#WeAreAmerica – Smackdown Live Recap – July 4, 2017

Since Day One, the Hustle’s Never Changed

If there’s one thing that can unanimously be agreed upon, it is that the WWE is true blue with American Pride.  Their love of country and support of the military is practically unrivaled, and if there was a night for John Cena to come back from his filming hiatus, having Smackdown land on Independence Day brought one of the trademark John Cena promos.

Following his appreciation of the troops and the foundation upon which our nation is built, he reminds the locker room that the land of opportunity still exists and if his time left as an active wrestler is coming close to an end, he’s more than ready to open the challenge to anyone back there that wants a piece of the One True Champ.

And welcome back the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev.

We’re going to slip back in time to 2015 and reignite this feud of the USA against any comers, this time with a Flag Match??  Rusev won’t do it tonight though, so it will undoubtedly be used to get some more flag sales out of the Battleground PPV.

The Meat’s on the Grill

  • Daniel Bryan has AJ Styles and Chad Gable meet him in his “office.”  It is his intention to have the two of them determine who gets the final spot in the Independence Day Battle Royal for the Number One Contendership for the United States Championship, and that match is….
  • AJ Styles vs Chad Gable for Battle Royal Entry:  I like that they’re pushing Gable here lately, but what’s the deal with Jordan?  He was clearly there two weeks back as he came out from behind the curtain with Gable when he challenged in the Open Challenge.  Anyway, he’s getting a big match on the card here with an opponent who will work right along side him, allowing him to look fantastic as he shows off his unbelievable talents as a technical wrestler.  The two go back and forth pretty heavily during the four commercial break with the split screen letting us at least watch, if we could manage not to be distracted by PuppyMonkeyBaby.  Gable put on a great match, even locking in the Ankle Lock (because America) but AJ Styles reverses into the Calf Crusher.  He then landed a German Suplex FaceBuster, I don’t even know if I described that correctly, because holy crap, but AJ would get the momentum back and land the Phenomenal Forearm for the win and a spot in the battle royal.  Why did none of the other competitors have to earn their spot?  Any you didn’t think I’d mention PuppyMonkeyBaby and it wouldn’t pop up closely thereafter, did you?

  • Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder have a moment in the locker room, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to be splitting up soon, and Mojo will be poised for his big push.  They’ll likely tangle in the preshow of Battleground or Summerslam, then go their own ways, which won’t be a bad thing.  I think Ryder can get momentum back, and might even benefit from getting moved to Raw where he could go back after Miz.  Just a thought.
  • Carmella and Ellsworth make their way to the ring.  Here’s hoping she’s still doing most of the talking……nope.  After they both act like asses for about a minute and a half each, Naomi makes her way to the ring with the title belt decked out with glow strips.  It was kind of bad ass looking.  Unfortunately, Naomi will be facing Lana again, who for some reason got a big build and is now squash match fodder like Curt Hawkins.
    • Naomi basically challenges Carmella to try to cash in, and then seemingly ushers Daniel Bryan from the locker room to deal with the Ellsworth-less problem, who bars him from the arena….fining him $10,000…..and suspending him for 30 days.  If he violates any of these stipulations, Carmella will be stripped of the MitB contract.  I’m pretty good with this.  Get him out of the picture completely because he’s detrimental to all the good they are doing with most of this women’s division, usually.  I wish Nia Jax was like in the crowd behind them or something, they’re capable of doing a lot of good with her and have shown it in spurts.

  • Naomi defends the belt against Lana in another squash match:  Because of Twitter, Lana was able to point out that she wasn’t actually pinned last week, so she’s been given another opportunity.  Lana tries to roll off a roll up, but Naomi locks in a submission and gets the tap out in about 22 seconds.
    • For some reason Tamina runs down, sliding into the ring and helping Lana to her feet and then walking her to the back.  I hope we’re not going to get “Coach Tamina” because nobody is going to buy that.
  • Shinsuke almost starts a backstage interview about “Baron Corbin being afraid of him” but before he says a word he gets clubbed from behind with the briefcase.  Corbin doesn’t seem to get much of a drop on him though, and neither of them really seems to have won this confrontation.
  • Wale is the judge of the rap battle between The New Day and The Usos.  I don’t really know what the hell is going on here, and I’m not really one to judge a rap battle, so if you have any interest in this, go back and watch it.  The Star Spangled New Day was pretty amazing, but this segment was straight Booty.  It also ate up 13 minutes of the TV broadcast.  The Usos attempt to get violent and Wale disqualifies them, so New Day won.  I guess this will be like a champ losing an actual match on the show before a PPV and the Usos will retain at Battleground.
  • For some reason….Randy Orton vs Aiden English:  Randy interrupted his song last week and got an RKO for his ongoing troubles, so I guess this match is retribution for that.  English attacks Orton from behind while he’s doing his Viper pose on the ropes.  He puts Orton into the steel stairs at ringside and tries to finish his song for the second week in a row, but Orton gets back in as we go to another split screen featuring the incredibly distracting PuppyMonkeyBaby….

  • How stoned is the ad team at Mountain Dew?
  • ….During the break, English has the better of Orton, but as a Thomas Middleditch Verizon ad comes to a close, Orton works his way out of a lengthy sleeper hold to turn the momentum and landing his signature powerslam.  At this point it is the Randy Orton show of brutality.  Orton on the outside picks up the steel steps and against the orders of the official smashes English in the face with them, and Aiden English wins via DQ, but that wasn’t enough because the live audience needs their RKO, so they get their RKO.
  • Jinder Mahal comes out in a sweet maroon suit, because we need to be reminded of a couple things.  First, he doesn’t like America (which is the easiest way to get heat on a heel, especially one that looks the part of the media’s “anti-American” poster child.)  Second, because Randy Orton needs to be able to threaten him with excessive violence (which is usually the easiest way to get a pop for the face).  There was no action here.
  • Did you remember that this Sunday is Great Balls of Fire?  Well, it is.

  • Tyler Breeze is in a lady costume doing a high pitched voice as his new “Tenee Young” character to interview Tye Dillinger about his strategy.  Fandango is dressed as a contractor lurking in the back of the scene.  These two are seriously the most entertaining thing WWE is doing right now.
  • Camera cuts to Renee Young laughing about the homage from Breeze.  Then she decided to interview the Kanellis pair, so I started to fast forward my DVR, but there was something seemingly wrong with the camera feed and I was curious, and as they went on with their usual crap, Sami Zayn knocked a steel pipe over and interrupted them again.  This whole thing is stupid, but at least they realized it so they’re having Sami Zayn interrupt it pretty regularly.

And the Fireworks!!!!

United States Championship Number One Contender’s Independence Day Battle Royal Match  

That was a lot to type.  Sami was obviously the first entrant.  Owens was on commentary.  And there’s Jason Jordan.  They didn’t forget he exists.  This was a really quick Battle Royal.  It came down to Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger and AJ Styles.  I didn’t imagine that they were going to have Dillinger win this spot this early, but it was damn nice to see him in the final three.  He lands TyeBreakers on both of them.  Looked great in the moment he was given.  Sami Zayn would flip Dillinger over the top from the apron, leaving just The Underdog from the Underground and The Phenomenal One.  The Talking Smack segment on Father’s Day sort of foreshadowed the close here, and AJ Styles lands a Pele Kick to Sami on the apron and will challenge Kevin Owens at Battleground.

Owens would come off the desk and attempt the beatdown, but AJ turned it on him and ran him off up the ramp.  The show closes with AJ Styles holding the United States Championship high.