SmackDown's fallout from SummerSlam and build to Payback takes place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida tonight.
After returning at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns will be back on SmackDown tonight. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt won the Universal Championship when he defeated Braun Strowman on Sunday. Reigns made his return after the match by attacking and spearing both The Fiend and Strowman.
The Fiend will defend his Universal title against Strowman and Reigns in a no holds barred triple threat match at Payback this Sunday. Tonight, all three meet for the official contract signing.
A Miz TV segment with Big E joining The Miz and John Morrison was originally announced for tonight's show, but WWE posted a pre-SmackDown video with The Miz uninviting Big E from appearing. The video instead teased that Big E will team with Heavy Machinery against The Miz, John Morrison & Sheamus tonight.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The show opened up with an in Memorium for "Bullet" Bob Armstrong.
They recapped The Fiend against Braun Strowman match and Roman Reigns returning at SummerSlam.
In the back, Adam Peace talked to the security about The Fiend, Reigns, and Braun Strowman being in the building at the same time. He warned them to be ready and mentioned that Retribution is always around.
He then revealed that Mr. McMahon is here tonight and entered his office. He was intimidated by his boss. McMahon has a mission for Pearce to accomplish tonight. He noted that he needs the signatures of Bray Wyatt, Reigns, and Strowman on the contract.
Pearce has to find each one and get them to sign the contract. He also gave Pearce an outfit to wear and noted he might find Wyatt in the FIrefly Funhouse. McMahon warned Pearce not to fail him.
Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy Promo
Jeff Hardy made his way down to the ring. They recapped AJ Styles injuring Hardy's knee and Hardy later winning the title last week.
Hardy limped to the ring and sold the knee injury.
Hardy noted he's happy he can still stand. Before he could continue, Styles interrupted. He claimed Hardy cheated last week because he used the knee brace to win the title. Styles said Hardy worked the system.
Styles claimed Hardy cried to the doctor to get a knee brace so he could use it in the match. He then pointed out that the same doctor won't clear him to compete.
Hardy said that's good because he was just about to issue an open challenge to anyone except Styles. Styles freaked and yelled that Hardy's taking advantage of the system.
Hardy punched Styles in the face as they cut to a break.
Intercontinental Champion Jeffy Hardy defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the title
Hardy and Nakamura had a fine match.
Styles joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. Styles was furious that Hardy punched him in the face.
Hardy had the early advantage as he worked over Nakamura's arm. Nakamura backed Hardy into the ropes. He briefly locked on a headlock, but Hardy fought back and hit an elbow for a near fall.
Nakamura took over after attacking the injured knee. He was firmly in control as he targeted the knee.
They cut to an interview with Cesaro from moments ago. He said he stepped away for one second to get some champagne, and Nakamura took the challenge. He pointed out that Nakamura didn't even tell him.
Nakamura rocked Hardy with kicks, but Hardy recovered. Nakamura suplexed Hardy into the ring and tried to land on his feet, but his leg gave out.
Hardy clotheslined Nakamura to the floor and followed up with a sliding dropkick. They briefly fought at ringside when Hardy tossed Nakamura into Styles at commentary.
Back from the break, Nakamura was firmly in control as he worked over Hardy's knee. Graves apologized to Styles for Hardy throwing Nakamura into him before the break.
Hardy briefly took back over after hitting the whisper in the wind. Nakamura recovered and hit a sliding German suplex. He followed up with a knee off the second turnbuckle for a near fall.
Nakamura attempted the Kinshasa, but Hardy avoided. He tried the twist of fate, but Nakamura escaped. Hardy then hit Nakamura with a knee to the face and hit the twist of fate. He followed up with the Swanton Bomb for the win.
Styles was furious that Hardy used the same knee with the knee brace to win. After the match, Hardy got in Styles's face and walked off.
Hardy stood on the stage as Styles yelled at him from the ring.
Suddenly, Sami Zayn's music hit and he made his SmackDown return. Zayn came out with his Intercontinental title, which he never lost in the ring. He yelled at Hardy and called him a fraud.
All three had a brief staredown until Zayn nailed Hardy with a boot to the face.
Back from the break, Kayla Braxton approached Sami Zayn and asked why he attacked Hardy. Zayn noted nothing changes around here because the questions are still terrible. That was a funny line.
Zayn called Hardy and Styles frauds. He's the real I.C. champion. Braxton wondered why Zayn wasn't around for several months to defend the title. Zayn said there are many reasons. Zayn was really good in his brief appearance.
Bray Wyatt was happy to be back in the Firefly Funhouse. He couldn't help but feel that something is missing. Wyatt then revealed the Universal title. He said he was pleased to see Roman Reigns back.
The doorbell rang. Wyatt opened the door, and Adam Pearce appeared as a mailman. Wyatt called him Postman Pearce and let him in.
Pearce asked for The Fiend's signature, but Wyatt didn't understand why he would sign. Pearce pointed out that Wyatt and The Fiend have a connection. Pearce got Wyatt to sign the contract for Payback and ran out.
Pearce still has to get Reigns and Strowman's signatures.
Last week, Graves claimed that The Firefly Funhouse is in an alternate universe. Apparently, Braun Strowman and Adam Pearce are the only ones that know the entrance.
They recapped Matt Riddle's feud with King Corbin.
Matt Riddle Promo
Matt Riddle made his way to the ring. He brought up his recent problems with King Corbin and called him out. Suddenly, they cut to break as Riddle was still talking.
Back from the break, Riddle was still standing in the ring with his music playing. He was still waiting for Corbin and kept calling him out.
Corbin's music hit, and he finally walked out to the ring. He slowly approached the ringside area.
Suddenly, Shorty G jumped Riddle from behind.
Corbin accepted the challenge on behalf of Shorty G. Michael Cole pointed out that Shorty G is trying to win the King's Ransom bounty.
Matt Riddle defeated Shorty G
This was kept short, so there wasn't much to it.
Shorty G was in control early in the match. Riddle fought back and hit a gut wrench suplex, but Shorty G blocked the second attempt. Shorty G then hit a tiger suplex for a close near fall. Riddle fought back, but Shorty G hit a German suplex. Riddle landed on his feet and hit Bro Derek for the quick win.
After the match, Corbin attacked Riddle, but Riddle fought back, and Corbin ran off.
They recapped The Miz and Big E's confrontation from Talking Smack.
Earlier, Big E and Heavy Machinery had a confrontation with Sheamus, The Miz, and John Morrison. Cole announced a six-man tag team match between the two teams for later.
Backstage, Sasha Banks and Bayley approached Big E and Heavy Machinery. Bayley told Big E not to be upset about Miz's comments. She said some people are just good at being a tag team champion. Big E kept pointing at Banks during the segment.
In the back, Adam Pearce knocked on Roman Reigns' locker room door. He was back in regular clothes. He noted he needs to get his signature, but Reigns didn't open the door. Pearce just walked off.
Kayla Braxton was just standing around when Corbin walked by. Corbin was furious with Riddle and challenged him to a match at Payback this Sunday.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Promo
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks & SmackDown Woman's Champion Bayley made their way to the ring.
They recapped Bayley and Banks matches against Asuka at SummerSlam. Cole noted Banks helped Bayley retain the title, but Bayley didn't return the favor.
Bayley noted this is one of the most challenging weeks of their lives. They both had to defend against Asuka at SummerSlam, and on Sunday, they defend against Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax. However, they can handle it because they're the best.
Bayley apologized to Banks for letting her challenge Asuka for the Raw Woman's title. That's how this whole messed started. Banks was unhappy that she lost the Raw Woman's title.
Baszler and Jax interrupted on the screen. They both don't like each other and took shots at their partner. Of course, they hate Bayley and Banks more. Banks was furious that she's not two belts Banks anymore but isn't going to lose her WWE Tag Team titles.
In the back, Adam Pearce approached Drew Gulak. He asked if he knows where Braun Strowman is. Gulak's looking for him too. He grabbed a chair, walked over to Strowman, and hit him in the back. He threw the chair at Pearce, and he caught it.
Strowman was furious as he approached Pearce. Pearce noted Gulak hit him with the chair. He asked for his signature, but Strowman talked about Reigns instead.
Strowman then promised to sign after he destroys Gualk in the ring.
In the back, Cesaro confronted Nakamura about accepting the challenge earlier without telling him. Cesaro takes on Kalisto later tonight and needs Nakamura in his corner.
Sami Zayn approached and celebrated reuniting with them.
Cesaro and Nakamura weren't excited to see him. Cesaro noted that things have changed since he disappeared. Nakamura pointed out he disappeared for four months and didn't even call.
Zayn was excited to hang out in the champion's lounge, but they asked him to leave. Zayn didn't seem happy.
Braun Strowman defeated Drew Gulak
This was a total squash.
Strowman completely dominated the match with Gulak getting no offense. Strowman even hit a senton at one point. He followed up with a chokeslam and power slam for the win.
Strowman walked off and met Peace at the top of the stage. Strowman signed the contact. Reigns is the only one left to sign.
In the back, The Lucha House Party was talking before Kalisto's match. Kalisto noted he learned from Lince Dorado's mistakes last week. He told Dorado and Gran Metalik to stay in the back and watch how it's done.
Kalisto walked off. Suddenly, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura jumped Dorado and Metalik from behind.
Cesaro (w/Shinsuke Nakamura) defeated Kalisto
Cesaro and Kalisto had a good short match with a lot of innovative action.
Cesaro jumped Kalisto to start the match. Kalisto fought back and sent Cesaro to the floor with a tilt a whirl head scissors. He followed up with a dive into a hurricanrana.
Kalisto attempted a springboard crossbody, but Cesaro countered into a backbreaker for a near fall.
Cesaro took back over, but Kalisto scored a near fall. Cesaro quickly regained control. In a cool spot, Cesaro lifted Kalisto, and he stood up on Cesaro's shoulders. He then transitioned into a crazy looking DDT.
Nakamura tried to interfere, but Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik ran out and attacked Nakamura. Kalisto was distracted, and Cesaro rolled him up for the win.
After the match, Kalisto blamed Dorado and Metalik for the loss but they eventually made up.
Adam Pearce approached Mr.McMahon in his office. Pearce revealed that he got Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman's signature but not Roman Reigns. McMahon wasn't pleased and sent Pearce to get Reigns to sign the contract.
In the back, Tamina approached Nikki Cross. She was holding a mug, which was the first present Alexa Bliss gave her. Suddenly Alexa Bliss showed up. She hugged Cross and was happy to see her.
Cross noted Bliss put her hair up in ponytails and had a single braid.
Cross thinks the hairstyle is a bad idea because it's like The Fiends. Bliss went into a brief trance. She then freaked out and threw the mug down to the ground and shattered it to pieces.
Sheamus walked up to John Morrison and The Miz in the back. He asked them what their game plan is for the six-man tag team match. Morrison's idea was to keep Big E, Tucker, and Otis from entering the match. Sheamus was furious with the plan and walked off.
Adam Pearce entered Roman Reigns' locker room and gave him the contract. Reigns needs to read the contract over first. Michael Cole teased that Reigns might not sign the contract.
Big E & Heavy Machinery defeated Sheamus, John Morrison & The Miz
This was a fine main event although it dragged at certain times.
The faces had the early advantage until Sheamus hit Tucker in the back with a knee. The heels took over by isolating Tucker in their corner. Tucker fought back and rocked Sheamus with a standing dropkick on the floor.
Tucker attempted to pin Morrison in the ring, but Sheamus rang the ring bell, which stopped the action in the ring.
Back from the break, Morrison and Miz were firmly in control. They continued to keep Tucker from his corner.
Sheamus tagged himself in, but the referee didn't see because he was trying to get Otis and Big E out of the ring. Morrison jumped back in the ring, and Tucker knocked Sheamus off the apron.
Sheamus was furious and walked out of the match. Miz tried to stop him but backed off when Sheamus got mad.
Big E got the hot tag and ran wild on The Miz. He hit a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. He followed up with a big splash. Miz hung Big E on the top rope, but Big E quickly took back over. Big E pinned The Miz but Morrison hit a double foot stomp on Big E to break it up.
Otis ran wild on the heels. He attempted the Catapillar on Morrison and Miz, but Miz moved out of the way.
Big E jumped back in the ring and hit the Big Ending on Miz for the win.
In the back, Adam Pearce was still in Roman Reign's dressing room. Reigns promised to show up at Payback and win back his title. He looked to his side and said that's not a prediction. That's a spoiler.
The camera pulled back to reveal Paul Heyman sitting next to Reigns. The final segment seemed to imply that Heyman and Reigns are somehow aligned.
Adam Pearce trying to get the signatures throughout the show seemed silly at certain moments but had a pretty good payoff with the Paul Heyman appearance.