6 Takeaways From WWE SmackDown (5/1)

Photo Credit: @WWE on Twitter

The May 1st episode of WWE SmackDown Live aired live from the Bell Center in Montreal. It was the final episode of SmackDown before WWE Backlash this Sunday.

In addition to the takeaways below, Paige informed Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville that Absolution was dead. Paige also announced that Mandy Rose will face Becky Lynch next week on SmackDown.

In a brief backstage segment, Lana approached Rusev while he was with Aiden English backstage. Lana was wearing a “Rusev Day” shirt and insinuated that Aiden English was holding Rusev back.

Zelina Vega said in a cell phone video that SmackDown will change forever when Andrade “Cien” Almas arrives.

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

6Randy Orton Vowed To Take Back The US Title At Backlash

Photo Credit: @WWEUniverse on Twitter

WWE SmackDown kicked off with SmackDown GM Paige stating that Shane McMahon will not be here tonight after being thrown through the announce table at Greatest Royal Rumble. Paige added that the WWE Championship match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura will be No Disqualifications this Sunday at WWE Backlash.

The Miz kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown and announced that Daniel Bryan was banned from Miz TV for not showing up for his appearance last week. Bryan didn’t show up because he was attacked backstage by Big Cass. The Miz then vowed to win back the IC Title from Seth Rollins at WWE Backlash.

Miz welcomed United States Champion Jeff Hardy down to the ring for an edition of Miz TV. The Miz asked Hardy if he thought he was a better Intercontinental Champion that Seth Rollins. Jeff called The Miz an obnoxious, wannabe movie star. Hardy added that if Miz were better than Rollins, he would have won at Greatest Royal Rumble like he did.

The Miz rolled footage of Jeff “disrespecting” Randy Orton by facing Shelton Benjamin when Randy Orton was supposed to be his opponent. Miz announced that there was another guest tonight and Orton came down to the ring. The crowd chanted “RKO” as Randy got into the ring.

Miz complained about Orton interrupting his introduction of him. Orton stated that he isn’t that mad at Hardy and that they are cool with each other. The Miz told the crowd to shut up and once again brought up Orton being ranked on the SmackDown Top 10 list. Randy noted that nobody cared about the SmackDown Top 10 list and the crowd cheered.

The Miz said that Hardy cost Orton his match against Benjamin last week. Hardy claimed that it was Sunil Singh that cost Orton the match. The Miz tried to get Orton to give Jeff an RKO. Orton responded by saying that he strikes whenever he wants to. Randy stated that he is taking his United States Championship back Sunday at Backlash. Hardy said that Orton can try and The Miz got frustrated that the two Superstars were getting along.

Shelton Benjamin interrupted and shouted “no!” several times. Benjamin claimed that Orton doesn’t deserve a damn thing and boasted about defeating Orton last week on SmackDown. Benjamin claimed that he deserves a championship opportunity. Orton attacked Benjamin as he got in the ring, which prompted The Miz to attack Orton from behind. Jeff Hardy connected with Whisper in the Wind on The Miz to end the segment.

5Orton Sent A Message To Hardy Before WWE Backlash

Photo Credit: @WWEUniverse on Twitter

Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy teamed up to face The Miz & Shelton Benjamin tonight on SmackDown. Orton and Benjamin started off the match in the ring. Orton beatdown Benjamin in the corner and then tagged in Jeff Hardy.

Jeff connected with a Dropkick to Shelton’s back for a two count. Orton tagged back in and elbowed Benjamin in the face as the crowd chanted “Brother Nero!”. Benjamin battled back and hit a flurry of jabs in the corner. Orton went for the RKO, but Benjamin blocked it and connected with a spin kick to the face for a two count.

The Miz entered the match as Benjamin connected with a cheap knee to the face while the referee wasn’t looking. Miz applied a Chin Lock, but Orton quickly escaped and planted Miz with a Back Body Drop in the middle of the ring.

Hardy tagged in and unloaded a few punches to Miz’s face. Jeff followed it up with a Swanton Bomb and a Dropkick for a two count. The Miz dodged the Twist of Fate and then kicked out of a roll-up at two. Benjamin tagged in and walked into a Twist of Fate from Hardy. Jeff climbed up the ropes, but Miz distracted him from the apron and Benjamin hit a knee to the face to send Hardy to the floor outside the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

Benjamin continued to beatdown Hardy during the break. When SmackDown returned, The Miz tagged in and had Hardy in a Headlock in the middle of the ring. Hardy battled to his feet as the crowd cheered him on. The Miz booted him in the midsection and followed it up with a DDT for a two count.

Shelton got back in and stomped on Jeff in the corner. Hardy connected with a Jawbreaker and both Superstars fell to the canvas. The Miz tagged in and prevented Hardy from crawling over to Orton. Miz stomped on Jeff against the turnbuckle and followed it up with two Dropkicks. The Miz went for a third Dropkick, but Hardy was ready and planted him with a Slingblade.

Hardy finally tagged in Orton as Benjamin tagged in at the same time. Randy planted Benjamin with a Powerslam and then tossed Miz out of the ring. Orton dropped Miz on the announce table and then got back in the ring for a Dropkick to Benjamin. Randy hit a DDT on both Miz and Benjamin while they were hung up on the second rope.

Orton planted Benjamin with an RKO and then tagged in Jeff. Hardy connected with a Swanton Bomb for the pinfall victory. After the match, Orton hit an RKO on Jeff Hardy out of nowhere. Jeff Hardy will defend the United States Championship against Randy Orton this Sunday at WWE Backlash.

4Xavier Woods Defeated Sheamus

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Sheamus and Cesaro bumped into New Day backstage at SmackDown. New Day poked fun at The Bar for failing to win back their RAW Tag Team Championship at Greatest Royal Rumble. The Bar stated that they could flatten the New Day like a few pancakes. “Mr. Bootyworth” showed up with a plate of pancakes.

New Day offered them up to The Bar to eat. Cesaro threw the plate of pancakes in the air and they fell all over the place. Sheamus wanted a fight tonight and Big E got in his face. Big E shouted that he was going to take him down. Sheamus said that he wasn’t talking to Big E and challenged Woods. Xavier said that “tonight your soul is mine” and accepted the match.

Sheamus battled Xavier Woods later on SmackDown. Woods started off the match in control and flipped onto Sheamus outside the ring. Cesaro had pancakes in his jacket and distracted Woods. Sheamus took advantage and kneed Woods in the face. SmackDown went to a break with Sheamus in control of the match.

When SmackDown returned, Sheamus planted Woods with an Irish Curse Backbreaker and then posed in the ring. Woods battled back with a couple of chops and followed it up with a knee to the side of the face. Sheamus charged at Xavier in the corner, but Woods got out of the way and Sheamus crashed into the ring post. Woods hit a Leg Drop for a two count and then made his way back up the turnbuckle. Sheamus knocked him down, but Woods connected with a Shining Wizard.

Woods went back to the top rope but Cesaro distracted him. Cesaro shoved Big E into the ring post but got dropped by Woods. Sheamus threw Woods into the barricade and brought him back into the ring. Woods rolled Sheamus up for the pinfall victory.

3Big Cass Beatdown “Daniel Bryan”

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Big Cass walked down to the ring with a ridiculous smile on his face.

The crowd booed as Big Cass said that he was from New York City. Cass noted that New Yorkers are not friendly to people from other cities and that people from New York are better than everyone. Cass shouted that he knows that he knows that he is better than everyone in the crowd and Daniel Bryan.

Big Cass poked fun of Daniel Bryan’s size and stated that a real WWE Superstar is 7 ft. tall and has super-strength. Big Cass said that it will not be a 5-star match at Backlash, he is going to defeat Bryan in 5 seconds. Cass noted that he doesn’t need time to prepare and then challenged Bryan to come down to the ring. It was announced earlier in the show that Bryan had not been medically cleared tonight because his chest was beat up at Greatest Royal Rumble and WWE feared that he might get an infection.

Daniel’s music hit and a little person wearing a wig and a beard came down to the ring as the crowd chanted “yes!”. Big Cass joked that Bryan looked taller tonight and bragged about eliminating Daniel during the Greatest Royal Rumble match. Mini-Bryan kicked Cass in the shin a couple of times as Cass continued to make fun of Bryan’s size.

Cass instructed Mini-Bryan to take a bow for all of his fans and then Cass booted him in the face. Big Cass unloaded a bunch of punches and then raised his fist in the air while walking around the ring. WWE officials came down to the ring as Cass smacked Mini-Bryan in the face. Big Cass then exited the ring with his fist in the air.

Opinion: It doesn’t get much lamer than this promo. The only thing that would have made this even dumber is if a tiny goat came down to the ring instead of a little person. I can’t blame Cass for this crappy promo. He did the best he could, but there really was nothing he could do to make this garbage writing work. The match between Bryan and Cass is still interesting, but I don’t think there was a worse way to promote the match leading into Backlash than what WWE did tonight.

2Nakamura Delivered Another Low-Blow To Styles

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WWE Champion AJ Styles joined Renee Young in the ring. Renee brought up Paige making the title match at Backlash a No DQ match and asked if that will help AJ retain his title. Styles said that he was out here trying to defend the gold, while it seems like Nakamura is more interested in the wrong jewels because of his obsession with giving him low-blows.

AJ said that he would not apologize to Nakamura for what he did to him at Greatest Royal Rumble. Styles claimed that Nakamura ruined WrestleMania for him and called Shinsuke a coward. AJ said that once he gets his hands on him, people are going to find pieces of Nakamura across New England.

Samoa Joe interrupted and came down to the entrance ramp with a microphone in his hand. Joe claimed Styles had lost focus on what is really dangerous around him. Joe said that the match Styles should be focused on is the one where he proves that Roman Reigns is a failure.

Joe told Styles that after he is finished with Reigns at Backlash, he is coming after the WWE Championship. Joe shouted “believe that!” to end the promo as the crowd chanted “Joe!”. Nakamura’s music hit and Joe was ready from him to come out from backstage. Nakamura crept up behind Styles in the ring and delivered another low-blow. Shinsuke started taunting Styles in the ring and then patted him on the head a couple of times.

Nakamura geared up in the corner and decked AJ with a Kinshasa. Nakamura laid down beside Styles and continued to mock him. Nakamura lifted AJ’s head up and taunted him some more before posing over him in the ring. Shinsuke lifted up the WWE Championship and then draped across Styles as he was still on the canvas.

Opinion: I really hope that the match between Nakamura and Styles delivers at Backlash this Sunday. Shinsuke is doing an excellent job as a heel and the crowd should be electric for Sunday’s match. Samoa Joe’s promo tonight was also very good. Every Joe promo is solid. I’m already looking forward to seeing Joe vs. Styles or Nakamura for the WWE Championship.

1Charlotte, Becky Lynch & Asuka Closed The Show With A Victory

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Charlotte, Becky Lynch & Asuka faced The IIconics & Carmella in a 6-woman tag match in the main event of this week’s SmackDown.

Charlotte wanted to start off the match with Carmella, but the SmackDown Women’s Champion tagged in Peyton Royce instead.

Becky then tagged in and connected with a Dropkick to Royce. Becky missed with a Leg Drop and Billie Kay tagged in. Lynch delivered a Clothesline for a two count. Asuka tagged in to a great reaction from the crowd. Asuka prevented Kay from reaching the corner and decked her with a Hip Attack.

Charlotte tagged in and the crowd shouted “woo!”. Billie Kay beatdown Charlotte a bit and then Carmella demanded to be tagged in. Charlotte knocked Carmella down and then connected with a Crossbody on the IIconics outside the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned. Peyton Royce had Becky Lynch in a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Carmella tagged in and Becky booted her in the face. Lynch threw Royce out of the ring as Carmella knocked Charlotte of the ring apron. Becky booted Carmella in the face and crawled towards Asuka in the corner. The IIconics dragged Asuka off the apron and slammed her into the steel steps.

Charlotte hopped up on the apron and tagged in as Carmella screamed out of fear. Charlotte connected with a bunch of chops and followed it up with a Belly to Back Suplex. Billie Kay distracted Charlotte on the top turnbuckle and Carmella capitalized by shoving her into the ring post.

Billie Kay tagged in as Royce decked Charlotte with a boot to the face. Billie threw Becky out of the ring as Royce tagged back into the match. Carmella tagged in and got pissed off that Charlotte kept kicking out. Carmella grabbed Flair by the hair and slammed her face off the mat. Peyton tagged back in and slapped Charlotte in the face. Royce applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as a promo for WWE Backlash aired.

Asuka tagged in and hit Royce with a Dropkick. Asuka knocked Carmella off the apron and connected with another kick to Peyton’s face. Asuka hit Carmella and Billie Kay with a Hip Attack that sent them flying off the ring apron. Royce connected with a knee to the face for a two count. Billie Kay jumped into the ring and kicked Asuka in the face. Becky leaped off the top rope and booted Billie in the face.

Carmella Superkicked Becky Lynch and then Charlotte Speared Carmella out of the ring. Charlotte followed it up with a Moonsault off the top rope onto Carmella outside the ring. Back in the ring, Asuka applied the Asuka Lock to Peyton Royce for the submission victory. SmackDown went off the air as Carmella clutched the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the entrance ramp as Charlotte stared at her from ringside.

Opinion: WWE Backlash has the potential to be a very good show on Sunday. The main event of tonight’s SmackDown was solid and the AJ Styles, Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura segment was the highlight of the show. The rest of tonight’s show was pretty forgettable.

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