It’s the SmackDown after Stomping Grounds!
Kofi Kingston is still WWE Champion, and he even did double duty on Raw! But he also got put out by Samoa Joe! Will Joe come to SmackDown to end the dream? Or can Kofimania become Joe’s worst nightmare?
- The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS The New Day; The New Day win.
- 8 Man Tag: The New Day & Heavy Machinery VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & The Planet’s Tag Team Champions; The New Day and Heavy Machinery win.
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Elias w/ Shane McMahon VS The Miz; Elias wins and Miz will not get a future match with Shane McMahon.
- Bayley VS Nikki Cross; Cross wins and earns Alexa Bliss a SmackDown Women’s Championship match at Extreme Rules.
- Ember Moon VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose; Deville wins.
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler; Kingston wins, Dolph Ziggler will not be part of the WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shane McMahon opens SmackDown.
Roamn Reigns was consumed with fear, his back was against the wall. But he called upon the Deadman. Shane beat Roman once, and he’s survived the Undertaker. He doesn’t fear anyone. If Roman is going to let Taker fight for him at Extreme Rules, then they’ll both end up dead men. But Shane has a job to do, so he reminds everyone on SmackDown not to get on his bad side.
Awwww~ Portland~! The New Day is here~!
Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods return with pancakes and double dutch! And Kofi is still flying high after his Stomping Grounds cage escape, despite what Samoa Joe did to him last night on Raw. Ever since becoming WWE Champion, Kofi has had some of the best moments of his career and his entire life. Fans cheer Kofi but Kofi admits there have been some “painful, devastating, agonizing, brutalizing” moments, too. Defending the title in a cage was all of that. Kofi took on a great competitor in Dolph Ziggler and had to take a literal leap of faith to defeat. “But that’s just it.” Before Kofi could really celebrate, Raw happened. Footage replays of Kofi winning against both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in a double header, only for Samoa Joe to take his own frustrations out on the world champion.
Back in the present, fans boo but Kofi says that was brutal, devastating, agonizing and painful. Joe is not a complicated man. He is more like a force of nature, or an animal. And when Joe has you in the Coquina Clutch, your world fades away. Joe thinks that he’ll be the shark that takes down his prey, but Kofi will not be eaten alive! However, Dolph Ziggler returns to say his piece! The Show-Off refuses for this to happen again. Ziggler did all the hard work, and now someone else is going to take his spot!? No! Ziggler says the fans might turn a blind eye, but Kofi knows better! How many times does Kofi have to beat him!? Ziggler says this is no joke, this is his career, his life, his everything!
Ziggler knows Kofi knows that Super Showdown, Xavier Woods saved him! And at Stomping Grounds, that beating the hell out of each other in the cage, Kofi had to take the coward’s war out to win. “Everyone knows I should be WWE Champion right now!” Fans boo in disagreement. But speaking of those who believe in Ziggler, he was talking with management (aka Shane), and they decided that if Ziggler can beat Kofi in a non-title match, he’ll be in the Extreme Rules match as a Triple Threat! “Then and only then, will I truly get what I deserve: the WWE Championship.” Oh and one more thing. Management says that Kofi can’t take the coward’s way out now, because it will be Best 2 out of 3 Falls! “Good luck, kid.” Ziggler drops the mic, but can he make any better of this opportunity than Kofi can?
SmackDown returns to Elias outside Shane’s door.
Miz comes by to ask if Shane’s even in there. Well yeah, but he’s all fired up over Roman and Taker. Miz shouldn’t just barge on in. Miz will take his chances. Elias gives Miz fair warning that he’ll be a dead man walking. Just move aside, Bootleg Bob Dylan. Elias plays over Miz’s words, he’s working on a new song. Miz stops his strumming, and tells him if he doesn’t move aside, it’ll be shoved up the dark side of his moon. He wants Shane to know that before Taker sends Shane six feet under, he and Shane need to settle their own business.
Miz leaves and Shane comes out and Elias passes along the message. Well maybe Shane should go teach Miz a lesson! And tonight! If Miz beats Elias, 2 out of 3 Falls. The Drifter is ready, but will Miz’s awesome ultimatum work out in the end?
The Planet’s Tag Team Champions VS The New Day!
Daniel Bryan and Big Red Rowan are still the SmackDown Tag Team Champions after defeating Heavy Machinery, but they’re not walking into Portland in a good mood. That’s because they lost in a champions VS challengers elimination tag match, mostly because the Raw Tag Team Champions weren’t willing to play nice. Will they at least be able to get the New Day 2v2 to deny them a shot at the titles? Or will the power of positivity stop their mission to #SaveTagTeamWrestling already?
Teams sort out and Bryan starts against Woods. Woods and Bryan circle as fans rally for the New Day. Bryan and Woods tie up and Bryan headlocks. Woods power out but Bryan runs him over. Bryan gloats to a mixed reaction, but Woods circles with him again. Woods calls for a test of strength but plays around, which annoys Bryan. They do tie up and Bryan reels Woods in for a wristlock, back to a headlock. Woods powers out but Bryan runs him over again. Bryan runs but into a dropkick! Cover, ONE! Woods keeps on Bryan and whips, but Bryan ducks to hold ropes. Bryan boots and Rowan tags in, to run Woods over!
Rowan drags Woods up for headbutts, and has him in the Planet’s Corner. Rowan stomps a mudhole, then Bryan gets cheap shots! Big E protests but Bryan gets away with it. Rowan drags Woods for an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Rowan drives his knees into Woods then claws at the face. He clubs Woods down then tags in Bryan. Bryan climbs while Rowan hangs Woods out to dry. Bryan leaps for a guillotine knee drop! Cover, TWO! Bryan drags Woods up for a big forearm then stomps. Tag to Rowan and Rowan drags Woods up again. Rowan whips Woods to an open corner but Woods boots back, only for Rowan to still clothesline him!
Rowan clubs Woods then whips him corner to corner. Woods elbows back this time, then hops up to leap, into Rowan’s arms! Rowan pops Woods up, but Woods slips out to mule kick! Woods fires off strikes but Rowan whips. Woods kicks then dodges, only to get a Big Red crossbody! SmackDown goes picture in picture while Woods bails out.
Rowan dusts off his hands while Big E coaches up Woods. Rowan lets the ring count begin, and Woods stirs at about 4. The count keeps going, but Woods gets up and in at 9! Rowan is right on Woods with knee drops! He grinds his foot into Woods but lets up at the ref’s count. Rowan drags Woods to the Planet’s Corner and tags in Bryan. Big Red whips Bryan in for the dropkick! Then adds a splash of his own! Bryan soaks up the heat before going to Woods to rain down rights. The ref counts and Bryan lets up, to stalk and punch Woods back down. Bryan keeps on Woods but Woods hits back! Woods throws haymakers and CHOPS, then runs, to kick Bryan away! Bryan ducks and grabs the leg! Bryan drags Woods back to tag in Rowan, who drops an elbow!
Rowan drops more elbows on Woods, then pump handles to a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Rowan keeps on Woods with a neck wrench, but Woods endures. Rowan shifts to the knuckle vice! Woods endures his head being squeezed but Bryan tells the fans to shut up. The fans rally and Woods powers up to fight back with body shots! And a jawbreaker! SmackDown returns to single picture as Rowan kicks Woods down! Rowan back suplexes but Woods lands out to dropkick Rowan down! Fans rally as both men crawl for their corners, hot tags to Bryan and Big E! Big E throws Bryan overhead! And again! Then the side belly2belly!
Big E fires up with the fans as he swivels them hips! He runs and splashes onto knees! Bryan gets the Lebell Lock! Big E endures but Woods saves him! Rowan throws Woods out then follows, only to get a dropkick! Bryan keeps on Big E with Yes Kicks in the corner! Bryan runs corner to corner, into an urenage! Tag to Woods, and Big E scoops Bryan up. Woods climbs up, Midnight Hour! Cover, The New Day win!!
Winners: The New Day, Xavier Woods pinning
The former tag team champions pin the Planet’s Tag Team Champions! Is this the beginning of a return to glory?
But then Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens attack the New Day! Sami and Kevin beat the New Day at Stomping Grounds, and along with Rowan, they stomp out Big E and Woods! But here comes Heavy Machinery! Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic aren’t out of the race yet! Tucker blasts Kevin while Dozer belly bumps Sami! Rowan hits Dozer but Tucker boots Rowan! Woods SUPERKICKS, and Big E clotheslines Rowan out! Blue Collar Solid joins forces with the Power of Positivity to hold it down! Will all these teams soon be fighting for the SmackDown tag titles?
8 Man Tag: The New Day & Heavy Machinery VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & The Planet’s Tag Team Champions!
As if the brawl wasn’t big enough, SmackDown pits these teams in a 4v4! Which side comes out with major tag momentum towards Extreme Rules?
Tucker starts against Bryan, but Bryan’s side just bumrushes Otis and the New Day at the bell! Then they all gang up on Tucker! Sami actually starts this match as he punches and kicks Oregon’s own. Tag to Kevin and Kevin stomps away on Tucker. “This is MY show!” Kevin argues with the ref and Bryan gets cheap shots in. Bryan tags in and throws European Uppercuts to Tucker. He also throws kicks from all sides into Tucker before tagging in Rowan. Rowan throws haymakers and puts Tucker in an open corner. He throws big body shots then puts Tucker up top. Rowan climbs up to join him, but Tucker resists. Rowan clubs Tucker and CHOPS him until Tucker slumps down to the apron. Big Red whips Tucker back into buckles hard. Sami and Kevin taunt Tucker while Rowan stands him up.
Rowan puts Tucker back up top and throws more big shots. Rowan climbs back up but Tucker still resists! But Rowan still SUPERPLEXES! Cover, but the New Day break it up! Bryan rushes in to hit a Knee Plus on Big E! Rowan grabs Woods for the IRON CLAW! Rowan puts Tucker in the corner and tags Bryan. Bryan holds Tucker for Rowan’s big splash! Then Rowan dumps Tucker down for Bryan to lap, only to miss the knee! Tucker LARIATS Bryan upside-down! Fans fire up as Dozer returns to the corner! Tucker and Bryan crawl, hot tags to Sami and Otis! Otis rallies on everyone! He bulldozes Sami, then scoops him for a spinning slam! Kevin can’t believe Otis spun for that long.
Otis takes aim, runs corner to corner, big splash! But he keeps moving for a second! Sami falls down and Kevin is perplexed as Otis pumps it up! Kevin decides to bail out, despite his best frenemy being in danger. Otis wiggles and pumps, CATERPILLAR! Tag to Tucker, and Otis scoops Sami, for a COMPACTOR! Cover, Heavy Machinery and the New Day win!
Winners: Heavy Machinery & The New Day, Tucker Knight pinning
Not only are the New Day back in the title hunt, but it seems Heavy Machinery is far from out! Which duo challenges for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships? Plus, it seems the duo of Sami and Kevin are back to being broken up, will they ever be together again?
SmackDown shares a WWE exclusive from after Raw.
The Goddess and Nikki Cross were victorious in tag team action against Naomi and Natalya, but Alexa couldn’t shake the bad mood from Stomping Grounds. Nikki had an idea on how to make it up to her. There won’t be a rematch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship yet, but Nikki has a match with Bayley tonight! Nikki wins and gets Alexa a title match at Extreme Rules! Alexa wants Nikki to win at any cost, but she won’t physically be there to root her on. Nikki will take Alexa’s faith as enough. But can Nikki really win Alexa her match with Bayley?
Mustafa Ali vows to SmackDown that he will be the light of the WWE.
No matter who, no matter where, and no matter what the situation, he vows to protect, serve and inspire the WWE Universe.
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Elias w/ Shane McMahon VS The Miz!
The Drifter again does Shane’s dirty work. Miz has to beat Elias twice in one match to earn one more match with the “BEST in the WOOOOOOORLD~!” Can the Hollywood A-Lister win himself another round with Shane to finally shut him up?
The bell rings and Elias rushes Miz, but Miz punches him back! Miz clotheslines Elias out of the ring, then runs to wreck him with a dropkick! Miz puts Elias in fast but Eilas runs at him, only for Miz to slide under and sunset flip! TWO, but Miz whips Elias to hit the kitchen sink knee! Then goes corner to corner for the A-List Lariat! Miz punches Elias away, but Shane trips Shane up! Fans boo but Shane gets away with it. Miz springboards, but into a knee! Drift Away neckbreaker! Cover, Elias gets the first fall!
Elias – 1; Miz – 0
The Best in the World is again an ace in the hole! But can Miz make a comeback after the break?
SmackDown returns with the second fall, and Shane finishes his pep talk with Elias. Elias hotshots Miz and runs in to kick and punch away in the corner! The ref pulls Elias off but Elias runs back in for more. Elias lets up again, to whip Miz at ropes and clobber him with a clothesline. Fans boo and jeer but Elias covers, TWO! Elias drags Miz up for more fists, then chokes him on the ropes. He backs off but the ref keeps his eyes on Shane. Elias chokes Miz more but lets up, only for Shane to taunt Miz. Elias drags Miz up for a snap suplex, then covers, TWO! Shane coaches Elias that it’s fine, and Elias taunts Miz before wrapping on a chinlock.
Miz endures and fans rally. Elias wrenches back hard but Miz powers up. Miz fights back but Elias wrangles him back down! Miz still endures as Elias wrenches back harder. Shane likes what he sees, but Miz does power up again. Miz glares at Shane even inside the chinlock. Fans rally up again and Miz fights back up. Miz pries free and throws body shots! Miz counter punches Elias! And again! Miz starts throwing haymakers from all sides and has Elias in a corner! He starts firing off It Kicks! Miz runs corner to corner, for double knees! And more double knees! Then he dodges Elias’ knee! Elias denies the Finale but not the DDT! Cover, TWO!
Miz glares at Shane more as Shane taunts him. Elias sits up and Miz gives him more It Kicks! Miz makes sure Shane sees each one as he kicks and kicks and kicks! Miz powers up the buzzsaw but misses! Elias rolls Miz, TWO! Sunset flip, but MIz rolls through to roll Elias to the buzzsaw! Miz roars and decks Shane! But Elias electric chairs, only for MIz to slip out, FINALE! Cover, but Shane attacks! Either way, Miz gets the fall!
Elias – 1; Miz – 1
But Shane won’t let Miz enjoy this as he rains rights! Shane realizes the mistake he made, but he argues with the ref that this shouldn’t count. But it does! So Shane adds on with Elias as they stomp and kick away! Elias chokes and grinds his forearm into Miz while Shane backs off. But Elias throws Miz out for Shane to bounce Miz off the desk over and over! Then he and Elias throw Miz over the announce desk! Fans boo and jeer but Shane doesn’t care as he takes off his jacket. Elias stomps Miz more, then grinds his foot in. The referee reprimands them both, and Shane finally drags Miz back to the ring, only to throw him into barriers!
Fans still rain down heat as Elias finally puts Miz back in. Elias and Shane get back in and Shane mocks Roman Reigns’ battle cry. SPEAR! The referee finally gets Shane to leave the ring and the third fall finally begins. Elias takes his time climbing up, MACHO ELBOW! Cover, Elias wins!
Winner: Elias, by pinfall; Miz will not get a match with Shane McMahon
Shane and Elias celebrate their screwjob, but they’re not done adding insult to injury. They return to the ring and Elias drags Miz to a corner. Shane wants what he didn’t get on Raw, and climbs up for COAST2COAST! No Deadman to save The Miz, and Shane tells Miz to “never, ever” come after him again. Will Shane do this to the Big Dog and Taker when he and Drew McIntyre combine forces?
Backstage interview with the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor!
The Extraordinary Man returns to SmackDown to speak on what brings out The Demon. Finn respects El Idolo, Andrade Almas, and forcing the Demon to come out is a testament to Almas’ abilities. But the better the opponent, the better Finn has to be to win. ANd who is next for Finn? That person seems to come along all on their own. It’s Shinsuke Nakamura! The King of Strong Style returns to SmackDown, simply glimpsing at the title. Is SmackDown going to see NXT revisited?
Meanwhile, Miz struggles to leave the ring.
Portland cheers Miz on for his valiant fight against the power mad Shane McMahon. Will Miz give up in his pursuit of revenge? Or is this just more motivation for him to take down the Best in the World?
Bayley VS Nikki Cross!
The Huggable One is still the SmackDown Women’s Champion after Stomping Grounds, mostly because the Loony Lass more or less lost it for Alexa Bliss. But to get the Goddess’ forgiveness, Nikki will fight Bayley herself to earn Alexa a rematch at Extreme Rules! Is everything going as the Goddess intended? Or will Bayley finally get through to Nikki that she’s being used?
SmackDown returns as both women make their entrances in turn. The bell rings and Nikki crossbodies Bayley already! Nikki rains down rights then climbs on for a thrashing sleeper hold. Bayley throws Nikki off to clothesline her down! Cover, ONE! Bayley bumps Nikki on buckles and stomps away in the corner. Nikki hits back but Bayley clubs and throws Nikki out, for a hotshot! Nikki falls and Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley walks over as Nikki goes out, but Nikki shoulders and dropkicks in! Nikki climbs to crossbody again! Cover, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and Nikki runs in, but gets flapjack’d onto buckles! Bayley drags Nikki up and hoists her up top. She puts Nikki in a Tree of Woe to club away, then goes corner to corner for a springboard elbow! Cover, TWO!
SmackDown goes picture in picture while Bayley keeps her cool. She grits her teeth while Nikki checks her neck. Bayley knocks Nikki down then chases her to ropes. She brings Nikki back for an armlock. Nikki endures and works against the forearm in her face. She powers all the way up and forearms Bayley off. Bayley forearms back, then elbows Nikki on the rebound! Nikki bails out, but Bayley follows. to daredevil dropkick! Nikki staggers but back into the ring. Bayley pursues again, and hits a sliding lariat! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her cool while bringing Nikki back up. She yanks on Nikki’s arm, then whips her to a corner. Nikki goes up and over but Bayley elbows her down! Cover, TWO!
Nikki crawls while Bayley looms over her. Bayley wrangles her back into the armlock, and SmackDown returns to single picture. Nikki fights up to a jawbreaker! Bayley punches but Nikki counter punches. Nikki elbows Bayley from a corner, then kicks her from the ropes. Nikki dodges and Bayley gets buckles. Fans fire up with Nikki as she corner splashes and bulldogs! Nikki fires up and thrashes about, then gets Bayley in an inverted DDT! Cover, TWO!! Nikki keeps going, but Bayley tosses her right out! Bayley runs, and DIVES, only to miss! Nikki dodges to let Bayley crash and burn! Then she puts Bayley back in to drag her up, neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Nikki grows frustrated but she grits her teeth as she glares at Bayley.
Nikki drags Bayley up but Bayley forearms back. Bayley blocks a boot to give a knee, then a saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans are dueling as Bayley climbs up top. Bayley aims, leaps, but FLOPS! Nikki gets Bayley in a ghost pin, TWO! Bayley uses the same, TWO! Nikki grabs Bayley but gets a cradle counter! ONE, and Nikki rolls Bayley. Bayley slips free to kick Nikki down. Bayley Oklahoma Rolls but Nikki blocks it! NIKKI WINS!
Winner: Nikki Cross, by pinfall; earns Alexa Bliss a SmackDown Women’s Championship match
The Goddess’ best friend succeeds! And now Alexa has another shot at the gold! But can Alexa make good on Nikki’s hard work?
SmackDown finds Carmella searching for R-Truth.
He’s obviously hiding again, because he’s still WWE 24/7 Champion. But Carmella first finds Fire & Desire, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville. Oh sorry, they were going to beat Ember Moon up again, but does she want in? These three argue and Sonya warns Mella to watch her back. They leave, and R-Truth appears from behind hockey boards. He gets up and Drake Maverick appears! Maverick tells them it’s okay, he doesn’t have a referee. In fact, he doesn’t have anything, his life is falling apart. But while he tricked Truth to win that title, Truth crashed his wedding! It was so important to Maverick to be a married man and champion, and Truth took it away. Maverick has nothing now. But Truth is a good man, so Maverick wants Truth to feel awful.
Truth tells Maverick that he is sorry for all that. He honestly thought it was Carmella’s wedding. But how about this, Hornswoggle? If the title means that much to him, get a ref and just pin Truth. Really?! Well okay. One comes over, but then Truth says PSYCHE! He loves the title way more than Maverick loves his wife! SEE YA! And then Maverick gets runs over by the horde! Will Maverick ever regain control of his life? Will Truth escape SmackDown still champion?
Ember Moon VS Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose!
The War Goddess has had to deal with Fire & Desire mocking her life choices, such as reading classic novels and playing video games. But now Ember will look to #BurnBurnBurn down the fire in Sonya. Will Ember finally get these two to back off? Or will the Jersey Devil continue to torment her in and out of the ring?
The bell rings and Ember fires hands with Sonya! Sonya gets Ember down to ground ‘n’ pound, then hits a sliding knee! Cover, ONE! Ember grits her teeth as Sonya pie faces and toys with her. Sonya gets in Ember’s face but Ember punches her back! ROLLING ELBOW! Mule kick to front kick to enziguri! Sonya is dazed and Ember blasts her with a shotgun dropkick! Ember hammers Sonya but Sonya bails out. Ember roars and pursues Sonya for clubbing forearms on the outside. Mandy lurks close but Ember scares her off. Ember puts Sonya in but Mandy distracts again. Sonya shoves Ember into a post! Then drags her to a high stack, Sonya wins!
Winner: Sonya Deville, by pinfall
Of course, there was a lot of help from Mandy. Will Ember get some fabulous back-up to take out Fire & Desire once and for all?
SmackDown hears from Aleister Black.
The Embodiment of the End is rather agitated. “I don’t get it. It’s almost funny, except it’s not!” Aleister has been daring everyone for weeks, anyone, to fight him! It’s all he is asking for! But is this not the WWE? The highest form of competition in the world? So it can’t be that there’s literally no one to come looking. Surely his past has gotten around, but he can’t be the only “condemned” to walk these halls. But Aleister is starting to think there is not one singular superstar on Raw or SmackDown that is man enough to pick a fight with… Oh who cares.
But wait, someone comes knocking!? Aleister gives a sinister smirk. Who came knocking on his door? And will they be in for a fight?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Kofi Kingston VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Show-Off managed to politic his way to yet another opportunity! If Ziggler manages to beat Kofi not once but twice tonight, he joins Samoa Joe as a challenger at Extreme Rules! Who is up to the task of winning two out of three falls in one night?
SmackDown returns as Kofi Kingston makes his return to the ring. Kofi throws more pancakes while Ziggler circles like a shark. The bell rings on the first fall and the two circle. Kofi and Ziggler go around but keep their distance. They tie up, and Ziggler powers Kofi to a corner. Kofi turns it around but Ziggler turns it back. Fans rally behind Kofi as he gets control. Kofi backs off cleanly, and circles with Ziggler again. Ziggler rushes in and gets a leg, then the waistlock. Kofi standing switches but Ziggler picks the leg to switch back. Kofi pries free and wrenches but Ziggler gets the ropebreak. The ref calls for it and Kofi lets go. Ziggler kicks low and dropkicks Kofi down! Cover, ONE!
Ziggler taunts Kofi as he wraps on a chinlock. Kofi gets up as fans rally but Ziggler throws him down. Ziggler drags Kofi to a grounded sleeper hold and wraps on body scissors. Ziggler taunts Kofi as Kofi endures and reaches for ropes. Kofi works his way up and elbows back. Kofi is free and throws hands, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler runs in at the corner for a big splash! And then he’s right up on the ropes, for a monkey flip! But Kofi lands on his feet! And dropkicks Ziggler down! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps on Ziggler at the ropes but Ziggler slips out of the scoop. Ziggler rolls, TWO, Kofi has the cover, TWO! Kofi comes back, slides under to a cover, TWO!
Ziggler has Kofi now, TWO! Kofi again, ONE! Ziggler is up and knees hard into Kofi’s ribs. He throws Kofi to the apron but Kofi hangs on. Kofi shoulders back in then slingshots over for a sunset flip. Ziggler holds ropes but still has them in the cover! The ref sees that so no count! Kofi rolls Ziggler, Kofi gets the first fall!
Kofi – 1; Ziggler – 0
But taking a page out of Shane’s playbook, Ziggler clobbers Kofi at the ropes! Kofi is hanging out of the ring but then slumps out. Ziggler takes advantage of the gap and throws Kofi into barriers! Ziggler taunts Kofi to get back up, and Kofi does stand, to get a ZIGZAG! SmackDown goes to break while the ref works to get this back in the ring.
SmackDown returns once more, and the second fall finally starts as Kofi stands. Ziggler runs in but misses his splash! Cover, TWO! Ziggler SUPERKICKS Kofi down! Cover, Ziggler gets the second fall!
Kofi – 1; Ziggler – 1
The Show-Off gets on the board! But he still has one fall before he gets in the WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules. He and Kofi are both down, but stirring. The ref waits until they both stand, and the third fall begins. Kofi counter punches Ziggler but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler drops Kofi with a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated, but he keeps on Kofi in the corner. ZIggler chokes Kofi on the ropes but lets up at 4 as he rakes the eyes. He whips Kofi corner to corner hard and then covers, TWO! Ziggler reels Kofi right into the sleeper hold and body scissors. Kofi endures as fans rally up.
Kofi fights his way up and out of the hold! He headbutts Ziggler away! And then again! Ziggler staggers but comes back with a haymaker. “I say when we’re done!” Ziggler puts Kofi in a corner to whip again, but Kofi reverses! Now Ziggler hits buckles hard! Both men are down again but Kofi crawls for space. Kofi stands and goes at Ziggler, but Ziggler yanks him into buckles! Ziggler drags Kofi out for a BIG elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is shocked and frustrated, but he keeps on Kofi at the ropes. Kofi fights back with body shots! Ziggler kicks back and throws haymakers, then drags Kofi up for another neckbreaker, but Kofi backslides! TWO, but Kofi starts rallying with chops! And a leap, but into a catapult! Kofi lands on the ropes to springboard and crossbody! Cover but Ziggler reverses it, TWO! Satellite DDT! Cover, TWO!
Ziggler isn’t sure what to do to finish this. But he does follow Kofi to ropes and whips him across the way. Kofi dodges and hits a leaping lariat! Fans fire up but Ziggler gets to ropes. Ziggler tosses Kofi out but Kofi lands on his feet. Kofi kicks Ziggler back! Then springboards in for a flying ax handle! Cover, TWO!! Fans still rally for Kofi as he catches his breath. Ziggler crawls away but Kofi drags him in. Ziggler elbows Kofi then kicks a leg. Famouser countered to a spinning sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Kofi can’t believe that didn’t work! Fans keep cheering Kofi on and he takes aim from a corner. Ziggler stands, Kofi spins, but Ziggler blocks the Trouble! But Kofi reels Ziggler in for a cradle, TWO! Ziggler throws Kofi right into a post! ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!!
Ziggler can’t believe Kofi survives, but Portland is loving this! Kofi stirs while Ziggler sits up. Ziggler hears it all and it just angers him more. He dares Kofi to stand again as he takes aim. But Kofi ducks the superkick, Ziggler ducks Trouble in Paradise. Kofi blocks the superkick to hit TROUBLE IN PARADISE! Cover, Kofi wins!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by pinfall; denies Ziggler a part in the WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules
Kofimania continues to amaze! Somehow, someway, he stopped the Show-Off and now has less to worry about at Extreme Rules. But Samoa Joe is still a lot to worry about on his own, can Kofi continue this dream come true?
What a great SmackDown! Of course, there was still some unneeded recap of Raw, but at least it was held to a limited amount this time. Plus since we’re getting the Shane story on both shows, it at least gives context. We got good promos from Kofi and Ziggler again, but obviously it sets up the main event. The main event was pretty great, but apparently the new decree of no action during commercial breaks is why it had to be 2 outta 3 Falls. Ziggler wasn’t going to win, but he gave his all here. Who knows where Ziggler goes from here, unless he plans on attacking Kofi again. Kofi VS Joe is still going to be great one way or another, I’m just surprised Joe didn’t “ruin” the celebration. Maybe he’ll talk on Raw to turn up the heat.
New Day opening against Bryan and Rowan was great, but not sure why we then had to have both teams participate in the 8 Man Tag when it was going to be Heavy Machinery pinning Sami. You could’ve literally cut out New Day and the Planet’s Tag Team Champions to give more shine to Tucker and Otis, along with Kevin apparently just ditching Sami again. It’s a shame Kevin and Sami aren’t going to be a team anymore, I was hoping they’d get tag titles so Kevin can have the Grand Slam and Sami can finally have something. And we should’ve guessed Shane would help Elias screw Miz in their 2 outta 3, they’re really stretching their story. Maybe Summerslam finally brings the blow-off that Miz actually wins, even with all the screwy things Shane tries to do. Miz might even appear at Extreme Rules to screw Shane back.
Seeing them plant the seeds of Finn VS Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship has me hyped for Extreme Rules! I can’t wait to see them revive this rivalry. And we also finally get someone “responding” to Aleister’s challenge, I hope it’s someone big like Rusev or Buddy Murphy, who we have yet to see on air in some time. This feud of Fire & Desire with Ember and Carmella is still building, but the tag match we’re getting better be really good to make this worth it. Bayley VS Nikki was great, and this story continues to be unique. Bayley VS Alexa II at Extreme Rules, revisiting their previous time, I hope this one goes above and beyond. But again, I don’t know if Alexa will really be the one to bring the SmackDown title to Raw, it just doesn’t seem the right time for that.
My Score: 8.4/10