WWE’s second-biggests show of the year is just a couple weeks away and the battle lines have already been drawn between the superstars
SUMMERSLAM is just over a week away – and the superstars of SmackDown LIVE are already hyped for WWE’s second biggest event of the year.
With the battle lines already drawn, here are five big things we learnt from last night’s edition of SmackDown.
It’s John Cena v Baron Corbin at SummerSlam
The big news last week was that Shinsuke Nakamura defeated John Cena to earn a a shot at WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.
But Baron Corbin attacked Nakamura after SmackDown went off the air – prompting Cena to make the save and AA Corbin through the announce table.
This week’s show opened with a war of words between Cena and the “Lone Wolf”, before GM Daniel Bryan appeared to make their rumoured SummerSlam match official.
It’s a big matchup for Money in the Bank-holder Corbin, but he has to be wondering which version of Cena he’ll be facing?
Will it be the Cena who laid down for Nakamura and puts new talent over? Or the Cena that steamrolled through Rusev and kills up-and-coming careers dead?
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The New Day got their revenge
With SmackDown taking place in Toronto, Canadian homeboys Sami Zayn and Tye Dillinger teamed to face The Usos.
But it ended badly for the local team when Dillinger tapped to Jimmy Uso’s tequila sunrise submission.
The Usos’ celebration was cut short by a sneak attack from The New Day – payback for The Usos attacking The New Day during their big tag title ceremony two weeks ago.
Shane McMahon has already come between AJ and KO
Last week Shane was announced as guest referee for the AJ Styles v Kevin Owen US Championship clash at SummerSlam.
And last night, all three men came face-to-face.
Owens reminded Shane of the many times he’d played guest ref in the last – and screwed over wrestlers with his evil McMahon ways.
(Check out his middle finger swerve turn on Stone Cold at Survivor Series 1998.)
Meanwhile, AJ reminded Shane of their own personal history together – including their match at WrestleMania 33.
The verbal showdown ended in a scuffle – with Shane trying to separate them before copping the full force of Styles’ overhead kick, as Owens walked away laughing.
After all this, can Shane really be impartial at SummerSlam?
James Ellsworth is back
Women’s Champion Naomi faced Miss Money in the Bank Carmella in a non-title match.
But James Ellsworth – who was suspended for interfering in Money in the Bank – made his surprise return, once again helping Carmella.
Ellsworth pushed Naomi off the top rope, distracting her long enough for Carmella to hit a rear kick and get a pinfall victory over the champ.
It was (another) bad result for Naomi – but a step closer to the gold for Carmella.
Randy Orton finally defeated Jinder Mahal
With WWE Champion Mahal and Orton facing Nakamura and Rusev respectively at SummerSlam, they had the chance to bore us all to the death one last time – in a non-title grudge match.
But actually – without distractions from the injured Singh brothers, or any screwy finishes – it was their best match yet.
It ended when Orton hit an RKO and finally pinned the “Modern Day Maharajah”.
There wasn’t much time for Orton to gloat though – Rusev appeared and nailed “The Viper” with him with a huge kick as he left the arena.
And while the loss doesn’t do much for Jinder going into SummerSlam, we’d wager his days as champ are numbered anyway.