The WWE SmackDown and Draft Kickoff pre-show opens with Renee Young, Lita, Booker T and Corey Graves. They hype tonight’s big event. In addition to Seth Rollins vs. WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, we will also see John Cena vs. Luke Gallows tonight. We go back to RAW and get a replay of the General Managers being introduced.
The panel hypes the WWE Draft more before going backstage to Ambrose and Tom Phillips. Ambrose says he doesn’t believe in draws and is confident going into his rematch against Rollins. We get a look back at the controversial RAW ending and more discussion from the panel. We get more hype for tonight’s show and Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a Handicap Match is announced.
More discussion from the panel on tonight’s Draft. Xavier Woods vs. Bray Wyatt is announced for SmackDown. Renee shows us some of the most shocking Draft moments from over the years. Tom is backstage with Sami Zayn, who doesn’t have a preference on where he goes but he hopes he doesn’t end up on the same brand as Kevin Owens as their match at Battleground should be their last. He also hopes Finn Balor gets the first pick from WWE NXT. More panel discussion and that’s it for the pre-show.
– Tonight’s live WWE SmackDown on the USA Network kicks off with General Manager Daniel Bryan coming out with Commissioner Shane McMahon. We’re live with Michael Cole, Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton. Bryan and Shane join RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and RAW General Manager Mick Foley on the stage. Stephanie tries to quiet everything but a “yes!” chant breaks out.
Stephanie and Foley announce the first Draft pick for RAW – Seth Rollins. Bryan and Shane select current WWE Champion Dean Ambrose for their first pick. Foley drafts current WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte. Shane picks AJ Styles. Foley selects WWE NXT Superstar Finn Balor for RAW next.
John Cena vs. Luke Gallows
John Cena’s music hits and out he comes to a pop. Luke Gallows is out next with AJ Styles and Karl Anderson. Enzo Amore and Big Cass make their entrance next to a pop. The match starts off with Gallows taking control. Cole sends us to commercial but the match keeps playing in a box in the corner.
Back from the break and Gallows has Cena down. Cena catches a kick and hits a shoulder tackle. Cena slams Gallows and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena hits it but Gallows slides out of the Attitude Adjustment and drops him with a kick. AJ and Anderson get on the apron, bringing Enzo and Cass to the other side. All six men are in the ring now, Cena and Gallows down. The Club charges but Enzo and Cass dump them to the floor. Cena nails an AA on Gallows for the win.
Winner: John Cena
– We go to the announcers for discussion on the first 5 Draft picks, and tonight’s WWE Title match. Still to come, Rusev and The Miz vs. Darren Young and Zack Ryder. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the bosses are on the stage. Foley selects Roman Reigns for RAW and says that pick shows he means business. Shane selects John Cena for SmackDown. Stephanie drafts Brock Lesnar for RAW. Bryan selects Randy Orton for SmackDown. Stephanie asks Foley for a drum roll and announces WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day for RAW and they will be staying together.
Rusev and The Miz vs. Darren Young and Zack Ryder
WWE United States Champion Rusev is out with Lana. WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz is waiting with Maryse, as is Zack Ryder, Darren Young and Bob Backlund. The champions take control of Young early on as Backlund looks on. Ryder comes in and drops Miz for a 2 count.
Miz turns it around and in comes Rusev for more offense. Ryder finally turns it around with a neckbreaker. Young and Miz tag in and go at it. Young gets the upperhand and hits a belly to belly. Young with a Gut Check for a 2 count as Rusev breaks it. The end comes when Ryder nails a missile dropkick to Rusev on the floor. Young gets the word from Backlund and applies the Crossface Chickenwing on Miz for the win.
Winners: Zack Ryder and Darren Young
– Still to come, Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke and Charlotte in a Handicap Match. Also, Bray Wyatt vs. Xavier Woods. Back to commercial.
Xavier Woods vs. Bray Wyatt
Back from the break and The Wyatt Family makes their way out. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day are at ringside. Wyatt with mind games early on in the match. Woods looks to be in a trance. Wyatt gets up from his knees and talks to him. Woods looks to snap out of it but Wyatt unloads on him. Wyatt beats on Woods in the corner as Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan look on from ringside.
Wyatt keeps control and keeps a second senton. He keeps Woods grounded and taunts Kofi Kingston and Big E at ringside. Woods looks to make a comeback but Wyatt gets the win with Sister Abigail.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
– After the match, The Wyatt Family stands tall in the ring as we go to commercial.
Kane vs. Kevin Owens
Back from the break and out comes Kevin Owens yelling at the bosses on the stage. Sami Zayn’s music hits and out he comes to brawl with Owens on the stage. They fight to the ring where Kane is waiting with a double chokeslam. Kane makes the ring explode and leaves as his music hits.
– We go back to the stage and Stephanie announces Sami for RAW. Shane drafts Bray Wyatt to SmackDown. Foley selects Sasha Banks for RAW and says every Monday will now be boss. Bryan pokes fun at Foley’s obsession with the women of WWE and announces Becky Lynch for SmackDown. Foley picks Chris Jericho for RAW.
– We see video from the WWE Network second-screen experience with Ambrose talking about going to SmackDown. Still to come, Sasha Banks in a Handicap Match. Back to commercial.
Handicap Match: Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke and CharlotteWinners: Charlotte and Dana Brooke
– We go back to the stage and Foley selects WWE United States Champion Rusev with Lana for RAW. Bryan says he hates to do this but SmackDown needs the Intercontinental Title. He drafts The Miz with Maryse to SmackDown. Stephanie picks Kevin Owens for RAW. Shane announces Baron Corbin for SmackDown. Foley calls Shane and Bryan “SAWFT” and announces Enzo Amore and Big Cass, together, for RAW.
– Still to come, Rollins vs. Ambrose for the WWE Title. Also, Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho. Back to commercial.
Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro
Back from the break and the announcers go over the picks. Chris Jericho makes his way out for the next match as Cesaro waits in the ring.
Cesaro knocks Jericho out of the ring with uppercuts and a clothesline to start. Cesaro with a big shot off the apron and a running uppercut into the barrier. Cesaro brings it back in the ring and hits a crossbody for a 2 count. Jericho makes a comeback for a 2 count. Jericho with a takedown. Cesaro counters the Walls of Jericho. Jericho goes on and hits an enziguri for a 2 count. Jericho slaps Cesaro around and keeps him grounded.
More back and forth. Cesaro goes to the top but gets crotched. Jericho climbs up for a Frankensteiner and a 2 count. Cesaro blocks a Codebreaker and hits an uppercut. Cesaro with more uppercuts in the corner. Jericho turns it around but Cesaro blocks the Lionsault with a Russian leg sweep from the second rope. Cesaro with a 2 count. Cesaro hits the Cesaro Swing now. Several more reversals between the two. Jericho nails a Codebreaker for the win.
Winner: Chris Jericho
– After the match, we get replays as Jericho makes his exit.
– Still to come, Ambrose defends the WWE Title. Back to commercial.
Natalya vs. Alicia Fox
Back from the break and Natalya is brawling at ringside with Becky Lynch as officials try to separate them. Natalya was set to have a match but Becky attacked her. Becky eventually heads to the back as we go to the stage.
– Stephanie drafts Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to RAW. Bryan drafts NXT’s “American Alpha” Chad Gable and Jason Jordan to SmackDown. Big Show is headed to RAW. Shane selects Dolph Ziggler for SmackDown. Stephanie announces NXT’s Nia Jax for RAW.
– We go back to the announcers to plug the second-screen experience on the WWE Network and we see Rollins being interviewed on his move to RAW. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and RAW selects Neville, SmackDown drafts Natalya, RAW drafts Cesaro, SmackDown picks Alberto Del Rio and RAW selects Sheamus. That’s it for the TV picks, another 30 will be announced on the post-show and we will have coverage.
WWE Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
We go to the ring and out comes Seth Rollins. He greets Stephanie McMahon and out comes WWE Champion Dean Ambrose. We get formal ring introductions from JoJo but Rollins attacks before they are over.
We still have no bell. Rollins leaves Ambrose laying on the floor and comes back in to raise the WWE Title in the air. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings. Rollins unloads and beats Ambrose down. Rollins with more offense before keeping Ambrose down in the middle of the ring. Ambrose rolls to the floor for a breather but Rollins follows. Ambrose gets whipped into the barrier but he backdrops Rollins over the barrier into the timekeeper’s area. Ambrose jumps from the announce table but Rollins moves and he hits the barrier. Back to the ring now. Rollins with a springboard knee and a kick to the face for a close 2 count. Back to commercial.
Back from the break with Rollins still in control. Lots more back and forth. Ambrose ends up getting the win with Dirty Deeds after countering Rollins.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
– After the match, Ambrose celebrates as Shane and Bryan come to join him in the ring. We get replays as Ambrose puts on his SmackDown t-shirt and we see Rollins down on the outside. A big “yes!” chant breaks out as Ambrose hits the corners and the announcers run down the Battleground card. SmackDown goes off the air with Bryan, Ambrose and Shane celebrating in the ring.
The post-SmackDown WWE Draft Center special opens up with Renee Young, Lita, Corey Graves and Booker T on the WWE Network. They talk about what’s happened tonight and what’s left to come.
We go backstage to Tom Phillips and Neville. He calls Dean Ambrose a deserving champion. Tom asks how he’s doing and how it feels to be back. Neville says it’s appropriate that the Red Arrow ended up on RAW. The last four months have been tough on him but he’s had time to re-strategize and anyone who tunes in will see a rejuvenated Neville on RAW. Back to the panel for more discussion. RAW selects Goldust and R-Truth while SmackDown selects The Usos. Titus O’Neil is going to RAW. Kane is going too SmackDown. RAW selects Paige.
Greg Hamilton is backstage with Natalya, who calls Becky a coward for trying to steal her limelight tonight. Natalya says Becky is lucky she’s not pressing charges. JoJo is backstage with Cesaro. He’s not happy about being drafted so late and says he should have been at least in the top 10. Cesaro says he would have been a better fit for the wrestling-focused SmackDown but he’s looking forward to being on the flagship show and is trying to see the positive. Back to the panel with Golden Truth joining the discussion. They feel good about staying together on RAW. RAW selects Darren Young with Bob Backlund. SmackDown drafts Kalisto. RAW drafts Sin Cara and SmackDown selects Naomi. Jack Swagger is going to RAW. SmackDown drafts The Ascension.
We go backstage to Alberto Del Rio, who isn’t worried about anyone else and is looking forward to becoming champion again. We go back to Renee and The Usos have joined them. Renee asks if they’ve talked to Roman Reigns and how he’s doing. They say he’s doing alright and is focused on Battleground but it’s unfortunate that they ended up on different shows. The Usos say SmackDown is about to get a little crazy with their draft pick. We go backstage to Titus O’Neil and JoJo. He’s excited as hell about new opportunities to beat people up. Bob Backlund and Darren Young walk up. Young is happy about being back on RAW with his former Prime Time Players partner. Backlund talks about barbarianism and won’t let Young go out partying to celebrate. Young says he really wants to wrestle Miz at Battleground but he’s going to fight him. We go back to the panel for round 9 of the Draft. RAW selects The Dudley Boyz, SmackDown drafts Zack Ryder, RAW selects Summer Rae, SmackDown picks Apollo Crews, RAW drafts Mark Henry and SmackDown picks Alexa Bliss.