WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 27
Two weeks ago, SmackDown women's champion Ronda Rousey and Raquel Rodriguez tore the house down with a super competitive match that saw The Baddest Woman on the Planet narrowly escape with her title reign intact.
Friday night, they ran it back, this time in a Championship Contender's match aimed at setting Rodriguez up for another run at the gold.
Did the second-generation star pull off the upset and earn herself one more shot at Rousey's title, or did the champion destroy Rodriguez's threat to her status as the queen of the mountain on Friday nights?
Find out with this recap of the May 27 Fox broadcast.
- Six-Man Tag Team Match: Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and a mystery partner vs. Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch
- Championship Contenders Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez
- The KO Show with Kevin Owens
The Usos Kicked Off SmackDown
- Jey thanked Reigns for allowing them to beat RK-Bro last week, "all on our own." It was a great heel line that completely ignored what actually happened.
- "For 12 years, y'all literally watched us grow up in front of you," Jey said, waxing nostalgic as he celebrated their decade-plus anniversary in WWE.
- Jey thanked the fans before Jimmy heeled on them and said they needed none of the support or adulation over the years.
- The pop for Riddle's entrance is indicative of how effective the partnership with Orton has been for The Original Bro.
Unified WWE Tag Team champions The Usos kicked off the show with an in-ring promo. A teased sincere, genuinely emotional promo from Jimmy and Jey concluded with them revealing they meant none of it, heeling on the crowd and telling the fans in Little Rock, Arkansas, that they never needed them.
Shinsuke Nakamura interrupted, revealed a tag team partner in Riddle, and the two babyfaces made their way to the ring. The teased title match never happened and the segment just...ended.
The promo work by Jey was phenomenal and a reminder to the WWE Universe that he was an incredibly effective babyface during his feud with cousin Roman Reigns back in 2020. He had the fans genuinely believing everything he said before Jimmy expertly yanked the carpet out from under them.
Why Nakamura and Riddle would head to the ring, presumably for a match, before the segment awkwardly ended is a question only WWE's production team can explain, but that babyface tandem of NXT exports will make for hugely over challengers to the titles, and the match should be damn good.
Championship Challenge Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez...or Not
- Backstage, a disenfranchised Shotzi riled up her fellow competitors, questioning why Rodriguez got another match with Rousey. She played to the egos of the women's locker room before, moments later, finding herself locked out of it by peers unwilling to follow her.
- There was an ugly timing spot where Rodriguez attempted to send Baszler over the top rope but took too long and the whole thing suffered.
- Like her or not, the crowd popped huge for Rousey's hot tag, clearly seeing her as the star of the match.
- The tease for Rousey-Baszler was great, and the fans reacted with an audible "oooh," suggesting there is a desire to see the real-life fans do battle at some point. Better yet, WWE resisted the urge to give it away in a meaningless tag match.
The Championship Challenge match between Raquel Rodriguez and Smackdown titleholder Ronda Rousey never got started as Natalya and Shayna Baszler hit the ring, interrupting the match and ensuring it would continue as a tag team match because...WWE booking.
The resulting bout was fine for what it was, with the heels isolating Rodriguez by targeting her left knee, only for the former NXT champion to create separation and make the hot tag to Rousey. There was a great Rousey-Baszler tease before Rodriguez put Baszler down with the powerbomb for the pinfall victory.
Rodriguez is clearly the focus of SmackDown's booking efforts right now, and beating Baszler, two weeks after taking Rousey to the limit, only helps earn her credibility. Imagine if WWE Creative approached every new competitor with this much effort and determination. The roster would be full of young stars waiting to carry the promotion forward.
Los Lotharios vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky
- Backstage, a frantic Mahal looked all over for Shanky before finding him dancing in the locker room. Ugh, Vince McMahon loves him some dancing big guys.
- Also backstage, Max Dupree confronted Adam Pearce, who revealed that the contract he signed with Sonya Deville is legal and binding.
The most random tag team match in recent memory saw Jinder Mahal and Shanky, who is apparently testing out a dancing gimmick, battle Los Lotharios.
As Shanky cut a move at ringside, a distracted Mahal fell prey to a springboard kick from Angel, who picked up the win for the Lethal Lovers. After the match, Shanky shook off a tongue-lashing from The Modern-Day Maharaja and focused his attention on Samantha Irvin, dancing for her.
The match was a whole lot of nothing, but it did introduce a new persona for Shanky, giving him something to do rather than being the one-dimensional, generic giant. Is it the character anyone really wants to see at this point? No, but it will get over and WWE will devote entirely too much television time to it.
Mahal as the straight-man could be a lot of fun, though.
The Kevin Owens Show with Sami Zayn
- Zayn cited his busy schedule and helping The Bloodline for not helping Owens with his Ezekiel problem over on Monday nights in a funny bit.
- "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Zayn said. "Too far!" Owens exclaimed in a funny exchange.
- "You know why they're not coming out? Because, Sami, The Bloodline couldn't care less about you," Owens said to his longtime friend.
- KO dropped a stagehand trying to remove his set with a stunner, then added another to a second crew member.
Kevin Owens welcomed his guest on this week's edition of The Kevin Owens Show, Sami Zayn.
The on-and-off friends shared a warm embrace before quickly turning on each other. Zayn claimed Ezekiel is clearly not Elias while Owens told The Great Liberator that The Bloodline does not care about him. The bickering ended with hurt feelings as Zayn shoved KO and stormed out.
Owens and Zayn could deliver a two-hour promo segment and it might actually be better than some recent episodes of SmackDown. They have undeniable chemistry, the likes of which only lifelong friends who know each other extremely well do. They were brilliant here, touting their relationship before tearing into each other and their ongoing issues.
Was this entire segment time filler? Absolutely.
Was it extremely entertaining thanks to the guys involved? Hell yeah.
Ricocht and Drew Gulak vs. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser
- McAfee comparing Gulak to the Detroit Lions was a great line and part of what makes him so good at the color commentary gig.
- Selling is a key component to in-ring storytelling, and Gulak takes a great ass-kicking.
Gunther has been unstoppable since arriving on Friday nights and looked to continue his winning ways Friday night as he partnered with spokesman Ludwig Kaiser against Intercontinental champion Ricochet and, as Pat McAfee said on commentary, "the Detroit Lions" of WWE, Drew Gulak.
The heels dominated, first cutting the ring off and isolating Gulak from his partner. Even after Ricochet made the hot tag, Gunther and Kaiser never appeared to be in danger of losing. Kaiser completed his first in-ring action on the main roster by scoring the victory over Gulak.
The match was OK given the talent involved, but this was as much about Gulak getting beaten up (again) as it was any of the other three competitors. Why WWE Creative is so insistent on booking Gulak to look like a fool every week is anyone's guess, but it comes at the expense of Gunther, Kaiser and worst of all, the Intercontinental champion.
Gunther vs. Ricochet would rule. Unfortunately, those with the ability to book said feud appear to be preoccupied with robbing Gulak of whatever credibility he has left at this point.
New Day and a Mystery Partner vs. Brawling Brutes
- "It's not Moby Dick, but it's the Big D, though!" Pat McAfee exclaimed, referencing Sheamus bringing up the fictional character and simultaneously breaking Michael Cole on commentary at the same time.
- The final sequence, which saw New Day wipe Sheamus and Butch out on the floor, leaving Holland to eat the pin, was a ton of fun.
- McIntyre giving the floor to Woods so that he could score the win over Holland and put an end to New Day's feud with the Brawling Brutes was a great touch. Woods, often the forgotten member of the Hall of Fame trio, had the chance to shine, and it was more-than welcome.
A week of speculation and anticipation in regards to New Day's mystery tag team partner culminated with the reveal of former WWE champion Drew McIntyre.
The Scottish Warrior joined Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in attempting to avenge months of torment at the hands of Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch. Kingston overcame a concentrated attack on him by his opponents before tagging McIntyre into the match.
The babyfaces rolled from there and Woods pinned Holland following the top-rope elbow drop for the win.
Hopefully, this was the definitive conclusion of the rivalry between New Day and the heels. It has gone on for months, done nothing for either team and felt too much like something for all involved to do.
With that said, this was a ton of fun, with McIntyre and New Day jelling well and the heels bringing their typical physicality. Kudos to McIntyre for ceding the spotlight and letting Woods score the win.