The post-Survivor Series edition of WWE SmackDown opens up on FS1 with the intro video package. We’re now LIVE from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York as the pyro goes off and Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett.
MATCH #1: One-On-One Match:
Sami Zayn vs. Sheamus
We go right to the ring for tonight’s opener as Samantha Irvin does the introductions. Out first comes The Bloodline – Sami Zayn with Solo Sikoa and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos. Fans pop as The Bloodline hits the ring and Zayn poses in the corner. We see some highlights from the matches at WWE Survivor Series: War Games last Saturday night.
Jey Uso takes the mic and announces that The Bloodline is now in your city. Zayn touts how The Bloodline once again leveled up in War Games as they had the longest-reigning tag team champions… Jimmy Uso interrupts and says no, they’re not going to do that tonight. Jimmy told Sami in the back, tonight is all about him, my dog. The Usos praise Zayn some more and Jimmy calls Zayn the MVP of the night, pointing to how fans chanted for Sammy Uso. The chant starts back up and Jey may be a bit annoyed but he’s hiding it. Jey says he doubted Sami for a long time and didn’t like him, but when Sami made that decision to stand with the family, he earned Jey’s respect. Jey says it’s because of Sami that they won War Games. Sami says this is too much, he doesn’t know what to say. Jimmy does – how you feeling? Fans chant “Ucey!” now. Sami says he’s feeling pretty darn Ucey. Sami calls for his custom handshake with The Usos while Solo stares straight ahead, arms crossed. The music hits and out comes The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus with Ridge Holland and Butch.
Sheamus says he hates to beat the bollocks out of a fellow ginger, but Sami will have a massive smile on his face by the end of the night. Sheamus says enough talking, it’s Fight Night, let’s go! Sheamus and his crew march to the ring. Sheamaus and Zayn face off now as the bell rings. They lock up and Sheamus rams Zayn into the corner.
Sami ducks a wild right hand, then locks up with Sheamus. Sheamus drops Sami, then launches him into the opposite corner and he goes own. Sheamus works Sami over, but Sami fights out of the corner with kicks. Sheamus blocks a hip toss and levels Sami with a clothesline. Sheamus grounds Sami in the middle of the ring now. They end up on the floor and Sheamus launches Zayn into the barrier. The two teams face off at ringside and Uso checks on Zayn as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus works Sami over against the announce table. Sheamus brings it back in, but he’s distracted by The Usos at ringside. Zayn takes advantage, hits Sheamus with a knee, then drops him with a DDT for a 2 count. Zayn stomps away on Sheamus to keep him down now.
Sami unloads while Sheamus is down. Sheamus fights back but Zayn dropkicks him for a 2 count. Zayn with more offense to keep Sheamus down. Zayn grounds Sheamus with a headlock in the middle of the ring. Sheamus powers up with Zayn on his back, then rams him back into the corner to break free. Sheamus walks into a big boot in the corner. Zayn with a big tornado DDT for another close 2 count. Fans chant “Sami Uso!” now. Sami goes for 10 Beats of The Bodhrán but Sheamus blocks his own move. Sheamus with back elbows from the apron to knock Zayn back. Sheamus comes back in with clotheslines now, then a corner clothesline.
Sheamus scoops Zayn for a big powerslam and now he yells out to the crowd. The Usos rally from ringside. Zayn blocks 10 Beats of The Bodhrán by hanging Sheamus over the top rope. Zayn goes up top and flies, but Sheamus catches him in mid-air, then hits the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus applies the Cloverleaf submission in the middle of the ring now. Zayn finally makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold, but Sheamus uses the 5 count.
Zayn rocks Sheamaus and dumps him over the top rope to the floor. The Brutes go to cheer Sheamus on, but Zayn runs the ropes and leaps out once again, taking Sheamus back down on the floor. The Usos are there to cheer Zayn on as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Zayn goes to the top but Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus fights and climbs up but Zayn headbutts to the mat. Zayn flies but Sheamus levels him in mid-air for a close 2 count. Sheamus scoops Zayn to the middle rope for a super White Noise now. Zayn turns it into a Sunset Bomb, but Sheamus kicks out just in time as The Brutes and The Bloodline members look on. Zayn waits in the corner now, then goes for the Helluva Kick but Sheamus scoops him up for White Noise. Zayn kicks out at 2.
Fans rally, mostly for Sami it seems, as they both get up. Zayn avoids a Brogue Kick by rolling to the floor as Jey hits the apron to distract. Sheamus grabs Sami and delivers 10 Beats of The Bodhrán but goes to 20 as fans count along. Sheamus goes for the Brogue, but Jimmy distracts, allowing Sami to avoid the move. Sami distracts the referee, allowing Jimmy to hit Sheamus with a kick from the apron. Sami with the Blue Thunderbomb for a close 2 count.
Butch and Ridge brawl with The Usos now. Sikoa attacks and levels Holland, then slams Butch into the top of the barrier with a Spinning Solo. Sikoa goes back to brawling with Ridge now. Sheamus blocks the Helluva Kick with a big knee strike. Sheamus scoops Sami for White Noise but Jimmy distracts the referee, allowing Jey to rush in and save Sami with a superkick to Sheamus. Sami goes right into a roll-up for the pin to win.
Winner: Sami Zayn
After the match: The music hits as Sami stands tall with The Bloodline. We go to replays. Sheamus tends to Butch and Ridge at ringside as The Bloodline celebrates together on the ramp.
Cole confirms the SmackDown World Cup finals for tonight’s main event. We get a backstage segment from Legado del Fantasma now. Santos Escobar says they have only flourished since arriving on SmackDown and now he will make sure the World Cup is in the rightful hands of their perfect empire. He says winning this tournament shines a light on Mexico and the superior sport of lucha libre. Zelina Vega says soon we will all see that The Emperor, Santos, is the very best this industry has to offer, and the results speak for itself. She says the SmackDown World Cup will give them a first-class flight to the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and when Escobar becomes the champion, it will give Legado del Fantasma a position of power in WWE. Santos likes that a lot. He says Ricochet made it this far but it’s about time his fairy-tale comes to the final chapter. Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde say Legado reigns supreme. They all laugh and share a toast to end the segment. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a WWE Royal Rumble promo.
BACKSTAGE: Megan Morant is with Kofi Kingston and Kofi declares himself for the Men’s Royal Rumble Match. She asks about the World Cup finals and Kingston thinks it could go either way. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci interrupt, and they have words with Kingston. Kofi knows they want a match but unfortunately his partner Xavier Woods isn’t here, but he’s still willing to engage in singles action. Who will it be? WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER walks up and says Kingston will be facing him tonight. Imperium leaves as Kingston talks some trash.
BACKSTAGE: Bray Wyatt asks, do you know what he thinks is wild? He thinks we’re all spoiled these days… society has given us this lavish lifestyle, we’re all shrouded in technology, everyone has manners… he thinks that we typically forget how once upon a time we were all just animals. Spiders eat flies, even to this day, snakes eat grass, but nobody looks at this like an act of violence, its simply just animals trying to survive. Wyatt laughs. He says some must die so others can live, and you don’t want to be the one that dates, we don’t dare talk about those things… primal instincts ingrained, but we don’t talk about them because we don’t want to be a freak, we want to fit into our own little piece of society and carry on. But they’re still there. Wyatt says he is not the one who hurt LA Knight. We see how Knight slapped Wyatt, then how Knight was laid out backstage. Wyatt says he didn’t do it, but he heard you. (Uncle Howdy?) He laughs again and says oh how you rejoiced, how primal of you. However, if Wyatt did attack Knight, we would all know because there would be nothing left of him. The graphics flash again to end the segment.
Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo video looks at recent happenings with Shotzi, Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler and SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey.
MATCH #2: Women’s One-On-One Match:
Shayna Baszler vs. Emma
We go back to the ring and out comes Shayna Baszler. Michael Cole says SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey is not here tonight because she’s off doing PR. Baszler hits the ring to pose as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Baszler is warming up in the ring. We go backstage to Emma warming up. Her real-life boyfriend Madcap Moss is there. Emma seems a big nervous and hesitant to go out to the ring. Moss asks if she’s OK. Emma says five years is a long time to be gone, everything around here has changed, the competition is tough. Moss says that doesn’t matter, what does matter is who you are. Did you forget who you are? Moss goes on about how Emma is a trailblazer, saying the whole women’s revolution would never have happened without Emma. He says she worked hard to make real change, and now the whole game has changed so yeah, competition is tougher, but you’re Emma… you belong here. Emma thanks Moss and he says he will see her later. Moss turns to leave but Emma grabs his arm. He says she’s got this, then she kisses him on the cheek as fans in the arena pop. Emma heads out now. We go back to the ring and out comes Emma as Baszler looks on. The bell rings and they lock up.
Baszler takes Emma down and works her over. They get back up and Baszler taunts Emma. They trade holds and Emma applies a headlock. Emma with a takedown and a 1 count. They tangle some more, and Emma nails the side Russian leg sweep for a 2 count. Baszler drops Emma and slams her by her arm, then goes to work on stretching the arm. Emma clutches her arm in pain as the referee checks on her.
Baszler bends the hand and elbow back now as the referee checks on them in the middle of the ring. Baszler grounds Emma by bending her elbow. Emma rolls Baszler for 2. Baszler comes right back with a clothesline. Baszler bends the arm again but Emma rolls free. Emma kicks Baszler in the face, then mounts some offense. Emma with a clothesline. Emma mounts more offense and nails a second rope draping neckbreaker for a close 2 count. Emma goes for the double underhook suplex but Baszler rams her back into the corner. Emma dodges a knee strike.
Emma with the Tarantula submission on the ropes now. Emma goes to the top, but Baszler kicks the top rope to crotch her. Baszler rocks Emma, then slams her to the mat by her arm. Baszler applies the Kirifuda Clutch on the mat and Emma taps out for the finish.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
After the match: Baszler takes her time in letting go of the hold. She stands tall as the music hits. Baszler poses over Emma, then kicks the hurt arm as Emma is trying to crawl away. Baszler goes to stomp on the arm but the music interrupts and out comes Shotzi. She rushes the ring, ducks a clothesline, then unloads on Baszler with punches. Baszler with a knee strike to drop Shotzi. Baszler goes to stomp on Shotzi’s arm now as fans boo. The music interrupts and out comes Raquel Rodriguez, still wearing her arm brace. She enters the ring as Baszler stares her down. Emma is back on her feet now. Emma and Rodriguez approach Baszler, but Baszler retreats to the floor. Shotzi, Rodriguez and Emma stand tall together as Baszler rants about how it took three of them to stand her down.
The announcers lead us to a new “Back to Basics” vignette for Lacey Evans. We see Evans jogging in her United States Marine Corps t-shirt. She’s now working an obstacle course with a USMC drill instructor. A voice-over says you are a product of elite training by the most powerful fighting force in the world, the U.S. Marine Corps. Somehow you found yourself in the crowd with the whiners and the weak, but something had to change. A mustang gets a tune-up, a boxer goes to training, a Marine goes back to basics. The Mission Begins.
MATCH #3: One-On-One Match:
Kofi Kingston vs. GUNTHER
We go back to the ring and out comes Kofi Kingston for the next match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a video on Ricochet, who sends a warning to Santos Escobar. He says it’s come down to Mexico vs. the United States, Escobar vs. Ricochet. From the moment the competitors were announced for the World Cup, everyone has been asking him what would it mean for you to win? We see highlights of Ricochet with the announcers praising his in-ring work. Ricochet says it would mean everything to win, and if this is the route he has to take to finally get his match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, then we’re looking at the winner of the World Cup. He says he hopes Escobar is ready. We go back to the ring and Kingston is playing to the crowd. The music hits and out comes Imperium for this non-title match – WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER with Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser. The bell rings and GUNTHER attacks while Kingston is distracted by Vinci and Kaiser, but Kingston ducks and fights back.
GUNTHER gets the upperhand with a big backbreaker. GUNTHER with a big uppercut as he beats Kingston around now. GUNTHER with more strikes to the body as he beats Kofi around the ring. GUNTHER with a big chop in the corner to put Kingston back down. GUNTHER charges but Kofi sends him to the apron.
Kofi with a kick to the face to send GUNTHER to the floor. Kofi runs the ropes for a dive but Kaiser trips him while GUNTHER has the referee distracted. GUNTHER clubs Kofi again but the music interrupts and out comes Braun Strowman to a pop.
Braun chases Kaiser around the ring. Vinci leaps off the steel ring steps but Braun catches him in mid-air, then rams him into the ring post. Braun dumps Vinci to the timekeeper’s area. Kaiser jumps on Braun’s back, but Braun sends him into the timekeeper’s area. Kofi blocks a move by GUNTHER and drops him with SOS for a close 2 count. GUNTHER goes to the floor to regroup as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Braun has chased Imperium away from the ringside area. Kingston unloads on GUNTHER and mounts offense now. Kofi with a dropkick, then the Boom Drop in the middle of the ring as fans cheer him on. Fans chant “New Day rocks!” now. GUNTHER blocks Trouble In Paradise, but Kofi lands on his feet from the German suplex. GUNTHER runs into a big boot.
Kofi with a top rope splash to the back for a 2 count. Kofi flies again but GUNTHER levels him in mid-air with a big chop. GUNTHER with a big German suplex for a close 2 count. GUNTHER is a bit frustrated now. GUNTHER applies a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. GUNTHER goes into a Crossface but Kofi slides out. They get up and trade more strikes. GUNTHER blocks the SOS and goes for a gutwrench but Kingston slides out. Kofi with a kick.
GUNTHER dropkicks Kofi into the turnbuckles. GUNTHER with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count. GUNTHER is upset now. They trade strikes again. GUNTHER with a big slam out of nowhere, his new Last Symphony finisher, for the pin to win.
After the match: GUNTHER stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. GUNTHER makes his exit to the stage, then raises the Intercontinental Championship in the air while Kingston recovers in the ring.
BACKSTAGE: The Bloodline is ready to head out for the night. Jimmy Uso tells Sami Zayn to take Solo Sikoa with him because Sami has made enemies. Sami and Solo leave. Jimmy can’t believe Jey Uso is trusting Sami and he’s in The Bloodline now. Jey says he never thought he’d see the day. Jimmy asks if Jey ever talked to Sami about lying in his face. Jey says no because Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns said he saw what he needed to see when he looked in Sami’s eyes, right? Jey says they also saw how War Games went. Sheamus suddenly attacks with a shillelagh and lays The Usos out. He says he and Drew McIntyre will be waiting for The Usos.
Back from the break and out comes Damage CTRL – Bayley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. They head to the ring as we see highlights from the Women’s War Games match.
Bayley takes the mic and starts insulting the fans as they boo. She says Michael Cole must’ve missed her, or SmackDown knew they needed ratings, and they could count on Damage CTRL. She talks about being in War Games less than one week ago, and how the three of them were in War Games for more than a combined 95 minutes. Bayley brings up Becky Lynch and fans pop. She says Lynch isn’t here tonight. She was going to praise Lynch but because of the fans, she’s not. Bayley takes shots at the SmackDown roster now and says they are here to be role models now. The music interrupts and out comes Liv Morgan to a pop. Liv talks some trash and rushes the right despite the numbers disadvantage. She sends SKY and Kai into the barrier and steel ring steps, then rushes in to attack Bayley. Kai and SKY attack and then beat Liv down, then she gets triple teamed.
The music interrupts and out comes Tegan Nox making her WWE return. Nox hits the ring and unloads on Damage CTRL to save Morgan. Nox gets triple teamed now as fans boo. Morgan brings a kendo stick in and saves Nox from the beatdown. Nox with the Shiniest Wizard to Bayley. Nox’s music starts back up and she stands tall with Morgan as Damage CTRL retreats. Damage CTRL rants from the ramp as Nox and Morgan look on.
The announcers show us a video to hype the World Cup finals now. Wade Barrett predicts Santos Escobar to win, but Michael Cole goes with Ricochet.
MAIN EVENT: Finals of the SmackDown World Cup Tournament:
Santos Escobar vs. Ricochet
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event, the SmackDown World Cup Tournament Finals. Out first comes Legado del Fantasma – Santos Escobar with Zelina Vega, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a vignette from Karrion Kross and Scarlett, who is flipping through her tarot cards. Kross says this universe is one giant storm, chaos and randomness, which he embraced a long time ago while others struggle with this reality, finding themselves in places they really do not want to be. Kross says he showed this to Drew McIntyre and had to teach this to Madcap Moss. Now it’s time to take someone else into the eye of the storm. He asks Scarlett to show her tarot card and it features Rey Mysterio. Kross laughs as a clock counts down. Tik, Tok. We go back to the ring but graphics flash and Uncle Howdy appears in a video. He asks if you know the man who lives next door? Why can’t you all see… Howdy knows how Bray Wyatt thinks, how he feels. It’s all fiction. Trust us, trust me. Revel in what you are. Howdy disappears. We go back to the ring and Vega has joined the announcers for commentary. Out next comes Ricochet for the tournament finals. The bell rings and they lock up, trading holds.
Fans chant “USA!” now. Ricochet counters and they face off again. Escobar grabs Ricochet but Ricochet fights him off. Cruz distracts Ricochet, allowing Escobar to drop him from behind. Escobar knocks Ricochet to the floor. Ricochet comes right back in and nails a springboard dropkick to send Escobar to the floor. Ricochet nails a suicide dive for a big pop. He brings it back in, but Wilde distracts from the apron while Escobar regroups at ringside. Escobar comes back in but Ricochet nails a dropkick. Escobar ducks a clothesline an sends him to the apron.
Wilde and Cruz distract again, and Cruz sends Ricochet onto the mat while the referee isn’t looking. The referee ejects Wilde, and Del Toro as Vega throws a fit at the announce table. Vega hits the apron to yell at the referee, but she is also sent to the back. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Ricochet mounts offense on Escobar. Ricochet goes to fly but Escobar knocks hm to the floor. The referee counts. Escobar runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive, sending Ricochet onto the announce table. Escobar brings it back into the ring for a 2 count.
Escobar with the Liontamer submission now. We see the World Cup trophy on display on the stage. Escobar transitions into another submission now, then applies the surfboard in the middle of the ring. Escobar with a 2 count. Ricochet fights off Escobar’s shoulders, then fights back in from the apron after dodging a move in the corner.
Ricochet tries to suplex Escobar to the floor from the apron, but they trade counters. Escobar rocks Ricochet on the apron now. They trade strikes and Ricochet kicks Escobar to the floor. Ricochet with a kick to the head from the apron. Ricochet runs the apron and nails a Shooting Star Press to the floor. We go to commercial with Ricochet clutching his elbow.
Back from the break and Escobar shoves Ricochet to the mat from up top. Ricochet runs back up and nails a big superplex for a pop. Ricochet yells out in pain while they’re both down now. We see the trophy on display at the stage again. Ricochet finally crawls over for the 2 count. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring now. They both collide head-to-head and go down now. The referee checks on both competitors, then starts counting.
Escobar rolls to the floor to get back to his feet. Ricochet follows. Cole confirms the winner vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER for two weeks away. Escobar and Ricochet meet on top of the barrier and fight it out now. Escobar with a big hurricanrana to bring Ricochet to the floor. Escobar brings it back in for a close 2 count. Escobar with more offense for another pin attempt. Escobar stomps away to keep Ricochet down now. Escobar runs the ring and drops an elbow to the back, then applies a chinlock while telling the referee to see if Ricochet quits.
Escobar with a big chop in the corner now. Escobar takes them to the top but Ricochet sends him to the mat. Ricochet looks to fly but Escobar rolls to the apron. Escobar climbs up and chops Ricochet now. Escobar with another big hurricanrana but Ricochet lands on his feet. He turns around and stares Escobar down. Ricochet with a jumping knee strike, then a big suplex. Ricochet rolls through for the vertical suplex, then a springboard moonsault. Escobar kicks out at 2. Ricochet sends Escobar into the turnbuckles, and he goes down.
Ricochet goes to the top for the Shooting Star Press but Escobar suckers him in and gets his knees up. Ricochet kicks out at 2. Escobar scoops Ricochet to his shoulders but Ricochet fights out to avoid the Phantom Driver. Escobar kicks out at 2. Escobar spikes Ricochet on his head with the Poisonrana for another close 2 count. Escobar can’t believe the kick out. Escobar mounts Ricochet with strikes now. Escobar scoops Ricochet to his shoulders, then climbs to the middle rope. Ricochet with forearms up top now. Ricochet launches Escobar to the mat with a top rope hurricanrana.
Escobar is dazed as he gets up. Ricochet with big kicks to drop Escobar. Ricochet goes back to the top for the 630 Splash. Ricochet crawls back over and makes the pin to win the World Cup.
After the match: Ricochet stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Ricochet hits the stage to pose now as the pyro goes off, raising the World Cup trophy in the air. The music hits and out comes GUNTHER now. He carries the WWE Intercontinental Championship belt on his shoulder, then stares Ricochet down. SmackDown on FS1 goes off the air with GUNTHER and Ricochet facing off.