KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 15, 2018
LONDON, ENGLAND AT O2 ARENA
AIRED ON SEVERAL HOURS DELAY ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-Phillips energetically announced A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura would be on Smackdown, with the winner getting to pick the stipulation for the rematch at Money in the Bank where the WWE Title will be on the line.
-Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance. Renee Young tried to interview him in mid-ring, but the loud crowd chanted of “Daniel Bryan” drowned her out. She stopped and just let the chant ring out rather than fight it mid-way into her question. Bryan said, “Renee, feel that! Feel that! Feel all of that!” She asked if he was disappointed that he lost to Rusev last week. He said nobody likes losing. He said when he came back, he was just happy to be back doing what he loved, but now it’s not enough to be back. He wants to be on top. He said it’ll be a fight and a climb and he’ll have to scratch and claw every step of the way, but before it’s all said and done, he will become the WWE Champion. (There we go. He needed to say that.)
He was interrupted by Big Cass who walked onto the stage and told everyone to hold on. He said he might have the people fooled, but he’s not fooled. He said he’s feeding them crap with all of this heartwarming stuff, but he knows the truth. He said he will prevent Bryan form achieving his dreams. He said he only tapped out to him because he wanted to get out of the hold and beat him up some more. He said maybe that little person from Montreal should be inspiration for Bryan because at least he took the beating he gave him with dignity. He yelled “Yes!” He asked if Bryan should have stayed retired. “Yes!” he yelled obnoxiously. He said Bryan should take his ball and become a stay at home father and let Brie wear the pants in the family. “Yes!”
Cass entered the ring and let out another obnoxious “Yes!” Bryan attacked him and went after Cass’s leg and then threw a barrage of kicks. Bryan wrapped Cass’s leg around the middle rope and stomped away at it. Referees came out to back Bryan off and the crowd booed. (This is pretty much the exact opposite response as on Raw with Reigns-Jinder with a similar angle.) Cass had trouble standing. Bryan clipped him from behind and then locked in a heel hook. Cass tapped frantically and cried out in pain. More referees and officials entered the ring. Cass rolled out of the ring and couldn’t put weight on one of his legs. A loud “Daniel Bryan!” chant rang out.
-The announcers hyped the show including New Day vs. The Bar where one member of the winning team can join the MITB ladder match. [c]
-The Miz walked out in a suit to his entrance music.
(1) THE NEW DAY (Xavier & Big E w/Kofi Kingston) vs. THE BAR – Member of Winning Team Joins MITB Ladder Match
Miz joined in on commentary. When Xavier down, they cut to an early break, but stayed with the match on split screen. [c]
Sheamus and Big E each hot-tagged in after the break. Big E tossed Sheamus around the ring with power moves, then gyrated and went for the big splash. Sheamus lifted his knees (making Big E look like an idiot for gyrating and wasting time, giving Sheamus time to recover). Cesaro tagged in and both members of The Bar kicked Big E and then gave him a double DDT for a near fall. Cesaro went for a sharpshooter and fell at first, but recovered. Xavier threw Sheamus into the ringpost, then broke up the sharpshooter. Big E speared Sheamus through the ropes and off the ring apron, and then Xavier landed a top rope flying elbow drop on Cesaro for the win. Phillips wondered which member of New Day will enter the MITB match.
WINNERS: New Day in 10:00.
-Byron plugged Nakamura vs. Styles. Graves plugged the Royal ‘Mellabration. [c]
-A vignette aired with The Bludgeon Brothers who said family is for the weak (a picture of the Usos was shown), friendship is an abscess waiting to be pierced (a picture of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows was shown), joy is a disease (New Day), and the cure is to bludgeon. They said they have been waiting, but time’s up. They swung the mallets at the camera as the vignette ended.
-Paige said she’d have liked an invite to the Royal Wedding, but she wasn’t given an invitation. She told Carmella on her cell phone that she cannot have a horse drawn carriage on the way to the ring. In walked Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Rose wanted a MITB slot because of her win last week. Paige said they had to beat Becky Lynch in a triple threat match. Rose and Deville were happy because it was basically a handicapped match, but Paige stirred some dissension by saying only one of them can advance to MITB.
-Renee asked Styles what his stipulation will be if he wins later. He said maybe a Pole on a Pole match or an Inverted Scaffold match or a Bullrope Hell in a Cell Inferno with Guard Dogs. She asked if that’s the match where referees dress up as Elvis. Styles said that’s a step too far and she’s being silly. He said whatever match he chooses, everyone will be entertained except for the con artist Nakamura. He said Nakamura cannot beat him no matter what the stip. [c]
-Superstar Fact: Chad Gable competed in the 2012 Pan-American Games and the Olympics as a wrestler for Team USA.
(2) ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega) vs. JAKE CONSTANTINO
As Almas came out, Graves said, “If you’re not excited, get excited.” Constantino was announced as hailing from London. Graves noted that Almas is a third generation wrestler. Byron said he began competing in Mexico at age 13. Constantino hit an early dropkick, but Almas dropped him seconds later with a hard slap to the chest. The announcers talked about Vega being the key to Almas staying focused since he is susceptible to the Playboy lifestyle. He won with a hammerlock DDT.
WINNER: Almas in 80 seconds.
-Afterward, Vega said they were expecting more from Smackdown. She pointed down at Constantino and said that was pathetic competition. She said their message is clear – they didn’t come to Smackdown to play nice. She said they came to take over.
-Aiden English had created a celebration room for Rusev Day with food and a t-shirt and a picture. Rusev thanked Aiden, but he thinks he could have done better for someone who destroyed Bryan last week. Aiden said it’s London and it’s a pedestrian city. They did some riffs on The Rolling Stones. In walked Lana with a smile on her face to join them. She told Aiden save his voice because soon he’ll have a new song to sing. She said next week she has a qualifying match for MITB against Billy Kaye. Rusev was so excited and told him they would be the first ever Mr. and Mrs. Money in the Bank. Rusev said together they will rule all of Smackdown. Aiden sang it’d be on Rusev Day! [c]
-Carmella came out for her ‘Mellabration. Graves said she deserves this because she defeated Charlotte Flair twice. Carmella walked past Queens Guardsmen and then entered the ring and placed her WWE Smackdown Women’s Title belt on a leopard print pillow on a pillar in the ring. She told the fans to cheer for her. They didn’t. She complained about not being shown the respect she has earned. She said she is the moon walking, trash talking princess of Staten Island. She asked them all to bow down before her. Boos. She told the fans they remind her of every woman on the Smackdown roster because none of them think she’s good enough and deserves to be champion. She pointed at fans in the front row and said she’s better than them. She listed women wrestlers including Ronda Rousey “and Trish Stratus and Lita combined.”
Paige came out and said, “England, it’s great to be home!” She said she had a royal proclamation of her own because she is going to announce who she will defend against at MITB. Carmella said she’s not defending her title at MITB. Paige said she is, and then announced it’ll be Asuka. Asuka came out to her music and removed her mask and smiled at Carmella as fans began singing, “Asuka’s gonna kill you!” Carmella yelled at Paige and walked out with her belt. Fans cheered. Graves said Carmella shouldn’t have to put up with this on her day.
-Renee interviewed Nakamura. She said so far he has been unsuccessful in his attempts to beat Styles, but how about tonight, does he think he has a chance? Nakamura asked, “What does ‘chance’ mean?” He struggled to understand her definition. He said she is using the wrong words. He said she is using the wrong words because it is a “certainty” that he will win and Styles will lose. He said Styles’s face will be done after he’s finished with him and then he will take his title. [c]
(3) BECKY LYNCH vs. SONYA DEVILLE vs. MANDY ROSE – MITB Qualifier
After working together for a minute, Mandy rolled up Deville from behind for a two count. An upset Deville got up and asked Mandy if she was kidding her. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]
The two heels shoved each other during the break. Becky rallied against Deville after the break. She gave her an exploder suplex. When Deville tried to set up a superplex Rose put Deville on her shoulders and backed away. Becky leaped off the top rope and dropkicked Rose and didn’t much sail on the move. It was a slow set up and an awkward execution. All three were slow to get up. Becky scored a near fall on Rose. When Becky went for the Disarm Her, Deville interfered and scored a two count. Rose charged at Becky with a boot, but Becky moved and Rose kicked Deville. Becky then made Rose tap to the Disarm Her.
WINNER: Lynch in 8:00 to qualify for the MITB. [c]
-Phillips announced Samoa Joe vs. Big Cass next week in the final MITB qualifier. Graves noted Billie Kaye vs. Lana would also take place.
-A selfie-style promo aired with Samoa Joe who said ambition has made Cass a victim. He said the only thing big about Cass is his mouth. Joe said his ambition commands the MITB contract and title opportunity that is his. Joe said he is an obstacle, one that he will put to sleep.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good promo. Interesting to see Joe vs. Cass, two heels. Is Joe going to beat Cass decisively as part of moving Cass down the card after the stunt he pulled with the little Daniel Bryan imitator that broke script? Good promo, but the mic over-modulated when Joe yelled.)
-Another selfie promo aired with the IIconics. They did word association with MITB words and were very pleased with themselves.
-Nakamura’s ring entrance took place. Then Styles’s ring entrance. [c]
(4) A.J. STYLES vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – Stip for MITB match on the line
Nakamura took control early. The crowd engaged in dueling chants for both Styles and Nakamura. They cut to a break at 4:00. [c]
Nakamura continued on offense, grounding Styles with a Dragon Sleeper. The crowd eventually chanted “This is awesome!” Nakamura continued to dominate deep into the match. When Nakamura set up his Kinsasha Kick, Styles ducked and took Nakamura down and went for a Styles Clash. Nakamura blocked it, so Styles gave him a twisting neckbreaker onto his knee. An “A.J. Styles” chant broke out. Nakamura came back, landed a driving knee, and scored a near fall. Nakamura then set up another attempt at his finisher, but Styles countered with a spinning wheel kick. Styles set up another Styles Clash, but Nakamura backdropped out of it. Styles came back with a Phenomenal Forearm, but Nakamura ducked and Styles took the ref down. Nakamura then pretended to get hit with a low blow. Styles denied it. Nakamura then gave Styles a reverse exploder and the Kinshasa for the win.
WINNER: Nakamura in 18:00.