SmackDown takes place tonight from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Like last night's Raw, SmackDown will feature an appearance by a returning legend. The Undertaker will be on tonight's show, though what he'll be doing has yet to be revealed.
Randy Orton has attacked WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and The New Day over the past few weeks. In 2009, Kingston put Orton through a table at MSG. Kingston returns to the Garden as the champion and is looking for Orton.
Erick Rowan revealed that he’s the mastermind behind the attacks on Roman Reigns last week. He then attacked Reigns and yelled at Daniel Bryan for trying to control him. Rowan ended up giving Bryan an Iron Claw Slam through the announce table.
Elias was supposed to face Chad Gable in SmackDown's King of the Ring semifinal match tonight, but WWE announced this afternoon that Elias is out of the match due to an injury. We'll see how WWE handles the situation. Baron Corbin advanced to the King of the Ring finals by defeating Samoa Joe and Ricochet on Raw.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
SmackDown started with The Undertaker making his way down to the ring to a huge reaction. The fans broke into a loud “Undertaker” chant. He considers this his home, but he doesn’t know how many more times he’ll get to return home.
Taker talked about the titans, legends, and heroes that were born in MSG. He took a bit of their souls with him, but their memories echo in the hallways for all eternity. He said now they usher in an era of a new superstar.
Sami Zayn interrupted and made his way to the ring. The fans booed, but a few sang along with his music. He called Taker a legend and said that Taker sold out MSG for 30 years. For 30 years, MSG has been Taker’s yard. Zayn pushed the idea that he has a lot of respect for Taker.
Zayn believes that Taker shouldn’t be the man to open up SmackDown. He thinks it should have been him.
Zayn noted that the fans in New York want him to take out Taker. The fans booed and chanted, “You Suck.” Zayn asked Taker to turn around and leave the ring to him. He told Taker to pass him the torch. Zayn promised the future of the WWE and MSG is in good hands with him. He gave Taker his word.
Taker gave Zayn his mic and started to walk off. Zayn celebrated, but Taker came back in. Taker grabbed Zayn and gave him the chokeslam.
In the back, Chad Gable entered Shane McMahon’s office. McMahon called him shorty and complimented Gable on his recent performances. McMahon revealed that Elias broke his ankle and Gable assumed he gets a bye in the King of the RIng. McMahon’s looking for a replacement and said it could be someone from Raw or SmackDown.
The Miz defeated Andrade (w/Zelina Vega)
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura joined in on commentary. Nakamura spoke in Japanese, but Graves understood him.
Andrade had the early advantage, but Miz took over.
He sent Andrade to the floor and went for a dive. Vega jumped on the apron to stop him. She interfered again, and Andrade regained control. He followed up with the double knees in the corner.
Back from the break, Miz was firmly in control and hit a neck breaker for a near fall. He followed up with the It Kicks. He fired back with chops and knees in the corner. Andrade missed a charge in the corner and fell to the floor.
Miz hit a sliding dropkick and slammed Andrade on the announce table. Nakamura and Miz had a brief staredown. Miz then tossed Andrade into Nakamura. Vega grabbed Miz by the leg and Andrade rocked Miz with an elbow.
Andrade went for a moonsault, but Miz rolled out of the way. Andrade landed on his feet and attempted a standing moonsault.
Miz rolled to his feet and hit the skull-crushing finale. They messed up the finish a bit but it still looked cool.
After the match, Nakamura attacked Miz and hit the Kinshasa.
In the back, Shane McMahon approached Matt Hardy and Apollo Crews. He’s looking for Gable and made a bunch of short jokes. McMahon then revealed that he is Elias’ replacement. Gable takes on McMahon later tonight.
Nikki Cross (w/Alexa Bliss) defeated Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville)
Before the match, Rose talked about her beauty and called Nikki Cross ugly. She showed a picture comparing them and mocked Cross’s looks.
Cross ran to the ring and attacked Rose. Cross had the early advantage, but Rose gained control. Rose slowed down the pace and applied a chin lock. Cross made a comeback and climbed to the top turnbuckle. Deville jumped on the apron, but Bliss pulled her off.
Cross missed a cross body, and Rose went for a knee. Cross moved and rolled her up for the win.
In the locker room, Ember Moon approached Bayley. She’s not happy that Bayley attacked Becky Lynch with a chair. Moon assumes its Sasha Banks’ influence. Bayley is trying to elevate the division.
Moon pointed out that Charlotte Flair pinned Bayley. Moon told Bayley to save the aggression for the ring.
Heavy Machinery defeated Johnny Silver and Alex Keaton
Otis and Tucker completely dominated the match. Otis hit the Caterpillar, and they followed up with the compacter for the win.
In the back, Kevin Owens approached Shane McMahon in his office. McMahon is considering dropping the fine against Owens. He wants Owens to be the referee for his match against Gable for later. He implied that if Owens cheats in his favor, then he’ll drop the fine.
They recapped the Erick Rowan attacking Roman Reigns angle. Rowan made his way down to the ring. He talked about how nobody controls him, and the people need to look into his eyes. He’s a mastermind and manipulator. The fans chanted “What” at Rowan.
Roman Reigns interrupted and came down to the ring. He rocked Rowan with the Superman Punch, and they brawled around ringside. They brawled into the crowd and Reigns hit another Superman Punch. Security ran out to stop Reigns. Rowan grabbed a fan and power bombed him onto Reigns and security.
Rowan then ran around ringside and knocked down Reigns and security. They fought up the ramp to the stage. There was a brief “Roman” chant. They continued to fight on the stage near the King of the Ring throne. In a crazy spot, Rowan grabbed the jib camera crane and threw it into Reigns and security. Reigns got back to his feet, and the fans broke into a loud “Roman” chant.
SmackDown Woman’s Champion Bayley defeated Ember Moon
Charlotte Flair joined the commentators for the match.
Moon caught Bayley with a dropkick to start the match. They had a quick exchange, and Bayley rolled to the floor. Moon climbed on the barricade, but Bayley pushed her off and rocked her with a knee.
Back from the break, Moon was firmly in control. Moon went for Total Eclipse, but Bayley moved and hit the Bayley-to-Belly for the win.
After the match, Charlotte Flair entered the ring and had a brief staredown with Bayley. Bayley backed off and left the ring.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston made his way to the ring. The fan broke into a loud “Kofi” chant. He said it’s nice to be back in MSG. He talked about attacking Randy Orton in 2009 in MSG.
The best part was putting Orton through a table. The fans broke into a loud “Kofi” chant. He said he knew that one day he’d return to MSG as a champion. Kingston showed footage from 2009.
Orton interrupted and walked out through the crowd. He called Kingston stupid and said he’s tired of hearing about Kingston’s two accomplishments. He mocked Kingston for his fake Jamaican accent and power of positivity. Kingston went after Orton in the crowd but got attacked with a chair.
Kingston fought back and attacked Orton with a chair. Kingston set up a table, but Orton fought back. The table broke prematurely, but Kingston set up a second table.
Kingston then hit the boom drop off the railing onto Orton on the table.
Chad Gable defeated Shane McMahon in a King of the Ring Semi-Final in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match with Special Referee Kevin Owens
McMahon mocked Gable’s height. Gable hit a German suplex, and Owens made a fast count for the quick pin.
McMahon got on the mic and announced it’s now a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Back from the break, McMahon was firmly in control. Gable fought back and rolled up McMahon. Owens made a slow count.
Owens then made fast count when McMahon had the pin, but Gable kicked out. It’s odd that Owens made a fast count at first but is now slow counting.
Gable fought back and hit a moonsault, but Owens did a slow count again. McMahon brought in a chair to distract Owens. He went for a low blow, but Gable locked on the ankle lock for the win. Gable advances to the finals to take on Baron Corbin at Clash of Champions.
After the match, Owens pointed out that McMahon tapped out and it’s on him. The fans chanted “You Tapped Out” at McMahon.
McMahon then jumped Owens from behind. McMahon grabbed the mic and fired Owens. There was a slight “AEW” chant as the show went off the air.