– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown Kickoff pre-show opens on FOX with a comedy video of Michael Strahan and RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch at the FOX Sports headquarters. Braun Strowman, Terry Bradshaw and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt are also seen.
– We’re live from outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as FOX Sports’ Charissa Thompson welcomes us. We see several people arriving on the blue carpet – actor O’Shea Jackson Jr., boxer Shawn Porter, plus Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
Charissa is joined by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and Charlotte Flair first. They talk for a minute before Thompson sends us inside of the arena to hosts Renee Young and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. They are at ringside with Big E and Xavier Woods of The New Day. We see fans finding their seats. Booker and Renee get Big E to give a grand introduction of the new SmackDown set. The camera cuts up as the new stage and set lights up. It’s truly a spectacle for a WWE TV set. We go to a commercial break.
– Back from a break and we see WWE Champion Kofi Kingston arriving backstage. Renee also shows us Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman arriving in the back. Renee hypes tonight’s big event. WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins joins Renee and Booker on the panel now. They talk about Booker’s famous Supermarket Brawl with WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin and we get a clip from the angle. We come back for a bit more discussion with Rollins. Renee shows us Erin Andrews, WWE United States Champion AJ Styles, plus Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley arriving on the blue carpet outside. Back to commercial.
– Back from a break and we see WWE 24/7 Champion Carmella with R-Truth on the blue carpet. We also see The Miz and The Eagle from FOX’s The Masked Singer. Renee sends us to Kayla Braxton backstage with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. Kofi gets fired up and is confident about defending against Brock Lesnar tonight. Renee and Booker discuss Lesnar vs. Kingston some more as we see more blue carpet arrivals – WWE Hall of Famer Sting, actor Rico Rodriguez, King Baron Corbin, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Revival, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, Titus O’Neil, Rey Mysterio, and WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg with the Big Noon Kickoff hosts. Charissa is outside with The Bella Twins. They talk more about tonight’s show, including The Rock’s return. We see RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch on the blue carpet. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin appears in a pre-recorded video package to hype tonight’s show. Charissa shows us more blue carpet arrivals – Maria Menounos, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, Braun Strowman. Charissa signs off for the night and sends us to Kayla backstage with Paul Heyman. Kayla hoped for a word with The Beast, but Heyman denied her. Heyman has strong words for Kofi Kingston and says a new reality is coming to WWE tonight, in the form of a new WWE Champion. We go back to Renee and Booker. They show us footage of The Rock arriving backstage earlier today. Renee sends us back to another break as we get an overhead shot of the Staples Center outside. We get more from the pre-show and that’s it.
– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown FOX premiere opens live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California as Michael Cole welcomes us to a new era.
– The “No Chance” music hits as fans pop. Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon come out to the stage. Stephanie welcomes us to history, welcomes us to FOX. Vince welcomes us to Friday Night SmackDown. We cut to the new SmackDown opening video package.
– We’re back inside the Staples Center as the pyro explodes on the stage. Cole welcomes us to the SmackDown FOX premiere, presented by Progressive insurance. Cole says the Staples Center is sold out to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the blue brand.
– We go right to the ring and out comes RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch as the pyro goes off for her entrance. Cole is joined at ringside by Corey Graves. They welcome us once again.
Becky stands with a mic and fans start chanting her name. She says it feels so good to be kicking off the first episode of Friday Night SmackDown. Becky goes on about how she smashed glass ceilings and changed the game on SmackDown, and how fans used their voices to raise her up. The show is in her blood. She thanks the fans and suggests re-paying them by kicking someone’s ass. The music interrupts and out comes King Baron Corbin.
Corbin declares that the King is here and fans boo him. Corbin asks Becky if she’s listening to herself, because everyone knows who should be kicking the show off – the King. Corbin approaches the apron and asks if she really still thinks she’s The Man. She warns him to take one more step and he will find out. Corbin enters the ropes and the music hits. Out comes The Rock to a huge pop for his return.
Rock walks the stage for a minute as fans cheer him on. He takes his jacket off and they pop louder. Rock covers the camera with his jacket but quickly removes it and then marches to the ring. Fans go wild as The Great One hits the corner to pose as Becky and Corbin stare him down. Rock comes down and stares back at Becky. He offers his hand and they shake. Rock raises his hand to show some love to Corbin but he was just kidding. Rock keeps walking and poses in the opposite corner as his music continues to play. Rock recalls uttering a phrase to some jabroni many moons ago, and that phrase would change the world forever. Rock goes on about how the word “SmackDown” has become a show, an institution. He goes on with a Rock-style promo and calls Corbin a broke-looking Burger King on crack. Rock says we’re all here live on FOX, in front of the millions – The Rock, The Man and Cracky, all waiting on The Rock to say – finally, The Rock has come back… Rock raises the mic but the fans takeover with chanting his name. “Home!” He finishes the promo. Rock goes on but Corbin interrupts. Fans boo him.
Corbin says he just needs to make a correction. This isn’t Rock’s home any longer and he’s not The Great One anymore. Corbin says we’re looking at The Great One and the most electrifying King in sports entertainment, and The King says to know your role and shut your mouth. Rock asks Becky to excuse him, and if he can handle this one real quick. Rock says Corbin winning King of the Ring doesn’t make him King, or to look dress a 35 year old virgin hanging out at Comic Con. Rock says Becky is The Man but we don’t see h er walking around here with a pair of testicles. Becky adds that if she did, they’d be bigger than Corbin. Fans chant for Becky. Corbin says his testicles are perfectly adequate, and he will dress how he wants because he is superior to Rock, Becky and everyone else. Corbin goes on about Los Angeles and knocks LeBron James. Fans chant “Rocky!” now. Rock asks Corbin if what he thinks is he’s superior to everyone else, including his boy James. Corbin goes to respond but Becky interrupts with the “It doesn’t matter!” line. Rock brings up Corbin retiring WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle and some other accomplishments. Rock and Becky go on about Corbin, calling him a “Super Tough Dude” and this leads Rock to getting fans to chant “STD!” at Corbin because that’s what they think when they see him now. Becky says that’s going to stick with Corbin for life. Rock says this is what happens when Corbin comes out and disrespects The Man, the fans and the jabroni beating, pie eating… Rock goes on with a warning to Corbin. They all ready for a fight. Rock and Becky take turns rocking Corbin between them now. Rock drops Corbin. Becky leg drops Corbin. Rock stands over Corbin in the middle of the ring and delivers The People’s Elbow. Becky with kicks to Corbin, sending him right into a Rock Bottom. Fans chant “Rocky!” now as he stands with Becky. Rock says he loves us, SmackDown. “If ya smell… what The Rock is cookin’!” The Rock’s music hits as he stands tall with Becky once again. Rock exits the ring and slaps hands with fans at ringside on the way up the ramp as his music hits. Rock stops and poses on the stage, then points back at Becky in the ring.
– Cole and Graves hype the rest of tonight’s show, including the Ladder Match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon. There will also be Lumberjacks surrounding the ring or the Erick Rowan vs. Roman Reigns match.
– We see Sasha Banks and Bayley backstage. That tag team match will be next. Back to commercial.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
Back from the break and we see Maria Menounos at ringside with WWE Hall of Famers Lita and Trish Stratus. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch waits in the ring as her partner comes out with pyro, Charlotte Flair. Sasha Banks is out first for her team. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley joins her on the stage and they head to the ring together.
Flair starts off with Bayley as the first SmackDown FOX match begins. The bell rings and Bayley rocks Becky with a cheap shot. Flair makes her pay and takes her to the corner to unload. Bayley counters and drops Flair on her head. Bayley takes Flair to the corner and tags in Banks for a quick double team. Banks mounts offense on Flair and hits the double knees for a 2 count. Flair comes back with chops into the corner. Flair with more offense in the corner and a big boot that sends Banks out to the floor. Flair shows off to the crowd for somewhat of a mixed reaction.
Becky runs in and knocks Bayley off the apron. Flair goes to the top for a moonsault but she gets knocked off into the barrier. Banks kicks Flair while she’s down as Becky recovers on the apron. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Flair fights Bayley off. Flair drops Bayley with a knee. Becky tags in and clotheslines Bayley. She goes for Banks but Banks drops off the apron. Becky unloads on Bayley and drops her in the corner. Becky with more offense as the crowd pops. Becky warns Banks after a Bexploder to Bayley. Bayley takes advantage of a distraction by Banks, and drops Becky. Becky turns it back around and hits the second rope leg drop to Bayley for a 2 count. Bayley comes back for a 2 count. Becky with a basement dropkick. Flair ends up coming in and hitting a Natural Selection to Bayley for a 2 count as Banks breaks it up.
Becky comes in and stares Banks down as fans pop. They start brawling in the middle of the ring. Bayley takes out Banks’ leg from behind. They double team her until Flair gets involved. They all continue fighting in the middle of the ring. Flair tosses Bayley over her head. Banks sends Becky to the apron and they trade more shots. Becky goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick to Banks in the ring, then out of the ring. Flair goes to the top and hits a big moonsault to the floor, taking down both opponents for a big pop. Bayley and Flair bring it back in. Flair applies the Figure Four and bridges into the Figure Eight. Bayley taps out.
Winners: Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
– After the match, Flair’s music hits as she stands tall with Lynch. We go to replays. Bayley and Banks console each other on the outside.
– Cole sends us backstage to FOX Sports and FOX NFL reporter Erin Andrews. She’s with The New Day – Big E, Xavier Woods and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. They all get hyped up for tonight’s WWE Title defense against Brock Lesnar.
– We see Seth Rollins walking backstage. He will face Shinsuke Nakamura next in a champion vs. champion match. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see boxer Tyson Fury at ringside. He gets a pop from the crowd. Cole shows us highlights the earlier blue carpet Kickoff pre-show. We also see WWE Hall of Famers Kurt Angle and Mick Foley sitting at ringside for another pop.
Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
We go to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins for this non-title Champion vs. Champion match. Bray Wyatt interrupts on the big screen with a new Firefly Funhouse segment. Wyatt introduces everyone to his home and his various puppets. Ramblin’ Rabbit is actually still alive, and he’s wearing a Rollins t-shirt. He wants to be like Rollins when he grows up. He goes on until Wyatt stops him. Wyatt suggests they show Rollins what will happen on Sunday at Hell In a Cell instead of talking. The Rabbit represents Rollins and he’s locked inside of a small red cage. Mercy The Buzzard appears and is representing The Fiend. Rollins watches from the ring and Wyatt warns this could get messy. Mercy destroys Ramblin’ and leaves nothing but a bunch of stuffing and a few body parts. Wyatt finds this to be hilarious. Wyatt gets serious and says history has a horrible way of repeating itself. Wyatt says now it’s Rollins’ turn. He flashes with a quick reminder of The Fiend. Wyatt laughs again and says he will see Rollins later. The segment ends as Rollins looks on from the ring. WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura is out next with Sami Zayn as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan mingling in the crowd at ringside. The bell rings for the match and Nakamura quickly goes for an armbar but Rollins breaks free. Rollins nails two straight suicide dives to the floor. Rollins chases Zayn off at ringside and warns him. Rollins goes back in but Nakamura attacks. Rollins fights him off and hits a Slingblade. Nakamura sends Rollins to the apron and kicks him. Rollins comes back with a kick to the neck from the apron. Rollins springboards back into the ring with a knee to the face. Rollins superkicks Nakamura for another pop now.
Rollins cranks up as the “burn it down!” chant starts. The lights suddenly go down and it sounds like “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt is here. We hear the menacing sounds as the lights come up low. Nakamura and Rollins are looking around, Rollins on the stage and Nakamura in the ring. The Fiend appears behind Rollins on the stage and quickly brings him down with the Mandible Claw. Wyatt shoves Rollins off the stage and stares down at him. The lights go back out and we hear Wyatt laughing over the arena. Back to commercial.
Ladder Match: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Back from the break and Kevin Owens is in the ring. We see ladders standing up and laying down around the arena. The briefcase is hanging high above the ring with the stipulation documents. The winner of the match will keep their job, and Owens’ lawsuit against Shane will be dismissed. Shane McMahon is out next. Shane stops on the stage and signals for Hamilton to give him a grand introduction. Owens runs out of the ring, up the ramp and attacks Shane on the stage. Owens brings it back into the ring and the bell rings.
Owens sends Shane out of the ring and goes to work. Owens bridges a ladder from the apron to the top of the barrier. Owens rocks Shane a few more times on the outside. Owens brings another ladder into the ring. He positions it under the briefcase and starts climbing. Shane runs in and pulls him down. Shane with a side Russian leg sweep. Shane stomps on Owens and climbs the ladder as fans boo. Owens knocks him down. The ladder ends up knocked out of the ring. They tangle some more, including a Stunner block. Owens goes to bring the ladder back in but Shane kicks it into his face. Shane ends up dropping Owens on the outside again, and placing him on the announce table. Shane pounds on Owens while he’s down on top of the announce table. Shane slams the top cover piece of the table onto Owens a few times. Shane with another table cover shot to Owens, keeping him down on top of the announce table.
Shane returns to the ring as fans boo him. Shane climbs to the top turnbuckle and delivers a huge elbow drop, putting Owens through the announce table. They’re both laid out in the debris. Fans chant “holy shit!” as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Owens now has Shane placed on the ladder bridge from the apron to the barrier from earlier. Owens goes to the top and leaps with a Frogsplash, putting Shane through the ladder, bending it. Fans chant “holy shit!” and “this is awesome!” now as we get replays. Owens stands another ladder up under the briefcase now. There’s also a ladder bridged from bottom rope to bottom rope in the corner. Owens climbs up but Shane runs in and hits him in the leg with a steel chair to stop him from climbing. Shane knocks Owens and the ladder over with another chair shot. Shane unloads with a few more chair shots.
Shane sits Owens up against the bottom turnbuckle, then places a ladder over his body. Shane climbs to the opposite corner and delivers a huge Coast 2 Coast, smashing the ladder into Owens in the corner. Owens rolls to the floor and the referee checks on him. We get a replay as Shane works to get back to his feet. Shane stands a ladder up under the briefcase again. Shane climbs but Owens runs in and stops him. Owens powerbombs Shane from half-way up the ladder, onto the ladder bridge on the bottom rope in the corner. Owens climbs up and retrieves the briefcase to end Shane’s career and win the match.
Winner: Kevin Owens
– After the match, Owens yells out and smashes the briefcase into his head a few times as the music hits. Owens stands tall with the briefcase and shoves the ladder over. Owens takes the mic as Shane starts crawling to him. “Hey Shane, you’re fired!” Owens then delivers a Stunner to drop Shane in the middle of the ring. Owens’ music starts back up as he resumes the celebration.
– We see Kayla Braxton backstage waiting outside of Brock Lesnar’s room.
– Cole leads us to a SmackDown Greatest Moments video, presented by Snickers.
– Back from a break and Kayla talks to Paul Heyman backstage. He shows us how Brock Lesnar recently destroyed Kofi Kingston and cuts a promo on how we will have a new WWE Champion tonight.
Braun Strowman, The Miz and Heavy Machinery vs. Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Randy Orton and AJ Styles
We go to the ring and out comes Braun Strowman for a pop. The Miz, Tucker Otis, Randy Orton, WWE United States Champion AJ Styles, and RAW Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode are already waiting in the ring.
Ziggler and Miz go at it early on. Ziggler with an early Zig Zag. Miz comes back and blocks a move, then drops Ziggler with a DDT. Strowman gets the tag and runs wild on Ziggler. Strowman keeps control and clubs Ziggler to the mat for a 2 count. Roode runs in and decks him from behind. This leads to Orton, Styles and everyone else getting involved with their moves.
It’s back down to Ziggler and Strowman in the middle of the ring while the others are on the outside. Strowman runs around the ring and flattens all of his opponents with big shoulders. Strowman yells out for a pop. Strowman stops at ringside and stares at boxer Tyson Fury. They put their dukes up but look to be joking. Ziggler takes advantage and attacks from behind, knocking Ziggler down. Ziggler gets sent into Fury. Fury isn’t happy now. Strowman laughs at him as he returns to the ring. Ziggler rocks Strowman off the distraction. Strowman immediately scoops Ziggler for the powerslam and the pin to win.
Winners: Braun Strowman
– After the match, Team Strowman stands tall as the music hits. Fury hops the barrier but security rushes over and keeps him from getting to the ring. Strowman taunts Fury from the ring. Graves notes how Fury is a hot head. Fans chant for security to let them fight. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what happened with Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman.
– Cole shows us how DJ Marshmello ran into Carmella and pinned her for the WWE 24/7 Title earlier while backstage.
Lumberjack Match: Erick Rowan vs. Roman Reigns
We go to the ring and it’s surrounded by 20 Lumberjacks. Daniel Bryan is out for commentary. Out next comes Roman Reigns to a big pop as the pyro explodes for his entrance.
The bell rings and they go at it. Rowan with a big running knee to Reigns, sending him to the outside. Some lumberjacks work Reigns over before sending him back into the ring. Rowan gets sent out of the ring and he starts fighting lumberjacks off. Reigns goes out and runs through the lumberjacks, and leaps at Rowan with a Superman Punch but it’s blocked and Reigns is launched into the barrier. Rowan returns to the ring to wait on Reigns.
Lumberjacks attack Reigns and others come to make the save. They toss Reigns back in and Rowan immediately drops him with a big kick. Rowan covers for a 2 count. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rowan has Reigns grounded in the middle of the ring. Reigns fights up and out. They trade big strikes. Reigns takes it to the corner and unloads with clotheslines as fans count along. More back and forth. Reigns catches Rowan in a Samoan Drop for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. They go on and Reigns readies for a Superman Punch but Rowan catches him in mid-move. They trade more shots and counters. Reigns drops Rowan with a Superman Punch. Luke Harper comes walking down the ramp now.
Harper fights off some of the lumberjacks. Bryan gets up from commentary and attacks Harper but Harper fights. A big brawl breaks out at ringside. Reigns runs the ropes and leaps out, taking down a large group of Superstars. Rowan comes out and powerbombs Ali into Reigns. Rowan brings it back into the ring and nails Reigns with a crossbody for a close 2 count. Rowan signals for the Iron Claw and waits for Reigns to get up. Rowan smiles before applying the Iron Claw. Reigns blocks the Claw slam and nails a Superman Punch. Harper hits the ring and drops Reigns. Harper stops lumberjacks from entering the ring. Bryan runs in and drops Harper with a running knee out of nowhere. Reigns takes advantage and hits Rowan with a Spear for the pin to win.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the match, Reigns recovers as his music hits. Bryan enters the ring and offers his hand for a shake. Reigns thinks about it as Bryan encourages the fans to chant “yes!” at him. Reigns finally shakes it and fans pop.
– Back from the break and we see what happened with The Rock earlier.
– We see FOX Sports hosts Rob Stone and Matt Leinart at ringside.
WWE Title Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston
We go to the ring and out first comes Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston is out next with Big E and Xavier Woods. We get formal ring introductions but Heyman interrupts to deliver his own intro for his client.
The bell rings and Kofi charges but Lesnar catches him in mid-move. Lesnar immediately drops Kofi with a F5 and covers for the pin to win the title.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar
– After the quick squash, Lesnar stands tall and raises the title as Heyman joins him in the ring. The music hits as we go to a replay. Big E and Woods looked on stunned at ringside. Rey Mysterio’s music suddenly hits. We wait but Rey isn’t coming out. Rey suddenly appears and he’s got UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez with him. The crowd pops big and Lesnar looks on shocked from the ring, along with Heyman. Cain and Rey stare Lesnar and Heyman down before marching down the ramp. Cain enters the ring. Lesnar swings but Cain ducks and tackles him. Cain unloads and pounds as Lesnar tries to fight and get away to retreat. Lesnar quickly exits the ring as Cain talks trash from the ring. Heyman talks trash and tells a stunned Lesnar to show Cain who he is, handing him the belt. Lesnar stares Cain down from the ramp for a minute or two. Cain stands with Rey in the ring. Lesnar finally turns and goes up the ramp as fans start booing. We get a replay of what just happened. Graves mentions how Cain beat Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Title in 2010. Lesnar and Heyman look on from the entrance as Rey’s music hits while he and Cain stand tall in the ring. The SmackDown FOX premiere and 20th Anniversary specials goes off the air.