5/5 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Cody Rhodes and Bad Bunny appearances, Nakamura vs. Kross, Viking Raiders vs. O.C.

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


MAY 5, 2023

Announcers: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett


-The show opened with a shot of the stadium from outside. The camera went through the tunnel and into the arena. They then panned the crowd as Michael Cole introduced the show.

-Rey Mysterio made his entrance. Mysterio stopped at the top of the ramp and the L.W.O. made their entrance behind him. Santos Escobar gave an L.W.O. shirt to a fan in the front row. Cole threw to a video from today’s Backlash Press Conference. The video featured words from Zelina Vega and Rhea Ripley. Cole asked if Vega could beat Ripley to become Smackdown Women’s Champion.

-They showed Cole and Wade Barrett at ringside. Cole introduced the Spanish announce team.

-Mysterio addressed the crowd in Spanish. He hyped the match between Bad Bunny and Damien Priest tomorrow at Backlash. Mysterio then hyped the Smackdown Women’s Championship match with Vega and Ripley. He gave the mic to Vega. The crowd cheered.

-Judgment Day made their entrance before Vega could speak. The crowd booed. Dominik Mysterio snatched the L.W.O. shirt from the fan in the front row. Coincidentally, it was the same one Escobar interacted with. Dominik tore up the shirt. Judgment Day entered the ring and stood opposite L.W.O. Dominik had a mic and motioned to speak, but the crowd booed loudly. Dominik started addressing the crowd in Spanish, but they booed him loudly and he paused. As Dominik tried to speak again, the crowd booed louder. Dominik called Mysterio a dead beat Dad. Mysterio cut him off and said he talks too much. Mysterio then asked Dominik for a Wrestlemania rematch. Ripley stepped in front of Dominik and stared Mysterio down. Ripley said Mysterio should fight her instead. Vega stepped up. Ripley grinned. Dominik leaned over Ripley’s shoulder and asked L.W.O. to fight Ripley and Dominik. Mysterio laid down the challenge and Ripley agreed. Judgment Day backed off, but Dominik took a cheap shot at Mysterio. Judgment Day exited the ring. Cole said he wants Adam Pearce to make the match official for tonight.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Strong opening segment from two teams in a heated feud. Damien Priest’s absence was interesting, but I assume that’s to do something with Bad Bunny later in the show. The set-up for the main event was solid and the match actually feels big enough for a Smackdown main event. The crowd was super hot here and WWE definitely got it right with this segment to start the show. I still don’t like the Vega and Ripley dynamic, but given the circumstances, it makes sense and it will work as a one-off in this setting.)

-Cole and Barrett were ringside. Cole threw to a video recap of the altercation between the Viking Raiders and the O.C. last week on Smackdown. After the video, the O.C. made their entrance in the arena. They posed at the top of the ramp and pyro exploded. They showed a graphic for the match against the Viking Raiders and Cole hyped it for after the break. [c]

-They showed the beach in Puerto Rico.

-In the arena, they showed a graphic for the main event with the L.W.O. against Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley. Barrett hyped the match.

-The Viking Raiders made their entrance. During the entrance, they showed the new World Heavyweight title at ringside. Cole mentioned that we would hear more about the tournament later on. Styles joined commentary.

(1) THE O.C. (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson w/ A.J. Styles & Michin) vs. VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar w/ Valhalla)

Ivar started with Anderson. Ivar took control in the corner and tagged in Erik. Erik and Anderson traded blows. Anderson came off the ropes and took Erik down with a low kick to the knee. Gallows and Ivar tagged in. They stared each other down and Ivar took control. He took Gallows to the corner and delivered elbows. Ivar whipped Gallows hard into the opposite corner. Gallows caught Ivar coming in and took control. Gallows punched away at Ivar in the corner. Anderson tagged in and the O.C. took Ivar down with a double team. Anderson climbed to the second rope and Valhalla distracted him. Ivar charged Anderson and knocked him off the top rope and to the floor. Michin came around the corner and confronted Valhalla. Michin yelled at Valhalla as they cut to break. [c]

Anderson made the hot tag to Gallows and Gallows took down Erik with a series of clotheslines. Gallows hit a splash in the corner followed by a shoulder tackle. Erik fought back with a big right and tagged in Ivar. Ivar charged Gallows but Gallows grabbed Ivar around the throat and delivered a chokeslam powerbomb for a near fall. Erik tagged in and dodged a big boot. Erik slammed Gallows and tagged in Ivar. Ivar came off the top rope with a big splash. Ivar made the cover but Anderson broke it up. Ivar sat on Anderson in the corner. Michin took out Valhalla at ringside. Gallows took down Ivar and tagged in Anderson. Anderson took out Erik. The O.C. hit the Magic Killer on Ivar and Anderson made the cover for the win.

WINNER: The O.C. in 8:00

-The O.C. celebrated in the ring as the crowd cheered.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Solid match, but clearly set up to give the O.C. a solid win before sending the Raiders to Raw. WWE treats this as guys jobbing their way out of a territory and this was no different. This was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I’m glad Cole asked Styles about Roman Reigns. It’s a logical thing for Styles to do since he hasn’t interacted with Reigns in years. I also liked how Styles put over the new World Heavyweight title. Gallows and Anderson are fine and they’ll add some depth, but the real intrigue is Styles on Smackdown and some fresh opponents for him.)

-Barrett and Cole sat ringside. Cole went over the two tournaments to set up the final match at Night of Champions. They showed a graphic for the two tournaments starting next week on Raw. Cole said that there will be a one night tournament on Raw, then a second one night tournament on Smackdown. The two winners will then face each other for the title at Night of Champions.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I was really hoping that I misunderstood this news when I read it earlier today. Why are Smackdown guys in the tournament? Did they screw up and move someone to Smackdown who they actually wanted on Raw? Or, do they want the champion to be a Smackdown wrestler, only for them to lose and return to Smackdown after being the first champion? They made such a big deal out of this being the title for the opposite brand, but now that doesn’t mean anything with the way the tournament is set up.)

-Bianca Belair made her entrance. Cole said we’ll hear from her after the break. [c]

-Cole threw to a video on WWE’s recent European tour.

-After the video, Belair danced in the ring. Cole mentioned that if Belair wins tomorrow, she will be the longest reigning Women’s champion of the modern era. Belair said that everyone saw the love they got on the European tour. She said she’s hyped to be drafted to Smackdown and be in Puerto Rico. Belair said she made history when she won the Smackdown Women’s title, so Smackdown has a special place in her heart. Belair mentioned that she will defend against Iyo Sky tomorrow. She said she’s proved that no matter what show she’s on, she’s going to show up and show out. Belair mentioned that she will tie the record after her win tomorrow. She then said that after the night is over, she will be the longest reigning Women’s champion of the modern era.

-Damage Ctrl’s music played and they made their entrance. Bayley told Belair not to talk about Smackdown without saying why it’s important to her. Bayley said she made Belair on Smackdown. Bayley called Belair conceited. She said Belair should be focused on Sky because Sky is going to end Belair’s title reign tomorrow. Bayley said when Belair loses she can get out of their ring. Bayley said that after Sky wins the title, Bayley and Dakota Kai can win the Women’s Tag Team titles. Bayley said that Smackdown would then belong to them. Damage Ctrl surrounded Belair and Belair fought off Bayley and Kai. Belair and Sky stared each other down. Kai and Bayley attacked Belair from behind. Belair fought them off and set up Bayley for K.O.D. Sky attacked Belair and took her out with a moonsault. Damage Ctrl beat on Belair. Liv Morgan and Raquel made their entrance and hit the ring. They fought off Damage Ctrl. Morgan, Rodriguez, and Belair stood tall in the ring as Damage Ctrl huddled together on the ramp. Sky stared at Belair.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Good build for the match tomorrow. I feel like Belair needed to be separated from Damage Ctrl, but it appears they’re not done with this story just yet. This is one of the things I hate about the draft. This is the same story on a different night of the week. They should use the drafts to freshen up opponents, not rehash things we’ve seen before for a different audience. I like Belair and Bayley, so I’m happy to have them on Smackdown, hut I hope there’s some new tricks up the sleeve for them.)

-Karrion Kross was in the back with Scarlett. He said when someone has everything they need they’re sure of who they think they are. He said, until you take something away. He said when you do that, their little charade begins to crumble. Kross said that tonight, he’s going to plant another seed. He asked Shinsuke Nakamura how much his image meant to him.

(McDonald’s Analysis: They’ve really found what Kross is. This is so much better than everything he did before. His promos are more focused and actually seem to be about something. On top of that, they’re short, so he doesn’t have the time to drag on and become nonsensical. Good stuff. I assume he’ll work with Edge once Edge appears on Smackdown. It seems to make the most sense for both of them moving forward.)

-Back in the arena, the Street Profits made their entrance. They showed a graphic for the Profits against Imperium. Cole hyped the match for after the break and said that they want the smoke. [c]

-They showed a recap of last week’s main event. The video showed highlights of the match and the finish with Sami Zayn pinning Jimmy Uso. The video focused on the Usos’ faces after the match.

-Solo Sikoa was in the back. The Usos appeared. Jimmy said they have a big match tomorrow. Sikoa ignored them. Jey Uso leaned toward Sikoa and said that Jimmy asked him a question. Sikoa said he heard the question. Sikoa finished taping his hand. He turned and said that tomorrow, he’ll do his part, and his brothers better do theirs. Sikoa walked off.

-Imperium made their entrance.

(2) STREET PROFITS (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. IMPERIUM (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) 

Kaiser started against Ford but Vinci tagged in behind Ford’s back. Kaiser took control on Ford with a big kick. Kaiser dumped Ford to the outside. Vinci ran the ropes and jumped to the top. He came off and took out the Profits on the outside. Vinci then hit a rolling senton followed by a moonsault off the top on Ford. Vinci made the cover for a near fall. Kaiser tagged in. Kaiser charged Ford in the corner and Ford got his foot up but Kaiser caught it. Kaiser slammed Ford and made the cover for a near fall. Ford fought back with rights and chops. Kaiser landed a kick. Ford delivered a back suplex and both men were down. Dawkins and Vinci tagged in. Dawkins took Vinci down with a pair of clotheslines then a corkscrew elbow. Dawkins hit a splash in the corner then a big kick. Dawkins then hit the Sky High and tagged in Ford. Ford came off the top with a big splash and covered Vinci for the win.

WINNER: Street Profits in 3:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: Speaking of jobbing your way out of the territory. Jeez, that was quick. Cole and Barrett really hammered home that the Profits were the first tag team drafted and that it was a big deal. Obviously, this is skewed as the champions and the Usos weren’t available on the first night, but that doesn’t fit the narrative they’re going for. This wasn’t a squash, but it was damn close. It’s interesting that the Profits are being framed that way as they really haven’t been important in months. I’d rather they be separate, but if they’re going to be a team, I hope they’re given a good spot and highlighted as a major act.)

-Cody Rhodes was in the back. Cole hyped his final appearance on Smackdown for after the break. [c]

-They showed another shot of Puerto Rico.

-The L.W.O. was in the back talking things over. They showed a graphic for the main event and Cole hyped the match. Barrett mentioned that Ripley and Vega have a chance to soften each other up for their match tomorrow. Cole then mentioned that Cody Rhodes is saying his match against Brock Lesnar is a must win. They then showed a video package on the feud between Rhodes and Lesnar.


-After the video, they showed a graphic for Rhodes against Lesnar at Backlash. Cole hyped the match.

-Cody Rhodes made his entrance. The crowd sang Rhodes’ entrance song. Cole mentioned that this is the final time Rhodes will be on Smackdown. Barrett called tomorrow the biggest mismatch of Rhodes’ career. Rhodes posed on the corner in the ring. Rhodes grabbed a mic and stood in the middle of the ring. The crowd chanted “Cody, Cody”. Rhodes asked Puerto Rico what they wanted to talk about in Spanish. Rhodes said that tomorrow he faces a cowbody and a coward in Brock Lesnar. Rhodes said when he thinks of Lesnar he thinks of him as a gatekeeper. He said Arn Anderson used to tell him when you get to a certain level you’ve reached a kingdom. He said Lesnar is the one standing in the way. Rhodes said that you can work in WWE and never fight Lesnar, but Lesnar picked a fight with him. Rhodes said that Lesnar hasn’t explained why, and maybe tomorrow Rhodes will beat the information out of him. Rhodes said he watched the footage that just played and heard himself say he was afraid of Lesnar. Rhodes said it’s still true because everyone should be afraid of Lesnar. Rhodes said that he doesn’t have time to be afraid of Lesnar because the match is tomorrow. Rhodes said it will be a fair fight and he’s going to claim his kingdom by defeating Brock Lesnar.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Really good fired up promo from Rhodes. I got a little worried during the Lesnar chants but he powered through it like a pro. This was good and made this match feel like a big deal and something that means a lot to Rhodes. I liked the mention of Arn and the line about Lesnar being the gatekeeper to his kingdom. Rhodes then brought it full circle and mentioned he’s going to beat Lesnar to claim his kingdom. Really well done and a good job of hitting the appropriate tone for the match. The short build to this hasn’t helped it, but this promo did it’s job. Rhodes came off like a big star here with the crowd reception as well.)

-Shinsuke Nakamura warmed up in the back. Kayla Braxton approached and asked if Nakamura had any thoughts. Nakamura said he has one thing to say to Kross. Nakamura looked into the camera and said “come on”.

-Nakamura made his entrance and the crowd sang along with his song. Cole hyped his match with Kross for after the break. [c]

-Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were in the back with Matt Riddle. Riddle said there’s more drama in the Bloodline than the show Succession. Riddle said they’re going to beat the Bloodline and when Roman Reigns comes back, there won’t be a Bloodline to come back to. Riddle asked if he was talking too much. Sami Zayn said there isn’t anything else to say and they need to get the job done tomorrow. Zayn and Owens walked off.

-Karrion Kross made his entrance with Scarlett.


Kross beat on Nakamura and knocked him to the corner but Nakamura turned it around. Nakamura choked Kross with his boot but Kross grabbed Nakamura and pushed him back. Kross sent Nakamura to the corner but Nakamura came out with a big kick. Kross dropped to the outside and Nakamura stalked him. Nakamura charged and Kross hit a knee to the gut. Kross lifted Nakamura in a powerbomb position and slammed him into the ring post. Kross stood over Nakamura. [c]

Kross was in control and kicked at Nakamura as he yelled at him. Kross called Nakamura the king of trash. Nakamura got to his feet and fought back but Kross landed a head butt. Kross went for a slam but Nakamura got free and landed a kick. Nakamura then hit a series of kicks as the crowd cheered along. Kross went down. Nakamura hit another kick on Kross in the corner. He positioned Kross on the top rope and hit a running knee to the gut. Nakamura made the cover for a near fall. Scarlett got on the apron and Nakamura yelled at her. Kross landed a big suplex off the distraction and covered Nakamura for a near fall. Kross stalked Nakamura and went for the Kross Jacket. Nakamura rolled through and jumped into an armbar. Kross fought to block the hold. Kross turned and lifted Nakamura up. Nakamura transitioned into a guillotine. Kross lifted Nakamura up but Nakamura landed on his feet and hit a kick followed by a German suplex. Nakamura measured Kross and charged but Kross turned Nakamura inside out with a clothesline. Kross made the cover for a count of two. Kross went for a suplex but Nakamura rolled him up for a near fall. They got to their feet and Kross landed a kick followed by a slam. Kross made the cover for another near fall. Kross measured Nakamura. Kross charged but Nakamura caught him with a kick. Nakamura hit another kick followed by the Kinshasa for the win.

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura in 9:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: I actually thought for a second there that Kross was going to win as Nakamura is going to Raw. Since that didn’t happen, I would assume that Nakamura will be in the tournament and probably have a solid showing. He may not win, but he might be the guy who isn’t pinned in the triple threat. The win here makes it seem like he has the brighter immediate future of the two. I still think that Kross is going to work with Edge once Edge shows up on Smackdown. Kross never wins, but it doesn’t seem to matter as far as him being an annoyance for people on their way to something else.)

-They showed a graphic for the Mixed Tag main event. Cole and Barrett hyped the match for later in the show. [c]

-They showed the outside of the arena.

-Cole threw to a video recap of last week’s WWE Draft. The video highlighted the NXT wrestlers moving to Smackdown. After the video, Adam Pearce welcomed Cameron Grimes to Smackdown. Baron Corbin appeared. He said that Grimes was the last pick in the draft. Grimes laughed and asked if that was worse than not being picked at all. Corbin said the two shows couldn’t agree on who wanted him more, so he gets to be on both shows. Corbin called Grimes Mr. Irrelevant. Grimes challenged Corbin to a match next week. Pearce made it official.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Excellent idea to highlight the NXT wrestlers with that video package. I really liked that. It gives us an idea of who they all are and makes it seem like they matter. Really cool touch. Also, Corbin was great there and played off not being drafted very well. I don’t know if they should have mentioned that Grimes was the last guy picked, but I don’t think it’ll matter much. I’m not as familiar with him, but if he’s as good as everyone says, I’m sure I’ll enjoy his work. I didn’t think he was a face though, so matching him against Corbin is a little odd.)

-Cole and Barrett sat ringside. Barrett hyped the match between Grimes and Corbin next week. Cole then threw to graphics for Backlash. Cole and Barrett previewed the card as graphics were shown on the screen. They focused on Bad Bunny against Damien Priest last. Cole threw to a video from today’s press conference.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Can someone please explain to me why Seth Rollins is working with Omos tomorrow?)

-Rey Mysterio and Zelina Vega made their entrance. They showed the match graphic again and Cole hyped the match one last time. [c]

-Cole promoted the Mattel crowd fund and mentioned that tonight is the last night to back the project.

(McDonald’s Analysis: As a figure collector, this isn’t going to fund. They went with too high of a price point and didn’t include figures that people actually want. They’re still over 1,000 backers short of their goal and likely won’t hit it by midnight.)

-Cole and Barrett hyped Roman Reigns’ return next week on Smackdown.

-Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, and Finn Balor made their entrance.

(4) REY MYSTERIO & ZELINA VEGA vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO & RHEA RIPLEY (w/ Finn Balor) – Mixed Tag Team Match

Ripley started against Vega. Ripley whispered to Dominik. Vega went after Ripley and kicked at her. Ripley grabbed Vega around the throat. Vega flipped around Ripley and ran away. Vega came off the top with a hurricanrana that sent Ripley to the corner. She tagged in Dominik. Dominik and Mysterio entered the ring. Dominik kicked Mysterio in the gut and went to the arm. Mysterio flipped through. Mysterio ran the ropes and Ripley took him down from behind. Mysterio recovered and tagged in Vega. Vega set up Dominik for a 619 and charged. Ripley cut her off with a big boot. Vega and Mysterio tried to regroup as they cut to break. [c]

Ripley beat on Vega. Vega fought back and rolled up Ripley for a quick count. Dominik pulled Mysterio off the apron. Ripley took control on Vega in the ring. Ripley put Vega in a headlock. The crowd cheered Vega on. Vega got to her feet but Ripley slammed her down. Ripley went for a powerbomb but Vega fought out. Vega reached for Mysterio but Ripley held her back. Ripley went for a back suplex but Vega landed on her feet. Ripley charged Vega in the corner but Vega moved and Ripley hit the post. Vega tagged in Mysterio. Mysterio and Dominik hit the ring and Mysterio took the upperhand with a crossbody. Mysterio took Dominik to the corner and rained down punches. Mysterio got to Dominik’s shoulders and punched down. Dominik tossed Mysterio into the turnbuckle. Dominik hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Ripley and Vega battled and fell to the outside. Mysterio set up a 619 but Ripley distracted Mysterio. Vega pulled Ripley off the apron. Mysterio hit the 619. Balor attacked Mysterio and Dominik took over. Dominik hit a big suplex and then got a second. Dominik tried for a third but Mysterio rolled him up for the win.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio & Zelina Vega in 10:00

-Balor hit the ring and attacked Mysterio. Dominik and Balor posed. Mysterio fought back and took down Balor. Damien Priest appeared and helped beat down Mysterio. Dominik and Balor held Mysterio for Priest to beat on. Bad Bunny’s music played and he made his way to the ring with the L.W.O. The crowd popped huge. Bad Bunny had a kendo stick and sent L.W.O. to the ring. Escobar dove off the top and took out Dominik and Balor on the outside. Priest was in the ring staring out at Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny entered the ring. Dominik tried to attack Bad Bunny but Bad Bunny hit Dominik with the kendo stick. Bad Bunny and L.W.O. stood tall in the ring as Priest glared at Bad Bunny from ringside. Bad Bunny put on an L.W.O. shirt and the crowd popped.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, we all could have predicted that. A good way to end the show and a crowd pleaser, regardless of the fact that it was hugely predictable. They announced Bad Bunny for the show, so when 57 minutes passed and we hadn’t seen him, you knew it had to be any second now. At least they didn’t show his limo driver taking him to the wrong building or something earlier in the show. Anyway, the match was fine if nothing else. Formulaic but it worked for what it was. I’m a little surprised they didn’t give Vega slightly more heading into tomorrow, but considering where they’re going with both women, it’s not entirely shocking. This was a fine episode, but they’re in a weird spot with some time to kill before the reset next week.)


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