Tonight, on the With Spandex WWE Smackdown Live open discussion thread for August 8, 2017:
The next chapter in the heated rivalry between Randy Orton and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal will be written tonight on SmackDown LIVE, when the two square off in a non-title grudge match. The Viper will be looking for payback after suffering defeat inside the Punjabi Prison at WWE Battleground. With both men preparing for huge battles at SummerSlam, who will get the all-important momentum heading into The Biggest Event of the Summer? Find out on SmackDown LIVE, tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network! — via WWE.com
Our five-point preview:
1. In case you glossed over that official preview, we’re getting yet another Randy Orton/Jinder Mahal match, only this time it’s non-title. The last time Randy Orton had a non-title “grudge match” against a WWE World Champion, we got a House Of Horrors match — complete with ghost tractor! — so needless to say, anticipation is high for this evening’s contest.
2. The official preview also says “Shane McMahon to explain rules of engagement to AJ Styles and Kevin Owens” before their SummerSlam match in a few weeks. Like, they’re literally going to spend a segment explaining the rules of a traditional wrestling match to two of the most experienced wrestlers in the entire company. I wish someone would sit down with all the tag teams and talk about how you have to actually be holding the tag rope to be tagged in, but that’s a segment for another episode, I suppose.
3. We’re getting two women’s division matches tonight, the first a non-title match between Women’s Champion Naomi and Ms. Money In The Bank Carmella (because sure, why not) and the second an interspecies exhibition match between Charlotte Flair and a gravely wounded stork the local zoo has lovingly called “Lana” who zookeepers have agreed to let Flair put down in the most humane way possible, in some sort of weird Make-A-Wish stipulation. [shuffles papers] Wait, Charlotte’s actually facing the real Lana? Well then: Prepare the battlefield for massacre. (Or for a Tamina run-in, whatevs.)
4. Speaking of Carmella, her friend who is also a boy, James Ellsworth, presumably returns to SmackDown Live this week, as his 30-day suspension ended August 4. I know that suspension was storyline-only, but man, it would be great if that suspension was actually real, and tonight, Ellsworth comes out in an oversized gray suit with a live mic and starts yelling about how, “I get bumped from Battleground? I’m not good enough to be at Battleground??? I am sick of sports entertainment and I am sick of our chairman, who mocks God! I never needed this job, and I don’t want this job anymore. I quit!” (With Spandex: Your No. 1 Home For The Best In James Ellsworth-Related Fantasy Booking™.)
5. Shinsuke Nakamura became the No. 1 Contender for the WWE World Championship last week by nearly breaking John Cena’s neck. Will there be repercussions tonight??? Does Nakamura have heat with the locker room??? Is Cena going to kill Nakamura’s push??? Is the italicized portion of this blurb specifically designed to get some of that sweet, sweet dirtsheet action via SEO keywords??? No, because sh*t happens and John Cena has an adamantium skeleton anyway, so big whoop.
As always, we’re including 10 of the best comments from tonight’s open discussion thread in tomorrow’s Best and Worst of Smackdown Live report. Reply to your favorites with a +1 to nominate them for consideration, and share the open thread around so we can get some fresh voices and jokes in here. Enjoy the show!