Clearly looking to get a little bit of a mental edge heading into their WWE Mixed Match Challenge clash against The Miz & Asuka later in the evening, MMC partners R-Truth & Carmella hosted “Truth TV” to kick off SmackDown LIVE. Their guest? None other than Miz’s WWE Super Show-Down opponent, Daniel Bryan.
“Truth TV” instantly proved to be a much different experience than “Miz TV.” For example, after Truth dropped a super insightful question on Bryan regarding his match against The A-Lister in Melbourne (in which the winner will receive a future WWE Championship opportunity), R-Truth and Carmella took a seven-second dance break before Bryan could get more than a few words out. The good times quickly ceased when Miz showed up, though. The A-Lister was irate that Truth & Carmella had stolen his talk show and even more belligerent at Bryan’s squeaky-clean reputation, suggesting that The “Yes!” Man has come up short against him the last several outings because he will not go all-out to win.
Bryan contemplated those words, but Truth responded to them … BY BANNING MIZ FROM “TRUTH TV” FOR LIFE! Miz, of course, retorted by reminding R-Truth that “Truth TV” isn’t a real show, which prompted Truth to reply with a challenge — a match where the winner gets the rights to the show -- even though it’s not really Truth or Carmella’s in the first place. Oh, and then The Rapping Superstar and The Princess of Staten Island danced some more.
Miz scoffed at the notion, but SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige stopped The A-Lister when he went backstage and told him the match would be next.
With each of their talk shows on the line (sort of, but not really), The Miz squared off against R-Truth, with Daniel Bryan providing guest commentary from ringside. Truth looked to duplicate his upset of The A-Lister from several weeks ago by coming out of the gates hot. Miz, however, soon quelled his former Awesome Truth partner to take control. Truth landed some stinging haymakers to stagger The A-Lister, but Miz countered by raking Truth’s eyes behind the referee’s back before connecting with the Skull-Crushing Finale. The A-Lister stared down The Beard intently, then nailed Truth with Bryan’s signature Running Knee to get the win.
With The New Day’s defense of the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Bar at WWE Super Show-Down less than two weeks away, Sheamus looked to ignore The New Day’s usual pre-match antics prior to his bout against Big E and keep his team rolling after Cesaro defeated Kofi Kingston last week.
The two brutes collided in an ultra-physical contest, as their partners watched on from ringside. Barbaric strikes were exchanged, with each looking to pummel the other into figurative, or possibly even literal, submission. In the height of the action, Big E blocked a Brogue Kick and nearly drove The Celtic Warrior through the canvas with an awe-inspiring powerbomb, but Sheamus kicked out and soon tattooed Big E with the Brogue Kick for the clutch victory.
Following Aiden English’s shocking betrayal of Rusev Day last week, Rusev & Lana hit the scene on SmackDown LIVE with only one demand: That English explain himself to their faces.
The Mozart of Mayhem arrived with motive, determined to show Rusev & Lana that he was the one who made Rusev Day into the most beloved unit in WWE. English also felt strongly that the group took a serious nosedive when Lana joined the clan. Dismayed, Lana retorted that she supports Rusev to no end and accused English of attempting to make a name for himself via his association with The Bulgarian Brute. Instead of replying directly, The Shakespeare of Song surprisingly agreed that Lana is incredibly devoted to The Super Athlete, but then questioned if she’s ever told him about “that one night in Milwaukee.” A shell-shocked Rusev & Lana were both left ponder those words as English took off.
With their WWE Super Show-Down opponents The IIconics on commentary, the new super-team of Asuka & Naomi looked to make a major impression while matched up against the deadly combo of Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville on SmackDown LIVE. The two teams nearly came to blows earlier in the evening during an altercation backstage, and the animosity spilled into the ring for a heated tag team collision.
While Billie Kay & Peyton Royce talked their signature smack from ringside, Asuka & Naomi simply snatched Rose & Deville bald and put the duo away by connecting with dynamic stereo kicks right to Deville’s dome piece to pick up the win as The IIconics watched on in disgust.
After Tye Dillinger called out United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura on social media over the weekend, the two squared off in non-title competition.
The Perfect 10 came to scrap, not backing down in the face of Nakamura’s deadly Strong Style. However, the combatants were abruptly interrupted by Randy Orton. Caring not for the proceedings going down in the ring, The Viper absolutely brutalized Dillinger, leaving him down and almost completely out after a DDT from the apron onto the floor. From there, The Apex Predator flashed Tye’s signature “10” signal in his face and departed, and it seemed like WWE’s Rockstar was about to do the same … before turning around and nailing the wounded Dillinger with a Kinshasa that knocked The Perfect 10 right into the LED board on the side of the ring.
During a backstage altercation earlier in the evening, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch poked fun at Lana regarding Aiden English’s “Milwaukee” comment, then all but demanded that Lana atone for her sins (whatever went down in Wisconsin and her “lack of in-ring skills”) in a non-title match against her tonight.
Clearly with her head elsewhere, Lana attempted to stay in step with The Irish Lass Kicker, but she never really had a chance. Lynch toyed with her until finally locking in the Dis-arm-her for the submission win.
WWE Champion AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were supposed meet face to face in the ring to sign the contract for their No Disqualification, No Count-out, There Must Be a Winner Match for the title at WWE Super Show-Down … but things quickly took an unexpected, horrifying turn.
Styles hit the squared circle and began to wonder if The Samoan Submission Machine would even show up and look him eye-to-eye, and his suspicions proved to be correct, although he probably wished they weren’t. Joe eventually popped up on the TitanTron … at Styles’ family home in Georgia, taunting AJ as he walked around the premises. The Phenomenal One went from rage, to bargaining, to absolute panic as Samoa Joe inched closer and closer to the front door. Finally, paying no mind to AJ’s pleas, the callous Joe rang the doorbell and said "Daddy's home" as SmackDown LIVE went off the air.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Miz defeated R-Truth (9:12)
- Sheamus (w/ Cesaro) defeated Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (8:33)
- Asuka & Naomi defeated Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose (4:12)
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tye Dillinger ended in a No Contest (4:48)
- Nakamura was the WWE United States Champion at the time of this match.
- Becky Lynch defeated Lana by submission (5:44)
- Lynch was the SmackDown Women's Champion at the time of this match.
Other on-screen talent
The Miz vs. R-Truth
Sheamus vs. Big E
Aiden English accuses Lana
Asuka & Naomi vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
Tye Dillinger vs.Shinsuke Nakamura
Becky Lynch vs. Lana
Samoa Joe invades AJ Styles' house
- WWE Smackdown Live #997 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #997 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #997 on WWE Network