WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE Recap (July 26) Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, John Cena, AJ Styles & More

Welcome to the Fightful.com live coverage for tonight's edition of WWE Smackdown Live, I'm Ryan Cook and I'll be taking you through all the action as we are one week removed from the historic WWE Draft and just 2 days removed from WWE Battleground where Dean Ambrose overcame the odds and retained his WWE World title in a triple threat against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. American Alpha are set to make their debut since being drafted from NXT and Randy Orton is set to make his first appearance since coming back and delivering an RKO to Chris Jericho on The Highlight Reel at WWE Battleground this past Sunday night. Be sure to come back here at 8PM EST for what is shaping up to be a great night for the new era of Smackdown Live!

-We begin tonight with Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon backstage as they quickly come out to the ramp, really hyping up the crowd. They introduce a new song and very cool looking video package for the new intro, about time they had a make over. It feels very futuristic. The entire roster is surrounded the ring with Shane and Daniel in the middle. Shane mentions Backlash, the first Smackdown Live PPV on September 11th. Shane says they need to find an opponent for Dean Ambrose at Summerslam. Dean comes out and says that after Battleground that he feels up for the challenge and asks who's going to step up first.

Former WWE Writer Kazeem Famuyide Would Gladly Fight Paul Pierce

Daniel says they have a plan for his opponent, and that they are going to have a six pack challenge for the #1 contenders match. He goes on to say that the first entrant is John Cena, I honestly thought it would be AJ Styles, but okay. Shane declares Bray Wyatt as the second entrant, good to see him getting a shot. Wow, they're just trying to surprise people, Dolph is next then Baron Corbin. Last, but not least they pick AJ Styles as the final person. Daniel says that the 6th person will be the winner of a battle royale with Shane saying that it's next as we go to commercial.

-We're back from commercial as they introduce David Otunga.

Six Pack Challenge Battle Royale

We start immediately with Simon Gotch getting sent over the top rope, that was fast. Kane then eliminates both members of the Ascension. Jey Uso is eliminated as Breezango use some clever double teaming via a super kick then pulling the top rope down to eliminate him as we go to our second commercial break.

As  we come back from commercial they show that Aiden English and Eric Rowan got eliminated during the commercial then JBL talks up Mojo Rawley only for him to be eliminated immediately after. Zack Ryder and Apollo Crews eliminate Alberto del Rio then Kane eliminates both members of Breezango, leaving only Kane, Zack Ryder, Apollo Crews and Kalisto in the ring. I can't tell if it was a mistake, but Zack Ryder slipped on the top rope then just hopped down and attacked Crews. Kane eliminates Kalisto then Zack Ryder with only him and Apollo Crews left in the ring. Kane charges at Crews, but gets sent out and Apollo Crews wins the battle royale.

Winner: Apollo Crews

-After the match Renee Young interviews Apollo who says that he can't celebrate yet, until he wins the main event as they plug Becky Lynch vs Natalya as we go to commercial. They then have a huge announcement as Shelton Benjamin is coming to Smackdown Live!

-Backstage we see Dolph Ziggler cut a promo saying how he's going to win the main event tonight and that he holds his future in his own hands as Becky Lynch comes out to the ring.

Becky Lynch vs Natalya

They start the match off quick, exchanging holds until Becky hits a drop kick that sends Natalya outside. Natalya comes back in and takes advantage, trying to play to the crowd, smartly keeping Lynch on the mat. Natalya applies a rear chin lock, not as good as Kevin Owens as Becky gets out and rolls her up for a quick 2 count. Natalya kips up but repeatedly get knocked down with lariats as we go to commercial with Natalya gaining the upper hand after yanking Becky off the top rope.

Becky has the advantage as we ome back, hitting a drop kick off the top rope for a close 2 count. Natalya hits a release German suplex for her own close 2 count, but Becky almost goes for a Gedo Clutch, but is reversed then laid out with a clothesline, somehow kicking out of a very close 2 count. Out of no where Becky puts Natalya into the Dis-arm-her and gets the tap for the win.

Winner: Becky Lynch via submission with the Dis-arm-her

-After the match Alexa Bliss comes out and cuts a very provocative promo, but Naomi interrupts her, then Carmella comes out and starts to cut a promo, only for Eva Marie to come out.

-After we come back from commercial Baron Corbin cuts a promo like Dolph did about how he'll win tonight, then we go to Miz TV. The Miz says that his guest is...himself. He's literally interviewing himself, switching chairs, taking off his sun glasses, it's actually kind of entertaining. Randy Orton comes out to quite the crowd reaction, not wearing pants like Sunday night so the pantless streak begins again. The Miz says it's good to see him, Randy saying he thought he was talking about him and that he thought he'd come out and say something, making a comment that The Miz is great at playing with himself.

Randy says he's made a career killing legends and isn't concerned about Brock, saying what he said Sunday about how it only takes one RKO to send Brock to Viperville. The Miz says that he seems confident for someone who hasn't wrestled in 9 months. Randy says that he wants to face The Miz tonight. Maryse accepts for The Miz on his behalf, pretty interesting the dynamic between the two.

Randy Orton vs The Miz

We start the match off with The Miz in control on the outside, focusing on Randy's shoulder that he had surgery on then tosses him back into the ring. The Miz is in control as Randy rolls outside, but is thrown into the steps. Randy hasn't even gotten out of the gates yet as Miz tosses him back into the ring. Randy hits an RKO out of no where, but he doesn't go for the pin for some reason. Randy is just sitting against the ropes as Miz is dead on the mat as Randy plays to the crowd. Randy hits another RKO and gets the pin and the win. I wonder if Miz was okay, he was town for a bit and the match really screeched to a halt for a few minutes.

Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall with the RKO

-As we come back from commercial they show a video package for American Alpha who are set to debut next week. Heath Slater comes in the ring and kills some geek. He cuts a promo about how he's confused that he didn't get drafted. He says that if Shane and Daniel want to lead Smackdown! Live into the main event and put him in the main event and make it a...magnificent seven, starting a chant for "Sign Heath Slater". Shane comes out and says that he should send in his resume if he wants a job. Heath says he's sure Shane has the WWE Network, go look up his matches and that it will say that he's the brains behind The Nexus, 3 Man Band and the Social Outcasts as Rhyno sneaks in behind him and gets turned inside out with a Gore.

-Bray Wyatt cuts his promo for tonight, I really like that hoodie he's wearing now, potentially modeled after The Undertaker. He makes such a good babyface, I mean his entrance screams fan favorite.

Six Pack Challenge For #1 Contender

-Bray Wyatt comes out first then Apollo Crews, then Baron Corbin, it's interesting trying to figure out if their order of coming out has any effect on who will win. Dolph Ziggler comes out then AJ Styles and finally John Cena.

As we come back from commercial there's a flurry of action in the ring between AJ, Dolph and Bray. Baron keeps dragging Dolph out of the ring and laying him out. AJ hits a beautiful springboard 450 splash on Bray, but only gets a 2 count then hits a Ushigoroshi on Cena, but Crews sends AJ out of the ring with a release german suplex. Corbin finishes it up with an sto for a quick 2 count.

As we come back Baron Corbin hits the Deep Six for a close 2 count, but Crews hits a powerbomb for a 2, but Bray literally yanks the referee out of the ring. Bray hits Sister Abigail then gets hit with a Zig Zag by Dolph from behind; this is crazy. Cena hits an AA, then Bray goes for a Sister Abigail, AJ hits him with a pele kick, Cena hits AJ with an AA for a very close 2 count, what an action packed match! Crews gets up on the top rope, but Cena catches him, rolls through and sets him up on his shoulders and hits an AA then one on Bray, tries on Corbin, but misses first then hits it, clearing the ring. AJ hits the Phenomenal Forearm on Cena, who rolls out and Dolph hits him with a super kick for the pin and the win. Dolph Ziggler is #1 contender, who would of thought.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall after a super kick on AJ Styles

-After the match Dean Ambrose comes out and confronts Dolph, standing toe to toe, holding the belt over ihs head. Smackdown! Live has gotten this new era off with a bang. Daniel comes out and raises both men's arms then Shane comes out as we get a replay of the finish.

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