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WWE SmackDown Live recap & reactions (May 1, 2018): Backlash Bound


WWE SmackDown Live returned last night (May 1) from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You can find all the results at the good live blog here.

Cass is Despicable

But he’s also very good.

Daniel Bryan wasn’t in Montreal last night. The announcers told us he wasn’t medically cleared for the episode because of how beaten up his chest was. Any time something like this happens, I’m going to assume the worst given his history. They are still advertising his match with Cass for Backlash so that’s good. But I’m probably going to be worried a bit until the match happens.

Cass was tasked with adding to the feud on his own this week and he did a great job of it.

He walked to the ring and cut a promo about how he’s better than Daniel Bryan and everyone in the audience. (He added that being from New York was a reason he’s better, which the Montreal crowd hated.)

Then he called out Daniel Bryan, who we all knew wasn’t in the building, and got a little person dressed up like Daniel Bryan instead. This is always going to be somewhat tacky, but I appreciated the fact that Cass acknowledged the man was a local performer and this is his job.

The seven footer encouraged the man to take a bow for his home crowd. And when he was doing just that, Cass dropped his microphone and set up for a big boot. We could see the evil intention in his eyes, but he made us wait a moment for it, building it up before he kicked the man to the ground.

The crowd booed the hell out of Big Cass, so that’s a success right there. Without Bryan present, the big man did a fantastic job making me want to see him get his ass kicked by Bryan on Sunday.

Now I’m just going to hold my breath hoping that it really is Bryan’s chest that kept him off SmackDown this week.

Watch Your Six

AJ Styles was interviewed by Renee Young, asked to respond to Nakamura’s request for an apology due to AJ’s actions at the Greatest Royal Rumble. The champ didn’t apologize of course. Instead, he made it known he’s going to beat the hell out of Shinsuke on Sunday.

It wasn’t Nakamura who responded though. It was Samoa Joe.

The asskicker stood on the ramp and claimed that after he’s done with Roman Reigns, he’s coming for that WWE title, whether it be Shinsuke or Styles.

Then Shin’s music played and Joe turned around prepared for a fight. But Nak wasn’t there. Nah, he was in the process of low blowing AJ Styles yet again. And then he delivered a Kinshasa to the champion, leaving him laying yet again.

Both Raw and SmackDown were in weird spots having to promote interbrand matches that aren’t going to continue after that show. Joe’s match with Roman is a one time thing for now. So it’s wise to start teasing what can happen when the rosters finally settle in next week.

Non-random Six Woman Tag

The main event was a six woman tag between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, & Asuka and the IIconics & Carmella.

It’s probably instinct to roll your eyes at a six woman tag, and I understand that. But this wasn’t a random tag. These six women have had issues with each other for weeks now. The IIconics are the reason Charlotte lost the Women’s title to Carmella. Becky and Asuka found themselves on the losing end of a match against Peyton Royce & Billie Kay last week. So there were issues all around.

But more importantly, it was a really fun tag main event. The IIconics work very well as a heel tag team. If there are ever women’s tag belts, the IIconics should hold them for a long time.

Asuka picked up a win at the end after going ham on all three women on the other team.

It was all good fun. Charlotte will have her match with Carmella this Sunday. Next week, Becky takes on Mandy Rose of the former Absolution (Paige dissolved the group last night). And we’ll have to wait and see what is next for the Empress of Tomorrow.

You Are Now Watching MizTV

One of many benefits of having the Miz on your brand is he doesn’t just put over his own feuds. He’s there to help put over other people’s feuds as well.

This week on MizTV, he did just that.

The A Lister, wearing the finest garb, first banned Daniel Bryan from MizTV for no-showing him last week. Remember that Bryan was attacked by Big Cass prior to the show. But Miz doesn’t care. He banned him anyway. They’re slowly teasing this feud while these men take care of their Backlash business. I appreciate taking their time with a feud that could be a marquee match at SummerSlam.

Then he introduced his guest, Jeff Hardy. But his first question was asking the US champion if he thought the Miz was good enough to beat Seth Rollins on Sunday. (Hardy didn’t think so.)

Finally the Miz brought out Randy Orton as his surprise guest and tried to incite problems between both Orton and Hardy. He was unsuccessful. The Viper held no ill will towards Jeff for big leaguing him two weeks back. The A Lister tried to get Randy upset for the Charismatic Enigma costing him a win last week, but Orton wasn’t biting.

In one MizTV segment, they teased out the Bryan/Miz feud, reminded us of the Backlash match between Miz and Seth, and helped build up the US title match. That’s a productive segment.

Eventually, Shelton Benjamin inserted himself, claiming he’s owed a championship match since he beat Orton last week.

This turned into a Miz/Benjamin vs. Hardy/Orton match. The good guys won after Orton delivered an RKO on Shelton and then tagged Jeff in to deliver a Swanton.

After the match, Orton hit an RKO on Jeff. Which was the more surprising RKO? I’d say it’s the one he hit normally in the match. We never see that.

Woods Can Go, Big E is Lubed

Xavier Woods and Sheamus had a match last night set up with a backstage segment with the Bar making fun of New Day about pancakes... I think. Listen, Big E was lubing his chest up most of the time and I couldn’t really focus on anything else.

Their match was a very good TV match. We don’t get to see Woods work too often, but he’s become really good between the ropes. He picked up an upset win on the Celtic Warrior.

More Woods singles matches please!

This was a fun two hours of wrestling. Backlash is an odd show to book towards, finishing off feuds that were happening prior to the brand split. Luckily for SmackDown, only the Miz/Rollins match and Joe’s match with Roman is affected by that. The three title matches are all SmackDown only matches.

If you missed this show, you won’t be missing anything for Backlash. But it was pretty fun.

Also, Montreal ruled for a second night. Seriously, what a crowd.

Grade: B

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