MAYLE’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 15, 2018
AIRED ON DELAY ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton.
-Phillips welcomed everyone to Smackdown. They aired media headlines highlighting all three matches between Shinsuke Nakamura and A.J. Styles. All this was to plug that a match between the two would happen tonight granting the winner the opportunity to pick their match stipulation at Money in the Bank.
-Renee Young stood in the ring and welcomed Daniel Bryan to the ring. The crowd erupted in YES chants. The announcers noted that he lost to Rusev last week in a MITB qualifying match and that it was heartbreaking. Bryan stood in the ring as Renee attempted to interview him, but the crowd was just too fired up to listen. They continuously chanted for Daniel. Bryan took the microphone and said, “Feel that!” The crowd cheered. Finally, he answered her and said he doesn’t just want to be back, but he wants to be on top. He said before all is said and done he will become the WWE Champion. The crowd chanted YES.
Then, Big Cass interrupted on the stage with a microphone. He said he was sick of listening to Bryan run his mouth. He said how Bryan was fooling the fans by feeding them “heartwarming crap”. Cass said that he himself was the reason he lost to Rusev and that he is his major setback. He noted that he didn’t tap out at Backlash because it hurt, rather, he tapped because he wanted to get right back up and kick him in the face. Fans booed. Cass continued to belittle Bryan’s accomplishments and finally said, “Is Daniel Bryan a loser? YES! Should Daniel Bryan have stayed retired? YES! Should Daniel Bryan take his ball and go home and let Brie wear the pants in the family? YES!” He dropped the microphone and entered the ring with Bryan. Bryan finally attacked Cass as fans chanted strategically along with each spot. Bryan swung Cass’ leg into the turnbuckle and then performed a heel hook as Cass tapped out and officials entered the ring to break Bryan from the hold. Cass exited the ring with a limp as Bryan stood in the ring emitting aggression.
(Mayle’s Analysis: This wasn’t bad. Nothing exceptional to me though. The different type of crowd might be throwing some of the superstars off just a tad.)
-The announcers plugged the match between Styles and Nakamura tonight. They also plugged The New Day vs. The Bar next. (c.)
-The Miz’s music hit and he walked out in a full suit. The announcers noted his opportunity to compete in the MITB ladder match. He walked straight to the commentary table and shook hands with the commentators.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I guess anyone has a right to go out and watch whatever match they want. I guess it makes sense since he’ll be in the same match as whoever wins at MITB.)
The New Day made their ring entrance. Phillips noted that the winner of this match will get to pick one of their teammates to enter the MITB ladder match.
(1) THE NEW DAY vs. THE BAR – MITB Qualifying match
Xavier Woods and Big E entered the match for The New Day. Woods and Cesaro started off the match as the legal men. Woods immediately superkicked Sheamus off the apron and followed with a senton out of the ring onto him. Back in the ring, Cesaro was able to subdue Woods enough to finally tag in Sheamus for a double team. (c.)
Woods was still taking damage when they came back from commercial. Finally, he fought through and was able to throw Cesaro out of the ring. Big E then got the hot tag and raged through their opponents. Cesaro and Sheamus were soon able to hit a double DDT on E for a near fall. Cesaro then held E in a sharpshooter as Kofi rallied the fans to cheer E out of the move. Finally, Big E broke the hold and tagged in Woods. Woods got a near fall on Cesaro that was broken up by Sheamus. Big E came in and speared Sheamus out of the ring as Woods hit his elbow finisher on Cesaro for the win.
WINNERS: Woods & Big E in 8:00.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Woods really does continuously improve each week. There’s a legitimate argument to be made for each member of New Day to enter the MITB ladder match.)
New Day stood in the ring and celebrated.
-The announcers plugged the Styles/Nakamura match to come and the Mellabration as well. (c.)
-A vignette aired of The Bludgeon Brothers standing in a smoky dark room saying family is weak, friendship is an abscess waiting to be pierced, joy is a disease, and that the cure is to bludgeon. They said time’s up and attacked the camera with their mallets.
-Paige stood, on the phone, in her office. She was talking to Carmella. Then Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose came in and said that Paige’s plan last week didn’t work. Paige told them that they would be in a triple threat match tonight against Becky Lynch.
-Renee stood at the interview area and welcomed A.J. Styles. She asked him what he would choose as his stipulation if he’s victorious tonight. He said that it is definite that he will win tonight. He gave out some outlandish stipulations he would choose, but concluded it wouldn’t matter so long as Shinsuke takes an elbow to the face. He said that, “Shinsuke Nakamura can’t beat me in the house that A.J. Styles built!”
-The announcers plugged the debut of Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega next. (c.)
-Andrade’s music hit and he and Zelina Vega made their entrance.
(2) ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS vs. JAKE CONSTANTINO
Almas quickly took down his opponent and toyed with him. He hit him with an overhand chop, knocking down Jake. As Jake sat in the corner, Andrade hit him with the double knees. Finally, he hit him with the hammerlock DDT for the win.
WINNER: Almas in 2:00.
Almas and Vega stood in the ring. Vega held the microphone. She said they were expecting more from Smackdown Live. They were offended by getting a hometown performer as Almas’ first match. She said they didn’t come to Smackdown to play nice, rather, they came to take over.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m glad they went the jobber route here. It makes for a reason to give Almas a bitter edge that NXT knows him for, but that the main roster audience might not know about. I’m excited to see what his future holds. Yes, optimism is still a thing, even on the main roster.)
-Rusev stood in his locker room with Aiden English. English said he tried his best to get Rusev his own room, but he noted they were in London and that everything there is boring. English was about to sing Rusev a new song when Lana came in and spilled the news that she has a MITB qualifying match next week against Billie Kay. She said that she and Rusev will be MITB winners together.
(Mayle’s Analysis: No jealousy angle between Lana and English? They must have decided it was too soon.)
-The announcers hyped the triple threat between Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Becky Lynch as well as the Mellabration to happen next. (c.)
-A British town cryer announced Carmella’s arrival in the style of olden days. Brisish royal guards came out and then Carmella came out. She stood in the ring, which was decorated with a red mat and featured her championship on a stand. She suggested the fans shower her with praise as the first MITB winner and their Smackdown Women’s Champion. The crowd booed. She wondered what was wrong with them. She said, “I am the moon-walkin, trash-talkin, princess of Statin Island and I comman you all do bow down!” She said that they all remind her of every woman on the roster that doesn’t think she deserves to be champion. She said, But, Mella is money, and Mella is champion!” She told all the fans that she was better than them and also named big-named talents in WWE. Then, Paige’s music hit. The fans cheered.
Paige walked down the ramp and into the ring. Carmella assumed she was out there to tell the fans how to treat her. Paige said that it is great to be home. Paige stated that she was here to announcer her opponent at MITB. Asuka’s music then hit and Asuka made her entrance. Carmella whined in the ring. Asuka came in the ring and stared down Carmella with a smile. Carmella took her title and left the ring as Asuka posed for the fans. Carmella held her title high on the ramp.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Carmella’s reign is soon ending, I would think. Summerslam needs that Charlotte vs. Asuka rematch, I suppose.)
-Renee stood in the interview area ready to interview Shinsuke Nakamura. She asked him how he felt about his chances tonight in the match. Shinsuke asked her what “chance” meant. She said, “How do you feel about your possibility of winning?” He didn’t know what what that meant either. He then said that she was using the wrong word. He said, “This is certainty. I will win. A.J. Styles will lose. A.j. Styles will get a knee to face, and then another, and another, and another. And then, when he’s down…his face, gone. I will dishonor A.J. Styles and I will take his title.”
-The announcers hyped Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville happening next. (c.)
-Becky Lynch’s music hit and she made her ring entrance.
(3) BECKY LYNCH vs. MANDY ROSE vs. SONYA DEVILLE – MITB Qualifying match
Becky quickly threw Mandy out of the ring and began attacking Sonya. Mandy soon came back in the ring and teamed with Sonya to attack Becky. Mandy then rolled up Sonya for a quick pin, but Sonya kicked out. Sonya said, “Are you kidding me?” Then Becky rolled up Mandy for a two-count. (c.)
Back live, Sonya stood in the ring with both Becky and Mandy down. Mandy rolled out of the ring as the announcers noted that she just punched Mandy Rose in the face. Becky rallied back and got some offense in on Sonya. Sonya was able to reverse a move, but Mandy slid back in the ring and threw out Sonya. She hit Becky with a facecrusher, but Sonya came back in to throw her out. Sonya went for the pin on Becky, but Becky kicked out. Mandy came back in and got Sonya on her shoulders as Becky dropkicked them both from the top turnbuckle. Becky and Mandy traded punches for a moment, but Becky soon went for the Disarm-her, but Sonya knee’d Becky in the face for a near fall. Mandy accidentally hit a knee to Sonya, but Becky got Mandy in the Disarm-her for the win.
WINNER: Lynch in 8:00.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m cool with this. I’ve been an advocate for giving Becky more wins and more television time. I think there’s already enough tension between Rose and Deville to fill an angle between them so they aren’t forgotten about. This was the right move. Becky deserves to be in the ladder match. Now, she probably won’t get the win- I’m guessing Charlotte gets that win- but it’s a nice spot for Becky to be in for now.)
-The announcers hyped Styles vs. Nakamura tonight. (c.)
-The announcers announced a qualifying match between Samoa Joe and Cass next week as well as Billie Kay vs. Lana next week.
-A selfie promo video aired of Samoa Joe telling Cass he has a big mouth and that he will find out next week how big or small he truly is. Then there was a selfie video of the Iconics. They said that Lana was a loser and Billie was a winner.
-Shinsuke made his ring entrance. Styles made his entrance. (c.)
(4) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. A.J. STYLES
The two shifted in and out of holds. After their sequence, fans clapped. Then, Shinsuke began to kick and slap Styles. However, Styles was able to hit a dropkick to subdue Shinsuke. Nakamura rolled out of the ring, and Styles followed him with a Phenomenal Forearm over the ropes outside. Soon, Styles went for a sliding knee on the apron, but Nakamura knee’d him in the face and pinned him in the ring for a two-count. (c.)
Back live, Nakamura was kicking and toying with Styles. Shinsuke soon hit Styles with a lethal kick to the face for a near fall. Nakamura then held him in a dragon sleeper. Styles fought out of it, but Nakamura hit him with an elbow again to subdue him. He tried to hit a superplex from the top rope on Styles, but Styles escaped and hit a Pale’ kick which downed them both for a moment. Styles soon build momentum and hit a facebuster for a near fall. After a series of reversals, Nakamura was able to down Styles with a heel kick. Nakamura hit a landslide for a near fall. Shinsuke went for a suplex on the apron, which Styles reversed, but nakamura then jumped from the turnbuckle and hit a knee for a near fall. Then, in the corner, Nakamura rallied for a Kinsasha, but Styles reversed into a kneckbreaker for a near fall. The fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Nakamura finally hit a Kinsasha, but Styles kicked out at two. Nakamura then lined up for another, but Styles countered with a heel kick. Styles then tried to hit a Styles Clash, but was thrown over to the apron. He went for a forearm, but almost hit the referee. When the referee’s back was turned, Nakamura pretended Styles hit him with a low blow. In the commotion, Nakamura was able to hit Kinsasha to Styles for the win.
WINNER: Nakamura in 14:00.
Shinsuke bent down, holding Styles’ head and whispering something with a menacing grin. He finally left the ring. The announcers noted that he now chooses the stipulation for their championship match at MITB.
(Mayle’s Analysis: This was a good way to end the match. The heel should be the one to pick the stipulation so that the baby can overcome whatever diabolical obstacle the heel sets in front of him. It’s a better story that way, historically.)
Final Thought: It wasn’t a bad show. The British crowd is always incredibly boisterous and also strategic with their chants, so that seemed to throw some of the wrestlers off, but not too much. The best match was probably the tag match for me. The finish to the main event felt a little off, but that could be because the crowd wasn’t reacting specifically to the moment like we’re used to. The Bryan angle isn’t exactly intriguing me right now like it was a couple weeks ago, but I still enjoy seeing Bryan do anything physical now that he’s back, as I’m sure most people are, so this is filling that need for now, but I’m about ready for a truly dramatic angle for him.)
Check out PWTorch Editor Wade Keller’s report also: 5/15 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on Nakaura vs. Styles with a stipulation and more MITB qualifiers from London