– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Road Warrior Animal, who passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday.
– The WWE Clash of Champions go-home edition of SmackDown opens live from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us to The ThunderDome. He’s joined by Corey Graves, who is in the ring waiting.
– We go right to the ring and out comes AJ Styles as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. Cole says this is the Intercontinental Title Ascension Ceremony to promote the Triple Threat Ladder Match at Clash of Champions on Sunday. Out next comes Sami Zayn, who is still carrying his old Intercontinental Title belt. WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy is out last.
Hardy enters the ring and the pyro goes off again as Zayn and AJ stare him down. We see ladders standing up all around the arena, and a few in the ring. Corey Graves waits with a mic as Sami rants about his title being the real deal. Graves brings up how they’ve all claimed to be the rightful champion. He says the match on Sunday will be a “Winner Takes All” match with the winner being declared the Undisputed Intercontinental Champion. Sami’s title will be raised high above the ring on Sunday, along with Jeff’s title. Graves also mentions how there is no champion’s advantage in this match.
AJ rants to Jeff about how he cheated to get the title he has. AJ doesn’t even know why Sami is here. He says Sami took the summer off to have some fun and grow his neckbeard, but he’s a nobody. AJ says he’s broken his back to make the title mean something. Sami interrupts and says none of this should be happening, but it’s happening because AJ participated in a fraudulent tournament. He says AJ should’ve done the right thing and called him on the phone, to declare Sami as the rightful champion. Sami goes on about how dangerous the Ladder Match can be, but Jeff tells him to shut up. Jeff can’t believe he’s agreeing with AJ. Jeff says Sami should be grateful. He says he and AJ have defended the title week after week. Jeff goes on and says let’s hang these titles high above so he can beat Sami tonight, and then do away with this nonsense on Sunday. The title bar is lowered from the rafters now. Jeff and Sami attach their titles to the hold bar.
Graves wishes them all good luck as both belts are raised above the ring. Sami watches from the apron but suddenly shoves one of the ladders over, knocking AJ and Hardy down with it. Sami yells and mounts Hardy with right hands. AJ goes after Sami but he retreats to the floor as the crowd boos. WWE Producer Adam Pearce comes out and says sometimes it’s best to leave it alone. Pearce announces that AJ is being added to the match. Sami throws a fit on the ramp as Hardy counters AJ in the ring and drops him with a Twist of Fate. We go to commercial.
Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
Back from the break and this non-title match is underway. Sami Zayn gets rocked first but he rolls to the floor as WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy unloads on AJ Styles. Hardy drops AJ and keeps control but in comes Sami fighting. AJ counters and hits the inverted Atomic Drop. Hardy with more offense until AJ comes back over at him.
AJ takes control and Sami gets taken out again. AJ works on Jeff’s knee and works him over in the corner. AJ with a backbreaker. AJ runs and kicks through the ropes, sending Sami back into the announce table while he’s on the floor. AJ runs into boots from Hardy but catches them and sends Hardy over the top rope to the floor. AJ follows and slams Hardy’s face into the announce table. Sami rocks AJ out of nowhere with a big right hand. Sami sends AJ behind the announce table now. Sami brings AJ back in and kicks him down in the corner. Sami with a big clothesline for a 2 count.
Sami knocks Hardy off the apron, sending him back to the floor. We see the titles hanging high above the ring. AJ takes Sami to the corner and hits him with thrusts. AJ takes Sami back down and grounds him with a headlock. Sami fights up and out but AJ rocks him. Sami gets sent to the ropes, and he knocks Jeff off the apron once again. AJ takes Sami back to the mat and grounds him again. AJ tries to knock Hardy off the apron again with Sami but Hardy side-steps and Sami goes to the floor.
Hardy fights in from the apron and clotheslines AJ. Hardy mounts more offense on AJ now. Sami comes back in and takes over. Hardy hits the ropes and nails a double dropkick on both opponents for a pop. Hardy with a big back body drop to Sami. Jeff runs and leaps off Sami’s back for Poetry In Motion on AJ in the corner. Hardy goes to the top for Whisper In the Wind but Sami shoves him off to the apron. Hardy lands hard and falls to the floor. The crowd boos Sami.
Sami goes to the floor and works Hardy over while he’s down. AJ kicks Sami through the ropes. AJ launches himself over the top rope, taking Sami down at ringside right next to Hardy. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and AJ drops Sami in the corner. AJ runs into Hardy’s boots in the corner, so does Sami. Hardy goes to the top and takes both opponents down with a Whisper In the Wind. They trade strikes no their feet now. Sami drops AJ. Sami with a Helluva Kick to Hardy, then one to AJ. AJ comes right back with a pele kick to Sami. All three go down to the mat again.
AJ ends up hitting the Phenomenal Forearm to Hardy. AJ goes for the pin but Sami comes over and tosses AJ out to the floor. Sami steals the pin and gets the 3 count on Hardy for the win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
– After the match, Sami stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays. AJ hits the ring with a ladder and takes Sami out with it. He then knocks Hardy from the apron to the floor with the ladder. AJ looks up at the titles hanging above the ring to a mixed reaction. AJ brings a ladder back in the ring and climbs up to retrieve the title belts. AJ grabs both titles and puts them over his shoulders as his music starts up. Some fans boo as Sami looks up from the corner and Jeff looks up from the floor. AJ raises both titles and looks at them to end the segment.
– Still to come, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso will give their sides to their story. Also, Matt Riddle vs. King Baron Corbin.
– We see Heavy Machinery backstage. Otis has his Money In the Bank briefcase and Tucker is holding the lawsuit papers served last week by The Miz and John Morrison. Graves says Otis has consulted a lawyer for advice. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see recent happenings between The Miz, John Morrison and Heavy Machinery. Kayla Braxton is backstage with Otis and Tucker now. She says Otis has one week to answer the lawsuit from Miz. She asks if Otis has made a decision. He says his mom told him that there are three people you can’t trust – carnival clowns, 1% milk, and lawyers. Otis rants about lawyers and says they’re not going to steal his title. The Miz and John Morrison interrupt and say the lawyers aren’t trying to steal a thing, they’re trying to give the WWE Universe a Money In the Bank holder they deserve. Miz goes on about how his legal team will take everything Otis has and cause problems for him. Miz pokes at Otis for how he had Mandy Rose sent to RAW. Otis says where he comes from they don’t settle things with lawyers, so they can settle this in the ring. He tells Miz to come get some. Tucker looks at the lawsuit papers and asks Miz why his name is the only one on the lawsuit. Otis then attacks Morrison. A brawl breaks out but officials split it up. Miz and Morrison are ushered away as Heavy Machinery yells at them.
– Progressive sponsors a video looking at recent events between Sasha Banks and Bayley.
– We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. The pyro goes off and she takes a seat in a steel chair on the ramp. Bayley says she could watch that last video over and over but she wont because a champion’s time is precious and she’s not going to waste any on that poor little crybaby Sasha Banks. She has work to do and unlike Banks, she has a title match to prepare for.
Bayley brings up #1 contender Nikki Cross and gives her some props. Fans boo as Bayley goes on, bringing up how Cross recently said their match at Clash of Champions will be different because Bayley won’t have Banks in her corner. Bayley says Cross better watch how she just did her former best friend because she will do Cross even worse, starting by slapping the stupid little smile off her face. Bayley picks up her chair and says then Cross won’t be able to imagine what’s going to happen after that. Right, Sasha? Bayley looks at the chair and walks off as her music hits, with the chair in hand.
– Still to come, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cole hypes Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans for tonight.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Gran Metalik
We go to the ring and Lucha House Party is already out – Gran Metalik with Kalisto and Lince Dorado. Out next are the SmackDown Tag Team Champions – Shinsuke Nakamura with Cesaro.
The bell rings and they go at it with strikes. Nakamura goes to work but Metalik fights back. Nakamura misses a big clothesline and Metalik arm drags him to the floor. Metalik slides out and ducks a kick but the next kicks hits him in the head, sending him into the barrier. Nakamura launches Metalik into the barrier again. Nakamura with another big strike on the floor. Nakamura brings it back in for a 2 count. Nakamura with kicks while Metalik is on his knees now.
Nakamura with more strikes. Metalik fights up to his feet from a hold. Metalik avoids an Exploder suplex into the corner. Metalik sends Nakamura to the apron and drops him with a knee to the face after they tangle. Nakamura is on the floor now. Metalik runs the ropes and leaps out, taking Nakamura down on the floor with a big dive. Kalisto and Dorado cheer him on. Metalik brings it back in and comes over the top rope for another close 2 count.
Metalik drags Nakamura to the corner and goes up top. He lands on his feet from the moonsault but stumbles back as Nakamura moves. Nakamura turns it around in the corner and hits a big running knee to the back of the neck. Nakamura with a big Exploder suplex out of the corner. Nakamura waits for Metalik to get up, then hits the Kinshasa for the pin to win.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, Dorado immediately comes in to check on Metalik as Nakamura stands tall to his music. Cesaro rushes the ring and nails a big gutwrench slam on Dorado. Kalisto never came in to help. Cesaro and Nakamura leave as Kalisto enters the ring now. He checks on Dorado but Dorado shoves him away, sending him to the mat. They argue some to end the segment.
– Jey Uso is backstage. He starts knocking on Roman Reigns’ locker room door and says they have stuff to do. Jey says he’s not leaving until Reigns opens up. Back to commercial as he continues to knock.
– Back from the break and we get a video package on why the cousin vs. cousin match at WWE Clash of Champions is a true family affair. The video features comments from members of the Anoa’i Family.
– We go back to the ring and out first comes Jey Uso to a pop. Jey takes the mic and says he’s hyped up. He plugs Clash of Champions on Sunday as we see Paul Heyman and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns watching the match from backstage. Uso plugs the match. He addresses Corey Graves and says Graves was supposed to interview him, but he can have the night off. Uso shows us how he and Reigns won the Samoan Street Fight over Sheamus and King Baron Corbin last week, and their post-match hug after Jey joked around with the title belt. We also see how Reigns fumed as Jey left the ring, looking back at Heyman, who nodded in approval.
Jey says people have asked him all week about that look behind his back. He says let’s ask Roman about it. Fans boo as we see Reigns and Heyman backstage again. Uso asks Reigns what’s up with that look but Reigns isn’t coming out. Uso thought they were better than that but he saw Reigns smile in his face and frown behind his back. What is it? The camera cuts backstage again and Heyman is walking out of Reigns’ locker room. Reigns believes the whole world deserves to hear what Reigns has to say to his cousin, face to face, in the ring. Here’s where we have it all wrong – that talk won’t happen when Jey wants it to happen, it will happen when Reigns wants it to happen. Heyman absolutely positively happens that the face to face discussion will happen, in the ring, tonight.
Jey is shown watching from the ring, and he’s not thrilled. Heyman asks to be excused now as he goes back into Reigns’ locker room. We go back to the ring. Jey knew something was up when Roman changed his phone number. Now he apparently has Heyman screening everything. Jey says that’s fine and what’s up because they will talk later. Uso goes on and delivers the Uso Penitentiary welcome. Uso drops the mic and exits the ring.
– The announcers show us how Matt Riddle defeated King Baron Corbin at WWE Payback last month. We also see how Corbin attacked Riddle after the match backstage. Corbin is backstage now. He says he was preparing to elevate the SmackDown main event last week when he saw Riddle’s new “Know Your Bro” segment. Corbin goes on about how he plans to show what “Bro” really is all about tonight.
Matt Riddle vs. King Baron Corbin
We go back to the ring and out first comes Matt Riddle as a “Bro!” chant breaks out. Riddle enters the ring and kicks off his flip-flop as the pyro goes off. We see a picture-in-picture video of Riddle responding to the last video from Corbin earlier today. He says Corbin has serious anger issues as he’s tried to make Riddle’s life miserable, but he can’t keep a good bro down. Riddle goes on and says he can’t wait to throw down tonight, showing the WWE Universe the difference between a stallion and a jackass. Riddle walks around the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get plugs for Connor’s Cure and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Riddle waits in the ring as King Baron Corbin makes his way out now. Riddle runs and attacks Corbin from behind with a sneak attack as Corbin is getting ready in the corner. The bell rings and they go at it. Corbin misses and Riddle unloads. Riddle with kicks and more strikes, knocking Corbin over the top rope to the floor for a pop.
Riddle follows and works Corbin around the ringside area, back into the ring. Corbin rocks Riddle and unloads while Riddle is on the apron. Corbin brings Riddle to the mat now to boos. Riddle grabs the leg for a takedown but Corbin rocks him in the face. Corbin resists an arm bar. Corbin overpowers Riddle and scoop slams him to get free. They go on and Corbin works Riddle over. Riddle blocks a right and fights back in the middle of the ring. Corbin levels him with a big elbow out of nowhere. Riddle kicks out at 2.
Corbin launches Riddle hard into the corner and he goes down. Corbin runs out and back in but Riddle drops him with a kick to the head. They end up on the floor and Riddle tosses Corbin over the announce table to the floor. Riddle stands on top of the announce table and yells out while Corbin is laid out. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Riddle gets an arm bar applied on the mat. Corbin resists. Corbin powers up and slams Riddle for a close 2 count. Corbin with more shots to the face. Corbin works over Riddle and uses the top rope to choke him as the referee warns him. Corbin runs and decks Riddle with a right hand to the face. Corbin poses and yells out to the crowd now. Corbin runs and nails another right to the face. Corbin yells at Riddle to stay down. He goes for another running punch but Riddle collapses. Corbin taunts him. Corbin goes for Riddle but Riddle fights back and hits a big Final Flash knee strike.
Riddle with big running strikes in the corner now. Riddle with an Exploder suplex. Corbin ducks the running knee and avoids the moonsault but Riddle hits the Broton. Riddle with the big knee strike next but Corbin still kicks out at 2. Riddle mounts Corbin with body scissors while elbowing him. Riddle with his modified abdominal stretch on the mat. Corbin powers up with Riddle on his back and shoulders. The hold is broken after they get to the ropes. More back and forth now but Corbin blocks the Final Flash and catches Riddle in Deep Six for a close 2 count.
Riddle blocks End of Days with kicks. Riddle leaps off the second rope but Corbin nails a big right hand in mid-air. Riddle blocks End of Days again and drops Corbin with a knee strike to the face. They both go down. Riddle goes to the top and hits the Floating Bro but Corbin gets his knees up. Riddle then runs right into End of Days and Corbin covers for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winner: King Corbin
– After the match, the crowd starts booing as Corbin stands tall. The music starts up as we go to replays. Kayla Braxton interviews Riddle in the ring and asks if he’s disappointed. Riddle says losing does suck but he’s not going to let this stop the stallion. He came to push himself and will continue to grind until SmackDown is The Bro Show. Riddle exits the ring as his music starts up and we get a “Bro!” chant.
– We get a new teaser vignette for the mystery woman. She writes “Untouchable” on the mirror in lipstick, and snaps her fingers, but the identity is still not revealed. Carmella?
Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans
We go back to the ring and out first comes Alexa Bliss. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and announced for Talking Smack is AJ Styles, Lucha House Party and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. We go back to the ring and out comes Lacey Evans. We see what happened last week to lead to this match, when Bliss went into the trance and hit Bray Wyatt’s Sister Abigail move after Evans said “The Fiend” to her.
The bell rings and they lock up. Evans takes it to the corner and works Bliss over. Bliss rolls her for a 2 count. Evans looks to mount more offense but Bliss counters and rolls her up again. Evans takes control again and drives an elbow down. Evans tosses Bliss into the corner by her head. Evans taunts Bliss and unloads on her while she’s down in the corner. Evans does the headstand in the corner and slingshots her boots into Bliss’ chest. Bliss kicks out at 2. Evans grounds Bliss with a submission now.
Evans keeps control and uses the middle rope on Bliss. Bliss rocks her out of anger but Evans takes her right back down for another pin attempt. Evans takes Bliss back to the corner and works on the shoulder, manhandling her some more and taking advantage of the 5 count. Bliss finally counters in the corner and yanks Evans’ arm. Bliss takes Evans down again. We suddenly hear Wyatt’s signature laugh echoing all over the arena. We go to commercial as Bliss looks around surprised.
Back from the break and Evans continues to dominate Bliss. Evans with a standing moonsault in the middle of the ring for another 2 count. Evans mounts Bliss and slams her face-first into the mat a few times. Evans ragdolls Bliss some more, keeping her grounded. Bliss fights up and out but Evans sends her face-first into the top turnbuckle. more back and forth but Evans keeps control. Evan rakes Bliss’ face across the middle rope. Evans slingshots herself form the apron back in, hitting double boots to Bliss’ face to knock her back out of the ring. Bliss kicks out at 2 again, and again, and again. Evans shows frustration to the referee.
Bliss finally mounts some offense now for a pop. Bliss with a basement dropkick. Evans drops Bliss on her face. Evans goes back to the corner for the moonsault but Bliss moves and Evans lands hard. The red lights fill the arena now as we hear the menacing sounds of The Fiend. The lights come back up but Bliss is in her trance. She snaps and unloads on Evans after tackling her. The referee warns Bliss as she unloads on Evans against the ropes. Bliss keeps up the offense now, stomping Evans’ face into the mat while standing on her. The referee calls for the disqualification as crazy Bliss won’t stop.
Winner by DQ: Lacey Evans
– Bliss, with her hair messed up and a crazy look in her eyes, tosses Evans to the floor after the bell. She stalks Evans and drops her on the floor with Sister Abigail. Bliss returns to the ring and poses in the middle, staring straight ahead. The red lighting comes back up. The Fiend appears on the big screen and makes some kind of grumbling noise. Bliss keeps staring straight ahead but now starts smiling. The red lighting and The Fiend both go away as Bliss’ music starts up. She makes her exit and heads to the back, still somewhat stuck in her trance or wild state of mind.
– Alexa Bliss marches up the ramp as the music interrupts and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns for the main event. Paul Heyman is right behind him. Reigns stops on the stage and raises the title in the air but we see Bliss standing behind him. She’s stopped to look behind her, staring Reigns down. Cole says we were supposed to get an interview with Reigns and Jey Uso tonight. Bliss heads to the back and Reigns’ is announced by Hamilton as he heads to the ring. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is in the ring with Paul Heyman as the crowd cheers and boos. Heyman looks like he’s about to speak but the music interrupts and out comes Jey Uso with some pyro.
Reigns takes the mic and asks Jey if he wants Roman’s side of the story. Reigns says to be honest he would give Jey the title if he could, but the truth is that Jey wouldn’t even now what to do with it. He says Jey doesn’t understand the accountability or the responsibility of being on top, the weight or the passion of being the face of WWE. How could he? It’s not Jey’s fault, he’s a twin. His entire life he’s depended on his brother. Reigns isn’t saying Jey is half the man he is, no, he’s one half of the greatest tag team from this generation and because of that their family is so proud of him, but Reigns says their family relies on him being the Tribal Chief. That’s not Jey and never will be, because it will always be Reigns. The crowd boos. Reigns drops the mic and walks past Uso, who is looking down. Heyman follows Reigns out of the ring.
Jey takes the mic and asks what if Reigns is wrong. Reigns stops in his tracks on the ramp and listens. Jey asks why he can’t be the one to provide for the family, why can’t he provide for his wife and kids, who are Reigns’ nephews. Jey says he’s been fighting his whole life but Reigns has been on top. Jey says people see Reigns and they call him The Big Dog, the main event, but when people see him they ask, “Which one are you?” Jey says after Sunday, people will now say they know him, he’s the one who beat Reigns for the Universal Title and that will be him. Jey yells out and drops the mic as Reigns continues marching up the ramp to the back. Jey’s music starts up and Reigns heads right to the backstage area without stopping.
Jey exits the ring and backs up the ramp, playing to the crowd. He mentions his brother, injured WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso. Reigns suddenly comes running back out and drops Jey with a big Superman Punch on the stage. Reigns kneels down over Jey, putting the title in his face, and yells about how he feeds their entire family with this title, and now Jey wants to take it? Reigns says Jey will take the payday and the ass whopping that comes with it, but he will never take the title and he will never take Reigns’ place at the head of the table. The boos get louder as Reigns stands back up over Jey, staring down at him. Heyman watches. Jey starts to recover but he’s still down. The final SmackDown before WWE Clash of Champions goes off the air with Reigns looking down with the title on his shoulder while the crowd boos him.