WWE SmackDown Recap: July 17, 2018
S18 episode 29 Aired on July 17, 2018

In the wake of WWE Extreme Rules, Randy Orton interrupted the heated rematch between newly-crowned United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy to lay waste to The Charismatic Enigma.

With Zelina Vega having brazenly stepped to the WWE Champion on behalf of her business associate earlier in the night to challenge him to a contest, Andrade “Cien” Almas took on AJ Styles on SmackDown LIVE.

Backing up Vega’s bold words, Almas was relentless in his onslaught on Styles in what was unquestionably the biggest match of his blue brand tenure. It even appeared Andrade may be closing in on the victory when he hit his signature running double knees to Styles in the corner, but The Phenomenal One narrowly kicked out before catching Almas in the Calf Crusher out of nowhere for the tapout win.

Never one to be able to leave well enough alone, The Miz opted to throw a “funeral” for Team Hell No following their loss to SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers at WWE Extreme Rules this past Sunday. Equipped with the full regalia and a slew of pallbearers, The A-Lister completely ran down Team Hell No’s performance on Sunday and their legacy as a team.

After hearing The Miz call Team Hell No “dead” and claim that Daniel Bryan is “destroying his legacy,” Bryan stormed the ring, attacking The Miz from behind. Soon, the pallbearers interjected, allowing The Miz to escape. However, Bryan turned the tables on the pallbearers, wiping them out with a barrage of suplexes and eyeing Miz down with the deadliest of intentions.

Coming in as focused as he promised, Jeff Hardy took the fight to Shinsuke Nakamura as he attempted to regain the United States Title in this WWE Extreme Rules rematch. With the playing field leveled (unlike Sunday), the Superstars exchanged stiff strikes at a dizzying pace to stake their claim to the title.

In the pivotal moments, Jeff seemed to have Nakamura down for the count after hitting him with a picture-perfect Swanton Bomb. However, outta nowhere, Randy Orton arrived, broke up Jeff’s pin attempt and started savagely assaulting him to give The Charismatic Enigma the disqualification win.

A wounded Hardy attempted to fight back, but The Apex Predator overwhelmed the former United States Champion, stomping his skull into the steel steps. Then, in a very disturbing scene, The Viper attempted to rip the piercing out of Hardy’s ear, extensively stretching his earlobe. The Viper then threw Hardy over the announcer’s table and continued the assault. WWE personnel ran down to try to stop Orton’s attack, but Randy concluded the beating by DDT’ing Hardy off the table, as Nakamura just watched on from a distance.

In other action … An enraged Jeff Hardy addressed Shinsuke Nakamura … Becky Lynch def. Mandy Rose … Samoa Joe def. Tye Dillinger … and Eric Young def. Kofi Kingston.

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