Hope you’re excited for Backlash in Puerto Rico tomorrow because that’s where SmackDown is airing right now.
The LWO are here in their home country as we start off the night. Earlier, they held a press conference with Zelina, Rey, Rhea and Dominik. Vega knows she’s outmatched in many ways, but she still believes that she can win the Championship off of Ripley, while her opponent says she won’t just beat Zelina, she’ll embarrass her in front of her country.
As the LWO engage with the crowd, Zelina was about to speak after Rey introduced her, but Judgment Day descend on the scene leaving her no time to say anything. Dominik was even seen ripping the LWO’s t-shirt, yet the only thing I thought was that that shirt must be made of some poor quality due to how easy it was to destroy it. Ha!
Whether Dom speaks or not, everyone boos him anyway. His unwanted presence is enough to make your stomach turn the wrong way. Rey says that all Dom does is talk, talk, talk… there’s no result to anything he says that should be taken as a serious statement.
He still uses the same insult, calling his dad a “dead-beat”. There are plenty of vocabularies in the dictionary you could be using, alas he’s stuck on the same, repetitive word that’s starting to sound more boring than threatening. Rey sees this as the perfect moment to remind Dom of his defeat at WrestleMania amongst other things.
Rey wants a rematch with Dom regardless of the fact he won. But I’m not complaining, I stand behind that notion. Ripley, however, has another idea. She suggests that Rey fights her, yet Zelina approaches her instead. Dom counters that with an even better idea, how about Rey and Zelina vs. Dominik and Rhea. Gasp!!
Just as Judgment Day exits, Dom goes back to deliver a cheap shot to Rey before running away. Typical ass-like move…
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows of The O.C. vs. The Viking Raiders – Tag Team match
Since the Raiders like showing up in places they’re not welcomed, them interrupting the newly arrived O.C. to SmackDown was an inevitable move on their part. Plus, later tonight Michael and I are getting our wish to see some mixed tag team action between Rey and Zelina versus Dominik and Rhea.
As the bell rings, Erik rains down on Karl as he tags his teammate, so they can both plough through at their opponent. Anderson retaliates with a basement slide kick to Erik’s knee, taking it out real aggressively.
Once Ivar comes into the fold against Gallows, he sends a couple of effective elbow hits in the corner of the ring against Luke’s jaw. Then he whips Gallows into the other corner.
Gallows and Anderson play a double team against Ivar with a move that AJ Styles calls the Brother Me Softly…? Ha! Okay… Styles was so proud of himself when he said he came up with the name.
Anderson was at the top, preparing something big. He suddenly gets distracted by Valhalla, which allows Ivar to shove Karl onto the main floor. Michin notices that and verbally goes after Valhalla.
Just when things were looking lopsided, Gallows changes the momentum of the game in his team’s favor by delivering a couple of clotheslines to Erik.
Gallows goes for a boot, Erik catches his leg then delivers a powerful powerbomb. Later, Ivar body splashes Gallows for a near win due to Anderson’s save.
Anderson’s rescue was well executed, but he gets sat on by Ivar afterwards. Because of Valhalla’s interference, again, when Gallows was preparing to take out Ivar, Michin drop kicks her. “That’s why we call Michin the Equalizer.”
Back inside the ring, Anderson and Gallows perform the Magic Killer for a bloody win.
Winners: Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Earlier today, Triple H explained the rules to crown a new World Heavyweight Champion. Next Monday, there will be a tournament and Friday night will continue the competition. The winners of both nights will face each other on the last Saturday of May in Saudi Arabia at Night of Champions.
As we continue the evening, Bianca Belair is here. Regardless of how “dangerous and unpredictable” Iyo Sky is, Belair has proven she’s defeated the best of the best by remaining her Championship. If, or when, Bianca wins tomorrow, she’ll hold the record for the longest title reign.
But… Ding Dong! It’s Damage Control. Bayley finds it conceded of Bianca that she fails to inform the audience that the only reason Belair is relevant is because Bayley made her significant on SmackDown. Uh… no.
Bayley and Dakota are looking to get the Women’s Tag Team Championship belts while Iyo wants the RAW Women’s Championship in order to end Belair’s title reign, so “idiots like Michael Cole” will know that SmackDown belongs to Damage Control. They attempt to go 3-on-1 here, but Bianca holds her own. Somehow, she hesitant to punch Iyo, instead, they exchange words… until Bayley and Kai push Belair into Iyo.
Bianca was looking for the KOD, but Bayley wiggles out of her grip, so Iyo could drop her from the sky. To remind you all of the numbers game, Damage Control corner Belair with triple the assault. Luckily, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez storm in for the assist.
You know, every time Karrion Kross shows up on my screen, I get slightly sad. As if this is my old High School English class where every student that walks in that classroom suddenly becomes depressed and hollow. All signs of happiness leaves your body. No joke.
The difference between Kross and my English class is that Karrion actually makes some points that I find challenging to ignore because they make sense… sometimes.
Someone takes the one thing of yours that makes you who are until that’s no longer the case. Kross thinks it to be a façade. Who you really are reveals itself when what you are is taken away. Tick tock…
Elsewhere, the Usos and Solo Sikoa are backstage. When I look at the Usos right now, they actually seem to be behaving like themselves a little bit, even though, they lost their Championships. Sikoa is still sulking. Roman Reigns truly made them believe that they’re their Championship, rather than seeing a person first and the belt second.
The Usos were meant to be of any value if they had their titles, but now that it’s momentarily gone, Reigns sees them as less than. Ignoring the twins proves that. Not listening to them when they’re talking is another. And sending out your own cousin to eliminate them is the final straw.
Jey Jey notices that Sikoa didn’t answer Jimmy when he asked him if he’s ready. Jey gets pissed and approaches him by leaning his face close to Solo’s profile.
He heard Jimmy, he just chose not to answer him. Ha! Sikoa knows he’ll do he’s part tomorrow, all he cares about is if the twins will do theirs. As he walks away, Jey looks at him annalistically while Jimmy puffs in disbelief.
The Street Profits vs. Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci of Imperium – Tag Team match
Right off the bat, Kaiser tags Vinci then goes after Montez Ford anyway while Giovanni beats down Dawkins.
Vinci puts Ford through a rolling Senton and a Moonsault off the top rope only to not win this one quickly like they wanted.
Montez fights back with multiple punches to Kaiser’s abdomen then a back suplex to create space, so he could tag his partner.
Dawkins is a heavy hitter once he comes into the ring and bulldozes through Giovanni. He performs a beautiful spine buster to pave the way for Montez’ winning body splash.
Winners: The Street Profits
I really hope that Cody Rhodes has a game plan for his match against Brock Lesnar because of the mismatch between these two athletes. Lesnar is more than simply dangerous, he’s lethal. Nuclear.
Rhodes is aware that Lesnar is the most decorated athletes in all sports entertainment, but he also sees a coward rather than a cowboy. Another name comes to mind, and that’s Gatekeeper. Lesnar is the Gatekeeper. The only way for you to know that you’ve really made it in an industry is when you pass the Gatekeeper looming over the kingdom like Brock is doing.
Rhodes needs to pass him at the gate in order to enter the kingdom. You can become a WWE Superstar without having to fight Lesnar, but Brock picked a fight with Rhodes with no answers. So Cody excepts to get them when he beats it out of Lesnar at Backlash.
Elsewhere, Matt Riddle enlightens Roman Reigns with a message of clarity. Once he, Owens and Zayn beat the Usos and Sikoa tomorrow, there won’t be a Bloodline to return to.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karrion Kross
This is the moment where Kross could take Nakamura’s honor and see the end result come to life as he predicted so many times before.
Kross goes after Shinsuke as quick as lightning, delivering punches to the stomach and head. Nakamura retaliates with an offence of his own. He almost gets impeded, but Shinsuke manages to ward it off.
Karrion turns things around in his favor with a knee to Nakamura’s abdomen when he went after him to begin with. Karrion punishes Shinsuke further by colliding him against the post.
Back in the ring, Karrion is seen dominating this match by verbally attacking Nakamura, calling him “the King of trash” rather Strong Style. Shin muscles up and confronts his opponent, dropping him on his ass.
Scarlett was shocked. Ha! Ha! She noticed that Karrion was teetering, so she tries to get involved. Scarlett manages to temporarily distract Shinsuke, which allows Kross to perform the Doomsday Saito.
Since that didn’t work, Karrion goes for the Krossjacket and fails because Shin rolls him into an arm bar. Kross attempts to flip this over, but Nakamura has him in the Guillotine. Karrion starts again with a vertical suplex attempt, Shin catches him with a knee to the face followed by a German suplex.
Nakamura has Kross confused. But Karrion catches Shin with a clothesline when he was looking for the Kinshasa. Surprise, surprise.
Karrion starts to get frustrated, so he resorts to the Kross Hammer. Nakamura notices what’s going on, delivers a fast kick then a menacing and victorious Kinshasa over doomsday himself.
I guess you won’t be sucking his honor like the leech you are, Kross.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
As we move on from that impressive fight, newly arrived SmackDown Draft pick Cameron Grimes is here. For some reason, Baron Corbin interrupts. He foolishly tries to make us believe that both RAW and SmackDown couldn’t decide who wanted him more, so he wants to negotiate for a free agent like Lesnar and Omos.
According to Corbin, being picked last like Grimes, means you’re Mr. Irrelevant. So, Cameron sanctions a match against Baron next week on Friday that Adam Pearce immediately officiates. Ha! It’s almost like Pearce was trying to push Corbin onto moving traffic.
Earlier today, Bad Bunny and Damian Priest had a confrontation during the press conference. Triple H did a good job playing peacemaker, even though, an exchange of two hits managed to pass him.
Zelina Vega & Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley – Mixed Tag Team match
Regardless of how villainous The Judgment Day are, I can’t lie and tell you I don’t like their theme music. It’s ominously endearing to listen to. Especially the animation effects that corelates with the song.
Ripley went for the big boot, cockily thinking that was going to end Vega, but her challenger dodges then throws a kick of her own then a slap to the face of the Champion.
Later on, Rey and Dom square off in the ring. While Rey was on a roll, Ripley thwarts his efforts with a knee to his spine while the referee wasn’t looking. But he does arm drag his son before tagging Zelina again.
Vega was looking to 619 Dom, yet the Eradicator ploughs her down harshly. When she comes back inside, Rhea sends a couple of painful punches to her kidney.
According to Barrett, Zelina’s hair is a reference to the character named Rengoku from Demon Slayer who dies in the anime, which is what he suspects is going to happen to Vega’s career after Backlash. Whilst I think she’s trying to say that, although Rengoku dies, he shocked us all as a potential character within the series. And she can do it too.
The chaos inside the ring was enough for Dom to sneak his way towards his dad and trip him off the apron. I’m a bit perplexed… again. Why would Dom want Eddie Guerrero as his biological dad if he keeps mocking him? I don’t understand…
Rhea is overpowering Zelina during this match as she aggressively pulls her down. Vega surprises us when she ducks out in time, so Rhea would hit the post shoulder first.
Vega drags her body over to Rey and makes the tag. Mysterio versus Mysterio. Rey is looking for the 619, but he sees that Rhea is in the way, so Zelina take her out by driving her into the barricade. This opening grants Rey to finish the job.
Or so I thought. Finn Balor soils the momentum, and Rey pays with vertical suplexes known as The Three Amigos. Dom was about to do the third when he suddenly gets the switch around by Rey with a roll up that awards him the victory.
With something worth celebrating is almost something worth destroying. Judgment Day because they lost, go after Rey. We were wondering where Damian Priest was, I thought maybe Hell, but he’s here as well.
Rey was at the mercy of the Judgment Day with a 3-on-1 attack until the rest of the LWO and Bad Bunny rain on Judgmental Day. Bunny even gets a LWO shirt given to him from Rey.
See you at Backlash and have fun!
Winners: Zelina Vega & Rey Mysterio
TOP PHOTO: LWO and Bad Bunny marching to the ring. Courtesy of WWE