The big story heading into Tuesday's Smackdown Live was: What the hell was Randy Orton doing at Extreme Rules?
Orton returned to WWE after a few months of rest to attack Jeff Hardy after he lost to Shinsuke Nakamura and therefore losing his United States Championship in the process.
AJ Styles was able to retain his WWE Championship on Sunday but would Rusev be back for more or would General Manager Paige find a new number one contender in time for Summerslam.
Here are the results from Smackdown Live:
JEFF HARDY WANTS HIS TITLE BACK
Jeff Hardy entered the arena first with his full face paint to address the crowd.
He said he was 'broken' without his United States Championship and he rendered Shinsuke Nakamura as 'obsolete'.
Their rematch will begin later in the night.
AJ STYLES VS ANDRADE 'CIEN' ALMAS
A first time ever matchup was confirmed on WWE's social media accounts before the show got underway, confirming The Phenomenal One will go up against Almas to kick-off the in-ring action.
Styles took a bit some rest holds from Almas before The Mexican did his usual 'Tranquilo' spot in the ropes, swiftly being joined by Zelina Vega. Both men put it all on the line as they pulled out their own signature moves early but not being able to finish off the other man.
Almas used a standing Moonsault and got almost got a three count whereas Styles managed to nail a Pele Kick as Almas was perched on the top turnbuckle. Almas hit a Double Stomp to Styles in the Tree of Woe and the Double Knees almost put the WWE Champion away.
Slightly after this sequence, Styles was able to roll Almas into the Calf Crusher and force Almas to tap-out, claiming his first loss on the main roster. Almas teased a post-match attack but thought better of it.
This was a brilliant teaser of what could be between Almas and AJ. Their match was slightly shorter than expected but with more of a build, it could be an amazing match in the future. Almas teased the attack after the match but called it off, perhaps saving it for another day and really kick-starting a feud.
BECKY LYNCH VS MANDY ROSE
Becky Lynch has been a brilliant winning streak throughout June and July but faced off against the last person to beat her in singles action, Mandy Rose.
Rose started fairly well, forcing Lynch to work hard in order to get in her offence. God's Greatest Creation also landed a heavy knee which almost got a three-count. Lynch began to build momentum and executed her Bexplex before getting the Disarmher locked in and forcing the second submission in as many matches tonight.
After the match, Lynch declared that Straight Fire is coming for Carmella. Backstage, Paige declared that Women's Champion Carmella will face Lynch next week in a non-title match and if Lynch is successful, will gain a title match at Summerslam.
Becky Lynch is clearly adored by the crowd and it is about time she got a serious title opportunity. Having not had a serious feud for some time, she is easily the best choice for Carmella to face at Summerslam. Her promo after the match was met with great applause from the crowd due to her intensity.
TYE DILLINGER VS SAMOA JOE
Dillinger wasted little time once the bell rang and went straight for Joe, forcing him to the outside and into the announce table. The Samoan was quickly able to change the tides and push Dillinger into the ring post before nailed his signature Enziguiri.
The Perfect 10 initially blocked Joe's Coquina Clutch but some venomous kicks to the mid-section opened the opportunity for Joe to sink in his submission move. Dillinger tapped after a short attempt to escape.
Hopefully, we can see Samoa Joe get a serious match at Summerslam as he has not had a singles match on pay-per-view since Backlash. That loss to Roman Reigns slightly stalled his momentum but he should be near the main event on Smackdown every week.
TEAM HELL NO ARE MOURNED BY THE MIZ
After suffering their first loss as a reunited team, Daniel Bryan and Kane were held a memorial by Bryan's nemesis, The Miz. Coming out to a church organ and dressed fully in black, The Miz was very sincere with his words as per usual...
Of course, The Miz was extremely sarcastic and worked the crowd well as he begged everyone to bow their heads for Kane and Bryan, the first of whom had broken his ankle at Extreme Rules courtesy of Harper and Rowan. The A-Lister then started hurling insults at Bryan, who has been his rival for over two years - dating back to the days of Talking Smack.
Daniel Bryan's music hit and Bryan attacked from behind, hitting The Miz before going after the pallbearers. One unfortunate man got a Snap Suplex and Running Knee from Bryan as The Miz fled.
The Miz is always brilliant on the microphone. He did talk for slightly too long which could have deferred interest in the segment but once the insults began flying, everyone was gripped again. Bryan's attack from behind was superbly executed, completely catching everyone off-guard.
KOFI KINGSTON VS ERIC YOUNG
SAnitY defeated The New Day on the Extreme Rules Pre-Show in a tables match on Sunday and Kofi had a chance to gain some revenge for the loss.
Eric Young used vicious elbows and kicks to damage the 7-time tag team champion. Kingston managed to pick up the pace by using dropkicks and his signature Boom Drop. Kofi then pulled out a brilliant flying backdrop into all three members of SAnitY and even clearing the referee!
However, chaos began outside the ring as Killian Dain, SAnitY's wrecking machine, pushed Xavier Woods into Kingston and this opened the door for Eric Young who nailed a Neckbreaker and sealed the win.
These two worked really well in the ring together and this is the perfect feud for SAnitY to begin their time on Smackdown Live. Kingston flung himself around the ring and The New Day were still extremely popular with the live audience. It was also a perfect finish, as SAnitY used their non-legal members of the match to the full advantage and helped Young pick up another win - as he did at Extreme Rules.
JEFF HARDY VS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Invoking his rematch clause as soon as possible, Hardy looked to become the 13th person to be a multi-time Intercontinental and United States Champion. Nakamura looked for the low-blow early but Hardy read it and continued to punish Nakamura, including hitting Good Vibrations on the Japanese superstar.
Nakamura worked on the neck of Hardy and in the process, controlled the tempo of the match. However, a missed knee opened the door for The Charismatic Enigma who quickened the match and hit some strong moves including a big splash for a two-count.
Hardy did manage to hit some of his signature moves including Whisper in the Wind but it was not enough for him to pick up the victory at that time. Nakamura used vicious knee strikes to various parts of Hardy's body but missed the Kinshasa twice.
Hardy looked like he almost had the win confirmed but just as he went for the cover after a Swanton Bomb, Randy Orton stormed into the arena and pulled Hardy out the ring. He then began a disgusting assault on Hardy, slamming his head into the ring steps multiple times and almost ripping an earlobe completely off.
This segment was literally perfect. After a brilliant show already, Hardy and Nakamura put on a masterclass despite Jeff's well-documented injury problems. He bumped well and took plenty of strong knee strikes and even pulled off his famous Swanton Bomb, a move he hasn't been performing at live events.
Orton's interruption was inevitable, but nobody expected the brutality that followed. He consequetively smashed Hardy's head into the ring steps and then performed a shocking move by placing his finger into the earlobe of Hardy and attempted to rip it in half. For the PG era, this was seen as extremely gory. It was perfection though, as it cemented Orton as a heel again - a move many WWE fans will be happy with.
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