WWE SmackDown Live results, recap, grades: Undertaker surprises Goldberg, Dolph Ziggler stands tall

WWE

SmackDown Live emanated from the state of Texas on Tuesday night, serving as the go-home television offering before WWE heads to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday for the Super ShowDown event. There's been a common theme lately on WWE television that continued on Tuesday night -- the fact that the Wildcard Rule has essentially turned the main roster into a confusing mess.

The latest evidence of this comes in the form of a Raw superstar earning a shot at a SmackDown title while we were also reminded that a Raw superstar is challenging for the WWE championship this Friday. Amid all of the hysteria on Tuesday night, WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg made his return ahead of his first-ever encounter with The Undertaker at Super ShowDown with the legendary competitors even sharing the ring for a brief period of time. 

Let's now have a look at everything that went down on SmackDown this week. 

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Dolph Ziggler attacks again

The WWE champion Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were out to get SmackDown kicked off this week. Kingston talked about fighting through all the lows of his 11-year career that eventually led to him winning the WWE title at WrestleMania before discussing the importance of inspiring people. An incredible video package was then shown highlighting Kingston's recent return trip to his birth-country of Ghana. As he elaborated on all he got to experience, Dolph Ziggler interrupted. 

The WWE championship challenger this Friday at Super ShowDown proclaimed that it's all about him, and another video package was shown showcasing Ziggler's accomplishments throughout the years. Once again, Ziggler lamented that he's simply not appreciated enough and should be in Kingston's current position. Kingston fired back by reminding everyone that Ziggler walked out in December 2017 while relinquishing the United States title he held at the time. Kingston called Ziggler a quitter and said that, as long as he's WWE champion, "it'll never be you." Ziggler closed the opening segment by revisiting the beatdown he inflicted on Kingston two weeks ago during SmackDown before stating, "On Friday, it will be me." Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn then entered for their scheduled tag match against Kingston and Woods. 

Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods def. Sami Zayn (via pinfall) & Kevin Owens after Kingston landed Trouble in Paradise on Zayn for the 1-2-3. Immediately following the victory, Ziggler appeared from the corner of the ring to blindside the champion with a superkick before departing up the ramp. 

Ziggler continually getting the better of Kingston amid his cries for appreciation is clearly pointing towards the babyface champion pulling off another successful defense on Friday, which will only add to how impressive Kingston's run with the top title has been as he adds another notable name to the list. The problem here is that it's hard to get truly invested in Raw superstar Ziggler challenging for the top title on SmackDown, especially when we know in the back of our minds that Ziggler is merely a stand-in with Owens reportedly refusing to make the Jeddah trip. It's likely this is a one-and-done program, which isn't really desirable by any means. Grade: C

What else happened on SmackDown?

  • Bayley on "A Moment of Bliss" turned chaotic, beginning with the SmackDown women's champion slapping the coffee out of Alexa Bliss' hands. Carmella and Charlotte Flair interrupted with Flair revealing Shane McMahon has set up a No. 1 contender match for tonight featuring Carmella, Bliss and herself to determine who takes on Bayley at Stomping Grounds
  • 24/7 Championship -- Elias def. R-Truth (c) via pinfall to win the title in a lumberjack match: McMahon forced Truth into defending the title in a lumberjack match for interrupting his segment. Elias pinned Truth after a running knee about a minute into the match | 24/7 Championship -- R-Truth def. Elias (c) via pinfall to win the title: Elias hid under the ring after he rolled up Truth for the victory while the lumberjacks brawled in the ring. Completely off camera, Truth pinned Elias underneath the ring and fled through the crowd with the title. 
  • Aleister Black cut a pre-taped promo where he explained he understands why no one has answered his open challenge from last week. He'll continue to wait until someone knocks at his door to pick a fight with him. 
  • Shane McMahon cut an in-ring promo alongside The Revival where he said he's going to neuter the "Big Dog" at Super ShowDown. Roman Reigns took out The Revival at the top of the ramp but was laid out with a surprise Claymore kick from Drew McIntyre as he headed towards McMahon. Just like Monday night, McMahon stood tall after hitting a spear on Reigns. 
  • Alexa Bliss def. Carmella (via pinfall) and Charlotte Flair to become No. 1 contender to the SmackDown women's title after Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville attempted to pull Carmella out of the ring, leading to Bliss planting her with a DDT for the victory. So yes, Raw superstar Bliss now moves on to Stomping Grounds to challenge SmackDown women's champion Bayley. OK. 
  • Lars Sullivan cut an in-ring promo with Kayla Braxton essentially saying that his primary function is to cause destruction as the freak of nature that he is. 
  • Andrade vs. Apollo Crews ended in a no contest when intercontinental champion Finn Balor charged the ring after Andrade attacked Crews before the bell. Andrade stood tall before Super ShowDown, however, after hitting the Hammerlock DDT. 
  • Goldberg closed the show with an in-ring promo admitting that he's been waiting 20 years to face The Undertaker. The former universal champion promised The Undertaker that he's going to get the ass-kicking Goldberg he asked for on Raw on Monday night because he's leaving the family man Goldberg at home. Just as Goldberg was about to continue, the gong hit and the arena went dark. Of course, when the lights came back on, The Undertaker was standing behind Goldberg. The two went face-to-face for a brief moment before the arena went dark again as Taker disappeared. Goldberg told Undertaker to bring his jock strap on Friday. 

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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