WWE SmackDown Live Results: Highlights, Analysis, and Grades for May 9

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Mojo Rawley with Kid Fans Backstage

Rawley gives a tour of backstage with four kids. He tells them a story about someone being bullied as a kid and shows off the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Trophy.

Rusev Announces His Return

Rusev announces he’ll grace us with his presence next week on SmackDown Live. This is due to Shane McMahon ignoring his demand for a WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank. Rusev has been out of action since WWE Fastlane.

Randy Orton, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin

Result: Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin defeated Randy Orton, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn via pinfall.

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

Depending on how you’re viewing SmackDown Live, it’s amazing to think Mahal may be the top heel of the show. It could only be this way for a few weeks, but it’s noteworthy. Owens is probably the top bad guy, he’s just not in the main event picture, for now.

Mahal getting the pin on Orton is significant, but not surprising. It’s probably the biggest pinfall the Maharajah has received in his two stints in WWE, taking down the WWE Champion. This only came in a six-man match, but still a landmark moment in his career since it’s mostly featured losses and gloom in the bottom of the match card.

We have one more week to build Orton vs. Mahal, before it main events Backlash. It’s going to be an interesting test to see if these two can work together, particularly the Viper. He’s not exactly known for putting over talents, except Seth Rollins in 2015 and Roman Reigns at SummerSlam 2014, if you need recent examples. The track record isn’t there, though, and not only that, but putting on an inspired performance. Will we get that at Backlash?

Next: All 26 Champions in NXT History, Ranked

What did you think of this episode of SmackDown Live?