As usual, a few dark matches took place before and after WWE “SmackDown” last night, and the fans in Atlanta, GA, got a special surprise this time in the post-show dark match. Not far from his hometown of Gainesville, GA, WWE “Raw” star AJ Styles appeared in the dark main event and had a one-on-one match against Happy Corbin. Styles would send the fans home happy by hitting his Phenomenal Forearm finisher to get the pinfall victory.
Regarding the pre-show dark match, a rising “SmackDown” star that dominated in “NXT,” Raquel Rodriguez, went against another woman that had a vicious streak in “NXT,” Shayna Baszler. It ended up being Rodriguez that came out on top following her signature Tejana Bomb and the successful pin. Rodriguez has only been featured in one televised match since the Money in the Bank ladder match on July 2, where she and five other women lost to the eventual winner, Liv Morgan. Raquel is still competing regularly at WWE live events and during dark matches, and knowing that the new head of creative in WWE, Triple H, is a big fan of Rodriguez bodes well for the up-and-coming powerhouse.
As for AJ Styles, he’s been regularly featured on “Raw” in recent weeks, first having issues with The Miz and, more recently, forming a makeshift team with Dolph Ziggler to compete against The Alpha Academy. It will be interesting to see if their pairing was a one-time thing to shut down the arrogant, loudmouth Chad Gable or will become a long-term story where Ziggler and Styles evolve as a duo.
Other memorable moments from the televised parts of “SmackDown” include Drew McIntyre defeating Sheamus in an Old Fashion Donnybrook Street Fight to go on to the main event of Clash at the Castle in September, and Brock Lesnar returning to the show and causing chaos the night before his SummerSlam main event against Roman Reigns. You can see the full result at this link.
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