The February 26th, 2019 edition of SmackDown Live took place at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with Daniel Bryan sitting at a table in the ring. Rowan is with him, and Stephanie and Shane McMahon are there with microphones. They’re here to sign the contract for Bryan’s Fastlane match against Kofi Kingston. Shane introduces some videos of Kofi’s career highlights. Shane says they may have overlooked this individual in the past, and then Stephanie says fate smiled on Kofi two weeks ago and got himself into the Elimination Chamber. Kofi comes out to the ring next, with Big E and Xavier by his side. Kofi runs around the ring and high fives everyone and then gets on the ring. Kofi talks about being in WWE for 11 years and now he’s got the chance he wants at the WWE Title. Kofi thanks the WWE Universe for making this happen by demanding it. Kofi sits down at the table with Bryan. Bryan signs the contract first, and then Kofi is about to sign, but Vince McMahon’s music hits. Vince comes out with a mic to interrupt. Vince says he wants to tell Kofi how much he appreciates Kofi’s accomplishments over the last 11 years. However, as the Chairman of the board, he has to give the fans the highest caliber competition he can with the biggest box office, and therefore he’s replacing Kofi. Kofi looks disappointed, and Big E and Xavier freak out. Vince says he’s replacing Kofi with someone more deserving and qualified than Kofi. Vince introduces Bryan’s opponent for Fastlane – Kevin Owens. Owens comes out to make his return to WWE TV. Owens walks in to the ring and sits down at the table. Owens signs the contract as The New Day yells at Stephanie and Shane. The New Day heads to the back and the crowd boos.
– Back from the break, Kevin Owens is talking to Shane and Stephanie. Owens says he knows this blindsided them, but he’s glad their dad finally recognizes his talent. Owens says what he’d like to do tonight is team up with Kofi to take on Daniel Bryan and Rowan in a tag match. Shane and Stephanie say they’ll consider it.
– Still to come: An in-depth look at Roman Reigns’ return to WWE TV.
– The Bar vs. The Hardy Boyz: The Hardy Boyz come out to mark Matt Hardy’s return to WWE TV. Jeff and Cesaro start this one off. Matt tags in for the double team and works over Cesaro’s shoulder. Cesaro fights back and tags in Sheamus. Sheamus pummels on Matt in the corner and then hits a knee to the body. Matt fights back and tags in Jeff for the double team. Cesaro runs in and they double team him too. The Bar rolls outside, and Jeff leapfrogs off Matt’s back with a suicide dive on Cesaro and Sheamus at ringside. Back in the ring, The Bar double teams Jeff until he fights back with the Whisper In The Wind on both of them. Matt and Cesaro tag in, and Matt cleans house. Matt hits the Side Effect on Cesaro for a two count. Matt follows up with a flying elbow drop from the middle rope for another two count. Matt knocks Sheamus off the apron, and Cesaro takes advantage of the distraction to drop Matt neck-first across the ropes. Sheamus hits a cheap shot on Matt behind the ref’s back, then he tags in. Jeff takes out Cesaro with the Twist of Fate, then Matt escapes from Sheamus and hits the Twist of Fate on Sheamus. Jeff tags in and hits the Swanton on Sheamus for the three count.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
– Ricochet and Aleister Black are shown backstage in their locker room. Lana walks in and says they’re nothing special, they’re just two opponents who Rusev and Nakamura are going to crush tonight. Ricochet says he’s going to prove her wrong, and Rusev can’t crush what he can’t catch. Black says she fears the unknown, and tonight Rusev and Nakamura will fade to black.
– We see a video package looking at the Honky Tonk Man being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
– R-Truth and Carmella come out to the ring for Truth’s U.S. Title open challenge. Truth says he’s going to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero John Cena and issue an open challenge for anyone to come out and try to take his United States Championship. They have a dance break, and then Andrade comes out. While Andrade is on the ramp, Rey Mysterio runs down and jumps him from behind. Rey then runs into the ring, and it looks like Rey wants the Title shot instead of Andrade. Truth tells everyone to calm down, and says he doesn’t know which one of them to face right now. Truth says in moments like this, he asks himself, what would John Cena do. Carmella says he would face both at once, but Truth says he was thinking more like neither of them. Truth says he’s going to make John proud, and he tells the ref to start a three way match for his U.S. Title.
– R-Truth (c) vs. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio: The opening bell sounds and Andrade immediately dropkicks Rey. Truth and Andrade go at it now, then Rey hits a hurricanrana on Andrade to send him out to ringside. Truth hits a spinning back elbow on Rey, and Rey is down. Truth looks for a springboard move, but Andrade pulls him off the apron and powerbombs Truth on the floor. Rey looks for a dive on Truth, but Andrade dropkicks Rey out of mid-air. Back in the ring, Rey fights back and drops Andrade. Rey goes after Truth now, but Truth fights back with a back elbow, and then they collide mid-ring and both men are down. Andrade is the first man back to his feet and he hits a running knee strike on Rey in the corner. He goes for one on Truth but misses. Truth connects with right hands and hits a facebuster. Truth hits a running clothesline in the corner and then a back suplex on Andrade. Truth calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and he hits it on Andrade for a two count. Zelina Vega hops up on the apron and gets involved until Carmella pulls her down. Andrade throws Truth into the ring post, then Rey comes flying off the top and takes out Andrade. He puts Andrade on the ropes and looks for the 619, but Andrade dodges it. Andrade and Rey trade shots until Andrade hits the spinning back elbow on Rey for a two count. Rey fights back with a kick, then he drops both Truth and Andrade on the ropes for the 619. Truth dodges it, but Rey connects on Andrade. Truth rolls up Rey from behind for the three count.
Winner & still United States Champion: R-Truth
– Carmell and Truth celebrate on the ramp, while Rey and Andrade continue fighting in the ring. Rey looks for another 619, but Andrade rolls out of the ring to avoid it.
– The broadcast team informs us that Kofi & Owens vs. Bryan & Rowan has been booked for tonight.
– Charlotte is shown backstage walking towards the gorilla position.
– We see a recap video package of Vince McMahon replacing Kofi with Kevin Owens earlier tonight.
– Charlotte Flair comes out to the ring and gets on the mic. Charlotte says that Owens being appointed to save the Fastlane main event is almost as important as Charlotte being appointed to save the WrestleMania main event. Charlotte says she understands Vince’s decision, and says she’s the gold standard. She talks about Becky getting arrested and Ronda laying down her Title, and says that they fear her. Charlotte says she will be crowned the new Women’s Champion on RAW now because Ronda dropped her Title at Stephanie’s feet on Monday.
– Still to come: Kevin Owens & Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan & Eric Rowan
– Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura: Nakamura and Black start this one off trading strikes. Nakamura misses a kick and Black sits down on the mat. Nakamura misses another kick and Black takes him down with an arm drag, then tags in Ricochet. They double team Nakamura for a two count. Nakamura starts working over Ricochet’s knee, and then Rusev tags in and continues the offense. Rusev and Nakamura trade tags now to take turns beating on Ricochet. Ricochet dodges a shot and rolls into his corner to tag in Black. Black hits a series of kicks on Nakamura, but then a distraction from Rusev leads to Nakamura kicking Black in the back of the head. Black falls out to ringside as Rusev tags in, then Rusev clotheslines Black down on the floor. Back in the ring, Rusev and Nakamura continue working over Black. Black tries to fight back, but Rusev shuts him down with a clothesline. Rusev looks for a suplex but Black reverses it and tags in Ricochet. Ricochet hits a hurricanrana on Rusev, then he kicks Nakamura off the apron. Ricochet hits a kick on Rusev and then a flying back elbow. Ricochet hits a standing shooting star press for a two count on Rusev. Ricochet looks for a flying cross body, but Rusev catches him and slams him down. Rusev looks for the Accolade but Ricochet breaks free. Nakamura tags in, and Ricochet fights him off and then dumps Rusev outside. Black tags in as Richochet hits a dive on Rusv at ringside. Nakamura hits a suplex on Black, then he looks for the Kinshasa, but Black intercepts him with the Black Mass kick. Black covers Nakamura for the three count.
Winners: Ricochet & Aleister Black
– AJ Styles does an interview in the back where he starts off by saying he’s happy to hear the news about Roman Reigns. The interviewer says that people are saying AJ is in a slump in his career. AJ says he’s his harshest critic and anything less than perfection is a disappointment. AJ says he hasn’t been at his best, and he blames himself for the rise of Daniel Bryan. He says it took him 15 years to get to the WWE, and nothing was ever given to him. AJ says he’s going to stop listening to the critics, pick himself up and keep fighting any challenger in his path. Randy Orton walks over to interrupt. Orton takes issue with AJ calling SmackDown “the house that AJ Styles built,” and he walks off.
– Lacey Evans comes out and walks down the ramp, then turns around and heads to the back.
– The broadcast team introduces a video package looking at Roman Reigns returning to RAW after battling leukemia.
– Kofi Kingston & Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan: Kofi and Rowan start this one off. Rowan overpowers Kofi early on and slams him down. Kofi comes back with a series of kicks, but then Rowan levels him with a shoulder block. Owens tags himself in and goes at it with Rowan. Rowan drops Owens with a shoulder block now too. Owens fights back with kicks and chops to the chest. Rowan comes back with a dropkick for a two count. Bryan tags in for the double team on Owens. They run the ropes and Bryan misses a shot. Owens hits an elbow to the face, then he pummels on him in the corner. Kofi tags in and hits a kick on Bryan for a two count. Bryan charges at Kofi and Kofi dumps him out to ringside. Kofi tags in Owens, and Owens hits a suicide dive on Bryan at ringside. Back in the ring, Kofi and Rowan tag in and Rowan takes control again. Bryan comes in and connects with several kicks on Kofi. Rowan tags back in and hits a running splash on Kofi for a two count. Rowan picks up Kofi over his shoulder and rams him into the corner, then Bryan tags in. Bryan hits a superplex on Kofi off the top for a two count. Kofi starts fighting back, but Bryan backs him into the corner with a series of kicks. Bryan hits the running knee to the face a couple times, but then Kofi blocks the third one with a flying kick. Owens tags in and hits a series of punches and chops on Bryan, then a back body drop. Owens hits a running clothesline in the corner and then a missile dropkick off the middle rope. Owens hits a senton on Bryan, then knocks Rowan off the apron. Owens hits the cannonball on Bryan in the corner, then Rowan runs in and grabs him. Owens kicks Rowan out to ringside, then he hits the pop up powerbomb on Bryan for a two count. Owens goes to the top rope and Rowan pulls him down to ringside. Rowan throws Owens over the announce table, then Kofi goes for a dive on Rowan but Rowan catches him. Kofi escapes from Rowan and shoves him into the ring post. Kofi goes to the top rope and hits a suicide dive on Rowan down on the floor. Bryan throws Owens back in the ring and looks for the running knee, but Owens dodges it. Owens kicks Bryan in the mid section and hits the Stunner for the three count.
Winners: Kevin Owens & Kofi Kingston
– Senior official Charles Robinson raises Owens & Kingston’s hands in the ring as we go to replays and SmackDown goes off the air.