SmackDown crowns a NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion!
The Phenomenal One and the Goat collide! Will the new Intercontinental Champion be AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan on the SmackDown before Backlash?
- The New Day VS The Artist Collective; The Artist Collective wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals: Daniel Bryan VS AJ Styles; Styles wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Six Man Tag: Braun Strowman & Heavy Machinery VS Dolph Ziggler, The Miz & John Morrison; Strowman & Heavy Machinery win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Renee Young is in the ring.
Jeff Hardy and Sheamus will have a match for Backlash given all the animosity between them. But before that match can happen, both men must sign on the dotted line. First out is the Celtic Warrior, as well as a physician, security, and a screen. This can only mean one thing. But first, the Charismatic Enigma appears! Renee asks what this is all about. Well the curtain is for discretion, as they wouldn’t want to offend the ladies. Offend how? Hardy knows what this is. He doesn’t give a damn, though, after all that happened. Sheamus hit Elias with a car and tried to frame Hardy for it! Sheamus says Hardy shouldn’t go pointing fingers, because Sheamus had nothing to do with that. Hardy still says Sheamus tried to ruin Hardy’s life and livelihood! “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed at Backlash. Not even you’re little security team’s gonna be able to help you then.”
Wait, you think these guys are here to protect Sheamus? Pff, they’re here for your protection, Hardy. But Sheamus wants some assurances. Hardy was cleared of the car accident, but he’s still a man that can’t be trusted. It could be booze, it could be drugs, but a leopard can’t change its spots. So to ensure everyone’s safety, before signing the contract, Hardy will have to take a urine test. And if Hardy fails it, which he probably will, then he’s in a whole heap of trouble. Hardy won’t get a match between Sheamus is not going to step into the ring with a junkie. The crowd boos because they believe Hardy is innocent and sober, but Sheamus says it’s all true. Hardy admits, “My name is Jeff Hardy, and I’m an alcoholic.” Hi, Jeff. “And if this is what I Have to do to get to you, then fine!”
Hardy is tired of fighting. He goes to meetings every week, talks about how he let his family and his fans and even himself down. Hardy’s demons are starving. And sometimes, all it takes make him want to feed them is to be in the presence of a BASTARD like Sheamus. But Hardy will be a beacon of light for the struggles! So Hardy will agree to this BS, just to get after Sheamus. That’s the spirit! But we all know it takes 24 hours, which Hardy should know from taking many of them. But the doc here has a rapid test that can get almost immediate results. Sheamus is footing the bill because that’s how much he cares. But just to show there are no shenanigans, the doc will supervise the whole thing. Renee, time to skedaddle because Hardy’s got a bit of stage fright.
Hardy goes into the curtained off area and Sheamus gives the WWE Universe a “PSA” of sorts. Kids, if you’re a user, you’re a loser. Don’t end up like Jeff Hardy. Don’t do drugs. Thank you very much. Hardy, hurry up, we don’t have all night. Hardy finishes filling the jar, and Sheamus jokes that someone had quite the happy hour. But before the bad news, does Hardy have any last words? Perhaps an apology? Or a positive message to everyone at home. Like, oh i dunno. “Just Say No.” Good, right? Sheamus wants Hardy to laugh but Hardy says another classic is coming to him. “It’s better to be pissed off than pissed on!” And then Hardy SPLASHES Sheamus with the jar of pee!! Hardy signs his part of the contract while Sheamus gags.
The crowd wants him to “PUKE! PUKE!” but Sheamus manages to hold it in. Hardy leaves while Sheamus throws the table over and tries to get the taste out of his mouth. The crowd taunts Sheamus with, “You Got Pissed On!” but will he be more than pissed off at Backlash?
SmackDown finds Sheamus backstage in a restroom.
He’s obviously doing his best to rinse and scrub away the smell, taste and feeling of Hardy’s pee. The doc finds him and lets him know the results came back. Negative for alcohol. Hardy IS sober, the match IS on, and Sheamus IS pissed.
The New Day VS The Artist Collective!
AWWW~ people at home~! Clap for your world famous eight-time champs, and FEEL~ the POWER~! But will Kofi Kingston and Big E feel the strength of the Swiss Cyborg and the King of Strong Style?
The teams sort out and Cesaro starts against Kofi. They tie up, go around and Cesaro wrenches to a wristlock. Kofi rolls, handsprings, wrenches back and sweeps the legs to splash down! Cover, ONE, but Kofi headlocks. Cesaro powers out but Kofi reverses the whip. Kofi leaps but into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cesaro taunts Kofi while tagging Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura gives Kofi BAD Vibrations, then goes corner to corner, only for Kofi to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Kofi clotheslines Nakamura out then tags in Big E. Big E gives Kofi the boost to FLY out onto Nakamura! But Cesaro BOOTS Kofi down, only for Big E to go out and CLOBBER him! Big E puts Nakamura in but Cesaro anchors his foot. Big E shakes free but Nakamura PELES!
Nakamura distracts the ref and Cesaro BLASTS Big E with a European Uppercut! The Tag Team Champions are down on the outside as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cesaro grinds Big E down with an armlock. The crowd rallies up and Big E fights free, only to be put in the corner. Cesaro runs in to EuroUpper! Tag to Nakamura, Cesaro sets Big E up for the Top Shelf Knee! Nakamura covers, TWO! Tag to Cesaro and he clamps back onto Big E with an armlock. Big E endures as the crowd rallies up. Cesaro whips Big E to a corner but Big E elbows him away. Cesaro keeps Big E from the tag but Big E hits a belly2belly! Both men are down, hot tags to Nakamura and Kofi! Kofi springboards to ax handle! He rallies with CHOPS and a dropkick! Leaping ax handle! Kofi fires up and hits the New~ Day~ Boom Drop! The crowd fires up as Kofi aims from a corner. Cesaro swipes at Kofi but it’s to give Nakamura an opening! Kofi breaks free of the inverted exploder to hit SOS! Cover, Cesaro breaks it!
Cesaro stomps away on Kofi but Big E comes in. Big E dodges to clotheslines himself and Cesaro out! Nakamura runs at Kofi but gets the swing kick in the corner! Kofi climbs but Nakamura joins him. They brawl up top and Kofi gets an edge with clubbing forearms! Kofi adjust, leaps, but into a GUT BUSTER! Cover, Nakamura & Cesaro win!!
Winners: The Artist Collective, by pinfall
They just defeated the SmackDown Tag Team Champions! When and where will they come for those titles to make them their own?
Heavy Machinery reunites backstage!
Tucky and Otis are back together and are ready for tonight’s supersized main event! But Tucker wants Otis to learn not to rely on just his eyes. Otis needs all his other senses. He has a blindfold on and the test begins. Sound! That’s a bell. Smell! Those are burgers! Touch! Tucky, Otis appreciates the motivation but- Blindfold off and it’s Mandy! His peach! Mandy wishes the boys good luck, and tells him not to forget the Mr. Money in the Bank briefcase. Oh yes, of course. Thank you, Mandy. A kiss for good luck and she’s gone, but Tucky snaps to focus Otis. Braun Strowman is their tag team partner tonight, but if the opportunity presents itself, then tonight could be THE night. Oh yeah~!
But whoa! A brawl is going on around the corner, and it’s Sheamus and Hardy! The Fella wants to make sure Hardy doesn’t make it to Backlash! He shoves him into ladder after ladder until security and referees rush over. D-Von drags Sheamus away while Jamie Noble keeps Hardy here. The Charismatic Enigma wants to make Sheamus pay, but they’ll both have to wait for Sunday!
SmackDown retells the history of the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
“A symbol that has changed through the years, yet remains timeless.” A storied past steeped in tradition for over four decades. Contenders have come and gone but only the most worthy have held it huge overhead. Generations evolved through waves of change, but this title has always been the pillar of excellence. Ultimate Warrior and the yellow belt defeated Hulk Hogan to become DUAL champion! The Miz and the white belt made this title AWESOME again. Triple H and the black belt had a reign of terror! And so many others created a lasting presence with this title around their waist. This title demands the very best from the very best. It is a catalyst of stardom, Hall of Fame careers, and iconic moments. The next chapter is waiting to be written by the victor.
Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles may boast similar accolades, but their journeys set them apart. This couldn’t have been made more clear than when the tournament was sent into disarray a few weeks ago. When Elias and Jeff Hardy were taken out, each man chose a different philosophy. Daniel Bryan wanted the traditional approach of fighting for his spot. He suggested that Styles and himself take on two new opponents, because there are many deserving names on the SmackDown roster. AJ Styles shouted that down as the “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” He took a calculated approach so that he’d be in the finals no matter what.
True motivations are revealed when given such a choice. The Phenomenal One took the bye because he’s smarter. Bryan would give others opportunity not because it’s noble, but because he has heart. So who will prove to be better and revel in the prestige of this title? Who joins the lineage of legends to become timeless?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals: Daniel Bryan VS AJ Styles!
The Goat has already stamped his name on this title’s history, but it was short lived because of his need to step away. But the Phenomenal One wants to add this title to his legacy. Who writes the future with a victory tonight?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle for glory begins!
The crowd duels even before the bell. Styles and Bryan circle and tie up, Bryan wrenches to a wristlock, then clamps onto the arm to bring Styles to a knee. Styles rolls, wrenches back, but Bryan rolls through. Bryan hooks a leg, hooks Styles’ chin, but Styles spins through to keep the wristlock. Bryan gets up, rolls, bridges, and breaks free to dropkick Styles down! The crowd cheers as Styles gets to a corner. Styles and Bryan circle again then tie up. Styles kicks low then clubs Bryan down only to bring him up for buckle bumps. Styles goes to suplex but Bryan blocks. Styles keeps trying but then Bryan tries to suplex. Styles lets Bryan go to throat chop him! The crowd boos but Bryan sends Styles out of the ring hard. Bryan builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit takes both men down and SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Bryan grinds Styles’ arm. Bryan hammerlocks to knee the shoulder and back! Bryan cranks back on the other arm and stands on it! It’s a cover, TWO! Styles gets to ropes but Bryan brings him up to wrench and hammerlock again. Styles powers out and hurdles over to then duck down and dropkick Bryan! Bryan is wincing while Styles is seething. Styles brings Bryan up for straight rights and CHOPS! He puts Bryan in a corner to CHOP more. Bryan throws EuroUppers in return and backs Styles down. Bryan snapmares Styles and wraps on a chinlock, but Styles slips out the back to get an armlock of his own. Styles leans on the shoulder then wrenches to a wristlock and wringer! Styles circles Bryan before bringing him up.
Styles kicks away on Bryan’s arm then cranks it to a keylock. Bryan gets around and powers free to speed things up. The kitchen sink knee takes Styles down! Bryan grabs the leg for a standing toehold! He twists the leg, then turns Styles over to hook him up. Bryan pulls on the arms but his bad arm bothers him. So instead of a surfboard, Bryan just stomps the knees! Styles clutches his thigh but Bryan is on him with a modified STF! Styles endures so Bryan shifts to get both legs in a SNAP deathlock! Bryan gets up to do it again! Styles crawls but Bryan sits back to get the arms, surfboard cover! TWO, and Styles scrambles to ropes. The crowd cheers and rallies as Bryan brings Styles up. Bryan throws more EuroUppers in the corner then gives Styles Yes Kicks!
The ref counts, Bryan goes corner to corner, but Styles sunset flips! TWO and Bryan stacks, TWO! Styles has the cover, TWO! Bryan has it back, TWO! Styles has another cover, TWO! Styles headlocks, hits a takeover, but Bryan headscissors. Styles moves around, pops out to a jackknife, TWO and Bryan bridges! Bryan wants a backslide, Styles slips free and dodges, a DOUBLE CROSSBODY collision takes both men down! This evenly fought match continues as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Bryan wrenches Styles to a shoulder breaker! Bryan gives Styles another! He wrenches for another but Styles rolls him up! TWO, and Bryan wants the Yes Lock! Styles scrambles, reaches, but so does Bryan. The two struggle for control, Styles gets the legs to catapult Bryan up and out of the ring! Bryan sits up but Styles keeps his eyes on him. Styles slingshots, the Pescado is caught to a waistlock! Bryan hammerlocks and POSTS Styles shoulder first! Styles falls in a heap and clutches his arm, but Bryan is on him already. Bryan takes the arm, keylocks it on the apron, and STOMPS it!! Styles shouts in pain while Bryan leaves him behind. The ref checks on Styles, and when he’s deemed okay to continue, Bryan is on him again to drag him into the ring.
Bryan wrenches the bad arm with a knuckle lock, then digs knuckles into the elbow. Styles hits back with his good arm, but Bryan wrings Styles out and snap wrenches the arm! Bryan grabs the arm, keylocks again, for another STOMP! Styles clutches his forearm but Bryan is on him with a mounted hammerlock. The crowd duels as Bryan cranks back on the arm! Styles refuses to quit so Bryan chicken wing covers! TWO and Styles gets to the apron. Bryan won’t let up as he drags Styles up and into the ring. Bryan headbutts Styles down, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, then runs corner to corner, only to miss the dropkick! Bryan crashes and burns but both men are down.
The crowd rallies up and Styles uses ropes to get to his feet. Styles KICKS Bryan’s leg, then kicks it again. Styles goes out and has Bryan’s leg for an apron dragon screw! Styles stalks Bryan as he crawls, and he tweaks the leg between his own. Styles drags Bryan to the ropes and wraps the leg up in them. Bryan is stuck as Styles throws him down! The ropes wrench the leg for Styles! The ref tries to free Bryan but Styles kicks away! The ref backs Styles off and Bryan frees himself, but the damage has been done. Styles drags Bryan around but Bryan ENZIGURIS! Both men are down again but the crowd keeps rallying. Bryan clutches his leg but sits up. Styles follows though in a daze. They go to opposite corners, Bryan runs in but Styles boots him away! Styles goes to the apron, springboards, but Bryan trips him up!
Styles topples down but Bryan puts him in a corner. Bryan fires off more Yes Kicks! He hoists Styles up top, climbs up to join him, and leaps for the SUPER STEINER! Styles goes down but the crowd fires up more! Bryan fires himself up and waits for Styles to sit up. Bryan gives more Yes Kicks! Styles ducks the buzzsaw to fire off the Phenomenal Blitz, into a roundhouse! But Styles LARIATS back!! Both men are down again but the energy is still high as SmackDown goes to another break.
SmackDown returns again and Bryan throws more EuroUppers. Styles hits back with haymakers and the two brawl back and forth. Bryan kicks and kicks but Styles CHOPS. Bryan uppercuts, Styles punches, back and forth, fast and furious! Styles kicks the bad leg, but Bryan dumps Styles out again! Bryan tests the leg and builds speed, but he leaps into a PELE! Styles drags himself up on the apron to springboards, but Bryan catches him to underhooks, butterfly suplex to ARMBAR! Styles rolls over but Bryan cranks on the arm. But Styles pops out to get the CALF CRUSHER! Bryan endures, reaches, but Styles drags him back to crank harder! Bryan pops out to get the ARMBAR! Styles shifts, makes it a cover, but then dead lifts! Bryan lets go, trips Styles up, and Penalty Kicks the arm out! BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives and the crowd loves it!
The dueling continues as Bryan drags Styles up off the mat. Bryan wrenches, shoulder breakers, then hoists Styles up top backwards. He climbs up to join Styles, but Styles fights back with elbows! Bryan falls, but gets up to club Styles on the back! He climbs back up but again Styles fights him off with elbows. Bryan hits the mat again, Styles stands up, but Bryan stops him again! Bryan clubs away on Styles’ back over and over and over, then brings Styles up for a SUPER BACK SUPLEX!! Both men are down again, and SmackDown again goes to break!
SmackDown returns again, and Bryan kicks and uppercuts Styles to a corner. Bryan fires off even more kicks then whips Styles corner to corner. Styles reverses, Bryan goes up and over but the bad leg buckles! Styles moonsaults to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Bryan and Styles are both down again, clutching their limbs. The crowd rallies up and Styles rises. Styles hobbles over, fireman’s carries, but Bryan elbows over and over until he’s free. Bryan swings, but into Styles’ PELE! Styles drags Bryan up for a snap BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Styles and Bryan are exhausted but the crowd has not given up. The crowd rallies as Styles and Bryan slowly rise. Styles gets Bryan first and reels him in. Bryan trips Styles up to jackknife, TWO! Styles dodges, PELE but into an ANKLE LOCK! Styles flails, gets up, but Bryan gets a trapped leg GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!
Bryan still has the waistlock, but Styles standing switches to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Styles holds onto Bryan but Bryan fires up. Bryan standing switches, to GERMAN! Bridging over, TWO! Bryan clamps onto Styles with a seated cobra stretch, and he elbows over and over and over! Then he rolls Styles to the YES LOCK! Styles endures as Bryan cranks back, but Styles drags himself blindly towards ropes. Styles uses his leg for the ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets go in frustration but he fires himself up again. The crowd fires up with him as he grabs the wrists. Bryan gives Styles DANIELSON STOMPS!! Bryan fires up and the crowd is at a fever pitch. Bryan demands Styles stand, and he starts up the “YES! YES!” Styles stands, Bryan runs in, but his knee is caught to the STYLES CLASH!! But Styles is too exhausted to cover!!
Styles crawls to ropes, Bryan flounders to his feet and the crowd continues to duel. Styles springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)
That was TRULY phenomenal! Styles joins the legends as he earns this title! Renee Young interviews Styles in the ring and congratulates him on this victory. What does it mean to him to finally capture this title that has eluded him? Styles said it before, and he’ll say it again: “I’m the best WWE champion the WWE Universe has ever seen.” Styles IS Phenomenal. Will Bryan return for another chance? Who will Styles make earn a shot against him?
Braun Strowman speaks.
“There’s a lot going on tonight. From in-ring drug testing, to a new Intercontinental Champion. You’ve got Sheamus running around, raising hell, and you’ve still got a main event to come.” Speaking of, The Miz & Morrison are trying to make Strowman’s life a living hell. He can fix a windshield of a car, but there’s nothing that will fix Miz or Morrison after Backlash. And as for Mr. MITB, Strowman likes Otis. They played this game before, and Storwman is in no mood tonight. If Tucker and Otis try something tonight, they should remember “I have no problem obliterating some Heavy Machinery. Will Otis take those words to heart during tonight’s Six Man Tag?
Sasha Banks and Bayley head to the ring!
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions already had the crew decorate the ring for a championship celebration! The Boss and #BayleyTwoBelts hold their titles up high, and then force Michael Cole to join into a selfie, that doesn’t actually show him anyway. The crowd boos as they go to the ring, but they clearly doesn’t understand any of this. This is their celebration and they have something to say! The booing gets louder but Bayley says they’re lucky to be invited to their party. “You Suck! You Suck!” Bayley doesn’t suck! She’s at the top of her game! When you get to the top, it is lonely. When you’re untouchable, unbeaten and the most dominant SmackDown Women’s Champion ever, it would seem that way. But DING DONG, she’s not lonely! Her best friend, #DaBlueprint is here with her! They are YOUR WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!!
Sasha says, “We told you so!” No one listened. They are the role models! They are the leaders! They are not liars. Sasha said they’d take the tag titles back when they wanted to, and they did. These titles represent their friendship, and they’re only getting stronger. Together, they are unstoppable! Bayley tells Sasha to shut out the haters, because she has a poem to express how she feels. But before she can get started, Bliss-Cross appears! Alexa and Nikki go right to the ring as Alexa says it’s fine to celebrate. But reciting poetry to each other is where we draw the line. Bayley won’t let them ruin their moment! Nikki says it’s okay. She and Lexi love parties!
The pair of friends argue, but the IIconics are on the titantron! Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have a very special message. So enough of this tacky celebration, because at Backlash, Bayley’s and Sasha’s time ends. Peyton is about to hit us with facts. The IIconics have both beaten Bliss-Cross, and they were the ones to end the “role models'” original reign at WrestleMania. And most recently, left them laying on Raw. If they don’t want the same thing to happen on SmackDown, don’t turn your backs on Bliss-Cross. Too late! Nikki and Alexa DECK Sasha and Bayley, then throw Sasha out to keep on Bayley more. Bliss-Cross throws Bayley out onto Sasha, and the champs are down and out again! The IIconics on one side, the Goddess and loony lass on the other. Do Bayley and Banks stand a chance of keeping this sequel going?
Backstage interview with The Miz & John Morrison.
Hey hey, ho ho. Kayla Braxton wants to talk about their actions last week. Miz says Kayla getting slimed is no big deal. It’s more like an early birthday present. But since she did get slimed, she was trending backstage. She meant in regards to Strowman. Well, Strowman’s threats are so annoying. Miz & Morrison responded with a new music video! They’ve titled it, “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! The Universal Champion needs to go.” Roll it! MC M I Z and Johnny Drip Drip are now rocking a hip hop power ballad, but it gets interrupted by the #StrowmanExpress! The Monster Among Men wants to #GetTheseHands on the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century and the Show-Off already! Will there even be anything left of Miz & Morrison to challenge in the 2v1 Handicap match? Will Strowman even be the one going into that match as Universal Champion?
“Who is Matthew Riddle?”
He’s the stallion that’s about to make a SmackDown debut. He can go from bro-down to throw down at the flip of a hat. He’s been fighting all his life to make it this far, will he completely bro up Friday nights?
Six Man Tag: Braun Strowman & Heavy Machinery VS Dolph Ziggler, The Miz & John Morrison!
SmackDown returns as Heavy Machinery finishes their entrance. Ziggler heads out next, and is no stranger to The Dozer. But he is quickly reinforced by the A-Lister and Guru of Greatness. Strowman gets out of the ring to glare at Miz and Morrison over their trash talk. The trios sort out, and Otis starts against Ziggler.
Ziggler keeps on the outside but bails out as Otis draws clear. Miz asks what’s going on but Ziggler tags Miz in. Otis grabs Miz and hip tosses him in! Otis scoops Miz to slam him, then he pumps and thrusts. Tag to Tucker and Heavy Machinery gives us the classic BOOM SHAKA LOO double falling headbutts! Tucker keeps his eyes on Miz and gives him a Junkyard Dog headbutt! Miz tags out to Morrison and he circles with Tucker. Tucker gets the leg but Morrison spin back kicks free. Morrison waistlocks, headlocks, but Tucker powers out to back drop. Morrison lands on his feet! And springboards, but into a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Tucker is pumped up and the crowd rallies behind him. Tucker moves towards Strowman but Morrison runs away to tag Ziggler!
Ziggler circles with Tucker, they tie up, and Ziggler waistlocks. Tucker elbows free then tags in Otis. Heavy Machinery bring Ziggler up as Strowman tags in. Miz and Morrison run away from Strowman, but Heavy Machinery double whip him in to corner CRUSH Ziggler! Strowman CLUBS Ziggler down then tags in Tucker. Tucker brings Ziggler up to suplex and hold him! But wait, what is this on the titantron? Baron Corbin has a camera man following him backstage? Tucker drops Ziggler as he and everyone else watches what happens. The Wolf King finds Mandy Rose backstage watching, and Otis goes running!
Corbin wants to talk about last week, when Otis stole the crown and stretched it out. Was that her idea? Oh c’mon, it was just a little fun. Corbin isn’t mad. In fact, he understands. Mandy is fantasizing being with a man with power, status and respect. She’s fantasizing about being with the King of the Ring, Baron Corbin. Before Mandy can answer, Otis bulldozes Corbin into the fencing!! Otis fires off on Corbin for trying to steal his girl, but the referees and security back him off. The Dozer is fuming but what about his match? SmackDown goes to break while things sort out.
SmackDown returns once more as Morrison Shining Wizards Tucker! Miz adds the basement BOOT! Tag to Ziggler and he drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Tucker reaches for Strowman because Otis hasn’t returned from going after Corbin. Ziggler clamps on with a chinlock but the crowd rallies behind “Tucky! Tucky!” Tucker fights up but Ziggler wrangles him back down. Miz and Morrison mock the cheers but Tucker fights up again. Ziggler pulls hair and puts Tucker in the A-Lister corner! Tag to Morrison and Morrison throws hands on Tucker. Morrison gives kicks as Miz starts up the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” Cover, TWO, and Morrison is right on the arm. Tucker fights up, goes around, but Miz tags in. Tucker sends Morrison out but Miz trips him up. Miz wants the Figure Four but is pushed out! Ziggler tags in and grabs the leg! Tucker hops and ENZIGURIS!
The crowd fires up with Strowman, but Miz and Morrison trip him up! FLYING CHUCK and the BASEMENT DDT take him down! Ziggler bumps Tucker off buckles and keeps between him and the corner. BUt Mandy and Otis head to ringside! Otis sees what’s happened to his best buddy, but Ziggler taunts them both. Ziggler aims at Tucker but Tucker SUPERKICKS first! Both men are down, the crowd rallies up, hot tag to Otis! Otis hits Miz and Morrison down then rallies on Ziggler! Mandy likes what shes sees as Otis scoop slams Miz! And flapjacks Morrison! Otis throws Morrison out but Ziggler rises to kick llow. But it only powers The Dozer up! Ziggler keeps hitting but Otis keeps pumping! Otis headbutts, scoops and TOSSES Ziggler out of the ring!
Otis shouts for Strowman to start it up, and the train leaves the station! Strowman BLASTS Miz into barriers! Then BLASTS Morrison into barriers! Strowman throws Ziggler into barriers then into the ring! Otis hits the CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Cover, Heavy Machinery and Strowman win!
Winners: Braun Strowman & Heavy Machinery, by pinfall
Mandy celebrates with Otis, Tucker and Strowman as all three big men stand tall! Will Miz & Morrison be able to recover for Backlash? Will Mr. MITB find an opening to cash in his contract? Or will everyone #GetTheseHands?
This was a really good go-home, with only THREE matches! Hardy and Sheamus had an alright final build to their grudge match, but c’mon. The same segment HBK did against the McMahons from years ago? I saw the “pissed on” line coming from the moment Sheamus made his entrance. For anyone who hasn’t been a fan of WWE the last 15 years, HBK went through this same thing with Vince in the lead up to WrestleMania 22 and Backlash 2006. It seems people who don’t learn from history really ARE doomed to repeat it. But Sheamus VS Hardy will be an alright match, and at this point should just be the end of the feud. There’s only down from here.
We got a really good tag team match between The New Day and Cesaro-Nakamura, and without saying much of anything, yes the Forgotten Sons have been moved aside in the SmackDown Tag Division’s story. Again, I didn’t really see that trio reaching titles so soon anyway, as they didn’t even get to do all that much in NXT. Cesaro and Nakamura are going to give the New Day a great match, but it might be too soon to call who wins. We got a good segment with the Women’s Tag Team Championships, with Bayley and Sasha wanting to celebrate but getting the exact opposite. With their contenders standing tall on both Raw and SmackDown, I am very confident that Sasha and Bayley retain to then take the titles to NXT next Wednesday. Yes, the Women’s Tag Division needs to be built and Bayley and Banks will certainly have their own story, but for this stretch, let them have the reign they should’ve had at the start.
The WWE Intercontinental Championship match was exactly what it should’ve been! I just don’t understand why we had so many commercial breaks! There’s that segment where we come back, blah blah super back suplex, and then commercial! And yet BRUCE PRICHARD is the one Vince is putting in charge of both shows?! But that’s a subject for a different article. Styles wins despite Bryan’s passion for making this title the workhorse/television title, but perhaps the story becomes Bryan’s chase for that title through all the other contenders on SmackDown. And perhaps because WWE doesn’t want to be like AEW with Cody’s TNT Championship workhorse schedule.
And we got great stuff from the Universal Championship and MITB stories. Corbin being after Mandy just to get at Otis because of his crown is petty, but at least it’s something to tide Otis over until we can be sure he can cash in. Again I say, Otis cashing in when fans are finally live is the best course of action. I just hope Otis doesn’t run out of steam going against Corbin and others in the meantime.
My Score: 8.4/10