WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 6
Do Raw tag team champions RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre have The Bloodline reeling following a sneak attack Monday night on Raw?
It was a question at the forefront of Friday night's SmackDown, just 48 hours before the WrestleMania Backlash premium live event.
What retaliation did Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown tag team champions The Usos have in store for Randy Orton, Riddle and McIntyre?
Who else gained momentum ahead of Sunday's extravaganza?
Find out with this recap of the May 6 Fox broadcast.
- Face to Face: RK-Bro, Drew McIntyre and The Bloodline
- Tables Match: New Day vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland
- Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler
- Final hype for WWE's WrestleMania Backlash
Non-Title Match: Aliyah vs. Charlotte Flair
- Flair blamed everyone but herself, despite her own toying with Aliyah a week ago, for her loss in the Beat the Clock I Quit Challenge.
- Rousey interrupted a pre-match attack by Flair on Aliyah, leading to a brawl on the floor.
- "Is that Jamie Noble?!" Pat McAfee's love and excitement for the little things is infectious.
A week after humiliating SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair and costing her a victory in the Beat the Clock I Quit Challenge, Aliyah looked to make it 2-0 against The Queen as she battled her in non-title action to kick off Friday's show.
Before the match could get started, a vengeful Flair attacked Aliyah, drawing Ronda Rousey for the save. A brawl ensued, officials separated them and the crowd popped for the number one contender as she stood tall to close out the segment.
This was a solid start to the show in that it highlighted one of the brand's top feuds and injected some much-needed intensity into it. After weeks of angles inexplicably centered around Drew Gulak, it was about damn time that Rousey and Flair returned to the forefront and put the emphasis on their disdain for one another.
Whether it is too late to rekindle fan engagement is the question. The reaction for Rousey at least suggests there is moderate investment in a match that figures to be one of the premier bouts on the WrestleMania Backlash card.
Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler
- Natalya interfered to turn the tide in her partner's favor.
- Banks wiped out Natalya with a headscissors on the floor while building momentum.
- The Queen of Harts aided Baszler in the tainted victory.
- The heels attacked and beat down the champions ahead of their impending title bout.
- "No, no, no...not the Future Endeavors Stomp!" McAfee exclaimed, hilariously naming Baszler's trademark stomp of an opponent's exposed arm.
A dream match of sorts between two supremely talented professional wrestlers saw Sasha Banks square off with Shayna Baszler in a preview of an upcoming encounter for the Women's Tag Team Championship. Their respective partners, Naomi and Natalya, watched from ringside with the latter figuring heavily into the outcome.
The Legit Boss fought from underneath, overcoming an oppressive assault by The Queen of Spades and had momentum on her side down the stretch. An expertly timed rollup, some assistance from the ropes and even more from Natalya allowed Baszler to steal the win.
A good match that would be even better with more time, less commercial interruption and a more definitive finish, this was a quality way to keep the focus on the championship feud while also heating up Baszler and Natalya, who needed to build credibility as true No. 1 contenders.
Happy Talk with Madcap Moss; Drew Gulak vs. Gunther
- "Maybe for your next persona, you can be...entertaining," Moss said while utterly roasting Corbin.
- "Absolutely terrible news for Drew Gulak!" McAfee exclaimed as The Ring General made his way to the ring.
- The wicked, open-hand slap to Gulak's face was fantastically violent.
Happy Talk with Madcap Moss came to a sudden end as Happy Corbin bailed out of the ring and to the back, the jokes hurled his way by his former court jester too much for the egotistical heel to handle. The segment was...not great and did little to drum up anticipation for their match.
A week after Moss showcased some much-needed intensity, he was back to cutting dad jokes that were mild, at best. It was a massive failure on the creative team's part to follow up on the most interesting thing that character has done since his arrival on the show.
Moments later, Drew Gulak suffered at the hands of Gunther in a short, painful match that continued the story of his indignities while simultaneously putting over the Austrian as an unstoppable force thus far in his main roster run.
It was a fantastic, unapologetic ass-kicking by Gunther, and WWE fans should be here for it.
Gunther is going to be a major player on SmackDown for the foreseeable future. Where this is all leading for the criminally underrated and underutilized Gulak is the real question.
D for Happy Talk; C+ for Gunther's decimation of Gulak
Tables Match: New Day vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland
- Kingston launched himself off the top rope, coming down on Sheamus on the arena floor and driving him into the timekeeper's position.
- Kingston delivered a trust fall plancha and fired up, bringing some much-needed intensity to the match.
- "Son of a bitch! Butch was under the ring the whole time!" McAfee shrieked as the rabid third member of the Eastie Boys emerged from his weeks-long hiatus.
The never-ending feud between New Day and the team of Sheamus and Ridge Holland wrote its latest chapter in a Table Match.
Arguably the best match of their program to this point, it featured a great, fiery comeback from New Day late. Kofi Kingston, in particular, was great and looked poised to put an exclamation point on the feud when Butch appeared for the first time in two weeks and aided the heels to victory.
Unfortunately, the heels winning suggests the feud will continue—a feud that ran its course a long time ago. The repetition, the fact that the heels always go over and the lack of any act ready to aid Kingston and Woods in the face of a numbers disadvantage makes this a rivalry that needs to go the way of the dinosaurs.
No matter how good this match actually was.
Lacey Evans Returned; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn
- "Lacey Evans asks that you show the proper respect..." ring announcer Irvin said in a bit which has to be leading to a heel edge to this new "inspirational" character.
- "It's not the same without you, Boogs!" McAfee exclaimed as Nakamura made his way to the ring.
- Zayn locked his hands, attempting to fight off an armbar attempt. Nakamura pounded on his wrist, forcing separation and applied his submission hold.
- "This is becoming your finisher: running from people," McAfee said of the flighty Zayn.
The last Lacey Evans vignette aired before the former Sassy Southern Belle made her in-arena return. Despite an interesting introduction by Samantha Irvin, the crowd in Long Island welcomed her with a favorable response. It will be interesting to see if the pleas for "the proper respect" and applause leads to heel heat in the near future.
Sami Zayn's recent attempts to endear himself to Roman Reigns and The Bloodline resulted in a match with Shinsuke Nakamura. The Artist had promised earlier in the night that he did not forget about what the heel faction did to him and partner Rick Boogs, prompting Zayn to put his foot in his mouth and earn a match with his old foe.
A solid-if-unspectacular match saw Zayn do what he has done repeatedly in recent weeks, bailing from the ring in the face of an offensive from his opponent. This time, though, he used it to his advantage, suckering Nakamura into chasing after him and making it back into the ring to score the countout victory.
If this is going to be the feud that keeps Nakamura busy until his eventual showdown with Roman Reigns, there are far worse things than battling one of the most entertaining heels in the industry to keep The Artist busy.
Of course, the hopes and dreams of a match that may rekindle the magic that once led to a five-star match at NXT TakeOver: Dallas back in 2016 probably influence that sentiment.
RK-Bro, Drew McIntyre and The Bloodline Face-to-Face
- Riddle tried to crack McIntyre and Randy Orton by comparing their muscular legs.
- Upon Reigns tossing aside the microphone and removing his Universal Championship, Paul Heyman was overheard saying, "you done messed up now!"
The face-off between Drew McIntyre, Raw tag team champions RK-Bro and The Bloodline ahead of Sunday's WrestleMania Backlash six-man tag team main event did little to enhance anticipation for the match. Instead, it highlighted the chemistry of the babyfaces through a mostly comedic promo segment that emphasized "joint" and "grass" while mocking Roman Reigns' "acknowledge" catchphrase.
By the time Reigns and The Usos appeared and a brawl ensued, there were mere moments left in the show and what should have been an exclamation point on the feud ahead of the marquee bout at the upcoming premium live event was, instead, more of the same out of the six combatants.
This was a disappointing segment in that the tone felt off from the beginning and the brawl that ended it failed to create more of a buzz than existed prior to it. Perfectly acceptable fight, sure, but it lacked the intensity and urgency one would expect from the last angle before a major event.