The May 16th, 2017 edition of WWE SmackDown aired live on the USA Network from the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. This was the go-home episode for Sunday’s Backlash pay-per-view.
– Kevin Owens comes out to the ring to open up SmackDown with an edition of the “new and improved Highlight Reel” hosted by himself. Owens says Jericho will never ever be seen again after he beat him down last week. Owens the only list Jericho is on now is the injured list. Owens says he’s going to introduce his guest in French, as he is a French Canadian, but AJ Styles interrupts. AJ says Owens has been stealing Jericho’s gimmick for the last year, but Owens says he can do everything better than Jericho. AJ tells Owens that on Sunday he’s taking the U.S. Title belt back to the good ol’ USA, but they could get it on tonight instead. Jinder Mahal interrupts and says he was supposed to be guest on Owens’ Highlight Reel. Owens says Styles stole Jinder’s spot like a rude American. Jinder says on Sunday he’s going to beat Orton again, and shows a clip of himself beating Orton previously with the help of the Bollywood Boys. Jinder lays a Ghandi quote on AJ, then tells AJ that he’s going to lose twice this week — tonight to Jinder and on Sunday to Owens. AJ chases Owens out of the ring, then tells Jinder to get in the ring and start the “AJ Styles Highlight Reel.”
– Jinder Mahal def. AJ Styles: U.S. Champion Kevin Owens is on commentary for this one. Jinder starts off strong but AJ stops him in his tracks with a phenomenal dropkick to the head. Jinder stops AJ’s momentum with a shot to the throat, then slams him into the corner. Jinder lays into AJ with knee drops and throws him out to the apron. Jinder tries to suplex AJ in over the ropes, but AJ knocks Jinder back and leapfrogs over the top rope with a flying forearm to the head of Jinder. The Bollywood Boys distract AJ momentarily which allows Jinder to recover and hit a running knee to the face. Jinder takes AJ up top, but AJ knocks Jinder down. Jinder kicks AJ in the face, but AJ comes back with a dropkick and both men are down. They get up and AJ kicks Jinder’s leg out from under him. AJ follows up with a forearm shot to the face then picks up Jinder. Jinder takes AJ into the corner with some shoulder strikes then boots AJ in the face. AJ ducks an elbow and hits the Pele Kick on Jinder. AJ follows up with a flying forearm in the corner, then a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker over his knee. Jinder rolls outside to recover and AJ hits a baseball slide kick through the ropes. Back in the ring, AJ sets up for a Phenomenal Forearm, but the Bollywood Boys distract the ref and Owens hits AJ in the knee from behind. AJ rolls in the ring selling a knee injury, and Jinder hits a Cobra Clutch slam for the win.
– We see another Law & Order-inspired Fashion Files segment with Tyler Breeze and Fandango. This one features Breeze doing undercover work with a fake mustache and skullet.
– Randy Orton does an interview backstage where he the reason why people in America don’t like Jinder is because he’s an ass, not because he looks different.
– Breezango def. The Colons: The Colons trade frequent tags and control things against Breeze in the opening moments. Primo hits a running clothesline on Breeze in the corner, but then Breeze dodges a splash and kicks Primo in the head. Fandango and Epico tag in and Fandango drops him with a spinning heel kick. Fandango gets distracted by Primo at ringside and Epico rolls up Fandango with a fist full of tights for a near-fall. Fandango jumps up and hits a Falcon Arrow on Epico for the win. The Usos come out after the match and cut a promo on Breezango. The Usos say they make the rules, not the Fashion Police, and on Sunday they’re taking them to trial at Backlash. The Usos make some more law enforcement-related puns before leaving.
– Becky and Naomi run into Charlotte backstage and they get ready to come out for a contract signing together next.
– SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon makes his entrance to the ring to oversee a contract signing for Sunday’s Women’s match at Backlash. Natalya, Tamina and Carmella with James Ellsworth come out together first. Charlotte, Becky and Naomi make individual entrances next. The women cut brief promos on each other and sign the contract, but then James Ellsworth steps forward. Ellsworth says Becky should stop longingly gazing at him, because in the words of Vince, she has no chance in Hell with Ellsworth. Ellsworth tells Charlotte she doesn’t have a shot with him either, and that Naomi needs to stop flapping her gums because Carmella is going to take her glow away. Naomi grabs Ellsworth by the collar and Carmella hits her. Naomi and Carmella get held back by their teammates, and Shane books a match between the two right now.
– Naomi vs. Carmella: Ellsworth gets a little too close to the action early on and the referee ejects him from ringside before the match continues. Carmella and Naomi trade leg kicks back and forth until Naomi appears to get the upper hand. Naomi hits several unanswered kicks before the action spills out to ringside. Carmella hits a superkick on Naomi at ringside which leaves Naomi laying on the floor. Naomi rolls in the ring at the referee’s 8 count, and Carmella continues the offense. Naomi comes back with a kick, a flying clothesline, and then her trademark series of kicks. Naomi follows up with a jawbreaker then a kick to the head. Naomi goes up top but gets distracted by Tamina and Natalya. The ref ejects Tamina and Natalya both from ringside now. This leads to Tamina and Natalya brawling with Charlotte and Becky at ringside. Naomi and the ref are distracted by the brawling at ringside, which allows Carmella to roll up Naomi from behind for the win.
– Dolph Ziggler is in the locker room talking into the camera about Shinsuke Nakamura. Ziggler says he’s going to show some footage of the incredible things Nakamura has done, but then there’s no footage. Ziggler says Nakamura hasn’t done anything in WWE, but Ziggler has done everything in WWE. Ziggler rolls a highlight reel video of his career next. Back from the video, Ziggler says that he’s going to prove all of his doubters wrong by ending Nakamura’s WWE career before it even begins.
– Sami Zayn does an interview backstage where he says he’s requested a rematch with Baron Corbin on Sunday. Sami says Corbin sees him as a threat because Corbin knows he can’t keep him down. Corbin then attacks Zayn from behind and tells him he better stay down on Sunday, or else he’ll put him down permanently.
– Randy Orton def. Baron Corbin: This one is a non-title match. Orton attempts and RKO early on but Corbin gets out. Corbin controls the opening moments until Orton grabs his hair to slam him down. Corbin fires up and comes back with strikes, then puts Orton in the corner and stomps a mud hole in him. Corbin dominates the news few moments and keeps Orton grounded. Corbin goes for a suplex but Orton fights back with elbows. Corbin charges at Orton, but Orton dodges him and Corbin crashes shoulder-first into the ring post. Corbin is hurt, and he turns around into a series of clotheslines from Orton. Orton hits a spinning powerslam, then Corbin rolls out to the apron. Orton DDT’s Corbin back into the ring over the middle rope. Orton goes for an RKO but Corbin shoves him off and hits the Deep Six for a two count. Orton throws Corbin outside and Corbin comes running back in. As soon as Corbin gets back in the ring Orton lays him out with an RKO for the three count.
– Jinder Mahal comes out after the bell and tells Orton to savor his time with the WWE Championship, because on Sunday Jinder is going to destroy Orton and take the Title belt. As Jinder is talking, The Bollywood Boys (Singh Brothers) attack Orton from behind. Orton fights them off, then as Jinder tries to get on the apron Orton kicks him off. The Singh Brothers try to come back in the ring, but Orton hooks them for a double DDT over the middle rope. Before Orton can hit the DDT, Mahal hits Orton from behind then the three heels beat down the Champion. Mahal hits the Cobra Clutch slam on Orton, then he grabs the WWE Title belt and holds it above his head in the ring as SmackDown goes off the air.