– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Byron Saxton and Corey Graves.
– We go right to the ring and Renee Young is waiting with a mic. She introduces #1 contender Becky Lynch and out she comes to a pop.
Becky talks about the SmackDown Women’s Title and how she fought hard to get back where she’s at. She says she will do what it takes against Carmella at SummerSlam and it will be her honor to go into WWE Evolution as the SmackDown Women’s Champion. The music interrupts and out comes the current champion Carmella.
Carmella tells Becky to hold up, this isn’t what we think. Fans boo her. Carmella says normally she would come out and make an excuse for why she lost last week but that’s not the case. Some fans chant “we want Ellsworth” after Carmella mentions James Ellsworth getting fired last week. She enters the ring and gives Becky props for her non-title win last week. She talks about how special it is for them to be working the all-women’s Evolution event in October. Carmella says she feels like she’s failed as a representative of the division as they should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. Carmella says this comes from a place of jealousy because Becky has always been a step ahead of her. Carmella gets emotional when recalling how people in WWE NXT told her she’d never be more than a manager. She says Becky was killing it and gave her advice, something she will never forget.
Carmella goes on with praise for Becky and fans start chanting Becky’s name. Carmella talks about her own journey and says now most of the WWE Universe doesn’t even think she deserves to be champion. She cries when talking about her haters on social media, who say she sucks every day. Carmella goes on and says she couldn’t be more excited to go into SummerSlam against Becky, and to tear the house down with her. Carmella knows they will prove everyone wrong because they’re going to kill it. Carmella just wants to tell Becky good luck. Carmella extends her hand for a shake but the music interrupts and out comes Ellsworth, who is supposed to be fired.
Ellsworth never appears and Carmella takes advantage of the distraction to drop Becky from behind. Carmella delivers a big kick next. Carmella brings a steel chair into the ring and goes to drop Becky onto it but the music hits and out comes Charlotte Flair, returning to make the save for Becky. Flair blocks a chair shot and drops Carmella, sending her out of the ring. Flair checks on Becky as Carmella grabs her title and retreats. Flair stands up and points at her. Flair and Becky talk as Carmella heads to the back.
– Still to come, Samoa Joe delivers a personal message to AJ Styles. Also, Jeff Hardy returns to confront Randy Orton.
– The Usos are backstage with words for The Bar. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and SmackDown General Manager Paige is backstage when Carmella comes in complaining about Charlotte Flair. Paige says Carmella should be ashamed of herself for what she did out there. Carmella disses Paige and says she’s something Paige will never be again – champion. Paige says she’s going to teach Carmella how to be a real champ because real champs overcome the odds and don’t complain about it. Paige announces Flair vs. Carmella for tonight and if Flair wins, the match at SummerSlam will become a Triple Threat. Paige tells Carmella to go get ready for the match and she leaves without saying anything.
SummerSlam Tag Team Tournament Match: The Usos vs. The Bar
We go to the ring and out comes The Usos. The winner of this match will face The New Day to determine who faces SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers at SummerSlam. Out next comes The Bar.
The New Day is out next for commentary. Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods take seats at their own colorful announce table, which is full of pancakes. Jey Uso starts off with Sheamus and they go at it but we take an early commercial break.
Back from the break and Cesaro covers Jey for a 2 count. Cesaro keeps control and stops Jey from tagging. Sheamus comes in with another pin attempt. Sheamus hits the ropes and drops a knee. Sheamus delivers more offense before keeping Jey grounded in the middle of the ring now. Sheamus with knees to the ribs while keeping Jey down. Sheamus drives Jey back to the mat as Jimmy Uso tries to rally the crowd.
Jey fights up and out of the hold. Sheamus stops him with a knee. Jey slides out of a suplex attempt. Sheamus charges but Jey moves and Sheamus hits the ring post in the corner. Cesaro and Jimmy tag in at the same time. Jimmy unloads and catches Cesaro with a Samoan Drop for a close 2 count. Jey with an enziguri to the face. Jimmy gets hyped up in the corner and runs for the splash but Cesaro rolls to the floor. Jimmy launches himself over the top and takes out Sheamus as he put himself in the way to save Cesaro. They bring it back into the ring and Jimmy hits a crossbody on Cesaro for a close 2 count.
Cesaro ends up rocking Jimmy with an elbow to the jaw as he goes to the top. Cesaro shoves Uso from the top and he falls hard out to the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and The Bar is trying to hit a double suplex on Jimmy up top. Jey pushes Sheamus off from the outside. Jimmy sends Cesaro to the mat with a big move but they both land hard. Jimmy and Cesaro go at it now. Cesaro blocks a shot and in comes Sheamus off the tag. They go to double team Jimmy but Jey superkicks Cesaro. Jimmy with a 2 count on Sheamus. Jimmy superkicks Sheamus to the mat. Jey tags in and hits a big Superfly splash on Sheamus from the top but Cesaro breaks the pin just in time.
Cesaro gets dumped over the top rope by Jey. Jimmy tags in and The Usos both go to the top of opposite corners. Cesaro nails an uppercut to Jey as he leaps from the top. Jimmy comes flying off the top but Sheamus blocks it and rolls him for the win.
Winners: The Bar
– After the match, The Bar stands tall in the ring as we go to replays. They turn their attention to The New Day at ringside. The New Day gets up and enters the ring. The New Day vs. The Bar is confirmed for next week. The two teams face off in the ring and talk trash now as fans chant for The New Day. The Bar exits the ring and backs up the ramp as The New Day’s music starts up.
– Still to come, Daniel Bryan will be here live. We see The Miz throwing the baby doll at Bryan on last week’s show. Bryan will address the underhanded tactics tonight. Also, Zelina Vega’s main roster in-ring debut against Lana.
– We see Renee Young backstage with Charlotte Flair, asking her about possibly getting the title shot at SummerSlam. Flair says she was just here to help her best friend Becky but she now has this golden opportunity thanks to Carmella. Flair says she didn’t even expect to be at SummerSlam, especially not in a title match. Flair hasn’t forgotten her losses to Carmella but she says The Queen is back and ready to reclaim her throne. Flair does a “Wooooo!” to end the segment.
– The announcers show us Samoa Joe putting AJ Styles to sleep after their contract signing last week. Joe will be here to deliver a personal message to AJ tonight. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes Samoa Joe.
Joe addresses WWE Champion AJ Styles and says what he did last week was send a message. Joe hopes there are no hard feelings. He says he respects AJ, he respects the house AJ built and the fact that AJ made the WWE Title the most prestigious title in WWE. Joe also respects AJ’s grind and the sacrifices he’s made to get where he is. Joe says AJ puts the title before everything, including his friends and his own family. Joe goes on about how AJ is a bad father and a bad husband, calling him a failure.
Joe says he’s coming for AJ and he’s going to take everything from him. Joe says at SummerSlam when the world is cheering AJ on, AJ’s family will be cheering Joe on because when Joe is done, AJ’s wife and kids will have their daddy back. But Joe will be WWE Champion. Joe drops the mic and walks off as his music hits.
– We see recent happenings between Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. Hardy is backstage working on his paint and will return tonight to confront Orton. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes Jeff Hardy to the ring.
Fans chant Hardy’s name as he takes the mic. Hardy talks about how important the WWE United States Title is to him – it’s part of his life force, it’s his 5th eye that elevates him and keeps him connected to the WWE Universe, and more. Hardy says a piece of him was severed away when he lost the title and nothing is more important than beating Shinsuke Nakamura to take the title back but one thing comes close – beating the hell out of Randy Orton. Hardy says that’s exactly why he’s out here tonight. He calls Orton to the ring for a fight.
The music hits and out comes Orton. Hardy readies for a fight but Orton is careful to enter the ring. Nakamura comes from behind and drops Hardy with a kick to the head. Nakamura attacks Hardy and goes for a Kinshasa but Orton gets in the way. Nakamura and Orton face off now. Orton backs Nakamura into the corner. Orton looks back at Hardy and then back at Nakamura, nodding in approval for Nakamura to attack. Nakamura delivers a Kinshasa to Hardy as he tries to get up. Nakamura and Orton trade looks again as Nakamura exits the ring to boos.
Orton turns his attention back to Hardy and plays to the crowd for some boos. Orton drops to the mat and readies for the RKO. Orton just takes Hardy’s legs out instead, making it clear he had him if he wanted. Orton starts stomping on Hardy while he’s down now. Hardy yells in pain as Orton grabs him from the apron. Orton nails the second rope draping DDT next. Orton goes to the floor and hits another draping DDT, this time going from the apron to the floor. Orton takes apart the announce table now. Orton places Hardy on top of the announce table and beats on him while referees try to get him to back off. Orton rips off some of Hardy’s accessories and rips open his shirt, also taking his necklace off. Graves says Orton is stripping away Hardy’s identity. Orton pours a bottle of water on Hardy’s face next and punches him several times. Orton talks trash as he wipes Hardy’s face paint off as the boos continue. Orton finally backs off and the referees order him to go to the back. We go to commercial as Hardy recovers on the announce table.
– Back from the break and Renee Young stops Becky Lynch outside of her locker room, asking about Charlotte Flair’s return. Becky says she’s happy to have Flair back but she’s not so thrilled about the possible Triple Threat at SummerSlam. Becky talks about working hard to get back to the top and says she knows she can beat Carmella by herself, or anyone. Renee asks about Flair vs. Carmella for tonight and Becky says she never bets against her best friend.
Lana vs. Zelina Vega
We go to the ring and out first comes Lana. We see what happened during Rusev vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas last week. Lana looks on from the ring as Zelina Vega makes her way out for her main roster in-ring TV debut. Almas accompanies her to the ring. Tom says Rusev is not out here because Lana has given him the professional space that he asked for last week.
The bell rings and Vega dodges a lock-up, then goes right to the mat to pose, taunting Lana. Lana does some sort of handstand split back at her. They go at it and Lana mounts Vega with strikes. Vega goes to the floor for a breather with Almas. Lana talks trash from the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Vega turns it around on Lana, keeping her grounded on the mat. Fans chant Lana’s name as she fights up. Vega drops her again. They tangle some more and Lana rams Vega back into the corner. Vega ends up dropping Lana in the corner and delivering the double knees like Almas. Vega covers for a 2 count. Lana finally gets some momentum going after turning it around. Lana unloads on Vega with lots of offense. Lana shows off some and hits double knees to the back of the neck for a close 2 count.
Lana with a back elbow into the corner. Vega whips Lana into another corner but Lana drops her when she charges. Almas gets on the apron for a distraction but it doesn’t work as Lana keeps control. He tries again but Aiden English runs down and knocks him off the apron. This backfires as Vega rolls up a distracted Lana for the win.
Winner: Zelina Vega
– After the bell, Aiden looks shocked as Vega and Almas head up the ramp. Lana recovers and she’s not happy. Vega is all smiles as she looks on from the stage.
– Tom confirms The New Day vs. The Bar in a #1 contenders match for next week. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers are backstage now. Rowan and Harper cut promos on both teams and say it doesn’t matter who wins as no one will win at SummerSlam because no one can escape the bludgeoning.
– We go to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop. He’s here to address The Miz and last week’s underhanded tactics. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Aiden English approaches Lana backstage. He apologizes for what happened but she doesn’t want to hear it. He says he was just trying to do what was right. English says he knows Rusev has this thing about space right now but he was trying to help her. Lana still doesn’t want to hear it and suggests English leave her alone. We hear Rusev coming through the back, yelling at English, saying he wants to talk to him. English leaves before Rusev gets there, promising Lana what happened was an accident. Rusev asks Lana if she’s alright and says this would not have happened if he were out there. Lana isn’t trying to hear this either. She knows Rusev has to figure out what he wants to do with Rusev Day, that he needs the space right now, but she needed him tonight and could have really used him out there. Lana storms off.
– We go back to the ring and Daniel Bryan has the mic. Bryan talks about last week’s WWE Evolution announcement and how it got him to thinking, thinking about the women’s division and how proud he is of his wife Brie Bella. Bryan says every time something good happens it feels like they take two steps back. He shows us what he’s talking about with a replay of last week’s fake baby toss from The Miz and Maryse. Bryan says watching that bothers him and here’s why – because for two years Miz taunted him, baited him, antagonized him because he had a protective wall built due to Bryan being unable to compete. Miz thought he could say what he wanted and remain safe but then Bryan got cleared. Bryan goes on about Miz and says he would destroy Miz if they ever got in a fair fight. Bryan calls Miz to the ring for a fight to prove him wrong. Miz appears on the big screen with two security guards.
Miz goes on about how he’s an elite talent and says Bryan needs to earn a match with him. Miz says he’s currently away on set for Miz & Mrs. He brags about the success of the premiere and plugs tonight’s second episode. Bryan isn’t buying the talk from Miz and says this whole on set thing is just Miz hiding from him and proves what he’s been saying all along – Miz is a coward. Miz reminds Bryan of the last time he called him a coward – the infamous Talking Smack showdown from last year, where Bryan walked off the set. Miz goes on ranting at Bryan and says he has been carrying Bryan on his back ever since the WWE NXT Rookie days. Bryan says that’s the difference between them – this is about the passion to Bryan and it’s about the fame to Miz. Bryan says he hates to break it but the whole Superstar turned TV star has already been done before and a lot better. Bryan says Miz will never be The Rock or John Cena and he will never be remembered as a great Superstar because he’s too soft. Bryan says but if Miz needs a big stage then he should talk to his agent and come fight Bryan one-on-one at SummerSlam.
Miz says the cycle continues and he’s tired of Bryan riding his coattails. Miz says The Yes Movement is over, Team Hell No is over, everything else Bryan had going is over. Miz says the fans have moved on and now Bryan needs to do the same. Miz suggests Bryan just let his contract expire and go back to entertaining crowds in high school gyms. Miz says all the fans see when they look at Bryan is this – he has a bunch of crying babies displayed on the big screen. The arena fills with baby cries as Bryan looks on. Miz returns to the screen and mocks Bryan for being a crybaby. Bryan looks on and the screen fades to black.
– Still to come, Flair vs. Carmella with SummerSlam implications. We go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom says WWE Champion AJ Styles will be back next week.
Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella
We go to the ring and out comes Charlotte Flair for tonight’s main event. Flair will be added to the SmackDown Women’s Title match at SummerSlam to make it a Triple Threat if she wins this non-title match. We cut backstage to Renee Young and Carmella. Carmella mentions how she really wants to face Becky alone at SummerSlam because she knows she can beat her and how she knows Becky is really rooting against Flair tonight. Out next comes Carmella to the ring.
The bell rings and they go at it. We see Becky backstage watching the match. They go back and forth to start, trading holds. Flair sends Carmella down and shows off some. We get a quick 2 count before Flair tosses Carmella over her head. They go to the floor and Carmella sends Flair into the ring apron, then launches her into the barrier. Carmella stands tall on the outside as we return to commercial.
Back from the break and Flair is unloading in the ring with chops. Carmella goes down. Flair with a belly-to-back suplex. Flair goes to the top for the moonsault but Carmella gets her boots up, hitting Flair in the jaw. Carmella tosses Flair to the floor and runs her mouth as the referee starts counting.
Flair tries to return to the ring but Carmella kicks her back down, breaking the count. Carmella comes out and they both miss boots or kicks. Carmella counters and sends Flair into the barrier. Carmella tosses Flair over into the timekeeper’s area now and returns to the ring. The referee starts counting again. Flair makes it back into the ring just in time but Carmella immediately starts pounding on her. Flair kicks out at 2. We see Becky backstage watching again. Carmella keeps Flair grounded in the middle of the ring again.
Carmella takes Flair back to the corner and aggressively beats her down. Carmella with a kick to the face but Flair comes right back with a big boot, dropping Carmella for a 2 count. Flair looks to show some frustration now. Flair with a roll-up for a 2 count. Flair tries for the Figure Four but Carmella gets the bottom rope and goes to the floor for a breather. Flair kicks Carmella from behind from the ring and she goes down. Flair stands on the barrier and hits a moonsault to take Carmella back down on the floor. Flair brings it back into the ring and hits Natural Selection for a close 2 count. We see Becky backstage again.
Flair goes for another Figure four attempt after a Spear attempt. Carmella rolls Flair up and drops her with a big boot. Carmella with another close 2 count. Flair goes for the Figure Four again and gets the Figure Eight locked in. Carmella taps out and Flair is going to SummerSlam.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, we see Becky backstage again and she’s not happy. Flair celebrates the win as her music hits. The announcers confirm the Triple Threat for SummerSlam. Carmella recovers on the floor and she’s also not happy. We go to replays. Flair continues her celebration as Becky watches from backstage. SmackDown goes off the air.