Location: Uncasville, CT
Date: August 23, 2016
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
The show opens without the WWE video. Rather we go right into the locker room to see Dolph Ziggler sitting with his head down while Baron Corbin, Erick Rowan, Apollo Crews, and Rhyno stand around talking. AJ Styles walks in, and the crowd pops huge for him. Styles says the new face that runs this place, “The Phenomenal One,” is here. Styles says he did exactly what he said he was going to do at SummerSlam: he beat John Cena. Styles pulls out the “Never Give Up” band that Cena left in the ring and puts it on his head. Styles says this will help them not forget the face that now runs this place. Styles looks over and sees Ziggler moping in the chair. Styles says Sunday wasn’t Ziggler’s night and mentions that he doesn’t like losers. Ziggler pops up from the chair and punches away at him. Crews and Rhyno hold him back while Styles runs off. Ziggler warns him to stay away from him.
The Smackdown video plays, and we go into the arena to see the tag team and the women’s divisions of Smackdown in the ring. Also in the ring are the brand new Tag Team Championships and Women’s Championship.
Shane McMahon’s music hits, and he comes out to a big pop. He’s followed by Daniel Bryan, who comes out to an even bigger pop from the Mohegan Sun Arena crowd. A huge “YES” chant breaks out. McMahon welcomes everyone to an historic night of Smackdown Live. When he asked Bryan, the greatest General Manager in WWE history, to join him, he agreed on numerous conditions. One of them was they had to give everyone on Smackdown opportunity. Opportunity is amongst all of them. All the superstars have a huge opportunity in front of them. Bryan will start with the Women’s Division.
Bryan says the six of them were fantastic at SummerSlam. Each of them are championship caliber talents and have potential to be the face of the Team Blue Women’s Division. First they want to know which of them will be the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion. The new Women’s Championship is shown with a blue background. McMahon says we’ll find out the answer to that at Backlash. There will be a first-ever Women’s Six-Pack Challenge to determine who will wear the championship around their waist.
McMahon says at Backlash, they will also be crowning the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. The Smackdown Tag Team Championships look like the RAW Tag Team Championships, only silver with a blue belt. Bryan says the Tag Team Titles are near and dear to his heart. To be successful, you have to be like brothers. You’ll have high and lows with your brothers. One team will get a chance to experience that. We’ll have a Tag Team Title Tournament that will culminate at Backlash. That tournament starts tonight.
Heath Slater interrupts and comes in through the crowd to a big pop. Slater is wearing his “Free Agent” shirt. Slater says he has come so close these last two weeks to getting a Smackdown Live contract. In the last two weeks, Bryan and McMahon want to take it right from him. He’ll let bygones be bygones, but he wants them to make him a Michael Phelps by giving him a little gold. Bryan says Slater isn’t exactly equipped to challenge for the Women’s Championship. Slater mockingly laughs at him before saying he is not a woman. Bryan makes a face like Slater missed the joke. Slater is talking about the Tag Team Titles. McMahon says he’s not equipped to challenge for the Tag Team Championships. First, he’s not a member of the roster. Secondly, he doesn’t have a tag team partner. Slater says he can go in the back and guarantee he’ll find someone that will stand by his side. Slater says he and his partner will enter the tournament and win. Bryan says if he finds a partner by the end of the night, they’ll find a tag team for him to compete against and turn this into an eight-team tournament. McMahon adds that since he’s guaranteeing victory, the only way he’ll be a member of the roster is if he wins the entire tournament. Slater says they will not regret this and he will find a partner. Slater leaves to find the partner.
AJ Styles comes out and angrily asks what kind of ship they’re running. Enough about the Tag Team Titles and the Women’s Championship. Styles says he will not be Slater’s partner. All of a sudden, Dolph Ziggler attacks him from behind. McMahon orders the tag teams in the ring to break it up.
Natalya and Naomi will be on commentary for the next match. They show Alexa Bliss on the cover of “Muscle & Fitness.”
Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch
The bell rings, and they circle the ring before locking up. Alexa powers her into the corner before giving a break. Becky wrenches the arm and pulls her around the ring. Alexa arm drags out of it, but Becky keeps a hammerlock applied. Alexa fights up and elbows out. Alexa hits the ropes, but Becky drops down and goes for a hip toss. Alexa blocks it and goes for one of her own, but Becky blocks it as well. Alexa connects with a headlock takeover, but Becky hooks the arm. Alexa quickly gets to the ropes and pulls her down into them. Alexa kicks her in the head and punches away at her. Alexa powers her down and stands on her before covering for a one count. Alexa applies an arm bar, but Becky fights up. Alexa quickly takes her back down and keeps the arm bar applied. Becky fights up and bends Alexa’s hand back. Alexa knees her in the midsection and sends her into the ropes, but Becky elbows her before hitting a pair of clotheslines followed by a leg lariat. Becky connects with a Flying Firearm in the corner. Alexa quickly comes back with a roll-up out of the corner for a near fall. Alexa throws a temper tantrum in the ring.
Alexa talks some trash and goes for a wheelbarrow type move, but Becky fights out of it. Becky then twists into the Dis-Arm-Her for the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: Becky Lynch
Match Rating: * 1/2
Heath Slater is walking backstage looking for a partner when he bumps into The Miz and Maryse. Miz says he’s a big fan. Slater says Miz is an A-lister and asks him to be his partner. Miz says this is exactly what he needs to launch his brand into the stratosphere. Slater is very excited. Miz pulls down his hood and reveals a Bluetooth headset. Miz then says he won’t let him down before revealing he was talking to Steven Spielberg. Miz says to Maryse she may be looking at the next Indiana Jones. Miz then sees a stunned Slater standing next to him and rubs in his face that he’ll be Indiana Jones. Slater walks off.
The Tag Team Tournament starts next.
Tag Team Tournament First Round Match
The Ascension vs. The Usos
Charles Robinson, the greatest referee ever, is the official for this match. The bell rings, and The Ascension quickly blindsides The Usos and stomps them down. They hit a tag team move on Jimmy Uso, and Viktor picks up a two count. Viktor uppercuts him down and tags in Konnor. Konnor goes to the second rope and viciously takes Jimmy down with a diving shoulder block for a two count. Konnor knocks Jey Uso off the apron and avalanches Jimmy in the corner. Viktor tags in and picks up a near fall. Viktor rips at Jimmy’s face and chops him down for a two count. Konnor is tagged in. Viktor applies a single leg crab as Konnor drops a leg. Konnor picks up a near fall. Konnor applies a nerve hold, but Jimmy fights up and punches out. Konnor powers him to the corner and punches him. Jimmy counters a slam into a roll-up for a two count. Jimmy then connects with an enzuigiri.
Jey is tagged in, as is Viktor. Jey connects with a cross-body block for a near fall. Jey kicks him in the midsection before Viktor gets a backslide pin for a two count. Jey then catches him with a Samoan Drop. The crowd is lightly turning on him. Jey goes for a running hip attack, but Konnor blindsides him with a forearm smash. Jimmy runs in and superkicks Konnor. Jimmy gets a head of steam, ducks a club from Viktor, and takes out Konnor with a suicide dive. Jey superkicks Viktor in the ring before tagging in Jimmy. Jimmy hits a Samoan Splash for the win to advance in the tournament.
Winners by Pinfall: The Usos
Match Rating: * 1/2
The Usos go by the Smackdown Tag Team Championships and say they’re going to be the new champions.
Randy Orton will be on Smackdown Live tonight to address the SummerSlam match against Brock Lesnar.
Some still photos are shown from SummerSlam.
AJ Styles makes his way to the ring to a nice reception from the crowd. Styles puts on the “Never Give Up” arm band. Styles grabs a microphone and listens to the crowd. A loud “AJ Styles” chant breaks out amongst some scattered boos. Styles quiets them down before saying he sees a lot of angry faces. He also sees some jealous faces, like Dolph Ziggler’s. Why? It’s because of what he did at SummerSlam. Still photos are shown of him beating John Cena at SummerSlam before standing over him.
Styles says the arm band looks better on him anyway. Styles says he did exactly what he said he was going to do: beat up John Cena at SummerSlam. He doesn’t know what the Cenation cries into. It could be their pillow, a glass of beer, or a milk before bed. Styles says they don’t need to be Cena fans anymore. They can be AJ Styles fans. A loud mixed reaction breaks out to that. Styles says he is the face that runs this place. Styles repeats it once again to the crowd. Styles says he should be the #1 Contender for the WWE World Championship.
Dolph Ziggler comes out, but he is being held back by some agents and referees. Daniel Bryan comes out yelling “Enough.” Bryan says he won’t let the two of them ruin this show. Bryan says he agrees with Styles. He beat John Cena, so he deserves to be the #1 Contender. Even though Ziggler lost at SummerSlam, he came close to being the champion. It seems to him that they want to fight and everyone wants to see it. A big pop breaks out in the arena. Bryan asks if the crowd wants to see them fight, and a “YES” chant breaks out. Bryan says tonight it’ll be Styles versus Ziggler. If Styles win, he’ll face Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship. If Ziggler wins, he’ll get added to that match and it becomes a triple threat. Either way, Styles gets the title opportunity.
Nikki Bella returns to the Smackdown Live ring, next.
Carmella vs. Nikki Bella
Renee Young is in the ring and asks how it feels to fight back from a devastating neck injury. Nikki says it means a lot to her. Carmella all of a sudden attacks her from behind. Carmella punches away at her until the referee pulls her back. Carmella then superkicks her down. The crowd is lightly booing Carmella as she talks trash to Nikki. Carmella connects with a reverse STO and continues to punch away at her. Another referee runs down pulls her back. Nikki holds her neck and is helped up. Carmella runs back in, grabs her by the head, and gives her the Bella Buster. Carmella poses for the crowd before leaving. Nikki is left in the ring holding her neck.
Coming up next, we’ll hear from Randy Orton about his loss to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
A video package recaps the Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton bloodbath at SummerSlam. Lesnar won the match by TKO before taking out Shane McMahon with an F5.
Randy Orton talks about his SummerSlam match against Brock Lesnar
Randy Orton’s music hits, and he comes out to a big reception from the crowd. Orton mocks the Lesnar strut before rubbing the ten staples in his head. Orton looks in good spirits. Orton poses on the turnbuckles for the crowd. Orton stands in the ring and listens to the “Randy” chant. Orton says they probably weren’t expecting to see him tonight, but here he is. Orton says if you couldn’t tell by the ten staples holding his head together, he was in one hell of a fight this past Sunday against Brock Lesnar. Orton knew what he was getting into, but he would have rather have been rolled out on a gurney and unconscious than have the match end that way. Shane McMahon thought by intervening he was doing the right thing. Maybe on paper he was, but regardless, one day his and Brock Lesnar’s paths will cross.
Bray Wyatt’s video flashes on the screen, and he comes out to ringside before sitting in his rocking chair. Wyatt laughs as he asks how Orton’s head is doing. Wyatt says he saw what Lesnar did to him and saw how his eyes went completely blank. There’s nothing like lying there with your head busted open to remind you that you’re just a man. Orton is a great man, but still just a man. A man who hurts, suffers, and dies. Wyatt laughs. Wyatt says he is not just a man. He is a god. A god can never die. Wyatt says Orton will find out all about it in time. Wyatt drops the microphone and stares at Orton. Orton motions for him to come into the ring. The Wyatt video flashes on the screen, and the lights go out. When they come back on moments later, Wyatt is nowhere to be seen.
Backstage, Shane McMahon is talking with Charles Robinson. The new Smackdown backstage announcer comes up to McMahon and asks about Brock Lesnar. McMahon says Lesnar crossed the line. She says Stephanie McMahon agreed with him and said Lesnar would face repercussions. McMahon says Stephanie fined Lesnar $500. She’s not taking it seriously. She asks if McMahon thinks it’s fair. McMahon says this thing with him and Brock Lesnar is far from over.
Dolph Ziggler will face AJ Styles. If Ziggler wins, he’ll be added to the Styles/Ambrose title match at Backlash. Coming up next, American Alpha will take on Breezango.
Heath Slater is talking to someone about how they can be the Two Horsemen. He’s revealed to be talking to WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson. Anderson says there is only one Ric Flair, and Slater isn’t him. There was a time when he was considered a tag team specialist, but he doesn’t think he can get him out of this. Slater says Anderson is his last chance and only hope. Anderson is disappointed he wasn’t Slater’s first choice. Anderson says that was a huge mistake and walks off. Slater looks dejected.
Someone grips Slater’s shoulder and pulls him up. It’s Rhyno. Rhyno says he bets a Tag Team Champion can make payments on an above ground pool. Slater asks if they’re partners, and Rhyno agrees. Slater is very excited.
Tag Team Tournament First Round Match
Breezango vs. American Alpha
A pre-taped promo is shown of Breezango talking about how they’re going to win the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions while making some innuendos. Another pre-taped promo is shown with American Alpha. They talk about their squad goals of becoming the top tag team, become Tag Team Champions, and buy some sick singlets. They’re ready, willing, and Gable.
Chad Gable will start against Fandango. They lock up, and Gable applies a waistlock. Fandango quickly gets to the ropes. They lock up, and Fandango takes him down with a snapmare. Fandango gyrates, but Gable takes him down for a one count. Gable takes him down with a waistlock, but Fandango fights up and elbows out. Tyler Breeze tags in, but Gable rolls him up for a two count. Gable arm drags him and tags in Jason Jordan. Jordan dropkicks Breeze down while Gable dropkicks Fandango. They hit stereo waistlock takedowns before throwing Breezango over the top rope. American Alpha poses for the crowd.
Breeze gets in the ring, and Jordan connects with an inverted atomic drop. Jordan applies an arm bar as a “USA” chant fires up. Gable tags in and connects with an arm breaker for a two count. Gable applies the arm bar as Breeze screams in pain. Jordan tags back in, and he clubs Breeze’s arm before tagging Gable back in. The referee tells Jordan to leave the ring as Breezango uses the distraction to take down Gable with a clothesline. Breeze picks up a two count.
We come back from the break to see Fandango knee Gable and throw him over the top rope, but Gable hangs on. Gable skins the cat and pulls Fandango out of the ring. Gable then kicks him into the barricade. Breeze helps Fandango back into the ring and gets tagged in. It doesn’t prevent Gable from tagging in Jordan.
Jordan hits a pair of punches before dropkicking Breeze down. Jordan flapjacks Breeze before catching Fandango with a belly-to-belly alpha-plex. Jordan hits Breeze with a belly-to-belly alpha-plex for good measure. Jordan pulls his straps down before spearing Breeze in the corner. Gable is tagged in, and they connect with a dropkick/German Suplex combo, but Fandango breaks up the pin. Gable motions for Jordan to get on the apron. Jordan is tagged in, and he gets Breeze in the electric chair position. Gable goes to the top rope, but Fandango pushes him off to the floor. In the ring, Breeze connects with a hurricanrana for a near fall. Breeze manages to superkick Jordan, but Gable breaks up the pin. Breeze picks up Jordan, and Gable takes out Fandango with a cross-body over the top rope. Jordan rolls up Breeze for a near fall. Breeze quickly connects with an enzuigiri for a near fall. Breeze can’t believe it.
Breeze gets to his feet and sets up for a Super Model Kick, but Jordan counters with an overhead alpha-plex. Jordan spears him in the corner and tags in Gable. American Alpha connects with Grand Amplitude for the win to advance in the tournament.
Winners by Pinfall: American Alpha
Match Rating: * 3/4
The commentators talk about Bin Wang making his debut in China on September 10.
Dean Ambrose is walking around backstage wearing a large cowboy hat. The new Smackdown backstage announcer asks how he feels about the match to determine his opponent for the match at Backlash. Ambrose says he just found out about it because he was playing roulette upstairs. Ambrose says he always bets black. Ambrose doesn’t even know who is fighting. She says its Dolph Ziggler and AJ Styles. A waiter comes up with some drinks for him and he tips in chips.
Still photos are shown from SummerSlam.
Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring to a nice reception from the crowd. The WWE World Champion rolls out of the ring and goes to the commentary table.
Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Styles
If Dolph Ziggler wins this match, he’ll be added to the Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles match for the WWE World Championship.
The bell rings, and they jockey for position. An “AJ Styles” chant fires up. Ziggler drops down and grabs the foot. Styles quickly punches him back before putting him in the corner. Styles viciously punches him before Ziggler grabs him and takes him down. Ziggler applies a chin lock, but Styles quickly escapes and leaves the ring to recover. Styles gets back in the ring, and Ziggler viciously clubs him before dropkicking him out of the ring.
We come back from the break to see Styles chopping Ziggler in the corner. During the commercial break, Styles catapulted Ziggler into the turnbuckle. Styles stomps Ziggler before sending him hard into the corner. Styles goes for an avalanche, but Ziggler avoids it. Ziggler punches away at him before having a whip reversed on him. Ziggler hits the turnbuckles sternum-first. Styles connects with a backbreaker for a two count. Ziggler shakes some feeling into his arm as Styles stomps him. Styles punches Ziggler down, but he still comes back for more. Styles then takes him down with a roundhouse kick. The crowd is loudly buzzing for Styles. Ziggler applies a strange roll-up, but Styles quickly gets out. Styles quickly elbows him in the head and punches him down. Styles shouts that he’s the best. Styles knees Ziggler in the face before putting him in the corner. Styles then talks some trash to Ambrose. Styles then chops Ziggler down before stomping his face. The referee admonishes Styles. Styles elbows him in the head and stomps him. Ziggler fights back with some wild punches before having a whip to the corner reversed on him. Ziggler drops Styles onto the apron and punches away at him. Styles quickly sidesteps him and connects with a neckbreaker over the middle rope. Ziggler falls out of the ring.
We come back from the final break of the evening to see Ziggler trapped in a chin lock. Ziggler fights up, but Styles immediately takes him right back down. During the commercial, Styles sent Ziggler into the steel steps. Styles applies a modified wristlock, but Ziggler eventually gets a foot on the bottom rope. Ziggler punches away at Styles, but Styles reverses a whip into a knee to the midsection. Styles hits the ropes, but Ziggler wipes him out with a dropkick.
Ziggler elbows Styles in the face, ducks a right hand, and takes him down with a pair of flying clotheslines. Ziggler splashes him in the corner before connecting with a neckbreaker. Ziggler drops an elbow for a two count. Styles sidesteps a famouser, but Ziggler sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Ziggler then connects with the famouser for a near fall. Ziggler clutches at his left arm once again. Ziggler goes for a Zig-Zag, but Styles holds the ropes. Styles then lays him out with the Ushigoroshi for a near fall! Styles scoop slams him and goes to the apron for a springboard 450 splash, but Ziggler moves. Ziggler then connects with a spike DDT for a near fall!
A “This is awesome” chant fires up. Ziggler gets himself psyched up and goes for a superkick, but Styles blocks it and goes for the Styles Clash, but Ziggler kicks out of it. Ziggler sidesteps an attack and connects with the Zig-Zag, but Styles kicks out at two and three-quarters! The crowd is on their feet for this. Ziggler is on his feet and head-butts Styles. Styles blocks a superkick and pulls him into the middle rope. Styles then kicks the rope into his groin. Styles connects with the Styles Clash for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: AJ Styles
Match Rating: ***
AJ Styles poses for the crowd after this wonderful match. Dean Ambrose will defend his WWE World Championship against AJ Styles at WWE Backlash. Styles walks up to Ambrose and stares at him. Styles points at the title and talks some trash. Styles takes off Ambrose’s headset and tosses it aside. Ambrose stands up and stares back at him. Styles smirks at him and backs off. Ambrose smiles before retrieving his title.
Quick Match Results
* Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss via Submission
* Tag Team Tournament: The Usos def. The Ascension
* Tag Team Tournament: American Alpha def. Breezango
* AJ Styles def. Dolph Ziggler
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Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV