Was it a mistake for Baron Corbin to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on SmackDown LIVE?
In one of the most shocking moments in SmackDown LIVE history, Baron Corbin cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract on WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and the result was absolutely shocking. Elsewhere, tensions rose between United States Champion AJ Styles, his SummerSlam opponent Kevin Owens and the special guest referee for that contest Shane McMahon.
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PROVIDENCE — With The Biggest Event of the Summer just five days away, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers first had another occasion to celebrate — Indian Independence Day. The Modern-Day Maharaja was welcomed by Bhangra dancers and a woman to sing the Indian National Anthem. The WWE Champion spoke down to the WWE Universe, his opponent tonight, John Cena, and his challenger at SummerSlam, Shinsuke Nakamura.
Before Mahal could get too far into his speech to his people in his native tongue of Punjabi, Nakamura crashed the party and made it very clear to Mahal that there would be no reason to celebrate this Sunday at SummerSlam, as The King of Strong Style would become the new WWE Champion.
Primed for her SummerSlam title bout with SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi in what might be the biggest opportunity of her career, Natalya first had to renew her heated rivalry with Becky Lynch on Team Blue.
Natalya perhaps had a bit of extra motivation, as Naomi watched on from the commentary desk while she clashed with The Irish Lass Kicker. Lynch brought the straight fire as expected, but Natalya was able to douse the flames, rolling out of the way of Becky’s top-rope leg drop and claiming the submission victory after locking in the excruciating Sharpshooter.
Looking to make a statement, Natalya reapplied the painful hold after the bell, refusing to let go until Naomi rushed into the ring, causing the third-generation Superstar to flee. Naomi and Natalya didn’t come to blows on SmackDown LIVE, but you can believe they will throw down in their title match this Sunday at SummerSlam.
After Natalya left the squared circle, Carmella arrived with James Ellsworth and held up her Money in the Bank contract before reminding Naomi and Natalya that no matter who wins the title on Sunday, the champion would be vulnerable.
Attempting to gain a measure of redemption against Rusev after falling to The Bulgarian Brute several weeks ago, Chad Gable bounded to the ring ready to go toe-to-toe with his much larger adversary. However, Rusev, who seemed intent on making a lasting impression on Randy Orton heading into their match at SummerSlam this Sunday, brutalized Gable in and out of the ring, hurling him over the announce table before the bout could get rolling. Rusev then viciously applied The Accolade on Gable on top of the commentary desk.
Following the beating, Rusev brazenly addressed The Apex Predator, but he immediately felt the devastating effects of an RKO out of nowhere when Orton suddenly appeared to take down the brute.
The message heading into their match this Sunday from The Viper to Rusev was crystal clear: It only takes one.
After dropping SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon with a Pele Kick in what appeared to be an accident last week, United States Champion AJ Styles attempted to apologize to Shane-O-Mac. Although Shane accepted, the matter quickly escalated when the Commissioner let The Phenomenal One know that although he believed last week to be an accident, there would be issues if Styles put his hands on him Sunday.
This didn’t sit well with Styles, and Kevin Owens arrived on the scene to try and prod the two further. After a cavalcade of chaos, the roles were reversed this week, as KO accidentally hit Shane with a head-ringing kick that sent the Commissioner to the canvas.
Owens was irate, Styles seemed to take some small satisfaction in the mistake and Shane began to realize that he would have his hands full on Sunday.
Big E, Kofi and Woods spoke with their usual positive pep before throwing fists with their dangerous adversaries. Clearly very familiar with each other after their many battles over the past several months, the two squads engaged in a thrilling contest. Yet, The Usos edged their rivals after methodically attacking Kofi’s knee and finishing him off with a double superkick to gain major momentum heading into The Biggest Event of the Summer, where they will challenge Big E and Woods for the gold.
With the animosity off the charts and both Superstars looking to make quite the statement heading into SummerSlam, Cena and Mahal took it to one another, with The Cenation Leader also having to fend off The Singh Brothers, who were lurking at ringside. However, the odds were evened when the official ejected Sunil & Samir after they tried to get involved.
The Modern-Day Maharaja and the 16-time World Champion continued to scrap it out, with Mahal gritting through and even managing to kick out of an Attitude Adjustment. However, following Cena connecting on Mahal with a Super AA from the turnbuckles, Baron Corbin rushed out and attacked The Cenation Leader before he could capitalize and pin Mahal. The Lone Wolf then proceeded to assault Cena, knocking him down with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
After exiting the ring, Corbin realized the amount of damage Mahal had absorbed and bolted back to the squared circle to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. The Lone Wolf handed the contract to the official, and the bell rang as soon as a staggered Mahal used the ropes to struggle back to his feet. However, Cena began to stir on the ring apron, so Corbin knocked him down with a firm punch to the face. The distraction allowed Mahal to sneak up behind The Lone Wolf and roll him up for the shocking pinfall.
In one of the most jaw-dropping moments in SmackDown LIVE history, Corbin’s Money in the Bank contract opportunity evaporated in mere seconds. Mahal heads to The Biggest Event of the Summer with his WWE Title in tow, while Corbin’s match with Cena this Sunday just got far more personal.