WWE Smackdown Results, Grades and more.

Smackdown Results – May 9th 2017

The slow and steady build to WWE Backlash on May 21 continued Tuesday night as SmackDown Live presented a special international episode of its weekly show, via tape delay, from the O2 Arena in London.

In the main event, Jinder Mahal led a team of United States champion Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin to victory over WWE champion Randy Orton, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles, pinning The Viper and continuing to build momentum ahead of his unexpected championship opportunity in Chicago.

Speaking of unexpected top contenders, Breezango continued their entertaining and winning ways, presenting another edition of The Fashion Files before knocking off The Ascension in a warm up for their showdown with SmackDown tag team champions The Usos.

Shinsuke Nakamura found himself on the receiving end of an attack by Dolph Ziggler, Becky Lynch attempted to avenge an assault by The Welcoming Committee and former teammates did battle as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan squared off in singles competition.

Who joined Jinder Mahal and Breezango in victory and how did each match affect the build to the upcoming extravaganza?

Find out now with this recap of Tuesday’s USA Network presentation.

Randy Orton Kicks Off the Show

1 OF 6

WWE champion Randy Orton kicked off the show and wasted little time attributing his loss to Bray Wyatt at Payback to Jinder Mahal’s interference, to which the No. 1 contender interrupted and vowed to win the championship at Backlash.

United States champion Kevin Owens interrupted, ran through his “New Face of America” shtick and claimed to have ended Chris Jericho’s career. The No. 1 contender to his title, AJ Styles, said Jericho was no him and he will win the championship come Backlash.

This brought out Baron Corbin, followed by Sami Zayn, who attacked The Lone Wolf.

A brawl broke out and ended with The Singh Brothers pulling Mahal to safety. After the first commercial break of the night, a Six-Man Tag Team match was confirmed for the main event.

Grade

C

Analysis

This was your standard, run of the mill opening promo that jams as many feuds as possible into one segment in order to force a big tag team main event.

Mahal’s credibility still feels far too light to be taken seriously against former NXT star Baron Corbin let alone Orton. How he is booked throughout the remainder of the show, and in the main event, will have great affect on how he is viewed later.

Becky Lynch vs. Natalya

2 OF 6

James Ellsworth greeted the London crowd before Carmella took over and introduced Natalya, followed by Tamina. SmackDown women’s champion Naomi followed suit, introducing Becky Lynch. Charlotte introduced herself, saying she did not need anyone to do it for her.

Lynch rolled early but a distraction from Tamina led to a chaotic brawl at ringside. The distraction allowed Natalya to score the win off a rollup.

Result

Natalya defeated Becky Lynch

Grade

D

Analysis

Three minutes.

Remember when the Women’s Revolution was meant to ensure the female competitors never had to endure that type of half-assed booking again?

This was a lazy segment that did nothing to advance the story of the warring trios. All it did was shine a bright light on the lackadaisical approach WWE Creative has taken to this point.

A major disappointment given the talent involved.

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

3 OF 6

The battle between former Wyatt Family members could not have been any more lackluster.

Late in the four-minute match, Erick Rowan attempted to use his sheep mask as a weapon. The referee grabbed it out of his hands, allowing Rowan to poke Luke Harper’s eye. A slam followed and the White Sheep scored the upset win.

Result

Erick Rowan defeated Luke Harper

Grade

C-

Analysis

Can someone explain why these guys are fighting or, more importantly, why I should care?

Left behind by Bray Wyatt in the wake of The Wyatt Family’s disintegration, they have no direction and have wandered aimlessly for weeks. This did neither guy any favors. Four minutes is entirely too short a period of time to get a feud, match or story across. Instead of a meaningful match, it felt like an afterthought of a bout with no rhyme or reason for occurring.

Dolph Ziggler Confronts Shinsuke Nakamura

4 OF 6

Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring and wasted little time denouncing the fans for not caring about him or the years he spent breaking his back for his art. “You never cared,” he said, almost defeated.

Ziggler called Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring and told him to cut out the theatrics. The King of Strong Style suggested the go right then, right there but Ziggler said no.

He tried a sneak attack but Nakamura fought him off and sent The Show Off scurrying to the protection of the arena floor to close out the segment.

Grade

B-

Analysis

Ziggler is always at his best when his words are spoken with conviction rather than recited from a script. There were points in his promo tonight when he sounded like he meant every word he said. That makes for a more engaging and interesting segment, as was the case Tuesday.

The biggest obstacle facing WWE Creative is keeping Nakamura interesting for one more week while building to his first match at Backlash. Avoiding what would feel like one more in a long line of in-ring confrontations between Ziggler and Nakamura would be wise.

Breezango vs. The Ascension

5 OF 6

There was a time when The Ascension was the most dominant tag team in the industry.

That time feels like an eternity ago.

Tuesday night, No. 1 contenders Fandango and Tyler Breeze, known collectively as Breezango, ran through the former NXT tag team champions, defeating Konnor and Viktor in two minutes following a top rope leg drop by Fandango.

Result

Breezango defeated The Ascension

Grade

C

Analysis

It is nice to see Breezango get a spotlight squash instead of being on the other side of the argument.

With that said, it is difficult to gauge any Superstar or team’s credibility when they win a match in two minutes. After all, how quality of a win is it if the opposition goes down in two minutes?

Six-Man Tag Team Main Event

6 OF 6

Both Sami Zayn and AJ Styles found themselves isolated from their partners at different points throughout Tuesday’s main event, at the mercy of a united front consisting of United States champion Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal.

The match built to WWE champion Randy Orton receiving the hot tag and exploding into the match late.

He bowled over all three of his opponents, basking in the spotlight, the match’s featured babyface.

The action would break down considerably, with each Superstar hitting his signature offense. That would climax with Orton flattening Owens with the RKO, only to turn right into the Cobra Clutch Slam by the legal Mahal, who scored the clean pinfall victory for the villains.

Result

Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin defeated Sami Zayn, AJ Styles and Randy Orton

Grade

B+

Analysis

Mahal picking up the win here was key to the success of this match. Owens is established and Corbin has plenty of strong victories to his name. Despite his status as the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship, The Maharaja is still the least credible high-level heel on the roster.

He needs wins, regardless of how they happen, to bolster his resume and earn the confidence of fans. Even if his run is short.

The match, as one would expect from the talent involved, was an energetic and action-packed finale to the show.

Credit: Bleacher Report