The extended WrestleMania 35 weekend festivities came to a close Tuesday night on SmackDown Live inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. With WrestleMania 35 now getting farther away in the rearview mirror, though, most of the attention has turned to the latest edition of the Superstar Shakeup that's set to take place next week. The two-night event was pushed heavily by the commentary team and superstars throughout the night, with a couple big stars from Raw making appearances to give us a glimpse of what the new landscape may look like. Plus, there was even a shock championship change which occurred that make things a bit more interesting.
Let's now have a look at everything that went down Tuesday night on SmackDown in Brooklyn as we say goodbye to WrestleMania season and anticipate what's to come.
Kofi Kingston celebration closes out 'Mania season
The new WWE champion and the New Day opened up the show this week to celebrate Kofi Kingston's monumental victory on Sunday, complete with a rainbow of balloons arching over the ring. Big E began by telling everyone that Kingston proved he's an A+ player with extra credit before perfectly executing a split as he did Monday night on Raw. Speaking of Raw, Big E next mentioned that Kingston was so close to becoming a dual-champ like Becky Lynch Monday night, but now they're home on SmackDown. Tonight is about the most important celebration, and Xavier Woods said we're here to honor and celebrate the career of Kingston. Woods recalled how special it was to meet Kingston for the first time, while Big E then reminded everyone that New Day formed to help reshape the culture -- and that goal was accomplished. Kingston finally took the mic and admitted that this wasn't ultimately supposed to happen, but here they are. He took a moment to point out his family in the front row -- his wife and two sons -- and thanked them for standing by him. Before he could continue, the WWE champ was interrupted by The Bar.
Cesaro said that if they hadn't interfered on Raw in the champion vs. champion match, then Seth Rollins would have his title right now. The Bar then laid down a challenge for a six-man tag team match later in the show, and yes, Big E pointed out how their math was a bit off. It actually wasn't, though, as they said they do have a partner for the bout in the form of a friend they made during their visit to Raw on Monday: Drew McIntyre.
The New Day def. The Bar & Drew McIntyre via pinfall: The WWE champion stood tall one final time this WrestleMania weekend after he connected with Trouble in Paradise on Sheamus for the pinfall victory. Afterwards, Kingston brought his family into the ring to celebrate as the final show following WrestleMania 35 came to a close.
It's been an absolute joy and a pleasure as a fan to watch Kingston get as much shine as he has over the course of the past three days. He's truly earned every bit of the success he's achieved, and seeing as his story absolutely stole much of the attention surrounding WrestleMania, Kingston standing tall with his family and best friends after earning yet another win was the perfect way to cap off the WrestleMania season. Now we get ready to see what the future holds for the new WWE champ as the Superstar Shakeup looms. Grade: A
Lacey Evans targets Becky Lynch again
The dual-champion Becky Lynch came out to the ring, and after recalling her historic WrestleMania main event victory, brought up the brawl that took place with Lacey Evans Monday night on Raw. She said the punch that Evans connected with reminded her that the two titles she now holds also means she has two targets on her back, and she'll sleep with one eye open if she has to as she vows to take on all comers. Lynch said that you're going to meet a "red-headed devil" if you try and take those titles away from her.
The Raw and SmackDown women's champion exited the ring and made her way up the ramp. Lynch posed at the top of the stage with her titles, but when she turned around, she was met with a sucker punch from Evans. The double-champ struggled to her feet as Evans looked on before finally leaving.
Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don't ... but I love where this is going and believe Evans is the perfect opponent right off the bat for Lynch. While there have been many complaints about the way her character has been handled to this point, Evans isn't too shabby inside that squared circle and could have some entertaining bouts with the champ-champ. It's still in the infant stage, but this "The Lady" vs. "The Man" feud has some potential if handled correctly going forward. Grade: B+
What else happened on SmackDown?
- Mustafa Ali, Ricochet & Aleister Black def. Andrade (via pinfall) Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura: Ali earned the victory for his side after hitting the 054 on Andrade. Following the match, Randy Orton appeared and laid out Ali with an RKO outta nowhere. Not to be outdone, Kevin Owens came through the crowd and put Rusev out with a Stunner as the announcers on commentary continually pushed the Superstar Shakeup coming next week.
- Braun Strowman brawls with Samoa Joe: R-Truth and Carmella were out to cut a promo about Carmella's battle royal victory on Sunday at WrestleMania. They were interrupted by the United States champion, who put Truth to sleep with the Coquina Clutch. Joe took the mic and put everyone on notice following his decimation of Rey Mysterio on Sunday, and Strowman was more than up to taking a crack at the U.S. champ. The two men brawled before Joe was able to wiggle out of the powerslam attempt and hightail it to the back.
- Women's Tag Team Championship -- The IIconics (c) def. The Brooklyn Belles (local enhancement talent) via pinfall to retain the titles: On the heels of becoming the new champions on Sunday, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce proclaimed they'd be fighting champions. They introduced the Brooklyn Belles -- Karissa & Kristen -- and touted them as being undefeated at 45-0. Of course, they got the pinfall victory on Kristen to retain after Royce connected with a knee. What's interesting is that, during the match, former SmackDown general manager Paige was watching along backstage. She was interviewed post-match and revealed that next week she'll be introducing an "impressive" tag team of her own.
- Shane McMahon humiliates Greg Hamilton: McMahon was out with a black eye and the World Cup trophy in the ring. He said the black eye was from a punch delivered by George Mizanin on Sunday, and thus he had no choice but to defend himself in beating up Miz's father. The SmackDown commissioner turned his attention once again to ring announcer Greg Hamilton, calling out the idea that his introduction wasn't as good as it was at WrestleMania. He continually made Hamilton announce him as the "best in the world," which naturally drew loud CM Punk chants from the Brooklyn faithful. McMahon dragged Hamilton, who had told him earlier that he was threatened by fans for announcing him by that "best in the world" moniker, to the top of the ramp where he finally received the introduction he desired.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship -- The Hardy Boyz def. The Usos (c) via pinfall to win the titles: The dream match many assumed would take place at WrestleMania happened on Tuesday night, and not only did it deliver, but the outcome may have stunned some. Matt Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Jimmy Uso, and Jeff Hardy followed that up with the Swanton Bomb for the championship victory.
- Lars Sullivan attacks again: Kayla Braxton was set to interview the new tag team champions in the ring, but before anything could be said, Sullivan appeared and laid the Hardy Boyz out much like he did to Kurt Angle during his main roster debut Monday on Raw.
- We're not worth Sami Zayn's time: Prior to the main event, Zayn came out to the stage where he was presumably going to rant on the fans again. He paused but then simply told us all that we're not worth it and went to the back.