Another return is upon us, as well as potential for further controversy, and another scenario for the WWE Championship. I am not going to spoil, so just read on to find out!
And of course, I wish all Americans a blessed Independence Day!
Introduction Segment: Video Promo
A combination of Smackdown! wrestlers and American Patriotism footage is mixed together to commemorate America’s Day.
We go live to the arena in Phoenix, Arizona, where the host asks us to welcome back John Cena! (Note: as a tribute for America’s Independence Day, the ring ropes are red, white, and blue.)
John plays to the fans first and talks about what America means, and what America’s ideologies, as well as WWE’s, are. Cena says that people have been talking about him “selling out” to Hollywood, and not being committed to WWE. He fires back that he has not lost the passion, and is a “free agent” because he will “knock them all down” on both Monday Night Raw and Smackdown! Live.
Rusev – who also has been out of action lately – interjects. He berates America and Cena, and is upset that he wasn’t getting promo videos on his return from injury. John jousts back and challenges Rusev to a Flag Match for tonight, but “The Bulgarian Brute” denies him.
General Manager Daniel Bryan is on his cell phone when Chad Gable walks in. He is waiting for A.J. Styles who quickly joins. Bryan says that United States Champion Kevin Owens has been messaging him about excluding Styles and Gable since Owens as defeated them twice. Daniel decides to put A.J. and Chad in a match together that will determine who moves on to the Battle Royal..
Match #1: Single – A.J. Styles VS. Chad Gable
(Stipulation: Winner goes to the Independence Day Battle Royal)
They measure each other out to begin and then Gable waistlock-slams A.J. a few times. They go back-and-forth until Styles hits a dropkick as Chad ran at him.
Both are battling on the turnbuckle, with Gable attempting to overhead-suplex Styles, but A.J. slides under. “The Phenomenal One’ goes for his Phenomenal Forearm, but Chad trips him up. Gable moonsaults from the top turnbuckle, but A.J. ducks and Chad lands on his feet. Styles goes for his Styles Clash, but Gable rolls under and clasps on an Ankle Lock! A.J. reverses that into his Calf Crusher, but Chad manages to struggle out of it!
Gable shoves A.J. into the corner and rolls back, but A.J. rolls through into a Victory Roll for a near-fall! He hits his Pele Kick and then the Phenomenal Forearm and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall and ADVANCING to the Independence Day Battle Royal: A.J. Styles
Post-match, Styles helps Chad up and nods in approval of Gable’s efforts.
Locker Room Promo
Mojo Rawley looks contemplative when his partner Zack Ryder walks in. Zack says they should forget about their loss to Tag Team champions The Usos from last week’s Smackdown! Live; Mojo agrees, but then Ryder tells him that he got them places in the Independence Day Battle Royal. Rawley thanks him.
The first-ever “two-time” “Miss Money In The Bank” Carmella, along with James Ellsworth, struts out to the ring. She throws her win(s) in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match(es) in the fans’ faces and then goes after Women’s champion Naomi verbally.
Naomi responds and also takes a verbal shot a James, and then brings out GM Bryan. He bans Ellsworth from the building, fines him ten grand, and suspends him for a month for his interference in the last two Money In The Bank Matches. He warns Ellsworth that if he doesn’t comply, then Carmella will be dethroned of the Money In The Bank Contract. She drags James away, not wanting to lose her Women’s championship opportunity.
Up next, Naomi defends against Lana.
Match #2: Single for the Women’s Championship – Lana (Challenger) VS. Naomi (Champion)
Naomi sunset-flip right over and into her submission, forcing Lana to immediately give-in!
Winner via Submission and STILL Women’s Champion: Naomi
Post-match, Tamina appears and orders Lana to walk away with her. Lana slowly obliges.
Shinsuke Nakamura is asked about Money In The Bank winner Baron Corbin being afraid of him; suddenly Corbin hits Nakamura from behind with the briefcase and yells at him about being scared. Shinsuke gets back up and hits him with a couple of hard shots until many separate them.
A “Rap Battle” takes place between The New Day (with people dressed like historical American people) and Tag Team champions The Usos (with an entourage of their own). The host is Wale, and he declares New Day the winners after The Usos get physical. In my opinion, Usos really won with their words.
Match #3: Single – Aiden English VS. Randy Orton
English begins with a song in Opera tone, but Randy interrupts with his entrance. Aiden doesn’t take kindly and hits Orton with the microphone and throws him into the steel steps. He goes back to the ring ton continue his song.
The bout has actually begun, but Orton goes aggressive, and hits English with the steel steps to cause a dq.
Winner via Disqualification: Aiden English
Post-match, Randy RKO’s Aiden, but is interrupted by WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, who walks out to the stage with The Singh Brothers. He rants about the people still not liking him because of his Indian heritage and threatens to put all of them in the Punjabi Prison. Orton demands him to stop talking and the real reason people don’t like Jinder is because he’s “a jackass.”
Tye Dillinger is walking the halls when Tyler Breeze – dressed as a woman – inquires about Tye’s strategy for the Battle Royal. Tyler calls himself “Tene Young,” and Dillinger drops hints about Breeze and Fandango maybe having to fight each other in the Battle Royal. Fandango is behind Tye, dressed as a construction worker. Tye walks away, and Fandango and Tyler swear to remain “bros” despite what may happen in the Battle Royal.
Rene Young is with Mike and Maria Kannelis, who are interrupted by technical difficulties and then Sami Zayn. He apologies but is happy to hear about their “love” and goes on about it until his music plays and he runs out for the Battle Royal!
Match #4: Independence Battle Royal – Sami Zayn VS. Erick Rowan VS. Luke Harper, VS. Dolph Ziggler VS. Konnor VS. Viktor VS. Sin Cara VS. Primo VS. Epico VS. Fandango VS. Tyler Breeze VS. Mojo Rawley VS. Zack Ryder VS. Tye Dillinger VS. A.J. Styles
(Stipulation: Winner wrestles United States Champion Kevin Owens for the Championship at Battleground)
(Note: United States Champion Kevin Owens is on commentary)
Dolph Ziggler is the first out after a bit of battling between all.
Fandango is dumped, and Tyler as well, but is caught by Fandango who puts his partner back in the ring. Rowan then tosses Tyler again. Mojo and Zack hurl Erick over the ropes, and then Rawley throws Ryder over! “Long Island Iced-Z” is shocked but Mojo mouths “sorry.” Sami boots Rawley to the floor, and we are now down to Sami, Tye, and A.J.
Dillinger gets a lot of momentum, giving both his “Tye-Breaker” finisher (G.T.S.) but Sami soon chucks him out. Styles and Zayn slugs back-and-forth, and end up in a suplex-position on the apron. A.J. gets out of it and Pele Kicks Sami to eliminate him!
Winner via Elimination and NEW #1 Contender for the United States Championship: A.J. Styles
Post-match, Owens sharply attacks Styles, but “The Phenomenal One” gets the better and holds up the U.S. Championship to close the show.
End of Smackdown! Live.