– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. We see the packed crowd cheering until the bells start to toll. The lights go down and the music hits as The Undertaker makes his way to the ring for a pop.
Taker heads to the ring as Tom Phillips welcomes us to SmackDown. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Fans chant Taker’s name as he heads to the ring. Taker stops on the ring steps as the lights come back up and the lightning strikes. Taker enters the ring and looks around as more chants start up. The music stops as the “Undertaker!” chants continue.
Taker says he wanted to come out and absorb all of this. For the past 30 years he’s considered these hallowed grounds his home. Fans pop. Taker says he doesn’t know how many more times he’s going to come home anymore, but there’s one thing he wants everyone to remember about this place – the Titans that were born here, the Legends and heroes that made were made, and it’s rewarding for him to know that he took a piece of each of those souls with him. But they will not be forgotten because the echoes of their memories will go trhough these hallways for all of eternity. And now we usher in a new era of Superstar… the music interrupts and out comes Sami Zayn to interrupt.
Sami calls for the music to stop on the stage but fans are still singing along. Sami points to The Undertaker in the ring for the crowd to stop. Sami says he knows New York City respects Legends and you sir, are a Legend. Sami says what he finds most illustrious about Taker’s career is his history in this arena, because Taker has been selling out MSG for 30 years. Fans pop again. Sami says MSG has been Taker’s yard for 30 years. Sami enters the ring and says he has the upmost respect for Taker, however, even Taker can admit that tonight, he shouldn’t be the one opening SmackDown in MSG. Fans boo. Sami says even Taker would admit the show should’ve been opened by Sami. Taker takes another step and backs Sami up. Sami says 30 years is a long time and when is enough? Sami knows Taker is paving the way for the future, but the future is here, the future is now, the future is Sami Zayn. Fans boo as Taker continues staring at Sami. Sami says these NYC fans would want nothing more than to see him take out Taker but that’s not why he’s here. A loud “you suck!” chant starts. Sami says he’s here out of respect and he’s here to ask Taker to turn around, and leave the ring. Do the right thing, leave the ring to Sami and pass the torch.
Sami promises Taker that the future of MSG and WWE will be in good hands with him. Sami gives Taker his word as they stand in the middle of the ring. The “you suck!” chant starts back up. Taker nods and hands the mic to Sami. Sami is shocked but excited. Taker keeps walking out of the ring but stops on the apron. He turns around to see Sami showing off like usual. Taker returns to the ring and gets in Sami’s face. Taker grabs Sami and delivers a big chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Taker stands tall over Sami as his music starts back up. Taker makes his exit and stops on the ramp to raise his fist,
– Shane McMahon is backstage watching what Taker did. Chad Gable walks in and Shane calls him “shorty” and talks about his King of the Ring performance. Shane brings up Elias being injured and pulled from the tournament. Gable is assuming that he gets a bye and goes right to the finals. Shane says he will compete tonight, against someone from RAW or SmackDown, and Gable will know as soon as he’s decided on the match. Shane thanks Gable and he walks off.
The Miz vs. Andrade
We go to the ring for tonight’s opener and out comes The Miz. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Andrade is already out with Zelina Vega. WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura is on commentary.
Back and forth to start the match. Miz takes Andrade down with a few arm drags and keeps him down by his arm. Andrade ends up coming back and posing on the middle rope with Vega to taunt Miz. Andrade charges but Miz slams him face-first into the mat. Miz mocks Andrade with the pose on the mat. Andrade gets dumped out of the ring to the floor now. Fans chant for Miz. Vega provides a distraction on the apron, allowing Andrade to come back and get some offense going. They tangle again. Vega with cheap shots to Miz from the apron as Andrade has the referee distracted now.
Andrade drops Miz in the corner and delivers the charging double knees for a close 2 count. Vega yells at ringside as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they trade shots in the middle of the ring. Miz with a knee to the gut and another knee strike to the face. Miz with the backbreaker neckbreaker combo for a 2 count as Vega shows frustration at ringside. Miz with kicks to the chest while Andrade is on his knees as fans do the “yes!” chant. Andrade ducks a kick and they tangle. Andrade runs into a kick. Miz and Andrade trade more strikes until Miz unloads with kicks and chops in the corner.
Miz with a running knee in the corner, and another. Andrade avoids a third and charges at Miz in the corner but Miz avoids him, Andrade lands on the turnbuckle and then lands hard on the floor. Miz with a baseball slide kick to send Andrade back to the announce table. Miz follows and keeps control but is distracted by Nakamura, who stands up and stares him down.
Andrade comes at Miz but Miz fights him. Miz launches Andrade into Nakamura at the announce table. Andrade and Nakamura go down. Miz brings Andrade back into the ring as Vega looks to provide another distraction, grabbing his leg. Miz blocks a kick but Andrade drops him with an elbow for a 2 count. Andrade goes to the top for a moonsault but lands on his feet. More back and forth now. Miz catches Andrade with a Skull Crushing Finale for the pin to win.
Winner: The Miz
– After the bell, Nakamura immediately immediately hits the ring and attacks Miz. Nakamura works Miz over and leaves him laying. Nakamura raises the title as his music hits, and the announcers hype Miz vs. Nakamura at Clash of Champions.
– Still to come, Erick Rowan will prove he’s no one’s puppet.
– Shane McMahon walks up on Matt Hardy and Apollo Crews in the back with short jokes, looking for Chad Gable. Shane says he’s found an opponent for Gable, and he was approved by the injured Elias. Shane comes back and reveals that he will be Gable’s opponent. We hear fans in the arena boo. Shane says he will see Gable out there.
Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose
We go to the ring and out comes Mandy Rose with Sonya Deville. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rose takes the mic to rip on her opponent, calling her ugly. She has proof. We see side-by-side shots of Rose and Nikki Cross on the big screen. Rose laughs and keeps talking trash until the music hits. Out comes WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Alexa Bliss. She waits for her partner. Cross’ music hits and here she comes, running down to the ring.
Cross immediately attacks Rose and unloads. The bell rings as Cross continues pounding away. This goes on for a few minutes until they settle down. Rose turns it around and hits a fall-away slam in the middle of the ring. Rose with a 2 count. Rose stomps away in the corner as the referee warns her. Rose with more offense as Deville cheers her on Rose takes Cross down and grounds her again, talking trash. More back and forth now. Cross ends up turning it around, slamming Rose face-first in the corner.
Cross mounts offense and hits a bulldog. Cross keeps control and goes to the top. Deville hits the apron but Bliss pulls her off. Cross ends up missing a crossbody but Rose misses a big knee. Cross rolls Rose up to get the win.
Winner: Nikki Cross
– After the match, Cross and Bliss take their titles and hit the ramp as Cross’ music hits. Rose and Deville look on from the ring.
– Still to come, Kofi Kingston will look back at a MSG memory of his. Also, Erick Rowan is here.
– We see Heavy Machinery backstage at a catering table, taking in some pre-match fuel. Back to commercial.
– Ember Moon approaches Bayley backstage and knocks her for her recent behavior with Sasha Banks. Bayley says nothing’s happening she’s the same person she’s always been. Bayley did what she did for the division. Bayley says it’s not all about Banks, it’s about the title. Moon isn’t buying it and says Bayley is better than that. Moon says this is about Bayley trying to stay relevant as a champion, especially since Banks comes back. Moon brings up how Charlotte Flair pinned Bayley on RAW last night. They have a few more words and will be wrestling each other tonight.
Heavy Machinery vs. Alex Keaton and Johnny Silver
We go to the ring and out comes Heavy Machinery, Tucker and Otis. There are two enhancement talents waiting in the ring, Alex Keaton and Johnny Silver.
Tucker starts off for his team and goes right to work. Tucker dominates both opponents and turns one guy inside out with a big clothesline. Otis tags in and fans pop. Otis unloads on both opponents as well, and hits The Caterpillar.
Tucker tags back in for the big Compactor double team move and the pin to win.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
– After the match, Tucker and Otis stand tall as their music hits.
– Still to come, Chad Gable vs. Shane McMahon in a KOTR match.
– We see Shane McMahon backstage talking to a staffer. Kevin Owens walks in as Shane called to see him. Shane brings up the $100,000 fine from a few weeks ago and says he’s willing to re-consider, and get rid of the fine. Owens asks what the catch is but Shane says there’s none, just a job. Shane hands Owens a referee jersey and mentions how important tonight’s KOTR match is. Shane says becoming The Best In the World and the King of the Ring is very important to him. Shane knows Owens’ family is important to him, and if he helps out, the fine can disappear. Owens isn’t thrilled with the idea. Shane tells him to think about it. Owens walks off.
– Still to come, Erick Rowan is here. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see recent happenings with Erick Rowan, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.
– We go to the ring and out comes Erick Rowan with new theme music as Greg Hamilton does the introduction.
Rowan takes the mic and says all his life, no one gets him and no one understands him. Fans immediately start with the “What!?” treatment. Rowan goes on about how everyone is afraid to look him in the eyes and see what makes him tick. Rowan says he’s a mastermind, a manipulator and a schemer, but all people seem to see is a big brute who terrorizes and brutalizes, just how he did to Reigns last week. The music interrupts and out comes Reigns as Rowan readies for a fight.
Reigns hits the ring and immediately hits a Superman Punch, sending Rowan out of the ring. Rowan is right back up on his feet, staggering around. Reigns runs around the ring for a Spear but Rowan kicks him and then sends him into the barrier. Reigns rocks Rowan and sends him over the barrier into the crowd. They start brawling through the crowd now. They fight back to the ringside area and Reigns hits another Superman Punch. Security and officials run down to keep them apart but Reigns nails another Superman Punch as Rowan tries to come back over the barrier. Rowan gets up and lifts a fan in the air, then launches him at security, taking them all down. Rowan yells at officials now as they plead with him to back off. He says he has something to say. They back him off but Rowan runs around the ring, launching himself at Reigns and a few security guards. Rowan stomps on Reigns and drags him up the ramp.
Reigns rocks Rowan with right hands on the ramp. Rowan drops him. Fans boo as officials back Rowan off Reigns again. Reigns gets up and nails Rowan with another Superman Punch. Reigns knocks Rowan back onto the KOTR throne and beats on him. Fans chant for Roman some. Rowan grabs one of the long camera arms that hangs in the air and rams it back into Reigns and some of security. They go down. Rowan talks trash to Reigns about Sunday as a brief “holy shit!” chant breaks out. We go to replays as officials check on Reigns and the security guards. Reigns slowly gets to his feet on the stage as fans cheer him on and chant his name. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Erick Rowan pacing around backstage, chanting Roman Reigns’ name.
– The announcers go over the card for Sunday’s WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view.
Bayley vs. Ember Moon
Charlotte Flair is already at ringside to do commentary as SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley comes out for this non-title match. Ember Moon is out next.
The bell rings and they go at it. Bayley takes a breather on the outside but Moon follows. Bayley tosses her on the barrier but Moon lands on it and rocks her. Bayley knocks her down on top of it, then knees her to the floor. Fair looks on as Bayley keeps control and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Moon unloads with strikes. Moon drops Bayley and works her over. Bayley fights back and rocks Moon with a knee on the apron. Moon turns it around and goes to the top. She has to land on her feet from an Eclipse attempt. Bayley immediately catches her with the Bayley-to-Belly suplex for the pin to win.
– After the match, Bayley takes the title and raises it in the air as her music hits. Flair clap at ringside and walks into the ring. They meet in the middle of the ring and taunt each other. Flair raises her arms and mocks Bayley as the champ backs out of the ring. Flair stands tall and turns to the crowd as her music starts up.
– We get recent footage of Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston. Kofi is shown walking backstage in the hallways of MSG as we go back to commercial.
– We see Kevin Owens backstage wearing the referee shirt. He doesn’t look happy about what’s going on.
– We go to the ring and out comes WWE Champion Kofi Kingston as The New Day music hits.
Kofi says it feels good to be back at MSG as fans pop. Kofi says this will forever be a special place to him because it’s where he stepped up against a top guy to prove he belongs – he whooped Randy Orton’s ass all around the building, in the ring, outside of the ring, into the walls and over the barricade. The icing on the cake was when he laid Orton out and put his ass through a table, he says. Kofi goes on and says he beat Orton all around the arena and had fans chanting his name, and that’s when he knew… fans start chanting his name now. Kofi says that’s when he knew that one day he would be back at MSG and he would be champion. Kofi goes on and shows us footage from 10 years ago on the November 16, 2009 RAW where he put Orton through the table in the MSG crowd. Kofi says that’s just a small preview of what he’s going to do to Orton on Sunday at Clash of Champions.
Orton interrupts as we hear him saying “stupid!” over and over and over again from someone in the arena. Orton suddenly appears down in the crowd. He’s tired of hearing Orton go on about the only two things he’s done in the past 10 years. Orton goes on about his own accomplishments and runs down Kofi for trying to be something he’s not from day 1, whether it’s a fake Jamaican or that phony Power of Positivity stuff. Kofi drops the mic and readies for a fight in the ring. Kofi leaves the ring and enters the crowd. Kofi charges and Orton meets him with a steel chair. Kofi was suckered in once again by Orton, who calls him stupid and delivers more chair shots.
Orton launches Kofi into a wall and goes for a draping DDT from a table to the concrete but Kofi gets free and unloads, taking Orton down. Fans chant for Kofi as he grabs the chair and unloads on Orton with it now. Kofi positions a table in the crowd, just like he did 10 years ago on RAW from the same venue. Graves says Kofi is having flashbacks. Kofi goes to put Orton on the table but Orton turns it around. Orton places Kofi on the table and goes for a chair shot but Kofi blocks it. Kofi mounts Orton with strikes. Fans chant “tables!” as Kofi prepares another for Orton. Kofi places Orton on the table and delivers another chair shot. Kofi goes up the stairs int he crowd and leaps off, putting Orton through the table as he did 10 years ago. Kofi goes back to the top of the stairs and stands on the railing as fans cheer him on. We go to replays as The New Day music plays.
– Back from the break and it’s announced that Reigns vs. Rowan will be a No DQ match on Sunday.
King of the Ring Quarterfinals Match: Chad Gable vs. Shane McMahon
We go to the ring for the final King of the Ring quarterfinals match as Chad Gable makes his way out. Shane McMahon is out next, replacing Elias, who is out with an ankle injury. The winner will face Baron Corbin in the KOTR finals on Sunday at the Clash pay-per-view. Kevin Owens is the special referee for this match.
The bell rings and Shane starts off picking on Gable’s height. They go at it some and Gable nails a Chaos Theory on Shane to get the easy pin from Owens.
Winner: Chad Gable
– After the match, Gable celebrates and goes to leave. Shane takes the mic and says this is now a 2 of 3 Falls match. He has some words with Owens as Gable returns. Fans chant “asshole!” at Shane. Owens apologizes to Gable at ringside, allowing Shane to attack Gable from behind. Shane slams Gable’s face into the announce table over and over, then into the timekeeper’s area. We go to commercial.
2 of 3 Falls King of the Ring Match: Chad Gable vs. Shane McMahon
Back from the break and we have two falls left. Shane McMahon shows off after Chad Gable barely makes it back into the ring before the 10 count from Kevin Owens.
Shane works Gable around the ring for a few minutes. Gable turns it around and goes for a backslide pin but Owens won’t make the pin. Fans boo Owens. Shane recovers and goes for a pin on Gable, which Owens does a fast count for.
Shane goes back to beating Gable around. Gable mounts offense and unloads on Shane now. Gable with a spinning neckbreaker. Gable goes to the top and nails a moonsault, holding it for the pin but Owens is counting really slow. Shane still is barely able to kick out in time. Fans boo Owens, who is clearly conflicted.
Gable pleads with Owens and goes back to Shane but gets rocked. Shane comes with a clothesline to the back of the head. Shane with a TKO and a pin attempt. Owens counts much faster than usual but Gable still kicks out. Shane brings a steel chair into the ring but Owens stops him. They argue and Shane tells him it’s alright. Owens puts the chair out of the ring. Gable catches Shane and drops him into the ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Gable drops down and tightens the hold and Shane finally taps. Owens calls the match and Gable is announced as the winner.
Winner: Chad Gable
– After the bell, Gable’s music hits and he celebrates by running around the ring. It’s revealed that the KOTR finals will take place on Monday’s RAW instead of the Clash of Champions pay-per-view. Gable vs. Baron Corbin is confirmed for the finals. Shane ends up attacking Owens from behind and beating him down. Owens destroys Owens as fans boo. Shane takes he mic and announces that Owens is fired. The announcers are stunned. SmackDown goes off the air with Shane standing over Owens as AEW chants begin to pick up in the MSG crowd.