WWE SmackDown Live on May 16, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on a one-month delay
SNHU Arena – Manchester, NH
Kevin Owens starts the show with a new and improved Highlight Reel hosted by him, the new face of America. He’s the new host because the original host will never, ever, be seen again and we see a recap video of Chris Jericho’s loss on SmackDown Live two weeks ago, which put him on the injured list. #1 Contender for the US Title, AJ Styles interrupts, then apologizes for interrupting and tries to start a match before Sunday but Jinder Mahal walks out since he was supposed to be the guest on the Highlight Reel. A highlight from last week showing Jinder pinning Randy Orton is played and demonstrate what he is going to do this Sunday at BackLash and we get more USA vs. World play between Jinder, Styles, and Owens.
Eventually, we get AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal into the ring for the clash of the contenders as the commentary team has dubbed this match. “AJ Styles” chants start quietly in the beginning of the bout while Kevin Owens says that Jinder Mahal has proven again that SmackDown Live is the land of opportunity and both he and Jinder are walking out with titles on Sunday. Midway through an acceptable opening match, we get quiet “USA” and more “AJ Styles” chants. The match ends when one of the Singh Brothers interferes and cost Styles the match, if this match were to be an indication of Jinder Mahal’s energy level at Backlash this Sunday against Randy Orton then we’re in for a bad time, folks.
Another new teaser for Lana’s upcoming in-ring return is played before another Fashion File video.
Randy Orton is walking backstage when Renee asks if Jinder is correct in what he is saying is wrong with the WWE Universe and Orton says the WWE Universe doesn’t like Jinder because he is an ass.
Team Breezango makes their entrance before a commercial break and when we return from break the match is already in progress with The Colons dominating the match. Fandango gets the hot tag and lights it up with some fast offense before getting the pin interrupted, he gets the win with a falcon arrow eventually. After the when The Usos come out and welcome Breezango to the Uso Penitentiary.
Shane McMahon comes out to the ring to commence the contract signing for the women’s 6-person tag for this Sunday’s Backlash by introducing everyone to the ring. Natalya makes sure to get a dig at Charlotte by declaring herself the best there ever will be and the rest of the Welcoming Committee signs the contract. Becky Lynch grabs the mic and says she can’t wait to slap all of their faces, Naomi promises to snatch them bald, and Charlotte reminds Naomi that she still wants her championship. James Ellsworth grabs the mic and tells everyone on the face team that they have no chance in hell and specifically tells Naomi that Carmella is coming for her championship, Naomi grabs Ellsworth by the collar making Carmella run in and slam Naomi’s head into the table. Naomi tries to jump back in but gets held back and Shane makes an official match between Naomi and Carmella right now.
Carmella keeps running to the ropes to avoid Naomi with rope breaks, Naomi hits Carmella with a Thesz press and an elbow in the corner. After a couple minutes of back and forth action James Ellsworth gets kicked out from ringside, I don’t know how much that’s going to help keep the match clean since the rest of the division is still ringside. We get some nice kicks from Naomi, something Naomi should integrate more into her move set, and some more heel tactics from Carmella. The rest of the Welcoming Committee eventually gets kicked from ringside but they rush back to attack Becky Lynch and Charlotte, Naomi stops to help her teammates but Carmella rolls her up while her back is turned and picks up the win for the baddies.
Dolph Ziggler talks more about Shinsuke Nakamura being a phony and tries to show highlights of Nakamura’s wrestling but he can’t find any because he hasn’t wrestled a match yet and talks about the hypocrites more.
Sami Zayn is interviewed backstage and says that he has asked and has been granted a match at Backlash against Baron Corbin, Sami is going to hurt his ego by beating him and gets attacked by Baron Corbin. Corbin tells Sami that he needs to stay down or otherwise he’ll get beaten down.
Baron Corbin starts out the match dominating Orton but eventually Orton is able to come back and starts beating down Corbin, Corbin then slips in and out of the ring and lays out Orton with a clothesline. This match is a boring TV match, nothing much is happening on this go-home match and it ends when Randy Orton hits an RKO as the pops the crowd huge. After Orton’s hand is raised Jinder comes out and starts talking so the Singh Brothers can attack a distracted Orton. Orton is able to fight off everyone for a second before the odds against him prove too much and he gets beaten down and Jinder poses with the WWE World Championship belt one more time.
WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE ON MAY 16, 2017
Sub Par - 4/10
Another mediocre episode of SmackDown Live has graced our television screens, besides the contract signing there were no real indications that this was a go-home show. SmackDown Live has lost almost everything that made it stand out against RAW and it has become almost a chore to watch with Wonderbread bland Orton and wooden board Charlotte taking lead of their respective divisions.