6 Takeaways From WWE SmackDown (5/8)

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The May 8th episode of WWE SmackDown aired live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD. During the show, it was announced that Carmella will have a championship celebration next week and Andrade “Cien” Almas will make his SmackDown debut.

Here are 6 takeaways from this week’s SmackDown:

6The Miz Qualified For The Men’s MITB Ladder Match

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SmackDown GM Paige kicked off this week’s episode. Paige spoke about WWE Backlash and the SmackDown matches that took place during the show. She then brought up Money in the Bank and how their will be two ladder matches, one for the men and one for the women. Paige announced that their will be qualifying matches tonight and that one of them starts right now. United States Champion Jeff Hardy battled The Miz in the first MITB qualifying match of the night.

Hardy knocked Miz down with a shoulder tackle to start off the match. Jeff booted Miz out of the ring and then leaped onto him off the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hardy climbed the top rope but Miz retreated to the corner as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Hardy was in control of the match and had Miz in an Arm Bar.

Miz broke free and connected with a boot to the face for a two count. The Miz followed it up with a Neckbreaker for another two count. The Miz threw Hardy out of the ring and then crotched him on top of the barricade. Hardy battled back and decked Miz with a Clothesline off the barricade.

Back in the ring, Hardy dropped Miz with an Atomic Drop and followed it up with a Dropkick to the face for a two count. Hardy then hit the twist of Fate and made his way to the top rope. The Miz rolled to the ring apron and Hardy hopped back down to the canvas. The Miz hit a Neckbreaker to Hardy on the ring apron as SmackDown went to a break.

When SmackDown returned, Miz had Hardy in a Sleeper Hold. Jeff broke free and elbowed Miz in the face. Hardy followed it up with Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Jeff then Dropkicked Miz to the outside of the ring. Hardy flipped over the top rope and landed on The Miz. Jeff threw Miz back into the ring and then made his way to the top rope. Miz got up and crotched Hardy on the top turnbuckle.

The Miz joined Hardy on the turnbuckle and set up for a Superplex. Hardy held onto the ropes and then unloaded a flurry off punches to Miz. Hardy connected with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb and went for the cover but Miz was able to kick out at two. The crowd chanted “this is awesome!” as Hardy went for the Twist of Fate.

The Miz blocked it and then Hardy sent him to the corner. Jeff hit the Hardiac Arrrest Dropkick in the corner and followed it up with the Twist of Fate. Jeff then hit the Swanton Bomb and went for the cover. The Miz countered into a roll-up of his own for the pinfall victory. The Miz, Braun Strowman and Finn Balor have now qualified for the men’s MITB Ladder Match.

5Cesaro Defeated Xavier Woods

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Sheamus and Cesaro were shown backstage. Sheamus was eating cereal out of a bag because it was the only thing that made him feel better about losing to Xavier Woods last week. Cesaro stated that if he faced Woods, he would be able to do better. Sheamus got pissed off and insisted that Cesaro face Woods tonight. Cesaro said that sounded like a great idea and then opened his gear bag. Inside the bag were a bunch of pancakes and Sheamus laughed his ass off. His mood changed once he opened his bag and realized that it was full of pancakes as well. Sheamus started throwing the pancakes around the room while shouting “I hate pancakes!”.

Later on SmackDown, Cesaro faced Xavier Woods. Big E, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus were ringside for the match. Cesaro knocked Woods to the mat and then taunted Xavier by slapping him in the back of the head. The crowd chanted “we want pancakes!” and Big E started launching pancakes into the crowd.

Cesaro decked Woods with a shoulder tackle, but Xavier battled back with a Hurricanrana. Cesaro knocked Woods back down with an uppercut and then posed in the ring. Cesaro followed it up with a Gutwrench Suplex as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Cesaro had Woods locked in an Abdominal Stretch. Woods broke free and connected with a couple of chops. Woods followed it up with a knee to the face and then a boot to the face. Woods connected with a boot to the face off the middle turnbuckle for a two count.

Woods slammed Cesaro face-first into the mat for another two count. Cesaro rolled-up Woods and put his feet on the ropes for leverage. Kofi shoved Cesaro’s feet off the rope to break up the pinfall. Xavier connected with a Shining Wizard and climbed up the turnbuckle. Sheamus got onto the ring apron and Big E started throwing pancakes at him. Kofi then took out Sheamus ringside as Woods leaped off the turnbuckle. Cesaro connected with gigantic uppercut for the pinfall victory.

It was announced that New Day will face The Bar next week on SmackDown. A member of the winning team will qualify for the men’s MITB Ladder Match.

4AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura Will Battle Again

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Shinsuke Nakamura was interviewed backstage and continued to say that he doesn’t speak English. Nakamura finally said “AJ is nuts, but so am I and we are not finished”. Styles and Nakamura’s match at WWE Backlash ended in a no contest after both Superstars were able to get back up from dueling low blows.

AJ Styles was interviewed later on the show. Styles admitted that he stooped to Nakamura’s level at Backlash and that he doesn’t want to fight like that. Styles stated that if Nakamura has the guts to get back in the ring, he will finish him. AJ added that Shinsuke may be the king of low blows, but this is the house that AJ Styles built.

3Charlotte Flair Qualified For The Women’s MITB Ladder Match

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Charlotte Flair faced Peyton Royce tonight on SmackDown in a MITB qualifying match. Before the match, Royce and Billie Kay cut a promo. Kay claimed that her uncle Craig watched her match on Sunday and stated the look on Charlotte’s face after she lost sent him into hysterics and miraculously cured his stutter.

Charlotte and Peyton locked up to start off the match. Charlotte drove Royce to the corner and Peyton grabbed the ropes so that the referee would back Charlotte off. Charlotte slammed Royce to the mat a couple of times and Royce screamed out of fear. Charlotte connected with a massive chop and followed it up with a Fallaway Slam as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

Peyton Royce was in control when SmackDown returned from the break. Peyton locked in a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as Billie Kay cheered her on from outside. Charlotte battled to her feet and broke the hold with a Jawbreaker. Royce threw Charlotte into the middle turnbuckle and Charlotte collapsed to the canvas. Royce dragged Flair to the middle of the ring and went for the cover but Charlotte kicked out.

Royce got pissed off and unloaded a flurry of punches to Charlotte’s face. Royce delivered a knee to the midsection and then bounced Flair’s face off the mat. Royce once again locked in the Chin Lock as the crowd got behind Charlotte. Flair broke the hold and booted Peyton in the face. Charlotte followed it up with a Neckbreaker and both Superstars fell to the mat.

Charlotte connected with a few chops that knocked Peyton to the mat. Flair strutted across the ring and delivered another chop. Flair did a split in the ring and rolled up Royce for a two count. Charlotte followed it up with a Belly to Back Suplex and then set up for the Figure Four. Billie Kay dragged Royce out of the ring and Charlotte took out Kay with a Crossbody. Royce capitalized and connected with a Neckbreaker to Charlotte on the floor outside the ring.

Royce went for a cover back in the ring but Charlotte kicked out at two. Billie Kay struck Charlotte from behind while the referee wasn’t looking. Royce then booted Charlotte in the face for a two count. Charlotte connected with a big boot to the face and then made her way up to the top rope. Charlotte went for a Moonsault but Royce got her knees up. Royce then hit a knee to the face for a two count.

Charlotte connected with a Spear in the middle of the ring for a two count. Charlotte then locked in the Figure Four in the center of the ring. Flair then bridged into the Figure Eight and Peyton Royce immediately tapped out. Charlotte and Ember Moon have now qualified for the women’s MITB Ladder Match next month.

2Mandy Rose Pinned Becky Lynch

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Becky Lynch faced Mandy Rose tonight on SmackDown. Paige informed Sonya Deville that she was barred from ringside for the match. Graves drooled over his microphone and shouted at Saxton as Mandy Rose made her entrance. Rose controlled the match early and applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring.

Becky broke free and went for the Dis-Arm-Her but Mandy was able to escape. Lynch connected with an Exploder Suplex. Rose battled back and shove Becky throat-first into the ropes. Mandy Rose then rolled Lynch up for the pinfall victory.

1Rusev Qualified For The Men’s MITB Ladder Match

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Daniel Bryan was interviewed backstage about his match against Rusev tonight to qualify for the men’s MITB Ladder Match. Bryan brought up Cass attacking him after he made him submit at WWE Backlash. Bryan stated that he has made a career of overcoming obstacles and that he will battle through whatever pain he is in to qualify for the MITB Ladder Match. Bryan noted that he cashed in on the Big Show when he won the MITB contract in the past. The interview concluded with Bryan saying “the bigger they are, the faster they tap”.

Rusev and Daniel Bryan battled in tonight’s main event. The winner of the match will qualify for the men’s MITB Ladder Match. Aiden English rapped before the match and insulted Baltimore’s sports teams. Bryan and Rusev locked up to start off the match as dueling “Daniel Bryan!” and “Rusev Day!” chants echoed throughout the arena. Bryan got the upper-hand and connected with kicks in the corner. Bryan knocked Rusev out of the ring and Bryan went for a Suicide Dive. Rusev caught him and launched Bryan over the announce table as SmackDown went to a break.

When SmackDown returned, Bryan connected with a couple of Dropkicks in the corner. Bryan perched Rusev up on the top turnbuckle and connected with a Hurricanrana. Bryan hit a couple of Yes Kicks and went for a Crossbody, but Rusev caught him. Daniel countered into a roll-up for a two count. Bryan then hit a boot to the face for another two count.

Bryan applied the Yes Lock but Rusev immediately grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Bryan connected with a kick to the face and Rusev fell to the canvas. Bryan geared up in the corner as the crowd chanted “yes!”. English dragged Rusev out of the ring and Bryan took them both out with a Dropkick. Back in the ring, Bryan went for the knee to the face but Rusev blocked it. Rusev connected with the Machka Kick for the pinfall victory. Rusev has now qualified for the men’s MITB Ladder Match. After the match, Daniel Bryan shook his head in disappointment as SmackDown went off the air.

Opinion: SmackDown was solid tonight. The result of the main event was very surprising. I was expecting Big Cass to cost Daniel Bryan the match, but Rusev wound up winning the match clean. This accomplishes two things, it gives Rusev the big win he desperately needed and puts Daniel Bryan’s back against the wall. The announcer’s made sure to point out that Bryan was less than 100% after the beating he took from Big Cass at WWE Backlash.

Daniel Bryan now has to battle his way back up the card and hopefully a great story is told during his journey. Daniel Bryan does not need to be in the MITB Ladder Match this year. He does not need to be WWE Champion right away because he is already incredibly popular. Rusev is popular as well, but a victory over Bryan is huge for him.

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Let us know in the comments below.