Welcome to SmackDown Live for the 11th of July 2017!
The blue-brand got quite the shake-up this past week, when AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens at a live event in Madison Square Garden to become the United States Champion. Title changes rarely occur at live events and with the two set to square-off at Battleground, it seemed surprising that AJ would win the belt a few weeks prior. Rumour has it that KO might be injured and unable to defend his title at Battleground, which is why the change occured sooner. So it’s unclear if AJ will face a new opponent at the PPV, or if Owens will get a rematch. Owens is scheduled to wrestle tonight, so it’s hard to imagine his injury is severe.
John Cena returned to SmackDown Live last week with a heart of fire and is now set to duel with Rusev at Battleground in a Flag Match. This seems like it will be a one-off feud between the two patriots, as opposed to a rebirth of their former rivalry. The main event for tonight’s show is said to be a tag team match that puts Cena and AJ together against Rusev and Owens.
Elsewhere on SmackDown, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal will be in action against Tye Dillinger, who made a strong showing in last week’s Battle Royal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Randy Orton appear tonight and possibly help Dillinger to a win to keep his momentum. Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura are also scheduled to face off tonight, ahead of a probable showdown between them at Battleground. Tonight’s show will also feature The New Day, Naomi, The Uso’s, and more.
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