Smackdown 05/01/2018: Carmella prepares for the Backlash of Charlotte Flair

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Here we are ladies and gentlemen, the last Smackdown before the Backlash pay per view this Sunday. The event took place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which is where RAW was the night before. The crowd was really into the show, which always helps. The women were pretty well represented on the show, even though they only have one match on the card for the Backlash event. They got the main event slot in a 6 woman tag match that pinned Asuka, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair against The IIconics and the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Carmella. Before we get to the main event match itself, let’s talk about the other few women who made an appearance on the show.

Paige starts off the show with an announcement in regards to a no disqualification stipulation that she has added to the WWE Championship match at Backlash. Shinsuke Nakamura has been using the low blow every chance he gets on AJ Styles since WrestleMania. It is actually becoming quite boring and predictable, but hey, we don’t have low blows in the women’s division, so we are winning there.

After Miz TV and the first men’s match of the night, Renee Young is backstage and slated to interview the IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay), and Carmella. The interview was supposed to be about their main event match up coming up, but the Aussies wanted to boast on their recent victory instead. Young introduces them, but Carmella isn’t there. Young asks where Carmella is, only to be mocked by the duo. Kay exclaims that Royce does a “good Renee”, and she should do that impression. Royce mocks Young with a Canadian accent. Young, who has been feisty lately with her comebacks towards her interviewees, stated that was not a Canadian accent but a Minnesota accent. Royce doesn’t find the difference between the accents, as to her they are both “garbage”. They gloat on their victory last week against Asuka shouting that they are better than Asuka. Young attempts to point out that Becky Lynch took the fall and not Asuka, but Kay shooed her away telling her to get out of here and to chase a moose.

Kay then introduces Carmella in a better fashion then Young did. Carmella appreciates the respectful introduction, and Carmella acknowledges the IIconics win over Lynch and Asuka last week and how she beat Flair weeks before. She describes the three of them as invincible. Carmella displays her cocky attitude and notes that she will beat Flair on Sunday, because, “Mella is money”.

A little bit later in the show, Lana appeared in a backstage segment with her husband, Rusev and his tag team partner, Aiden English. Rusev was going over a new song with English in regards to Rusev Day, when it was stopped because Lana showed up. English then walked away to give the couple the privacy to talk.

Lana, wearing a Rusev Day shirt, explained to her Bulgarian Brute that Rusev Day is stronger than ever. She said that he had an unbelievable match at the Greatest Royal Rumble with the Undertaker, but still came up short. Her concern is that something is holding him back. He disagreed, stating that he has a holiday in his name every day, so what could be holding him back? English then returns to grab his jacket that he forgot. No other words were exchanged between the husband and wife, but Lana was hinting at English being what is holding back Rusev, but he did not seem to get that point.

Zelina Vega continued to promote her arrival to SmackDown Live with her business partner Andrade “Cien” Almas.

With the main event getting closer, there was a backstage segment between Asuka, Flair, and Lynch in the locker room. Lynch starts off the segment feeling very down on herself for her loss against the IIconics last week. She is upset that she cost Asuka’s first loss on her Smackdown debut match. Asuka quickly shuts that negativity down by telling her to forget about last week. Flair enters the scene and is confident that she will obtain back her championship at Backlash. She says that her three opponents are “annoying” and have “lost their minds” if they think they are “invincible”. She blames all three of them for her title loss. She is determined to teach Carmella about respect. The segment ends with Asuka saying we have a Queen, an Empress, and Straight Fire and that the “Avengers” should assemble!!!

The next women to be on the show are Absolution (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville). They show a clip of last weeks show where Rose and Deville were mocking Lynch’s loss. After the clip, Paige is backstage and sees “double trouble” walk in. They have Absolution come in to congratulate Paige on her new role (as if it didn’t happen weeks ago). They let her know that they know why she asked to see them. Even though they were mistaken. Absolution is looking for some favoritism from their protege. It is good to know people in high places, or so Absolution though. They wondered which one of them will be the next to receive a title shot. Paige picks Rose, but not for a title shot. She explains to her two former students that they need to earn a title shot, just as she has had to in the past. She picked Rose to face off against Lynch next week. Rose and Deville seemingly distraught over not getting a title shot, say how they are all friends and should receive special treatment because they are all Absolution. Paige ends the segment by telling them that, *wait for it*, “Absolution is dead”.

After this announcement, both Deville and Rose took to Twitter to address Liv Morgan who had some choice words to say:

Rose took to Twitter earlier today to address Paige:

After that segment left me wondering what this could all lead to, it was time for the main event.

Flair was the first one to come out for her team. Tom Phillips announced that if Flair wins on Sunday, she will tie Trish Stratus with 7 championship reigns. A record that Stratus has held alone since 2006. The match appeared to almost start with Flair to face off against Carmella. However, in great heel fashion, Carmella wants nothing to do with a fresh Flair. She tags in Royce and Flair tags in Lynch to start the match. The storytelling was good for this match. A 6 person tag normally does not make me want to jump for joy, however, the babyface versus the heels storyline played out nicely. Royce tags in Kay shortly after starting the match, which leads to Lynch tagging in Asuka. Kay attempts to gain the advantage on Asuka by giving her a slap to the face. Kay quickly realizes she should not have done that. Asuka retaliates with a lot of blows to Kay and follows it up with a hip attack.

Carmella relies on the IIconics to do most of her dirty work throughout the match. She does not want to get in the match unless it is against Lynch or Asuka. If she does get into the ring with Flair, she wants to make sure that Flair has been beaten down first. Flair attempts to put Carmella in what may be the figure eight as she grabs the legs of the Princess. Carmella yells and screams (which is starting to get old), as her teammates help pull her out of the ring. Flair leaps over the top rope to the outside, but only takes down Kay and Royce as Carmella safely gets out of the way. The commentators focus on the fact that Carmella will have nowhere to hide on Sunday as her match will be one one one with Flair.

A shining point of the match, was the back and forth action between Royce and Asuka. No surprise that they flow well in the ring together as they did have many matches in NXT together. The action between them breaks up some as the other competitors get involved. This leads up to Kay and Carmella on the outside as Flair takes flight with a moonsault and comes crashing down on them. The match concludes with Asuka victorious, but causing Royce to tap out. Asuka receives some retribution for her and Lynch from last week.

Earlier today, Carmella took to twitter to stoke the fire against Flair a little bit more:

Thoughts: Ah, the Smackdown before Backlash, and the women get the main event. Not too shabby. Anytime the women get the main event it feels like one step forward, despite the controversy of the Greatest Royal Rumble, but I rather stay clear of that drama. There is a lot to have an opinion on as all the women showed up tonight that are active, minus Naomi. I am not sure what they are doing with Naomi. As I have said in the past, I am interested in her helping Jimmy, but to take her out of the ring after winning the Battle Royal at WrestleMania is a ridiculous move.

Lana hinting at a break up of Rusev Day? Well, as excited I am, and apparently all of Montreal was, to see her, I don’t want Rusev Day to break up.

A six person tag match? No surprise there. It was not a bad match, however, I wish we could get at least 3 solid storylines with the women instead of always throwing them all together. The baby face versus heel story was there, but with only Flair and Carmella being on the Backlash card, it seemed rather pointless for Asuka and Royce to be the deciding factor. I would assume this was to continue the assumption that Carmella cannot pin Flair on her own.My feelings on Absolution is that I hope they do not break them up. I enjoy their chemistry a lot better than the Riott Squad’s. I think Absolution would be a great start to a women’s tag team division, along with the IIconics. I am all for Carmella being champ. As much as I like Flair, she needs to step away from the title picture for a while after when, I hope, Carmella retains at Backlash. I think Lynch or Flair should turn heel and feud with each other. I am happy with the women on both rosters, I just wish the booking was better.

With Lynch though, in this match, she did not do much. They really should of had her get the pin instead of Asuka for some retribution.

Smackdown could easily have 3 solid feuds:

  • Lynch vs Flair
  • Absolution vs IIconics
  • Naomi or Asuka vs Carmella

What did everyone think of the latest Smackdown? Who do you think will win on Sunday? Who would you like to see feud going forward? Do you want to see Absolution break up?