The show opens up with a recap of what transpired last week between Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to tonight’s show. He is joined by Byron Saxton and Corey Graves.
We go right to the ring and WWE Champion AJ Styles makes his way down to the ring as Greg Hamilton introduces him. He gets on the mic and says that you can tell a lot about a man through his failures, and if that’s the case he thinks he’s found out everything he needs to know about Nakamura. Styles says that he dreamed about having this match with him at WrestleMania, and when it happened, he was successful. And when Shinsuke failed, he showed his true colors.
Styles then says that Nakamura is not just an artist, he’s a con artist and last week he should have been celebrating, but instead he was only thinking about retribution, about paying Shinsuke back. Styles also says that instead he was presented with an opportunity, a real dream match against Daniel Bryan and then Nakamura showed his true colors and ruined that match. Styles says so because of that he isn’t letting it go, and he’s not leaving the ring until he can confront Shinsuke.
Styles then says that he knows Nakamura says that he supposedly forgotten how to speak English all of a sudden, but he’s not down here for a conversation, he’s here for a fight. He calls Shinsuke a two-faced coward and demands he come out to fight him.
Rusev Day’s music hits and out comes Rusev & Aiden English. Aiden English gives Rusev his usual big intro and explains that Nakamura is on vacation and not here in Providence, but Rusev will fight him instead. Rusev hits the ring with English at ringside in his corner, and we have a match.
WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Rusev: This is a non-title match. The opening bell sounds and Rusev starts off on the offensive. AJ catches Rusev by the ropes and tackles him down, then locks Rusev in the Calf Crusher early on. Rusev looks to be in trouble, but Aiden English runs in and starts beating on AJ. The referee calls for the bell. Winner via DQ: AJ Styles
After the match, English and Rusev start beating on AJ until Daniel Bryan runs down for the save. AJ and Daniel fight them off, and Rusev and English retreat up the ramp as AJ’s music hits.
Shane McMahon is shown watching on a monitor backstage when Paige rolls up. They wish each other a happy Shakeup and Shane mentions how good it is to see Bryan back in the mix. Paige quotes Teddy Long and books Rusev Day vs. AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan for later on tonight. Shane reminds us that The Miz has returned to SmackDown by Daniel Bryan’s request and Paige gives him a quick Teddy “Holla!” on her way out.
Commentary informs us that Carmella will be celebrating her title win later and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and Shelton Benjamin makes his way down to the ring.
He starts by saying that last night he said on Twitter he saw great things for Chad Gable, but his Twitter got hacked and he would never say anything like that. He then says that he no longer needs Gable, correction, he never needed Gable, Gable needed him. Benjamin then says that what he needs is the respect he deserves and the championship opportunities he is owed, and the chance to remind everyone that he is one of the biggest threats on SmackDown. So he had a chat with Paige and asked for some real competition and he means big competition.
Randy Orton’s music hits and it looks like we are going to have a match between Shelton Benjamin and Randy Orton. As Orton makes his way to the ring, Jeff Hardy’s music hits and new United States Champion Jeff Hardy comes down the ramp and walks right past Orton. Hardy gets in the ring as Orton stands on the ramp. We now have a match between Shelton Benjamin and United States Champion Jeff Hardy.
United States Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin: This one is a non-title match. The opening bell sounds and Shelton goes right to work on Hardy, pummeling him down to the mat. Jeff fights back and goes up top, but Shelton cuts him off and hits a knee to the face in the corner. Shelton looks for a superplex, but Jeff fights him off and hits the Whisper In The Wind for a two count. Jeff looks for a Twist of Fate, but Shelton evades it and starts fighting back. Shelton looks for the Paydirt, but Jeff blocks it and mule kicks Shelton into the corner. Shelton blocks a kick, but Jeff successfully executes the Twist of Fate. Jeff goes up top and hits the Swanton Bomb for the three count. Winner: United States Champion Jeff Hardy
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After the match, Jeff takes the title and stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays and come back to Jeff celebrating.
We get a promo from The Miz. He talks about Bryan Tweeting about punching him in the face and asks Providence if they want to see him get punched in the face before pointing out that he is not there, he is in LA with his wife and his daughter. Miz then says that did you think he was gonna come in with all the other superstars. Miz then says that he deserves his own spotlight and so next week will be his premiere on SmackDown and if Bryan ever trolls him on Twitter again, he’ll kick his ass. Maryse scolds him for cursing in front of the baby and he declares that SmackDown will be awesome next week.
Commentary hypes up Carmella’s celebration once again as well as Jey Uso vs. Luke Harper before sending us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are informed that Absolution has been drafted to SmackDown.
Harper vs. Jey Uso: Jimmy Uso and Rowan are both at ringside for this one. The opening bell sounds and Harper goes right to work on Jey. Jey tries to fight back but Harper drops him again. Jey Uso hits a boot to the face of Harper which buys him some time to recover. Rowan and Jimmy Uso get into it at ringside, and their involvement leads to Harper taking advantage with a discus lariat to Jey. Harper pins to secure the victory after a short match. Winner: Harper
After the match, Rowan nails a big boot to Jimmy on the floor. They drag Jey out of the ring but here comes Jimmy with one of the large mallets. They block his offense and send him into the steel ring steps. Rowan and Harper ram Jey back into the apron and he goes down. Rowan and Harper look to continue the destruction on the floor but here comes a crying Naomi running down the ramp. She begs them to stop and checks on Jimmy. She continues crying and pleading with The Bludgeon Brothers as they back off and some fans boo. Naomi tends to Jimmy as the music hits and The Bludgeon Brothers back up the ramp.
Commentary hypes up our tag team main event and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and Sin Cara is in the ring waiting for his opponent.
It’s none other than Samoa Joe.
Samoa Joe vs. Sin Cara: The opening bell sounds and Cara starts off strong, but Joe lays into him with a series of strikes that stuns him. Joe looks for a suplex but Cara slides away and fights back. Joe drops Cara and hits more stiff strikes, finishing with a big knee. Joe drops Cara into the Coquina Clutch for the win. Winner: Samoa Joe
After the match, Joe takes the mic and says that this seems more like the land of handouts instead of the land of opportunities. Joe then says that everyone has had it easy. SmackDown has been coddled and catered to, and everyone has been convinced that they are better than they really are. Joe then says that all changes now because he’s here and he gets all the opportunities. Joe then says that he will have the chance to put down Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and WWE Champion AJ Styles. Joe then says that if any of us are non-believers, look to what he’s going to do in Saudi Arabia and Backlash. Joe promises to put Roman Reigns down for good if there’s anything left of him after his Steel Cage Match with WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in Saudi Arabia. Joe then says if Reigns somehow wins against Lesnar, he will take his newly won WWE Intercontinental Title that he plans on winning in Saudi Arabia, and rip the Universal Title off Reigns at Backlash. Joe’s music hits and he stands tall.
Commentary then tosses to the music video promoting WWE PPVs being co-branded going forward. We then get more hype for the tag team main event as well as Carmella’s celebration and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a promo of NXT group SAnitY coming to SmackDown Live.
We head backstage where Daniel Bryan is being interviewed by Renee Young. She asks Daniel Bryan about saving AJ Styles earlier. Bryan says that he is proud to team with AJ tonight because he knows one day they will fight against each other. Big Cass appears and gets in Bryan’s face. Renee leaves and fans cheer for Cass. Cass mocks Bryan’s height and asks if he’s really what the fuss is all about. Cass calls Bryan a little man and walks off.
Carmella makes her way down to the ring for her championship celebration. She sets her title down on a pedestal and begins by saying that everybody wants to hop on the bandwagon, but if you didn’t support her before she was champ she doesn’t need your support now. She then says that she’s not just the Princess of Staten Island anymore and from now on you can call her the moonwalking, trash-talking Princess of SmackDown Live. She then says that she waited for the perfect opportunity, for 287 long days before she seized the moment and took her rightful spot on top of the women’s division. She then has a good laugh about beating Charlotte Flair, one of the greatest female superstars in WWE history, and she says that she did it all on her own. She then says that Flair beat Asuka’s streak, and she beat Flair and all she had to do was wait for her to be blinded by her own ego. Like Charlotte says, to be the woman, you gotta beat the woman, and learn to love it because she’s the woman. And that will go down as the biggest moment in all of women’s history, so she wants to keep the celebration going by paying tribute to herself with a video package covering her journey to the title.
She then says that she will miss Frankie (her briefcase), but 287 days is nothing compared to how long she is going to keep Cleopatra (the title), and she said it before and she’ll say it again, Mella is money and now.
Charlotte Flair makes her way down to the ring. She says that it seems like her title reign is a lot like her memory, short. Her highlight reel is missing some big pieces of history, and the only reason she has the briefcase is because of James Ellsworth, and the only reason she cashed in successfully was because of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, but Charlotte’s not mad because her dad was the dirtiest player in the game.
So congratulations, but it’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get to the top, and she has something of hers.
The Iconics make their way down to the ring. Billie Kay questions the idea of blaming them for her problems and asks Peyton Royce to do her Charlotte impression, which consists of mocking her for losing the title as if she were a baby that needs a diaper change. Kay asks what she’s crying about, last week she asked for magic and they gave it her, disappearing her title from around her waist.
That’s a moment that will last forever, and it’s all because of them, and they claim they’re the future. Flair takes her robe off and looks back and forth between The Iconics and Carmella before deciding to attack the Iconics. They get the better of her and put boots to her against the barricade. Becky Lynch makes the save.
The referees come down to try and restore order and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we have a match.
Charlotte Flair vs. Billie Kay: This one was made a match during the commercial break and is already underway. They brawl out to ringside early on, while Peyton and Becky cheer on from ringside, and Carmella is at the broadcast table. Flair sends Billie into the ring post, then takes her back on the mat. Billie starts mounting a comeback and is now keeping Charlotte grounded. Peyton hits a cheap shot on Charlotte behind the referee’s back, and Becky runs over to chase off Peyton. Flair drops Billie with a knee, but Billie comes back with a suplex. Charlotte fights back with chops and unloads with strikes. Charlotte looks to finish it but Billie escapes and drops Charlotte. They trade roll-up attempts and counters until Charlotte hits a big boot to the face. Flair locks in the Figure Eight for the win. Winner: Charlotte Flair
After the match, Flair stands tall but Carmella runs in and drops her with the title. Becky makes the save but The Iconics take her out. Carmella goes back to beating on Flair while she’s down. The music interrupts and out comes the newest member of the blue brand, Asuka. Asuka runs to the ring and Carmella retreats. Asuka takes out Peyton and then Billie. Peyton gets dropped again. Becky and Flair join in now and take turns on Billie. Asuka, Flair and Becky stand tall as Asuka’s music hits. Carmella watches from the stage.
We then get a video package announcing that Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows are on their way to SmackDown Live before heading to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get some hype for the Greatest Royal Rumble Event.
We then get a promo from The Bar putting over all their accomplishments on RAW, including their four reigns as RAW Tag Team Champions before wondering how they would fare against SmackDown’s tag teams, and then they announce that they are coming to SmackDown Live.
We head backstage where we see The New Day walking. We also see that Big E is riding piggyback on someone when they roll up on R-Truth. Tye Dillinger shows up and there is a tense moment before he and R-Truth share a secret handshake. R-Truth says that he is happy they’re all together on Monday Night RAW but Xavier Woods points out that it is Tuesday and this is SmackDown Live. R-Truth then says it’s his bad and he’ll see everybody tomorrow. Dillinger asks if he’s gonna be okay and The New Day don’t think so.
Commentary then recaps tonight’s Superstar Shakeup before tossing to another promo.
Andrade “Cien” Almas is headed to SmackDown Live. Zelina Vega cuts a promo about how they’re gonna take over and then Almas chimes in in Spanish.
AJ Styles makes his entrance for our main event and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get the rest of our entrances for our main event.
WWE Champion AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev Day (Rusev & Aiden English): Bryan and English start things off with a lock up, and fans are already chanting for Bryan. Bryan gets the upper hand and unloads with strikes on English. Bryan puts English in a surfboard before tagging in AJ. AJ comes off the top onto English and continues to beat on him. English starts mounting a comeback, as the fans duel chants for both teams. AJ hits a gutbuster on Aiden, which prompts Rusev to run in and Bryan to run in and stop Rusev. AJ puts English in the Calf Crusher and Bryan puts Rusev in the Yes Lock simultaneously. Rusev and English finally break free and roll out to ringside for a breather. Back in the ring, English gets the advantage over AJ until AJ stuns English with a Pele Kick, and both men are down. Bryan and Rusev get the tags and Bryan unloads on Rusev with strikes. Bryan springboards off the turnbuckle and hits a clothesline on Rusev. Bryan is fired up and shakes the ropes before hitting the running dropkick on Rusev. Bryan looks for the Yes Lock but Rusev puts up a fight until English breaks it up. Bryan throws English outside, then blocks a big boot from Rusev. Bryan takes Rusev down with a dragon screw, then unloads on him with Yes Kicks. Bryan follows up with the running knee to the face on Rusev, and Rusev is hurt. Nakamura comes out of nowhere and low-blows AJ from behind while AJ is on the apron, and the referee doesn’t see it. Bryan sees what happened and Nakamura laughs. Bryan turns around into a big boot from Big Cass out of nowhere. The referee calls for the bell. Winners via DQ: WWE Champion AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan
After the match, Cass nails Bryan again as Nakamura comes back over the barrier all smiles. Cass stands over Bryan and raises his hands. We go to replays as the new theme song for Cass hits. Renee interviews Nakamura on the stage and asks him what’s going on but he says he doesn’t speak English. Nakamura stares down to the ring before heading to the back. SmackDown goes off the air with Big Cass standing over Daniel Bryan in the middle of the ring.