The semi-final round of the Intercontinental Championship tournament was set to take place with Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy set for one match and Elias and AJ Styles in the other. However, a car accident outside the WWE Performance Center involving several WWE superstars caused the bracket to make some modifications. A 10-man battle royal and the emergence of Shorty G headlined another week of SmackDown on FOX.
Jeff Hardy and Elias get in car accident
The show opened in the parking lot outside the WWE Performance Center where Renee Young guided the viewers through the accident scene. Cameras showed Elias on the ground where he was allegedly hit by a silver Toyota.
Police officers and medical responders cleared the scene and one of the officers pulled a document from the car and said the rental car belonged to Jeff Hardy, who fled the scene. Kayla Braxton was with Braun Strowman, who said he was driving into the lot and saw Elias on the ground.
Elias was put on a stretcher and wheeled into an ambulance. Several officers ran to the side of a nearby building and found Jeff Hardy. The officers handcuffed Hardy and took him to the backseat of a police cruiser.
What would happen to Intercontinental Championship tournament
Cameras cut backstage and the SmackDown locker room was gathered with WWE producer Adam Pearce. The superstars thought aloud about the car accident and the fate of the Intercontinental Championship tournament.
AJ Styles said it was apparent the Intercontinental Championship tournament would no longer feature the semi-final round and he and Daniel Bryan would compete in the Finals. Bryan called Styles a coward and said they each should compete against another superstar as there were “deserving” competitors.
Sheamus and King Corbin interjected and said they should reenter the tournament after having already competed. Several match ideas were thrown around while Styles wanted no part of any match and said he wanted a bye to the Finals.
Jey Uso wanted “a piece of the action” and threw his name into consideration, and Dolph Ziggler reminded the surrounding crowd of superstars they were talking about the Intercontinental Championship. Pearce settled the crowd and said there would be a battle royal to determine Bryan’s semi-finals opponent, while Styles advanced to the finals.
10-Man Battle Royal to determine Daniel Bryan’s opponent
NXT superstars made up the crowd as they did on Monday. 10 superstars were in the ring when cameras returned to the arena.
Cesaro nearly eliminated Ziggler with an overhead press while Sheamus attempted to throw Drew Gulak over the top rope. King Corbin used a right hand to eliminate Lince Dorado, and Gulak tried to capitalize on an unsuspecting Corbin. This came to no avail as Corbin tossed Gulak over the top rope.
Ziggler and Corbin formed a team to eliminate Gran Metalik, and Corbin soon eliminated his short-lived teammate. Uso superkicked Corbin out of the ring as the latter was looking toward Ziggler.
Shorty G, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jey Uso, Sheamus and Cesaro were the final five superstars. Shorty G hit a tornado DDT to Sheamus, and Uso superkicked Nakamura and Cesaro. Shorty G pulled Cesaro over the top rope as he was in a precarious position on the apron. He continued his strong run by eliminating Nakamura with a waist-lock over the top rope.
Cesaro reentered the ring and eliminated Shorty G, bringing the final two superstars to Sheamus and Uso. The Celtic Warrior and Uso battled on the apron, and the latter’s superkick was caught. Sheamus pushed Uso into the ringpost and hit a Brogue Kick to win the battle royal and advance to face Daniel Bryan in the semi-finals.
Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville
Deville spoke of defeating one blonde last week in Mandy Rose and said Evans would be next. Evans overheard this comment backstage and pushed her future opponent, then advanced to the ring.
The two battled with their egos at the start of the match and taunted one another. Evans kicked Deville into a corner and said Rose would always be better than her. Deville took exception and struck Evans, sending her into the corner. Evans gator-rolled Deville into the ring apron and struck her covered opponent.
Deville crawled out from under the ring and charged Evans. The two traded strikes and the referee counted both out, neither winning the match. Evans drove Deville into the corner of the announcer’s table and the latter took a headset to say she would “fight Evans on her terms.”
A Moment of Bliss
Women’s Tag Team champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross hosted SmackDown Tag Team Champions Big E and Kofi Kingston. Cross gave Scottish Pancakes to her guests.
Bliss asked her guests which tag teams on SmackDown stand out. Kingston attempted to talk about The Forgotten Sons but Big E cut off the conversation and asked the same question to Bliss.
Bayley and Sasha Banks entered the arena and crashed the segment. The two traded verbal jabs with Bliss and Cross while The New Day took the role of onlooking, hype-providing instigators.
Bliss asked Banks where her championship belt was since the five other superstars were either a tag team champion or Women’s Champion. Banks responded by saying she helped put Bliss and Cross’s titles “on the map.” Bayley continued the hype Banks created and volunteered her friend for a one-on-one match with Bliss, much to Banks’s dismay.
Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Banks was not exactly on board with the idea of this match that Bayley proposed and was in athletic pants instead of her typical ring gear. Bayley and Cross were at commentary.
Bliss reversed Banks’ control and hit several standing splashes to her midsection. Banks stopped Bliss’ momentum and delivered leg shots to Bliss in the corner. Banks hit a meteora and attempted a pin.
Bliss clotheslined Banks twice and charged her opponent. Banks countered with another meteora and drove her knees into Bliss’ chest. Bliss battled back and climbed atop the turnbuckle, but Bayley ran to the apron to distract her. Cross followed to answer Bayley and the two fought on the apron. Banks rolled Bliss into a pin and won the match.
Cesaro vs. Shorty G
Shorty G eliminated Cesaro and Nakamura in the battle royal earlier in the night and as Shorty G looked on to Nakamura, Cesaro reentered the ring to eliminate his new foe.
The two quickly engaged at the start of the match. Shorty G hit a moonsault from the turnbuckle but was tossed aside when he tried to target his opponent’s leg. Cesaro hit a slam after catching a charging Shorty G.
Shorty G countered a backward slam from the turnbuckle and executed an ankle lock. The two traded pin attempts and Shorty G pulled through with the victory after flipping around Cesaro’s body.
Otis and Mandy Rose have a day off
“Mr. Money in the Bank” took his peach to the pool as Otis and Mandy Rose enjoyed a getaway day. Otis popped a bottle of peach champagne and entered the pool as Rose took a nap. Rose dreamed of Otis looking good poolside. In reality, Otis hit a cannonball that awoke Rose, who said she was having an “amazing dream.” The two shared the pool and embraced as the segment closed.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan was supposed to compete against Jeff Hardy in his semi-finals matchup of the Intercontinental Championship tournament, but opted to face another competitor rather than take a bye.
Sheamus jumped ahead in the match and took control over Bryan with strikes and dragged his hand over his opponent’s face. The Celtic Warrior drove Bryan into a corner after pulling his left arm. Bryan escaped the holds and pushed Sheamus from the ring, then ran a suicide dive and landed outside the ring.
Sheamus drove Bryan into a barricade near the announcer’s table and hit a flying clothesline from the top rope when the two returned to the ring. He hit an Irish Curse backbreaker and put Bryan into a back and leg submission. Bryan escaped Sheamus’ attempt at chest strikes and countered a suplex from the top rope.
Sheamus hit White Noise for a two-count after picking Bryan up from a pin. He hit a double axe-handle smash after Bryan charged from a corner. Sheamus looked for a Brogue Kick but Jeff Hardy appeared walking down the ramp. Bryan hit a Flying Knee to win the match and advance to the Intercontinental Championship tournament Finals against AJ Styles in two weeks.