WWE SmackDown is live from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. We kick off tonight’s special 4th of July episode with the return of 16-time world champion John Cena. Let’s get right to the action…
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Lilian Garcia sings the Star-Spangled Banner
John Cena Returns!
Multiple-time world champion John Cena is back! He’s happy as hell to be back and he has a message to all the up-and-comers in the back. Cena isn’t a Hollywood sellout and he’ll let everyone know how dedicated he is to the business that made him what he is today. He’s proud to be apart of the WWE. But more importantly, he’s proud to be part of the United States of America.
Out comes the returning “Bulgarian Brute” Rusev.
Rusev is super jelly that WWE made a big deal about Cena coming back. Meanwhile, Rusev’s return hasn’t exactly been treated as a top priority. And Rusev wants to crush John Cena and show everyone why Rusev should be taken seriously. He mocks the hamburger-eating crowd.
Cena wants to fight Rusev. He offers the idea of a “flag on a pole” match between Cena’s America and Rusev’s Bulgaria. But Rusev wants to fight on his own terms and refuses the battle for tonight. Cena calls Rusev “a coward” and leads a U-S-A chant with the crowd.
Inside SmackDown GM’s Office Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan invites Chad Gable and AJ Styles into his office. Bryan is bothered by Kevin Owens who keeps complaining about Styles and Gable being in the battle royal. Styles suggests shoving fireworks down Owens’ throat since it’s the 4th of July. Bryan said he gave that some thought. But KO did have a point, Owens did beats both Styles and Gable.
Both men are worried about losing their spot in the battle royal. But Daniel Bryan gives them a bit of reassurance. AJ Styles will battle Chad Gable next and the winner will receive a spot in the Independence Day battle royal.
Win-And-You’re-In Match (winner qualifies for the Independence Day battle royal): AJ Styles vs. Chad Gable
Chad Gable takes Styles to school with suplexes to start off the match. AJ tries to battle back, but Chad overcomes the Phenomenal One. The Greco-Roman wrestler in Chad seems to be too much for Styles to hack. Gable wears down Styles with a headlock submission.
AJ fights out and nails some sick chops onto Gable. Chad strikes back and runs the ropes, but gets caught with a painful backbreaker from Styles.
Styles ascends the top rope, but gets caught by Gable. AJ is taken off the turnbuckle and Chad tries his own high-risk maneuver. But it’s high-risk, no reward for Chad who fails to connect with Styles. AJ capitalizes and hits Chad with a suplex right into the corner.
AJ seems to be in control. He attempts a Styles Clash, but Gable wiggles through. Chad performs a flawless suplex on Styles. But the Phenomenal One is able to rally back. He hits a pele kick and then a Phenomenal Forearm to end this match.
AJ Styles defeats Chad Gable
SmackDown Live Fallout: What’s going on with Chad Gable?
Gable is not discouraged by his defeat tonight. He’s been knocked down many times, but that just makes him stronger for his next fight.
Carmella’s Money In The Bank Celebration
Ms. Money In The Bank Carmella comes out to the ring with her boo James Ellsworth to celebrate. She can cash in on Naomi anytime she wants. How bow dah?
After Carmella talks some serious trash about the WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion, Naomi is out and she looks amazing. Everything about Naomi is glowing. Her championship belt has been transformed and is now glowing blue at the edges.
Naomi gets up in Carmella’s face. The champ is ready for a fight at any time against any competitor.
SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan is out next. Ellsworth talks some trash about Bryan. But the GM laughs in Ellsworth’s face. James shouldn’t be expecting a paycheck for the next 30 days because he’s suspended, and if he doesn’t leave immediately then Carmella will be stripped of her briefcase.
Bryan leads a “YES” chant as Carmella and Elsworth flees the ring.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi (c) vs. Lana
Naomi rolls up Lana and traps her into a submission right off the bat. Lana taps almost immediately.
Naomi defeats Lana to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Post-Match: Tamina Snuka hits the ring following the match. She stands over Lana, protecting her from the champion. She offers Naomi an intimidating glare. Snuka orders Lana to get up and come with her. Lana seems hesitant, but gives in to Tamina’s commends and they both exit the ring together.
Shinsuke Nakamura Backstage Interview
Shinsuke Nakamura is in the middle of an interview when Baron Corbin hits him in the head from behind. Corbin talks trash and continues the assault. But Shinsuke fires back and WWE officials are needed to break these two up.
John Cena vs. Rusev in a Flag Match announced for Battleground
Rap Battle The New Day vs. The Usos, hosted by Wale
Both The Usos and The New Day come with a dress-coordinated entourage. The New Day are all decked out in 4th of July American attire. Big E basically says that The New Day is the reason why people care about the tag team division; The Usos were stuck in dark matches and on pre-shows before The New Day came along. Ya boy E says that The Usos were eating crumbs before ya boys came along.
The Usos diss Big E for his bulbous chest that resembles breasts, or they silicon or fake? The world will never know. Kofi fires back and tells the crowd that The Usos are weenie-do’s because their gut hangs out more than their weenie do. The Usos make fire of Kofi’s big forehead and his Jamaican gimmick he use to have, even though he’s not Jamaican. Xavier Woods kills it when he tells Jimmy that the only reason he’s relevant is because of his wife on Total Divas. He says that The Usos are bag-handlers for Roman Reigns and all hell breaks loose.
Wale disqualifies The Usos.
The New Day defeat The Usos
Tyler “Tanee Young” Breeze wants to know Tye Dillinger’s strategy for the battle royal
Aiden English vs. Randy Orton
Aiden English starts off this segment with a song in the center of the ring. Randy Orton’s theme music interrupts English’s song. Aiden is pissed and attacks Orton from behind before the match starts. English whips Orton into the steel steps, and returns to the ring to continue where he left out. Aiden picks up a microphone and begins singing.
English is picking Orton apart all throughout the commercial break. Aiden is manhandling a multi-time world champion. Aiden is simply kicking ass. Orton fires back with a scoopslam. Randy relentless assaults Aiden outside the ring. He drops English over the commentator’s table and hits a DDT onto the floor.
But Orton gets carried away. He picks up the steps and smacks English with solid steel. The referee calls for the bell.
Aiden English defeats Randy Orton via disqualification
Post-Match: Orton continues the assault. He drags Aiden into the ring and hits an RKO. Jinder Mahal’s music hits and The Modern Day Maharaja enters with his goons The Singh Brothers. Mahal says that Orton and the fans don’t like him because of the color of his skin. Orton disagrees, he says the reason no one likes Mahal is because he’s a jackass. The crowd cheers. Orton says he’ll kick Jinder’s ass back to India in Battleground’s Punjabi Prison match.
Independence Day Battle Royal: winner receives a shot at Kevin Owen’s WWE United States Championship at Battleground
Dolph Ziggler hits a big kick, but he didn’t see Luke Harper who clotheslines “The Showoff” right out of the ring. Ziggler is the first man eliminated from this match.
Erick Rowan eliminates Fandago. Rowan tries to take out Tyler Breeze but he gets caught by Fandango. Breeze is back in the ring, but quickly gets thrown out again by Rowan. Sin Cara battles it out with Rowan, but gets thrown out himself. Mojo attacks Rowan into the corner. Luke Harper battles with Mojo, but the Hype Bro takes out Luke. Mojo takes out Konnor from The Ascension. Ryder and Mojo have a stare-down, but Rowan takes them both down.
Zack Ryder takes out Rowan, but Mojo dumps out Ryder. Tye Dillinger takes out Mojo. Dillinger dominates both Sami and AJ, but gets taken out himself. Sami and Styles battle it out to the very end, but The Phenomenal One stands tall at this main event.
AJ Styles wins the Independence Day Battle Royal
Post-Match: Kevin Owens assaults AJ Styles after the match. But AJ battles back with a Pele Kick. Styles stands tall once more.
WWE SmackDown Live Announced Matches
- Win-And-You’re-In Match (winner qualifies for the Independence Day battle royal): AJ Styles vs. Chad Gable
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi (c) vs. Lana
- Independence Day Battle Royal: winner receives a shot at Kevin Owen’s WWE United States Championship
- Rap Battle: The New Day vs. The Usos
- Randy Orton vs. Aiden English