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WWE Smackdown Review 29/3/24

We are just over a week away from Wrestlemania and WWE is already in the northeast for the final push towards the show. That means things are already intense and there is a good chance that we are going to be getting some fallout from the Rock attacking Cody Rhodes on Raw. Jade Cargill is here as well so let’s get to it.

We open with a quick look back at The Rock attacking Cody Rhodes on Raw. More on this later.

Match 1 Randy Orton/Kevin Owens vs. Pretty Deadly

Owens jumps Wilson to start and drops a quick backlash for an early two. Orton comes in to hammer away on Prince so Wilson tries to tag himself in…but he’s not holding the tag rope so it doesn’t count. Well that’s not something you see everyday. The villains take Orton outside for a drop onto the announcers’ table and we take an early break.

Back with Orton belly to backing his way out of a chinlock and the tag bringing Owens in again. A DDT gives Owens two as everything breaks down. Owens comes back in but Orton is taken outside for a drop onto the announcers’ table. Cue Logan Paul with the brass knuckles to drop Owens, allowing Prince to steal the pin at 7:02.

Official Result Pretty Deadly win

Rating: C. This was a way to advance the triple threat at Wrestlemania and that is not a bad way to go. Paul is at his best when he’s messing with people or things that that’s what you had here, with Owens getting a pretty humiliating loss to a goofy team. That isn’t going to sit well with Orton and odds are Paul knew that coming in.

Post match Orton pulls Paul out but Pretty Deadly makes the save. Owens breaks that up and Pretty deadly is laid out, with Orton chasing Paul to the back. The chase is on and Paul jumps into a car and drives off.

Iyo Sky talks about how Bayley formed Damage CTRL to leach off of them but Sky made Bayley relevant. Then the team outgrew Bayley so they did what had to be done. Sky stands up to end the interview but gets jumped by Bayley. They destroy the green screen and are finally separated. Good brawl, but we were told what would happen before the break and that hurt things.

Here is Nick Aldis for a chat. He’s happy to bring out Jade Cargill for her first official appearance as a member of the Smackdown roster. The contract is signed and Cargill says there are some talented stars around here, but none of them are here. That woman oozes star power at a level you do not see very often.

Damage CTRL doesn’t like Bianca Belair so Dakota Kai is taking her out tonight.

Nick Aldis runs into Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre, who have dropped the witchcraft stuff but don’t say anything. Aldis keeps walking and runs into AJ Styles, who asks if LA Knight isn’t here. Aldis says he asked Knight not to be here, but Styles says Aldis should have told him.

Match 2 Wrestlemania Tag Team Titles Qualifying Match: Austin Theory/Grayson Waller vs. Street Profits

Ford flips out of a double suplex to start and hands it off to Dawkins, who runs Waller over on the floor. We take a break and come back with Dawkins suplexes his way out of trouble, allowing the diving tag to Ford. A springboard spinning back elbow to the face puts Theory down for two and the Doomsday Blockbuster gets the same.

Theory’s rolling neckbreaker is cut off with a sitout powerbomb but we cut to the back where Karrion Kross and Scarlett have taken out Bobby Lashley and B Fab. The distraction lets Theory raise his knees to block the frog splash and pin Ford at 6:21.

Official Result Grayson Waller & Austin Theory win

Rating: C+. Well what we saw of it was good, but as is the case so often in modern wrestling, there is only so much you can get out of a match that runs less than seven minutes and includes a commercial plus a backstage brawl. This should set up a six man between Lashley/the Profits and the Final Testament, which is a feud that needs to wrap up already as it’s long since stopped being interesting.

Post match the Final Testament comes in for the beatdown with Bobby Lashley making a failed save attempt.

We look back at Dominik Mysterio costing Rey Mysterio a match with Santos Escobar last week.

Here is Legado del Fantasma for a chat. Santos Escobar is here to brag about his win last week. He was hoping for Rey’s knee to get infected and amputated (geez) but he’ll settle for just getting a win.

All it took was the help of one man, so here is Dominik Mysterio for a chat. Escobar says Dominik was right and, after Dominik is booed out of the building, promises to ruin Rey.

Cue the LWO, with Rey saying he believed he was done with Dominik. But now Rey has the chance to beat some respect into both of them. The challenge for Dominik/Escobar vs. Rey/a partner of his choosing at Wrestlemania. That would be the newest member of the LWO: Dragon Lee. Cue Lee for the brawl as the match seems likely for Wrestlemania.

Naomi wishes Bianca Belair luck and says she has her back tonight. Belair is rather pleased and they’re in this together against Damage CTRL.

Judgment Day isn’t happy with what is going on with Rhea Ripley not even knowing what Dominik Mysterio was going to do.

Match 3 Wrestlemania Tag Team Title Qualifying Match: New Catch Republic vs. Legado del Fantasma

We’re joined in progress with Dunne in trouble but he gets over for the tag to Bate as house is quickly cleaned. A standing shooting star hits Berto and the ring is cleared, with Bate hitting a big dive as we take a break. Back with Bate in trouble and getting double super gorilla pressed for two. Bate gets over for the tag seconds later though and the Birminghammer gives Dunne the pin at 7:19.

Official Result New Catch Republic win

Rating: C+. Just like in the previous tag match, how much can you get out of a match that goes about seven minutes with a break? It doesn’t help that Legado was already beaten down from the pre-match brawl so the Republic doesn’t even look that great for winning. But at least we now have a sixth team for the 12 man ladder match, because we have a 12 man ladder match.

We look back at the Rock beating down Cody Rhodes to end Raw. The beating continued after the show went off the air.

The Bloodline promises to take out Jey Uso next week.

Here is AJ Styles, who says he should have had LA Knight locked up last week. Styles doesn’t buy that Knight isn’t here and thinks he might be the cameraman. That’s a no, but here’s someone coming through the crowd…and that’s not Knight either.

One of the security guards is Knight though and even though Styles sees him on the Titantron, the beatdown is on anyway. Styles bails through the crowd.

Video on Tiffany Stratton.

Next week: the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is back.

Match 5 Bianca Belair vs. Dakota Kai

Belair starts fast and knocks Kai into the corner for the running shoulder. Some rolling suplexes have Kai in trouble but she knees her way to freedom and we take a break. Back with Belair raining down right hands in the corner, followed by a tilt-a-whirl gutbuster. A Glam Slam into a moonsault gives Belair two but Kai manages a knee to the back for the same.

The exchange of forearms goes to Belair but Kai manages to send her to the apron. A running knee only hits post though and Belair grabs a superplex. The KOD gives Belair the pin at 9:26.

Official Result Bianca Belair wins

Rating: C+. There is nothing wrong with giving a star a win and that is all they were trying to do here. Kai is the weakest link in Damage CTRL and having her lose to Belair at one of the last shows before Wrestlemania is hardly some career killer. Odds are we’re getting ready for a big tag match at Wrestlemania so we can probably call this a mini preview.

Post match the Kabuki Warriors come in for the beating but Naomi makes the save. The numbers game catches up to her until Jade Cargill comes in for the real save.

Overall Thoughts

Oh yeah we are firmly in the “we’re almost to Wrestlemania so please do not screw anything up” period. That means we don’t have much time left to wait but at the same time, there is only so much to be gotten out of a show like this one. There was a likely Wrestlemania match set up and two more teams qualified for the ladder match but that’s about it. This is a completely skippable show, but it’s probably the last skippable show for a few weeks and that is a great feeling.


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