Smackdown Live Coverage (06/12/2018)

Good evening everybody! Tonight is the final showdown before Money in the Bank. We will see who will bring the energy heading into Sunday. Stay tuned!

LIVE FROM MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Tonight, we see Daniel Bryan take on Shelton Benjamin for the first time ever. Shinsuke Nakamura will take on the U.S. Champion Jeff Hardy. And before their Money in the Bank match, Samoa Joe and Rusev look to build momentum heading into Sunday.

To start off tonight's show, Paige has gathered the women's participants of the Money in the Bank ladder match before this Sunday to assure that they bring the briefcase back to the Blue show. Lana, in her English accent, assured that she will do it. Naomi had something to say about it and brought it up to everyone's attention that she won the first ever women's battle royal at Wrestlemania. Charlotte interrupted and pointed out that she has done everything there is to do since her arrival. Becky Lynch then explained why she will beat everyone. But here comes the IICONICS making a mockery of all of the participants in the ring. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville have something to say about the talent in the ring and this has now led them all to get out and start a brawl on the stage!

We took a trip down memory lane on the last times Daniel Bryan and Shelton Benjamin were last in Memphis. Daniel Bryan's "Yes!" Movement took place 4 years ago and Benjamin was successful, defeating Randy Orton. Up next, we see them both clash for the first time ever!

DANIEL BRYAN VS. SHELTON BENJAMIN

Benjamin starts things off with a knee to Bryan's midsection. Bryan builds some early momentum with the counters. He's showing a nice display of technical moves! Benjamin turns things back around and puts some power on Bryan, leaving Bryan outside of the ring early after the failed suicide dive. Bryan appears to have injured his knee. As Bryan attempts to slide back in the ring, Benjamin goes for the attack on the apron but Bryan moves out of the way and Benjamin hits the ringside floor! He quickly gets the counter and has the edge once again on an injured Daniel Bryan. Shelton Benjamin is taking complete control of this one as he has the advantage by adding pressure to Daniel Bryan's injured knee. As Bryan fights back, he gets Benjamin back by injuring his left knee as well. After a series of "Yes!" kicks and a dropkick to the injured knee of Benjamin in the corner, Benjamin turns things around on the turnbuckle with a kick to the head of Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan flips the script for the "Yes!" Lock and Benjamin counters out with a two count pin. He puts the half crab on the injured leg of Bryan and then Bryan flips it back around for the Figure 4 to the injured leg knee of Shelton Benjamin for the tap out!

DANIEL BRYAN DEFEATS SHELTON BENJAMIN

Tension is definitely building up for this Sunday's Money in the Bank event! Surely, one match we can all look forward to is AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship. Next, we will see AJ Styles in an interview with Memphis' own Jerry "The King" Lawler.

It has just been said Paige has elected to make the 8-Women Tag Team match a 10-Women Tag Team Match and add Asuka and Carmella to it. Also, The Miz is getting prepared to referee the match between Samoa Joe and Rusev tonight!

The King looks to get in the mind of The Phenomenal One before his big match this Sunday. AJ regrets not hitting Shinsuke even harder last week and promises to be the last man standing this Sunday and walking out of Money in the Bank as the WWE Champion. Up next, Samoa Joe will take on the Bulgarian Brute with The Miz as the special guest referee. We will see who has the edge going into Money in the Bank this Sunday.

SAMOA JOE VS. RUSEV w/ AIDEN ENGLISH - The Miz as Special Guest Referee

Samoa Joe brings a new haircut to the ring and starts things off against Rusev in the corner with some strikes. Rusev flips the script and gets Joe to the outside of the ring. After he meets Joe out there and rolls him back into the ring, Joe takes advantage and goes for the suicide dive out the apron! Out of the commercial break, Joe has control of the match. Rusev tries to flip things around but Samoa Joe ain't having none of that and applies another hold after hold onto Rusev. Rusev finally breaks out and is trying to catch his breath but Joe puts a quick stop to it. Rusev gets another edge and is building momentum for a kick and it's flipped into the Coquina Clutch by Joe. Rusev slips out and Joe runs into The Miz who's focused on a distraction from Aiden English. Joe then kicks English off the apron and after he attempts the pin on Rusev, Miz refuses to count for Joe. Joe twists The Miz's finger and turns straight into a superkick from Rusev. The Miz goes for the count and Rusev gets the victory!

RUSEV DEFEATS SAMOA JOE

After the match, Aiden English slides a ladder into the ring for Rusev and Rusev attacks Samoa Joe with it. He set the ladder up to grab the briefcase but Miz stopped him before he could even start and puts the Skull-Crushing Finale on him. The Miz then climbs the ladder and grabs the briefcase to stake his claim. He brings it out to the announce table and Byron Saxton opens the case to see that it's filled with pancakes! The New Day gets the last laugh over all of their opponents in Money in the Bank from the Blue brand.

Up next, we see the United States Champion Jeff Hardy face Shinsuke Nakamura for the first time ever!

JEFF HARDY VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA

Shinsuke Nakamura starts things off by playing mind games with the U.S. Champion., completely making a mockery of Jeff Hardy. Hardy slides out of the ring and catches Nakamura from sliding past him. He goes for the drive-by dive off the apron! Hardy appears to still be hurting as it seems like his extreme highflying is taking a toll on his body from over the years. Nakamura has taken advantage and has gained control of this match. Hardy is looking to turn things around and attempts a Twist of Fate but Nakamura counters. Nakamura has taken control back as fatigue is kicking in for both men already. Hardy flips things back around and climbs to the top of the turnbuckle for a Whisper in the Wind with the two count. Hardy goes back up top but Nakamura knocks him off the rope. As Nakamura attempts the Kinshasa, Hardy turns it into a Twist of Fate and hits it! He climbs back to the top and nails a Swanton Bomb. Jeff fails to make the pin attempt due to a bad landing on his injured back. Finally, he gets a pin and Shinsuke gets the foot on the rope at the count of two. Jeff slides Shinsuke back into the ring after the escape and goes for another Twist of Fate but Shinsuke goes for his famous low blow to end the match.

JEFF HARDY DEFEATS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA via DQ

Shinsuke stood in the middle of the ring over Jeff Hardy and counted to ten, looking to make the early statement on AJ Styles before their big match for the WWE Championship this Sunday.

Carmella is aiming to make a statement of her own over Asuka as she prepares for the 10-Woman Tag Team main event coming up next!

Big Cass shuts down questions from Renee Young and plans on making a "big" statement on Daniel Bryan by using his size this Sunday.

NAOMI, LANA, CHARLOTTE FLAIR, BECKY LYNCH & ASUKA VS. THE IICONICS, MANDY ROSE, SONYA DEVILLE & CARMELLA

Naomi and Deville starts things off with Naomi's displays of athleticism. Lana comes in but immediately gets pushed into the heel corner and Carmella tags in. Lana makes the tag to Lynch and she's abusing Mella with her Lasskicking energy. Mella gets Lynch into the corner and tags Peyton Royce in. As Lynch just starts swinging in their corner, Royce brings her down and tags her tag partner, Billie Kay, in. The heels have the edge in the matchup! They're keeping the energy up with flurries of tags with one another, even through the commercial break. Slowly, but surely, Becky Lynch is being worn down. Lynch is fighting to get back into this matchup and knocks down Billie Kay. She goes for the tag to Charlotte and Peyton Royce gets the tag from Billie. Charlotte is bringing the energy to her opponents! Charlotte goes for the nasty counter spear to Royce. As she climbs to the top for the moonsault, she's distracted by Carmella and Royce gets the knees up on impact. Carmella tags in and her and Deville try to tag up on the Queen but Flair counters and tags in Asuka. Asuka brings the fight to her MITB opponent! The back and forth between the two and the heels receive a diving moonsault form the Queen to the outside! The faces look for the control and Asuka and Mella end up back in the ring. Asuka rolls her up into the Asuka Lock and get the win!

ASUKA, NAOMI, LANA, CHARLOTTE FLAIR & BECKY LYNCH DEFEATS THE IICONICS, MANDY ROSE, SONYA DEVILLE & CARMELLA

Before Smackdown went off the air, the winners of the match embraced each other in their victory but the MITB participants quickly realize that Asuka could potentially be the next Smackdown! Live Women's Champion. They all circled around her and look up at the MITB briefcase as they take a glance at their goal come Sunday.