Welcome to the Fightful.com live coverage for tonight's episode of WWE Smackdown! Live! Tonight begins a new era for the Smackdown! Live brand as The Phenomenal Face That Runs The Place; AJ Styles begins his reign as WWE World champion! Becky Lynch is also set to appear after beating five other women to become the very first WWE Smackdown Live Women's champion and Heath Slater is officially on the Smackdown! Live roster after he and Rhyno became the first WWE Smackdown! Live Tag Team champions! Be sure to come back here at 8PM EST to see the beginning of the new era of Smackdown! Live!
-We open with a video package for Backlash from Sunday. AJ Styles comes out to the ring and talks about how he said he'd beat John Cena and Dean Ambrose and did just that. AJ now declares he's the champ that runs the camp. John Cena comes out next to a huge pop; I don't think anyone expected him to be here. Cena declares that he wants to get the WWE championship back and that he will be taking it; declaring that he's in the conversation with Ric Flair if he can become champion again. Dean Ambrose comes out next, looking like he's ready for a fight; facing off with AJ, saying that AJ made a huge mistake Sunday. Dean says AJ stole the belt from him and he'll get back what is his as Cena turns him around. Cena says that Stone Cold was right, saying he has shown he's got no testicular fortitude. Dean refers to Cena as a lazy, part-timer and that he should keep doing shows because he can't keep up anymore and that he's a puppet for WWE. Shane comes out next and praises AJ for his match with Cena then his match with Dean. Shane says AJ took the easy way out against Dean, but he is the champion and that Dean is owed a rematch, but not now. Shane says that AJ will be defending his belt at No Mercy against Cena and Dean in a triple threat match. Tonight there will be a tag match with Cena and Dean against AJ and a partner of his choosing.
The Usos vs The Hype Bros
Jey starts it off with Zack, focusing on his leg, tagging Jimmy in, then they alternate tags, Jey applying a kneebar, but Zack counters with kicks and tags in Mojo. Jey tags in Jimmy, but Mojo tackles him and sends him across the ring. Jimmy hits a superkick then tags in Jey who hits a splash for the pin and the win. This was a squash match for The Usos.
Winner: The Usos via pinfall
-We get a vignette for Curt Hawkins who is actually in the video this time. Next The Miz and Maryse come out to the ring. Miz talks about everyone who's called him a coward, saying that he left Backlash with the belt and it is day162 of his title reign and that he's held the belt longer than Triple H and Dolph Ziggler. Dolph comes out and says that Miz will never be seen as a main eventer because the fans will always see through him; repeating what he said last week basically. Miz says if he lived and died by the fans that you might as well bury him, just like Dolph's career. Dolph asks for a rematch, but Maryse grabs the mic and starts to say something, but is interrupted by Daniel Bryan who says that Dolph will get a rematch. Miz says he's not getting his belt defended until he gets what he wants and there's nothing Daniel can do about it. Daniel gets in the ring then Miz and Maryse leave through the crowd. AJ is backstage where he sees Baron Corbin in the hallway and asks him to be his partner, but he doesn't want to as we go to commercial.
Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews
Corbin tosses Apollo out of the ring then into the barrier then finishes it up with End of Days before the match even starts. Jack Swagger comes out out of no where next and faces off with Corbin who ducks out and leaves.
Winner: No Contest match never started
-Jack Swagger declares he joined Smackdown! Live and says that you don't know Jack. Who knew he could talk so much; come to think of it he did some decent promos when he debuted years back.
-Becky Lynch comes out as we come back from commercial. Becky is interviewed in the ring as she says that it's only appropriate that the first place she shows up with the belt is Philadelphia. Becky says she proved there's nothing won't do to become champion. Becky says that she's a fighting champion and she's willing to face anyone as Naomi comes out.
Women's Fatal 5-Way #1 Contender Match
Nikki goes right for Carmella who quickly gets out of the ring then Natalya whips her into Alexa and Naomi and gets a quick 2 count. Natalya takes everyone out then Nikki hits a knee on Natalya for a quick 2 count as Carmella comes back in then ducks out again. Nikki gets out of the ring then jumps off the stairs and hits Carmella with a lariat as Naomi rolls up Natalya, but Nikki breaks it up. Nikki hits an electric chair as Alexa comes in and gets a quick 2 count on both Nikki and Naomi before Natalya grabs her and throws her into the corner. Naomi hits a enzugiri then a full nelson bomb, but Natalya hits a dropkick to Alexa for a quick 2 count. Nikki hits the Bella Buster for a close 2 count then Naomi hits a rear view for a close 2 count of her own. Natalya smacks Naomi's face into the stairs then Nikki tosses Natalya into the barricade. Nikki sets Alexa on the top rope then puts her up on her shoulders, but Carmella kicks her, dropping them. Alexa tosses Carmella out of the ring and gets the pin and the win. I'm really excited to see how well she does against Becky; she's come along so much in NXT.
Winner: Alexa Bliss via pinfall
-AJ is backstage asking Kane to be his tag team partner tonight, but Kane just laughs and walks away.
-Shane comes out and congratulates then introduces Heath Slater and Rhyno. Heath signs his contract and is now officially a member of the WWE Smackdown! Live roster. Heath thanks everyone, including Rhyno. They're interrupted by of all people; The Ascension. They ask for a title shot, but Heath says that they can't do it, but Shane says he thinks it's a great idea.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs The Ascension
Ascension start off, dominating Heath, but Rhyno quickly empties the ring then begs Heath to tag him in. Heath tags in Rhyno who drops Viktor with a spinebuster for a quick 2. Heath jumps on Konnor's back, but they fall out of the ring before Rhyno hits a gore on Viktor for the pin and the win.
Winner: Heath Slater & Rhyno
-We get AJ backstage again when AJ sees Daniel who tries to get him to team with a jobber as we go to commercial.
-Randy Orton comes out as we come back as they show highlights of his non-match against Bray Wyatt then Bray's match with Kane where he interferred in at the end. Randy says all Bray does it talk and he's afraid of him. Randy says he was afraid of him Sunday and he tried to end his career, but he didn't and he's ready for a fight. Bray says that he gave him a gift, a way out. All he had to do was stay down, but he didn't. Bray appears behind him, sitting on the announce table then acts like he's going to get in the ring, but Eric Rowan appears in the ring and attacks Randy, but Randy hits an RKO on him.
AJ Styles & The Miz vs John Cena & Dolph Ziggler
AJ's jobber gets murdered by Miz before he gets to the ring, receiving a Skull Crushing Finale on the ramp. Miz comes in and shakes hands with AJ; this is going to be great.
During the break AJ hit the ushigaroshi on Cena then Miz hits a DDT on Cena for a quick 2 count. Cena tags in Dean who takes out AJ, getting a quick 2 count off an elbow drop. Dean tosses Miz into the barricade then AJ hits a pele kick that drops Dean as we go to commercial.
Dean foregoes a tag to Cena, setting Miz up on the top rope, but Miz hits a double axe handle off the top rope. Miz tags in AJ then AJ and Dean exchange chops then AJ applies a rear chin lock as Cena is dying to get in. Cena takes out Miz with a five knuckle shuffle then Dean takes out AJ. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment for the pin and the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose & John Cena via pinfall
-After the match Dean hits Dirty Deeds on Cena as we go off the air.