Both Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler left WWE Money in the Bank with a lot of “what ifs” to think about, but they each looked to course-correct here on SmackDown LIVE as they rekindled their epic rivalry.
Battling tooth-and-nail in a bout that was as hard-hitting and action-packed as their previous encounters, Ziggler and Nakamura held nothing back, each picking up steam as the contest progressed. The dastardly Ziggler attempted to take out the knee of WWE’s Rockstar and gouged his eye while Nakamura had him in the Cross Armbreaker. However, as he did at WWE Backlash, The King of Strong Style prevailed over his nemesis, defeating The Showoff with a head-ringing Kinshasa.
United States Champion Kevin Owens wanted to reignite the New Face of America Open Challenge for his title on SmackDown LIVE but was quickly surprised when the first challenger out the gate was AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One made it clear that he wanted nothing more than to defeat Owens for the United States Championship, but KO quickly maneuvered his way around Styles’ challenge by stating that the only competitors eligible for the open challenge were those from Dayton, Ohio.
Owens was in store for yet another surprise, though, when Chad Gable of American Alpha answered the call, seemingly claiming that the arena itself was his home. Styles instead moved to the commentary desk as he watched Gable challenge KO.
Refusing to back down, the tenacious Gable gave Owens everything he had and seemed poised to snag both the victory and the championship several times. However, Owens weathered the storm and retained the gold when he planted Gable into the canvas with a devastating Pop-up Powerbomb for three.
In a contest that had a little bit of everything, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal took on Luke Harper in a wild main event on SmackDown LIVE. Looking to claim one of the biggest victories of his career, Harper brought everything in his arsenal against Mahal. Midway through the match, The Modern-Day Maharaja had more than just the contest to worry about, as Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin arrived and lurked around ringside for few moments. The Lone Wolf seemingly considered cashing in, only to exit with a sly smile on his face.
Following the potential anarchy of a Corbin cash-in, Mahal was able to focus and defeat Harper with The Khallas. However, the evening wasn’t quite over for Mahal, as Randy Orton then meticulously attacked both The Singh Brothers and Mahal, hammering away at the WWE Champion and delivering a devastating DDT to the WWE Champion on the outside. The Singh Brothers then attacked The Apex Predator, allowing Mahal to get out of dodge, but the duo paid for their troubles when they each ate RKOs outta nowhere.
The message was clear — The Viper is coming for The Modern-Day Maharaja.
In other action … Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella and James Ellsworth stated their case for the briefcase … Big E def. Jimmy Uso … Randy Orton promised to hurt Jinder Mahal … and Daniel Bryan issued his verdict on the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.