SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Miz & Kevin Owens team up to take on Cesaro & Sami Zayn when Intercontinental Title contenders explode. Also, Dean Ambrose, amid his feud with Chris Jericho, kicks off Smackdown.
WWE Smackdown review
May 12, 2016
Taped 5/10/16 in Des Moines, Iowa
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Smackdown Open.
– After the requisite fireworks, a graphic was shown for The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, and per WWE officials, Roman Reigns and A.J. Styles are banned from ringside.
– Dean Ambrose walked to the ring. Jerry “The King” Lawler said Ambrose should be in jail right now. The announcers narrated a clip from Raw of Chris Jericho being attacked during his entrance by Ambrose. Ambrose said he and Jericho are now even after Jericho destroyed his plant and he destroyed Jericho’s jacket. He said Jericho tried to end his career with the pot-shot, and said he’s not out there interviewing Carrot Top for a podcast – his in-ring career is all he has. Now, he wants to take away the thing that makes Jericho who he is: his ego. Ambrose said when he’s done with Jericho, Y2J will be questioning whether or not this wrestling thing is for him anymore.
Jericho’s music hit the lights went out. When they came back on, Jericho was in the ring standing over a fallen Ambrose From inside a duffel bag, he took out a straightjacket. He then put it on Ambrose. Ambrose came to and Jericho taunted him as Ambrose struggled to break himself free. Jericho put the boots to Ambrose and continued the assault on the virtually helpless babyface. Ambrose landed a couple of kicks, but Jericho poked him in the eye and delivered a Codebreaker. Referees finally made their way to the ring to break this up. Jericho gave one last Codebreaker (connecting with only one knee) to Ambrose. Jericho then climbed upon the announce desk with a microphone. He gave the fans the gift of Jericho.
[ Reax: I kinda feel like the straightjacket angle/gimmick is a bit too cartoony for today’s wrestling. This feud seems to be alternating between comedic and serious a bit too much. ]
– Sami Zayn & Cesaro vs. The Miz & Kevin Owens is still to come.
– An angry Rusev was walking with Lana backstage. He gets a rematch against Sin Cara, next.
– They showed a replay of Jericho’s entrance and attack on Ambrose in the previous segment.
1 – SIN CARA vs. RUSEV
Kalisto was on commentary. Lana was back to introducing Rusev. During Rusev’s entrance, they took us back to Rusev getting upset by Cara on Raw. Not surprisingly, Rusev was the aggressor early on. “Such an angry person,” commented Kalisto about Rusev on commentary. I think Mauro Ranallo is trying to get all of his current pop culture references in during the first 20 minutes of the show. Kalisto brought up what seems to be a no-no, that Michael Cole beat Lawler at Wrestlemania. Rusev took too long in attending to Kalisto and the crowd, allowing Cara to take over with kicks. Cara flipped off the top rope and onto Rusev. Rusev kicked out before a one-count, at the same time Lana threw Lawler’s drink at Kalisto. The timing wasn’t great with both occurring at the same time. Kalisto got up and confronted Lana, but Rusev kicked him from behind. Back in, Boot to Cara then the Accolade.
WINNER: Rusev, at 3:07. Getting the better of Cara AND Kalisto makes up for Rusev’ surprising loss to Cara on Raw. Kalisto was a tad better on commentary than his last outing, but that’s not saying much.
A replay was shown of the drink fiasco. Rusev yelled over the prone Kalisto outside the ring.
– Renee Young welcomed in Emma backstage. Young threw to Dana Brooke’s debut on Raw, attacking Becky Lynch in a backstage interview segment. Young asked Emma who Dana Brooke is. Brooke walked in and said Young obviously doesn’t watch NXT if she has to ask that question. Brooke showed off her arms and said she’s a bodybuilding champion. She was upset that the WWE Universe goes gaga over Lynch’s puns. Emma said Brooke debuts tonight against Lynch. And Brooke said after tonight, people will be asking, “whatever happened to Becky Lynch?” She said this is her playground and playtime is over. Looks like her confidence on the mic has carried over from NXT, which is good to see.
– Ranallo plugged the 90% satisfaction rate among WWE Network subscribers.
2 – DANA BROOKE vs. BECKY LYNCH
Dana came out to Emma’s theme. Lynch and Brooke exchange blows, with Lynch going hard at Brooke with forearms. A hair-pull by Brooke allowed her to take over. Handstand elbowdrop from Brooke for a one-count. Brooke did some trash-talking as well. Lynch came back with lariats of the arm and leg varieties. Brooke shoved Lynch into the ropes. After she did that, Emma poked Lynch in the already-injured eye. Single-leg take-down with a bridging pin and Brooke picked up the victory.
WINNER: Brooke, at 2:47. Big win for Brooke in her debut match. She showed good personality here and was able to keep up with one of the best wrestlers in the division. Both bode well for her future.
– The announcers were shown on-camera, throwing it to the six-man match The Family and The Club. Those are terribly unimaginative names for these trios, hopefully placeholders.
– Gallows and Anderson were talking to Styles backstage. Anderson said they’d go extreme on The Usos just like Styles will go extreme on Reigns. “Take care of club business,” Styles told them.
– New Day came out. When they got into the ring, the finish of their match against the Dudley Boyz, involving the Vaudevillains, was shown. The three of them documented what happened on Monday after we just saw the clip, but of course, put their own unique spin on it. Kingston said the Vaudevillains put their nose in New Day’s booty. Woods said they were Kanye West’ed by the Vauds. Xavier and Kofi kept trying to stop Big E. from saying “ass.” Woods said they’d smack the Vaudevillains back to the future. Simon Gotch and Aiden English walked out to provide another perspective.
English said they use their smarts to get the better of their loudmouth, adolescent opponents. He sung that they can be called the new WWE World Tag Team Champions after Extreme Rules, in a take on how New Day always sings that part. Gotch said the sun will set on New Day, and the night belongs to the Vaudevillains. “Boots down, dukes up boys,” said English. English vs. Kingston in singles action takes place after the break.
3 – KOFI KINGSTON vs. AIDEN ENGLISH
English ducked to avoid a baseball slide after a back-and-forth start, catching Kingston and shoving him head-first into the ring-post. Back in the ring, English took the fight to Kingston as Ranallo name-dropped Farmer Burns (a JBL favorite) and Frank Gotch. Kofi went to the top and hit the tomahawk chop. Springboard cross-body off the top for two. Boom Drop set up a Trouble in Paradise attempt. However, Gotch (Simon, not Frank) got involved by trying to swipe at Kofi’s feet. The rest of New Day kept Gotch at bay, leading to the ref throwing out all parties. English sat down on a corner sunset flip attempt, using the ropes for leverage, and picking up the win.
WINNER: English, at 3:50. Like I said last week, The Vaudevillains need all the help they can get in being seen as credible tag title contenders, so this is pretty basic (and needed) booking.
– Roman Reigns was backstage with The Usos. They basically had the same conversation as the other side, only reversed: Reigns told The Usos to represent their blood and said if A.J. shows up, he’ll be out there to take him out. The match is next.
4 – THE USOS vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS
The Usos went on offense first, both getting the better of Anderson. Leg lariat by Anderson surprised Jimmy Uso. Gallows pulled him down by the hair from the apron. Splash in the corner then a slam by Gallows. Another slam, then an uppercut. He really slowed the pace of the match. Ranallo noted Anderson had a baseball scholarship offer before starting in pro wrestling. He also mentioned Andreson as a former tag champion with Giant Bernard (NXT head trainer Matt Bloom). Thinks picked up a bit with Jey Uso powerslamming Anderson. Outside the ring, Jey fell victim to a big boot from Gallows. They went to break at 4:35 of the match.
Back at 7:26 with the heels in charge. Big knee-drop by Anderson on Jey. Anderson elbowed Jimmy off the apron so that Jey couldn’t make the tag. A missed corner charge by Gallows led to a superkick from Jey. Jimmy tagged in at 10:15 and worked over Anderson. Another superkick a minute later. Splash off the top, but Gallows pulled Jimmy off the pin. Gallows tossed Jimmy over the announce table, which led to the referee calling for the bell.
WINNERS: The Usos, via disqualification, at 11:05. If you like clean, decisive finishes…this is not the show for you.
Things continued to go crazy after the match with all four men hitting high-impact moves. Gallows nailed Jimmy with a steel chair to the back. Anderson then delivered a shot to the back of Jey. Anderson pulled up the chair to have a good sit as Gallows stood over him. Their music played with replays of the finish and post-match following.
– R-Truth and Tyler Breeze were backstage. Breeze did not appear happy with Truth watering his selfie stick. Elsewhere, Fandango continued teaching Goldust to shake his hips. The two teams square off, next.
– Ranallo thanked PVRIS for “Fire,” the official theme to Extreme Rules.
– The announcers talked about Darren Young’s search for a life coach. We got “Life Lessons with Coach Backlund.” It was back to the split-screen of last week. Backlund asked Young what time his watch said. Young pulled out his cellphone. Backlund didn’t really understand why Young was trying to call the operator to find the time. He told Young to just look at his watch. Young said no one wears a watch anymore. Backlund said being on time is important to him. Young mentioned the desktop on his phone and Backlund said organizing Young’s desktop (literally, the top of his desk) was of vital importance. Backlund instructed Young to do 100, then 200, squats right there. “We’re going to make Darren Young great again!” shouted Bob. It was more like Young trying to get his grandfather up to date on the latest technology than Backlund being his life coach, but who cares, it was actually funny.
5 – THE GORGEOUS TRUTH vs. GOLDDANGO
Truth and Goldust faced off as the crowd chanted “Golden Truth.” Their partners were trying to get the two men to hit each other. Truth went over and tagged Breeze so that he wouldn’t have to fight Goldust. When Truth left the ring, Breeze gave him a little help in pushing him out. Fandango then turned on Goldust by clotheslining him. Somehow, that was enough for Breeze to cover and pin him.
WINNERS: Gorgeous Truth, at 1:37. We may get two new permanent tag teams out of this deal.
Fandango and Breeze put the boots to Goldust until Truth made the save. However, the heels took him out too. Goldust, rather than, you know, trying to fight back, instead cover Truth to protect him from the further beating.
– Next, Zayn and Cesaro vs. Miz and Owens.
– Puerto Rico is paradise, according to the Shining Stars, who arrive Monday on Raw.
– This past Monday, Ric Flair came to ringside during Charlotte’s match and Shane McMahon sent him to the back.
– Renee Young was joined backstage by Charlotte and Ric Flair. Charlotte said what happened Monday with her father was “a travesty.” She was not happy with the McMahons for that call. Young asked if Charlotte’s loss on Monday may be a harbinger of things to come. Ric said that may have been the worst questions he’s ever heard asked. He vowed that Charlotte would come out victorious on Sunday, but Charlotte didn’t seem to display the same confidence.
– Cesaro and Sami Zayn made separate entrances for the main event. When Zayn came out, they showed him qualifying for the I.C. Title match on Raw by beating The Miz. They cut to break before the heel entrances.
– John Cena returns on the Memorial Day edition of Raw.
6 – CESARO & SAMI ZAYN vs. KEVIN OWENS & THE MIZ
When Miz came out, Owens got on Saxton’s headset. He said he is giving Miz one last chance to be a good partner, then at Extreme Rules, it’s everyone for himself. Cesaro lifted Miz off the mat with a gutwrench, and followed through by suplexing him. Cesaro caught Miz in mid-air and turned it into a back-breaker. Dragon-screw leg-whip, but Miz got to the ropes before the Swing could happen. Miz and Owens chatted briefly, and it was not a friendly one. Owens tagged in, as did Zayn. Owens tried to tag back out but Miz dropped off the apron. Zayn clotheslined Owens hard to the mat. He mounted Owens in the corner and delivered 15-20 rights and lefts. Miz tagged back in and managed to avoid Zayn’s high-flying offense. Owens took issue with Miz taking his time outside the ring. Cesaro dove onto Owens, and Zayn onto Miz. They went to break at 3:35 of the match.
Back at 6:43 with Zayn having his way with Miz. Zayn low-bridged Miz and they were out of the ring again. Maryse yelled at Zayn to stay away from Miz, leading to Owens wiping out Zayn. Miz took Zayn into the barricade and announce table before putting him back in the ring. Owens, from the apron, demanded Saxton praise him. Zayn surprised Miz with a roll-up, then a clothesline and both men were horizontal. Blue Thunder Bomb by Zayn, but Zayn was still too worn out to capitalize. He crawled and made the tag to Cesaro, as Owens tagged in as well. Uppercut party by Cesaro. A dropkick followed. Cross-body off the top for a near-fall. He went for the Cesaro Swing, but Miz put a stop to it. Zayn went for a Helluva Kick in the corner on Miz, but Miz moved and he hit Cesaro. Frog-splash on Cesaro by Owens for the win.
WINNERS: Miz and Owens, at 12:22.
Miz and Zayn continued brawling, with Owens then giving Zayn a pop-up powerbomb. Skull-Crushing Finale on Owens. Miz’s music played as he stood tall with the I.C. Title. The finish of the match was replayed, as was Zayn’s Helluva Kick on Cesaro and the post-match. Maryse and Miz shared a kiss atop the stage while the reactions of the other competitors were shown at or near ringside.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.