SmackDown LIVE kicks off with SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige in the ring as she is flanked by Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Lana, and Naomi, who will be representing SmackDown LIVE in the Women’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match this Sunday. The GM says that she needed the “best” that SmackDown LIVE has to offer, saying that she doesn’t care who wins the Money-in-the-Bank contract as long as the contract comes back to SmackDown LIVE. Lana then assures Paige that she will win this Sunday, which leads to an argument between Lana and Naomi. Naomi then says that she won the first ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal with Charlotte Flair commenting that the only reason Naomi won it is because she wasn’t in it. Charlotte then says that she has done everything there is to do in this business except for winning the Money-in-the-Bank contract. Becky Lynch then argues that she will walk away with the Money-in-the-Bank contract, vowing to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion again. Becky then says that she is willing to go through anything or anyone to win this Sunday, even if it means going through her best friend.
This brings out The IIconics, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce, as Peyton says that it would take a “miracle” for anyone in the ring to bring the briefcase back to SmackDown LIVE. The IIconics then do their best impersonations of every competitor in the ring before Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville come out. Mandy & Sonya says that the talent outside of the ring is “far superior” to the talent inside the ring. This sparks a brawl between the eight women as referees rush out to break it up.
Before he faces Big Cass this Sunday at Money-in-the-Bank, the opening match of the night would see Daniel Bryan go one-on-one with the returning Shelton Benjamin. Throughout the match, both Superstars would target their opponent’s knee but, in the end, it was Daniel Bryan locking in the heel hook, making Shelton Benjamin tap out to pick up the win.
WWE Hall of Famer and Memphis’ own Jerry “The King” Lawler then makes a special appearance on SmackDown LIVE to conduct an interview with WWE Champion AJ Styles regarding AJ’s Last Man Standing title defense against Shinsuke Nakamura this Sunday. Styles says that Nakamura can act like a “child” because he is going to act like a “man” when he is the last man standing at Money-in-the-Bank.
Five nights before they are a part of the Men’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, SmackDown LIVE would see Rusev, with Aiden English in his corner, go one-on-one with Samoa Joe with The Miz serving as the special guest referee. During the match, Samoa Joe would try to lock Rusev in the Coquina Clutch but Aiden English would get on the ring apron and this would lead to Samoa Joe inadvertently making contact with The Miz. Joe then knocks Aiden off of the ring apron before slamming Rusev but The Miz would refuse to count the pinfall, leading to a confrontation between Joe and Miz. Rusev would take advantage of the distraction, connecting with the Machka Kick to Samoa Joe and pinning Joe for the win. After the match, Aiden English would bring a ladder into the ring and Rusev would use it as a weapon to take out Samoa Joe. Rusev then sets the ladder up in the middle of the ring and starts to climb but The Miz takes Aiden out before entering the ring and planting Rusev with the Skull Crushing Finale. The Miz then climbs the ladder, symbolically retrieving the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase. The Miz then gloats with the briefcase before discovering that the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase is filled with The New Day’s pancakes, sending The Miz into a melodramatic meltdown as The New Day laughs hysterically.
With his Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship against WWE Champion AJ Styles coming up this Sunday at Money-in-the-Bank, SmackDown LIVE would see Shinsuke Nakamura square off with United States Champion Jeff Hardy in a non-title match. During the match, Jeff Hardy would hit the Swanton Bomb but issues with Jeff’s lower back would keep the United States Champion from making the cover as quickly as he needed to and Nakamura was able to get his foot on the bottom rope. Jeff then goes for the Twist of Fate but Nakamura would avoid the move before striking Jeff with a low blow, ending the match by disqualification. Nakamura then levels the United States Champion with the Kinshasa before symbolically counting to ten, sending a message to Money-in-the-Bank opponent AJ Styles.
Then it was time for the main event as “The Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka would join forces with Money-in-the-Bank competitors Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Lana, and Naomi to face the team of SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and The IIconics in a 10-Woman Tag Match. At the end of a wild match, it was Asuka locking Carmella in the Asuka Lock, making the SmackDown Women’s Champion tap out to pick up the win for her team. After the match, the five women would celebrate their win before the four Money-in-the-Bank competitors all turn to look at Asuka with each competitor glancing up at the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, letting “The Empress of Tomorrow” know that, if Asuka wins the title this Sunday, then one of them could very well cash in and take the title from Asuka.
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