Welcome to SmackDown Live.
We open with a recap of the recent history between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, leading into tonight’s match between the two where the winner will choose the stipulation of their WWE Title match at Money In The Bank!
Renee Young welcomes Daniel Bryan for our opening promo, and he YES dances his way to the ring for the raucous crowd. We can barely hear Renee over the crowd as she talks about his successful victory in his return match, record-setting run in the Greatest Royal Rumble, and victory over Big Cass at Backlash, leading into his disappointing loss to Rusev in the MITB qualifier. Daniel tells us to feel the energy from the fans, then says he was disappointed and doesn’t like losing any more than anyone else, but when he came back, he was just happy to be back doing what he loves. Now, though, it’s not enough to be back, he wants to be on top, and he’ll have to scratch, fight, and claw every step of the way, but he will become the WWE Champion. Out comes Big Cass, soaking in a less than welcome reception from the crowd. He’s been in the back listening to him run his mouth, and he’s sick of it. He may hasve all the people fooled, but not him. He might be an inspirational story, and feed the fans nothing but crap, but he knows the real truth: his loss to Rusev was his first major setback since returning according to Renee, but he disagrees, because HE was his first major setback. He’s the reason he lost to Rusev, and the reason he’ll keep losing because he’ll make sure he never achieves his aspirations again. He’s man enough to admit he lost at Backlash, but he didn’t tap out because he was in pain, it’s because he wanted to get right back up and beat the holy hell out of him again, and that’s what he did. He’s going to keep beating him down because he won’t be able to do anything in WWE without a seven foot shadow following him around. He lasted 75 minutes in the Greatest Royal Rumble, but what happened when he got in the ring? Oh, that’s right: he big booted him in the face and eliminated him, proving again that Daniel Bryan is a loser. He’s a loser, he should have stayed retired, and he should have been a stay at home dad and let Brie wear the pants in the family. Cass drops the mic and gets on the ring apron and stares down Daniel, who is standing his ground with a confident look on his face. Cass gets in, and Daniel starts hammering Cass with right hands and dropkicks him in the bad knee, then wraps it around the middle rope and ties it up, then puts the boots to the knee of Cass. The referees come out to break it up and help Cass out of the ropes, but Daniel goes right back after him and wraps his knee around the post over and over. He goes back in and clips the knee, then gets him in a heel hook, and Cass taps while the referees plead with Daniel, but he won’t let the hold go, even with Adam Pearce trying to restore order. He finally releases the hold and Cass rolls out to the floor and hobbles to the back, apparently not prepared for what just happened.
Tonight: the New Day and the Bar face off, and one member of the winning team goes into the Money In The Bank match!
Money In The Bank Qualifier: The New Day vs The Bar
The Miz joins the commentary team for this match. New Day is represented here by Big E and Woods, who starts quick by outmaneuvering Cesaro and taking Sheamus out with a dive to the floor. That doesn’t last long, as the Bar takes over with a series of power-based double teams. Double shoulderblock sends Woods to the floor as we go to commercial.
We’re back, and Woods is still getting his face beaten in by the Bar. Woods backdrops Cesaro over the top rope, sending him sailing to the floor, and makes the hot tag. Big E comes in with big ragdoll suplexes on Sheamus. Sheamus gets the knees up when Big E goes for a splash, but Big E hits an STJoe for 2. Cesaro distracts Big E, who is rolled up by Sheamus for 2. Big E hoists Sheamus up, but double team and a double implant DDT puts Big E down for 2. Cesaro gets the Sharpshooter, almost loses it, almost loses it again, and then cinches it in right in the middle of the ring. Woods tries to help, Sheamus drags him to the floor, and Woods rams him into the post before breaking up the Sharpshooter. woods tags in and hits the Swinging DDT through the ropes for 2. All four men are in the ring, Big E tosses Sheamus and then wipes him out with a spear through the ropes to the floor, and Woods walks the ropes for the top rope elbowdrop for the win.
Winners: The New Day
Good match,and now one of the New Day gets to go to Money In The Bank…but which one??? Only one slot remains in the men’s MITB match, but we don’t have time to think asbout that, because tonight, we have a royal Mellabration!
The Bludgeon Brothers are here to let us know that family is a waste, friendship is a disease, and the cure is to BLUDGEON…and TIME’S UP.
Paige is on the phone telling Carmella she can’t have a horse-drawn carriage, then her former friends Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville come in to complain about the qualifying match situation, and Paige says they have a qualifying match tonight with Becky Lynch. They think she’s putting them in a handicap match, but it’s a three way, and she wishes them luck.
Renee Young is backstage with AJ Styles, and wants to know what stipulation AJ will choose if he wins tonight. AJ says there’s no if, it’s WHEN he wins tonight. He rolls through a few different ideas, then starts combining different gimmicks, and Renee suggests making the ref dress up like Elvis. AJ says Nakamura may have forgotten how to speak English, but he knows the universal language of forearm to the face. Nakamura can’t beat him in the house that AJ Styles built.
Andrade “Cien” Almas debuts…NEXT!
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Jake Constantino
Jake is a local guy who gets too aggressive at the start and winds up getting worked over in brutal fashion by the former NXT Champion. Zelena Vega orders Almas to drill Constantino with the running double kneestrike in the corner. Almas with the hammerlock DDT to finish it in short order.