SmackDown Results and Recap: KO, No!

Kimberly Schueler
Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch (source: WWE)

The April 23 episode of SmackDown Live—the first after the Superstar Shake-Up settled—included drama in the women’s tag team division, Money in the Bank challenges, and more.

The episode opened with noted dad-puncher Shane McMahon demanding a confrontation with Roman Reigns about how he punched his dad, Vince McMahon, last week. Rather than explain himself when he entered the ring, Reigns dropped his microphone. Shane did the same and it looked like the two would fight right there—but new McMahon Family favorite Elias was waiting to get involved, and the standoff became a two-on-one assault.

Later in the show, we saw Elias feeling great about his underhanded actions backstage. He challenged Reigns to a one-on-one match at Money in the Bank via song, encouraged by Shane. Reigns later accepted the challenge via normal speech.

The first match of the night was a rematch last week’s RAW: Andrade vs. Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. Before the match, Andrade swore he would build his legacy on “broken heroes,” but he didn’t end up breaking Balor. Both men pulled out some impressive moves and looked evenly-matched, but interference (by Andrade’s manager Zelina Vega) gone wrong gave Balor the opening to pick up the win after a Coup de Grace.

Feuds in the Women’s Tag Team Championship picture that began last week also continued with a singles match, this one between Peyton Royce and recent NXT call-up Kairi Sane. The IIconics cut a promo about how Sane only managed to pin Royce last week because she was dehydrated… but Sane quickly pinned her again. But while Asuka and Sane cleanly handled The IIconics, it looked like their manager Paige might soon have messier problems of her own with her former Absolution proteges, the jealous Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, waiting in the wings.

It looked like there would be a singles match between SmackDown newcomers Jinder Mahal and Chad Gable, but it was broken up with an attack by Lars Sullivan. He took out both competitors and Mahal’s entourage, then R-Truth, who entered the arena looking for a fight with the man who attacked him last week. So far, no one has been able to stand in the way of “The Freak’s” path of destruction.

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Later in the show, Charlotte Flair got back on the path to the SmackDown Women’s Championship. She cut a promo contesting her loss of the blue belt in the winner-take-all triple threat at WrestleMania and called out double champ Becky Lynch. The old rivals exchanged harsh words and Lynch expressed a desire for new challengers. This drew Bayley out into the arena, and she argued that Charlotte didn’t deserve a title shot, before challenging to fight her for one right then and there.

It was clear through her wrestling that Charlotte had no respect for Bayley as they fought, but the former hug enthusiast wasn’t an easy opponent. Bayley looked like a contender, but Charlotte ultimately defeated her to earn a spot at the front of the line for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Later in the show, we learned that Lynch will have this defense against Charlotte and face Lacey Evans for the RAW Women’s Championship at Money In The Bank, making it seem like her “champ champ” days could be over soon.

As Lynch was set to revisit an old rivalry, Kofi Kingston gained a new enemy on this week’s SmackDown. When interviewed about his main event match with Shinsuke Nakamura, Kingston was very positive and supported by the equally positive “New New Day” of Xavier Woods and Kevin Owens. After an exciting match with Nakamura, they continued to support him by helping him out with a post-match attack by “The Artist” and Rusev.

However, in classic Kevin Owens fashion, Kevin Owens then attacked Kingston himself and revealed he had been wearing his own merch under his New Day shirt all along. When Woods tried to save Kingston, Owens laid him out with a massive powerbomb outside the ring. From the way he and Kingston looked at each other after all this violence, it was clear this is just the beginning of their story.

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