Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
We go back to the ring and out comes Cesaro first. Seth Rollins suddenly attacks out of nowhere at the bottom of the ramp.
Cesaro fights back and they end up in the ring with the referee trying to restore order. We get the bell now. Rollins leaps but Cesaro catches him with a big powerslam. Cesaro with forearms on the mat. They get up and Rollins fights back. Cesaro with a big back-drop in the middle of the ring for a pop.
Cesaro knocks Rollins over the top rope with a big running boot. He follows but Rollins decks him. Cesaro sends Rollins face-first into the barrier. Cesaro with a big uppercut. Cesaro rolls Rollins back into the ring and goes to the top. Cesaro flies with a big double axe handle for another pop. Rollins kicks out at 1.
Cesaro beats Rollins while he’s down, then sends him face-first into the turnbuckle. Cesaro unloads in the opposite corner now. Rollins goes face-first into another turnbuckle now. Cesaro with more big uppercuts in the corner. Rollins kicks him and drops Cesaro face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Rollins grinds Cesaro’s face into the middle rope now. Rollins keeps control and drops Cesaro with a DDT. Cesaro kicks out at 2. Rollins beats Cesaro around the ring now, talking trash while he’s down.
Rollins with big knees to the ribs. Cesaro blocks a suplex attempt but Rollins works on the ribs. Cesaro overpowers with a big vertical suplex of his own for a pop. Rollins fights from the apron and back-drops Cesaro over the top rope to the floor. Rollins with a flying knee from the apron to the face on the floor. Rollins brings it back into the ring now. Rollins springboards up and nails the flying knee again. Cesaro kicks out just in time and Rollins shows some frustration.
Cesaro blocks a running kick and nails an uppercut but Rollins comes right back. They trade shots as fans rally for Cesaro. Cesaro with uppercuts and body blows into the corner. Cesaro keeps control and dumps Rollins on the mat. Cesaro stomps away while Rollins is down. Cesaro pulls Rollins’ glove off and shoves it in his mouth, then delivers a clothesline for a 2 count.
Cesaro grabs Rollins’ glove now and kicks it into the ThunderDome crowd. Cesaro begins an uppercut train now but Rollins tries to cut him off. Cesaro catches Rollins in mid-air with a big powerslam for a 2 count. Rollins blocks the Neutralizer and sends Cesaro to the apron. They tangle and Cesaro goes to the top. Rollins runs up to the top for a superplex but Cesaro resists, sending Rollins to the mat. Cesaro with a crossbody but Rollins rolls through and holds it for a close 2 count. Cesaro leaps with an uppercut but Rollins side-steps. Rollins ends up hitting an enziguri and a right hand.
Rollins with a stiff strike to the back of the neck now, dropping Cesaro in the middle of the ring. Cesaro kicks out just in time. Rollins starts ranting as fans boo him. He holds Cesaro down by his throat and yells, then man-handles him some as the referee warns him. Rollins applies an arm submission now. Cesaro struggles but Rollins drops him with a Falcon Arrow for a close 2 count. Rollins with another shot to the back of the neck for 2. Rollins is frustrated now.
Fans rally for Cesaro as they trade moves and counters. Cesaro levels Rollins with a big clothesline but they both go down in the middle of the ring. Cesaro slams Rollins and delivers the Cesaro Swing to a big pop. Cesaro then goes for the Sharpshooter and he gets it locked in. Cesaro turns it into a Crossface but Rollins rolls over. Cesaro has the Crossface locked in. It’s broken but he goes for the Sharpshooter again, locking it in.
Rollins reaches for the bottom rope but Cesaro pulls him back. The hold is broken but Cesaro stomps on Rollins’ limbs now. Rollins catches what looks like another Sharpshooter attempt and rolls Cesaro up out of nowhere for the pin to win
Winner: Seth Rollins
– After the match, Rollins heads to the floor as his music hits. A disappointed Cesaro sits up in the ring and looks on as Rollins regroups at ringside. We go to replays. Rollins limps around and makes his exit as Cesaro looks on from the ring. Rollins laughs from the stage now.
We go back to the ThunderDome and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. Reigns stops on the stage and raises the title in the air as pyro goes off. They head to the ring as Greg Hamilton does the introduction. Reigns enters the ring and raises the title to more pyro as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Kevin Owens is backstage. He cuts a promo on the main event and goes on about how he plans on living up to the “Prizefighter” nickname tonight. Owens says when it’s all said and done, he plans on being a three-time Intercontinental Champion. We go back to the ring and Reigns has a mic. Cole leads us to a Progressive-sponsored replay from WrestleMania Backlash, showing how Reigns retained over Cesaro in the main event, plus what happened after the match with Cesaro and Seth Rollins. Fans chant “Roman sucks!” now amid the boos. Reigns sees himself as a humble man, and teaches his sons about humility. He doesn’t like to brag on live TV, so he’s going to take this chance to allow his Special Counsel to celebrate him. Fans boo louder.
Heyman takes the mic and says this is a unique surprise as he has a moment here to honor our Tribal Chief. Heyman goes on praising Reigns for being undefeated and conquering some of the opponents since returning to WWE, including “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, among others. He touts the stacked pin on WWE Hall of Famer Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37, and how Reigns sent Bryan into a Bella retirement. Heyman goes on with the praise and says Reigns’ wish is his command, then asks what else can he do for his Tribal Chief? Reigns orders Heyman to bring him his cousin. Heyman yells at the timekeeper to hit Jimmy Uso’s music. Cesaro’s music starts up instead.
Cesaro comes to the stage in a suit, wearing a sling on his arm. Reigns says to cut this bum’s music. Cesaro is in a bad mood tonight. He says he was in the back and all he heard was this annoying yapping in his ear. Reigns asks Cesaro what he’s going to do, and says he can break Cesaro’s other arm. Cesaro says that’s just a flesh wound and he’d fight Reigns with no arms. Cesaro proposes a match with Reigns at Hell In a Cell. Reigns asks if he really wants to do this again. Rollins suddenly runs down and attacks Cesaro, sending him into the barrier and then the steel ring steps.
Fans boo as Rollins unloads on Cesaro, stomping away and beating him up at ringside. Officials run down and order Rollins to the back. He goes up the ramp while referees help Cesaro up at ringside. Rollins runs back down the ramp and attacks Cesaro. Rollins grabs the hurt arm and slams Cesaro down to the floor by it. Rollins delivers a big Stomp at the bottom of the ramp. Cesaro clutches his arm as referee Charles Robinson checks on him. The other officials back Rollins away through the timekeeper’s area. Rollins jumps over the barrier, runs back over to the bottom of the ramp and this time delivers a Stomp to Cesaro on the steel. Fans boo him some more while Cesaro is laid out face-down. Rollins watches with a crazed look in his eyes. Medics bring a stretcher down the ramp for Cesaro as we go to commercial.
– The WrestleMania Backlash go-home edition of WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with the usual intro video. We’re live from the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. We go right to the ring.
– We’re live in the ring with Jey Uso as fans start booing him when the music stops. Jey says his brother Jimmy Uso disrespected the head of the table last week, their cousin WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, so this week he leaves them no choice but to handle some family business. Jey then introduces Reigns, calling him the man who will handle Cesaro at WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday. The boos get louder as Reigns makes his entrance with Paul Heyman.
Reigns marches to the ring as we get a video package on last week’s show, including Cesaro earning his title shot and Jimmy’s return with the issues in the family. Reigns raises the title in the ring now as more pyro goes off while his music plays. The music stops and the “you suck!” chant gets louder. Reigns turns to Jey and says it’s clear they have some problems, one being Jimmy. We will get to him in a minute but Reigns has to address Cesaro first.
Reigns says he likes Cesaro. Like a lot of the boys in the back, he respects Cesaro as he’s a top tier talent. Reigns says we could say Cesaro is one of the best wrestlers in the world. Heyman agrees. Reigns says he is so much more than a wrestler, he’s The Tribal Chief. Heyman hypes him up. Reigns says with everything he does, there’s no way Cesaro could fulfill those roles. Reigns goes on about how there’s no way WWE and FOX want Cesaro replacing him. Reigns goes on about how their resumes don’t compare. He changes his tune to Jimmy now.
Reigns says it was simple, Jimmy got to see how it all works last week. The music immediately interrupts and out comes Jimmy to a pop. Jimmy is all smiles as he heads to the ring. Reigns, Jey and Heyman stare him down. Jimmy’s shirt says “Nobody’s Bitch” on the front. Jey’s says “Right Hand Man” on the front. Jimmy says all he hears is Reigns running his mouth while his brother stands next to him, acting like his bitch. Fans pop. Jimmy asks if Jey likes his shirt, and says he’s got one for him when he’s ready to hop on the team. Jimmy says now is the time because he’s not sure if Reigns will make it past Cesaro this Sunday.
Jey speaks up and says Reigns is their cousin, asking Jimmy to please show respect to the family. Jimmy yells back and says he’s all about the family. Reigns says that must mean Jimmy is all about him because of all he’s done for the family. Jimmy says Reigns is part of the family but not all of it. Reigns asks Jimmy if he thinks Reigns can beat Cesaro. Jimmy isn’t trying to make this a thing but since Reigns is asking, no. Reigns asks Jimmy if he thinks he can fill Reigns’ shoes and beat Cesaro. Jimmy says he and Jey can. He asks if The Usos won the SmackDown Tag Team Titles and Reigns lost his title, would they be The Head of The Table? Reigns says that’s not how this works. He gets upset now and goes on about how he puts the food on the table, carries the burden of the company and is the face.
Reigns laughs at the idea of Jimmy thinking he can be the man around here. He taunts Jimmy, telling him to do what he does, show everyone you’re the man, show the whole world you can beat Cesaro. Reigns and Jimmy stare each other down. Reigns asks Jimmy if he can beat Cesaro. Jimmy turns to the stage and calls Cesaro out for a match, saying he’s been off for a year but he wants this match. The music hits and out comes Cesaro in a suit. Fans pop. Cesaro says the challenge is accepted. He tells Reigns he’s going to beat his cousin Jimmy tonight and then Sunday, he’s going to beat Reigns for the Universal Title. Cesaro’s music starts back up as Cesaro looks on from the stage and Reigns taunts him with the title from the ring. The Usos also look on..
– Megan Morant is backstage with Cesaro. He’s very confident about beating Roman Reigns on Sunday and doesn’t think he can win the WWE Universal Title, he knows he can.
Jimmy Uso is backstage with Kayla now, asking about his first match in over a year. Jimmy says this wasn’t his idea and he saw his first match back being with his brother because they’re the hottest tag team in WWE, but now he’s not even sure of that. He goes on about Jey Uso being with Roman Reigns and says Jey doesn’t need him. Jimmy wonders what’s wrong with he and Jey being SmackDown Tag Team Champions while Reigns is the Universal Champion. He goes on and says if Reigns wants to see what he can do with Cesaro, let’s get it. Jimmy walks off.
Jimmy Uso vs. Cesaro
We go back to the ring and out comes Jimmy Uso for tonight’s main event. The announcers hype Cesaro vs. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns for WrestleMania Backlash, plus the rest of the card.
Back from the break and Cesaro is in the ring. They face off and go at it as the bell hits. They tangle and Cesaro nails a dropkick. Cesaro talks some trash while Jimmy is down, welcoming him back. They go at it again and Cesaro catches Jimmy in a powerslam.
Jimmy blocks a shot in the counter and seems to land bad on his hurt leg, but he just suckers Cesaro in and superkicks him to the mat. Cesaro kicks out at 2. Jimmy unloads on Cesaro with strikes, grounding him with a headlock. Cesaro fights up and overpowers Jimmy with a big suplex in the middle of the ring.
Jimmy comes back and drops Cesaro with an enziguri for a 2 count. Uso with more offense and another 2 count. Jimmy ends up sending Cesaro out to the floor after he hits the ring post. Uso runs the ropes again and nails a big suicide dive. They both hit hard and go down at ringside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro is unloading with uppercuts and body shots in the corner. Cesaro nails a clothesline for another 2 count. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer but it’s blocked with a back body drop. Uso drops Cesaro with a big kick to the chin for a 2 count. Uso goes to the top but Cesaro leaps up with a big uppercut and dazes him on the top turnbuckle. Cesaro climbs up for the superplex and he nails it for a pop.
Cesaro covers for another close 2 count. Uso rolls to the floor to re-group. Cesaro runs the apron and nails a big cannonball to the floor. Cesaro gets hyped up at ringside as fans cheer him on. Cesaro runs with a big uppercut against the barrier. He brings Jimmy back in the ring and goes to follow but WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns attacks him from behind at the apron. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Cesaro
– After the bell, Jimmy starts yelling at Reigns from the ring, about how he had the match under control. Jimmy storms off and Reigns follows. They argue on the ramp as Jey Uso watches from the ring. Jimmy says Reigns thinks it’s always about himself but now it’s not. Cesaro attacks Jey in the ring and beats him up but Reigns makes the save, taking Cesaro out. Reigns tells Jimmy to get his ass in here and help. Cesaro unloads on Reigns with uppercuts and goes for the Neutralizer but Jey makes the save and beats Cesaro down. Jey yells at his brother to get in the ring and help. Cesaro uppercuts Jey and goes to work on him but Reigns capitalizes, retreating to the floor to get out of harm’s way. Jimmy was also knocked off the apron by Cesaro.
Cesaro grabs Jey and points up at Reigns on the ramp, who is standing with Paul Heyman. Cesaro points at Reigns and drops Jey with a Neutralizer. Cesaro looks up at Reigns, talks some trash and drops Jey with another Neutralizer to send a message as Reigns stares at him from the ramp. Cesaro’s music hits and he taunts Reigns as Reigns raises the title on the ramp, talking trash back at Cesaro in the ring. The WrestleMania Backlash go-home edition of SmackDown goes off the air with Reigns and Cesaro yelling at each other.
#1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match: Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. King Baron Corbin
We go to the Elimination Chamber as Greg Hamilton goes over the rules for this match. The winner will become the new #1 contender for a shot at WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns right after. The music hits and out comes Kevin Owens first to a big pop. Owens stops and then heads into the Chamber structure, taking it all in. Owens walks around the ring and then checks the walls. Owens enters a pod and the referee locks him in. Out next comes Sami Zayn to boos. His documentary film crew is with him. Owens talks trash to Sami and taunts him. Sami enters his pod and he’s locked in as the film crew keeps rolling from ringside. The referee orders the film crew to the backstage area and Sami isn’t happy. Out next comes King Baron Corbin. Corbin is also locked into a pod. Jey Uso is out next. Uso enters and taunts Owens at his pod. Owens headbutts the pod several times. Uso finally enters his pod and he’s locked in. Daniel Bryan and Cesaro will start the match. We go to a video package for the Chamber match.
Cesaro makes his way out next. He enters the Chamber and stares everyone down. The music hits and out comes Daniel Bryan last as fans do the “yes!” chant. The bell rings and they go at it. Cesaro with two early pin attempts. Cesaro catches Bryan in mid-air with a big backbreaker for another 2 count. Back and forth now. Bryan sends Cesaro out to the steel platform with a backdrop. Cesaro barely landed on his feet and hit the steel wall. Bryan follows up with a knee from the top to the steel. Bryan brings it back in and hits a missile dropkick from the top for a 2 count.
Bryan with kicks in the corner. Bryan takes Cesaro to the top but Cesaro counters. They tangle and Bryan hits the big Frankensteiner anyway. Cesaro turns Bryan inside out with a huge clothesline. Bryan kicks out at 2. Cesaro drops an elbow on the knee and stomps the knee now. Cesaro grounds Bryan by his knee now. Bryan grabs the arm for an armbar. Cesaro gets out and powers up but Bryan turns that into another armbar takedown. Cesaro turns that into a 2 count and they break now. Bryan with an uppercut and kick to the knee. Cesaro comes back and uppercuts Bryan to the mat.
Cesaro with another big uppercut. Cesaro with a long vertical suplex now. The timer counts down and the next man let into the match from his pod is Corbin. Cesaro meets him on the steel but Corbin rams him into a pod, then beats him down against the steel. Bryan joins them but Corbin launches him into the chain wall. Corbin smears Bryan’s face into the steel now.
Corbin launches Cesaro back into the ring. Corbin misses Bryan in the corner and Bryan decks Cesaro, then Corbin. Cesaro comes back and hits his Uppercut Train on both competitors. Corbin catches Cesaro with a Deep Six. Corbin with Deep Six to Bryan but he kicks out just in time. Corbin with a 2 count on Cesaro. Corbin decks Bryan with an elbow to the head, then sends him to the steel platform. Corbin lifts Bryan and runs his knee into the edge of Sami’s pod. Corbin taunts Sami and Bryan. Cesaro comes out but Corbin rams him back into Sami’s pod. Corbin lifts Bryan again and runs his knee into the edge of another pod. Corbin bends Bryan’s knee around the ring post now as fans boo. Bryan kicks back but Corbin stomps him and keeps working on the knee, right in front of Jey’s pod as they talk trash.
Corbin goes back over and sends Cesaro into the steel, then beats him down. Corbin grabs Bryan in the ring now, nailing a back suplex for a close 2 count. Corbin shows some frustration now. Cesaro tries to fight back but Corbin drops him on the steel again. Corbin comes back in and turns Bryan upside down in a Tree of Woe. The timer starts up and Sami is the next man let out of his pod. Corbin is waiting so Sami tries to shut his door to stay in the pod. Bryan runs over and nails a flying knee on Corbin from behind, against Sami’s pod. Sami yells at Corbin while he’s down. Cesaro opens the other side of Sami’s pod and unloads on him inside of the pod.
Cesaro beats Sami out of the pod and unloads with big uppercuts. Cesaro beats Sami around the steel now. Sami sends him into Jey’s pod. Bryan with Yes Kicks to Sami on the steel now. Bryan sends Sami face-first into the steel wall a few times. Corbin comes over and drops Bryan with a stiff shot to the jaw. Corbin knocks Bryan back into the ring. Sami sends Corbin into a pod. Sami rolls back into the ring and works Bryan over while he’s down. Sami follows Bryan to the steel and charges with a Helluva Kick but Bryan moves and Sami kicks Owens’ pod, hurting his leg.
Corbin with a superplex to Bryan off the top rope. Bryan rolls away and Corbin doesn’t make the tag. Sami with a big tornado DDT to Cesaro for a close 2 count. Sami stomps away on Corbin and Bryan while they’re down. Sami runs around but Cesaro picks him up, allowing Sami to climb on top of Jey’s pod. Cesaro climbs after him but Sami kicks his hand, forcing him back down to the steel. Cesaro is on top of Jey’s pod now, brawling with Sami. Sami tries to retreat but Cesaro uppercuts him a few times. Sami hangs on but gets uppercut again. Sami rocks Cesaro with a cheap shot. Sami climbs away using the steel wall. Cesaro follows him. Cesaro slams Sami’s face into the steel several times. Sami hangs with one arm now. Cesaro hangs from the top of the Chamber and drives Sami down to the steel with a kick. Cesaro does pull-ups now.
Cesaro drops but falls into Corbin’s arms. Corbin rams Cesaro into the steel wall and then slams him over the top turnbuckle. Corbin with a clothesline. Corbin comes in the ring and chokeslams Bryan. Corbin unloads with forearms to Cesaro now. Cesaro leaps for the corkscrew uppercut but Corbin catches him. They tangle and Corbin gets sent into the ring post in the corner. Cesaro with the big corkscrew uppercut from the middle turnbuckle. Cesaro with the Cesaro Swing to Corbin now.
Cesaro goes right into the Sharpshooter and Corbin taps out. Corbin has been eliminated. The timer counts down and the next man let into the match is Owens.
Sami tries to talk Owens into teaming up with him for old times sake but Owens rams him into the pods a few times. Owens fights Bryan now and hits a big German suplex. Cesaro uppercuts Owens. Owens fights back as they brawl in the middle of the ring. Owens with an enziguri to drop Cesaro. Bryan gets on Owens’ back with a Sleeper now. Owens falls back and slams Bryan to the mat. Owens covers Cesaro for 2, then Bryan for a 2 count. Owens chops away while Sami is on the top now. Owens climbs up for a superplex but Sami fights back. Sami bites Owens and keeps unloading with strikes, sending Owens to the mat. Sami flies but misses. Owens superkicks him. Owens is the only one standing now as the others are down in corners. Owens with a Cannonball to Cesaro, then one to Bryan, then a Cannonball to Sami.
Sami comes and hits a big suplex on Owens. Cesaro with a huge uppercut to Sami. Bryan with a big running knee to Cesaro. Owens with a Pop-Up Powerbomb to Bryan. All four Superstars are down now. Owens gets up first. Sami is on his knees pleading with Owens. Owens with a nasty neckbreaker over his knee for a 2 count. Owens grabs Bryan for another big Fisherman’s buster neckbreaker over the knee. Bryan kicks out at 2. Owens grabs Cesaro on his shoulders but he fights free. The timer goes off and Jey is the last man let into the match.
Owens puts Cesaro down and meets Uso for a fight. Owens gets the upperhand and sends Uso back into the steel wall. Owens drags Uso’s face into the steel wall while taunting him. Owens runs Uso into a pod now. Owens launches Uso inside of a pod now, knocking the back wall of it out. Owens chokes Uso with his boot in the pod. Cesaro is fighting Bryan on the platform now. Sami attacks Owens and Uso. Cesaro slams Sami into the steel wall. Bryan and Uso trade strikes. Owens climbs to the top of a pod and hits a huge moonsault, taking the other 4 Superstars down on the platform.
Owens with a Stunner to Bryan, then a Stunner to Cesaro. Sami misses a Helluva Kick and Owens drops him with a Stunner for the pin. Sami has been eliminated.
Uso attacks Owens and slams the Chamber door shut on his arm after Sami leaves. Owens screams out in pain as his arm is trapped. Uso unloads with superkicks while he’s trapped. Officials finally free Owens but Uso superkicks him to the mat again. Uso goes to the top and hits a big Frogsplash, covering Owens for the pin. Owens has been eliminated.
Uso goes for Bryan’s knee now. Uso charges for Cesaro but Cesaro uppercuts him in mid-air. Cesaro goes to the top rope for a flying elbow but Uso kicks out just in time. Cesaro flies over the top with another big shot to keep Uso down. Cesaro swings Uso into the steel wall a few times. Bryan leaps from the top but Cesaro catches him in mid-air, then slams him back over the top rope into the ring. Cesaro goes to the top but Bryan kicks him in the gut on the way down. Bryan clutches his knee but tries to hulk up now. Bryan and Cesaro fight up from their knees with uppercuts. Cesaro goes for the big uppercut in mid-air but Bryan backslides him. He kicks out but Bryan kicks him in the head for a close 2 count.
Bryan stomps Cesaro while he’s down. Bryan holds Cesaro’s arms and stomps away now. Bryan waits in the corner and gets the “yes!” chant going. He charges but Cesaro counters. Bryan rolls through for a 2 count. Bryan with a kick to the side of the face to put Cesaro down. Bryan goes to the top Cesaro runs and uppercuts him. Cesaro with another big uppercut, and another as he unloads now. Cesaro climbs up and gets Bryan on his shoulders. Cesaro with the super Gutbuster from the top. Cesaro goes right into the Cesaro Swing on Bryan but Uso nails a huge superkick out of nowhere, knocking them both down. Uso with a top rope Frogsplash on Cesaro for the pin. Cesaro has been eliminated.
Uso goes up and hits the Frogsplash on Bryan but he kicks out. Uso can’t believe it. Uso climbs to the top of a pod now. Uso leaps for the Frogsplash but Bryan gets his knees up and Uso lands hard. Bryan with a running knee to Uso for the pin to win the match.
Winner and New #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Title: Daniel Bryan
We get a promo for Seth Rollins’ return to SmackDown tonight. We go back to the ring and the entire locker room starts walking down the ramp to the ring, apparently to show The Architect some respect. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the entire SmackDown locker room is surrounding the ring like Lumberjacks. The music hits and out comes Seth Rollins making his return to SmackDown. Fans cheer in the ThunderDome crowd as Rollins heads to the ring. This is Rollins’ first appearance on SmackDown since November, and his first appearance since returning in the Royal Rumble Match two weeks ago.
Rollins takes the mic and says it feels good to be back. It just feels right, this is where Rollins belongs. Rollins says a lot has changed since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series, and he knew it would, but what has changed the most has been a surprise. What has changed the most is him.
Rollins says as most of us know,he recently became a parent for the first time. He says he’s the proud father of a beautiful, perfect baby girl, who has changed his life in ways he never dreamed of. He did not name Becky Lynch. That change has given him a new perception, and that new perception has given him a new vision. Rollins says he looks around the ring and sees some of the most talented individuals in history. He looks at SmackDown and wonders where he fits in, but after a lot of self-reflection the answer became very clear to him… he is the great leader that SmackDown needs to push it into the future and make it greater than it already is, because success and leadership is not about what you can do for me, it’s about what I can do for you.
The SmackDown Superstars have heard enough. They start walking away, some throwing their hands up in the air out of frustration. Rollins continues ranting about how he can lead. He says for a better tomorrow and a better SmackDown, all you have to do is embrace the vision. The boos are getting louder from the crowd now, no more cheers. Rollins looks around at how everyone has left him. Except Cesaro, who is looking skeptical at ringside. Rollins says he knew Cesaro would get it, he knew Cesaro would understand, out of all the people. Cesaro shakes his head and then walks away like the others.
Rollins rushes out of the ring and drops Cesaro on the ramp by taking the knee out from behind. Rollins tackles Cesaro again and unloads on him, keeping him down and talking trash. Referees rush down and try to get Rollins off Cesaro as he punches away. Daniel Bryan runs down and decks Rollins, forcing him to retreat to the ringside area. Bryan checks on Cesaro as Rollins looks on, smirking. Rollins’ music hits as he continues staring over at Cesaro and Bryan.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Cesaro and Daniel Bryan. He says Seth Rollins wasted everyone’s time earlier tonight but he will not waste his own time. Despite what happened out there with Rollins, Cesaro is able to compete and will qualify for the Elimination Chamber with Bryan. Cesaro walks off. Bryan points out to Kayla how tough Cesaro is.
Elimination Chamber Qualifier: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan and Cesaro
We go back to the ring for tonight’s non-title main event as SmackDown Tag Team Champions Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler are out. The winners of this match will earn the final Elimination Chamber spots. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the champs are wrapping up their entrance. Out next comes Cesaro, then Daniel Bryan. They head to the ring together as a “yes!” chant starts up. The bell rings as Bryan and Ziggler go at it. They run the ropes and Ziggler hits a big shoulder for a 2 count. Bryan ends up dropping Ziggler with a kick. Cesaro tags in for a big double team slam. Cesaro covers for a 2 count. Ziggler turns it around on Cesaro for a close 2 count. Roode tags in and they quickly double team Cesaro. He drops Roode with a shot to the face and in comes Bryan.
Bryan with kicks around the ring. Roode ducks a kick and rolls Bryan for a 2 count. Bryan goes for the Yes Lock but Roode easily gets the bottom rope to break it up. Roode works Bryan over and knocks Cesaro off the apron with a cheap shot. Bryan ends up sending to the floor next to Cesaro. Bryan runs for a big dive but Roode moves and Bryan hits the barrier next to Cesaro.
Roode and Ziggler keep control, sending their opponents into the steel steps, and then return to the ring together, standing tall. Sami Zayn and King Baron Corbin come walking down the ramp as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Ziggler has Bryan grounded as Cesaro reaches for a tag. Sami and Corbin watch the action from ringside. Ziggler takes Bryan back to the corner and in comes Roode. They unload on Bryan in the corner. Ziggler with a cheap shot as Roode distracts the referee. Roode with a suplex to Bryan for a 2 count.
We see WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman watching backstage. Ziggler drops a big elbow on Bryan for a 2 count. Ziggler brings it back to the corner and takes Bryan up. Ziggler climbs up for a superplex but Bryan fights him, headbutting him to the mat. Bryan nails a missile dropkick. Fans rally with a “yes!” chant. Roode gets the hot tag and runs in to knock Cesaro off the apron. Bryan rolls Roode for a 2 count from behind. Bryan fights back with uppercuts now. Roode comes right back with a big Spinebuster for a close 2 count.
Ziggler comes back in and they hit a big double team and Ziggler covers for 2. Cesaro finally gets the tag. He levels Ziggler and knocks Roode off the apron. Cesaro runs wild on Ziggler now as fans cheer him on. Cesaro with running uppercuts from corner to corner to corner, stopping to knock Roode back to the floor. Cesaro with the big uppercut to Ziggler for another close 2 count while Sami and Corbin watch closely.
Roode stops the Cesaro Swing on Ziggler. Bryan with a running knee to Roode. Ziggler with the Fame-asser to Cesaro for another close 2 count. Cesaro catches a superkick and does the torture Rack into a knee to the back on Ziggler. Cesaro with the Swing on Ziggler now, then goes right into the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Ziggler taps out for the finish.
Winners: Cesaro and Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Cesaro and Daniel Bryan stand tall as the music hits. They have earned the final two Elimination Chamber spots, joining Zayn, Corbin, Jey Uso and Kevin Owens. They immediately turn their attention to Sami and Corbin at ringside, waiting for a fight. However, Uso comes in and cracks Cesaro in the back with a steel chair, shocking him. Bryan gets sent out to the floor, where Sami and Corbin are waiting to double team him. A big brawl breaks out in the ring now. Corbin and Sami come in to keep it up. Sami ends up turning on Corbin. Bryan sees this and levels Sami with a running knee. The chaos continues until the music hits and out comes Owens while Cesaro has Uso down in the corner. Owens runs wild to a pop and delivers Stunners to everyone. We see Reigns and Heyman watching backstage again, and they aren’t happy. Owens stands tall and looks into the camera, taunting Reigns. Owens grabs a chair and sits it up, taking a seat. Owens speaks into the camera and tells Reigns he’s coming for him, they are not done, and he’s not going anywhere. Owens says he will see Reigns soon. He continues staring into the camera as SmackDown goes off the air.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
We go back to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan as the “yes!” chant starts up. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out next comes Cesaro. The bell rings and they go at it, unloading on each other. Bryan takes Cesaro down and kicks the rm. Bryan goes to work on the arm now. Cesaro charges but Bryan dumps him over the top rope to the floor. Bryan goes to the top and leaps out, taking Cesaro down on the floor.
The referee counts as Bryan brings it back in the ring. Bryan goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick for a pop. Bryan with a kick while Cesaro is on his knees now. Bryan goes for the arm again as Cesaro goes for a rake to the eye. They trade counters now until Bryan blocks the big uppercut in mid-air. We see Shinsuke Nakamura watching backstage as Cesaro uppercuts Bryan to drop him. Cesaro with more big uppercuts now. Bryan takes him down and goes for an arm bar.
We see Cesaro’s head bleeding now as Bryan tries to turn the arm bar into the Yes Lock. Cesaro overpowers and turns it around, driving knees into Bryan on the mat. Bryan blocks a big corkscrew uppercut, then drops Cesaro with a kick to the back of the neck. Cesaro kicks out at 2 and Bryan shows a little bit of frustration. Bryan stomps away now. Cesaro comes back with a big backbreaker and then the Cesaro Swing.
Cesaro keeps swinging Bryan and then drops him into the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Cesaro has trouble with his arm but he manages to tighten the hold. Bryan taps out for the finish.
– After the match, Cesaro stands tall while selling the arm injury, with blood running from the back of his head. He stands tall and celebrates as the music hits. Cesaro turns around and looks at Bryan, who is down in the corner. Cesaro walks over and offers his fist to Bryan for a bump. They bump fists in a show of respect and Cesaro makes his exit as his music starts back up.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
We go back to the ring and out first comes Daniel Bryan to a “yes!” chant. Out next comes AJ Styles with Omos. They stop on the stage and have a few words as AJ actually sends Omos to the back. Bryan applauds AJ for coming to the ring by himself. AJ marches down the ramp as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a video preview for WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg vs. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble. We go back to the ring and they lock up trading holds. Cesaro is on commentary now. AJ takes Bryan to the mat and they trade counters and holds.
Bryan applies an arm bar but AJ breaks and gets free. Bryan goes right back to work on AJ’s arm. Bryan drops AJ and nails a running kick to his hand. Bryan grounds AJ and focuses on the arm again. Cesaro says there is no division between he and Shinsuke Nakamura, just a lot of respect and a healthy sense of competition. Bryan ends up leveling AJ with a big kick for a 2 count.
AJ misses in the corner and Bryan chops him down. AJ comes back and drives a knee to the gut to drop Bryan. Bryan blocks a suplex attempt with knees. Bryan with a snap suplex. Fans cheer Bryan on as he goes to the top but the music interrupts and out comes Sami Zayn with his signs and documentary crew. AJ takes advantage of the distraction and knocks Bryan from the top to the floor.
AJ follows and launches Bryan into the steel ring steps. Sami rants about being silenced as he walks down the ramp. We go to commercial.
More back and forth after the break as Sami films with his crew at ringside. Bryan takes control and counters in the corner, then delivers the running kick. Bryan goes to the top and launches AJ across the ring for a 2 count. Sami runs his mouth to the announcers now, saying he will not be kicked off the show and silenced. AJ catches a kick and nails a Dragon leg sweep to Bryan. AJ works Bryan over in the corner, nailing an enziguri kick to the head. AJ drops Bryan and wastes some time but then applies the Calf Crusher submission.
Bryan drags himself to the bottom rope and breaks the hold as AJ tries to tighten it. Sami talks trash to the referee. AJ grabs Bryan’s leg in the corner but Bryan drops him with another enziguri. AJ charges but gets sent to the apron. AJ with a big right hand from the apron. AJ flies in with the Phenomenal Forearm but Bryan dodges it. Bryan with a Butterfly suplex into the arm bar. AJ rolls through and Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock now as fans cheer. AJ finally makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold.
The music interrupts and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E. Sami is not thrilled. Big E takes his jacket off, then his title as Sami runs his mouth. Big E levels Sami in front of the announcers with a big clothesline. Big E then tosses Sami over the announce table. Cesaro gets up and shoves Big E. Big E shoves him back. Cesaro drops Big E and tosses him over the announce table. Sami gets up and barks orders at Cesaro now.
Bryan runs the ropes and hits Sami and Cesaro with a suicide dive. AJ brings Bryan back into the ring but they end up in the corner with Bryan in control. Sami runs in and attacks Bryan from behind for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Daniel Bryan
– After the bell, the chaos continues as Cesaro brings Big E in the ring and works him over in the corner. The music interrupts and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura hits the ring and takes out Sami, then AJ. Cesaro approaches but Nakamura puts the brakes on as they are still on the same page apparently, for now. The big brawl keeps going as Big E, Bryan and Nakamura clear the ring and are standing tall. We see Cesaro, AJ and Zayn at ringside. Back to commercial.
Cesaro, Big E and Daniel Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles
Back from the break and Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are going at it as the six-man kicks off. Nakamura misses a shot and Cesaro rocks him. Back and forth now. Nakamura takes Cesaro to the corner and works him over. Nakamura with the snap German suplex under the bottom rope for a 2 count. WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E tags in and takes over on Cesaro.
Cesaro turns it around with a big uppercut. Cesaro beats Big E down and tags in Sami Zayn to takeover. Sami works Big E over while he’s down and talks some trash. They run the ropes and Big E levels Sami with a big back elbow for a 2 count. Daniel Bryan tags in and drops Sami. Big E tags back in and double teams Sami with Bryan. Big E covers Sami for a 2 count. Big E keeps control and in comes Bryan again. Bryan comes off the top with a double ax handle as Big E holds Sami.
Sami ends up turning it around on Bryan, then taking out his knee with a chop block. AJ Styles tags in and pulls Bryan over, slamming his leg into the ring post a few times. Bryan clutches his knee as AJ stands tall and fans boo. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro hits the Cesaro Swing on Bryan, into the half Crab submission. Cesaro drags Bryan over and tags in AJ, who stomps Bryan in the hold. AJ drops an elbow, focusing on Bryan’s hurt left leg. AJ keeps working on the leg while Bryan is down. Sami tags back in and mounts Bryan with punches to the face. Sami mocks Big E and Nakamura now as fans boo. Sami sends Bryan face-first into the top turnbuckle.
Sami takes Bryan to the top but stops to argue with the referee. Sami climbs up for a superplex but Bryan resists. Bryan fights back and headbutts Sami to the mat. Bryan stands up and nails the missile dropkick from the top. Bryan goes to the mat selling his hurt leg as the referee counts. Cesaro tags in as does Big E. Big E with a big throw. AJ flies in but Big E catches him with another big throw. Big E nails the belly-to-belly suplex on Cesaro. Big E goes for the splash but Cesaro gets up and hits the corkscrew uppercut from the middle rope. Big E kicks out at 2.
Big E blocks the Neutralizer but Cesaro lands on his feet. He charges and Big E hits the Uranage for a close 2 count. Big E tries to rally the crowd now. The music interrupts and out comes The Miz and John Morrison. Big E stares them down and invites them into the ring for a fight. Nakamura meets them at ringside and they attack him, taking him out. Miz and Morrison enter the ring and attack Big E for the disqualification as Sami helps them.
Winners by DQ: Big E, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro
– After the bell, Big E briefly fights but Miz and Morrison take him out with a double team. The music hits and out comes Otis. He hits the ring and levels both Miz and Morrison with clotheslines. Otis tosses Miz over his head, then does the same to Morrison. Otis with another big clothesline to Morrison. Otis hits a double splash in the corner now. Otis with the Caterpillar to Miz and Morrison at the same time as we go back to commercial.
Bryan takes the mic and comments on the Royal Rumble Match taking place later this month. He goes on and is interrupted by Cesaro. They end up having words and Bryan suggests they have a match now. Cesaro says no because he’s sick and tired of proving himself week after week. Cesaro ends up issuing an open challenge since Bryan is not dressed to wrestle. SmackDown Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler interrupts and cuts a promo on the Rumble. Ziggler tells Cesaro to consider the challenge accepted. Ziggler vs. Cesaro is next. We go to commercial.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
Back from the break and the match is underway as Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro go at it. Cesaro hits a big uppercut early on and then the Cesaro Swing. Daniel Bryan is on commentary. Cesaro keeps swinging and swinging, then drops Ziggler for a 2 count.
They trade roll-ups and more counters now. Ziggler nails a Zig Zag in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count. Ziggler blocks a suplex but Cesaro comes back with a big Neutralizer in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
– After the match, Cesaro stands tall as his music hits. He taunts Bryan
– The announcers show us how SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura confronted RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits on this week’s RAW under the quarterly Brand To Brand Invitational rule, to set up the non-title match for next week’s RAW. We go backstage to Cesaro and Nakamura’s Champion’s Lounge. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are there. Cesaro and Nakamura are off to their match while The Profits are going to enjoy the lounge and get a scouting report for Monday’s match. Cesaro and Nakamura keep warning Ford and Dawkins to not touch anything, but they do anyway.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party
We go back to the ring for a non-title match and out comes Lucha House Party – Kalisto and Gran Metalik with Lince Dorado. We get a picture-in-picture backstage video from earlier today with Kalisto talking about being the leader of the group and bringing the titles home. There seems to still be tension in the group as he gets a “lucha!” chant going. We go back to the trainer’s room and see Jeff Hardy getting looked at. Sami Zayn comes in and they start brawling as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura for this non-title match. Metalik and Cesaro start off, going back and forth. Metalik mounts offense and tags in Kalisto for a big double team. Cesaro kicks out. Nakamura ends up providing a distraction from the apron, allowing Cesaro to land a big clothesline to Kalisto. Nakamura works over Kalisto and drops a big knee for a 2 count. Nakamura works over Kalisto in the corner and in comes Cesaro off the tag. Cesaro with a running uppercut in the corner for a 2 count.
Cesaro grounds Kalisto now. Kalisto looks to turn it around but Cesaro slams him and leg drops him for another 2 count. Nakamura comes back in and positions Kalisto over the top rope in the corner. Nakamura with a running high knee. Cesaro comes back in for a big double team move. Nakamura follows up with a cheap shot for a 2 count. We see RAW Tag Team Champions The Street Profits on the big screen now. They’re throwing a party in the Champion’s Lounge and it’s full of people. Cesaro and Nakamura aren’t happy.
Kalisto comes from behind and takes advantage of a distracted Cesaro, rolling him up for the pin to get the non-title win.
Winners: Lucha House Party
– After the match, Cesaro and Nakamura are upset as Lucha House Party celebrates. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins taunt them from the big screen.
– Sarah Schreiber is backstage with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Cesaro isn’t happy with the idea that a win over The New Day would be an upset. He goes on about all the reasons he’s sick of The New Day and how long he’s been sick of them. He says he’s sick of them representing the tag team division but that will change tonight. Nakamura says we will have new champions tonight.
SmackDown Tag Team Titles Match: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The New Day
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day – Kofi Kingston and Big E. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Greg Hamilton, who is back in the ring this week, does formal ring introductions. Nakamura and Kofi go at it to start. Nakamura mounts some offense for an early 2 count. The crowd and Big E try to rally for Kofi. Cesaro comes in and overpowers Kofi, hitting a big gutwrench suplex. Cesaro with more offense and a quick pin attempt. Nakamura comes right back in and keeps Kofi near their corner.
Kofi avoids a double team and hits a big dropkick on Cesaro. Kofi beats Cesaro down in The New Day’s corner and stomps away. Big E tags in and they do the Unicorn Stomp. More quick tags and stomps to keep Cesaro down in the corner. Big E launches Kofi into Cesaro while he’ down. Cesaro and Nakamura re-group on the floor. Big E launches Kofi out of the ring to the floor but Cesaro hits a huge uppercut in mid-air. Kofi lands hard and Cesaro stands tall on the floor as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Nakamura is in control of Kofi. We see how Kofi was dominated during the commercial. Nakamura grounds Kofi now but Big E and the crowd start to rally. Kofi tries to fight up and out of a hold now. Kofi fights off a reverse Exploder. Kofi drops Nakamura with the SOS but barely hits. Big E waits for the tag, as does Cesaro. Kofi crawls to the corner but Cesaro comes in. So does Big E. Big E launches Cesaro with a big belly-to-belly suplex, and another.
They go at it and Big E hits another big belly-to-belly for a pop in the middle of the ring. Big E misses the splash as Cesaro rolls out of the way. Big E knocks Nakamura off the apron but Cesaro rolls Big E for a 2 count. Cesaro rocks Big E with an uppercut. Cesaro with a running uppercut in the corner and big back elbows to the face. Cesaro with more strikes in the corner as the referee warns him. Cesaro mounts Big E in the corner and keeps control. Kofi tags in and turns it around, hitting a big top rope Meteora on Cesaro. Kofi covers but Nakamura breaks it up with a sliding knee to the face.
Nakamura drops Kofi with a kick now. The referee orders Nakamura back out. Kofi rolls Cesaro for a 2 count. Nakamura ends up rocking Kofi with a cheap shot, allowing Cesaro to get in another shot and a pin attempt. Nakamura tags in and tries to put Kofi away but Big E makes the save. Big E gets sent to the floor. Kofi fights off both opponents now, getting out of their corner but Cesaro tags in. Big E comes right back in and stops the double team on Kofi. Both teams brawl and the referee calls the match.
– After the bell, Cesaro and Big E brawl to the floor. Cesaro sends Big E into the announce table as the boos get louder. Cesaro bridges a table from the apron to the floor. Cesaro and Nakamura launch Big E into the steel ring steps. Kofi leaps off the announce table but Cesaro and Nakamura double team him at ringside. They ram Kofi spine-first into the apron and Kofi goes down. Cesaro and Nakamura bring the table into the ring now. They also bring Kofi in, then Big E. Cesaro stands the table up in the middle of the ring. Cesaro slaps Big E and talks trash. Nakamura kicks Big E onto the table. Cesaro positions Big E on the table now. Cesaro goes to the top and Nakamura lifts Kofi to him. They double team Kofi and put him through Big E on top of the table. The crowd boos Cesaro and Nakamura some more. Big E and Kofi are laid out on the table debris now. Cesaro and Nakamura stand tall and pose over them as Nakamura’s music hits. We go to replays. Nakamura and Cesaro drop the titles on The New Day and stand over them as SmackDown goes off the air.
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