SmackDown Live’s New Era finally has the hardware to match.
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan kicked off the show with members from the women’s and tag team rosters behind them to both announce and unveil two highly anticipated new championships for each respective division.
Shane-O-Mac and Bryan declared that the SmackDown Women’s Champion would be decided via a Six-Pack Challenge at Backlash on Sept. 11. Team Blue’s new Tag Team Champions would also be decided at Backlash, however the two teams that would fend for the pay per-view finals would be decided via a tournament that would kick off tonight!
It all seemed pretty straightforward … and then Heath Slater showed up, still yearning for both a SmackDown Live contract and, now, a title opportunity. Ultimately, he, Shane and Bryan reached a compromise — if Slater could find a partner, they would be entered in the tournament for the brand’s Tag Team Championships next week. The rub? Slater and his partner would have to win the entire tournament if he wanted to be signed to the blue brand.
AJ Styles then made his way to down ringside. Styles was disgruntled over a brawl he and Dolph Ziggler had backstage moments prior and wanted to air his grievances to the SmackDown Live Commissioner and General Manager. However, before he could even get the complaint out of his mouth, he was ambushed from behind by The Showoff. The two picked up right where they left off backstage, prompting Shane and Bryan to have the competitors in the ring separate the two.