WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 14
Just five days from Money in the Bank this Sunday on WWE Network, SmackDown Live hit the USA Network airwaves with a pretaped episode that saw Kofi Kingston guest-appear on the "KO Show," Shane McMahon and Elias send a message to Roman Reigns and The Miz, and some stellar video packages.
The action was solid, the hype for the pay-per-view heavy and the results mixed—as has been the case with the product of late.
Relive everything that went down Tuesday night with this recap of another solid, if unspectacular, episode of SmackDown Live.
Roman Reigns Kicks Off SmackDown Live
Roman Reigns kicked off the broadcast and welcomed his Money in the Bank opponent, Elias, to SmackDown Live...the big leagues.
The Miz arrived immediately and cut a promo about his steel cage match with Shane McMahon on Sunday night.
Right on schedule, McMahon and Elias interrupted.
Elias warned Reigns that taking him lightly is a crucial mistake. Eventually, SmackDown tag team champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan joined the fray, surrounding the squared circle and presenting a united front against the babyfaces.
The Usos made the save and helped Reigns and Miz clear the ring to the delight of the fans in the UK.
This was a fine enough way to kick off the show and bring two of the undercard rivalries for Money in the Bank together, but all it really did was set up the night's three-on-four handicap match pitting McMahon, Elias, Bryan and Rowan against Reigns and The Usos.
Nothing new was established, no rivalries were intensified and there was no more or less excitement for Sunday's event than there was before. That is the definition of a placeholder segment on a taped show that will likely already struggle to generate viewership.
Finn Balor vs. Ali vs. Randy Orton vs. Andrade
The four Superstars representing SmackDown in Sunday's Money in the Bank ladder match battled Tuesday in a Fatal 4-Way, each looking to build momentum ahead of the potentially career-altering contest.
Finn Balor, Andrade, Randy Orton and Ali waged war in the contest.
At one point, a ladder was introduced to the proceedings, giving fans a taste of what they can expect at Money in the Bank.
As the action broke down, intercontinental champion Balor wiped out the opposition at ringside but celebrated just a millisecond too long, allowing El Idolo to send him crashing into the steel steps.
Back in the squared circle, Andrade dropped him with the hammerlock DDT to score the win.
After the match, Raw's Ricochet appeared, sent the victor crashing from the top of the ladder and grabbed the MITB briefcase to send a message to his competition.
Andrade defeated Balor, Orton and Ali
Take four of the better workers on the roster, turn them loose in a high-energy, high-impact match and the results will almost always be a supremely fun watch.
This was no different.
Andrade picked up some momentum with his win over Balor and, more importantly, set himself up for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship once Sunday's pay-per-view has passed.
Ricochet appearing and grabbing the briefcase was a pretty lazy use of the wild-card stipulation, but who's counting at this point? Not WWE Creative, that's for sure.
Charlotte Flair Talks Her Match with Becky Lynch
At Money in the Bank, Charlotte Flair will challenge Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Ahead of what will hopefully be the final match in this chapter of their rivalry, The Queen hit the ring and introduced a video package documenting the long and winding road these two competitors have taken to Sunday's extravaganza.
After the presentation, Lacey Evans was shown backstage, where she vowed to become the new Raw women's champion.
This was simple and really effective.
There is nothing another elongated promo or overly complex angle could have accomplished to put over the feud between Lynch and Flair. It has, for all intents and purposes, been the best in WWE over the last year. Sunday's match, though not hyped as such, could be a genuine main event without a doubt.
Even Evans' contribution here was just enough to put over their match without retracing steps creatively and delivering the same thing we have seen in the weeks leading into the bout.
Sometimes, settling for simple nets as solid an effect as anything.
Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. Shane McMahon, Elias, Daniel Bryan and Rowan
At a numbers disadvantage after Shane McMahon barred The Miz from competing and risking the cancelation of their steel cage match Sunday, Roman Reigns and The Usos battled Daniel Bryan, Rowan, Elias and the aforementioned McMahon in a high-profile handicap match.
Jey Uso found himself on the receiving end of a beatdown and in need of a hot tag. He made it, to Reigns, who soon found himself in a similar situation. Jey tagged back in, and the match reached its crescendo.
The action broke down, each of the Superstars involved delivering signature offense. Elias delivered Drift Away but turned right into a superkick from Jey. Reigns delivered a Superman Punch at ringside. Back inside the squared circle, though, McMahon went Coast-to-Coast on Jey for the win.
After the match, The Miz hit the ring to clear out the heels with a steel chair while McMahon made a beeline to the sanctuary of the ramp.
McMahon, Elias, Rowan and Bryan defeated The Usos and Reigns
There was entirely too much talent involved here for this not to be a quality match. Still, it never felt like it much mattered.
Did it put over the feuds involved ahead of Sunday's pay-per-view? Sure, but does anyone feel any more giddy for Reigns vs. Elias or Miz vs. McMahon than they were a week ago?
Miz coming out as the fiery babyface will never get old, if only because it is so relatively fresh for that guy in particular to be the hero, but everything else was the same paint-by-numbers creative we have been exposed to (and, at times, bored by) for so long.
Kairi Sane and Asuka vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
The rivalry between Paige's former tag team, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, and her new one, Asuka and Kairi Sane, continued Tuesday as the tandems met in tag team action.
The heels isolated The Pirate Princess, forcing the former NXT women's champion to fight from underneath if she and The Empress of Tomorrow were to maintain their undefeated streak.
Asuka tagged in late and unloaded on the opposition, unleashing a series of strikes on Rose that left The Golden Goddess stunned. She scored a crucifix roll-up moments later to pick up the victory.
Sane and Asuka defeated Rose and Deville
The match was pretty standard fare, but the right team went over. Why Asuka had to beat Rose in a fluky roll-up fashion rather than doing so definitively is a mystery, but maybe the story will continue.
As for the new name of Asuka and Sane's team...at least Kabuki Warriors isn't as bad as The Viking Experience.
Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens Exchange Words to End SmackDown
Hellbent on sending a message to Kevin Owens that the No. 1 contender did not intimidate him, WWE champion Kofi Kingston made his way to the ring for the main event edition of the "KO Show."
Kingston taunted the still-absent Owens until The Prizefighter appeared on the video screen. He cut a promo before showing a video package of the chaos and punishment he has inflicted during his time in WWE.
Owens made his way to the squared circle, and a brawl broke out. Sami Zayn appeared and joined in the fray. A two-on-one beatdown ensued before Xavier Woods attempted the save.
It did not work.
Owens and Zayn dominated until Kingston dropped the latter with Trouble in Paradise and New Day stood tall to close out the show.
The intriguing aspect of this segment was Zayn's involvement.
Yes, he has a previously established relationship with Owens, but he is also a Raw star with no stakes in the rivalry...unless he can cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase on either Superstar on Sunday.
That would provide him a career-defining moment while pitting him against Owens and Kingston in a three-way rivalry atop the SmackDown brand. If this was foreshadowing, WWE Creative deserves an A+ rating.
If not, it was still a solid enough angle that put heat on the heels.