3/10 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Jey Uso’s return and the reaction of Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. LA Knight vs. Karrion Kross vs. Xavier Woods for an Intercontinental Title shot at WrestleMania 39, The Viking Raiders vs. Braun Strowman and Ricochet, Legado Del Fantasma vs. Judgment Day

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,229)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at PPG Paints Arena
Aired live March 10, 2023 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of current events involving The Bloodline and Sami Zayn, including Jey Uso attacking Zayn on Monday’s Raw…

Paul Heyman was shown holding up his index finger as Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso arrived in an SUV. Jey asked Heyman where Roman Reigns was. Heyman hugged Jey and told him that the Tribal Chief was proud of him. Heyman said he was also proud of him. Jey told Heyman to let him know when he found Reigns…

Kayla Braxton showed up and asked Jey why he turned on Zayn. Jey said he would save his comments for once he was in the ring. Jimmy told Braxton to ask Cody Rhodes why he was in The Bloodline’s business…

The Smackdown opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Wade Barrett, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer. Entrances for the five-way match took place…

1. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. LA Knight vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Xavier Woods for an Intercontinental Title shot at WrestleMania 39. Cole noted that Woods has had only one singles title match and that was eight years ago when he challenged for the U.S. Title. McIntyre and Sheamus bickered until they were hit from behind and dumped to ringside. Knight stood in the ring while the others were on the floor heading into an early break. [C]

Woods had Knight and Kross down in the ring when he went to the top rope and pointed at the WrestleMania sign. Kross walked the ropes and dropped an elbow on Knight, but the other wrestlers broke up the pin. “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci walked out and stood on the stage as the match continued. [C]

Sheamus hit Woods with Ten Beats. Sheamus grabbed Kross and gave him Ten Beats. Sheamus grabbed a wobbly Knight and gave him Ten Beats. The crowd counted along each time and cheered. Sheamus pointed to the WrestleMania sign and set up for his finisher, but McIntyre took out Knight with a Glasgow Kiss.

Sheamus and McIntyre went face to face. Woods leapt from the ropes toward McIntyre, but Sheamus pushed him out of the way and caught Woods with a rough Brogue Kick. McIntyre took out Knight with a Claymore kick. McIntyre covered Knight while Sheamus covered Woods simultaneously, and then two referees made simultaneous three counts.

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus simultaneously won a five-way match over Xavier Woods, LA Knight, and Karrion Kross in 17:35 to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.

A “Triple Threat” chant broke out. Sheamus and McIntyre jawed at one another. Cole said WWE official Adam Pearce had a lot to figure out…

Powell’s POV: A well worked match that left something to be desired from a presentation standpoint. It would have been nice to have heard from the five contenders rather than just rushing the match out in the opening segment. They left it hanging even though the live crowd figured out where this seems to be going. It’s pretty contrived, but no complaints if the end result is Gunther vs. Sheamus vs. McIntyre.

Heyman was interviewed by Braxton on the backstage ring set. Heyman said Cody Rhodes gets upset when The Bloodline mentions members of his family, and then he got involved in Bloodline business, which is family business. Heyman spoke about taking a gangster or truth approach when it came to Rhodes.

Heyman credited Reigns with saying the most gangster thing they could do is hit Rhodes with the truth due to the emotional baggage that he has and never knew existed, which would leave Cody defeated before he even got to WrestleMania. Heyman spoke about how Rhodes will have to choose a time to truthfully acknowledge Reigns once he loses to him…

Cole hyped the first WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023 announcement… [C]

The broadcast team recapped the finish of the five-way match wondered whether Sheamus or McIntyre were WrestleMania bound. Sheamus and McIntyre were shown bickering backstage and then Ridge Holland and Butch showed up to keep them separated…

Rey Mysterio was named the first entrant in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023. A video package aired with highlights from Rey’s career along with comments from Kurt Angle, Batista, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, and John Cena…

Rey Mysterio was introduced and he headed to the ring wearing a mask and non-wrestling attire. Cole ran through some of Rey’s title history while Rey stood on the ropes and played to the crowd. Rey started to speak, but he was quickly interrupted.

“Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest made their entrance. Dominik called it pathetic for WWE inducting a “washed up old man” into the Hall of Fame. Dom questioned how many holidays and soccer games that Rey missed so that he could make his Hall of Fame career. Dom entered the ring along with the rest of his crew. Dom said he’s ashamed to be Rey’s son.

“Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, and Zelina Vega made their entrance and entered the ring. Escobar said Rey may have let go of what Dom did last week, but he has not. Escobar said they were supposed to have a match later tonight and called for the match to happen immediately instead. A referee ran out to start the six-man tag match… [C]

Powell’s POV: I wasn’t thinking about Rey simply because he’s active, but he’s certainly a deserving entrant. It’s great that he’ll be inducted in his home state and presumably wrestle his son in a highly anticipated match during the same weekend. WWE nailed it with the Rey induction. The big question now is who will deliver the presentation speech since I can’t imagine they’d want Dom in that role. Konnan strikes me as a strong candidate.

Cole hyped WWE Backlash taking being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico with Bad Bunny as the host… A sponsored video recapped last week’s Dom vs. Escobar match…

2. “Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. “Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro (w/Zelina Vega). The match was joined in progress while Cole complained about Dom interrupting his father’s speech and ruining his moment. Rey Mysterio watched the match from ringside. Rey Mysterio watched the match from ringside. The Judgment Day trio was in control heading into a break. [C]

Late in the match, Escobar and Wilde performed stereo suicide dives onto Balor and Priest. Vega went for a huracanrana on Ripley, who caught her and tossed her onto Escobar and Wilde. Rey approached Ripley. Dom performed a slide dropkick on Rey.

[Hour Two] Del Toro rolled up Dom and had him pinned, but Priest returned to the ring and booted Del Toro while the referee was keeping Rey out of the ring. Dom covered Del Toro and pinned him to win the match.

“Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest beat “Legado Del Fantasma” Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro in 9:10 of television time.

After the match, the Judgment Day members stood in the ring. Dom had a mic and said he wanted to have a heart to heart conversation with his father. Dom had Ripley, Balor and Priest exit the ring. Rey joined Dom inside the ring while a “you suck” chant was directed at Dom.

Dom told Rey that he didn’t understand why WWE was inducting Rey into the Hall of Fame when the only Hall of Fame he belongs in is for Deadbeat Dads. Dom said he should have been Eddie Guerrero’s son. Dom dropped the mic and told Rey to hit him.

Dom shoved Rey down and then continued to goad him. Rey teased leaving and Dom tried to take another cheap shot, but Rey moved and then Dom fell through the ropes. Rey yelled that he won’t fight Dom no matter what he does. “But you will,” Dom yelled while the other Judgment Day members held him back…

Powell’s POV: A fun match that added to the intensity of the issues between Rey and Dom while also giving Dom another shady win. The post match angle was a little more intense than usual as they amp things up toward whatever is going to finally make Rey snap and agree to fight his own son. By the way, I’m not sure why they waited so long to announce the Hall of Fame class this year. But they no longer have to worry about selling tickets for the ceremony as a standalone event given that it’s now held shortly after the final Smackdown before WrestleMania.

Cole hyped the Bloodline segment for later in the show… Braun Strowman and Ricochet were shown talking backstage while Barrett hyped their match against The Viking Raiders… The WrestleMania Goes Hollywood video with The Miz and Marye’s “Top Gun” inspired piece was shown… [C]

Cole announced that Jimmie Allen will perform “America The Beautiful” on WrestleMania Sunday…

Backstage, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair found Adam Pearce and told him that she wants a match. Pearce said he would see if he could find her a suitable opponent. Flair told Pearce to hang in there… Entrances for the tag team match took place…

3. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar (w/Valhalla) vs. Braun Strowman and Ricochet. Cole said the Usos title reign had reached 600 days and assumed the winners of this match could earn a future tag team title shot. Barrett said Valhalla claims to have telepathic communications with the viking gods. He said he didn’t necessarily believe it, but Erik and Ivar seemed to be drinking the Kool-Aid. Strowman cleared Erik and Ivar from the ring and then tossed Ricochet over the top rope onto both opponents. [C]

Erik dropped Ricochet with a punch and then jawed at Strowman. Ivar ran over and held in place and then Erik knocked Strowman off the apron. Ivar performed a crossbody block splash on Strowman against the barricade. Ricochet recovered and wanted a tag, but Strowman was down at ringside.

Ricochet knocked Ivar off the apron with a springboard kick and then picked up a two count on Erik. Moments later, Erik came back with a knee strike and a powerbomb on Ricochet for a near fall. Strowman was shown selling at ringside. Ricochet performed a springboard moonsault that took Erik off his feet. Strowman returned to the apron and took the hot tag while Ivar tagged in.

Strowman worked over both opponents and dropkicked Ivar out of the ring. Strowman played to the crowd and then tagged Ricochet. Strowman went to ringside and then ran around the ring and hit Ivar with a shoulder block. Strowman tried to do the same to Erik, but Valhalla pulled Erik out of the way, causing Strowman to take a tumble over the top of the broadcast table.

Ricochet hit Erik with a suicide dive and then played to the crowd. Valhalla approached Ricochet, who backed off and returned to the ring. Ricochet went for a 450 splash, which Ivar avoided. Ivar put Ricochet down with a spin kick and then executed a top rope splash and got the pin…

“The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar beat Braun Strowman and Ricochet in 10:50.

Powell’s POV: Cole said Valhalla seemed to put a spell on Ricochet. Ugh. I enjoyed the match and I’m find with mind games, but I sure hope they’re not adding hocus pocus nonsense to the Viking Raiders’ act. That said, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Valhalla cast a spell on Danhausen at the same time that he cursed her.

Backstage, Gunther told Pearce that he knows the difference between “challenger” and “challengers.” Pearce booked Sheamus vs. McIntyre in a match for next week to determine which man will then challenge Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania…

Powell’s POV: Double DQ? Double count-out? We’re getting a Triple Threat at WrestleMania, right?

Charlotte Flair made her entrance… [C] Cole hyped The Bloodline segment and then Shotzi made her entrance…

4. Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Shotzi in a non-title match. Cole said Shotzi had nothing to lose and was playing with house money, while Barrett questioned what Flair had to gain. Flair and Shotzi bumped fists before locking up. Flair had Shotzi down and was setting up for her finisher.

Rhea Ripley’s entrance music played. Flair was distracted for a moment and then went for the figure four, but Shotzi countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Flair ducked a kick and then put Shotzi down with a wicked German suplex. Flair kipped up and looked down at Ripley, who was watching from ringside. [C]

An ad for Raw hyped Edge calling out Finn Balor, and Brock Lesnar on Omos meeting face-to-face.

Shotzi performed a huracanrana that pulled Flair off the ropes and led to a two count. Flair came back and sent Shotzi to ringside and then went for a dive over the top rope that Shotzi avoided. Shotzi caught Flair with a couple of kicks and then returned to the ring and set up for a dive that Flair cut off.

Flair returned to the ring and worked over Shotzi with chops. Flair put Shotzi down with a fallaway slam and then played to the crowd. Flair speared Shotzi. Flair looked at Ripley and called her name before applying the figure four and then bridging into the Figure Eight for the win.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Shotzi in 8:05 in a non-title match.

After the match, Ripley entered the ring. “What do you have to say, kid?” Flair asked. Ripley said that watching Flair reminded her of why she chose to challenge her. Ripley told Flair to wipe the smug look off her face because she not only sees acceptance, she sees all of her insecurities. Ripley said she would take the one thing that makes her feel important when she becomes the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Flair said Ripley may be proud of her improvement. Flair said she has improved every single day of her life. Flair said some people love her for it while others react negatively, but it’s a fact. Flair said she wants it more and will outwork anyone male or female because of how seriously she takes the business. Flair said Ripley will rip apart anyone who stands in her way “except for me”…

Powell’s POV: A bit of a choppy match. They seemed a bit off early. It got better as the match went on, but Flair calling spots was pretty noticeable at times. More importantly, the post match verbal exchange was decent, but they haven’t really done anything to increase the intensity between the champion and her WrestleMania challenger.

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso were shown walking backstage while Cole said Jey would address why he turned on Sami Zayn… [C] The WrestleMania video aired. We are 22 days away from night one…

The broadcast team hyped Sheamus vs. McIntyre for the Intercontinental Title shot at WrestleMania for next week’s Smackdown…

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso made their entrance. After Jimmy did his “the Bloodline is in your city” line, Jey said people have asked him why he did what he did to Sami Zayn. Jey hesitated and then told the fans to switch roles and step in his shoes. “What would you do?” Jey asked. Jey spoke about the things that people would do for their family members.

Jey asked the fans if they wanted to know why he did it. “Because I had to,” Jey said. “I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have a choice. I never had a choice because he is may twin, he is my brother, he is my family, and not you.”

Jey told the fans that they are not his family and they don’t know what he’s going through. “There’s one person I blame and that is you, Sami Zayn,” Jey said. He claimed that Zayn was going to let his brother get clipped. He said Sami just had to fall in line. Jey said Sami isn’t blood and never will be. Jimmy said that they got rid of the Sami Zayn problem and the only problem remaining is Cody Rhodes. Jimmy asked Cody what his issue is.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance and stood in the entrance aisle while telling the Usos that if they’re going to talk about him, they should talk directly to him. Cody said they answer directly to Roman Reigns, but he does not. Cody said he answers to the fans. Cody said it sounded like the fans didn’t want to hear them talk, they wanted to see them fight. Jimmy warned that Cody wouldn’t make it to WrestleMania if he took another step. Jimmy threatened that they would do to Cody what they did to Zayn.

Sami Zayn entered the ring and attacked Jimmy. Cody entered the ring and ended up fighting with Jey from the ring into the crowd. Jimmy left Sami at the broadcast table and tried to help Jey, but Zayn returned and joined the fight. All four men fought their way back to the ring. Cody and Zayn cleared the Usos from the ring. Cody held up Zayn’s arm while the Usos were held back by referees and producers at ringside to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Jey’s promo was underwhelming in terms of his delivery. The fact that Jey said he had to help Jimmy and didn’t mention any loyalty to Roman Reigns is interesting. The closing brawl was fine. I’m looking forward to Roman’s next appearance to see what the dynamic is like between him and Jey’s character after everything that’s happened.

Overall, a solid show that missed Reigns. The highlight for me was actually the announcement of Rey being named to the WWE Hall of Fame and his latest angle with Dom. I will have more to say about Smackdown in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. Didn’t Woods challenge Lashley for the WWE title?

  2. Nevermind it was a nontitle match.

  3. Awesome to see LDF!

  4. Idk if Rey is contemplating retiring but wonder if he’s planning on calling it a career at Mania, thus the induction despite being fully active still. Dominik keeps calling him old man and stuff, maybe Rey puts his career on the line. I’m sure he’d put his son over big like that

  5. How many times are they going to have Sheamus and Drew fight? This is Sami/Owens, Cena/Orton overkill.

    “Dr. D” David Schultz is my perennial HOF pick. He earned it, Vince!

  6. TheGreatestOne March 11, 2023 @ 1:16 am

    If Schultz goes in, they have to pay whatever it costs to have Stossel induct him.

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