Tuesday night marked the 999th episode of SmackDown Live. As you might have guessed, a lot of the show revolved around hyping up next week's 1000th episode. Evolution, The Undertaker, and Rey Mysterio will all be in attendance. Plenty of action happened this week too though, including a return that WWE clearly couldn't keep quiet for one more week.
This week's SmackDown Live started off in a major way. With a SmackDown Women's Title rematch between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. This time around, Lynch getting herself disqualified would result in her losing the championship. No taking the easy way out as she did at Super Show-Down. That didn't stop The Lass Kicker from trying to leave with her title when things got heated, though. Again, Flair wasn't going to let that happen. Eventually, both women proved that this rivalry has gone beyond WWE gold. Too busy inflicting pain on one another, both Superstars were counted out, and the brawl didn't stop. It only came to an end when Flair speared Lynch through the LED board, leaving The Lass Kicker out for the count and The Queen with blood all over her hand.
Samoa Joe's quest to become WWE Champion is over, for now at least. His newest challenge? To qualify for the first ever WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel. The Destroyer's qualifying match took place on SmackDown Live this week against Jeff Hardy. Annoyingly for Joe, the knee injury inflicted by AJ Styles at Super Show-Down was very clearly still there. A more vindictive Hardy than we've seen recently honed in on the knee to the point that Joe could no longer stand. The referee had no choice but to stop the match, thus declaring Hardy the winner and sending him through to the World Cup.
Styles' personal rivalry with Joe might be over, but there is no rest for the champ. At Super Show-Down, Daniel Bryan won the right to challenge The Phenomenal One for his title at Crown Jewel. The man he beat for that opportunity, The Miz had to host the two of them on Miz TV on Tuesday night. The A-Lister was on strict orders to keep things civil, but he just couldn't help himself. Miz vented his true feelings about Bryan and Styles before declaring that whoever wins in Saudi Arabia, he's got next. He and Bryan then watched on from the announce desk as Styles defeated Shelton Benjamin.
On last week's SmackDown Live, Aiden English showed us a clip of a video he dubbed One Night In Milwaukee. The former NXT Tag Team Champion cut the clip off at an opportune moment, for him, to make it seem as if things were about to get heated between him and Lana. English did that once again this week, stating that if Rusev ditches his wife and reunites Rusev Day, the rest of the tape will never see the light of day. What he didn't bank on was Lana getting her hands on the footage due to his weak password. The Ravishing Russian showed the video in its entirety, revealing that nothing happened between her and English after all.
It has been a week of older wrestlers and returns so far in WWE, and that continued into SmackDown Live's main event. Big Show competed in the ring for the first time in more than a year, taking on Randy Orton. The match was also the second of two WWE World Cup qualifying matches on the show. Considering the stars that the Saudi Prince seems to demand on WWE's shows in his country, it wouldn't have been a surprise to see Show win this one. There were moments when he looked like he did have things wrapped up, especially when he planted The Viper to the mat with a chokeslam. Orton eventually had to resort to dirty tactics to defeat the World's Largest Athlete. The 13 time World Champion poked the eye of his opponent while the referee's back was turned and then proceeded to hit him with an RKO, booking his spot in the World Cup at Crown Jewel.