Tonight on SmackDown, a New Era will begin. It’s the first live show following the company’s brand extension, and if this week’s Raw was any indication, we should expect to see quite a bit of changes. Read on for live match updates, followed by a full preview of the night’s events as written earlier this afternoon.
8:00 – Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan open the show by saying they plan to make SmackDown all about the superstars and the audience.
8:03 – Shane McMahon announces that in September, the WWE universe will start seeing SmackDown-only pay-per-views. He also says that they need to find an opponent for Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam.
Dean Ambrose enters, saying he has the SmackDown Live fever and is ready for a new challenge. Daniel Bryan says that tonight, they will have a six-pack challenge tonight to determine who will fight Ambrose. The challengers will be John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin and A.J. Styles. The sixth spot will be the winner of a battle royal.
8:20 – The battle royal comes down to Kane, Apollo Crews, Zack Ryder and Kalisto. Kane eliminates Kalisto and Zack Ryder. Apollo Crews eliminates Kane. Apollo Crews wins.
8:33 – Becky Lynch defeats Natayla. After the match, Becky calls herself Becky Balboa.
8:47 – Alexa Bliss enters, saying she’s SmackDown‘s new hottest star and the personification of the new era. She’s interrupted by Naomi, who tells Alexa to calm down since she hasn’t even stepped in the ring yet. Carmella enters, followed shortly by Eva Marie.
8:54 – The Miz enters and begins hosting Miz TV. He interviews himself, saying that it’s an honor and a privilege to be in the ring with The Miz. He goes on to talk about how amazing he and to compare himself to Han Solo. Randy Orton enters. Orton says that when he heard Miz talking about the most amazing superstar in the WWE, he thought Miz was talking about him. Orton also talks about his plans to defeat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Miz says that this SummerSlam match might be his last. Orton responds by challenging The Miz to a match later tonight, but The Miz says no. Maryse, however, accepts on his behalf.
9:09 – Randy Orton defeats The Miz. (The WWE Intercontinental Championship was not on the line.)
9:22 – Heath Slater enters the ring and complains about not being drafted last week. He wants to be added to the six-pack challenge this evening, and he gets a “sign Heath Slater” chant going. Shane McMahon enters, saying that this perhaps isn’t the best way to look for a job. Slater calls himself the hottest free agent in sports entertainment. As he’s talking, Rhyno sneaks up behind him and knocks him out. The crowd goes wild for him.
9:32 – The six-pack challenge between John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews and A.J. Styles begins. Dolph Ziggler pins Bray Wyatt, but the referee is out of the ring at the time. The referee returns in time for Dolph Ziggler to pin A.J. Styles. Dolph Ziggler wins.
9:57 – Dean Ambrose enters and confronts Dolph Ziggler, who is how his SummerSlam opponent.
SmackDown fans should expect to see a brand new theme song and intro on tonight’s episode, as was the case on this week’s episode of Raw. The new Raw theme is Enemies by Shinedown, although the new SmackDown theme is not known at this time. There will also be a brand new set, complete with blue ropes around the ring to contrast with Raw‘s new red ropes.
In addition, while July 25th’s Raw opened with a feeling of disappointment after the loss at Battleground, the opposite feeling should be present on SmackDown tonight. After all, the show is now home to the WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose. As a response to that, this week on Raw, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley announced that they’d be forming a new championship belt of their own called the WWE Universal Champion. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor will battle for it at SummerSlam next month. How will SmackDown‘s Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan respond?
According to WWE.com’s official preview of July 26th’s episode, now that Dean Ambrose’s feud with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns is effectively over, we should expect some other superstars to come after Ambrose and the WWE Championship. Who might it be? John Cena? A.J. Styles? Someone completely unexpected?
Plus, on the NXT front, tonight’s SmackDown will also see the official main roster debut of American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Mojo Rawley and Carmella. Plus, are Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder, the “Hype Bros,” officially back together? Where will their relationship be going from here, and could this beginning of a Zack Ryder push?
We’ll find out in just a few hours, when SmackDown goes live at 8:00 Eastern Time. To refresh your memory on the brand new SmackDown roster, check out our rundown below: