KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 5/1: Backlash hype and Greatest Royal Rumble fallout, Miz TV with Orton, Hardy, Shelton

By Wade Keller, PWTorch Editor

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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 1, 2018
MONTREAL, QUEBEC
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


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[HOUR ONE]

-Paige stood backstage and announced that Shane McMahon would not be there because of what Braun Strowman did to him at the Greatest Royal Rumble. They showed him being tossed from the top rope through a table. She also said Shinsuke Nakamura used a low blow and then Styles attacked him afterward, which was a blatant disregard for rules, so therefore she is making their match on Sunday at Backlash a no-DQ match.

(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure if the logic that because they weren’t very sportsmanlike, she was removing all rules, but whatever.)

-The announcers immediately hyped Backlash including Seth Rollins defending the (Raw-based) Intercontinental Title against The Miz. Graves said he’s sure Shane McMahon will be back soon.

-Miz stood mid-ring and was pelted by chants from the boisterous crowd. He told them, “You do know I took Maryse to Hollywood, don’t you?” He welcomed them to Miz TV and the crowd chanted along with him as he said it. He said last week his scheduled guest no-showed his show, which is unforgivable. He said therefore Daniel Bryan is banned from Miz TV. Boos from the crowd. He said Seth Rollins, “over on the B-brand,” has something of his. He accused him of hiding behind Finn Balor and Samoa Joe in Saudi Arabia, but on Sunday it’ll be just the two of them. He said he made the title relevant and prestigious. He got some cheers. He said the people will see an A-lister as champion again.

He introduced his guest, the current U.S. Champion, Jeff Hardy. The crowd cheered. Hardy came out to the ring. The cheers for Hardy didn’t seem all that sustained, though. Miz said he’d shake his hand, but he just high-fived dirty people in the front row. He asked Hardy if he thinks he’s a better IC Champ than Seth. Jeff asked if that’s seriously why he brought him out there. Hardy said if his idea of a good IC Champ is “an obnoxious, annoying, overbearing, wanna-be Hollywood movie star, then that’s you, man.” He said if he was that good, he would have won last Friday.

Miz said he disrespected Randy Orton last week. Footage aired of Hardy running past Orton to face Shelton Benjamin. Miz said, “I wonder what Randy Orton thinks about that?” He said he has a surprise because Miz TV has a second guest. Hardy stood and looked slightly unnerved as Orton walked out. When Orton entered the ring, Miz complained that he interrupted his introduction of him. Orton shrugged and said, “So.” Miz tried to get Orton worked up over what Hardy did. ‘The voices in your head are probably screaming right now,” he said. Orton said he’s not bothered by what Hardy did; he said he took advantage of a situation. He said he did the same thing to him, so as far as he’s concerned, they’re cool with each other. Miz asked the fans if they liked that they’re “cool.”

Miz tried to get Orton worked up about being ninth on the Smackdown top ten list earlier in the year. He said ninth doesn’t even get him a medal. Orton laughed and said that’s true, but he doesn’t think anybody cares about any Smackdown Top Ten List. Miz said he thinks he cares more than he’s letting on. Miz said Hardy cost Orton his match last week. Hardy said it was Sunil Singh. Miz said his issues with Jinder boiled over and affected Orton.  Miz said there should be an RKO with Jeff’s name written all over it. He told him to teach Hardy some respect. Orton told Miz he apparently has forgotten whom he’s talking to. Orton said he strikes when he wants to.

Orton turned to Hardy and said no matter how cool they are with each other, on Sunday he’s taking his title back. Hardy told him he can try. Miz, in a nasally voice, said,  “Mutual agreement? Are you guys going to hug?” Shelton Benjamin then walked out and told Orton he doesn’t deserve a damn thing. He said he beat him in the middle of the ring last week, so if anybody deserves a championship opportunity, it’s him. He entered the ring, but Orton kicked him and set up a second rope DDT. Miz stopped him. Hardy joined in and threw Miz into the turnbuckle and then hit a Whisper in the Wind. Phillips said this episode of Miz TV has been cancelled. Hardy and Orton stood alongside each other as Miz and Shelton tried to regain their senses at ringside.

(Keller’s Analysis: Miz helped carry a segment with three other wrestlers who aren’t known for their dynamic promos. He’s valuable in that way. That said, this segment went too long at nearly 15 minutes.) [c]

(1) RANDY ORTON & JEFF HARDY vs. SHELTON BENJMAIN & MIZ

Phillips said Paige booked this match. Graves said Paige is making great decisions. The crowd was loud and chanting, so the announcers said it’s a carry over from last night at Raw. When Hardy climbed to the top rope, Miz grabbed his leg and then Shelton gave him a knee. Miz shoved him hard off the top rope and Hardy took a nasty bump on the ring edge as he fell to ringside. They cut to a break, but showed the action on split screen. [c]

He heels took over on Hardy for a sustained stretch during and after the break. Miz hit a series of corner dropkicks. Graves said he made them famous. Phillips said he stole them from Daniel Bryan. Hardy managed to hot-tag Orton shortly thereafter. Orton hit a snap powerslam, then threw Miz out of the ring. Orton went right after Miz and back suplexed him onto the announce table. Miz then dropkicked Shelton back in the ring. He set up a second rope DDT, but Miz tried to stop him. Orton DDT’d Miz and Shelton at the same time instead. The crowd popped as Orton played to the fans and really got fired up. Orton then gave Shelton an RKO. He tagged in Hardy next. Hardy landed the Swanton Bomb for the win.

WINNERS: Hardy & Orton in 14:00.

-As Hardy stood, still smarting from the bump on the edge of the ring, Orton surprised him with an RKO out of Nowhere. Saxton said now that the tag match is over, it’s straight ahead to Backlash on Sunday.

-Renee Young introduced The IIconics and Carmella. Carmella wasn’t there, though. She asked where she was. The IIconics imitated Renee’s accent and made fun of her. Renee said their accent was Minnesotan, not Canadian. (As a Minnesotan, I’d say it was more Irish than anything.) Kaye said, “Minnesota, Canada, who cares, they’re all garbage.” The crowd booed. They bragged about beating Asuka in her first match on Smackdown, then told Renee to “Go chase a moose.” Then they introduced Carmella for an interview. Carmella thanked them for the respectful introduction. She bragged about beating Charlotte two weeks ago and said she’ll beat her again on Sunday at Backlash. She said they’re going to show everybody why she’s money.

-The announcers said Shinsuke Nakamura is promising an apology. [c]

-They went to the announcers at ringside. Phillips said Bryan lasted 76 minutes at the Greatest Royal Rumble. He said WWE doctors aren’t letting him wrestle tonight because they’re worried about the welts on his chest turning into a bad infection. They showed a WWE.com interview from Friday of Bryan saying he lost because he couldn’t eliminate Strowman and he sounded at peace with that. Graves said Bryan is probably furious with the medical staff. (Maybe Bryan should just borrow Reigns’s vest.)

-The Bar walked backstage showing off their new Smackdown contracts. They happened upon New Day. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were holding Big E in the air. New Day mocked them for not winning the Raw Tag Team Titles at the GRR last Friday. A butler showed up with a tray of pancakes. Big E began rubbing oil on his pecs. The Bar were worried they were poisoned. They threw the pancakes away. Sheamus offered a fight against New Day tonight. Big E was upset and yelled in Sheamus’s face. Sheamus told him he wasn’t talking to him. He said he was talking to Xavier. He called him Short Stack. Xavier smiled and accepted it.

-Backstage Rusev and Aiden English were hanging out. Lana walked up to them. The crowd popped. She wore a “Happy Rusev Day” t-shirt. Lana said Rusev Day is bigger than ever, and he had a big match against Undertaker, but he came up short. She said something is holding him back. Rusev said he has a holiday held in his honor every day. He asked what could be holding him back. Lana looked at English.

(Keller’s Analysis: Hmmm.)

-Big Cass made his ring entrance. [c]

-The announcers said Bryan is scheduled to face Cass at Backlash. Big Cass stood mid-ring as his music faded. The fans booed. He said he is from New York City. He said their rep is that they’re aren’t friendly to people from other cities, but that’s because they’re better than everybody else. He said he’s sure he’s better than Bryan, because he’s the same size as the fans in the crowd. He said WWE Superstars don’t look like a fan; rather, they are seven feet tall. “And we all know that might makes right,” he said. He said the fans won’t get their cherished “five star match,” but rather a “five second match.” He said he won’t be doing wrist locks. He said he doesn’t even need time to prepare. He offered to fight Bryan tonight rather than waiting until Sunday. He called him to the ring so he can kick his teeth down his throat right now.

Out came a little person dressed up as Bryan. Cass told him, pretending it was Bryan, that he looks taller than usual. Cass said he has a short temper and asked if he’s a little pissed off. He asked if he’s mad he left him lying last week and ruined his record-breaking performance at the Greatest Royal Rumble. He told him not to be short-sighted and to look at the bigger picture. He said he used to be small like him when he was five years old. “Bryan” threw a kick to Cass’s leg. Cass then asked the fans to give a round of applause to the Bryan impersonator. Cass then kicked him in the face. Then he punched him. Several referees ran out and fans chanted “asshole” at him. Graves was disgusted with Cass. [c]

-Graves thanked Barns Courtney for “Champion,” the official song of Backlash.


Send questions and comments about Smackdown to wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com for tonight’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show taping live minutes after Smackdown ends. Join me LIVE right after Smackdown with cohost Mike McMahon (from the PWTorch Livecast Post-Impact show) as they talk with live callers about tonight’s Smackdown. Call 347-215-8558 or stream live HERE. You can download the full show later tonight by searching “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Click on the red “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show” logo to subscribe free.


[HOUR TWO]

-Styles made his ring entrance as Phillips plugged his no-DQ match on Sunday against Nakamura. The fans loudly chanted “A.J. Styles.” Renee asked if he thinks he’ll retain his title on Sunday. Styles asked if she’s talking about the con artist or the cheap-shot artist. He said while he is interested in retaining his gold, Shinsuke is more interested in his jewels “after low blow after low blow after low blow.” She asked if he would apologize to Nakamura after what he did to him in Saudi Arabia. Styles said he should have left Nakamura in the Arabian Desert. He said last week he tried take out one of his friends. He said this goes beyond Nakamura wanting to be WWE Champion. He said he’s a coward. He said he attacks him from behind and below the belt. He said he can break rules as well as Nakamura can. He said it’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. He said as far as low blows are concerned, that’ll be the least of Nakamura’s worries. He said he’ll leave pieces of Nakamura in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Styles asked Nakamura to come out if he wants an apology. Instead, Samoa Joe’s music played.

(Keller’s Analysis: Styles seemed almost unlikable here. The crowd wasn’t really with him. He just seemed to be off, like he was in a mood or something.)

Joe walked out and fans chanted “Joe! Joe! Joe!” Joe said Styles is so full of rage and anger that he seems to have lost focus of the danger that lurks. He said he should be focused on the match where his hand is raised in victory when he proves once again that Reigns is a failure. Cheers. He said the same Reigns that came up short in Saudi Arabia. He said the last time he checked, a referee’s decision is final and Brock Lesnar was the first out of the cage and he is still champion, period. He said Styles needs to make peace with one destiny that is definitely coming his way. He said when he puts the Big Dog to sleep, he’s coming to beat down the winner of the Styles-Nakamura match next. “Oh, believe that!” he yelled.

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s still strange watching Joe and Styles on WWE like this after so many years in TNA.)

Nakamura’s music played. Joe turned to wait for Nakamura. Nakamura suddenly gave Styles a low-blow from behind. Styles went down in pain. Fans chanted “Nakamura!” Nakamura kneeled and taunted Styles. Then an “A.J. Styles” chant got some momentum. Nakamura slapped Styles across the back of his head a few times and kicked him over, then strutted a bit. Then he signaled for the Kinshasa and then delivered. Styles went face-first to the mat. Boos. More taunting by Nakamura afterward. After more gyrating, Nakamura’s music played.

-Backstage Becky Lynch was pacing and upset. Asuka walked up to console her. Then Charlotte told them that their opponents aren’t invincible, they’re annoying and have lost their minds. She said tonight she’ll teach Carmella a lesson in respect. Lynch said they have to work together. Asuka got psyched up and Becky and Charlotte seemed receptive to her message. [c]

(2) XAVIER WOODS (w/Kofi Kingston, Big E) vs. SHEAMUS (w/Cesaro)

This might be the latest into a wrestling show that a second match took place, around the 80 minute mark. The announcers talked about how The Bar are jealous and upset because they feel they’ve been overshadowed lately. They cut to a break early, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]

Xavier climbed to the top rope, but Cesaro distracted him. Big E yanked Cesaro off, but Cesaro shoved Big E hard into the ringpost. Cesaro strutted. Xavier kicked him down. Sheamus then shoved Xavier into the ringside barricade. He threw him into the ring a second later. Xavier surprised him with a small package for the win.

WINNER: Xavier in 8:00.

-They went to the announcers who showed footage from WWE.com of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville giving Becky a hard time.

-Former Absolution members Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walked in and kissed up to Paige. They were happy about their reunion. They asked, “Who will it be?” Paige said it’ll be Mandy. Mandy assumed they were talking about a Smackdown Women’s Title match. Paige said that’s not what she meant. She said Mandy next week will face Becky Lynch. Deville said they should get special treatment because they’re Absolution. Paige said Absolution is dead. Mandy and Sonya looked crestfallen. [c]

-A selfie video aired with Zelina Vega in a parking lot. She said fans want to know when Andrade Cien Almas will arrive. She said it will be on their clock, and when it happens, Smackdown will be changed forever. Almas had a few final words in Spanish.

-They went to the announcers at ringside. They ran down the Backlash line-up.

-Ring entrances took place for Charlotte, Becky, and Asuka. [c]

-Ring entrances took place for the IIconics and then Carmella.

(3) THE IICONICS & CARMELLA vs. CHARLOTTE & BECKY LYNCH & ASUKA

A few minutes in, Charlotte blocked a Carmella kick. Carmella screamed. The IIconics pulled her to safety. Charlotte then slingshot herself onto the IIconics. Carmella backed away. They cut to a break. [c]

After the break, Royce and Kaye threw Asuka into the barricade and the ringside steps. Carmella yanked Becky out of reach of a Charlotte hot-tag, but Becky fought back and broke free and made the tag. Charlotte rallied against the heels. She played to the crowd before focusing on Carmella. Kaye distracted Charlotte on the top rope, so Carmella yanked her off balance. Charlotte went face-first into the top of the ringpost. Her hand hit the top and made a noice before her head. Kaye and Royce double-teamed Charlotte. Becky broke up the pn attempt. The heels triple teamed Charlotte in their corner. Royce settled into a chinlock mid-ring. They cut to a split screen with a final plug for Backlash.

Charlotte eventually speared Carmella during some late-match chaos, then landed a moonsault off the top rope to ringside onto Carmella and Kaye. Asuka, meanwhile, got the crowd worked up as she came up behind Royce. Royce, though, rolled up Asuka. Asuka countered right into an Asuka Lock for the tapout win. Phillips said this could be the beginning of another winning streak.

WINNERS: Asuka & Charlotte & Lynch 14:00.

-Charlotte signaled toward Carmella that she was taking her belt back on Sunday as Phillips gave a final pitch for the PPV this Sunday.


Check out the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show on this episode here.

Search “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts to subscribe to the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-shows.

6 Comments on KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 5/1: Backlash hype and Greatest Royal Rumble fallout, Miz TV with Orton, Hardy, Shelton

  1. This show was very boring. Old Orton Ko’ing people out of nowhere is played out and boring. Old orton “going to that place” is played. Old Orton “hearing voices in his head” very played out. Yawn. This was another failure of a go home show in my opinion. You have both brands represented at the next PPV and yet, not a lot of matches that interest me. Actually, none of them do.

  2. First, some props to Asuka for trying to do a promo with some English and not just a few phrases written on a card behind the camera. Perhaps some English lessons are happening? I was hoping WWE would make something of the Not That Great Royal Rumble and the missing women, Must have been a REALLY big check the King wrote Vince. Secondly, AJ is probably pissed because Shinske doesn’t seem to be doing the low blow quite right, once or twice they looked like they connected with the inside of his elbow. Wade finds it odd seeing AJ and Joe in WWE… I think it makes Vince look like a doddering old fool since he could have had them both in their prime but AJ was too small and Joe was too fat for Vince. McMahon makes some brilliant and awesome moves in the wrestling world but he makes 10 times as many boneheaded mistakes.

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