SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon kicked off the show by welcoming the new United States Champion and newest member of Team Blue, Chris Jericho. The self-proclaimed G.O.A.T declared the blue brand to be the new Show of Jericho and was then met by AJ Styles, who was gearing up for his U.S. Title opportunity at the upcoming Team Blue event, WWE Backlash on May 21.
Before the two could jaw-jack too much in anticipation of their potential clash, Kevin Owens arrived to remind Jericho that he would have to get through The Prizefighter in their title rematch tonight before Y2J could even think about WWE Backlash. However, after insulting Styles and telling him to get out of the ring, Owens got more than he bargained for when The Phenomenal One obliged and rushed up the ramp to brawl with KO. The melee got so raucous that Shane-O-Mac had to call for officials to help break it up.
Fresh off attacking WWE Champion Randy Orton during the House of Horrors Match at WWE Payback, No. 1 contender Jinder Mahal looked to continue his streak of momentum against Sami Zayn on SmackDown LIVE.
Though he came to the ring a little lighter, having been forced to return the stolen WWE Championship by Shane McMahon, Mahal used his size and strength advantage to attempt to wear down Zayn, but The Underdog from The Underground surged back and appeared to be on his way to victory when The Singh Brothers injected themselves into Mahal’s affairs yet again. Their interference provided The Maharaja with the opportunity to capitalize on a distracted Zayn by hitting the Cobra Clutch Slam for the win.
Tye Dillinger continued to look perfect in his time on SmackDown LIVE when he made quick work of “The Drama King” Aiden English, defeating him with an innovative move that dropped English’s dome directly onto Dillinger’s knee. Dillinger and English were a study in contrast, as English literally began weeping after his loss while The Perfect 10 celebrated his win.
The SmackDown LIVE Women’s division was left in a state of flux after Carmella, Natalya and Tamina attacked Charlotte Flair and Naomi last week. And, after interfering in the SmackDown Women’s Championship match between The Queen and Naomi a week ago, the three followed up by ambushing Charlotte backstage prior to tonight’s tag team match.
The “welcoming committee” of The Princess of Staten Island and Natalya were flanked by Tamina and James Ellsworth at ringside for their tag team battle with the SmackDown Women’s Champion and Charlotte. Early in the bout, Naomi had to go it alone, as Charlotte was nowhere to be found after the pre-match attack. Still showing the effects of the beatdown, The Queen appeared in the nick of the time, bringing the heat with Naomi. However, the advantage of having Tamina and Ellsworth at ringside paid dividends, as they distracted Naomi and allowed the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S One to catch The Glow off-guard for the win.
Just as “the welcoming committee” began to celebrate, Becky Lynch entered the arena. At first, she appeared to be joining the committee, but she instead helped Flair and Naomi clear the ring of what were now their mutual enemies. However, the beating Flair and Naomi had suffered caught up to them yet again when all three were eventually laid out by Carmella, Natalya and Tamina.
Wanting to make a statement as his issues with Shinsuke Nakamura continue to escalate, Dolph Ziggler came into his contest against Sin Cara on SmackDown LIVE determined to have an impressive showing.
Despite a strong effort from Sin Cara, The Showoff did just that, putting the exclamation point on his performance when he connected with a picture-perfect superkick for the victory.
Following an intensely personal rivalry and two gripping contests that saw them win one match apiece, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens completed their trilogy with an epic rubber match for the United States Championship on SmackDown LIVE.
With AJ Styles banned from ringside to avoid any incidents following his brush-up with KO at the beginning of the show, it would simply be The United States Champion and Owens throwing down for the title on Team Blue. Knowing each other’s maneuvers and tendencies inside and out due to their lengthy history as both “best friends” and bitter enemies, the two battled ferociously, but Owens prevailed after connecting with the Pop-up Powerbomb to reclaim the championship.
After the contest, The Prizefighter continued his assault on Jericho, decimating him with a savage attack that concluded with KO lodging Jericho’s throat into a steel chair and ramming it into the steel post.
The New Face of America walked out with his regained U.S. Title, and Jericho was left in utter agony while being attended to by medical personnel.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan & Jinder Mahal
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