Kofi Kingston was up against five of SmackDown LIVE’s best for the right to challenge WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Despite a brilliant performance at the Gauntlet Match, Kingsman got blindsided when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon sent Bryan out.
He managed to beat Sheamus, Cesaro, Rowan, US Champion Samoa Joe and Randy Orton but McMahon continued to sabotage his championship dreams. Kofi overcame the first test when he hit a Trouble in Paradise on Sheamus to win the match.
Kofi then hit an SOS to pick up his second victory of the night against Cesaro before Erick Rowan got himself disqualified for hitting Kofi with a steel chair. Kofi then surprised Samoa Joe with a Small Package to pick up the victory. Afterwards, Joe took revenge on Kofi as he locked him in a Coquina Clutch.
— WWE (@WWE) 20 March 2019
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) 20 March 2019
The toughest match of the night was with 13-time WWE Champion Randy Orton, who was dominating for most parts of the match while Kofi looked tired after wrestling for around 40 minutes. But Kofi again managed to overcome the odds as he won the Gauntlet match with another Small Package.
Despite a valiant fight, Kofi’s celebration came to an early end when McMahon announced that he will go to Wrestlemania if he is able to beat Bryan. A vicious running knee from Bryan brought an end to Kofi’s dream.
The IIconics defeat Sasha Banks and Bayley
Sasha Banks and Bayley arrived on the blue brand to face off against Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. The arrival of Lacey Evans distracted The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection enough to let The IIconics take control. In the clutch, Billie took out Bayley on the outside with a big boot and then, unbeknownst to the official, helped Peyton hold Banks down for the three-count.
The Miz addressed Shane McMahon’s savage assault
The Miz returned to Smackdown LIVE with a message for former partner McMahon. Opening up about his insecurities and the people he used on his way up. He said that when Shane stabbed him in the back, the latter was handed everything he had ever had, while The Miz worked for his success. He sent out a warning to McMahon saying, promising to give a violent beatdown to Shane at WrestleMania 35.