Smackdown Synopsis for 5/22/20

Our neighbors to the South are celebrating Memorial Day weekend. This holiday usually signifies the start of the Summer. Beaches open and guess what, it’s even ok to wear white again! We usher in another edition of the Smackdown Synopsis for 5/22/20.

Smackdown is in a celebratory mode with an array of matches that are PPV worthy. The Intercontinental championship tournament continues with a pair of hookups. Former champion Shinsuke Nakamura will face the Phenomenal AJ Styles. We will also see Jeff Hardy go one on one with the very angry Sheamus.

In mixed tag team action, Otis and his “peach” Mandy Rose will lock horns with the conniving duo of Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler.

We will also be treated to a champion vs. champion encounter as Bayley will be tested against NXT titleholder and Raw Superstar Charlotte Flair. Keep in mind that on last week’s show, Flair confronted Sasha Banks, asking her whether she was content on being an afterthought as opposed to her own woman. A developing storyline.

With a bit of luck, we might even hear the truth tonight. Expectations are running wild. Especially right after a run of a few excellent episodes in a row. Enjoyable in-ring and backstage action.

The Dirt Sheet w/ The Miz, John Morrison, and Braun Strowman

Tonight kicks off with the Dirt Sheet. The Miz and Morrison were having a laugh or two at Otis’ expense. They also targeted Braun Strowman, saying that his decision to tag with Otis last week ” makes no sense, like Becky Lynch having a child with Seth Rollins.”

We then got an insider’s look at some rejected Firefly Funhouse puppets, including one named Mandyquin Rose.

Quoting the late great King of Hearts, enough is enough. Braun Strowman entered the ring. Being very bold with the fate of others, John Morrison issued a challenge to the champion for him to clash with the Miz.

The Miz enjoyed 15 seconds of glory, laying a series of jabs on the Monster Among Men. In no time at all though, Miz was being decimated by Strowman.

Momentum switch, like that, was a surprise. Assisted by John Morrison, the Miz had Strowman outside the ring and threw him into the ring post. Another rapid blaze of success came to an abrupt end. Strowman put together a waist lock, hip toss, and ultimately ended the contest with a crushing power slam.

The fact that Strowman’s victory came quickly and with relative ease did not stop Morrison from challenging the champion to a handicap title bout at Backlash. Intriguing scenario, we all remember Braun dropping the now vacant I-C title to the Artists Collective at the Elimination Chamber in the weeks preceding Wrestlemania. After all, history does tend to repeat itself.

Smackdown Synopsis for 5/22/20
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles

We continue with the first of two Intercontinental Championship tournament qualifying matches, Shinsuke Nakamura confronting A.J. Styles. Phenomenal news, in fact, for fans of the Blue brand. Styles has been traded to Smackdown for a Superstar to be named later. Pretty curious as to HOW trades are made without GM characters on either brand. Never overthink suspended reality.

The very start of the match saw a beautiful technical exchange from the two performers who have squared off pretty well all over the globe. The pair exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Styles then kicked things up a notch. Hitting Nakamura with a Clothesline and getting a two count before locking on a Calf Crusher, Styles was unable to put his foe away.

After grabbing the ropes, Nakamura mustered a pair of two counts of his own, one following a Michonuko Driver.

Styles had the last word tonight. He earned the “W” via a Phenomenal Forearm off the top rope. Next week, the semi-finals and a matchup against Elias.

Winner: AJ Styles

Backstage, Bayley and Sasha are in a pre-match caucus. Sasha is requested to remain away from the ringside area. Bayley wants to do this on her own.

Smackdown Synopsis for 5/22/20
Charlotte Flair vs Bayley

The clash of the champions ensues. Pride was at stake, the belts not. Charlotte Flair is a five-time Smackdown titleholder. Bayley, for her part having held the top honors for 224 days. While Charlotte Flair would gain a very early advantage, both combatants would attempt to gain a pin via the use of the ropes shortly after that. Keep that scenario in the back of your minds.

Bayley would then drop Flair on the back of her neck on that very unforgiving apron. However, Bayley was thrown into the barricade, which prompted Charlotte Flair to call Sasha out from the end. The Boss is not one to fall for said traps.

Nothing though beats well-executed maneuvers, and we witnessed many in the latter stages of the match. Then, Flair hit an impressive Fall Away Slam. A Neck Breaker followed it. The NXT champion took to the top rope and attempted a Moonsault, which was unsuccessful.

Bayley roared back with a running knee that decked Flair in the corner. The role model followed with an attempt at a Flying Elbow Drop from the top rope. Charlotte Flair was able to get her knees up at the last second. Just before that, however, Bayley resisted tapping out to a Boston Crab like the move.

A masterful exchange of chops followed that. The match would end suddenly, though when a Roll-Up attempt by Flair was reversed by Bayley, the latter using the ropes for leverage. A tainted victory for Bayley, albeit one earned on her own. No small feat to deceive the daughter of the dirtiest player in the game!

Winner: Bayley

Up next is the soap opera-like mixed tag encounter featuring Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville versus the lovestruck Mandy Rose and Otis. Mandy, by the way, sporting new ring attire which Michael Cole mentioned looking like that of Catherine Bach. Younger readers, unsure of who Bach is, may want to use Google.

Smackdown Synopsis for 5/22/20
Otis and Mandy Rose vs Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville

The opening moments saw Otis dominating Ziggler. The Show Off was able to tag in Sonya Deville, who was having a field day with Mandy Rose. Dolph Ziggler, ever the opportunist.

Mandy Rose survived Sonya’s barrage and was able to tag Otis, who had recovered. It is disappointing as things looked so promising for Otis and Mandy. Then, Deville was tagged in and landed a Running Knee snap in the back of Mandy’s neck. The count of three would follow.

Winners: Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler

Sonya Deville is on an impressive hot streak, let’s hope she gets more mic time and in-ring exposure in the weeks to come. She’s hitting it out of the yard.

We catch up with Jeff Hardy backstage. The North Carolinian was speaking to Sheamus, who he’s about to challenge in the Intercontinental Championship tournament…

“My path to one last blaze of glory goes right through you.”

There were more notable quotes from the backstage area. Once again, we see the Forgotten Sons who were recounting the struggles they faced returning home from service overseas.

“That s our blood on your hands. What’s only fair is YOUR blood on our hands”.

Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus

Jeff Hardy and Sheamus are to close the show out. At stake is a semi-final berth in the Intercontinental tournament. Interesting to note that Sheamus has never been Intercontinental champion. Neither has A.J. Styles for that matter.

Early on in the contest, it was Sheamus’ power game versus Hardy’s cat-like quickness. Sheamus dominated early on and throughout the match. It had a similar flow to his series of squash matches. Sheamus would banter the commentators and the camera that this was equivalent to a good work-out.

The Celtic Warrior hits three consecutive Irish Curse Back Breakers on Hardy but he is somehow resisting. The point of no return if you will, Sheamus charges at Hardy but misses, hitting the ring post with his shoulder. The Charismatic Enigma connected with a Basement Drop Kick and delivered a Clothesline from off the barricade. Hardy followed with an attempted Swanton Bomb that Sheamus blocked with his knees.

That preventive step caused a two count on Hardy. Sheamus telegraphed a Brogue Kick, which Hardy avoided managing even to roll Sheamus on his back for a sudden and surprising victory. Like the hare and the tortoise, Hardy rewarded for his patience and resiliency. Sheamus, one irate Irishman, as we leave the air.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

While segments featuring the mystery hacker and Bray Wyatt would have been a welcome addition, tonight’s two hours flew by and hit on all cylinders. As anticipated, the Flair-Bayley, Hardy-Sheamus matches were PPV caliber, first-rate. Sonya Deville though was impressive and carried her segment.

Next week should provide more action and decompression, especially with the Daniel Bryan against Jeff Hardy match. It is something to look forward to as we approach the Summer. Enjoy the sunshine and a surfeit of new normals. This was the WWE Smackdown Synopsis review for 5/22/20.