The John Report: WWE SmackDown 05/31/24 Review

WWE Smackdown May 10

This week’s WWE SmackDown featured The Street Profits in action against The Bloodline, a Nia Jax celebration, and more.

From the MVP Arena in Albany, New York, this is Smackdown for episode #1293. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

They showed the arrivals of The Bloodline and The Street Profits.

A video package aired recapping the King and Queen of the Ring PLE from last Saturday.

The commentary team was Corey Graves and Wade Barrett as usual for Smackdown.

Nia Jax Queen of the Ring Celebration

The Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis was in the ring with a red carpet. Nick introduced the Queen of the Ring winner Nia Jax. Aldis congratulated Jax, who put the queen’s crown on her head while Aldis left. The fans chanted “you suck” at Jax.

Queen Jax said that it’s a fact that she is your Queen of the Ring. Jax said that as your Queen, she gets a WWE Women’s Title match at SummerSlam. Jax called out Bayley to the ring right now.

Bayley walked down the aisle on her way to the ring as the WWE Women’s Champion, but she was attacked from behind by Piper Niven, who had Chelsea Green with her. Niven threw Bayley into the barricade. They went into the ring where Niven hit a cross body block splash on Bayley.

Green told Jax that she won’t have to worry about facing Bayley because by the time SummerSlam rolls around, Jax will have to face Piper Niven. Jax said she didn’t care who the champion was because she was going to annihilate her regardless. Queen Jax left with her crown on her head.

Analysis: I mentioned it last week that it seems pretty obvious that they will be doing Bayley against Niven at Clash at the Castle, which his on June 15th in Glasgow, Scotland, which is Niven’s home country. That’s why this was done this way to get more heat on Niven for doing a cheap attack. Jax’s promo was quick and she showed a lot of confidence as the heel Queen of the Ring.

The Smackdown GM Nick Aldis was backstage in his office (following the QR Code appearing on screen) where AJ Styles was there in a suit. Styles said he thought about what Aldis said last week and Styles said he wants some time to address his future. Styles said it will be hard enough to do it once, so he just wants to do it once in the ring tonight. Aldis said he’s got his time later in the show.

Analysis: It is yet another retirement announcement tease from AJ Styles and we’ll see what it leads to later in the show.

Tommaso Ciampa entered for singles action with Johnny Gargano by his side.

This Monday on Raw: Liv Morgan celebrates as the Women’s World Champion while Damian Priest faces Rey Mysterio.


Bayley was shown in the trainer’s room. Naomi walked up to her asking if she was alright to fight tonight and a trainer said she was fine, so Bayley said she was in. Naomi said she’ll talk to GM Aldis about a match.

Tommaso Ciampa (w/Johnny Gargano) vs. Austin Theory (w/Grayson Waller)

Theory & Waller are the WWE Tag Team Champions and they’ve been champions for 55 days. They haven’t had many televised tag team title matches. It was set up by a confrontation earlier in the day in the GM’s office. They showed the clip of it and how the match was set up.

Ciampa was in control of Theory early on with strikes. Ciampa worked over Theory with punches. Waller distracted Ciampa on the apron, so Ciampa knocked Waller down. Theory capitalized with a suplex onto the knee. Theory charged right into a boot from Ciampa. When Ciampa went for a leaping clothesline, Theory avoided it and Ciampa hit the mat. Theory hit a neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. They went to break there.


Theory remained in control as the show returned. Theory went for a charging attack, but Ciampa hit a dropkick to stop that. Ciampa ran the ropes repeatedly leading to a clothesline. Ciampa hit a reverse DDT for two. Ciampa went for the Fairytale Ending, but Theory got out of it, Theory delivered a kick to the head a flipping slam for a two count. Theory went for A-Town Down, Theory landed on his feet and they exchanged strikes. Ciampa and Theory each hit boots to the face. Theory hit a back elbow, but Ciampa came back with a running knee. Waller turned to Wade Barrett and yelled about how Theory was successful because of the Grayson Waller rub. Theory was wondering what he was yelling about. Waller was on the apron, Theory was on the apron too and Ciampa collided both guys leading to Ciampa getting a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Theory for the win. It went 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tommaso Ciampa

Analysis: *** A pretty good match following the usual formula that sees a Tag Team Champion losing a match to likely set up a future Tag Team Title match. Waller taking credit for Theory’s success is an interesting development because it’s planting the seed that there may be issues between Waller and Theory. I would like to see #DIY as the champions sooner rather than later.

They showed the Smackdown GM office again as Blair Davenport spoke to GM Nick Aldis. Naomi walked in asking for a match. Davenport didn’t like being interrupted and said Naomi would know who she was. Aldis gave Naomi the tag team match. LA Knight walked in as Naomi left. Knight wondered if AJ Styles was really retiring, Aldis said he didn’t know and Knight said I guess we’ll find out. Knight asked Aldis about the US Champion Logan Paul, so Aldis invited him to take a seat to talk.

Analysis: I like the thought of LA Knight going after Logan Paul’s US Title. I’ve mentioned that as a possible feud for a few months because I think Knight is the right choice to take the US Title from Paul.


A video package aired about Cody Rhodes beating Logan Paul at WWE King and Queen of the Ring.

LA Knight was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton about what was discussed. Knight said that Aldis told him that Logan Paul isn’t here this week. Knight addressed the camera telling Logan that he wants that United States Championship. Carmelo Hayes interrupted saying Knight does all this talking without saying anything. Melo got Knight and Paul confused briefly, LA mocked him for it and Melo reminded us that he is “Him.”

Analysis: That should set up a match between Knight and Hayes soon.

Andrade vs. Apollo Crews

It’s good to see Crews back on television although they haven’t used him much on the main roster. A video aired from earlier in the day with Angel inviting Andrade into Legado del Fantasma, but Andrade said “no thank you” to that.

Andrade hit an impressive dropkick where he landed with most of his body on Crews. Andrade hit a belly-to-back suplex. Andrade went to the turnbuckle and noticed Angel was in the aisle. Crews knocked Andrade down. Crews hit a moonsault off the apron onto a standing Andrade on the floor.


The match continued with Andrade in full control as he hit double knees to the face for two. Angel was at ringside watching the match. Crews came back with a German Suplex. Andrade tried something off the middle turnbuckle, but Crews hit a jumping kick and a press slam. Crews hit a standing moonsault for two. Angel went on the apron, Crews knocked him down and Andrade capitalized with the spinning back elbow. Andrade hit the lifting sitout neckbreaker slam for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Andrade

Analysis: **3/4 A decent shorter match with an obvious result because we know Crews is barely on television at this point in his career. Crews did show off some cool moves because he’s so talented in the ring. The story was that Andrade benefitted from Anel’s distraction even if he didn’t realize it right away.

After the match, Legado del Fantasma’s Santos Escobar, Elektra Lopez, and Berto were by the entrance area. Angel wanted Andrade to talk to Escobar, but Andrade kept on walking to the back. Angel told Escobar he’s got this and left to the back.

Analysis: I think Andrade is better off as a babyface singles act. The Legado group is fine as it is.

They showed highlights of Randy Orton & Kevin Owens having issues with The Bloodline. They said Orton was having his left knee evaluated.

Solo Sikoa was shown talking to Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa about their match. Paul Heyman walked up to Solo. Heyman said that he has done a lot of thinking about how he can better serve Solo while he’s in charge. Heyman spoke about how with Roman Reigns in charge, there was a lot of counsel from the Wise Man. The fans were chanting “We Want Roman.” Heyman said that he sees random acts of violence, but he doesn’t see strategy at all. Heyman said when Roman Reigns comes back, they need to have Cody Rhodes in check. Solo said that “we” have Cody in check and he doesn’t even know it. Heyman asked “who is we” and Solo didn’t answer because Kevin Owens entered the arena. Solo told Paul Heyman to fix this.

Analysis: The “We Want Roman” chants continue nearly every week. It will be interesting to see when Roman comes back and how he’s presented.


A commercial aired about Clash at the Castle.

They showed Angel talking to Andrade about how he was embarrassed in front of his group. Apollo Crews showed up to punch Angel a few times. Referees broke it up.

Let’s Hear from Kevin Owens…and Paul Heyman

Kevin Owens said that last week he made his return to Smackdown and he went all the way to Saudi Arabia to do it. Owens said he wanted to make sure he had Randy Orton’s back. Owens said that for the last few years, Orton has had his back and he didn’t want Solo and his crew to become King of the Ring. Owens said that Randy isn’t King of the Ring but we all saw what happened – he didn’t really lose. Owens said that Orton wasn’t there, but he knew Solo and his crew were there, so Owens figured he would be there too.

Paul Heyman made his entrance with the fans doing part of his introduction. Heyman said he serves as the Wise Man to Roman Reigns and now to Solo Sikoa. Heyman got into the ring with Owens. The fans were chanting “We Want Roman” again. Heyman said that he doesn’t think there’s a person in the arena tonight who wants Roman here more than he does.

Heyman said that Owens keep calling out Solo’s name. Heyman said that anything that Owens went through with Roman Reigns is because of how much Reigns admired and acknowledged Owens as a true threat to his championship. Heyman said that Solo is recruiting criminals into The Bloodline. Heyman claimed he didn’t want these people representing The Bloodline. Heyman called them bloodthirsty thugs looking for an excuse to take Owens out. Heyman said that’s bad for WWE while saying that he likes Owens in WWE and the fans love Owens in WWE. Heyman said if you keep calling out Solo then they’ll do something really bad about it. Heyman said he’s asking, pleading and begging Owens to back off The Bloodline…please. The fans booed that.

Owens asked Heyman if he was really trying to help him? Owens mentioned the last few years of feuding with The Bloodline. Owens said he knows that this is all Heyman pulling the strings. Owens said that he went from Brock to Roman and now Solo is the next one to keep Paul relevant. Owens wondered if Heyman was trying to instill fear. Owens spoke about how he’s been fighting for four years and he went through so much with them. Owens said that was Roman Reigns and The Usos, who are guys he respect. Owens said that this is Solo and two guys that nobody wants here. Owens said he’ll keep fighting them and he’ll do everything to get them out of his world and this is his world. Owens told Heyman he didn’t want his help and he didn’t need his help. The fans cheered.

Heyman said maybe he was trying to save him. Heyman said that they have met eachother’s kids. Heyman said he was trying to redeem himself. Heyman wondered why Owens won’t listen to him. Heyman said that he’s a Hall of Fame Wise Man. Heyman was screaming and wondered why won’t anybody listen to him. When Heyman swung his arms, his left hand hit Owens in the upper body, so the fans chanted “you f**ked up” at Heyman. Owens charged at Heyman, but here comes The Bloodline.

Solo Sikoa walked out to the ring with Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. That’s when The Street Profits showed up to stand beside Owens. That led to six guys brawling. Owens and Solo went fighting into the crowd while The Street Profits and the Tonga boys got into a fight. The Profits cleared the ring. Dawkins hit a running somersault onto both Tonga boys on the floor. That tag team match is next.

Analysis: That was an interesting discussion by Owens and Heyman. I thought Heyman was really good trying to make the point that his is a different version of The Bloodline while pushing the idea that he’s not involved in the decision making. Owens showed a lot of fire replying to Heyman about how he was not going to back down and keep on fight because that’s what he does. It’s what fans like about Owens too. Having The Bloodline show up when they did was the right time for it. That was an easy way to get to the tag team match.


The Bloodline – Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa (w/Paul Heyman) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins (w/B-Fab)

Happy 34th birthday to Montez Ford. Dawkins and Ford hit a double team back suplex on Tama. Loa distracted Ford, so Tama knocked Ford off the apron to the floor. Graves mentioned that Tama & Loa are 7-time IWGP Tag Team Champions when they were in NJPW. Back in the ring, Tama hit two running clotheslines on Ford. Loa tagged in with a powerslam on Ford. Tama was back in with a senton attack over the top onto Ford. Tama hit an uppercut. Ford broke free leading to Dawkins getting the tag. Dawkins did a leapfrog followed by an elbow smash. Dawkins hit a corner splash along with a jumping kick for two as usual for that combo move. Loa tagged in, Dawkins jumped over Tama and Loa hit a clothesline. Loa hit a Saito Suplex on Dawkins on the floor. Tama rammed Dawkins’ head into the top of the commentary table. Loa whipped Dawkins right into a leaping clothesline from Tama on the floor. They went to break there.


The match continued as the Tonga boys worked over Dawkins. After Dawkins avoided a Tama attack, Dawkins hit an overhead suplex. Ford got the hot tag leading to a superkick and clothesline. Ford hit a jumping kick to the head. Dawkins put Loa on his shoulders leading to Ford doing a top rope Blockbuster for two because Tama broke up the pin. Dawkins cleared Tama from the ring, but Loa was back up with a forearm smash. Tama made the blind tag as Dawkins hit a Sky High spinebuster on Loa. Ford made the tag with a Frog Splash. Tama went after Ford and hit a flatliner into the mat for the pinfall after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Bloodline – Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa

Analysis: ***1/4 A good tag team match that saw The Bloodline control most of it. The finish was well done because Tama made the blind tag that the referee saw, but The Street Profits didn’t see it, so Tama capitalized with the flatliner for the pinfall win. I liked how that was booked.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair were backstage in shiny outfits. Indi Hartwell walked up to them saying that Candice LeRae was stuck at home with a knee injury. Belair said that Candice started it, so she finished. Jade threatened Indi for a match, but Indi backed away and left.

The team of WWE Women’s Champion Bayley and Naomi entered for tag team action.


Michin was interviewed by Kayla Braxton about AJ Styles. Nia Jax interrupted so Michin complained about Jax interrupting her. Jax walked up to Michin’s face and told her that she’ll regret that.

Analysis: An easy way to set up a match.

Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Bayley & Naomi

Niven was in control of Bayley with a hard whip into the corner and a splash. Green went for a suplex, but Bayley countered it into a her own suplex. Naomi tagged in with a split legged moonsault for two. Bayley and Naomi suplexed Green out of the ring. Naomi hit a suicide dive onto Green on the floor. Bayley dove off the apron onto Niven with a cross body block on the floor. Niven had to tell a camera guy to move so they could do the spot.


The heels were in control as Niven hit a clothesline. Green tackled Bayley into the turnbuckle. Niven tried a slam, Bayley got out of that and Bayley avoided an elbow drop, so Naomi tagged in against Green. Naomi kicked Green in the head followed by Naomi hitting a cross body block off the top. Naomi dropkicked Niven off the apron. Naomi hit a dropkick to the chest. Naomi hit a split-legged moonsault for two. Green went to the floor, so Naomi hit a twisting cross body block onto both women on the floor. Niven shoved Naomi off the top so Green covered for two. Niven threw Bayley into the ring post. Naomi ran the ropes leading to a Rear View attack. Naomi covered Green, so Niven broke up the pin and hit the senton splash to the back of Naomi. Niven put Green on top for the pinfall win. Green celebrated as the winner.

Winners by pinfall: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match to give the heels the win. I thought Niven would get the pinfall, but it didn’t matter that much because it still put over Niven as the difference maker in the match. Bayley was protected as the champion since she wasn’t pinned.

UPDATE: After the show, WWE announced Bayley will defend the WWE Women’s Title against Piper Niven at WWE Clash at the Castle in Scotland on June 15th. Niven is from Scotland so she’ll get a title shot in her home country.

Next week on Smackdown:

* Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell

* Johnny Gargano vs. Austin Theory

* Apollo Crews vs. Angel

* Solo Sikoa anoints Tonga Loa

AJ Styles was shown walking backstage in a suit jacket. LA Knight walked up to Knight saying if rumors are true then respect. Cody Rhodes was there to shake AJ’s hand. AJ hugged Cody and said something into his ear. AJ Styles saw Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson aka The OC. Styles said that they’ve been through it all with him, so it’s only right that they are out there with him tonight. They walked toward the ring as the show went to break.


Let’s Hear from AJ Styles

AJ Styles made his entrance wearing a light blue suit outfit. Styles was joined by The OC’s Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in the ring. Graves talked about knowing Styles since 2002 and put him over as a wrestling legend, which he is. The fans chanted “AJ Styles” for the former WWE Champion.

Styles said he’s been thinking about what Nick Aldis said over the past week. Styles was told if he wanted another shot at Cody Rhodes for the WWE Title, he would have to go to the back of the line. Styles said he was doing his job. Styles admitted that he can’t do that at this point in his career and his life. Styles said that he’s been doing this for over two decades. Styles said he’s been busting his body in this ring all over the world and became Phenomenal. Styles said that this past week his son graduated high school and he got to be there. Styles spoke about how it was beautiful with all those people at his house. Styles wondered about how many of those moments did he miss. Styles spoke about how instead of being the “Phenomenal” AJ Styles, maybe he should stay at home and be the “Phenomenal Father.”

Styles called over Gallows and Anderson saying that he couldn’t have done this without them and he loved them. Styles said that they are better than friends because they are his brothers. Styles held up his hand as the three men did the “Too Sweet” hand gesture together.

Styles said before he goes, he whispered something into Cody Rhodes’ ear and said he would like Cody to walk out there. That led to Cody Rhodes making his entrance without the WWE Title. Cody was in a suit as usual. Cody got into the ring with Styles while Gallows and Anderson left.

Styles told Cody he wanted to look him in the eye face to face to tell him that he had one of the best matches he’s ever had at Backlash in Lyon, France. Styles said that if he’s going to have one last match then that would be it. Styles said that this is still the house that AJ Styles built. Styles told Cody that he called him out there to hand him the keys.

Cody spoke about how they only exchanged one text message after the match to ask if he was okay and Styles responded: “I’m all good, little bro.” Cody said that he could say this for himself and for the locker room that AJ was a big bro for: “Thank you very much, AJ Styles.”

Cody and AJ hugged in the ring. They posed for the crowd with Cody lifting up AJ’s hands, but that’s when Styles decked Cody with a clothesline. The fans booed loudly. Styles beat up Cody with punches. Styles tossed Cody out of the ring. Styles sent Cody into the steel steps. Styles cleared off the top half of the steel steps. Gallows & Anderson were shown in the aisle keeping security and GM Aldis from stopping it. Styles threw Cody’s head into the ring post. Styles gave Cody a Styles Clash on the floor. Styles had an evil stare on his face. Graves: “AJ Styles, you son of a…” and that’s when Smackdown ended.

Analysis: I want to make it clear that at no point did I think that AJ Styles was really retiring. As soon as Styles brought Cody out there it was the obvious setup for the cheap attack. With that said, I thought it was executed perfectly because what AJ said was great, getting the crowd to cheer him was the right way to book this and then having Styles hit the clothesline when he did was perfectly done. This is going to make Styles one of the most hated heels in the company because he sucked the fans into liking him before turning on Cody. It should also lead to Styles getting another title shot at Cody Rhodes, which is fine with me because they’ll have another awesome match together. I thought this was the best part of the show this week. This was a throwback to when Mark Henry did the same thing to John Cena in a segment in 2013 and Henry attacked Cena just like Styles did to Rhodes here. It was awesome when Henry did it. This one by Styles was executed perfectly too. I liked it a lot.

Anyway, I assume all of this will lead to AJ Styles challenging Cody Rhodes for the WWE Title again at Clash at the Castle. Maybe it will be some kind of stipulation match to differentiate it from their Backlash match.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. AJ Styles
  2. Kevin Owens
  3. The Bloodline – Tama Tonga & Tona Loa


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.31


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

A good show that had a nice balance between in-ring action and many promo segments along with backstage scenes. There was a promo to start the show, right in the middle and also in the main event. The Kevin Owens-Paul Heyman promo exchange was terrific as usual by them. Heyman tried to tell Owens that this current edition of The Bloodline is dangerous and reckless while Owens is hesitant to trust him. I like the fire that Owens had in his promo.

There was some decent action in the ring, but nothing that stood out that much. Piper Niven continues her positive momentum to set up her likely match with Bayley. The Bloodline guys got the big win over The Steet Profits. I liked that finish a lot.

The AJ Styles fake retirement angle to lure Cody Rhodes out there and attack Cody was done perfectly. I really didn’t think that Styles was retiring, but it certainly may have fooled some people. It reminded many of us of Mark Henry doing it over a decade ago. It worked very well this time too. This should lead to Cody facing Styles for the WWE Title for the second time with Styles becoming even more of a heel because of how he lured Cody into it.

The next WWE PLE is Clash at the Castle in Glasgow, Scotland on June 15th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Piper Niven


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport