After Shinsuke Nakamura interfered in his match with Daniel Bryan last week, again being on the receiving end of a low blow by Nakamura, SmackDown LIVE kicks off with WWE Champion AJ Styles. AJ says that Nakamura “failed” at WrestleMania, saying that Nakamura is a “con artist” and all he could think of last week was payback but he was given a chance at a dream match with Daniel Bryan and Nakamura “ruined” the match. The WWE Champion then says that he’s not leaving the ring until Nakamura comes out there, telling Nakamura to come out there and fight him right now. However, instead of Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles gets Rusev & Aiden English as Aiden says that, if Styles wants a “fight”, then he can have a fight with Rusev with AJ accepting the impromptu match.
The opening match of the night would then see WWE Champion AJ Styles face “The Lion of Bulgaria” Rusev, with Aiden English in his corner, in a non-title match. However, the match would be short-lived as, once AJ locks in the Calf Crusher on Rusev, Aiden English gets involved, attacking the WWE Champion to end the match by disqualification. Rusev & Aiden then put the boots to AJ Styles before Daniel Bryan makes the save as AJ and Daniel work together to take out Rusev & Aiden English with Rusev & Aiden collecting themselves on the ramp, leaving AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan standing tall.
With Chad Gable getting sent to RAW in the Superstar Shake-Up, Shelton Benjamin was on his own as Benjamin would make an appearance on SmackDown LIVE. Shelton says that he “never needed” Chad Gable, saying that his former tag team partner needed him. Benjamin then says that he needs to remind everyone that he is one of the “biggest threats” on SmackDown LIVE, saying that he asked Paige to send him some “big competition”. This brings out Randy Orton, but “The Viper” would be stopped on the ramp once Jeff Hardy’s music hits as, just one night after beating Jinder Mahal to win the United States Title on RAW, new United States Champion Jeff Hardy would return to SmackDown LIVE, bringing the United States Championship back with him!
With Randy Orton muttering to himself before heading to the back, the match would get underway as new United States Champion Jeff Hardy would go one-on-one with Shelton Benjamin in a non-title match. In the end, it was Jeff Hardy hitting the Twist of Fate on Shelton Benjamin, following it up with the Swanton Bomb, pinning Benjamin to pick up the win.
Before they face The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles at The Greatest Royal Rumble, The Usos would be on SmackDown LIVE as Jey Uso, with Jimmy Uso in his corner, would go one-on-one with SmackDown Tag Team Champion Harper, with Rowan in his corner. During the match, Jey Uso would dive to the outside but would get caught by Rowan. Jimmy Uso would then deliver a super kick to Rowan but the distraction would be enough for Harper to take advantage, hitting Jey with the Discus Clothesline and pinning Jey for the win. After the match, Rowan would take Jimmy Uso out with a big boot on the outside before The Bludgeon Brothers turn their attention to Jimmy Uso but Jey Uso would use one of The Bludgeon Brothers’ mallets to try and save his brother to no avail. Harper & Rowan would send Jimmy into the steel steps before tossing Jey to the side. The Bludgeon Brothers then grab their mallets, intent on destroying The Usos, but Jimmy Uso’s wife Naomi comes out, pleading with the SmackDown Tag Team Champions to back off as The Bludgeon Brothers decide to relent.
SmackDown LIVE then gets a huge new arrival from RAW in the Superstar Shake-Up as the destructive and merciless Samoa Joe makes his SmackDown LIVE debut, going one-on-one with Sin Cara. Sin Cara would get a few shots in on Samoa Joe but Joe would ultimately lock in the Coquina Clutch, making the masked man tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Samoa Joe says that SmackDown LIVE seems like the “land of handouts” before saying that, without him, SmackDown LIVE has been “coddled”. Joe then says that he is here now and he will be the man to put an end to Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton before vowing to “decimate” WWE Champion AJ Styles. Joe continues, saying that he will put Roman Reigns “out to pasture” at Backlash before saying that, if Roman Reigns is victorious at The Greatest Royal Rumble in winning the Universal Title, then he will take the Universal Title from “The Big Dog” just like he’s going to take the Intercontinental Title at The Greatest Royal Rumble, mocking Roman Reigns by saying “believe that”.
After successfully cashing in her Money-in-the-Bank contract last week to ultimately defeat Charlotte Flair to win the SmackDown Women’s Title, new SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella would be on SmackDown LIVE for a special “Mellabration”. Carmella says that, from now on, they can all call her the “crowned princess of SmackDown LIVE” before saying that she waited for the “perfect opportunity” and she took her “rightful spot” at the top of the SmackDown LIVE women’s division. The new champion continues, saying that she beat Charlotte Flair all on her own, mocking Charlotte before saying that all she had to do was wait for Charlotte to be blinded by her own “ego”. Carmella then proclaims that she is “the woman” and winning the title will go down as the biggest moment in “women’s history”. Carmella continues, saying that her 278 days as “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” is going to be nothing compared to how long she is going to hold “Cleopatra”, referring to the SmackDown Women’s Title. The ‘Mellabration is then crashed by Charlotte Flair, saying that she’s not mad because she knows the dirtiest player of the game, congratulating Carmella. Charlotte then tells the new champion that it is much easier to get on top than it is to stay on top and Carmella has something that belongs to her.
This brings out The IIconics as Billie Kay says Charlotte Flair is “pathetic” for blaming them for her failure before Peyton Royce does her impersonation of Charlotte. Billie then says that gave Charlotte “magic” last week before Peyton says that it was a moment that will “last forever” and that is because of them, saying that they’re the future and the future is “iconic”. Charlotte then goes after The IIconics but, much like last week, the numbers game would favor Billie Kay & Peyton Royce as The IIconics would take it to Charlotte Flair before Becky Lynch makes the save.
In an impromptu match, Charlotte Flair, with Becky Lynch in her corner, would go one-on-one with Billie Kay, with Peyton Royce in her corner, with SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella seated at ringside. In the end, it was Charlotte Flair locking in the Figure-Eight, making Billie Kay tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Carmella would attack Charlotte Flair from behind with the SmackDown Women’s Title before Becky Lynch gets involved only to get cut off by Peyton Royce. Carmella and The IIconics then work together to beat down Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. This is when Asuka would arrive on the scene for the first time since losing to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania! Carmella would flee the ring as “The Empress of Tomorrow” would assist Charlotte and Becky in taking out The IIconics.
Then it was time for the main event as WWE Champion AJ Styles would team with Daniel Bryan to face Rusev Day in tag team action. During the match, Daniel Bryan would be taking it to Aiden English in the ring when Shinsuke Nakamura would appear, delivering a low blow to AJ Styles! Naturally, this would draw the attention of Daniel Bryan, which would allow one of the newest arrivals to SmackDown LIVE, Big Cass, to blast Daniel with a big boot, ending the match by disqualification. Big Cass then stands tall over Daniel Bryan in the ring as Shinsuke Nakamura mocks AJ Styles on the outside. Shinsuke Nakamura would be interviewed about his actions on the stage but, just like last week, Nakamura would respond by saying “sorry, no speak English” before Nakamura heads to the back.
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