SmackDown Live Recap for 8/1 Show
Match: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship
I was a little surprised that they started the show off with these two guys because of how well they usually perform together. They did not disappoint. This was a Pay-Per-View quality match from start to finish. The pace and cadence of the match was perfect. The finish was honestly the worst part of the match, but as I thought about it after the match was over… it grew on me. KO hits the referee. Then he sends Styles off the ropes to set up a pop up powerbomb, but AJ rolls through into a pin. The referee with his vision impaired from being hit by Kevin Owens counts out 3 and the match ends. The only issue with this is… it was really only a 1 count because KO’s shoulder was off the mat, but ref couldn’t see this due to the blow he took earlier from KO. Later in the show we would find out from Shane McMahon, that KO will get a rematch at Summer Slam, and since he is unhappy with the officials Shane McMahon would be the special guest referee. This match shows the genius of McMahon. He finds a way to put on an awesome match in his brand (SD Live) that needed a lift, and keep the story open for Summer Slam. I CAN NOT wait for this match at Summer Slam. It’s sure to be one of the better ones of the night.
DVR suggestion: Watch… maybe twice
Next we are subject to a bunch of low to mid level storylines until the main event. Here’s a quick rundown…
The Usos come out and mock New Day.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango do a segment of Fashion Police called “Fashion Peaks” which was actually not bad.
Sami Zayn (who I actually think is great) is in a match where his talents are wasted with Aiden English. English’s entrance is preposterous. He ends up rolling Sami Zayn up and getting a quick pin.
Naomi and Becky Lynch face Natalya and Carmella in a tag match. Becky Lynch and Naomi win by submission.
Rusev faces off against Chad Gable and wins by submission. Randy Orton comes out to confront Rusev after the match. Looks like Orton and Rusev are destined to be one of those SummerSlam matches that drags the night on. Not looking forward to that. Although he did through in an RKO from out of nowhere which is always cool.
Main Event: John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura
First off… Nakamura’s entrance is electric. In fact, I would argue Nakamura and Finn Balor are the two entrances in the game today. This match was phenomenal. Awesome back-and-forth. I think this match did a ton for Nakamura’s appeal. He did everything: taking bumps like a champ, made up for Cena’s lack of in-ring skill when delivering moves, and got the crowd involved. Cena was clearly there for his name. They needed someone to elevate Nakamura to take on Jinder Mahal at Summer Slam and who better than Cena. I mean Nakamura kicked out of the AA for Christ’s Sake. It was a coming out party. In the end, Nakamura reversed at second AA attempt with a reverse suplex (that nearly broke Cena’s neck) to set up the Kinshasa (spelling) knee strike. This might have been the match of the year on SmackDown Live and I am glad Nakamura came out on top. Vince… put the strap on him at Summer Slam!
DVR Suggestion: You already know… watch this match!
Overall Rating: 4.75/5 🍎… how often do we get 2 PPV level matches on a 2 hour show.