– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel, who passed away at the age of 69 on Thursday. We go to the usual SmackDown intro video.
– We’re live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us. We see chairs and a small table set up in the ring. Cole is joined by Corey Graves. They hype tonight’s line-up.
– We go to the ring and out come WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. They take their seats and welcome us to a new episode of “A Moment of Bliss” in the ring. Bliss introduces their guest and out comes WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman.
Cole confirms Bray Wyatt vs. Strowman for the title at Money In the Bank, but not The Fiend it appears. Bliss welcomes Braun and congratulates him on defeating WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg for the title. Strowman congratulates them on their title win over The Kabuki Warriors. Cross mentions they will defend their titles next week, apparently against Carmella and Dana Brooke. Bliss brings up Wyatt and shows us the warning to Strowman from last week. Strowman says he did used to be a part of that family but he’s trying to forget that part of his life. He owes Wyatt nothing because he earned everything he has. He goes on about Wyatt and says he’s a manipulator. Strowman isn’t playing those games and Wyatt can challenge him if he wants. Strowman warns that if Wyatt comes for him and not the title, all he’s getting is these hands.
Bliss goes on but Strowman interrupts when he sees a wrapped gift under the turnbuckles. Strowman picks it up but Bliss says she didn’t get it for him. Strowman sits down and un-wraps the box. His old black sheep mask from The Wyatt Family is in there. Braun pulls it out, nervously shaking his head. Bliss and Cross back off. We hear Wyatt’s laughs echo around the empty WWE Performance Center. Strowman stands up ready to fight but Wyatt is nowhere to be seen. The screen flashes and stops on an image of Strowman wearing the mask back when he was in The Wyatt Family. The screen flashes again and we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cole hypes Wyatt vs. Strowman at Money In the Bank.
Sasha Banks vs. Tamina Snuka
Back from the break and Tamina Snuka is out. Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley are also out. Bayley joins the announcers. If Snuka wins this match she earns a title shot from Bayley.
The bell rings and Banks pulls out a t-shirt for Snuka, in an attempt to fix their old friendship. Snuka gets mad because it’s a size small and she wears an XL. This leads to Bayley distracting Snuka from the floor, allowing Banks to try and roll her up for the win off the distraction. Tamina fights back and goes to work on Banks. Tamina overpowers Banks and drops her again. Another pin attempt early on and Tamina drops Banks into the corner again. Banks ends up on the apron. Tamina rocks her and knocks her to the floor. Tamina screams out while Banks sells on the outside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Snuka continues to dominate. Banks drops her out of the corner and hits knees for a 2 count. Banks mounts Tamina and unloads with strikes now. Banks kicks Snuka and talks some trash. Banks with a basement dropkick and another pin attempt.
Tamina looks to make a comeback but Banks shuts her down and grounds her on the mat. Tamina powers up to her feet but Banks goes into the Sleeper. Tamina eventually rams her back into the corner to break it. Tamina charges but misses in the corner. Banks gets sent to the apron again but she fights back in with a knee. Banks goes on but Tamina drives her down with a version of a big Uranage. Banks rolls to the floor for a breather as the referee counts. Tamina follows Banks but Bayley yells at her.
Tamina is distracted. Banks takes advantage and drives Tamina into the ring post. Banks with a kick to the face with a version of the 619 on the apron. Banks sends Tamina into the steel steps. Banks comes back in and distracts the referee. Bayley comes over but the referee warns her. The music hits and out comes Lacey Evans. She levels Bayley in front of the announce table.
The referee counts Tamina but Banks runs out at her. Banks misses and Tamina superkicks her on the floor. Tamina brings Banks back in and drops her with another superkick. Tamina covers for the win and the future title shot.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Tamina
– After the match, Tamina stands tall as her music hits. We go to replays. Evans joins Tamina in the ring and they stand tall together as Banks looks on from the floor. Bayley checks on her.
– Cole and Graves hype tonight’s MITB qualifiers – Dana Brooke vs. Naomi and Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan. Graves keeps calling them the most unique MITB ladder matches ever – a possible hint to being on the roof of WWE HQ?
– Jey Uso is backstage hyping up tonight’s Triple Threat for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Charly Caruso stops Lacey Evans backstage and asks about Sasha Banks being a thorn in her side. Evans says Banks got a little taste of her own medicine tonight. After what Banks did to her and her family and then at WrestleMania, Evans goes where Banks goes and like in the Marines, she’s not going to stop until the mission is complete. Evans walks off
Sheamus vs. Denzel Dejournette
We go back to the ring and out comes Sheamus. WWE NXT’s Denzel Dejournette waits in the ring, staring Sheamus down.
The bell rings and Sheamus dominates early on but Denzel comes back and surprises him. Sheamus unloads with elbows and beats Denzel down, aggressively destroying him with elbows. Sheamus talks trash and unloads with knees to the face now. The referee yells at Sheamus as Denzel takes a beating.
Sheamus backs into the corner and yells out. He follows up with the Brogue Kick for the easy win.
– After the match, Sheamus poses in the corner and yells out as his music hits. We go to replays. Sheamus interrupts Cole as he talks about Jeff Hardy. Sheamus points to how Cole talked about Hardy when he was out here last week, and he isn’t happy with Cole doing the same show of disrespect for the second straight week. Sheamus asks what about The Celtic Warrior, then gets in Cole’s face and says he will not be disrespected, fella. Sheamus backs off and heads up the ramp.
– We go to part two of the in-depth look at Jeff Hardy, which began airing last week. “Chapter Two: The Fall” is the name of this part. This video shows Hardy talking about his addictions and spending time in jail. “Chapter Three: The Redemption” will air next week.
– Dana Brooke is backstage warming up. Carmella appears and isn’t happy about Dana training for tonight’s MITB qualifier when she should be training for next week’s title shot against WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Dana says she can do both, she’s got this. Carmella says whatever and isn’t so sure of Dana’s abilities as Dana walks off.
Money In the Bank Qualifying Match: Naomi vs. Dana Brooke
We go to the ring for our first blue brand qualifying match for the Women’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match. Naomi makes her way to the ring. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a promo for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of WWE Hall of Famer Triple H, which begins on next Friday’s SmackDown. We go back to the ring and Graves says everyone is excited to celebrate The Game. Naomi wraps up her entrance. Graves and Cole confirm that the men’s and women’s MITB ladder matches will take place at WWE HQ with a “Climb the Corporate Ladder” theme. We have details and the new poster on the main page. The participants will begin on the first floor of WWE HQ in Stamford, and will fight through three floors to the roof, where the briefcases will be. Dana Brooke is out next as we see a MITB briefcase hanging high above the ring and ladders around the arena.
The bell rings and they go at it. Brooke with close pin attempts early on. Brooke with more offense, eventually sending Naomi out to the floor, landing hard. Brooke talks trash and finally goes out to bring Naomi back in. Brooke covers for a 2 count. Brooke keeps Naomi grounded in the middle of the ring with a body scissors, controlling Naomi.
Naomi fights out with pin attempts. They get up and Naomi keeps fighting. Naomi unloads with strikes and then a big knee to the face. Naomi with a kick to the face and a springboard kick to the face for a close 2 count. Naomi is a bit frustrated with Brooke hanging in there. Naomi with more big kicks to rock Brooke. Brooke catches Naomi in a sitdown powerbomb for a close 2 count. Brooke is frustrated now.
Brooke ends up blocking the Rear View but Naomi comes back and hits it again. Brooke kicks out and Naomi can’t believe it. Naomi misses the split-legged moonsault in the corner as Brooke moves. Brooke rolls Naomi for the pin to win.
Winner: Dana Brooke
– After the win, Brooke celebrates in a big way as we get replays. She continues the celebration to her music, stopping at the announcers to celebrate.
– We get a video package on what’s happened between Otis, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler as of late. Rose and Deville will try to clear the air tonight.
– Back from the break and Sonya Deville comes to the ring. Deville takes the mic and says she’s been trying to get in touch with Mandy Rose for two weeks now. Rose isn’t taking her calls or responding to texts and all she knew to do was come out here on SmackDown. Deville asks Rose to come to the ring so they can make things right.
Deville asks please but Rose isn’t coming out. Deville says she’s never had someone like Rose in her life, from day 1, Tough Enough, and everything else, she’s always been there with her, together as Fire & Desire. She even went to the wedding of Deville’s sister. Deville asks Rose to come out so she can tell her what she’s always wanted to… the music interrupts and out comes Rose.
Rose says she has nothing to say to Deville after what she did to she and Otis. Deville says she’s spent more time with Rose than she has her own family for the past 5 years. Deville says Rose not giving her a chance to explain made her feel less than nothing to Rose. Deville struggles to get it out but finally says Rose is the most… her tune changes and she calls Rose the most selfish human being she’s ever known. Rose is confused. She asks what this has to do with she and Otis. Deville goes on about Rose not getting it. Deville says Fire & Desire was never about them. It was all about Rose. They came out to Rose’s entrance, waved her magazine around, and everything else. Deville says she’s about to gag, something Rose has probably done a lot since she’s been with Otis. Deville goes on about Rose and says the sad part is that Ziggler actually cares about her. Look at Dolph and look at Otis. Deville says yes she helped Ziggler with the relationship, but that was in exchange for Ziggler helping them and she had their eyes on winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania but it never happened. Deville says Rose ruined it. Rose asks how she ruined anything. Deville says she’s glad it’s all on the table now because she want’s nothing but to see Rose hurt. She calls Rose a bottom of the barrel bottled blonde who looks like she was created in a lab. Deville hates that she wasted years being second best to eye candy with no talent. Rose just listens and stares at Deville.
Deville tells Barbie to listen carefully. She knows Rose better than anyone else in the world and she will use every ounce of her being to ruin Mandy’s life and then everyone will realize the true champ and fighter of Fire & Desire, not some centerfold bitch. Deville drops the mic. Rose is glad she slapped Deville at WrestleMania 36. Ziggler’s music hits and out he comes to tell them to calm down. Ziggler says they went about this the wrong way and did the wrong thing but Mandy can’t fake what happened between he and her. He will do whatever it takes to make it up. Ziggler tells Rose to look him in the eye and say she doesn’t feel anything for him. They stare at each other. Ziggler goes to touch her but she pushes him off, saying don’t touch her. Deville drops Rose out of nowhere with a cheap shot. Ziggler asks why she did that. The music hits and out comes Otis.
Otis goes right for Ziggler and rocks him, sending him to the floor retreating. Deville jumps on Otis’ back and goes for his eyes. Rose pulls her off. Deville retreats and crawls away, joining Ziggler on the ramp. Otis checks on Rose as the two sides look on. Ziggler tries to attack out of nowhere but it backfires and Otis drops him. Otis hits the Caterpillar and a big elbow drop. Otis sends Ziggler to the floor and Deville checks on him, helping him up. Otis’ music hits as he stands with Rose again. Ziggler yells from the ramp and says this isn’t over.
– The announcers pay tribute to WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel, who passed away yesterday at the age of 69. They send us to a video package on The Fink’s career. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Miz is ranting about having to defend the SmackDown Tag Team Titles in another Triple Threat tonight.
– Cole and Graves lead us to a video package on The Forgotten Sons, who debuted last week. The group consists of Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker. They are the savages and we will never forget them, they say.
Money In the Bank Qualifying Match: Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan
We go to the ring for tonight’s next Money In the Bank qualifying match as Cesaro comes out with Shinsuke Nakamura. We see the MITB briefcase hanging above the ring and there are ladders all over the Performance Center arena. Out next comes Daniel Bryan with Drew Gulak.
The bell rings and they go at it. Cesaro drops Bryan with a shoulder first. Cesaro goes on but Bryan launches him over the top rope to the floor. Bryan runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive, sending Cesaro over the announce table. The screen starts flashing as we see the mystery hooded man in the control room setting once again. He says we have heard all the lies, but when will we hear the truth? We see “THE TRUTH” flash over the screen. We then see flashes of several tag teams – The Usos, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, John Morrison and The Miz, Bayley and Sasha Banks, The New Day. “THE TRUTH” flashes again. The man says to keep your friends close, but others closer… he presses the button and “THE TRUTH WILL BE HEARD” flashes on the screen again with the usual graphics. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Gulak cheers Bryan on as he grounds Cesaro and focuses on his arm. Cesaro ends up overpowering and launches Bryan across the ring. The referee checks on Bryan as Cesaro keeps control. Cesaro with a big kick to the back to keep Bryan down. Cesaro with another big scoop slam for a 2 count.
Bryan fights in from the apron and goes to the top but Cesaro catches the crossbody. Cesaro powers Bryan up with one arm and drives the knee to the spine. Cesaro with a 2 count. Cesaro applies the Sharpshooter now. Bryan drags himself over and gets the bottom rope but Cesaro takes advantage of the count. Bryan goes to the floor for a breather. Cesaro follows and charges, dropping Bryan against the barrier with a big running uppercut. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro is blocking a backslide. He counters but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan takes Cesaro down into an armbar in the middle of the ring. Cesaro powers Bryan up but Bryan takes the leg out. Bryan kicks Cesaro’s bad arm. Bryan unloads with kicks but Cesaro still kicks out at 2. Cesaro turns it around with more big offense. Bryan kicks out at 2 but Cesaro goes right into a Crossface.
Bryan turns that around and looks to go for a Yes Lock. Cesaro resists and covers for a 2 count. They trade pin attempts until Cesaro levels Bryan with a big clothesline. More back and forth now. Bryan ends up countering an armbar and applying the Yes Lock. Nakamura tries to interfere but Gulak pulls him back and sends him into the barrier. Bryan keeps the Yes Lock applied until Cesaro taps out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Gulak hits the ring to celebrate with Bryan as the music starts up. We go to replays. Bryan and Cole hype the special MITB matches from WWE HQ.
– Big E is backstage with a mic. He hypes tonight’s title match main event.
– Elias is seen walking backstage with his guitar. Cole says he has a special musical performance coming up. King Baron Corbin suddenly attacks out of nowhere and levels Elias, knocking him over a table. Corbin beats Elias around the backstage area, talking trash. Corbin destroys Elias and taunts him. Corbin grabs Elias’ ladder and wants him to play a song now. Corbin says he has a better idea. He drags Corbin to the ring it looks like, with the guitar in the other hand. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Elias is down in the backstage area, with his back against a production case. King Baron Corbin yells at Elias and is furious about Elias poking fun at him during songs. Corbin puts the scepter to him and demands Elias sing but Elias just screams out in pain as Corbin keeps the attack and trash talking going. Corbin says he is not a joke, he will make an example out of Elias and everyone else. Corbin says Elias will bow down. He drops Elias with another scepter shot and walks off, leaving Elias shaking and suffering on the floor. Elias goes to get back up but Corbin says he might need his guitar. Corbin comes back with a guitar shot over the back. Corbin yells to someone that Elias can be found in here. We see Elias shaking on the floor as we go back to the announcers.
– Cole announces two MITB qualifiers for next week – Drew Gulak vs. King Corbin and Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans. Graves announces Carmella and Dana Brooke vs. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for next week, with the titles on the line. We will also take a look at the history between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman next week.
Triple Threat for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Big E vs. Jey Uso vs. The Miz
We go to the ring for tonight’s Triple Threat main event for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles as Big E comes out first. Cole shows us a video that led to this match. Jey Uso is out next, followed by SmackDown Tag Team Champion The Miz.
Big E takes control early on, sending Miz out. Big E has both men down at ringside now. Big E rants about this being No DQ as he takes the announce table apart. Miz and Jey with big kicks to Big E. They team up for a double suplex, slamming Big E through the announce table. We go to commercial with Big E laying in the debris.
Back from the break and Uso hits a Samoan Drop on Miz in the middle of the ring, then sends him out to the floor. Big E gets up on the outside but Uso nails a suicide dive. Uso runs back in and hits a dive on Miz on the other side of the ring. Uso brings Miz back in and hits a big crossbody for a close 2 count. Uso with Rikishi splashes to both opponents in the corners.
Uso charges but Big E catches him with the Uranage. Miz takes out Big E in the corner. Miz goes for a Skull Crushing Finale on Big E but Uso superkicks him, then superkicks Big E. Uso covers Big E for the 2 count. Miz rolls Uso up for a 2 count out of nowhere. Uso and Miz go back and forth now. Uso blocks a Figure Four, kicking Miz into Big E to send him off the apron to the floor. Miz and Uso tangle. Miz with a Skull Crushing Finale for a 2 count. Miz goes right into the Figure Four in the middle of the ring. Rope breaks are not valid here. Miz tightens the hold and bridges it as Uso tries to fight out. Big E is still down on the floor. He finally runs in and breaks the hold, dropping Miz with a Big Ending for the pin to win the titles for he and Kofi Kingston.
Winner and New SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Big E (for The New Day)
– After the match, Big E celebrates as the music hits. We see video from Kofi Kingston, who is at home celebrating and going wild. Big E takes the titles and licks them all over. We see video of the injured Xavier Woods celebrating at home now. SmackDown on FOX goes off the air with Big E rolling around on the ground with the titles.
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