– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as The New Day’s music hits. We go right to the ring and out comes Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods. Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Fans start chanting for Kofi as soon as the group enters the ring. Woods wants to be serious for a minute. He says obviously the past few months have been an emotional roller coaster for them. Big E says the fans have been here for this entire incredible journey from “New Day sucks” to “New Day rocks.” Big E says it’s been almost 5 years they have been together as The New Day. Woods goes on and the Kofi chants start back up, interrupting Woods. Woods says it has been one hell of an experience and they want to say thank you. But… Big E says he and Woods spoke, and considering the countless obstacles put in Kofi’s way, they have discussed walking away. Fans boo.
Big E says they’ve done a lot of cool things and made lifelong friends, but… a “No!” chant starts up now as Kofi stands in between his partners, without a mic. Woods says what has been hard about it all has been seeing how poorly Kofi has been treated. Woods says it’s not just recently, it’s for the past 11 years. They go on about how Kofi stands for the power of positivity. Big E says Kofi does not know the word quit. Woods says they know they need to make a decision but they can’t make that until they get some answers, and unfortunately the person who has the answers is Vince McMahon. Fans boo. Woods calls Vince out to speak to them face to face about the issues they have. Woods says they have no problem waiting in the middle of the ring until Vince comes out. Another “Kofi!” chant starts up. The familiar “No Chance” music starts up and the WWE Chairman marches to the ring with a smile on his face.
Vince goes to speak but out comes WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Rowan with no music. Bryan tells them to hold on. Bryan doesn’t want Vince to waste another breath on the fragile egos of The New Day. Bryan says let The New Day quit if they want to. He goes on and says we can bring up another trio from WWE NXT, let them throw waffles into the crowd and they will be more popular than The New Day ever was. Why? Because Kofi was never more than a B Plus Player. Vince tries to interrupt but Bryan keeps talking. Bryan goes on about Kofi’s recent losses, telling Vince to not let Woods, Big E and the parasites get in Vince’s head. Bryan says Vince’s instincts have been correct about Kofi all along, 100% correct. Bryan says Vince is right, these people are wrong, and just like Kofi, the people refuse to accept that reality. Woods says the reality is Bryan is too scared to face Kofi one-on-one. Woods says Bryan has turned into a hypocrite and that’s why he’s out here now. Vince finally yells at them to all shut up.
Vince wants to talk about this crap that The New Day tried to make everyone think was happening. He mocks them for the talk of quitting. Vince says they never were going to quit. Vince goes on and fans respond with the “what!?” treatment. Vince says Kofi is still and will always be a B Plus Player in his mind. The only question Vince has is if Big E and Woods are a B Plus tag team. Vince asks if Big E and Woods can put Kofi in the WWE Title match at WrestleMania 35. Bryan keeps trying to talk but he’s ignored, still speaking from the stage. Vince says Kofi has no more chances and might as well go to the back and enjoy a soda or something. Vince says if Big E and Woods can win a tag team Gauntlet Match tonight, Kofi will get the match at WrestleMania. Vince’s music starts back up as The New Day argues with him. Bryan and Rowan look on from the stage.
– The announcers talk about the RAW Women’s Title Triple Threat being the main event of WrestleMania 35. We see a shot of Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair on ESPN this morning.
– Sarah Schreiber is backstage with Becky Lynch now, congratulating her on being in the main event. Schreiber mentions Becky winning the Beat The Clock Challenge on RAW last night. Becky says we will also see her win at WrestleMania 35. Lynch goes on about the match and asks what Flair brings to it, calling her a third wheel and undeserving. We hear Flair’s music start up in the arena and that stops Becky from talking to Schreiber. Lynch shakes her head and walks off. We cut to the arena as Flair comes walking down the ramp. Flair says she’s about to show everyone how undeserving she really is. Flair does the “Wooo!” and keeps walking to the ring as we go to commercial.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
Back from the break and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka as Charlotte Flair looks on. We get formal ring introductions from Greg Hamilton. The announcers are surprised that this is a title match.
The bell rings and they size each other up. They lock up and go at it. Flair takes control and slams Asuka to the mat. Flair keeps Asuka down now. Asuka turns it around and applies a hold on Flair, keeping her down. They tangle some more and Flair ends up getting sent out of the ring to the floor. We go to commercial with Flair down on the outside.
More back and forth after the match. Asuka applies a submission but Flair fights out. They unload with big shots in the middle of the ring now. Flair with a big boot to take Asuka’s knee out. Flair stomps away and works the leg over. Flair tells Asuka she’s nothing anymore. Asuka levels Flair out of nowhere and takes her down. Asuka is unable to capitalize. Flair goes back to work and mushes Asuka. Asuka fights back and hits the Hip Attack int he corner. Asuka with a big German suplex. Asuka with a stiff kick to the jaw. Asuka charges again with another kick to the face for a close 2 count.
Asuka unloads with kicks to the back now. Asuka misses a Hip Attack and Flair levels her with a huge boot to the face. Asuka still kicks out at 2. Flair climbs to the top for the moonsault but Asuka gets her boots up. Asuka goes right into a submission but can’t put Flair away. Asuka with a spinning back fist and then a kick to drop Flair. Asuka covers for another close pin attempt. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they trade big shots in the middle of the ring as fans go along with them. Asuka counters a move and rolls Flair up for a 1 count as Flair goes right back to the knee. Flair goes for the Figure Four and Figure Eight but they’re blocked. Asuka sends Flair into the turnbuckles. Asuka screams at Flair and kicks her in the face for a close 2 count.
Asuka with more offense now. Asuka goes to the top turnbuckle but Flair decks her. Flair climbs up with Asuka and hits a super Spanish Fly for a big pop. Asuka still kicks out somehow and Flair can’t believe it. Flair looks up at the WrestleMania 35 sign and talks to herself about how she needs to finish it. Asuka pulls Flair into a Triangle submission. Flair powers up with Asuka still locked on. Flair drops Asuka into a sitdown powerbomb but Asuka kicks out at 2. They tangle on the mat with counters and submission attempts. Flair avoids the Asuka Lock. Flair goes right into the Figure Four. Flair bridges into the Figure Eight and Asuka taps out for the finish.
Winner and New SmackDown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, Flair takes the title and gets emotional as her music hits. Flairs sits up on her knees and clutches the title as we see the WrestleMania 35 sign in the background. Flair is headed to the WrestleMania with the SmackDown Women’s Title as she faces Becky Lynch and RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey in the main event. We go to replays. Flair stands tall to cheers, raising the title in the air. Asuka looks on from the corner, still down on the mat.
– The announcers hype tonight’s Tag Team Gauntlet Match with The New Day.
– WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring as the “you suck!” chants start up. Angle stops and nods at Flair on the ramp as she makes her exit. We go to commercial.
Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
Back from the break and Sarah Schreiber is backstage with AJ Styles, asking about tonight’s match on the Farewell Tour of Kurt Angle, also mentioning his own WrestleMania 35 match with Randy Orton. AJ says he’s honored to be Angle’s last opponent on SmackDown, and very privileged to have been a part of Angle’s career, and proud to be in the ring with Angle tonight. AJ says he’s not taking Angle lightly tonight, this is not a warm-up match, especially with WrestleMania right around the corner. AJ goes on and says Angle may have laid the foundation, but this is the house that AJ built.
We go to the ring and out comes AJ as Angle looks on. The bell rings and they have a show of respect for a pop. Angle hits an early German suplex. Angle keeps control and goes for an Angle Slam attempt but can’t get it. AJ comes back and drops Angle into a Calf Crusher, trying to get the early win.
Angle hangs on and looks for the bottom rope. Angle rolls right over into his ankle lock. Angle gets to his feet and tightens the hold as AJ tries to get free. AJ sends Angle into the middle turnbuckle to break it. Randy Orton suddenly enters the ring out of nowhere and drops Styles with a RKO outta nowhere.
Winner by DQ: AJ Styles
– After the match, Angle comes back up and lays Orton down with an Angle Slam. Angle stands tall as his music hits and the others are still down.
– We see video from earlier today of Kayla Braxton talking to Rey Mysterio and his son Dominic, asking about the WrestleMania 35 match with WWE United States Champion Samoa Joe. Rey’s son mentions how Joe is selfish, and nothing like Kofi Kingston or his dad. Rey says he will teach Joe a lesson at WrestleMania when he stands up for himself and his family, and becomes United States Champion.
– We go to the ring and out comes The Miz. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Miz is waiting in the ring with a mic. Fans chant “Miz is awesome!” and Miz agrees with them.
Miz talks about how he has a vision of tearing Shane McMahon apart at WrestleMania 35. Miz says Shane has lit a fire in him like he hasn’t experienced in all the years he’s been in WWE. Miz talks about how Shane attacked him in front of his dad and made it personal. Miz wants to make sure everyone in the world sees him decimate Shane. He wants this to be a Falls Count Anywhere match. Miz goes on until the music interrupts and out comes Shane’s own security team. The Colons, Shelton Benjamin and SAnitY are out to stand behind the security team. Shane is out last, speaking from the stage behind both groups of protection. Shane has Hamilton re-announce him as the best in the world. Shane says the security is out here for Miz’s benefit, to protect him from Shane.
Shane brings up the stipulation request and says Miz must be as dumb as Miz’s dad looks. Shane shows us a photo of him grabbing Miz’s dad by the face at WWE Fastlane. Shane goes on about how good the beating to Miz and his dad felt. He accepts the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation for WrestleMania. Shane regrets not doing more harm to Miz’s dad and punishing him for spawning a Miz-take. Shane says that’s when he impregnated Miz’s mother. Miz rushes from the ring and tries to fight through security. Miz takes them out but the heel Superstars are waiting on the ramp now. A guard comes from behind but Miz drops him. Miz starts brawling with the Superstars now. He takes out The Colons and Shelton but SAnitY triple teams him at ringside. Eric Young barks as Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe launch Miz into the barrier. Miz eventually fights back and takes everyone out as Shane watches from the stage. Shane retreats to the back as Miz stands tall for a pop.
– The announcers show us tonight’s opening segment with The New Day and Vince McMahon. Kofi will earn a WWE Title match at WrestleMania if Big E and Xavier Woods can win a Tag Team Gauntlet Match tonight. The announcers also look back at Charlotte Flair’s big title win over Asuka.
– We see video from last night’s RAW where Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss talked to SNL’s Michael Che and Colin Jost, live via satellite, on the “A Moment of Bliss” segment, where Jost and Che were announced for the 6th annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania.
Tag Team Gauntlet Match: Big E and Xavier Woods vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, The Bar, The Usos, Daniel Bryan and Rowan
We go to the ring and out comes The New Day – Big E and Xavier Woods with Kofi Kingston. Kofi heads to the back as Big E and Woods head to the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Tom says Kofi is banned from ringside for the entire Gauntlet Match. Woods and Anderson go at it to start the match. Back and forth for a few minutes. Big E comes in and they hit the UpUpDownDown double team move to get the easy elimination on The Good Brothers, pinning Anderson.
Out next comes the second team – Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura with Lana. We see The Hardy Boys, Rey Mysterio, Becky Lynch and Kofi backstage watching the match as Nakamura starts with Woods. Back and forth to start. Nakamura turns it around and unloads on Woods with strikes. Nakamura drops Woods out of the corner and covers for a 2 count. Rusev tags in and mounts Woods with big strikes as Lana cheers him on. Rusev tosses Woods out of the ring in front of Lana. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev unloads on Woods in the corner with shoulder thrusts. Nakamura comes in and delivers some Good Vibrations. Nakamura drops a knee on Woods and covers for a 2 count. We see Kofi and more Superstars backstage watching the match again. Big E reaches for the tag but Nakamura stops Woods and grounds him in the middle of the ring. Fans rally for Woods as he knocks Rusev off the apron. Nakamura comes right back and decks Woods in the corner. Woods counters the reverse Exploder. Big E gets the hot tag for a pop.
Rusev unloads with overhead belly-to-belly suplexes on Nakamura. Big E gets a pop as he stands over Nakamura and dances. Big E runs the ropes and hits the big splash. Fans cheer for The New Day as we see Kofi and friends chanting along backstage. Big E ends up sent to the floor. Rusev grabs him but Big E counters, sending Rusev into the steel ring steps. Kofi is getting hyped up backstage. The referee is distracted by Rusev in the ring now, allowing Nakamura to deliver a cheap shot. Nakamura goes on and drops Big E with a big suplex, then a running shot to the face. Woods makes the save.
Rusev and Woods go at it now. Woods sends Rusev through the ropes to the floor. Woods runs the ropes and dropkicks Rusev through them. Nakamura takes Woods out. Nakamura waits in the corner but Big E blocks the Kinshasa. Big E sends Nakamura shoulder-first into the ring post. Woods tags and they deliver another UpUpDownDown double team move, covering Nakamura for the pin. Kofi and friends cheer Woods and Big E on from backstage. Out next comes The Bar, Sheamus and Cesaro. We go back to commercial as The New Day looks on.
Back from the break and we see Superstars backstage watching as Sheamus has Big E grounded in the middle of the ring. Sheamus keeps control and in comes Cesaro with a Cesaro Swing attempt. Cesaro applies the Sharpshooter on Big E now. Big E ends up overpowering, kicking Cesaro through the ropes to the floor. Sheamus quickly comes in and stops Big E from tagging out. Sheamus stomps away on Big E now.
Big E ends up fighting both of The Bar off. He crawls for the tag but has to stop and back-drop Cesaro. We see Kofi and friends backstage watching the tag attempt, getting hyped up. Woods finally gets the hot tag and goes right to work on Cesaro. Sheamus runs in but Woods kicks him in the head. Woods counters a move with a big tornado DDT to Sheamus. Woods runs the ropes and leaps out of the ring, taking down The Bar on the floor as fans pop. Woods brings it back in and goes to the top, nailing the big leg drop on Cesaro. Woods covers for the pin but Sheamus breaks it up. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and The Bar is still in control of Big E. Sheamus kicks Woods off the apron. Sheamus ends up going for a Brogue Kick but Big E turns it into a big powerbomb for a pin attempt. Woods tags in as Cesaro comes in. More back and forth between Woods and Cesaro. The chaos leads to Woods rolling Sheamus up for the pin and the next elimination. Kofi’s group backstage is much larger now and they all celebrate the pin. The Bar attacks Woods and Big E after the bell, focusing on where they’re hurt. Cesaro brings a table from under the ring as Tom says The New Day has now been in the match for over 23 minutes. They bring the table in the ring and Big E gets driven through it. The next tag team out is SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos.
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso hit the ring while Big E is still down on the table debris. Woods stands in between them. The Usos take the mic and talk about how they’ve fought wars with The New Day, and how Kofi deserves to fight for the WWE Title. Fans chant for Kofi now. The Usos say The New Day has already earned their respect, Kofi has earned respect from everyone in the locker room and the fans. The Usos wish The New Day good luck and announce that they are forfeiting their part of the Gauntlet.
It looks like the match is over and Kofi is going to WrestleMania 35. The camera cuts backstage to Daniel Bryan and Rowan in their locker room. They’re furious as they start destroying everything. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we see trainers checking on Big E and Woods in the ring. It’s announced that The New Day must face one more tag team in the Gauntlet. The music hits and out comes WWE Champion Daniel Bryan with Rowan. They immediately attack and start destroying Woods and Big E Woods is laid out at ringside after having his leg wrapped around the ring post. Tom says they have been in this match for just over 33 minutes. Bryan brings it in the ring and goes at it with Big E now. Big E nails Bryan and clubs away on Rowan, who is on the apron. Big E tries to reach Woods but Bryan stops him and applies a half Crab submission. Bryan yells at Big E to give up, tightening the hold.
Woods comes flying out of nowhere and makes the save. Rowan comes in and delivers a few shots. Woods ends up leaping over the top rope, taking Rowan down on the floor. Bryan charges at Big E in the corner but Big E drives him into the mat. We get more shots of Kofi and friends in the back. Big E drops his straps as fans pop. Big E hits the Big Ending on Bryan but Rowan makes the save on the pin. Woods tries to come back but Rowan knocks him away and into the barrier. Rowan is the legal man now. He plants Big E in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count.
Woods fights off Bryan on the outside, nailing a big tornado DDT on the floor. Rowan, who was ordered to clear the announce table, goes for the Iron Claw on Woods but it’s blocked. Big E and Woods send Rowan into the ring post twice. Big E tosses Rowan over the announce table. Big E then tips the table over on Rowan, trapping him. Big E and Woods return to the ring as the referee counts Rowan out.
Winners: The New Day
– After the bell, Hamilton officially announces that Kofi Kingston is going to WrestleMania 35. The New Day’s music hits as Kofi runs down to the ring from the back for the celebration with Woods and Big E. Fans start chanting Kofi’s name as we go to replays.
Kayla Braxton approaches Vince McMahon backstage as he’s getting into his limousine. She mentions The New Day winning their Gauntlet Match and he said it was impressive. She asks Vince if this means Kofi is going to WrestleMania and he said it does. Vince says the question now is if a B Plus Player can defeat Bryan for the WWE Title. Vince says goodnight and gets in the limousine. We see him drive away. The camera cuts back to the ring as The New Day continues to celebrate. Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens, The Hardy Boys, R-Truth, Carmella, Naomi, Ricochet, Aleister Black, Ali, The Miz and other Superstars come down from the locker room. They surround the ring and Byron Saxton gets up from the announce table to join them. The Superstars surround the ring, shake the ropes and beat on the apron to cheer Kofi on. We see Bryan down on the outside, against the barrier and clutching the WWE Title as he looks on at the celebration. SmackDown goes off the air with The New Day celebrating.