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WWE SmackDown Recap & Reaction (5/23)

SmackDown Live

SmackDown opened up with Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers arriving with a police escort. The Singh Brothers once again rolled out a rug next to Mahal’s limo. Mahal got out of the limo and grinned with the WWE Championship.

SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon came down to the ring. Shane announced that Randy Orton will get his rematch at Money in the Bank in four weeks. Shane then introduced the five participants in the SmackDown MITB ladder match. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler came down to the ring. Kevin Owens came down to the entrance with a microphone.

Shane McMahon said that Owens was not in the match. Shane then introduced Shinsuke Nakamura as the first participant in the MITB ladder match. Nakamura danced by Owens and made his way to the ring. Owens interrupted and complained about AJ Styles being in the ladder match. Owens said that he defeated Styles at Backlash and should be in the match instead.

Owens accused Shane McMahon of playing favorites. Shane McMahon gave in and added Kevin Owens to the match. Baron Corbin told Owens to shut up and then guaranteed that he would win the MITB ladder match. AJ Styles called Kevin Owens WWE’s version of Eric Cartman from South Park. Styles stated that he would be the one to win the match.

Sami Zayn interrupted and stated that he didn’t come to SmackDown to watch AJ Styles take victory laps. Baron Corbin then said that Sami Zayn was the “Rudy” of the WWE. Sami Zayn and Corbin were about to fight but Kevin Owens yelled at them to both shut up. Nakamura then interrupted and referred to himself as “Mr. Money in the Bank”.

Shane McMahon then announced two matches for later tonight. Baron Corbin will face Sami Zayn in a Backlash rematch. Kevin Owens & Dolph Ziggler will face AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura in the main-event.

Reaction: This promo was full of lame jokes and was corny as hell. However, it will be difficult not to see Eric Cartman when looking at Kevin Owens from now on. The Money in the Bank ladder match is looking good. Is it too much to ask for Baron Corbin to just act like he does on Talking Smack while on SmackDown? The lines that are written for him are horrific and it looks like he is nervous while giving promos.

Natalya & Carmella vs Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair

Becky Lynch and Charlotte controlled the match early and SmackDown quickly went to a commercial break. SmackDown still aired the match in picture-in-picture while the commercials were on. Natalya and Carmella captured momentum in the match by isolating Becky Lynch. When SmackDown returned from the commercial break, Carmella and Natalya were stomping on Becky in the corner.

Becky finally was able to tag in Charlotte and she connected with a big boot to Natalya for a two count. Natalya connected with a German Suplex to Charlotte. Charlotte tagged in Becky Lynch and Lynch hit Natalya with a Dropkick off the top rope. Natalya then tagged in Carmella and Becky Lynch immediately went for the Dis-Arm-Her. James Ellsworth hopped up on the ring apron but Naomi dragged him down. Lynch then locked in the Dis-Arm-Her on Carmella for the submission victory.

Winners: Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair

Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin

Corbin launched Sami Zayn across the ring to start off the match. Zayn rolled up Corbin for the quick victory. Corbin then lost his mind and attacked Zayn after the match. Corbin threw Zayn out of the ring and beat him down on the announce table. Corbin then threw Zayn into the timekeeper’s area and grabbed a steel chair. Corbin then hit Sami in the back with a chair and beat him down in the crowd. Corbin then lifted Zayn onto his shoulders and dropped him on a railing. A stretcher was then brought out for Sami Zayn and SmackDown went to a commercial break.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles were talking backstage. Styles told Shinsuke to follow his lead tonight. Shinsuke stated that tonight they were a team, but at MITB he is going to turn the house that AJ Styles built into his playground. Shinsuke Nakamura then giggled and walked away.

Shane McMahon was a guest on the Fashion Files. Breezango turned in their badges and squirt guns to Shane McMahon. Shane told Breezango that they have already proven that they belonged on SmackDown. Shane then said that Tyler Breeze will face Jey Uso and Fandango will face Jimmy Uso later tonight. Breezango then said that they were “back on the case” and grabbed their badges. Fandango grabbed a donut before exiting.

A drummer and dancers performed before Jinder Mahal was introduced. Mahal walked down the entrance ramp with gigantic smile on his face as people danced around him. Jinder and the Singh Brothers finally got in the ring and the dancers surrounded it. The music eventually stopped and everyone booed as Mahal stood in the ring. Mahal bragged about 1.3 billion in India are celebrating that he is WWE Champion.

Jinder said that Randy Orton on the decline just like America. Mahal declared himself as the greatest WWE Champion of all time. Mahal raised the title and said that he is not going to allow the crowd to hijack his celebration. Mahal then spoke in Punjabi as the crowd chanted “USA!”. Mahal then stood on the turnbuckle and raised the title as fireworks went off above the ring and on the entrance ramp.

Reaction: I enjoyed this promo. Jinder Mahal must be sick or something because this is the second week in a row that his voice has been cracking. We learned earlier in the night that Orton will face Mahal at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship. Hopefully, the build to their rematch will be better than the build to their match at Backlash. I will say that I’m not a fan of the stereotypical feud this has become. It just comes off as unoriginal and feels like Mahal is desperately trying to get the crowd to chant “USA!”.

Fortunately for Orton, MITB will take place in his hometown of St.Louis, Missouri. Orton will get a better reaction with that crowd than he does with most. I simply do not want to watch another Randy Orton title reign, so it is pretty difficult to get invested in this feud.

Tyler Breeze vs Jey Uso

Fandango squirted Jey Uso with a squirt gun before the match started. The bell rang and Tyler Breeze immediately rolled up Jey for the victory.

Winner: Tyler Breeze

Fandango vs Jimmy Uso

Jimmy slapped Fandango in the face right when the match started. Breeze put on a wig and Jey Uso started chasing him around the ring. Breeze tried to roll in the ring and Jimmy Uso removed the wig from his head. Fandango then rolled up Jimmy Uso for the victory.

Winner: Fandango

Breezango then cut a promo after the match and asked for a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The Usos accepted the challenge.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs Breezango

Breeze got beatdown early but managed to tag in Fandango. Fandango connected with a kick and knocked Jey to the mat. Fandango hit a DDT for a two count. Jey threw Fandango into the ring post and tagged in Jimmy. The Usos then hit a double Superkick onto Breeze and Fandango. Jimmy went for a Splash but Fandango got his knees up and rolled Jimmy up for a two count. Jimmy Uso tagged himself in and Fandango didn’t notice it. Fandango then hit the Last Dance off the top rope onto Jey. Jimmy then hit a Splash off the top rope and pinned Fandango.

Winners & Still SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos

Reaction: I was entertained by this feud before squirt guns and wigs made an appearance. I’d rather see The Usos as SmackDown Tag Team Champions than Breezango running around with squirt guns. Their match at Backlash was ridiculous and tonight’s matches were just dumb in my opinion.

Natalya asked Shane McMahon for a shot at the SmackDown Women’s Championship. James Ellsworth, Carmella and Becky Lynch interrupted. Carmella and Becky Lynch both wanted a shot at the title. Tamina then interrupted and said that she wanted a shot at the title. Charlotte then joined the party and asked for a shot at the title. Shane McMahon announced that next week there will be a Fatal 5-Way to determine the #1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Carmella, Tamina and Becky Lynch will compete in that match.

AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Dolph Ziggler

Styles and Ziggler started off the match. Ziggler went for a Dropkick and missed. AJ then hit a Dropkick of his own and knocked Ziggler to the mat. Shinsuke Nakamura entered the match and Ziggler immediately tagged in Owens. Owens taunted both Styles and Nakamura. Shinsuke heard enough and knocked Owens to the mat. Owens then rolled out of the ring and SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Shinsuke Nakamura was in control of the match and stomped on Owens in the corner. Owens fought back and knocked Nakamura to the mat. Owens taunted Nakamura as he connected with several right hands to Shinsuke’s face. Ziggler was then tagged in and continued to beatdown Nakamura. Ziggler hit a Neckbreaker for a one count.

Dolph then applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as Styles pleaded for a tag on the ring apron. Nakamura battled to his feet but Ziggler grabbed his hair and slammed Nakamura down to the mat. Kevin Owens then got back into the match and posed right in front of AJ Styles. Owens shoved his foot in Nakamura’s face and then followed it up with a chop. Owens then applied a Chin Lock to Shinsuke and started shouting at Styles.

Nakamura finally battled out of the hold but was immediately knocked back down to the mat. Owens bowed in the ring and tagged in Dolph Ziggler. Nakamura connected with a few punches and went for a tag but Ziggler brought him back to the corner. Owens was tagged back in and knocked Styles off the ring apron. Owens then hit a Cannonball for a two count and SmackDown went to a commercial break.

Nakamura was still trapped in the ring when SmackDown returned. Ziggler connected with a Dropkick for a two count and then tagged in Kevin Owens. Owens hit a Senton for a two count and tagged in Ziggler again. Owens told Ziggler to finish him off and get his revenge for the loss at Backlash. Ziggler charged at Nakamura in the corner but Shinsuke got out of the way and Dolph slammed into the ring post.

AJ Styles was finally tagged in and he immediately hit Ziggler with a Clothesline. AJ then punched Owens in the face and knocked him of the ring apron. Styles hit a Neckbreaker on Ziggler for a two count. AJ went for the Styles Clash but Owens rolled into the ring and distracted him. Ziggler then threw Styles out of the ring and tagged in Owens. Kevin Owens hit Styles with a Senton outside the ring and slammed him into the ring apron.

Owens propped Styles up on the ring apron and connected with a knee to his back that knocked Styles to the floor. Owens brought AJ back in the ring and once again applied a Chin Lock. AJ battled to his feet and punched Owens in the midsection. Styles charged at Owens but Owens hit a Back Body Drop and followed it up by stomping on AJ’s chest.

Ziggler was then tagged in and headbutted Styles in the corner. AJ was then perched up on the top turnbuckle and Ziggler joined him up there. Styles punched Ziggler but Dolph connected with a right hand of his own. Ziggler went for a Superplex but AJ fought out of it. AJ then hit Facebuster and both Superstars fell to the mat. AJ crawled to the corner and tagged in Nakamura. Ziggler tagged in Owens and Nakamura kicked him in the face a couple of times.

Nakamura set up Owens across the top rope and connected with a knee to the midsection for a two count. Shinsuke connected with a kick to Owen’s head and went for a pinfall but Ziggler broke it up. Nakamura hit Ziggler with an Exploder Suplex. AJ hit Owens with a Pele Kick. Ziggler hit Styles with a Superkick. Nakamura kicked Ziggler in the face. Nakamura then hit Owens with a Kinshasa for the victory. AJ Styles and Nakamura celebrated in the ring after the match and pointed to the MITB briefcase suspended above the ring.

Winners: AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura

Reaction:  The low points of the show were The Usos/Breezango matches and Baron Corbin’s promo. Overall, SmackDown was decent tonight. The main-event was very entertaining and Shinsuke Nakamura had an impressive in-ring debut on SmackDown. I also think Money in the Bank is shaping up to be an interesting PPV.

What did you think of this week’s episode of SmackDown? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  • Solid

    They could have done something with Elephants or Tigers something Indian related, but you’re right it’d just end up being something isis related or similar. 😀

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I really love the change Jinders as WWE champion is a good change. It really makes Smackdown a land of opportunity.

  • Kristopher Robinson

    I guess, what do you think they should have done? I’ve never seen Jinder other any type of symbol. And something to do with his character would probably be terrorist AF lol

  • Solid

    I love how Jinders’ plates on the WWE title only have his name on them, shows even they probably didn’t know ahead of time he was getting the belt.