Welcome to Thursday Night SmackDown, where we’re unfortunately going to be subjected to a Flo Rida song during every ‘Mania replay! Let’s hope Payback gets a song that’s a little more fitting to the theme. Somebody call up Kidz Bop. Anyway, I am your recap host, Jax, and let’s get started!
There’s no Authority promo to start off THIS shindig, ohh no. We’re turning over a new leaf! The WWE is aware of the criticisms that have been lobbed at them for quite some time now, and they’re ready to change things for the better! Oh, and here comes Roman Reigns, getting booed again, while the camera zooms in on the one or two signs out of the crowd that are pro-Roman. It’s a new era, though, we swear!
Roman says he fought and won against the Authority and took back “MY WWE World Heavyweight Championship.” Well, I mean, I guess it was TECHNICALLY his before Trips beat him at the Rumble. He goes on to confirm what he said on Raw a few days ago — he’s not a bad guy but he’s not a good guy either. He’s THE guy. And he also gives zero shits about what the crowd thinks about him. Which is fine, because holding this title means he’s in ‘one versus all’ mode, as apparently being the champ means you don’t get to have friends or allies. Guess he drank the same Kool-Aid Seth Rollins did more than a year ago, when he was thoroughly convinced he couldn’t hold that title without hurling chairs at his boyfriends first. Maybe that title is cursed? Look, I’m just saying, if (heaven forbid) Dean ever attacks Roman with a coupla kendo sticks in the future…
Anyway, Roman seems ambivalent about pretty much everything, except for the fact that he gets to fight AJ Styles — who comes out damn near immediately after he gets mentioned, possibly because he’s still twitchy about his ex Jericho constantly chanting his name. AJ gets into the ring and walks right by Roman to grab a mic, and Roman looks a little bit perturbed about that, because really, how dare you ignore the champion.
AJ’s first order of business, however, is to congratulate Roman on his win! The leader of the Empire is pleased. Of course, after the nice handshake, AJ goes on to say “BUT…” and Roman’s eyes roll back in annoyance. AJ’s the number one contender, see, so he’s coming after that title. He’s held ‘a’ title before, because he’s been around the world (but let’s not mention any of those other places by name, because Reasons), but he wants that title. Roman says he’s got to beat THE GUY first. The crowd apparently chants Roman’s name despite holding up AJ’s hand gesture, and now I’m the one rolling my eyes.
“You’ve been all over the world,” Roman says, “and you’ve beaten a lotta guys… but you haven’t beaten me. And you never will.” Cue literal mic drop, and Roman stares at AJ like he’s beneath him, pats him on the shoulder, and walks away, title still sitting on his shoulder. AJ is left in the ring with a small grin.
Well, that was… interesting.
After getting a replay of Raw’s shenanigans — specifically, crazy ol’ Vince McMahon handing Raw to his son Shane despite Shane having lost his ‘Mania match — our captain of commentary Mauro Ranallo informs us that tonight’s SmackDown main event is a tag match between AJ Styles and Cesaro versus Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. So, y’know, The Phenomenal and the Professional versus… the Angry Exes, I guess!
MATCH: The Lucha Dragons vs The Vaudevillains
Time for the Lucha Dragons! They’re matching again, finally! I’m so excited about tha… oh. Oh! It’s Simon Gotch and Aiden English, the Vaudevillains! Who have magically turned my screen black and white. This entire schtick is ridiculous, Gotch’s curled moustache is ridiculous, and I’m honestly loving it. Welcome to the big leagues, boys! Let’s see how you fare…
- And we start with Sin Cara vs Aiden, so the big guys go first!
- The Vaudevillains have a “manly style of grappling,” says Saxton
- Aiden’s got his hand behind his back; quarterstaff training says Mauro?
- Flipping! Always with the flipping! LU CHA LU CHA~
- Sin Cara tags Kalisto and monkey flips him for a 450 splash! two-count on Aiden!
- Mauro does a shout out to Hamilton I KNEW I LIKED HIM FOR A REASON
- Sin Cara on offense but Simon secretly tags himself in… god I wish he would’ve twirled his moustache after that
- Simon boots Sin Cara before he can dive out onto Aiden! BOOP.
- According to Mauro, Simon is a master of Bartitsu, so like the Victorian version of MMA, how actually delightful
- DUKES UP, punchy tandem offense by the dastardly duo for a two count!
- Aiden’s got a rear chin lock in on Sin Cara while Mauro gives us some history on Bartitsu because he’s educated, and King swears you can’t say ‘Bartitsu’ on TV because he’s a dork
- The pastiest flexing by Aiden! Also I have decided that when he smiles he looks like an AU version of Michael Fassbender. NO SERIOUSLY LOOK AT HIS FACE
- “His body’s in black and white, but mostly white.” Okay, King, points for that. Pfft.
- Sin Cara fights his way out of the villain corner, there’s a tug of war by a tagged-in Simon, but he can’t stop Sin Cara from tagging in KALISTOOOOoooo!
- Springboard corkscrew by KALISTOOOOoooo!
- Failed roll-up but Kalisto rolls forward and kicks Simon in the face anyway, DOINK, cue chirping birdies circling Simon’s head
- Pin? Two count, Aiden interrupts!
- Sin Cara’s had about enough of Aiden’s shit so he quite literally tosses him outta the ring and then dives on after him, FLYIN’ DRAGON!
- Sin Cara attempts to return but gets boots to the face when Simon NOPES him with a dropkick through the ropes, POW
- Simon turns RIGHT into Kalisto’s spinning heel kick but Aiden tags himself in before Kalisto can get the Salida del Sol
- Really good tag work here, Vaudevillains actually acting like a team! Kalisto and Sin Cara are actually outclassed in that respect as they sometimes act more like two singles competitors
- WHIRLING DERVISH! aka a European uppercut to the back of the head followed by a high speed neckbreaker! aka a fabulous double finisher
- Pin for the win, holy crap, Vaudevillains won!
Our villainous victors raise their arms in victory with huge grins, and then they proceed to strike very MANLY poses in the center of the ring while their plinky old timey piano theme plays. Okay, look, I know I’m a fan of strange gimmicks — my favorite wrestler is the undead lightning wizard, for heaven’s sake — but if you’re not a fan of the gimmick, just take a look at their skills, because they’ve got a lot to offer in that department. King, hilariously, is now a fan of them, leading to Byron murmuring a bit of a zinger about how King must ‘feel at home’ in black and white. Byron, you’re adorable.
There’s a bit of a Raw replay, showing how Zack Ryder was goaded into having an Intercontinental Championship match against the Miz, who won after interference by Mrs. Mizzle, Maryse. The rematch is later tonight! GOOD. Y’know what’s better than being called the Intercontinental Champion? Being called TWO TIME Intercontinental Champion. Get it, Zack. Believe in the me who believes in you.
MATCH: Summer Rae vs Natalya; Charlotte (with Ric) on commentary
As Summer Rae and Natalya make their way into the ring, we get a quick replay of Raw, where Charlotte decided that her mere presence was what really sparked this whole Divas Revolution. Her generosity knows no bounds, as she’s now sitting next to Byron to talk about how amazing she is — and, as usual, she’s flanked by her lich king father Ric, who clearly needs to keep close to her in order to drain her life force. Byron wants to hold her shiny new Women’s Championship title belt, but I can’t blame him because I totally wanna hold it too. It’s Charlotte’s precioussss, though, and I’m pretty sure she’s not gonna be tossing it into Mordor anytime soon. Anyway, while Charlotte blabs about how awesome she is and how nobody can come close to beating her, the bell rings…
- “I deserve respect,” Charlotte says as she talks over the match and ignores it almost entirely. Well, she IS a heel~
- Nattie dominating the entire match, doing that usual step-on-back and boot to the face thing, RIP in peace Summer’s face
- Nattie with a failed roll-up but a pretty kip-up, and her resulting stance looks like a fighting game character
- Summer kicks her outta the ring like two day old trash anyway and then snap suplexes her in front of Charlotte, showing off her dominance for the alpha or something; Charlotte is vaguely impressed with her old friend
- Summer tosses Nattie back into the ring and gives Charlotte a look while she plays with her hair… isn’t that supposed to be a sign of flirting
- Two-count pin for Summer, and Summer starts kicking Nattie in the back all ‘WHY WON’T YOU GO DOWN’ style
- Summer tries a headlock submission which really just looks like she’s hugging Nattie from behind, how delightful
- Charlotte talkin’ shit, meanwhile, and Byron calling her out on said shit. You can’t see it, but I’m waving my little Byron Fan Club flag right now.
- Summer tries one of those lovely kicks of hers but Nattie catches it and whooops, Sharpshooter on Summer! OH HOWEVER DID THAT HAPPEN~~? ❤ Nattie “staring daggers” at Charlotte. ‘You’re next, you sparkly fuckwaffle,’ I bet she’s thinking. …Oh, and Summer taps and Nattie wins!
There’s a little bit of bad blood showing, as Natalya decides she’s gonna step out of the ring to get a little closer to the preening, title-waving Charlotte, who at first claps daintily at Nattie’s win — in that ‘the empress approves of the jester’ sort of way — and then takes a few steps back. “Back off, sister,” Charlotte mouths with a condescending smile, while she hides behind Byron, of all people. Nattie smirks at the camera like she’s on The Office. Same, gurl.
MATCH: The Miz (with Maryse) vs Zack Ryder, Intercontinental Title Rematch
“Woo woo woo, you know it!” Here comes my current favorite underdog who isn’t named Dean Ambrose, Zack ‘Why Haven’t They Given Him A New Titantron Video And Song’ Ryder! He looks super toned, but his face doesn’t have the same amount of tan, so it looks like someone cut and pasted his head onto a resized body of Triple H. Or maybe just a recolored Barrett? Either way, I’m not complaining. Hell, I’d totally choose to have Barrett’s body. Which… sounds like I meant something entirely different, doesn’t it? …Anyway!
So here comes Mrs. Miz (Mrz.?), Maryze — err, Maryse! She’s looking stunning as usual, and she’s a bit stumbly on the mic, also as usual. I give her a pass, though, not because she’s pretty (though she is) but because English most definitely isn’t her first language. She still has the right attitude, and that attitude is ‘behind a great man is a great woman, so clearly my Mizzlecakes is the best thing ever, because I’M the best thing ever.’ I like that! More couples should strive to be that supportive of each other. And themselves! Maryse introduces her husband, and the still-glittery Miz struts out, clearly loving his wife as much as he loves himself, which is saying something. They strike a pose, and oh my god they’re so freaking cute. I hope they spend their downtime feeding each other strawberries and cream and talking about how awesome they are.
After striking another lovely dual pose in the ring, Maryse skips out of the ring, and the ref holds up the Intercontinental Title. Zack is chomping at the metaphoric bit, Miz is entirely too confident, Maryse is waiting in the wings, and I’m nervously nibbling on my chicken strips. The bell rings…
- Crowd chant: “MIZ IS AWESOME!” Maryse milking it by posing happily~
- Zacky working quick and hard on Mizzle, aww yee
- Zack dropkicks an outside Miz from the apron, BOOP
- Miz isn’t as pissed off as in previous matches, but he’s still looking furiously serious, possibly because hey, gotta look good in front of the wifey
- Byron says Miz “underestimated Ryder” and I am inclined to agree
- Miz attempts a move but Zack reverses into neckbreaker! Haw haw
- Crowd chant: “LET’S GO RYDER, WOO WOO WOO”
- Leaping lariat from Zacky! But then Miz turns his top rope move into a sit-out powerbomb for a two count, womp womp
- Zack’s trunks look like the design on a package of hot dogs, just thought I should say that
- DDT by the Miz, backpress and two count~! ZACK WILL LIVE FOREVER.
- Angry Mizzle looking for a Skullcrushing Finale but gets elbow’d in the face, aaaand eventually a two count on Miz and ZACK IS SO SURPRISED lol
- Zack lookin’ for the Broski Boot but NOPE, dangit
- Miz on the outside, and Zack lookin’ for another Broski Boot! WOO. WOO. WOO. …POW!
- Elbow drop by Zack! Backpress pin… TWO count! AAAaaaaaaagh whyyyyyy~
- Zack’s punching the heck outta the Miz in the corner YEAH YOU GIVE IT TO HIM
- Byron notices Maryse taking the cushion off one of the turnbuckles in the opposite corner, causing Zack’s turnbuckle senses to tingle!
- Ref dealing with turnbuckle shenanigans, when suddenly BOINK! Mizzle pulls a Three Stooges on Zack, poking him in the eyes
- SKULLCRUSHING FINALE, pin for the win! Miz wins!
Byron is so upset about The Miz winning thanks to Maryse and her antics, but King is way more concerned with how many celebrities are gonna be at the shindig the couple are likely to throw in celebration of the win. I’m PRETTY sure King isn’t invited to the plans Miz and Maryse have, though. Pretty sure. Maybe. I dunno, maybe Maryse will want to flip her hair on his face or something. I ain’t judgin’. Zack, however, is so totally judging. It’s okay, Zack, I still believe you. Just… maybe next time bring Emma along for insurance, yeah?
MATCH: Apollo Crews vs Curtis Axel (with #SOCIALOUTCASTS)
Hold onto yer axes, the #SOCIALOUTCASTS are now trending! And by trending I mean sitting on the ring and being a happy little family. Rose even has on his favorite fluffy blue feathery coat thing and everything. Gotta dress up when you go out with your hubby Heath, right? Speaking of Heath, he lets us know that they’ve gotta decide who’s gonna go up against Apollo Crews. How, you might ask? Why, rock paper scissors, of course! Awkward and disgruntled teenager Axel decides that his paper is actually an axe, and after a few gleeful ‘YEE’s he galavants into the ring, tossing his mic into the distance. Heath is left to stutter out uselessly, “There ain’t no axe…!”
Woop, too late anyway, here comes Apollo Crews! Dude grins his way down that ramp like he won the lotto, bouncing into the ring with all the agility of a Lucha Dragon except without the use of a trampoline, so he gets double bonus points. Axel sizes him up but finds him lacking, but Axel’s got all the wisdom of a newborn Gobbledygooker straight outta his egg. Axel is straight outta HIS egg if he thinks this is gonna be an easy fight. The bell rings…
- Axel’s premature victory lap yaaaaaaaaaay we’re all winnerrrrrs~!
- Mauro calling Bo “The Notorious Bo-I-G” and let me just say I would pay $9.99 a month just to listen to Mauro give adorable nicknames to everyone ever
- Crews is now One Punch Man as he sends Axel FLYING outta the ring, and I swear I hear the sound of bowling pins as Axel hits the rest of his family on the outside
- Red Dragon Heathy is trying to save his dear son Axel, but he ducks a hit by Apollo only to have it hit Rose! Oh god Radical Mongoose goes down hard on the apron MOM NO!
- Axel is angry. Axel is attacking Apollo. Axel Is Trying His Best, Y’all. Yee.
- Heathy checking on his downed Rose on the outside, with a concerned Bo hovering nearby just in case anyone needs a towel or some words of encouragement. Don’t go into the light, Rose!
- Meanwhile, where the actual match is happening, Apollo pulls off a standing moonsault, but our boy Axel KICKS OUT AT TWO. How? WHY? Because… YEE! This is now my answer to everything.
- Apollo’s answer to Axel’s kickout is a spinning sit-out powerbomb! Pin for the win, APOLLO WINS!
Apollo celebrates in the win with his million watt smile, and the #SOCIALOUTCASTS family huddle in a humiliated heap. Let’s talk about the important things, though: I just wanna know if Heathy’s gonna nurse Rose back to health. Because I’d watch like ten segments of that, y’all. Move over, Golden Truth!
INTERVIEW: Rich Brennan vs Baron Corbin
Rich has decided to interview Baron Corbin, and when I say ‘decided’ I mean he either drew the short straw or Renee gave him puppy dog eyes and he grudgingly agreed. It’s cool, though: All Corbin really has to say is that he won a trophy and kicked Ziggler’s ass, and the ‘end of days’ is here. He stomps off, leaving a vaguely worried Rich to wonder if this means Corbin will only work nights or something. Milhouse isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, okay.
INTERVIEW: Renee Young vs Becky Lynch (and a surprise Emma)
Renee talks to her BFF Becky, who is looking optimistic and also like she’s got stitches under her eye, ow. WrestleMania wasn’t a walk in the park, alright? Our resilient little lass kicker makes a dorky pun but goes on to say that she’s got passion, dammit, and she’ll chase that shiny new Women’s Championship title again because Charlotte’s kind of a douchewaffle and gave Bex a shiner that required stitches. There’s gotta be some payback there eventually, y’know?
Cue a sudden visit from new and improved Emma, with darker lipstick to match her attitude! Bex and Emma apparently go way back, but Emma’s jimmies are a leeeeettle bit rustled, since tecnically Emma got to the main roster first, but Bex got the title match while Emma got a detour back into NXT-town before clawing her way back into the city of Main Rosterville. Emma says Bex doesn’t deserve any of it. Bex would like to give her a black eye. Emma is gonna walk away now, but she’s still gonna make one last eye joke to have the last laugh. I’m like 100% positive Becky shakes her fist and growls as soon as the cameras are off. Why I oughta…!
PROMO: Primo & Epico
Talking about how Puerto Rico is beautiful, and how the national flower, the hibiscus, smells better than wherever we live, we get a repackage of some old friends! Byron apparently only wants to go to Puerto Rico if Lawler comes with him. Seems a strange idea of a holiday.
Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze
In a match that’s over before it begins, a one minute and two second match that’s barely worth blinking for, Dean takes down Prince Pretty with a lariat followed by Dirty Deeds. To clarify: Tyler’s entrance is one minute and nine seconds. It takes him longer to properly get into the ring than it takes Dean to kill him. Chris Jericho comes out before we manage to let Dean leave, and if that’s not a set up for a feud, I don’t know what is. In fact, it had better be a set up for a feud, or I shall be furious that we had to put up with such a nothing match from Dean fucking Ambrose, of all people.
SEGMENT: Golden Truth
Goldust is auditioning for something? R-Truth has a video camera, and Goldie says he doesn’t want to partners with Truth. R-Truth says that if Goldie wants to do something Shattered Dreams productions, then he can get Goldust an audition with a top Hollywood producer. I just can’t with these segments any longer, just let them lead somewhere or let them die. please.
MATCH: AJ Styles & Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens
Time for the Professional and the Phenomenal to show the dad bods what they’ve got, I guess. jericho out first, with a new sparkly jacket, to loud boos, followed by the uproar that always follows Kevin Owens. We get a recap of KO ruining Sami’s chance at the #1 contendership, by taking him down outside the ring. Is it my imagination, or is KO limping?
- Ko and Jericho has this weird moment where it looks like Jericho is going cup Owens’ face and kiss him
- Cesaro strips off a suit for us again, because he knows how we like it
- AJ and Jericho first, old flames that they are, dropkick to Jericho
- Cesaro tagged in, big double fists to Jericho’s chest as AJ holds him still
- Double jump to Jericho’s chest from Cesaro followed by a knee from AJ
- Jericho can’t move the steps, so Owens kindly does it for him
- Uppercut from Cesaro to Owens! Uppercut train
- Cesaro looking like he’s going to swing Owens – I think not!
- Jericho takes Cesaro over the top, KO runs him into announce table
- Jericho stands in the ring, fists raised as the count rises to five
- Elbow drop to the back of Cesaro’s neck from Jericho
- Pin from Jericho! Cesaro kicks out
- Double team kicks in the corner to Cesaro from Jericho and Owens
- Ceasro in a submission hold putting pressure on the newly healed shoulder, from Jericho
- Flying uppsert from Cesaro to Jericho – that looked like it hurt!
- Cesaro crawling to AJ to make the tag, Jericho tries to stop it by leaping in, and drags AJ off the apron so Cesaro can’t tag
- Jericho tags out, Owens goes for the cannonball, Cesaro dodges
- AJ tagged in, forearms over and over from Styles to Owens
- Sit-out spinebuster by Styles to Owens, but Owens kicks out of the pin
- Springboard from Styles, misses, runs into a superkick from Owens, but Styles escapes the pin
- Huge side kick by Styles to Owens
- AJ ready for the Phenomenal Forearm, Jericho pulls him off the rope and he falls
- Two near falls for AJ to Owens, Ceasro braking the pin the second time
- Jericho and Cesaro fight into the timekeeper’s area
- Owens and AJ in the ring, SAMI ZAYN APPEARS
- A number of refs are trying to stop Zayn from getting in, and AJ takes advantage of KO’s distraction to roll him up and get the pin.
The second we’re finished, Owens and Zayn lock up, and Owens has to held back by two angry looking guys in suits who are somehow managing to contain the fury that is Kevin Owens. Zayn is left a crumpled heap at the foot of the ring steps, and that’s how we end out SmackDown!