SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
On this edition of Smackdown, Roman Reigns takes on Luke Gallows in singles action. In women’s action, Paige takes on Dana Brooke. And The Vaudevillains prepare for their tag title match at Extreme Rules by participating in an eight-man tag match.
WWE Smackdown review
May 19, 2016
Taped 5/17/16 in Greenville, S.C.
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– The first video package was of the Intercontinental Title-related happenings from Raw this week.
– Smackdown Open.
– The camera panned the crowd with no fireworks and no chyron identifying the city. The Miz, Maryse, and Sami Zayn were all at the announce table at ringside.
1 – KEVIN OWENS vs. CESARO
Owens needed a break at ringside early in the match, and The Miz let him have it verbally. Cesaro went to the second rope (not turnbuckle, but the rope itself in between two corners) and elbowdropped Owens. At about 2:20, Owens again went outside. This time, Cesaro didn’t let him rest, nailing him with a running European uppercut. Maryse didn’t appreciate Cesaro’s words, so when he got back to the apron, she distracted him. Owens knocked Cesaro off the apron and ran him into the steel steps. After a few minutes of Owens on offense, Cesaro got his knees up on a senton. Owens was crotched on the top rope, leading to a flip dive in the corner by Owens. They went to break at 6:17 of the match.
Back at 9:30 with Cesaro working out of a rear chin-lock. Owens went to the top, but Cesaro stopped him with a European uppercut. Gut-wrench suplex off the top by Cesaro. Uppercut party offered by Cesaro. Top-rope cross-body for two from the Swiss Superman. “Numbers don’t lie, Miz,” said Sami Zayn, countering Miz’s argument about Byron Saxton’s fuzzy math claiming Miz only had a 25% chance to win on Sunday. That automatically turned Zayn heel for me. Owens once again found himself at ringside at the announce table. Zayn got out of his seat and Owens socked him. Cannonball off the apron onto Owens by Cesaro. Miz was out of his seat, gloating over everyone else getting beaten up. So Cesaro shoved him into, and over his chair. Cesaro Swing on Cesaro. Miz got on the apron to cause a distraction, leading to a superkick by Owens. Zayn tried to go after Owens, but Cesaro stopped him, not wanting to be disqualified. That allowed Owens to roll up Cesaro and get the pin using the tights.
WINNER: Owens, at 14:13. I’ll never complain about a 14-minute Owens vs. Cesaro singles match.
After the match, Cesaro gave a European uppercut to Miz. Helluva kick by Zayn to Cesaro, then a Skull Crushing Finale on Zayn. The three were laid out in the ring, with Owens observing and applauding the destruction from the ramp. They replayed a few key moments of the match.
– Later tonight, Roman Reigns faces Luke Gallows.
– Also, Chris Jericho checks into the Ambrose Asylum.
– Paige came to the ring as Mauro Ranallo said Dana Brooke has been “on a tear” since making her WWE debut. Hasn’t she had like two matches? Anyway, Brooke vs. Paige, next.
– Becky Lynch was at the announce desk for the following match.
2 – PAIGE vs. DANA BROOKE
Two extended lock-ups and neither could really get the advantage. Brooke tripped over Paige on a drop-down. Knees to the chest by Paige from the apron. Brooke tripped up Paige, causing her to fall onto the apron and to ringside. She jawed with Lynch while she was out there. Shoulders to the mid-section of Paige in the corner by Brooke. Body-scissors applied to Paige. Paige returned fire with kicks and knees. Jaw-breaker by Brooke set up her finisher, the firemen’s carry into a sit-out slam.
WINNER: Brooke, at 3:14. Brooke is still a little tentative at times in the ring on offense, but overall she looks good. Too bad about losing Emma, as their partnership had real possibilities on the main roster.
– Renee Young was backstage with Rusev and Lana. Young cued up footage of Rusev stretching and humbling Kalisto on Raw. Lana said Kalisto is a weak man who hides behind his mask. I’m tired of that being the go-to talking point of guys feuding with masked wrestlers in WWE. Rusev said he is the greatest champion and the United States title is his title.
– Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus were walking in a split-screen. They square off next.
3 – DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SHEAMUS
Some back-and-forth with Ziggler dropkicking Sheamus into the corner, following with a barrage of right hands. Roll-up after a go-behind by Ziggler. Only a two-count, though. Ziggler popped back into the ring after a trip to the apron, and Sheamus downed him with a forearm. He was in control as they went to break at 2:07 of the match.
Back at 5:19 with Sheamus continuing to do damage to Ziggler. After a few high-impact moves, he slowed Ziggler down further with a chin-lock. Ziggler managed to create enough separation to hit the Zig Zag for two. Just as Ziggler got revved up, Sheamus caught him for a back-breaker and a two-count. Sheamus was slow to capitalize, and Ziggler headbutted him for it. Ziggler was hot-shotted across the top but in desperation, hit a superkick for the win.
WINNER: Ziggler, at 9:27. Good match as usual between these two. It does, though, highlight how far Sheamus has fallen when he’s being used to put over a guy on the PPV pre-show. I’d probably have kept him off TV until I had something worthwhile for him.
Baron Corbin came out after the match. He said on Sunday, he’s going to do what he does best: Hurt Ziggler. And with it being no-DQ, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him.
– Next, Chris Jericho checks in to the Ambrose Asylum.
– The creepy music from Raw began to play as the cage/asylum was shown hanging above the ring. Chris Jericho’s music then played and he came out. As he did, they showed Jericho destroying Mitch the Potted Plant and Ambrose returning the favor by destroying Jericho’s light-up jacket. Then last Thursday, Jericho put Ambrose in a straightjacket. Talk about a weird game of one-upmanship. Jericho tried to quiet the crowd, then said Ambrose thinks he has Jericho right where he wants him, but in reality, Jericho has been in every match created by WWE. He said he has the upper hand in this type of match because neither has participated in such a match, and he’s smarter than Ambrose. Jericho said Ambrose is called “The Lunatic Fringe,” but he is a lunatic.
Jericho dreamed aloud about how many days he could put Ambrose in the hospital for with all the weapons at his disposal in the upcoming match. He ordered the cage lowered as he talked about all the plunder. Jericho predicted 40 days Ambrose would spend in the hospital after their match. At Extreme Rules, he vowed to give Ambrose the gift of Jericho. Ambrose, apparently, had been playing a stage-hand helping the cage get lowered in place, because as Jericho allowed fans to drink him in, Ambrose, in fake beard and mustache and knit hat, appeared behind him. Ambrose went on the attack. He climbed the cage and grabbed a kendo stick. He peppered Jericho with shots until Jericho could flee through the cage door. Ambrose’s music played to end the segment.
– Roman Reigns vs. Luke Gallows is still to come.
– Next, New Day and Big Cass face The Dudley Boyz and The Vaudevillains.
Back at 5:05 with Kingston hammering away on Bubba in the corner. The heel team was going through a little dissension when Simon Gotch tagged and Bubba wasn’t happy about it. Aiden English came in and went on offense, doing some talking, and Bubba of all people wasn’t happy that he was spending time jawing. The Vauds stayed on offense against Woods, and The Dudleys weren’t happy about the lack of tags coming their way. Bubba tagged in and yelled to English and Gotch, “this is how you light somebody up!” After duly lighting Woods up, Woods responded with a kick and both men were down. Big Cass made the big tag and wiped out basically the entire heel squad. The match broke down soon after, with Kofi being launched over Big E.’s head and onto English outside the ring. The Dudleys double-teamed Cass but he fought them off and hit Bubba with the East River Crossing and Empire Elbow for the win.
WINNERS: New Day and Big Cass, at 10:31. Cass bit off a little more than he could chew trying the East River Crossing on Bubba, as it didn’t look good. Neither did his elbow finisher, really. Not enough to derail his momentum, though. Match was fine, and I liked that the heels couldn’t get along through the whole match.
– The announcers plugged the WWE Network’s offerings.
– Luke Gallows vs. Roman Reigns is next, with all ancillary members at ringside.
– The announcers talked about the Women’s Title situation. Then we got a video package to show us how we got to where we are now, with Ric Flair banned from ringside at Extreme Rules.
– As Luke Gallows made his way to the ring, it was announced that The Usos vs. Karl Anderson and Gallows was made official at Extreme Rules, in a Tornado Tag Match. Anderson and A.J. Styles came out with Gallows, with Styles getting his own entrance. After The Club’s entrance, they cut to break.
– After the break, The Usos walked out followed by Roman Reigns. Shown was what happened Monday night with Reigns intercepting a Styles chairshot and hitting A.J. with one of his own. Then Styles got a second chance and followed through with a Styles Clash onto the chair.
5 – LUKE GALLOWS vs. ROMAN REIGNS
Poor John Cone has his hands full with this one. Gallows used his size to knock Reigns around. Reigns delivered a Samoan drop to Gallows for two. Gallows tried to regroup at ringside, but Reigns hit the drive-by. The final break was taken at 2:19.
Back at 6:09 with Gallows catching a kick from Reigns and knocking him down with a running lariat. Byron Saxton said it was an “uncomfortable feeling” with all the other wrestlers standing at ringside during this match, as if they could get involved at any time. Gallows settled into a rest-hold. Gallows telegraphed a back body-drop, and Reigns capitalized on the opening. Jumping clothesline found the mark. Corner clotheslines were followed by a big boot. Anderson diverted Reigns’ attention and Gallows rolled him up for two. Superman punch put Gallows on the mat. Spear was set up but Styles swiped Roman’s foot. That led to The Usos getting involved with Anderson and Styles at ringside. Reigns hit the drive-by on Styles, but fell victim to the Gallows Pole inside the ring, for only two. Anderson ran into the ring on the order of A.J. Styles and the ref ordered the match thrown out (for the record, before Anderson made contact with Reigns).
WINNER: Reigns, via disqualification, at 12:02.
Anderson and Gallows hit their finish on Reigns, but everybody got involved after that. Styles kicked Reigns out of the ring. He took apart the announce table but Reigns put Styles on it and hammered away. More chaos with all six men brawling at ringside. They ended with Reigns and Styles brawling over the announce desk.
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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.