Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 7/5/17: Smackdown Live Phoenix Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

WWE returned on this very special Independence Day edition of Smackdown Live in Phoenix, Arizona. This week we got to enjoy the fireworks, a battle royal, a rap off, a women's title match and the return of John Cena! What other surprises would we get on this week's Smackdown Live?

** Smackdown Live Card **

- AJ Styles battled Chad Gable with the winner getting a spot in the Independence Day Battle Royal.
- WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion Naomi defended her title against Lana.
- WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Champions The Usos battled The New Day in a non title Rap Off with rapper Wale as the host. 
- Randy Orton battled Aiden English.
- An Independence Day Battle Royal to determine a #1 Contender to the WWE United States Championship.

- John Cena returned this week to announce his future plans with the company.

- Carmella and James Ellsworth get their Carmellabration interrupted by Daniel Bryan.

** Smackdown Live **

- John Cena Promo: Cena talks America and why he loves his country. Cena wanted to address the ones calling him a part time mascot to the WWE and claims to now be an all timer to both RAW and Smackdown Live. Cena says he's been full of fire and passion for 15 years and tonight the franchise is back. Rusev's music suddenly hits and out he comes, making his Smackdown Live debut. Rusev says he's been at home nursing his shoulder injury and didn't understand why there were return commercials for Cena but not Rusev. Rusev calls the American Dream a lie and Cena will not steal Rusev's opportunities. Cena invites Rusev to the ring to take a beating for bad mouthing America. Rusev says American Independence Day is a joke compared to Bulgaria's. Cena finally challenges Rusev to an old fashion Flag Match, but Rusev says it'll go down on his terms. Cena gets a USA chant going to end the segment.

- Backstage, AJ Styles and Chad Gable are talking about tonight's Battle Royal with Daniel Bryan. Bryan unfortunately has bad news and says Kevin Owens made a case that both shouldn't be in the Battle Royal since he's beat both of them already. Bryan announces Styles vs. Gable tonight with the winner being in and the loser being out.

- AJ Styles vs. Chad Gable: The match closes out with Gable countering the Styles Clash and turning it into an ankle lock submission. Styles counters the ankle lock and locks in the Calf Crusher submission. Gable escapes and he and Styles trade shots. Both men trade offense until Styles hits the Phenomenal Forearm on Gable and scores the pinfall.
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall, to advance to the Independence Day Battle Royal.

- Backstage, Mojo Rawley is down about losing last week. Zack Ryder tries to cheer him up by telling him he got them spots in the Independence Day Battle Royal. Mojo hypes back up and gets excited.

- Carmella And James Ellsworth Promo: Ellsworth says Independence Day is cancelled because we're having a Carmellabration. Carmella mocks the Women's Division for getting the Money In The Bank Ladder Match redone only for them to all still lose. Carmella says now she will decide when and where to cash in on Naomi. Naomi interrupts and congratulates Carmella, but says she's not worried about her because her eyes are always open and the glow is always turned on. Daniel Bryan is out next and says he has to address something with James Ellsworth. Bryan bans Ellsworth from the arena, fines Ellsworth $10,000 and suspends Ellsworth for 30 days. Bryan then promises that if Ellsworth breaks any of those three demands then Carmella will be stripped of the Money In The Bank briefcase. Carmella yells at Ellsworth and orders him to leave now to end the segment.

- "WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship Match": Naomi (c) vs. Lana: Naomi plants a quick kick and makes Lana tap out to s submission in under 30 seconds to retain her title. After the match, Tamina Snuka arrives, helps Lana to her feet and they leave together. 
Winner: Naomi, by submission, to retain the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship.

- Backstage, Baron Corbin jumps Shinsuke Nakamura from behind and hits him with his Money In The Bank briefcase, before being pulled back by Smackdown Live officials.

- Rapper Wale Hosts A Rap Off With The Usos vs. The New Day: Wale introduces The Usos who come out with 7 guys called the Day One Group. Wale introduces New Day and they come out with different people dressed as American characters. Wale goes over the rules, states to keep it PG and no physical contact. Big E does a rap mocking The Usos' dad Rikishi. The Usos pull out a rap mocking Woods and Paige's sex tape they made. Kofi raps about The Usos being injury prone. The Usos rap about Kofi being a fake Jamaican. Woods raps about Jimmy Uso being a nobody until Naomi got him on Total Divas. Woods then raps about The Usos carrying Roman Reigns' bags. The Usos try to attack, but get held back and Wale DQ's The Usos. Wale announces The New Day the winners as The Usos and their group leave the ring to end the segment.
Winners: The New Day.

- Randy Orton vs. Aiden English: The match closes out with Orton tossing English over the announcers table, ground and pounds him and tosses him over the barricade. Orton tosses English into the ring post then hits a draping DDT on the floor. Orton rams the steel steps into English forcing the referee to finally DQ Orton.
Winner: Aiden English, by DQ.

- After the match, Orton hits an RKO on English. Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers arrive on the stage. Mahal immediately mocks America and it's birthday. Mahal promises to end Orton's legacy in the Punjabi Prison Match at WWE Battleground. Orton tells Mahal to shut up and he's about to RKO Mahal's ass back to India. Orton says that Mahal is right that nobody likes him, but it's not because of the way he looks and sounds, it's because he's a jackass. Orton poses to Mahal to end the segment. 

- Backstage, Tyler Breeze is dressed as Renee Young and tries to get Tye Dillinger to give out his strategy in the Battle Royal. Dillinger wonders what would happen if the last two came down to Breezango and walks off. Fandango appears and tells Breeze they'll fight each other for America but they'll always be partners.

- Backstage, Mike and Maria Kanellis have arrived. Maria says love is ageless and timeless but not everyone gets it. Mike talks about how beautiful Maria is when suddenly Sami Zayn accidentally interrupts by knocking over equipment. Zayn apologizes and says he's a fan of their love messages. Zayn walks off leaving Mike and Maria angry that they were interrupted.

- "Independence Day Battle Royal": Sami Zayn, Konnor, Viktor, Sin Cara, Epico, AJ Styles, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Tye Dillinger, Erick Rowan, Jason Jordan, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, Tyler Breeze and Fandango: The final four come down to Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, Mojo Rawley and Tye Dillinger. Mojo gets tossed to the apron, but fights off Styles and Dillinger. Zayn hits the Helluva Kick and eliminates Mojo. Dillinger unloads on Zayn and stomps on Styles. Dillinger hits the Tye Breaker on Zayn and Styles both. Dillinger tosses both Zayn and Styles over the ropes, but they both hang on. Zayn grabs Dillinger and back drops him to the floor for the elimination. Zayn hits an Exploder suplex on Styles, but misses the Helluva Kick. Zayn flips over the ropes, but hangs on. Styles connects with the Pele Kick and eliminates Zayn for the win.
Winner: AJ Styles to become the #1 Contender to the WWE United States Championship.

- After the match, Kevin Owens attacks Styles from behind and beats him down. Owens shoves his United States Championship in Styles' face and talks trash. Styles fights back and goes for the Styles Clash, but Owens escapes it. Owens runs as Styles celebrates with the United States Championship to end the show.

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