– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a tribute video package to The Undertaker. It includes various moments from Taker’s career and new comments, from The Last Ride filming, where he talks about his career and riding off into the sunset.
– We’re live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida as the SmackDown roster stands on the stage and ramp, chanting “thank you Taker!” and clapping. No one is wearing masks. Michael Cole welcomes and he’s joined by Corey Graves. They hype tonight’s Taker tribute and later tonight we will hear from several top stars, including Roman Reigns, John Cena, WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Batista, and many more. Graves talks about Taker’s 30 year career. Cole sends us to a look back at Taker’s debut at the Survivor Series pay-per-view on November 22, 1990.
– Still to come, a replay of The Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36. Graves mentions twice how this is now known as Taker’s last match. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video with WWE Superstars praising The Undertaker. The video features new pre-recorded comments from John Cena and Roman Reigns.
– We go to a replay of The Boneyard Match from Night One of WrestleMania 36 this past April. The cinematic match saw Taker defeat current WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles after fighting off The OC (Styles, former WWE Superstars Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) and their army of druids.
– We take a commercial break and come back to a video with more stars praising Taker. This video features pre-recorded comments from Christian as well as WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Bret Hart. Edge says Taker caught magic in a bottle but for a whole 30 years. We go back to the replay of The Boneyard Match now. The replay goes on and includes the part with Gallows and Anderson, and the army of druids.
– Back from another commercial break and Cole is with Graves at ringside. They send us to another video package with pre-recorded comments on Taker. This video features Kane and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. The Nature Boy calls Taker the biggest star in the history of the business. We go back to the Boneyard replay. This time we get the end of the match.
– We go back to the WWE Performance Center and King Baron Corbin is in the ring with a mic. Corbin takes a bunch of shots at The Undertaker and runs him down as developmental talents in the crowd boo him. Corbin says Taker spent 30 years kissing the ass of one family, apparently the McMahons. He says there actually used to be a Kiss My Ass Club in WWE. Corbin says the owners of WWE protected and coddled Taker for 30 years, and he’s been stealing money from WWE for the past 20 years.
Corbin calls Taker a selfish son of a bitch for holding other talent like him down for a long time. Corbin is tired of hearing legends and Superstars paying respects to Taker, and seeing the fools chant “thank you Taker!” at the beginning of the show. Corbin doesn’t thank or respect Taker. Corbin tells the crowd not to do the chant and they do anyway. Corbin wants to leave Taker with one final thought – you suck! Jeff Hardy suddenly attacks Corbin for a pop.
Hardy unloads on Corbin and knocks him out to the floor. Hardy stands tall and celebrates as his music plays. He taunts Corbin as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get another video on The Undertaker. This package features pre-recorded comments from WWE Hall of Famers Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. Angle says Taker deserves all the notoriety. Austin says Taker has had hands-down one of the best careers in the history of the business.
– Jeff Hardy is backstage with Sarah Schreiber. He says The Undertaker has been a mentor and a teacher to him, and if it were up to him WWE’s Mount Rushmore would have Taker’s face on it 4 times. Hardy says everyone in WWE owes gratitude to Taker, especially Corbin, so since Taker couldn’t be here to deliver a message of respect to Corbin, Hardy will do it for him. Hardy says Corbin can consider this an official challenge and says he got his diploma from Deadman University. Cole and Graves confirm Hardy vs. Corbin as tonight’s main event.
#1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans
Out come the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions to join Cole and Graves – Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. Alexa Bliss is out first for this Fatal 4 Way. The winner will challenge Bayley for her singles title at Extreme Rules. Nikki Cross is out next, followed by Dana Brooke. Lacey Evans is out last and she stops to taunt the champs at the announce table.
They all go at it to start. Bliss and Cross get taken to opposite corners and stomped away on. Cross and Bliss turn it around, trading opponents and taking turns. Cross and Bliss stand tall and hug in the middle of the ring now. Cross rolls Bliss up for a surprise 2 count and Bliss can’t believe it. They have some friendly words, shake hands and lock up to go at it. Evans ends up taking Bliss down on the floor. Brooke and Evans work on Cross in the ring but they break down and start arguing. They fight and take turns on Cross in the middle of the ring now.
Evans and Brooke stomp away on Cross in the corner some more. Brooke drops Evans with a shot from the side. Brooke with a springboard elbow on Cross and Bliss in the corner. Evans clotheslines Brooke. Evans with a double boots to Bliss and Cross in the corner for a 2 count on Bliss as Brooke breaks it up. Evans tackles Brooke and unloads on her.
More back and forth now. Brooke drops Evans and goes to the top for a big Swanton. She covers but Cross breaks the pin up. Brooke yells out about wanting the title, then slams Cross. Bliss finally comes back and drops Brooke after some offense for a pop. Bliss goes to the top for Twisted Bliss but Brooke gets her knees up. Cross dropkicks Brooke to the floor. Cross and Bliss surround Evans now but she strikes first and unloads on both of them. Cross sends Evans to the corner but misses a clothesline. Evans drops Cross and launches in from the apron with an elbow drop.
Brooke comes back in and charges at Evans but Evans rocks her in mid-move with a big Woman’s Right. Cross takes advantage and rolls Evans up from behind for the pin to earn the title shot.
Winner and New #1 Contender to Bayley: Nikki Cross
– After the match, Cross celebrates with Bliss as the music hits. Bayley and Banks look on from ringside, taunting them. We go to replays. Cross continues to talk trash with Bayley from the ring.
– Still to come, Hardy vs. Corbin. Also, a look at the Wyatt vs. Strowman feud.
The New Day and Lucha House Party vs. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz and John Morrison
We go back to the ring and out first are SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day – Kofi Kingston and Big E. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik of Lucha House Party are out next. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are out first for their team, followed by The Miz and John Morrison.
Big E and Miz start off. Big E beats Miz down. Big E keeps control and hits the apron splash to Miz for a 2 count. Lince comes in and Big E uses him as a weapon. Cesaro ends up tagging in and going at it with Lince. Cesaro blocks a hurricanrana but Lince avoids the counter and elbows him. They trade more offense and Lince takes Cesaro down into a 2 count. Metalik tags in and hits a double team splash on Cesaro for a 2 count with an assist from Lince.
Cesaro drops Metalik in the corner and tags in Nakamura to take over. Nakamura runs into a big boot. Metalik drops Nakamura and tags in Kofi. Nakamura ducks Kofi and shows off some. Morrison tags in and gets dropkicked by Kofi from the second rope. Morrison kicks out at 2. Morrison comes back and kicks Kofi to the floor. Nakamura takes advantage of the distracted referee and sends Kofi into the Plexiglas barrier at ringside. Cesaro and Nakamura with quick tags on Kofi in the corner now. Nakamura drops Kofi with a big kick to the chest. Nakamura stands tall with Cesaro and Morrison as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Kofi gets double teamed by Miz and Morrison with a Gutbuster. Miz drops Kofi with a big kick to the head for a 2 count. Kofi ends up dropping Miz with a big tornado DDT to get an opening as the crowd rallies with Big E. Nakamura tags in and stops Kofi from tagging. He swings at Big E but misses. Cesaro lures Big E on the outside and Nakamura drops him with a baseball slide from the ring.
Nakamura drops Kofi in the corner now. Nakamura charges for the Kinshasa but Kofi nails a big double stomp. Metalik and Morrison go at it in the ring now. Metalik with a big hurricanrana takedown and a dropkick to Miz, then one to Cesaro. Morrison slides with a kick to Metalik. Metalik with an impressive Sunset Bomb for a close 2 count on Morrison. Metalik with a second rope moonsault. Lince tags in and flies off the top for a splash to Morrison for a 2 count as Cesaro saves the pin. All four teams brawl in the ring now, then take it to the floor. Cesaro and Nakamura brawl with The New Day at ringside. Those two teams fight up the ramp and to the backstage area.
Miz tags in and knocks Metalik off the apron but Metalik is legal. Lince nails a springboard Stunner on Miz. Lince goes to the top but chooses to take Morrison off the apron with a hurricanrana instead. Metalik ends up dropping Miz and hitting a top rope elbow drop in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winners: Lucha House Party and The New Day
– After the match, Kofi and Big join Lince and Metalik in the ring and raise their arms together as the music hits. We go to replays.
– Sarah Schreiber is backstage with King Corbin now, asking about Jeff Hardy’s earlier comments. Corbin knocks Hardy for going to rehab and jail in the past, and says Hardy should hang it up like The Undertaker. Corbin says after tonight Hardy will finally be able to… rest in peace. Corbin laughs and walks off.
– Back from the break and out comes WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman to the ring for a pop.
Strowman takes the mic and wants to tell us when he first met Bray Wyatt. Strowman then first felt fear for the first time in his life. The type of fear that makes a grown man tremble. He recalls sitting on the edge of the swamp one night when a snake came up to Wyatt’s lantern. Wyatt stopped Strowman from stomping it and said the snake was his friend. Strowman was confused as he watched Wyatt get face to face with the snake. The snake bit Wyatt and Wyatt just laughed. Wyatt laughed as the snake repeatedly bit him. Strowman knew then that he was in the presence of evil. Strowman says Wyatt didn’t get poisoned, bleed or flinch when the snake bit him in the face. All he did was laugh. Strowman knew then that Wyatt was the devil himself, that Wyatt was the serpent. Strowman was overcome with emotion and he couldn’t help it, so he started doing the devil’s work. The bad part about it all is that he loved every second of it.
The screen flashes back to scenes from the swamp. Strowman says parts of him still love it. He’s done everything in his power to lock that side of him away but it calls for him. Strowman says he can’t go on living like this. Strowman asks Wyatt if he wants to go back to the swamp, to the eerie miserable hell Wyatt calls home. Strowman says this only ends in two ways – he comes out of this the most evil son of a bitch Earth has ever seen, or he comes out with the satisfaction that he destroyed the devil. Strowman says then he will drag Wyatt in the swamp and let the alligators finish him. Strowman asks Wyatt if he wants to go to his home, his place of creation. Strowman is ready to turn it into the place of his destruction. One more time, Bray. Let’s go home. The screen flashes to the swamp a few more times. We hear Wyatt laughing over the arena. Strowman laughs back. We cut to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get another video on The Undertaker, featuring pre-recorded comments from WWE Hall of Famers Batista and Mick Foley.
King Baron Corbin vs. Jeff Hardy
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Jeff Hardy comes out. Graves says Sheamus’ toast to Hardy will take place next week after originally being scheduled for tonight. King Baron Corbin is out next.
The bell rings and they go at it. Corbin drops Hardy with a shoulder as soon as the bell hits. Corbin goes on and covers for a 2 count. Corbin continues to dominate and beat Hardy around the ring. Corbin mocks the crowd as they cheer Hardy on. Corbin puts a boot to Hardy’s head and keeps him down. Corbin manhandles Hardy some more and uses the top rope to choke him as the referee warns him and the boos continue.
Hardy counters a shot and sends Corbin to the floor. Corbin dodges a baseball slide and drops Hardy with a right hand, sending him into the announce table. Corbin breaks the count but Hardy unloads on the outside. Hardy launches Corbin over the announce table as Cole and Graves scramble. Hardy leaps off the apron and takes Corbin back down. Hardy brings it back in and beats Corbin around the ring.
More back and forth now. Hardy goes to the top for Whisper In the Wind but Corbin moves. Corbin launches Hardy into the ring post for boos. Hardy falls out to the floor as Corbin stands tall in the ring and smirks. Corbin drops to one knee and mocks Taker as the boos continue. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and several SmackDown Superstars are surrounding the ring now, apparently to show respect for Taker and avenge him against Corbin’s comments. Matt Riddle, Braun Strowman, Jey Uso, The New Day, Alexa Bliss, Lacey Evans, Drew Gulak and several others are out. Hardy fights but Corbin drops him and keeps control. Corbin comes off the ropes and drops Hardy with a big right hand.
The Superstars chant “Corbin sucks!” now as he works Hardy around the ring. Corbin ducks a shot and runs out, then back in and floors Hardy to boos. Strowman and Corbin have words at ringside. Corbin sends Hardy against the Plexiglas barrier and rocks him in the back of the neck. Corbin breaks the count again and brings Hardy back in, stopping to taunt Lucha House Party. Corbin rolls back in for a 2 count.
Corbin grounds Hardy in the middle of the ring now. The Superstars at ringside rally for Hardy as he mounts offense and hits a jawbreaker for an opening. Hardy with a second jawbreaker to stun Corbin again. Hardy fights back with right hands now. Hardy drops Corbin with a forearm and an inverted Atomic Drop. Hardy with his signature leg drop and a basement dropkick for another close pin attempt. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but it’s blocked. Corbin runs into a right hand. Hardy goes up for a Whisper in the Wind but Corbin blocks it again. More back and forth now. Corbin catches Hardy with a big Deep Six for another close 2 count.
Corbin shows frustration at the 2 count now. Corbin charges on the outside but Hardy moves and Corbin hits the steel ring steps. Hardy brings Corbin back in and goes to the top for a big Swanton Bomb. Hardy covers for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
– After the match, Hardy stands tall and celebrates as the music hits. Corbin gets up and drops him to stop the ringside celebration as well. Kofi Kingston runs in but Corbin drops him. Big E drops Corbin with a Big Ending. They call for Strowman to enter the ring now. Strowman waits for Corbin to get up and stalks him. Strowman scoops Corbin and puts him back down with a powerslam. Hardy invites Riddle into the ring now. A “Bro!” chant starts up. Riddle enters the ring and goes to the top, hitting a big Floating Bro on Corbin. Riddle celebrates with Hardy, Strowman and The New Day now. Hardy’s music starts back up as the other four pose in the corners. Hardy drops to one knee in the middle of the ring as a photo of Taker appears on the big screen. Hardy raises his hand to the photo of Taker in a tribute as the “thank you Taker!” chant starts back up. SmackDown on FOX goes off the air.