SmackDown Recap: July 18, 2017
S2017 episode 935 Aired on July 18, 2017

Fulfilling his promise from one week ago, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal brought the dreaded Punjabi Prison to SmackDown LIVE. Flanked by The Singh Brothers, The Modern-Day Maharaja stood poised as Samir & Sunil explained the rules of the Punjabi Prison Match to the WWE Universe. Mahal reasserted his proclamation that he would destroy Randy Orton within the structure this Sunday at WWE Battleground.

Never one to take a verbal lashing lightly, Orton arrived on the scene, taking in the prison and slowly climbing the imposing structure. The Apex Predator stated his intentions to end Mahal’s days as WWE Champion, adding he has nothing to lose and reminding Mahal that he has the weight of 1.3 billion people on his back.

With his increasingly personal Flag Match against Rusev at WWE Battleground just five days away, a passionate John Cena spoke openly with the WWE Universe about what is at stake this Sunday.

The 16-time World Champion waxed poetic on what the United States means to him, then triumphantly raised the American flag above his head. However, the moment of patriotism was cut short when The Bulgarian Brute viciously attacked him, making a major statement ahead of Sunday.

After trapping his longtime nemesis in the Accolade, Rusev added the finishing touches by grabbing the Bulgarian flag from the pole, waving it proudly and planting it into the stand on the stage. If Rusev repeats the feat this Sunday, he will claim a monumental victory over The Cenation Leader.

With the United States Championship Match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens and the grudge match pitting Shinsuke Nakamura against Baron Corbin at WWE Battleground a mere five days away, the four Superstars paired up and squared off in SmackDown LIVE’s colossal main event.

Action was off the charts before Nakamura even completed his entrance, as Corbin savagely blindsided his opponent, but WWE’s Rockstar sensed it and began brawling with The Lone Wolf. Owens exploded onto the stage and joined in on Corbin’s assault, but Styles rushed from the ring to Nakamura’s aid, resulting in a standoff prior to the opening bell.

From there, the high-stakes tag team contest saw several bursts of momentum, but a crafty KO secured a blind tag while The Phenomenal One was setting up Corbin for a Styles Clash. With his opponent unaware of the tag, The Prizefighter dropped Styles with a vicious superkick and followed up with a bone-jarring Pop-up Powerbomb to earn the victory.

In other action … Jimmy Uso def. Kofi Kingston … Mike Kanellis def. Sami Zayn … and Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair.

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