WWE SmackDown on July 14 went live from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was an important show building up to the SummerSlam premium live event. A women’s championship match was on the card, and the US Title picture took a new direction. There was an aftermath of Jey Uso’s challenge to Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Let’s talk about everything that happened on WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown.
Bianca and Charlotte in the Opener
Jey Uso was seen backstage entering the arena. To kick off the show, Bianca Belair walked into the ring and talked about her match for the Women’s Championship later in the main event on the show. She claimed to regain the Title. Charlotte Flair interrupted her. She wished that Bianca would win tonight so that there would be a match between The Queen and The EST at SummerSlam. Asuka was watching from backstage, enjoying the chatter in the ring.
It is exciting stuff going on with the Women’s Title. All top stars are relevant in this storyline. There was more interesting stuff from the women’s division; we will discuss it later.
Pretty Deadly vs The Brawling Brutes
Sheamus and Ridge Holland collided against Pretty Deadly. The action began with Sheamus and Elton Prince. Sheamus’ clotheslines are getting much better. Pretty Deadly then dominates Holland. A hot tag allowed Sheamus to enter the ring and hit The Beats of Bodhran on Kit Wilson. Sheamus kicks out of Wilson’s neck breaker. Elton kicks out the Fisherman buster from Ridge. In the end, Pretty Deadly ran Holland into an exposed turnbuckle, and Elton Prince hit a leg drop from the top rope for the win.
Winner: Pretty Deadly
Sheamus is working on another level right now and delivering bangers after bangers. Ridge Holland has improved a lot. Pretty Deadly is having a great time so far on the main roster. They seem to be destined for Tag Titles’ victory. Let’s see where this feud between Pretty Deadly and The Brutes goes.
Grayson Waller mentions The Rock
Cathy Kelly interviews Grayson Waller backstage. He talks about his main event at MSG against WWE Hall of Famer Edge. He brags about everyone talking about him, including The Great One and The Rock. He also talks about his #1 contender match later on the show.
Bayley vs. Zelina Vega
Next up, Bayley and Zelina Vega faced off. Vega hit a Meteora, but Bayley kicked out. Bayley was even kicked out of Twist of Fate from Vega. Ultimately, Iyo Sky attacks Zelina with the briefcase as the referee is distracted. It allowed Bayley to hit a rose plant for the win.
After the match, Shotzi showed up on the titantron and cut a promo. She then shaved her head.
It is good to see Zelina getting screen time after her brilliant performance at WWE Backlash. Win or lose, an appearance on TV is good for her. Looks like something new and crazy is cooking up with Shotzi.
Jey Uso Promo
Then comes the headline of the show. Jey Uso comes down to the ring and says he and Jimmy are inseparable. He said that if Jimmy’s hurt, he’s hurt too. He said that he has no respect for Roman Reigns now. He labelled himself the Main Event Jey Uso, the Real Tribal Chief, the Real Head of the Table.
Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa walked out. Heyman said that Roman would appear next week, and he and Solo are here for a chat this week. He blames Jey for what happened to Jimmy. Solo Sikoa takes the mic and says that what happened to Jimmy is on Jey. Sikoa and Jey then traded strikes and super-kicked Solo out of the ring. As Jey headed towards Heyman in the ring, Solo attacked from behind. Jey Uso escapes the Samoan Spike and takes down Solo. He then super-kicks the wise man Paul Heyman. Jey attacked Solo with a chair and sent him out of the ring.
Paul Heyman getting attacked was a rare sight, taking the rivalry to a new level. Teases continued of Solo as the next Tribal Chief since he took the microphone from Heyman like Roman usually does. Jey Uso has made fans believe him. He is the hottest babyface right now in the company.
United States Title Invitational
Two fatal 4-way matches would be held, one this week and one next week, and the winners would face each other in the final to get a shot at Austin Theory’s US Championship. This week it was AJ Styles vs Grayson Waller vs Santos Escobar vs Butch. The Champ Austin Theory sat at ringside for the action. It was a good back-and-forth, action-packed contest. Butch’s German Suplex looked great. Escobar delivered some high-flying action. Styles used classical wrestling moves such as the neck breaker. Escobar’s hurricanrana on Butch from the turnbuckle was amazing. The action continued on the top rope as Styles and Butch went for a super plex. Escobar delivered a sunset flip taking everybody out. Santos hit a Phantom Driver on Waller, but Butch and Styles broke the pin. A moonsault by Butch and a suicide dive by Escobar paced up the action. In the ring, Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm on Escobar. As he was going for the Styles Clash, Karrion Kross appeared on titantron and attacked the OC members Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. This distracted Styles. Waller attacks a rolling Stunner on Butch. Santos hits a splash for the win.
Winner: Santos Escobar
It is probably the biggest win for Santos Escobar on the main roster. It is also a good step from WWE’s business perspective, as LWO merchandise sales are high. AJ Styles and Karrion Kross’s rivalry continued, and it looked like it would end at the Biggest Event of Summer, SummerSlam.
Some Backstage Segments
AJ Styles was seen checking on his mates, Anderson and Gallows.
Bobby Lashley made a surprise appearance in the parking lot, where he picked up Street Profits in his limo. Seems like something interesting is cooking.
Cameron Grimes, Sheamus and Rey Mysterio discuss them being in the fatal 4-way invitational for the US Title next week.
LA Knight walked out and cut a short promo on the entrance ramp. He will also be in the invitational for US Title next week. He said that sooner or later, people will call him Champ. The crowd reaction was outstanding once again.
Asuka vs. Bianca Belair
In the main event, Asuka defended her WWE Women’s Title against Bianca Belair. Bayley and Iyo Sky from Damage CTRL were seated ringside. Charlotte Flair also came to the ringside area. There was a moonsault from the EST and a missile drop kick from the top by the Empress of Tomorrow. Bianca hits a KOD on Asuka at ringside on the announcer’s desk. Iyo and Bayley jumped the barricade. Charlotte hits a big boot on Bayley. As Iyo and Belair have a stare-down, Flair goes for a spear that accidentally hits on Bianca, costing her the Title match. Bianca’s selling here was phenomenal. Iyo attacks Charlotte with the briefcase. Bayley and Iyo go for a cash-in on Asuka in the ring. Asuka used Blue Mist on Bayley and escaped.
Winner: Bianca Belair via DQ
It is a multi-woman feud going on for the Women’s Title. It’s a 3-way with Asuka, Bianca and Charlotte and maybe 4-way with Bayley included at SummerSlam. Iyo’s cash-in attempts are good and make her relevant on TV.