WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS (5/17): McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Rhodes-Paul Contract Signing, King and Queen of the Ring Second Round

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


MAY 17, 2024

Announcers: Corey Graves, Wade Barrett



-The show started with a preview of tonight’s King and Queen of the Ring Tournament. The video showed highlights of the male and female Superstars competing in the matches. The video also featured highlights of the house show matches that were part of the tournament. The video ended with quick shots of all the matches and then the two crowns that will be awarded to the winners.

-L.A. Knight and the Bloodline were shown arriving to the arena with a split-screen effect. The same occurred with the rest of the King and Queen of the Ring participants. Cody Rhodes was then shown walking around the arena before the fans arrived.

-The camera panned the crowd as Corey Graves introduced the show.

-Bianca Belair made her entrance.

-Tiffany Stratton made her entrance. She blew a kiss to the Queen of the Ring crown at the top of the stage.

(1) BIANCA BELAIR vs. TIFFANY STRATTON – Queen of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match

The bell rang six minutes into the hour. They locked up and Belair backed Stratton into the corner. They broke and Belair posed. They locked up again and Belair backed Stratton into the corner again. After another break, they traded shoves before Stratton slapped Belair. Belair charged Stratton but Stratton moved and pulled Belair down by the hair. Belair kipped up and landed a right. Belair went to a waistlock and tossed Stratton down. Belair hung on and then took Stratton down again. Belair made a cover for a two count. Belair landed a clothesline. Stratton came off the ropes and ducked under Belair. Belair laid on the mat and Stratton landed a kick. Stratton dragged Belair to the corner by her hair. Stratton stomped Belair in the corner. Belair countered a whip and charged but Stratton got a boot up. Belair countered Stratton with a gutbuster. Belair bounced off the ropes with a moonsault and made the cover for a two count. Belair sold her knee. Belair took Stratton to the corner and rained down punches. Stratton got free and pulled on Stratton’s hair. Belair pulled Stratton down and Stratton rolled to the floor. Stratton grabbed Belair’s hair and pulled her down. Belair injured her leg on the middle rope. Stratton took Belair to the outside and whipped her into the steps knee first. Belair sold her knee as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Back from break, Stratton was in control. She had Belair in a submission hold on the knee. Belair crawled toward the ropes and got there to force the break. Stratton went back to the leg and Belair kicked her away. Stratton fell to the floor. Stratton pulled Belair down onto the apron. Stratton tried to pull Belair’s legs around the ring post but Belair fought her off. Belair sent Stratton into the post. Stratton hit the ring. Belair took her down. Stratton popped up and Belair slammed her again. Stratton got back up and Belair landed a fallaway slam. Belair went for a suplex but Stratton got free and landed on her feet. Belair took control with a forearm and then hit a spinebuster. Belair made the cover for a two count. Stratton delivered a jawbreaker. Stratton came off the ropes with a kick but Belair countered into a roll up for a two count. They traded another pair of roll ups for two counts. Belair set up for a K.O.D. but Stratton landed on her feet. Stratton ran into a double stomp. Stratton made the cover for a two count. Stratton beat on Belair and set her up in the corner. Stratton flipped into Belair and Belair caught her. Belair delivered a release German suplex. Belair made the cover for another two count. Belair pulled on Stratton as Stratton held the apron. The ref tried to fix the apron and Stratton thumbed Belair in the eye. Stratton took out Belair’s knee and then hit a sliding clothesline. Stratton made the cover for a two count. Stratton climbed to the top rope but Belair crotched her. Belair landed the K.O.D. and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Bianca Belair in 13:00 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the Queen of the Ring Tournament

-Cathy Kelley interviewed Belair in the ring. Belair said her knee isn’t 100% but she didn’t become the EST by making excuses. She said she’s the best and nothing is stopping her next week, injury or not.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Really good, competitive, back and forth match. Stratton looked like she belonged in a meta and kayfabe sense. I’m a little surprised that Belair got the win and they’re going to go with Belair against Jade Cargill so soon. With Stratton out of the tournament, I think she’s an even surer bet to win the Money in the Bank now. Beyond that, I’m interested to see how they handle Belair and Cargill next week. I would say Cargill is now the odds on favorite to win the tournament, unless they go with Belair humbling her next week in some way. I highly doubt that, but it would be some good fuel for Cargill later if she’s going to be the one to turn heel. Either way, whatever happens next week will give us a ton of clues as to where the Belair and Cargill story is ultimately going.)

-Graves and Wade Barrett were shown ringside. Graves threw to a video recap of Cody Rhodes’ segment with Logan Paul last week on Smackdown.

-Logan Paul was in the back. He opened the door to Nick Aldis’ office. L.A. Knight emerged. They stared each other down. Nick Aldis appeared and asked Paul to join him. Knight stared after them as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

-Byron Saxton was in the back with Jade Cargill. Cargill said she’s heard all about Nia Jax. She said Jax is a beast, but she’s just in Cargill’s way. Belair appeared. She said she put Stratton in Tiffy Time Out. Belair said it will be fun if they have to face each other next week. Cargill said they should take it one match at a time. Belair told her to do her thing and Cargill walked off.

-Graves and Barrett sat ringside. Barrett compared the situation with Cargill and Belair to Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. Graves threw to a video recap of Solo Sikoa’s conversation with Paul Heyman last week on Smackdown.

-Tama Tonga was in the back with Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman, and Tonga Loa. Sikoa told Tama Tonga that it was time to go. Tama and Loa walked off. Heyman asked Sikoa if he talked to “him” today. Sikoa said all the time. Sikoa walked off.

-L.A. Knight was in the back. He said the Bloodline doesn’t look like what it used to and he doesn’t know half these guys. He said he was going to take out Tama and wear the crown. Carmelo Hayes appeared and said he was giving Knight a chance to welcome him. Knight said no one remembers who the first pick was the year Tom Brady was drafted. Hayes said that after tonight, the three biggest letters won’t be RKO, it will be HIM. Knight mocked Hayes and had the crowd cheer with him. Knight told Hayes to go play because he’s busy.

-Tama Tonga made his entrance with the Bloodline. Graves said that Haku didn’t teach his sons morals, he taught them how to hurt people. Graves then promoted Tama’s match against Knight for after the break. [c]

-L.A. Knight made his entrance. Knight stood across from the Bloodline. Sikoa held Loa back.

(2) TAMA TONGA (w/ Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa, & Tonga Loa) vs. L.A. KNIGHT – King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match

Tama charged and Knight landed punches and took Tama down. Tama escaped a slam and landed on his feet. Tama locked Knight in a sleeper hold. Knight pulled Tama off and slammed him down. Sikoa looked on from ringside. Tama landed a kick and took Knight down with a big clothesline. Tama tossed Knight to the outside. Knight ran right back into the ring and took Tama down with a clothesline. Tama whipped Knight into the corner and charged. Knight moved and then delivered a back drop to Tama. Knight took Tama to the corner and stomped away at him as the crowd cheered along. Knight backed off and hit a running knee. Sikoa climbed onto the apron and talked trash to Knight. Loa climbed on the opposite apron. Knight chased them both off the apron and Tama attacked him from behind. Tama tossed Knight into the ring post shoulder first. Knight dropped to the outside. Tama came around the ring and came off the steps with a clothesline. Tama celebrated as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Tama stomped on Knight. The crowd chanted for Roman Reigns. Tama beat on Knight with forearms. Tama took him down with a clothesline. Sikoa cheered Tama on from ringside. Tama climbed to the top rope and dove off but Knight moved. Tama crashed and burned but got up and went after Knight. Knight landed a series of punches but Tama landed a kick. Knight came off the ropes and hit a crossbody block. Knight clotheslined Tama over the top rope and to the floor. Knight followed Tama out and slammed him headfirst into the apron repeatedly. Knight tossed Tama into the ring. Knight followed Tama in. Knight hit an atomic drop followed by a powerslam and a jumping elbow drop. Knight measured Tama and set up for his finisher. Tama got to his feet slowly as the crowd cheered on Knight. Loa pulled Tama to the outside. Knight slid through the ropes with a kick to Loa. Knight tossed Tama into the ring. Knight and Sikoa went face to face. Knight hit the ring and Tama delivered a modified facebuster for the win.

WINNER: Tama Tonga in 10:00 to advance to the  Semi-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament

(McDonald’s Analysis: Match was fine. Both guys got their spots in and they told a solid story. Tama got the distraction, but it was more about Knight being distracted then the Bloodline actually cheating. They could use that to tell a story about Knight, but I doubt they will. He probably should have moved to Raw so it didn’t feel like he was treading water here. Tama was the logical choice to move on as they seemed to set up a match for him against Randy Orton. I still don’t have a pick as to who’s going to advance to the finals from the Smackdown side. I guess Gunther against Randy Orton could work. It would be a marquee opponent for Gunther to defeat and it’s not like it would hurt Orton in any way. The new Bloodline is very intriguing. I wish we got some more gang beatdowns after their matches, but everything they’re doing otherwise is working pretty well so far.)

-The Bloodline posed as the top of the stage and celebrated.

-They showed a graphic for the Rhodes and Paul Contract Signing. Barrett promoted the segment for after the break. [c]

-Knight was in the back with a ref. He bumped into Hayes. Hayes said that Knight couldn’t get the job done. Knight got frustrated and shoved Hayes. The ref broke them up as Knight and Hayes talked trash to each other. Jamie Noble appeared to help break them up.

-Nick Aldis was in the ring at a podium. He introduced Logan Paul.


-Logan Paul made his entrance with an entourage. They showed a graphic for the Champion vs. Champion match between Logan Paul and Cody Rhodes at the King and Queen of the Ring PLE. Paul sat at one of the two tables set up in the ring.

-Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Rhodes set his WWE title next to Paul’s United States title on the podium in the middle of the ring. Rhodes stood at the table to the left of Paul’s table. Rhodes sat down. He asked the crowd what they wanted to talk about. Rhodes said he loved Jacksonville. Paul asked what happened here thirty-two years ago. Paul didn’t answer. Rhodes said Paul wouldn’t know and he wasn’t born yet. Rhodes said that on that date was War Games 1992. He said it was the Stinger’s Squadron against the Dangerous Alliance. Rhodes said he knew that because, just like the fans, he is a fan of professional wrestling. Rhodes said Paul isn’t a fan. Rhodes called Paul a tourist and said he’s passing through to make viral memories. Rhodes told Paul to get off the train. He said he was going to become a Grand Slam Champion for the first time.

-Paul said Rhodes is saying the same thing as the last two guys. He said we’ve all heard it. Paul asked if Rhodes was stalling. He said he didn’t come to hear Rhodes talk, he came to sign a contract. Paul said he came to sign a contract to wrestle Rhodes. The crowd booed Paul as he tried to speak. Paul said it was a horrible crowd. He said he’s going to do what he came to do and they should sign the contract. Paul looked at the contract and he said it’s all here, but there’s one thing. Paul ripped up the contract. The crowd chanted “you can’t read”. Paul said the contract wasn’t what he agreed to. Paul said he agreed to wrestle Rhodes for the WWE title, only. Paul said he never agreed to put his title on the line. He said he knew WWE would pull something like this, so he had his lawyer draw up his contract. Paul handed the new contract to Aldis and told him to get it done. Paul told Aldis to do his job and have Rhodes sign.

-Aldis said he’s had about enough of Paul. He said it isn’t what they agreed to in his office. Aldis said it was bad business and he won’t stand for it. The lawyer asked if Aldis was threatening his client. Rhodes told Aldis to hold on. He said Aldis is doing a great job on Smackdown. Rhodes asked Aldis if he could finish the paperwork with Paul and he would bring it by Aldis’ office. Aldis left the ring.

-Paul said he signed the contract and it’s done. He said the match is made. Paul said that Rhodes hasn’t done anything to deserve a shot at the United States title. Paul turned to Rhodes and asked him what he’s done. Paul said he’s done everything to prove that he’s worthy of every title and Rhodes hasn’t. Paul asked Rhodes to sign the contract. Rhodes called Paul a human hat rack. He said the honeymoon for Paul is over. Rhodes said that after their match, Paul will find out who he is on the inside. Rhodes said in eight days, a WWE Hall of Famer is going to knock his brother out. Rhodes said in Saudi Arabia, a future WWE Hall of Famer is going to beat him. Rhodes chased Paul and his cronies out of the ring. Rhodes powerbombed one of the cronies through a table and held up Paul’s U.S. title. Rhodes held both titles and tossed the U.S. title to Paul. Paul yelled at Rhodes from the ramp.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I really liked this segment. The outcome of the match is all but assured, but they’ve done a good job of setting the match up over the last two weeks. Rhodes came off really well here and finally showed some fire. I’ve wanted to see this out of him for a while. Someone like Paul would bother him. Rhodes worked for everything and Paul came in with fanfare and rose to the top quickly. A character like Rhodes wouldn’t respect that, especially since Paul has cheated to do it. Rhodes should be angry about that and I’m glad that he was. Well done. On top of that, the War Games match that was referenced can be found on the PWTorch 90’s Pastcast Archives on PWTorch.com)

-Cathy Kelley was in the back with Nia Jax. Jax said that Cargill has to hype herself up. Jax said that Cargill is strong and impressive. Jax said Cargill won’t be Queen of the Ring because Jax will be.

-Nia Jax made her entrance. Graves promoted her match against Cargill for after the break. [c]

-Jade Cargill made her entrance.

(3) NIA JAX vs. JADE CARGILL – Queen of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match

They stared each other down and Jax knocked Cargill down. Jax went for a senton but Cargill moved. Cargill delivered a spinebuster and Jax rolled to the outside. Jax pulled Cargill out. Jax tossed Cargill into the barricade in front of her daughter. Jax told Cargill’s daughter that her mom sucks. Cargill fought back but Jax tossed Cargill into the ring. Cargill clotheslined Jax back to the outside. Cargill slammed Jax head first into the apron. Cargill charged but Jax moved and Cargill hit the ring post. Jax clotheslined Cargill over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. Jax grabbed a chair and tried to hit Cargill but Cargill blocked the shot. Cargill took the chair and slammed it on Jax. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Nia Jax by disqualification in 2:00 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the Queen of the Ring Tournament

-The two women brawled over the barricade and both fell to the floor. They brawled on the outside. Cargill drove Jax into the ring post. Jax fought back and sent Cargill into the post. Officials appeared and broke the two sides up. The crowd chanted to let them fight. Cargill broke free and ran up the ramp at Jax. Officials caught up and broke them up again. Jax taunted Cargill as she backed her way up the ramp. [c]

(McDonald’s Analysis: How did they not get counted out way before that spot? Anyway, besides that logic hole, Cargill botched the chair block and it looked horrible because Jax reacted with a visible “oops” when the chair barely touched Cargill’s head. This was dumb. I guess I was wrong about Cargill being the winner of the tournament. Now, I really have no idea unless they go all the way with Jax to the finals and have her win. I guess the newcomer from NXT over on Raw would be another logical choice. Just weird booking here, but I guess they don’t want to give away Cargill against Belair just yet.)

-DIY made their entrance.

-Angel and Berto were already in the ring. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory were on commentary.

(4) ANGEL & BERTO vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa)

Gargano started against Berto. Waller said being in Jacksonville sucks. Gargano worked on the arm of Berto. Berto reversed with some flips and took control. Gargano reversed back and took Berto down. Berto countered and make a quick cover for a one count. Berto delivered a suplex and made another cover for another one count. Gargano took Berto down and then came off the ropes with a hurricanrana. Ciampa tagged in. They double teamed Berto and landed a double kick. Ciampa landed a clothesline. Angel tagged in. DIY clotheslined them to the outside and hit dives in unison. DIY celebrated on the apron as Waller and Theory taunted them. Berto dumped Ciampa to the outside. Angel and Berto celebrated as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Ciampa fought back and took Angel down with a kick. Ciampa went for a tag but Berto pulled Gargano off the apron. Angel and Berto delivered a double team and made the cover for a two count. Waller said DIY peaked in NXT and can’t make in the big leagues. Berto blocked a suplex and Ciampa blocked right back. They traded another set of attempts before Ciampa got the suplex. Gargano tagged in. He took down Berto and Angel. Gargano landed a bulldog on Berto. Gargano hit a slingshot spear to Berto and then hit a dive on Angel on the outside. Santos Escobar appeared and distracted the ref as Elektra Lopez crotched Gargano on the top rope. The ref through them out. DIY hit a double team and Gargano covered Berto for the win.

WINNER: DIY in 9:00

-DIY talked trash to Waller and Theory.

-Graves and Barrett were shown ringside. They mentioned the recent technical difficulties and QR codes. Graves threw to a video from WWE’s twitch channel. Graves said they’re just as confused as the fans.

-Byron Saxton was in the back with A.J. Styles. Styles asked where he goes from here. He said he was “this close” at Backlash against Rhodes. He said he had a chance to redeem himself in the King of the Ring but he lost in the first round to Randy Orton. He said he’s going to Aldis’ office next week and we’ll see where we go from there. Styles walked off.

-Randy Orton made his entrance. They showed a graphic for Orton against Hayes. Graves promoted the match for after the break. [c]

-Byron Saxton was in the back with Bayley. Bayley said Jax and Belair were left on Smackdown. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven appeared. They said Bayley was boring. Green said Bayley was the reason Niven lost last week. Bayley said they can talk next week, in the ring. Green looked confused as Bayley laughed and walked off.

-They showed a graphic for Belair against Jax as Graves promoted the match for next week. Barrett then promoted the winner of the next match against Tama Tonga for next week in Saudi Arabia.

-Carmelo Hayes made his entrance.

(5) RANDY ORTON vs. CARMELO HAYES – King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinal Match

They circled each other. Hayes ducked under Orton and kicked him in the back of the leg. Orton went down and Hayes slapped him in the back of the head. Orton stood up and stared Hayes down. Orton kicked Hayes in the gut and took him to the corner. Orton tossed Hayes into the ring post shoulder first, twice. Orton chopped away at Hayes in the corner. Orton tossed Hayes over the top rope and to the floor. Orton followed Hayes to the outside. Orton slammed Hayes into the announce table face first. Orton went for a back suplex but Hayes countered and landed on the table on his feet. Hayes celebrated on the table. Orton tripped him and Hayes fell onto the table. Orton landed a headbutt and then broke the count. Orton rolled back to the outside and landed a back suplex onto the announce table. Hayes rolled to the back of the table as Orton got back in the ring. Orton dropped back to the outside and delivered another back suplex onto the table. Orton celebrated as the crowd cheered and the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Hayes was in conrol and slammed Orton’s leg into the mat. Hayes taunted Orton. Hayes kicked at the leg of Orton. Hayes draped Orton’s leg over the middle rope and kicked away at it. Hayes backed off and went for a kick but Orton moved and Hayes got caught up in the ropes. Orton took Hayes down with a big right hand. Hayes chopped Orton down again with the knee. Orton sold the knee. Hayes measured Orton and went for a kick but Orton moved. Orton delivered a snap powerslam and made the cover for a two count. Orton tossed Hayes through the ropes and set up for a hanging DDT. Hayes got free and kicked Orton in the knee. Hayes delivered the First 48 and made the cover for a two count. Hayes punched away at the knee of Orton. Hayes backed off and climbed up to the top rope. Hayes came off but Orton moved. Hayes rolled through but Orton snatched him and delivered the hanging DDT. Both men were down in the ring. Orton got to his feet first as the crowd cheered Orton on. Orton set up for the RKO as Hayes got to his feet. Orton went for it but Hayes got free and rolled Orton up for a two count. Hayes came off the ropes and Orton delivered an RKO. Orton made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Randy Orton in 11:00 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament

-They showed highlights of the match as Graves narrated. They showed a graphic for Orton against Tama Tonga. Barrett said this is who Orton wanted to face. Cathy Kelley entered the ring to talk to Orton.

-The Bloodline made their entrance. Orton laughed in the ring. He picked up the mic and told them to hold on. He asked if the Bloodline was trying to intimidate him. He said he’s Randy Orton and a fourteen time World Heavyweight Champion and soon to be King of the Ring. Orton said that next week he’s going to introduce his foot to Tama Tonga’s ass. He then said he’s going to introduce Tama to the RKO.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Solid match. Another close but no cigar for Hayes. I don’t know if they will make that part of his character, but if they don’t, he’s just a busted draft pick. Orton was the logical choice here since they’ve built something between him and Tama so far and Orton has an active feud with the Bloodline. At this point, I would assume Orton gets the win and then loses in the finals, probably to Gunther, but I guess Jey is a possibility. I would be intrigued by a Tama Tonga against Jey Uso match, but I have a hard time believing WWE would pull the trigger on that at this time. Solid episode that built the tournament some more and set up a couple of matches for next week and the PLE. They accomplished what they wanted to and that’s a good thing.)


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