SmackDown Results: Raucous Crowd in France Gives PLE Feel

Photo Courtesy: WWE

May 3, 2024
 LDLC Arena – Lyon-Décines, France

By: John Kleinchester




  • Bayley, Naomi, Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill over Damage CTRL & Tiffany Stratton via KOD in 10:16 (Recommended
  • Authors of Pain over New Catch Republic via Powerbomb/Neckbreaker in 10:26
  • LA Knight over Angel via BFT in 6:43
  • WWE Tag Team Championship: A-Town Down Under over Street Profits via Flatliner in 8:04


8-Woman Tag Opener

The first-ever SmackDown from France kicked off with an 8-Woman Tag Team Match with each participant getting a big pop from a very hot crowd. The entrances here were a little confusing as Bayley was out first, followed by Naomi. Then next was Tiffany Stratton and Damage CTRL. Then they went back to the faces and brought out Bianca Belair and finally Jade Cargill. That did not affect this crowd though as they reacted loudly to every move and near fall. 


At one point in the match, Bayley seemed to have second thoughts about tagging in Bianca Belair and ended up tagging in Jade Cargill instead. Suddenly each competitor was hitting their finisher all in a row with the win going to Belair after hitting the KOD on Dakota Kai. 

After the match, Kayla Braxton interviewed the winning team and Bianca Belair said she would be done with Damage CTRL tomorrow after winning the tag titles with Cargill. The whole time she directed her comments towards Bayley who walked off.

Highest-Grossing SmackDown of All Time

Paul Levesque tweeted during the show that this edition of SmackDown was the highest-grossing all-time, breaking the record set just weeks ago in Philly.

Lashley’s Caution to Carmelo

Backstage, Nick Aldis complimented Carmelo Hayes on his showing with Cody Rhodes last week. Hayes said he was declaring himself for the King of the Ring tournament. Bobby Lashley approached and said that if he needed any help to let him know. Hayes said he was good and asked when the last time Lashley “shot his shot” and Bobby said, “Here’s a piece of advice you can have for free… be careful who you disrespect around here.”

New Catch Republic vs. Authors of Pain

Next was a matchup between two teams that would be making their final appearances on SmackDown as they’d all been drafted to Raw. This all began last week on SmackDown with The Final Testament attacking NCR backstage with the faces returning the favor by helping cost AOP the tag titles this past week on NXT. NCR had all the momentum when Scarlett distracted them allowing Karrion Kross to hit an F5 on Tyler Bate on the outside. AOP then hit a Sit-out powerbomb / neckbreaker combination on Dunne for the win.

One other note: during this match, the announce team teased “major news” coming from WWE’s social channels tomorrow. 

Paul Heyman Pulled Roman Reigns

Backstage, Nick Aldis denied Paul Heyman’s request to pull Kevin Owens and Randy Orton from the tag team match tomorrow night. Heyman said that whatever happened to them was on Aldis’ conscience. Paul then said that he hasn’t spoken to Roman Reigns since WrestleMania. Heyman was suddenly caught and admitted that he was the one who pulled Reigns from the WWE Draft. Aldis then invited him to try to pull Orton & Owens from the match in “The RKO Show” which was up next. 

Le Spectacle RKO

Owens kicked off this segment by speaking French to a huge reaction. Owens said that he didn’t want to have a guest on the first-ever RKO Show but he got nonstop calls from Paul Heyman asking to be a guest and he had something very important to tell them. Heyman then came out to huge “ECW” chants followed by the crowd chanting along with his usual catchphrases. As Heyman entered the ring, Owens said that Orton couldn’t RKO him right away and Orton said he’s more of an “outta nowhere” type of guy. The crowd chanted “We want Roman” and Heyman said, “I want Roman too.” 

Heyman said that the rules are different with Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga and asked Orton and Owens to back out of the match tomorrow. Orton asked Heyman who the real Tribal Chief was and Heyman responded “The whole world knows there’s only one Tribal Chief.” With that, Sikoa and Tonga attacked from behind and a brawl erupted at ringside. Security came out and tried to hold them back but Orton started taking them out as well. Owens then dove off the top rope onto the heels and security to end the segment. 

LA Knight vs. Angel

Before this match began, another QR code flashed on the screen. In this match, Legado del Fantasma attempted to interfere but LA Knight was able to overcome and hit the BFT on Angel for the win. After the match, Knight got on the mic and declared himself for the King of the Ring. Santos Escobar then interrupted and said Knight talks too much. The two went back and forth and it seemed they were destined to collide in the KOTR tournament. 

Afterward, Byron Saxton interviewed Carlito in the back (who was still wearing his LWO shirt) who said that all he wanted was a WrestleMania moment but instead of choosing him, Mysterio chose Dragon Lee. Lee then jumped Carltio as officials and Rey Mysterio pulled Dragon Lee away.

WWE Tag Team Championship

The final match of the evening was WWE Tag Team Champions A-Town Down Under taking on The Street Profits. The Profits commandeered control of much of the match early on with the crowd anticipating a possible title change. Ford & Dawkins hit a Blockbuster for a huge near fall with Austin Theory kicking out at two. Theory then gouged Dawkins’ eye, distracting the referee and allowing Waller to hit the Flatliner on Ford. With that, the Tag Champs retained.


Face-to-Face, Again

The final segment of the evening was AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes going face-to-face in the ring for the second week in a row after their contract signing last week. Earlier in the day at a fan event, Cody Rhodes referred to their shared Bullet Club history and tried to get Styles to “Too Sweet” him but he wouldn’t oblige, getting Michael Cole to do it instead. 

AJ Styles said that Cody Rhodes isn’t focused and Cody went into his “From one Georgia boy to another” spiel and Styles stopped him saying that he didn’t need that crap and that he is still in his prime. Styles then referenced Stardust and the fact that Cody left and that he was “kept out of the WWE” and he wasn’t welcomed with open arms when he got there. Styles said that he’s beaten all of the legends that helped him win the title at WrestleMania. Cody then called AJ “Phenomenal” which sent the crowd into a chanting frenzy. Cody said that this was his first title defense and it would be “too sweet”. AJ laughed and put up the too sweet sign and Cody was about to reciprocate when Styles slapped him in the face and walked off.

Before the show went off the air, cameras cut to the backstage area where Orton, Owens, Sikoa, and Tonga were all brawling and hitting each other with chairs. 


Final Thoughts

Tonight was a night and day difference from last week’s incarnation of SmackDown with last week being bogged down by the Draft and this week lifted by the great Lyon crowd, giving the show a PLE-elvel feel. A polar opposite of the Winnipeg crowd AEW had on Wednesday night. If nothing else, tonight was a great advertisement for Backlash tomorrow as the crowd made even the blandest match feel important. 


Announced for SmackDown Next Week from Wilkes-Barre, PA:

  • King & Queen of the Ring Tournament Begins
About John Kleinchester 165 Articles
New Jersey born and raised. Wrestling fan since Lex slammed Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Favorite Wrestler of all time is Owen "The Rocket" Hart.