5/8 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on Money in the Bank season kicking off with qualifying matches including Bryan-Rusev, Hardy-Miz, Charlotte-Royce

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 8, 2018
BALTIMORE, MD.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


Check out Wade Keller’s Pro Wrestling Post-Show covering this episode of Smackdown. Search “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or other podcast apps or stream below…


[HOUR ONE]

-Paige made her ring entrance. Meanwhile, the announcers hyped Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz, Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev, and Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce in MITB qualifying matches. Paige then stood mid-ring and welcomed viewers to Smackdown Live. She talked about the A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match at Backlash. She said it was going along well until the double-low blow ground it to a halt. She said she didn’t see that coming when she made it a no DQ match, and she said they’d hear from them later.

Paige shifted to hyping the Money in the Bank match. She said the winner of the match will bring the contract to their brand, so she needs the best Smackdown has to offer. She said she has set up qualifying matches to find out who the best is, starting… (pause) “right now!”

(1) JEFF HARDY vs. THE MIZ – Money in the Bank qualifer

Graves talked about Hardy as being one of the most prolific performers in any type of ladder match in history. They showed a clip of The Miz cashing in his MITB contract against Randy Orton back in November 2010, four months after winning MITB, which led to him headlining WrestleMania the next year. Hardy leaped off the ladder at ringside and knocked Miz into the ringside barricade a few minutes in. Phillips noted that 16 out of 19 cash-ins were successful. When Hardy climbed to the top rope, Miz backed into the opposite corner and they cut to a break. [c]

A few minutes after the break Miz dropped Hardy crotch-first over the ringside barricade. He swung at his head, but Hardy ducked twice then headbutted Miz. Then he leaped off with a clothesline. Both were slow to get up. Back in the ring Hardy rallied with some signature moves leading to a two count. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Miz blocked it and went for a backslide. Hardy resisted and hit a Twist of Fate. When he climbed to the top rope, Miz rolled out of the way. Then he kicked Hardy and gave him a neckbreaker off the middle rope onto the edge of the ring apron. They cut to a commercial, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]

Hardy recovered at ringside. Miz went on the attack in the ring. He eventually showboated as he set up the Skull Crushing Finale. He milked the moment as Hardy slowly stood. Hardy blocked it and surprised Miz with a small package for a near fall. Miz came right back with a sleeper. Hardy escaped.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a lot of happenings in the ring during a commercial break. They didn’t just settle into a long rest hold as often seems to happen.)

Back live full screen after the break, Miz went for another sleeper. Hardy escaped and landed a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Hardy knocked Miz to the floor and flip dove onto him. Hardy threw Miz back into the ring, tore off his rainbow colored long sleeve shirt, and girls screamed. When he climbed to the top rope, Miz got up and knocked him off balance. Miz then set up a superplex, but Hardy fought out of it and landed a sunset flip powerbomb off the top for a believable near fall. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Hardy went for a Twist of Fate; Miz countered with a Skull Crushing Finale attempt. Hardy reverse-kicked Miz and then landed the corner swing kick, which Graves called the Hardiac Arrest. Both were worn down. Hardy landed the Twist of Fate, then climbed to the top rope again. He landed the Swanton Bomb for a near fall. Miz countered from underneath and leveraged Hardy’s shoulders down with a crucifix for the win. Graves said that was a victory worthy of a Hollywood leading man.

WINNER: Miz in 20:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Miz continues to deliver when given time and a good opponent. Hardy is also showing he is back and not just limping through mediocre matches on a battered broken down body. This was a pleasant surprise on the highest end of what you’d have any right to expect from these two. Miz getting a clean win is good for him now and then.)

-Sheamus was munching backstage on Lucky Charms and lamenting his loss last week to Xavier Woods. Cesaro said he wouldn’t have lost. That led to an argument, but then a fist bump. Cesaro opened his duffel bag and it was filled with pancakes. Sheamus laughed uproariously. Sheamus then discovered his bag was full of pancakes, so it wasn’t funny anymore and he threw them out of his bag in a rage.

-The announcers hyped Bryan vs. Rusev and Charlotte vs. Royce. [c]

-They went to the announcers on camera who recapped the Styles-Nakamura outcome at Backlash. Saxton said Styles had to give Nakamura a taste of his own medicine.

-Renee Young knocked on Nakamura’s locker room door. He walked out. She said he hasn’t been cleared for competition tonight after Sunday’s grueling match. She asked if his war with Styles is over. He said: “No… speak English.” She said they know he can speak English. He said he once did, but he forgot it. “So now, no speak English.” He then winked at her. The crowd laughed. She asked if he has anything to say about Styles. “A.J. Styles nuts, but we are not finished.” He then went back in the locker room.

-Saxton said it never stops with Nakamura and his mind-games. Graves said Nakamura wants the WWE Title. Phillips said they’ll hear from Styles later. The announcers then shifted to discussing the outcome of the Women’s Title match as freeze-frames aired of the match.

-Carmella gloated backstage in a selfie video. She then took a dig at Baltimore and drew boos. She said she’ll celebrate her win next week in London. “Forget the Royal Wedding,” she said. She told Prince Harry to stop blowing up her phone because he’s not invited. She said Ric Flair isn’t invited either because she beat his daughter.

-Charlotte made her ring entrance. [c]

-Selfie soundbites aired with Tye Dillinger and Naomi talking about MITB. Tye ended with “Perfect 10” which is almost as stunting for his character as Bobby Roode ending every promo with “Glorious.” Guess what Naomi closed with? You were right if you said, “Feel the glow.”

-The IIconics came out to the ring. On their way, they took some verbal digs at Charlotte. Billie Kaye said despite her loss, they still see her as an inspiration. She said her uncle has had an awful stutter since he was a child, but after seeing the look on her face after she lost, his stutter went away because he was laughing so hard for an hour straight with tears streaming down his face. “He even fell off the couch,” she said. They showed the look on Charlotte’s face after her loss. She thanked Charlotte. She said she wants to bottle Charlotte’s frustration and anger as a fragrance called “Disappointment.” Peyton tried to imitate Charlotte’s face. Kaye said it’s only funny when Charlotte does it. Peyton said the MITB contract is going to be theirs.

(2) CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. PEYTON ROYCE – MITB Qualifier

Phillips said this is an opportunity for Charlotte to redeem herself tonight. Charlotte got in some early offense and they cut to an early break. [c]

After the break, Royce was in control and Charlotte was on her back at ringside. Graves said Charlotte has only herself to blame because she tried to take a shot at Kaye. Saxton said Charlotte was responding to Kaye trying to interfere. Royce settled into a chinlock mid-ring. The announcers talked about how Charlotte is handling her loss. Charlotte made a comeback and threw some chops and strutted. Royce ducked a wheel kick. Charlotte then rolled her up with a bridge and a belly-t0-back suplex for a two count. Peyton rolled to the floor with help from Kaye. Charlotte launched herself onto Kaye. Royce then surprised Charlotte at ringside with a neckbreaker.

[HOUR TWO]

Back in the ring the referee acted like he got hit by Peyton. As the ref recovered from an inadvertent blow, Kaye snapped Charlotte over the top rope. Peyton then scored a near fall. After another exchange, Charlotte landed a boot to the face. Charlotte climbed to the top rope. Peyton raised her knees. Charlotte overshot everything, but sold the knees anyway. Peyton rolled up Charlotte for a two count. Peyton then kneed Charlotte in the head for a believable near fall. The crowds just aren’t popping for Charlotte. They found a replay angle that made it look better than it looked live. Charlotte was slow to get up. Charlotte hit a spear out of nowhere for a near fall. Charlotte then applied the Figure-Eight for the tapout win.

WINNER: Charlotte in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: There’s something with Charlotte that’s just too stiff and reserved that is a better fit for being a heel. She isn’t getting the crowd living and dying on her struggles against heels and popping for her comebacks. There’s still some awkward exchanges in her matches to often. All that said, this was a solid TV match.)

-The announcers discussed the Daniel Bryan-Big Cass match at Backlash including the post-match attack.

-In a backstage interview, an unnamed woman (Dasha Fuentes) asked Bryan about whether he’s recovered from Sunday. Bryan said he’ll fight through it, but why did Cass attack him? Because he made him tap out. He said he cashed in the MITB contract and became champion “right here in Baltimore.” He said he has a history of defying expectations and tonight will be no different. He said he will continue to prove the bigger they are, the faster they tap.

-In a selfie promo, Shelton Benjamin said some of his biggest moments have come in MITB matches, but his biggest career highlight is yet to come. Then Asuka spoke with Words on the Screen. She said no one is ready for Asuka.

(3) CESARO (w/Sheamus)  vs. XAVIER WOODS (w/Kofi Kingston, Big E)

Cesaro shoved Xavier toward the ref, but Xavier avoided him. Cesaro then hit Xavier from behind and hit a gut-wrench suplex before they cut to an early break. They stayed with the action during the break. [c]

Xavier made a comeback, but Cesaro snapped his neck over the middle rope to slow him down. Xavier landed a wheelbarrow into a facebuster for a two count. Xavier climbed to the top rope. Sheamus stood on the ring apron, so Xavier ran after him. Cesaro surprised Xavier from behind and scored a near fall with his legs on the middle rope. Kofi shoved Cesaro’s feet off the ropes. As Cesaro protested, Xavier scored a near fall. Xavier then hit a Shining Wizard and climbed again to the top rope. Sheamus again stood on the ring apron. Big E threw pancakes at Cesaro to distract him. Graves was disgusted that they came out of his singlet. Kofi then leaped off the ring apron onto Sheamus. Xavier then went for a top rope move, but Cesaro caught him with an uppercut out of mid-air and scored the pin. As Big E and Kofi checked on Xavier, Xavier had some blood in his mouth.

WINNER: Cesaro in 8:00.

-Renee Young interviewed Styles backstage. Styles admitted he “stooped to Shinsuke’s level” and he said it wasn’t good taste and he doesn’t want to fight that way. He said it’s amazing Nakaura speaks English again and said he’s not done with him. He said he’s ready for him if he has the (pause) guts to face him, he’ll take on the challenge because “this is the house that A.J. Styles built.”

-They showed Becky Lynch and Mandy Rose on split screen. [c]

-A vignette aired with the Bludgeon Brothers. They referred to “our own set of toys, so please come play with us.” The camera panned action figures of mutilated WWE action figures as horror movie music of a child singing played. They then swung their mallets as the segment ended.

-As Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville chatted backstage when Paige walked up to them and said Deville is banned form ringside.

(4) BECKY LYNCH vs. MANDY ROSE – Money in the Bank qualifier

Rose avoided a Disarm-her, but then landed an Beck-sploder suplex. Rose, though, surprised Becky with a roll-up for the clean win out of nowhere. Phillips said that has to be considered an upset. Graves was elated.

WINNER: Rose in 3:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Although Becky hasn’t been pushed hard as a credible singles wrestler with momentum for a while, I do sort of understand wanting to establish the newer women with a signature win to make them seem more of a factor. They did frame it as an upset.)

-A video recap aired of Bryan’s MITB history.

-Bryan made his ring entrance as fans chanted “Yes!” [c]

-Phillips announced that New Day will face The Bar next week, and the winning team can enter one member of the team in the MITB match. Graves also hyped the Royal Mellabration. Saxton said Andrade “Cien” Almas debuts next week.

(5) DANIEL BRYAN vs. RUSEV (w/Aiden English)

As Bryan’s entrance music stopped, English walked onto the stage as fans chanted “Rusev Day!” English took some digs at Baltimore which drew some boos. Rusev then came out to his music. Bryan outwrestled Rusev early. Bryan sent Rusev to the floor and then dove through the ropes, but Rusev caught him and threw him over the announce desk. They cut to a break with Bryan wincing on the floor. [c]

Rusev was in control after the break. Bryan made a comeback. Rusev rallied a couple minutes later after landing a kick to the back of his head. Rusev stood over Bryan, yelled, and then went for the Accolade. Bryan countered into a Yes Lock, but Rusev was right by the bottom rope and easily forced a break. English yanked Rusev to ringside to save him from Bryan. Bryan kicked them both and then leaped off the apron with a flying knee to Rusev. He threw Rusev back into the ring and then leaped off the top rope with a missile dropkick.  Bryan sold his ribs, which he had been doing earlier. He kipped up and then led “Yes!” chants. Rusev caught him and lifted him and dropped him ribs-first onto his knee. Then he hit the Machka Kick for the win. as Rusev and English celebrated, the camera showed Bryan sitting on the ring apron looking dismayed and dejected and almost pensive. Fans chanted “Daniel Bryan.”

WINNER: Rusev in 12:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: So a lot of fans with mixed feelings here. This could be a sign of a Rusev push. More so, this seems to be setting up a reason for Bryan to be even more upset with Big Cass’s attack on him after their match on Sunday, giving Bryan a reason to demand a rematch even though he won their last match. Cass’s attack was what cost Bryan the win here, and thus his chance to enter MITB and maybe win and get a World Title opportunity. I wouldn’t read too much into it as a sign of lacking commitment to Bryan… yet.)

FINAL NOTES:A lot of wrestling on this good, and good action in a several matches. No Big Cass, Usos, or Randy Orton tonight, but things pick up when Sanity and Andrade Cien Almas show up to give the show a spark. Styles and Nakamura were announced as having a dark match after 205 Live in Baltimore.


Check out Wade Keller’s Pro Wrestling Post-Show covering this episode of Smackdown. Search “Wade Keller” in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher or other podcast apps or stream below…


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