Below is my recap of SmackDown Live (5.30.17) which took place from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Big Takeaway
WWE makes history as SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon announces a first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The New Day returns and challenged the Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
WWE SmackDown Live Recap
SmackDown Live opened with all five women in the Fatal-5-Way Elimination Match explaining why they will win and become the number one contender for the SmackDown Women’s title.
Kevin Owens Highlight Reel Segment with Shinsuke Nakamura, Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn
WWE United States Champion Kevin Owens was already in the ring for the Highlight Reel segment and explained Chris Jericho created the match but never won. Owens said he will win the match and become the “Face of the WWE” as the WWE Universe chanted for A.J. Styles. Owens introduced his guest Shinsuke Nakamura who did his full entrance which now includes pyro. Nakamura got a pretty good reaction as the fans sang his theme. Nakamura was about to speak but was interrupted by Corbin. The Lone Wolf showed highlights of him beating up Zayn.
Owens said Corbin shouldn’t brag because he’s been beating up Zayn for 15 years. Corbin called Owens Cartman. (Owens looked at his belly) Nakamura finally spoke and said he beat Owens last week and Zayn defeated Corbin twice. The heels ganged up on Nakmaura as Zayn made the save. Zayn said he’s not done with Corbin and is never done with Owens. Zayn challenged the heels to a tag team match.
- A good opening segment as Nakmaura got the loudest reaction.
Shinsuke Nakamura & Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin
The heels took advantage of Zayn as WWE went to a commercial break (Canadian feed doesn’t get the split screen picture-picture feed) Zayn delivered the Blue Thunder Bomb right after the break and went for the hot tag but Corbin delivered a cheap shot to Nakamura. Corbin continued the attack with a spine buster but Zayn recovered and delivered a clothsline.
Nakmaura got the hot tag and delivered kicks and a running knee in the corner to Owens as the WWE Universe chanted for Nakmaura. Corbin broke up the count as Zayn pushed Owens into Corbin. The heels yelled at each other as Corbin punched Owens, Zayn knocked Corbin out of the ring as Nakamura delivered the Kinshasa for the win. WWE Universe popped loud for the Kinshasa and finish.
- A pretty good match and the booking of Nakmaura on the main roster has been very good.
The announcers plugged the award-winning WWE Network and announced A.J. Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler for the main event.
The New Day Returns to SmackDown Live
The Usos said the fans look salty because they defeated American Alpha and Breezango (mild reaction from the crowd) Usos mentioned the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl (thunderous boos from the WWE Universe) New Day came out to a pretty good reaction. Xavier Woods said hi to his mom who was sitting ringside and is happy to be home. Kofi Kingston started swirling his hips as Big E glared at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles and said “we likes them, and we wants them” New Day said Shane McMahon made the match for Money in the Bank.
- Awesome segment as both the New Day and Usos were terrific on the microphone. Great to see the New Day on SmackDown Live.
Jinder Mahal Video Package
WWE showed a video package of Jinder Mahal celebrating his WWE Championship win and the media coverage it received in India.
Fashion Files: “The Men Who Knew Too Little”
This was shot in a black-and-white noir film. They followed Fandango along as he saw a silhouette of a woman who turned out to be Tyler Breeze. Their fashion files were destroyed as they looked for clues. They spotted a cologne bottle which led to match against The Colons on SmackDown Live. (This was fine and it’s good that WWE is still give Breeze and Fangango airtime because they are talented)
Fatal-5-Way Elimination Match: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Tamina — Number 1 Contenders Match.
The match never started as the “welcoming committee” jumped Becky and Charlotte before the match as the referees jumped in. Lynch tossed Carmella into the timekeeper’s area and delivered a running forearm. Tamina cleared the announcer’s table as Charlotte delivered a suplex to Natalya on the floor. Charlotte climbed to the top turnbuckle and delivered a pretty impressive moonsault to the floor. The brawl continued as Carmella nailed Charlotte with a crossbody, Lynch delivered an Exploder Suplex to Carmella, Tamina super kicked Lynch, Charlotte delivered a big boot to Tamina and Natalya delivered a clothsline to Charlotte. Charlotte tossed Natalya into the ring post and delivered a power bomb through the announcer’s table. WWE Universe chanted “Holy sh*t” Shane McMahon danced down the ramp and inside the ring as the WWE Universe cheered. Shane said that was amazing and announced a first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. (Huge Yes! chants from the WWE Universe)
- This was the best segment on the show and was just awesome to see. Everyone got the chance to shine and it’s awesome that the Women on SmackDown Live will get the chance to compete in ladder match.
Breezango def. The Colons
Breeze wore a dress and a wig to the ring. Fandango sprayed the Colons with water guns and then dropped Epico to the floor. Breeze got knocked off the apron as the Colons took control of Fandango during and after the break. Breeze reappeared in a janitors outfit and finally got the hot tag. Breeze ran wild and delivered an Unprettier to Primo for the win.
Backstage Segment: Renee Young interviewing A.J. Styles
Styles said he wanted to build momentum, will win the briefcase and become a two-time WWE Champion. Dolph Ziggler appeared and asked Styles if he wanted to fight now. Styles was ready but Ziggler walked away.
In-Ring Segment: Randy Orton Promo
Orton came out and reminded everyone who he was. Explained he defeated Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Orton explained his dad “Cowboy” Bob Orton appeared in the first WrestleMania. He said his grandfather would be upset that he lost to Mahal. Orton was done with his promo and went to pose but Mahal appeared on the screen and cut a heel promo on Orton as the WWE Universe booed loudly. The Singh Brothers clapped. The segment ended as Orton posed.
- Orton was very good on the mic and cut a great promo. Mahal was fine but his promos are getting a little too repetitive.
WWE announced Shinsuke Nakamura will face Kevin Owens next week on SmackDown Live in a non-title match. Rich Swann and Sasha Banks plugged 205 Live and Extreme Rules.
Dolph Ziggler def. A.J. Styles
Ziggler took control and tossed Styles into the post. Styles recovered and delivered the “Phenomenal Blitz” and a sliding forearm. Ziggler tried a cover with his feet on the ropes but the referee caught him. Styles delivered the Ushigoroshi for another two count. Styles teased a Styles Clash from the top turnbuckle but Ziggler countered with a jumping DDT.
Styles applied the Calf Crusher but Ziggler escaped by raking the eyes. Ziggler tossed Styles into the ropes and connected with a Zig Zag but Styles kicked out at two. Finish came with Styles attempting the Phenomenal Forearm but Ziggler crotched Styles on the ropes and delivered a super kick for the win.
- This lose didn’t hurt Styles at all but helped Ziggler who needs some momentum heading into the Money in the Bank ladder match.
This was a pretty good and enjoyable episode of SmackDown Live. The women’s brawl and announcement of the ladder match was the highlight of the show. The New Day brings freshness to the SmackDown tag division and Nakamura continues to shine.
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