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– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens up with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino. We hear fans chanting Bruno’s name in the arena.
– We’re live from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring for MizTV and out comes The Miz for his blue brand return.
Miz takes the mic and is met with some heat from the crowd. He reminds everyone to shut their mouths when his hand goes up. Miz declares that The A-Lister is back on SmackDown, making it the A Show once again. Miz says one thing is missing – a title. He goes on and says he will win back the WWE Intercontinental Title at the Greatest Royal Rumble event on Friday in Saudi Arabia. Miz says he will beat champion Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor to bring the title back to SmackDown. Miz brags about elevating the title and says that’s in 3 days but tonight is now, and this is what the world has been waiting for. Miz talks about tonight’s guest, saying he still holds a grudge from Talking Smack. Miz goes on about Daniel Bryan and recently welcoming his first daughter into the world, saying he’s a changed man now. Miz brings up Bryan’s Twitter threat on punching him tonight. He goes on and introduces tonight’s guest but Bryan never shows. The music hits and out comes Big Cass instead.
Miz asks Cass if he can help him. Cass says it looks like Miz needs a guest, so that’s why he’s here. Miz says he was supposed to interview Bryan and Cass says no one gives a damn about Bryan. Cass talks about how hard he worked to return from his injury but who else was cleared on the same day he was cleared? Daniel Bryan. All he hears from the WWE Universe is Daniel Bryan this, Daniel Bryan that and no one was talking about Big Cass. Cass says he’s been living in the shadow of an ordinary little man. Miz and Cass have words before they face off in the middle of the ring with Cass looking down at Miz. Miz says this isn’t about them, this is about the Daniel Bryans of the… Cass cuts Miz off and talks trash about Bryan and his look.
Cass goes on about the fans and how they will never live their dreams because they are a bunch of Joe Schmoes. Cass talks about how he was once like Bryan but he got tired of it and grew to be 7 feet tall. He then went back and got payback from everyone who pushed him around before. Cass goes on and says he despises Bryan. Now here he is in WWE and he didn’t have to work bingo halls or Japan or indies around the world. He’s here because he’s tall, educated and good looking. That makes him valuable, that makes him a star, that makes him money. Cass says he won’t be living in Bryan’s shadow for much longer because he’s going to send Bryan back to where he belongs – on the shelf… beaten and retired. Cass says Bryan will never cast another shadow over him or anyone else ever again. Cass mocks the “yes!” chant and drops the mic as his music hits. Cass leaves the ring as Miz looks on.
– Still to come, a Backlash contract signing for Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella.
– We see Asuka and Becky Lynch walking backstage for the next match but the camera cuts to the side and we see Daniel Bryan down on the ground, clutching his arm and selling an injury. Adam Pearce and a referee check on Bryan and call for help as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom says Bryan has been taken to the trainer’s room to be evaluated. He promises an update as soon as it’s available.
Asuka and Becky Lynch vs. The IIconics
We go to the ring and The IIconics are waiting with mics. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay talk about how good they look on the big screen. They mock Becky Lynch and then Asuka. They break down how they are better than Asuka and call her The Empress of Yesterday. They go on about being the future of WWE until the music interrupts and out comes Becky Lynch as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. Asuka is out next to make her SmackDown in-ring debut.
We get some stalling to start the match but the screen splits with a commercial break and we see Billie starting the match off with Asuka.
Back from the break and Asuka has control of Peyton. Becky tags in but Peyton rocks her. They trade counters and pin attempts as Becky gets some more offense in. They run the ropes and Becky drops Peyton. Becky misses in the corner but hits a springboard kick to send Peyton back into the corner. Becky tosses Peyton but she’s able to tag in Billie.
Billie turns it around on Becky and uses the ropes as the referee warns her. Billie distracts the referee, allowing Peyton to deck Becky with a cheap shot. Peyton tags back in for some double teaming and another quick tag as fans chant for Becky. Billie keeps Becky grounded now. Becky finally gets the hot tag to Asuka and in she comes. Asuka drops Billie and goes to work on Peyton. Becky comes in to stop a cheap shot. Asuka takes Peyton down and hits the Hip Attack.
Becky tags back in for a double team hip toss. Asuka with a running kick to the nose. Becky with a leg drop. Billie goes back off the apron. Becky bumps into Asuka and knocks her off the apron. Becky unloads on Peyton now. Becky fights off Peyton and Billie now. This leads to Peyton rolling Becky up and putting her feet on the ropes for the pin.
Winners: The IIconics
– After the match, Billie and Peyton celebrate on the outside as their music hits. Asuka checks on Becky in the ring.
– Renee Young is backstage outside of SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon’s office. WWE Champion AJ Styles comes walking out and he’s all smiles. AJ says Shane just gave him the chance to soften up Shinsuke Nakamura before Friday’s big match at Greatest Royal Rumble. AJ says Nakamura is bringing his friends tonight, Rusev Day. He would take them on in a Handicap Match if he had to but he’s got some back-up. It’s going to be a six-man match and while he doesn’t name his partners, he says they are “too sweet” and walks off.
– The announcers hype Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble event on the WWE Network.
– Still to come, the Backlash contract signing for Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a vignette for newcomers Zelina Vega and Andrade “Cien” Almas. They will be “coming soon” to SmackDown.
– The Usos are backstage talking when Naomi appears. Jey Uso leaves. Jimmy Uso wants his wife to promise she won’t come out and get involved tonight like she did last week. Naomi says she looked The Bludgeon Brothers in the eyes last week and saw nothing. She knows this is her life with Jimmy but she has a bad feeling this time. She asks him to stop playing and be serious. Jimmy tries to calm her and says he’s going to take care of Rowan tonight and then take back the SmackDown Tag Team Titles on Friday in Saudi Arabia.
Rowan vs. Jimmy Uso
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers, Rowan and Harper. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the announcers plug Make-A-Wish & World Wish Day. We see Wish Kid Alec and his family sitting at ringside. The Usos are out next as The Bludgeon Brothers wait in the ring.
The bell rings and Rowan dropkicks Uso as he approaches. Rowan beats on Uso and works him over. Jey ends up getting booted by Harper on the floor after jumping over him. Jimmy turns it around on Rowan on the floor and sends him into the ring post. They come back in and Uso comes off the top with a crossbody for a 2 count.
Uso ends up on the top again but Rowan shoves him off, sending him face first into the barrier. Rowan follows and flattens Uso on the floor. Rowan yells out and brings Jimmy back into the ring. Fans try to rally for Uso as Rowan scoops him on his shoulders. The music hits, the lights go out and out comes Naomi to distract.
Harper and Rowan stare down Naomi as she dances down the ramp. Jey attacks Harper from the side and sends him into the steel ring steps. Jimmy takes advantage in the ring with a superkick to Rowan. Uso rolls Rowan up for the win.
Winner: Jimmy Uso
– After the match, The Usos hurry over to Naomi and start celebrating. The Bludgeon Brothers look on from the ring as the announcers hype the title match in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
– Still to come, Rusev Day and Nakamura vs. AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Also, Flair and Carmella sign their Backlash contract. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Renee Young is in the ring for a contract signing. She plugs the SmackDown Women’s Title match at Backlash on May 6th and calls out champion Carmella first. Renee goes to introduce Charlotte Flair but Carmella cuts her off and takes the mic, complaining about disrespect. Carmella goes on about how it’s unacceptable for the champion to be introduced before the challenger. She says this isn’t Flair’s kingdom any longer, it belongs to her now. Carmella says she has something to address before Renee gets all boring. Carmella says she’s Renee’s champion and more importantly, she’s the champion of everyone in the crowd. They boo her and she fires back.
Carmella goes on about last week’s ‘Mellabration and says because she’s champ and makes the rules, she’s going to play the same highlight reel again but this time when it’s over, people will be standing and showing her the respect she deserves. She calls for everyone to stand and show respect as we see the video package again. We come back and fans are booing Carmella instead of giving her a standing ovation. She says that’s not good enough so she’s going to play the video again. She reminds them to stand & cheer when the video is over and says we’re going to keep doing this until the crowd gets it right. The video plays again. The music interrupts the video and out comes Flair to a pop.
Flair stares at Carmella while walking to the ring. Flair takes a seat while Carmella struts around and mocks Flair. Renee asks her to be professional and take a seat but Carmella raises the title and wastes more time. She finally sits and Renee says it’s time to make the title match official. Flair signs the contract first and smirks at Carmella. Flair throws a “wooo!” at Carmella after signing and they have a few words while standing up to face off with Carmella going to raise the title. It appears she did not sign the contract. This quickly leads to Flair slamming Carmella’s face into the table and tipping it over. Flair leaves the ring as her music hits. Carmella recovers and scrambles to grab her title. Carmella looks on as Flair heads to the back.
– The announcers talk more about Friday’s GRR event in Saudi Arabia.
– Dasha Fuentes is backstage knocking on Shinsuke Nakamura’s locker room door. Aiden English answers and says no interviews.
– We see the WWE United States Champion backstage walking. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom says Carmella signed the Backlash contract during the break.
Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin
We go to the ring and Shelton Benjamin is out. WWE United States Champion Jeff Hardy is out next for this non-title match.
Hardy makes it half-way down the ramp when the music interrupts and out comes Randy Orton, just like last week. Hardy was expecting it. Orton heads to the ring for the match.
The bell rings and they lock up. Shelton takes it to the corner and the break as the referee counts. We see Jeff watching the match from a chair at ringside. More back and forth to start. Shelton drops Orton with a shoulder and they trade counters. Shelton blocks the RKO. They go to lock up again but Shelton kicks Orton in the gut and works him over. Shelton takes Orton to the corner and attacks as the referee warns him.
Orton fights out of the corner and sends Shelton to the floor. Orton brings Shelton to the apron for the second rope draping DDT but Shelton fights back and turns it around. Shelton with big kicks while on the apron. Shelton with a charging kick to the head, which sends Orton out of the ring and down on the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it in the ring. Shelton blocks a shot and drops Orton with a kick to the jaw. Shelton keeps Orton grounded now. Orton finally looks to make a comeback with offense. Orton with the draping DDT as fans cheer.
Orton hits the mat and calls fort he RKO. Shelton recovers and rolls to the floor for a breather. Orton follows and slams Shelton’s face into the announce table, right in front of Hardy. Orton looks like he might toss Shelton towards Jeff but Jeff stands up and tells him to hold on. Jeff watches as Orton slams Shelton on top of the announce table. Orton brings it back into the ring. We see a masked man run from the crowd and take out Jeff’s knee on the floor. Orton unmasks the man in the ring and it’s Sunil Singh. Orton drops him with the RKO. This leads to Orton turning around and taking a Paydirt from Shelton. Shelton covers for the win.
Winner: Shelton Benjamin
– After the match, Shelton stands tall and exits as his music hits. We see Orton down in the ring and Singh down on the outside. Jeff recovers at the announce table and looks on.
– The New Day is backstage celebrating The Book of Booty, available online and in bookstores everywhere. The Bar walks in and interrupts. Sheamus and Cesaro assure The New Day that they won’t see them on SmackDown after tonight because they’re winning the vacant RAW Tag Team Titles on Friday in Saudi Arabia. They knock the SmackDown tag team division and do their catchphrase to taunt The New Day. They each grab a pancake and leave.
– AJ Styles is backstage with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. They all embrace and are happy to see each other. They trade “too sweets” and start talking strategy as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a vignette for SAnitY, who will be coming soon to the blue brand.
– Renee Young is backstage outside of the trainer’s room waiting on Daniel Bryan. Bryan comes out and says the doctors are just taking precautions and he will be ready for the 50-man Royal Rumble match on Friday in Saudi Arabia as he’s come back from worse before. Bryan reveals that SmackDown General Manager Paige has granted him a match against Big Cass at Backlash. Bryan says he will use the momentum from Friday’s Rumble match to take care of Cass and show him that everyone is the same size when they’re on the mat tapping out. Bryan walks off.
– We get a backstage video from Samoa Joe. Joe talks about winning the WWE Intercontinental Title on Friday and then watching Roman Reigns get massacred by Brock Lesnar. Joe says if Reigns somehow survives and wins the WWE Universal Title then he will also take that title at Backlash. Believe that. We hear fans chanting for Joe in the arena.
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Rusev, Aiden English and Shinsuke Nakamura
We go to the ring and out first comes Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and then WWE Champion AJ Styles for the main event. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Aiden English to sing & rap the entrance for Rusev. Rusev Day heads to the ring. Shinsuke Nakamura is out next with a remixed theme and new entrance video.
Styles, Gallows and Anderson start the match off with offense and quick tags, keeping control of English. Gallows rams into English with an elbow and in comes Anderson off another quick tag. AJ comes in for the double team. Rusev runs in but Gallows stops him with a big boot, clearing the ring. The Club stands tall with “too sweets” in the middle of the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev is working on Anderson. AJ comes in and turns it around. Nakamura taunts AJ and causes him to chase, which ends up allowing Rusev to take control of AJ. English comes in and keeps control of AJ, taking him to the mat and slowing the match down. The screen splits with another Greatest Royal Rumble promo.
The heels keep control for several more minutes until Gallows comes in and unloads on English. Gallows with a 2 count as Rusev breaks it up. Everyone gets involved as the match falls apart. This leads to Nakamura hitting the Kinshasa on Gallows for the pin.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev and Aiden English
– After the bell, the winners are announced but AJ immediately hits the ring and attacks Nakamura. They tangle for a minute until Nakamura nails another low blow on AJ. Nakamura waits for AJ to get up for the Kinshasa. Nakamura charges but Anderson runs in and jumps in the way, taking the Kinshasa for AJ. Nakamura taunts AJ as he recovers and Nakamura waits for Anderson to recover. Nakamura nails Anderson with another Kinshasa as AJ watches and can’t stop it. We go to replays as Nakamura’s music hits. We come back to Nakamura standing tall on the stage as AJ checks on Anderson in the ring. SmackDown goes off the air.