This week's episode of SmackDown, coming from Kansas City, Missouri, aired on the USA Network on May 5, 2016. The WWE is building towards the Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV). For full results and the live blog, click here.
Put Some Respect on His Name
The show started with the Highlight Reel, hosted by Chris Jericho. Y2J spoke about attacking Dean Ambrose on RAW, stating that he is out of WWE and no one is sure when he will return. Jericho stated that the new era in the WWE is "his era" before introducing his guest for the show, Sami Zayn. Jericho started by claiming that Zayn is a sore loser for continuing to attack Kevin Owens and a dirty thief for posing with the Intercontinental title. He asked Zayn what kind of human being he is.
Zayn said that he thinks he is pretty good guy. He attacked Owens for slapping him after the match at Payback. Zayn stated that he will not allow anyone to treat him the way KO did. When he was about to explain posing with the Intercontinental Championship, the Miz and Maryse interrupted. Jericho objected to the interference but Miz had a message for Zayn. He said he is the only one who has earned the right to pose with his title. He called it his baby and told Zayn to never touch it. Zayn went on to touch it anyway.
Jericho tried to stir the pot to which Zayn told him that his jacket made him look like Christmas tree. Jericho got upset and stormed off. Miz told Zayn that he has no respect because he is one of the shiny new toys of the "new era". Miz has swam with the sharks in the WWE for years and demanded Zayn show him some respect. Zayn challenged Miz to a match, making sure to touch the IC title again. This lead to a non-title match between Zayn and the Miz after the commercial break.
The match started off pretty even with both men getting moments on offense. Miz took control when the action spilled outside, only to be caught off guard with a great moonsault from the barricade by Zayn. At that point, Kevin Owens walked out to the ring. KO took to commentary as Miz worked over Zayn in the match. Zayn was able to shift the momentum and got a near fall on a roll up. The action went outside the ring a second time, where Zayn and KO had a verbal confrontation. This led to KO attacking Zayn when the match moved back into the ring, resulting in a disqualification. KO and Miz worked together to beat up Zayn until Cesaro ran out and cleared the ring. Left alone in the ring with the IC belt, the Swiss Superman took the belt and celebrated with some fans in the crowd.
No one respects the Miz's standing as champion in this feud. No one.
The Phenomenal Six
AJ Styles ran into his buddies, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson backstage. Anderson pointed out that the old Styles would have not hesitated to fight dirty against Roman Reigns. Styles stated that he has beaten Reigns twice and he wants to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on his own terms, his own way. Gallows mentioned that Reigns does not seem to mind fighting dirty, as evidenced by putting Styles through an announce table on RAW. Gallows and Anderson encouraged Styles to get "extreme" with Reigns. Styles said that he hears his friends but he wants to talk to Reigns face to face before Gallows and Anderson take on the Usos later on the show.
The WWE WHC was backstage talking to the Usos when Styles entered. He said that he took the high road Monday but it will be different next time. Styles wanted to know if Reigns would get involved in the Usos match against Gallows and Anderson. Reigns stated that he is the Champ, the Usos are his family, and he does whatever he wants. Styles replied, "I'll see you out there" before making his exit.
The scheduled main event for the show was Anderson and Gallows versus the Usos. Styles and Reigns accompanied their respective friends/family to the ring for the match, both conspicuously wearing their ring gear. The match started off with the Usos in control, teaming up against Anderson. Anderson sent Jimmy out of the ring. Reigns went over to check on his cousin and Anderson kicked Reigns' head. Upset, Reigns rushed into the ring and an all out brawl between all six men started. About a dozen officials ran out to calm the situation down.
Styles got a microphone and said they are going to finish what they started, challenging the Usos and Reigns to a six man tag match. When the show came back from commercial, the six man match was on. Styles and Reigns started the match. Reigns had control of the match until a tag was made to Anderson, who worked Reigns over for a bit but Reigns took control again and the Samoans triple teamed him and got a near fall.
Gallows got tagged in and used his size to gain the advantage on Jimmy, grounded him with a boot on the rope to send him outside the ring. Styles' team began to work over Jimmy in their corner. A mistake on Styles' part led to Reigns getting the tag back in and he took out Anderson, while getting a shot in on Styles as well. Gallows is taken out with a Superman Punch. The match breaks down. Styles took out Reigns for Anderson but he could not get a pin fall. Reigns hit a spear out of nowhere on Anderson to win the match for his team.
After the match, the Champ and the Challenger stare each other down. This is far from over for all six men.
- The Vaudevillians versus The Social Outcasts: VV got an in-video promo, discussing taking on New Day for the Tag Team Championship at Extreme Rules. The duo took on Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas and got the win in a showcase match. After the win, Big Cass came down to the ring and threatened to give both a royal beat down. He got into the ring and took out both Simon Gotch and Aiden English. Axel got up to celebrate with Big Cass in the aftermath and ate an East River Crossing for his troubles.
- Natalya and Becky Lynch versus Charlotte and Emma: This was a good match. Charlotte and Emma worked well as the vicious heel team that beat down Nattie for most of the match. Becky came in with fire and was also snubbed out by Charlotte and Emma's heel team work. These two ladies fit as a team. It really is a shame there's no room for a women's tag division in the company. Natalya got the hot tag. She had Charlotte in the Sharpshooter when Emma got a tag in. Becky took out Charlotte and made sure Ric could not interfere as Nattie got the win by making Emma submit to the Sharpshooter.
- Make Darren Young Great Again: BOB BACKLUND IS DARREN YOUNG'S LIFE COACH! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT: BOB BACKLUND IS DARREN YOUNG'S LIFE COACH!
- Rusev versus Zack Ryder: Rusev crush. After the match, Kalisto came out and did a hit and run style attack before posing with the belt on the ramp.
- Goldust/Fandango/Tyler Breeze/R-Truth segment: This is one of the longer angles running with the company and I suspect there is no real point or payoff. So, expect this to continue . . . forever. I expect the Social Outcasts to be included eventually.
This show focused primarily on the two main angles surrounding the WWE WHC and IC titles. I was not a fan of Zayn's attitude during the Highlight Reel. It did not seem likable to me. Styles is still straddling the line with his dealings with Gallows or Anderson but there's only so long that can be dragged out. My only big problem with the show is I wish the ladies would get more promo time, specifically Emma and Becky Lynch. The Darren Young stuff could either go really well or so terrible that it's actually great.
The main event angle was great. That brawl seemed chaotic. I am loving Styles versus Reigns more and more. As long as they can keep the momentum, I have no problem with these guys building a rivalry here.
Rating: 8 out of 10
That is all for this week, Cagesiders! What are your thoughts on the show? Be sure to FEED ME MORE opinions in the comment section!