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WWE Smackdown Review 3/11/23

We’re taped this week as the roster is in Saudi Arabia for tomorrow’s Crown Jewel. That might make things a little lower energy for everything that they’re doing, though we should be in for some good stuff. Logan Paul and Rey Mysterio are set for a weigh-in of all things before their US Title match tomorrow. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Bloodline having issues with LA Knight last week.

Here is Knight to get things going. Knight talks about how impressive it is for Roman Reigns to be Universal Champion for nearly 1,200 days but what is even more impressive is how fast that kind of a reign can end.

Tomorrow is going to be a BFT to Reigns….who cuts Knight off (along with Paul Heyman of course). Reigns even turns his back on Knight on his way into the ring for a nice bonus.

Reigns says that he won’t tell this irrelevant town to acknowledge him because they already know. Instead, he introduces himself to Knight and includes a variety of monikers.

He took his time off and is surprised that Knight stood up, but Knight deserves the credit for getting this far. The fans chant for Knight but Reigns says that ends after tonight.

Reigns has turned this place into a multi-billion dollar industry while Knight is a redneck version of Reigns’ cousin. Knight will be the next one but he won’t be the last one.

That sends Knight into a rant about how he’s not just starting and Reigns better finish him, or the only bloodline will be running between Reigns’ eyes. Knight had that fire to him here and while I can’t imagine him winning, he’s come a LONG way during this feud.

Match 1 Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory

Grayson Waller is on commentary after Owens punched both he and Theory last week. In the back, Theory talks about how much better his face is than Owens’ and says after tonight, Owens won’t have to wear a mask for Halloween. I think Theory forgot this was a taped show. Anyway, Owens drives him into the corner to start but the threat of a right hand sends Theory outside for a breather.

Back in and Theory knocks him down before raining down left hands in the corner. Owens’ running clothesline sends Theory outside and another clothesline drops him again. We take a break and come back with Theory snapping Owens’ throat across the top for two. A suplex lets Theory stomp away in the corner but Owens suplexes his way to freedom. The pop-up powerbomb into the Stunner finishes for Owens at 7:19.

Official Result Kevin Owens wins 

Rating: C+. This feels like Owens’ “Welcome to Smackdown” feud and odds are he’ll get to beat up Waller next week to complete the set. The match was a perfectly fine TV match, even though Owens never really felt like he was in danger. At the same time, Theory’s long all continues and hopefully, he can shake it off and find something new to do.

Bianca Belair is ready to finish her history with Bayley, only to have Bayley run in for the brawl.

Logan Paul runs into the Street Profits and Bobby Lashley, who seem to be fans. With Paul gone, B Fab of all people comes in to talk to Lashley, who goes along.

Match 2  Piper Niven/Chelsea Green vs. Shotzi/???

Non-title and the result of Green and Niven issuing a challenge because Shotzi doesn’t have a friend. Shotzi does have a friend though and it’s…Charlotte. Niven runs Shotzi over to start as Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn are watching backstage. Green stomps away in the corner but Shotzi rolls over and brings in Charlotte for the house cleaning. Niven blocks a roll-up and brings Green in, only to have Charlotte hit a big boot for the pin at 2:54. 

Official Result Shotzi & Charlotte Flair win

So Charlotte is thrown into a tag team and beats the champs clean in less than three minutes. Of course.

We look at John Cena vs. Solo Sikoa being set up last week.

Here are Sikoa and Paul Heyman for a chat. Heyman is wondering how many realize that this is it for Cena. What did Cena expect when he started messing with the Bloodline? Sikoa asks why Heyman is wasting his breath talking to them when the two of them are here to talk to Cena.

Cue Cena, with Sikoa, saying he wishes they could fight sooner because Cena won’t be able to after tomorrow. Cena (sounding like his voice is about to give out) asks if that’s all Sikoa has to say. We all know that Sikoa only has a job because of his cousin, so tape your thumb extra tight tomorrow, because it’ll be stuck, uh, elsewhere. Cena’s voice was mostly gone here and even he acknowledged that there wasn’t much to say.

Damage CTRL is ready to take out Bianca Belair tonight, but Nick Aldis comes in to say the rest of the team is banned from ringside as only Bayley can be out there.

Match 3 Pretty Deadly vs. Brawling Brutes

Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match, meaning another themed brawl. The Brutes interrupt the slow-motion entrance and we start fast with the forearms to the chest. It’s already time for the Shillelaghs to put Pretty Deadly down, followed by Prince’s hand being raked over a bar. Somehow Prince fights off the possible splinter injury and some double-teaming puts Holland down.

Back in and Butch sends them outside, setting up the big moonsault to the floor. We take a break and come back with Holland grabbing a Boston crab on Wilson. Butch ankle locks Prince at the same time but that’s broken up as well. Holland grabs a Boston crab on Wilson, with Prince using a bar stool for the save.

Everything breaks down again and Butch snaps Wilson’s fingers but Prince makes the save. Holland powerbombs Prince through a table at ringside and brings in another table. Some double-teaming puts Holland down on the floor though and Wilson breaks a bottle over Butch’s head. A middle rope Spilled Milk through a table finishes Butch at 12:22.

Official Result Pretty Deadly win

Rating: C+. It was another good enough match as Pretty Deadly continued their dominance of the Brutes. That being said, I’m a bit over these themed brawls. They have some good visuals with the unique weapons, but it feels like we see one of them every few weeks on one show or the other.

We look back at the opening Reigns/Knight exchange.

Paul Heyman tells Nick Aldis to have medics on hand tomorrow because this is going to be a savage Reigns like you’ve never seen before. Heyman’s “I’ve been around many Samoans” line was great.

We go to the weigh-in between Logan Paul and Rey Mysterio. Paul weighs 213lbs and Mysterio weighs 175lbs and they have the trash-talking standoff. Mysterio slaps him and a pull-apart brawl is on. Nick Aldis being taller than both of them is kind of an odd visual. They didn’t have much to say here, but treating it like one of Paul’s boxing matches makes sense.

Crown Jewel rundown.

Match 4 Bayley vs. Bianca Belair

Damage CTRL is barred from ringside. Bayley jumps her to start but Belair hits a hard shoulder to the ribs in the corner. A suplex plants Bayley and a handspring moonsault gets two. Some hard slams put Bayley down a few more times but she’s back up with a cheap shot and we take a break.

Back with Bayley sending her to the floor for an apron elbow. The chinlock slows things down a bit but Belair powers up and hits some running shoulders. Right hands in the corner and a spine buster get two on Bayley, followed by a superplex for a delayed two.

Bayley gets creative by using the hair to pull Belair into the post and a top rope elbow gives Bayley a few near falls. They go to the apron where Bayley misses a charge into the post, allowing Belair to hit a slingshot dive. Back in and the KOD is blocked so Belair whips her with the hair, meaning the KOD fan finishes Bayley at 13:21.

Official Result Bianca Blair wins 

Rating: B-. Bayley’s semi-downward spiral continues and there isn’t much for her to do at the moment. This was Bayley serving as a stepping stone for Belair before her title shot tomorrow, as well as Belair getting some momentum back after her hiatus. The match was good enough, but it didn’t feel like a main event.

Post-match Belair KOD’s Bayley through the announcers’ table to end the show.

Overall Thoughts

The show was ok but it definitely felt like a show that was tacked together with stuff that wasn’t important enough for last week. The Reigns/Knight segment was good and there were some other nice pieces throughout the night but it was a show that you would be better off recapping later. Crown Jewel is what matters though and if that show is good, this show being pretty weak will be forgotten.

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