The John Report: WWE SmackDown 05/10/24 Review

WWE Smackdown May 10

This week’s WWE SmackDown featured Randy Orton against AJ Styles, plus Naomi taking on Nia Jax, and more big names in action.

It’s the first Smackdown since the Backlash France PLE last Saturday. The only title change saw Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill become the Women’s Tag Team Champions after beating The Kabuki Warriors. That means Bianca & Jade can appear on any brand although they were both drafted to Smackdown. Speaking of that, it’s the first Smackdown where the WWE Draft results are in full effect, so we will get to see the new roster starting tonight. With that said, there weren’t that many major changes to the Smackdown roster, so it will be a lot of familiar faces.

They advertised six matches going into this week’s show. Three King of the Ring Tournament matches: Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles, Angelo Dawkins vs. Tama Tonga, and Baron Corbin vs. Carmelo Hayes.

There are also three Queen of the Ring Tournament matches: Jade Cargill vs. Piper Niven, Bianca Belair vs. Candice LeRae, and Naomi vs. Nia Jax.

From the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, this is Smackdown for episode #1290. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

There was a video package showing highlights of the WWE Backlash France event from last Saturday. What an amazing crowd it was in Lyon, France for that show.

The commentary team of Corey Graves and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show with the graphics for the King and Queen of the Ring tournament matches.

Nick Aldis, the Smackdown General Manager, welcomed us to the show. Nick introduced the Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes for some promo time.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes made his entrance in a white suit and he had the Undisputed WWE Championship with him as usual. The fans popped loudly for Cody as usual. The announcers put over how great the Cody-Styles match at Backlash. Cody shook hands with GM Aldis in the ring. There were loud “Cody” chants from the crowd.

Aldis congratulated Cody on a successful championship defense against AJ Styles at Backlash. Aldis said it’s never easy to get your hand raised against the best of a generation. Aldis spoke about the King and Queen of the Ring Tournament. Aldis said he knows Cody is a fighting champion that wants to take on all comers, so Aldis said he picked a man that Cody will face at King and Queen of the Ring.

Logan Paul made his entrance as the United States Champion and Cody’s challenger at King and Queen of the Ring. Logan shook hands with Aldis on his way to the ring. Aldis left while Logan went into the ring. The fans were booing Paul loudly.

Cody: “So Logan Paul…I think I know what you want to talk about.” Paul said that they will be main eventing the King and Queen of the Ring PLE to truly kick off the Logan Paul Levesque Era. The fans booed and chanted “Logan Sucks” at Paul.

Cody said that Champion vs. Champion is a challenge that he certainly likes. Cody mentioned possibly holding two titles although Paul cut him off before he said too much about it.

Logan said that he is the longest-reigning champion in the WWE. Logan claimed he’s the greatest attraction in this company. Logan claimed he had the greatest rookie year of all time (I’ll go with Kurt Angle) and he is a superstar. Logan said he saw a fan with a sign saying it was their birthday and Logan said that they got to see Logan so happy birthday. Logan said that in the 2023 Royal Rumble, Cody won it but the fans remember Logan’s crash with Ricochet instead. Logan claimed that at WrestleMania, they were talking about his brand Prime and his moments. The fans chanted “Prime sucks” so Logan told them to shut their mouths. Logan said that three years ago at WrestleMania, Cody and Logan debuted on the same night (Cody returned, not debuted and it was two years ago). Logan said that he’s going to knock out Cody, pin him and walk out of Saudi Arabia as the Undisputed WWE Champion.

Cody said that he bets a lot of people stand across from Logan and assume he’s a dumbass. Cody said he’s not going to call him an outsider or pretend like this is a fad for Logan. Cody mentioned Logan’s credentials while pointing out that he won the United States Championship in his fourth or fifth match. Cody said that if he was to win that United States Championship that would make him a WWE Grand Slam Champion. Cody said that in addition to the positive things that he said Logan is, Logan is also disrespectful, delusional, and self-centered. Cody mentioned that Paul likes to use the brass knuckles in every match he has. Cody said that this is a team and Logan is going to find out where his place is on the team. Cody and Logan each held up their titles as Cody’s music played to end it.

Analysis: I didn’t expect that as the title match at King and Queen of the Ring, so that’s an interesting move to have Cody Rhodes face off against Logan Paul. Based on what Cody said, it sounds like both titles will be on the line. I would be shocked if Cody Rhodes lost that match, so that means Cody will become the WWE Champion and US Champion at the same time. I wonder if that leads to Cody vacating the US Title, but that’s something to figure out down the road. Anyway, Paul did a good job of riling up the crowd and being the cocky heel that he is.

AJ Styles was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Styles said that he had Cody beaten and it should be him defending the WWE Championship. Styles said that the next time he faces Cody, he will beat Cody. Styles said he would earn a chance to get another title match. Styles said winning the King of the Ring tournament would be a phenomenal step in that direction.

Naomi made her entrance for her Queen of the Ring tournament match.

This Monday on Raw: The quarterfinals of the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments. Plus, Women’s World Champion Becky Lynch in action.


Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Nia Jax vs. Naomi

Welcome Alicia Taylor as the Smackdown ring announcer. Mike Rome has been moved to NXT. This is almost like a Bloodline match since Jax is part of the family while Naomi is married to Jimmy Uso.

Naomi charged at Jax, who hit a body attack to knock Naomi down. Jax splashed Naomi against the ropes along with a toss across the ring. Jax splashed Naomi again followed by an elbow drop. Naomi avoided a charging Jax and Naomi kicked Jax in the legs. Naomi sent Jax face first into the turnbuckle. Naomi avoided a charging Jax, who bumped to the floor. Naomi hit a suicide dive on Jax on the floor. Jax came back with a Samoan Drop on the floor. Ouch. That led to a break.


Jax remained in control with a headbutt. Jax put Naomi across the top rope followed by a headbutt to knock Naomi out of the ring. Naomi got back in the ring, Jax tried to sit on her, but Naomi moved so Jax hit the mat. Naomi hit a clothesline, elbow strike and springboard enziguri kick to knock Jax down to one knee. Naomi with a kick to the head along with a double leg attack spiking Jax on the apron. Naomi hit a split-legged moonsault off the top for two. Naomi tried to lift up Jax to the top turnbuckle, she managed to do it and Naomi managed to do a top rope hurricanrana on Jax for a two count. That was impressive to see Jax take a bump like that. Jax was on the middle turnbuckle taking that move and it looked impressive for Naomi to do that. Naomi was adjusting her top a lot throughout the match to prevent showing off too much. Naomi hit two superkicks. Jax came back with a Powerbomb and a leg drop to the back of Naomi’s neck. Jax hit the Annihilator splash off the turnbuckle for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: *** That was a pretty good match. Jax has been having better matches since coming back to the company over the last year. Naomi deserves a lot of credit because she was flying all over the place hitting big moves and looking like a credible opponent who had a chance to win. That hurricanrana spot coming off the turnbuckle was very impressive by both women. Naomi nearly had a wardrobe malfunction a few times, but I think she was able to stay covered up. Anyway, I hope Naomi gets some big wins at some point because she’s performing at a high level and I love to see that.

Baron Corbin was interviewed by Byron Saxton backstage. Corbin said that he went to NXT and he found himself. Corbin mentioned some of his failed gimmicks of the past. Corbin said that he’s going to wreck shop as himself. Carmelo Hayes walked up to him welcoming Corbin to Smackdown and asked when he got drafted, which was an insult. Hayes told Corbin he should have pulled out of the tournament like Bobby Lashley did. That Corbin-Hayes match was next.


A video aired about #DIY’s Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, who are now a part of Smackdown. Gargano said that becoming WWE Tag Team Champions feels like a matter of time.

King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Baron Corbin vs. Carmelo Hayes

Baron Corbin is a former King of the Ring just like announcer Wade Barrett was. Barrett said that this is a new era, so big things will happen for whoever wins these tournaments.

Melo hit a running dropkick to the left knee along with a kick to the head. Melo smacked Corbin’s bald head, so Corbin came back with punches. Corbin punched Melo a few times followed by a sitout slam for a two count. Melo bailed to the floor leading to a break.


The match continued with Corbin throwing some punches until Melo broke free and Melo hit a springboard clothesline. Melo jumped around the upper body of Corbin leading to a facebuster into the mat. Corbin went for Deep Six, Melo fought out of it and Corbin hit a Death Valley Driver. Corbin hit a brainbuster for two. Corbin went after Melo off the ropes, but Melo knocked him down and Melo hit the First 48 double knee attack. Melo hit a running knee attack. Melo went up top, he jumped and Corbin moved. Corbin slammed Melo into the turnbuckle followed by a lariat. Corbin lifted up Melo leading to a Cutter. Melo countered End of Days and Melo got an inside cradle for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Carmelo Hayes

Analysis: *** A solid match that was full of action. Corbin hit a lot of big moves in the match, but he wasn’t able to hit his finisher and Melo was too quick at the end, which led to Melo grabbing that inside cradle to beat Corbin. The right guy won since Melo is an ascending star.

Bayley, the WWE Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. Bayley said she’s interested to see how far Jade Cargill can go in the Queen of the Ring Tournament. Piper Niven walked up with Chelsea Green and Green said that Bayley forgot about Niven here. Green said that Niven is going to take Jade Cargill out of the tournament.

Jade Cargill was shown walking backstage as one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions. That Cargill-Niven match was next.


A video aired about WrestleMania 41 coming to Las Vegas on April 19 & 20, 2025. That was made official last Saturday.

Randy Orton was interviewed by Byron Saxton about the King of the Ring tournament. Orton said there’s a lot that he’s accomplished in WWE, but he has never been King of the Ring. Orton said we know how great AJ Styles, but it feels phenomenal when he hits AJ Styles with an RKO out of nowhere. Orton told Byron to stay tuned. Orton said that last week, Tama Tonga took out Kevin Owens at Backlash. Orton said that Tonga is on the other side of the bracket, but they will cross paths. Orton said that he’s going to make sure that Tonga’s ass sees it coming.

Analysis: I guess that means Kevin Owens is on a bit of a break after losing at Backlash. Orton seeking revenge for Owens makes sense.

Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Jade Cargill vs. Piper Niven (w/Chelsea Green)

Jade is one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions. They each tried to knock the other woman down with shoulder tackles. Jade knocked down Niven with a shoulder tackle. Niven hit an uppercut. Jade came back with a superkick, but Niven came back with a slam. Niven hit a senton splash for two. Niven set up Jade on the ropes, so Green slapped Jade in the face, which the referee never saw. Niven gave Jade a body slam. Niven knocked down Jade with lefty clotheslines. Jade came back with punches along with a spinning Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Jade hit two straight Stinger Splashes and Jade punched Green off the apron. Jade went for Jaded, but Niven avoided that and did a headbutt (to her own hand). Niven splashed Jade against the turnbuckle and Niven hit a cannonball splash. Niven went to the middle rope, but Jade pulled her off and Jade hit a pump kick. Jade picked up Niven and hit the Jaded slam into the mat for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill

Analysis: **1/2 It was an entertaining match for the time given. Jade did more selling than what we usually see from her, but she did a nice of job of taking some of Niven’s offense before making the big comeback leading to the win. I don’t think the result was ever in doubt here. Jade lifting up Niven to hit Jaded looked very impressive.

The win by Jade Cargill means she faces Nia Jax in the Queen of the Ring quarterfinals.

Analysis: It’s going to be interesting to see how they book that one. Jade hasn’t lost in her WWE career while Jax is booked strongly all the time. I’d probably go with a Jade win there.

Bianca Belair made her entrance as Jade Cargill was leaving. They are the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Belair’s match was up next.


A video aired about Shinsuke Nakamura, who spoke in Japanese while the translations appeared on the screen. Nakamura said that now that he is here on Smackdown, nobody is safe. Nakamura claimed that everything on Smackdown is about to change and it will never be the same again.

Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Bianca Belair vs. Candice LeRae (w/Indi Hartwell)

Belair tried a power move, but LeRae did a headscissors to send Belair out of the ring. LeRae jumped on Belair and Belair caught her, so Belair sent LeRae into the barricade. Belair did a cheap shot to the back of Belair’s leg that the referee didn’t see. Belair went for hammer fists in the ring. LeRae charged, Belair did a backflip and Belair sold a left knee injury. LeRae kicked the left knee followed by strikes to the knee. Belair caught LeRae with a fallaway slam. Belair was selling the knee injury. LeRae slipped behind Belair, hit the back of the left knee and hit a splash on the back. Belair caught LeRae on her shoulders leading to Belair hitting the KOD slam for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: ** Easy win for Belair as you would expect in a match like this. LeRae did get some offense since she got to work on the knee, but this result was never in doubt. It was all about Belair looking dominant.

Bianca Belair’s win means she’ll face Tiffany Stratton or Michin in the Quarterfinals of the Queen of the Ring tournament. The Stratton/Michin match takes place at a WWE live event this weekend.

A video aired about The Bloodline winning at WWE Backlash France.

Paul Heyman was in the locker room with The Bloodline, which meant Solo Sikoa, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa. Heyman talked to Solo Sikoa saying he knows his place in life as Roman Reigns’ Wise Man. The fans were chanting “We Want Roman” for Reigns. Solo complained about Heyman taking Roman Reigns out of the draft and they got drafted to the third round. Solo wondered if Paul was trying to take food out of his kids’ mouths. Solo said that when he saw Jey Uso, was he giving him some signal? Paul said no. Solo mentioned Roman Reigns losing “our title” so that was interesting. Solo said that Heyman hasn’t talked to Roman Reigns since WrestleMania while Solo claimed that he has spoken to Roman Reigns and Roman has put Solo Sikoa in charge. Solo said until Roman comes back, Solo is calling the shots. Solo hugged Heyman and said he loved him. While Solo hugged Heyman, Solo was looking at Tama & Tanga. Solo told Heyman he loved him.

Analysis: There’s the confirmation that Solo Sikoa is in charge of The Bloodline for now. Whether Solo was telling the truth about talking to Roman Reigns is unknown. I think it could certainly lead to Roman Reigns coming back to say that he never gave Solo the ability to call the shots, but that’s for down the line.

Angelo Dawkins entered with Montez Ford and B-Fab for Angelo’s King of the Ring tournament match.


Andrade was featured in a video saying his destiny is here in WWE. Andrade is coming to Smackdown soon.

King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Angelo Dawkins (w/Montez Ford) vs. Tama Tonga (w/Solo Sikoa, Tanga Loa & Paul Heyman)

Tama was aggressive with a clothesline along with punches. Tama tried a corner splash, but Dawkins moved out of the way. Dawkins nailed a clothesline and a leaping elbow smash. Dawkins hit a corner splash, a jumping kick and a running Pounce to knock Tama out of the ring. Solo was on the apron, so Dawkins punched Solo down. Ford did a somersault dive onto both Bloodline guys on the floor. Dawkins hit a sitout spinebuster on Tama for two. Tanga Loa sent Ford into the ring post. Solo gave Ford a Samoan Spike and Dawkins saw it. Tama countered a Dawkins move leading to Tama hitting a jumping Flatliner for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner: Tama Tonga

Analysis: *1/2 A quicker match with the story involving The Bloodline on the floor causing a distraction and Tama Tonga capitalized to get the win. It was another match that was predictable in terms of a winner.

After the match, Solo hit Dawkins with a Samoan Spike. Heyman had a shocked look on his face.

Analysis: The way Paul Heyman reacts to these segments is important because it puts over how Heyman doesn’t love what Solo Sikoa is doing.

A Progressive Match Flo video aired about Smackdown newcomer Blair Davenport. Blair said that she sends a message and she breaks her opponents.

AJ Styles made his entrance for the main event.


Next week on Smackdown:

* Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul contract signing for WWE Title match at King And Queen of the Ring

* King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinals: Randy Orton or AJ Styles vs. Carmelo Hayes

* King of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinals: Tama Tonga vs. LA Knight or Santos Escobar

* Queen of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinals: Jade Cargill vs. Nia Jax

* Queen of the Ring Tournament Quarterfinals: Bianca Belair vs. Tiffany Stratton or Michin

Randy Orton made his entrance for the main event. Orton even signed something for a fan on his way to the ring. Some of the fans were singing part of Orton’s theme song like the French crowd did at Backlash. It wasn’t the whole crowd, but there was some crowd singing for Orton’s song.

King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles

Orton knocked Styles out of the ring and the show went to break less than one minute into this match.


Styles got some offense going after sending Out of the ring and Styles hit a knee strike. Styles went after Orton on the floor, but Orton kicked him. Orton hit a belly-to-back suplex on the top of the barricade. Styles fought back with a forearm. Styles jumped onto the commentary and tried to jump onto Orton, but Orton blocked that with a belly-to-back slam on the apron. Orton gave Styles a belly-to-back slam on the commentary table. The fans wanted it again, so Orton did that with another belly-to-back slam on the commentary table. Back in the ring, Styles went after Orton’s left knee including a chop block. Styles ran at Orton on the floor leading to a running chop block to the back of the left leg. They went to break there.


The match continued with Styles jumping on Orton’s left knee against the ropes. When Styles tried going on the knee again, Orton kicked Styles out of the ring. Styles tried to take down Orton again, but Orton kicked him in the chest. Orton hit two clotheslines. Styles held onto the ropes to avoid a powerslam and Styles got a rollup for two. Orton hit an uppercut to send Styles to the apron. Styles wrenched on Orton’s left knee against the middle rope. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm off the top, but Orton knocked Styles off the top. Styles went for the Calf Crusher, Orton tried to fight it and then Styles had it locked in. The fans chanted “Randy” for Orton, who countered the submission with a chinlock. Orton caught a charging Styles with a powerslam for two. They battled by the turnbuckle where Styles avoided a superplex and broke free. Orton managed to catch Styles in his hands leading to Orton hitting the vintage DDT off the ropes. Orton wanted the RKO, Styles shoved him off and Styles hit a forearm to the head. Styles connected with the Phenomenal Forearm for a two count because Orton got his left hand on the bottom rope. Styles picked up Orton looking for more, but Orton popped back up with an RKO outta nowhere for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match by two legends and all-time greats that are still very capable of putting on awesome matches like this. I thought the counters that they did throughout the match were really cool. Styles hit that Phenomenal Forearm and it was only two count because Orton got his hand on the ropes. I like that better than Orton doing a regular kick out. Anyway, Orton coming back to hit that RKO outta nowhere was a fitting end to the match to remind everybody that Orton is still performing at a high level and can beat anybody with that RKO.

Randy Orton celebrated the win. That was the end of the show.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Randy Orton

2. Cody Rhodes/Logan Paul

3. AJ Styles, Jade Cargill, and Nia Jax/Naomi


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2024 Average: 7.31


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

I thought it was a very good show that was heavy on in-ring action just like Raw was. The best two matches from Raw were better than anything on this show, but I did like this wrestling-heavy episode. They had six matches instead of the usual four and all of them were about advancing in the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments. The best match was Randy Orton beating AJ Styles with an RKO outta nowhere. They got the most time and did well. Most of the matches were predictable, but I liked the stories told in all of them. I’m happy for Carmelo Hayes advancing too. That was great to see.

On the women’s side, there were wins for Bianca Belair, Nia Jax and Jade Cargill. That Nia Jax/Naomi match was booked very well. Jade Cargill sold a bit more for Piper Niven than I was expecting, but it was still a solid match. Belair’s win was dominant.

That Cody Rhodes-Logan Paul promo exchange was executed well in terms of setting up their match at the King and Queen of the Ring PLE. I didn’t expect Logan to be in that spot, but I don’t mind it while pushing the Champion vs. Champion story.

There weren’t many segments advancing stories or anything like that. However, Solo Sikoa telling Paul Heyman that he spoke to Roman Reigns and Roman put Solo in charge of The Bloodline is interesting. Solo may have been honest, but they could certainly follow up in a few months with Reigns saying that Solo was bullshitting about that. The way Heyman reacts to everything is so great. Heyman adds so much with his reactions.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport