WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 8

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMay 9, 2018

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 8

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE SmackDown zeroed in on Money in the Bank and in-ring action Tuesday in Baltimore.

    The blue brand didn't dwell on Sunday's awful Backlash pay-per-view. Instead, the Superstars spent much of the night fighting for spots in the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder matches.

    The Miz, Charlotte Flair and Rusev all qualified for that PPV's signature contest.

    The stakes were clear. The action was solid. The Money in the Bank field began to take shape. All in all, Team Blue's trip to Baltimore was a success.

    Read on for a full breakdown of the post-Backlash edition of SmackDown.

The Miz vs. Jeff Hardy (Money in the Bank Qualifier)

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    General manager Paige reflected on the Backlash PPV, revving up the fans in the process. She discussed the WWE Championship match and said fans would hear from both AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura later in the night.

    The GM moved on to Money in the Bank, hyping the event's two ladder matches.

    Jeff Hardy and The Miz soon entered and went to battle. The United States champ had his foe reeling early with superior technical wrestling.

    The Miz, though, was able to strike his way back into the match.

    The wrestlers began to trade big blows in and out of the ring. Hardy had victory in his grasp as he fired off his signature moves. When he hit the Swanton Bomb, The Miz was able to use Hardy's momentum against him and get the three-count.

         

    Result

    The Miz wins via pinfall to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I need the best that SmackDown Live has to offer."—Paige.
    • Hardy leaps off the ring steps and crashes into The Miz against the security barricade.
    • Corey Graves calls Hardy "Captain Unicorn Arms."
    • The Miz hits Hardy with a neckbreaker on the ring apron.
    • The Miz reverses the Swanton Bomb into a pin.

         

    Grade

    B-

         

    Analysis

    Hardy looked especially slow here. Still, this was a lengthy, hard-fought match that had some good bursts of action.

    The Miz was the right choice for the ladder match. Hardy can focus on the U.S. title while The A-Lister takes his rightful place in the WWE title picture. His craftiness is going to make for an interesting element to the upcoming bout.

Charlotte Flair vs. Peyton Royce (Money in the Bank Qualifier)

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    Billie Kay and Peyton Royce mocked Charlotte Flair about her loss at Backlash before the action began.

    The match started with The Queen in control. She kept her foe on the mat, overpowering and outwrestling her. The advantage shifted after Royce smashed Flair into a ring post. The heel proceeded to punish her opponent with a relentless attack.

    Flair continued to leave herself vulnerable by going after Kay rather than Royce.

    It didn't matter in the end, though. She was able to eventually knock off Royce with the Figure-Eight.

         

    Result

    Flair wins via submission to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Disappointment by Charlotte, available soon at Sephora."—Graves.
    • Royce nails Flair with a neckbreaker on the floor.

         

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    A forgettable promo from The IIconics preceded the match. Kay and Royce, who excel at character work, couldn't overcome a poor script.

    Dramatic near-falls added to a decent match. Royce putting up her knees to counter the moonsault was an ugly spot, however.

    Flair's victory is no surprise, as WWE hasn't made The IIconics much of a threat to this point.

Cesaro vs. Xavier Woods

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Bar bickered backstage as Cesaro said he would fare better against Xavier Woods than Sheamus did last week. They realized The New Day had pranked them with pancakes.

    A flustered Cesaro took it to Woods. He dominated the former tag champ for a good stretch.

    Woods battled back as chaos unfolded outside the ring. Cesaro took advantage and left his foe with a bloody mouth. An uppercut to a flying Woods soon spelled victory for The Swiss Cyborg.

         

    Result

    Cesaro wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Cesaro and Sheamus discover their bags are filled with pancakes.
    • Fans chant "We want pancakes!"
    • Sheamus takes selfies in front of a fallen Woods.
    • Woods hits a springboard kick.

         

    Grade

    B

         

    Analysis

    Woods put on his second consecutive strong SmackDown outing. He continues to prove he's one of the most talented guys on the brand's roster.

    The rivalry between these squads has been silly fun and worth a few chuckles.

Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles Address Backlash

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    Backstage, Renee Young tried to get Shinsuke Nakamura to talk about his WWE Championship match, but he again pretended he couldn't speak English.

    In another interview, Styles told Young he regretted stooping to his rival's level. He welcomed another challenge from Nakamura.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "AJ Styles is nuts, but so am I."—Nakamura.
    • Nakamura claims he forgot how to speak English.
    • "I don't care why, when and where."—Styles on facing Nakamura again.

         

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    Suddenly, Nakamura is worlds more entertaining. He is playful and funny as a heel. The character shift has done wonders for him.

    Styles, meanwhile, has often come off as generic on the mic.

    This didn't do much to advance the feud. Mostly, it reminded the audience of its existence.

Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose

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    Becky Lynch
    Becky LynchCredit: WWE.com

    Paige barred Sonya Deville from ringside.

    Mandy Rose didn't appear to need her. She bowled over Becky Lynch in the early going.

    The bout devolved into a slugfest, allowing Lynch to rally back. Rose, though, got the upset in the end. She rolled up her foe and left her stunned.

         

    Result

    Rose wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rose debuts a soft-focus entrance.
    • Rose yanks down Lynch's leg, causing her to crash into the ring ropes.

         

    Grade

    C-

         

    Analysis

    There is some compelling tension growing between Paige and her former disciples. That will create some narrative opportunities moving forward.

    As for the match itself, there was more pre-bout ogling from the announcers than actual action.

    Rose got a big win to help kick-start her career. Lynch, on the other hand, is becoming all too familiar with defeat, something WWE wisely played up. The Irish Lass Kicker trying to break out of a slump is a story with potential.

Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev (Money in the Bank Qualifier)

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    Daniel Bryan and Rusev approached each other cautiously in front of an impassioned crowd.

    The former WWE champ ran into a wall in the form of Rusev. The Lion of Bulgaria overpowered Bryan and left him hurting.

    Fighting off the pain, Bryan charged back one dropkick at a time.

    Bryan damaged Rusev's wrists and arms. He flew around the ring coursing with emotion. A kick to the jaw, though, left Bryan out cold long enough for Rusev to score a three-count.

         

    Result

    Rusev wins via pinfall to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "The bigger they are, the faster they tap."—Bryan.
    • "More like Balti-less."—Aiden English.
    • Rusev hurls Bryan over the announce table.
    • Bryan lands on his feet after a German Suplex from Rusev.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    Bryan's presence makes SmackDown's main event scene feel so much more significant. It makes it easy to invest in his battles no matter the opponent.

    Both men told quite the story without a ton of ring time.

    Rusev's win is a major surprise. The move will put an underappreciated star in a position to do something memorable. Bryan, meanwhile, appears poised for another uphill climb to championship gold, the natural tale to feature him in.

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