Date: May 16, 2017
Location: SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH
The Big Takeaway --
Jinder Mahal picked up his fourth straight win, this time over AJ Styles (with help from Kevin Owens). Mahal closed the show holding the WWE title up high after ambushing Randy Orton with the Singh Brothers.
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin was made official for Backlash. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev were not on the show.
Show Recap --
Big-ass fireworks display kicks things off. They played Kevin Owens’ music by mistake for a second before cutting back to the Smackdown theme.
Kevin Owens’ Highlight Reel
Owens introduced us to the new and improved Highlights Reel and proclaimed the original host of this show will never, ever be seen again. He replayed the footage of his attack on Chris Jericho and said the only list Jericho is on now is the injured list. Owens claimed he would beat AJ Styles at Backlash.
Owens was about to introduce his guest in French but was interrupted by Styles. JBL made a quip about Styles not being able to speak French and that he can barely speak English. What an idiot.
Styles couldn’t believe Owens would steal Jericho’s show. They had some spotlights on Styles which gave him a weird glow. They eventually fixed it, but that’s the second technical error already in the show. Anyway, Styles said he couldn’t speak French but announced in English that he would take the US Title back to the good ole USA. Styles wanted to do the match now but was interrupted by Jinder Mahal.
Mahal said he was supposed to be the guest on the Highlight Reel. Mahal quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said he would beat Styles tonight and Orton on Sunday. Owens said Styles would lose tonight and on Sunday. Styles jumped in the ring to go after Owens but Owens bailed. Styles said he would win at Backlash and welcomed Mahal into the ring for the AJ Styles’ Highlight Reel. The match is next.
Last week I thought Mahal had a cold but it’s possible he’s just not a good promo. He had no life in his voice at all. Perhaps he’s nervous.
Jinder Mahal defeated AJ Styles
Owens was on commentary and put over Mahal as a danger and a threat to Randy Orton’s title. Styles used his version of Yes kicks as the crowd chanted “USA.” The Singh brothers were about to interfere and the distraction allowed Mahal to hit a high knee for a two count.
Mahal had control after a break as the crowd chanted for Styles. Styles slipped out of a superplex attempt but Mahal cut him off with a kick to the face. Styles followed with a dropkick and came back with strikes, baseball slide and sliding forearm for two. Mahal cut him off again with a kick to the face for a nearfall.
Styles hit a Pele kick, clothesline and fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a nearfall. Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but the Singh brothers distracted the referee long enough for Owens to hit him in the leg with the US title belt. Mahal followed with a full nelson slam for the pinfall win. Average match that went about 16 minutes.
Lana is coming soon.
Fashion Files: Fashionable Intent
Fandango looked over some fashion felonies when Tyler Breeze walked in under disguise, dressed as a janitor. Fandango didn’t recognize him until Breeze revealed himself. Breeze had more fashion felonies, including one for Baron Corbin because he has three shirts and all three have wolves.
Breeze held up the Usos’ “Day One Ish” shirt, which Fandango read as “Day One is H,” and they weren’t sure what that meant. Breeze suddenly realized how good the Usos were and started freaking out so Fandango had to snap him out of it. Fandango said, “You’re a prince. Prince pretty. The prettiest of all the princes.” Awesome.
Breeze thanked him for that and Fandango said they would be wearing the tag titles on Sunday. They concluded with a freeze frame high five. The crowd was cheering when they turned the crowd noise back on. This was the best episode of the Fashion Files so far.
Backstage, Randy Orton told Renee Young that the people don’t like Mahal because he’s an ass, not because of all that stuff he said.
Breezango defeated The Colons
Fandango picked up the win for his team again this week with a Falcon Arrow. The Usos came out afterwards and cut another wild promo. Their response to the Fashion Files is The Uso Penitentiary. Jimmy and Jey said Breezango were going to trial at Backlash. “It’s not paranoia, it’s the Usos.” This might be the best build for a match at Backlash.
Shane McMahon introduced Natalya, Carmella, Tamina (and James Ellsworth). He did refer to them as the “welcoming committee” but the graphic for the team still just reads their individual names. Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi came out separately. Natalya called them pathetic and they would prove just who was the best there is, was and ever will be. Natalya, Tamina and Carmella all signed the contract.
Lynch said there was no chance she was joining their goon squad and she looked forward to slapping them all in the face at Backlash, including Ellsworth. Naomi told them to focus on their next hair appointments because she’s snatching them all bald, including Ellsworth. Charlotte said they had a problem with her since she debuted, but her team would solve their problem at Backlash. Charlotte then turned to Naomi and said she would take the title after that.
Ellsworth interrupted, claiming Lynch wanted to be with him but he had to throw cold water on her hot fire. He informed Charlotte she had no shot at him either because he was the prince to the princess of Staten Island. He then told Naomi that Carmella was coming for her title. Naomi grabbed Ellsworth but Carmella smashed her face against the table. Shane booked Naomi vs. Carmella.
Non-title match: Carmella (w/Natalya, Tamina & Ellsworth) defeated Women’s champion Naomi (w/Lynch & Charlotte)
Naomi was in control and went for the Rear View but Ellsworth pulled Carmella out of the ring. The referee tossed him from ringside and they went to commercial. Naomi was still in full control after the break. They traded kicks to the leg and Naomi got the better of that too. Carmella drew her outside though and “nailed” a superkick allowing her to take over.
Naomi came back with kicks, back elbows, and a jawbreaker. She went to the top but Natalya and Tamina distracted her, so the ref tossed them too. They headed up the ramp but turned back around to attack Charlotte and Lynch. The ref allowed the match to continue. Naomi hit Tamina with a dropkick but the distraction allowed Carmella to use a schoolboy for the win.
The New Day is coming.
Dolph Ziggler promo. Ziggler never understood the hype around Shinsuke Nakamura. He admitted to being ignorant when he called Nakamura a nobody, he just wanted to understand what people saw in him. He did some research and put together a clip of Nakamura’s accomplishments in WWE, which was just a blank screen reading “Footage Not Found.” Ziggler then played a video package of his own career highlights. Ziggler said none of his accomplishments will bring him more joy than spitting in the face of the people who turned on him and beating Nakamura before he even begins.
Elsewhere, Sami Zayn informed Dasha Fuentes he’s been granted a match against Baron Corbin at Backlash. Zayn wasn’t sure why Corbin targeted him but he figured it out. Corbin knows he can’t keep Zayn down and that’s a threat to his ego. Suddenly, Corbin leveled him from behind. Corbin and advised Zayn he should learn how to stay down, otherwise Corbin will put him down... permanently.
Naomi, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Erick Rowan, Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers will be on Talking Smack with Renee Young and Shane McMahon. TJP faces Austin Aries again on 205 Live.
Non-title match: WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated Baron Corbin
The announcers congratulated Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan on the birth of their daughter.
Orton started the match with a headlock. They traded counters leading to Orton attempting an RKO but Corbin pushed him off. Orton tossed Corbin outside but he jumped back in and nailed a clothesline. Commercial break.
Corbin worked him over for a while and the crowd chanted “Let’s go Randy.” It seemed like a small part of the crowd tried chanting, “Randy sucks,” but it didn’t pick up. Orton came back with a powerslam and draping DDT. Corbin blocked another RKO attempt and hit a Deep Six for a two count.
For the third time in the match, Corbin tried the spot where he gets dumped from the ring and runs right back in, but Orton saw it coming this time and nailed an RKO for the win. Good pop for the finish.
Jinder Mahal came out afterwards and cut another lifeless promo. The crowd screamed as the Singh Brothers jumped Orton from behind. Orton got the better of all three momentarily but Mahal jumped him from behind as he attempted a double draping DDT on the Singh Brothers. They put the boots to him and Mahal finished him off with a full nelson slam. Mahal posed with the title to end the show.
Final Thoughts --
Not much of a show again this week. The highlight was Fandango, Tyler Breeze and The Usos.
They have all the right pieces here for a good show, everyone just feels out of place. Mahal now has wins over Sami Zayn (twice), Randy Orton, and AJ Styles over the last five weeks. Zayn is 0-4 since joining Smackdown.