WWE SmackDown Review (03/17/2023)

WWE SmackDown Review – March 17, 2023

Kicking off this weeks Smackdown with Cody Rhodes asks Kansas City what they want to talk about then suggests they could talk about WrestleMania. He expresses his respect for Roman Reigns and calls him the greatest champion in both sports and sports entertainment. He says he’s looking forward to beating Reigns in Los Angeles California, then clarifies that he doesn’t want to talk about someone but rather to someone. He then calls Kevin Owens to ringside.

Owens’ music hits and he marches down to the ring. He tells Rhodes he thinks he knows what Rhodes wants to say. Rhodes cuts him off and says this isn’t just a conversation between two people. He says another party should be involved before he invites Sami Zayn out.

Zayn’s music hits and he appears with a smile plastered across his face. Rhodes says he’s going to peel back the curtain and tells Owens that he has an incredible amount of respect for him. He explains that when he left WWE in 2016, he needed contacts and help. He says Owens provided him with such and bettered his livelihood. He tells Owens he can never repay him, but is trying to at least partially do so at this moment.

Owens says he’s heard everything Zayn has to say, but Zayn cuts him off and says while that may be the case, Owens hasn’t said everything he needs to. Zayn says while the two have hurt each other many times, they have always managed to forgive one another. He says he doesn’t understand why this time is different, then asks Owens to get whatever he needs to out of his system.

Owens asks Rhodes if he’s gotten what he’s wanted so he can leave, and Rhodes says they all know they are in the people pleasing business. Rhodes says it doesn’t matter what he wants to see, but rather what the fans want to Owens & Zayn on the same page. Zayn says fans want to see them team again and so does he. He says that they of them could do something magical and remarkable together, and adds that they can be the ones to take down The Bloodline. He says they don’t need to be friends, but to be able to work as a unit. Owens says he’s heard Zayn say it all and says he gets it, but questions why he would fight for someone who doesn’t want to be his friend. Owens thanks Rhodes for what he tried to do, then leaves the ring and heads to the back.

We are back from the break we see Owens exiting the arena and head towards his car. Zayn catches up to him and says forget everything that’s happened. He tells Owens that they’re not only friends but brothers. He tells Owens if he never wants to talk to him then that’s fine but lets him know that he loves him. Owens gets in his car and drives off as a look of dispiritedness overtakes Zayn’s face.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Judgement Day (2023 Women’s Royal Rumble Winner Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Zelina Vega & Santos Escobar)

Dominik Mysterio wastes no time as he delivers a dropkick and fires off several right hands, but Santos Escobar fires back with several of his own. Zelina Vega & Rhea Ripley tag in. Vega delivers a senton off the middle rope then follows it up with a hurricanrana that sends Ripley to the outside. Mysterio goes to check on Ripley but Escobar levels him before Vega delivers a moonsault off the ropes to Ripley that sends us to a break.

After the break Mysterio delivers a cannonball off the top rope. He rains down right hands, but Escobar fires back with a dropkick. Mysterio delivers more right hands but Escobar levels Mysterio with an elbow. Vega & Ripley tag in. Vega delivers a knee and a DDT then rolls Ripley up. Mysterio pulls Vega off Ripley before Escobar levels him.

Ripley tosses Vega to the outside as Mysterio & Escobar teeter on the ropes. Ripley pulls them both down in order to take down Escobar allowing Vega to hit a crossbody off the top rope. She follows it up with a knee then hits Mysterio with a hurricanrana off the top rope. Ripley manages to sneak up on Vega as she watches him fall to the outside and delivers Riptide for the win.

Winners: Judgement Day

After the match Dominik grabs a mic and says Rey Mysterio is nothing but a disrespectful, deadbeat of a father. He says Rey was never there for him but before he can continue, Rey appears on the Titan Tron as we see him walking backstage presumably making his way to the ring.

Dominik taunts Rey but Rey interrupts him and asks Ripley for a moment alone with Dominik. Dominik says that now he wants to talk after leaving him home alone for many nights, then says he’s been a terrible father.

Rey cuts him off once again and admits he hasn’t always been the best father, but he says that doesn’t change the fact that he loves him. He tells Dominik he will find out that the wrestling business is selfish, and he made the sacrifices he did so Dominik and the rest of his family could have the life he never did. Rey tells Dominik that every time he got in trouble, the Mysterio name bailed him out. He tells Dominik to hear him out because he’s having a hard time coping wit everything happening between them, then says he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He says he would love nothing more than to have Dominik stand by his side on the stage as he begins to tear up. He says maybe it’s too late for that to happen, but his biggest regret is what Dominik has become. He says if someone like Dominik an ungrateful, disrespectful, punk called him out for a WrestleMania match, he would gladly beat them up, but unfortunately, Dominik is still his son and fighting him would be a major disgrace for him as a father. He reiterates that he will never fight Dominik, then adds that goes for WrestleMania as well.

Rey hops out of the ring and heads to the back as Dominik asks him why he won’t fight. He says he keeps running away like he did as a father then says all Rey is doing is teaching him what not to do. He continues to egg on Rey as Rey pauses at the top of the ramp and takes a minute to collect himself.

Wade Barrett announces that there will be both a Men’s & Women’s Fatal 4 Way Tag Team match at WrestleMania and the 1st qualifier for the women’s bout will be up next.

WrestleMania Tag Team Qualifying Match
Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan vs. Tegan Nox & Emma

Raquel Rodriguez & Tegan Nox lock up to get this match started. Rodriguez sends Nox to the mat but Nox slaps Rodriguez. Rodriguez sends her crashing into the corner, then tags in Liv Morgan. Nox delivers an uppercut and a knee then fires off a series of right hands and whips Morgan into the corner. Emma tags in and delivers a crossbody then rains down right hands and follows it up with a double underhook suplex. Nox tags back in and plants Morgan face first then delivers a kick to her face.

Morgan laughs manically, then delivers a backstabber and tags in Rodriguez. Emma tags in, and Rodriguez levels her with a pair of clotheslines. She follows it up with a fallaway slam and a Corkscrew Elbow and goes for a pin. Nox breaks the fall before Morgan levels her. Morgan tags in before Rodriguez delivers the Texana Bomb then Morgan follows it up with ObLIVion for the win.

Winners & Gets Into The Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Match At WrestleMania 39: Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan

Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair says the more things change, the more they stay the same. She says now that WrestleMania is 2 weeks from now, things haven’t changed. She says that as she walks into her 7th WrestleMania, whether it be as the challenger or champion, she has always been the star. She says Rhea Ripley wants to be the star, but she can’t be the star until she becomes the champion and in order to do that, Ripley has to beat her. Flair says Ripley couldn’t beat her 3 years ago and she still can’t do it today.

Ripley’s music hits and she heads to the ring with Dominik Mysterio by her side. Ripley says Flair is 100% right and says she chose Flair over Bianca BelAir for a reason. She says all the men and women in the locker room turn away from her because they all fear her. She says Flair is the exception to that and says Flair is staring her down without an ounce of fear in her eyes. She says the fact that Flair isn’t scared of her gravely upsets her, then says she is a 14x champion because she is a superstar. Ripley says she needs the Smackdown Women’s Title because she needs to be a star then says Flair will learn to not only call her champion, but to fear her once WrestleMania is over.

Dominik gets in Flair’s face and tells her Ripley will defeat her this gives Ripley the opening to take a cheap shot and knock Flair to the mat. Ripley & Dominik go to leave the ring, but Flair gets up and levels Ripley with a clothesline to her back. She shoves her into the barricade spine first, and they begin brawling before officials run down to the ring in order to separate them. Flair clocks a security guard and escapes, delivering a big boot to Ripley. Ripley sends Flair over the announce table but Flair recovers and delivers a crossbody to Ripley and nearby officials. They continue to brawl as officials try pulling them apart. Both women continue to knock them down and spill out to the crowd before officials manage to separate them.

We go backstage to Kayla Braxton is with Sami Zayn. Braxton asks Zayn if the events of earlier tonight have affected his headspace going into his confrontation with Jey Uso, and Zayn says it’s been a heavy night because he’s now been burned by 2 men he considered brothers. He says if people you love say something long enough, then you start to believe it and if Jey wants to meet him in the ring, then that’s fine because if he brought everything on himself then it’s time to face what he’s done.

Xavier Woods vs. LA Knight

Xavier Woods & LA Knight lock up to get his match started. Knight sends Woods into the middle turnbuckle then fires off several stomps and hits a DDT. They ascend to the middle rope before Woods pushes Knight off and delivers a missile dropkick. He whips him into the corner and delivers a neckbreaker then plants Woods face first. Knight gets Woods up for a move but Woods manages to escape and catches Knight with Backwoods for the win.

Winner: Xavier Woods

After the break we see Knight walking around backstage. Kayla Braxton approaches him and asks for a word but Knight spots Rey Mysterio signing autographs. Knight says he’ll fight Dominik Mysterio if Rey won’t, and mentions he’s even willing to call himself LA Mysterio. Rey loses his temper and slaps Knight, then storms off.

Drew McIntyre points at the WrestleMania sign with his sword while Sheamus does the same with his shillelagh.

Imperium them heads out to watch the action.

Intercontienetal Title #1 Contenders Match
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus

Sheamus sends Drew McIntyre crashing into the mat but McIntyre quickly recovers and delivers a chop. He follows it up with a suplex but Sheamus hits a clothesline while Intercontienetal Champion Gunther grabs a headset to answer a couple of questions from Wade Barrett. McIntyre delivers a body slam then follows it up with a series of chops. Sheamus fires back with an Irish Curse Backbreaker then looks for the 10 Beats Of The Bodhran. McIntyre escapes and looks to do the same but Sheamus moves out of the way and delivers a big boot. He ascends to the top but McIntyre catches him with a right hand and meets him up there before he hits a superplex that sends us to a break.

After the break McIntyre delivers a chop. Sheamus fires back with a body slam. Sheamus sends McIntyre’s head bouncing off the top rope then delivers the 10 Beats of the Bodhran. He sets up for the Brogue Kick but McIntyre ducks it and delivers a neckbreaker. He kips up and sets up for the Claymore Kick but Sheamus meets him with a knee and goes for a pin. McIntyre kicks out before they go back & forth with right hands. McIntyre gains the upper hand and delivers a Glasgow Kiss but Sheamus fires back with a knee.

Sheamus & McIntyre level one another with a Brogue Kick and Claymore Kick respectively. The referee begins a 10 count and reaches 8 but Gunther gets in his face and keeps him from completing the count in an effort to find out his opponent. Giovanni Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser attack both men causing a disqualification.

Winner & #1 Contender To The Intercontienetal Title: No One (No Contest) 

After the match McIntyre & Sheamus send Vinci & Kaiser out of the ring. Gunther then joins in and beats down them then powerbombs Sheamus onto McIntyre.

Imperium looks to head to the back but Adam Pearce appears on the Titan Tron. He reminds Gunther that he wanted 1 opponent for WrestleMania then informs him that he will now be facing both Sheamus & McIntyre as a result of his actions.

Sami Zayn asks Jey Uso if this is what he wanted. He asks Jey how he wants to do this, and Jey says he has a job to do tonight. He tells Zayn he didn’t like or trust him since day 1. He says the rest of The Bloodline warmed up to him except for him. Jey says he has felt that it’s his job to protect his family since he was a boy, and the one time he let his guard down, Zayn betrayed him and made him look stupid. Jey says he called Zayn his brother and says he has been a fake Uce since day 1.

Jey tells Zayn he had no choice, but Zayn cuts him off and says he does have a choice. He says he can choose to leave Roman Reigns and his toxic behavior, then says he could’ve hit Reigns with a chair at the Royal Rumble but he wasn’t able to do it quick enough.

They begin brawling with one another before Zayn tackles Jey and rains down right hands. Jimmy enters the ring and levels Zayn. The Usos then beat down Zayn & Jey hits Zayn with the ring steps as Jimmy holds him in place.

Jimmy gets him in the ring and looks to beat him down, but Kevin Owens’ music hits. He appears behind The Usos and tosses Jimmy out of the ring then beats down Jey. Jimmy tries jumping him but Owens sends him back out of the ring and continues attacking Jey. Owens then levels Jimmy with a Stunner and takes Jey down with a Pop Up Powerbomb.

The Usos roll out of the ring as Zayn gets up. Owens & Zayn then stare one another down before Owens hugs Zayn and they effectively reunite with one another. We see Cody Rhodes watching on from backstage with a big smile across his face.

Next Week’s Smackdown

Rey Mysterio vs. LA Knight

WrestleMania 39 Card (April 1st & 2nd)

Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. 2023 Royal Rumble Winner Cody Rhodes

Smackdown Women’s Title Match
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble Winner Rhea Ripley

Raw Women’s Title Match
Bianca BelAir (c) vs. Asuka

Brock Lensar vs. Omos

Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul

United States Title Match
Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena

6 Woman Tag Team Match
Women’s Tag Team Champions Becky Lynch & Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley,Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai)

Intercontienetal Title Triple Threat Match
Gunther (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus

Hell In A Cell Match
Finn Balor vs. Edge

Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Match
TBD vs. TBD vs. TBD vs. TBD

Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Match
Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan vs. TBD vs. TBD vs. TBD