Chad Gable and Elias were set to meet on SmackDown in a King of the Ring semifinals match. However, WWE revealed on Tuesday afternoon that Elias would not be able to wrestle in the match due to injury.
Shane McMahon said early in the night on SmackDown that he would find a suitable replacement. Gable had been under the impression that since Elias couldn't compete, he would be automatically moving on to the King of the Ring finals at WWE Clash of Champions.
McMahon noted it could be anyone who would face him, including perhaps someone who had already lost in the tournament. In the end, it ended up being Shane himself to face Gable. Not only that, but he made Kevin Owens the special referee for the match.
McMahon was shown telling Owens backstage that if he did his job properly (ensuring a win for McMahon), he would remove his $100,000 fine.
The match started and (seemingly) finished very quickly, as Gable rolled up Shane for a quick 1-2-3 from Owens following a German Suplex. The announcers noted that McMahon's hopes ended just as quickly as Owens', recalling how Owens lost to Elias in the first round after a fast count from Shane.
Oh, that's it? OKAY!September 11, 2019
Gable celebrated but McMahon got on the microphone and declared the match to now be a two out of three falls match. The crowd boo'ed as Gable made his way back to the ring. As Gable was distracted talking to Owens on the outside, McMahon ran in and blindsided Gable to gain advantage as the second portion of the match began.
McMahon reminded Owens about their deal and Owens started to call the match in Shane's favor. He was slow to count a pinfall for Gable moments later, while issuing fast counts for Shane.
Gable hit some spinning neckbreakers and went up top. He hit a moonsault and covered. Owens did a very, very slow count which allowed McMahon to kick out as the crowd boo'ed what should have been the finish of the bout.
McMahon then attacked a distraught Gable from behind, whipping his head over the top rope and hitting an Olympic Slam. Owens fast counted but Gable kicked out. McMahon brought a chair into the ring as Owens told him he couldn't do that. McMahon gave him the chair and ran after Gable, however Gable caught him and locked in an ankle lock. There was no choice but for McMahon to tap out, and he did so wildly.
Owens looked on bewildered as to what to do as the ring bell rang immediately, with McMahon's loss obvious even though Owens never called for the bell.
.@ShaneMcMahon taps, @WWEGable advances!#SDLive's @WWEGable vs. #RAW's @BaronCorbinWWE is your #KingOfTheRing Finals which will take place this Sunday at #WWEClash of Champions! pic.twitter.com/kM2smpDux5— WWE (@WWE) September 11, 2019
After the match, McMahon limped and attacked Owens from behind in frustration. He got on the microphone and told Owens "you're fired." It can't be under-stated how little reaction this got from the crowd at MSG, further proving that this story has more than run its course.
The King of the Ring finals will see Baron Corbin face Chad Gable next Monday night during RAW. The match had previously been advertised for the Clash of Champions PPV.