Four of the WWE's most thrilling and promising talents were set to face off in a tag match in the main event of tonight's Battleground go-home edition of SmackDown Live from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
But with so much top-tier talent in one match, things were sure to boil over, as Baron Corbin once again attacked Shinsuke Nakamura during his theatrical ring entrance, leading to an all out brawl that nearly ended the match prematurely.
They might have been tag team partners tonight, but Shinsuke Nakamura had his eyes on AJ Styles United States Title belt. In a backstage promo prior to tonight's main event, the Artist sent an ominous message to his partner... "One day, YOU call, I answer!"
Kevin Owens is on a quest to regain the US Championship that AJ Styles won from him at Madison Square Garden a couple of weeks back. The two will rematch this Sunday at Battleground, but before KO gets that opportunity, he had to team with Baron Corbin to take on the duo of Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura on tonight's SmackDown Live.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin (who holds the Money In The Bank contract) have been involved in a personal feud of sorts. Baron Corbin is flying high ever since his victory at Money in the Bank. Emboldened by his showing in the ladder match, he went straight after possibly the most dangerous man in the WWE today, Shinsuke Nakamura.
They are also slated to battle it out at Battleground this Sunday.
Last week, Nakamura and Corbin were booked in a singles match that never even got underway. The pair have been making a habit of attacking each other before they even make it to the ring, so the odds were good tonight's match could end up being a pull apart brawl.
Styles and Owens, on the other hand, faced each other in a tag team environment just last week (alongside Battleground opponents John Cena and Rusev), but their rivalry is far from over.
Though Owens and Corbin emerged the victors in tonight's tag match by ganging up on AJ Styles, Styles was the true stand-out, proving why he's seen as the face SmackDown was built on. But he'll have to watch his back, as all three contenders seem to have their sights set on his US Championship Title belt, plus there's a number of patriotic forces and foreign heels just waiting in the wings on the SmackDown Live Roster.
While it delivered on all fronts, this match was just a glimpse of what fans can expect at the upcoming pay-per-view, this Sunday, July 23rd on the WWE Network.