Shane McMahon thought he had it all figured out when he inserted himself into the King of the Ring Tournament Semifinals against Chad Gable and appointed Kevin Owens as the special guest referee with promises of lifting Owens’ $100,000 fine. However, Gable wouldn’t quit in the face of Shane-O-Mac, prompting Shane to fire KO.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston would arrive to SmackDown LIVE at MSG reflective on the night in 2009 where Kingston battered Randy Orton from pillar to post in The World’s Most Famous Arena, a night that altered his career.
However, Kofi’s trip down memory lane would soon be interrupted with multiple chants of “stupid” from Orton. The Viper would then claim Kingston was nothing but a fraud, statements that had Kofi immediately ready to fight ahead of their WWE Clash of Champions slate this Sunday. The Apex Predator would trick Kofi though, having a steel chair concealed that he would immediately use to thrash Kingston near the iconic spot that Kingston bested him in the Garden a decade ago. The WWE Champion would battle back though, obtaining the chair that Orton brought into the equation and striking Randy multiple times with vigor. Kingston looked primed to repeat history and smash Orton through a table yet again in MSG. Kofi would finally keep Randy down with one final strike of the chair and then created a full-circle moment, driving The Viper through yet another table with a dazzling splash from the stands of MSG.
Advantage Kofi, at least for tonight.
The Undertaker’s return to Madison Square Garden was as chilling as it was destructive. Chilling for the WWE Universe who got to experience The Phenom’s jaw dropping entrance. Destructive for one Sami Zayn.
The Reaper arrived on the blue brand making it clear that he’s always considered MSG his home and then reflected on all the great legends and Superstars that have come through the halls of The World’s Most Famous Arena. However, before he could continue, The Deadman was interrupted by Sami Zayn, who insisted Undertaker was a legend who has sold out Madison Square Garden for 30 years. The Critic of Critics claimed to have nothing but respect for the legend, but he nevertheless openly questioned if The Undertaker should continue returning to MSG.
Zayn stated that the future was here, and his name was Sami Zayn. Undertaker didn’t say anything when Zayn asked him to leave the ring, but he spoke swiftly with action when he Chokeslammed Sami, taking yet another soul in the hallowed halls of the Garden.
With Elias having to withdraw from the King of the Ring Tournament due to injury, Shane McMahon promised to find a replacement for the crooning Superstar for his Semifinal Match against Chad Gable. And he did.
With Kevin Owens as the Special Guest Referee per Shane-O-Mac’s edict (promising to lift KO’s $100,000 fine if he called the contest “down the middle”), Gable would defeat “The Best in the World” in mere seconds with an astonishing rolling German Suplex. However, Shane wouldn’t take it, immediately vamping on the microphone that this matchup was now 2-out-of-3 Falls.
Shane would come at a deflated Gable with intensity, while KO was clearly distressed by Shane flexing his authority. Gable would continually battle through Shane’s obstacles and would appear to close in on victory several times, but with Owens worrying about Shane not lifting the fine, he would begin to make borderline questionable decisions as the official.
Gable found the way to eliminate all the variables though, catching Shane-O-Mac in an Ankle Lock, forcing Shane to tap out and advancing his way to the King of the Ring Tournament Final. Following the defeat, Shane would be absolutely incensed, blindsiding KO from behind and then firing the former Universal Champion in one of the most shocking moments in MSG history.
In other action … The Miz def. Andrade … Nikki Cross def. Mandy Rose … Heavy Machinery def. local competitors … Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan threw down in a chaotic brawl … Bayley def. Ember Moon.