WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (5/24) : McDonald’s report on Rhodes and Paul confrontation, King of the Ring Semi-Finals, Bayley vs. Green

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


MAY 24, 2024

Announcers: Corey Graves, Wade Barrett



-They showed Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Corey Graves introduced the show. That showed a map graphic that highlighted their location. They then showed the outside of the arena.

-Randy Orton was shown arriving at the arena earlier today. Tama Tonga, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman were also shown arriving. They then showed the arrivals of Nia Jax and Bianca Belair. Graves promoted the two matches for later in the show.

-Graves threw to an announcement from Paul Levesque earlier today. Levesque announced that the winners of the two tournaments would receive WWE or World Championship matches at Summerslam.

(McDonald’s Analysis: That’s an interesting wrinkle. That could be used to set up Gunther against Damien Priest or Randy Orton against Cody Rhodes. We all assumed Gunther would win the title at Clash at the Castle, but what if he’s the champion going into the match? On top of that, this would be an excuse to get to Orton against Rhodes without having to turn Orton heel. This definitely added some intrigue to the King of the Ring. On the Queen of the Ring side, I think this solidifies Nia Jax as the winner and facing Bayley at Summerslam. It is a little curious that they aren’t going to the matches at Money in the Bank, but I assume there’s a reason for that.)

-Bianca Belair made her entrance.

-Nia Jax made her entrance.

(1) BIANCA BELAIR vs. NIA JAX – Queen of the Ring Tournament Semi-Final Match

The bell rang six minutes into the hour. They locked up and Jax backed Belair into the corner. Belair pushed back but Jax shoved her down. Jax tossed Belair into the corner and then charged to hit her with a splash. Jax sent Belair into the opposite corner and hit another splash. Jax went for a slam but Belair escaped and put Jax in a headlock while riding her back. Jax backed Belair into the corner. Jax tossed Belair into the opposite corner and charged but Belair landed an elbow. Belair flipped off the second rope. Belair charged into Jax a few times and then took her to the corner. Belair mounted Jax and landed punches but Jax shoved her off. Belair stayed on the attack and slammed Jax into the top turnbuckle repeatedly. Belair mounted Jax in the corner again and rained down blows. Jax lifted Belair and pulled her down. Jax charged Belair and Belair moved as Jax hit the ring post shoulder first. Jax rolled to the outside. Belair landed a dive that took Jax down. Belair stood tall with Jax down on the outside as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Back from break, Jax was in control with a submission move. Jax slammed Belair down. Jax took something out of Belair’s hair and put it on her head like a crown. Belair recovered and went after Jax but Jax took her right back down. Belair sold her knee. Jax went after the knee but Belair got free. Jax tried to land on Belair but Belair moved. Jax hit the mat and Belair rolled her up for a two count. Jax hit a Samoan Drop and made the cover for a two count. Jax shoved Belair into the corner and Belair went to the apron. Belair landed a shoulder to Jax’s gut. Jax was rocked. Belair went to the top rope and came off with a crossbody. Belair sold her knee and then made the cover for a two count. Belair struggled to her feet. Jax went after her but Belair landed punches. Jax kicked Belair down. Jax went to the leg of Belair. Jax dragged Belair to the corner. Jax climbed to the second rope. Belair lifted Jax off the second rope and delivered a powerbomb. Belair made the cover for a two count. Both women were down in the middle of the ring. Belair got to her feet first. She attempted to lift Jax but Jax put the brakes on and took Belair down. Jax worked on the leg again and slammed Belair’s leg into the mat. Jax dragged Belair back to the corner again. Jax climbed to the second rope and Belair cut her off again. Belair lifted Jax to her shoulders and set up for a K.O.D. Belair’s knee buckled and she dropped Jax. Jax hit a senton. Jax dragged Belair to the corner again and hit the Bonsai Drop for the win.

WINNER: Nia Jax in 12:00 to advance to the finals of the Queen of the Ring Tournament

(McDonald’s Analysis: Pretty much what we all expected once the tournament fell this way. Belair doesn’t need to be Queen of the Ring and she has something going with Cargill already. Jax would be a suitable challenger for Bayley at Summerslam. I guess it’s possible that they’ll go with Valkyria but it’s hard to imagine a face against face match with her and Becky Lynch. Beyond that, a match with Valkyria and Liv Morgan feels a little short of a big time match for Summerslam.)

-They showed the updated brackets with Jax taking on Lyra Valkyria in the finals tomorrow.

-Kayla Braxton was in the ring. Jax told her to shut up. Jax pointed at Valkyria in the front row. Jax mentioned that she just beat Belair the same way she beat Rhea Ripley and Becky Lynch. Jax said she would beat Valkyria just like she beat them. Jax said thanks to Levesque’s announcement, she will soon be Queen and champion.

-Austin Theory and Grayson Waller were in the back. Wade Barrett promoted the Grayson Waller Effect with L.A. Knight for after the break. [c]

-Belair was in the back on the trainer’s table. Tiffany Stratton showed up and told Belair to have better luck next time. Stratton called Belair a loser and walked off. Byron Saxton came up and asked Belair about the loss. Belair started to answer but Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell appeared and taunted Belair. Jade Cargill appeared and chased them off. Cargill said she was going to talk to Nick Aldis.

-The ring announcer announced Austin Theory and Grayson Waller ahead of the Grayson Waller Effect. The lights came on and Theory and Waller were in the ring with the Grayson Waller Effect set. Waller introduced the show to the crowd and introduced Theory as his guest host. Theory called the crowd idiots. Theory said some people may call their guest a mega-star. Theory introduced the guest as one of the most talented and entertaining Superstars on the Smackdown roster.

-Carmelo Hayes made his entrance. Hayes thanked Theory and Waller for the introduction. He said it sounded like they were describing him but they missed a couple of things. Hayes said he’s Smackdown’s first draft pick and the hottest new Superstar. Hayes referred to himself as Him.

-Theory said that Hayes forgot what happened with Hayes last time he was on Smackdown.

-Hayes said they need to stick together. Waller said Hayes is a better guest than L.A. Knight. Hayes said the veterans need to take after guys like them. Hayes said they need to show the veterans how it’s done. Theory said the only good advice Bobby Lashley gives is how to lose to himself and Waller. Hayes said guys like Lashley and Corbin are egomaniacs. Hayes said Knight is an egomaniac also. He said there’s nothing worse than a veteran who hasn’t done anything talking smack. They said Knight can’t win the big one and was drafted after Hayes.

-L.A. Knight made his entrance. Knight entered the ring and tossed the plants out of the ring. Knight got a mic from ringside. He stood opposite Hayes, Theory, and Waller. Knight cut Waller off and said he didn’t ask him anything. Knight said he was going to keep it short because he has better things to do. Knight said they’re poking a mean dog with a sharp stick. Knight said it won’t take them long to find out who’s game it is. Knight started to leave but Hayes attacked Knight from behind. Knight fought back but Waller and Theory took him down.

-The Street Profits music hit and they ran down to the ring. They took down Waller who met them on the ramp and then hit the ring. They took down Theory and Hayes and knocked them to the outside. Knight and the Profits stood tall in the ring as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

-They showed a video package for Blair Davenport. She said “you’re weak, and you’re lazy and bad things happen because you allow it”. She said if it hurts your feelings come and do something about it.


The six men were in the ring. Graves said that Aldis sanctioned the match during the break. Hayes started with Ford. They locked up and Hayes went to the arm. Ford reversed and tugged at the arm of Hayes. Hayes reversed. Ford flipped through and reversed it back. Ford pulled Hayes down. Ford charged Hayes. Hayes moved and Ford leapt over him using the corner. Ford flipped across the ring and then landed a dropkick. Dawkins tagged in. He came off the top rope onto the arm of Hayes. Hayes shot Dawkins off the ropes. They moved around each other and Dawkins took down Hayes with a flapjack. Knight tagged in and Hayes escaped to tag in Theory. The crowd chanted for Knight. Knight went to the arm of Theory. Theory fought back with kicks. Knight took Waller down with a punch but Theory attacked Knight from behind. Waller had made a blind tag and hit the ring. Knight landed a kick to Waller and then took him down with a clothesline. Dawkins tagged back in. He took down Waller with a corkscrew elbow. Dawkins spun into a splash on Waller in the corner. Dawkins hit a kick and then charged Waller in the corner. Theory pulled Waller out of the way and tagged in. Theory landed a dropkick that sent Dawkins to the outside. Hayes dropped to the outside and landed a clothesline that took Dawkins down. The heels stood over Dawkins. Ford came around the corner and confronted the heels as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Dawkins landed a punch to Hayes. Dawkins tried to make a tag but Hayes held him back. Hayes came off the ropes and Dawkins caught him. Dawkins delivered a modified T-Bone Suplex. Theory and Waller pulled Knight and Ford off the apron and replaced them. Dawkins knocked Theory off the apron. Knight and Ford attacked Waller and Theory. Waller tagged in. Knight beat on Waller in the ring. Knight came through the ropes with a dropkick to Theory. Knight hit Waller with a shoulder tackle followed by a powerslam and a jumping elbow on Waller in the ring. Knight made the cover for a two count. Hayes hit the ring and escaped a BFT. He took Knight down with First 48. The two teams traded shots. Waller rolled into the ring and Knight hit him with a BFT. Hayes went after Knight but Knight recovered and knocked Hayes to the outside. Knight tagged in Ford. Knight dropped to the outside and tackled Hayes into the announce table. Ford hit a splash on Waller and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: L.A. Knight & Street Profits in 9:00

-They showed highlights of the match.

-The Street Profits celebrated in the ring with B-Fabb and L.A. Knight.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Just a match to give the crowd something. Chaos for the sake of chaos and a win that doesn’t really mean anything in the long run. House show match on TV. The interesting thing is the set-up for the feud with Hayes and Knight. That should be good. I don’t know who you book to win the thing, but we could get some solid matches out of the two.)

-Graves threw to a video package on Logan Paul at the King and Queen of the Ring kickoff. Paul said he is going to give up his brass knuckles and he will beat Cody Rhodes fair and square. Paul said he will give the brass knuckles to Michael Cole and he will beat Rhodes fair and square.

-Cody Rhodes walked in the back. He bumped into Randy Orton. They shook hands as Rhodes wished Orton good luck. Orton thanked Rhodes and Rhodes made his way to the arena. [c]

-They showed a video package with Paul Levesque introducing Summerslam as a two day event in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2026.

-Tama Tonga was in the back warming up. Paul Heyman looked on. Graves promoted Tama’s match against Orton for later in the show as a graphic was shown at the bottom of the screen.


-Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Rhodes stood in the center of the ring and lifted a mic. Logan Paul’s music played and stopped him before he could speak.

-Logan Paul made his entrance. Paul said he’s going to leave King and Queen of the Ring with both titles tomorrow. He said that even though Rhodes has the experience, he’s smarter than Rhodes. Paul said he’s a better athlete, entertainer, and performer than Rhodes. Paul said everyone who thinks he needs cheap tactics is wrong. Paul said he gave his brass knuckles to Cole and he won’t use them tomorrow.

-Rhodes said Paul may be smarter than him. He said his experience leads him to believe that Paul is a scared kid. Rhodes said Paul is a YouTuber pretending to be a pro wrestler. Rhodes said he doesn’t believe that because he’s seen how good Paul is. Rhodes said that Paul has a case of imposter syndrome. Rhodes said his experience tells him Paul has another set of brass knuckles on him right now.

-Paul said he isn’t a liar and Cole has his brass knuckles. Paul said there’s no need to do this. Rhodes said they should give Paul a chance to prove himself. Rhodes pointed to a senior ref at ringside and asked him to check Paul. The ref entered the ring. Paul protested and asked the ref to check Rhodes first. Rhodes held his arms out and the ref patted him down. The ref said Rhodes was clean. Paul said he had nothing to hide and allowed the ref to check. The ref stopped at Paul’s pocket and pulled out another set of brass knuckles. Paul said they were his brother’s pants. Paul said he wasn’t being truthful but now he will be. Paul said that he said he wouldn’t use them tomorrow but he needed protection tonight. Rhodes held the brass knuckles. Paul said they’re illegal and Rhodes should be escorted out. Paul told Rhodes to keep them and he’s going to beat Rhodes tomorrow fair and square.

-Rhodes said the brass knuckles are the difference between them. He said they’re Paul’s crutch and his ticket to more views. Rhodes said the title is everything to him and everything he’s worked for. Rhodes said it’s what everyone hates about his family. He said the Rhodes’ are as real as real gets. Rhodes said he doesn’t think of Paul as a YouTuber and he does see him as a pro wrestler. Rhodes said that Paul will never be on his level as long as he’s part time. Rhodes called Paul kid and said he’s going to beat him tomorrow. Rhodes said Paul doesn’t belong in the ring with him.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I didn’t like that they spent so much time harping on the brass knuckles, but the way Rhodes ended the segment was good. I want to keep seeing that type of fire from him. He should be offended that Paul is a part-timer and gets a shot at his title. It makes sense and it works for his character. I want to see more of that out of Rhodes going forward instead of the constant complimenting and “aw shucks” stuff. I’m interested to see how they work together tomorrow, even if the outcome is all but assured.)

-Orton was in the back with Byron Saxton. Orton said that since Tama Tonga has come to WWE he has proven that he’s unpredictable. Orton said he’s made a career by being unpredictable. Orton said the Bloodline has numbers on their side but Orton has always overcome the odds. Orton said Tama is going to see it coming and get hit with the RKO.

-Bayley made her way towards the arena. She bumped into Nia Jax. Jax told Bayley to keep the title clean until Summerslam. Bayley walked past Jax and made her entrance. Graves promoted Bayley’s match against Chelsea Green for after the break. [c]

-The Street Profits and B-Fabb were in the back with Kayla Braxton. Ford said no one likes losing. Dawkins said they’ve been the smoke. DIY appeared. Johnny Gargano said the agenda is about DIY as Tag Team Champions. Tommaso Ciampa said they’re there to take the titles and they may need to go through the Profits. Ciampa dumped out a cup and DIY walked off.

-Bayley was in the ring.

-Chelsea Green and Piper Niven made their entrance.

(3) BAYLEY vs. CHELSEA GREEN (w/ Piper Niven)

The bell rang fifteen minutes into the hour. Green took Bayley down with a right. Green went after Bayley in the corner. Bayley lifted Green to the apron. Green landed a punch. Green climbed to the top rope and came off with a dropkick. Green made the cover for a two count. Green stayed on the attack and dropped to the outside. Green pulled Bayley onto the apron. Green landed a kick and Bayley spilled to the floor. Green celebrated as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Bayley took Green down with a clothesline. Green dropped to the apron. Bayley went after Green and went for a neckbreaker but Green shoved her off. Green landed a Rough Rider and made the cover for a two count. Green backed off and measured Bayley. Green charged and Bayley caught her coming in with a powerbomb. Bayley hit the Rose Plant and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Bayley in 5:00

-Niven attacked Bayley from behind. Niven sent Bayley to the corner and charged. Bayley kicked Niven away. Niven recovered and hit a sidewalk slam to Bayley. Niven landed a running senton. Niven hit another senton. Niven started to leave the ring and stopped. Niven landed a third senton and smiled over the fallen Bayley. Niven dropped to the outside and celebrated with Green on the ramp. Green talked trash.

-Nick Aldis was in his office. A.J. Styles entered. Styles said he knows he hasn’t been the easiest to deal with the past couple of months. Styles said he was one second away from beating Rhodes in France and one second away from beating Orton in the King of the Ring. Styles asked for one more chance against whoever wins the title match between Paul and Rhodes. Aldis said he knows Styles wants to be champion and he respects him. Aldis said personally, yes, but professionally, Aldis can’t give him the chance. Aldis said it has to be earned and that takes time. Styles said he doesn’t have time and Aldis knows it. Aldis said he can’t help Styles with that. Styles left.

-They showed a graphic for Orton against Tama Tonga. Graves promoted the match for after the break. [c]

-There was a video package on Andrade.

-Legado del Fantasma was shown reacting to Andrade’s video. Santos Escobar said to let bygones by bygones and to think about business.

-Barrett and Graves sat ringside. Barrett said that Andrade is going to have a great future on Smackdown. Graves said we’re about to find out who will advance in the King of the Ring tournament. Graves threw to a video package on last week’s quarterfinal matches.

-Solo Sikoa was in the back with Paul Heyman. Heyman said that Tonga Loa isn’t here tonight because they couldn’t get him over the border. Heyman said he couldn’t clear a background check. He said these are dangerous people that Sikoa is bringing into the Bloodline. Heyman said there’s a reason they didn’t bring them into the Bloodline earlier. Sikoa said he’s in charge until Roman Reigns comes back. He said if Heyman has a problem, he needs to solve it himself. Heyman started to speak and Tama Tonga appeared. Tama said he was recruited because he’s that dangerous. He said that tomorrow he will become king by orders of the Tribal Chief. Heyman looked concerned as Sikoa and Tama left.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Cool idea to explain Tonga Loa’s absence that way. It adds another element to the story. I wish Tama was a little more intimidating when he finally spoke, but this was fine for what it was. I know some people haven’t been completely into this portion of the Bloodline story, but I think it’s going well and is causing intrigue that’s worth reading into and looking forward to where it goes.)

-Randy Orton made his entrance. Orton paused and looked at the King of the Ring crown at ringside. Orton posed in the ring as Graves promoted the match for after the commercial break. [c]

-Graves and Barrett ran down the card for tomorrow’s King and Queen of the Ring PLE with accompanying graphics.

-Tama Tonga made his entrance with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa.

-Gunther was shown in the front row.

(4) RANDY ORTON vs. TAMA TONGA (w/ Paul Heyman & Solo Sikoa) – King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Final Match

Tama went right after Orton. Tama beat on Orton in the corner with rights and then headbutts. The ref pulled Tama back. Tama went back on the attack but Orton lifted Tama and delivered a fallaway slam. Orton tossed Tama into the ring post and then took him to the opposite corner and tossed him into the post again. Orton tossed Tama into the post a third time. Orton punched at Tama in the corner. Orton mounted Tama in the corner and rained down punches. Orton took Tama to the outside. Orton set up for a back suplex but Tama got free and chopblocked Orton. Tama attacked the leg. Orton sold his knee as the show cut to commercial break. [c]

Tama worked on the knee of Orton. Gunther looked on from the front row. Tama climbed to the second rope. Tama came off with a splash but Orton moved. Orton got to his feet and sold his knee. Tama rolled to the apron. Orton pulled Tama through the ropes. Tama took Orton down with a single leg takedown. Tama pulled back on Orton’s leg. Tama landed clubbing blows and then put Orton in a headlock. Orton got to his feet but collapsed under the weight of Tama. Tama maintained the sleeper hold. Orton got to his feet and carried Tama on his back. Orton backed Tama into the corner. Tama attacked Orton from behind and took him down. Tama went back to the sleeper. The crowd chanted for Orton. Orton countered with a back suplex and took Tama down. Sikoa slapped the mat in frustration as both men were down in the ring. Orton got to his feet first. Tama got up and charged Orton but Orton took him down with a clothesline. Tama charged again and Orton hit him with a snap powerslam. Orton took Tama to the apron and went for the hanging DDT. Tama pulled himself into the ring and back dropped Orton to the floor. Tama dropped to the outside and Orton poked Tama in the eye. Orton delivered a back suplex to Tama onto the announce table. Orton moved to the other announce table and back suplexed Tama again. Orton tossed Tama into the ring. Orton followed. Tama backed Orton into the ropes. Orton shoved Tama off. Tama charged again and Orton caught him. Orton pulled Tama through the ropes and hit him with the hanging DDT. Orton fired up and then measured Tama. Orton went for an RKO but Tama shoved Orton off. Orton knocked Sikoa off the apron. Tama rolled up Orton for a two count. Orton hit Tama with the RKO and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Randy Orton in 11:00 to advance to the finals of the King of the Ring Tournament

-Gunther stood up at ringside. Orton stared him down. Sikoa attacked Orton from behind and hit him with the Samoan Spike. Kevin Owens ran down to the ring to make the save. Owens went after Sikoa and took him down. Owens checked on Orton. Orton sold the effects of the Spike and stared Gunther down.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Super predictable but we needed a face against heel match-up. Orton will do the job for Gunther tomorrow most likely, but they could pull a swerve if they want an excuse to get to Orton against Rhodes. I highly doubt it, but it is possible. Solid show, but basically paint by numbers to get to what will be another predictable PLE where nothing really changes. The product is good right now and there’s no reason to mess with it, but these past few PLE’s in other countries are just glorified house shows. Nothing surprising happens and nothing really monumental happens. I get it’s just where we are right now, but it would be nice to have something big happen at a show that isn’t one of the major shows.)


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