– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens with the usual intro video.
– We’re live from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusettes as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves.
– We go right to the ring as Greg Hamilton introduces the new WWE Universal Champion. Out comes WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg to a mixed reaction, but mostly cheers and chants of his name. Cole talks about how Goldberg defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the title at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia yesterday.
The music stops and the boos get louder as Goldberg grabs a mic. Goldberg says do not be mistaken, it’s not about who was last, it’s all about who’s next. He drops the mic and the music interrupts. Out comes Roman Reigns to a pop.
Reigns marches to the ring as fans cheer them on. He enters and they meet in the middle of the ring for a staredown. Reigns says, “I’m next.” Reigns drops the mic and makes his exit to the back as his music starts back up. Goldberg paces the ring as Cole and Graves wonder what this match would be like if it happens at WrestleMania 36.
– Cole and Graves hype tonight’s show, including John Cena’s return in his hometown. Cole says we will take a look at moments from Cena’s career throughout the night. We get a look back at Cena’s debut on June 27, 2002 with WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. Cole says Cena will be here live tonight. We go to commercial.
Bayley vs. Naomi
Back from the break and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley is out as is Naomi. This is a non-title match, a rematch from Bayley’s successful title defense at Super ShowDown. Cole says a win would move Naomi closer to another title shot.
Bayley takes the mic after the bell hits and says this is ridiculous. She should not have to be here tonight, especially in front of these idiots. Bayley said she already made history last night when she beat Naomi, but she’s here for one reason and one only. She introduces a future Grammy winning artist, who is better than Beyonce or Cardi B, the one and only Sasha Banks. Out comes Banks to a hometown pop as her music hits.
Bayley takes advantage of the distraction and attacks Naomi to get things going. Banks watches from ringside. Naomi comes back with a kick to the face and a dropkick. Bayley counters going into the corner but Naomi sends her into the turnbuckles. Naomi with a Rear View for a 2 count. Banks hits the ring for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Naomi
– After the bell, Naomi gets double teamed as fans boo. The music hits and out comes Lacey Evans. Evans rushes the ring but Banks and Bayley double team her. Evans gets involved and they all continue to brawl. Referees hit the ring to break things up.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Lacey Evans and Naomi
It’s announced that this match is re-starting as a tag team match. Naomi and Lacey Evans get the upperhand and send Bayley and Sasha Banks to the floor. They go on and take their opponents down again and stand tall in the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bayley works Naomi over. Bayley slams Naomi for a 2 count. Banks and Naomi keep control with tags, grounding Naomi. Naomi fights out of a hold and drops Banks with a spin kick. Banks stops Naomi from tagging with a low dropkick. Banks works Naomi over in the corner now as the referee counts. Bayley tags back in and they double team Naomi with elbows. Bayley covers for a 2 count.
Naomi finally gets the hot tag to Evans and in she comes with offense as fans cheer her on. Evans unloads on Bayley and knocks Banks off the apron. Naomi tags in as Evans drops Bayley one more time. Naomi springboards in at Bayley but Banks breaks the pin up. Banks sends Evans to the floor. Naomi comes from behind but Banks counters and drops her with a Backstabber. Evans pulls Banks out and sends her into the barrier. Banks blocks another barrier shot and sends Evans into it. Banks and Evans continue brawling at ringside.
Bayley tries to grab Evans from the ring but Naomi comes from behind. Naomi and Bayley tangle for a second and Naomi rolls her up for the pin to win.
Winners: Naomi and Lacey Evans
– After the match, Banks recovers outside on the floor as Evans and Naomi celebrate to Naomi’s music. We go to replays.
– We see The New Day backstage walking. They greet NFL player Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots. They then walk up on Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler for a staredown. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a look at John Cena vs. JBL from WrestleMania 21. Cena will be here tonight.
Kofi Kingston vs. Robert Roode
We go back to the ring and out first is Robert Roode with Dolph Ziggler. The New Day is out next – Kofi Kingston with Big E. Kofi, who grew up in the area, gets a bigger pop from the crowd.
Back and forth to start the match. Roode takes it to the corner and works Kofi over as the referee warns him and fans boo. Roode with a big chop. Roode whips Kofi across the ring into the opposite corner and then catapults him but Kofi lands on his feet. Kofi with a big dropkick for a close 2 count. Kofi works on the arm but Roode grabs the ropes. Roode rocks Kofi with a back elbow. Roode beats Kofi down and takes his time, talking trash.
Roode keeps Kofi grounded in the middle of the ring with a headlock now. Kofi ends up getting sent out. Roode follows and has words with Big E. Ziggler slowly struts into the ring to distract the referee. Roode goes down at ringside on his own, selling hard on the ground. The referee turns around and sees this, thinking Big E is responsible. The referee ejects Big E to the back and he’s furious, arguing with the referee about how Roode did this on his own. Back to commercial.
Back from the match and Roode has grounded on the mat as Ziggler looks on from the floor. Kofi fights up and out as we see Mandy Rose backstage watching the match on a screen.
Roode counters Kofi and sends him into the corner but gets dropkicked. Kofi goes on but Roode rocks him. More back and forth now. Roode drops Kofi again and goes to the top. Roode mocks The New Day and wastes time up top. Roode misses the flying knee. Kofi springboards in from the apron and drops Roode. Kofi with chops and more offense. Kofi dropkicks Roode and nails another big clothesline. Kofi plays to the crowd and hits the Boom Drop in the middle of the ring.’
Fans cheer Kofi on as he keeps going. Kofi flies with a big crossbody but Roode still kicks out a 2. They tangle some more and Roode hits the Full Nelson bomb for a close 2 count. Roode takes Kofi to the top for a superplex but Kofi fights him off, sending him to the mat. Kofi leaps but rolls through as Roode moves. Roode comes right back with a big Spinebuster for a close 2 count. Roode yells out and shows some frustration now. Roode shows off some to boos, calling for the Glorious DDT as Kofi struggles to get up. Kofi blocks the DDT and hits a SOS for a close 2 count as Ziggler put Roode’s foot on the bottom rope.
Fans boo Ziggler and Kofi has words with him from the ring. Roode takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Kofi up out of nowhere for the pin to win.
Winner: Robert Roode
– After the match, Roode stands tall and celebrates as his music hits. We go to replays. Roode and Ziggler exit to the back while celebrating.
– Otis is backstage, thinking about Mandy Rose and Dolph Ziggler. Tucker comes in and says sometimes the good guy doesn’t get the girl, sometimes Ziggler gets the girl. Tucker thinks Otis needs to let Mandy go. Tucker says next week they’re going to get Otis back out in front of the WWE Universe. Tucker tries to get Otis hyped up and it looks like it might be working.
– Renee Young is at ringside as the crew sets the ring up for a contract signing, for Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a look at John Cena vs. The Rock at WrestleMania 29 in 2013.
– We go to the ring for a contract signing and Renee Young welcomes us. She plugs next Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and introduces Shinsuke Nakamura first. Out comes Nakamura with Sami Zayn and Cesaro. Out next comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Braun Strowman.
Strowman lays the title over the table and takes a seat. The others are standing but Nakamura also sits as Renee asks him to sign first. Strowman stands back up as Sami stops everything. He tells Strowman to grab a seat. Strowman actually grabs it and tosses it out of the ring. Sami wants to review the contract first because they’ve all been treated badly, an injustice he says. Sami goes on until Strowman yells at him to shut up. Strowman says everyone is sick and tired of hearing Sami bitch and moan. Strowman doesn’t care what’s in the contract because at the end of the day, he knows he will have to fight these three clowns and he’s fine with it. Strowman goes on and signs the contract first.
Sami says everyone just heard Strowman say he’s willing to fight all three of them. Strowman asks if he’s really going to spin it like that. Sami asks Strowman if he’s going to go back on his word. Sami adds a rule amendment to the contract and they all sign. Sami tells Renee to take this to the notary in the back. Sami says it’s official – this will now be a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Strowman stares them down and nods. Sami says Strowman is going down at Elimination Chamber. Strowman slowly picks the table up and moves it out of the way. Sami says at the pay-per-view, nothing happens tonight. Strowman asks Sami what makes him think he’s making it to the pay-per-view. Strowman drops Cesaro and Nakamura with big right hands. He looks to go for Sami but Cesaro and Nakamura attack him, taking it to the corner. Sami with a low blow kick. They hold Strowman in the corner again as Sami delivers a Helluva Kick. Nakamura with the Kinshasa next. Cesaro and Nakamura suplex Strowman in the air as Sami delivers a Helluva Kick to put him through the table. Fans boo as Cesaro, Sami and Nakamura stand tall before exiting the ring.
– The announcers confirm Reigns vs. Goldberg for WrestleMania 36.
Daniel Bryan vs. Curtis Axel
We go back to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan as fans chant “yes!” with him. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Curtis Axel is also out as the match begins. Drew Gulak is on commentary as he continues to scout Bryan’s matches so he can give him pointers.
Axel takes control early on and beats Bryan around. Axel takes Bryan into the corner and clubs him in the back of the head. Axel shows off and poses as Gulak yells at him to get back on Bryan. Bryan turns it around with kicks in the corner. Axel cuts him off and tosses him out of the ring in front of the announcers. Gulak taunts Bryan.
Axel follows and sends Bryan into the ring post as Gulak gives him advice. Axel brings it back into the ring and kicks Bryan in the face. Axel uses the ropes on Bryan now as the referee warns him. Bryan finally gets an opening and gets hyped up as fans rally for him. Bryan delivers the Yes Kicks while Axel is on his knees now. Axel ducks the roundhouse kick and rolls Bryan for a close 2 count.
Bryan goes right into a LeBell Lock attempt but Axel blocks it. Axel with a 2 count. They tangle and trade attempts on the mat again. Axel ends up dropping Bryan with another shot to the back of the head. Axel goes for the Perfect-plex as Gulak cheers him on. Bryan blocks the suplex and takes Axel down into the LeBell Lock. Axel taps out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Bryan stares at Gulak for a second and then hits the corner to pose for fans as his music hits. Bryan leads a “yes!” chant.
– We get a look back at John Cena vs. AJ Styles from the 2017 Royal Rumble event. Cena will be here live tonight.
– We see SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison backstage doing their championship photoshoot. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out come the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, John Morrison and The Miz. We get a brief look at how they defeated The New Day at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia yesterday.
Miz asks why there are no “you deserve it!” chants and says they do deserve it. Miz says they proved the haters wrong and they can choke on their pancakes. They go on bragging about the title win and then call for Miz’s music to hit. The referee is at ringside talking to Greg Hamilton. Hamilton announces that Miz and Morrison’s first tag team title defense will be against The New Day, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, and The Usos. That match will take place inside the Elimination Chamber.
The Usos vs. John Morrison and The Miz
The Miz and John Morrison react to the news with anger. Apparently they throw a mic at Hamilton. The music interrupts and out comes The Usos for a non-title match – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. Back to commercial.
Back fro the break and Morrison goes at it with Jimmy. Back and forth until Miz tags in. Jimmy launches Miz across the ring. Jey comes in for some double teaming and a 2 count on Miz. We get the intentional glitches across the screen again, the first time tonight.
Miz counters Jey and drops him with a DDT for a close 2 count. Morrison comes back in and takes control as Jey is also in. Morrison with a 2 count. Morrison uses the ropes on Jey and Miz gets in a cheap shot. Miz and Morrison with more tags and double teaming. Miz talks trash to Jey and drops him, showing off for the crowd as they boo him. More back and forth between the two teams as we return to commercial.
Back from the break and Jey unloads on Miz as they both tag in. Jey nails a Samoan Drop in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count. Jey gets the crowd behind them but misses the Rikishi splash in the corner as Miz moves. They miss Samoan Drop and Skull Crushing Finale attempts. Miz goes on and Morrison tags in for the assisted double team neckbreaker. Jimmy breaks the pin attempt up. Miz sends Jimmy to the floor but Jey sends Miz to the floor.
Jey and Morrison go at it now, trading shots. Jimmy tags in and they double team Morrison with kicks. Jimmy nails a big suicide dive on Miz in front of the announces. Jey flies from the top with a splash but Morrison gets his knees up. Morrison with a close 2 count. Jey gets back to his feet as Morrison charges and gets sent to the apron. Morrison rocks Jey and goes to the top. Jey climbs up as Jimmy tags in. Morrison sends Jey to the mat, then drops Jimmy off the apron. Jey goes for Starship Pain on Jey but Jimmy kicks him in the head from the apron. Jimmy goes up top with Morrison. Miz charges on the apron but Jey superkicks him to the floor. Jimmy with a super Destroyer from the top to the mat on Morrison. Jey immediately follows up with a big Usos splash from the top for the pin to get the non-title win.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos stand tall as we go to replays. We come back to Jimmy and Jey continuing their celebration as the champions try to recover.
– We get a video package on John Cena. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes John Cena to a big hometown pop.
Fans go wild for Cena as he takes the mic in the ring. Cena say she came to talk to the people tonight but they’re talking to him now, his heart is beating out of his chest. Cena goes on and asks what is he doing here? Well, it’s WrestleMania 36 Season. Cena says he will always be a WWE Superstar and this is home. He says he’s doing something different this year because he knows how hard everyone in the back works. He goes on and says he will always first listen to the biggest WWE Superstar of all – the fans. He talks more about listening to the fans and hearing them each week. Fans chant “Cena!” again.
Cena mentions WrestleMania again and says he’s doing the right thing this year. He says this year WrestleMania should go on without him. Fans boo. Cena says he hears them. This is not goodbye, but it is goodbye for now and it’s the right thing to do. Cena says like us, he believes in the future of the company and he respects what the talents do every night. He says WrestleMania spots should be earned, not given, and this year the show should go on without him. Fans boo again. Cena knows that makes WrestleMania kind of sour, he understands, but that also makes tonight a bit more special because he’s not sure when he will be back. He wanted to make this special announcement in front of his loved ones, his family, at a place he calls home. Cena gets the crowd hyped up some more and they chant his name again.
Cena says the chants mean more to him than we will know. He puts the mic down and exits the ring as his music hits. Cena greets some fans at ringside and heads to the stage. Cena turns around and salutes the crowd but we hear the familiar sounds of “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt as the lights start to go out. They come back up and Cena is frozen with the salute. He stops and turns around to see The Fiend staring him down on the stage at the entrance.
Cena and The Fiend stare each other down. The Fiend points up at the WrestleMania 36 sign as fans pop. Fans cheer louder and chant “yes!” now as The Fiend continues to point up at the WrestleMania banner. Cena looks around at the crowd, and turns back to The Fiend. Cena tips his hat and nods at The Fiend, apparently agreeing to the match. The lights go out in the arena as we hear Wyatt’s laughs echo all over. SmackDown goes off the air.