WWE Smackville Results: Finn Balor injured and replaced, Kofi Kingston defends in a triple threat
We're a few weeks away from SummerSlam, and before we could get to the biggest party of the summer, WWE decided to set up shop in Nashville, Tennessee for WWE Smackville. Tonight, both the Intercontinental Championship and the WWE Championship were on the line.
Kofi Kingston is set to face Randy Orton at SummerSlam, hoping to redeem himself after his run-in with the Viper a decade ago. To do that, though, he'd have to weather the storm that was Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler.
Elias also had a special concert to play tonight, being in Music City after all. However, his fun would be interrupted by an unexpected surprise, again ruining whatever songs he had planned for the WWE Universe.
The show opened with a sad announcement, though. Finn Balor reportedly suffered an injury earlier in the week and would be unable to compete. Shinsuke Nakamura marched down to the ring to demand a win by forfeit. When the ref began the ten count, Ali's music hit. He told Nakamura that he already let one opportunity pass him by earlier this year, and wasn't letting it happen again. Nakamura seemed up for the challenge, oddly enough.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Ali vs Shinsuke Nakamura (c)
Nakamura tested Ali with a few kicks to the leg before bringing him down to one knee with a side headlock. Ali shot him off into the ropes but was met with a shoulder tackle, putting him flat on the mat. Nakamura taunted him and tried to chase his challenger into the corner. Ali avoided and managed to drop the Cheapshot Artist with a spinning heel kick.
Nakamura was sent to the outside, where Ali followed up with a crossbody to the outside and another crossbody on the inside. Nakamura kicked out at two. Ali found himself on the apron setting up for a springboard maneuver, but a kick from the champion sent him crashing into the apron and floor. A baseball slide and a knee to a draped Ali's face was enough for a pair of two counts, but Nakamura couldn't put Ali away.
Bad Vibrations took Ali's face from the top turnbuckle all the way to the ground. A gourdbuster followed up by several knee strikes to the body further damaged Ali, but he still kicked out. A sleeper hold left Ali slumped over, nearly out of breath. He eventually fought out and rolled Nakamura up with a victory roll. Nakamura kicked out but was met with a huge dropkick.
Ali avoided an attack in the corner and connected with an enziguri on the apron. The slingshot rolling X-Factor sent Nakamura face first into the mat, and a pair of double knees in the corner allowed Ali to set up for the top rope Spanish Fly. Nakamura sent him off the post, but as he leaped off for the knee strike, another dropkick to the jaw nearly left him out cold. He still managed to kick out.
Nakamura avoided an Irish whip into the ropes, hitting the rolling heel kick. After a snap German suplex, he set up for the Kinshasa. Ali countered with a superkick and a satellite tornado DDT, spiking the champion on the mat. However, as he went for the 450 Splash, Nakamura rolled out of the way and sent the young high-flyer into the second turnbuckle. The Kinshasa finally connected, ending Ali's night.
Results: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Ali via pinfall.
Nakamura picked up a pretty impressive win here. When Balor was taken out of the match, he assumed he was going to have an easy night and had no time to prepare. To take down someone like Ali with no time for a game plan proved just how dangerous the Intercontinental Champion is.
Samoa Joe cut a promo on his WWE Championship match tonight. The Destroyer and Dolph Ziggler would take on Kofi Kingston in a triple threat match for the title, and Joe felt that it was going to be a tough night for both competitors. Kingston was already at a disadvantage, and he knew that whoever was left to take him on one on one would not be able to survive his onslaught.