– Tonight’s Throwback WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a throwback-style intro video. We cut to a classic opening video with The Rock and others featured. We’re live from the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida as pyro goes off. There’s throwback theme music and graphics. The SmackDown fist is also there on an updated set. Michael Cole welcomes us to the show and he’s at ringside with Pat McAfee, who is dressed like a young WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. They lead us to a look back at the August 26, 1999 SmackDown main event between The Rock and Triple H, which was the first main event of SmackDown. They tout how there have been 1,133 SmackDown episodes in a row. Cole says we will make more magic tonight.
– We go to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. Greg Hamilton does the introductions as they stop on the stage and Reigns raises the title to pyro.
We get a Progressive-sponsored look back at how Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan in last week’s Career vs. Title match. Reigns raises the title in the ring now as more pyro goes off. Heyman takes the mic and says Reigns has asked him to eulogize the career of Bryan, which we will do so with a ten-bell salute. Heyman tells the time-keeper that his help is not needed as they will do this their way. Heyman, Uso and Reigns bow their heads as Heyman “dings!” 10 times. Fans boo and now chant “you suck!” at the heels.
Reigns says unlike Bryan, he’s a man of his word and did what he said he would do. He puts everything on his back and carries it, and because of this we should acknowledge him, celebrate him, thank him, because he always gives everyone what they want… the fans, FOX, SmackDown, even Bryan. Reigns says Bryan didn’t want to be here so he smashed him, pinned him and got rid of him. Reigns goes on and says we’ve replaced Bryan, with someone who will certainly acknowledge him. The music hits and out comes Jimmy Uso making his return from injury.
Jimmy hits the ring and celebrates with his brother, then Reigns, even Heyman. The celebration is interrupted by Cesaro. He comes to the stage and says you can never replace Bryan, no offense to Jimmy. Cesaro says he has no time tonight for Reigns because he has to focus on the match with Seth Rollins, which is more important than… Rollins suddenly attacks from behind and they brawl to the ringside area. Producers and officials come down to break things up. The music hits and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long to interrupt, playa.
Long announces that Adam Pearce has granted him some power, and if Cesaro can beat Rollins tonight, he will earn the title shot against Reigns at WrestleMania Backlash. Holla, holla! Reigns attacks Cesaro from behind from the ring, and Rollins follows up by tossing Cesaro into the steel steps. Rollins brings Cesaro in the ring and beats him down in the corner as fans boo. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get an old school ICOPRO style promo.
Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
Back from the break and Seth Rollins is unloading on Cesaro. The Usos watch from ringside. Rollins keeps control and nails an early Slingblade for a 2 count.
Rollins goes on and hits a flying knee for another close 2 count. Rollins takes it out and sends Cesaro into the barriers. We see WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman watching backstage. Cesaro tries to mount offense back in the ring now but Rollins kicks the knee out and keeps control for another pin attempt. Cesaro ends up overpowering Rollins with a big suplex of his own.
Cesaro with big uppercuts from corner to corner. The Neutralizer and the Cesaro Swing are blocked but Cesaro keeps control. Rollins sends Cesaro to the apron off another block. Cesaro rocks him and goes to the top. Jey distracts from the apron and Rollins runs up to the top, nailing a huge superplex, holding it into a Falcon Arrow for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. More back and forth with Cesaro fighting back and staying in it as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro slams Rollins for 2. Rollins rolls him over for a close 2 count. Cesaro with the Sharpshooter applied now. He goes to turn it into the Crossface but Rollins counters with a neckbreaker. Rollins goes for the Stomp but Cesaro avoids it. Rollins comes right back and levels Cesaro for another close 2 count.
Cesaro with more offense. He goes for a super Gutwrench suplex from the top but it’s blocked. Rollins follows up with a Buckle Bomb but Cesaro comes out of the corner with a big clothesline and they both go down. Cesaro with strikes as The Usos look on. Rollins fights back but Cesaro uppercuts him. Rollins launches Cesaro over the top rope to the floor. Rollins rolls out as Jimmy Uso distracts the referee. Rollins tells Jey Uso he’s not Reigns so stay out of his business.
Rollins rolls Cesaro back in and then drops Jey. Jimmy comes over and superkicks Rollins. Cesaro launches himself from the ring to the floor, taking Uso down. Cesaro brings Rollins back in and hits the Neutralizer in the middle of the ring for the pin to win and earn the title shot at WrestleMania Backlash.
Winner and New #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Title: Cesaro
– After the match, The Usos are upset at ringside as Cesaro begins to celebrate. We see Reigns and Heyman watching backstage. Cesaro continues celebrating as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers confirm Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns for Backlash. Roman Reigns is backstage when Seth Rollins walks in and he’s not happy. He mentions their history and wonders if he should be upset at Reigns or Jimmy Uso. Reigns understands where he’s coming from and says yeah my cousin screwed you over but by you losing, that screwed me over and now I have to deal with your loose ends, and that involves beating Cesaro, which I will do. Reigns says he will also deal with his family. Rollins says that’s cool but he will deal with The Usos if Reigns doesn’t. Rollins walks off.
– We get a look back at the December 13, 2001 SmackDown grocery store segment with WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Steve Austin.
– Teddy Long is backstage with Sonya Deville, thanking her for having him. She mentions Adam Pearce being unavailable tonight, but she was relieved when she heard Teddy would be here. Sami Zayn walks in and starts telling Teddy about the massive conspiracy against him, and the documentary coming out. Sami knows Teddy isn’t in on it and as an unbiased official, he hopes Teddy will give him a shot at his Intercontinental Title. Teddy does his signature “one-on-one with The Undertaker!” line but Sami reminds him Taker is retired. Teddy announces that Sami will team with Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens, The Street Profits, Big E and Shinsuke Nakamura. Deville reveals that Otis and Chad Gable will also be teaming with Sami for the ten-man match. Teddy says King Booker will also be on their team but Deville corrects him, it’s King Baron Corbin. Teddy tries to get Sami to dance with he and Deville but he’s not interested. Sami walks off.
– Roman Reigns is backstage when The Usos walk in. He’s not happy with how Jimmy Uso has already screwed up after returning for one hour. Jimmy says Reigns won’t be talking to him any kind of way like he’s talked to Jey. Jimmy says he’s nobody’s bitch. Jimmy walks off. Jey looks at Reigns and then walks off after his brother. We go to commercial.
Ruby Riott vs. Carmella
Back from the break and Ruby Riott is in the ring with Liv Morgan. Out next comes Carmella.
Carmella with offense and a moonwalk early on. Riott drops her and fights back. Carmella blocks a suplex and lands bad but slams Riott to the mat. Carmella talks some trash to Morgan while beating Riott down to the mat.
Riott fights up and out, then drops Carmella with a STO for a 2 count. Riott goes to the top but Carmella jumps up and rocks her. Carmella kicks Riott to the mat and uses the ropes for leverage on a 2 count as Liv points it out. Carmella kicks Liv off the apron but Riott rolls her for 2. Carmella with a 2 count now. Ruby with a 2 count of her own again. Carmella goes right into the Code of Silence submission for the quick win.
– After the match, Carmella stands tall and celebrates as her music hits.
– We get a look back at the July 4, 2002 SmackDown when WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Hulk Hogan won the WWE Tag Team Titles from Billy and Chuck.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Bayley as the announcers hype her WrestleMania Backlash match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. Cole says Bayley is out here to celebrate the women’s champions of WWE. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole shows us how Brock Lesnar and Big Show made the ring implode for the first time on the June 12, 2003 SmackDown episode. We go back to the ring and Bayley has a mic. Bayley says to be in a WWE ring you have to be a Superstar, not that she would expect we sheep to know about that, but that doesn’t make you a great champion, and she would know because she’s the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion. She’s not here to talk about herself, she’s actually here to pay tribute to some of our women’s champions. Bayley shows us WWE Hall of Famer Alundra Blayze on the big screen now. She says Blayze is no Bayley, but she did hold the title for 3 years. WWE Hall of Famer Jacqueline is shown next and Bayley gives her significant praise as well, but says her two reigns were not as big as Bayley’s lengthy reign. We see WWE Hall of Famers Lita, Trish Stratus, Beth Phoenix, Molly Holly and Ivory now, and last but certainly not least, our current SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair.
Bayley says Belair is so happy and full of potential, but so naive and blind to the world around us. Bayley says if Belair isn’t careful she will wind up like the other women – not on Bayley’s level. Bayley hopes Belair doesn’t take this personal because she’s looking out for Belair. She sees insecurity in Belair’s eyes. Bayley goes on and says she will be Belair’s first challenger but she will also beat her for the title at WrestleMania Backlash, and show us she was right about her all along.
The music interrupts and out comes Belair swinging her hair. Belair asks if she can live because Bayley just can’t let her be champion. Belair is living her best life and it’s just about to get better at Backlash. Belair laughs at the idea of her being insecure. She says Bayley wishes she was insecure. Belair says her confidence bothers Bayley, and empowers she and her fans, so thank you Bayley for your concern, but you should be worried about yourself. Belair says she’s on her way to becoming the new longest-reigning champion and if Bayley thinks Belair is losing at Backlash then… Bayley starts laughing. She tries to tackle Belair out of nowhere but Belair blocks it.
Belair with shoulder thrusts in the corner now. Belair unloads with kicks now, then tosses Bayley across the ring by her hair. Bayley gets up but Belair dropkicks her, then does a kip up for a pop. Bayley kicks her leg and then grabs her by her ear ring. Belair screams out and fans boo Bayley. Bayley takes Belair down by her ear ring again, talking trash and taunting her. Bayley keeps Belair down by standing on her hair. Bayley grabs Belair again and drops her on her face, then exits the ring laughing.
– The Usos are backstage now. Jey asks if Jimmy really thinks he’s Roman Reigns’ bitch. He does. Jey says Reigns has always been family and what he does benefits the family. Jimmy disagrees and goes on about Reigns just helping himself and Jey helping Reigns for the past several months. Jimmy says he needs Jey and they need each other. Jimmy tells Jey to picture this – Reigns with the Universal Title, The Usos with the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. That’s representing the family, Jimmy says. Jimmy walks off.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
We go back to the ring and out comes Rey Mysterio with Dominik Mysterio. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a look back at John Cena’s arrival on the June 27, 2002 SmackDown. Rey waits in the ring with his son as Cole and McAfee hype their WrestleMania Backlash match against SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Out next comes Ziggler to the ring, with Roode. Ziggler takes the mic and talks some trash to Dominik, saying he really doesn’t belong in the ring, the industry or the company, you’re nothing but Rey Mysterio’s little kid. Ziggler tells Dominik to get the hell out of his ring so the men can handle their business. Ziggler keeps taunting Dominik and laughing at him. Dominik wants to fight, challenging Ziggler to a match. Rey steps out of the ring and is going to let his son have this bout.
The bell rings and they have words. Ziggler taunts Dominik and Dominik shoves him. Ziggler smacks him in the mouth and goes to work, grabbing him and talking more trash. Dominik ducks a clothesline and slaps Ziggler in the mouth. Dominik with a dropkick. Ziggler goes to the floor to re-group with Roode. Dominik goes to the apron but Ziggler takes his leg out, sending him to the floor.
Ziggler slams Dominik on the floor and talks some more trash before rolling him in. Dominik fights back from the corner but Ziggler drops him. Ziggler with a neckbreaker and a one-foot pin attempt. Dominik fights back again but Ziggler drops him with a right hand. Ziggler with another scoop slam and some showing off as fans boo.
Ziggler stays in Dominik’s face. Dominik counters a move and drops Ziggler into a roll-up for the pin to win out of nowhere.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
– After the match, Dominik goes to the floor to celebrate with his dad as the music hits. Ziggler seethes and talks some trash with Roode.
– We see what happened last week with Natalya, Tamina Snuka and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, plus Tamina’s passionate promo on Talking Smack. Kayla Braxton is backstage with Jax, Baszler and Reginald now. Reginald has requested a match with Tamina tonight. He says she left him with a bad taste in his mouth last week with her blatant disrespect. He says tonight he will break Tamina’s spirit, and next week Jax and Baszler will retain their titles over Tamina and Natalya. Jax continues to be infatuated with Reginald as they walk off to the ring.
Reginald vs. Tamina Snuka
We go back to the ring and out comes Reginald with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a retro-style ice cream bars promo. We get a replay from the November 11, 1999 SmackDown show when WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared. Roman Reigns is backstage now. Paul Heyman walks up and Reigns tells him to bring him his cousin. Heyman asks which one. Reigns just looks at him. A shook Heyman nods and says he understands, then walks off. We go back to the ring and Reginald is waiting as Tamina Snuka makes her way out with Natalya. Baszler and Jax watch from ringside as Cole confirms the title match for next week.
The bell rings and Tamina approaches but Reginald wastes some time taking his jacket off. Tamina goes for a superkick but Reginald back-flips out of the way to the floor to join the champs. Reginald comes back in and continues flipping around to avoid Tamina. He flips to duck a clothesline, and does it again. Tamina finally grabs Reginald by his head. She tosses him by his hair but he lands on his feet.
Tamina gets her hands on Reginald as he tries to baseball slide under him. She yells at him and launches him into the corner. Reginald pleads and goes to the top turnbuckle. Tamina follows but he leaps over her to the mat, landing on his feet.
Reginald dances around and shows off as the champs cheer him on. Tamina superkicks him to the mat. Tamina goes to the top for the Superfly Splash but Baszler gets on the apron to distract as Jax pulls Reginald to the floor. Baszler attacks for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Tamina Snuka
– After the bell, Jax hits the ring as does Natalya. The champs take out Natalya and then double team Tamina. Baszler tries to break her arm as Jax holds her down. Jax grabs Tamina on the floor and drives her into the barrier with a big Samoan Drop. Jax puts a boot to Tamina’s face and yells at her for disrespecting Reginald as fans boo. Jax, Baszler and Reginald leave together.
– WWE Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews is backstage with Commander Azeez and his tag team partners, talking about leading them into battle tonight. We go to Big E and his partners for the main event now. They all get way hyped up and declare that they want the smoke. We go to commercial.
Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn, King Baron Corbin, Chad Gable and Otis vs. Kevin Owens, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Street Profits
Back from the break and the main event is underway as both teams are already out. Commander Azeez watches from ringside. Angelo Dawkins starts with Chad Gable and they go back & forth. Gable with a big arm drag. Dawkins with a dropkick and more offense before tagging in Montez Ford. Ford with a big dropkick to Gable and some showing off, then a pin attempt.
Gable turns it around on Ford and in comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews. He takes control of Ford and works him over. Sami Zayn tags himself in and has some words with Apollo. Sami beats Ford down in the middle of the ring. More of Sami keeping control now. Ford nails a big dropkick and in comes Big E to a pop. Sami wants none of Big E so he tags in King Baron Corbin. They lock up and Big tightens a headlock. They collide with shoulders but Corbin levels Big E with a clothesline.
Corbin talks some trash and they run the ropes. Big E drops Corbin with an elbow for a 2 count. Corbin rams Big E into the corner but Sami gets in some cheap shots as Corbin argues with the referee. Kevin Owens runs in and knocks Sami off the apron to the floor. A huge brawl breaks out in front of the announcers now. Owens nails a Frogsplash to Sami from the apron as fans pop. The big brawl continues at ringside as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Otis has Owens grounded in the middle of the ring. Owens fights up and out but Otis ends up nailing a big splash in the corner to bring him back down as fans boo. Crews tags back in but Owens counters and goes for a Stunner. Crews blocks it and goes for a superkick. More back and forth now. Owens with an enziguri to drop Crews. Gable brings Big E to the floor and Big E chases him around the ring but runs into Otis, who drops him. Crews and Owens go at it in the ring. Owens with a spinning heel kick.
Shinsuke Nakamura tags in as does Sami. Nakamura unloads and also takes out Gable as he comes in. Nakamura then kicks Corbin off the apron. Sami decks Nakamura from the side. Sami has no one to tag. Nakamura charges Sami but Sami also knocks some of his opponents off the apron. Nakamura with the sliding German suplex, then a big kick for a close 2 count as Corbin makes the save just in time. Corbin sends Nakamura to the floor. Big E with a belly-to-belly suplex to Corbin. Crews rocks Big E and hits a German suplex on him. Owens drops Crews with a Stunner. Otis pulls Owens out of the ring but Owens superkicks him twice to stun him, not bring him down.
Gable grabs Owens with a big German on the floor. Dawkins levels Gable with a big Pounce on the floor but Otis powers into Dawkins on the outside. Ford runs the ring and leaps out, taking Otis down with the other bodies. Zayn blocks a Kinshasa as fans chant “this is awesome!” now. Corbin comes in as Nakamura drops Sami, not seeing the tag. Corbin grabs Nakamura for End of Days to get the pin in the middle of the ring.
Winners: King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Otis, Chad Gable and Apollo Crews
– After the match, Corbin’s music hits as we go to replays. The heels stand tall together in the ring, taunting the babyfaces.
– Roman Reigns is backstage with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. Reigns talks about the responsibility he’s given Jey, and how they do it for the family, and how they love each other. Reigns says he also loves Jimmy Uso and wants to give him the same opportunities to rise to the occasion but he needs to know where Jimmy stands. Reigns says we’re about to find out right now, let’s go. They get up and walk out of the room as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see a replay from the July 22, 2004 SmackDown where WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon took a ride with WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero in his lowrider.
– We go back to the ring and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is out with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. Fans are already booing as Heyman hands Reigns the mic.
Reigns says this is not how he envisioned the night. It was simple – Reigns tells Jey he thought he would bring “your brother” back in and… The Usos’ music hits and out comes Jimmy Uso. Jimmy takes the mic and asks Jey where he stands. Jimmy recalls the “I Quit” match Jey lost to Reigns, and how he wouldn’t quit until he saw Reigns about to hurt his brother. Jimmy shows us a video package on the big screen, with highlights from the Hell In a Cell match between Reigns and Jey.
Jimmy says he never would’ve said he quits to Reigns, no matter what, but he doesn’t want Jey to get mad at him for saying this. Reigns asks if that is what this is all about. Is Jimmy stuck on the past? Reigns says he and Jey were moving forward. Reigns says he’s not going to go back & forth with Jimmy, it’s simple – fall back in line, stand with us, and acknowledge me or you can take your ass home. And when you turn on the TV, you’re going to have to explain t your kids why you’re sitting there with them, watching The Tribal Chief and THE Uso.
Jimmy drops his mic and starts backing away, exiting the ring as some fans cheer him on. Jimmy stops on the ramp and thinks it over. Jey leaves the ring and walks over to him, saying this will be easy if Jimmy just acknowledges Reigns and then they can get back to doing their thing. Cesaro suddenly attacks Reigns from behind in the ring, unloading on him to a big pop.
Cesaro beats Reigns down in the corner. Jey runs in to make the save but Cesaro drops him with ease. Jimmy watches from the ramp but finally runs in and attacks Cesaro from behind to make the save. Cesaro levels Jimmy with the huge uppercut in mid-air. Cesaro goes back to Jey and nails The Neutralizer in the middle of the ring. Cesaro goes back to Reigns and drops him with a Neutralizer now. Fans go wild for Cesaro as his music hits and he leaves the ring. The Throwback SmackDown goes off the air with Cesaro smiling from the stage as Reigns and The Usos try to recover from the mat.