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WWE Smackdown LIVE!- May 1, 2018

by Scrooge McSuck


- Last week on Smackdown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura pinned Karl Anderson in a Six-Man Tag Team Main Event and hit A.J. Styles in the junk. Again... Charlotte Flair and Carmella made their match at Backlash official with one of the least interesting, obvious time filling contract signings... Andrade "Cien" Almas and Sanity are still "Coming Soon"... Big Cass wants to hurt Daniel Bryan, and coincidentally enough, someone assaulted Bryan backstage before he could appear on Miz TV... The IIconics picked up a surprise victory over the Super-Team of Becky Lynch and Asuka... Even more surprising, Shelton Benjamin pinned Randy Orton (with a helpful distraction from Raw’s Sunil Singh. The Greatest Royal Rumble was Friday and I have one thing to say: Titus O’Neil.

- Presented LIVE on the USA Network from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves are calling the action, unless otherwise noted.

- Paige lets us know that Shane McMahon won’t be here tonight. To ensure the match at Backlash has a clear winner, the WWE Title Match at Backlash between Styles and Nakamura will be No Disqualifications.

- The Miz is in the ring to kick the show off with Miz TV. He considers Daniel Bryan no-showing last week an unforgivable offense, and due to that incident, Daniel Bryan is BANNED from Miz TV. This Sunday, an "A freakin’ lister" is leaving Backlash as Intercontinental Champion. This week’s guest is the reigning U.S. Champion, Jeff Hardy. He faces Randy Orton at Backlash. Miz refuses to shake hands because Hardy touched all the dirty fans and he forgot his hand sanitizer. Miz uses footage of Hardy and Orton stealing each other’s matches to build tension for Backlash. Randy Orton comes out as a surprise guest. Miz is upset that Orton’s entrance interrupted his intro. Orton isn’t as mad as Miz wants us to believe but he still has something that he wants, and that’s the United States Title. Miz brings up the waste of time known as the Top 10 List, which Orton casually buries. Shelton Benjamin interrupts, wanting to know where his opportunity at the title is. A melee erupts, with Hardy hitting Whisper in the Wind on Miz. At least it didn’t miss, like it did at The Greatest Royal Rumble.

Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz & Shelton Benjamin:

Match is Joined in Progress. Orton sends Benjamin to the corner. Benjamin meets him with an elbow and unloads with rights. They do the same sequence, roles reversed. Hardy with a basement dropkick to the back of the head for two. Whip and a double elbow for two. Whip to the corner, Orton avoids the Stinger Splash. Benjamin counters the RKO with the spinning leg whip for two. Miz in to grab a chin-lock. Orton escapes with a back suplex and makes the tag. Hardy with an inverted atomic drop, double leg drop and basement dropkick for two. Miz avoids the Twist of Fate but gets rolled up for two. Hardy counters the Skull Crushing Finale with a victory roll for two. Benjamin gets the blind tag but walks into a Twist of Fate. Hardy to the top but Miz slows him down, allowing Benjamin to jump up with a knee. [Commercial] We return with Miz in control of another chin-lock. Miz with the sweeping DDT for two. Hardy surprises Shelton with a jaw breaker but can’t get to his corner. Miz with the corner dropkicks a la Daniel Bryan. Hardy counters a third with a sling-blade. Orton with the hot tag, laying into Benjamin with clotheslines and taking him over with a snap power-slam. Miz gets dumped and dropped across the announcer’s table. Back inside, Orton hits Benjamin with a dropkick. Draping DDT to Miz and Shelton. RKO to Benjamin and Hardy finishes with the Swanton Bomb at 12:07 (shown, including one commercial). Post-match, Orton hits Hardy with an RKO (out of nowhere). Decent match wrapped around a commercial break.

- Renee Young is backstage with Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Carmella is supposed to be there, but she’s absent. Peyton Royce makes fun of Renee with a bad Canadian accent. Young says it’s a Minnesota accent, but it doesn’t matter, "both are garbage." They dismiss and introduce us to the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

- Daniel Bryan was informed by the WWE medical staff that he won’t be allowed to compete tonight for what might’ve been a bad chest infection. I was about to say, they better not make a storyline head injury excuse any time soon.

- Cesaro and Sheamus are walking around with their OFFICIAL Smackdown Live contracts when they come across the New Day. Who walks around with their contracts like that? New Day rubs it in their faces they didn’t win the Raw Tag Team Titles at The Greatest Royal Rumble. Sheamus says they look forward to flattening the three of them like pancakes. Regardless, the New Day offers a platter of pancake but Cesaro tosses them on the floor. That doesn’t make Big E happy. Sheamus wants a match with Xavier Woods, though. "How about it, short-stack?" Woods busts out his best Shang Tsung impression.

- Rusev Day is hanging out backstage when Lana shows up. She says something is holding him back. "I have a holiday named after me, what could be holding me back?" Then Aiden English shows up. DON’T SPLIT UP THE RUSEV DAY!

- Big Cass comes out to air his grievances again. He points out he’s from New York City. He says the stereotype that they aren’t friendly to other people and act better than everybody else is true. He knows he’s better than everyone, especially Daniel Bryan. A REAL WWE Superstar is 7-feet tall and has Super-Strength. "Might makes right, which is the complete opposite of Daniel Bryan." We won’t get a 5-star match at Backlash, we’re getting a 5-second match. Did Road Dogg write that line? He wants Daniel Bryan to come out right now. We already know he isn’t here, so out comes a midget dressed like him. Big Cass makes pun after pun based on Daniel Bryan’s height. Big Cass lays the midget out with the big boot. I guess you can call him Unlucky Pierre (and the name Pierre is probably a rib on Pat Patterson).

- Renee Young is in the ring for an interview with WWE Champion, A.J. Styles. Shinsuke Nakamura has demanded an apology for what happened at The Greatest Royal Rumble. Styles wants to know which Shinsuke is showing up, the Con-Artist or the Cheap-Shot Artist? Styles says he should’ve let Shinsuke laying, sucking sand in the Arabian Desert. He calls Shinsuke a coward who attacks from behind and hits you below the belt. At Sunday, it’s going to be an eye for an eye, and a low blow will be the least of Shinsuke’s worries. Samoa Joe interrupts, saying A.J. has lost focus on what’s dangerous around him. He should be focused on the match where his hand is raised in victory and proves that Roman Reigns is a failure. Styles needs to make peace with one destiny coming his way. After Backlash, he’s coming to beat A.J. up and take the WWE Championship. Shinsuke Nakamura interrupts and sneaks into the ring to hit A.J. in the balls. YES! YES! YES! Nakamura taunts him and slaps him. He teases the Kinshasa, fakes everyone out, then hits it on the second pass.

- Becky Lynch, Asuka, and Charlotte Flair bond by acting like dorks. I don’t know what was worse, Asuka’s "Avengers assemble" or that stupid tea-time crap with Becky and Charlotte.

Xavier Woods (w/ The New Day) vs. Sheamus (w/ Cesaro):

It’s been nearly an hour since the one and only match on the show. I don’t expect this to go long, but we’ve covered most of the bases for Backlash, so we might need filler (how’s that for talking out of both sides of the keyboard?). Lockup and Sheamus shoves Woods on his arse. Whip to the corner, Woods gets a knee up on the charge and unloads with rights. Crisscross and Woods clips the knee with a basement dropkick. Woods with a rolling elbow and dropkick, sending Sheamus to the outside, and follows with a tope con hilo. Cesaro with a distraction ("bootleg pancakes"), allowing Sheamus to knock Woods silly with a knee to the jaw. [Commercial] We come back with Sheamus in control with an arm-bar. Woods escapes an exploder but takes the Irish Curse back breaker. Woods with a super-kick to the midsection and knee, followed by a knee to the face. Sheamus meets the post on a charge to the corner. Woods with a springboard leg drop for two. Sheamus with a school boy for two. Woods with the Shining Wizard. He goes to the top for the elbow but Cesaro with a distraction from the apron. Cesaro and the rest of the New Day fight on the floor, and it’s not long before Woods and Sheamus join the fracas. Back inside, Woods with a small package for three at 7:36 (including a commercial break). This was fine, about what you’d expect from the pairing.

- Highlights (courtesy of WWE.com) of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose trash talking Becky Lynch about costing Asuka their match and being nothing more than her back-up these days. They meet up with Paige for the long-waited Absolution Reunion. Paige lets Mandy Rose know she gets a match next week against Becky Lynch. Rose and Deville expected favoritism, but Absolution is DEAD. NO!

- Zelina Vega cuts a cell-phone promo about the imminent debut of Andrade "Cien" Almas on Smackdown Live. He’ll arrive, but we won’t know until they want us to know.

- We run down the card for Backlash: Jeff Hardy defends the US Title against Randy Orton, Seth Rollins defends the Intercontinental Title against The Miz, Daniel Bryan takes on Big Cass, Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman face Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns battles Samoa Joe, Carmella defends the Smackdown Women’s Title against Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax defends the Raw Women’s Title against Alexa Bliss, and A.J. Styles defends the WWE Title against Shinsuke Nakamura in a No Disqualification Match.

Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella, Billie Kay, and Peyton Royce:

I’m trying to be a glass-half-full guy, but this will likely be the worst non-Jinder Mahal Main Event in recent Smackdown Live history. Carmella teases starting with Charlotte but quickly takes out to Royce. I feel like we saw the exact same sequence last week with A.J. and Shinsuke. Lynch with a hip throw into a waist-lock. She bridges out of a pin attempt and connects with a dropkick. Royce rolls away from the spinning leg drop and tags in Kay. Whip to the corner and Becky with a diving forearm for two. Kay makes the mistake of slapping Asuka. Asuka unloads with a flurry of strikes and comes off the ropes with the hip attack. Charlotte with a double axe-handle from the top rope followed by a rolling cradle for two. Kay avoids the charge and tags in Carmella. She misses the Super-Kick and gets swept off her feet, but Kay and Royce pull her to the floor. Charlotte follows with a plancha, taking out the IIconics.

We come back from a commercial break, with Peyton in control of Lynch with a chin-lock. Becky fights out of the corner, but both her partners are taken off the apron before she can make the tag. Charlotte gets the tag after all, laying into Carmella with chops. Kay and Royce both run in and gets taken over with exploders. Charlotte goes to the top and gets swept off thanks to a distraction from the apron. Kay with a neck breaker across the top rope and Royce with the spinning heel kick for two. Carmella with the Trish Stratus hand-stand into a hurricanrana to take Charlotte off the top rope. Royce with a chin-lock as we get one of the infamous split-screen commercials for the PPV. I hate you, Kevin Dunn. Probably not as much as Jim Cornette, though. Charlotte escapes and goes for the Figure-Eight, but Peyton kicks her into the corner. Her corner, that is, and Asuka gets the hot tag. She runs wild on everything walking. Asuka with a running hip attack to knock Carmella and Kay off the apron. Royce with a small package on Asuka for two. Running knee to the side of the head for two. Asuka ducks a roundhouse kick and connects with her own for two. Becky with a missile dropkick to Kat. Carmella with a Super-Kick to Becky. Charlotte with the Spear to Carmella, followed by a moonsault on the floor. Back inside, Asuka finishes Royce with the Asuka-Lock at 13:34 (including one break). Surprisingly decent, much better than I anticipated.

Final Thoughts: Not much of a wrestling show tonight, with all of the focus on selling Backlash to us. That’s nothing new for Smackdown before a PPV, though, and you can make a solid argument they’ve done a good job in promoting the first of the duo brand PPV’s. We’re still waiting on the NXT arrivals they’ve promised, but things are starting to fall into place with the new arrivals finding roles to fill.

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