After another RETRIBUTION attack, blue brand Superstars surrounded the ring to try and ward off another intrusion. In a battle of two powerhouses, Sheamus scored the first big blow with an Irish Backbreaker to Big E. After the thunderous move, the lights flickered in the WWE ThunderDome as nerves tightened for a possible RETRIBUTION invasion.
The match would continue on, and Big E grabbed momentum with a series of Belly to Belly suplexes. Unable to keep his focus on the ring for long, King Corbin would incite a brawl outside the ring with his taunts towards Matt Riddle. The chaos would distract The Celtic Warrior, leaving an open for Big E to roll up Sheamus from behind and secure a win. After the victory, The New Day member joined Heavy Machinery in the ring for an impromptu dance break that surely left a sour taste in Sheamus’ mouth.
Lucha House Party finally got a coveted opportunity at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, and the return of Kalisto added a whole new dimension to the aerial attack. Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro looked to neutralize the challengers early on, as the pair showed off the cohesion they’ve built in the lab at the “Champion’s Lounge.” Gran Metalik went high risk with a high-flying assault on Cesaro, but the luchadors were unable to capitalize. The Swiss Cyborg made his way back into the ring with Lince Dorado and fought off a number of acrobatic moves to secure a roll-up victory.
The Golden Role Models had a dilemma, and Naomi was happy to help settle it. As Bayley & Sasha Banks debated who would battle Asuka first at SummerSlam, Naomi interrupted and with the help of Corey Graves devised a Beat The Clock Challenge for the two champions. After a hard-fought start, The Boss was able to lock in the Banks Statement and force Naomi to tap out in just under eight minutes. The pressure was on Bayley who came out swinging as the glowing Superstar tried to pull herself up after the defeat. The SmackDown Women’s Champion went with a strategy of multiple quick pin-fall attempts, but Naomi shocked Bayley with a Rear View take out and pin.
As the Women’s Tag Team Champions collected themselves, Asuka entered gleefully and ready for an ultimate SummerSlam challenge. The Empress of Tomorrow ran into the ring looking to send a message to her SummerSlam competitors. As Bayley exited, she walked past Banks as she lay on the ramp perhaps revealing that the partnership between the two is becoming frayed. Will Bayley & Sasha be able to regroup before Asuka becomes The Empress of Every Title?
During RETRIBUTION’s attack early in the night, AJ Styles used the opportunity to slow down his opponent for later that night. Jeff Hardy would suffer a knee injury, but the persevering Superstar was determined to not let the latest roadblock derail his redemption journey. The Charismatic Enigma entered the Intercontinental Championship Match donning a knee brace and was noticeably weakened throughout the early parts of the match.
As Hardy could barely stand, Styles targeted his opponent's injured knee, and it seemed as if the official may end up calling the match to mercifully let the high-flyer fight another day. Hardy gutted his way through the relentless effort of Styles, but it appeared The Phenomenal One was primed to retain his title as he lined up a Styles Clash. The challenger offered one last resistance and stunned Styles when his knee brace caught Styles in the head. The Charismatic Enigma used the opening to claw himself to the top rope and deliver one satisfying Swanton Bomb to secure the win and the title. The latest chapter has been written, and Jeff Hardy is back holding WWE gold.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Big E defeated Sheamus (10:10)
- Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro (c) defeated Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) (w/ Kalisto) to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (5:35)
- Sasha Banks defeated Naomi in a Beat The Clock Challenge Match (3:39)
- Naomi defeated Bayley in a Beat The Clock Challenge Match (2:34)
- Jeff Hardy defeated AJ Styles (c) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship (11:00)
Other on-screen talent
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- WWE Smackdown Live #1096 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1096 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #1096 on WWE Network