Welcome to the Fightful.com live coverage for tonight's episode of WWE Smackdown! Live! Tonight we have a veritable dream match as AJ Styles will defend his WWE World title against the man who beat the odds to win last week in a non-title match, James Ellsworth! Be sure to come back here at 8PM EST to see if Ellsworth can make history and somehow defeat The Face That Runs The Place and become the new World champion!
-We open with a video package for last week where with the help of Dean Ambrose James Ellsworth defeated AJ Styles in a non-title match. We then get a package for the title fight tonight. The show opens with Ellsworth backstage and Dean gives him his shirt. Randy Orton comes out to the ring next. Randy says he's wrath, vengeance and coming for Bray as we see them backstage, this time a bunch of people dressed in goat masks and Bray in an open casket. Bray tells Randy to get a hold of himself and that he's coming after him. Bray sets up a casket match at Survivor Series then Luke Harper comes out to the ring with a new song and video.
Randy Orton vs Luke Harper
They lock up then Randy hits Luke with a series of uppercuts, Harper dropping Randy with a dropkick that sends him outside. Harper goes to dive through the ropes, but Randy catches him with a forearm then tosses him back into the ring. Harper gets on the top rope, but Randy meets him, Randy hitting a superplex as the lights go out and Bray's music hits and his version of Undertaker's druids come out and take him to the ring in the casket as we go to commercial.
The casket is at ringside as we come back, Bray standing at ringside. Randy gets back in at the count of 9 and Luke gets a quick 2 count. Harper hits a michinoku driver out of no where for a close 2 count as Bray opens the casket then closes it again. Bray opens it again then Randy drops Luke repeatedly. Randy goes for the draping DDT, but Bray comes in and Harper hits him with a big boot. Bray opens the casket again and Kane is in it, getting out and taking out Luke with a clothesline from the top then Randy hits a draping DDT on Bray. Just as they're about to hit their finishers the lights go out and they're gone, but the casket is still there.
Winner: Randy Orton via disqualification
-We have AJ Styles backstage and he talks about the main event as we go to commercial.
Alexa Bliss vs Naomi
They lock up for a clean break then shove each other until Alexa hides behind the referee. Alexa hides in the ropes like Toru Yano then Naomi drops her, Alexa dropping Naomi back with a knee. Naomi hits a series of kicks then a dropkick that drops Alexa in the corner. Naomi hits her with a kick on the apron then a springboard cross body for a quick 2 count. Naomi hits a sliding lariat then a leg drop for another quick 2 count. Alexa goes to the outside as we go to commercial.
Alexa is in control as we come back then Naomi makes her comeback, dropping Alexa repeatedly then hits a moonsault for a close 2 count. She goes up top again, but Alexa catches her then goes up herself and hits Twisted Bliss for the pin and the win.
Winner: Alexa Bliss via pinfall with Twisted Bliss
Apollo Crews vs Curt Hawkins
Winner: No Contest Curt left before the match starts
-Carmella comes out and says two months ago she was in her first ppv match. She says she doesn't understand why people like Nikki so much as Nikki comes out and says that she should say things to her face. Carmella talks about her stealing the spotlight and she can get away with it because her boyfriend is John Cena. Carmella says the only reason she's fearless is because of Cena. Nikki calls her jealous then Carmella asks why she's trying to hide, Nikki plugging the show. Carmella calls her a clingy, whiny, gold digger then Carmella plays video clips of her on Total Bellas, making her look like she's only in it for money and his power. Nikki talks about being fearless and Carmella tells her she used her looks and her sister to get into the company and used Cena to become a celebrity.
Heath Slater, Rhyno & Dolph Ziggler vs Spirit Squad & The Miz.
Rhyno dominates SS early then tags in Heath who gets a quick 2 count. Dolph gets tagged in then Kenny tags in Miz who drops him with a dropkick. Miz puts Dolph into their corner then Dolph fights out of it as they clear the ring and we go to commercial.
Kenny gets a quick 2 count as we come back, tagging in Mikey who plays to the crowd then stomps on Dolph. Dolph hits a suplex then Mikey tags Miz in who keeps Dolph from getting to his corner, dropping Rhyno with a right hand. Dolph hits a superkick then tags in Heath who takes out both members of SS for a close 2 count that Mikey breaks up then he gets gored out of the ring. Kenny rolls up Heath after Miz hits him for the pin and the win.
Winner: Spirit Squad & Miz via pinfall
Baron Corbin vs Jack Swagger
Corbin pounds on Swagger outside of the ring as we start the match as soon as Corbin tosses Swagger outside. They get back in the ring then Corbin hits The End of Days for the pin and the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin via pinfall with The End of Days
AJ Styles vs James Ellsworth WWE World Championship Match
They start off with AJ in control then Dean tells them to stop and they're going to commercial as we are forced to commercial even though the commentary team said we didn't need to go to one.
As we come back AJ is in control as Dean plugs the new Ellsworth t-shirt. AJ hits him with forearms in the corner then drops him with a perfect dropkick. AJ drops him with an elbow to the back of the neck then Ellsworth backs Aj into the corner, AJ hitting a snap suplex into the corner. Aj yells at Dean then AJ sits Ellsworth on the top rope, going for a move off the top rope, but Dean keeps distracting him with announcements then Ellsworth misses a splash. AJ drops him with a roundhouse kick then tosses him to the outside. Dean tosses him back in and AJ back out then they do that for at least a minute. Ellsworth drops AJ with a superkick then gets a very close 2 count. AJ hits a spinebuster then AJ hits Ellsworth with a series of forearms.
Winner: James Ellsworth via disqualification