Following last week’s hard-hitting contest that saw AJ Styles defeat Baron Corbin via count-out, the two ran it back tonight on SmackDown LIVE. Just as he did last week, United States Champion Kevin Owens, who will potentially defend his title against Styles at WWE Backlash if he can retain it against Chris Jericho at WWE Payback, sat in on commentary.
The two Superstars duked it out in a hard-hitting affair, but Styles caught Corbin off-guard with a rollup for the victory after KO tried to get involved. Following Styles’ win, The New Face of America and The Lone Wolf began to lay a beatdown on The Phenomenal One. The two were unable to get their licks in for long, however, as Sami Zayn soon rushed out, evening the odds. Styles and Zayn neutralized Owens and Corbin for a bit, but the United States Champion got the last laugh and stood tall after taking the No. 1 contender down with the Pop-up Powerbomb.
With his House of Horrors Match against the maniacal Bray Wyatt looming at WWE Payback this Sunday,Randy Orton faced off with The Eater of Worlds’ former disciple, Erick Rowan, in a No Disqualification Match on SmackDown LIVE.
Rowan brought his most brutal offense to try and weaken The Viper, even doling out some brutal lashes with a kendo stick. However, The Apex Predator battled back, putting Rowan through a table, ramming him into a steel chair and connecting with an RKO for the win.
After the contest, Orton got on the mic and promised The Eater of Worlds that the House of Horrors Match this Sunday will be Wyatt’s eternal hell. However, the WWE Champion was then interrupted by the No. 1 contender to his title, Jinder Mahal. The Maharaja emphatically stated that he would not put up with what he perceived as Orton’s disrespect toward him ahead of their match at WWE Backlash on May 21.
The two engaged in a war of words that saw The Singh Brothers, also known as The Bollywood Boyz, attack The Viper from behind. Mahal soon joined in, putting the exclamation point on the beatdown. The Maharaja then grabbed the WWE Championship and raised it above his head before leaving with it, sending the clear message that he was as serious of a threat to Orton’s title reign as anyone.
After Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi to become No. 1 contender last week, The Queen and the SmackDown Women’s Champion squared off in tonight’s main event, this time with the title on the line.
The two Superstars left it all in the ring, dazzling the WWE Universe with a technically-sound, athletically-fueled contest. However, the victor would never be determined, as the scheming group of Natalya, Carmella and Tamina interrupted the match and attacked The Queen and Naomi, causing the contest to be thrown out.
The three Superstars were so aggressive in their assault of Flair that Naomi opted to come to her rival’s aid. However, the numbers game was too great, and the three left Charlotte and the champion laying as they basked in the glory of their excellently executed plan.
In other action ... Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler scrapped to kick off SmackDown LIVE ... American Alpha def. The Colons in a Beat the Clock Challenge Match ... Rusev petitioned for a championship opportunity at WWE Money in the Bank ... and Breezango def. The Ascension in a Beat the Clock Challenge Match.