Tonight was set to be an epic edition of SmackDown. The two semi-final matches in the Intercontinental Championship Tournament were to take place, with AJ Styles battling Elias and Daniel Bryan facing Jeff Hardy.
However, we opened the show with what looked like a car accident. A rental car had run into a stop sign, and Elias was out on the ground. It was revealed that the car belonged to Jeff Hardy, and it was covered in bottles of alcohol.
Braun Strowman was an eyewitness to the accident but didn't know who was responsible. Hardy was found moments after the show opened, severely banged up and reeking of alcohol. Jason Jordan and Jamie Noble attempted to get him inside, but he was arrested and taken away for questioning and blood tests.
This is not a good way to kick off the semis, Bro. Backstage, Adam Pearce lets the SmackDown locker room know that both Elias and Hardy were out of the tournament. AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan argued over how they would handle this. Would they move onto the finals immediately, or would Bryan and Styles be given new opponents?
Styles refused, demanding a BYE to the finals. The entire locker room wanted to face Bryan, leading to a battle royal to determine who would face the G.O.A.T.
SmackDown Intercontinental Tournament Battle Royal:
Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Jey Uso, Drew Gulak, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Lince Dorado, Cesaro, Gran Metalik and Shorty G all took part in the match. Ziggler hung out on the edge of the apron for the first few minutes, near elimination for quite some time.
Eventually, he made it back in but was targeted by the Swiss Superman. Ziggler barely hung onto the ropes following a military press. On the other side of the ring, Sheamus attempted to dump Dorado to the floor, but the Golden Lynx held strong.
Shorty G nearly eliminated Sheamus as he jaw jacked with Michael Cole, but prevented the Olympian from making the elimination. Baron Corbin earned the first elimination of the match, knocking Dorado to the floor with a strong right haymaker.
Gulak ran in to knock off the King but was dumped over the ropes with a hip toss. That's two for the King of the Ring. Corbin teamed up with Ziggler to take out the other half of the Lucha House Party. A superkick stunned Gran Metalik, and Corbin launched him over the ropes.
Ziggler immediately tried to eliminate Corbin, but the big man ducked and sent the former 6-time IC Champ to the floor instead. As Corbin turned around, a superkick from Jey Uso eliminated him from the match.
In a short Bar reunion, Sheamus and Cesaro took on Shorty G together. Cesaro broke off to focus on Jey Uso while Shorty G spiked Sheamus with a tornado DDT. Uso rocked Cesaro and Nakamura with a pair of superkicks.
Nakamura responded with a wheel kick but was taken to the apron by Shorty G. Cesaro made the save, but was dumped to the floor for his troubles. Cesaro took the SmackDown announcer's desk apart in a fit of rage while Nakamura went back in on the former SmackDown Tag Team Champion.
Shorty G eliminated Nakamura as well, dumping him overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex. As he celebrated, Cesaro ran in from behind and sent him to the floor while the ref's backs were turned. And then there were two.
Jey Uso and Sheamus battered one another with big shots. Uso was sent to the apron but fought out with a backbreaker in the ropes. Back inside, a Superkick nearly took out the Celtic Warrior. They both found themselves out on the apron. Uso's superkick was blocked, and after getting bounced off the ring post, was eliminated with a Brogue Kick.
Results: Sheamus eliminates Jey Uso last to advance to the IC Tournament semi-finals.
Sonya Deville was backstage getting ready for her match with Lacey Evans. Deville was still riding high over her wins against Mandy Rose, and demands Evans put her hair up and square up. Evans appeared and knocked her to the floor before heading to the ring.