WWE SmackDown Results: July 7, 2016
Dean Ambrose, now being marketed as the WWE Champion, starts the show filmed in Toledo, Ohio, as the ring announcer for a match between Jey Uso and Seth Rollins. The change in championship name from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to the WWE Championship again signals likely one of two things. Either it will be one show’s title while the World Heavyweight Title makes a comeback to be the other show’s title, or it will be the overarching top championship for the company with lesser titles exclusive to Raw and Smackdown.
Seth Rollins def. Jey Uso
After a long, and somewhat strange, matchup, Rollins gets the win with the Pedigree. Ambrose did a good job of attempting to distract Rollins with some ringside shenanigans on the microphone, and he charged the ring after the match, which led to Rollins running away.
If one of the three former Shield members had to get suspended heading into this Triple Threat at Battleground, the WWE is actually fortunate it was Roman Reigns. The banter between Rollins and Ambrose is always entertaining, and they’ve had the most real animosity since the group broke up two years ago. Reigns doesn’t need to be locked in any more banter sessions.
Zack Ryder def. Sheamus
The elbow drop is the winning move for Ryder, who challenged Rusev to a match for the United States Championship afterward. Rusev doesn’t take Ryder seriously in an interview backstage, and it seems the match might happen on RAW.
It’s hard to fall as far as Sheamus has in the last eight months or so. He’s gone from holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to losing to a veteran splitting time between the main roster and NXT. Fans seem to like Ryder in small doses, but it doesn’t seem logical to put him over Sheamus if he’s not going to get a serious run at the belt or win it. Hopefully, he’s just the next victim for Rusev heading into a big-time SummerSlam matchup.
Becky Lynch comes out, seemingly headed for the ring for a match, but Natalya comes in for the beatdown and a ringside Sharpshooter.
Natalya as a heel feels so forced at this point, but it’s good to see multiple women’s storylines developing. That will be important once the brand split comes into effect later this month.
Next is a sitdown interview with Xavier Woods, who explains that while he fears the Wyatt Family, he’ll go to the family compound with his New Day brethren.
It’s unclear what exactly is going on here, but there are certainly better targets for the Wyatt Family than Woods, if the plan is to convert someone. He doesn’t fit physically, and the New Day is way too over to break up now. It would be good if this feud includes a tag title run for the Wyatts, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of New Day’s existence as a group.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass are up next for a promo, talking about their involvement in saving John Cena from the Club on Monday. That naturally draws out all three Club members, who point out that Cena isn’t at the taping.
AJ Styles def. Enzo Amore
This was a solid matchup, with Styles coming through with the expected victory on a Styles Clash.
Of all the face teams to help Cena in the Battleground six-man tag match, Enzo and Cass were the most surefire option to keep the feud fresh and interesting. With Cena and Styles dueling in intense mic battles, Enzo’s wit is a welcome addition. On top of that, their involvement makes the Battleground match fairly unpredictable from a booking standpoint.
We see Jericho backstage looking for his blue scarf, which Owens is wearing. As illogical as that sounds, Owens is hilarious and makes just about anything work.
Miz def. Kalisto
Kalisto confesses to being the one who hit Maryse with potato salad to set up this match, and Intercontinental Champion the Miz gets his revenge with the Skull Crushing Finale and a win over the former United States Champion.
Unfortunately for Kalisto, this is a match that Miz simply has to win if the Intercontinental Title is going to have any prestige. Especially after the Miz being away to film a movie, the creative team has work to do to build him and his belt back up by SummerSlam.
Up next is another showing of the Bob Backlund-Darren Young vignette from Monday, as if that story wasn’t stale enough already.
That’s followed by a backstage interview with Renee Young and Sasha Banks, which is interrupted by Charlotte and Dana Brooke to set up a RAW matchup between Sasha and Dana.
This was the logical next step, but it’s really just to advance the story that ends with Banks and Charlotte facing off for Charlotte’s Women’s Championship, perhaps at Battleground.
Sami Zayn def. Chris Jericho
With Kevin Owens on commentary, Zayn gets a roll-up after dodging a distraction from Owens. Afterward, Jerchio hits Zayn with a Codebreaker, followed by a pop-up powerbomb on the victor by Owens.
Owens and Jericho have a good blend of intimidation and humor when they’re working together, and that could serve the WWE well if Jericho needs to be kept around for some reason. However, it may be time to let the Zayn-Owens feud go for now. Even if they haven’t had a ton of main-roster singles action, their long-time rivalry has been played out to a degree unless some stakes are added.