Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 5/5/16: Royal Warfare
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The “Highlight Reel” segment with Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn, WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse was a good opener, in that it did several things within 10 minutes. Jericho got to brag about taking Dean Ambrose out with his potted plant, Mitch, on Raw, building some good heat and making us anticipate Ambrose’s return for the following Raw. Apparently getting hit in the back of the head with a potted plant can cause contusions, bulging disks and signs of whiplash, so be careful out there. Zayn fit nicely in this segment, talking well for himself when accused of being a “sore loser” and “thief” by Jericho. Jericho had good heel logic in pointing out that Kevin Owens beat Zayn fair and square and got attacked for it the next night, while Zayn said his reasoning was because of Owens’ actions after their Payback match when he threw him out of the ring after slapping him. All the talk of the IC Title brought out Miz, who was the proud Champion who was offended at having his property touched by Zayn. Also liked the line where Miz put over his 11-year experience in the business comparing it to Zayn’s “kiddie pool” experience. Zayn continued to poke fun (literally) by touching Miz’s belt. Jericho leaving his own talk show segment felt random, but fit his character. Also liked the hook if the Zayn-Miz match was going to happen after some brief physicality.
– The Zayn-Miz match lasted a few minutes before Owens joined commentary to distract Zayn. Owens quipped some funny one-liners, taunting both men, eventually sneak-attacking Zayn from behind to throw the match out as a DQ. Cesaro coming out to “even the odds” was fun to see and we also liked that he accidentally hit Zayn with his uppercuts, building some necessary tension between all four men. With Extreme Rules on the horizon, we can expect a fatal four-way for the IC Title and that’ll be fun in of itself. Also liked that the segment ended in consistency with the others with Cesaro holding up the IC Title this time.
– The backstage segment with AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows was a fair follow-up from Raw, where Styles’ boys obviously had to remind him they had WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns “on a silver platter” and Styles didn’t take advantage, while Styles made it known he wanted to beat Reigns on his own terms. Anderson/Gallows wanting Styles to go to his “bad side” was also evident here and it all built nicely towards what to expect for Extreme Rules. Styles also looked tough for wanting to “have a chat” with Reigns in a bit.
– If you don’t visit Puerto Rico soon and taste their eclectic food, it has been reported that Primo/Epico will kick your ass. You better do it.
– There was some nice build for The Vaudevillains on this show, much necessary after some of their reputation had been torn by the Enzo Amore injury at Payback. Not sure what they get out of constantly replaying the injury, but Vaudevillains’ pre-taped promo was executed well, as they said their mission objective was to “shine the new era upon a better, bygone era.” Also liked that how they referred to WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day as “classless clowns.” Their match against Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas didn’t do much for us, but at least they got a squash win. As for Cass’ post-match promo, it was okay for what it was. They’re using Enzo’s popularity to keep Cass over, but even when he spells “SWAFT,” it’s missing that extra something lacking Enzo’s presence. Sure, that’s no fault of his own and he’s doing fine with the lines he’s being given, but it could be better. That said, Cass is better in the ring and his big boot to Aiden English and taking out Axel was nicely done.
– The Natalya/Becky Lynch-Emma/WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte tag match provided nice action while promoting both of the Women’s Division storylines in one bout. Everybody had moments to shine, while Jerry Lawler funnily tried to paint suspicion on Referee Chad Patton for being a “longtime friend of the Harts.” Also liked that Natalya got the sharpshooter on Emma to make her tap out for the finish, scaring Charlotte and making her appear vulnerable. We don’t see Charlotte losing to Natalya, but they’ve done everything good to try to convince us otherwise.
– The backstage segment with Styles, Reigns and The Usos gave us good main-event hype, as it was initially set to be The Usos-Gallows/Anderson. Styles was good in reminding Reigns that he had him “dead to rights” on Raw and would act differently if the same situation happened again. It built towards the main event since Styles mentioned he’d be out there for support and encouraged Reigns to come down there.
– At first, we thought Darren Young looking for a life coach was one of those lame WWE public service announcement ads, but by golly, this looks like it’ll actually develop into a storyline. That said, Bob Backlund is always fun to see these days, so we’ll have to hold our breath to see if he can “Make Darren Young great again.” This can either bomb royally or actually get him over. Still pretty random as hell.
– Ever since the breakup of The League Of Nations faction, there has been a steady rise again in Rusev’s stock. He won a battle royale to become #1 contender for the WWE United States Championship on the previous Raw and made it known he was coming right for Champion Kalisto. Also loved the fact that both Rusev/Lana were mocking Kalisto’s “Lucha! Lucha!” gestures. Perfect time to have him squash guys too, as we saw him make quick work of Zack Ryder, the guy who he eliminated to win the battle royale. That egg-shaped lump as a result of the ring post bump looked nasty, but believe it or not, it helped Rusev look even more like a badass. Kalisto even had a brief moment of glory by displaying a huracanrana on Rusev before dipping out. He can attack in a flash and Rusev loses nothing here. Good build.
– Unless you’re a fan of seeing Fandango teach Goldust the “Stanky Leg,” the backstage segment involving them and R-Truth/Tyler Breeze probably did nothing for you. It didn’t do much for us either, even despite hyping the highly anticipated bout on the following week’s Raw of “Gorgeous Truth” taking on “Goldango.” We use “highly anticipated” lightly, of course.
– The original tag main event of Gallows/Anderson and The Usos lasted about five minutes, ending with “chaos ensuing” thanks to Anderson face-washing Reigns with his boot from inside the ring, but with 10 minutes left in the show, there had to be more and it was a good idea to have Styles propose a six-man tag. Teddy Long smiled somewhere. The action in the six-man was fast and heavy with great action and near-falls, but we’re not sure what Reigns gets from putting down Anderson, even if Anderson showed moments of almost pinning the Champion, but it sounded ridiculous when put that way. Styles and Reigns staring each other down to end the show was good, but all in all, we got progression in the big storyline without really progressing. You could’ve missed the show and headed into Raw with not much to recap.
- Sami Zayn def. The Miz (w/Maryse) via DQ
- The Vaudevillains def. Curtis Axel/Bo Dallas via pinfall
- Natalya/Becky Lynch def. Emma/Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) via submission
- Rusev (w/Lana) def. Zack Ryder via submission
- Six-Man Tag – Roman Reigns/The Usos def. Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson/AJ Styles via pinfall
Posted on May 16, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Bo Dallas, Bob Backlund, Byron Saxton, Cass, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Darren Young, Emma, Epico, Fandango, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Lana, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Primo, R-Truth, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, The Miz, The Usos, The Vaudevillians, Tyler Breeze, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.