With Mr. McMahon's “Wild Card Rule” having played a major role on Monday's Raw, it seemed like a safe bet that it would do the same on SmackDown LIVE. Turns out, it would be more than major ... it would be Phenomenal.
Raw Superstar AJ Styles wasted no time using the “Wild Card Rule” to touch down on the blue brand, proclaiming that it was still The House That AJ Styles Built. Raw's Sami Zayn, fresh out of the dumpster Braun Strowman threw him in the night before, promptly interrupted and demanded that AJ go back to Raw “where he belonged.”
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods quickly interrupted, and Kofi suggested that he was willing to defend the WWE Title against The Phenomenal One tonight. However, Zayn wouldn't allow it, saying that he was the most deserving of a WWE Championship opportunity because he tells it like it is to the WWE Universe.
Kofi responded boldly though, saying that after his defeat of Daniel Bryan last night, he proved that he was here to stay as WWE Champion and was confident he could defeat Styles or Zayn and would happily defend his title against either of them tonight ... but it would shortly after be announced that Kofi would defend the title against both Superstars in a Triple Threat Match.
With the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match less than two weeks away, two of SmackDown LIVE's four representatives in the contest — Ali and Andrade — looked to make a statement at the other's expense in a one-on-one contest.
Prior to the match, Andrade boldly declared that Ali would be lucky to even make it to the Money in the Bank event after their battle. With both wanting to gain a victory and a psychological advantage heading into the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match, the two Superstars went full force, but neither could claim a victory thanks to Randy Orton.
Without warning, The Viper slid into the ring and blindsided both Ali and Andrade. After Zelina Vega grabbed Andrade's leg to prevent Orton from dropping him with a DDT, however, Ali and Andrade both got their licks in on The Viper. Ali avoided an RKO and hit Orton with several stinging blows, but Ali and Andrade were each leveled with ring-rattling RKOs by The Apex Predator (Orton lifted Ali into the air and caught him with an RKO on the way down, and Andrade felt the same move when he launched himself off the top rope at Orton). After taking out the pair, Orton eyed the Money in the Bank briefcase — a prize he very conceivably could obtain if he once again rains down RKOs at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
After The Hardy Boyz were forced to relinquish the SmackDown Tag Team Titles last week on the blue brand, Shane McMahon promised to crown new champions here tonight. Of course, Shane first verbally lambasted the people of Louisville before announcing that he had chosen Daniel Bryan & Rowan to be the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions. However, before he could bestow the titles upon them, Raw Superstars The Usos arrived and, via the “Wild Card Rule,” convinced Shane that Bryan & Rowan should have to earn the titles ... in a match against The Usos right now for the vacant championships!
Shane co-signed and the two teams went at it, with Bryan and Rowan looking to earn the titles they were almost given by surviving The Uso Penitentiary. In a ferocious battle, Bryan and Rowan looked to corner and ground The Usos as often as possible. Jimmy & Jey refused to stay down though, battling back and seemingly closing in on the victory that would see them take the SmackDown Tag Team Titles to Raw. In the closing moments, Rowan withstood a barrage of superkicks and connected with the Iron Claw to Jey that secured the three-count and the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
Following the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match, Shane McMahon saw fit to stay in front of the WWE Universe and discuss the high stakes at WWE Money in the Bank, but he was blindsided by The Miz, who will face Shane at WWE Money in the Bank in a Steel Cage Match.
The A-Lister, who also attacked Shane on Raw last night, unloaded on his nemesis, but former Miztourage members The B-Team quickly hit the scene and attacked Miz. As Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas pounded away, Shane began to depart. However, when Miz started to turn it around on Axel & Dallas, Shane-O-Mac returned and drilled Miz across the back with a steel chair. Shane again struck Miz with the chair, firmly laying him out ... but weaponry won't be at Shane's disposal when the two collide inside a steel cage at WWE Money in the Bank.
This tag team match would have major implications on the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view, as three of the four Superstars representing SmackDown LIVE in the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match squared off on the blue brand.
Fire & Desire used their experience as a team to their advantage, with Sonya Deville sacrificing herself for Mandy Rose in order for God's Greatest Creation to hit Ember Moon with several high-impact maneuvers to get the win as Carmella was downed on the outside.
After their victory, Paige arrived to remind everyone that Asuka & Kairi Sane were ready to overtake the Women's Tag Team division and would start next week with Mandy & Sonya.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston ain’t scared of no wild cards; that much we know.
For the second straight night, Kofi Kingston embraced Mr. McMahon's new “Wild Card Rule” by defending his WWE Championship against unexpected opponents. AJ Styles and Sami Zayn looked to bring the WWE Title back to Raw, but Kingston was steadfast in his confidence, taking on the dynamic attacks of both Styles and Zayn and firing back with his own.
The contest was highlighted by Kofi hitting a dazzling splash that sent all of his bodyweight crashing down on Styles’ back, Zayn nailing Kofi with a picture-perfect superplex, a massive hurricanrana from Styles to Zayn, and Kofi landing one of the most innovative SOSs of all-time (that also saw Styles drop Zayn with a reverse DDT).
In the closing moments, Kevin Owens (who earlier in the night claimed he was leaving the arena to celebrate his birthday) arrived and took out Xavier Woods with a brutal attack. This distraction allowed Zayn to connect with three Blue Thunder Bombs onto Kingston, but The Dreadlocked Dynamo refused to stay down and incredibly kicked out each time. A frustrated Zayn switched up his strategy, sizing Kofi up for a Helluva Kick, but the WWE Champion once again found a way, connecting with Trouble in Paradise for three to retain his title in an instant classic brought to us by the “Wild Card Rule.”
In a post-match interview at ringside, a fired-up Kofi tended to the fallen Woods and exclaimed that there would be “hell to pay” for Kevin Owens at WWE Money in the Bank.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) defeated Jinder Mahal & Shelton Benjamin (w/ Samir & Sunil Singh)
- Ali vs. Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) ended in a No Contest (7:22)
- Daniel Bryan & Rowan defeated The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) to win the vacant WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (15:21)
- Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose defeated Ember Moon & Carmella (2:01)
- Kofi Kingston (c) defeated A.J. Styles and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Championship (17:32)
Other on-screen talent
The Wild Card rule sets up Championship Match
Randy Orton interrupts
Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan vs. The Usos
The Miz & Shane McMahon brawl
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs. Carmella & Ember Moon
Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles
- WWE Smackdown Live #1029 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1029 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #1029 on WWE Network