6 Takeaways From WWE SmackDown (5/15)

Photo Credit: WWE.com

The May 15th, 2018 episode of WWE SmackDown was taped in London, England. It was announced that Lana will face Billie Kay next week in a qualifying match for the women’s MITB Ladder Match. Samoa Joe will battle Big Cass next week in a qualifying match for the men’s MITB Ladder Match.

Here are 6 takeaways from this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown:

6Daniel Bryan Beatdown Big Cass

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

SmackDown started off this week with Renee Young in the ring. Daniel Bryan came down for an interview and the entire crowd chanted his name. Renee chuckled as she tried to speak but the crowd completely drowned her out. Renee asked Bryan about his loss to Rusev last week on SmackDown and how he is taking it.

Bryan asked Renee to feel the crowd’s energy and they all chanted “yes!”. Bryan admitted he was disappointed because nobody likes to lose. He stated that when he came back, he was just happy to be doing what he loves. Bryan said that he doesn’t want to just be back, he wants to get back to the top. Bryan noted that it is going to a climb and he is going to have to scratch and fight to get there. Daniel added that he will do that and and when it is all said and done, he will become WWE Champion once again.

Big Cass interrupted and came down to the entrance ramp. Cass said that he was sick of listening to Bryan run his mouth and feed the audience nothing but “crap and heartwarming stuff”. Cass said that he disagreed with Renee Young claiming that Rusev was Bryan’s first major setback upon his return. Cass took credit for Bryan losing to Rusev and vowed to never let him achieve his dreams in WWE again.

Cass admitted that he lost at Backlash, but said that he tapped out because he wanted to get out of the Yes Lock quick so he could get back up and beat Bryan down again. Big Cass stated that Bryan is not going to be able to go anywhere in WWE without a 7-foot shadow following him around. Cass boasted about eliminating Bryan in the Greatest Royal Rumble and proved to the world once again that Daniel Bryan is a loser. Cass claimed that the little person he beat up in Montreal at least took the beating he gave him with dignity.

Cass asked if Bryan is a loser and shouted “yes!”. He then asked if Bryan should have remained retired and shouted “yes!” once again. Big Cass then asked if Bryan should become a stay-at-home dad and let Brie wear the pants in their family and goofily shouted “yes!” once again. Cass then got in the ring with Bryan and mocked the “yes!” chant once again.

Bryan attacked Cass and went after his knee in the corner. Daniel unloaded a bunch of kicks to Cass’ knee as he was hung up in the ropes. WWE officials sprinted to the ring to break it up. Bryan escaped out of the ring and then wrapped Big Cass’ knee around the steel ring post. Cass crawled across the ring and Bryan chopped him down with a strike to the knee. Bryan applied a Heel Hook in the middle of the ring and Cass tapped out. Several more officials entered the ring and separated them as the crowd chanted “Daniel Bryan!”.

5New Day Defeated The Bar

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

New Day battled The Bar tonight on SmackDown. A member of the winning team will qualify for the men’s MITB Ladder Match. The Miz had already qualified for the match and joined commentary for this bout.

Woods and Big E competed for New Day in the match as Kofi Kingston was ringside. Woods started off the match on a roll and flipped onto Sheamus outside the ring. Back in the ring, Woods connected with a Clothesline for a two count. The Bar battled back and knocked Woods down with a Clothesline as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Sheamus and Cesaro were still in control and Xavier isolated in the corner. Cesaro leveled Woods with a Clothesline and went for the cover but Woods kicked out at two. Woods battled back and sent Cesaro flying out of the ring with a Back Body Drop.

Big E and Sheamus tagged in and Big E connected with three Belly to Belly Suplexes in a row. Big E danced over Sheamus and then went for a Splash but Sheamus got his knees up. Cesaro tagged in and applied the Sharpshooter to Big E. Woods broke it up and tagged himself in. Woods connected with an awesome Tornado DDT for a two count.

Big E and Sheamus got into the ring and started trading shots. Big E threw Sheamus to the apron and connected with a Spear. Back in the ring, Woods hit Cesaro with an Elbow Drop off the top rope for the pinfall victory. New Day now has to decide who will enter the men’s MITB Ladder Match at the PPV next month.

4Becky Lynch Qualified For The Women’s MITB Ladder Match

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

SmackDown GM Paige was confronted backstage by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Rose boasted about defeating Becky Lynch last week even though Paige barred Sonya from ringside. Paige announced that Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Becky Lynch will battle in a Triple Threat Match to qualify for the women’s MITB Ladder Match.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville teamed up to start off the Triple Threat Match later on SmackDown and targeted Becky Lynch. The crowd chanted “lets go Becky!” as Deville and Rose beat her down. Rose tried to roll-up Deville and Sonya kicked out. SmackDown went to a commercial break as Sonya and Mandy argued in the ring.

When SmackDown returned, Sonya Deville was in control of the match and both Rose and Lynch were on the canvas. Becky battled back and planted Deville with an Exploder Suplex. Deville knocked Becky to the canvas and then Rose threw Sonya out of the ring.

Sonya got back into the ring and Rose lifted her up onto her shoulders. Becky then leaped off the second rope and took them both out with a Dropkick. Deville hit Becky with a knee to the face for a two count. Rose accidentally hit a running knee to Deville’s face. Becky then locked in the Dis-Arm-Her on Mandy Rose for the submission victory. Becky Lynch now joins Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon and Charlotte Flair in the women’s MITB Ladder Match.

3Andrade “Cien” Almas Dominated In His SmackDown Debut

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega made their WWE SmackDown debut tonight. Almas faced a local competitor (Jake Constantino). Jake connected with a Dropkick and then immediately got knocked on his ass by a chop from Almas. Andrade beatdown Constantino in the corner as Vega shouted instructions. Almas connected with Double Knees and followed it up with the Hammerlock DDT for the pinfall victory.

After the match, Vega called it pathetic that this was the match they were given on their SmackDown debut. Vega stated that they didn’t come to SmackDown to play nice, they came to take over.

2Carmella Will Defend The SmackDown Women’s Championship Against Asuka At WWE Money In The Bank

Photo Credit: @SCSirens on Twitter

Carmella had “A Royal Mellabration” tonight on SmackDown.

Carmella moonwalked onto the entrance ramp and made her way down to the ring. She gave the crowd the opportunity to show her just how much they love her. Carmella said that they have the next 10 seconds or so to shower her with the praise that she deserves. The crowd booed and then Carmella went on a rant about how they were not showing her the respect that she has earned.

Carmella then demanded that everyone bow down before her and the crowd once again booed. She said that the crowd reminds her of all the women on the SmackDown roster because none of them think that she deserves to be champion. Carmella claimed that she is better than everyone in the crowd because she is champion. Carmella added that she was better than Trish Stratus and Lita combined.

SmackDown GM Paige interrupted and got a great reaction from the crowd. Paige came down to the ring and said that it was great to be home. The crowd chanted “welcome home!” as Carmella covered her ears. Paige stated that she was here to announce Carmella’s opponent at Money in the Bank.

Asuka came down to the ring as Paige announced her as Carmella’s opponent at the PPV. The crowd chanted “Asuka is going to kill you!” as Carmella grabbed the title and retreated out of the ring.

1Shinsuke Nakamura Will Choose The Stipulation For The WWE Championship Match At Money In The Bank

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

Shinsuke Nakamura faced AJ Styles in the main event of this week’s episode of SmackDown. The winner of the match will get to pick the stipulation for the WWE Championship match at WWE Money in the Bank on June 17th.

The match started out back and forth as dueling chants of “Nakamura!” and “AJ Styles!” broke out in the crowd. Styles connected with a Dropkick and then a right hand in the corner. Shinsuke rolled out of the ring to regroup as the chants started again. AJ leaped out of the ring and hit a Phenomenal Forearm to the face and both Superstars crashed to the floor outside the ring.

Nakamura connected with a knee to the midsection while AJ Styles was on the ring apron. Shinsuke brought AJ back into the ring for a cover but Styles kicked out at one as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

SmackDown returned as Nakamura connected with a knee to the ribs in the corner of the ring. Shinsuke shoved his boot in AJ’s face for Bad Vibrations and then elbowed him in the back of the head. Nakamura followed it up with an awesome running kick to AJ’s face for a two count. Nakamura locked in a Dragon Sleeper Hold as the crowd got behind Styles.

AJ connected with a knee to the head to break the hold. Nakamura responded with a quick jab to the throat and AJ tumbled back to the canvas. Shinsuke perched Styles up on the top turnbuckle and joined him up there. AJ escaped to the mat and delivered a Pele Kick that knocked Nakamura down to the mat.

AJ decked Nakamura with a Clothesline and followed it up with a running forearm to the face. Styles slammed Nakamura face-first to the mat for a two count. Shinsuke battled back and drove AJ to the corner. Nakamura planted AJ with a slam as the crowd chanted “this is awesome!”. Shinsuke draped Nakamura up across the top rope and went for a knee to the midsection. AJ escaped to the apron and Nakamura drove his knee into the top turnbuckle. Nakamura was able to get AJ back up there and this time connected with the running knee to the midsection.

Nakamura connected with a knee on the ring apron and brought AJ back to the middle of the ring for a cover. Styles kicked out at two and Shinsuke then geared up in the corner. AJ was ready and went for the Styles Clash, but Nakamura was able to escape. Styles connected with a Neckbreaker for a two count.

AJ went for another forearm but Nakamura countered with a boot to the face. Shinsuke followed it up with a Kinshasa, but AJ Styles kicked out at two. Nakamura geared up in the corner and went for another one, but Styles countered with a boot to the face. AJ went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Nakamura ducked and Styles bumped into the referee. Nakamura pretended that Styles hit him with a low blow and then planted Styles with a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura followed it up with another Kinshasa for the pinfall victory.

Opinion: Nakamura and Styles put on a solid match to close the show. I’m still waiting for the excellent match everyone knows that they are capable of and hopefully that happens at WWE Money in the Bank. I am not a fan of seeing AJ Styles and Nakamura wrestle a match to determine the stipulation for another match they are going to have next month. It is overkill and this feud has become watered down.

The rest of the show was pretty boring. The crowd already has gotten bored with Big Cass and didn’t seem to care about anything he had to say. It was great to see Almas make his debut and I’m hoping that WWE actually has a plan for him, instead of what he have seen with other recent NXT call-ups recently.

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