– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens up with a video package hyping Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali.
– We’re live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes WWE Champion Daniel Bryan as Greg Hamilton introduces him. We see a clip from last week when Bryan tried to injure the leg of AJ Styles ahead of their match at TLC on Sunday.
Fans boo as Bryan takes the mic and looks around the crowd. Bryan says he called everyone sheep last week and he wants to come out and apologize now…. apologize to the sheep that don’t deserve to be compared to you idiots. Bryan says the sheep aren’t the ones destroying the Earth with mindless consumption and their carbon footprints. Bryan says the fans aren’t like sheep, they’re more like parasites. A “Daniel sucks!” chant starts up. Bryan responds with a “Fickle!” and goes on about how fans take and take with never giving anything back like parasites, especially here in Las Vegas.
Bryan isn’t surprised because the fans latched onto the old Daniel Bryan and the Yes Movement, living vicariously through him. Guess what? The old Daniel Bryan is dead and the Yes Movement is dead. But just like any parasite, the fans have moved onto the next fickle field and now they all reside on the couch in the house that AJ Styles built. Bryan raises the title and says he is the WWE Champion, not AJ. Bryan says he will crush AJ’s dreams of becoming WWE Champion again at TLC on Sunday. Bryan says at the end of the match the WWE Champion will be the new Daniel Bryan. Fans boo. You don’t believe him? Fans respond with a “no!” chant. Bryan goes on knocking the fans, calling them idiots. The music interrupts and out comes Mustafa Ali.
Ali has a mic and walks to the ring. Bryan introduces Ali and says he is the heart of WWE 205 Live, and he’s an incredible performer. Bryan tells Ali he is an incredible performer. Bryan says he sees a lot of himself in Ali. Bryan wants to give Ali some advice – they don’t need to have this match tonight. Bryan says after the match, the people won’t care because they’re too self-absorbed, too xenophobic, too consumed with mindless consumption. Fans give Bryan the “what?!” treatment. Bryan says the truth is these fickle people don’t deserve their match. Fans boo and Bryan responds with a “fickle!” chant. Ali asks Bryan what happened to him. Ali says Bryan inspired him and made him realize it was possible to become a WWE Superstar. Ali talks about guys in the back looking up to him and about how he had heart. Ali says Bryan keeps talking about the old Daniel Bryan but the old Daniel Bryan would have fought and that’s what Ali wants to do, fight. A “fight!” chant breaks out.
Bryan asks Ali what kind of car he drives. Ali says he drives a SUV. Bryan calls him a small, little man and asks why he would drive in a SUV. Ali says he has a wife and two small children. Bryan interrupts with a slap to the face, sending Ali to the mat. Bryan calls him ignorant and keeps hitting him. Ali fights back and gets the upperhand. Ali knocks Bryan out of the ring and dropkicks him back to the floor. Ali goes to the top and leaps out, taking Bryan back down on the floor. Ali returns to the ring and plays to the crowd for a big pop. We go to commercial.
Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali
Back from the break and this first-time-ever non-title match is already underway. Bryan drops Ali and works him over while talking trash.
Bryan takes Ali to the corner and beats him down. Bryan keeps Ali down and works him around the ring, taking his time. Bryan starts working on the left leg now. Bryan keeps control and stomps on Ali’s back. Bryan plays to the crowd for boos. Bryan with kicks to the chest while Ali is on his knees. Some fans chant “yes!” while he kicks. Ali avoids the last kick and drops Bryan for a 2 count.
Bryan retreats to the floor for a breather. Ali with a baseball slide, sending Bryan back into the barrier. Ali launches himself over the top rope but Bryan ends up catching him and sending him face-first into the steel ring post. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bryan has Ali down in a Yes Lock in the middle of the ring. Ali makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold. We see replays of how Ali hit a top rope Spanish Fly during the commercial. Ali ends up missing the 054. Bryan goes back to work on the leg and slams it into the ring post. Bryan ends up applying the Heel Hook for the submission win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Bryan attacks Ali up on the ramp and beats him up some more. Bryan apples the Heel Hook submission until referees come and break things up. Bryan takes the WWE Title and raises it on the ramp as his music hits. The crowd responds with loud boos.
– The announcers go over the card for Sunday’s WWE TLC pay-per-view.
– We go back to the ring and it’s time for the Rap Battle. Out comes The New Day – Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso – are already out, as are SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar – Cesaro and Sheamus. The New Day are in between the two teams and they will be hosting the Rap Battle. Cesaro and Sheamus are dressed like Run DMC in the 80s.
The New Day mention how they will become champions again at TLC on Sunday. Big E says for some ungodly reason The Bar requested this battle, so they are up first. The Bar channels their inner Vanilla Ice with their own version of his “Ice Ice Baby” hit. It’s horrible. The Uso are up next. They take shots at the champions but their bars aren’t much better. This leads to a “you look stupid!” chant at Sheamus.
The Usos’ rap goes long and they go to make a threat for Sunday but The Bar attacks. The Usos avoid the attack, causing The Bar to hit the floor. The New Day faces off with The Usos in the middle of the ring. The Bar attacks from behind. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Big E and then they double team Jimmy. Sheamus and Cesaro raise the titles in the middle of the ring while standing over Uso.
– The announcers hype Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for later tonight. We go backstage for a pre-recorded video from Asuka. She talks about striking until she wins the title on Sunday at TLC but first she will defeat Charlotte tonight.
– Still to come, Rusev and Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Miz is in the ring with the World Cup trophy. He says this week he has custody of the trophy but he wants SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon to come out so Miz can get some things off his chest. Miz say don’t make me beg. He gives in and begs, dropping to one knee. Miz says this is about life choices and so much more than Shane knows. He asks Shane to please come out. The money music hits and Shane makes his way out.
Fans chant for Shane and he gives a shout-out to Las Vegas. Shane asks Miz why he’s out here. Miz mentions how Shane hasn’t returned his calls or texts, then goes on about how they could be something big together in WWE. Miz says they could be the best tag team in the world. Shane says this whole thing with the trophy is getting a little weird. Miz says this isn’t about the trophy, it’s about so much more. Miz says he’s going to do something he’s never told anyone before. He calls for a referee to come out.
Fans chant for Shane again as the referee enters the ring. Shane says he’s a little confused. Miz says tonight, he and Shane will face two of the finest from Las Vegas. Out comes two local enhancement talents, Chip and Chad – The Vegas Boys.
The Vegas Boys vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon
The bell rings and The Vegas Boys immediately attack Shane from behind, laying him out near their corner right in front of Miz, who is still holding the trophy.
Shane fights both jobbers off, throwing one of them out of the ring. Shane fights the other jobber into the corner and drops him. Shane, wearing jeans and a Polo, drops the guy again and botches it. Shane ends up applying a triangle choke for the submission win.
Winners: Shane McMahon and The Miz
– After the match, Shane looks up at Miz like he’s useless as he never tagged in. Miz enters the ring and runs a victory lap with the trophy in the air.
– Still to come, Asuka vs. Flair. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and SmackDown General Manager Paige is in her office yelling at the referee for officiating the last match without her permission. He blames it on The Miz. The Vegas Boys walk in and hand her an invoice for $5,000. Paige rips it up in their faces.
– We go to the ring and out comes Randy Orton. Orton grabs a steel chair from ringside and brings it in the ring as the announcers hype Orton vs. Rey Mysterio in the Chairs Match at TLC on Sunday.
Orton says there’s nothing like a good ol’ steel chair, especially for making a statement or sending a message. Orton tells the producers to “roll the tape” and they finally start showing a replay of Orton taking Rey’s mask three weeks ago and wrapping the chair around his neck. Orton says that was good but we can do better, right? Fans pop and agree. Orton tells them to roll the tape again and we see footage from last week where Orton drove the chair into Rey’s throat. Orton can’t believe Rey knows what he can do and is still OK with facing him in a Chairs Match at TLC.
Orton says Rey is a victim and he’s Orton’s victim, and victims never get revenge. Once a victim, always a victim he says. Orton hypes TLC and says Rey only needs to be concerned with the three most devastating letters in WWE – R… K… Rey suddenly attacks from behind with a chair and lays Orton out. Rey works Orton over and hits 619. Orton retreats up the ramp as Rey looks on from the ring, taunting him with the chair.
– Kayla Braxton stops SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch backstage and asks if Asuka & Charlotte Flair taking each other out tonight is an advantage for Sunday’s TLC match. Becky gives Flair and Asuka some props and says there is no advantage for her because her first match back is against them both. Becky goes on and reveals that she will be watching tonight’s match from ringside, scouting. Becky says she can’t wait to remind the world just how much chaos can happen when The Man comes around. Becky walks off.
– Still to come, Joe and Nakamura vs. Hardy and Rusev. Back to commercial.
Rusev and Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura
Back from the break and out first is Jeff Hardy along with Rusev and Lana. Samoa Joe is out first for his team, followed by WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
The bell rings but Carmella and R-Truth interrupt from the ramp. They call for a dance break and the music hits. They stop dancing and tell everyone to proceed. Nakamura takes advantage of the distraction and kicks Hardy in the head from behind. Nakamura drives knees into Hardy on the mat now. Joe tags in and keeps up the attack but Hardy fights him off. Joe rolls to the floor and Hardy is out with him. Joe counters a shot and launches Hardy into the barrier. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Joe keeps control of Hardy. Joe drops Hardy with a big kick in the corner. Nakamura tags in and works Hardy over, keeping him near their corner. Nakamura places Hardy on the top turnbuckle and drives a knee to the gut. Nakamura with a 2 count. Joe tags back in and kicks Hardy in the back. Joe puts a knee into Hardy’s back now, keeping him grounded in the middle of the ring while talking trash.
Fans start chanting for Hardy as he fights up. Joe avoids the Twist of Fate but Hardy keeps fighting. Hardy goes to the top and hits Whisper In the Wind as Rusev cheers him on. Fans do the “Rusev Day!” chant now. Nakamura and Rusev tag in at the same time. Rusev levels Nakamura and unloads with strikes. Rusev with a splash against the ropes. Rusev goes on and hits a fall-away slam for a pop. Rusev with a running shoulder in the corner and a spin kick. Rusev stands tall and poses for a pop. Nakamura gets back up and fights Rusev off with back elbows. Rusev drops him with another kick to the head for a 2 count as Joe breaks the pin up.
Hardy comes in with the Twist of Fate to send Joe retreating to the floor. Hardy runs and leaps off the apron, taking Joe back down on the floor. More back & forth in the ring now. Nakamura avoids The Accolade. Rusev ends up flooring Nakamura with a big jumping kick for the pin to win.
Winners: Rusev and Jeff Hardy
– After the match, Lana enters the ring to celebrate with Rusev and Hardy. They raise their arms in the middle of the ring as Rusev’s music hits.
– Shane McMahon approaches The Miz backstage, takes the World Cup trophy and says his behavior has crossed the line, including paying people to attack and tricking a referee into calling a match. Miz admits he did cross the line and goes on getting fired up, saying he’s done a lot in his career but he’s never been considered the best in the world until Shane came along. Miz extends his hand for a shake and says please. Shane just walks off. Fans boo as Shane walks off with Miz looking on stunned at him.
– Back from the break and we get the latest “coming soon” vignette for WWE NXT Superstar Lars Sullivan.
– Tom leads us into a video package for AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan at Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view. Kayla is backstage with AJ now, asking if he’s prepared to take the WWE Title back on Sunday. AJ says he’s biding his time because no one wants to beat the hell out of Bryan like he does. AJ knew if he attacked Bryan earlier then Bryan wouldn’t be able to compete on Sunday at TLC. AJ goes on about the new Daniel Bryan and says there’s only one AJ, and he knows how aggressive he needs to get on Sunday to take the title back. AJ walks off.
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
We go to the ring and out comes Asuka for tonight’s main event, a rematch from WrestleMania 35. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Kayla Braxton is backstage with Charlotte Flair, asking about tonight’s main event and the women’s TLC Triple Threat on Sunday. Flair says tonight Asuka and The Man will get a preview of what will happen to them on Sunday when they bow down to the queen. Flair walks off and heads to the ring, making her way out. Flair and Asuka wait for the match to begin but the music interrupts and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch to a pop.
The bell rings and they size each other up for a second. Flair charges with a big boot but Asuka moves and goes to work as Becky watches from a chair at ringside. Flair blocks a Hip Attack but Asuka drops her and tries to lock in a knee bar. Flair gets free and they size each other up again. Flair with stiff chops. Asuka counters and hits a big German suplex. Flair dodges the Hip Attack and drops Asuka. Flair goes to the top for a moonsault but Asuka gets her knees up.
Asuka turns the moonsault counter into an Asuka Lock attempt but Flair resists. Flair stands up with Asuka on her back. Flair drives Asuka back into the mat. Asuka pulls Flair into the Asuka Lock in the middle of the ring but Flair resists as Asuka tries to get it locked in. Flair makes it to the bottom rope and the hold is broken. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they trade shots in the middle of the ring. Asuka unloads. Flair goes for a neckbreaker but it’s blocked. Asuka with a standing submission in the middle of the ring now. More back and forth on the mat now. Asuka with an armbar, tightening the hold with Flair face down. Becky watches from ringside.
Flair looks to break free but Asuka pulls her back into a triangle. Flair with punches to the face. Asuka keeps the hold locked. Flair powers up and nails a sitdown powerbomb for a 2 count. Flair and Asuka stare each other down as they get up from their knees, taunting each other. Flair with a slap and some trash talking. Flair escapes a pin attempt and applies the Figure Four in the middle of the ring.
Flair screams at Asuka to tap to the Figure Four. Asuka finally reverses it and the hold is broken as Becky looks on. Flair goes to work on Asuka’s left leg with a submission now. Flair pulls Asuka back but Asuka kicks her. Flair drops a knee onto Asuka’s leg and keeps her grounded with another submission. Flair with more strikes but she can’t put Asuka away. Flair drags Asuka over and slams her leg into the ring post near Becky. Flair comes back in and covers for a 2 count. Asuka counters a Figure Four with a quick pin attempt. Flair with chops as they fight on their feet now. Asuka with a takedown and a kick to the back. Flair goes for the Spear but Asuka drops her into knees for another close 2 count.
Asuka with kicks while Flair is on her knees now. Flair blocks a kick but Asuka comes right back with another. Asuka with forearms to the head and neck now. Asuka with kicks to the face, toying with Flair while Flair is still on her knees. Asuka runs the ropes but Flair stops her with a Spear. Asuka still kicks out at 2 as The Man watches from the edge of her seat. Fans start dueling chants as Flair goes back to the top for the moonsault. Flair misses it but immediately goes for the Figure Four. Asuka turns it around with the Asuka Lock. Flair powers up with Asuka on her back again. They both tumble out of the ring in front of Becky. Fans chant for Becky now.
Flair brings a kendo stick from under the ring and nails Asuka with it for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Asuka
– After the bell, Flair keeps swinging the stick at Asuka while she’s down. Becky stands up from her chair, clutching the title, looking down at Flair. Becky walks away but turns around as Flair charges with a kendo stick shot to the knee. Becky goes down. Flair goes back to working on Asuka with the stick but Becky comes from behind and attacks her. Becky sends Flair into the steel ring steps. Becky grabs the kendo stick and unloads on Flair with it now. Becky turns back around and Asuka kicks her in the gut. Asuka tosses Becky over the announce table. Asuka grabs the stick and raises it in the air. Asuka unloads on Flair with the kendo stick now. Asuka hits Becky with the stick while she’s on top of the announce table. Asuka with more kendo stick shots to Flair and Lynch. SmackDown goes off the air with Asuka standing tall.