– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio as Tom Phillips welcomes us to the post-Fastlane episode. Tom is joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes Shane McMahon. We see replays of his heel turn on The Miz at Fastlane on Sunday. The WWE World Cup trophy is on display in the ring.
Fans boo Shane as he stands and waits in the ring with a mic. A “you suck!” chant starts up. Shane calls Greg Hamilton back into the ring and makes him announce him as the best int he world. Fans boo Shane. Shane grabs Greg by his collar and jacks him up into the corner, telling him to say it again like he means it. Greg makes the announcement again and the boos get louder. Shane bullies Greg into the corner again and orders him to say it with conviction. Greg announces Shane as the best in the world once again.
Shane says people are asking why he would beat down his so-called bestie. Shane says he’s sick of it. He’s sick of the people in his life, not just the fans or the Superstars in the back or the thousands of WWE employees, who are all about, Shane what can I do to help you help me get ahead in life. Fans start chanting for Kofi Kingston. Shane goes on about how everyone is all about themselves. Shane says that stopped on Sunday when he beat the holy hell out of The Miz in his hometown. Shane says he’s not the best in the world because he won a trophy or the tag team titles, he’s the best in the world because he was born that way. Shane says from this point forward, he will start doing things for himself and that’s why it felt so good beating the holy hell out of Miz on Sunday. Shane takes a shot at how Miz’s dad George looks and says it felt so good, so liberating, to put Miz to sleep on Sunday. Shane says that spark in him will never go away, so everyone better get used to it. Shane tells Miz to listen up because this is not a request, because Miz works for him. Shane says he had such an amazing time beating Miz’s ass, he will continue that on the grandest stage of them all – WrestleMania 35. Shane tells Miz to get ready for another best in the world beating, which will feel awesome. Fans boo Shane as he exits the ring.
– Still to come, Vince McMahon has a WrestleMania opportunity he will present to Kofi Kingston. Also, Becky Lynch will be here.
Aleister Black, Ricochet and The Hardys vs. Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Bar
We go to the ring and out comes Aleister Black for tonight’s big eight-man match. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus, are out. Ricochet, The Hardy Boys, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura are already out. Black starts off with Nakamura and gets the upperhand early on. Ricochet comes in and keeps control. Ricochet with a standing moonsault to Nakamura for a 2 count. Matt Hardy and Sheamus go at it now. Matt gets a “delete!” chant going. Matt keeps control and nails the elbow from the second rope. Jeff Hardy tags in and The Hardys double team Sheamus for a 2 count. Cesaro comes in and works Hardy over. Cesaro with a leg drop for a 2 count. Rusev tags in and works Hardy over in the corner with Cesaro. Rusev with shoulder thrusts now.
The heels with cheap shots as the referee is distracted. Hardy tries to fight them all off. Rusev takes Hardy down and keeps him grounded now. Fans start rallying for Hardy as he fights up. Rusev keeps control and shuts Hardy back down as Lana applauds from ringside. Rusev takes Hardy to the corner and in comes Sheamus, stomping away. Nakamura quickly tags in and delivers more stomps. Cesaro quickly tags in with stomps in the corner. Rusev comes back in and Hardy manages to rock him with a jawbreaker. Hardy leaps and tags in Ricochet for the hot tag.
Ricochet unloads on Rusev and sends him flying across the ring. Ricochet with a dropkick for a pop. Ricochet with a thrust in the corner and a kick to Nakamura as he approaches on the apron. Rusev ends up rocking Ricochet and sending him to the floor. Members of both teams face off on the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus is pounding on Ricochet. Ricochet counters and sends Sheamus out to the floor. Cesaro runs in and knocks Black off the apron with a big boot. Ricochet comes back in and drops Cesaro. Matt gets the hot tag and unloads on Cesaro, slamming his head into the turnbuckles as a “delete!” chant starts up. Jeff tags in and The Hardy Boys double team Cesaro with Poetry In Motion. Matt with a Side Effect. Sheamus drops Matt with a Brogue Kick. Black drops Sheamus. Everyone gets involved now as the match falls apart. Jeff ends up hitting a second Twist of Fate on Cesaro. Jeff goes to the top as fans pop. Jeff with a Swanton Bomb on Cesaro but the heels all break it up. Matt trades shots with Sheamus now. Everyone starts brawling with each other in the ring now. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods run down and hit the ring to join in. The referee calls for the bell.
– After the bell, The New Day starts clearing the ring. Big E goes outside and sends Sheamus into the steel ring steps. Big E and Kofi double team Cesaro now. Big E rams Cesaro back into the barrier. The New Day works on Rusev and Nakamura in the ring now while the others are down on the outside. Kofi ends the beatdown with a Trouble In Paradise to send Rusev out of the ring. The New Day gets hyped up and stands tall in the ring as their music hits.
– SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos are backstage, giving The New Day props for trying to take what they want. They mention the other tag teams and wonder which team will run up on them for the titles and a title shot at WrestleMania 35. The Usos send a warning, to run up and get done up, and then welcome the others to The Uso Penitentiary.
– We go to the ring and out comes Randy Orton. Back to commercial.
– Back from the ring and Randy Orton is in the ring. He just wants to get something off his chest. Orton wonders how this can be the house that AJ Styles built. Orton says in 2002, he was making his WWE debut while AJ was wrestling for $10 per night in a local gym with 12 people in the crowd. In 2004, AJ was working bingo halls while Orton was becoming the youngest WWE Champion. In 2005, AJ was in Florida getting a tan with Dixie Carter while Orton was going up against The Undertaker. He did not name TNA or Impact Wrestling, just the Dixie name-drop. And every year after that, Orton was here in WWE at the top, winning titles. Orton says this is not the house that AJ built, it was built long before AJ stepped foot in it. Orton goes on until the music interrupts and out comes AJ to a pop.
AJ says for someone who looks down on the indies, Orton sure did follow his career closely. AJ says he’s proud he came from the indies. AJ says he’s heard guys like Orton look down on AJ’s world but that’s fine because Orton would not have made it in his world. AJ points to Orton’s signature pose and says he has a knock-off Diamond Cutter. Orton points to how AJ and The Bullet Club, his pals, ripped off the “Too Sweet” gesture. AJ goes on about how Orton had help his whole career, especially on as Triple H, Batista and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair made sure he wouldn’t fail. Orton defends his accomplishments and goes over some highlights from his career. Orton says no one has ever had to help him get… AJ interrupts and reminds Orton of Evolution, Legacy, Rated RKO, The Wyatt Family. AJ says it sounds like Orton had a lot of babysitters over the years.
AJ says don’t get him wrong, Orton is who he says he is – he’s a viper who uses everyone around him and then tosses them to the curb when he’s done. AJ says that’s why he got the jump on Orton with the attack at Fastlane, because he won’t be Orton’s next victim. Orton says AJ has no choice as long as he wants to rent a room where Orton is the landlord. Orton says rent is due, bitch, and AJ can make the check out to three letters… RKO. Orton drops the mic and goes to leave but AJ says if Orton wants his rent, he can come and take it. AJ points up at the WrestleMania 35 sign as he says this. They stare each other down and Orton looks up at the WrestleMania sign. Graves wonders if Orton will accept the challenge. Orton exits the ring and stares AJ down as AJ’s music hits.
– The announcers talk about Harlem Heat’s Booker T and Stevie Ray going into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.
Asuka vs. Sonya Deville
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka for this non-title match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Sonya Deville with Mandy Rose. The bell rings and they go at it. Asuka works on the knee but Deville fights back. Deville takes control but Asuka kicks her away. Deville blocks a kick and delivers one of her own for a 2 count. Deville goes on and delivers a dropkick, then a Spear for a 2 count.
Asuka ends up slapping Deville as they get to their feet. They trade shots in the middle of the ring now and Asuka unloads. Asuka drops Deville and delivers the sliding knee to the face. Deville rolls to the floor to re-group with Rose. Asuka comes out and goes for Deville but drops Rose instead.
Deville rocks Asuka and sends her back in, fighting in herself from the apron. Deville ends up slipping and going down. This leads to Asuka applying the Asuka Lock for the submission win.
– After the match, Asuka celebrates as her music hits. Rose looks on from the ground. Rose goes to leave the ringside area and Deville stops her. It appears Deville wants to apologize for messing up but Rose turns and keeps walking up the ramp by herself.
– We go backstage to The IIconics, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. They take a shot at Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. They once again address WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley, wondering where they’re at. Billie and Peyton say Banks and Bayley can’t run from them forever and if they’re looking for their next title defense, here it is.
– We go to the ring and out comes Becky Lynch, still using one crutch. She stops on the stage and gets rid of the crutch. She limps on to the ring as fans cheer her on. Becky poses as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Lynch is in the ring. We get a video package with recent happenings in the WrestleMania 35 feud between Lynch, Charlotte Flair and RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. Becky says it feels good to walk down the ramp on her own two feet for a change. She says everyone got brave when she got hurt. She mentions the recent injuries, suspensions and other issues she’s went through. But The Man is back, back on her own two feet and back in the main event of WrestleMania 35. Becky says let’s not forget, this is the match that she set in motion. She picked Rousey and then Flair was put in by Vince McMahon. Becky says she had to earn her spot in the match twice, once by winning the women’s Royal Rumble and then by playing Rousey like a fiddle.
Becky asks if we know how hard it is to play mind games with a woman who has no brain. But she did it, she got Ronnie so wound up that she did her bidding for her. Becky thanks Rousey, calling her a little weirdo, and says she will pay her back by taking her title and ripping her arm off at WrestleMania. Becky goes on and says she will re-take everything they tried to take from her to give to someone else at WrestleMania. The music interrupts and out comes Flair. Flair congratulates Becky on finally making it into her main event. While Becky was out getting arrested and suspended, trying to stay out of the ring, Flair was putting in all the work. Flair says it’s one thing to be hot for 6 months but she’s been hot for 4 years, which is why she was chosen. Flair says she was chosen to get the job done. Flair says the WWE Universe supports Becky because they feel sorry for her, like Flair felt sorry for her. Like Rousey felt sorry for her on Sunday at Fastlane.
Flair says Becky got a hand-out, no matter how hard she tries to spin it. Flair says she’s never seen anyone do so little and try to take so much credit. Flair says that’s why she will have to make Becky and Rousey relevant when she makes them bow to The Queen at WrestleMania. Lynch calls Flair a stupid, plastic dope and goes on running her down. Becky says Flair had the division for 4 years but she did nothing with it and now they’re in the main event of WrestleMania thanks to Becky coming along. Becky says we never needed The Queen, but we needed The Man. Becky drops the mic and raises her fist in the air as her music hits. Flair stares her down from the stage.
– Still to come, Vince McMahon’s WrestleMania offer to Kofi Kingston.
– Kayla Braxton is outside of Vince McMahon’s office when WWE Champion Daniel Bryan walks out with Rowan. She asks what he was doing in there. Bryan says they were having a private conversation. She asks if it was about Kofi Kingston. Bryan says actually it was. As champion, he felt like Vince needed to hear his honest feedback on Kofi before his offer later tonight. Bryan reveals that Vince booked he and Rowan vs. Mustafa Ali and Kevin Owens for tonight. Bryan doesn’t seem thrilled about the match as he walks off with Rowan.
Rey Mysterio and R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe and Andrade
We go to the ring and out comes Rey Mysterio for a tag team match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and R-Truth is already out with Carmella. Andrade is making his way out with Zelina Vega. WWE United States Champion Samoa Joe is out last. Truth starts things off with Andrade. They go at it and Truth gets the upperhand early on as Carmella cheers him on. Truth with a big kick off the ropes as he plays to the crowd. Rey tags in for the double team on Andrade.
Andrade catches Rey in mid-move but Rey counters and sends Andrade into position for the 619. Joe tags in and Rey doesn’t see it, allowing Joe to level Rey as he comes in. Joe starts beating Rey around the ring now. Joe dumps Rey through the ropes to the floor, in front of Vega as she taunts him. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Joe has Rey grounded in the middle of the ring, trying to get him to submit. Truth breaks it up to make the save. Truth tries to rally the crowd for Rey now as Andrade tags in. Andrade goes for the Three Amigos but Rey cuts him off and plants him as Vega looks on. Rey crawls for a tag as Andrade is also down. Vega tries to interfere but Carmella runs over and yanks Vega from the apron to the floor. Truth tags in and goes to work on Andrade now.
Truth honors John Cena again with a Five Knuckle Shuffle in the middle of the ring. Truth goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Joe tags in and stops it. Truth cuts Joe’s offense off but Joe kicks his head off. Rey tags in and flies in from the apron at Joe. Joe and Andrade both get sent into position for the 619. Rey hits the double 619 for a pop. Rey goes to the top and hits the Frogsplash on Andrade but Joe breaks the pin with a big senton. Joe goes for the Uranage but Rey counters and rolls Joe up for the pin to win.
Winners: Rey Mysterio and R-Truth
– After the match, Rey hits the floor as his music hits and a furious Joe gets up to his feet. Joe snaps and nails the Uranage on Truth. Joe then drives Andrade into the mat. Rey’s music resumes as he and Carmella check on Truth on the ramp. Joe stares them down from the ring.
– Still to come, Vince McMahon’s offer to The New Day.
– Tom leads us to a video package with footage of Alexa Bliss revealing herself as the WrestleMania 35 host on last night’s RAW.
Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan
We go to the ring and out comes Kevin Owens for the next match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Mustafa Ali. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Rowan are out next. Rowan manhandles Owens and takes control early on. Ali comes in and Rowan keeps control of him. Bryan tags in and goes to work on Ali now. Bryan grounds Ali in the middle of the ring as the referee warns him. Bryan with more offense and a suplex for a 2 count. Bryan turns that right into a submission as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bryan drives Ali from the top for a close 2 count, slamming him hard. Bryan goes into the LeBell Lock as Ali resists. Ali gets his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. The referee warns Bryan as he maxes the count out. Ali talks some trash and drops Ali with an uppercut. Bryan with more strikes and trash talking. Ali looks to turn it around but Bryan pulls him away from the tag. Ali counters a move and floors Bryan. Ali crawls again but Rowan runs in and boots him. Owens comes in but Rowan blocks his Stunner. Owens superkicks Rowan but he’s still up. Ali and Owens double superkick Rowan out of the ring.
Owens goes for a cannonball but Rowan cuts him off and sends him into the barrier. Ali and Bryan go at it in the ring now. They trade roll-ups. Rowan tags in as Bryan runs into an uppercut. Ali doesn’t see the tag and Rowan chokeslams him into the mat for the pin to win.
Winners: Rowan and Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Rowan and Bryan make their exit as the music hits. The “No Chance” music interrupts as WWE Chairman Vince McMahon comes walking down the ramp past them. Vince hits the ring to present his WrestleMania offer to The New Day. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Vince is in the ring. he’s here to give us what he wants, he’s here to give Kofi Kingston what he wants, a WWE Title opportunity at WrestleMania 35. Fans pop. Vince shows us a video package from WWE Fastlane where The New Day tried talking him into putting Kofi in the WWE Title match between Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan, which ended being Kofi in a 1-on-2 Handicap Match with The Bar, which he lost.
Kofi says people hears like the fans, he hears what he wants to hear. Vince said he did exactly what he said he would do at Fastlane. He gave Kofi a chance to compete and he failed. Vince says he does things like that for a reason and when he speaks, you better listen because he does these teachable moments. Vince goes on about teachable moments of his but the music interrupts and out comes The New Day – Kofi, Big E and Xavier Woods. They march to the ring and they’re serious tonight.
The New Day enters the ring and fans chant for Kofi. Big E says they’re not in the mood for Vince to teach them a damn thing. Woods says they’re done watching what they say. Big E goes on about how they always do what they ask. Woods says they never buck the system and they still get treated like garbage by Vince. Big E says Kofi has been here for 11 years and he deserves better, he deserves more. Vince fires back about how no one deserves anything, including him. Big E says this is bigger than their opinions, bigger than The New Day and bigger than Vince’s damn ego. Vince says there is nothing justifiably bigger than his ego. Woods says they deserve because they have earned. Woods goes on about Kofi never being given his proper shot at the WWE Title, and that’s just one of the many reasons why he deserves a match for the title now.
Vince ends up praising Kofi, calling him an extraordinary representative of their product. Vince says let’s face it, one day Kofi will go into the WWE Hall of Fame but he won’t go in by himself, he will go in with The New Day. Vince says Kofi is pretty smart and at his age, he has these two young bucks with him so he can take the glory. Vince goes on and says Kofi isn’t up to par and isn’t championship material. Vince says he was talking with Daniel Bryan earlier and Bryan hit the head on the mark. Bryan says Kofi is good but he’s a B Plus Player. Kofi says he’s not asking for a free ride or a hand out, he’s not demanding a WWE Title shot at WrestleMania. Kofi says he was just a kid with a dream 11 years ago. He gets to travel the world and support his family, living life as a WWE Superstar, but he would like to think that at some point in these 11 years, he’s proved to Vince without a shadow of a doubt, that he is worthy. But Vince doesn’t see it that way. Kofi says he doesn’t complain about anything around here. He goes on about busting his ass each week while others receive opportunities, while missing important family events. Kofi says he’s never been trick or treating with his kids because he’s always here. Kofi doesn’t complain about this and that, including how Vince has never let someone like him contend for the title. Kofi says he needs Vince to tell him what he needs to do right now, so he can do it. Kofi says the people believe in him. The crowd pops.
The music interrupts and out comes Randy Orton. Vince says all Kofi has to do is defeat that man – Orton. The music interrupts Vince and out comes WWE United States Champion Samoa Joe. Vince says and Kofi must beat that man – Joe. The music hits again and out comes The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus. Vince says Kofi must beat them too. Rowan is out next with the WWE Champion. Vince says Kofi must beat Rowan too. Kofi must beat all of these Superstars in a Gauntlet Match next week, then he will go to WrestleMania. The Superstars from the Gauntlet Match hit the ring and The New Day fights back. It comes down to Rowan and The New Day. They triple team him and Big E clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Cesaro gets triple teamed next as fans chant for Kofi. Kofi levels Cesaro and hits the corner to pose, warning the other Superstars on the ramp. SmackDown goes off the air with Kofi on the turnbuckles.