During Friday Night SmackDown, it was officially announced that Matt Riddle is coming to SmackDown following his loss to Timothy Thatcher on this past week’s episode of NXT.
A video package for Riddle was introduced by Kurt Angle, who compared Riddle to past stars on SmackDown and was made to position Riddle as a big deal.
The show revolved around an opening angle where Elias was hit by a rental car that belonged to Jeff Hardy with Elias taken to a hospital. They discovered Hardy beaten up by the building and was arrested when they suspected he was inebriated, which upset many people that they put Hardy in an angle reflecting his well-documented problems. The viewer was led to believe that Sheamus was behind the attack when Hardy returned at the end of the show, and on WWE’s website explained that he was released and they ruled he was not intoxicated and therefore, it was a set-up.
With Hardy and Elias eliminated from the Intercontinental title tournament, a battle royal was won by Sheamus, who ended up losing to Daniel Bryan in the main event. Bryan advances to the final and meets AJ Styles, who accepted a bye due to Elias’ forfeit.
The finals of the tournament were announced for Friday, June 12th on SmackDown.
This episode also featured the return of Drew Gulak, as well as Shorty G and Jey Uso. Gulak had briefly left after his contract expired but they have come to terms on a new deal. Jey Uso had been away since WrestleMania when brother Jimmy Uso suffered a knee injury and was expected to miss 6-9 months.
Next week’s episode will feature Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defending the WWE women’s tag titles against Bayley & Sasha Banks. It will also feature The Miz & John Morrison “issuing a warning” to Universal champion Braun Strowman ahead of their 2-on-1 handicap match for the title at Backlash.