NXT Superstars Dakota Kai and Austin Theory both appeared in dark matches ahead of the August 6th edition of SmackDown.
Before SmackDown went on the air, fans in attendance got to see Austin Theory in action against Keith Lee and Dakota Kai defeat Aliyah. There was also a special appearance from WWE Ambassador Titus O’Neil.
The appearances came on the same night that WWE released numerous NXT Superstars. The latest cuts saw Superstars such as Bronson Reed, Leon Ruff and Mercedes Martinez depart the company.
Theory has appeared in numerous dark matches in recent weeks, previously taking on Odyssey Jones. The NXT Superstar also teamed with the returning Davey Boy Smith Jr on July 16th.
Meanwhile, Dakota Kai sent shockwaves through NXT on July 27th turning her back on her long-time friend and tag team partner Raquel Gonzalez. The pair had arrived in the ring to toast their success on the black and gold brand, but it quickly became apparent that Kai felt the partnership had lasted long enough. The former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion attacked Gonzalez from behind before hoisting the Women’s Title over her stricken rival.
After SmackDown came to an end, there was still one more surprise in store. Although he didn’t appear on the show itself, John Cena teamed with Rey and Dominik Mysterio to take on Roman Reigns and The Usos.
Cena’s team emerged victorious after he hit both Reigns and Jey Uso with the AA.
John Cena is set to meet Reigns at SummerSlam for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. After returning to WWE at Money In The Bank, Cena quickly laid down a challenge to Reigns. While Reigns initially turned down the challenge in favour of facing Finn Balor, Cena interrupted a contract signing between the two to write his own name on the dotted line.