SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
In the billed main event, The Usos face Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. And on the Highlight Reel, Chris Jericho’s guest is Sami Zayn.
WWE Smackdown review
May 5, 2016
Taped 5/3/16 in Kansas City, Mo.
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– Smackdown Open.
– After fireworks shot off in the arena, the announcers plugged the Usos vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows for tonight.
– Chris Jericho came out to lead off the show. As he did so, they showed Stephanie McMahon canceling the Ambrose Asylum and reinstating the Highlight Reel. And of course, a brawl ensued and Mitch the Plant’s life was taken far too soon. Jericho noted that Ambrose thought it was okay to be funny with him until he ended up with contusions, a bulging disc, and signs of whiplash after Raw. He said he put Ambrose on the shelf indefinitely. The Gift of Jericho was presented to the crowd in Kansas City, a crowd which replied by chanting “you suck.” Jericho finally got around to introducing Sami Zayn, his scheduled guest.
Jericho had the monkeys in the truck roll the clip of Zayn getting involved in the post-match of Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens. Jericho considered what happened Monday a “surprise attack” on his good friend Owens, highlighting Zayn as a sore loser and a dirty thief for holding the I.C. Title over his head to end that segment. “What kind of a human being are you?” asked Jericho in a dramatic voice. I was waiting for the Jerry Seinfeld reply to George Costanza: “I think I’m pretty much like you…only successful.” Zayn said he thinks he’s a pretty good guy, then said he wasn’t trying to steal the title. But before he could explain more, The Miz’s music hit and he walked out with Maryse.
Jericho wasn’t happy with the interruption, but Miz said his show can wait. He said he’s the only one who has earned holding the title over his head. He claimed Zayn rode Owens’ coattails, and now Zayn is trying to ride his. Zayn touched Miz’s title belt, which Miz warned him not to do. Miz took off his sunglasses, so you know he’s upset. Jericho tried to egg on Miz to fight Zayn. Zayn made fun of Jericho for mentioning that his jacket cost $15,000. Jericho got upset and tossed around the furniture, deciding to leave in a huff. “That takes care of one jackass,” said Zayn. Miz said Zayn had no respect. Miz said Zayn has only splashed around in kiddie pools while he has swam with sharks for 11 years. I like that comparison. Miz called himself the biggest, baddest shark the company has ever seen.
Zayn responded by simply poking his finger into Miz’s title again. “Let’s go for a swim,” he said. Maryse got in Zayn’s face and said her husband would teach Zayn a lesson. Getting all fired up, Zayn wanted a fight right there. Zayn dodged a Miz cheap-shot attempt and Miz exited the ring before Zayn could get his hands on him. Zayn’s music played to end the segment.
1 – SAMI ZAYN vs. THE MIZ
The invisible hand of Smackdown made this match official during the break. It was a non-title match. Some high-octane offense from Zayn began things. He mounted Miz in the corner and pounded away. He didn’t get far into the ten-count before Miz was able to escape and pull Zayn down. Leg lariat for two by Zayn at 1:33. Zayn clotheslined Miz over the top and to the outside. However, Miz pulled Zayn out under the bottom rope and drove his back into the apron. A whip into the barricade led to Zayn jumping atop the structure and moonsaulting onto Miz. At just over the 3:00 mark of the match, Kevin Owens came out to his theme. Zayn focused on Owens as Owens sauntered to ringside. They cut to break at 3:36 of the match.
Back at 7:26 with Miz connecting on his patented corner clothesline. Owens had joined the commentary team, right next to his good buddy Byron Saxton. Zayn surprised Miz with a victory roll for two. Low-bridge sent MIz out of the ring. Zayn dove over the top rope and onto Miz, who didn’t really catch him all that well. Zayn hit the table with excitement and Owens took exception to that. They went face-to-face and Owens was the first to back down. As soon as they went back into the ring, Owens went on the attack.
WINNER: Zayn, via disqualification, at 9:00. I feel like we were robbed of Owens on commentary, only getting about a minute-and-a-half of it. Match was fine for what it was.
Owens and Miz joined forces to put the boots to Zayn. Cesaro ran out to make the save. He hit some uppercuts (including one on Zayn when Miz pulled him in the way). Maryse grabbed Miz’s hands from outside to prevent the Cesaro Swing. Only, Cesaro pulled Miz toward the center and pulled Maryse in with him. After the ring had been cleared, it was Cesaro this time who held the I.C. Title over his head.
– The announcers, on-camera, reacted to what they had just seen. Then they sent it to video of what happened after the six-man main event on Raw.
– Backstage, A.J. Styles walked in on Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson strategizing. “You guys ready for round two?” asked Styles. Anderson said they served up Roman Reigns on a silver platter on Raw. He said back in the day, Styles wouldn’t have thought twice about cracking a chair over Roman’s back. Styles said at Payback he was *this* close to beating Reigns, and technically beat him twice before Reigns beat him. Anderson continued to egg on Styles by saying Reigns didn’t mind putting Styles through a table on Raw. He said it’s time for Styles to go extreme, and time for him to have a chat with Reigns.
– The Colons are still living large in Puerto Rico. They may decide it’s too nice to ever leave and rejoin the active roster!
– The announcers revisited the injury to Enzo Amore from Payback. They also showed the Tweet from WWE when Enzo was released from the hospital.
– The Vaudevillains came to the ring. They cut an inset interview saying three clowns hold the tag titles. Simon Gotch said they represent a time when men were men and champions were respectable. Aiden English said they’ll turn back the clock on New Day at Extreme Rules. So what kind of old-fashioned match will they have? Brass knuckles rules? Most falls in one hour wins?
2 – BO DALLAS & CURTIS AXEL vs. THE VAUDEVILLAINS
No entrance for the Social Outcasts. English worked over Axel in their corner. Axel and Gotch both crashed down after a double-clothesline. Dallas tagged in and briefly shined with a belly-to-belly on English. Gotch back-dropped Axel out of the ring while English got his boots up on a Dallas charge. Whirling Dervish for the pin on Dallas.
WINNERS: The Vaudevillains, at 1:50. They needed a quick win to give them some credibility heading into a tag title match, especially when fans are still trying to figure the characters out.
After a replay of the finish, Big Cass came out. Cass said they looked like they just walked off the set of Sherlock Holmes. He threatened the heels and said both of them were about to get whooped. Since they’re in Kansas City, he vowed a Royal beat-down. And there’s only one word to describe them. Cass hit the ring and single-handedly fought off the tag title challengers. Well, whatever positives came out of the match were thrown away here. Axel got in the ring and trash-talked the Vaudevillains. Axel had some positive words for Cass, but Cass wasn’t in the mood. He picked Axel up and hit the East River Crossing.
– Becky Lynch & Natalya face Emma & Charlotte tonight.
– Next, we’ll check out what happened with Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s first night as co-show runners.
– Mauro Ranallo thanked PVRIS for “Fire,” the official theme to Extreme Rules.
– Ranallo threw it to Vince McMahon’s announcement from Payback. Then, Shane and Steph had a meeting of the minds to open the show.
– Natalya came to the ring. They showed stills of Nattie vs. Charlotte from Payback. Then, on Raw, Natalya slapped Ric and put him in the Sharpshooter. Becky Lynch came out next, as the women’s tag is after the break.
3 – NATALYA & BECKY LYNCH vs. EMMA & CHARLOTTE
Nattie had the early advantage on Charlotte before tagging in Lynch. A series of leg-drops by Lynch only got her a one-count on the champion. Roll-up by Natalya, again only a one-count. Big boot by Charlotte. The heels worked over Natalya in the corner with frequent tags. Jerry “The King” Lawler accused the referee in this match, Chad Patton, of being a longtime associate of the Hart Family as a way to deflect blame from Charles Robinson and his call on Sunday. Emma delivered a number of fists to Nattie on the mat. Natalya broke free long enough to make a tag to Lynch at 4:43. She worked over Emma, with Ranallo saying she was going after Emma “like an Internet troll.” Charlotte helped Emma create separation and as she did so, Lynch went after Charlotte outside the ring. Emma attacked her from behind. Lawler kept accusing Patton of slow counts, etc. to help out Natalya’s team. Charlotte had Lynch in a head-scissors as they went to break at 6:00 of the match.
Back at 9:01 with Lynch having worked her way back to a vertical base. She began her comeback, but another big boot by Charlotte ended that idea. Charlotte dropped a Ric-like knee onto Lynch. Cheap shot to Nattie by Charlotte. Lynch fought away from both heels and delivered an enzugiri to Emma. Natalya tagged in at 11:47. Natalya applied a Sharpshooter but Charlotte was close enough to the corner to tag Emma. Butterfly suplex by Emma. Lynch got involved to break up a pin. Lynch stood on the apron to keep both Charlotte and Ric at bay on the outside while Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter for the submission win.
WINNERS: Lynch and Natalya, at 13:20. This one was held together quite well. You can see how comfortable these women in particular are at wrestling matches of this length.
The replay showed Charlotte on the outside choosing not to get involved and help Emma.
– Roman Reigns was backstage with The Usos. Styles walked in and Reigns said it takes a lot of guts for him to walk in alone. Styles reminded Reigns he took the high road on Monday but next time, it’ll be different. Styles asked Reigns if he’d be out there during the main event tonight. Reigns said he’ll be anywhere he wants to be. “Great. Then I’ll see you out there. Champ,” replied Styles.
– Rusev and Lana were walking backstage. Lana was mocking Kalisto. Rusev, in action, next.
– They showed a Tweet from John Cena vowing to return on the Memorial Day Raw.
– The exterior of the Sprint Center in Kansas City was shown.
– “The Quest Begins.” Darren Young cut a promo to the camera in a pre-tape in which he was searching for a life coach. He said his choice was right in front of him, the person he needed in his life. A split screen showed Mr. Bob Backlund. Young asked if Backlund would be his life coach. Backlund said he would be Young’s wrestling coach. Young said he’s got wrestling covered and wanted Backlund for his life coach. Backlund said (yelled) his first rule is that wrestling is life. It ended with Backlund saying, and the on-screen affirming, that they’ll Make Darren Young Great Again. I feel sorry for the poor sap in charge of producing/directing the Backlund pre-tapes.
4 – ZACK RYDER vs. RUSEV
Ryder was back to his pre-Wrestlemania role of “currently in the ring.” As Rusev came to the ring, they showed him winning the battle royal to determine the #1 contender to the U.S. Title on Raw. And it was Rusev tossing out Ryder to end the match. Ryder got the better of Rusev outside the ring, which is where the match went almost immediately. However, back in the ring, Rusev took over. Big overhead suplex from Rusev. And a second. Rusev displayed a big goose-egg on his forehead, presumably from being sent into the post outside. The Accolade and a tap-out from Ryder.
WINNER: Rusev, via submission, at 1:20. Hopefully Rusev can get back on track in the next few weeks and months. He can be a valuable bulldozer on the heel side of the ledger. Kalisto came out after the match, presumably tired of all the mocking. He hit Rusev with a springboard corkscrew splash, then exited the ring. Rusev was irate.
– Next, The Usos face Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
– They showed clippings of various media praising the Camp WWE show on the WWE Network. The announcers talked about it being TV-MA.
– Goldust and Fandango were dancing in the hallway. Fandango said Goldust’s heart isn’t in it but Goldust said they’ve been practicing too much this week. R-Truth and Tyler Breeze came up and Truth told Fandango to take it easy on Goldust, he’s trying the best he can. A distracted Breeze couldn’t have cared less about what was going on as Truth engaged Fandango in a dance competition. Fandango wasn’t having it. He wanted to settle it with Golddango vs. The Gorgeous Truth next week. That was agreed upon as Fandango then continued to try to get Goldust to work on his hip moves.
– Gallows and Anderson came to the ring for their match. A.J. Styles came out next. Then came The Usos. And finally, Roman Reigns. The match begins, next.
5 – LUKE GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON vs. THE USOS
Jey Uso picked up an early crucifix roll-up for a near-fall. After the Usos went outside the ring, Reigns tended to one of them. Anderson made the mistake of face-washing Reigns from inside the ring. Reigns then attacked Anderson for the disqualification, leading to Styles and everyone else brawling in the ring.
WINNERS: Anderson and Gallows, via DQ, at 2:19. The Anderson face-washing spot was pretty funny in that he took some time to set it up and it was just so deliberate.
Referees and security ran out to break things up. Styles, Anderson, and Gallows went heading up the ramp. Somehow Styles got a mic and said he thought this was a New Era. He wanted to finish what they started right now. Ranallo translated that as Styles asking for a six-man tag match again.
6 – KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS & A.J. STYLES vs. THE USOS & ROMAN REIGNS
Styles and Reigns went at it early on. Reigns used his strength and size to his advantage. Right-hand by Reigns put Styles on the mat. Styles managed to corner Reigns, allowing Anderson to tag in. A back elbow by Reigns led to a roll-up for two. Straight kick to the face of Anderson. Reigns and The Usos put a hurting on Anderson. Anderson desperately backed Jey into the corner and Gallows tagged in. Blind tag by Jimmy. Two forearms by Jey and Jimmy to Gallows. Jimmy, from the apron, fought off Anderson’s interference, but was eventually felled by a Gallows kick. Styles corner clotheslined Jimmy, but Jimmy fired back with an enzugiri. Reigns and Anderson tagged in for their respective teams. Jumping clothesline by Reigns on Anderson. Reigns gave Styles and Anderson both right hands. Superman punch to Gallows. He went for one on Styles but Styles brought Reigns down throat-first across the top rope. Anderson registered a near-fall off that. After some more chaos from the non-legal members of the match, Anderson caught a Superman punch. Styles interfered on Reigns before Reigns could spear Anderson. Spinebuster by Anderson for two. Spear was finally hit and the Usos held Styles to stop him from breaking up the pin.
WINNERS: The Usos and Reigns, at 7:16.
Some replays of key moments in the match were shown. Styles and Reigns faced off in the ring, with Reigns holding the title high to end things.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He is the host of “Moonlighting with Greg Parks,” a PWTorch VIP-exclusive audio show posted each weekend. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.