– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves. We see WWE NXT developmental trainees in the crowd as “fans” for the show.
– We see Jeff Hardy backstage with some crew members and he’s in a much better mood this week. Cole shows us a video package that recaps last week’s hit & run angle with Hardy and Elias. We also see clips from the main event for the finals of the Intercontinental Title tournament with Sheamus vs. winner Daniel Bryan, and the Sheamus vs. Hardy feud.
– We go to the ring and out comes Jeff Hardy. Cole says Elias has been released from the hospital but could miss a few months of action.
Hardy takes the mic and says it’s good to see everyone. He thanks WWE and FOX management for allowing him time to get this off his chest. He says everyone witnessed something awful last week, the show was thrown into chaos, and a very good man, Elias, walked away with serious injuries that could be worse. Hardy says it’s not a pretty picture, so let him paint you a different portrait, from his point of view. Hardy says he pulled up to the Performance Center parking lot, excited for the show, and got out of the car but was then hit with something big. It was dark and when he came to, police were everywhere, he reeked of alcohol, he was out of it and in trouble with the law. He started to question everything he’s fought for in recent months, his family. How could he let his wife and daughters down? How could he explain this and how many more times could he beg for forgiveness?
Hardy gets a bit emotional as the crowd cheers for him. Hardy says it’s all good because he’s here for a reason and in WWE for a reason. Hardy says it’s good to know he’s on this path alone. He knew deep in his heart that he didn’t slip last week. He recalls being in the police department, passing all tests they threw at him, and then a witness came in to say that the culprit had red hair and a red beard. Hardy was free to go, but furious. He couldn’t wait to get back to SmackDown because we all know who fits that description. He addresses Sheamus and says he will be damned if he lets Sheamus get away with what he did. The music hits and out comes Sheamus to some boos.
Sheamus says Hardy has been blaming others for his problems all his life. Sheamus goes on and accuses Hardy’s fans of lying to the police. He says they are enablers. They have more words and Sheamus tells Jeff to be a man for once in his life and admit he was wrong. Sheamus says Jeff won’t do that because he’s not a man, he’s just a junkie. Sheamus says Jeff shouldn’t worry about disappointing his family again because they’re used to it. Jeff has had enough. He heads up the ramp to fight. He ducks a Brogue Kick and they go at it. Sheamus gets the upperhand on the stage and beats him down. Sheamus ends up hitting the big kick and sending Jeff into the Plexiglas barriers over and over. Sheamus stands over Hardy at ringside as referees check on him. Sheamus yells “Fella!” and stands tall as his music plays.
– Otis is walking backstage with Mandy Rose. They come up on the cape and crown of King Baron Corbin. He asks if he should try it on and she tells him to go for it. Otis puts the crown on and goofs off as they walk off together. We briefly go to the announcers and then back to Corbin, who is furious about his crown going missing. A crew member tells him Otis walked off with it. Corbin is furious as he heads to the ring for their match and we go to commercial.
Otis vs. King Baron Corbin
Back from the break and out first comes Otis with his Money In the Bank briefcase, and Mandy Rose. We get a replay of their pool segment last week. King Baron Corbin is out next.
Corbin unloads to start the match. Otis comes back and sends Corbin to the floor. Corbin comes right back in but Otis sends him right back out. Otis follows but Corbin knocks him into the apron and then sends him face-first into the ring post as Mandy cheers her man on. Corbin brings it back in and sends Otis into the corner, then runs out and back in. Otis side-steps a clothesline but Corbin comes right back with a big side-slam for a close 2 count.
Corbin keeps control and rocks Otis with strikes in the corner. Corbin with body shots and more offense in the corner. Otis kicks out at 2. Corbin keeps Otis in the corner and manhandles him some by the neck now. The “fans” chant for Otis now. Otis keeps fighting and looks to turn it around but Corbin kicks away. Otis just takes them and hulks up. Otis starts to mount some offense now. Otis with a big overhead suplex. Otis goes on and hits a corner splash. Otis calls for the Caterpillar but Corbin rolls to the floor.
Corbin stalls some as Otis approaches. Corbin grabs a steel chair and sends it into Otis’ gut for the disqualification as the referee calls the match.
Winner by DQ: Otis
– After the bell, Corbin delivers more chair shots. They bring it back in the ring but Otis comes back and drops Corbin. Otis does the Caterpillar and drops the elbow on Corbin. Otis celebrates with Rose as his music hits.
– Still to come, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan face off. Also, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross will defend in tonight’s main event.
– We see The Miz and John Morrison outside in some type of surveillance or production fan. They’re going to mess with WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman tonight. They watch Strowman drive into the parking lot and park his car. Strowman gets out and wheels his luggage into the building as Miz and Morrison watch, laughing at what they have in mind. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see The Miz and John Morrison outside in their van. They talk about how everyone has criticized them since they challenged WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman to a Handicap Match. It comes as no surprise because these same people have doubted them for years. They go on and say Strowman came to work without a care in the world tonight but that’s about to change. They warn that some people won’t like what we’re about to see, some will think it’s low brow and juvenile, but it’s actually strategic. By the time they get to Backlash, Strowman’s life will be a living hell. The camera shows Strowman inside filling up his cup with water but it sends liquid flying everywhere. Was that milk? Strowman fumes as Miz and Morrison laugh in the van. “Wash these hands!” That’s the end of the segment.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Shorty G, congratulating him on last week’s win over Cesaro. Mojo Rawley appears and taunts Shorty. He says we have bigger things to talk about this week, like his boy Rob Gronkowski getting robbed for the WWE 24/7 Title. Mojo picks on Shorty’s height and he’s not impressed. He turns to leave but Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura attack him. Mojo joins in until SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day make the save.
Sonya Deville vs. Lacey Evans
We go back to the ring and out comes Lacey Evans. Sonya Deville suddenly attacks her before she can get to the ring, dropping her at ringside. Deville enters the ring and is all smiles as Evans recovers at ringside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and they lock up to go at it. Evans takes Deville down and they talk some trash. Deville goes behind and they trade holds. Deville with an elbow to the jaw and a takedown to ground Evans. They break and Deville taunts Evans some more. More back and forth now. Evans sweeps Deville from the apron and launches herself over the top rope with an elbow drop for a 1 count.
Evans takes Deville from corner to corner. Evans climbs onto Deville with a leg around the neck submission. Deville fights out of the corner and slaps Evans while talking trash. Deville drops Evans in the corner and mocks her some more as the “fans” boo. Deville uses the middle rope on Evans as the referee warns her. Deville with a big kick to the knee. Deville with a knee in the corner and a clothesline. Deville stands on Evans’ hair now to keep control. Deville with a kick to the face but Evans sends her face into the turnbuckle. Evans takes Deville down and delivers knee strikes to the head on the apron.
Evans launches herself in with a roll-up. Deville rolls into the referee and he’s selling a leg injury now. The referee tells them both to back as he calls for help. We go to commercial with the referee unable to stand.
Back from the break and a new referee has joined the match, replacing the injured official. Deville continues to dominate Evans and place her foot down on the steel steps with a boot. Deville brings it back into the ring but Evans kicks out at 2. Deville scoops Evans on her shoulders but she fights free. They go on and collide, both going down in the middle of the ring but it looks like Evans connected with a clothesline.
Deville gets up first but Evans clotheslines her twice. Evans with a series of knee strikes and a kick to the back of the head. Evans flattens Deville with a running knee. Evans with more offense in the corner now. Evans goes back to the middle rope and springboards up to the top for the moonsault but Deville still kicks out. Evans runs into a knee and a right hand. Evans sends her back into the ropes as the referee warns her by the count. Deville sends Evans back down with trash talking. Deville charges with the running knee and another 2 count. Deville is frustrated now.
Mandy Rose appears on the big screen. She talks trash to Deville and says she’s a failure, not a fighter. Deville screams back at Rose and dares her to come to the ring, calling her a Barbie Doll. Evans takes advantage and drops Deville with a Woman’s Right. Evans covers for the pin to win.
Winner: Lacey Evans
– After the match, Rose looks on from the big screen and smiles as Evans celebrates the win. Deville rolls to the floor clutching her neck.
– Still to come, Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in the main event. Also, Shorty G and The New Day vs. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and Mojo Rawley. AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan will meet next. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a Matt Riddle vignette. He says he is at the top of the food chain and we will never forget his name.
– The Miz and John Morrison are back in their van and they have another prank for Braun Strowman while he’s with Kayla Braxton. Slime falls from the ceiling but covers Braxton instead. Strowman apologizes and says he knows this was meant for him. Miz yells at Morrison for rigging it up wrong. Braxton is furious as she walks off – “Those bastards!” Strowman is also upset as he walks off.
– Cole announces Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles as the Grand Marshals of the NASCAR race from Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday, June 10. It will air on FS1.
– We go to the ring and Renee Young is out with a mic. She introduces her first guest for tonight and out comes Daniel Bryan to a “Yes!” chant. AJ Styles is out next. Bryan and AJ will do battle for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Title on next Friday’s show. The title is on display on a podium in the middle of the ring.
They have some words over last week’s tournament finals. AJ says if Jeff Hardy didn’t interfere last week, Sheamus would’ve won and be where Bryan is standing tonight. AJ says Bryan will call him a coward for taking the bye in the tournament to get to next week’s finals. Renee asks Bryan if AJ is a coward. Bryan says AJ is but they both have different ways of thinking. AJ says he did the smart thing when Renee asks if he took the bye because he’s never been Intercontinental Champion. AJ says he sees himself as a champion, the greatest WWE’s ever had. Bryan is all heart. Yeah he’s doing the right thing but it’s stupid. Bryan says AJ is trying to get under his skin and it’s not working. They’ve known each other for a long time, long enough to know they both have different world views and views of what it means to be Intercontinental Champion. Bryan says AJ would probably only defend against a select few that he felt worthy. Bryan goes on and calls AJ a coward. Bryan says he would defend the title every single week, whether it’s against a veteran or up & comer. Bryan goes on and gets fired up for a pop. AJ says it sounds like Bryan just wants him to give a hand out, which he doesn’t believe in. AJ believes in earning an opportunity.
AJ says speaking of opportunities, how did Drew Gulak get the chance to be Bryan’s coach, or even work in WWE at all? AJ says that sounds like a hand out. If they can’t agree on what their visions are, AJ believes it’s a handout and Bryan believes it’s an opportunity, how about AJ reach across the aisle and do something unexpected – give Gulak an opportunity tonight. AJ knows Gulak is in the back, and calls him to come to the ring to get his handout, aka his ass whipping. The music hits and out comes Gulak as AJ and Bryan have words in the ring. Gulak immediately hits the ring and attacks AJ, taking him down. AJ retreats and goes right to the floor as we go back to commercial.
AJ Styles vs. Drew Gulak
Back from the break and AJ Styles takes control of Drew Gulak early on. AJ works Gulak over as Daniel Bryan watches from ringside, encouraging Gulak.
Gulak turns it around and grounds AJ in a shoulder submission. AJ gets free but Gulak keeps control. AJ rocks Gulak with forearms and kicks into the corner now. AJ takes Gulak down and kicks him in the back. Bryan tries to rally the crowd for Gulak. AJ goes on and drops Gulak with a backbreaker for a 2 count. More back and forth now. AJ runs into a boot in the corner but Gulak runs into a huge clothesline.
AJ grounds Gulak in the middle of the ring now. Gulak fights up and out with shots to the gut. Gulak unloads on AJ in the corner with punches. AJ ducks a shot and chops Gulak into the corner. AJ misses a big right hand into the corner. Gulak comes back with clotheslines, a back elbow and a clothesline to get fired up for a pop. Gulak with a running clothesline in the corner and a big overhead suplex. Gulak waits for AJ to get up and drops him with a Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count. Gulak takes AJ up on his shoulders but AJ rakes at the eyes and gets free as the referee was unable to see. AJ goes on and drops Gulak with the inverted DDT in front of Bryan.
AJ goes for the Styles Clash while staring at Bryan but Gulak counters and stacks him into the bridge for the surprise pin out of nowhere.
Winner: Drew Gulak
– After the bell, Gulak immediately goes out to the floor to celebrate with Bryan as a shocked AJ looks on. AJ yells out at Bryan and Gulak as we go to replays.
– A security camera and regular camera shows The Miz and John Morrison outside walking over to Braun Strowman’s car. We also see security outside of the door. They walk over to Strowman’s car with weapons in hand. Miz says it’s a good thing he’s been working on his golf game. He yells “fore!” and smashes Braun’s windshield with a golf club. Morrison pulls out a wooden baseball bat and does more damage to the windshield as Miz cheers him on. They celebrate the damage and go back to their van so they can wait and watch the look on Strowman’s face when he comes back out. Back to commercial.
The New Day and Shorty G vs. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura and Mojo Rawley
Back from the break and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day – Kofi Kingston and Big E. They bring Shorty G out next and here he comes down the ramp. Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hits next and out he comes with Cesaro and Mojo Rawley. They head to the ring together.
The two teams have words as the bell rings. Cesaro and G start off. G charges but Cesaro catches him and lifts but G slides out for a roll-up 2 count. Cesaro powers up again but G takes him down again. Cesaro levels G with a knee. G avoids the abdominal stretch with a leg whip. Big E tags in but Cesaro uppercuts him. Mojo tags in and levels Big E with a crossbody for a 2 count. The New Day end up turning it around on Nakamura. G tags in and keeps Nakamura down. Big E tags in for a splash on Nakamura. Kofi follows up with a splash from the middle rope on Nakamura but he kicks out at 2.
Kofi runs the ropes and leaps out, taking Cesaro down on the floor. Kofi clutches his leg and sells a knee injury off the landing. Mojo runs over and runs through Kofi while he’s trying to recover. We go to commercial with Kofi back down on the outside with Cesaro.
Back from the break and Cesaro has Kofi grounded in the ring. Kofi fights out but Cesaro slams him over his knee to stop the tag. Kofi kicks out at 2. Mojo tags in and stomps on Kofi while talking trash. Mojo works Kofi over and taunts his other opponents for boos from the crowd. Mojo ends up on the floor but he comes right back in and knocks Big E off the apron while G ducks. Kofi takes advantage and drops Mojo on his head. G tags in and goes at it. G knocks Nakamura off the apron and unloads on Mojo with strikes. Cesaro runs in but G back-drops him and he rolls to the floor.
G with the rolling kick to Mojo in the corner. G charges again with a running neckbreaker. G goes to the top for a moonsault to Mojo but he kicks out just in time. More back and forth. G blocks Mojo’s Hyper Drive and applies the ankle lock in the middle of the ring. G drops down on it but Nakamura runs in with a sliding knee to break it up. Nakamura counters the Big Ending from Big E. Cesaro uppercuts G to break his Sleeper on Mojo while the referee is distracted. Kofi leaps off the steps on the outside to take down Nakamura on the floor again.
Mojo goes on in the ring and nails the Hyper Drive but G still kicks out at 2. G knocks Cesaro off the apron to prevent him from interfering. Mojo tries to capitalize but G ducks and tags in Big E. G leaps out but Cesaro and Nakamura catch him. Kofi and Big E hit the big double team on Mojo while G holds the legs of Cesaro and Nakamura, preventing them from running in. Mojo gets dropped with the double team for the pin.
Winners: The New Day and Shorty G
– After the match, G and The New Day stand tall as the music hits.
– We see The Miz and John Morrison in their surveillance van again. Braun Strowman comes out and is furious after seeing his windshield destroyed. He screams out about wanting to know where Miz and Morrison are. He asks a security guard where they are and he points to the van. Strowman, still wearing some of the slime from earlier, marches to the van as they lock the doors. Strowman yells for them to get out and starts beating on it. Strowman looks at the camera and says they are dead men. They laugh and think they’re protected by the van. Strowman starts rocking the van and they’re screaming out afraid now. Strowman tips the van up on its side. The camera shows Miz and Morrison falling all over the van as Strowman tips it over. Strowman says they’re not funny, that’s funny. He screams out and walks off as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy is confirmed for Backlash.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles Match: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley are out next.
The bell rings and Cross attacks Bayley to start. Cross goes right to work and tags in Bliss. Bliss slams Bayley to the mat and drops knees to the gut. Cross comes back in for a basement dropkick and a 2 count. Cross sends Bayley into the corner and keeps control. Bliss tags in and mocks Banks, then slaps Bayley to the mat in the corner. Bayley blocks a suplex and talks some trash to Bliss. Bayley rams her into the corner and in comes Banks.
Banks goes to work on Bliss now. Bayley tags back in and slaps Bliss in the face while she’s being held. Bliss rolls Bayley up for a 2 count at one point. Bliss rams Bayley into the corner and tags in Cross. Cross drops Bayley again for a 2 count. Bayley goes to the floor for a breather but Cross stays on her, then sends Banks into the ring post. Cross with a crossbody from the apron to Bayley on the floor. Bayley and Banks end up sending Cross to the floor from the apron. Banks tags in and delivers a Meteora to Cross on the floor. We go to commercial with Banks standing tall.
Banks and Bayley with a big double team to Cross after the break. Bayley covers for a 2 count. Bayley keeps control as Bliss tries to rally for her partner. Bliss finally gets the hot tag and unloads on both challengers. Bliss takes them both down with strikes and a dropkick. Bliss with knees and more knees to Bayley while she’s down. Bliss goes to the top for Twisted Bliss but Banks runs over on the apron. Bliss kicks her away but Bayley uses the distraction to rock Bliss up top.
Bayley climbs up and talks trash, then delivers a Bayley-to-Belly from the second rope. Banks comes in with a running knee to Bliss but she still kicks out at 2. Banks shows some frustration. Bliss turns it back around on Banks, sending her into the turnbuckle. Cross runs interference and ends up dropping Bayley on the floor with a big tornado DDT. Bliss drops Banks on her head with a Sunset Bomb for another close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Cross tags in and goes to the top for a crossbody on Banks. Banks kicks out at 2. Banks crawls for a tag but Bayley is still down on the floor.
Banks blocks Cross’ slingshot neckbreaker.. Banks with a Backstabber after Bayley tags in. Bayley comes in and there’s some miscommunication with Banks. Banks goes to the floor and looks shocked at Bayley as she tries to make Cross submit. Cross gets out and drops Bayley for a 2 count as Banks makes the save. More back and forth now. Banks with the Backstabber on Cross in the middle of the ring. Bayley stops Bliss from coming back in the ring. Cross and Banks tangle on the mat and it ends with Banks rolling Cross up with a Crucifix for the pin to win the titles.
Winners and New SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley
– After the match, Banks and Bayley celebrate with the titles as the music hits. Bayley runs around with both titles and yells at the announcers like a fool. Bliss asks Cross what happened and she’s frustrated. Banks and Bayley continue celebrating with the titles. Banks holds her title in the air while Bayley screams about her titles being too heavy. SmackDown on FOX goes off the air.