WWE SmackDown Recap: May 8, 2018
S18 episode 19 Aired on May 8, 2018

WWE Money in the Bank was the focus of every blue brand Superstar, as three competitors qualified for the Money in the Bank Ladder Matches. Elsewhere, the growing beef between The New Day and The Bar continued.

SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige kicked things off on the blue brand and quickly looked back to the events of WWE Backlash, then began to look forward to the upcoming WWE Money in the Bank event and its two Money in the Bank Ladder Matches. Tonight, several bouts would feature male and female Superstars attempting to qualify for the clashes, including the match that was about to begin — United States Champion Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz.

Miz and Hardy both came out firing, with The Charismatic Enigma looking to build off his win this past Sunday against Randy Orton, and The A-Lister was attempting to bounce back after his nail-biting defeat to Seth Rollins in the Intercontinental Title Match at WWE Backlash. In the pivotal moments, Miz was in dire straits when Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb. However, incredibly, Miz used Hardy’s momentum against him, countering the pin attempt into one of his own to get a surprising three-count for the win, becoming SmackDown LIVE’s first entry into the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

Never afraid to fuel the flames, The IIconics prepped for Peyton Royce’s Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match against Charlotte Flair by delivering a pre-match address from the stage and ridiculing The Queen for losing her title match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella at WWE Backlash.

Royce and Billie Kay’s antics only fueled an already motivated Flair, who came out swinging (and chopping) early in the contest. However, it appeared the numbers game would be too much for Charlotte to overcome, as Kay constantly landed cheap shots behind the referee’s back, but Kay’s meddling nor Royce’s counter of Charlotte’s signature moonsault were enough to keep The Queen down.

Ever resurgent, Charlotte weathered Royce’s best and forced her to tap to the Figure-Eight to join Raw’s Ember Moon in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

With a coveted spot in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match on the line, Daniel Bryan took on Rusev in the main event of SmackDown LIVE.

With Aiden English hovering at ringside, Bryan and Rusev engaged in a knock-down, drag-out brawl as Bryan attempted to build on the momentum of his win over Big Cass at WWE Backlash while simultaneously fighting through the injuries he suffered during the seven-footer’s blindside attack after the bout.

Rusev barreled down on Bryan with a barrage of strikes, and Aiden English was there to get Rusev out of dodge when he needed it most. In the match’s pivotal moment, Bryan, who’s ribs were clearly worse for wear after all the punishment he’s suffered over the past several weeks, charged Rusev, but The Super Athlete nailed him square in the compromised body part. The Super Athlete followed up with a kick square to Bryan’s jaw for the win to claim his place in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.

In other action … Cesaro def. Xavier Woods … and Mandy Rose def. Becky Lynch.

Season 18 episode guides