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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 5.13.22

May 13, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 5.13.22  

Well it’s Friday so here’s to another episode of WWE Smackdown. Tonight there’s good news, Poochie had to return to her home planet! Charlotte Flair is taking time off in the wake of losing the Smackdown women’s title to Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania Backlash, and I for one wish her all the best in her marriage and encourage her to take all the time she needs/wants away from wrestling. As for what will be on the show, Sasha Banks and Naomi will defend the women’s tag team titles against Shayna Baszler and Natalya, RKBro will be here to mess with the Usos, and the never ending merry-go-round of New Day vs. the Eastie Boys continues as Kofi Kingston is set to wrestle Butch. Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns needs some direction, and odds are that his next challenger will be Drew McIntyre so if that’s the case we’ll need to see them kick off that kind of program soon. There’s a decent chance we get more from Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura, they might remember that Ricochet is the Intercontinental champion, and odds are there will be more from Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. Alright, that’s the preamble so let’s see what WWE has in store for us.

We open with some highlights from Backlash centered around Roman Reigns dealing with Roman Reigns, those two have some solid chemistry and if they’re going for a singles program between them I’m interested.

Out first tonight is RKBro. Both Randy Orton and Riddle make it to the ring, pretty loud “Randy” chant as they’ve both got mics. Randy welcomes us to the show, and says they’re both excited to be here tonight but they’re sick and tired of the chase. The Usos don’t have the balls to make their own decisions, Roman Reigns is the only one who makes decisions in The Bloodline. Riddle gives Roman props for pinning him at Backlash and apologizes for the loss, but he’s great at seeing patterns and he’s noticed that every time the Usos can’t handle business Roman shows up and handles it for them. Randy and Riddle are both sick of that pattern, as is the fanbase. The short and sweet of it is RKBro want to become the undisputed tag team champions, so Tribal Chief or whatever nickname you want, get out here to Randy’s ring. This, improbably, brings out Sami Zayn. Sami is wearing a Bloodline t-shirt and he stays on the entrance stage with a mic. Sami tries to tell them how things work on Smackdown, you can’t just snap your fingers and summon Roman Reigns, but as locker room leader Sami will address this on Roman’s behalf. Sami has made it to the ring now, and says nobody wants to see a tag team title unification match. That doesn’t seem accurate. More importantly RKBro doesn’t want this match, because if it happens they’ll lose. This prompts a “Sami sucks” chant, but Sami suggest RKBro take their titles back to their show and not come back. Randy considers, then asks if Sami is Roman’s errand boy, Riddle decides he’s calling Sami “Rusty” because of his hair color. That actually breaks Sami just a little bit. Sami objects because he has a name, and asks RKBro to consider how they address Roman Reigns, because otherwise they’ll end up like Shinsuke Nakamura. Randy asks if Sami is actually making calls for The Bloodline, Sami tries to back peddle but Randy wont let him. Randy has the perfect idea, with Sami out here making decisions he wants Sami to wrestle Riddle and if Riddle wins then RKBro get their unification match. Riddle incites a “Rusty” chant and Sami falls for this, saying let’s do it. However, it can’t happen tonight, maybe in a week or two, Sami keeps running his mouth but here comes Adam Pearce. Pearce can’t agree with Sami competing on behalf of the bloodline, everyone would like to see Sami vs. Riddle so that match is official and starts now. Well, after this commercial break.

Match #1: Riddle w/ Randy Orton vs. Sami Zayn

The match gets going as we come back from break. Sami quickly runs through the ropes and hides from Riddle. Sami grabs a side headlock then shoulder blocks Riddle down. They hit the ropes and Riddle grabs a flying triangle choke but Sami gets the rope break and rolls out of the ring to recover. Riddle hits a baseball slide then gets caught with a back elbow as they head back into the ring. Some mounted punches from Sami then his usual control segment. Riddle fights back with body blows and a rolling kick to the head. Running elbows from Riddle then an exploder suplex but Sami avoids the follow ups and blocks a senton. Sami sets for the Helluva kick but Riddle intercepts with a kick of his own, only to get caught on the top rope as heads up for the Floating Bro and Sami shoves him all the way to the barricade as we head to break.

Sami is still in control as we come back to action. Sami heads up top but Riddle jumps up with him and Sami blocks a super RKO by shoving Riddle down but when he goes for a flying nothing he runs into a Final Flash from Riddle that gets a 2 count. Riddle misses a kick, then gets caught in a Michinoku Driver for a 2 count. Sami goes for the hanging DDT to mock Randy, but Riddle counters and back drops Sami out of the ring then hits a punt kick from the apron and an asai Floating Bro. Back in the ring Riddle hits a snap powerslam, the hanging DDT, then Riddle sets for the RKO but Sami rolls out of the ring. Riddle follows Sami only to get shoved into the ring post then tossed into time keepers area. Sami heads back into the ring and looks for a count out win but Riddle beats the count and Sami objects to his finish being made to look weak. Riddle grabs the Bro Derrick, hits it and wins.


Rating: 3 stars

The usual WWE issue of the first half of the match not really mattering still showed up here, though this is hardly the most egregious example. The bigger issue is that this didn’t mean anything.

In the back The Bloodline watch TV. Roman asks why RKBro is on his show. Jimmy doesn’t like that they’ve said that Roman is the only one who makes decisions, and tonight when they’re done the whole world will acknowledge the Tribal Chief. Roman seems to agree.

After this break we’ll hear from newly minted Smackdown women’s champion Ronda Rousey.

Post break Sami Zayn walks in the back, then sees Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura calls Roman the head of the table, but Sami is the table’s ass, then winks and walks off.

Back to the ring and here comes Ronda Rousey, and a video recap of Ronda vs. Charlotte’s I Quit Match from Backlash. For as terrible as the promos between those two were they turned in a sufficiently wild and hate filled brawl. Ronda has a mic and calls Charlotte’s 13 titles an impressive statistic, but in the past tense because Ronda is the champion now. She puts over Charlotte’s toughness in a slightly backhanded way before saying she wants to be a fighting champion and issuing an open challenge for her title right now. So who wants to make history tonight? Ultimately Raquel Rodriguez makes her way to the ring. Ronda hands Raquel the mic and Raquel introduces herself and accepts the challenge. She might be new to Smackdown, but what better way to be known than as champion? Raquel got a bit of the “What?” treatment, but that match will be up after the break.

Match #2 – Smackdown Women’s Title Match: (c) Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez

We come back as the match officially begins. They tie up, Raquel hits a mat return and stands over Ronda. Ronda bounces up and tries her own mat return but Raquel hoists her up and tosses her into the corner. Some jabs from Ronda but Raquel counters with a knee to the body then a clothesline. Raquel drives Ronda into a corner and starts laying in strikes. Fall away slam from Raquel, then another one. Raquel hits her twisting Vader Bomb for a 2 count. The crowd is dead for this right now. Argentinian backbreaker from Raquel then she kicks Ronda in the head once Ronda escapes. Ronda avoids a corner charge, tries for an armbar takedown but Raquel counters into a side slam. Raquel heads up for another twisting Vader Bomb but Ronda avoids this one then lands some kicks to the body. Ronda tries a tornado DDT, has to settle for a guillotine choke as Raquel stalls the momentum then Raquel hits a suplex for a 2 count. Credit to the women, they’re slowly winning the crowd over. Ronda fights back with knees to the body and head then lays in a barrage of strikes but Raquel blocks a judo throw. Running knee from Ronda, then a head kick and Ronda tries Piper’s Pit but Raquel counters into a sloppy spinning Samoan drop for a 2 count. Raquel goes for the Chingona Bomb but Ronda attacks the arm and they wind up break as Raquel drops her into the ropes. Ronda rolls through and grabs an Ankle Lock, Raquel kicks her off then lands a big boot for another near fall. Ronda counters a powerbomb into a hurricanrana pin and gets the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ronda Rousey retained the title

Rating: 3 stars

Short and pretty sweet, the crowd was pretty dead for most of this but they made Raquel look like a beast.

Post match Ronda offers a handshake, Raquel accepts.

In the back Adam Pearce tries to make peace between Aliyah and Shotzi as they whine at each other, Pearce doesn’t get paid enough for this.

The Andre the Giant trophy is set up ringside, that means Madcap Moss will be up in some capacity after this break.

Kayla is in the ring as we come back, and she brings out Madcap Moss. She asks Moss about his current roll and we get a video recap of him beating Happy Corbin at Backlash. Back to live and Moss calls that the biggest win of his career, puts over Corbin’s physicality but the real danger is his personality. If Corbin had just told Moss another story about how much his watch cost Moss would have just tapped out due to boredom. But Moss looked by the horrible tattoos, the glare from Corbin’s head, and beat the big bald wolf. Asked about the future Moss wants to do it all, he wants a mixed tag team with Sasha Banks called Madcap Boss, win Money in the Bank, maybe make title suspenders, but here comes Corbin from behind with a chair and I’m actually glad to see him for once because that promo was going no where. Corbin lays in chair shots then grabs the Andre trophy and sets it in the ring. More chair shots from Corbin along with fake boos, he sets to Pillmanize the neck of Moss, and uses the trophy to do so. Officials finally show up, the crowd does start booing for real, and Corbin leaves. Moss is doing the full stretcher job as we head to break.

Post break we get a recap of Corbin attacking Moss, they’re selling the trophy as weighing over 100 lbs. and I can only laugh at that. In the back Moss is loaded into an ambulance as Corbin walks up and says he’ll see Moss at the “Mosspital”.

Back to the ring here comes Shayna Baszler and Natalya for their title shot.

Match #3 – Women’s Tag Team Title Match: (c) Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Natalya and Shayna Baszler

Baszler and Naomi get us going. Naomi grabs a side headlock but Baszler counters with an arm whip. A back elbow and mule kick from Naomi then she tags in Banks. Double Sole food to Baszler but that only gets 2. Natalya tags in and attacks Banks in the corner. Banks fights back and drives Natalya into the corner before hitting a head scissors takedown then a Meteora for a 2 count. Sunset flip from Banks gets 2, then an O’Connor roll, Natalya counters but Banks rolls through for a Bank Statement but Natalya drags them to the ropes and forces a break. Natalya tosses Banks down but Banks goes for another Bank Statement but Baszler had tagged in blind and now comes in to stomp on Banks as we head to break.

Banks is starting to fight back against Natalya as we come back, but she’s taken down by an Alabama Slam then Baszler tags in. Hart Attack to Banks but Naomi breaks up the pin and tosses Natalya out of the ring before heading back to the corner. Banks goes to tag out but Baszler pulls her off the apron only to be kneed by Banks then Naomi tags in and hits a cross body to Baszler on the floor. Back in the ring Naomi runs wild for a bit but runs into a kick then Baszler goes for a rope assisted pin only to be caught by the ref. Natalya tags in, Naomi hits an enziguri to Baszler then avoids a discus clothesline from Nataly and hits a springboard kick. Banks tags in, then tags Naomi again and they go for Rent’s Due but Natalya clotheslines Banks only to eat a Bubba Bomb from Naomi. Things break down as Banks takes out Baszler with a Backstabber then Naomi catches Natalya in a small package for the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Naomi and Sasha Banks retained the titles

Rating: 2.5 stars

Another match where nothing prebreak mattered, but they put together a good closing stretch.

In the back Drew Gulak laments his last few weeks to Ricochet, Ricochet can relate to his troubles but perseverance is key. We get a mediocre pep talk from Ricochet, and Gulak wont let GUNTHER chop him down to size. Next time he see’s GUNTHER he’s going to put him in his place. They both walk away, and Gulak walks into GUNTHER. Ludwig Kaiser asks what Gulak wanted to do, and Gulak just says “Hi” before GUNTHER shoves him into a door, rips off his shirt, then chops the lungs out of Gulak before walking off.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods head to the ring, Kofi will take on Butch after this break.

Post break here come the Eastie Boys.

Match #4: Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods vs. Butch w/ Ridge Holland and Sheamus

Kofi comes out with a drop kick and starts laying in strikes. Both men brawl wildly for a bit before Kofi settles things down with a splash in the corner before Butch comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Mounted elbows from Butch then he goes for the fingers of Kofi before stomping on the hand. They start trading punches before Kofi sends Butch out of the ring then Butch avoids a baseball slide. Kick to the head from Kofi then he hits a double ax handle. Butch heads out of the ring again, and Kofi fakes him out for a dive then hits a punt kick. Kofi and Woods celebrate this success as we head to break.

Post break Butch is working a neck crank and Kofi starts fighting back with punches. Kofi lays in more punches then starts on the chops for his comeback segment. Butch lands a back elbow but gets caught in an SOS for a 2 count. Butch fights back with a chop but eats a kick in response. Kofi tries a flying chop but Butch intercepts him with a right hand for a 2 count. Sheamus and Ridge try to fire up Butch, but Kofi avoids a running knee strike and they trade kicks. Again Butch sets for a punt kick but runs into a double stomp. Kofi wants the Trouble in Paradise but Ridge, Woods, and Sheamus all get into it allowing Butch to hit the Bitter End and Butch pins to win.


Rating: 2.5 stars

Again, if you can toss out half of a match and not lose anything you’ve got a poorly laid out affair. That said given the talent involved this was certainly watchable.

We get a recap of our opening segment, just in case you missed it.

In the back Sami Zayn talks with Paul Heyman, he doesn’t want to bother Roman but wants Heyman to make sure things are square with him and Roman. Sami needs to make sure Roman understands his intentions, and Sami needs to get his respect back. Mostly Sami wants to make sure Roman isn’t mad at him. Heyman tells Sami that his Tribal Chief appreciates him. After this break the Usos will address things with RKBro.

We come back, and here comes Roman Reigns with full entourage in tow. Roman bathes in the boos for a bit before getting a mic from Heyman. Per usual, Roman demands the people of Pennsylvania to acknowledge him. With that out of the way, we all know the deal by this point. They smash someone on Sunday, then come out and say who’s next. Roman reminds us he’s beaten John Cena and Brock Lesnar, but this Friday is a little different. Last Sunday they smashed RKBro and Drew McIntyre, and now there’s nobody next. Everyone’s afraid of Roman, no one wants to step to the mountain. But the Usos, his cousins, they still have someone next. The question is what they’re going to do about it. Roman offers Jimmy the mic, but RKBro come out to interrupt the proceedings. Randy and Riddle head to the ring, they’re both armed with mics. Randy says John Cena is ten times the superstar that Roman will ever be “believe that”. Riddle likes to set the mood before going to bed, thankfully Randy cuts him off because he doesn’t know where this is going, Riddle tells him to get his mind out of the gutter. Riddle likes to watch old matches back, and he now thinks they need to make that unification happen. Randy says Jimmy and Jey combined for just one brain, so he’ll slow this down so he’s sure they understand, then reiterates the challenge on the table. Once RKBro have both sets of titles they’ll only have one set of titles and we’ll have only the undisputed WWE tag team championships. Randy then jokes he’s way taller than Jimmy, which is true. Jimmy has the mic and accepts the challenge, Jey reaffirms the challenge and says they’ll meet next week. Jimmy promises there’ll be two titles for all of The Bloodline, then Riddle hits Roman with a Final Flash leading to RKBro powdering. Roman seethes as we end the episode.

The final score: review Good
The 411
A nice return to form for Smackdown this week, it wasn't great but the wrestling was all clean, the angle development made sense, and apart from the almost unbearable rematch fatigue I'm getting with New Day and the Eastie Boys this largely hit the mark. We got direction for the tag team scene, a good if somewhat pointless match between Riddle and Sami Zayn, Raquel looked like a beast against the champ, and we had a decent women's tag team match. This was a bit recap heavy, but hardly the worst example of that, and was largely enjoyable. Hopefully next week continues the momentum.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree