Bengaluru, July 9: Tonight marks the final TV episode for WWE before the most extreme night of the year named Extreme Rules. As expected, the storylines from Smackdown Live will receive the final boost in order to add hype to the pay-per-view event. So WWE has already announced a number of segments to make it a jam-packed edition featuring dual headliner matches.
One of the headliners will see Kevin Owens battle against Dolph Ziggler while the other one is a first-time ever battle as Finn Balor returns to action against Shinsuke Nakamura. Plus, there will be a summit comprising the teams from Extreme Rules triple threat match. Also, the mystery surrounding Aleister Black may be known when tonight's Smackdown airs from the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Sony TEN 1 and Sony TEN 1HD will telecast WWE Smackdown Live in India on Wednesday (July 10) from 5.30 AM IST, while the repeat will be shown later in the day at 1 PM, 5 PM and 9 PM.
It was not hard to predict that we are about to receive a marquee match after what happened on last week's Smackdown. Kevin Owens 'stunned' Dolph Ziggler to hint that he is turning into a babyface, yet again. So a match was evident to take place between them and it was clarified later by WWE.com,
"Though they were given a chance to earn their way into the SmackDown Tag Team Title Match at Extreme Rules by defeating Heavy Machinery, KO and The Showoff could not get on the same page. By match’s end, Owens and Ziggler were trading fists with one another as opposed to Otis & Tucker. SmackDown LIVE went off the air with KO dropping The Showoff with a Stunner, and in the aftermath of that, the two will collide in the one-on-one competition this Tuesday night."
Primarily, WWE's goal must have been to insert these two in a match at Extreme Rules. The same plan should be intact as these two are main-event caliber talents. So we expect their match to end in a count-out or DQ to set up the rematch for this Sunday. Since it's an extreme night, a stipulation should be attached to the contest.
The other main event of the night will see the Intercontinental Champion finally return to action for the first time since Super ShowDown. The same can be said about his opponent whom we haven't seen either since the Wrestlemania season. So the otherwise dream match for some of the fans will happen with zero buildups. WWE.com still found a storyline perspective as these two shared a backstage moment on June 25th episode of Smackdown,
"Shinsuke Nakamura eyed-up Intercontinental Champion Finn Bálor and, seemingly, his title two weeks ago on SmackDown LIVE. Nakamura will now get up-close-and-personal with Bálor when the two face-offs this Tuesday night. Can The King of Strong Style topple The Extraordinary Man and cause a major ripple effect on the Intercontinental Championship picture?"
Finn Balor does not have a challenger for his title right now which gives the upper hand to Nakamura. A win against the IC title-holder seems inevitable for him as WWE can put these two into Extreme Rules match card. So we predict Nakamura to pick up a win by his heel antics to become the new number one contender for the Intercontinental title and thereby ensure a match in the PPV.
A potential exciting segment awaits us on Smackdown when the competitors for the tag team title match gather in the same ring. WWE has promoted this one as a Tag Team Summit where Daniel Bryan & Rowan come face to face with The New Day and Heavy Machinery. There could be some hilarious elements during this segment courtesy of the challengers. But in the end, a usual physical brawl might break as the tensions among these teams are quite high.
Aleister Black has been waiting for months to receive an opponent on Smackdown Live. His prayers have finally been answered by an anonymous locker room member. We are likely to know about his identity as per the confirmations from the official website. With that being said, another match will get added to Extreme Rules. Speculations around the internet suggest names like Randy Orton or Cesaro as the ones to answer Black's call to set up a fresh PPV match.
Plus, the two prime championship storylines will also receive a final push on Smackdown. Currently, neither of the challengers (Samoa Joe and Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross) for the WWE and the women’s titles are scheduled for an appearance on the show. However, the Wild Card Rule may make a way for them to appear and deliver one final statement towards the respective men and women’s division champions, Kofi Kingston and Bayley.