HomeTelevisionFriday Night Smackdown 5/15: Otis Rules Everything Around Us

Friday Night Smackdown 5/15: Otis Rules Everything Around Us

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Friday Night Smackdown Live 5/17 is the first Smackdown after Money In The Bank, and so inevitably a big topic would be Otis’ controversial win of the Money in the Bank ladder match. It seems a lot of superstars (and Corey Graves) aren’t happy with the fact Otis never even climbed the ladder and seemed to just luck into winning. Whether he’s a legitimate winner or not, Otis is beyond thrilled to have the briefcase.

The episode starts with an edition of Miz TV where they interview Otis, barely able to contain their contempt for him. It’s a messy segment; Otis immediately breaks a chair he goes to sit in and Miz tries to humiliate him with baby pictures while Otis tells the pretty heartwarming story about his relationship with his mom and how she helped him overcome his learning disability through encouraging him to study so he could play sports in school.

But all Miz and Morrison can focus on is the fact that Otis is fat and ugly and it isn’t fair that he gets the briefcase AND the girl, and Miz gets so offended by Otis’ carefree attitude that he challenges him to a tag team match. Tucker is unavailable and so Miz tells him to find someone – anyone – before the end of the night.

Now for the other controversial story to come out of Friday Night Smackdown 5/15: The Intercontinental Title tournament. Sami Zayn has been stripped of his title after being deemed unable to compete in a move that has polarized a lot of fans. On the one hand, Sami hasn’t competed since he won the title at Wrestlemania and has no intention to wrestle during the quarantine and with WWE down several high-profile competitors (Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, “The Mom” Becky Lynch) they’re probably scrambling to have a title to compete for. On the other hand? There’s been a precedent for WWE doing the opposite of this. Andrade got to keep his title when he was suspended for a drug violation. Brock Lesnar got to go his whole last year having a title belt and doing nothing.

It does feel like WWE might be punishing Sami for being one of the few superstars to choose to stay home, but thanks to how shady the company can be we’ll never receive the transparency we want in terms of their decision making. What matters is that Sami title has been relinquished and to crown a new champion they’ll have a tournament.

Elias v Baron Corbin is the first match in the tournament. These two have been feuding for a while now, and that feud came to a head when at MitB Elias ruined Corbin’s chance at winning by smashing his guitar over his back. Corbin is back with a vengeance and he has the upper hand until he decides to mess with Elias by playing with his guitar. Apparently Elias hulks out when you touch his guitar and he pops up with a knee to Corbin’s face and rolls him up for a win. Elias is the first winner in the tournament and will advance to the next round.

Backstage, Otis is scrambling to find a tag team partner and asks Sheamus who laughs in his face and says no. He gets a visit from his peach Mandy, who suggests he ask Braun Strowman. Braun respects the balls it took to ask and says he’ll think about it.

That mysterious hacker lets us know he’s still watching.

Dana Brooke v Naomi is next. What an unfairly quick match!!!! Dana and Naomi practically rolled around the ring until one of them won. Dana’s momentum is building though, and it seems like her star is currently rising.

They show a video recapping Becky’s huge pregnancy announcement and showing all the backstage love she’s received. Really, the biggest news the WWE has had in a really long time and also one of the nicest things they’ve been in the news for this year.

Charlotte Flair makes a visit to Smackdown as part of the brand-to-brand invitation. She’s mostly just bragging about the special treatment she gets being a Flair when Bayley and Sasha show up to mark their territory. Charlotte cuts right to their vulnerable spot, which is the underlying tension between the two. She asks Sasha if she’s her own woman or if she’s simply content being Bayley’s lackey. It clearly affects Sasha to be called an afterthought, and although Bayley sets a match against Charlotte for next week, it seems unclear whose side Sasha might be on.

Backstage Braun is working out and deciding if he wants to be Otis’ partner. Seems likely!

The Forgotten Sons dropped by with a message, but I forget what it is.

Renee Young is backstage with Miz and Morrison. They call Braun dumb and say he’s still not dumb enough to fall for Otis’ “plan.”

Gulak v Bryan for the intercontinental title tournament. These two are such respectful competitors that it’s hard to look away when they wrestle. It’s a lot of the two of them attempting to get their submission holds on each other but only Bryan succeeds at locking his in and Gulak taps so Bryan can advance. Afterwards he tells Renee that it’s been almost five years to the day that he was forced to relinquish his title when he had to retire, and he wants to win it back so he can make it *the* Smackdown title and defend it every week. A lofty goal, and I would honestly love to see it. (Editor’s Note: Drew Gulak has since left WWE).

Sonya and Dolph do a promo about how she’s not done ruining Mandy’s life and when she competes with Dolph is their mixed tag match against Otis and Mandy next week, she’s going to prove that Mandy is not worthy of sharing the ring with her.

Friday Night Smackdown 5/15 Main Event: Miz and Morrison v Otis and Braun

Otis comes out alone and it doesn’t look good for him for a moment, but Braun comes through and leads the two of them to a fairly easy victory over Miz and Morrison. Watching Braun let loose in little ways is so much more delightful than I’d ever expect; seeing him do a double caterpillar with Otis and have fun was a total highlight of the episode. Mandy comes out to help celebrate, and Otis seems to want to use Mandy’s entrance as a distraction to get the jump on Braun. Braun catches him but forgives him when Otis claims it was a joke. It’s hard to say whether it was or not, but in any case the three of them have a lot of fun to close out Smackdown.

Friday Night Smackdown 5/15 is currently streaming on FOX and on demand for your local cable operator.

Melissa Jouben
Melissa Jouben
Melissa Jouben is an enthusiastic young writer who can usually be seen performing or enjoying live comedy in New Jersey and New York. She has a very limited range of interests which can be summed up by the following list, in no particular order: comedy, cartoons, toy collecting, wrestling, limited edition varieties of soda, and Billy Joel. She was born and raised in New Jersey and can’t wait to leave so she can brag to all her new neighbors about how great the ocean smells at low tide.

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