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WWE SmackDown live results: The new Face of America

Date: July 11, 2017
Location: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX

The Big Takeaway --

AJ Styles announced he will be doing the US Title Open Challenge and really tried to get the championship over as being the title held by the very best. John Cena tried to accept his first challenge, but they were attacked by Rusev and Kevin Owens. Styles and Cena teamed up to defeat them in the main event.

At Battleground, Styles will defend the title against Owens, and The Usos will defend the tag titles against New Day. There will also be a 5-woman elimination match to determine Naomi’s next challenger featuring Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Lana and Tamina.

Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Baron Corbin before their match could start tonight and a match between the two was also scheduled for Battleground.

Jinder Mahal promised he would bring the Punjabi Prison to SmackDown next week for Randy Orton, who was not on tonight’s show.

Show Recap --

The show started with a recap of AJ Styles defeating Chad Gable and winning the battle royal last week, as well as winning the US Title at MSG on Friday. They included cell phone shots of crowd reactions.

Styles came out to kick things off. The crowd chanted for Styles as the announcers put over his win at MSG as a big deal. Styles said he would never call himself the face of America, but since Kevin Owens’ face looks like a monkey’s butt, he would at least call himself an improvement.

Styles said he represented what the title was all about and wanted to bring back the US Title Open Challenge (specifically without mentioning John Cena’s name). He said whoever held the US Title would be considered the best. Styles looked to the back and issued an open challenge for right now.

John Cena entered. He wanted to know if that meant the challenge was for everyone but him, but Styles let him know the challenge was meant for everyone--especially for him. Cena accepted, the crowd cheered, and referee Charles Robinson ran down.

The ring announcer did the introductions and the bell was about to ring, but Owens interrupted. Owens said nobody wanted to see another stupid Cena vs. Styles match. Owens wanted his title back and also wondered why Cena even came back because nobody wanted him here.

Cena called Owens the Michelin Man and dared him to get in the ring. Cena was about to say something to Styles when Rusev jumped him from behind. Owens gave Styles a powerbomb and Rusev put Cena in the Accolade. Crowd chanted “USA” as Owens and Rusev stood tall.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin was announced for tonight. Jinder Mahal vs. Tye Dillinger is up next. Cena & Styles vs. Owens & Rusev was announced after a break. 

Non-title match: WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/Singh Brothers) defeated Tye Dillinger 

Mahal won easily in 6:39. Dillinger got some brief offense but Mahal cut off his comeback with a high knee and Cobra Clutch slam for the win. Byron Saxton noted that Mahal would be 3-0 against Randy Orton if he wins at Battleground. JBL said Mahal has “always” had the body of a world champ.

Very basic match. That was Dillinger’s first singles loss on the main roster. He has 4 wins, 3 of which were against Aiden English.

Afterwards, Mahal said he brings class and diversity to the championship. Crowd chanted “USA,” as they did in the last segment. Mahal claimed the 1.3 billion people in India know that he’s the greatest champion in history. Mahal said he would bring hell to Orton next week, because he’s bringing the Punjabi prison (which is presumably sitting in his backyard).

Usos vs. New Day for the tag titles was made official for Battleground. They showed a clip from last week’s rap battle and mentioned that it got extremely personal, but did not show the Usos’ comment about Woods.

Xavier Woods defeated Jey Uso 

Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Jimmy Uso were tossed from ringside quickly into the match. Woods won in 2:24 with a springboard elbow drop (with Jey hanging off the middle rope). Jimmy ran down to chase off Woods who posed and dance with the rest of New Day on the ramp. A nothing match and nothing follow-up to last week.

Shane McMahon was backstage on the phone with Daniel Bryan. He let Bryan know that nobody has asked about James Ellsworth and sent well-wishes to his daughter and Brie. Naomi jumped in. She wanted to know who her next opponent was and hoped it wasn’t Lana again.

Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Lana and Tamina all showed up within seconds of each other to complain. (This felt very fake, but to be fair, Shane did make it seem like he called this meeting.) Natalya called Charlotte a Flair rip-off (again) and Lynch called Natalya a Bret rip-off (again). Shane made a 5-way elimination match for Battleground involving the aforementioned women, including Lana, and the winner would be number one contender. All the women left, except Naomi, and Carmella suddenly showed up with a letter from her lawyer requesting the suspension on Ellsworth be lifted. Shane ripped it up. Carmella screamed and left.

Elsewhere, Renee Young asked Baron Corbin about Nakamura. Corbin was afraid of what he was going to do to Nakamura. Corbin said he would teach him a lesson tonight and it would be “sayonara, Nakamura.” Renee looked disgusted.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

The match never happened. Nakamura came out first. As Corbin taunted a fan during his entrance, Nakamura jumped him. The brawl spilled into the crowd before ending up back by ringside and officials ran down to break it up. Corbin was actually getting the better of this before it was broken up, even though Nakamura started it.

Cena approached Styles in the locker room. He warned Styles that he would accept the challenge one day. Styles wanted him to, because the last time they were in the ring together, Cena took something from him and he wasn’t going to forget it. Styles said the title made him the best and he would hold it for a long time. Cena respected that Styles wanted to face the best. Cena said they would settle this later, but he has Styles’ back tonight.

Cedric Alexander plugged his “I Quit” match against Noam Dar on 205 Live.

Natalya & Tamina defeated Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch

Lynch’s right knee was taped up, though it didn’t play into the match. Lana sauntered to the ring as the heels had the heat on Lynch. Lynch fought out of a Sharpshooter attempt and made the hot tag to Charlotte, who hit chops, a knee drop and suplex. Lana jumped on the apron, which distracted Charlotte long enough for Tamina to make a blind tag. Charlotte went for a Figure Eight on Natalya but Tamina jumped in and nailed her with a superkick for the win. Tamina pinned Charlotte. Short match with a bad finish.

Maria Kanellis aggressively knocked on the “Male Locker Room” door. Chad Gable answered and Maria said she was looking for Sami Zayn. Chad Gable responded, “Oh, Sami Wow-Wow?” Maria didn’t know what he was talking about and Gable said it’s a thing they have. Maria wanted him to tell Zayn she was looking for him and left. Gable shook his head like he had no intention of doing this.

After a break, Maria and Mike Kanellis were fawning over each other. Zayn interrupted. Maria wanted an apology. Zayn didn’t want to apologize again and wasn’t sure why he did in the first place. He noted that every time he has something important to do, like have a match, they’re in the way. Zayn wondered if Mike was even a competitor here, or if Maria was the fighter. Maria slapped him in the face and Mike smashed a glass vase over his head. This was fine.

Nakamura vs. Corbin was announced for Battleground.

Runway Walker: Texas Ranger - Starring Tyler Breeze, Fandango and (Not Really) Featuring Chuck Norris

Fandango and Breeze are dressed as cowboys. Fandango rode in on a stick horse (ala Pepe) to distract Zack Ryder. Breeze ran in to try to lasso him, but he was tied up in his own rope. Ryder was amused by all this, when Mojo Rawley showed up wondering what was going on.

Breeze accused him of destroying their office. Rawley said they would never do anything shady like that. Ryder asked about the battle royal last week. Rawley said it was every man for himself, and they needed to get their heads back in the game. Ryder said that was probably true, and looked toward Breezango like this advice should apply to them as well. The segment ended when Breezango noticed the horse, Tully, was missing. To be continued.

The Usos, John Cena and Sami Zayn will be on Talking Smack tonight with Renee Young and Shane McMahon. Styles will defend the US title against Owens at Battleground. 

US Champion AJ Styles & John Cena defeated Kevin Owens & Rusev

Cena came out last for this match. The heels had the heat on Cena through a commercial break. Styles made the hot tag and applied the Calf Crusher to Rusev but Owens broke it up. Owens was pissed all night but smiled when the crowd booed him for this. Styles was pushed into Owens and knocked him down, but Rusev caught Styles with a kick to the head. Owens applied a headlock and the crowd chanted for Styles.

Styles tried a schoolboy but Owens cut him off with a clothesline. Styles caught Rusev with a kick and made the hot tag to Cena, who made his usual comeback on Owens. Cena went for an AA but Rusev nailed him with a superkick. Styles gave Rusev a Phenomenal forearm and hit Owens with a Pele kick. Cena finished off Owens with an AA for the pinfall win at 13:39.

Cena and Styles had a staredown, but Cena held up Styles’ hand and they posed to end the show.

Final Thoughts --

They announced a lot for Battleground, but this mostly felt like a nothing show. There wasn’t anything terribly wrong with it really, it just kind of happened and now it’s over.