Smackdown – May 15, 2020

Smackdown
Date: May 15, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

As is the case on almost every show these days, it’s time for a tournament, as we have to crown a new Intercontinental Champion. It isn’t clear who will be in the tournament or how many entrants there will be, but at least we have something to keep a smaller number of wrestlers busy for the time being. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Money in the Bank match/matches.

Miz and John Morrison are here for MizTV and here’s Otis before he is introduced. Otis even throws in a cartwheel on the way to the ring. Miz: “Have a seat.” Otis: “Right here?” Miz: “Where else would you sit?” Eh Otis will stand instead. This is the second biggest win of his career because the biggest was winning his peach Mandy. Now the briefcase contains various stomach aides and a bratwurst. We see a photo of baby Otis and Morrison thinks Otis is pregnant.

Now it’s a shot of Otis and his mom, who helped him with school because he had a learning disability. Then we see Otis as a kid in trunks and wrestling boots. With the gyrations going, Otis says if you’ve got it, flaunt it. That’s too much for Miz as he can’t believe Otis has gone this far, won the briefcase and got the girl too. Miz wants a tag match tonight so get Tucker out here. Otis: “Tucker got a case of disenbary on the Oregon Trail.” Miz says Otis can find anybody so good luck.

It’s tournament time and we’ve got brackets:

Daniel Bryan

Drew Gulak

Jeff Hardy

Sheamus

Elias

King Corbin

AJ Styles

Shinsuke Nakamura

The lack of Ziggler makes me smile.

We look back at Elias vs. Corbin.

Intercontinental Title Tournament First Round: Elias vs. King Corbin

Elias hammers away to start but gets pulled into a chinlock for his efforts. That’s broken up and it’s a clothesline to put Corbin on the floor. Elias hits a big dive to drop Corbin again so it’s time to go to another side of the ring. Corbin grabs the guitar for some strumming and gets sent into the barricade for his efforts.

Back from a break with Elias’ rope walk being broken so Corbin can hammer away on the announcers’ table. Back in and the slide underneath the rope clothesline gives Corbin two. Elias gets in a swinging neckbreaker for a breather, followed by the reverse swinging neckbreaker for two. A spinebuster gives Corbin the same and there’s a chokeslam for another near fall. Corbin is so annoyed that he destroys Elias’ guitar so Elias knees him in the face. A small package gives Elias the pin at 15:53.

Rating: C-. Who in the world thought Elias vs. Corbin needed fifteen minutes??? This ran longer than it needed to but the amount of relief from the lack of Corbin is a great thing. I’m not sure what to expect on that side of the draw now, but you can almost guarantee that these two will meet at least one more time.

Otis asks Sheamus to be his partner and that’s not happening.

Post break Mandy Rose comes up to Otis to ask how things are going. Mandy suggests asking Braun Strowman. That sounds like a good idea and Otis throws in a kiss on the cheek.

The hacker pops up to say he hears everyone and sees everything. No one is safe. The cameras show everyone again.

Otis asks Strowman about the tag match and while Strowman isn’t sure about Otis’ motives, he’ll think about it.

Naomi vs. Dana Brooke

Naomi is annoyed at the loss in the Money in the Bank qualifying match but gets knocked into the corner to start. Dana tries to start a clap, realizes no one is there for it, and hits a handspring elbow in the corner. Naomi gets a boot up in the corner and hits a high crossbody, which is rolled through and then rolled through again to give Naomi two. A quick victory roll attempt is countered into a rollup to give Dana the pin at 1:22. This wasn’t good while it lasted with a lot of sloppy moves and looking like they were on different pages more than once.

Here’s Charlotte as part of the Brand To Brand Invitational. She talks about how awesome she is because she’s tall, talented and a Flair. Cue Bayley and Sasha Banks with Bayley laughing about how she is the role model and how she has beaten Charlotte twice now. Charlotte points out that it took her being unconscious and Bayley’s haircut to make that work. So just go back to Raw or NXT and beat up Liv Morgan. Charlotte talks about how Sasha made Bayley relevant and goes over Sasha’s impressive resume. Bayley tries to talk for Sasha so Charlotte says cut her mic so Sasha can reply for herself. Bayley is ready to fight, but Charlotte asks Sasha is her own woman or Bayley’s lackey. Sasha doesn’t answer.

The Forgotten Sons talk about being in the military and then being forgotten once they got back home. They weren’t welcomed with open arms so now they’re fighting back with closed fists. This took about thirty seconds and gave us an introduction to the characters with a quick backstory. That’s all you need most of the time and this told you everything you need to know about them.

Miz and Morrison don’t think Otis will get a partner. Dancing ensues.

Intercontinental Title Tournament First Round: Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak

They shake hands to start with Bryan spinning out of a wristlock. Bryan takes him down by the arm and gets the YES Lock but Gulak is in the ropes in a hurry. Gulak gets the Gulock for the same result and it’s an early standoff. A double underhook has Gulak in trouble and he blocks an armbar attempt. Back up again and Drew dumps him over the top in a suplex attempt as we take a break.

We come back with Gulak holding a headlock and shrugging off a shinbreaker to keep hold. Bryan fights up and snaps off a German suplex for two, only to get caught in a Michinoku driver for the same. Gulak stays on the neck with a full nelson but Bryan slips out and hits another German suplex. The running knee misses and Gulak’s sunset flip gets two, leaving Gulak to powerbomb Bryan for two. Neither can get their finisher so Bryan twists the knee down again. A heel hook goes on to make Gulak tap at 12:26.

Rating: B. I liked their match at Elimination Chamber and this one worked too. These two know how to wrestle a technical match like few others and we had a heck of a showdown here. Gulak isn’t ready to beat Bryan and it’s not like it’s a big downgrade for him in losing. Bryan is a favorite to win the whole thing and this was a rather good first step.

Post match Bryan talks about having to vacate the title almost exactly five years ago. He has always wanted to make the title the top championship on Smackdown by defending it every week because he is the best wrestler in the world. Bryan and Gulak shake hands.

Next week, Bayley vs. Charlotte, the other two first round tournament matches and Sonya Deville/Dolph Ziggler vs. Mandy Rose/Otis.

Sonya talks about how Mandy is only good at being pretty and once that is over, she’ll wind up barefoot and pregnant with Otis shouting to bring her another beer. Maybe that’s what she wants but Mandy will never be a winner like Sonya. What matters is Sonya is going to ruin her life and she’s just getting started. Sonya: “B****.” She really has been bringing fire with these promos and someone is going to notice.

Otis/??? vs. Miz/John Morrison

The partner is….Strowman. I’d love it if one time it wasn’t he teased partner and was instead someone like Bo Dallas. Otis drives Morrison into the corner to start so Morrison kicks him in the head. Gyrating gets Otis out of trouble and he faceplants Morrison for a bonus. Morrison gets knocked down again and it’s off to Strowman for a double Caterpillar as we take a break. Back with Miz front facelocking Otis before the YES Kicks connect for two. Otis suplexes both of them down at the same time and it’s back to Strowman to clean house. Miz is ran over on the floor but Strowman goes shoulder first into the post. Morrison strikes away until Strowman catches him with the powerslam for the pin at 9:38.

Rating: D+. That’s all it needed to be as this was about putting Otis’ toe into the main event waters. It’s going to be a good while before Otis goes after the title, assuming he actually gets that far. Normally I would say I can’t imagine the title change taking place, but who would have imagined Otis getting here in the first place?

Post match here’s Mandy Rose and the distraction lets Otis think about using the briefcase. Strowman sees it coming though and Otis says it’s just for a laugh. Celebrating ends the show instead.

Overall Rating: C-. This was the Otis Show and I’m not sure how well that is going to go over with the masses. Otis got over rather well under certain circumstances, but what happens if/when the fans are sick of seeing him? Having Otis be the focal point of the show could backfire, but it’s WAY too early to tell if that is the case just yet. Other than that, the show was good enough because of the tournament and it’s nice to see them having a focus again.

Results

Elias b. King Corbin – Small package

Dana Brooke b. Naomi – Rollup

Daniel Bryan b. Drew Gulak – Heel hook

Otis/Braun Strowman b. Miz/John Morrison – Powerslam to Morrison

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