– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes SmackDown General Manager Paige as the announcers hype tonight’s Money In the Bank qualifying matches. Paige welcomes us and calls Backlash, the first co-branded pay-per-view, a smashing success.
Paige talks about some of the blue brand matches from Backlash and says the No DQ match between Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion AJ Styles was on its way to being a classic until they had a low blow confrontation, which no one can recover from. She says she didn’t think of this when she first added the No DQ stipulation but we will hear from both Superstars later tonight. She plugs the men’s and women’s MITB Ladder Matches for the June pay-per-view. Paige says she needs the best SmackDown has to offer so the briefcases can be brought back to this brand. We see the MITB briefcase hanging high above the ring as Paige calls for the first of three qualifying matches to be held tonight.
MITB Qualifying Match: WWE United States Champion Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz
The music hits and out comes WWE United States Champion Jeff Hardy for this non-title match. The Miz is out next as Greg Hamilton does the introductions.
The bell rings and Miz looks up at the briefcase as Hardy rallies fans. They lock up and Hardy drops Miz with a shoulder. They lock up again and trade holds. Hardy fights out of a hold and drops Miz with another shoulder. Hardy splashes Miz for a 2 count. Jeff beats on Miz and sends him out to the floor. Jeff runs around the ring and leaps off the steel steps, sending Miz into the barrier.
Hardy brings Miz back into the ring and goes to the top. Miz retreats back into the opposite corner as Jeff looks on from up high. We go to commercial.
More back and forth after the break. Miz drives a knee into Hardy’s chin and drops him to the mat for another 2 count. Miz keeps Hardy grounded now as fans chant his name. Hardy gets up and out but Miz nails the neckbreaker combo for a close pin attempt. Miz ends up going for the Skull Crushing Finale but it’s blocked. Miz sends Hardy tot he floor and comes out after him. Miz crotches Hardy on top of the barrier. Miz wastes some time on the outside. Jeff leaps from the top of the barrier and takes Miz down on the floor. The referee counts as both are down on the floor.
Hardy brings it back in at the 7 count and they trade shots. Hardy with offense, including the inverted atomic drop and other signature moves. Hardy with a 2 count. They tangle again but Jeff nails the Twist of Fate. Jeff goes to the top for the Swanton Bomb but Miz rolls to the apron and Jeff jumps back down. Miz kicks Hardy on the apron and hits a neckbreaker, driving Jeff’s neck down on the edge of the apron. Jeff gets pulled to the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Hardy breaks free to rock Miz. They trade shots from their knees in the middle of the ring now. They fight to their feet and Hardy unloads. Hardy ducks a shot and hits the side Russian leg sweep. Hardy rolls Miz up for another close 2 count. Miz with a cheap shot as the referee was distracted with Hardy. Miz goes for a Sleeper now but it’s broken. Hardy ends up going to the top and hitting Whisper In the Wind for another close 2 count.
Miz blocks a Twist of Fate after more back and forth. Hardy drops Miz over the top rope on the apron. Hardy charges and kicks Miz out to the floor. Hardy launches himself over the top to take Miz down again. Jeff brings it back into the ring and goes to the top as fans pop. Miz jumps up and crotches Hardy on the top. Miz climbs up for a Superplex but Hardy resists. Hardy fights back and hits the Sunset Flip Powerbomb for another close 2 count. Fans chant “this is awesome” now. Miz blocks the Hardyac Arrest in the corner. Miz blocks the Twist of Fate again but Hardy blocks the Skull Crushing Finale and rolls Miz up for another 2 count. Hardy launches Miz into the corner and hits the Hardyac Arrest this time. Hardy finally hits the Twist of Fate and goes back to the top. Hardy hits the Swanton Bomb and covers but Miz kicks out just in time and backslides Hardy over for the win. Miz is going to MITB.
Winner: The Miz
– After the match, Miz goes right to the floor and sits up against the barrier to recover. Hardy sits up in the corner and looks disappointed as we go to replays. Miz stands tall at ringside as his music plays and the referee raises his arm.
– Sheamus is backstage eating Lucky Charms out of the bag. Cesaro asks him why he’s doing that. Sheamus says it’s the only thing that will make him feel better after losing to Xavier Woods last week. Cesaro thought he had him. Sheamus says he would have won if it wasn’t for Kofi Kingston and Big E. Cesaro says he tried to help but pretty much says he could have defeated Woods. Sheamus proposes Cesaro vs. Woods tonight. Cesaro says that’s a great idea because no one will disrespect The Bar twice in a row. Cesaro opens his gear bag and it’s full of pancakes. Sheamus laughs at him. Sheamus opens his bag and it’s also full of pancakes. They get mad and flip out to end the segment.
– Still to come, Rusev vs. Daniel Bryan and Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce in MITB qualifying matches. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a new “coming soon” promo for SAnitY.
– We get a look at the Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles match from Backlash. Renee Young is backstage outside of Nakamura’s locker room door waiting for him to come out. Renee says Nakamura has not been cleared to compete due to the grueling Backlash match. She asks if the situation with AJ is over and he says “no English.” Renee says we all know he speaks English. Nakamura says this is right but he forgot how to speak English so for now, no English. Renee asks about AJ again. Nakamura says AJ is “nuts” but so is he. Nakamura says they are not finished. He turns and walks back into his locker room. Tom says AJ will speak later tonight.
– The announcers give us a look back at Carmella’s win over Charlotte Flair at Backlash. We cut to a backstage video recorded by Carmella. The SmackDown Women’s Champion brags on beating Flair and says it’s now time to party but not in a boring city like Baltimore. Carmella says she’s going to London to throw a Royal Mellabration next Tuesday. She says to forget the Royal Wedding and Prince Harry can stop blowing her phone up because the Royal Family is not invited. She says WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is also not invited and asks if we knew that he had a daughter, that her name if Charlotte Flair and that Carmella beat her. She laughs some more to end the segment.
MITB Qualifying Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce
We go to the ring and out comes Charlotte Flair for the next Money In the Bank qualifying match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get pre-recorded backstage videos from Tye Dillinger and Naomi with comments on Money In the Bank. We go to the ring and Flair is standing under the briefcase. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are out next with mics. They apologize for Flair’s loss at Backlash but say she’s still an inspiration. They tell a story of a boy in Australia who had a stutter until he laughed for an hour at Flair’s facial expression following the loss, fell off the couch and his stutter was cured. The IIconics continue mocking Flair and the look on her face after she lost to Carmella. Billie says the MITB contract belongs to the future and Peyton says the future is IIconic. Flair tells Peyton to bring it and she makes her way into the ring.
The bell rings and they lock up, going to the corner. Flair swings as the referee backs her off. Flair ducks a clothesline and slams Peyton to the mat. Flair with another big takedown from behind. Peyton fights her off with an elbow but Flair catches a kick and drops her again with a chop to the chest. Flair launches Peyton over her head and stands tall. Flair tosses Peyton to the floor in front of Billie. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Peyton brings Flair back into the ring after sending her into the steel ring post on the outside. Peyton keeps Flair grounded in the middle of the ring now. Flair looks to turn it around but Peyton launches her into the ropes and she lands hard. Flair looks to be out as Peyton covers for a close 2 count. Peyton shows some frustration now as she takes Flair to the corner and puts a long boot to the throat as the referee counts.
Flair finally gets an opening and unloads on Peyton, rocking her with chops as fans go along. Flair drops Peyton and struts a bit. Peyton charges but Flair drops her with another chop. More back and forth now. Flair rolls Peyton up for a 2 count. Flair with a big belly-to-back suplex and a kip up. Peyton goes to the floor after an assist from Kay but Flair launches herself over the top and takes out Kay. Peyton with a neckbreaker on Flair as the referee counts. Peyton brings it back into the ring for a close 2 count. Billie ends up with a cheap shot that the referee doesn’t see, allowing Peyton to drop Flair for another close 2 count.
Peyton goes for the knee but Flair avoids it and rolls her up for a 2 count. Flair ends up dropping Peyton with the big boot coming out of the corner. Flair goes to the top for the moonsault but Peyton gets her knees up. Flair clutches her knee and Peyton covers for a 2 count. Peyton with the knee for another close pin attempt. Peyton goes for a move but Flair counters and hits a big Spear in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Peyton rolls Flair up again. Flair with a roll up of her own. Flair applies the Figure Four and bridges into the Figure Eight for the win and the MITB spot.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, Flair looks up at the briefcase as her music hits. The referee raises her arm and we go to replays.
– We get a look at Daniel Bryan vs. Big Cass from Backlash. Dasha Fuentes is backstage with Bryan now, asking about tonight’s MITB qualifier with Rusev. Bryan says the stakes are high tonight and they will fight. Bryan says Cass did attack him at Backlash but he did it because Bryan made Cass tap out. Bryan recalls cashing in on Big Show in Baltimore a few years back to become champion. He has a history of defying expectations and tonight will be no different. He will fight, he will find a way and he will prove that the bigger they are, the harder they come down. Bryan thanks Dasha and goes back to warming up.
– Still to come, Cesaro vs. Xavier Woods. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get backstage videos recorded by Shelton Benjamin and Asuka with comments on Money In the Bank.
Xavier Woods vs. Cesaro
We go to the ring and out first comes The New Day – Xavier Woods with Kofi Kingston and Big E. The Bar is out next – Cesaro with Sheamus.
The bell rings and they lock up to trade holds. Cesaro takes Woods down first and talks some trash. Fans chant “we want pancakes” as Big E and Kofi start tossing them into the crowd. Cesaro goes after Woods and they lock up. Cesaro drops Woods with a shoulder off the ropes. Cesaro wastes some time and they run the ropes again. Cesaro catches Woods in mid-air but Woods counters. They run again and Woods takes Cesaro down with a scissors. Woods takes Cesaro to the corner and works him over now.
Cesaro goes for a cheap shot against the ropes but it’s blocked. Woods fights back but gets dropped from behind as he puts on the brakes to avoid running into the referee. Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex. Cesaro stands tall as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Woods fights out of a hold. Woods makes a comeback with offense, including a few kicks. Woods drops Cesaro for a 2 count as Sheamus looks on worried. Fans rally for The New Day now. Cesaro drops Woods over the middle rope but Woods comes right back with a counter. Woods runs the ropes and they trade counters before Woods drives Cesaro face-first into the mat for a 2 count.
Sheamus gets on the apron and yells at the referee. Cesaro tries to take advantage of the distraction but Kofi is there to provide an assist. More back and forth. Woods with a Shining Wizard as Sheamus argue with the official. Sheamus gets on the apron but Big E throws pancakes at him. Woods goes to the top now. Sheamus jumps off the apron but Big E moves out of the way. Kofi ends up leaping off the apron to drop Sheamus on the floor. Woods leaps from the top but Cesaro catches him in mid-air with a big uppercut for the pin.
– After the match, The Bar celebrates as their music hits. Sheamus picks Cesaro up to celebrate as Kofi and Big E check on Woods in the ring. We go to replays and come back to Woods recovering in the ring as The Bar looks on from the stage.
– Renee Young is backstage with the WWE Champion AJ Styles, who is also not cleared due to the Backlash match with Shinsuke Nakamura. Renee says Nakamura already said he’s not done with AJ. AJ cuts her off and admits he stooped to Nakamura’s level but he doesn’t want to fight like that, but he will if he has to and especially if the title is on the line. AJ agrees they are not done and says he doesn’t care why or where it is, if Nakamura has the guts to step back into the ring with him, AJ will finish him. Nakamura may be the king of low blows but this is the house that AJ built. AJ walks off.
– Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are shown walking backstage as is Becky Lynch. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see several action figures of SmackDown tag teams laying around. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers appear, wanting people to come play with them and their toys. They are waiting. Harper and Rowan end the segment by swinging their mallets at the figures.
Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose
We go to the ring and out first comes Becky Lynch. We see Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville backstage talking about how this is a new start, Paige was right last week, and they both can be in Money In the Bank. Paige appears and asks if Deville thinks she’s going to the ring, reminding them that Absolution is dead. They say Paige isn’t their mom and while Paige abandoned them for this cushy office job, they will never abandon each other. Paige bans Deville from ringside and walks off. They aren’t happy but Rose heads to the ring as Becky waits.
Rose comes out with her own theme and we get the bell. Back and forth to start the match. Rose nails a dropkick and stalks Becky some. Rose floors Becky again for a quick pin attempt. Rose keeps Becky grounded now and ragdolls her some on the mat. Becky tries to fight up and out but Rose slams her back to the mat and talks some trash.
Becky gets up and fights back, unloading on Rose with strikes. Becky with an uppercut. Becky goes for the Disarm Her but Rose escapes. Becky nails the Bexploder suplex. Becky with a big right hand in the corner. Rose counters the springboard kick and ends up rolling Becky up for the surprise win.
Winner: Mandy Rose
– After the match, Rose hits the floor and stands tall as we go to replays. Rose heads to the back as Becky looks on.
– We get a look back at Daniel Bryan cashing in his MITB contract at WWE TLC in 2011, defeating Big Show to become World Heavyweight Champion.
MITB Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop and the “yes!” chant. Bryan hits the corner as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and announced for next week’s SmackDown in London is the debut of Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega, Carmella’s Royal Mellabration and a MITB qualifier with The New Day vs. The Bar. The winning team will get to select one member to be in the ladder match. Back to the ring and out comes Aiden English to sing & rap the introduction for Rusev.
Rusev hits the ring as Bryan looks on. The bell rings as we see the briefcase hanging high. They lock up for a test of strength and trade holds as fans do dueling chants for both. Rusev drops Bryan with a shoulder. They run the ropes and Bryan takes Rusev down by his leg. The dueling chants are still going on. Bryan tries to get the surfboard submission but stomps on Rusev’s knees. Bryan with more offense, backing Rusev into the corner with kicks. Rusev counters a move and slams Bryan. Rusev keeps Bryan down with kicks.
Rusev charges but Bryan pulls the top rope down and Rusev lands out on the floor. Bryan runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive but Rusev catches him and launches him over the announce table. Bryan is down as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev remains in control. Rusev works Bryan over in the corner and the referee warns him. Rusev whips Bryan into the corner but Bryan counters and lands on his feet. Bryan runs the ropes and takes Rusev down with a knee. Fans try to rally for Bryan now as he waits for Rusev to get up in the corner. Bryan with a pair of corner dropkicks. Bryan kicks Rusev and takes him to the top for the hurricanrana, nailing it.
Bryan gets hyped up as he waits in the corner now. Bryan with the “yes!” kicks while Rusev is on his knees. Rusev ducks a kick and goes to set up The Accolade. Rusev catches a crossbody but Bryan ends up rolling him up for a 2 count. Rusev with a huge kick to the neck for a close 2 count as English looks on. Fans do dueling chants again as Rusev stands tall and calls for the finish. Rusev stomps on Bryan’s back and goes for The Accolade but his wrist gives out again due to Bryan working on it earlier. Bryan counters The Accolade and rolls Rusev into the Yes Lock. Rusev grabs the bottom rope and breaks the hold. They get up and trade shots but Bryan unloads with kicks. Rusev stuns Bryan with a kick. Rusev launches Bryan over his head but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan stuns Rusev with a kick and brings him down face-first. Bryan leads the “yes!” chant again but English pulls Rusev out to safety.
Bryan charges and kicks both of them through the ropes. Bryan leaps from the apron and takes Rusev down on the floor with double knees. Bryan brings it back into the ring and goes to the top for a missile dropkick. Bryan clutches his ribs but still kips up as fans pop. Bryan waits in the corner as the “yes!” chant starts back up. Bryan charges but Rusev lifts him in the air and drops his ribs onto a knee. Rusev with the Machka Kick for the pin and the MITB spot.
– After the match, English enters the ring to celebrate with Rusev as the music hits. Bryan is still down on the mat as we go to replays. Rusev and English head up the ramp and talk some trash back at the ring. Bryan lays on the apron and looks disappointed. Rusev Day looks back at the ring and laughs at Bryan as he sits up. We see the Money In the Bank briefcase hanging high in the background as Bryan holds his ribs on the apron. SmackDown goes off the air.
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