Santos Escobar moves one step closer to WWE United States Championship match

Jul 15, 2023 - by Staff

The WWE United States Championship Invitational kicked off on this week’s SmackDown and will wrap on the July 28 SmackDown.

The Invitational opened up with Santos Escobar winning a Fatal 4 Way over Grayson Waller, AJ Styles and Butch. Right when it looked like AJ was about to finish Butch off with a Styles Clash, Karrion Kross appeared on the big screen, choking out Karl Anderson. Luke Gallows was also laid out. Kross warned that he and Styles were not done, so AJ left the ring to go help his stablemates in The O.C. Waller dropped AJ at ringside, then rolled into the ring to hit Butch with his Stunner, but Escobar nailed a Frogsplash from the top to get the pin on Waller.

Next week’s SmackDown from Orlando will feature another Fatal 4 Way with LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Sheamus vs. 2023 WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio. The winner of next week’s Fatal 4 Way will advance to the July 28 SmackDown in New Orleans, to face Escobar in singles action. The winner of that match will be named the new #1 contender to WWE United States Champion Austin Theory, who was on commentary for last night’s match.

This was not confirmed but it’s likely that Theory will defend his title against the Invitational winner at WWE SummerSlam on August 5 in Detroit. Theory’s last title defense was a win over Sheamus on the July 7 SmackDown.

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