Smackdown – May 26, 2016

Date: May 26, 2016
Location: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo

It’s actually a big night here as we have two title matches on a single show. First of all we have Miz defending the Intercontinental Title against Cesaro after the champion lost a non-title match this past Monday on Raw. The second title match will see the new US Champion Rusev defending against Kalisto in the masked man’s rematch. Let’s get to it.

The opening video recaps Monday’s Money in the Bank qualifying matches.

Opening sequence.

Michael Cole is in the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase and brings out Dean Ambrose for a chat. Dean says he loves getting violent and the idea of being in a seven man ladder match sounds great to him. This brings out Kevin Owens to tell Cole to get out of the ring because Owens is sick enough of him on Raw. Owens says there’s no way Dean is winning that briefcase because he’s ready to climb the ladder, just like he did at Wrestlemania.

Cue Sami Zayn (Lawler: “The man with the stupid hat.”) to say this isn’t a joke because he’s going after everything at Money in the Bank. Now it’s Alberto Del Rio (who hasn’t qualified) to say he’s cashed in before and he’ll do it again here tonight. Sami turns to yell at him and gets decked by Owens. The three in the ring start brawling and Sami vs. Dean is teased.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio

Beating Ryder is almost a running joke at this point. Alberto kicks him down and chokes on the ropes to start, only to get kicked into the barricade as we take an early break. Back with Del Rio working on a chinlock and a clip of Del Rio hitting the double stomp on the floor during the break. Ryder fights up but misses his middle rope dropkick.

The low superkick gets two for Alberto, only to have Zack grab a jawbreaker. The Broski Boot gives Ryder a near fall of his own but Del Rio counters the Rough Ryder. He can’t the top rope double stomp though and walks into the Rough Ryder for no cover as Del Rio gets outside. Back in and the cross armbreaker makes Ryder tap at 9:35. Well that could have been shorter.

Rating: D+. Does beating Ryder really mean anything anymore? Alberto is another name that really doesn’t need to be in the match but can be there to fill in a spot. It’s another case of just having people in the match for the sake of having them in the match as no one buys Del Rio as a realistic winner but he can clutter things up even more.

Video on Sunday’s main event and Seth Rollins’ return, including the announcement of the Money in the Bank title match.

Here are Enzo and Cass with something to say but before Enzo can get anywhere, here are the Dudleyz to interrupt (Lawler: “WOOHOO! Thank goodness.”). Enzo says he isn’t Willy Wonka so he won’t suger coat anything. The Dudleyz are as sweet as a Cinnabon and he isn’t biting his tongue when he’s chewing someone out. Cass offers to throw them a beatdown right now but the Dudleyz say not tonight. Instead, we’ll do this on Raw but for now, Bubba asks D-Von if they can please get out of this town.

Rusev says after tonight, Kalisto will never be able to fly again.

Video on Cesaro making Miz tap at Extreme Rules and then pinning him the next night on Raw.

US Title: Kalisto vs. Rusev

Rusev is defending after defeating Kalisto on Sunday. During Kalisto’s entrance, Byron almost casually mentions the impending Brand Split. Kalisto goes right after him to start and sends Rusev to the ropes with a headscissors. A springboard is knocked out of the air though and we take a break about thirty seconds in. Back with Kalisto being sent hard into the corner and actually trying to slam the champion. This works as well as you would expect and Rusev stomps away to stay in control.

Kalisto pops up again and gets the slam, which shocks the way too confident Rusev. A rollup gets two on Rusev and the corkscrew cross body gets the same. Kalisto follows up with a springboard moonsault to the floor for two as Lana looks…..well she looks normal actually. Rusev blocks the Salida Del Sol, only to miss a running headbutt in the corner. He’s fine enough to raise his knees to block a 450 though and it’s the jumping superkick and Accolade to retain the title at 8:53.

Rating: C+. I don’t think there was any doubt here but at least Kalisto got in some offense. They’re trying to make Rusev into a big time champion but I’ll need to see him get a few more big wins before I can buy this as anything more than a run destined to put over a bigger name.

Rusev goes after Kalisto again post match until Titus O’Neil of all people comes in for the save. This is either a curve ball to make us think it’s not going to be the start of Cena vs. Rusev on Monday or a very odd choice.

Video on Charlotte retaining on Sunday and then turning her back on her dad the next night. This is accompanied by clips of wrestlers talking about how horrible this was and how big of a mistake Charlotte really made, because how could she be good without Ric Flair? That look from Ric when he said nothing was wrong and left actually got to me a bit.

Natalya vs. Dana Brooke

Charlotte is on commentary. Natalya fires off some forearms in the corner but gets knocked down and put in the Sharpshooter, only to have Charlotte come in for the DQ at 45. This isn’t exactly a wrestling heavy show tonight.

Natalya puts Charlotte in the Sharpshooter and then throws the villains together. Charlotte gets back up though and Natalya gets beaten down. They’re really continuing this feud after Charlotte has beaten her twice?

Stills of Sunday’s main event and video of the Club breaking up on Monday plus Owens pinning AJ Styles to qualify.

Styles doesn’t know what he’s doing next.

Golden Truth vs. Breezango

Truth and Breeze get things off but it’s quickly off to Fandango who gets two off a dropkick. Fandango goes after Goldust to get him off the apron though, allowing Breeze to sneak in a Supermodel Kick to give give Fandango the pin at 1:40.

Post break Goldust tries to convince Truth that the team needs to stick together. Breezango comes in and laughs at them so Truth agrees to keep going.

Here’s Seth Rollins for a talk. In case you missed it, he’s back and couldn’t be better. Unfortunately he can’t say the same for the fans and that’s that.

Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Cesaro

Miz is defending. Cesaro dropkicks him out to the floor to start and cannonballs down onto the champ as we take another early break. Back with Miz going after the shoulder and sending it into the post and barricade. The champ slaps on an armbar until Cesaro fights up with the uppercuts. Miz gets two off a Reality Check before distracting the referee so Maryse can rip off the turnbuckle pad.

Cesaro blocks the steel though and gets two off a small package. The Sharpshooter doesn’t work either as Miz gets to the rope and tries to leave with the title. Instead he eats the running European uppercut for two. The Swing is kicked away though and Cesaro goes shoulder first into the buckle. Miz grabs the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin to retain at 10:31.

Rating: B-. More 50/50 booking of course. This was ok but the lack of time didn’t really help things. Unfortunately this is Cesaro 101 as he comes so close most of the time but can never have the trigger pulled. I’m fine with Miz as champion and thankfully they made sure that it wasn’t a clean pin, but this was still a lot less entertaining than I was hoping for after Sunday.

Overall Rating: D. This show felt like the nothing episodes that they air before Wrestlemania when they know no one is watching and they want to set up the pay per view. We had about half an hour of wrestling tonight and most of the matches ranged from ok to something most people would have no interest in seeing. Extreme Rules was a good show but it’s nothing that I really wanted to see again. I’m really not sure what they were going for tonight but it missed and it missed badly.


Alberto Del Rio b. Zack Ryder – Cross armbreaker

Rusev b. Kalisto – Accolade

Natalya b. Dana Brooke via DQ when Charlotte interfered

Breezango b. Golden Truth – Supermodel Kick to R-Truth

The Miz b. Cesaro – Skull Crushing Finale

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