WWE Smackdown LIVE!- May 9, 2017
by Scrooge McSuck
- Smackdown Live Episode #925 is TAPED from the 02 Arena in London, England. Tom Phillips, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and Byron Saxton are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. With this being taped from overseas, I'm not expecting an explosive two hours of action, and nothing is touching last week where they worked an injury angle to write Chris Jericho out of storylines for the foreseeable future.
- WWE Champion Randy Orton comes out to open the show. He didn't lose at Payback because of Bray Wyatt or that DAMN refrigerator, but because of Jinder Mahal. Mahal quickly interrupts, accompanied by the Singh Brothers. Mahal shows off promotional pictures he took with the WWE Championship before having to give it back to Shane McMahon last week. He says he will cleanse everyone's ignorance with his greatness. Kevin Owens interrupts Mahal before he can continue his promo in Punjabi. "No one cares about the House of Horrors or India." Owens makes sure to heel the crowd by saying no one cares for England, either. Last week he regained the US Title and ended the career of Chris Jericho. No more, Stupid Idiot, no more "Drink it in", no more List of Jericho. At Backlash, he plans on ending the career of A.J. Styles. Once that's done, he's coming after the WWE Title so he can become the Face of WWE™. Now it's Styles' turn to interrupt. He calls Owens delusional because this is Smackdown Live, the House That A.J. Styles Built™. Baron Corbin interrupts (WWE Superstars sure are rude) and before he can get his point across, Sami Zayn attacks from behind. We get a brief six-person brawl, with all the babyfaces standing tall. You'll never guess what this leads to, tonight… Six-Man Tag Team Match!
Becky Lynch (w/ Naomi & Charlotte Flair) vs. Natalya (w/ The Welcoming Committee):
Haven't seen this match enough. Last week, Becky decided to stand against the unlikely alliance of Natalya, Carmella, Ellsworth, and Tamina, and got a beat-down for it. Lockup and Becky quickly goes for the arm. Nattie bails, so Becky hits her with a baseball slide. Becky tries to follow her out, but gets swept off the apron and taken over with a suplex. Back inside, Natalya with a snap mare and basement dropkick. Becky fights out of an abdominal stretch (maybe Rotunda is the agent for the match). She hits Natalya with clotheslines and a jumping heel kick. Becky with the diving forearm and Exploder Suplex. Natalya meets an elbow in the corner. There's a distraction at ringside, with Naomi and Charlotte not seeing eye to eye, allowing Natalya to sweep Becky off the middle rope and covers for three at 3:06. *3/4 This had decent action before going to the finish (out of nowhere).
- Lana is still coming to Smackdown Live, we promise. It'll happen soon!
- Backstage, Charlotte is blaming Naomi for Becky's loss. They bicker until Becky interrupts. Naomi says she's going to rip her hair out if Charlotte touches her again. Charlotte retorts "What are you going to do, GLOW on me?" Well, there's no coming back from that sick burn. Becky tries to rally them against Natalya and her Merry Group of Buggers, and they're going to take them on in a Six-Women Tag Team Match at Backlash. I'm sure I used bugger out of context, but who cares, we won't have to worry about another European episode of Smackdown Live until next week.
- Episode #2 of The Fashion Files (Special London Unit), with Tyler Breeze and Fandango. Interesting choice to use comedy vignettes to hype a Tag Team Championship Match. This time around, we've got Fandango dressed in the classic Sherlock Holmes attire. Tyler Breeze is holding some case files, and one has a picture of the late Davey Boy Smith on it. "Cheerio!" "No thank you, I've already had my breakfast." They stumble across a puddle of paint, and it can only belong to one team: The Uggos. The Uggos haven't worn face-paint in months, but that's what they want them to think. Who really cares which is which? They come across a commotion, and discover that not only can Tyler NOT break down a door, but the yelling is just the Ascension getting hyped. Tyler: "I'm getting too old for this shirt (shows arm sleeves are too long)."
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan:
Hoss Battle! Did Harper get Dean Ambrose's left-over black tank tops and jeans? Seriously, I know you want to change from dirty wife beater to a black wife beater, but his attire is almost identical to Ambrose. Rowan pounds away in the corner and tosses Harper over the top rope. Rowan with a shoulder tackle. Harper catches him coming off the ropes with a double chop. They continue to trade offense until Harper sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Rowan with a standing spinning heel kick and splash for two. Harper counters a side headlock with a back suplex. Harper with thrusts to the throat and a somersault senton. Big boot gets a two count. Whip to the ropes and Harper with a sidewalk slam for two. Rowan with a modified uranage for two. The referee stops Rowan from using his mask, but that allows him to thumb the eye and finish Harper with a spinning Power-Slam at 4:18. Wow, Harper jobbed to ERICK ROWAN. Who's next, Aiden English? ** Two big guys trading moves with little resting. Can't ask for much more than that when it involves Erick Rowan.
- Dolph Ziggler comes out to finally confront THE ARTIST known as Shinsuke Nakamura. For f*ck's sake, does EVERYONE need a stupid marketing gimmick? Is King of Strong Style not enough, now we need something stupid, developed in house, to put on a shirt? Is he not marketable enough without being THE ARTIST? Sorry, I'm ranting again. Ziggler rants on the fans for singing along to Nakamura's music because that's what is expected of them. He makes fun of the nickname "The Artist", earning cool points with me. Shinsuke Nakamura comes out, and hell, you can just end the segment now if you want. Dolph tells him enough with the theatrics. Nakamura snatches the microphone from him and tells Dolph to shut up. If Dolph wants to see what he can do, get a referee, and he'll show him right now. They tease a match, but of course, that isn't going to happen. Dolph says they can fight on his terms, and he'll expose Nakamura as a fraud at Backlash. He tosses his jacket at him and attacks, but Nakamura fights him off.
- Backstage, Sami Zayn is trying to rally Randy Orton and A.J. Styles, and it's the same goofy promo he cut with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins that made him look like a total goober. He tries to strategize for their upcoming match, but Orton and Styles aren't having any of it. Good to see they're recycling material for both shows (see also: Alexa Bliss and her rise in the Women's Division).
- The New Day are coming to save the Smackdown Live Tag Team Division (SHOOT) because all the other teams are BOOTY (SHOOT PART DEUX!).
The Fashion Police vs. The Ascension:
(Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. Viktor & Konnor)
Seems like whenever the WWE does an episode of Raw or Smackdown from Europe, they feature Fandango on it to get the crowd to "Do the ‘Dango" as they say. Fandango and Konnor start. Lockup, Fandango with a side headlock. Crisscross and he hits Konnor with a body press for only a one count. Viktor with a hair pull from the apron, and Konnor follows up with a twisting elbow drop for two. Viktor in and he wastes no time grabbing a chin-lock. Breeze gets the tag out of nowhere and unloads with forearms. He knocks Konnor through the ropes with a Super-Model Kick, but Viktor uses him as a battering ram to knock Fandango off the apron. Breeze with a Super-Kick to the back of the knee, and Fandango comes off the top with the Last Dance (Alabama Jam) for three at 2:37. Short match to give The Fashion Po-Po some moment heading into Backlash. Post-match, The Usos FINALLY have had enough of their shenanigans. At Backlash, they're getting a beat-down, among other ways of saying they're going to get their butts kicked.
- Mojo Rawley is backstage with a few kids (covering all the key demographics) and telling them the briefest story of Andre the Giant before talking about himself as a child being bullied. He took what made him different to make him special, and without further delay, he's brought his Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy. Heck, maybe he was still talking about Andre after all, but it seemed like he segued into talking about himself.
- Rusev is upset because Shane McMahon hasn't responded to his demands for a Championship Match at Money in the Bank, so next week, Rusev is coming to Smackdown Live to get his answer.
Randy Orton, A.J. Styles, and Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers)
Main Event of the Night, and it's your typical lazy European Tour booking to cram everyone important into one match so they don't have to do anything to develop the storylines. Styles and Corbin start. Styles with kicks to the leg, but gets thrown into the corner. Corbin with his in-and-out before getting rocked by a dropkick. Zayn tags in, but Corbin opts to tag out to Mahal. Mahal with shoulders to the midsection. Zayn springboards overhead and takes Mahal over with a spinning head scissors. Orton with the tag, and now Mahal tags out to KO. Owens trash talks about being the Face of America. Orton goes for a quick RKO (out of nowhere), but KO bails as we take a break.
We come back with Corbin in control of Styles, pounding away in the corner. Whip across the ring, Styles avoids the charge, but can't get him down for the Calf-Crusher. Mahal with strikes and Styles comes back with a dropkick. Zayn gets taken into the corner and worked over by Owens. KO vs. Zayn: Round 4,512. They trade blows, with Zayn getting the upper hand. He unloads with mounted turnbuckle punches, but gets straddled across the top rope attempting a springboard. Zayn must be cut, because the referee has the latex gloves on. Corbin tosses Zayn to the floor, allowing Mahal to get some cheap shots in. Zayn with a shoulder to the midsection, but Corbin nails him with a forearm to cut off the comeback attempt. Mahal and Owens take turns applying a chin-lock. Owens with a senton for two.
We come back from another break, and Sami is STILL getting worked over. He trades blows with Corbin, but gets bulldozed into the corner. Corbin takes a shot at Orton for the hell of it. Zayn with a sunset flip and Corbin misses a punch while blocking it. Styles with the tag, and he runs wild on Corbin with a diving clothesline and sliding forearm for two. He teases a Styles Clash, but Corbin easily powers out. Styles gets him over in the Calf-Crusher, but Owens breaks it up. There's bodies everywhere and Sami hits all three opponents with a somersault tope suicida. Owens interrupts the Phenomenal Forearm to make Styles our next face-in-peril. Corbin with a big back drop for two. Mahal comes off the ropes with a jumping knee drop for two. Styles escapes a chin-lock, but runs into a high knee for another two count. Styles gets the knees up to block a senton and plants Owens before making the hot tag to Orton. He hits Mahal with clotheslines and a snap power-slam. Corbin runs in and takes a snap power-slam, and Orton catches Owens with the draping DDT. He sets up for the RKO, but Singh 2 and Singh 1 distract him. Zayn with the Blue Thunder Bomb to Mahal. Corbin with a Back Breaker Chokeslam to Sami. Pele Kick to Corbin. RKO to Owens. Mahal sneaks back in and the Cobra Clutch Slam finishes Orton at 13:54 (shown). *** Typical house show formula Main Event. You can tell it wasn't going to get to the next level, but the work from all involved was perfectly fine.
Final Thoughts: Just a throw-away episode of Smackdown Live, which is often the case when taped in Europe. They touched base on all the big storylines, but very little was done beyond "yeah, we're fighting at Backlash", besides the Women's segment and the interaction between the Usos and Fashion Police/Breezango. Other than the Main Event, the combined time of the other matches clocked in at under 10-minutes, and who is booking Erick Rowan to go over anyone?
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