Here are your quick and dirty, editorial-free WWE Smackdown Live results for July 4, 2017. The show featured the return of John Cena, a tag team rap battle hosted by Wale, a battle royal, a Women’s Championship match, and lots of patriotism.
Be back here tomorrow for the full Best and Worst of Smackdown column.
WWE Smackdown Live Results:
— The show opened with the much-hyped return of John Cena, who is now a free agent. In honor of Independence Day, he praised America and Americans. He then praised the WWE Superstars who work week in and week out, and took exception to people who call him a part-timer. He says he’s not a part-timer, he’s an all-timer, and said he’s going to work on both Raw and Smackdown. He listed off a string of big names on both brands and said if you set them up, he’ll knock them down, because in 15 years, he’s never lost his passion for the business.
Cena finished his promo, and then Rusev also made his return, carrying the Bulgarian flag. Rusev said while John Cena was taking time off, he was getting injured wrestling, and for the past weeks he’s been wondering where his comeback commercials are. Rusev called Cena, and America, a joke. Eventually, Cena said they would face off tonight in a flag match. Rusev said Cena would get his match, but not tonight. He’ll fight on his terms instead. Cena led the crowd in one last “U-S-A” chant before they both took their leave. Later in the episode, it was announced the flag match would take place at Battleground.
1. AJ Styles defeated Chad Gable. This match was set up by Daniel Bryan, and was for entry into the Independence Day Battle Royal, the winner of which will become the No. 1 contender to the United States Championship. Styles got the pin after hitting the Phenomenal Forearm.
— Carmella and James Ellsworth came to the ring, and Ellsworth announced that Independence Day is canceled, because they’ll be having a Carmella-bration in honor of Carmella once again becoming the rightful Money in the Bank winner. Naomi interrupted the Carmella-bration and debuted her new light-up championship. Daniel Bryan came to the ring to discipline Ellsworth, and said he was ejecting him from the building and fining him $10,000. Ellsworth started to protest, but Bryan said he would strip Carmella of Money in the Bank if he didn’t comply. Carmella immediately ushered him from the building.
2. Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi (c) defeated Lana. Naomi grabbed an immediate submission to end the match right after it started. After the match, Tamina Snuka got in the ring and told Lana to get up, then she and Lana left together.
— Wale hosted a rap battle between The Usos and The New Day. Both groups arrived with their crews in tow, and The New Day was eventually declared the winner by Wale after he disqualified The Usos for starting a physical fight.
3. Aiden English defeated Randy Orton. Orton got frustrated and hit English with the ring steps, drawing the disqualification.
— Jinder Mahal appeared and taunted Orton and the fans, and Orton said Jinder will always be a jackass.
4. AJ Styles won the No. 1 contender for the United States Championship Independence Day Battle Royal. Kevin Owens sat in on commentary for this match. The final four were Mojo Rawley (who threw out Zack Ryder), Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger, and Styles. Zayn eliminated Rawley with the Helluva Kick, and eliminated Dillinger with a backdrop. Styles then eliminated Zayn with a Pele Kick.
— After the match, Owens got in the ring and jumped Styles. Styles went for the Styles Clash, but Owens escaped. Styles posed with Owens’ championship to end the show.