– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX episode opens up with a video package looking at some the recent antics by RETRIBUTION. We also see their invasion of the WWE Performance Center on last Friday’s show.
– We’re live on a tape delay from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as the developmental trainees cheer in the crowd. Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves at ringside. Cole says WWE has taken precautions for RETRIBUTION tonight. We see how extra security has been hired to guard the entrances. They also hype tonight’s line-up.
Big E vs. John Morrison
We go right to the ring and out comes Big E as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. We get a pre-recorded video of Big E hyping himself up for this singles run. Out next comes John Morrison. We also get a pre-recorded vide of Morrison talking about how The New Day is injury prone.
The lights start flickering as the match is about to begin. A masked female member of RETRIBUTION appears on the apron. Big E and Morrison stop and look at her. She enters the ring and faces off with Big E and Morrison now. More masked men and women appear with weapons inside the Performance Center. Cole and Graves run to the back. Big E and Morrison start fighting the masked invaders but they’re beat down. Other members of the group are standing on top of the announce table, yelling and raising their weapons. They lay Big E and Morrison out as the boos get louder. RETRIBUTION now takes off and runs away to the back.
Big E is face down in the ring. Morrison is laid out on the floor at ringside. The Miz runs down and checks on Morrison as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and a group of Superstars are in the back. The Miz apologizes to John Morrison for not being there, noting that he had a call with Maryse. Morrison blames everything on Big E sending a tweet out. Miz and Morrison leave. King Baron Corbin enters and says we are under attack. No one wants to listen. He says we need direction and he is that guy. If everyone follows him, he can lead them to safety. He goes on and Big E tells him to shut his mouth. Big E says this is our house and he’ll be damned if the Foot Clan from Ninja Turtles runs up in here and puts their feet on his couch. Big E goes on and gets everyone hyped up. He says he will go back in the ring tonight, beat Morrison and show RETRIBUTION how it’s done. Big E says now is not the time to run and hide, it’s the time to fight. He asks who is with him and most everyone seems to be. Sheamus walks in and mocks Big E. Sheamus goes on and taunts Shorty G. Sheamus isn’t afraid of RETRIBUTION but if they had any sense at all, they’d be afraid. Big E isn’t backing down but he leaves and some of the others follow. Sheamus, Corbin and a few others look on.
– We go back to the arena and see extra security standing guard now.
Tri-Brand Battle Royal: Asuka, Tamina Snuka, Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Naomi, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are in the ring now – RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. They say RETRIBUTION actually wants to hear what they have to say and everyone else should too. Banks says everyone knows not to interrupt them. Bayley says it’s time to get this show going with the Tri-Brand Battle Royal. They keep ranting on the mic and now it’s time for the Battle Royal. They kick Hamilton out of the ring and say they are taking his job now.
Banks and Bayley start doing introductions for this match. They introduce The IIconics from RAW first – Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. The winner of this match will challenge Bayley for the blue brand title at SummerSlam. Banks and Bayley take shots at The IIconics as they enter the ring. WWE NXT Superstars Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart are introduced next. Bayley and Banks comment on the NXT stars idolizing them. Lacey Evans is introduced next and they mention her daughter. The next entrant is… Banks and Bayley are confused about this one. The music hits and out comes Asuka from RAW. Asuka hits the ring and brawls with the champs. They retreat to the floor and look on as Asuka raises Banks’ title in the air. The other competitors run down to the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings as everyone goes at it. Banks and Bayley watch from ringside. The IIconics work on Ruby Riott. Liv Morgan is almost dumped. Ruby gets kicked to the floor to save Liv. Tamina Snuka throws big punches in the corner. The IIconics both get eliminated, as does Ruby. Nikki Cross and Dana Brooke go at it now as Cross traps Brooke in the apron. Bianca Belair drops Tegan in the corner. Tamina fights off Shotzi and Tegan.
Naomi works on Lacey in the corner. Cross tries to attack Snuka but she just takes it. Snuka catches a crossbody and sends Cross to the apron but she hangs on. Snuka superkicks Cross out, eliminating her. Snuka with a double clothesline on Nox and Blackheart now. Belair and Snuka face off now, then they go at it. Shayna Baszler is down in the corner watching. Belair eliminates Snuka with a big move over the top rope. Naomi and Evans trade sots in the center of the ring now. Shotzi beats on Belair in the corner.
Naomi drops Baszler with a big kick. Evans eliminates Naomi with a Woman’s Right to boos. Shotzi eliminates Evans for a pop. Baszler grabs Shotzi and applies the Kirifuda Clutch. Evans pulls Shotzi out while she’s in the submission and she’s eliminated. Belair works on Nox now. Nox counters and rocks her. Belair overpowers but Nox keeps fighting. Nox eliminates Belair. It’s down to Asuka, Nox and Baszler now.
Nox unloads on Asuka and Baszler in the corners, with clotheslines and cannonballs. Nox drops Asuka face-first. Baszler botches a slam to Nox, but recovers. Dana helps Baszler eliminate Nox. It looks like Brooke was never eliminated. She has words with Banks and Bayley at ringside, then returns to the ring. Brooke dropkicks Baszler. Brooke handsprings into a Clutch from Baszler. Asuka with a Hip Attack to eliminate Brooke.
It’s down to Asuka and Baszler now. They size each other up as the champs look on worried. Baszler kicks Asuka from the top to the apron. Bayley tries to pull Asuka to the floor but Asuka kicks her back. Banks checks on Bayley but Asuka hits them both with a knee from the apron. Baszler knocks Asuka off the apron but she lands on Bayley and Banks’ backs. Asuka comes back to the apron and fights with Baszler. They tangle on the apron and Asuka dumps Baszler to the floor to get the win.
Winner and New #1 Contender to Bayley: Asuka
– Asuka now has SummerSlam title shots against Banks and Bayley. She celebrates as the music hits and we go to replays as The Golden Role Models look on, not happy with the result.
– Still to come, an update on Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose.
– Back from the break and we see Sasha Banks and Bayley backstage. Bayley isn’t happy about Asuka earning the right to face her at SummerSlam. They calm down some but Asuka suddenly attacks and beats her down. Asuka taunts Banks and Bayley as officials rush over to break things up.
– Cole leads us to a look at the Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose feud. Rose is backstage now. She cuts an intense promo on how she’s a hard worker despite everything against her. She thanks Deville for reminding her she’s more than just a pretty face. If Deville thought cutting her hair would destroy her… think again. Rose challenges Deville to a Hair vs. Hair match at SummerSlam. She tells Deville to put her money where her mouth is, and says she can’t wait to prove Deville wrong. Rose promises things will get ugly.
– Sheamus approaches some security guards in the back. He tells them to clock out and enjoy a few pints because RETRIBUTION won’t be showing up on his watch. They leave as Sheamus looks on. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Nikki Cross is pacing backstage when Alexa bliss walks up. Cross hugs her and apologizes for pushing her down two weeks ago and everything else. She asks what’s been going on but Bliss says she’s fine. Cross wants to get Bliss to safety because of The Fiend but Bliss says she wants to stay around here and get some answers from WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman. Bliss walks off.
Sheamus vs. Shorty G
We go back to the ring and out first comes Sheamus. We see what happened with Sheamus and Shorty G last week. The music hits now and out comes G to the ring.
The bell rings and they go at it. Sheamus unloads with back elbows in the corner, beating G down. Sheamus stays on G and sends him out to the apron. Sheamus with the series of forearms to the chest now, knocking G to the floor. Sheamus follows and brings G back into the ring. Sheamus with a big uppercut. G comes back with a dropkick to the knee, taking Sheamus down. G works on the left leg now.
G keeps Sheamus down with a body scissors now, mounting Sheamus with forearms to the face from behind. G looks to keep the momentum going but Sheamus levels him. Sheamus with an Irish Curse backbreaker and two big knees while G is down. Sheamus keeps control as the crowd rallies. G fights up and out but Sheamus knees him. G with a rolling kick. G goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick to take Sheamus down again.
G covers Sheamus for a 2 count. They tangle and G takes Sheamus down into an ankle lock. Sheamus reaches for the rope but G pulls him back. Sheamus gets out but G jackknifes him into a 2 count. Sheamus comes right back with White Noise in the middle of the ring. G gets up and turns around to a big Brogue Kick. Sheamus covers for the pin to win.
– After the match, Sheamus poses in the corner as the crowd boos. We go to replays. Sheamus stands tall and yells out as his music hits. We see G recovering on the mat.
– WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles is seen backstage yelling at WWE Producer Joseph Parks, who looks terrified as he shows AJ something on a screen. Graves says AJ is tired of facing challengers who aren’t worthy, so tonight we will see the debut of the Phenomenal Statistic System. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles. WWE Producer Joseph Parks is with him, but it looks like he’s playing a new character. There’s an easel in the middle of the ring but it’s covered up.
AJ says a lot of going on in WWE right now and nobody cares about these hooligans trying to tear stuff up. He says we have more pressing things to worry about, like who he will face at SummerSlam. AJ goes on about being a fighting champion and how nerds keep telling him who he should defend against based on statistics. AJ says it dawned on him – when he watches baseball he looks at batting averages. He also looks at statistics when he watches football. Then he realized he’s a handsome stud of a nerd himself, because he cares about statistics. AJ says it’s as easy as this – if you’re going to go by statistics, then he’s hired a team to come up with the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System or P.I.S.S. He says it’s a work in progress.
AJ says this doesn’t mean he’s just handing out title shots, he doesn’t hand anything out. You will earn this. He pulls off the top part of the easel covering and the whiteboard shows his name at the top in the #1 spot. He pulls off the rest of the covering to show who else is on the chart but there’s no one else. The crowd boos. AJ says no one else has earned the right to be in the ring with him. But here’s the truth – if you work hard, real hard, really, really hard, then one day you can make it on the board and face him for the title. The music interrupts and out comes Jeff Hardy to a pop.
Hardy mentions the respect he has for AJ and his career. He also talks about how Sheamus robbed him in the Intercontinental Title tournament. Jeff goes on about how special the Intercontinental Title is to him. Jeff goes on and says AJ has to admit that Styles vs. Hardy sounds mega-cool. A “mega-cool!” chant breaks out. Hardy says he’s out here, man to man, to ask AJ for a shot at the title. AJ says statistics aside, he respects Jeff and always had. They’ve known each other for a long time and Jeff has always been good to him. AJ admires what Jeff has been through and where he’s coming from. AJ says a lot of people would love to see them in the ring together. AJ goes on giving Jeff props and says he deserves to be on the board. AJ lures Jeff in and says “hell no!” to the title shot. AJ says hits won’t be a pity party… Jeff suddenly attacks AJ and beats him down. Jeff grabs the marker and writes his name on the whiteboard. Jeff stands tall as his music hits while AJ is laid out on the floor.
– Still to come, a face off between The Fiend and The Monster. Plus, Big E vs. John Morrison.
– We see SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura backstage. They put the belts on display and talk some about Lucha House Party not having a chance against them. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik suddenly creep up and snatch the titles, running away with them. The champs go after them as we return to a commercial break.
– Back from the break and Kayla Braxton stops AJ Styles and his assistant, Joseph Parks. Kayla asks about Jeff Hardy. AJ says Jeff assaulted him and doesn’t respect the title or him, or analytics. AJ says if Jeff wants a piece of him, he’s going to get it. AJ says he will show everyone what happens when you mess with him – you get erased. AJ turns to erase Jeff’s name off the whiteboard that his assistant is carrying, but he gets upset when he sees it’s written in permanent market. AJ fumes and tells his assistant to come on.
Gran Metalik vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
We go back to the ring and out comes Lucha House Party – Gran Metalik with Lince Dorado. The SmackDown Tag Team Champions are out next – Shinsuke Nakamura with Cesaro. We get a sidebar video with Cesaro cutting a promo on Lucha House Party.
The bell rings and they go at it. Nakamura takes Metalik to the corner and beats him down. Cesaro has regained possession of both titles as he stands with them at ringside. Nakamura keeps Metalik down and drops a big knee for a 2 count. Cole talks about how it’s rumored that SmackDown will be in a different venue next week, and live. Graves says there will be fan involvement that takes it to a new level.
The match continues as Metalik tries to mount some offense. Nakamura cuts him off and covers for another pin attempt. Nakamura with more big kicks now. Metalik with a crossbody. More back and forth now. Metalik slams Nakamura on his face. Metalik with a big springboard back elbow but Nakamura kicks out at 2. Metalik avoids an Exploder suplex and drops Nakamura with a kick.
Metalik goes to the top rope but Cesaro provides a distraction from the apron, allowing Nakamura to nail a big kick for a close 2 count. Nakamura tries for the Exploder and nails it this time. Nakamura waits for Metalik to get up. He calls for the Kinshasa but the music interrupts and out comes Kalisto to the stage, making his return. Cesaro and Nakamura are surprised. Lince and Kalisto end up double teaming Cesaro on the ramp. Kalisto drops him on the ramp with a big DDT. Metalik takes advantage in the ring and connect with a big elbow drop for the pin to win.
Winner: Gran Metalik
– After the match, the champs fume as Lucha House Party stands together in the ring. Their music hits as Cesaro and Nakamura regroup.
– We see Alexa Bliss backstage preparing for her sitdown interview. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Kayla is with Matt Riddle in the back. She asks about King Baron Corbin and his King’s Ransom, and RETRIBUTION. Riddle says a bounty on your head isn’t cool but he came here to compete and he wants to compete, but Corbin walks around calling himself a king but he’s just a royal pain. Riddle says he’s called Corbin out and tried to fight him, even costing him a match with Sheamus last week. Riddle doesn’t know what else to do. Shorty G walks up and says he has to explain himself. He has a family to feed and got caught up in the King’s Ransom, but that doesn’t justify what he did. Trying to injure another Superstar is not him and he’s embarrassed. G came here to apologize face to face, man to man. He extends his hand for a shake and Riddle says it’s all good, he gets it. Riddle says if G ever wants to go at it, let him know because The Bro is up for a fight. Corbin suddenly attacks Riddle from behind and beats him down. Corbin talks down at Riddle as G looks on, not impressed with the sneak attack. Corbin thanks G for helping him but it looks like G wasn’t involved. Corbin walks off.
– Cole sends us to Alexa Bliss backstage. She’s being interviewed by an unknown interviewer. She talks about how she previously got to know WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman. We see some clips from their past together. She says Strowman is awesome, a good man, funny and witty, protective, passionate. They get along so well because they call each other on their crap. They can be fun with each other and be best friends. The interviewer asks if she thought it would become more than a friendship, like romantically? She asks. She says maybe because they both cared about each other. He asks if that’s why “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt targeted her. She doesn’t know, that’s a question for The Fiend. He asks what it’s like to be in The Fiend’s presence. She says it’s scary, terrifying, and also compelling. She says once you’ve interacted with The Fiend, it’s almost like you can just feel his presence. For the first time in her life she understands what they say when they say “a moth to a flame.” We see Braun’s comments from last week where he told The Fiend that he doesn’t give a damn about Bliss, all he cares about is destroying The Fiend because he is The Monster. He asks Bliss how that made her feel. Bliss thinks about it and doesn’t say anything. She just looks away and the interview ends. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cole confirms AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy for next week. The Intercontinental Title will be on the line.
– Sonya Deville is backstage. She addresses Mandy Rose and says she was surprised to hear her Hair vs. Hair challenge for SummerSlam. Deville says Rose is going to look great bald. Deville goes on taking shots at Rose and says she will destroy her once and for all. Deville accepts the challenge for SummerSlam.
Big E vs. John Morrison
We go back to the ring and Big E vs. John Morrison is beginning. The Miz is on commentary. Morrison with kicks to the hurt knee of Big E to start. Big E comes back and puts Morrison down with a shoulder.
Morrison comes back and drops Big E for a 2 count. Morrison shows off some and taunts Big E while he’s down. Big E dodges a kick and leaps over Morrison, then rocks him with a shoulder bump. More back and forth now. Morrison tries to springboard in but Big E knocks him out of mid-air, to the floor. Miz looks concerned. They bring it back in and Big E levels Morrison again for another pop. Big E pounds on Morrison with forearms while he’s down now. Big E goes on and hits a big splash on the apron while Morrison is down.
Morrison rolls to the floor now. Big E follows and taunts Morrison. Miz gets up and encourages Morrison. Miz ends up providing a distraction at ringside, allowing Morrison to come from behind and take Big E’s knee out. The crowd boos. Morrison brings it back in for a 2 count. Morrison grounds Big E now. Otis comes out with his Money In the Bank briefcase, having words with Miz. The lights start flickering again in the arena. Cole calls for security and Miz looks around as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see security out around the arena. The SmackDown locker room is also out around the ringside area. The lights start flickering again as the Big E vs. Morrison match goes on. The camera cuts backstage and we see RETRIBUTION members destroying catering. They attack referees and then take out a security guard with a steel chair after he runs in. They continue destroying the room, throwing chairs around and turning tables over. They bully other people and start spray painting the walls.
We go back to the match as Morrison drops Big E with a kick for a 2 count. A referee finally runs out and tells the Superstars about what’s happening backstage. They run to the back as Morrison and Big E keep fighting. Miz also stays on commentary and says he will let the others deal with RETRIBUTION. Morrison takes out Big E’s hurt knee again. We see the SmackDown Superstars rush to the back to find the room destroyed. RETRIBUTION is gone. We go back to the ring and Morrison climbs to the top with Big E. Big E fights back and shoves him to the mat.
Morrison charges but Big E catches him with the Uranage for a close 2 count. The crowd rallies and Morrison avoids the Big Ending. Morrison turns it around and delivers a kick but Big E rolls him for a 2 count. Morrison tries to resist but Big E catches him in the Stretch Muffler submission for the win.
Winner: Big E
– After the match, Big E stands tall as his music hits. He rolls to the floor to leave as Miz checks on Morrison. Big E is suddenly leveled at ringside by a big Brogue Kick from Sheamus, who runs down the ramp as Big E is exiting the ring. WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman suddenly comes out yelling, with a freshly shaved head, but still with his beard. Strowman stares at the ring and marches down as the others retreat. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman is in the ring with his new bald look.
Strowman delivers a message to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and says he warned him after the Swamp Fight that he would bet he most evil son of a bitch we’ve ever seen. Strowman calls The Fiend to the ring so he can rip him from limb to limb. Strowman says he will be the last thing The Fiend sees before he eats out his entrails. The music hits and out comes Alexa Bliss instead.
Bliss says at the risk of upsetting Braun more, she thinks she owes it to their friendship to have a conversation. He asks about what. She doesn’t believe his comments from last week when he said he doesn’t give a damn about her. She says they’ve been friends for years but he disagrees, saying she used him as a pawn. Strowman goes on about how Bliss played him for some clown. He says everyone can get it now, including Bliss. He tells her to get out of his ring so he can deal with The Fiend. She tells him to be careful for what he wishes for. She threatens to slap some sense into him if he won’t listen. She yells at him to look at her when she’s talking. Strowman turns but she starts slapping him over and over, telling him to wake up.
Strowman scoops Bliss and presses her high above his head. The lights start going out as Strowman still has Bliss held above his head. It sounds like The Fiend is making his arrival. Strowman yells and asks where he is. Strowman tosses Bliss through the air right as the lights go out all the way. The red lights come back up and we see Bliss down on the mat, but didn’t actually see Strowman throw her to the mat. The Fiend is standing over Bliss but there’s no sign of Strowman. The Fiend looks around and Strowman appears on the big screen. He’s just laughing. The Fiend clutches his own head and starts laughing in his mask. Braun keeps laughing until he yells out at The Fiend. The Fiend looks up from Bliss as he and Strowman stare at each other, Strowman still on the big screen. The screen flashes with a shot of The Fiend and we hear him say “Let me in!” as SmackDown goes off the air.