Tonight on SmackDown Live, AJ Styles will confront Dean Ambrose for the last time prior to their match at Backlash on Sunday. Plus, the tag team championship tournament continues, with Heath Slater having a major opportunity to get himself on the roster. The show will be broadcast on the USA Network at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Read on for match results and spoilers, followed by a full preview of the night’s events written earlier today.
8:00 – The show opens with Daniel Bryan in the ring. He hypes up the six-pack elimination challenge for the Women’s Championship at Backlash. Before that match, though, all six of them will participate in a six women tag match tonight. Now, they’re going to have a female superstar forum.
Becky Lynch enters. Daniel Bryan asks her what it would mean to be the first SmackDown Women’s Champion. She says it would mean everything and would make her entire journey so far worth it. She’s interrupted by Natalya, who walks out and yells “Boring!” She says that the 2016 draft was the worst night of her life because she got stuck with Becky Lynch on SmackDown.
Natalya enters the ring, and she’s shortly joined by Alexa Bliss, who makes fun of them both and calls Daniel Bryan a “trophy husband.” Carmella enters and begins bickering with Alexa Bliss, and that devolves into a fight between Natalya, Carmella and Alexa. They quickly join together to team up against Becky Lynch, but suddenly Naomi enters to help Becky Lynch. Nikki Bella follows in short order, and a fight between all six women begins.
8:14 – Backstage, The Miz approaches Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, upset that all they care about is the women’s title instead of the Intercontinental Championship. He’s also upset that Dolph Ziggler did not earn the right to be a #1 contender. Daniel Bryan again accuses The Miz of being a coward for walking away from the match against Ziggler last week, and he says that the Backlash match is happening whether The Miz wants it to or not.
8:15 – The Miz defeats Apollo Crews.
8:30 – In an interview with Renee Young, AJ Styles freaks out when the footage of him being injured by Dean Ambrose last week is played.
8:39 – Bray Wyatt delivers a long monologue about mankind adapting to fight against apex predators. He says that Randy Orton is no longer the predator he once was. Wyatt, though, is a god, and someone who Orton will learn to fear. At Backlash, he says, predator will become prey.
8:42 – Alexa Bliss, Natalya and Carmella defeat Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch and Naomi after Nikki Bella taps out.
9:10 – American Alpha defeat The Usos in a match that lasts about 30 seconds. Afterwards, The Usos snap and brutally assault Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. In particular, they severely injure Chad Gable’s leg, leading several officials to come into the ring and examine the damage.
9:20 – Backstage, Randy Orton addresses Bray Wyatt, telling a story about a snake attacking a man by patiently waiting for the man to be overconfident. He’s the snake in that story, and Orton says he’ll be patiently waiting for the overconfident Bray Wyatt at Backlash.
9:25 – Fandango dances with some random woman in the ring before being interrupted by Kane, who enters and immediately crushes Fandango.
9:27 – Backstage, AJ Styles screams at two random employees, declaring to them that he’s the face that runs the place.
9:34 – Heath Slater and Rhyno defeat The Hype Bros.
9:46 – The Usos defend their actions against American Alpha, saying they’ve been trying to get respect for six years and are now done with that.
9:52 – AJ Styles confronts Dean Ambrose in the ring. Ambrose gives Styles a gift: an old bowling participation trophy of his. He says felt bad and wanted Styles to have it, as this is the only trophy he’s ever going to get from Ambrose. Styles says that Ambrose has no idea who he’s dealing with because if he did, he wouldn’t be making Styles out to be a joke. Styles also points to his armband, saying he got it from the last person he beat: John Cena. Just like he took the armband, he’s going to take the World Championship title at Backlash.
Ambrose points out that the only time they were in the ring together, he beat Styles, but unlike Styles, he’s looking ahead to the future. He refers to Styles as “the face that comes in second place.” This causes Styles to kick Ambrose in the nuts, and he stands over an injured Ambrose as the show ends.
The main thing we’re all looking forward to on SmackDown tonight is seeing what AJ Styles has to say to WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose. Last week, Styles tried to intervene in a match between Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin, but Ambrose was able to strike back and injure Styles, leaving him hanging on the rope in pain as the show went off the air. What might Styles have to say for himself tonight, with just a few days left to go until Backlash?
The tag team tournament also continues, with the final teams in contention being American Alpha, The Usos, The Hype Bros, and Heath Slater and Rhyno. Who will emerge victorious and get their shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championship? Could Heath Slater finally have some sort of victory, or will the universe continue to conspire against him and his family?
Plus, we’ll probably see some more of the feud between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, which was developed last week when Wyatt said he was going to “cut the serpent’s head off” at Backlash. Orton was just about to go after Wyatt when the lights went out and the segment ended. Could we see them have some sort of confrontation tonight? Or will that be saved for Backlash?
On the women’s division side of things, at Backlash, we’ll see a six-pack challenge with Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella. Who will assert their dominance against their fellow superstars tonight? And might Becky Lynch have something to say about her defeat last week, which was largely due to the antics of Nikki Bella and Carmella outside the ring? We’ll find out when SmackDown goes live tonight at 8 on the USA Network.