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- Tonight's WWE SmackDown opens up with Baron Corbin, Erick Rowan, Rhyno and Apollo Crews backstage talking. Dolph Ziggler has his head down and doesn't look t be in a good mood. AJ Styles walks in and introduces himself as the new face. He brags on beating John Cena at SummerSlam and has the band that Cena left in the ring at SummerSlam. AJ mocks Ziggler for having a sad face and rubs the SummerSlam loss in. AJ says he doesn't like losers and Ziggler attacks him. The other Superstars hold them back as referees also intervene. Ziggler tells AJ to stay the hell away from him and mind his own business. We cut to the opening video.
- We're live from Uncasville, CT with Mauro Ranallo, JBL and David Otunga. Some of the SmackDown roster is in the ring with new tag team titles and a new women's title. Greg Hamilton introduces Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan.
Shane welcomes us to a historic night. The new titles are on podiums. Shane talks about opportunity and says every Superstar has a huge opportunity in front of them. He tells Bryan to kick it off with the women's division. They announce a Six Pack Challenge for Backlash to crown a new champion with Nikki Bella, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Natalya, Naomi and Becky Lynch. The tag team titles will be decided at Backlash with a tournament that kicks off tonight with American Alpha, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, Breezango and The Hype Bros. Heath Slater interrupts and this leads to him getting a spot in the tag tournament next week, if he can find a partner tonight. Shane says the only way he can get a SmackDown contract is if he wins the entire tournament with his partner. Slater walks off and is confident. AJ Styles comes down running his mouth but Dolph Ziggler attacks him and they're separated. We go to commercial.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Back from the break and the match starts as Natalya is on commentary. Back and forth action until Bliss takes control. Bliss shows off some and keeps Becky grounded.
Becky fights back but Bliss cuts her off. Naomi is also on commentary. Becky comes back again and unloads, hitting a leg lariat. She nails the flying firearm in the corner but Bliss counters and bombs her for a close 2 count. Back and forth until Becky applies the Disarm Her for the win.
Winner: Becky Lynch
- Backstage segment with Heath Slater trying to recruit WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz as his partner.
- Still to come, the tag team tournament kicks off. Back to commercial.
Tag Team Title Tournament Match: The Ascension vs. The Usos
Back from the break and The Ascension is in the ring. The Usos are out next.
Konnor and Viktor strike quick and keep control for most of the match. Jey Uso gets a hot tag, leading to them taking control. Jimmy Uso gets the win after a big splash from the top. The Usos advance in the tournament.
Winners: The Usos
- After the match, The Usos look to ringside and point at the new SmackDown Tag Team Titles. We go to replays.
- Back from a break and AJ Styles makes his way out. He brags on the SummerSlam win over John Cena and invites Cena fans to come be fans of his so they won't have to like a loser. AJ goes on about how he's the new face that runs the place. Dolph Ziggler comes out but officials are holding him back.
Daniel Bryan interrupts and says he will not let them ruin this show. He agrees that AJ should be the #1 contender. He asks fans if they want to see a fight and they do. He books Ziggler vs. AJ for tonight. If AJ wins, he faces WWE Champion Dean Ambrose at Backlash. If Ziggler wins, he gets added to the match to make it a Triple Threat. Ziggler and AJ yell at each other as Bryan's music hits.
- Still to come, Nikki Bella returns to SmackDown. Back to commercial.
Carmella vs. Nikki Bella
Back from the break and out comes Carmella. Nikki Bella is out next making her official SmackDown roster debut. Renee Young is in the ring to interview Nikki.
She asks what it means to fight back from a near career-ending neck injury. Nikki starts to talk about what it means to her but Carmella attacks from behind and lays her out. The referee tries to back her off. Carmella puts Nikki back down and talks trash while holding her by the hair. Carmella drops Nikki with a DDT and stands tall to a mixed reaction. She beats on Nikki some more before being backed out of the ring by a referee. Another official checks on Nikki as she clutches her neck. Carmella comes back over and hits Nikki with her own move, the Bella Buster. Carmella's music hits and she makes her exit as Nikki tries to recover in the ring. We go to replays.
- Still to come, Randy Orton will address what happened at SummerSlam.
- Back from the break and Randy Orton makes his way out to a pop.
Orton says no one expected him tonight but here he is. He points out the 10 staples in his head and says he was in one hell of a fight with Brock Lesnar on Sunday. Orton says he knew what he was getting into but he would've rather went out on a gurney to have it end how it did. He says Shane McMahon thought he was doing the right thing by intervening. Maybe on paper he was. Orton says one day he will cross paths with Lesnar again... the lights hit and out comes Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt asks how Orton's head is doing and laughs at him. Wyatt says he saw what Lesnar did to him on Sunday. Wyatt is speaking from his rocking chair at ringside. Wyatt says Orton is a man, a great man but just a man... a man who hurts, suffers and dies. Wyatt says he is not just a man, he is a God and a God can never die. Wyatt tells Orton not to worry because he's going to find out all about it, in time. Orton motions for Wyatt to come in and fight. The lights hit again and when they come on, the chair is rocking but Wyatt is nowhere to be seen. They go out again and we cut to backstage.
- We see Shane McMahon talking to Charles Robinson. Charly Caruso walks up for comments on Brock Lesnar. Shane says Lesnar crossed the line and goes to walk off. Charly brings up how Stephanie McMahon said there would be repercussions. Shane doesn't believe Stephanie will take it seriously and brings up how she fined him just $500. Charly asks if this is fair. Shane gives her a sound-byte and says this thing between he and Lesnar is far from over.
- Still to come, Ziggler vs. Styles. Also, American Alpha vs. Breezango. Back to commercial.
- Back from the break and Slater is trying to recruit WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson backstage. Arn says he was once considered a tag team specialist but he doesn't think even he can get Slater out of this. Arn ends up walking off. Slater sits down and in walks Rhyno. They become partners and leave together.
Tag Team Title Tournament Match: Breezango vs. American Alpha
We go to the ring and Tyler Breeze is out with Fandango. We get a video from earlier with the two commenting on the new SmackDown Tag Team Titles, which are on display at ringside. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan are out next. They also recorded a video earlier, commenting on the titles and taking shots at their opponents.
Fandango starts off with Gable and gets the upperhand. Fandango taunts Gable and Gable attacks. Gable unloads and keeps Fandango down. Fandango with a back elbow and a tag to Breeze. Gable with a roll up. Gable keeps control and in comes Jordan with a dropkick. Fandango runs in but Gable dropkicks him. They hit double slams on Breezango and toss them to the floor. American Alpha gets hype to a pop. Breeze comes back in but Jordan nails a Manhattan Drop. Jordan keeps Breeze down by the arm.
We go to commercial with Breezango in control after double teaming and a cheap shot.
Back from the break and American Alpha takes control. They go for an Electric Chair double team but Fandango pushes Gable off the top. Breeze rolls Jordan for a close 2 count. Breeze with another big counter on Jordan, delivering a superkick for a close 2 count as Gable breaks the pin. More counters and back & forth until American Alpha gets the win with the big double team. Gable and Jordan advance.
Winners: American Alpha
- After the match, Gable and Jordan celebrate as we get replays. We come back and they're pointing at the new SmackDown Tag Team Titles, still on display at ringside.
- Backstage segment with Charly talking to Dean Ambrose. He's been on a winning streak at the casino and doesn't seem too worried about AJ and Ziggler. Back to commercial.
Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Styles
We go to the ring for tonight's main event and WWE Champion Dean Ambrose is our for commentary. AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler are out for this match that has Backlash implications. They go at it back and forth to start.
Back from the break and they're still going at it. AJ misses a big leaping shot in the corner. Ziggler unloads with right hands. AJ whips Ziggler face first into the turnbuckle and he hits hard, falling right to the mat. AJ with a backbreaker and a 2 count. AJ keeps control and continues beating Dolph around.
AJ with a big roundhouse kick to the head and some showing off. Ziggler tries to make a comeback but Styles punches him to the mat. AJ keeps control of Dolph and talks some trash to Ambrose. The referee warns AJ and he yells back. Ziggler unloads out of the corner as fans cheer. AJ sends him back into the corner but gets dumped to the apron. Ziggler with right hands but AJ won't fall off the apron. AJ with a neckbreaker over the middle rope. Ziggler falls to the floor and AJ stands tall at ringside as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and AJ is in control. Ziggler fights to his feet but AJ drops him again. During the break, we see that AJ launched Ziggler into the steel steps on the outside. AJ goes back to work on Ziggler's injured arm. Ziggler looks to make a comeback but AJ knees him in the gut. Ziggler cuts AJ off with a big dropkick to a pop. Fans count with the referee as both men struggle to get up. AJ runs into an elbow. Ziggler with a clothesline and another. Ziggler splashes AJ and hits a neckbreaker. Ziggler with the big elbow drop for a 2 count.
Ziggler ends up hitting the Fame-asser for a close 2 count. Ziggler goes for the sleeper but AJ fights him off. AJ with the big neckbreaker to his knee for a close 2 count. AJ slams Ziggler and goes to the apron. Ziggler rolls out of the way and avoids a springboard 450. Ziggler with a big DDT for a 2 count. The crowd is hot as both slowly get to their feet. AJ goes for a Styles Clash but Ziggler kicks out of the move. Ziggler ends up hitting an intense Zig Zag for a close 2 count. Ziggler with a headbutt. AJ catches a superkick and goes on to nail the Styles Clash for the win. It will be Styles vs. Ambrose at Backlash.
Winner and New #1 Contender: AJ Styles
- After the match, Styles stands tall as Ziggler looks devastated. We get replays and come back to AJ leaving the ring. He approaches Ambrose at the announce table and points at the WWE Title. Ambrose isn't phased and AJ knocks the headset off him. Dean comes up but the referee is there to get in between them. SmackDown goes off the air with AJ and Dean staring at each other.