SmackDown airs tonight (May 14) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the go home episode for the upcoming WrestleMania Backlash event that’s taking place on May 16.
Jimmy Uso is the most interesting man in WWE
The biggest angle coming out of last week’s episode of SmackDown was the return of Jimmy Uso, who defiantly stood up to Roman Reigns and refused to acknowledge him. On the eve of WrestleMania Backlash, this family tension comes at the perfect time for Cesaro to gain an advantage over Roman heading into their Universal championship match at the pay-per-view.
Two things about Jimmy were clearly established last week - he’s not Roman’s bitch, and he will protect his brother Jey. If Reigns is determined to get Jimmy to fall in line, he may have to exploit the latter trait in order to change the former and force subservience upon Jimmy.
But Jimmy’s actions aren’t necessarily easy to predict. He directly stated last week that if the roles were reversed at Hell in a Cell 2020, he wouldn’t have said “I Quit” in order to save Jey.
Something feels different about the way that Jimmy is standing up to Roman. Perhaps Roman will still find a way to get Jimmy to crack and get with the program, but Jimmy is enough of a wild card here that there are multiple paths this story can follow. That makes Jimmy Uso the most interesting man in WWE.
The title scene
Tonight’s card features Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defending the Women’s tag team titles against Tamina & Natalya. It feels like the challengers are actually the favorites here, and that we are long overdue for a title change. Most people expected this title change to occur at WrestleMania 37. Reginald missed that event, but his distracting presence could very well serve as the downfall of the champs on SmackDown. Hopefully Shayna Baszler’s leg has recovered from whatever voodoo was applied to it by Alexa Bliss and Lilly earlier this week.
Bayley used Bianca Belair’s earring to gain an advantage last week over the SmackDown women’s champion and drop her in the ring. Bayley still has not wrestled in a singles match or earned a victory since February, so she could use a tune-up match tonight to remind everyone of how dangerous she is between the ropes, and that she’s more than just a loud-mouth talk show host.
Dolph Ziggler was humiliated by Dominik Mysterio last week after talking a whole lot of trash. The Mysterios are getting a SmackDown tag team championship match at WrestleMania Backlash, so there’s a good chance that the Dirty Dawgs will make up for last week and have the last laugh before their pay-per-view showdown.
The Intercontinental championship scene is wide open right now. There’s certainly room on the WrestleMania Backlash card for Apollo Crews to defend his gold, but it’s unknown how his challenger might be selected. Could it be another rematch for Big E? How about a four way match with Big E, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens? Will King Corbin be rewarded for pinning Shinsuke Nakamura in a 10 man tag match last week that included all of these wrestlers?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Mia Yim’s name popped up in the rumor mill last week. It sounds like there were tentative plans in place for her to debut on SmackDown and start a feud with Carmella. We’ll all be waiting to see how WWE handles Yim’s name and look for a reboot on SmackDown; this is the perfect time for her to abandon that stupid RECKONING gimmick.
- Does Sonya Deville have any tricks up her sleeve for putting Adam Pearce in his place tonight?
Two days until WrestleMania Backlash!
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?