The last SmackDown before things get EXTREME!
Before Extreme Rules becomes a horror show, SmackDown is going to be golden! Will AJ Styles still be WWE Intercontinental Champion by the end?
- Big E w/ Kofi Kingston VS Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura; Cesaro wins and chooses Tables match stipulation for Extreme Rules.
- Asuka & Nikki Cross VS Bayley & Sasha Banks; Bayley & Banks win.
- Braun Stromwan VS John Morrison w/ The Miz; Strowman wins.
- Lacey Evans VS Naomi; Evans wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle; Styles wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown superstars hype up tonight!
Tonight, AJ Styles takes on “that barefoot bum” in a match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship! Yes, Matt Riddle technically beat him before, but he had the element of surprise. Tonight, no surprises, no shoes and no chance of winning! Riddle is a flash in a pan, and this is still the House That AJ Styles Built! Riddle responds by asking, “What does AJ stand for anyways? Arrogant Jackass?” Last time was no fluke. After Riddle wins tonight, he’ll officially be the Bro that Runs the Show. Daniel Bryan says Styles VS Riddle is going to tear the house down, with a new champion to start the night.
Alexa Bliss says she has a very special guest tonight. Who will it be? “I don’t bliss and tell.”
The Miz asks John Morrison if he’s afraid to take on Braun Strowman 1v1 again. Nope! That’d be like being afraid of Jean-Claude Van Damme just because he’s awesome. And another thing that’s awesome was that yacht party Van Damme threw. Morrison went to a Van Damme yacht party and fought him? Don’t be ridiculous. Of course he did. But is Morrison really not afraid of Braun? “Afraid? I’m freaking terrified!” And speaking of, Braun promises Morrison that the Horror Show might just start tonight. Hopefully Bray is watching.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro declare they will become SmackDown Tag Team Champions this Sunday at Extreme Rules! Will it be in a Steel Cage? A Tables match? Cesaro will get to choose if and when he defeats Big E tonight. But then the New Day responds with a “SPOILER ALERT!” The Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style will NOT win these W, W, E, World, Tag, Team CHAMPIONSHIPS~! And that goes the same for Cesaro tonight! Because the Swiss Superman is in the sky, but Big E’s fist is his Lois Lane! Don’t you mean Kryptonite? “AWWWWW people at hooome~!” Clap for your pivotal opening match, and feel~ the power~!
Big E w/ Kofi Kingston VS Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura!
The bell ring and Big E CLOBBERS Cesaro! Big E throws body shots on Cesaro in the corner, then whips him out of the ring. Cesaro kicks Big E back, throws European Uppercuts, but Big E RAMS him into steel steps! Kofi keeps Nakamura back as Big E RAMS into Cesaro and the steps! Big E puts Cesaro back in, runs at Cesaro in the corner, but Cesaro POSTS him! Cesaro puts Big E on the apron to then run and dropkick him off! Big E hits the floor and Cesaro grins as he pursues. Cesaro drags Big E up to POST him form this side, then shove him back inside. Cesaro climbs, Big E stands, Cesaro leaps to ax handle him down! Cover, ONE! It’ll take more than that to stop Big E.
Cesaro clubs Big E in the back then wraps on a chinlock. The crowd rallies with Kofi and Big E powers up. Big E throws elbows to get free, but he runs into a scoop and slam! Cover, TWO! Cesaro goes to a corner and climbs back up. Big E stands again, Cesaro leaps, but into the OVERHEAD belly2belly! And then another! Big E dodges Cesaro to hit the third belly2belly! The crowd fires up as Big E swivels those hips! Big E runs and SPLASHES! But Big E keeps going as he drags Cesaro up. Cesaro elbows and uppercuts back, but Big E dumps him to the apron. Big E bumps Cesaro off buckles then has him on the apron. Big E clubs away, Kofi and Nakamura jaw at each other, and Big E climbs up. Big E aims to APRON SPLASH! The champions have control as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cesaro runs corner to corner to uppercut Big E! And then again! Cesaro tries the hat trick but gets the URENAG-E! Cover, TWO! Big E keeps his cool as he watches Cesaro flounder up. Cesaro is on the apron, Big E runs but into a BOOT! Cesaro gets in, ducks and springboards for a FLYING uppercut! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps his cool as he drags Big E up. Cesaro throws more EuroUppers then reels Big E in. The crowd rallies, Big E trips Cesaro and has a leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! Cesaro flails as Big E holds him off the mat. Cesaro sits up, gets around and sunset flips! TWO, Cesaro has the SWISS SWING! Then he drops Big E for the SHARPSHOOTER! Big E endures, reaches,, powers up, but Cesaro switches to a CROSSFACE!
Nakamura sucker punches Kofi! Nakamura taunts Big E, “C’mon!” But Big E powers up to lift Cesaro for a Canadian rack! Cesaro grabs ropes, they swing around and the ref has to get clear! Nakamura gets a cheap shot enziguri in! Cesaro drags Big E up for a NEUTRALIZER! Cover, Cesaro wins!!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
The Artist Collective found a way to take advantage! They stomp Big E to add insult to injury, and then make their choice clear: They bring out a table! But Kofi FLIES in and takes them out! Kofi fires off on Cesaro and Nakamura then takes the table for his own! Kofi sets the table up, goes after Cesaro with forearms and even bumps him off the apron. Big E returns to keep Nakamura down while Cesaro is put on the table. Kofi goes back into the ring, climbs up and has Big E’s help, only for Nakamura to save Cesaro! They run away, still victorious, but will it be that way come Extreme Rules?
Backstage interview with King Corbin.
The Wolf King has been quite the antagonist to Matt Riddle. Corbin wants it set straight that Riddle attacked him first. That aside, how does Corbin think Riddle will do in tonight’s title match? Well AJ Styles is one of the best ever, while Riddle wrestles without shoes. This will be a quick and decisive victory for Styles to remain Intercontinental Champion. So in his opinion, Riddle’s win in his debut means nothing? Corbin will give Riddle something: he is ambitious. Everything’s gone right so far, but Riddle thinks this is like the movies, where you go after the biggest and overcome the odds. Riddle is playing with fire and is going to get burned. Tonight, after Styles is done pummeling Riddle, everyone will realize the Bro is just a little boy.
Cesaro and Nakamura celebrate backstage.
The New Day just can’t win against them. They can’t even touch them! And finally, they will get the proper respect they deserve. They earned this right the hard way. So this Sunday, what match should they choose? Nakamura says the cage is unforgiving. Bones can break, flesh can tear. But as much as Cesaro loves that, Cesaro can’t get the idea out of his head that the New Day will just gyrate up against the cage and it gives him “the heeby-jeebies.” Cesaro would really enjoy smashing them through a table again. That was a good feeling. Cesaro wants to do that to take the titles. Therefore, this Sunday’s SmackDown Tag Team Championship match will be a TABLES MATCH! Will the eight reign be broken with the breaking of wood?
SmackDown presents A Moment of Bliss!
The co-hosts, “the always alluring Alexa Bliss and her enthusiastic best friend, Nikki Cross” are already in the ring as the crowd cheers. Alexa welcomes us to the show, but wants to talk about something very near and dear to these two. It is the five year anniversary of the Women’s (R)Evolution! Nikki read Alexa’s mind! So wild to think it’s already been five years. Boundaries were broken, glass ceilings were shattered, and that is all worth a great round of applause. But speaking of mind-reading, maybe Alexa is clairvoyant. Nikki has an Aunt Claire who made the best shepherd’s pie. No, not aunts named Claire. Clairvoyant, able to see the future. Oh!
Well then, Blisstrodamus will predict that the LA Lakers will be NBA Champions. She predicts Riddle becomes Intercontinental Champion. And that her very close friend, Braun, will walk out of the Swamp Fight victorious. She also predicts that her mystery guest will tear the roof off this Sunday. This is someone Alexa is close with, someone very unconventional and- OH! It’s Nikki! Of course! They are very best friends, and yes, Nikki will blow the roof off against Bayley! She will live the dream on Sunday, and Bayley is going to live a nightmare! Bayley thinks Nikki can’t but Nikki can! She will be the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! Yes, okay, great energy, but bring it down a little. How many Nitro Boosts did she have today? A few? Maybe…
Well, sorry, no, Nikki is not the mystery guest. Oh… Well sorry, Nikki got excited. The guest is- Well it’s not these two. The Golden Role Models, Bayley and Sasha Banks, appear! Alexa and Nikki better guest used to disappointment. Nikki is going to be a failure. So listen up, “you hyper chihuahua,” after Bayley beats you at Extreme Rules, it’s back into the shadow of Alexa! But before getting into the ring to beat Bliss-Cross senseless, which isn’t hard because they have no sense, there are things Alexa got right. This is the fifth year of the Women’s (R)Evolution. WOO! But uh, did Alexa forget to give credit where credit is due?
DING DONG, HELLO~! Bayley & Banks are the architects of that revolution! They built the walls and the floor of this place! The ring they’re sitting in! They are the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions! “You’re welcome.” Camera man, move! They gotta use the steps. He moves, they enter the ring. Now, since Alexa tells the future, Bayley has a prediction for her. This Sunday, Bayley BEATS Nikki, Sasha defeats the Empress of Yesterday, so that not only will they be the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but the NEW Raw Women’s Champion and the longest reigning combined whatever it is, best ever SmackDown Women’s Champion! “And there’s not a damn thing you, you or anybody in the WWE can do about.”
The crowd boos and Alexa says that’s sweet and all, but they didn’t let her finish about her special guest. It’s ASUKA!! The current Raw Women’s Champion makes a special visit to SmackDown! Bliss-Cross brawls with the Role Models first but Asuka gets involved! Asuka and Nikki take care of running Bayley and Sasha off and Alexa takes a moment to sort things out. “Y’all need to settle your issues in here, so let’s get a referee in here right now.” The crisscross crossover of champions and challengers is going down, after the break!
SmackDown hears more from Daniel Bryan.
“A great champion doesn’t coast. He pushes himself, challenges himself, forces everybody around them to elevate their game.” That’s why Bryan is pleased, despite Styles’ objections to the idea, Styles is forced to be a fighting champion. Now Bryan thinks Styles can be that greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, if he embraces the opportunity. But if he’s not careful, his reign will be very short. Bryan has seen the fire, the intensity and the skills Riddle brings to the ring up close. Does Bryan think he’ll win? Bryan might be biased, but word is Riddle has a special coach with him tonight. Gulak and Riddle, formerly known as Catchpoint, are working on getting Riddle ready. Is the Bro going to take over the show?
Asuka & Nikki Cross VS Bayley & Sasha Banks!
SmackDown returns and Bayley furiously shouts at Nikki while she starts against Asuka. Which singles champion will be on the winning side of this unique tag team showdown?
The crowd is already fired up as Asuka is ready to throw down, but Bayley pie faces Nikki! Nikki is furious and wants in, so Asuka tags her! Nikki tackles Bayley and fires off fast hands! She trips Bayley, throws more hands, then drags Bayley to a corner for buckle bumps and a mudhole stomp! The ref counts, Nikki lets up to bring Bayley across the way. Bayley blocks the bump to give it to Nikki. Bayley gets space, runs back in, but Nikki puts her on the apron. Bayley forearms back, tags to Sasha, but that doesn’t count! The ref is busy explaining to Sasha, but Bayley throws Nikki down by her hair! Bayley gets in, covers, ONE!
Bayley tags Sasha officially now, and they mug Nikki in the corner. Sasha brings Nikki around, s nap suplex! Cover, TWO! Sasha keeps Nikki down with a chinlock, but Nikki fights up as the crowd and Alexa rally. Bayley tags in first, the friends double whip and double elbow! Cover, TWO! Bayley stays between Nikki and Asuka while taunting Asuka. Bayley stomps Nikki, puts her on the ropes and chokes her! The ref counts, Bayley stops, Sasha hotshots Nikki down! Asuka and Alexa protest but Bayley looms over Nikki. Bayley brings Nikki up by her hair to bump her off buckles. Tag to Sasha and they crisscross Cross to throw her into buckles!
Sasha drags Nikki up to knee her down! Sasha keeps Nikki away but Nikki headbutts back! Sasha bumps Nikki off buckles, fires off hands but lets up as the ref counts. But Bayley pulls Nikki in by her hair to smother her! Sasha tags Bayley and then digs a knee into Nikki. Bayley mocks Alexa’s pose but Nikki cradle counters! TWO, Bayley keeps Nikki anchored to drop an elbow! Bayley drags Nikki back up as Sasha mocks Asuka and Alexa cheering for Nikki. The crowd rallies up again, Nikki fights up and throws Bayley off. Nikki slides under to tag in Asuka! Asuka fires off on Bayley with kicks then whips. Bayley reveres but gets a strike fest! Sasha tags in and Bayley boots Asuka away! But Asuka runs both bets friends over with shoulders!
Asuka goes after Sasha with point-blank hip attacks! Sasha flounders but swings on Asuka, Asuka dodges to hip attack Bayley down! Asuka side-steps Sasha but Sasha tilt-o-whirl headscissors Asuka out! Sasha baseball slides, but Asuka borrows an idea from Nikki with the apron skirt trap! Asuka fires off on Sasha then lets up to tag Nikki in. Nikki gets her own shots in on Sasha! Nikki fires up, but Bayley daredevil dropkicks! Only get caught int he apron, skirt, too! Nikki beats Bayley down, gets back up on the apron, and Asuka sliding knees Bayley down! Nikki leaps to crossbody Sasha down! The crowd is thunderous as Asuka and Nikki both stand on the desk and dance around! SmackDown goes to break as Raw’s champion and SmackDown’s challenger have control!
SmackDown returns and Sasha kicks Asuka down. Asuka ducks the buzzsaw to roll Sasha up, TWO! Sasha CLOBBERS Asuka and Bayley cheers Sasha on. Cover, TWO! Sasha stomps Asuka and drags her up to whip her to a corner. Asuka goes to boot, Sasha blocks and turns her, STOCK DROP KNEES! Cover, TWO! Sasha grows frustrated but she stomps Asuka in the corner. Sasha lets up to bring Asuka around. Tag to Bayley, they mug Asuka then Bayley covers, TWO! Asuka hits back as the fans rally. Bayley swings into a backslide, TWO! Bayley CLOBBERS Asuka! She drops an elbow then covers, TWO! Bayley grows frustrated but she drags Asuka up to bump off buckles.
Tag to Sasha, Sasha hip attacks Asuka, then runs in to do it again. Sasha snapmares Asuka into a chinlock but the crowd keeps rallying. Asuka endures, Sasha thrashes her around and bends her back, and even smears her forearms into Asuka’s face. The ref reprimands, Asuka fights up and out, but Sasha rams her into the corner. Tag to Bayley, she rams her shoulders into Asuka now. Bayley taunts Nikki but Asuka hits back! Asuka fires off, BOOT and a roll up for Bayley, TWO! Asuka pop-up KNEES Bayley down! Both women are on the mat, crawling for their corners! Hot tags to Sasha and Nikki!
Nikki runs wild and rallies on Sasha! Chop, headbutt and dropkick! Sasha gets to a corner, Nikki runs in, monkey flip! Sasha ends up in the other corner, Nikki runs in, BIG splash! BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Nikki keeps going, goes up top, and leaps only to FLOP! Sasha basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Sasha is losing her cool and wants Bayley to finish this. Sasha drags Nikki over, tags in Bayley, and Bayley climbs up. But Nikki stops her with haymakers! Bayley avoids the draping neckbreaker and whips Nikki out hard! Bayley goes out after Nikki, but Nikki throat chops! Nikki has Bayley and uses the desk, TORNADO DDT! The crowd fires up as Nikki puts Bayley in and covers, but Sasha breaks it!
Asuka goes after Sasha with strikes, then whips only for Sasha to hold ropes. Sasha dodges the hip attack to KICK Asuka out! Sasha goes to the corner, but Asuka keeps her from tagging Bayley in! Sasha leaps at Asuka, only to get a ROUNDHOUSE! Bayley wrecks Asuka with a dropkick, but Nikki gets Bayley with another tornado, but no DDT! Bayley high stacks and uses the ROPES! Bayley and Sasha win!!
Winners: Bayley & Sasha Banks, by pinfall
Bayley didn’t get help from her friend, but she got help from the ring itself! But if Bayley had to use tricks tonight, what does this mean for Sunday when the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line? As for Sasha, is she really ready for Asuka?
The Miz gives Morrison a pep talk.
Braun’s not so big and scary. But he’s 6′ 9″, 370 pounds of solid muscle! He’s the Monster Among Men! Yes, but they’re movie guys! And everyone knows in a horror film, the hero triumphantly comes out ahead and slays the monster! Morrison is that hero. Yeah, the hero that slays the monster and becomes a legend. And every horror movie hero has a best friend that is even more heroic and fights the monster when the hero isn’t ready! Well, Miz isn’t really into horror movies, so he has no idea what he’s talking about. Morrison will do great, though!
SmackDown returns to a special Firefly Fun House!
Instead of the Fun House, we’re at the swamp! And the old Bray Wyatt is singing to himself as he walks around. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Peaceful. It’s just like Abigail used to say. ‘A rattlesnake’s skin is the same color as the leaves.'” A camouflage of the horrors that lie underneath. When Braun first came here, “he was nothing more than a lost sheep looking for a home.” And he found one! Braun looked the devil in the eyes and saw the truth. Bray gave him a purpose! Bray created the monster. But then he left! “Or so he thought.” Bray says this place is where darkness comes to light, the devil comes to dance, and all the horrors of the world feel right at home! It is a special, painful place. Once you enter, you never truly leave. A part of you will be here forever.
But Bray knows Braun, and the truth about him! The monster Bray created is just waiting to come home. Bray can see it still lives within Braun! Braun has proven he is not capable handling the gives Bray gave him on his own. Bray must control it. Braun didn’t embrace his destiny as a monster, so now Bray must destroy the monster Braun has become. “You know where to find me, brother. Come home. Run!”
Braun Stromwan VS John Morrison w/ The Miz!
We just heard the ultimatum from the Eater of Worlds, and now the Monster Among Men will use actions rather than words to respond! Will the Guru of Greatness be run over by the Strowman Express? Or can he derail it on the way to the swamp?
Before the match, Braun grabs a mic to still speak. “I’m gonna give you a very important piece of information. There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to make the decision to grow up and face his fears. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do this Sunday!” Braun will walk through the gates of Hell to slap the devil in his face! That is the only way this ends! Braun has to face his fear that is Bray, because the last thing he wants is Bray to become the Fiend, because The Fiend is everything evil Braun has ever done in life! Every bad thought, every miscalculation, doubt and self-judgement, all culminating as a living, breathing human being in Bray Wyatt. Braun has to go home and end Bray before Bray ends Braun! The Monster is even more motivated than ever before! He storms the ring, Morrison gets out!
Miz gives Morrison some last tips as Braun shouts, “Bray! I hope you’re watching!!” Morrison gets in the ring, the bell rings, and Braun bulldozes Morrison to a corner! Then TOSSES him across the way! Then corner splashes and LARIATS Morrison inside out! Braun is seething as he STANDS on Morrison’s stomach! Then he grinds his foot into Morrison’s face! The ref counts and reprimands but Braun just circles Morrison like a shark. Braun drags Morrison up to CLUB away on the chest! Braun circles Morrison again, then drags him up in a choke grip, for a DEAD LIFT CHOKE SLAM!! And Braun grins and laughs!
Braun drags Morrison up, for an ARM-TRIANGLE! Braun hasn’t used such a move since he as Bray’s Black Sheep! Then he drags Morrison onto his shoulder, for the MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman wins!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
The Monster Among Men dominated Morrison but he wants to speak again. “Bray Wyatt… I hope you were watching. I’m coming home.” Braun laughs again as he leaves Morrison down on the mat. Will Braun exorcise the demons as he faces his past? Or will he once again be Bray’s to command?
As for Morrison, Miz wants medics to get out here for Morrison. Morrison’s neck is in a lot of pain from being thrown around, clobbered and utterly manhandled. Morrison doesn’t want the backboard or stretcher, he just has Miz help him. Miz opens the ropes for him and the crowd cheers encouragement to Morrison. They go up the ramp just as we shift to another match. Lacey Evans makes her entrance first to settle things with Naomi. Who will be singing the blues in this revenge match over karaoke?
Lacey Evans VS Naomi!
SmackDown returns and Lacey speaks on the mic. “After tonight, Naomi’s glow will be nothing but a little sparkle.” But before she can say more, Naomi makes her entrance! Will Naomi make Lacey #FeelTheGlow the hard way after giving her a hard time over SmackDown Karaoke Showdown?
The bell rings, Lacey and Naomi circle. Lacey gets a drop toehold but Naomi catches herself to stomp Lacey in return! Naomi throws Lacey to a corner, then runs in to slide and SLAP! Lacey gets up but Naomi headlocks. Lacey pushes Naomi to a corner, runs in but is put on the apron. She shoulders back in, sweeps the legs, then slingshots to elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Lacey keeps her cool while Naomi sits up. Lacey brings Naomi up, goes to buckle bump but Naomi blocks, so she throws Naomi down by her hair! Lacey stomps Naomi, drags her to a corner and drops another elbow. Lacey moonsaults but onto knees! Naomi kips up for a running splits splash! Cover, TWO!
Naomi taunts Lacey as the crowd rallies up. Lacey stands, Naomi fires off kicks! Lacey blocks one, but Naomi ducks the punch to full nelson. Lacey breaks free, Naomi ducks and huricanranas! Naomi runs at Lacey in the corner, but Lacey slides out only for Naomi to jump the sweep. Lacey stands up to get the ROUNDHOUSE! Naomi drags Lacey in but Lacey fights back with clawing hands! Lacey grabs Naomi’s hair and ties it up on the rope! Lacey can’t get free without help, and then she get a WOMAN’S RIGHT!! Cover, Lacey wins!
Winner: Lacey Evans, by pinfall
The Sassy Southern Belle uses a unique bending of the rules to get a big win! Will the Lady of SmackDown go for the champion after Extreme Rules?
Backstage interview with Jeff Hardy!
Hardy’s return has had Sheamus mocking his past with addiction. Sheamus has toasted him, and even used The Miz and Morrison to issue a Bar Fight match challenge! Why did Hardy accept the challenge to risk his sobriety? Fighting a bully is a lot like fighting addiction. You can’t run, you can’t hide and you can’t wish it away. Hardy accepts the truth, plants his feet firmly in the ground and fights until things quiet down. It is risky, but the chance to make Sheamus regret it all is worth it.
While he’s here, what prediction does he have for the WWE Intercontinental Championship match tonight? That’s a bittersweet question, given Hardy could not compete in the Intercontinental Championship tournament because of Sheamus. He could be in the main event tonight against either man, but- someone BOOTS Hardy down! And as if we have to ask, it’s Sheamus. Sheamus sits with Hardy and says there is no running or hiding from this. “But don’t worry, fella. I’m here to help!” Sheamus will cleanse Hardy of his demons. See you next week.
Backstage interview with Bayley and Sasha!
Kayla Braxton congratulates them on the win tonight, and asks if this momentum continues through Extreme Rules. Uh, yes, duh. No one has more momentum than Bayley. And the definition of momentum is mass times velocity. Looking at these belts, Bayley has more mass than Nikki and therefore more momentum. “It’s freakin’ science.” But that’s half the equation. The Blueprint, the Boss, the Standard, will decimate Asuka to become #TwoBeltBanks. Then it won’t just be science, it’ll be fate! It’s destiny to have all the gold! And Bayley knows Nikki borders apoplexy, but if she thinks she’s upset now, just wait for her whining and crying into depression as she loses her one and only title match with Bayley. She can just go back to being a chimney sweep! Cheerio~!
Bliss-Cross watches and responds to this.
No wonder those two are laughing. What is wrong with Nikki? She lost last week, lost tonight, she might lose Sunday. Don’t worry about that! Alexa has been there. No, it’s different. Nikki loves Alexa, but this is her chance to finally have a singles title! She left her family and friends who will be watching Sunday, but are they going to just watch her lose again? They’ve lost her lose so many times already! Nikki is shaken. Alexa wants Nikki to look at her. “You will defeat Bayley.” Will she? Will the Horror Show be this bad? But then the Golden Role Models come within earshot, and Nikki goes right after Bayley!!
Sasha freaks out and goes after Nikki, but Nikki shoves her off to go after Bayley more! Alexa hurries to get Nikki away and Bayley wants Alexa to put a leash on Nikki! Nikki will never touch this title!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Matt Riddle!
The Phenomenal One chalks the Bro’s victorious “debutt” up to the surprise factor. But will Riddle prove he isn’t a flavor of the month, flash in the pan when he wins again?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this phenomenal bro-match begins!
Riddle and Styles go at each other but Riddle dodges Styles’ punch. They tie up, go around, and Riddle puts Styles in a corner. Riddle lets up at the count and the two circle again. Riddle shoots in to the waistlock, lifts but Styles resists. Styles backs Riddle into the corner and elbows him away! Styles rams his shoulder in, lets up at the ref’s count, then rams Riddle more. He ROCKS Riddle with a right, then whips. Riddle holds the ropes, breaks free and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on to do it again! Styles bails out, comes back, but gets a TRIANGLE JUMP KNEE! Riddle has Styles staggering and furious! Riddle goes out after Styles and mocks the rage! Styles gets angrier and rushes into a ROUNDHOUSE! The champ is down as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Riddle knees Styles over and over in the ribs! Riddle then floats over to knee the other side! Riddle has the arm and wants the Fujiwara but Styles resists. Styles reaches for ropes but Riddle waistlocks and SLAMS Styles down! Riddle elbows and knees away, Styles scrambles but Riddle mounts to go after the ropes. Styles hooks ropes with his legs so Riddle lets go. Riddle watches Styles stand in the corner, and then fires off fast hands! Riddle brings Styles up for a PERFECT PLEX! Cover, TWO! The crowd cheers as Riddle keeps after Styles. Styles flapjack hotshots Riddle on the ropes! Styles wheelbarrow FACEBUSTERS Riddle down!
The crowd rallies for Riddle as Styles gets up. Styles kicks Riddle while he’s down and throws haymakers into the corner. Styles stomps Riddle down but lets up at the ref’s count. Riddle CHOPS and forearms back! Riddle kicks away at the ropes but Styles blocks to DRAGON SCREW! Styles stomps the bad leg then kicks it at the ropes. The ref counts, Styles stops and Riddle bails out. Styles watches Riddle get back in to kick him back down. Styles has the leg and drops knees on it! He pulls on it but Riddle hits back. Styles drops more knees on the knee, but the crowd rallies up. Styles gets Riddle’s leg but Riddle fires chops. Styles ROCKS Riddle with a forearm then puts on a sleeper hold!
Riddle endures, the crowd rallies up but Styles leans on the hold. Styles cranks and grinds Riddle down, but Riddle fights up to throw hands. Styles elbows him in the back then fireman’s carries. Riddle slips off to boot him to a corner! Riddle forearms, runs side to side to forearm again! BROSPLODER! Riddle runs to Penalty Kick but Styles gets under. Styles avoids the moonsault but not the Broton! The Penalty Kick hits this time! Riddle brings Styles up to fireman’s carry, BRO TO SLEEP! Then POWERBOMB! Flip, Kami-BRO-YE! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives and shocks Riddle while SmackDown goes to one more break.
SmackDown returns once more, and Riddle brawls with Styles in a corner. Riddle whips corner to corner but Styles comes back to LARIAT! Riddle checks his teeth as he sits up, but Styles sliding forearms him back down! Styles looms over Riddle and brings him up. Styles throws more forearms but Riddle hits back! Riddle CHOPS, Styles CHOPS and they brawl with more forearms. Styles KICKS the bad leg, but Riddle shoots to GERMAN SUPLEX Styles down! The crowd rallies back up as both men are down. Riddle crawls over to Styles, throws more forearms and CHOPS, then body shots in the corner. Riddle throws kicks but runs into a SUPERKICK! Wonder where Styles learned that.
Styles brings Riddle up to whip but Riddle holds ropes. Styles throws forearms, runs in to clothesline! Styles wants his Clash but Riddle blocks! Styles elbows him down, suplexes him up , but Riddle slips out to wristlock ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Riddle hurries to the corner and the top rope, but Styles stands up. FLOATING BRO FLOPS! Styles dead lifts Riddle but Riddle grabs ropes! Styles puts him on the apron, ROCKS him with a right, then snap BRAIN BUSTERS Riddle in! Cover, TWO!! Riddle lives and Styles grows frustrated. Styles drags Riddle back up, fireman’s carries, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!!
Styles is beside himself as Riddle survives again. Styles goes to the apron and takes aim. Riddle stands, Styles springboards, but Riddle catches Styles to the gut wrench! Styles fights out but the BROTON drops outta nowhere! Riddle and Styles are both down but the crowd rallies up. Styles and Riddle slowly stand and Riddle throws palm strikes and body shots! Styles ducks the kick, Phenomenal Blitz! But into the Pele, that Styles blocks! Styles rolls Riddle to the CALF CRUSHER!! Riddle flails as Styles as tortures the toes! Riddle reaches, Styles waistlocks and rolls him to keep the Calf Crusher on! Riddle powers up, shifts and has the BROMISSION!!
Styles flails but Riddle hammers away on his chest! Styles and Riddle move around, Styles pops out to cover, STYLES WINS!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
The Phenomenal One got a phenomenal fight from Riddle, but he manages to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat! Riddle feels disappointed, but he has apparently won the respect of AJ Styles. They shake hands, the crowd cheers, but CORBIN attacks! Corbin rains down rights on Riddle, and Styles just leaves! Seems styles doesn’t respect Riddle enough to save him from the Wolf King. Corbin wants Riddle and SmackDown to respect him, and hits END OF DAYS! Will this only incur the wrath of the Bro in the coming weeks?
A much better episode than last week’s, and a very good go-home for Extreme Rules, but I’m very curious about things for that PPV. I didn’t realize the Bar Fight blow-off for Sheamus and Jeff Hardy was going to be on SmackDown and not the PPV. I can understand the WWE wanting to have material for SmackDown, and this parallels Randy Orton VS Big Show in their Unsanctioned Match being part of Raw instead of PPV. Hardy had a good promo, and Sheamus’ surprise attack as part of it was good, but if it’s on SmackDown, I guess this means it’ll just be a bar themed Street Fight, not a match with a full Hollywood bar film set. A shame, I suppose, but really more for the Extreme Rules PPV.
Opening the show with a big rundown of the night was different, and I suppose can help to make SmackDown different from Raw or NXT. The lead into the match between Cesaro and Big E was good, too, as was the match they had. I just think it’s foolish to say, “This match decides if the tag title match is a Cage or Tables match.” The story so far already gave away a Tables Tag was going to happen, but this just basically doubled down. The choice should’ve been booked as “open to any stipulation,” and then the promo where Cesaro brings up the table spot last week works itself out. But that tag title match will still be great, and because it is Tables, it can go either way.
Lacey VS Naomi was a good match but rather short. I still think things should be more a tag team story with Dana and Tamina included. But I loved everything with the main women’s story, from A Moment of Bliss being how Asuka shows up on SmackDown, and that great champions and challengers tag match. Bayley winning only to get attacked backstage definitely keeps the math complicated, but I still feel Bayley wins to put all the pressure on Sasha to accomplish their goals of being #DoubleDoubleChampChamps. This will only prove to further the tension between them so that we can get their own feud going into the latter half of WWE’s calendar (WrestleMania to WrestleMania, that is).
Bray Wyatt turning the Firefly Fun House back into one of his Eater of Worlds promos was great, as was the promo itself. Braun’s promo was incredible, especially for him. I liked how he basically mauled Morrison, but the promos from Miz and Morrison building towards it were not quite right. They already faced Braun 2v1 so it makes sense Morrison would be wary, but I feel like they were avoiding referencing that Handicap match from Backlash. Morrison selling being mauled was a good touch, but I was really hoping Miz would turn on Morrison and cue a return of the SmackDown Hacker or something.
The Intercontinental Championship match was definitely phenomenal, but Styles winning does make a lot of sense. Daniel Bryan’s promo was a good way of setting up Styles reluctantly going through a workhorse schedule but still coming out on top, because that will really help SmackDown week to week. Corbin VS Riddle is also the obvious next step. Riddle can build a lot with fans who haven’t watched NXT by taking on Corbin, someone we’ve all seen a lot of. Corbin makes Riddle look good while biding time until something else comes around. For once, WWE could be playing the long game to properly book someone as a big name, though it’s not like they actually have to with Riddle.
My Score: 8.4/10