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WWE SmackDown Live Recap & Reactions (May 30, 2017): By the book

The road to Money in The Bank continues with another middling affair.

Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown Live

SmackDown Live continued its build toward next month’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view last night (May 30, 2017) in Atlanta. For full results and the live blog from the exceptional Reverend Kain, click here.

Hometown curse

Dolph Ziggler pinned AJ Styles because WWE makes everyone lose in their hometown (or a relatively close city to their hometown).

It’s dumb. No one boos the heel, they just sit in disappointed silence. But WWE gonna WWE.

Match was quite fun, though, if not exactly consequential in storyline.


SmackDown’s Women’s Division was determined to find a number one contender for Naomi’s title in a Five-Way Elimination match. Unfortunately, the match never got started, as Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina all brawled before the referee could ever ring the bell. It was a pretty exciting brawl, suplexes on the outside, people flying around, Charlotte hitting a moonsault during a brawl (this felt bizarre in the middle of the fisticuffs), Charlotte powerbombing Natalya through the announce table.

They all laid dead when Commissioner Shane McMahon’s music hit. Shane, completely aware that all the women were dead on the outside, proceeded to do his regular entrance routine and very casually made his way into the ring. There was literally no reason he couldn’t have cut this promo from the entryway.

He made the announcement that in St. Louis next month there would be the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Naomi does not yet have a challenger for the show, so it’ll be interesting to see if someone new pops up to face her.

It’s a bit odd that all five were completely unable to stop fighting to have an actual match but then an hour later sat down and had a relatively civil discussion on Talking Smack. Though Becky was absolutely hilarious snarking in the corner.

Come to think of it, there should be a network show where wrestlers do a “Mystery Science Theater” gimmick for old pay-per-views. That sounds like great content. Ball is in your court, WWE.

On the case

Look, let’s be honest. A “Fashion Files” episode titled “The Men Who Knew Too Little,” cut in film noir style with Fandango in a trenchcoat and fedora and voicing his internal monologue, was always destined to work in a big way. Breezango’s recurring gimmick feels the most wonderfully quintessential bit of pro wrestling of anything on the main roster right now.

Combing the halls alone, Deputy Dango stumbled on a disturbance—their office had been ransacked by unknown parties. Interestingly, there appeared a woman in outline, and Dango pulled his trusty Water PPK:

“Freeze, dirtbag!”
“No. Breeze, dirtbag.”

Exquisite, this.

Again Tyler Breeze was undercover—or was he?—but the pair rapidly turned to solving their new caper. Fandango spotted a small bottle of cologne on the ground, and a taste (!) revealed Ethanol, tree frog excrement, and hibiscus.

Breezango quickly solved the mystery of the ransackers. A tag match was set for later in the night.

It took me far too long to get The Colons pun, though I’m not sure if it’s because I’m dense or just forgot The Colons were on the brand. Let’s be charitable and say the latter.

Anyway, the match they had was pretty solid and featured more costuming hijinks from Breeze, including the return of Carl the Janitor. Though shouldn’t using a water pistol be a disqualification? It’s a foreign object brought to the ring that grants the wrestler an advantage. Breezango won with an Unprettier from Breeze on Primo.

Elsewhere in the tag team division, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos claimed that after dispatching both American Alpha (cue Asuka’s “they work here?”) and Breezango, they reigned supreme on Tuesday nights...


HELL YEAH. The New Day finally made their official SmackDown Live debut in Xavier Woods’ hometown of Atlanta (good thing they didn’t have a match!).

The two tag teams bantered back and forth. Unsurprisingly, it was very entertaining as they’re all very engaging talkers. Finally Woods revealed that they had talked to Shane McMahon and gotten themselves a title match at Money in the Bank.

These two teams, in this feud, in these alignments, will be very fun to watch. It’s rather clear now that the tag team division is currently the best part of this show.

But this whole “I demand a title shot therefore I get one because of who I am” worked a whole lot better when it was someone of John Cena’s stature pulling the bit. We’re now at the point where it just seems foolish that literally every Superstar isn’t in Shane or Daniel’s office every week requesting a title opportunity.

It seems like “The Land of Opportunity” is just handing chances out willy-nilly these days.

Tried and ... true?

United States Champion Kevin Owens opened the show with an edition of the Highlight Reel, with special guest Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura was immediately interrupted by Baron Corbin, who called Owens “Cartman” (why are we making this a thing?) before eventually ganging up on Nakamura with the US Champion. Sami Zayn came out of nowhere to make the save (he’s really good at this whole “appearing from out of nowhere” business). There was a good bit when Zayn told Corbin that “this fight between you and I is far from over, and Kevin, you and I both know the fight between us is never over.”

This led to—you guessed it!—a tag team match. It was fun. Nakamura pinned Owens with a Kinshasa for the second week in a row. Now Nakamura and Owens will face off in a singles match next week.

As Geno noted in the Raw review, repetitive TV matches take the shine off what are ostensibly supposed to be the bigger moments on Sunday nights. When Nakamura first appeared on SmackDown Live, it seemed like he was going to be presented as a special attraction. Now he’s wrestling on TV every week and cutting in ring promos.

SmackDown of late has felt “Raw lite” and that’s a very bad thing. That’s not a judgment on Raw’s quality, it’s a statement on how the blue brand has strayed from its forged identity. At its height, SmackDown Live legitimately felt like serialized TV—you needed to watch every week because otherwise you would miss something important. Now, not so much. It has very much lost its aura of must-see TV.

So, so cookie-cutter. (And not even a good cookie like a Snickerdoodle or Macadamia Nut, but Oatmeal Raisin trash.)

The Viper speaks

Randy Orton responded to WWE Champion Jinder Mahal’s this week with a ... well, it was a pretty subdued address. Though it was a rather entertaining bit of meta commentary when Orton cut his own promo short to just say well this match is gonna happen, so why am I still talking anyway?

Mahal appeared on the tron to tell Randy that he was a symbol of a bygone era and that America is in decay.

/checks the news... story checks out. Jinder speaks the truth. The Singh Brothers then awkwardly clapped for The Maharaja’s promo for far too long.

Quick reminder here that Money in the Bank is in Orton’s hometown of St. Louis.

This show was very WWE.

What’s your favorite cookie?

Grade: 40

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