The SmackDown World Cup continues as tonight’s episode takes place at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Bloodline and Brawling Brutes continue their feud with Sami Zayn taking on Butch in a first round tournament match. Last week, Butch and Ridge Holland confronted The Bloodline, which led to Sheamus and Drew McIntyre getting involved. A massive brawl broke out between both teams as SmackDown went off the air.
Ricochet goes one-on-one with Mustafa Ali in tonight’s second WC first-round match. The winner of the tournament gets the shot at Gunther’s Intercontinental title.
Shotzi is out for revenge as she takes on Shayna Baszler. Shotzi won a six-way match last Friday to earn a title shot against SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. Rousey and Baszler then tried to intimidate Shotzi backstage after her win. Baszler choked out Shotzi when she got in Rousey’s face.
Our live broadcast begins at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.
The Brawling Brutes & Drew McIntyre segment
They recapped McIntyre and the Brutes brawling with The Bloodline last week.
Michael Cole announced The Bloodline Vs. The Brawling Brutes, McIntyre and a partner in War Games at Survivor Series.
Sheamus joked about the microphone not working. Despite their rivalry, McIntyre and Sheamus team up in War Games. Sheamus mentioned that his twenty-year feud with McIntyre created a bond and mutual respect. Sheamus added that McIntyre was his best man three weeks ago.
The fans broke into a loud “Ucey” chant. Sheamus asked McIntyre to be an honorary Bruty. McIntyre agreed and they shook hands. McIntyre knows what it’s like to tackle The Bloodline. The fans broke into a short “Bruty” chant.
They turned their attention to the identity of their fifth partner. Sheamus was about to make the announcement when Sami Zayn interrupted. The fans appeared and broke into a loud “Ucey” chant,
Zayn noted that they don’t care about the fifth partner. He called himself Ucey in the sky with diamonds. Zayn guaranteed victory in the War Games and tonight in the World Cup. Sheamus thinks Zayn will care who their partner will be.
SmackDown World Cup: Ricochet defeated Mustafa Ali (11:03)
It will be tough to top Ricochet vs Ali. They told a great story mixed with hard-hitting, fast-paced action. It revolved around Ricochet’s reluctance to take on an injured Ali.
They recapped Bobby Lashley hurting Ali on Raw.
Earlier today, the coach advised Ali not to compete tonight. Ricochet agreed with the trainer. Ali ignored their advice and came to the ring with his ribs taped.
Ricochet and Ali traded quick pin attempts early on. Wade Barrett explained that Ricochet doesn’t want to hurt Ali, so he’s trying to get the quick win. Ricochet was worried about Ali and wanted him to reconsider the match. Ali took advantage of Ricochet’s sympathy with a forearm to the back of the head. Ricochet and Ali battled on the top turnbuckle until Ali hit a top rope backstabber.
In the break, Ricochet hit a superplex. Ali recovered and hit a plancha to the floor. Ricochet rolled through and hit a Michinoku Driver.
Ali caught Ricochet in a koji clutch when Ricochet missed a phoenix splash. After breaking free, Ricochet shot up and hit a dragon suplex, a vicious clothesline and a standing moonsault for a near fall. Ricochet was worried about Ali and told the referee to check on him.
After a whip into the corner, Ricochet ran up the turnbuckle into a backflip and landed on his feet. As Ricochet landed, Ali hit a second rep tornado DDT. Ricochet took advantage of Ali missing a 450 splash. He hit a shooting star on a standing Ali for the win.
Ricochet takes on Braun Strowman in the World Championship Semi-Finals.
Jey Uso yelled at Sami Zayn in their locker room. Jey was furious that Zayn guaranteed victory at the War Games. Zayn didn’t understand Jey’s problem. Jimmy stepped in between them and told Zayn to calm down. He noted that Roman Reigns is on the way, and they need to find out the identity of the fifth partner. Jimmy told Jey to stop worrying about Zayn. After Zayn left, Jey asked Jimmy and Solo Sikoa if they really liked Zayn. They both said yes.
Progressive Match of the Week Flo was The Usos defeating New Day to set the tag team record.
Kayla Braxton spoke to New Day backstage. They were disappointed not to win the titles. Imperium interrupted and mocked New Day for losing last week. New Day made fun of Gunther and challenged them to a six man match. They promised to find a partner.
Emma talked to Madcap Moss backstage. He noted that he was unable to speak for three weeks because of the Karrion Kross and Kross Jacket. Emma encouraged Moss to use her speed in tonight’s rematch.
Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) defeated Madcap Moss (3:44)
Moss caught Kross with a jumping knee at the bell. After a flurry of attacks, Kross took over. With firm control, Moss whipped Kross into the barricade. Kross recovered and slowed down.
Scarlett got upset and punched Moss in the face. However, Moss fired up and ran amok at Kross. Scarlett caused a distraction that allowed Kross to land a knee to the face. Kross locked on the Kross jacket, but Moss broke free. Kross recovered and locked on the Kross jacket again, but Moss was unable to break free and tapped out this time.
After the match, Kross refused to break the hold for several minutes. Emma ran out to check on Moss.
Bray Wyatt does good
Bray Wyatt and LA Knight told a simple but effective story. Wyatt tries not to give in to his dark side as Knight taunts him. They were both excellent in their roles.
Bray Wyatt entered the ring. Wyatt feels terrible for hitting Knight last week and wants to apologize. He thought about all the bad things he did in his past. He always believed that fear meant respect.
Knight interrupted and entered the ring. He believes he earned Wyatt’s respect because he is not afraid of him. Suddenly, Knight hit Wyatt and jumped up on the apron. The bangs got a lot of heat. Knight accepted Wyatt’s apology and said they are even now.
Wyatt was upset but let it go. He agreed that they are even now. Wyatt tried to shake Knight’s hand, but Knight punched him again. Wyatt was furious and glared at Knight as he walked away. Wyatt’s symbols flashed on the screen in the background.
They summarized that Shayna Baszler attacked Shotzi last week.
The Usos spoke with Karrion Kross and Scarlett backstage. Jey and Jimmy want to know if Kross is the fifth partner. Kross is not the partner, but he will take the titles from Roman Reigns.
Bray Wyatt stood in the background arguing with himself.
Shotzi defeated Shayna Baszler (w/Ronda Rousey) (4:50)
No one is buying Shotzi as a contender for Rousey, and this match didn’t help. She ended up in some crime but got lucky after a distraction.
Shotzi had the early advantage until Baszler took over with a back kick. She slowed her pace, but Shotzi broke free. Shotzi rocked Baszler with a flurry of strikes. Rousey pulled Baszler out to save her. Baszler capitalized on Shotzi’s argument with Rousey. She destroyed Shotzi with a German suplex.
After Baszler high-fived Rousey, Shotzi recovered and ran wild. Rousey caused another distraction that allowed Baszler to take over.
Raquel Rodriguez saw enough and went to ringside to back up Shotzi. Baszler went to stomp Shotzi’s elbow but was distracted by Rodriguez. Shotzi took advantage and rolled up Baszler for the win.
Megan Morant spoke to LA Knight as he left the arena. She wondered if he’s going because he’s afraid of Bray Wyatt. Knight denied he was afraid. Knight opened the door slightly but continued to speak to Morant. A terrifying masked man appeared briefly in the background, but neither Knight nor Morant noticed. Knight turned and walked out the door. It was probably Wyatt in the mask.
Back from the break, LA Knight was knocked unconscious and buried under a pile of tables and chairs. Judges and officials checked him.
Braun Strowman & New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated Imperium (Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) (7:20)
Before the match, New Day brawled with Kaiser and Vinci. Kingston went for the trust dropkick, but Imperium caught him and dumped him on the apron.
Woods went for a suicide dive, but Gunther took him out with a chop. Gunther and Strowman came at it, but Gunther jumped out of the ring as the bell rang. The second the bell rang they cut to a commercial.
Back from the break, the Heels were firmly in control as they isolated Woods. Strowman got the hot tag and cleared the ring. After absorbing a chop, Strowman chased Gunther around ringside. Gunther rocked Strowman with a chop and quickly tagged out. Kingston tagged in and wiped out the heels with a crossbody. New Day hits the midnight hour for the win. Gunther avoided Strowman and took off.
On the flip side, Kayla Braxton interviewed Braun Strowman. He vowed to win the WC as Ricochet approached. He mocked Strowman, referencing Strowman’s flippy flopper comment on Twitter. Cole also alluded to Strowman’s comments, assuming they would play a role in their feud.
SmackDown World Cup First Round Match: Butch (w/Sheamus, Drew McIntyre & Ridge Holland) defeated Sami Zayn (w/The Usos & Solo Sikoa) (7:48)
Zayn and Butch had a heated seven minute match. They packed a lot into a short amount of time, but it didn’t feel rushed. The heat after the game was off the charts. Roman Reigns appeared to a big pop. Moments later, Kevin Owens appeared as The Brawling Brute’s fifth partner for the War Games to a giant reaction.
Butch scored an early near fall, but Zayn quickly took over. After a brief argument between Bloodline and the Brutes, Butch hit a middle buckle tornado DDT. Butch jumped to the top rope, but Zayn pushed him off and crashed into the barricade.
Butch forearmed Zayn back from the commercial. Jey caused a distraction that allowed Zayn to score a near fall. The Usos interfered again, and Zayn hit a blue thunderbomb for a close two count.
A brawl broke out at ringside. Butch wiped out the Usos with a moonsault. Zayn recovered and set up for the Helluva Kick, but Sheamus and Jey fought in the ring. Butch took advantage of the distraction and hit the Bitter End for the win.
After the match, the brawl continued as Roman Reigns came out to a giant pop. Reigns took out Holland with a superman tag. He then caught McIntyre with a spear.
Sheamus and McIntyre made it through. With Zayn’s help, Reigns took out Sheamus. He lined up for the spear as Kevin Owens’ music hit with a huge pop. Owens and Reigns walked off in the middle of the ring. Owens took Reigns over and stomped him in the corner.
Owens turned to see Zayn. The brief stare down allowed Reigns to hit the superman team. He went for the spear, but Owens countered with a knee and hit the stunner.
SmackDown went off the air as The Bloodline retreated and McIntyre, Owens and The Brawling Brutes posed in the ring.
Next week: In the World Championship semi-finals, Ricochet takes on Braun Strowman, and Santos Escobar goes one-on-one with Butch.
Plus, Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus also take on The Usos for the War Games Advantage.
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