0 out of 6
The May 22 Episode on SmackDown hit Fox’s airwaves with cards jam-packed the implications of the championship.
The NXT women’s champion, Charlotte Flair, fought with the women’s champion blue brand Bayley at the main event that night, but it was not the only high-stakes contest that night. Also in the evening lineup are as follows:
- Mixed Tag Team Match: Otis and Mandy Rose vs. Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville
- Intercontinental Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Intercontinental Tournament Quarterfinals: Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Who advances to the next competition when the blue brand tries to crown a new IC champion and which duo resolves their differences from the others when Mr. Money at the bank wants to continue with the latest list?
Find out with this week’s broadcast recap.
1 of 6
John Morrison and The Miz start the show this week with another edition of The Dirt Show, wasting time to bring up a universal champion Braun Strowman and how he was in their business a week ago.
The former tag team champion mocked Strowman for being replaced by a puppet at The Wyatt Family and took exception to Strowman accepting a universal title match against Goldberg at WrestleMania 36 without producing it.
Strowman interrupted the process, and after some commute, in which Miz warned The Monster Among Men that Bray Wyatt was not finished with him, Morrison was excited and inadvertently issued a challenge on behalf of his colleague that Strowman quickly accepted.
What can be just a promo in the ring that leads to a match is a little continuity to a good story line.
Miz, as he pointed out, had fought Wyatt before and had dealt with frightening mind games both he and his family. Issuing a warning to Strowman that Wyatt had not yet finished with him was a nice touch by WWE Creative ahead of their match.
Whether that leads to a retribution by Wyatt on Friday’s broadcast remains to be seen, but it’s nice to see the writing team tie up Superstar ‘similar issues with Wyatt together.
2 out of 6
Miz survived the initial attack by Strowman and took advantage of timely intervention from Morrison to gain an edge in a short time.
The universal champion pushed his way back into the match, bringing down Morrison with a hard right hand which made him fall from the apron and pinning Miz after running powerslam to take on extended squash.
Strowman defeated Miz.
And … this is more in line with what is expected from the cast of this character.
Strowman dominates, the former tag team champion looks like a fool, and Miz eats pinfall.
A nice change of pace? WWE let Strowman vs Wyatt breathe a little before rushing to rematch by ordering a handicap match that pits The Monster Among Men against Miz and Morrison at Backlash in June? Was the match very interesting?
Not really, but at least that leaves more time for Strowman and Wyatt to build towards a more significant and high level rematch.
3 out of 6
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura renewed their competition in the quarter-finals of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament on Friday night.
Before the match, Michael Cole dropped a bombshell on comments, announcing that Styles had been traded back to Smackdown in return for Superstars to be mentioned later.
Nakamura seized control of the match away from The Phenomenal One entering the break but Styles fought back and empowered him with clothesline hell to fall close. The artist answers with Driver Michinoku for two counts himself.
A knee ran by Nakamura resulting in a nearly fall. He tried Kinshasa but Styles replied. Nakamura responded by choking on a triangle. Styles escapes, drops his opponent and gives the Phenomenal Forearm to a hard-fought victory.
Beating Nakamura’s style
Without all the unnecessary overbooking and low blow that disrupts their 2018 series, this is a very fun match and one of the best Styles and Nakamura is under the WWE umbrella.
It was hard hit, physical and Nakamura reintroduced wrestlers to fans who were accustomed to him in the role of best friends. He is amazing here and really looks the same as Styles.
As for Styles, it’s nice to see him back on the Smackdown ring. Even though he has floated among previous brands, he has become synonymous with the blue brand, enjoying his greatest moments with SmackDown. Hopefully this list step benefits the player and the show.
Even though the idea of trade is salty because even Universal Strowman champions are not as valuable as The Phenomenal One, leaving the same value is impossible.
4 out of 6
Insisting Sasha Banks remained in the dressing room, Smackdown women’s champion Downley Bayley made her way to the ring for her match with NXT women’s champion Charlotte Flair hellbent proving that she was as good as The Queen.
He struggled early, ate the evil clothesline by the second generation of stars on the floor, then crashed into the barricade and onto the arena floor. “Sasha Banks, come out here so I can kick your two buttocks!” Flair exclaimed through Michael Cole’s headset as the event entered a commercial break.
Fighting back and forth continued after the deadline, with Bayley making use of Flair for a moment and pushing him into the ring apron. Bayley’s arrogance proved expensive when Flair interrupted his taunts and dealt a big blow.
The opportunistic Bayley recovered and surprised Flair on the middle rope. A knee ran in the corner following and the blue brand champion was getting ready to drop the elbow above the rope. Flair lifted his knees, turning things around.
Bayley was sent down with a series of meat and tried for Figure Four. Flair deflected it and sent its own flesh. His emotions got the best of him, and Bayley scored a victory with a rollup, holding the rope to increase leverage.
Bayley beats Flair
It was Bayley’s best match since the series with Flair last year.
It is competitive, physical and shows the arrogance of its character. It was almost costly, but Bayley could use the Flair family’s own tricks against him on his way to victory which would silence doubts about his ability to win without Banks by his side.
In addition, the results seem to indicate that the problem between the two is far from over. Considering the quality of this one, it’s not a bad thing. It will be interesting to see how creatively convinced the audience that Bayley needs a bank now.
5 out of 6
The final chapter in the disintegration relationship between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville was written in the Mixed Tag Team Match that pitted the Golden Goddess and Otis against The Pride Fighter and Dolph Ziggler.
Before the break, Ziggler sent Otis to the steel ring ladder. Mr. Money at the Bank urges Rose to return to the ring and fight for the team. He did, but found himself in a defensive position against Deville who was physically superior.
Rose eventually creates some separation and Deville tags Ziggler. Otis exploded in the match, defeating Ziggler and throwing it around like a ragdoll.
When Otis rolled, warning Deville to make a tag. When people fight on the edge of the ring, Deville gives his knees a big run to the back of his head to win.
Otis examined Rose after the bell, which allowed Ziggler to send a cheap superkick.
Deville and Ziggler defeated Otis and Rose
Deville continued to get the best from Rose, leading to an inevitable blowoff match between the two. Otis and Ziggler were mostly dressed here, hitting their special items but playing the second violin for women. And rightfully so.
Otis defeated Ziggler quite well. Their feud is almost exclusively based on their relationship with Rose and Deville at the moment, even though the Showoff superkick after the game shows WWE Creative hasn’t defeated it and the pay-per-view contest cannot be ruled out.
However, the heat and money in the final battle between Rose and Deville which, if handled properly, can be a truly high profile match on one of the upcoming WWE Network extravaganzas.
Kudos to the WWE writing team for keeping everything fresh, interesting, and involving the four with fans as far as they have throughout the program.
6 out of 6
Increased tension between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy culminated in the main event of the show, a place in the semifinals of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament at stake. Determined to turn Hardy’s dreams about the return of storybooks to nightmares, Celtic Soldiers fought on The Charismatic Enigma early and often.
Hardy fought back, pushing Sheamus to the announcement table, but suffered the same fate when the Irishman slammed him into the laps of Michael Cole and Corey Graves heading to the ad.
Sheamus overwhelmed Hardy when the comment team questioned how many rust rings proved to be detrimental in babyface’s quest for victory. Overconfidence makes Sheamus angry, when Hardy takes a gap and sends Whisper in the Wind to almost fall.
Sheamus regained control until the blind charge into the corner made him crash first-shoulder into the ring pole.
He recovered and arranged for Brogue Kick but Hardy looked down. Sheamus tried for White Noise but Hardy tried hard to win.
Hardy defeated Sheamus
Hardy’s match with Cesaro on the Money is better at the Kickoff Bank Show. In saying that, this feels like the first taste of a better fit to have, maybe on pay-per-view.
The end result was extraordinary, with Sheamus’ injured shoulder preventing him from holding the White Noise finisher, allowing Hardy to score. Everything that came before it was quite dense but lacked the energy you would expect from a match involving Hardy.
Next week, Charismatic Enigma fights Daniel Bryan in the tournament semifinals and as far as victory will be one step closer to the return of the sought-after magic, it makes sense for him to lose there and make another fight with Sheamus.
Especially with a Celtic Warrior who will almost certainly seek painful revenge.
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