Becky Lynch makes her decision while Kevin Owens takes back his title. Find out what I thought in my 5/2/2017 SmackDown Live Recap & Analysis!
Shane Welcomes Jericho
Shane McMahon started off the show by welcoming the new WWE United States Champion, Chris Jericho to SmackDown Live. Shane talks about everyone being excited about the dream matches that Jericho can have now that he’s on SD Live. AJ Styles came out after that to talk about their history and say that he would love nothing more than to take that title at Backlash. Kevin Owens then came out and was disgusted with all 3 men in the ring and tells AJ to get out of the ring because he doesn’t belong there. This leads to AJ leaving the ring and brawling with Owens up the ramps. This would lead to AJ being banned from ringside for the US title match between Owens and Jericho later in the evening.
I like that they planted the seeds for AJ vs. Owens so that they have something to work with when Jericho drops the title. It’s likely going to happen in the main event considering Jericho has Fozzy shows lined up imminently.
Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers vs. Sami Zayn
Jinder Mahal faced off against Sami Zayn on this week’s episode of SmackDown. This was announced at the very beginning of the show as Shane took back the WWE Championship that Jinder Mahal had stolen from Randy Orton. This was a pretty quick match which Zayn was about to win only for The Singh Brothers to pull Mahala out of harm’s way and then distract Zayn. Mahal would hit his finisher and get the pinfall win.
This was a good way of introducing the crowd to how beneficial The Singh Brothers can be to Jinder Mahal. The weirdest thing about this is that Baron Corbin was nowhere to be found. I know he’s suspended for the week, but I really feel as though.
The Welcoming Committee Tries to Add Becky
Natalya, Carmella, Tamina, and James Ellsworth tried to add Becky lynch to their group by telling her they will watch her back. They said that she should be getting title matches and SmackDown needs her. Becky seemed to give this a lot of thought.
Ziggler Not Impressed With Nakamura
Dolph Ziggler was backstage talking to anyone who would listen about how Shinsuke Nakamura hasn’t proven anything and that he hasn’t even had a match yet. He kept referring to him as “this guy”. Shane McMahon would hear half of this and started putting over Nakamura. Ziggler then said he was really impressed with his entrance. I guess you have to have segments like this when the guy isn’t on the show.
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English
Tye Dillinger interrupted Aiden English’s pre-match singing and promptly beat him in just a couple minutes with the Tye Breaker. English would begin crying after the match and throwing a tantrum. This was one of those matches that I’m sure isn’t going to lead anywhere. It seems that Aiden is taking Curt Hawkins’ place on SmackDown Live.
English Makes The List
After Aiden English’s match, he was walking backstage as Chris Jericho was being interviewed by Renee Young. Jericho saw him crying and said there was no crying on SmackDown Live. He started saying positive things about English. Then, he put him on The List…as well as Renee Young, just because. This led English to cry even more.
Charlotte and Naomi vs. Natalya and Carmella w/ Tamina and James Ellsworth
The Welcoming Committee interrupted a Charlotte interview backstage and started to beat her down. They threw her into a stack of crates and that prevented Charlotte from starting the match. Naomi faced the other two women alone and fared pretty well for the first little while until Natalya and Carmella got the upper hand. Just as things seemed bleak, Charlotte’s music hit and she walked to the ring gingerly. That pain didn’t seem to last as Charlotte would get the hot tag and start clearing out everyone until Natalya hit a Discus Clothesline on the apron. Carmella would tag in and ended up missing a Bronco Buster in the corner which gave Charlotte the opening to tag in Naomi. She’d hit the Rear View, but Natalya distracted the referee. Naomi gets rid of Natalya, but Ellsworth distracts her giving Carmella the roll-up for the 3-count.
This was a good match, but like all matches where one team has multiple members at ringside, there was the ominous feeling that the face team would lose. What I like is that SmackDown Live has figured out how to get all the women involved in one storyline. The big problem recently has been the lack of TV time on SmackDown and trying to get every storyline in the show. I think they’ve remedied that with this.
Becky Lynch would come out after the match as The Welcoming Committee was beating down Charlotte and Naomi. She then joined them and shook all their hands. When she got to Ellsworth, she pulled him in for a hug only to push him into Tamina and start attacking Natalya and Carmella. This wouldn’t end well for Becky as she would end up lying in the middle of the ring as well. So it looks like we have a 3 on 3 battle in the Women’s Division. The dissension will probably begin quickly because only one woman can be the champion. That’s the beauty of this story, though. Anything can happen and we might get some surprises along the way.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sin Cara
Dolph Ziggler got a quick victory over Sin Cara with a Superkick. There isn’t much to say about this match. There was nothing about Nakamura, it was just a win, nothing more.
The Fashion Files
Fandango and Tyler Breeze had a fantastic segment on SmackDown Live with a parody of Law & Order called, The Fashion Files. Breeze was doing the report for a case on The Ascension when Deputy Dango comes in to say that they have a bigger case, The “Uggos”. They talk about this big bust going down May 21st in The “Windy Apple”. This stuff was great and if they gave these two more time to do skits like this, I think they’d be a really popular team. This is standard character development and more of this is needed on SmackDown specifically due to the time constraints.
Chris Jericho (C) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens wrote what is probably the last chapter in their storied feud on SmackDown Live. It was difficult going into this match knowing that it would likely be Jericho’s last for now. With Jericho being closer to 50 than he is 40, it is getting to the point where his last match in his run could just be his last match ever. Jericho is in good shape, but you just never know these days.
Owens and Jericho had a good match, but as it went on, you could tell that Owens was going to go to a darker place than he’s ever been. Owens ended up DDTing Jericho out on the ramp before bringing him back in the ring for the Pop-up Powerbomb and the victory. After the match, medics tended to Jericho and Owens came back to hit another Pop-up Powerbomb. The medics then got Jericho out of the ring and started bringing him up the ramp. Owens came back AGAIN and started another attack. He wrapped a steel chair around his neck and pushed him into the ring post. Finally, owens was done.
With that brutal assault, it’s safe to say that WWE is writing Jericho off TV and that his latest run is now over. Jericho did some great things during this run including helping Styles and Owens become bonafide stars in WWE and having many classic matches with a who’s who of WWE Superstars. I truly think this was Jericho’s most productive run in terms of what he was able to accomplish in less than a couple years. WWE is going to miss him, but the upside is that Kevin Owens has that edge again and is an established main event star on SmackDown Live.
The Final Word
It was a good episode of SmackDown Live with a couple main stories being the focal point. It was weird to have Nakamura, Corbin, and Orton all off this week. I don’t know how I’d feel about going to a SmackDown show and not seeing any of those guys, but I guess they could pull it off since they had Jericho this week. Even weirder than all that is that AJ Styles showed up at the start of the show and that was all he had. I think that this week’s show had to clean up the Jericho/Owens saga and next week will have more time for everything else. By the way, Lana and The New Day are still coming soon…