WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE! (5/16/17)
-AJ Styles VS Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers; Mahal wins.
-Breezango VS The Colons; Breezango wins.
-Naomi w/ Becky and Charlotte VS Carmella w/ the Welcoming Committee; Carmella wins.
-Randy Orton VS Baron Corbin; Orton wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Face of America, Kevin Owens, hosts HIS Highlight Reel.
The United States Champion says this is the “new and improved” edition of this talk show, because Jericho will “never, ever, EVER be seen, again.” As such, he shows us replay footage of Jericho losing his United States championship to Kevin and then Kevin brutalizing and devastating Jericho’s neck with a chair and ring post. Jericho was obsessed with scarves, gifts and lists, but the only list Jericho’s on is the injured list because of Kevin. And what Kevin did to Jericho is just a “sneak preview” of what Kevin will do to AJ Styles at Backlash this Sunday. As for tonight’s guest, with an introduction in French because Kevin can, his guest– AJ Styles comes out! That doesn’t seem to be the person Kevin was introducing.
Styles is impressed to see how low Kevin went to steal Jericho’s show. Anything Jericho can do, Kevin can do better, and that includes beating Styles. But what is Styles doing out here? He was not the guest Kevin was inviting. “My bad.” Styles sucked at French class in high school, so in English, Styles lets Kevin know that he will defeat Kevin for that championship to bring it back to “the good ol’ U S of A!” The Manchester, New Hampshire fans are behind Styles 100 percent, and Styles says they don’t even have to wait! Let’s go right now! But that’s when Jinder Mahal comes out, Singh Brothers in tow.
The Maharaja is set to face the Phenomenal One tonight, and was meant to be Kevin’s guest tonight. But just like the “rude American” Styles is, he interrupted Kevin and meddled with Kevin’s business. Mahal is here to tell us all what he’ll do to Randy Orton at Backlash, and that is what he did to Orton last week: the “Karas” Cobra Clutch Slam outta nowhere. Then all shall bow to the new WWE World Champion. Then maybe focus on tonight so you can make it to Backlash. Mahal quotes Ghandi in Punjabi and English: Before you find yourself, you must lose yourself. And both Styles and Orton will lose to Jinder, just as Styles will lose to Kevin. Styles runs Kevin out of the ring, then asks Mahal they have the “AJ Styles Highlight Reel” right now!
AJ Styles VS Jinder Mahal w/ the Singh Brothers!
It’s a clash of contenders as The Phenomenal One and the Hard Body Maharaja use each other to build momentum going into Backlash and their respective title matches. Kevin joins commentary to keep an eye on his contender, the fans chant all together for Styles. Mahal powers Styles back into a corner but then backs off cleanly to show the power of the Maharaja. They tie up, Styles turns and lets Mahal go into the corner. They go again, headlock is powered out of, Mahal stays standing as Styles bounces off him. Styles’ kick is caught, then he is shoved down with a pie-face. Styles slips to the apron, shoulders and slingshots over Mahal, things speed up and Mahal takes a dropkick to the face. Mahal throat chops Styles and stiffly throws him into the middle buckle before grinding a knee into Styles’ head. Springboard knee drops from Mahal to Styles’ chest, Mahal then drags Styles up to punch him down. The fans are still loud for Styles, Mahal kicks Styles while he’s down. Kevin likes what he’s seeing as Mahal gives stomps as Styles is under that bottom rope, the ref shouts for Mahal to back down. Mahal drags Styles up and prepares to suplex Styles in, but Styles denies it there times. He shoulders Mahal back, then slingshot forearm to rock Mahal to his knees. The fans chant for “U S A!” as Styles kicks at Mahal. Styles prepares the Clash but Mahal powers out. Styles gives the Phenomenal Blitz, then a stiff haymaker, but the Singh brothers keep Styles from gaining speed. Sumire and Sumile distract Styles long enough for Mahal to recover, flapjack hotshot Styles and give a running knee strike, TWO. We go to commercials as Styles is on the defensive.
Upon returning, Mahal is stretching Styles in a half camel clutch. He then drives elbows into Styles’ head and stomps away before giving a low dropkick to Styles’ face. TWO, Mahal grins as he stands over Styles and punches him back down. The fans continue to chant for Styles as Mahal puts him in a chinlock. Styles gets up and jawbreakers out of the hold, but Mahal just uses a back elbow to knock Styles back down. Mahal keeps on Styles with a stiff corner to corner whip, TWO. Mahal is getting a bit frustrated now but he is still confident as he pulls Styles up by his hair. Mahal lifts Styles onto the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Mahal wants the superplex but Styles slips down and trips him up! Styles rushes in but gets a boot right to the face. Mahal goes up, flying ax handle intercepted by a dropkick! Both men down, the Singh Brothers are concerned for Mahal while the fans chant for Styles. Styles bobs and weaves and gives chops and right hands before he is whipped. Styles trips Mahal with a low dropkick, running low forearm! TWO! Styles throws more hands on Mahal, but Mahal powers Styles to a corner and drives shoulders into Styles’ gut. Styles comes back for a fireman’s carry, Mahal slips down, shoves Styles to ropes and boots him down! TWO! Kevin is sure that was a three. Mahal stalks Styles and calls for his stiff forearm but misses! Styles hits a clothesline in the corner, then a fireman’s carry for the USHIGOROSHI! TWO!
Mahal slips out of the ring, Styles hits him with a baseball slide dropkick! Styles puts Mahal back in the ring, goes corner to corner but is put to the apron. Styles knocks Mahal away, the Singh Brothers distract the referee so that Kevin can ambush with the belt to take out one of Styles’ legs! Mahal takes advantage as Styles can barely stand, Karas Slam! Mahal wins! Kevin also takes his leave at this point, watching Styles clutch his bad knee. Will both the Maharaja and the Prizefighter come away with title belts this Sunday?
The Fashion Files continue in Manchester, NH. Fandango is up to his ears in fashion felonies and apparel atrocities. Where is Breeze? Breeze returns from being undercover as a janitor, to Fandango’s surprise! Fandango asks about his cotton reconnaissance. Baron Corbin’s wolf shirts, Sami Zayn’s plaid drawers, and of course, the “Uggos” and their “Day One is H” shirts. What does it mean?! Who knows. But Breeze knows the Usos are good, scary, and well-conditioned. We don’t stand a chance! Snap out of it, Breeze! You’re not a janitor, you’re Prince Pretty. Breeze needed that. Backlash, this Sunday, they vow to wear those tag team title belts out of Chicago. And then Day One of their reign will be H! Freeze Frame High Five! Will the Fashion Police take custody of those belts?
Randy Orton is interviewed backstage. Renee Young wants to know his thoughts on Jinder Mahal. Mahal thinks America doesn’t respect him for what he looks like and sounds like, but people don’t like Mahal because he’s “an ass.” The Viper may have the Lone Wolf later tonight but he sounds more than prepared for the Maharaja.
Breezango VS The Colons!
On the road to Backlash, the Fashion Police must first deal with the formerly Shining Stars in Epico and Primo. It already gets going during commercials, the Colons have Breeze isolated, but Breeze fights out of the double team. Roll up on Epico, TWO. Primo distracts, Epico throws Breeze into post, TWO. Epico drills fists into Breeze, then chops, tag to Primo. Sliding attack on the ropes then the cover, TWO. Breeze is still isolated by the Colons with more knee drops and an armbar. Breeze fights out as the fans rally for him, but Primo throws him down by his hair. Primo grinds a boot into Breeze’s throat, then bumps him off a neutral buckle. Corner to corner whip, Primo hits a clothesline. Corner to corner again, Breeze dodges and kicks back! Primo and Breeze crawl, tags to Epico and Fandango! Fandango rallies on Epico, but his body drop is kicked away, so he gives a windmill kick, TWO thanks to Primo. Breeze goes after Primo but is dumped out, Primo is thrown out, Epico rolls up Fandango, TWO. Falcon’s Arrow, Breezango wins! But once again, the Usos come out to rain on the parade. Five more days and the Fashion Police make jokes to get the social media buzz. The Usos do this for the belts and that Day One Ish. But okay yeah, role play, cops and robbers or guards and inmates. But this is not “your precinct”, this is “the Uso Penitentiary.” The Usos take this to trial, and until then, they have the right to remain vicious, anything you say can and will put you in stitches. The Usos have the right to put them on stretchers, do you understand the rights? It ain’t paranoia, it’s the USOS! The Usos are fast and furious heading towards Backlash, can Breezango hope to rein them in?
SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, comes out!
Shane O’Mac is here to not only declare SmackDown being WWE’s premier brand now, and that’s in part thanks to the Women’s Division. As such, SmackDown is holding a 6 Woman Tag Team Match, between the “Welcoming Committee” and the team of Women’s Champion, Naomi, “The Queen” Charlotte Flair and “The Lass Kicker” Becky Lynch. Those two teams of three come out in turn, and Shane now presides over the historic 6 woman contract signing ceremony.
Natty speaks on how “funny” it is to see the other three pretend to be BFF’s. It’s pathetic. The Welcoming Committee has beaten them each week so far, and will beat them again at Backlash. Natty signs, and hands it off to Tamina. Tamina signs without a word, and then Carmella. Becky responds, she was given a chance to join but there was “No chance in Hell” she was gonna join that “goon squad”. Now things will be an even 3v3 and Becky looks forward to slapping each and every one of them. Naomi is second, and tells the Committee to focus on their next hair appointments, because Team “Royal Glow Fire” are gonna snatch them all bald, including Pretty Jimmy Dream! Then Charlotte speaks, saying this issue started with the Shakeup. They moaned, complained and formed this “Babysitters club”. Bring everything to the table, because in Chicago, the problem will be solved. The 6 Woman tag will settle with her team winning, and then The Queen can focus on getting her crown. The contract is fully signed, but James speaks up. The kid can take care of himself. What? Aw c’mon, everyone can tell Becky is eyeing him up. Sorry to put water on her “Straight Fire”, she has “no chance in hell” with a stud like him. Charlotte, you ain’t getting him as your King, he’s the Prince to the Princess of Staten Island. As for Naomi, all that talk, let’s get to the point: Carmella will stop the flow, take that title and steal the glow! “Duh!” Naomi grabs James, Carmella slams Naomi on the table! Shane keeps this from being a fight tonight, but he does make a match: Naomi VS Carmella 1v1!
Naomi w/ Becky and Charlotte VS Carmella w/ the Welcoming Committee!
Clearly the issues between the women of SmackDown goes deeper than just who gets a shot at the title, so it’s #GlowTime for the champ and the FABULOUS One. The bell rings, Naomi chases Carmella to ropes. Carmella shrieks for Naomi to stay back, Naomi has no choice but to back off. Carmella gets a fanning from Ellsworth, but then she gets chased into a corner. Carmella comes out of the corner, Thesz Press and fast hands from Naomi. Naomi throws Carmella to a corner, running forearm and then bulldog all the way into the opposite corner. Naomi goes to the apron, low dropkick into the corner, TWO. Carmella is put into an armlock, Carmella flails and gets a ropebreak, Naomi lets her go. Naomi gets a waistlock and headlock next, then transitions into an arm wrench. Naomi puts the armlock back on and drags Carmella to the mat, Carmella is frustrated and so are her teammates. Carmella fights back by pulling hair, Naomi lifts Carmella but she slips out and drives Naomi’s face into the mat. Carmella picks Naomi up, Naomi kicks back. She whips Carmella, Ellsworth bails her out. So the referee ejects Pretty Jimmy Dream! Nana na na, hey hey hey, good-bye~ as we go to commercials.
We return to Naomi giving Carmella the Twerk Attack in the corner. Dab on ’em, too. Carmella kicks Noami to no affect, Naomi kicks back and Carmella goes to the ropes. Carmella finally does damage, but then screams as Naomi unleashes more kicks. Carmella ducks to dodge a kick, but gets a dropkick to send her out of the ring. Carmella says she’s quitting, and goes to leave via the back way, but that’s just to sucker Naomi into a FABULOUS Kick. Naomi is down and at the mercy of the ring count, and manages to get back in before 10. Carmella pounces with furious fists, TWO. Carmella puts Naom in a corner, moonwalks, and then Bronco Buster! TWO, Carmella puts Naomi right into a chinlock. The fans build into a rally for Naomi, Naomi gets up and fights out. Carmella whips Naomi to a corner, Naoim back elbows out then gives Carmella a kick from the top rope. Naomi fires up, Natty tells Carmella to get up, Naomi rallies on Carmella and turns up the volume with a flurry of kicks. Running jawbreaker and kip-up, Naomi rushes Carmella in the corner. Naomi ends up on the apron, roundhouse knocks Carmella down. Natty and Tamina try to sneak attack Naomi, the referee tells Tamina AND Natty that they’re EJECTED! Nana na na, hey hey hey, good-bye~ again, Becky and Charlotte tease the Committee, it turns into a brawl! Naomi gives Tamina a dropkick to the back, Carmella rolls up, Carmella steals the win! Chaos favors the Committee, can they do the same Sunday?
Dolph Ziggler still doesn’t get the hype around Shinsuke Nakamura. He didn’t mean to call him a “fraud”, that was unprofessional. Ziggler has done his research and shares with us the truly remarkable things Nakamura has done in the WWE. Nothing. Nakamura has done nothing to earn the hype, but Ziggler has done everything. That Ziggler has footage of. A highlight reel of the Show-Off’s eight years in WWE, winning the US, Intercontinental and World Championships. But now the King of Strong Style is here, and Ziggler vows to “spit in the sad disgusting faces” of the hypocrites who cheer for Nakamura now. Will
Sami Zayn has an announcement! He will get his match with Baron Corbin at Backlash. Sami wasn’t sure why Corbin targeted him at first, but now Sami realizes it’s because Corbin is threatened by him. Sami shows Corbin he isn’t as dominant as he thinks, because Sami won’t stay down. Corbin’s ego is in danger. Speaking of, Corbin comes in and blindsides Sami! Corbin advises that Sami stay down this time, otherwise Backlash is where he’ll end up being put down, permanently.
Randy Orton VS Baron Corbin!
The Viper and the Lone Wolf both share a love of hurting and dominating their opponents, just look at what Corbin just did to Sami. With matches for both men at Backlash, only one can come away with the momentum of a win. Orton and Corbin pace before tying up, Corbin powers Orton to a corner but Orton powers his way out. The two break, Corbin shoves so Orton shoves, they tie up again. Corbin tries to power out of a headlock but can’t, headlock takedown to headscissors and repeat a total of three times. More shoving now, Orton ducks a punch and almost gets that RKO. Corbin says it won’t be that easy, but Orton’s grin says otherwise. The two go again, Corbin powers Orton to a corner but is turned around. The ref backs Orton up, cheap shot to the throat from Corbin. Orton kicks back but is shouldered down, Corbin trash talks before getting moving again. He knees Orton in the gut but is thrown down by his hair. Orton stomps away and scrapes his boot on Corbin, then clubs him before going to a corner. Double ax handle sends Corbin to another corner, Orton keeps on him with right hands. Orton whips Corbin corner to corner but Corbin slides out then in, big lariat to Orton, TWO. Corbin is immediately frustrated but stands over the champ as we go to commercials.
We return as Orton misses a knee drop, Corbin pounces by stomping a mudhole into him. The ref keeps Corbin back, Corbin shouts at the ref in frustration, Corbin chokes Orton against the ropes. The fans boo Corbin, Orton kicks and headbutts Corbin, but Corbin knees Orton back. Corner to corner whip, Corbin continues to stomp on Orton. Corbin trash talks as he throws hands then drags Orton out, TWO. Corbin keeps on Orton with a half nelson chinlock, the fans rally for Orton, and Orton fights out and reverses the whip. Corbin slides out and in again, Orton dodges the lariat and gets running, but runs right into a boot! TWO! Corbin is frustrated again, and dares Orton to get back up. “This is what you want,” Corbin says before giving a stiff right on the run. The Lone Wolf embraces the heat from the fans, Corbin says the fans liking Orton is why he’s beating him up so bad. Corbin keeps trash talking, Orton starts fighting back, but Corbin knocks Orton down with forearms. Corbin grins at the booing crowd, then grabs Orton in a choke grip. Orton fights out with back elbows, Corbin gives him a knee to the gut, but then misses his shoulder tackle in the corner! Corbin goes into the post, Orton gets up and rallies with clotheslines. Powerslam to Corbin, Corbin crawls to the apron. Orton drags Corbin up, hanging DDT! Those voices are in Orton’s head, he stalks Corbin as he gets up, bot Corbin still denies the RKO. Orton back elbows, but DEEP SIX from Corbin, TWO! Corbin is furious, he drags Orton up to throw forearms. Another out-then-in, RKO outta nowhere!! Orton wins!
But Jinder Mahal returns to speak. Savor this victory while you can, because Sunday marks the end of Orton’s pride, body and reign. The Singh Brothers ambush Orton! 2v1 but Orton throws them both out, and then is ready for Mahal! Orton gets the Singh Brothers on the second rope in DDT position but Mahal returns! Mahal punches away on Orton, the Singh Brothers get their shots in, and then they bring Orton up for the Karas!!
If Mahal can use chaos to his advantage like he did here, he’s bound to take that title for real.
When it comes to go-homes, SmackDown is the example Raw needs to follow. Just about everything that happened tonight felt like it mattered towards Backlash. Kevin simultaneously kept his feud with Chris Jericho alive by replacing Y2J as the host of his own original talk show and hyped up everything else in Backlash, and then made himself a pivotal part as to why Styles–his #1 contender–lost the match tonight. That banged up leg can even become a featured target of their match now. And at the same time that Mahal wins over Styles, it shows the danger the “Singh Brothers” present to Mahal’s opponent, so Randy Orton must have his head on a swivel with them around, which is also reemphasized in the main event when–though Orton wins–Mahal and the Bollywood Boyz gang up on The Viper for a 3v1 beat down. Then the Fashion Police keep on a win streak towards their title match, as well as continue to deliver hilarious “Fashion Files” skits, the Usos give another red hot promo to put Breezango in their place.
The Woman’s 6 Tag contract signing was also good, not only because both teams got to say their pieces effectively, but because it doesn’t become a brawl but a match. The match itself was alright, nothing neither woman has done in any other match, but the importance was the contrast of unity in the Welcoming Committee (still a horrible name) and the dysfunction in (the much more cleverly named) “Royal Glow Fire.” Given 50/50 booking, whether you like it or not, there’s a good chance the Faces will overcome their disconnect and win against the Welcoming Committee. Personally, I’m hoping a certain Empress of Tomorrow comes out to rip apart the entire thing to make a huge impact as part of her main roster debut.
My Score: 8/10