After weeks of asking for a match against Asuka for the WWE Women's Championship, Bianca Belair will get her shot on tonight's SmackDown from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The last time Asuka defended her title was against Charlotte Flair on SmackDown two weeks ago. Belair caused that match to end in a no contest.
Tonight will also feature the fallout of last week's Trial of Roman Reigns. We'll see if Reigns provides an answer to Jey Uso's challenge for an Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match.
WWE's United States Championship Invitational will begin with a fatal four-way match involving AJ Styles, Santos Escobar, Butch, and Grayson Waller. Another four-way match is scheduled to take place on SmackDown next week. The winners of the four-way bouts will advance to face each other for the right to become the next challenger for Austin Theory's United States title.
Plus, Sheamus & Ridge Holland face Pretty Deadly in tag team action. Our live coverage starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
– The show began with Jey Uso walking backstage as Michael Cole voiced over that Jey is on a warpath. We went to the ring, where Bianca Belair's music hit.
The Bianca Belair/Charlotte segment
The crowd chanted "EST!" before Belair began to talk. Belair said it's been hard to be patient because she has wanted a rematch with Asuka so badly. Belair mentioned all the hoops she had to go through to get her rematch. Belair said tonight will be her night. Belair said she's going to show Asuka that patience is a virtue. Belair said she will strut out of there as the new WWE Women's Champion, but before she could finish her sentence, Charlotte's music hit.
After Charlotte got in the ring, the crowed graced her with a million "Woooos!" Charlotte said Belair fired Charlotte up and then said Charlotte said she believes Belair will win later tonight and she's manifesting a win in Flair Country. Charlotte said when Belair wins, she wants to makes sure Belair knows that Charlotte is next in line. The crowd was excited at the thought and Belair said she wouldn't jinx herself, but Belair said there would be nothing better than Charlotte vs. Belair at SummerSlam for the WWE Women's Championship. Belair said she's ready for Asuka before Belair and Charlotte shook hands, solidifying the potential match between Charlotte and Belair next month. Charlotte let out a "Wooooo!" to end the segment.
– The Brawling Brutes were shown backstage. Sheamus hyped up Butch competing in the four-way for a shot at the U.S. Title. Ridge Holland said tonight, Pretty Deadly is going to be eaten alive by he and Sheamus. We went back to the ring, where the Brutes made their entrance.
Pretty Deadly [Elton Prince & Kit Wilson] defeated the Brawling Brutes [Sheamus & Ridge Holland] [10:27]
You just knew that somehow, some way, Pretty Deadly would get the win here. Still, the Brutes looked strong and outside of a commercial break that allowed Pretty Deadly to take control, Sheamus and Holland got the bulk of the offense. Pretty Deadly is growing on me on the main roster. I enjoyed the bit on NXT for what it was, but it's beginning to translate well on SmackDown. If nothing else, they are very good pest heels and seeing them get cheap wins only helps that perception. Both teams worked hard here and all told, it was a good opening match – especially at a time when SmackDown lately has been very talk-heavy. In a lot of ways, this was refreshing.
Sheamus and Prince began the match. Prince retreated to the outside. As a result, Sheamus pulled Wilson into the ring and beat him up. Prince returned to the ring and went for a hip-toss, but Sheamus blocked it and hit a clothesline. Holland tagged in and worked Prince over with a headbutt and some punches. Holland lifted Prince, but Prince wiggled out of it and chop-blocked Holland to give his team control. Wilson tagged in and the Pretty Deadly guys double-teamed Holland until Holland lifted and back-dropped both of them.
Sheamus tagged in and Sheamus dumped Wilson over the top. Sheamus worked 10 Bells on Wilson and Holland worked a variation of it on Prince until the show went to a commercial break. When the show returned, Prince was stomping on Sheamus. Wilson tagged in and kept momentum up with some elbows to Sheamus's chest. Wilson landed a running uppercut and tagged in Prince. Wilson tagged in quickly and kicked Sheamus in the face. Sheamus lifted Wilson on his shoulders and slammed him, but when Sheamus went for the tag, Prince ran around the corner and pulled Holland off the apron.
Wilson utilized Prince's help and took Sheamus down. Wilson went to the top, but jumped into a knee from Sheamus. As a result, Sheamus finally got the hot tag to Holland, who landed a wild back-body drop on Prince. Holland took out both members of Pretty Deadly and fired up before hitting a German Suplex on Prince, who landed on Wilson. Holland landed a Fisherman's Buster on Prince for a two-count. Pretty Deadly went to the outside and Sheamus came off the top onto both Pretty Deadly members. Back in the ring, Holland hit a side-slam on Prince for a two-count. Prince took a top turnbuckle padding off and ran Holland into it. Prince then hit a leg drop from the top for the 1-2-3.
– Grayson Waller was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelly. Waller recalled how he swam against Edge last week. Waller talked about how The Rock loves him. Waller then said he's going to face three of the best SmackDown has to offer later and will have his hand raised in victory. Waller closed the interview by saying everything will happen … "if you smell what he's cooking."
– A video recapping last week's Tribal Court segment aired. Footage from Money In The Bank was part of it. Michael Cole announced that Jimmy Uso is injured and will be out for the "foreseeable future." Cole said today marks the 1,048 day as champion.
– Backstage, Charlotte ran into Adam Pearce and Charlotte told Pearce she's leaving the arena because she feels good about the match later. Bayley and IYO SKY came into the frame and said Charlotte isn't the only one who feels good as they pounded on SKY's MITB briefcase. Charlotte, who was still around, said on second thought, she's going to stick around.
Bayley defeated Zelina Vega [2:02]
This was fine for what it was, but nobody thought this was going more than three minutes – which was sad because those two could have had a pretty good match if they were just given a little bit of time. The Shotzi post-match angle was interesting and I can't say I'm not interested to see where this Shotzi/Bayley program goes. Good for Shotzi for getting some booking love.
Bayley jumpstarted the match and ran Vega to the outside, where she worked over Vega on the commentary table. The two fought on the apron and Vega fought for control, rolling Bayley inside the ring and hitting a Meteora for a two-count. Vega landed a swinging neck-breaker for a two-count. Bayley fought back and grabbed Vega's flip-fop. Bayley ran into a Codebreaker and Vegan drove Bayley out of the ring with the flip-flop. Instantly, Bayley got back into the ring and hit the Rose Plant for the win.
After the match, a video from Shotzi appeared on the big screen. Shotzi said Bayley probably thinks she has control over Shotzi. Shotzi grabbed a razor and said she's in control. Shotzi shaved her head and laughed uncontrollably. Shotzi put the hair in her mouth. Bayley looked a little concerned.
The Jey Uso/Bloodline segment
Jey stood in the ring for a bit before saying anything. Jey said growing up, he and Jimmy were inseparable. The crowd gave him the "What?" treatment, but everyone seemed to be in on it and it felt more fun than patronizing. Jey said if Jimmy is sad, he's sad and so on and so forth. It ended with Jey saying if Jimmy is hurt, Jey is hurt, too. Jey said he's going to disrespect Roman Reigns and he's going to spank Solo Sikoa. Jey said they're looking at the real head of the table and his name is Main Event Jey Uso. The crowd cheered until they heard Paul Heyman's voice.
Heyman introduced himself and said Sikoa is the enforcer of the Bloodline as they both walked toward the ring. Heyman said Sikoa was there to enforce peace. Heyman said that next week, Jey and Roman will go face to face and discuss the rules of engagement. Heyman followed that up by saying tonight, they just wanted to have a chat about things. Heyman said Jey is sounding more and more like a tribal chief every single day. Heyman said Sikoa is right in that Jey has no self-awareness. Heyman said Jey doesn't have the conscience needed to be a right-hand man. Heyman said what happened to Jimmy is all Jey's fault.
Heyman said Jey was the one who confronted Roman Reigns and Jey was the one who wanted to be the leader. Heyman spoke to Jimmy into the camera and said the only reason Jimmy is in the hospital is because of Jey Uso. Heyman said Jey's father and mother will never forgive Jey for what he did to Jimmy. Heyman said both he and Reigns will never forgive Jey. Sikoa put his hand otu for the microphone. Heyman put it in Sikoa's hand. Sikoa said what happened to Jimmy is all on Jey. Sikoa said he'll never forgive Jey and threw down the mic.
Jey threw an elbow at Sikoa and eventually landed a super-kick on Sikoa, which left Jey alone with Heyman in the ring. The crowd rose up for the altercation. Before Jey could get his hands on Heyman, Sikoa returned to the ring and beat Jey down. Sikoa went for the Samoan Spike, but Jey countered and worked a ground-and-pound on Sikoa before actually hitting a super-kick on Heyman. Jey landed a suicida on Sikoa, who was on the outside. The crowd went nuts. Left in the ring was Jey, Heyman and a chair. Heyman begged Jey not to do anything. Jey picked up the chair, but Sikoa ran in and Jey hit Sikoa with the chair instead of Heyman. Sikoa rolled to the outside and he, along with Heyman, left to go to the back.
Santos Escobar defeated AJ Styles, Butch and Grayson Waller [12:35]
It depends on the style you like, and I'll fully admit that WWE rolls by its own rules, but for a WWE four-way, this was really very good. Waller played his part almost perfectly as the chicken-s!#$ heel who tried as hard as he could to take advantage of whatever advantageous situation presented itself, Styles was very good as The Guy Who Was The Favorite To Win, Butch was Butch and Escobar was forgotten. Naturally, then, Escobar winning was a curious call, but I'm all in if this means we can get the guy going on the main roster. The LWO has worked well enough, but it feels like we're coming up on the end of the line and if this win means Escobar will have a shot at being a solo player, I'm all for it. I can do without the stupid big screen distraction finish, but outside of that, this was very good.
Austin Theory sat in on commentary. Waller started by punching Butch and rolled to the outside to jaw at Theory. Butch went after Waller. Inside the ring, Escobar worked over Styles with some chops until Styles put Escobar over the top to the outside. Butch and Styles squared off in the ring and traded pin attempts until Waller went for a double pin on them both, but only got a two-count. Styles and Butch fought until Escobar came off the top and took them both out. Waller took Escobar down, but Escobar came back with a boot to the face. Waller came back and ran into a German Suplex from Butch. Everybody exchanged shots on each other until everyone was down and the show went to break.
Back from break, Butch was doing the finger spot on Waller. Waller dumped Butch to the outside in response and Styles hit a sliding forearm on Waller. Styles hit a knee to the back of Waller's neck and went for a pin but Butch broke it up. Escobar came back into the fold and flipped Butch onto Styles, who pinned Butch for a two-count. Escobar came right back and took down Styles before going to the top rope. Waller cut Escobar off and Butch hit Waller with an enziguri. Styles woke up, too, and all four guys were in a corner. Ultimately, Escobar landed a sunset flip, triple-power-bomb on the other three from the top rope.
Escobar hit knees on everyone else after they got to their feet. Escobar landed a Phantom Driver on Waller for a two-count. Waller rolled to the outside and the three babyfaces stood in the ring, trading strikes. Cole said the crowd was chanting "This is awesome," but if they were, boy, that didn't come up well on TV. Eventually, Waller lifted Butch, but Butch worked out of it and kicked the back of Waller. Waller threw Butch to the outside, but was ultimately the recipient of a moonsault from Butch. Escobar followed that up with a splash, but quickly, Styles set Butch up for a Styles Clash inside the ring. On the big screen, Karrion Kross appeared to stop Styles. Styles ran to the back and Waller hit a rolling stunner on Butch, but immediately after that, Escobar came off the top to hit a splash on Waller and pinned him.
– Back from break, Styles was backstage talking to The OC, saying Kross was right and their feud wasn't over. The show then cut to the Street Profits, who were standing next to a limo. Wouldn't you know it: Bobby Lashley stepped out of the limo and embraced the Profits. The Profits got into the limo and Lashley left with them.
– Rey Mysterio cut a remote promo, ostensibly announcing himself as a participant in next week's four-way for the other half of the U.S. title invitational. Cameron Grimes cut a similar promo and said he was going to the moon. Sheamus popped up and did the same.
– La Knight's music hit back in the arena and the crowd went bonkers (I mean, come on, WWE. I know you're hearing this week after week). Knight stopped before talking and the crowd chanted his name. Knight said all of a sudden LA Knight's everywhere. Knight said he's the best decision WWE ever made. Knight said the worst decision it made was to make a U.S. title invitational. Knight said he's coming for that title. Knight said one way or another, they're going to call him a champ someday. The crowd was all too happy to agree. We're going to get Mysterio vs. Sheamus vs. Knight vs. Grimes next week as the other half of the US title invitational.
Asuka defeated Bianca Belair via DQ [9:01]
If you thought we were getting a clean finish here, I have some beachfront property in Iowa that I'd love to sell you. Still, the match was all right for what it was. Belair and Asuka only seem to be getting better together and I'm interested to see if we're headed more toward a four-way than a three-way at SummerSlam. Bayley and SKY are laying it on thick and we are less than a month away. Time will tell. I'm all for the women being put in the highest profile spots SmackDown has; I'd just love it if the booking was better. Good for Belair and Asuka for working hard; this just could have been so much more.
Bayley was shown with IYO SKY as two people who bought a ticket before the match began. Belair had the upper hand early. SKY and Bayley yelled at the two from the front row. Asuka tripped Belair to gain back control. Belair ultimately struck back and the two were down on the mat. In the meantime, Charlotte presented a ticket for the show, too, and sat at ringside as the show went to its final commercial.
The show returned and Belair had control, hitting a suplex and a standing moonsault for a two-count. With the two on the top, Asuka ultimately hit a shotgun dropkick from the top for a two-count. Asuka ran at Belair and Belair moved, eventually landing a spine-buster for a two-count. Asuka went for the Asuka Lock, but Belair rolled through and got a two-count out of it. Belair was on the apron, but Belair lifted Asuka and hit a KOD on Asuka on the commentary table.
Bayley and SKY and Charlotte hopped the barricade. Charlotte took out Bayley and SKY ran Charlotte into the ring post. Charlotte then speared Belair, which resulted in a DQ win for Asuka. SKY hit Charlotte in the head with her MITB briefcase. Bayley and SKY tried to cash in, but Asuka hit Bayley with the mist to stop all of it, the cash in didn't happen and Asuka walked up the ramp. The show ended with all the women looking frustrated as Asuka smiled her way away.
Click Here: cheap parramatta eels jersey