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– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens with a backstage video from SmackDown General Manager Paige. She talks about the blue brand matches from Money In the Bank and tonight’s Gauntlet Match to determine the Extreme Rules opponent for WWE Champion AJ Styles.
– We’re live from Toledo, Ohio at Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella as Greg Hamilton does the introduction.
Carmella talks about how she had self-esteem issues when she was younger but she was determined not to let them keep her down. She saw something in herself before anyone else could and she became a champion. What she’s trying to say is, she wants every boy and girl out there who doesn’t feel good enough to look in the mirror and repeat these words: Mella Is Money. Fans boo as Carmella “sikes” the crowd out. She says she never had self confidence issues, yea right. The real lesson here is to just give up, she says. Carmella says everyone else can work twice as hard as her but they will still only be half as good. She brags on cashing in her MITB to become champion and reminds us how she beat Charlotte Flair twice. Carmella says she did the unthinkable at Money In the Bank on Sunday – she beat Asuka.
Carmella goes on and brags about how she beat Asuka and did it all herself. No mention of James Ellsworth yet. The music interrupts and out comes Asuka to a pop. She gets closer to the ring and we realize it’s not really Asuka. The fake Asuka enters the ring and is revealed to be Ellsworth. They laugh together. Ellsworth says no one was ready for him, especially Asuka. Ellsworth tells the crowd to shut their traps because he has something special to say to his princess. He messes up a line about loving someone and says that doesn’t matter because what’s important is he’s back and he’s here to serve Carmella. He says she’s better than everyone, better than Flair, WWE Hall of Famers Lita & Trish Stratus, Mother Theresa, Beyonce, Ronda Rousey and last but not certainly least, she’s better than Asuka. The music hits again and out comes the real Empress of Tomorrow.
Asuka rushes to the ring running her mouth. Ellsworth takes off his Asuka robe as Carmella looks like she’s about ready to retreat. Ellsworth steps to Asuka and she drops him with a kick. Carmella drops Asuka with a kick. Carmella pushes Ellsworth out of the ring and they leave together as fans boo. Carmella backs up the ramp with Ellsworth, raising the title and taunting Asuka. Asuka looks on from the mat and laughs as Carmella’s music hits. We go to replays.
– Still to come, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson get another title shot from The Bludgeon Brothers.
– We see Becky Lynch backstage getting ready for her match against Billie Kay. We go to commercial.
Billie Kay vs. Becky Lynch
Back from the break and out comes The IIconics, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. They enter the ring and diss the people of Toledo, then they run Becky Lynch down. The music hits and out next comes Becky to a pop.
Becky immediately tackles Billie as the bell rings and goes to work. Becky keeps control and hits the Bexploder suplex. Billie ends up turning it around and sending Becky face-first into the ring post. We go to commercial with Becky down on the floor.
Back from the break and Billie has Becky grounded in the middle of the ring as Peyton cheers her on. Becky fights up and out. Billie slides out of a slam and nails a big rolling forearm to the chest. Billie with a boot against the ropes. Peyton decks Becky with a cheap shot as the referee is distracted by Billie. Becky still kicks out at 2 as Peyton throws a fit at ringside.
Becky rams Billie back into the corner to get her off her back. Becky tosses Billie to the mat and kicks her. Becky goes to the second rope and leaps out at Billie, taking her back down. Becky with clotheslines and a heel kick now. Becky with more offense and a Bexploder suplex for a close 2 count. Becky fights Billie off again and goes to the top. Becky has to stop and kick Peyton off the apron but she still manages to counter Billie and send her out to the floor. Becky leaps from the apron and takes Peyton out on the floor as fans pop. Billie goes for a suplex back in the ring but Becky rolls her up. Becky goes into the Dis-Arm-Her and Billie taps for the finish.
Winner: Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky celebrates as her music hits. We go to replays.
– We get a look at last week’s match between Jeff Hardy and Shinsuke Nakamura. We cut backstage to the WWE United States Champion now. He says Shinsuke Nakamura failed to win the WWE Title at Money In the Bank and AJ Styles has moved on. Jeff has a memory in his head that won’t allow him to move on. He goes into crazy detail about the knee to the face from Nakamura last week, saying it shattered his soul. Jeff says the knee had unintended consequences as it didn’t put him down, it made him sharper focused. Jeff says his eyes were closed before but now they are open. He says this as he turns around to reveal new face paint and white eyes. Jeff tells Nakamura, “I see you.”
– Still to come, the #1 contenders Gauntlet Match.
– The announcers hype SAnitY ahead of their TV debut tonight. Tom says the madness is here. The shadows of SAnitY appear on the big screen. Eric Young says the chaos has arrived as they walk off. Graves hypes The Usos vs. SAnitY as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers hype WWE Super Show-Down in Australia.
– Renee Young is backstage with Daniel Bryan. She reveals he’s entering the Gauntlet Match first and asks how he will survive. Bryan says he’s not going to survive, he’s going to win. He gives props to Rusev, Big E and Samoa Joe but takes a shot at The Miz. He goes on about how he will win and then asks Renee if he can ask her a question. He asks if she thinks he’s ready to take on the biggest & baddest Superstars of WWE. He has to ask her again and she says “yes” this time. This leads to Bryan leaving with a “yes!” chant going.
SAnitY vs. The Usos
We go to the ring and out first comes The Usos. They hit the ring with mics as fans chant their name. Jey Uso says it looks like we have a new tag team that wants to make a name for themselves. Jimmy Uso chimes in and says you have to show your heart, be 100% and have a few screws loose to make it, which The Usos have done. They welcome SAnitY to The Uso Penitentiary and motion for them to bring it. The lights go out and the music hits as out next comes SAnitY – Eric Young, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe.
It looks like Wolfe tries to attack one of The Usos while their entrance is still going. A brawl breaks out before the bell can even ring. SAnitY destroys The Usos. Young makes Jey watch as Dain smashes Jimmy. Wolfe and Young double team Jey out of the corner. SAnitY stands tall over The Usos as their music starts back up.
– Still to come, Gallows and Anderson vs. Harper and Rowan with the titles on the line. We go backstage and see The Good Brothers warming up for tonight’s title shot. We cut to The Bludgeon Brothers next. They turn and stare at the camera as we go back to a commercial.
– We see stills from Shinsuke Nakamura’s Last Man Standing match loss to WWE Champion AJ Styles at MITB. Renee Young is backstage with Styles now. He says he didn’t lose because he’s still standing here now and blames the referee for a bad count. Regarding the earlier comments from Jeff Hardy, Nakamura says Jeff’s eyes may be open now but he will close them if Hardy crosses him again.
SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
We go to the ring and out first comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for this rematch from the MITB Kickoff. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers are out next. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Gallows is going at it with Rowan. Harper comes in but gets sent to the floor. Anderson leaps out onto him but Harper sends him into the side of the ring. Rowan floors Gallows in the ring. Rowan places Gallows on the top and works him over. Rowan climbs up for a superplex but Gallows resists. Rowan fights him and nails the superplex for a 2 count as Anderson breaks the pin.
Harper sends Anderson to the floor. Rowan and Harper follow, double teaming Anderson and slamming him into the apron. Rowan returns to the ring and splashes Gallows for a 2 count. Harper and Rowan keep control of Gallows with frequent tags now. Rowan keeps Gallows grounded in the middle of the ring. Gallows tries to turn it around but Rowan clubs him back down. Harper tags in for more double teaming in the corner. Gallows finally knocks Rowan off the apron with a big boot. Gallows turns and goes at it with Harper. Gallows avoids a powerbomb and drops Harper with a kick. Anderson finally returns to the apron and waits for the tag.
Anderson tags in and comes off the top with a crossbody on Harper. Anderson with a Spinebuster on Harper for a 2 count. Rowan comes in and catches Anderson but he slides out. Anderson sends Roan to the floor but turns around to a big sideslam from Harper for a 2 count. Gallows pulls Rowan off the apron but Rowan sends him over into the timekeeper’s area. Anderson rolls Harper up for a 2 count. Rowan tags in and they double team Anderson for the pin.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
– After the match, Rowan and Harper raise the titles as their music hits. Rowan and Harper are making their exit as the music hits and out comes Daniel Bryan for the main event. Bryan comes out doing the “yes!” chant but stops between Rowan and Harper on the ramp. They all trade looks for a minute. Bryan’s music starts back up as he continues heading to the ring while doing the chant.
– We see The Miz backstage warming up for the main event. Rusev and Aiden English are also shown backstage getting ready. Samoa Joe is shown next, then The New Day. We go to commercial.
Gauntlet Match to Crown a New #1 Contender: Daniel Bryan, Big E, Rusev, Samoa Joe, The Miz
Back from the break and out comes The New Day for the main event – Big E with Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. Big E heads to the ring alone as Daniel Bryan waits in the corner. The bell rings and they lock up. Big E overpowers early on. They go to lock up in a test of strength and Big E gets Bryan down.
More back and forth now. Big E runs the ropes but Bryan eventually takes him down. Bryan with the Dragon Sleeper now in the middle of the ring. Big E breaks free and looks to get the upperhand but Bryan responds with strikes. Big E fights back but Bryan delivers knees on the mat now. Big E ends up overpowering Bryan again and tossing him. Big E has Bryan positioned on the apron now. He nails a big splash on the apron and Bryan falls to the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bryan goes for the top rope headbutt but Big E moves and he lands hard. Big E covers for a 2 count. Bryan fights out of a rack in the middle of the ring and delivers a clothesline to stun Big E into the corner. Bryan with the Yes Kicks in the corner now. Bryan takes Big E to the top and brings him crashing down with the hurricanrana. Bryan with a corner dropkick and another. Bryan goes for a third dropkick but Big E flattens him with a clothesline. Big E with a big backbreaker for another close 2 count.
Big E keeps control and applies the Stretch Muffler submission. Bryan eventually tries to turn that into the Yes Lock but Big E resists. Bryan goes for a triangle now. Big E powers up but Bryan counters again. More back and forth on the mat as Big E avoids the Heel Hook as well. Big E works Bryan over in the corner now. Bryan gets tossed to the apron. Big E charges and spears Bryan from the apron to the floor and they both land hard on the floor. Big E brings Bryan back into the ring and waits for him. Big E goes for the Big Ending but Bryan slides out. Big E runs into the steel ring post as Bryan moves out of the way. Bryan with the big knee strike for the pin. Bryan advances and Big E has been eliminated.
Samoa Joe marches to the ring next as Bryan tries to recover on the mat. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Joe is chopping Bryan into the corner. Joe keeps control as we see AJ Styles backstage watching the match. Bryan fights back with strikes and unloads on Joe. Bryan charges but Joe catches him with a big powerslam for a 2 count. Joe with more strikes to keep Bryan down. Joe drops Bryan again and the referee checks on him. Joe with a headbutt while Bryan is on his knees. Bryan slides out of a move and fights back with more strikes.
Joe catches Bryan with a powerbomb for a 2 count. Joe transitions right into a modified Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. Joe turns that into the STF. Bryan crawls for the bottom rope but Joe pulls the arm back. Bryan gets his foot on the bottom rope and the hold is broken. Bryan catches a kick and hits the Dragon Screw leg whip. Bryan slams Joe’s knee into the ring post now. Bryan continues focusing on the knee. He comes back in but Joe hits the inverted atomic drop and a big boot. Joe with the senton for another close 2 count. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Joe trades shots with Bryan in the middle of the ring. Joe catches Bryan with a Sleeper hold. Joe falls out to the floor to buy some time. Bryan runs the apron and delivers a knee to Joe on the floor. Bryan brings it back into the ring and nails a missile dropkick. Fans rally for Bryan as he delivers the Yes Kicks to Joe now. Joe blocks the last kick but Bryan hits an enziguri. Bryan leads another chant in the corner now. Joe ducks the flying knee and rolls to the floor as some fans boo. Bryan runs the ropes and slides out but Joe applies the Coquina Clutch on the floor.
Bryan starts fading on the floor as the referee counts. Bryan breaks free and runs back in the ring, just making it. Joe is counted out and eliminated. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers suddenly enter the ring and drive Bryan to the mat with their double team move. Fans boo as they exit the ring. The music hits and out next comes The Miz.
Miz runs into the ring and hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Bryan. Miz covers for the pin and Bryan has been eliminated. Miz tosses him out to the floor.
Miz waits and runs his mouth as an official checks on Bryan on the floor. Rusev marches to the ring next with Aiden English talking him up right beside him. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev drops Miz for a 2 count. Rusev works Miz over in the corner now as English looks on from ringside. Miz with a jawbreaker. Miz with a corner clothesline but Rusev catches him. Rusev with a fall-away slam for another 2 count. We see Styles backstage watching the match.
Miz dropkicks Rusev through the ropes now and knocks him back on the floor. Fans chant for Rusev Day as English talks trash on the outside. Miz sends Rusev into the barrier and then brings it back into the ring for more offense and a 2 count. Miz keeps Rusev grounded in the middle of the ring now.
Rusev floors Miz with a big kick, and another. Rusev charges in the corner with a shot to the gut and then hits the spin kick off the ropes. Miz blocks the Machka Kick and goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but Rusev resists and overpowers him, ramming him back into the corner. Rusev runs into a kick but Miz runs into the big kick. Rusev covers for another 2 count. Miz goes to the floor for a breather but Rusev brings him right back in. Miz takes control and brings Rusev out, sending him into the steel ring steps. Miz brings Rusev right back into the ring for a close 2 count. Miz delivers the It Kicks now while Rusev is on his knees. Fans chant “no!” at him. Rusev ducks the last kick and goes for The Accolade but Miz blocks it and hits the DDT for another close 2 count.
Miz stalks Rusev and slowly gets up now. Fans chant for Rusev as he also works to get up. Miz mocks the “yes!” chants but fans chant “no!” in response. Rusev hits the Machka Kick and applies The Accolade in the middle of the ring. Miz taps for the finish.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Rusev
– After the match, Rusev stands tall and celebrates as he will face Styles at Extreme Rules. The music hits and English enters the ring to celebrate with Rusev. AJ Styles’ music interrupts as the WWE Champion comes out to the ring as Rusev looks on. AJ enters the ring and lays the title down between them. They stare each other down. AJ offers his hand and they shake. English walks over and says something to AJ before extending his hand. English disrespects him and pulls his hand back. AJ drops English right in front of Rusev. AJ grabs the title and leave as his music starts back up. Rusev turns to English as he holds his mouth. SmackDown goes off the air with AJ making his exit.