Image Credit: WWE

WWE SmackDown Hits And Misses (5/31/24)

We’re back with our weekly WWE SmackDown review series!

This week’s episode of the blue brand emanated from Albany’s MVP Arena in New York. AJ Styles, Nia Jax, Bayley, and Cody Rhodes, among others, worked Friday’s show.

Here’s what went down on SmackDown.

Hit – Queen Nia arrives on WWE SmackDown

Nia Jax kicked off WWE SmackDown. The 2024 Queen of the Ring talked about the scheduled match for the WWE Women’s Championship at SummerSlam 2024. Bayley tried to confront Nia but was stopped in her tracks by Piper Niven, who teased a showdown with Nia for the title.

It was a good opening segment that surprisingly didn’t involve Nia destroying someone. They did a good job setting up the match between Bayley and Piper Niven at Clash at the Castle. Whoever wins the match defends the title against Nia at SummerSlam.

Miss – Austin Theory vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Austin Theory took on Tommaso Ciampa in singles action. Theory was accompanied to the ring by one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champion Grayson Waller. Ciampa, meanwhile, had Johnny Gargano in his corner. The former NXT Champion picked up the win.

I’ve seen better matches between Theory and Ciampa. Both men got less than nine minutes of match time on WWE SmackDown this week. They could’ve given a better match if it wasn’t for TV restrictions.

Hit – LA Knight calls out Logan Paul on WWE SmackDown

WWE teased a match between LA Knight and Logan Paul in the lead-up to King and Queen of the Ring. The Megastar finally called out Paul this week on SmackDown. Knight told Kayla Braxton he wanted the United States Championship following his talk with General Manager Nick Aldis.

It’s about time LA Knight got a singles championship around his waist. I’d want the two men to clash at SummerSlam 2024 instead of Clash at the Castle or Money in the Bank. Paul will be on SmackDown next week to build up the feud.

Miss – Andrade vs. Apollo Crews

Andrade and Apollo collided one-on-one this week on SmackDown. El Idolo picked up the win after a short match. We saw Legado Del Fantasma show up on the ramp waiting for Andrade, but he simply walked past them.

They are clearly taking their time with Andrade by putting him in squash matches. Angel Garza is trying to act as a liaison between Andrade and LDF because of his history with the former NXT Champion.

Hit – The Bloodline vs. The Street Profits

Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford came to Kevin Owens’ aid after The Bloodline tried to attack him. Tama Tonga picked up the win for him and Tanga Loa following a hard-fought match with the Profits.

In my opinion, this was the match of the night. Both teams worked stiffly, creating some believable action in the process. Montez and Tama showed signs of good chemistry. They should have a singles match in the future.

Miss – Women’s tag team match on WWE SmackDown

Bayley and Naomi teamed up against Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. The babyfaces had the upper hand in the early goings of the match. Chelsea pinned Naomi, following a running Santon by her tag team partner.

There was nothing spectacular about the match other than the surprise win for the heels. It’s always great to see heels pick up the win after a losing streak. They wanted to make Piper a credible threat to Bayley with the Santon spot on Naomi ahead of Clash at the Castle.

Video Credit: YouTube

Hit – AJ Styles pulls a Mark Henry on Cody Rhodes

We were teased with AJ Styles’ retirement angle throughout the night. The Phenomenal One came to the ring to address his future. Styles said he wanted to be a “phenomenal father” after performing at the highest level for years. He shared a “too sweet” with The Good Brothers before asking Cody Rhodes to come out. Styles praised Cody for how he’s carried himself as a champion so far and called their Backlash France outing one of the greatest matches of his career. Both men shared a hug, only for Styles to blindside Cody with an attack.

It’s a phenomenal (excuse the pun) callback to Mark Henry’s iconic retirement segment with John Cena. Styles got all emotional with his “retirement speech,” only to pull a swerve on the champion. After the classic they had in France, it’s clear WWE wants to run it back between the two men. The Styles Clash to Cody from the steel steps to the floor looked brutal. It seems were are getting Styles vs. Rhodes II at Clash at the Castle.

READ MORE: Solo Sikoa Anoints Tonga Loa, Jade Cargill vs. Indi Hartwell, More Set For 6/7 WWE SmackDown