May 16, 2017
Manchester, New Hampshire
Commentary: JBL, Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown Live video plays, and we’re brought into the arena to see a big pyrotechnics display. Tonight, we’ll see AJ Styles face Jinder Mahal.
Kevin Owens hosts The Highlight Reel
Kevin Owens is in the ring with Chris Jericho’s “Highlight Reel” set decorating the ring. It is being called Kevin Owens’ “Highlight Reel.” Owens welcomes the crowd to the new and improved Highlight Reel with their new host, the new face of America and the United States of America Champion, Kevin Owens. Owens is taking over the show because the original host will never, ever, ever be seen again. The crowd loudly boos this. We see footage from two weeks ago of Owens defeating Jericho to regain the WWE United States Championship. While Jericho was being helped away, Owens viciously attacked him, wrapped a steel chair around his neck, and sent him into the ring post. Owens says Jericho was obsessed with scarves, gifts, and lists, but the only list Jericho is on now is the injured list. That is because of him. What he did to Jericho is only a sneak preview of what is going to happen this Sunday at Backlash when he beats AJ Styles.
Now that that’s out of the way, he wants to introduce his guest for the evening, but he’ll do it in French because he can. Owens begins to speak, but he’s cut off by AJ Styles’ music. Styles says he watched him steal Jericho’s thunder for over a year and now he’s stooped to stealing his show. Owens says everything Jericho can do, he can do better; that includes beating Styles. Owens asks what he’s doing out here. Styles wasn’t invited onto the show. An “AJ Styles” chant fires up. Styles says he did terribly in high school French, so he’ll say this in English because he can: this Sunday, he’s going to beat Owens for the United States Championship and bringing it back to the good old U-S-of-A. A “USA” chant breaks out. Styles says we don’t have to wait until Sunday. They can do this right now! Styles goes to get into the ring…
…but Jinder Mahal’s music hits. Mahal will face Styles tonight. Mahal is accompanied by the Singh Brothers. Mahal says the maharaja is supposed to be the guest on the Highlight Reel. Owens says that’s true. Like a true, rude American, Styles interrupted him. Owens wants to hear from Mahal what will happen this Sunday at Backlash. Mahal says what will happen at Backlash is exactly what happened last week on Smackdown. Last week during a six-man tag match, Mahal pinned Randy Orton in the center of the ring. Mahal says all of the Americans will be bowing down at the maharaja’s feet when he becomes the WWE Champion. Styles says he better concentrate on tonight or he won’t make it to Sunday. Mahal quotes Gandhi by saying in order to find yourself, you must lose yourself. Mahal says Styles will find himself in the agony of battle. Owens says Styles will lose tonight to Mahal and lose on Sunday to him. Styles gets in the ring, but Owens quickly bails out. Styles tells him to run while he can, but he won’t have anywhere to go when he takes the title from him. Styles then tells Mahal to get in the ring. Their match is next!
Kevin Owens will be on commentary for the next match.
The bell rings, and they take some time before circling the ring and locking up. Mahal powers him to the corner and gives a clean break. Mahal then taunts him. They lock up again, and Styles pushes him to the corner and goads him in. Styles applies a side headlock, but Mahal whips him off and stumbles him with a shoulder block. Styles kicks at him, but Mahal blocks it and pushes him down. Styles gets up in the corner and boots him back. Styles shoulders him from the apron and flips into the ring before leapfrogging him and connecting with a dropkick. Styles gets the crowd going before Mahal hits a throat thrust. Mahal then sends him face-first into the turnbuckle. Mahal digs his knee into Styles’ head before using the ropes to catapult himself up to drop some knees. Mahal stomps him before punching him down. Mahal kicks him to the apron, and The Singh Brothers start to come close. Mahal knees Styles in the head and stomps away at him. Mahal gets him up on the apron and goes to suplex him into the ring, but Styles fights it. Styles shoulders him back and slingshots in with a forearm smash. Styles kicks away at Mahal’s chest and goes for a Styles Clash, but Mahal counters out. Styles catches him with a strike combination before going to hit the ropes, but The Singh Brothers distract him. Styles then runs into a stun gun from Mahal. Mahal connects with a flying knee for a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Styles trapped in a modified chin lock. Mahal stomps him a few times before hitting the ropes and connecting with a low dropkick for a two count. Mahal then applies a chin lock. Styles fights out with a jawbreaker, but Mahal takes him down with a back elbow. Mahal hits a weak looking stomp before whipping him hard sternum-first into the turnbuckle for a near fall. Mahal sets him up for a superplex, but Styles slips through and takes him down. Styles charges, but Mahal boots him back. Mahal goes to the second rope and leaps into a dropkick out of mid-air from Styles. Both men are down.
Styles starts fighting back and dropkicks the knee before hitting a forearm smash for a two count. Styles goes for a suplex, but Mahal powers him to the corner and shoulders him. Styles quickly lifts him up, but Mahal slides off, sends him into the ropes, and big boots him down for another near fall. Mahal gets geared up while Styles gets up. Styles ducks a clothesline and hits a pelé kick. Styles clotheslines him in the corner and hits the ushigoroshi for a near fall. Mahal slowly gets out of the ring to recover, but Styles absolutely annihilates him with a baseball slide. Styles gets him into the ring and charges, but Mahal drops him to the apron. Styles punches him back, but Owens gets up from commentary and hits him in the knee with the US Title. The Singh Brothers were distracting the referee while this was going on. Mahal connects with a Cobra Clutch Slam for the win!
Kevin Owens looks pleased with what he’s just done while he walks off. Mahal celebrates with The Singh Brothers.
Lana is coming soon to Smackdown Live.
It’s time for another edition of the Fashion Files. Tyler Breeze is poorly disguised as a janitor. Fandango has trouble saying the word “reconnaissance.” They make fun of some of the Smackdown Superstars’ shirts, particularly The Usos. Breeze is jealous of The Usos’ hair. Fandango reminds him he’s very pretty. After Backlash this Sunday, they’ll be wearing the Smackdown Tag Titles. They do a freeze frame.
Randy Orton is seen walking backstage, and the crowd doesn’t react at all. Renee Young asks him about Jinder Mahal. Orton says Mahal thinks people don’t like him in the USA because of prejudice, but they really don’t like him because he’s an ass.
Breezango makes their way to the ring. They’ll be in action, next.
Breezango vs. The Colons
We join the match in progress. Tyler BReeze quickly takes them down and rolls Epico up for a two count. Primo distracts Breeze, and Epico sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Epico picks up a two count. Epico punches away at him and tags in Primo. Primo splashes him against the second rope before dropping a knee for a two count. Primo works on the arm. Breeze fights up, but Primo powers him down by the hair. Primo chokes him in the corner with his boot before bouncing him off the turnbuckle. Primo whips him to the opposite corner and clotheslines him. Primo tries again, but Breeze sidesteps him and hits a step-up enzuigiri.
Fandango and Epico are tagged in. Fandango jabs away at him and clotheslines him. Fandango sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Fandango comes back with a wheel kick, but Primo breaks it up. Breeze runs in, but Primo gets him out of the ring. Fandango then knocks Primo out of the ring. Epico rolls him up with a handful of tights for a two count. Fandango connects with a falcon arrow for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Breezango
The Usos make their way to the stage. Jimmy Uso says they’re trying to be funny five days out of the PPV. Jey Uso says they do this for real. They make all the rules. In five days, they’re taking Breezango to trial. They have a right to remain vicious. Anything they say can and will be used to give stitches. The Usos Penitentiary will be opened this Sunday.
Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Naomi will be out for a contract signing, next.
Backlash contract signing for the Six-Women’s Tag Match
Shane McMahon makes his way to the ring to a nice reception. Inside the ring is a black carpet and a table with a contract on it. McMahon greets the crowd and says Smackdown Live is WWE’s premiere brand. One of the major reasons for that is the Women’s Division. This Sunday at Backlash, you’ll have some of the most athletically gifted women compete in a six-women’s tag team match. McMahon then brings out The Welcoming Committee: Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina. James Ellsworth accompanies them. McMahon then brings out their opponents: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and the WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion, Naomi.
McMahon gives the microphone to Natalya. Natalya sarcastically says it’s funny to see the three of them pretending to be BFFs. When she looks across the ring, one word comes to mind: pathetic. Becky had her chance to join them, but it’s too late. She can’t wait to say, “I told you so.” They’ve beaten them every week, and it’ll be no different this Sunday at Backlash. They’ll prove they’re the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella then sign the contract.
Becky Lynch says Natalya gave her a chance, but there was no chance in hell she’d join the goon squad. This Sunday, they’ll be facing even numbers, and she can’t wait to slap all their faces. Naomi grabs the microphone and says instead of focusing on the last three weeks, they should focus on their hair because she’ll snatch each of them (especially Ellsworth) BALD. Charlotte says they’ve had a problem with her since she’s come to Smackdown. This Sunday, they need to bring everything to the table because in Chicago, they’ll solve their problems. After they defeat them, The Queen is coming for her crowd. Naomi gives her the ok. Charlotte then signs the contract.
James Ellsworth cuts off McMahon and says he can take care of himself. McMahon has no clue what he’s talking about. Ellsworth says Becky Lynch wants him, but he has to throw some water on her straight fire. In the words of Shane’s old man, she has “no chance in hell.” As for Charlotte, The Queen must see him as a king, but he’s the prince of the Princess of Staten Island. Naomi is just flapping her gums, but Carmella will steal her glow. Naomi grabs Ellsworth, but Carmella slams her face off the table. McMahon says they have a lot of energy, so he books Naomi to face Carmella. This is next.
The bell rings, and Carmella quickly puts herself between the ropes to keep her back. Carmella gets fanned off by James Ellsworth from the apron. They finally lock up, and Naomi powers her into the corner before giving a clean break. Naomi takes her down and punches away at her. Naomi throws her into the corner and avalanches her. Naomi then drives her headfirst into the turnbuckle. Naomi dropkicks her and picks up a two count. Naomi applies an arm bar, but Carmella gets her foot on the bottom rope. Naomi applies a side headlock before wrenching away at the arm. Naomi powers her down and keeps the arm bar applied. Carmella fights up and pulls on the hair to get out. Naomi goes for a scoop slam, but Carmella kicks her in the knee and slams her down. Naomi comes back with a kick to the midsection before sending her into the ropes for a Rear View, but Ellsworth pulls Carmella out of the ring. The referee then ejects Ellsworth from ringside. Ellsworth flips out while he goes up the ramp.
We come back from the break to see Naomi booty shake Carmella’s head before pushing her. Naomi kicks her back. Carmella responds with a kick, but Naomi kicks her right back down. They keep exchanging kicks until Carmella becomes terrified of being kicked. Naomi then knocks her out of the ring. Carmella pretends like she’s going to leave through the crowd until she turns around and superkicks Naomi at ringside. Naomi gets back in before being counted out. Carmella picks up a two count. Carmella takes her down in the corner and moonwalks before hitting a bronco buster for a two count. Carmella applies a chin lock, but Naomi fights up. Carmella cuts her off and sends her to the corner, but she runs into a back elbow. Naomi kicks her down, ducks a clothesline, and hits a pair of her own. Naomi kicks away at her before hitting a sit-out jawbreaker. Naomi gets the crowd going before being dropped on the apron. Naomi takes her down, but Tamina and Natalya distract her. The referee then ejects the rest of The Welcoming Committee. They protest, but follow the referee’s order. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch taunt them, so they start to brawl. Naomi dropkicks Tamina down from the ring. Carmella then rolls Naomi up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Carmella
Randy Orton will face Baron Corbin later tonight.
The New Day is coming to Smackdown Live soon.
Dolph Ziggler says he’s never understood the hype of Shinsuke Nakamura. That came from a place of ignorance. Being a professional, he did his homework. What he found was eye opening. Ziggler will show all the remarkable things Nakamura has done here. A video airs that says, “Footage not found.” Ziggler says Nakamura has done nothing in WWE. Ziggler has done everything. A Ziggler highlight package then plays. Ziggler says everyone is looking forward to Nakamura’s debut. For all his accomplishments, nothing will make him happier than to spit in the faces of the hypocrites that turned their backs on him. Ziggler will beat Nakamura before he begins.
Dasha is backstage with Sami Zayn. Zayn has an announcement: he’ll be facing Baron Corbin at Backlash. Corbin has targeted him since he came to Smackdown Live. Zayn thinks Corbin is threatened by him. He’s a constant reminder to Corbin that he’s not as dominant as he thinks he is. Corbin can’t keep him down. That’s a threat to his ego. Corbin then attacks Zayn from behind. Corbin says he should learn to stay down or he’ll be put down permanently on Sunday. Corbin then walks off.
WWE Champion Randy Orton makes his way to the ring. He’ll face Baron Corbin, next.
TJP hypes up his match against Austin Aries on WWE 205 Live after Smackdown Live.
The bell rings, and they circle the ring before locking up. They break when no one gets the advantage. They shove each other before Orton hooks a side headlock. Corbin tries to whip him off, but Orton holds on. Orton takes him down with a headlock, but Corbin escapes. Orton tries a second time for the same result. A third time yields the same result again. They shove each other again. Orton ducks a clothesline and goes for an RKO, but Corbin pushes him off. Corbin yells, “It won’t be that easy!” Orton hooks a side headlock, but Corbin powers him to the corner and slaps him in the throat. Orton kicks him and hits the ropes, but Corbin shoulder blocks him down. Corbin hits the ropes, but Orton leapfrogs him. Corbin knees him, but Orton takes him down by the hair. Orton rakes his shin on his face and kicks away at the chest. Orton goes to the second rope for a double axe handle. Orton uppercuts him back and punches away at him. Orton whips him to the corner, but Corbin slides out of the ring, gets back in, and clotheslines him down for a two count.
We come back from the break to see Corbin take Orton down and stomp away at him in the corner. Corbin continues to stomp him before choking him on the middle rope. Orton stomps him before punching him back. Corbin knees him in the midsection before whipping him to the corner. Corbin stomps him down before punching him for a two count. Corbin applies a head and arm choke, but Orton fights out. Orton reverses a whip to the corner, but Corbin slides out. Corbin gets in, and Orton is waiting for him. Corbin shoves him off and big boots him down for a two count. Corbin talks trash and hits the ropes for a punch to the face. Corbin continues to talk trash and pepper him with stomps. Orton fights up and punches him back, but Corbin viciously beats him down. Corbin grabs him by the throat, but Orton elbows him. Corbin quickly knees him to the midsection and charges, but Orton sends him shoulder-first into the ring post.
Orton hits a pair of clotheslines before ducking a clothesline and hitting a powerslam. Corbin rolls to the apron to recover, but Orton hooks the head and hits a hanging DDT. Orton gets the crowd fired up before dropping down in position for an RKO. Corbin pulls himself up and shoves off an RKO. Orton elbows him back and charges into a Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin shouts in frustration. Corbin punches him before charging, but Orton sidesteps him. Corbin slides out of the ring and gets back in, but Orton drops him with an RKO (out of nowhere) for the win.
Jinder Mahal’s music quickly hits, and he makes his way to the stage by himself. Mahal tells Orton to savor his victory and relish his time with the WWE Championship. This Sunday at Backlash, he’ll destroy his body, pride, and future. The Singh Brothers attack Orton from behind. Orton quickly fights them off and attacks Mahal before he gets into the ring. Orton catches The Singh Brothers for a double hanging DDT, but Mahal attacks him from behind before he connects. Mahal attacks Orton while The Singh Brothers hold him up. Mahal then takes him down with a Cobra Clutch Slam before holding up the WWE Championship.
Quick Match Results
* Jinder Mahal def. AJ Styles
* Breezango def. The Colons
* Carmella def. WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi (non-title)
* WWE Champion Randy Orton def. Baron Corbin (non-title)
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Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV