Welcome to WWE Smackdown Live and this week Smackdown is coming to us from the O2 Arena in London, England
We open with a recap of the recent history between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, leading into tonight's match between the two where the winner will choose the stipulation of their WWE Title match at Money In The Bank!
Renee Young welcomes Daniel Bryan for our opening promo, and he YES dances his way to the ring for the raucous crowd. We can barely hear Renee over the crowd as she talks about his successful victory in his return match, record-setting run in the Greatest Royal Rumble, and victory over Big Cass at Backlash, leading into his disappointing loss to Rusev in the MITB qualifier. Daniel tells us to feel the energy from the fans, then says he was disappointed and doesn't like losing any more than anyone else, but when he came back, he was just happy to be back doing what he loves. Now, though, it's not enough to be back, he wants to be on top, and he'll have to scratch, fight, and claw every step of the way, but he will become the WWE Champion. Out comes Big Cass, soaking in a less than welcome reception from the crowd. He's been in the back listening to him run his mouth, and he's sick of it. He may hasve all the people fooled, but not him. He might be an inspirational story, and feed the fans nothing but crap, but he knows the real truth: his loss to Rusev was his first major setback since returning according to Renee, but he disagrees, because HE was his first major setback. He's the reason he lost to Rusev, and the reason he'll keep losing because he'll make sure he never achieves his aspirations again. He's man enough to admit he lost at Backlash, but he didn't tap out because he was in pain, it's because he wanted to get right back up and beat the holy hell out of him again, and that's what he did. He's going to keep beating him down because he won't be able to do anything in WWE without a seven foot shadow following him around. He lasted 75 minutes in the Greatest Royal Rumble, but what happened when he got in the ring? Oh, that's right: he big booted him in the face and eliminated him, proving again that Daniel Bryan is a loser. He's a loser, he should have stayed retired, and he should have been a stay at home dad and let Brie wear the pants in the family. Cass drops the mic and gets on the ring apron and stares down Daniel, who is standing his ground with a confident look on his face. Cass gets in, and Daniel starts hammering Cass with right hands and dropkicks him in the bad knee, then wraps it around the middle rope and ties it up, then puts the boots to the knee of Cass. The referees come out to break it up and help Cass out of the ropes, but Daniel goes right back after him and wraps his knee around the post over and over.
We are back and The Miz makes his way out to do commentary for the next match which is a Money In The Bank Qualifying Match
Woods goes after Cesaro landing a right and Woods dives over the ropes taking out Sheamus. Nearfall on Cesaro, Woods off the ropes looking for a sunset flip but Sheamus tags in landing an elbow from the top rope
Cesaro tags back in and a double clothesline by The Bar to Woods as we go commercial
Back from commercial, The Bar working over Xavier. Cesaro runs into a boot and Woods fights his way out of the corner. Cesaro is sent sailing over the ropes and Big E gets the tag. Overhead belly to belly suplex to the Celtic Warrior.
Big E off the ropes looking for the big splash but Sheamus gets the knees up. Sheamus goes for the clothesline in the corner but Big E plants him and Cesaro with interference as Sheamus rolls Big E up for a nearfall. The Bar plant Big E and Cesaro looking for The Sharpshooter
Woods slides into the ring but Sheamus pulls him out. Woodss sends Sheamus into the post. Back in the ring, the hold is broken, Cesaro runs into an elbow. New Day score yet another nearfall. Irish whip by Cesaro into the corner and Woods moves out of the way as Cesaro hits the ring post. Sheamus breaks up another nearfall
Big E sends Sheamus to the outside and Woods from the top rope delivers an elbow drop for the three count and the victory sending one member of The New Day to Money In The Bank
The winners of the match: The New Day
Tonight: AJ Styles-Shinsuke Nakamura. Stipulation for their Money In The Bank match will be chosen
Tonight: The Royal Mellabration
Vignette: The Bludgeon Brothers talk about how friendship is a disease that needs to be bludgeoned and then they say time's up before raising their hammers and bringing it down on the camera
Backstage: Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walk into Paige's office and brag about how Mandy Rose is going to Money In The Bank. Paige says no last week was not a qualifying match. They'll get a qualifying match tonight as both members of Absolution will face Becky Lynch and it will be a triple threat match which means every woman for herself
Backstage: Renee asks AJ Styles what stipulation he will pick for his match at Money In The Bank if he wins his match against Shinsuke Nakamura tonight. Styles corrects her and says "When" he wins and it doesn't matter what stipulation he chooses because everyone will be entertained except the con artist Shinsuke Nakamura and Nakamura may have forgotten how to speak english but he knows the universal language, "Forearm To Face" and there's no way Shinsuke Nakamura will beat AJ Styles in the house that AJ built
Up Next: Andrade 'Cien' Almas and Zelina Vega debut
Waistlock by Almas reversed by Constantino and Almas with an elbow. Constantino with a dropkick and Alams with an overhead chop as he stomps away at Constantino in the corner.
Almas with double knees in the corner as Zelina Vega looks on. Almas hooks up Constantino and delivers the hammerlock DDT for the three count and the win
The winner of the match: Andrade 'Cien' Almas
Post Match: Zelina Vega says this is Smackdown Live? and after weeks, Andrade 'Cien' Almas makes his debut and gets 'that'? pointing at Constantino and calls him pathetic. Almost as pathetic as the rest of the Smackdown locker room and says they came to Smackdown to rule
Backstage: Rusev Day is talking about Money In The Bank and Aiden English says he has a new song for Money In The Bank and gets ready to give Rusev a preview however Lana walks in and says that soon Aiden will have a new 'Ravishing' song to sing because she found out next week she has a Money In The Bank qualifying match against Billie Kay
Carmella comes out for her Royal Mellabration and before she begins she wants to give the WWE Universe the opportunity to show her how much they love her so for the next 10 minutes she wants them to show her the love she deserves and asks for everyone to cheer for her
The crowd boos and she demands they bow down before her and the crowd reminds her of every woman on the Smackdown roster. No one thinks she's not good enough to be champion and she says Mella is Money and Mella Is Champion which makes her better than everyone else
Carmella says she's better than Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and even Ronda Rousey. She's even better than Trish Stratus and Lita put together.
Paige comes out and says it's great to be back home in England. Paige says Carmella saying she's better than everyone is quite the royal proclamation but she has a royal proclamation of her own. She's out to announce Carmella's opponent at Money In The Bank and it is Asuka.
Asuka stares Carmella down and Carmella grabs her championship and leaves the ring
Renee Young is backstage saying that between this and Nia Jax vs Ronda Rousey, Money In The Bank is going to be huge. She brings in Nakamura, and says he's been unsuccessful in his attempts to beat AJ Styles so far, and asks what his chances are tonight. He asks what chance means, and Renee says it's his possibility of winning. Nakamura says she's using the wrong words because it is certain he will win, AJ Styles will lose, AJ will get a knee to the face, then another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and when he's done, his nose smashed, cheeks broken, jaw shattered, face gone, he will dishonor AJ Styles, then take his title.
Becky goes after Absolution sending Mandy to the outside. Becky bounces Sonya's head off the turnbuckle and now it's Sonya momentarily taking over. Becky with a forearm but Mandy Rose is back in as Absolution double teams Becky.
Knee to the body by Sonya and Mandy with a roll up as we go to commercial
Sonya punches Mandy in the face and now it's Becky and Sonya. Mandy slides back in and sends Sonya to the outside. Nearfall on Becky. Becky with an inside cradle and Mandy counters a Dis-arm Her.
Inverted face plant by Mandy and Sonya pulls Mandy off of Becky going for the cover. Mandy is back on the outside and Becky and Sonya trade right hands. Sonya bounces Becky's head off the turnbuckle and sits her on the top rope. Sonya hooks Becky up but Mandy is back in picking Sonya up on her shoulders and Becky with a missile dropkick taking out both members of Absolution
Becky with a nearfall and now Becky and Mandy are trading right hands. becky going for the Dis-arm her. Kick to Mandy and Becky by Sonya and another nearfall on Becky
Becky blocks a suplex and Mandy back in lays Sonya out with a knee. Nearfall by Mandy but Becky locks the Dis-arm her in for the submission
The winner of the match: Becky Lynch
Tom points out that their Wrestlemania match was about a month and a half ago, meaning they've already beaten it into the ground with three PPV matches and are now burying it in cement by running it on TV to set up yet their FIFTH match in just a couple of weeks. Nakamura gets the early advantage with some strikes, but AJ turns him inside out with a crisp dropkick and some chops in the corner. AJ with a big side backbreaker, Nakamura goes to the floor, and AJ follows him out with a slingshot forearm. Back into the ring...no wait, Nakamura drills him with a baseball slide to the floor and then a sliding kneestrike on the apron and quickly covers on the inside for 2, and we're at commercial.
We're back, and Nakamura is working AJ over with martial arts kicks. AJ is in bad shape as Nakamura chokes him in the corner with his boot, but he blocks a back suplex and...eats a running boot to the face for 2. So much for that. Sweet big boot, though. Nakamura gets a dragon sleeper as we see a slow motion replay of that boot cranking AJ's head back, AJ slips out, but Nakamura peppers him with a lightning fast flurry of strikes. Nakamura puts AJ on top for a superplex, AJ slips out and hits him with a Pelle kick, and both men are down. AJ finally fights back with his own flurry of strikes and a running forearm. Another in the corner rocks Nakamura, and AJ hits the atomic facebuster for 2. Nakamura slips out of the Calf Krusher, AJ avoids the Kinshasa, but Nakamura hits another running kneestrike and hits the landslide for 2. Nakamura puts AJ on the top for the kneelift, but AJ slips out and Nakamura connects with the top turnbuckle. AJ goes for the springboard forearm, but Nakamura knocks him off the top rope and drills him with a running knee. They go to the apron where Nakamura goes for a suplex to the floor, but AJ blocks and reverses, Nakamura comes down on his feet, then comes off the second turnbuckle with a kneestrike to AJ's face. Nakamura quickly cradles AJ up, but only gets 2. Nakamura sets for the Kinshasa and...AJ rolls through into the Styles Clash, but Nakamura kicks his way out. AJ hits a cradle shock driver onto his knee for 2. AJ goes for a diving forearm, but Nakamura gets his boot up right in AJ's face. Nakamura connects with Kinshasa, but makes a lax cover and AJ gets his shoulder up at 2. Nakamura can't believe it, but he lines up another...and runs into a spinkick from AJ. AJ goes for the Styles Clash and gets backdropped to the apron, Nakamura dodges, and AJ just stops short of killing the ref. Nakamura acts like he took a shot to the ding ding, and AJ spends enough time convincing the referee he didn't really do it that Nakamura is able to slip in behind and hit the full rotation suplex, followed by Kinshasa for the win.
The winner of the match: Shinsuke Nakamura