Smackdown Results: Rhodes vs. Paul Now for Just WWE Championship

Originally published at

May 17, 2024

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, FL

By: John Kleinchester




  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinal Match: Bianca Belair over Tiffany Stratton via KOD in 13:16
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match: Tama Tonga over LA Knight via Flatliner in 8:49
  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinal Match: Nia Jax over Jade Cargill via DQ in 2:10
  • DIY over Legado del Fantasma via Meet Me in the Middle in 8:37
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match: Randy Orton over Carmelo Hayes via RKO in 10:28


QOTR Quarterfinal: Bianca Belair vs. Tiffany Stratton

SmackDown kicked off with the first of four King/Queen of the Ring Quarterfinal matches with one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Bianca Belair taking on Tiffany Stratton who defeated Michin at a house show over the weekend. The crowd was hot as the bell ran and audible “Tiffy Time” chants broke out. Stratton was able to hang with the experienced Belair by illegally using Belair’s braid against her. Belair also continued to favor her knee, selling the effects of last week’s match against Candice LeRae.

We’re kicking off #SmackDown with the Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals! Who will advance? @BiancaBelairWWE or @tiffstrattonwwe? 👀 #WWEKingAndQueen #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) May 18, 2024

Stratton then realized this, again using Belair’s braid to twist her knee in the middle rope and then throwing her knees first in the steel steps. Belair mounted a comeback but was unable to execute the KOD because of her knee. Stratton then went for the Prettiest Moonsault Ever but Belair was able to stop and catch her, limping to the center of the ring to hit the KOD for the win. Belair goes on to the Seminfinals to face the winner of Jade Cargill vs. Nia Jax. Cathy Kelley interviewed Belair in the ring and she admitted her knee is not 100% and that next week no matter who she faces she will come out on top.

We witnessed a classic on #SmackDown@BiancaBelairWWE @TiffStrattonWWE #WWEKingAndQueen

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

Logan’s Next Opponent?

Is @LoganPaul the future of WWE?#SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

After a recap video of last week aired with the confrontation between Logan Paul and Cody Rhodes was shown, Paul was seen entering Nick Aldis’ office as LA Knight was exiting. The two stared each other down and Knight said “See ya, Champ”. 


Jade & Bianca

Backstage, Byron Saxton asked Jade Cargill what she thought about Nia Jax and she said she had heard all about her but right now she’s just in her way. Bianca interrupted and Jade asked her how her knee was and Bianca responded it’ll be fine next week if she has to stand across the ring from her. 


The Bloodline

Footage of Solo Sikoa from last week was shown where he claimed to Paul Heyman that he had spoken to Roman Reigns and that he was in charge. We then cut to The Bloodline live in the locker room with Solo Sikoa in a bright red suit. Paul Heyman asked Solo if he had talked to “him” today and Solo responded “All the time… All the time.”

"Have you talk to HIM today?"@HeymanHustle #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

LA Knight / Carmelo Hayes

Cathy Kelley interviewed LA Knight asking about his match with Tama Tonga when Carmelo Hayes interrupted who wanted to give Knight the opportunity to welcome him to Smackdown as the #1 draft pick. Knight compared himself to Tom Brady and then asked who the first draft pick was the year Tom Brady was drafted. Knight then admonished Hayes for looking past Randy Orton and stormed off.

"Who was the first Draft pick the year Tom Brady was selected?"@RealLAKnight @Carmelo_WWE @catherinekelley

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

KOTR Quarterfinal: Tama Tonga vs. LA Knight

Tama Tonga rushed LA Knight as soon as the bell rang but Knight caught him and gained an early advantage. Soon thereafter, Sikoa and Loa got on the apron distracting Knight and allowing Tonga to reverse the momentum, hitting Knight with a jumping clothesline off the steps on the outside. Knight finally turned things around somehow managing to bloody his shoulder in the process. Knight went for the BFT but Loa pulled him out of the ring. Knight stared down Sikoa and then ran right into a Flatliner from Tama Tonga for the clean win. Tonga goes on to face the winner of Randy Orton and Carmelo Hayes. 

After the match, Carmelo Hayes got in La Knight’s face and Knight shoved him and Referee Charles Robinson separated the two. 

Tama Tonga is RELENTLESS! 😱

Will @RealLAKnight be able to pull through and pick up the W? 👀

— WWE (@WWE) May 18, 2024

Logan Paul: Pro Wrestling Tourist

Nick Aldis welcomed Logan Paul (and his entourage) and Cody Rhodes to the ring for the contract signing for the Main Event of King and Queen of the Ring. Rhodes started off by saying he loved Jacksonville and mentioned that 32 years ago today was War Games 1992 with The Stinger Squadron vs The Dangerous Alliance and he knows that because he is a fan of professional wrestling and Logan Paul is more of a tourist. Logan Paul retorted by saying that Cody was just saying what all his prior opponents had said and he was there to sign a contract not listen to Cody talk. Paul then ripped up the contact in front of him and his “litigator” Jim Guillory produced a new contract as Logan Paul said he only agreed to wrestle for the WWE Championship, not the US Championship. Nick Aldis then interrupted yelling at Logan but Cody stopped him and asked him to leave which he obliged. 

"I did not agree to put my title on the line!"@LoganPaul #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

Logan Paul signed the new contract and said that Cody hadn’t done anything to earn a shot at his United States title. Logan then brought up his brother facing Mike Tyson and Cody said Jake Paul would be knocked just like Logan will be. With that, Cody signed making the match only for the WWE Championship and Logan Paul tried to attack him as Cody put one of his entourage through a table. 

Has @CodyRhodes earned a shot at the #USTitle?@LoganPaul #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

QOTR Quarterfinal: Nia Jax vs. Jade Cargill

Cathy Kelley interviewed Nia Jax in the back and Jax admitted that Jade was strong and impressive but she would not be Queen of the Ring, and with that Jax walked through Gorilla and out to the ring. As the match began, the two opponents quickly spilled outside of the ring and it was revealed that Jade’s daughter was front row as Cargill got into the child’s face screaming “Your Mom sucks!”.

"YOUR MOM SUCKS!"@Jade_Cargill #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

Nia Jax went to hit Jade with a chair and Jade caught it (and actually missed with the chair hitting her in the face anyway) and hit Jax thus getting disqualified. The two brawled and had to be separated by a cavalcade of officials. 

Come on, Nia Jax 🤨

Nia Jax knew exactly what she was doing when she pulled out that steel chair #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) May 18, 2024


DIY’s Smackdown Debut

Next up was DIY’s Smackdown debut taking on Legado del Fantasma with A-Town Down Under on commentary. As the show went to commercial break, another QR code was briefly seen. Waller & Theory said that DIY were like guys who peaked in college or in their case NXT and commentary insinuated that there were Tag Team Championship steaks in this match. Johnny Gargano had the match won but Santos Escobar and Elektra Lopez got involved. Referee Jessica Carr ejected the pair allowing the faces to hit “Meet Me in the Middle” for the win as they stared down A-Town Down Under after the match.

What were they thinking?!@EscobarWWE and @elektralopezwwe are ejected after interfering 😳 #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) May 18, 2024

QR Codes Acknowledged 

The commentary team finally acknowledged the QR codes that had been “glitching” on Smackdown for the last few weeks and Graves said that he’s talked to production and no one knows why. They then showed where last week’s QR code led and Graves said he has to wonder what’s going on, especially remembering the last time QR codes were being seen in WWE.


AJ Styles

Byron Saxton mentioned to AJ Styles that he’s had a tough go of things recently and asked him where he goes from here. Styles admitted it’s been tough and said that next week he goes to Nick Aldis’ office and we’ll find out.


Bayley / Chelsea & Piper

Byron Saxton interviewed Bayley backstage and was swiftly interrupted by Chelsea Green & Piper Niven. Chelsea said that Bayley is why Piper lost last week. Bayley said she didn’t have time to talk but instead said they should talk in the ring next week. Niven and Green seemed happy as if they had gotten what they wanted. 


KOTR Quarterfinal: Randy Orton vs. Carmelo Hayes

The main event of the evening was the fourth semifinal of the King of the Ring tournament with Randy Orton taking on Carmelo Hayes. The story here was that despite being cocky, Hayes was able to hang with the future Hall of Famer in Randy Orton. For the second week in a row we had a second match focusing on a knee with Orton continuing to sell his knee from last week just as Bianca Belair had earlier in the night. With a hot crowd throughout, the finish saw Hayes countering an RKO only to go for a springboard and get caught by the RKO Outta Nowhere. 

OUTTA NOWHERE! 😮‍💨#SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

After the match, Cathy Kelley was going to interview Randy Orton when Tama Tonga and The Bloodline came out. Orton then cut an impassioned promo (spitting everywhere to a ridiculous level) about him introducing Tama Tonga to the RKO next week.

Allow @RandyOrton to reintroduce himself!#SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) May 18, 2024

Final Thoughts

Any potential intrigue between Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul was deflated this week as the United States Championship was removed from contention in their match. It has been interesting seeing the writers try to plant some seeds for upcoming feuds before current matches are completed and that has been beneficial in that in the past, these could have been viewed as spoilers of what was to come but at least here we have some results going that way immediately and others (like Jade/Bianca) holding off until a later time, giving a more unpredictable feel. 


Announced for SmackDown Next Week from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

  • QOTR Semifinals: Bianca Belair vs. Nia Jax
  • KOTR Semifinals: Tama Tonga vs. Randy Orton

“I’m coming for you, Logan Paul… but not at King & Queen of the Ring.”

Why does Cody Rhodes hate getting title shots?