The New Daniel Bryan returns to SmackDown STILL WWE Champion! But without wasting any time, a new #1 Contender to the title will be determined for Fastlane!
- Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Black wins.
- The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano; Ciampa & Gargano win.
- Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville; Rose wins.
- Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY; Ricochet wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe; Kingston, Styles & Hardy win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shane McMahon heads to the ring!
Shane O’Mac is back in New Orleans, but not as a SmackDown Tag Team Champion. He and The Miz lost to Jimmy & Jey Uso at Elimination Chamber, but that’s not even the biggest thing to come out of that PPV. The WWE Championship Elimination Chamber closed the night, and Kofi Kingston stole the show! Kofi gave it his all against Daniel Bryan, but one missed splash changed everything, and the Planet’s Champion still has that title belt. The WWE Universe showed Kofi Kingston love, but where does Kofi go from here? Aside from tonight’s major main event, that is.
As for Shane, New Orleans is happy to see him and he’s happy to see them. Shane notes the amazing main event tag match, and the NXT superstars debuting on last night’s Raw. Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black and Ricochet all impressed Shane so well that he’s invited them here to SmackDown tonight! But first, The Miz makes his entrance. The A-Lister apologizes for interrupting but he has to get this other apology out. Roughly 48 hours ago, Miz lost their titles. No matter where he goes or what he does, he can’t shake the guilt. Shane took a chance on Miz, and Miz knows his reputation in the locker room. Shane still took that risk because of Miz’s passionate plea. But to make a confession, Miz was just using Shane.
Miz knew Shane could relate about their dads being proud of them. Fans chant “Dad! Dad!” Miz got hurt at the World Cup tournament and Shane stepped in for him. When Miz wanted to be a tag team partner, Shane revealed he wanted to be a tag team champion. Miz always puts his all into making the titles he holds the best titles in the company. And they did that together. Shane surprised Miz by bringing out his dad. As Mr. Miz walked out, he said he was proud of The Miz. That was the first time Miz heard those words. Miz gets a little emotional as he says that was the best moment in his career and one of the best moments in his life. And it was all thanks to Shane, so Miz thanks Shane now.
But then in their first title defense, Miz let Shane down and he is sorry for that. Miz can’t change the past but he can control the future. There are no automatic rematches anymore, but Shane’s a McMahon. If anyone can make a rematch, it’s Shane. Fans want a rematch, too! And Miz knows Shane wants a rematch, too! Fans chant “Rematch! Rematch!” but out come the Usos! The NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions shout “Whoa! Whoa!” Wait for it. WHOA! It sounds like the WWE Universe want to see The Miz & Shane VS the brand new tag team champions! The Usos know there’s nothing automatic anymore. Maybe if Shane can forgive Miz, then the Usos will give them a second chance at being the Best Tag Team in the World.
But there’s a reason he shouldn’t, though: Miz is a joke. He’s a loser. A failure. A fraud. Miz is a wannabe A-Lister with C-List skill! Shane should ask Miz, because apparently Miz is a crybaby. Shane needs a better partner, because Miz ain’t cutting it. But Shane stands up for Miz! Do not disrespect his tag partner. The rematch is on! And it’ll be in Cleveland for Fastlane! Fans aren’t happy it isn’t tonight, but the rematch is happening! And that is AWESOME! Will the Co-Besties be back on top in Miz’s hometown? Or will the second visit to the Uso Penitentiary be their last?
Aleister Black VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The Embodiment of the End made Elias #DriftAway and #FadetoBlack, and now he’s making his SmackDown debut the very next night! And he also revisits a feud from when both he and El Idolo were in NXT! Will history repeat itself on the main roster? Or will their time apart bring about a different result?
SmackDown returns as Almas and Vega make their entrance. The bell rings and fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” Aleister and Almas circle and tie up. Almas gets the wristlock but Aleister rolls and sweeps. Cover, ONE, and Almas sweeps to cover. ONE and Aleister swings a roundhouse! Almas stays back, and they circle again. They tie up, Almas gets the waistlock but Aleister slips out to a headlock. Almas powers out but Aleister slides under. Things speed up and Almas CHOPS Aleister off his feet! We see Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano watching backstage as Almas stomps Aleister on the ropes. Almas backs off at 4 but comes back to CHOP Aleister in the corner! Almas whips corner to corner and knees Aleister back in! Cover, TWO!
Vega is frustrated for Almas as he looms over Aleister. Almas drags Aleister up and CHOPS him again. He whips corner to corner but Aleister dodges! Almas tumbles over and out to the floor! Aleister builds speed but fakes Almas out, to springboard and sit down. The Dutch Destroyer gives the camera a glance while we go picture in picture. Almas catches his breath while Aleister stares intently at him. Almas slowly returns, keeping his eyes on Aleister. He rushes Aleister but Aleister ducks and kips up to speed up. Aleister rolls off Alma’s back to block and boot, then knee Almas down! Cover, TWO! Aleister keeps going, Japanese arm-drag to an armlock! Almas endures while Vega shouts at him.
Aleister wrenches the arm but Almas fights his way up. Almas pushes Aleister to a corner, then goes to chop. Aleister dodges but ends up on the apron. Aleister hits Almas back but Vega swipes at his legs! Almas attacks in the distraction! Almas drags Aleister up and goes to suplex, but Aleister resists. Aleister goes to suplex but Almas resists. Aleister still gets Almas onto the apron and the two brawl on the edge. Tey exchange heavy forearms, then Aleister boots and boots Almas. Almas boots right back, then dragon sleeper, for the inverted DDT on the apron! Vega applauds as Almas puts Aleister in for a cover, TWO! Almas is right on Aleister with a chinlock. He grinds Aleister down while fans rally up.
Aleister fights his way up and puts Almas into a corner. Almas holds on but Aleister again rams him into buckles. Aleister is free, but Almas hops up to grab him. Aleister denies the tornado inverted DDT, but walks into a boot. Almas adjusts but Aleister kicks him down! Both men are down and Vega panics. We return to single picture as they both stand. Almas is on Aleister but Aleister throws forearms. Almas shoves but Aleister rallies with forearms! Aleister blocks a kick to give a kick then sweep the legs to drive in a knee! He kips right up and New Orleans fires up. Aleister goes to moonsault but Almas shoves him out!
Almas fetches Aleister into the ring, then drags him up and around for the hammerlock. Aleister slips through to roll him! ONE, but Aliester boots Almas away. Flying Meteora! Roundhouse, to Snap German! Bridging cover, TWO! Aleister is shocked Almas lives but Vega keeps coaching Almas up. Aleister drags Almas up but Almas blocks the suplex. Almas slips out of the suplex and boots Aleister away. Aleister comes back, but Almas hip tosses him into the corner! CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO!! Aleister lives and Almas is seething. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this match has to end some time. Almas drags Aleister up again, hammerlocks, but Aleister fireman’s carry! Hotshot in the corner, then BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
Two matches in two nights and it’s two Black Masses for two victories! The Embodiment of the End will be a permanent part of the main roster one day, will that be Judgment Day for everyone else?
Backstage interview with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano.
After an incredible debut on Raw, the expectations are high for all four NXT superstars. Can they keep up? Ciampa understands a lot of fans are seeing them for the first time. These two have made careers out of defying expectations. Ciampa and Gargano earned everything they’ve gotten in NXT, it won’t change here. These two went to war against each other in this very building last year, but they’ll wage war together and show everyone the future.
But Cesaro and Sheamus come by and make fun of “Bring Your NXT Title to Work Day.” The Bar says no one knows who DIY is, and no one cares. They can go to Raw or stay in NXT, just stay out of SmackDown. Is there a question here? Gargano and Ciampa aren’t here to set the bar, they’re here to break The Bar. But The Bar laughs. Will they have the last laugh after tonight?
Jeff Hardy encounters AJ Styles backstage.
Can they let bygones be bygones? They need to focus on the Six Man Tag tonight. Styles agrees to that, and then The New Day come extending an olive- er, pancake branch of peace. They are all on the same wavelength, right? Styles and Hardy each take a flapjack, truce accepted. Will the Phenomenal One, Charismatic Enigma and New Day’s Pegasus of Pancakes be able to defeat the Viper, the Destroyer and the Planet’s Champion?
The Bar VS Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano!
The Celtic Gladiator and Swiss Cyborg have already mocked the NXT Champion and NXT North American Champion, but will they regret thinking of DIY as a joke?
SmackDown returns to Johnny Wrestling and the Psycho Killer making their entrances. Teams sort out, and we begin with Sheamus against Ciampa. The two circle and tie up. Sheamus powers Ciampa to a corner then grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Ciampa slaps him back! Ciampa waistlocks but Sheamus elbows out and throws European Uppercuts. Sheamus whips but Ciampa kicks and boots him back! Ciampa runs to boot Sheamus down! Sheamus bails out and Ciampa eggs him on. The Bar regroups and Sheamus comes back to tag Cesaro in. Cesaro shoos Ciampa and wants Gargano. Fans want Gargano, too, so Ciampa tags him in. Gargano and Cesaro circle and tie up. Cesaro waistlock slams Gargano fast, then floats all over him. Cesaro mocks the fans and Johnny Wrestling, too.
Gargano rolls, handsprings and wrenches, but Cesaro whips. Gargano comes back with a tilt-o-whirl headscissor! He then hooks an arm and rolls Cesaro to a ghost pin! TWO, and Cesaro rocks Gargano with a BIG EuroUpper! The Bar laughs while Sheamus tags in. Sheamus stomps Gargano at the ropes! Tag back to Cesaro and The Bar double whip. Gargano dodges, Ciampa tags in! Gargano dumps Sheamus out and Gargano boots Cesaro back! Ciampa clotheslines Cesaro out, then knees Sheamus back out! Gargano builds speed to DIVE onto Sheamus! Cesaro comes around, Ciampa leaps! But Cesaro catches Gargano for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Sheamus clobbers Gargano, and shouts the catchphrase while we go to break!
SmackDown returns and Cesaro has Ciampa down in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Ciampa fights up. Ciampa jawbreakers free then knees Cesaro away. Ciampa leaps but into a EuroUpper! Cesaro tags Sheamus and Sheamus hits Gargano! Sheamus swings at Ciampa but Ciampa dodges, only for no one to tag! Ciampa turns around into Sheamus’ bicycle knee! Sheamus hauls Cesaro up top and then throws haymakers before climbing up. Sheamus clubs away on Ciampa, then fireman’s carry. Ciampa fights out with elbows and then drives even more elbows in. Ciampa adjusts, Sunset Flip Powerbomb! But Sheamus’ body also lands on Ciampa’s knee! Both men are down from that and crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Cesaro and Gargano!
Gargano rallies on Cesaro! Enziguri, headscissors sends Cesaro out! Fans fire up with Gargano as he slingshots out,. He jumps over Cesaro’s sweep to SUPERKICK! Then he cannonballs onto Sheamus! Cesaro runs in but misses, only getting barrier! Gargano huricanranas Cessaro into the LED apron! Gargano puts Cesaro in quick, then slingshot DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Cesaro lives but Gargano keeps his cool. Gargano drags Cesaro up but Cesaro shoves him to a corner. Gargano goes up, over, schoolboy kick! Things speed up again, big tilt-o-whirl into the GargaNO Escape! Cesaro resists with one good arm, but Gargano still gets the hold! Cesaro powers through and lifts Gargano for a backbreaker! Tag to Sheamus, Sheamus climbs up, another backbreaker to the flying knee drop! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it in time!
The Bar throws Ciampa out hard and goes after Gargano again. Double Irish Curse Backbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Gargano lives with that superhuman heart he’s made famous on NXT, but The Bar is furious. Sheamus drags Gargano up and talks trash. Gargano SUPERKICKS Sheamus down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus got surprised but he still survives. Sheamus and Gargano crawl, tag to Cesaro! Cesaro swipes at Ciampa but gets rolled up by Gargano, TWO! Cesaro rams Gargano into the corner, Ciampa tags in! Ciampa slingshots and rolls Cesaro! DIY wins!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, Ciampa pinning
It wasn’t as definitive as defeating The Revival, but Ciampa and Gargano find a way to get one over on former SmackDown Tag Team Champions! Will DIY be right at home no matter what main roster brand they choose?
Samoa Joe and Randy Orton meet with Daniel Bryan and Rowan.
They’re all meant to team together tonight, but Joe and Orton take one look at the WWE Championship. There won’t be any problems tonight, though, right?
Asuka heads to the ring!
The Empress of Tomorrow, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, finally returns to New Orleans for an exclusive interview, after the break.
SmackDown returns and Kayla Braxton notes that Asuka was the winner of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and the record-holder for longest undefeated streak. But it seems like everyone is talking more about Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. With so much going on with Ronda, Charlotte and Becky Lynch, does she feel lost? No, she’s just waiting for a new challenge. Asuka beat both Charlotte and Becky at TLC. Asuka made Becky tap out at the Royal Rumble PPV! She doesn’t care about them. She wants to know who is ready for Asuka tonight!! “Mandy…!” Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walk out and tease “poor Asuka” for no one paying attention. Here’s some advice: take notes from God’s Greatest Creation, “the most magnetic, the most irresistible, and the most talked-about superstar in WWE.” If anyone’s ready, it’s Mandy.
Asuka grins as Fire & Desire walk out to the ring. Mandy takes off the jacket and walks into the ring. It seems this match is happening, right now!
Asuka VS Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville!
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are strongly behind Asuka as she gives a quick kick to Mandy’s leg. Mandy comes back and headlocks, but Asuka powers out. Mandy runs but Asuka follows and dropkicks Mandy down! Cover, ONE! Asuka grins as she keeps on Mandy by her hair. But here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier struts her stuff again and it gets everyone’s attention, from Sonya to Mandy to Asuka. Lacey smiles as she simply watches from the ramp. Sonya approaches, but Lacey struts back to the back. Mandy shoves Asuka! Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, ONE! Asuka survives the sneak attack and runs Mandy out of the ring. Asuka is furious while Fire & Desire regroups.
Mandy takes her time returning but Asuka is still stinging from the sneak attack. Mandy throws heavy knees and then throws Asuka down by her hair! Asuka kicks back from the mat but Mandy drags her up into a corner. Mandy stomps a mudhole in, then drags Asuka around. Asuka throws Mandy out! God’s Greatest Creation is down while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Mandy has Asuka in the abdominal stretch. Asuka fights out and drop toeholds Mandy to a kneebar! Mandy scrambles and manages the ropebreak! Asuka lets Mandy go and Mandy drags herself to the apron. Sonya coaches Mandy up while Asuka slips out the side. Mandy sees her coming and rocks her with a golden knee! Sonya fires up for Mandy as she returns into the ring. Asuka is down and the ring count begins. The count passes 5 but Asuka hasn’t moved! The count reaches 9 but Asuka springs to life to enter at 9.5! Mandy is right on Asuka with stomp after stomp. She is furious but keeps focus as she drags Asuka up. Asuka fires up as Mandy pushes her around. Mandy slaps Asuka around, so Asuka SLAPS back!
Asuka fires palm strike after palm strike then whips. Mandy reverses but Asuka hops up and missile dropkicks! Asuka fires up and back hands Mandy again and again! Then the back heel kick! Cover, TWO! Asuka keeps on Mandy with a German Suplex! Asuka runs, Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Mandy lives but Asuka grits her teeth. Asuka drags Mandy up but Mandy pushes her back. Mandy runs into the pop-up knee! Mandy says her eye is damaged! The referee checks on Mandy and keeps Asuka back. Asuka doesn’t believe Mandy, and Mandy yanks Asuka into ropes! Mandy rolls Asuka, Mandy wins!!
Winner: Mandy Rose, by pinfall
God’s Greatest Creation caught Asuka off guard! Her trick got the better of the Empress, but will she have another one that can take the title from her?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
The Queen saw that upset victory of Mandy over Asuka, but she herself has had a shocking week. Becky Lynch attacked her at a live event, then again at Elimination Chamber, all in violation of the suspension. Is Becky going to haunt Charlotte the entire time? Haunting is a good word. Becky is a ghost who meddles in things she shouldn’t. Charlotte made Becky pay for it the first time, but then Becky got her back last Sunday. But if Becky does it again, she’ll be arrested. Whether Becky or Ronda or any of the fans want to face it, it will be Ronda VS Charlotte as the main event, because of Charlotte.
The Miz finds Shane backstage.
He can’t thank Shane enough for making their rematch official. They’re ready to get those titles back. Miz has more breaking news: Mr. Miz is going to be ringside at Fastlane! That’s great to have Miz’s dad there to support them. Will Miz and Shane make their fathers proud by becoming two-time SmackDown Tag Team Champions together?
Ricochet VS Eric Young w/ SAnitY!
The One and Only has an extraordinary Raw debut alongside the Extraordinary Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor. Now he’ll debut on SmackDown standing alone against the loony leader of SAnitY! Will Ricochet be 2-for-2 like the rest of the NXT superstars? Or will the chaos ruin the fun?
SmackDown goes picture in picture while SAnitY makes their entrance. Young has Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe by his side as he walks to the ring. Fans are on Ricochet’s side as the bell rings and he circles with Young. They tie up and Young pushes Ricochet to a corner. Young shoves Ricochet but backs off as we return to single picture. They tie up again and Young wrenches Ricochet’s wrist. Ricochet rolls, handsprings and wrenches Young back. Ricochet brings Young to the mat, then wrenches again. He throws Young with a headlock takedown, but Young headscissors. Ricochet pops out and dares Young to bring it. They tie up again and Young headlocks. Ricochet powers out but Young runs him over. Young roars but Ricochet kips up!
Ricochet blocks the boot and whips but Young reverses. Ricochet rolls off Young’s back and handsprings back to headscissor Young down! Dropkick sends Young out of the ring but Ricochet builds speed. Ricochet fakes Young out and superhero lands! Young returns but runs into haymakers. Ricochet whips again but Young holds ropes. Young dumps Ricochet out but Ricochet shoulders back in. Wolfe distracts and Young clobbers Ricochet! The referee reprimands Wolfe while Young fetches Ricochet. Young puts Ricochet in and stalks him to a corner. He throws haymakers and then hops up for a hangman’s sleeper hold! The ref counts and Young lets go at 4. Young leaps and drops an ax handle on Ricochet! Cover, TWO!
Young keeps on Ricochet with a chinbar. Ricochet endures as fans rally up. Ricochet feeds off the energy but Young wrangles him right back down. Young puts more weight on Ricochet in the chinlock. Fans rally up again and Ricochet powers up. Young wrangles Ricochet down a second time and squeezes tighter. Ricochet gets a second wind and fights out with body shots. Ricochet throws haymakers but Young shoves him to a corner. Young runs in but gets buckles! Ricochet CLOBBERS Young! Ricochet rallies on Young then hits a huricanrana! Young flounders about, Ricochet rams a shoulder in. Ricochet springboards, flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps his cool as he dares Young to stand.
Young gets up, Ricochet fireman’s carry, but Young slips out. Ricochet elbows Young away, then whips him corner to corner. Young goes up and to the apron, and shoulders Ricochet. Young slides under but Ricochet boots him away. Ricochet somersault dropkicks Young all the way out! Ricochet triangle dropkicks Wolfe away! Then he builds speed, to FLY onto Young and Dain! Ricochet fires up with New Orleans as he puts Young back in. Ricochet climbs up while Young is in the drop zone, but Young springs up quick. Young runs into a kick and Ricochet finishes climbing. Ricochet aims, 630 senton! Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
The King of Flight is 2-for-2! He moves fast, flies high and hits hard, will both rosters have to prepare for the One and Only?
Backstage interview with The New Day.
Kofi did not become WWE Champion, he was the highlight of the night. Triple H said Kofi capture the hearts of the world. Xavier Woods says this didn’t just happen over the course of a week, but over the course of 11 years! 11 years is longer than Drake’s So Far Gone. Longer than Instagram! Longer than Empire’s been on air, and we all know they’ve been doing some crazy things to keep that show going.
Kofi himself says that this past week has been special for everyone. Kofi feels like the entire WWE Universe has his back. #Kofimania! This is wild, and to be honest, none of it would be possible without his brothers, Big E and Woods. They pushed for him to be the one to represent in the Chamber! Kofi loves his boys, dead serious. But now it’s time to introduce us to his other friend: Mo Mentum! Awwwww~ Nawlins~!
Six Man Tag: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe!
Pancakes and positivity follow The New Day wherever they go, and that’s no different when Kofi teams with the Phenomenal and the Enigma. Will momentum be on their side going against the other three men from the Elimination Chamber match? And who, who who who, will be named the new challenger to the Planet’s Champion?
SmackDown returns as the rest of the competitors make their entrances. But before the match, Daniel Bryan speaks. “Small minded skeptics throughout history have oppressed the great minds, the radical thinkers. Thomas Beckett, Joan of Arc, Socrates!” They’re not superheroes or celebrities, so that’s why no one here knows who they are. “Ignorant!” The WWE Universe tried to will the title off of Bryan, but Bryan survived! And that’s because Bryan serves a higher purpose: to enlighten and educate those who refuse to be educated! Bryan will educate everyone again about his opponent at Fastlane. But he won’t say who it is, he’ll say who it isn’t. It will be none of the other men in this match tonight, because he already defeated all of them in the Elimination Chamber! Bryan scratches everyone off his list, but will he regret saying that before this tag match even happens?
SmackDown returns again and this match finally begins. Bryan starts against Kofi but then he tags out to Samoa Joe. Joe and Kofi circle and tie up. Joe puts Kofi in a corner but Kofi dodges and fires off kicks! Kofi whips but Joe reverses, only for Kofi to go up and missile dropkick! Cover, ONE, but Kofi stays on Joe. Tag to Hardy and Hardy drops an ax handle on the arm. Hardy kicks and whips but Joe reverses. Hardy runs Joe over with forearms! Atomic drop and leg drop! Dropkick added, then a splash, TWO! Hardy calls for DELETE, but Joe denies the Twist of Fate to headbutt Hardy down! Tag to Orton, and Orton drags Hardy over. Orton stomps Hardy’s ankles, then his legs. Tag to Bryan and Bryan drags Hardy up for a facelock.
Fans boo as Bryan gives Hardy stiff No Kicks. Buzzsaw hits! Cover, ropebreak! Bryan tags to Orton and Orton stays between Hardy and the corner. Orton wraps Hardy in a chinlock but fans rally up. Hardy feeds off the energy and fights out with elbows and a jawbreaker! Hardy hurries, hot tag to Kofi! Springboard ax handle drops Orton! Kofi hits Joe and Bryan for good measure before rallying on Orton more! Kofi dropkicks and leaping lariats! Fans fire up with Kofi as he hits the Boom Drop! Kofi aims from the corner but Bryan runs in. Kofi sends Bryan out then clotheslines Orton out! Orton hits announce desk and Kofi climbs up high. Kofi aims but Bryan shoves him all the way down! Fans boo while Joe blasts Styles. Orton back suplexes Kofi on the announce desk! Momentum is going the other way while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Bryan rains down rights on Kofi. Bryan shouts that Kofi doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring, and he stomps Kofi out. Fans rally up for Kofi as Bryan tags in Orton. Bryan throws Kofi out and Orton back suplexes Kofi onto the announce desk again! Orton puts Kofi back in and covers, TWO! Orton drags Kofi around by his hair and into a chinlock. Kofi endures as Orton thrashes him around. Fans rally up again, and Kofi fights back with body shots. Orton clubs Kofi then whips him to a corner. Orton runs in but gets only post! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Kofi crawls, but so does Orton. Hot tags to Bryan and Styles! Styles hits Joe and rallies on Bryan! Bryan back suplexes but Styles lands out for the STO backbreaker!
Styles fires up and hits a big clothesline in the corner! Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles drags Bryan up for the Clash, but Bryan slips out. Orton comes in but Styles denies the RKO with a Pele! Bryan roundhouses Styles! Bryan runs in the corner but into a Calf Crusher! Styles has Bryan’s leg, but Joe stomps him out! Hardy hits Joe with a Twist of Fate! Orton throws Hardy right out of the ring, but Styles clotheslines Orton out. Bryan rolls Styles! TWO and Styles roles Bryan! TWO, Labell Lock! Styles scrambles to a ropebreak and Bryan lets him go. Bryan aims again, but his knee misses, and he gets a Pele! Styles and Bryan crawl, hot tag to Kofi! Kofi springboards on Bryan with ax handles! Bryan tosses Kofi out, Kofi wipes everyone else out! Kofi intercepts Bryan’s dive with a forearm! Kofi hurries up top, leaps, missile dropkick!
Bryan bails out but Kofi keeps moving. Kofi climbs up top and Trust Falls onto Bryan and Rowan! Kofi puts Bryan in fast and aim from the corner. Fans fire up behind Kofimania, Trouble in Paradise hits!! Cover, Kofi and team wins!!
Winners: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy, Kingston pinning
Momentum carries Kofi through, and his team wins! Shane McMahon comes out and loved it all. He notes that there won’t be just one rematch at Fastlane. Bryan will defend his title against… Fans want “Kofi! Kofi!” and Shane makes the choice! Kofi Kingston IS facing Bryan for the WWE Championship 1v1! Is this FINALLY going to be Kofi’s time?!
An AMAZING SmackDown that is again like Raw but better. Firstly, we have Miz apologize to Shane but the Usos rubbing it in that Miz inevitably loses. Their Fastlane rematch is going to be great, but I have a bad feeling Miz and Shane will lose again and then we end up with their Wrestlemania match. Having Miz’s dad in the front row will likely be part of that result, such as Mr. Mizanin favoring Shane over Miz and Miz gets jealous. The NXT superstars do great here tonight, too, in a slight flip from Raw. Aleister Black has a great revisit match with Andrade Almas, while DIY and Ricochet have random but solid matches.
Ciampa’s leg getting squashed under Sheamus was a scary moment but good to see he’s okay. Ricochet VS Eric Young was definitely better for SAnitY since they’re finally on TV again. These debuts probably aren’t full call-ups as there’s a lot for them to still do on NXT, but I would love if this was to tie into a huge NXT invasion angle. NXT has felt better than Raw and even SmackDown for some time, and there’s word of Fox wanting more than just SmackDown, so perhaps this can all lead to a huge move for NXT to try and be the third brand come a PPV like Survivor Series.
It was great to see Asuka return to television, and obviously we get a lot of foreshadowing for her Road to Wrestlemania. She has a good match with Mandy Rose, and Lacey Evans’ random appearance wasn’t so random as Mandy almost took advantage. I’m a little disappointed Mandy beat Asuka by faking her eye injury when Asuka knew exactly that’s what she was doing. Clearly Fastlane will have Asuka VS Mandy, but Lacey Evans might be the Wrestlemania match. Lacey hasn’t even had a match on TV yet, but she’ll likely go through the rest of the roster to establish herself. Lacey came close to being a contender to the NXT Women’s Championship, so it’s not a stretch if she manages to make it to the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The Six Man Tag was great, but too many commercials. But commercials aside, when Bryan declared no one in the match was going to challenge him at Fastlane, that literally meant someone was. And because of all the momentum at his back, it was going to be Kofi Kingston. It was therefore very fitting that Kofi did so great in this match and got the pin on the champ. Kofi VS Bryan 1v1 is going to be great, and the WWE Universe will surely be red hot for Kofi again. I really hope that this time, WWE pulls the trigger and gives us Kofi’s Grand Slam Championship moment. Houston was ready to explode, Cleveland will be more than ready.
My Score: 8.5/10