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WWE SmackDown Review 31/3/23

It's the final stop on the Road to WrestleMania!

In Ring Segment: The Uso’s are in the ring, Jimmy tells us that this is the last SmackDown before the biggest tag team match in WWE history takes place on the Grandest Stage of them All.

Sami Zayn’s music hits and he & Owens come out. Zayn days Jimmy is right. The teams will put an end to their issues once and for all, but before they take the titles away from the Uso’s, they need to lay everything out. Owens says he feels conflicted about what they have to do because the Uso’s were the first people to make him feel welcomed. He remembers the Uso’s playing with his son, and he looked up to them until they began doing Roman’s bidding. Owens says they made it worse when they tried to take his career and livelihood, and if it wasn’t for Zayn, he wouldn’t be here today. Part of him doesn’t want to do what he is going to do, but part of him can’t wait. Owens declares that he and Zayn will become the new tag team champions.

Jimmy tells Owens he is right. The Uso’s did show him love, but now they have no love for Owens and Zayn. He says that Owens and Zayn are conflicted about their brotherhood. Zayn tells Jimmy that blood isn’t the only thing that makes family. Loyalty makes family too. Jey asks Zayn what he knows about loyalty. Zayn reminds Jey that he was loyal to the entire Bloodline. Zayn days Roman hasn’t ever been loyal to the Uso’s, Roman has put the pressure of the Bloodline on the Uso’s. Zayn says when they beat the Uso’s, that will be the end of the Bloodline. The Uso’s can go back to being themselves, just without the titles.

The men stare each other down and Jey says it will be the same it always is for Zayn and Owens. Once they lose, Owens will betray Zayn. Jey is sick of everyone saying the Bloodline will fall. Jey says Owens & Zayn will hear the ring announcer say “and still your WWE Tag Team Champions – The Uso’s”.

Match 1: Montez Ford w/Angelo Dawkins Vs Ricochet w/Braun Strowman Vs Erik w/Ivar & Valhalla Vs Chad Gable w/Otis

Ford goes after Gable, while Erik and Ricochet face off. Ricochet throws Erik to the outside and Ford sends Gable through the middle rope. Ford and Ricochet go at it until Gable makes his way back into the ring. Ford and Ricochet hit Gable with a dropkick, sending Gable to the outside. Erik gets back into the ring, he receives the same treatment as Gable. Ricochet and Ford looking to fly, but they are caught by Erik and Gable. They get planted on the floor, then Ricochet gets thrown into the steps by Gable. Ford is sent into the ring post by Erik while Gable and Ricochet get back in the ring. Gable hits Ricochet with a Dragon Screw. Erik hits Ricochet several times in the mid-section. He turns Ricochet inside out with a huge clothesline and Gable hits him with a cross body.

Ford and Erik on the top rope, and so are Gable and Ricochet. Ricochet hits Gable with a headbutt that sends him crashing to the mat. Erik delivers a superplex to Ford. Gable gets back up to the top rope and hits Ricochet with a underhook suplex, and Ford catches him with a back elbow. Ford goes to the top rope and hits Erik with a cross body then hits Gable with a backhand. Gable hits Ricochet with a German Suplex and Erik hits Ford with a knee to the jaw. He plants Gable on top of Ford, delivers and enziguri before hitting the men on the outside with a senton. Top rope cross body to Gable. Ricochet follows it up with a 450 splash on Gable and picks up the win. A great match. Nice to see these men getting a decent showing on TV as singles wrestlers. Some underrated talents in my opinion. Grade B-

Video package, hyping up the SmackDown Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania.

Match 2: Andre the Giant Battle Royal

The match begins and everyone starts brawling. Ridge Holland tries throwing Santos Escobar over the top rope. Rick Boogs immediately eliminates Baron Corbin.

Dexter Lumis stares down everyone in the corner. Butch hitting Escobar in the mid-section. Top Dolla beating down Lashley in the corner before Lashley throws him over the top rope, followed by Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis and Cruz Del Toro. Karrion Kross goes after Escobar. Boogs tries to throw Bronson Reed over the top rope. Ma.çé eliminates Ivar and Angelo Dawkins. He then celebrates with Mån.sôör and Otis. Otis throws Ma.çé out of the ring and Gargano throws Mån.sôör over the top.

Mustafa Ali throws Dolph Ziggler over the top but Ziggler lands on the apron. Otis throws Elias onto the apron, but he is then thrown out by Boogs.

Elias and Boogs hug, Los Lotharios push Elias to the ground. Boogs throws Angel to the floor and then throws Humberto onto the already eliminated O.C and Otis.

Madcap Moss throws Dexter Lumis out, Woods eliminated by Karrion Kross & Ali throws Ziggler over the top. Ziggler holds on and pulls Ali out. Ali hangs on. LA Knight pushes Ali to the floor, Kross attacks Knight from behind, locking in the Cross Jacket. Lashley applies the Hurt Lock to Ziggler, but then Kross and Lashley release their holds and stare each other down. Lashley attempts to lock in the Hurt Lock on Kross, but Kross evades. Lashley throws Kross over the top rope, but Kross holds on. While this is happening, Bronson Reed eliminates Madcap Moss and Brain Strowman eliminates Boogs. Reed and Strowman stare each other down, Lashley throws Ziggler over the top rope and stares down Reed and Strowman.

Lashley hits Reed with a splash in the corner then applies the Hurt Lock to Strowman. The Brawling Brutes take Reed off his feet, Butch attempts a Bitter End on Gargano, but he reverses into a DDT. Knight throws Gargano over the top, but he manages to hang on. Escobar hits Kross with a spear. Lashley hits Gargano with a chokeslam and eliminates him.

Reed throws Butch over the top, Butch hangs on. Reed eliminates Holland, then Butch hits Reed with an enziguri. Reed knocks Butch off the apron, but Holland catches him. Butch jumps onto Reed, but Reed throws him off his back & out of the ring.

Final 4: Knight, Reed, Strowman and Lashley. Knight throws several right hands, but is overpowered by Reed. Knight tries throwing Reed to the outside, but Reed again overpowers him and Reed eliminates Knight. Lashley delivers splashes to Strowman. Strowman delivers a powerslam to Lashley. Reed gets Strowman onto the apron and eliminates him.

Final 2: Reed & Lashley. Reed attempts the Tsunami but Lashley is able to roll out the way. Lashley hits Reed with a spear. Lashley eliminates Reed. Lashley wins the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. A hectic match full of action – a little difficult to keep track of. I do enjoy a Battle Royal. A good match.Grade C.

Match 3: Raquel Rodriguez w/Liv Morgan vs Shayna Baszler w/Ronda Rousey vs Natalya w/Shotzi vs Sonya Deville w/Chelsea Green.

Natalya and Rodriguez go straight after Baszler. They throw her out of the ring. Natalya hits Deville and she rolls out of the ring. Natalya and Rodriguez begin to fight, Deville back in the ring and hits Natalya with a running bulldog. Natalya locks in the Sharpshooter on Deville, Baszler locks in the Kirifidu Clutch on Natalya, she tries to get Baszler off by running into the corner but Baszler hangs on. Rodriguez picks up both women onto her shoulders, but is hit by a chop block from Deville. Rodriguez hits Natalya with a big boot and then Deville sends her flying shoulder first into the ring post. She climbs to the top turnbuckle, attempts a high risk move but is caught by Rodriguez. Baszler runs at Rodriguez but is met with a boot. Rodriguez hits Deville with the Texana Bomb and pins her for the 3. Not the best match, but not the worst I’ve seen. I love women’s wrestling, but I just didn’t feel any chemistry between these women. The match didn’t seem to flow well. Grade D

Backstage Segment: Rey Mysterio & Legado Del Fantasma. Rey thanks them for having his back on Raw. Santos tells Rey that it breaks his heart to see what he is going through with Dominik. He then tells Rey that he can’t wait to see him kick Dominik’s ass. He tells Rey that they have his back, Rey thanks them. He gives each member a shirt, the shirts are revealed to be Latino World Order Shirts! The LWO lives!

Match 4: Sheamus & Drew McIntyre vs Imperium

McIntyre and Vinci start the match. McIntyre hits Vinci with a clothesline and then a chop. Sheamus & Kaiser tag in. Sheamus hits Kaiser with a diving clothesline, then hits a splash in the corner followed by Ten Beats of the Bodhran. McIntyre tags himself in and throws Kaiser to the outside. Sheamus and McIntyre stare each other down.

Kaiser is beating down Sheamus, Sheamus is able to hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker and McIntyre once again tags himself in. McIntyre hits a couple of lariats and some belly-to-belly throws. He then hits a neck breaker and kips up. He sets up for the Claymore Kick but Sheamus tags himself in. McIntyre and Sheamus face to face, staring each other down. Imperium take advantage of this and hit their finisher. Vinci goes for the pin but Sheamus kicks out. Sheamus hits a knee followed by a Brogue Kick, Kaiser tries to break up the pin, but McIntyre hits him with a Claymore Kick. Sheamus pins Vinci for the 3. A decent match. I’m really looking forward to the triple threat match at Mania. Grade B

In Ring Segment:

Cody Rhodes asks LA what they want to talk about, he says they could talk about being at the end of the road because Mania is right here. He says everyone has been on this ride with him and his cards are all laid out on the table. He says he has made sure to have workouts and good nutrition between media appearances to ensure he is ready for his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match. He says it is the most prepared he has ever been, but he feels unprepared speaking to the fans now. He thanks the fans for allowing him to be emotional. He says he feels broken inside and all that will fix him is beating Roman Reigns. Cody recounts their last encounter, says Roman likes to say that everyone thinks they are the guy until they meet the guy. Cody says that stuck with him, he then introduces himself as Roman Reigns successor.

Reigns music plays and Reigns and Heyman make their way to the ring. Reigns tells Cody that it isn’t the fans turn, but it’s his. Reigns tells Cody to acknowledge him.

A decent ‘go home’ episode of SmackDown. I’m very excited for WrestleMania. Let’s hope we get the results that we want – we need! Let’s roll into Mania baby!

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