Even when the story doesn’t place as much importance on it, winners and losers are as basic to wrestling as ring ropes and fans. But in this day and age, winning and losing in the ring doesn’t always translate to your standing on the card, how you are trending, and what’s on the horizon.
So who were the big winners for WWE Smackdown Live?
First off, let’s see who the actual match winners were:
- The Miz pinned United States Champion Jeff Hardy to qualify for the Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
- Charlotte Flair beats Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) to qualify for the Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
- Cesaro (w/Sheamus) defeated Xavier Woods (w/The New Day)
- Mandy Rose beat Becky Lynch
- Rusev (w/Aiden English) pinned Daniel Bryan to qualify for the Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Match winners be-damned, here are the TRUE winners of the May 7th edition of WWE Monday Night Raw!
After losing to Seth Rollins in (once again) the best match on the card at Backlash, The Miz returned to WWE Smackdown Live and immediately qualified for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match, this time defeating current United States Champion Jeff Hardy. The booking makes sense, as Hardy can defend his championship on the show, but The Miz is honestly “above” a mid-card championship at this point. He proved it, beating Hardy not by nefarious means, but clean.
I would love to see The Miz capture the briefcase again, and use it to tell his story of ascending to the WWE Championship. Plus, what better (and more fitting) match for WrestleMania 35 than Royal Rumble winner Daniel Bryan challenging WWE Champion The Miz.
(On a side note, that powerbomb looked NASTY. His head bounced off of the mat in a very concerning way.)
When Absolution made their debut, Mandy Rose impressed me with her mic skills. I absolutely loved her involvement in her RoseGold tag team with Goldust for the Mixed Match Challenge. But when Absolution was, ahem, absolved (that’s a reach, I know), Sonya Deville seemed primed to have the most success.
What does Mandy Rose do? She defeats the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion, and one of the true pioneers of the current women’s division in Becky Lynch. And much like The Miz, Mandy did it clean.
I know, Peyton Royce lost. But it’s about how she lost, and she did so with credibility. Much like Mandy Rose, she is being established, and she looked like she belonged.
And the biggest winner for the May 8 edition of WWE Smackdown Live? It’s the founder of Rusev Day!
I am not a firm believer that you always have to give the people what they want. But damn, do the people want a push for Rusev. While I don’t think the ultimate endgame is Rusev as a big time face (and don’t get it mixed up, the man is a babyface right now), a push for Rusev Day as a gimmick can only do wonders for Rusev’s eventual heel turn.
But man is it odd the way this comes about! The WWE Universe finally gets Daniel Bryan back in the ring, on Smackdown (the brand he believes in), and he’s the guy used to put Rusev over?
On the flip side, this is a big, relatively clean, win for Rusev. Like many other heels tonight (Mandy Rose, The Miz, and Cesaro), Rusev won clean. THAT says a lot for the future of everyone’s favorite Bulgarian Brute.