge them. Kofi accepts without thinking twice about it, and Big E backs him up, but Xavier interrupts them to tell them that they need to take the Wyatts seriously and then leaves on the ominous note that the New Day might not survive.
Then, a clip from a WWE.com exclusive with Xavier Woods: Bray Wyatt has the ability to entice people, so there’s no way of knowing how many people they might be facing there or what other troubles they might have to face. He eventually says that he’s not happy with the decision his brothers have made, but he is going to stand by them anyway.
A certified G and a bonafide stud, as well as a man who is ostensibly seven foot tall, make their way to the ring. We are informed that they are apparently wrestling a match at Battleground; Enzo, Big Cass and John Cena vs. AJ Styles and The Club. Big Cass starts to try to explain why it was that he and Enzo came to make the save on Cena on Monday Night RAW when AJ’s music hits and the Club make their way out.
AJ explains that his favourite thing to do is beat up John Cena and Enzo and Cass stopped him and his boys from doing that on Monday. But tonight, John Cena isn’t here, so he puts his arm around Karl Anderson and asks him what they should do instead of beating up John Cena. Well, there’s two guys right here who it would be almost as much fun to beat up, right? Luke Gallows pipes up that they should then eat some hardboiled eggs, and AJ contributes that then they should have some dessert. Anderson asks if it can be an Asian dessert which is… weird, but then all three boys get very excited about the fact that they can follow that up with BEATING UP JOHN CENA.
I have a whole new insight into date night in the Club household.
AJ Styles’ idea of trashtalk is that Enzo looks like a bird, and this is terrible heel work, because I’ve said many times before that Enzo looks like a ruffled cockatoo. Am I a heel? But now AJ Styles is taking his shirt off, so that takes a lot of the sting out of whatever they’re talking about.
MATCH: AJ Styles vs. Enzo Amore
When we come back from commercial, AJ and Enzo are in the ring together, and the bell rings almost immediately.
- Some grappling ends with AJ snapmaring Enzo then creating distance again to show off a little. Enzo goes for a rollup, but AJ reverses.
- Enzo taunts AJ a little, and when AJ charges at him, he misses and goes through the ropes. AJ looks at Big Cass apprehensively, but then the Club are backing him up, and Enzo dives over the top rope after him.
- A kick from AJ keeps Enzo on the ground, then AJ throws Enzo back in the ring and face first into a turnbuckle. Strikes from AJ, leading Enzo from corner to corner, then a backbreaker.
- Enzo is knocked out of the ring, and The Club and Big Cass again flock around but don’t really do much. Enzo climbs back in to take more of a beating from AJ.
- More strikes from AJ, but Enzo hits a standing dropkick to send AJ to the mat.
- “How you doing” chants from the crowd.
- The commentary team are talking about how Enzo does look like a bird as AJ suplexes him, then employs a rear chinlock. Enzo powers out with strikes, but takes a forearm from AJ.
- AJ hits the turnbuckle instead of Enzo as he comes at him in the corner, and Enzo takes the opportunity to attempt a pin with a backslide, but is unsuccessful.
- Enzo attempts a tornado DDT – I think, the camera was on Gallows and Anderson – but it is reversed into a snap suplex.
- AJ puts Enzo on the turnbuckle and taunts Big Cass as he sets up for a superplex. Enzo counters, and Karl Anderson climbs up on the apron. Big Cass pulls him back down, then hits Gallows with a big boot for good measure.
- Enzo on the turnbuckle, but AJ knocks him off balance, then hits a Styles Clash for a successful pin.
AJ proclaims himself to be phenomenal, and grins menacingly as we cut away.
Jericho is still looking for his missing blue scarf. No one wants your scarf, so I’m not sure what you think happened to it.
Oh, turns out someone did take it, because Kevin Owens is just sitting in a hallway wearing it, looking very merry about the whole thing. He explains that he found it and was thinking about buying his wife one, and also seems to think that pashmina is a made-up word. I mean, I don’t know what pashmina means either, Kevin, so I don’t blame you. Apparently he got greasy finger marks on it, too, so he pays for the dry cleaning with a handful of coins and a jolly rancher.
MATCH: The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Kalisto
So, Miz is upset about the food fight that transpired on RAW. In an “earlier tonight” segment, the Vaudevillains, Dolph Ziggler, Kalisto and Titus O’Neil are rewatching the moment that started it all, and The Miz is highly offended about it all. He demands to know who threw potato salad at Maryse during the food fight, and every one of them claims responsibility, so Kalisto challenges Miz to a match. I mean, I get that Miz claims Maryse is allergic to mayonnaise so the potato salad was a step too far, but we literally just watched the footage of Tyler Breeze and Fandango starting it, so I feel like they’re the ones who Miz should be upset with right now.
- When the bell rings, Miz wraps up Kalisto’s arm and works his shoulder, but Kalisto breaks the hold with a mix of strikes and flexibility.
- Kalisto bounces off the ropes and lands a hurricanrana, taking Miz to the mat, then a shoulder into Miz’s midsection as he scrambles into the corner.
- Corkscrew armdrag from Kalisto sends Miz rolling to the ground, and Kalisto prepares to dive after him, but Maryse carefully positions herself in the way. Kalisto carefully slides out of the ring instead, and takes a shoulder tackle into the steel steps. Maryse looks so pleased with herself.
- When we come back from commercial, both men are in the ring again, and Miz seems well in control with a submission hold. Kalisto breaks out with strikes, but takes a backbreaker, then several knees to the lower back.
- Miz comes at Kalisto in the corner, but takes a kick and a tornado DDT instead. Both men get to their feet and Kalisto hits a few kicks then goes for another hurricanrana; Miz reverses into a sitout powerbomb.
- A kick from Miz is reversed in a rollup, but Miz rolls out of it quickly. Kalisto hits another hurricanrana, but Miz kicks out of the cover.
- Kalisto looks to hit Salida del Sol, but Miz counters. Kalisto attempts a springboard corkscrew, but Miz counters that too.
- Miz hits the Skull-Crushing Finale for a successful pinfall!
Miz hoists his title, and then kisses Maryse happily, and I honestly can’t tell which of the two of them he loves more sometimes.
More life lessons with Coach Backlund! And by more, I mean the same promo that we just saw on RAW. Darren Young doesn’t have a submission hold, so Bob Backlund tells him to use the crossface chickenwing.
Sami Zayn makes his way down to the ring first for his main event match against Chris Jericho, because he’s an adorable little muffin. Kevin Owens comes down next, because he’s going to be hanging around at ringside, because they just can’t leave other alone.
In the middle of the build to the main event, R-Truth and Goldust are on my screen! And they have a ladder! R-Truth put his lunch on top of the ladder to help him overcome his fear of heights so he can win the Money in the Bank ladder match, and so they can advertise Sonic some more. Goldust is exasperated, because R-Truth should just eat his lunch like a normal person, and because Money in the Bank was two weeks ago. Guys, you had a match at Money in the Bank. How do you not remember?
MATCH: Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho
When we come back, Kevin is trying to have a polite conversation with Sami Zayn from commentary. Jericho is wearing his scarf, so I guess it didn’t really need to be drycleaned all that badly.
- The bell rings and Jericho takes off his scarf very meticulously. Kevin on commentary is explaining that he’d like to end Sami Zayn’s career, but only if it’s okay with Mauro Ranallo.
- Lock up in the ring, Jericho goes behind. Sami powers out, and takes hold of Jericho’s wrist as the crowd starts an “Olé!” chant.
- Jericho powers out, and several strikes, before whipping Sami into the ropes. Sami leapfrogs over Jericho, then hits a series of deep arm drags.
- Sami goes after Jericho in the corner, but Jericho lifts him up and over the rope to land on the apron, then hits a dropkick, sending Sami to the floor.
- A baseball slide hits Sami and knocks him off balance again, but as Jericho starts trying to grab him and throw him back into the ring, Sami makes his way to the barricade and hits a moonsault.
- Sami throws Jericho into the ring, and as the ref tries to create separation in the corner, Jericho gets in a strike. Sami ends up on his back with Jericho striking him as we cut to commercial.
- When we’re back, Sami is draped over the ropes and takes a knee to the back of the neck, for an unsuccessful cover.
- Sami in the corner, taking strikes and kicks from Jericho, but eventually manages to rally with some strikes of his own. His attempt at an Irish whip is reversed, however, and he goes down to a back elbow from Jericho.
- Lionsault for a nearfall, then a headlock. Sami powers to his feet to break the hold, but then drops to his knees again and takes a kick from Jericho.
- Kevin on commentary explaining that he doesn’t think Sami is overrated, he just doesn’t think he’s as good as Kevin Owens is. That’s a surprisingly kind way to talk about him!
- Strikes from Sami Zayn, who then whips Jericho across the ring. Rather than rebound off the ropes, Jericho catches himself and slides out of the ring.
- Sami goes after him and takes him to the floor with a running clothesline, before throwing him back into the ring. Sami hits a diving crossbody from the top rope, then tries to go after Jericho in the corner but takes a knee.
- Jericho hits a jumping enzuigiri from the second rope for a two count, and Kevin is oddly proud of himself for calling it correctly. I’m not sure why.
- Jericho whips Sami but takes a kick then a tornado DDT. Jericho rolls out of the ring again.
- Sami over the ropes to take Jericho out, and Kevin Owens throws a cup of water at him for daring to hit the table. Sami moves as though to throw Jericho into the ring, but then throws him into Kevin Owens instead.
- Sami then does throw Jericho back into the ring, but Jericho fights back. Strikes back and forth, then Jericho climbs onto the turnbuckle. Sami catches him on the way down, and hits an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle.
- Jeircho drags himself to his feet and Sami goes for the Helluva Kick, hitting an interfering Kevin Owens instead. Jericho tries to go for a surprise roll-up, but Sami kicks out.
- Jericho tries to take his opportunity for the Walls of Jericho, but Sami reverses into a successful pin.
As Sami is trying to celebrate, Jericho hits a Codebreaker, and there’s at least some part of the crowd chanting “Y2J!”. As Jericho leaves, Kevin climbs into the ring and starts pounding on Sami Zayn with punches and kicks, before picking him up and throwing him into the ropes to land the Pop-Up Powerbomb.
We fade out on Kevin Owens’ music playing as Kevin stands over Sami’s body. And that’s it for this week! We’ll see you on Monday for RAW.