SmackDown LIVE kicks off with one of the eight competitors in the Men’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match as The Miz is in the ring to present Miz TV. After revealing the premiere date of his reality show, “Miz & Missus”, The Miz would introduce his guests, The New Day, as Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods make their way to the ring. The Miz wastes little time in asking which member of The New Day will be entering the Men’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match before saying that they hold each other back. Xavier Woods says that The Miz has a lot going for him, rattling off some of The Miz’s accomplishments before saying that the one thing that nobody likes about The Miz is that The Miz has always put himself first.
The Miz responds by pointing out that Kofi Kingston has been in six Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Matches but has never won a single one of them. The Miz continues, saying that Big E has everything it takes to be a champion but he will never be taken seriously because he doesn’t take himself seriously. The Miz then says that Xavier Woods built himself a YouTube empire, telling Xavier to imagine what it would be like to play a video game wearing the WWE Championship, saying Xavier would be seen as a “real life superhero”. The Miz then asks The New Day again which one of them will be in the Men’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match but the three Superstars each recommend the other to enter the match.
This infuriates The Miz, who says that he is going to walk out with the Money-in-the-Bank contract. The New Day then huddle before giving a serious answer as Kofi Kingston says Big E will be in the match. However, Xavier Woods informs The Miz that they’re not talking about Money-in-the-Bank, they’re talking about Big E facing The Miz right here tonight. The Miz responds by saying that they aren’t going to get a match tonight if they don’t give him the answer he wants. The New Day responds by tossing pancakes at The Miz before “The A-Lister” leaves the ring and heads to the back. This is where The Miz runs into SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige, who makes The Miz go back out to the ring to face Big E.
Per the orders of SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige, the opening match of the night would see The New Day’s Big E, with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods taking turns on commentary, would go one-on-one with The Miz. During the match, Cesaro & Sheamus would come out to attack Xavier Woods before Kofi Kingston evens the odds, sparking a brawl between the four men before Sheamus takes Kofi out with the Brogue Kick. Cesaro then gets on the ring apron, distracting Big E long enough for The Miz to take advantage as “The A-Lister” hits Big E with the Skull Crushing Finale, pinning Big E to pick up the win.
In the first of two Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Matches of the night, “The Ravishing Russian” Lana, with Aiden English in her corner, would go one-on-one with The IIconics’ Billie Kay, with Peyton Royce in her corner, with the winner earning the sixth spot in the Women’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match. Once the match begins, Aiden English would hold up a “Lana Day” sign on this outside and this would draw the attention of The IIconics as Peyton Royce would slap Aiden. Lana would then attack Peyton, sending Peyton into the barricade. Billie Kay then tries to take advantage of the distraction, sending Lana back into the ring. Lana was then quick to score with a kick to the head of Billie Kay, following it up with a sitout facebuster, pinning Billie Kay to pick up her first one-on-one victory ever to qualify for the Women’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match.
Andrade “Cien” Almas, with Zelina Vega in his corner, was in action on SmackDown LIVE as Almas would go one-on-one with a local competitor. Andrade “Cien” Almas would make an example out of the local competitor, mauling his opponent before planting the competitor with the hammerlock DDT, pinning the local competitor for the dominant win.
After Shinsuke Nakamura used some underhanded tactics to defeat AJ Styles last week to earn the right to pick the stipulation for their rematch for the WWE Championship at WWE Money-in-the-Bank, both champion and challenger would be in the ring at the same time as Nakamura would reveal the stipulation to AJ Styles’ face. After the two rivals make their way to the ring, AJ Styles would be eager to find out what the stipulation will be but Nakamura would make the WWE Champion wait, opting to show the footage of him beating Styles last week. AJ says that Nakamura will never beat him again before Nakamura tells Styles to “shut up”. Nakamura then says that he will not only beat Styles, but he will “dishonor” AJ and the house that AJ Styles built is now his house. Styles again asks Nakamura to reveal the stipulation with Nakamura continuing to mess with the WWE Champion, saying they will compete in a “pillow fight”. AJ does not let Nakamura’s jesting get under his skin, however, saying that he always knew Nakamura was “the king of soft style”. Nakamura says that AJ is “afraid” and “weak”, repeatedly telling Styles “knee to face” before Styles fires back, saying that Nakamura can’t beat him when it counts anyways.
The WWE Champion then says that it doesn’t matter what the stipulation is because it will not put Nakamura on an “even playing field” with him, telling Nakamura that he will see him at WWE Money-in-the-Bank. Nakamura then tries to cheap-shot Styles but AJ fights back before the battle spills to the outside. AJ sends Nakamura over the barricade before exposing the announce table. However, Nakamura would come back with a steel chair, swinging and missing at AJ before the WWE Champion again tosses Nakamura over the barricade. This time, AJ follows Nakamura into the crowd as the Money-in-the-Bank opponents continue to brawl before Styles brings Nakamura back to ringside. AJ then leaps off of the barricade but Nakamura catches Styles with a chair shot to the shoulder. Nakamura then symbolically starts to count to ten before Styles manages to get to his feet.
“The Artist” then slams the WWE Champion on the announce table before leveling Styles with the Kinshasa. Nakamura then symbolically counts to ten, making it clear that he wants to face AJ Styles in a Last Man Standing Match at WWE Money-in-the-Bank. To drive the point home, Nakamura grabs a microphone to officially announce that the WWE Title rematch will be a Last Man Standing Match where the only way to win is to incapacitate your opponent to the point that they cannot answer the referee’s count of ten.
In tag team action, The Usos would face Gallows & Anderson with the winners facing The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles at WWE Money-in-the-Bank. In the end, it was Gallows & Anderson hitting Jimmy Uso with the Magic Killer as Karl Anderson pins Jimmy to pick up the win as Gallows & Anderson will challenge The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles at WWE Money-in-the-Bank.
The final spot for SmackDown LIVE in the Women’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match would then be decided as Sonya Deville, with Mandy Rose in her corner, would go one-on-one with Naomi in a Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match. In the end, it was Naomi rolling up Sonya Deville to pick up the win and become the final SmackDown LIVE Superstar to qualify for the Women’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match.
With Samoa Joe a guest on commentary, it was then time for the main event as Daniel Bryan would go one-on-one with United States Champion Jeff Hardy in a non-title match with the winner facing Samoa Joe in the final Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match next week. Throughout the match, Jeff Hardy would struggle with his knee and Daniel Bryan would use that to his advantage, targeting the knee of the United States Champion before locking in a heel hook on Jeff, making Jeff tap out to pick up the win and earn a spot in the final Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match against Samoa Joe next week. After the match, Samoa Joe would get in the ring to confront Daniel Bryan, saying that he fails to see what they’re celebrating out there because, next week, Daniel has to face him. Joe then leaves the ring as Daniel Bryan does not take his eyes off of “The Destroyer”, ready for his clash with Samoa Joe next week.
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