The July 25th episode of WWE SmackDown aired live on the USA Network from The Coliseum in Richmond, VA.
– New U.S. Champion Kevin Owens down to the ring first to open up the show. Owens gets on the mic and talks about taking back his U.S. Title from AJ Styles, and says he will now resume defending that title with the pride and honor it deserves. Owens says he’s reinstating the Kevin Owens United States Title Open Challenge, and it begins next week. Owens says there’s no way he would ever defend his title in front of a bunch of hicks from Richmond, and this brings out AJ Styles. Styles steps into the ring, and Owens says he must be here to congratulate him and say Owens was the better man. AJ says nope, he’s here to get his rematch. Owens repeats that he won’t be defending his title tonight, and this brings out the returning Chris Jericho! This is Jericho’s first appearance since May. The first-ever Undisputed Champion comes out to the ring and announces that it’s the return of Jericho, drink it in man. Owens demands to know why Jericho is here, but Jericho politely tells him to be quiet over and over. Jericho says he’s back to get his rematch for the U.S. Title right here and now. AJ tells Jericho that a lot of things have happened since Jericho left due to injury, and says AJ is next in line for the U.S. Title. Jericho says AJ is butting in line ahead of him, and do you know what happens when you try to cut in front of Y2J? AJ Styles just made The List. Owens starts walking to the back, and Jericho tells him to get back to the ring but Owens declines. Shane McMahon comes out to the stage before Owens can get behind the curtain. Shane says both AJ and Jericho have legitimate claims to the U.S. Title, so they’ll both get shots at it tonight in a triple threat match against Owens. The crowd pops big for the announcement and everyone heads backstage.
– Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura are getting ready to head to the gorilla position next.
– Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin: The action spills out to ringside early where Corbin clotheslines Nakamura down to the floor. Back in the ring Corbin does his best to keep Nakamura grounded, but Nakamura fights his way up and drops Corbin with kicks. Corbin drops Nakamura again, and Nakamura fires up and delivers several kicks and knees to Corbin. The finish comes when Nakamura hits the Kinshasa for the three count after a short but competitive match.
– Women’s Champ Naomi is backstage for an interview which quickly gets interrupted by Natalya. Natalya says Naomi is disgracing the Women’s title, but Naomi thinks Natalya is stuck in the past and says she will retain her title at SummerSlam. Natalya leaves, then Carmella walks in with her Money In The Bank briefcase to taunt Naomi with it.
– Charlotte & Becky Lynch def. Lana & Tamina: Lana starts off against Becky, but she quickly tags in Tamina. Becky drops Tamina with kicks, but Tamina comes back and drops Becky then tags in Lana. Lana puts the boots to Becky in the corner then puts her in a shoulder lock on the mat. Becky gets up to her feet and Lana takes her back down with a fist full of hair. The crowd chants “you can’t wrestle” at Lana as she tags in Tamina. Tamina works on Becky in the corner until Becky fights out with an elbow and a spinning kick to the head. Charlotte tags in and cleans house. Charlotte hits several chops to the chest of Tamina, then drops her and hits a knee drop for a two count. Tamina comes back with a superkick then Lana tags in. This leads to Charlotte knocking Tamina off the apron, then Charlotte turns around and hits a big boot on Lana for the win. Lana looks confused after the match, and Tamina is not happy with Lana and shouts at her before leaving.
– WWE Champion Jinder Mahal comes out to the ring without the Singh Brothers, who are selling their injuries from Battleground. Jinder gets on the mic and says all of you people doubted him just like Orton doubted him, and now he has taken Orton’s legacy from him. Jinder demands to know who’s next for him and who he’ll be facing at SummerSlam. He begins to address his people in his language, and is then interrupted by John Cena’s entrance. Before Cena can say anything, Mahal tells Cena that he knows what Cena is about to say, but Cena stops him. Cena says he’s not going to doubt Jinder, but instead wants to congratulate Jinder. Cena says he respects that Mahal is in the best shape of his life and that the WWE Title means so much to him that he’ll do whatever he can to keep it. Cena says this is a congratulations, but also a heads up that he doesn’t care if he has a giant or a band of merry men because at SummerSlam he’s facing Super Cena. Cena says he’s walking out of SummerSlam a 17-time Champion, then tells Mahal “you can’t see me” and leaves. Before Cena can make it to the back, Daniel Bryan comes out to interrupt. Bryan says Cena doesn’t make the matches around here, but Bryan will make one. Bryan books John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a singles match next week to determine who gets a shot at Mahal’s WWE Title at SummerSlam.
– Owens approaches Shane McMahon backstage to complain about being put in the triple threat match against Styles and Jericho tonight. Owens says Shane doesn’t like him and doesn’t want him to be the U.S. Champ. Shane says this match is about putting on a great show for the fans tonight, and not Shane doesn’t care who the U.S. Champ is as long as it’s being defended on SmackDown.
– Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger def. Aiden English & Mike Kanellis: English treats us to a song before the match. Maria is at ringside in Mike’s corner. English gets the advantage over Zayn early on, then tags in Mike who stomps a mud hole in Sami. Mike hits a big boot on Sami then tags in English. Sami and English trade strikes until Sami dumps him outside then gets the hot tag to Tye. English slides back in the ring and Tye drops him, then Tye takes out Mike too. Zayn tags in and hits the Heluva Kick on Mike for the win.
– The New Day is heard over the PA system in the arena, but then we hear some commotion. We cut to the stage where we see The Usos attacking The New Day from behind. The Usos beat down the New Day members all over the stage, and deliver multiple superkicks to Big E. The Usos admire their work on the stage before heading backstage.
– AJ Styles def. Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho: Jericho and Styles team up on Owens right off the opening bell. Owens rolls outside then Jericho and Styles go at it. Owens comes back in and takes out Styles, leaving Owens alone with Jericho. Jericho unloads with offense on Owens then hits a missile dropkick off the middle rope. Styles comes back in and goes to work on Jericho as Owens rolls outside to recover. Styles dumps Jericho to the outside, then Owens drops Styles with a superkick and pummels him with right hands. Owens knocks Jericho off the apron, then he hits a senton drop on Styles, followed up by a leg drop. AJ fights back with punches and chops, but Owens shuts him down with an elbow to the face. Styles gets Owens in the Calf Crusher until Jericho breaks it up with a Lionsault onto Styles. Jericho cleans house and delivers a series of chops to the chest on AJ. Owens drops Jericho, then Styles throws Owens to the outside. Styles then hits a springboard 450 splash onto Jericho, but before he can pin Owens throws Styles outside and pins Jericho himself for a two count. Styles pulls Owens outside and slams him into the fan barricade. Back in the ring, Styles goes for the Styles Clash on Jericho, but Jericho escapes and puts Styles in the Walls of Jericho. Owens runs in but Jericho snatches him and throws him into AJ, knocking AJ out to ringside. Jericho drops Owens and puts him in the Walls of Jericho, but AJ runs in and breaks it up. Jericho hits AJ with the Codebreaker and pins for a two count. Jericho slaps AJ across the face, and AJ comes back with a flurry of strikes. Jericho drops AJ then goes for the Lionsault, but Owens hits the ropes and Jericho wipes out. Owens hits the cannonball splash on AJ then on Jericho. AJ hops up and elbows Owens, then Jericho kicks Styles, Owens superkicks Jericho, then AJ hits the Pele Kick on Owens. AJ springboards up to the top rope but Jericho dropkicks AJ off and AJ falls down to ringside. Owens grabs Jericho and hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb for a near-fall. Owens goes up top an hits the frogsplash on Jericho, but AJ throws Owens outside before he can pin. AJ pins Jericho instead and scores the three count to win the U.S. Championship. AJ is bleeding inside his mouth. Owens freaks out at ringside and throws stuff around as AJ makes his way to the back holding up the U.S. Title belt. Owens gets on the mic at ringside and says this wasn’t fair that Jericho was here and that McMahon made him defend his title in a triple threat match. Owens says AJ stole his victory, and says the fans dislike him because he’s better than they ever will be. Owens says he wants his rematch next week, one on one. AJ kisses the U.S. Title belt on the stage as SmackDown goes off the air.