The road to SummerSlam continues tonight, as Smackdown Live airs from Tampa, Florida.

A Quick Recap:

  • Randy Orton opens the show after a video package recapping the United States Championship situation, as well as his attack last week on Jeff HardyHe claims his actions are a result of the fans apathy towards him, and that the real Legend Killer is the fans.
  • Video recap on the recently-announced Evolution event.
  • Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega def. Rusev w/ Lana after Aiden English attempted to aid Lana after Vega attacked her.
  • Rusev breaks everyone’s heart and tells both Lana and Aiden English that neither may be right for Rusev Day.
  • Samoa Joe def. R-Truth
  • Asuka def. Billie Kay
  • Shinsuke Nakamura cuts a backstage promo on Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton
  • Paige and AJ Styles cut promos on WWE Evolution before Paige gets set to announce Styles’ SummerSlam opponent. Styles claims he’s a fighting champion, and signs the contract before his opponent is announced. However, James Ellsworth interrupts and cuts a promo on coming back to win the WWE Championship, and insults Paige. The General Manager responds by firing Ellsworth!
  • As Paige escorts Ellsworth out of the building, Samoa Joe attacks Styles from behind and puts him in the Coquina Clutch. As Styles passes out, Joe signs the contract for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam!
  • Becky Lynch def. Carmella to earn a shot a the Smackdown Women’s Championship
  • The New Day def. SAnitY to qualify for the finals of the Tag Team Tourhament
  • The Miz, Maryse and their daughter cut a promo hyping up their debuting reality show, Miz & Mrs. Daniel Bryan interrupts and attempts to enter the ring. After taking care of two security guards, Bryan enters the ring; however, the Miz throws what was thought to be his daughter at the YES! Man and hits him with a Skull Crushing Finale!

One Big Thought:

Will Daniel Bryan’s contract situation impact his match at SummerSlam?

It’s clear as of this point that the Leader of the YES! Movement is set to square off with the Miz in what genuinely qualifies as a dream match. Since Miz’s legendary promo on Talking Smack over two years ago, it’s a match that many have listed among the matches they’d most want to see. Now, after a few months of tension leading to smoke but no fire, it’s all but official that the two will clash in 20 days. Now, normally it’d be an easy selection for me to pick Bryan to win in a match between the two; however, with rumours that Bryan hasn’t re-signed yet with WWE and his contract set to expire in September, could we really see the Miz defeat our beloved hero and his bitter rival?

State of the Championships:

YouTube Screenshot

It was something that was rumoured for months and confirmed last week - AJ Styles will face Samoa Joe at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. The rivalry between the two is legendary; their classics from the pairing’s days in TNA are must-watch for any wrestling fan. Both Superstars are advertised for tonight’s episode of Smackdown, but there haven’t been many details since Joe ambushed Styles during last week’s scheduled contract signing between Styles and whomever was to be his “actual SummerSlam opponent”. Either way, to paraphrase the former team of Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder - don’t just get hyped, stay hyped for this one.

At the onset of Smackdown’s tag team tournament to determine the Bludgeon Brothers SummerSlam challengers, it seemed obvious to this writer that SAnitY would be the proverbial last team standing. A freshly debuted faction with a numbers advantage over most of the division? To this writer, it seemed obvious that an up-and-coming team would be more likely to challenge Harper & Rowan at the Biggest Show of the Summer rather than the three more established team in the tournament. However, prior to tonight’s episode only the Usos, the Bar and the New Day remain to challenge the former Wyatt Family members. While the team of Sheamus & Cesaro are sure to put on a great match with the Bludgeons at SummerSlam - they’re my new pick to win it - it’s a little disappointing to not see the Eric Young-led faction in a premier spot at next month’s PPV.

Shinsuke Nakamura is the United States ChampionRandy Orton is interesting once again. Jeff Hardy has his ear gauge nearly ripped out last week in one of the grossest things I’ve observed on WWE television in a while. It’s safe to assume we’re heading towards a triple threat match on August 19th, but more importantly, Orton is interesting again guys!

Becky Lynch is heading to SummerSlam! After her victory over Carmella last week, Lynch heads to Brooklyn as the #1 contender to the Smackdown Women’s Championship. After Becky gave the current champion a fat lip on last week’s episode, ‘Mella has promised revenge on the Irish Lass Kicker. What will develop tonight? Have to tune in to find out!

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Three Things to Watch For:

  • Last week, Rusev squared off against Andrade “Cien” Almas in a match won by El Idolo. However, since last Tuesday both Lana and Zelina Vega have traded barbs online. In response, general manager Paige made a match between the two official for tonight’s Smackdown. It’s been well built so far, and dammit, I’m excited for this match.
  • On a side note, are they setting us up for a Almas/Vega vs. Rusev Day match at SummerSlam? I mean, if so, sign me up!
  • As mentioned, the Usos are set to take on the Bar tonight. This will be excellent, and I’m very excited.

That’s our show! You watching, wrestling fans? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us tonight @WCSportsCA!

Last Five:

Smackdown Live Preview: July 31
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Spencer Love

Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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