It’s time for SmackDown Live as they prepare for Money In The Bank and dust all of the Backlash off of them that might still be lingering.

AJ Styles is still WWE Champion because of a double count-out and Daniel Bryan is still playing a victim and ragdoll for Big Cass. Let’s hope it all changes for D-Bry soon and with MITB coming up soon, who knows what could be in store?

There are also plenty of people who can’t wait to see what Carmella is up to next. But Paige promised to open the show with a big announcement and that’s exactly what she did.

Opening Segment – Paige’s Big News

Paige called Backlash a “smashing success” and then tried to get a pop by bringing up Daniel Byran. The people didn’t seem to be too hot on Carmella. But they certainly wanted to hear about Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles.

Then she started the first match which also served as a MITB qualifying match.

Jeff Hardy vs The Miz

Let’s have this match since it’s never happened on SmackDown Live. The lighting on the steps is distracting me when they take wide shots. I’m just going to throw that out there right now because I don’t know when else I’ll address it but it might be an issue.

The Miz and Hardy fought until the A-Lister powdered out of the ring and Jeff hit a Poetry In Motion off the ring steps. Hardy climbed to the top rope and tried for a Swanton Bomb but The Miz got up and backed off not wanting to catch someone like typical Miz.

The Miz slowed Hardy down eventually and applied a stretching submission while the crowd chanted on and those lights on the steps were equally distracting as the camera panned up to reveal a pretty green MITB briefcase hanging above the ring.

The action moved to the outside and Jeff got crotched on the barricade but ducked The Miz’s punches two times and hit a flying clothesline after tightwalking the barricade.

They returned to the ring where Hardy hit an inverted atomic drop and a low dropkick for a two count. The Miz countered a Twist Of Fate into a backslide but unlike Titus O’Neil Jeff didn’t want to slide.

Instead, Hardy hit a Twist Of Fate and climbed up for the swanton bomb but The Miz rolled to the apron and grabbed Hardy when he looked out to deliver a nice neckbreaker hanging up Hardy in the ropes as Miz jumped to the floor.

The Miz stayed on Hardy until Jeff caused some separation with a jawjacker and soon the two were clubbing it out on the floor. They got to their feet while still pounding away at each other and Hardy hit a side Russain legsweep for a two count.

The Miz caught Jeff distracted and locked on a headlock but Hardy got out and hit a Whisper In The Wind and it actually connected. Miz avoided a Twist Of Fate and ended up on the apron when Jeff hit a low dropkick sending him to the floor and then Jeff hit a somersault splash on him.

He tossed The Miz back inside and climbed up on top but The Miz kicked his legs out from under him which crotched him on the top turnbuckle. The Miz joined Jeff on the top rope but it ended up being a sunset flip powerbomb on the A-Lister for a two count.

The each reversed each other’s finishers and The Miz kicked out of a small package. Jeff hit the double stomp to the chest in the turnbuckle and hit another Twist Of Fate. Then Hardy climbed back up to the top rope and finally hit a swanton bomb but The Miz rolled Hardy up and stole the pinfall.

Winner: The Miz Is Going To Money In The Bank… AWWWWWESOME

This makes the most sense because Jeff Hardy is the US Champion so now he can defend that title against someone else who’s not in a ladder match at the pay-per-view.

The Bar was shown backstage and Sheamus was munching on some Lucky Charms because they’re the only thing that makes him feel better after losing to Xavier Woods last week.

The Celtic Warrior wasn’t in a good mood as Cesaro tried to calm him down but then he said it would have been easier if it was him facing Woods. So they booked this match because apparently, they can do that because they don’t just set the bar, they are the bookers.

Then Cesaro opened his bag and it was full of pancakes… the same was true for Sheamus. They seriously must have wasted 300 pancakes filling The Bar’s gym bags. Sad.

Renee Young asked Shinsuke Nakamura if it was over between him and AJ and he said he didn’t speak English. Renee says we know he speaks English and he replied then he forgot the language. But before he left he said, “AJ is nuts, but so am I.” That’s cute because of the low blows… yeah. I love pro wrestling.

Charlotte Gets IIconic

Flair came out and then so did the IIconics. Billie kay thanked Flair for curing her uncle’s stutter because he laughed so hard when Charlotte lost at Backlash. She said she wanted to bottle the emotion and sell it as a fragrance called “Disappointed.”

Peyton tried to mimic her but Billie said she couldn’t pull it off. Then they said they would capture the MITB briefcase and make it IIconic.

This match was Charlotte vs Peyton Royce by the way.

Flair ragdolled Royce around for a bit and the NXT newcomer sold like a charm as Flair tossed her out of the ring so Billie Kay could check on her.

Once they returned to the ring, Peyton took control for a few minutes and scored a pinfall before choking Charlotte with her long legs in the turnbuckle.

There was a very close nearfall after Flair took a big boot after Billie Kay pulled her hair back and snapped her neck while the referee was distracted.

But Flair soon came back with a big boot and then she went for a moonsault but Peyton got her knees up even though she didn’t make contact so nobody sold that and Royce just rolled her up for a two count.

Peyton got up before Charlotte and pulled the Nature Girl up so she could hit a spear for another near fall.

Suddenly Flair locked on the Figure 8 and Peyton Royce tapped out.

Winner: Charlotte Flair

Xavier Woods vs Cesaro

The New Day came out wasting pancakes all over the place. Seriously, there are statistically hungry people watching this show.

Anyway, Woods got to face Cesaro this week.

Cesaro and Woods were evenly matched in different respects but Woods gained the first real advantage although it didn’t last long before the Swiss Cyborg came back with some forearms followed by hitting him across the back as Woods checked on the referee.

Cesaro hurled Woods across the ring with a gutwrench suplex and continued his assault against The New Day’s resident trombonist for a bit.

Woods fought out of an abdominal stretch and started trading chops with Cesaro which is never a good idea so Xavier started laying in kicks which put Cesaro down.

Woods was lifted onto the apron and hit a double springboard kick to the back of Cesaro’s head for a two count. Cesaro tried to regain control but Woods kept coming back with one counter after another.

Cesaro tried to cheat with his foot on the ropes to get the cover but Kofi knocked his foot off. Woods hit a shining wizard for a two count before climbing up to the top. Sheamus tried to stop Woods but Big E threw a bunch of pancakes at him that he had in his singlet while Kofi hit him with a splash off the apron.

This precious time was lost for Woods though as he stood on the top rope and watched Big E and Kingston handle business with Sheamus. By the time Woods jumped with his top rope elbow, Cesaro was ready and hit a super European uppercut for the win.

Winner: Cesaro via pinfall

AJ Styles cut a backstage interview where he said that he didn’t care when, why, or what if Nakamura says they’re not finished then they’re not finished yet.

Mandy Rose vs Becky Lynch

In Mandy Rose’s first outing on SmackDown Live, she decided to pick a fight with the Lass Kicker for some reason.

They showed Rose and Sonya Deville backstage where they said that they can both be in the MITB ladder match. Then Paige stepped up and said that Absolution is dead and they said that she’s not their mom. Then Paige barred Deville from ringside.

Suddenly, Mandy Rose came out to her old music with a brand new attitude. Instead of adrenaline pumping her music was sultry and the camera got fuzzy as if the place was full of steam. This was a sudden change for sure.

Once the bell sounded Rose rolled out of the ring and returned to lay an elbow to Lynch followed by some shows in the corner. Then she landed a stiff knee for a one count.

Lynch hit a Becksploder Suplex later on followed by a forearm but Mandy Rose rolled her up for a surprise pinfall.

Winner: Mandy Rose via pinfall

Daniel Bryan vs Rusev 

This is another Money In The Bank qualifying match and also a freaking dream match.

Aiden English started things out by cutting an awesome freestyle rap ripping into the hometown like he was straight out of Hamilton. It’s Rusev Day!

The lights on those stairs were still incredibly distracting as these two locked up and Daniel Bryan went straight to his back twisting his body around to wrap about Rusev and start wrestling around him. They shot off the ropes and Daniel Bryan suddenly had Rusev locked in a surfboard attempt but Rusev wouldn’t give Bryan his arms so Bryan just stomped on his knees.

Rusev sprung up and kicked Byran down but as The Lion Of Bulgaria went running at Danel Bryan he went tumbling over the top rope to the floor. Bryan returned fire with a suicide dive but Rusev caught him and sent the Bearded GOAT hurling over the announce table.

Once they returned to the ring, Daniel Bryan found an opening and landed some Yes Kicks but Rusev reversed out of the last one. Bryan avoided an Accolade and then they exchanged reversals for finishers.

Rusev got Bryan down and he tried to lock on the Accolade but Bryan wouldn’t let him lock it in. He got to his feet and landed some Yes Kicks but Rusev grabbed him and flipped him over for a German Suplex but D-Bry landed on his feet.

Aiden pulled Rusev out of the ring to avoid the running knee and Daniel leaped on both of them. Then he got Rusev back in the ring and landed the missile dropkick before hyping up the crowd but instead, Rusev came back with a knee to stop Daniel Bryan followed by a Machka Kick for the win.

Winner: Rusev via pinfall

Money In The Bank is going to be on Rusev Day this year too! There’s your push for everyone who ever complained about Rusev not getting over the way he deserved.

After the match was over, Daniel Bryan sat in the ring and looked sad as the MITB briefcase hung above his head. The crowd chanted his name as the announce team told a story about his dreams being outsie of his reach.