Smackdown – May 1, 2018

Smackdown
Date: May 1, 2018
Location: Bell Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re still in Montreal and this time around it’s the go home show for Backlash. The big story tonight is Shinsuke Nakamura demanding an apology from AJ Styles. Other than that we need to build up Backlash quite a bit, but there’s so much fallout from the Greatest Royal Rumble to get through first. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look at Shane McMahon being chokeslammed through the announcers’ table by Braun Strowman.

Paige says that Shane won’t be here tonight before recapping AJ vs. Nakamura from Friday. As for Backlash, the title match is now No DQ.

It’s time for MizTV. Miz cuts the fans chanting for Maryse off by saying he took her to Hollywood. That brings him to his Intercontinental Title match on Sunday with Seth Rollins. Jeff Hardy is the guest tonight so we’re ready to go. Miz won’t shake Jeff’s hand because he just high fived all of these dirty Montreal fans. First question: does Jeff think Miz is a better Intercontinental Champion than Seth Rollins.

Jeff agrees, if you want a champion who is self obsessed and annoying. Miz isn’t pleased with that and throws it to a clip of Randy Orton taking Jeff’s place against Shelton Benjamin last week. He’d like to know what Orton thinks of that so here’s Randy Orton as the second guest. Orton doesn’t think much of it because Jeff did the same the week before. Miz brings up the superstar rating scale from a few months ago, which had Orton ranked ninth. Orton: “I don’t think anybody cares about any Smackdown Top Ten list.” Preach it brother.

Jeff says it was Sunil Singh costing Orton the match last week but Miz disagrees. Orton doesn’t like Miz stirring the pot like this and says he’s taking the title back at Backlash. They seem cool but here’s Shelton Benjamin to say he deserves the title shot. Orton kicks him down and Jeff gives Miz the Whisper in the Wind.

Jeff Hardy/Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin/The Miz

Joined in progress (because WWE knows one way to follow up on segments like that) with Hardy stomping on Benjamin. It’s off to Orton for an RKO attempt but Shelton dropkicks him down for a delayed two. Miz comes in and the fans aren’t happy to see him. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Orton suplexes his way out and it’s off to Hardy. The basement dropkick gets two and the Skull Crushing Finale is countered into a rollup for two.

Miz is sent outside so Jeff gives Benjamin a Twisting Stunner but Shelton knees him in the face to break up the Swanton. Back from a break with Miz holding Jeff in a chinlock but he fights out with a jawbreaker. Another takedown to Shelton is enough for the hot tag to Orton. House is cleaned in a hurry with the double DDT to Miz and Benjamin. The powerslam brings Jeff back in for the Swanton and the pin on Benjamin at 11:57.

Rating: C. Just a tag match here but I’m getting tired of these thrown together tag matches. Come up with something better than doing the same thing over and over again. It’s not bad or anything, but we’ve seen it before. At least they set up another title match for Sunday, even if it’s not something I’m really interested in seeing. Hardy pinning Orton would be a nice boost for his recharged singles push.

Post match Orton hits Hardy with a quick RKO.

The Iconics make fun of Renee Young but she defends her Canadian accent. They brag about winning last week and tell Renee to go chase a moose because they have this. Billie brings in Carmella for the interview so she can brag about beating Charlotte. She’ll do it again on Sunday and they’ll even win in their six woman tag tonight.

We hear Daniel Bryan say he thought he could win on Friday but he didn’t lose because he was tired. He lost because he couldn’t get Braun Strowman out of the ring. His chest is nearly destroyed and the doctors have kept him out of the ring tonight due to a possible infection.

The Bar has their Smackdown contracts and brag about being the new force around here. New Day shows up with a plate of pancakes for them but the Bar throws them away, fearing some, ahem, added ingredients. That’s too far for New Day so Sheamus challenges Xavier Woods for a match tonight. Woods agrees, saying that Sheamus’ soul belongs to him.

Rusev Day is trying to come up with a new song but Lana, in a Rusev Day shirt, comes in to interrupt them. She asks to speak to Rusev alone and says Rusev is missing something to get him over the top. Rusev doesn’t get what she means and oh hi again English.

Here’s Big Cass with something to say. He’s from New York City and that means a few things, including that he’s better than all of us. Cass yells that he’s better than anyone here, just like he’s better than Daniel Bryan. He’s seven foot tall and powerful, which is everything Bryan isn’t.

On Sunday, you’re not getting a five star match because it’s going to be five seconds long. He doesn’t need wristlocks or a YES Lock or even time to prepare. Cass wants Bryan right now…and here’s a miniature Bryan. Cass makes short jokes and tells him to wave to the fans. The big boot and right hands follow until referees come out. Words can’t do justice for how stupid this idea is and always has been.

Here’s AJ Styles to talk to Renee Young in the ring. AJ says he’s trying to defend the title and Nakamura is more interested in the wrong jewels. Now Nakamura wants a public apology so AJ should have left him sucking sand in the desert. He’s fine with the No DQ stipulation on Sunday because AJ can break rules too. On Sunday, a low blow will be the least of Nakamura’s worries. If Nakamura wants an apology, he can come get one.

Cue Samoa Joe to say that AJ needs to pay better attention to the more important match. After he puts Reigns to sleep on Sunday, he’s coming for whoever leaves with the WWE Championship. Oh….I think I can go for this. Nakamura’s music hits and Joe is ready but we cut to the ring where Nakamura hits AJ low again. Kinshasa knocks AJ silly for good measure and Nakamura holds up the title. I fully support Joe becoming more involved with the World Title situation.

Becky Lynch isn’t happy with what happened last week and is sorry for costing Asuka her first match on Smackdown. Asuka is next to her and says they’ll hit back three times harder. Charlotte wants to destroy the Iconics and Asuka says Avengers Assemble.

Sheamus vs. Xavier Woods

Sheamus knocks him into the corner so Woods comes back with a dropkick and speeds things up. Another dropkick puts Sheamus outside for a running flip dive. A Cesaro distraction lets Sheamus get in a knee lift and we take a break. Back with Sheamus cranking on the arm to keep Woods down even longer.

Woods fights up and slugs away before sending a charging Sheamus shoulder first into the post. A twisting legdrop gets two and there’s a Shining Wizard to rock Sheamus again. Cesaro and Big E. get into it on the floor and the distraction lets Woods grab a quick small package for the pin at 10:27.

Rating: D+. The ending was as obvious as you could get but at least the actual tag matches should be fun. Woods winning matches is almost weird, even though he’s not that bad in the ring. The problem is he has no singles success compared to Kofi and Big E., but he’s still a good enough addition to the team to keep things balanced.

We look at Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville ripping on Becky Lynch last week but referees broke it up.

Mandy and Sonya come in to see Paige for an Absolution reunion. They’re happy with the new boss and want to know which of them will be getting the Women’s Title match. Paige picks Mandy but it’s really just a match with Becky next week. Sonya wants to know what’s going on so Paige breaks the news to her: Absolution is dead.

Zelina Vega says Andrade Cien Almas will come when he feels like it.

Backlash rundown.

Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Asuka vs. Iconics/Carmella

Carmella tries to hide from Charlotte to start and brings in Peyton to face Becky. Peyton is taken down in short order and Becky does a little dance before it’s off to Billie. Asuka comes in and takes her into the corner….where Billie thinks slapping Asuka is a good idea. Charlotte: “SHE’S GONNA KILL YOU!”

Charlotte comes in and dives onto the Iconics, sending Carmella running as we take a break. Back with Becky cleaning house and handing it off to Charlotte for more of the same. The numbers game catches up with Charlotte though and we hit the chinlock. Therefore, GET THAT INSET PROMO GOING! Charlotte fights up as we’re back to full screen and a kick to the chest knocks Carmella away.

Asuka tags herself in and hip attacks everyone to the floor. A kick to the head drops Peyton for two and everything breaks down. Charlotte spears Carmella (who sits down instead of flying backwards) and moonsaults out to the floor onto all three. Peyton gets thrown back inside and tries an O’Connor roll, only to get reversed into the Asuka Lock for the tap at 13:24.

Rating: C+. I’m usually not a fan of this kind of booking but I’m really, really hoping that they put the title back on Charlotte. I really have no interest in having Charlotte do the “I’m better than you but you keep escaping with the title” stuff with Carmella for months on end. The briefcase continues to be such a lame booking crutch and it’s all they have here, which is really quite annoying. Just get past this already and let us do something better.

Overall Rating: C-. This felt like another show where they were taking the night off because they were still worn out from all the travel. But hey, at least we have another FOUR HOUR pay per view on Sunday, because remember the WWE philosophy: more means better! The talking was good here but egads it feels like there’s been a two hour show every day for weeks now. Next week can’t get here soon enough so we can calm things down a bit because you can tell everyone is worn out at the moment.

Results

Jeff Hardy/Randy Orton b. Shelton Benjamin/The Miz – Swanton Bomb to Benjamin

Xavier Woods b. Sheamus – Small package

Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Asuka b. Iconics/Carmella – Asuka Lock to Royce

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