The latest episode of SmackDown Live is airing on the USA Network tonight. Here’s what’s happened so far:
8:46 – Hometown hero Jerry “The King” Lawler comes out to the ring to talk about the WWE title match. He brings out AJ Styles for a special interview.
8:40 – Paige bumps into Asuka backstage and asks for a match against Carmella tonight. Paige says that she’ll add them to the eight-woman tag team match to make it 10 Superstars in total. The Miz then walks up to Paige and asks to be the special guest referee for Joe vs. Rusev. Paige tells Miz that he’s a bad actor but agrees to put him in as ref anyway.
8:36 – Bryan wins. He locks Benjamin up and forces him to tap out.
8:30 – Benjamin is the first to strike. He gets Bryan into a corner and pummels him with a knee. Bryan fights his way out and uppercuts Benjamin. The latter picks Bryan up and attempts to slam him down, but Bryan escapes again and manages to turn the tables on Benjamin. He gets Benjamin into a heel hook.
Daniel Bryan vs. Shelton Benjamin
8:14 – The show plays a clip from the last time SmackDown was held in Memphis. Daniel Bryan is riling the crowd up in the clip. We cut to the ring, and Bryan is the first one out for his match against Shelton Benjamin.
8:05 – Kay and Royce come out to mock the four women in the ring. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville also come out to complain about not being in Money in the Bank. Lynch tries to lead Flair, Lana, and Naomi out of the ring, but they’re stopped and threatened by the other four. It’s announced that tonight, all eight women will participate in the largest women’s tag team match in SmackDown history.
8:00 – The show opens with a quick rundown of the scheduled matches, while Paige introduces the four women from SmackDown who will be competing at Money in the Bank on Sunday: Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Lana, and Naomi. The women start arguing over who will win the ladder match, but are interrupted by Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.
While neither wrestler is set to compete at the upcoming Money in the Bank, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Sin Cara will continue the rivalry that has been building up over the past few weeks. Some fans have been underwhelmed by the rivalry, and its unlikely that it will get much traction after the events of Money in the Bank, so expect it to get a decent amount of screen time tonight, and possibly even a resolution.
We will also get a match between Daniel Bryan and Shelton Benjamin, who stepped up after Bryan’s speech last week caught his attention. Benjamin called Bryan’s “worth ethic” on Twitter, and tonight he’ll get the chance to back up his claim in the ring.
Another feud that recently got started on Twitter is between Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy. The former tweeted a photo of him and Hardy in the ring with the caption: “I’m gonna write a caption for this later… maybe”, alluding to the fact that he will win the match. Hardy fired back, saying that Nakamura will lose the Last Man Standing match against AJ Styles at Money in the Bank. It should be an exciting match, though given that Nakamura has the edge heading into Money in the Bank, we assume he will be the victor.
Styles will appear on SmackDown Live tonight, though he won’t be fighting. Instead, he’ll sit down for an interview with WWE Hall of Famer and Memphis native Jerry “The King” Lawler. It should be a perfect opportunity for Styles to heighten the feud between him and Nakamura, and drop a little trash-talk that might even see the latter interrupt the interview. The WWE announced the interview with the statement below:
Before he takes on Shinsuke Nakamura in a Last Man Standing Match at WWE Money in the Bank this Sunday, WWE Champion AJ Styles will address the WWE Universe and his opponent one last time in a special interview tonight on SmackDown LIVE.
Styles hasn’t wrestled since May 22nd, and while there haven’t been any reports of injuries or extraneous circumstances, fans are curious as to why he’s been so inactive. We may get an answer, or at the least, some action, if he decides to engage Nakamura in the ring.
The biggest event scheduled for tonight will be a summit of the competitors in the women’s ladder match at Money in the Bank; including Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Becky Lynch and Lana. They will be gathered by general manager Paige into the same ring, and the odds of something happening between their combustible personalities are good. Expect to see a teaser of Money in the Bank.