WWE Smackdown Live Results & Review: May 22, 2018

Preview

Daniel Bryan faces the United States Champion Jeff Hardy and the winner will face Samoa Joe next Tuesday in a Men’s qualifying match for the Money In The Bank PPV. Shinsuke Nakamura will name the stipulation for the WWE Championship match against AJ Styles. Read our detailed WWE Smackdown Live Results & Review below.

Date: May 22, 2018

Location: DCU Center, Worcester, MA

 

Who? Who? Who?

(The Miz def. Big E)

The question of which member of The New Day will be participating in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on June 21 made up for the most part of Miz TV, and it worked. A seemingly simple problem overly-stretched through an entire segment, yet reaching no conclusive answer – this was exactly the type of material The New Day would thrive on, and yes they did. Eventually, The Miz grew impatient, some heated words were exchanged, and a match between Miz and Big E ensued.

 

The match was nothing out of the ordinary, even the distraction by The Bar that gave Miz the victory. This helped solidify Miz’s reputation as a wrestler that cuts corners to win matches, and further the brewing feud between The Bar and The New Day. All in all, a solid way to start off the Tuesday blue show.

 

LANA IS THE BEST! LANA NUMBER 1!

(Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Lana def. Billie Kay on Rusev Day)

LANA WINS! This was her first singles victory, and it really came out of left field. We all thought Lana entering a MITB qualifier was just to fill up a spot, but Lana actually won, and her being in the June PPV marquee match is really happening! One thing concerns us, though: Will Lana be experienced enough to take a bump? Sure, the other 7 women could carry her weight in terms of match quality, but Lana has to be around a ladder at some point. We know Lana is used to being around Russian iron (you are welcome, Rusev), but a steel ladder is an entirely different ball game (giggity).

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PILLOW FIGHT

Finally, the Nakamura – Styles feud had risen to our expectations. Ever since Nakamura turned heel at WrestleMania, he has been on fire, and tonight was no exception. We legit cracked up when Nakamura told AJ to stay quiet, as well as when he jokingly announced their upcoming match at Money in the Bank to be a pillow fight. AJ was pretty good tonight, but we feel he is slowly turning into a one-trick pony. Can’t really blame him; what other motivations does he have other than to defend his championship and shut the annoying Nakamura up for good? Finally, the actual stipulation for the June showdown was announced to be a Last Man Standing match. This is a logical next step to their feud, and it really shows the personal animosity that is mutually felt. Plus, a Last Man Standing match is almost always guaranteed to be a show-stealer.

But quite frankly, with the way things are going right now between the two former NJPW superstars, we would not even mind if the stipulation were a Pillow Fight.

 

Another Team Rose

(#1 Contender for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship: Gallows & Anderson def. The Usos)

In another universe, this would have been an absolute dream match. A team that has been on fire the entirety of 2017 and a team that ran roughshod back in Japan. Sadly, one of the teams has now been reduced to telling everyone around them to be nerds. Nonetheless, the quartet’s match tonight was very good, full of crowd-popping spots, and the choice of winner was logical. At this point, The Usos could do with some time away from the pursuit of the tag titles, and The Good Brothers really need that championship match at Money in the Bank to boost their profile. It is highly unlikely that they will defeat The Bludgeon Brothers next month, but a PPV appearance would do Gallows & Anderson more good than harm.

 

Bodies Will Fall, Ladders Will Glow

(Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Naomi def. Sonya Deville)

Smart choice by the booking team. Sonya still looked waaay too green in the ring, and needs more time before she could work with ladders. A fun little match it was between Sonya and Naomi, nevertheless. However, we feel that Naomi’s victory was not really convincing, as she only took advantage of a roll-up. But again, that finish protected Sonya’s legitimacy, as well as highlighted Sonya’s lack of experience in the ring (kayfabe), so it was acceptable.

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Daniel, DANIEL!

(“Second Chance” Qualifying Match for the Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan def. Jeff Hardy)

Fantastic main event. We mean, who could have expected otherwise from a match involving Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy? Daniel was fully back to his former self, and Jeff Hardy was still the high-flying devil of the ages. The two glued perfectly, their chemistry was great, and the result was something that sent the fans home happy. And we cannot forget about Samoa Joe – his promo sounded as scary as ever, and even though Daniel still celebrated with the fans after Joe had left, deep inside, The American Dragon must have been slightly regretting winning tonight.

The SoCal Strangler is coming, and he fears no dragon.

 

The little things we enjoyed (or not):

Miz came backstage, and Paige told Miz to return to the ring for a match. Hell, that was hilarious. Even Paige was on the verge of corpsing. SEND FOR THE MAN!

Andrade Cien Almas def. Kevin Bennett, further establishing himself to the main roster audience, which is going to get a lot bigger starting October 2019.

Wow, Nakamura’s new titantron looked really nice. Finally.

Also, the Money in the Bank graphics. It has a touch of royalty to it, and we like it.

Why was a Daniel Bryan vs Jeff Hardy match considered “historic”? Sure, it might be their first time ever, but not EVERYTHING that happens for the first time should be called “historic”.

Jeff Hardy’s Twist of Fate is looking worse by the match. It looks like a lowsy Stunner now.

 

 

Overall Review

This was an awesome show that deserved much more than the word “solid”. Nothing really spectacular happened, but the entire show was filled with good mic work, good action, and smart decisions. Except for Jeff Hardy’s lazy execution of his finisher and the superfluous use of the word “historic”, there really was nothing to complain about. Fantastically solid blue show.

Did we just use the word “solid”? Damn it