– Tonight’s taped WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with Michael Cole welcoming us. He’s joined by Corey Graves. They go over tonight’s show.
– We go to the ring for another must see edition of The Dirt Sheet with John Morrison and The Miz.
They start by taking shots at Money In the Bank winner Otis. They talk about last Friday’s loss to Otis and WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman. Miz has a Dirt Sheet exclusive – the reveal of a few Firefly Fun House puppets that Bray Wyatt rejected. We see the mock puppets on the big screen and they take shots at Strowman. This goes on until the music interrupts and out comes Strowman with the title around his waist.
Strowman has Miz and Morrison shoo as they look on from the corner. He tosses a chair they were using. Strowman admits they’re kind of funny and their show isn’t half bad. He thanks them for having him on tonight but they’re pretty sure he’s not booked. Strowman wants to talk about Wyatt and his puppets. They warn Braun how dangerous Wyatt is. Morrison and Strowman have some words, leading to a match between Strowman and Miz. Strowman warns that Miz is about to get these hands. We go to commercial.
Braun Strowman vs. The Miz
Back from the break and WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman stares The Miz down for this non-title match. John Morrison watches from ringside and has words with Strowman.
Strowman takes control with ease and runs over Miz a few times. Strowman with a big shoulder tackle. Miz finally dumps Strowman to the apron over the top. Miz sends Strowman down with a knee. Morrison runs and leaps off the barrier, connecting with a big kick to the face. Strowman stumbles around at ringside. Miz comes to capitalize on the floor. Strowman ends up getting sent into the steel ring steps.
They bring it back in and Miz launches himself at Strowman. Miz flies back in again but Strowman catches him. Miz with a rake to the eyes while the referee isn’t looking. Miz with a kick to the face, a dropkick to the knee and another kick to the face. Strowman blocks the DDT and rams Miz back into the corner. Strowman just launches Miz across the ring with ease now. Strowman splashes Miz in the corner and drops Morrison off the apron with a big right hand.
Strowman manhandles Miz some more in the middle of the ring now. Strowman scoops Miz for the big running powerslam in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: Braun Strowman
– After the match, Strowman stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. Strowman raises the title in the air and turns to look down at Miz, who is being checked on by the referee. Morrison takes the mic and challenges Strowman to a Handicap Match for the title at Backlash. Strowman accepts the challenge and makes his exit as the music starts back up.
– The announcers hype the Intercontinental Title tournament.
Intercontinental Title Tournament Match: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
We go back to the ring and out comes AJ Styles for the next first round match in the tournament for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Title.
Back from the break and Shinsuke Nakamura is out as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. The winner will advance to face Elias next week. Back and forth to start the match. Nakamura takes it against the ropes and the referee counts. Nakamura takes AJ to the mat and they tangle for a second before getting back up. They trade more holds and trade a few quick strikes on their feet. More back and forth until AJ drops Nakamura with a big dropkick.
AJ takes Nakamura to the corner and chops him. Nakamura blocks a shot and elbows AJ in the mouth. Nakamura with a knee to the gut now. AJ suckers Nakamura into the corner and drops him on the top turnbuckle. They trade more big strikes now. AJ with an enziguri to bring Nakamura to one knee. Nakamura counters and kicks AJ into the corner. More back and forth now. Nakamura slides under AJ to the floor, dropping AJ onto his neck on the mat. Nakamura stands tall on the floor and poses as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Nakamura fights AJ off with big kicks. AJ goes down and Nakamura boots him in the head a few times, taunting him. AJ catches a kick and mounts more offense. Cole mentions that AJ has been officially traded from RAW to SmackDown.
AJ keeps control and drops Nakamura with a Ushigoroshi. Nakamura kicks out at 2. AJ ends up going for the Calf Crusher as the referee checks on Nakamura. Nakamura gets free but AJ keeps fighting for another pin attempt. Nakamura counters and drops AJ with a Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count. Nakamura shows some frustration now. Nakamura comes back with a sliding knee for another close 2 count.
Nakamura charges for a Kinshasa but AJ ducks and rolls Nakamura up for a 2 count. Nakamura goes right into a triangle on the mat. AJ starts to fade. AJ powers up and drops Nakamura for a modified Styles Clash. Nakamura kicks out just in time. More back and forth. AJ flies in from the apron with the Phenomenal Forearm. AJ covers for the pin to win and advance.
Winner: AJ Styles
– After the match, AJ stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. AJ will face Elias in the second round next week. We get a look at the updated tournament brackets.
– We see Charlotte Flair’s appearance last week and the segment she had with Sasha Banks and Bayley. Banks and Bayley are backstage now. Bayley doesn’t want Banks in her corner tonight because people think she can’t win on her own. Banks is taken back a bit. There’s some awkwardness between them but Bayley shows solidarity and walks off, telling Banks she will see her out there. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a plug for WWE Hall of Famer Edge vs. Randy Orton at Backlash.
Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
We go back to the ring for tonight’s non-title Champion vs. Champion match as WWE NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair makes her way out first. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley is out next by herself.
The bell rings and they go at it. Flair drops Bayley first and talks trash as she sends her into the corner. Flair with a big chop in the corner. Flair takes Bayley into another corner head-first. Bayley moves and Flair hits the turnbuckle. Bayley strikes and covers for a quick 1 count. Bayley taunts Flair as we see Sasha Banks backstage watching.
They lock up again and Flair goes behind to control Bayley. Bayley turns it around but Flair back elbows her in the mouth. Flair approaches but Bayley takes her down and uses the ropes for leverage but the referee catches her. Flair takes Bayley down and does the same, using her legs on the ropes. They go to lock up again but Flair kicks Bayley in the gut. Bayley sends Flair to the apron but Flair lands a big knee, sending her to the floor. Bayley grabs Flair’s foot and drops her on the apron. Bayley goes for a baseball slide but Flair drops her. Flair stalks Bayley on the floor as the referee counts. Flair launches Bayley over the barrier.
Flair grabs a headset from the announcers and calls Banks out so she can kick both of their asses. The referee continues to count and Flair stands tall on the outside, posing. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Flair talks trash while having Bayley grounded in the middle of the ring. Flair goes to the top for the moonsault but Bayley cuts her off. Bayley looks to capitalize but runs into a knee. Flair goes for a running boot but gets hung up on the rope. She ends up on the floor and Bayley kicks her spine-first into the ring post. Bayley goes for the dropkick through the rope but Flair moves and rocks her. Bayley keeps fighting and sends Flair into the barrier. Bayley keeps control and comes back in, ordering the referee to count Flair. She brings it back in and Bayley covers for a 1 count.
Bayley works Flair over on the ropes now as the referee warns her. Flair fights back and rolls Bayley for a 2 count. Bayley comes right back with a clothesline for a quick 1 count. Bayley keeps Flair grounded with a headlock now. Flair fights out with lefts and rights. Bayley responds with a knee to the gut. Bayley leaps but Flair catches her and nails a fall-away slam. Flair blocks a right hand and beats Bayley into the corner. Bayley turns it around with shoulder thrusts. Bayley misses in the corner and Flair hits the neckbreaker into the face-first turnbuckle shot.
Flair goes to the top for the moonsault but has to land on her feet. She follows up with a running big boot but Bayley still kicks out at 2. Flair stomps away while Bayley is down now, focusing on her legs. Bayley kicks Flair away and drops her over the second rope. Flair takes a running knee in the corner. Bayley goes to the top for the flying elbow but Flair gets her knees up. Flair goes right into the Boston Crab. Bayley counters for a 2 count. Flair charges but Bayley sends her into the middle turnbuckle. Bayley goes to the top and hits the elbow drop but Flair kicks out just in time.
Bayley shows some frustration now, yelling at the announcers. Flair tells Bayley to bring it. Bayley talks more trash back to her. Flair takes chops from Bayley and keeps telling her to bring it. Bayley unloads with chops. Bayley does a “wooo!” and goes for the Figure Four but Flair drops her with a right hand. Flair chops Bayley into the corner with big chops now. The referee warns her. Bayley with a kick to the head. Flair counters and they trade roll-ups on the mat. Bayley holds onto the ropes and gets the roll-up for the pin.
– After the match, Bayley sits up against the barrier and brags about the win as her music plays. Flair is all smiles as she acknowledges the loss. We go to replays. Bayley takes her title to the ramp and has her arm raised as Flair looks on.
– Still to come, Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy. Also, mixed tag team action. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Sasha Banks is congratulating Bayley on the win. It looks like there might be some tension but they hug.
Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler vs. Mandy Rose and Otis
We go back to the ring and out first comes Sonya Deville. Dolph Ziggler is out next and they head to the ring together. Mandy Rose is out first for her team. Out last comes Otis with his Money In the Bank briefcase. Otis and Mandy head to the ring together. The two sides have words before the bell.
Rose starts off with Deville but before they can go at it, Otis and Ziggler come in. Ziggler goes for the leg but Otis tosses him away. Ziggler comes back and Otis scoops him, then spins him around for a slam. Otis with a running splash in the corner. Otis dances around as Ziggler rolls to the ropes for a breather. Deville tags in and in comes Rose. Deville rams Rose back into the corner and hits her with shoulder thrusts. Deville manhandles Rose in the corner some. Rose comes out and tackles Deville with strikes. Otis and Ziggler end up going at it on the floor. Ziggler sends Otis into the steel steps.
Rose goes right to the floor to check on Otis while he’s down, clutching his shoulder. We go to commercial with Otis and Mandy on the outside.
Back from the break and Deville is manhandling Rose on the mat. Otis is still down on the floor, clutching his shoulder. Deville taunts Rose and sends her back into the corner for right hands. Rose rocks Deville and fights her way out, rolling Deville for a quick 1 count. Deville comes right back and drops Rose. Otis is back on the apron now. Deville taunts Otis while working Rose over in the middle of the ring. Otis tries to rally Rose for a tag.
Rose with a jawbreaker to Deville. Deville stops her from tagging. Deville with a big kick to Rose to taunt Otis. Deville with more big kicks while Rose is on her knees. More back and forth now as Rose finally gets an opening. Ziggler and Otis reach for tags as the referee counts. Deville gets up first but Rose kicks her away. Otis tags in as does Ziggler.
Otis strikes first and drives Ziggler into the mat, then the corner. Ziggler rocks Otis back but Otis smashes him in the corner. Otis with a running splash in the corner and Ziggler goes down. Otis dances around but doesn’t capitalize as Deville tags in. Rose has to come in but she nails clotheslines to Deville. Rose unloads as Otis decks Ziggler on the outside and beats him around. Rose with more offense on Deville for a close 2 count. Otis and Ziggler continue brawling on the floor. Deville blocks the double underhook from Rose and rocks her with a knee. Ziggler holds Otis back from coming in to make the save. Deville goes on and nails another knee to the back of the head for the pin to win.
Winners: Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler
– After the bell, Otis comes in to check on Rose as Deville makes her exit. Ziggler runs in and superkicks Otis in the face while he’s tending to Rose. We go to replays. Ziggler and Deville back up the ramp together while taunting Otis and Rose.
– We see Jeff Hardy backstage. He asked the WWE Universe to join him for one more good run two weeks ago but then he didn’t know where that journey would lead him. It’s a mystery no more as he goes for the Intercontinental Title, which is near and dear to his heart, not just because of the Legends who have held it in the past, but because it was his first singles title. Hardy says if he could win that title one more time, everything would truly come full circle and what better way to start that journey than to beat the bully that tried to tear him down. Hardy goes on and says his path to glory runs right through Sheamus tonight. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a graphic in memory of Shad Gaspard.
– We get a backstage promo from The Forgotten Sons – Jaxson Ryker, Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler. A disclaimer graphic was shown before the promo. Cutler speaks and says they’ve all had their tough times, like their brothers they served with, in adjusting to life back home. They’ve had their dark times but if that makes you feel uncomfortable, then it should. Cutler says that’s their blood on your hands but what’s only fair is now they have your blood on their hands.
– The announcers confirm The Miz and John Morrison vs. Braun Strowman for his title at Backlash. Miz and Morrison are backstage and Miz isn’t thrilled with the match. Renee Young approaches and asks if they think they will win at Backlash after Braun has defeated them both. Morrison points to how Braun has a bad track record in Handicap Matches. They go on about how they’re going to win at Backlash. Miz says they’re going to make Braun’s life a living hell. They dance around and chant “Hey hey, ho ho, Miz and Morrison…” to end the segment.
– We get a look at recent happenings between Jeff Hardy and Sheamus.
Intercontinental Title Tournament Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
We go back to the ring and it’s time for the final first round match in the tournament to crown a new WWE Intercontinental Champion. Jeff Hardy makes his way out first for tonight’s main event. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Sheamus as Hardy stares him down. The winner of this match will face Daniel Bryan next Friday. The bell rings and Sheamus takes Hardy to the corner as the referee backs him off. Sheamus rams Hardy into another corner but Hardy ducks a clothesline. Hardy takes Sheamus down and grounds him. More back and forth now. Sheamus rocks Hardy against the ropes and boots him down as the referee warns him. Sheamus rocks Hardy against the ropes and talks some trash.
Hardy kicks Sheamus in the head and nails a forearm into the ropes. Hardy comes back at him but Sheamus drops him with a back elbow in the middle of the ring. Sheamus with the big forearms to the chest while holding Hardy on the apron but Hardy counters and drops him over the top rope. Sheamus charges and Jeff sends him out to the floor. Jeff dropkicks through the ropes, sending Sheamus into the announce table. Jeff leaps off the apron but Sheamus catches him and slams him into the ring post.
Sheamus keeps Hardy in his arms and lifts him above his head, then launches him onto the top of the announce table. Sheamus yells at Cole, backing him against the barrier. Sheamus turns his attention back to Hardy as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus is yelling at Hardy while manhandling him in the middle of the ring. Hardy fights out but Sheamus pulls him back to the mat. Sheamus drops a big knee and another, and another. Sheamus drops another knee to the face and holds it there. Sheamus taunts Jeff. Jeff fights up and out of the corner but Sheamus beats him back down. Sheamus tells the announcers this is a slaughter. Graves agrees.
Hardy dodges a clothesline but Sheamus connects with the next clothesline attempt. Hardy goes down. Sheamus talks trash in Jeff’s face while he’s down. Jeff fights back and tries to mount offense. Sheamus runs into an elbow in the corner. Jeff goes to the top and nails a Whisper In the Wind for a quick 1 count. Sheamus comes back and nails the Irish Curse backbreaker, and another. Sheamus goes for a third Irish Curse and hits it. Sheamus wastes more time bragging to the announcers as the referee checks on Hardy.
Sheamus sends Jeff to the apron now. Sheamus unloads with the forearms to the chest while Hardy is on the apron facing the announcers. Sheamus is all smiles as he wastes some more time. Sheamus wastes some more time and Hardy counters a move. Hardy looks to mount offense. Sheamus charges in the corner but Jeff moves and he hits the ring post shoulder-first. Hardy droops Sheamus and hits the inverted Atomic Drop. Hardy with the signature leg drop and the basement dropkick for a close 2 count. Sheamus blocks a Twist of Fate and rolls to the floor for a breather. Jeff follows and sends Sheamus into the ring post shoulder-first. Jeff runs the top of the barrier and nails a flying clothesline on the floor. The referee counts but Jeff brings it back in.
Jeff goes to the top for the Swanton Bomb but Sheamus gets his knees up. Jeff kicks out at 2. Sheamus can’t believe it and shows some frustration. Sheamus levels Jeff with a huge knee for another close 2 count. Sheamus readies for the Brogue Kick but Jeff ducks. Sheamus comes right back and scoops Hardy but Hardy slides down and rolls Sheamus up for the pin out of nowhere to advance.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
– After the bell, Jeff goes right to the floor as Sheamus gets to his feet and he’s furious. Jeff’s music hits as Sheamus yells out at him. We go to replays. Sheamus continues yelling at Jeff as Cole looks at the tournament brackets. Hardy vs. Bryan and Elias vs. Styles is confirmed for next in the semifinals. Sheamus looks out at Hardy and he’s not happy with the loss. SmackDown on FOX goes off the air.