WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (5/3): Powell’s review of Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles, A-Town Down Under vs. Street Profits for the WWE Tag Titles, AOP vs. New Catch Republic, RKO Show

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,289)
Lyon-Decines, France at LDLC Arena
Aired May 3, 2024 on Fox via same day tape delay

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a shot of the local area while Corey Graves checked in on commentary. Separate shots aired of Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles arriving at the venue, along with a shot of Randy Orton and Kevin Owens arriving together…

Ring announcer Samantha Irvin conducted the introductions for an eight-woman tag team match. Bayley was introduced first and then Graves and Wade Barrett checked in on commentary. They introduced the French broadcast team that had a desk beside them. The remainder of the entrances took place…

1. Bayley, Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill, and Naomi vs. Asuka, Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai, and Tiffany Stratton. The French fans sang the damn Bayley song (Hey, Bailey) that was fun when the UK fans started it and now just won’t go away. Bad start, France. Stratton put Bayley down with a spinebuster for a two count heading into a break. [C]

Stratton hit an Alabama Slam on Bayley and had her pinned, but Naomi broke it up. Stratton knocked Cargill off the apron with a forearm shot. Stratton followed up by running Bayley into Naomi to knock her off the apron. Bayley suplexed Stratton.

Bayley and Belair exchanged an awkward look. Cargill got back on the apron and then Bayley tagged her instead of Belair. Belair performed a nice powerbomb. There was a series of rapid fire spots that concluded with Belair hitting Kai with the KOD and pinning her while the fans counted along with the referee’s count in French…

Bayley, Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill, and Naomi defeated Asuka, Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai, and Tiffany Stratton in 10:20.

WWE Tag Team Champions Grayson Waller and Austin Theory delivered a backstage promo. They acted like something smelled. Waller said it was the smoke that the Street Profits want. Waller said they would prove that they are the smoke… [C]

Powell’s POV: Putting my disdain for the Bayley song aside, the French fans are loud and fun. I love that WWE is holding PLE’s in so many overseas markets because it’s a special event for fans in those markets and they are very passionate and vocal. The match was solid and I like that they continue to play up friction between Bayley and Belair. It was also a nice touch to have Stratton get some quality offense on Bayley heading into the Triple Threat at Backlash. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett, who will return next week. I believe he traveled to France in search of French fries, but I could be mistaken.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviewed Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill while Bayley and Naomi stood by. Belair looked at Bayley while saying that she hoped to be finished with Damage CTRL for good at Backlash. Bayley left the room while Cargill tried to keep Belair calm…

A sponsored recap spotlighted Carmelo Hayes challenging Cody Rhodes last week and then losing to him later in the show…

Nick Aldis spoke with Carmelo Hayes backstage and welcomed him. Hayes said he almost beat Cody last week and wanted to keep his momentum going by declaring for the King of the Ring tournament. Aldis said they could talk about it.

Bobby Lashley entered the room and shook hands with Hayes. Lashley told Hayes that he could call him if ever needed any advice. Hayes said he thought he would be good without the advice because he was a first-round draft pick and had a match with Cody last week.

Lashley called him big time and said it’s not about the shots you shoot it’s about the shots you make. Hayes asked Lashley when is the last time he shot his shot. Hayes went to leave, but Lashley stopped him and offered the free advice to be careful who you disrespect…

Powell’s POV: Good segment. That should put an end to the speculation that Hayes will join The Pride faction right out of the gate.

Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate made their entrance for their match against AOP… [C] Cole hyped SummerSlam tickets going on sale on Thursday… A WWE Draft video aired. The new Smackdown roster graphic was shown while Graves reminded viewers that the rosters lock on Monday… The Final Testament made their entrance…

2. “AOP” Akam and Rezar (Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Paul Ellering) vs. “New Catch Republic” Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate. Highlights aired of Dunne and Bate costing AOP the NXT Tag Team Title match on Tuesday’s NXT television show. AOP was in offensive control heading into a break. [C]

Bate powered up Rezar and performed an airplane spin for a big pop. Dunne tagged in and hit Rezar with a knee strike and covered him, but Akam broke it up. Akam and Rezar cleared Akam to ringside and then Dunne took him out with a dive. Kross hit an F5 style move on Akam. Dunne dove onto Kross. When Dunne returned to the ring, Rezar executed a uranage slam and tagged out. AOP hit Dunne with their powerbomb and neckbreaker combo and then Akam pinned him…

“AOP” Akam and Rezar beat “New Catch Republic” Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate in 10:20.

Powell’s POV: A good tag team match with the numbers advantage leading AOP to get the win. The live crowd was hot for the match and really got behind Dunne and Bate.

Backstage, Paul Heyman entered Nick Aldis’s office and asked if he got his memo. Aldis said he did and his request was denied. Aldis asked Heyman why he wanted him to pull Randy Orton and Kevin Owens out of the match with Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga. Heyman said what happens to Orton and Owens at Backlash is no longer on his conscience.

Aldis asked if this was by orders of the Tribal Chief. Heyman said that wasn’t funny. Aldis said all communication with the Bloodline has to go through Heyman, then asked if he was in charge. Heyman said there’s a difference between being in charge and being in control. Heyman said he had not spoken to Reigns since WrestleMania, and then looked like he regretted what he said.

Aldis brought up Reigns pulling himself out of the WWE Draft. Heyman said Reigns did not remove himself from the draft. Heyman said he pulled Reigns out of the draft. Heyman said he had no choice because he could not subject Reigns to the chaos that was happening in The Bloodline.

Heyman said Aldis should not subject Orton and Owens to what awaits them from The Bloodline. Aldis said that if Heyman could take it upon himself to pull Reigns from the draft, then he could try to pull Orton and Owens from the tag match by appearing on The RKO Show, which was coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: A very compelling segment. Heyman’s character has no control given that he hasn’t spoken with Reigns, and Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga are not listening to him.

A shot aired of the city of Lyon-Decines, France and then Graves hyped the Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles segment for later in the show…

Randy Orton and Kevin Owens made separate entrances for the RKO Show. The fans sang Orton’s song and he put his hand over his heart to express gratitude once it stopped playing. Two chairs were set up inside the ring along with logos for the RKO Show.

[Hour Two] Owens spoke in French and got a big reaction. Orton said normally it would take a lot to get him to do something like this, but it was easy in this case because the people are so amazing.

Orton also said it didn’t take a lot to talk him into teaming with Owens so they can kick the asses of The Bloodline duo. Owens said their guest called him repeatedly and he finally gave in at 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

Owens said the guest was Paul Heyman and he claimed he has something very important to tell them. Owens asked Orton if he wanted to introduce Heyman. Orton said he’d like to introduce Heyman to the RKO.

Heyman did his “Ladies and gentlemen” introduction. Heyman introduced himself as a WWE Hall of Famer, a raconteur, and WWE’s wiseman. Heyman asked for permission to enter the ring. Owens said Orton couldn’t RKO him right away because Heyman asked for permission. Orton said not right away, but he’s an out of nowhere guy.

Heyman remained on the apron and told the “RKO” cheering fans that there would be no RKO’s this evening. A “we want Roman” chant broke out. “More than you’ll ever know, I want Roman, too,” Heyman said.

Heyman told Orton and Owens to do their families and themselves a favor by backing out of the match against Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga. Orton took issue with “the absolute biggest piece of trash in the industry” telling them to back out of a match. Owens said Heyman is in no position to give advice when everything around him is falling apart.

Orton said it begged the question of who is the real Tribal Chief. Heyman squirmed and said they were putting him in a bad position. Heyman said the whole world knows that there’s only one Tribal Chief.

Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga attacked Owens and Orton before Heyman had to finish his answer. Security quickly intervened. Orton dumped one of the security guards on the broadcast table. Owens performed a dive onto a pile of security guards. Referees and producers got Sikoa and Tonga to back up the entrance aisle…

Powell’s POV: This was a terrific segment. Heyman is doing a fantastic job of building up Sikoa and Tonga as being completely out of control by showing his own fear of the duo. This segment definitely accomplished its goal in terms of leaving this viewer more excited about seeing Sikoa and Tonga vs. Orton and Owens at Backlash.

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins delivered a backstage promo and got fired up about winning the WWE Tag Team Titles. Yes, they still want the smoke…

LA Knight made his entrance for his long awaited match with the dreaded and feared Angel… [C] The Legado Del Fantasma entrance was not televised. There was another QR Code “glitch” while they were on the apron…

3. LA Knight vs. Angel (w/Berto, Santos Escobar, Elektra Lopez). Knight was dominant heading into an early break. [C] Berto distracted Knight, which led to Angel headbutting Knight, which came right back with a clothesline. In the end, Knight hit the BFT and scored the pin.

LA Knight defeated Angel in 6:20.

After the match, Knight took the mic and delivered a promo. He said if he wanted to be cliche, he’d say it’s his ring. He said he would make it his ring and then declared his entry for the King of the Ring tournament.

Santos Escobar climbed on the apron with a mic and said that while Knight is busy running his mouth, he’ll be busy winning King of the Ring. Knight got the crowd to chant “you suck” at Escobar. Knight got the crowd to say his name and dropped the mic…

Powell’s POV: A fine showcase match. There was zero mystery regarding the outcome, but the match neither needlessly competitive nor needlessly long. I assume the post match verbal exchange was done to set up Knight vs. Escobar in a KOTR match.

Backstage, Byron Saxton asked Carlito why he attacked Dragon Lee after the footage was shown. Carlito said he had been away from WWE for a long time and all he wanted was a WrestleMania moment with his family. Carlito said Rey Mysterio chose Dragon Lee and said it wasn’t cool. Carlito said he took matters into his own hands. Dragon Lee attacked Carlito. Security intervened and Rey pulled Lee back…

The Pride made their entrance for the WWE Tag Team Title match. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins went to the ring while Bobby Lashley and B-Fab headed to the back… [C] Austin Theory and Grayson Waller made their entrance…

4. “A-Town Down Under” Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Waller took a cheap shot at Ford, who was on the apron just before the bell rang. Theory jumped Dawkins while Barrett explained that Theory acted like he was going to start the match and it was a ruse.

The Profits quickly took offensive control. Ford hit Waller with a Rock Bottom. Dawkins hit a Swanton. Theory pulled Waller to ringside. Ford hit the champions with a flip dive at ringside. Back inside the ring, Dawkins hit a leaping enzuigiri on Waller and covered him for a two count. [C]

Theory and Waller went for separate rolls into moves, but Dawkins shut them both down. Ford tagged in and hit a Doomsday Blockbuster on Waller for a good near fall. The Profits set up Theory for a move, but he raked the eyes of Dawkins and then crotched Ford on the top rope. Dawkins rolled up Theory, but Waller performed a Flatliner on Dawkins while the referee was focused on Ford. Theory covered Ford and got the pin…

“A-Town Down Under” Austin Theory and Grayson Waller defeated “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in 7:30 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: I’m digging Theory and Waller as a heel tag team. They sold well and had the live crowd thinking they might be on the verge of seeing a title change before they stole the pin.

Graves and Barrett said there will be a big announcement made on Saturday regarding WrestleMania 41… Graves hyped the Countdown to Backlash and said Jackie Redmond will be joined by CM Punk and Big E… Graves and Barrett ran through the Backlash lineup…

Powell’s POV: Unfortunately for fans in my home state, the latest buzz points to WrestleMania 41 being held in Las Vegas. The wait will apparently continue for a WrestleMania at U.S. Bank Stadium. There has also been a lot of talk about WrestleMania being pushed back to avoid the NCAA basketball tournament.

AJ Styles made his entrance for his face-to-face segment with Cody Rhodes… [C] An ad aired for the Smackdown go-home show and WWE King and Queen of the Ring PLE for May 24-25… Graves said the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments will start on next week’s Raw and Smackdown… Graves announced that this is the highest grossing event in Smackdown history…

Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Once in the ring, he asked the fans in French what they wanted to talk about. Styles said he didn’t care what Cody wanted to talk about and reminded him who he was in the ring with.

Styles stopped speaking while the fans sang and cheered. Styles said Cody seemed focussed on all of this and not what he should be focussed on. Cody said Styles would have his full attention and said that was coming from one Georgia boy to another and one Dogs (the University of Georgia Bulldogs) fan to another.

Cody spoke about how he grew up watching Styles, who cut him off and told him that while he might be older than Rhodes, he’s still in his prime. Cody asked who was saying otherwise. Styles said he didn’t have to because everyone knew what he meant.

Styles got upset with the crowd and said this is why no one goes to Lyon. Styles said Cody’s path was laid out for him because of who his father was and then he packed his bags and left once things got tough. Styles said he had to prove himself to get into WWE and to get to the top of WWE and he did it all by himself.

Styles said Cody has a bunch of legends watching his back so he could win the title. Styles said he’s beaten them all before. He said he would fight his way to the top and would remind Cody and everyone else that he is Phenomenal. This triggered the crowd to sing a song.

Cody asked Styles who he was trying to convince. Cody acknowledged Styles and told him not to disparage his accomplishments. Cody said Styles is and forever will be phenomenal, which led the crowd to sing again. Cody dropped a “too sweet” reference.

Styles held up the Bullet Club hand symbol and smiled. Cody did the same. Styles slapped Cody across the face and left the ring. Graves said they would have a dream match at Backlash.

The cameras cut backstage where Randy Orton and Kevin Owens were brawling with Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga while security tried to stop them. Orton jabbed Sikoa with a chair to the gut and then slammed the chair over his back while the commotion continued as the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: Good final hype for Cody vs. Styles as well as Orton and Owens vs. Sikoa and Tonga to close out Smackdown. This was a good go-home show in terms of delivering a strong final push for the Smackdown matches on the Backlash card. I will be back shortly with our weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

Join me on Saturday afternoon for my live review of WWE Backlash France.

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Poll: Grade the May 3 Backlash France go-home show

pollcode.com free polls


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Jason I’m pretty sure a large number of English fans crossed the channel for this, so don’t blame the French for the Bayley song. A couple of times I think I heard “one – two” drown out “un – deux” to prove it.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.