– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– The cameras go to the concession stand area in the arena concourse and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan is there with a mic. Bryan says AJ Styles would be up here with the fans if he wasn’t a WWE Superstar because he’s just like them. Bryan says he’s going to educate AJ tonight. He talks about the concessions being bad for our health. He talks about feeling bad after you eat this stuff, not being happy or healthy, and filling voids by shoving popcorn and candy down our throats. This is why the people cheer for AJ, to fill a void in their lives.
Bryan takes a hot dog from a man and talks about how bad it is for you. He throws the hot dog back at the man. He also takes a soda from another fan, talk about how bad it is, then throws it at him. Bryan goes to a merchandise stand and asks for a Yes Movement t-shirt but then reminds everyone that there are none because the movement is dead and he killed it. He calls the WWE merchandise toxic garbage. He rants on some of AJ’s merchandise, picking up a pair of gloves and calling it plastic garbage.
Bryan makes his way out to the arena now, saying he’s changing the world and making it better but to do that he needs people to change. He calls people weak, submissive, impotent. He runs the fans down and walks down the steps towards the ring, taking shots at fans as he stops in front of them. Bryan says he is changing the planet one person at a time. He snatches a “House of AJ Styles” sign from a fan and says he doesn’t think so because the new Daniel Bryan is the WWE Champion. Bryan says AJ fills a void for about 30 seconds but he will tear apart that void and fill it with something meaningful, something valuable, something the children can be proud of. Bryan goes on at ringside, ranting, until R-Truth suddenly attacks out of nowhere. Truth unloads on Bryan and beats him down. We go to commercial.
R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan
Back from the break and the non-title match is underway. R-Truth is in control of Daniel Bryan.
Bryan runs the ropes but Truth drops him with a kick for a 2 count. Bryan turns it around and delivers a big kick. Bryan humiliates Truth and slaps him around, talking trash. More back and forth between the two for a few minutes. Bryan hits two corner dropkicks but misses the third as Truth comes back with a big shot off the ropes. Truth with a suplex and a jawbreaker for a 2 count. Bryan ends up fighting back and avoiding a corner splash. Bryan comes right back and delivers the flying knee for the pin to win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Bryan stands tall and takes the title as his music hits. Bryan exits up the ramp but AJ Styles comes from out of nowhere and attacks on the stage. Fans pop as Styles unloads on Bryan and mounts him. Security breaks it up but AJ comes back and sends Bryan into the LED board. AJ grabs a steel chair but Bryan retreats. AJ stands tall and looks out, fired up as fans cheer him on.
Rey Mysterio and Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Samoa Joe
We go back to the ring and out comes Rey Mysterio. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Mustafa Ali is out with Rey. Samoa Joe and Andrade “Cien” Almas are also out with Zelina Vega at ringside. Joe starts off with Ali and they go at it. Joe backs Ali into the ropes and then backs away. Ali ducks a shot and fights back with strikes but Joe just gets angry. Joe runs Ali over in the middle of the ring.
Joe keeps control until Ali makes the tag. Rey comes in and they both go at Joe. Vega talks Almas up as he’s tagged in. Almas kicks Rey in the gut. They go at it and Rey takes Almas down face-first. More back and forth until Almas drops Rey for a 2 count. Rey ends up countering and slamming Almas face-first into the mat. Ali gets the tag and keeps the offense going on Almas. Joe gets tagged in but sent out to the floor during some confusion. Ali drops Almas again and Almas rolls to the floor with Joe. Ali launches himself out but Joe catches him and tosses him over his head onto the announce table. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Ali is still going at it. Rey gets the hot tag and comes in to unload on Almas. Joe runs in but Rey sends him head-first into the top, then hits the seated senton. Almas comes back for Rey but misses. Rey counters and slams Almas on his head for a 2 count as Joe breaks it up.
Rey ends up hitting Joe with the 619. Ali comes in and hits the 450 to Joe. Almas tangles with Ali now. Rey drops Almas into position for the 619 but he lets Ali run the ropes for a big dive out to Joe first. Rey goes for 619 on Almas but it’s blocked. Almas drops Rey and hits the Hammerlock DDT for the pin to win.
Winners: Andrade “Cien” Almas and Samoa Joe
– After the match, Vega enters the ring to celebrate with Almas and Joe. They stand tall as Almas’ music plays and we go to replays. Almas exits the ring as Vega raises his arm. Ali checks on Rey in the ring as Tom talks about these Superstars being in the Royal Rumble matches later this month in Phoenix.
– Still to come, Asuka’s Royal Rumble challenger will be determined with a Triple Threat. We get a pre-recorded backstage promo from Carmella now, talking about how no one thinks she will win because she’s going up against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. She reminds us she held the title for 130 days, beat Charlotte and Asuka twice, and won with Money In the Bank. Carmella says all she’s ever needed is opportunity and she will prove tonight that she is everything she claims to be, because Mella Is Money.
– We go backstage to The Usos, who are getting hyped up for their non-title match against The Bar tonight with a future title shot on the line. They welcome The Bar to The Uso Penitentiary. We go to commercial.
– Shane McMahon is backstage in his office when The Miz walks in. Miz hopes Shane had nothing to do with The Usos possibly getting a SmackDown Tag Team Title shot. Miz says no one deserves a title shot like they do. Shane says they are no where near the top. Shane goes on and says he is getting pumped up about teaming together but they have a lot of work to do, and have to challenge the competition. Shane asks if they’re on the same page. Miz says they are and he goes to leave, but stops and turns around to ask Shane if he’s thought about their outfits. Shane isn’t too interested as he walks off.
– We go to the ring and WWE United States Champion Rusev is in the ring with a mic. Greg Hamilton does the introduction.
Fans chant “Rusev Day” as a somber-looking Rusev stands there. Rusev says last week his wife Lana, his love and his heart, was hurt because of the selfish actions of one man – Shinsuke Nakamura. Rusev says Lana is at home resting and he stands before us, but not as US Champion. He lays the title on the mat in front of him. Rusev says he stands in front of us as a husband. He takes a look at his wedding ring as fans start chanting for Lana.
Rusev says Nakamura can mess with him all he wants but once he messes with his wife, he crossed a line he cannot come back from. Rusev calls Nakamura to the ring and promises to break every bone in his fragile body, and crush him. Nakamura appears on the big screen and it looks like he’s back in the production truck. Nakamura doesn’t take blame for what happened to Lana. He says Rusev is bitter and this is his fault. Nakamura says he’s back in the truck to show this is Rusev’s fault. He shows us a replay from last week. We see how Lana was on Nakamura’s back when Rusev dropped Nakamura with a kick, causing him to fall with Lana on him. Nakamura shakes his head as Rusev looks on. Nakamura says Rusev crushed Lana. Rusev paces around the ring and he’s getting angry. Rusev says if Nakamura won’t come to him, then he will come to Nakamura. Rusev drops the mic and runs to the back.
The camera cuts backstage to Rusev asking where the TV truck is. Nakamura suddenly attacks him with a production case. Nakamura keeps control and drops Rusev on the floor as officials try to back him away. Nakamura gets down in Rusev’s face and talks some trash before walking away. Jamie Noble and Adam Pearce check on Rusev. Nakamura comes running back over and drops Rusev with another Kinshasa.
– Still to come, Flair vs. Lynch vs. Carmella with a title shot on the line. We cut backstage to Becky Lynch now. Becky goes on about how no one beat her for the title. She says she can do whatever she wants tonight and come Royal Rumble, Asuka will have to do more than climb a ladder. Lynch says Asuka is on borrowed time until The Man comes around.
The Bar vs. The Usos
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus, for this non-title match. The Usos will earn a future title shot if they can win. The Bar hits the ropes to pose as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a tribute video for WWE Hall of Famer “Mean” Gene Okerlund. The video includes video of Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan honoring Gene on RAW. We go back to the ring and out comes Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso.
Sheamus starts off with Jey and they go at it. Sheamus gets the upperhand and drops Jey with a right hand. Jey with a kick and a clothesline over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus comes back in but gets dropped for a 2 count. Jimmy and Cesaro tag in now, facing off before locking up. Cesaro takes Uso down first. Cesaro with a shoulder block. Uso turns it back around and goes for the Rikishi Splash in the corner but Sheamus helps Cesaro get to safety on the outside. Jimmy chases Cesaro around the ring and back in. Uso with a big shot to the jaw. Jey tags in with a forearm smash to the face. Cesaro turns it back around and tags in Sheamus for a quick double team in the corner.
Sheamus and Jey go at it now. Jey drops Sheamus with a big right hand after running the ropes. Jey with a 2 count. Sheamus rams Jey back into the ropes, allowing Cesaro to get a cheap shot in while the referee can’t see them. Sheamus drops Jey and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus has Jey grounded. Uso fight out of a hold and drops Cesaro on the apron. Jey goes for a tag but Sheamus stops it with a rolling senton. Cesaro comes in and flies off the top for a 2 count on Jey. Sheamus tags in for a quick double team. Sheamus keeps Jey grounded again. Jey sends Sheamus to the floor but he comes right back to the apron for the forearms to the chest. Jey fights out and nails a kick to the face.
Jey crawls for the tag again but Sheamus stops him. Jey kicks him back and in comes Jimmy with Cesaro. Jimmy unloads and nails a Samoan Drop to Cesaro. Uso with the big splash in the corner and a 2 count on Cesaro. Jey saves Jimmy from an attack and they send The Bar to the floor. Jey leaps out and takes Sheamus back down. Jimmy runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive, sending Cesaro over the barrier. Jimmy brings Cesaro back in and goes to the top for a crossbody. Cesaro still kicks out at 2. Sheamus ends up missing a Brogue Kick on Jimmy. This leads to Sheamus taking a superkick for a close 2 count after Cesaro and Jey tumbled to the floor. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro has a Sharpshooter on Jey. He finally makes it to the bottom rope to break it. Cesaro with another close 2 count after a big knee drops Jey from the apron. Sheamus tags in and talks trash to Uso. Jey drops Cesaro off the apron and unloads on Sheamus with headbutts. Jey goes to the top but Sheamus runs up with a big knee. Sheamus gets Jey on his shoulders and climbs up for the super White Noise. Jey fights out and jumps up with a kick. Cesaro tags in and comes off the top but Jey superkicks him on the way down.
Jey slowly makes his way to the corner to tag as Cesaro tries to recover. The music suddenly hits and out comes Mandy Rose in a towel and slippers. She looks on from the stage. Rose takes the mic and asks Jimmy to please come and help her. Jimmy ignores her at first but turns around when she asks if she left her shorts and top in his hotel room. Sheamus runs in and drops the distracted Jimmy from the apron. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer on Jey for the pin to win.
Winners: The Bar
– After the match, The Bar celebrates and raises their titles until the music interrupts and out comes The Miz. Miz gives a grand intro for The Bar and tells fans to give it up for them. Miz enters the ring and congratulates them on the win, and for beating all the teams on SmackDown. All but one. Miz says he’s here to grant The Bar an opportunity of a lifetime – to put the titles on the line at the Royal Rumble, against the one team they have not dominated, the best tag team in the world. Cesaro takes the mic and knocks Miz. Cesaro says he’s going to talk it over with his partner but Sheamus responds with a big Brogue Kick to drop Miz instead. Cesaro says they accept the challenge.
– We see Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville backstage walking. Rose reveals her shorts & top are under the towel. She laughs. Naomi appears and she’s not happy. Naomi attacks Rose and unloads on her. Deville joins in for the double team. Jimmy Uso runs up and tells them to back off. Uso checks on his wife as Rose and Deville back off.
– The announcers hype the 30-woman Royal Rumble match. Still to come, Asuka’s challenger will be determined. We cut backstage to a pre-recorded video from Charlotte Flair to hype the Triple Threat. Flair knocks her opponents and puts herself over. Flair says she is focused on Becky Lynch and Carmella tonight, then will be focused on Asuka at the Rumble. Flair tells them to get ready to bow to the Queen. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Kayla Braxton stops WWE Champion Daniel Bryan backstage as he’s leaving the arena. Bryan rants on AJ Styles attacking him from behind unprovoked tonight. Bryan says he does not care why AJ attacked him and if we think that was vicious, that wasn’t half as vicious as the new Daniel Bryan. Bryan goes on yelling and says AJ will see what he’s capable of at the Rumble. Bryan says AJ will never, never, never take the WWE Title from him because he’s fighting for a cause that’s much bigger than anything AJ has ever fought for. Bryan says he will be WWE Champion forever. He walks off.
– We get the “coming soon” vignette for Lars Sullivan, EC3, Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic of Heavy Machinery, Lacey Evans and Nikki Cross.
– The Miz is backstage with Shane McMahon. Miz is clutching his jaw. There’s some disagreeing between the two. Shane wanted them to earn the title shot and says this isn’t how he wanted it to go down. Shane asks Miz if he really thinks they can win and he does. Shane says let’s do it at the Rumble.
#1 Contenders Match: Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair
We go to the ring for tonight’s Triple Threat main event and out first comes Becky Lynch. The winner will face SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka at the Rumble. Carmella is out next. Charlotte Flair is out last.
The bell rings and they size each other up as the crowd starts chanting for Becky. Becky and Flair have words. Flair “woooo’s” at her. They go at it and Carmella joins in. Flair sends Becky to the floor. Carmella rolls Flair up or a 2 count. Flair rocks Carmella but Becky comes in and nails them both. Becky clears the ring of both opponents. Becky comes off the apron and takes out Carmella again on the floor. Becky also hits Flair again and stands tall, yelling out about how this is her show as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Carmella goes down. Flair goes to the top but Becky launches her onto Carmella for another pin attempt after a dropkick from Becky. Flair and Lynch face off in the middle of the ring now. They trade big shots in the middle of the ring as fans go along with them.
Flair unloads with chops and gets the upperhand of the exchange. Lynch comes right back with a Thesz Press. Flair counters immediately but Carmella nails a kick to the head of Flair. Lynch and Carmella go at it now. Carmella drops her with a Flatliner. Flair and Carmella trade counters now. Carmella locks Flair in the Code of Silence submission. More back and forth, and a 2 count by Carmella. Becky goes to the top but this ends with Flair standing over Carmella and Lynch. Flair pulls them close in the corner and goes to the top for a moonsault. Lynch jumps up and cuts Flair off. Flair kicks her away. Flair nails the moonsault on both opponents at the same time for a close 2 count. Flair with more pin attempts. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Flair tangles up top with Flair. Carmella runs over and pulls Lynch down by her leg. Carmella tries to bring Flair to the mat with a scissors but Flair powers up. Flair tries for a powerbomb from the top but Carmella takes her down with a hurricanrana for a close 2 count. Carmella sends Lynch out of the ring. Carmella runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive to Lynch, taking her down on the floor. Flair goes for a big moonsault to the floor but Carmella moves. Becky runs over and drops Carmella on the floor with a Bexploder suplex.
Lynch works Carmella over and launches her into the barrier. Lynch brings it back into the ring but Flair knocks her right back out with a big boot. Carmella rolls Flair up for a 2 count. Carmella blocks a Figure Four. Lynch runs in for the Dis-Arm-Her on Carmella but Flair takes her out from the top with a super Natural Selection. Carmella drops Flair and Lynch with a superkick, covering Lynch for a close 2 count as Flair breaks it up. Carmella yells at Flair now and smacks her in the face several times. Carmella shows frustration now. Flair gets up and drops Carmella with a big slap. Flair applies the Figure Four and the Figure Eight to Carmella. Becky flies in with a leg drop to break it up. Becky covers Flair for a 2 count. Becky goes right into the Dis-Arm-Her on Flair but Carmella breaks it up.
Carmella tosses Flair out of the ring. Fans chant “this is awesome!” now. Carmella goes for a suplex but Lynch fights her off. Flair runs in with a Spear but Carmella keeps the upperhand. Becky pulls Carmella into the Dis-Arm-Her out of nowhere for the pin and the title shot at the Rumble.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky stands tall as Tom confirms her match with SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka at the Rumble. Lynch stands tall as her music hits. We go to replays. Lynch continues celebrating until the music interrupts and out comes Asuka. The Man stares The Empress down as she dances to the ring. Asuka hits the corners to pose for a pop. Asuka takes the title off her waist and raises it in Becky’s face as they talk trash to each other. The face-off continues as SmackDown goes off the air.