Two title matches are set for tonight's episode of SmackDown.
The Intercontinental title and the SmackDown Women's Championship will both be up for grabs. Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles defends against Gran Metalik, who earned the title shot after defeating Lince Dorado, Drew Gulak, and Shorty G in a fatal-four way match last week. Styles provided commentary for the match and confronted Metalik after his victory.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley defends against Nikki Cross. Bayley defeated Cross at Extreme Rules after using Sasha Banks' Boss ring as a weapon. Last week, Bayley attempted to create problems between Cross and Alexa Bliss by putting them in a match against each other. Cross then got a surprise win over Bliss to earn the title shot tonight.
Naomi and Lacey Evans are set to face off again tonight. After her loss to Evans two weeks ago, Naomi has received a great deal of fan support on social media. She addressed the support on Miz TV last week and ended up slapping Evans when she interrupted.
Plus, Otis and Mandy Rose will return to WWE TV.
Our coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
A series of interviews backstage opened up the show. The participants in the key matches and segments all gave separate interviews hying their match for later.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley & Raw Women's Champion Sasha Banks mocked Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Bayley promised to defeat Cross again. Cross pointed out that she beat Bliss last week to earn the title shot and vowed to win the title tonight.
Big E is returning to singles action tonight against The Miz. Miz and John Morrison laughed at Big E for trying to be a singles star.
Lacey Evans was still upset about Naomi slapping her last week and is out for revenge. Naomi promised to confront Evans in the ring.
Gran Metalik discussed his upcoming title shot against A.J. Styles. Styles noted that Metalik is talented in the ring, but SmackDown is still the house he built.
Bray Wyatt appeared from the Firefly Funhouse. He noted Braun Strowman is still in the swamp.
They showed a quick series of shots from the Swamp Fight, including Braun Strowman's hallucination of Alexa Bliss during the match. Wyatt said it doesn't matter because The Fiend is awake now and nobody is safe.
Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles defeated Gran Metalik (w/Lince Dorado) to retain the title
On Commentary, Michael Cole noted that the IC title has always been considered the working man's title.
Styles and Metalik had a good fun match. They both started slow and went back and forth. Styles suckered Metalik in and started beating him down. He followed up with a vertical suplex for a near fall.
Metalik took over, and the pace briefly quickened. He sent Styles to the floor with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Metalik attempted a plancha, but Styles jumped in the ring. Metalik landed on the apron, but Styles knocked him off.
Metalik regained control when he caught Styles with a hurricanrana off the apron.
Back from the break, Styles cut off Metalik as he climbed to the top. Metallic knocked Styles off and hit a huge flying cross body for a close near fall. Styles regained control and slowed the pace down.
He targeted Metalik's leg and worked it over. He locked on a half-crab, but Metalik made it to the ropes to break the hold. Metalik fought back and rolled up Styles for near fall. He followed up with a spinning DDT for a near fall.
Metalik walked the middle rope and hit a missile dropkick for a close near fall. He attempted to lift Styles, but his leg gave out, and Styles unloaded with a series of strikes to take back over.
Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Metalik avoided and hit an enziguri for a near fall. Metalik fired up, walked up the ropes, and leaped off the middle rope, but Styles hit a chop block in mid-air. Styles then locked on the Calf Crusher for the submission win.
After the match, Styles jumped Dorado as he checked on Metalik. Styles beat down Dorado and hit the Styles Clash.
In the back, Shorty G watched the match on the monitor. King Corbin approached Shorty G and noted it must feel bad to be on the sidelines. He offered to help out Shorty G because they're friends. Shorty G was skeptical.
Corbin praised Shorty G's skills and alluded to Matt Riddle getting all the opportunities. Shorty G saw through Corbin's manipulation. Corbin pointed out that anyone that elimnates Riddle receives the King's Ransom.
They recapped the Bar Room Fight between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy from last week.
In the back, Jeff Hardy celebrated with D-Von Dudley, Otis, and Tucker.
Jeff Hardy Promo
Jeff Hardy made his way down to the ring. On commentary, Michael Cole explained that Hardy's in a good mood because he no longer has to deal with the bully Sheamus.
Hardy talked about his sobriety and noted defeating Sheamus in the bar fight confirmed that he's on the right path. He admitted he's an alcoholic but is more than that. Hardy's a loving husband, father, and WWE superstar.
He said his family and fans support means a lot to him, and he's not going to let them down. Hardy's grateful to be alive.
King Corbin interrupted and said he's tired of hearing about Hardy's sobriety. He told Hardy to shut up and deal with it. Corbin has it tougher than Hardy because he has to deal with Matt Riddle, who doesn't know where his shoes are, and has to take on Drew Gulak tonight.
Hardy mocked Corbin and thinks Corbin is the problem. Corbin would offer the KIng's Ransom to take out Riddle to him, but he knows Hardy wants to do the 12 steps and sit in a circle instead.
Suddenly, Drew Gulak jumped Corbin from behind and beat him down.
King Corbin defeated Drew Gulak
Corbin and Gulak had a surprisingly good match. They kept it short, but both worked hard.
Back from the commercial break and the match was already in progress. On commentary, Michael Cole discussed the King's Ransom to take out Riddle but noted Gulak wouldn't accept the offer since he helped to train Riddle.
Gulak was firmly in control and backed Corbin into the corner. Gualk avoided Corbin but got caught with a right hand anyway. Corbin slowed the pace down with a chin lock. Gulak fought back, but Corbin slammed Gulak down. Corbin then transitioned into a half-crab.
Gulak fought out and countered into the Yes Lock.
Corbin broke free and made it to the ropes. Gulak fired up and hit a series of shotgun dropkicks. He followed up with a flying clothesline off the top for a near fall.
Corbin recovered and ht the Deep Six. Suddenly, Matt Riddle's music hit, and he made his way to the ring.
Gulak tried taking advantage and scored a near fall with an inside cradle. Corbin jumped to his feet and hit the End of Days for the win.
After the match, Riddle jumped Corbin and beat him down. Shorty G ran out and attacked Riddle with a rolling German suplex. Shorty G looked at Corbin and made the money sign.
Corbin laughed and left with Shorty G.
Big E defeated The Miz (w/John Morrison)
Big E and Miz had a fine match that dragged at times. They recapped Kofi Kingston convincing Big E it was time for him to be a singles star. The commentators pushed Big E going into singles competition as a big deal.
Big E had the early advantage using his strength. He avoided Miz with a leapfrog and applied the abdominal stretch.
Miz got in Big E's face and slapped him. Big E snapped and tossed Miz to the floor. He then slammed Miz into the announce desk, ring post, and barricade.
Miz distracted the referee, and Morrison attacked Big E from behind. Miz hit a sliding dropkick and hit a double ax handle off the top turnbuckle to gain control.
Big E briefly took over but missed the splash on the apron.
Back from the break, Miz was firmly in control with a chin lock. Big E fired up and hit a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. He followed up with a big splash.
Big E attempted the Big Ending, but Miz slipped out the back. He went for the Skull Crushing Finale but Big E went for the Big Ending again. Miz raked the eyes and hit a DDT for a near fall.
Miz backed Big E in the corner and hit a series of running knees. On commentary, Corey Graves noted Big E's exhausted because he's not used to be in singles matches.
Big E made a brief comeback. Morrison rocked Big E with a kick and Miz hit the skull crushing finale for a close near fall.
Miz applied the figure four leg lock and continued to work the leg. The referee caught Morrison trying to interfere and sent him to the back.
Miz begged the referee to let Morrison stay. Big E rolled up Miz for a near fall and transitioned into the stretch muffler for the submission win.
In the back, SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura celebrated being champions. Lucha House Party interrupted and tried to join the party. Cesaro and Nakamura turned them down because they're not champions. They mocked Gran Metalik for not winning earlier.
In the back, Sheamus admitted he made a mistake taking on Jeff Hardy in a bar fight. He noted Hardy got stronger every time he hit him with a beer bottle. He said Hardy's not his problem anymore, which is bad news for everyone else.
Naomi defeated Lacey Evans
Before the match, Evans pointed out she already beat Naomi in a match and karaoke. He mocked Naomi's social media fan support and promised to defeat her again.
Naomi and Evans had a fine match that dragged. Evans backed Naomi into the corner. Naomi fought back and attempted a hurricanrana, but Evans caught her and dropped her with a painful-looking powerbomb.
Evans was firmly in control and slammed Naomi into the ring post. She tried tying Naomi's hair into the steps, but she broke free.
Naomi recovered and sent Evans to the floor. Naomi then attempted a sliding sunset flip/Canadian Destroyer on Evans, but it didn't go smoothly. Evans regained control and attempted the Women's Right. Naomi ducked and countered with a backslide for the win.
In the back, Mandy Rose and Otis were going for a walk. Rose noted it feels like a long time since they went on a date. They made plans to have dinner. Rose flirted with Otis and told him to get ready. They both left, but the camera lingered, and Sonya Deville emerged from the background.
Back from the commercial break, Mandy Rose was getting ready for her date with Otis. She was putting on lipstick when Sonya Deville appeared from behind. Deville jumped Rose and viciously beat her down.
Deville put lipstick all over Rose's face. She then grabbed a pair of scissors and cut off chunks of Rose's hair. Deville teased shaving the rest of her hair off until the referees stopped her.
Kayla Braxton was covering the attack in the back. Otis and Tucker ran in to check on Rose.
Miz and John Morrison showed up and mocked Rose. They made a series of jokes about Rose's hair cut. Tucker heard enough and screamed at them to leave.
This was a good angle and beat down.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley (w/Sasha Banks) defeated Nikki Cross (w/Alexa Bliss) to retain the title
They recapped Cross defeating Alexa Bliss last week to earn the title shot tonight.
Bayley and Cross had a fine match, but the big news was the angle after the match with The Fiend and Alexa Bliss.
Cross had the early advantage. Bayley tried fighting back, but Cross sent her to the floor. They fought on the apron, but Bayley took over with a leg drop. She backed Cross into the corner, but Cross fought back. Cross threw Bayley ribs first into the ring post and followed up with a crossbody block off the apron.
Back from the break, Bayley was firmly in control with a chin lock. She followed up with a back suplex for a near fall. Bayley missed an elbow and re-injured her ribs. Cross fought back and hit a DDT for a near fall.
Cross gained control with an inverted DDT on the apron. She then found Sasha Banks Boss ring on Bayley. Cross picked it up and tossed it out of the ring.
Bayley hung Cross on the top rope to take back over. She then jumped on the announce table and mocked Cross. Cross recovered and pulled Bayley off the table.
Banks jumped on the apron, but Bliss pulled her off. Cross scored a near fall with a backslide, but Bayley countered and pinned Cross to retain the title. The finish came out of nowhere.
After the match, Cross was upset about the loss. Bliss tried to console her, but Cross didn't want to hear it. Bliss kept talking until Cross shoved Bliss to the mat. Cross stormed off and left Bliss alone in the ring.
Suddenly, the lights slowly turned off. The red lights then turned on with The Fiend in the ring.
The Fiend stood behind a terrified Bliss. He slowly approached. Bliss was so scared she couldn't move as The Fiend got closer to her.
The Fiend slowly raised his hand in the hair. He then quickly applied the mandible claw on Bliss and yelled Braun Strowman's name.