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WWE SmackDown preview (May 14, 2020): Otis’ choice

WWE SmackDown returns tonight (May 14) from the... you guessed it... WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida! This is SmackDown’s fallout show for Money in the Bank.

The Headliner

Last Sunday, Otis of all people walked away from the “most unique Money in the Bank match ever” holding the men’s briefcase.

It was quite the shock because despite his charisma, he’s hasn’t been on the main roster for that long and has only been involved as a singles wrestler for a couple of months. It’s hard to imagine him cashing in the briefcase to win the Universal championship. It’s always possible, but smart money is on him not winning the title. So what else could happen?

He could cash in against the champion and lose. He could have to defend the briefcase and lose it to someone else. But there’s a third option I want to discuss.

There was rumor that Otis could use the briefcase to earn himself a tag title match for him and his Heavy Machinery partner Tucker. That’s not baseless speculation given the source is the man himself prior to winning the case. Let’s say right now that’s a really bad idea.

That’s not to say that they shouldn’t tell a story about his friendship with Tucker and the fate of their team given Otis is kind of a singles guy now. “Poor Tucker” was a common reaction after the big man won the case. Diving into what that means for them and the team, and whether Otis wants to still focus on their partnership while he’s got the possibility to win a major title and a girlfriend who’s occupying his time, makes sense.

It’s an angle they absolutely should explore. But it shouldn’t end with Otis forgoing a singles title shot for a tag team title shot. The reason being the tag titles are not booked strongly enough to warrant the briefcase.

There’s no doubt that the tag straps are an afterthought in WWE. It’s why a team like the Revival decided to leave money on the table and walk out the door. They knew tag team wrestling has a very low ceiling in WWE. So no matter the strength of the story going into this, we know it’s not going to elevate the tag titles. Even if Heavy Machinery uses Otis’ golden ticket to win the belts that everyone usually gets a turn holding, they’re still going to be a tag team in the WWE. It’ll still be a forgotten division and they’d have wasted the briefcase.

So again, definitely tell the story about what happens to Tucker when his best friend shoots to the top. But don’t waste the briefcase on the tag straps when you know how the company thinks about those props.

The Championship Scene:

Braun Strowman played some mind games on Fun House Bray Wyatt to retain his Universal championship last Sunday. No way is this feud over. Because the champ needs to face the Fiend first. The Fiend is the one who deals with the perceived slights that Bray experiences. No doubt last Sunday will need to be addressed.

I’m sure you’re not surprised, but Bayley is still your SmackDown Women’s champion. With Tamina done and the Money in the Bank winner automatically Raw Women’s champion, there’s no one obvious to face the champ. Bayley has run through the division. She’s defeated Lacey Evans. She’s defeated Naomi. She’s defeated Carmella. Even if they do want to get to Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, they need another challenger while they work towards that.

Sami Zayn has been stripped of his Intercontinental championship and tonight starts a tournament to crown a new one.

The New Day are still the SmackDown tag team champions. They won the fatal 4-way match, but they will likely need to face the Forgotten Sons two on two at some point.

The Women’s tag team champions were last seen on Monday Night Raw, losing to the IIconics. So it looks like the women’s tag belts will be on Raw for a bit.

Other things to keep an eye on:

- The NXT Women’s champion Charlotte will be on SmackDown. To do what? Who knows.

- We still don’t know who this mystery hacker is. But it’s still fun to speculate.

- It sounds like the Wild Card Rule is back. And surely you remember how great that was last time.

It’s Money in the Bank fallout! What will you be looking for when SmackDown returns at 8 PM ET on Fox?

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