WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (3/29): Barnett’s review of Jade Cargill’s appearance, Randy Orton and Kevin Owens vs. Pretty Deadly, WMXL tag team title ladder match qualifiers


By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,284)
Uncasville, Connecticut at Mohegan Sun Arena
Aired live March 29, 2024 on Fox

Corey Graves welcomed the TV audience to Smackdown and introduced video footage of The Rock’s beatdown of Cody Rhodes that closed out Monday’s episode of Raw. Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso, and Paul Heyman were shown backstage, along with Bianca Belair and Damage Ctrl. In the arena, Randy Orton made his ring entrance for the opening match. Wade Barrett joined Corey Graves on commentary and they plugged Orton vs. Owens vs. Paul at WrestleMania. Kevin Owens then made his ring entrance, followed by Pretty Deadly. 

1. Kevin Owens and Randy Orton vs. Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson and Elton Prince): Wilson and Owens started the match. Owens landed a running senton, and then things reset with Orton and Prince tagging in. After a ref distraction, Pretty Deadly was able to take control. Orton was run into the ring post in the outside, and then suplexed onto the announce table…[c]

Orton rallied back into the match with a back suplex and made a tag to Kevin Owens. Elton Prince entered as well, and Owens landed a big lariat. He followed up with a DDT and covered for a near fall. Owens went up top, but was interrupted by Kit Wilson. He fought him off and attempted a Swanton, but Wilson got his knees up. Orton attacked Wilson on the floor, and set up to Suplex him on the announce table. Prince intervened, and the ref turned his back on Owens. Logan Paul appeared from under the ring and KO’d Owens with a brass knucks punch. 

Prince realized Owens was down and scrambled to make the cover for the win. 

Pretty Deadly defeated Kevin Owens at 6:59

After the match, Orton was confused about what happened and was initially upset with Owens. After seeing a replay, he found Paul under the ring and slapped him around. As he set up for an RKO on the announce table, Pretty Deadly intervened and broke it up. Orton and Owens disposed of Pretty Deadly. Logan Paul ran away, and was chased to the back where he escaped from the building in a vintage Corvette…[c]

My Take: Not much of the match was televised, but what we saw was fine. I’m surprised we didn’t see more dissension between Owens and Orton, but maybe we’ll see that next week?

Graves plugged the WrestleMania Kickoff and media events happening next week. We then saw a video interview recorded at the performance center from Iyo Sky that focused on Bayley. Sky accused Bayley of starting Damage Ctrl in order to use Iyo and Dakota to bring her back to relevance, and resented the fact that they had outgrown her and did what needed to be done to get rid of her. She said that there was a time she considered Bayley a friend, and she’ll regret that for the rest of her life, and after WrestleMania she’d never see her again. The director called for the end of the interview, when Bayley suddenly showed up and attacked. She and Iyo brawled violently until being separated by officials. 

In the ring, Nick Aldis said they had business to take care of. He said his goal since starting in WWE was to make Smackdown the most must see show in all of Pro Wrestling and Sports Entertainment, and the acquisition of this talent goes a long way towards making that happen. He then introduced Jade Cargill, who walked out in one of her signature outfits. She said they had one of the best women’s rosters in the world, but none of them are Jade Cargill or a one in a lifetime athlete. She said the Storm has arrived, and posed for her music. 

Backstage, Dakota Kai said Bianca Belair took two years of Damage Ctrl beatdowns, so maybe if she was the smartest, she would have learned to stay out of their business. She said Bayley gets embarrassed next week and Bianca gets hers right now…[c]

My Take: Jade looks like a mega star, and now she has the entrance to go with it. I’m curious if this is the only thing we see of her on this show.

Isla Dawn started to pitch some ideas to Nick Aldis backstage, but Alba Fyre pulled her away. AJ Styles then walked up, and asked Aldis if he told LA Knight not to be there tonight. Aldis confirmed he asked him, but Styles angrily told him he should have told him and walked off. In the arena, Grayson Waller and Austin Theory were already in the ring. In the locker room, Lashley and B-Fab gave the Street Profits a pep talk and said they had Champagne on ice. The Street Profits then made their entrance for the next match. 

2. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller: Ford and Waller started the match. Theory quickly provided a distraction, which allowed Waller to land some cheap shots. Ford knocked down Theory and sent Waller to the floor. Dawkins wheeled around the ring and knocked Waller over the announce table. He launched a bit too far and Corey Graves had to make a catch to prevent a nasty fall…[c]

Waller got caught by Dawkins and was suplexed as the show returned. Theory tagged in, but was unable to prevent a tag. Ford entered the match and knocked Waller off the apron. He then landed a running lariat and a suplex. Ford followed up with a standing Moonsault for a two count. Dawkins and Ford then landed a top rope blockbuster, but Waller broke up the pinfall. Dawkins landed a sitout powerbomb on Theory, and Ford was set up for a big splash. 

A video aired in the screen that showed Bobby Lashley and B-Fab backstage on the ground with all their Champagne bottles shattered around them. Karrion Kross told the profits that they are missing one hell of a party. The distraction caused Ford to delay his splash, and get rolled up by Theory for the win. 

Austin Theory and Grayson Waller defeated The Street Profits at 6:20 to join the WrestleMania Tag Team Ladder Match

After the match, AOP attacked The Street Profits and left them laying with a Super Collider. Bobby Lashley tried to intervene, but was shut down quickly by Kross and AOP. Kross said no one is going to WrestleMania and that Lashley had failed them all. Final Testament then stood over Bobby and The Profits and celebrated. 

A video package then aired that recapped the Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio match from last week with Dominik’s interference. In the arena, Legado Del Fantasma made their ring entrance. Santos will thank Dirty Dom coming up next…[c]

My Take: That seemed like the obvious finish given that this feud never ends and The Profits stole a win from AOP the previous week.

Santos Escobar said he hates to be that guy, but “I told you so”. He told the audience that he never wants them to forget, especially kids in Mysterio Masks, that he was the one who put Rey on the shelf for months. Santos said he didn’t get the amputation he wanted, but he did get to beat him in the ring last week. All it took to outsmart Rey was a phone call to a man who despises Rey just as much as he does. Dominik Mysterio then made his ring entrance. 

Dom got booed heavily as Escobar thanked him from the bottom of his heart. Santos then said he wanted to say something to his face, and told him he was right. They shook hands and embraced. Dom tried to speak but was shouted down by the crowd. This happened multiple times. He finally got out that he would do everything in his power to make Rey’s life a living hell. 

Rey’s music hit and he showed up with the rest of the LWO. He told Dom that he truly believed that he was done fighting him. An LWO chant broke out. Rey called having the two men in front of him that he despises the most a divine intervention, because now can he beat some respect into both of them. He then issued a challenge for a tag match between them, Rey, and a partner of his choosing. Dominik asked which one of these bozos he would team with, and he said it would be the newest member of the LWO, Dragon Lee. 

Things broke down and a brawl broke out between the two factions. The LWO got the better of it and left Legado Del Fantasma collecting themselves at ringside. In the locker room, Naomi wished Bianca best of luck in her match. Bianca told her she was right last week, and they bonded over their shared goal of taking out Damage Ctrl later tonight. Angel and Humberto remained in the ring. New Catch Republic made their entrance for the next match…[c]

My Take: There’s one more match for WrestleMania. I’m guessing a match with Bianca gets added as well, but we’ll see if it happens officially tonight or not.

Backstage, Judgement Day was caught off guard by Dom joining Santos. Not even Rhea was aware that he was doing it. Dom then showed up, and said he just wanted to make everybody proud. He then said he needed to see a doctor. 

3. New Catch Republic (Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne) vs. Angel and Humberto: The match was joined in progress with Angel in control of Pete Dunne. After some back and forth, Dunne landed a suplex and made a tag to Bate. He cleaned house on both Angel and Humberto and then sent them to ringside. Dunn then provided a platform for Bate to dive from the top rope and perform a somersault splash onto both men on the floor…[c]

Bate made a tag to Dunne, and they landed a Lariat and German Suplex combo on Humberto for a near fall. They then landed top bins, and Bate remained in the match. Humberto landed a nasty looking powerbomb, and Angel followed up with a springboard Moonsault for a near fall. They then performed a double press slam from the top rope, and Pete Dunne had to break up the fall. He then landed a nasty DDT on Humberto, and he and Bate finished off Angel with a Double Tyler Driver for the win. 

New Catch Republic defeated Angel and Humberto to qualify for the WrestleMania Tag Team Ladder Match

A full video recap of the segment that featured The Rock’s beatdown of Cody Rhodes was shown. It also featured some footage of The Rock whipping Cody Rhodes after Raw went off the air. Backstage, Paul Heyman revealed that The Rock took down Cody at the order of Roman Reigns. Jimmy also announced that Jey Uso will face Solo Sikoa next week. 

In the arena, AJ Styles made his way out to the ring…[c]

My Take: No surprise to see New Catch Republic get the win. The Tag Match should be a fun spotfest ladder match given the participants.

Styles said it had been a little over a week….and an LA Knight chant broke out. He blamed the crowd for Knight showing up at his house, and said he should have had him locked up so he missed WrestleMania, but he has bigger plans for him. He said he was going to embarrass him for the trash that he is. Styles then claimed to know that Knight would show up there tonight. He wondered if he would come down the aisle, or through the crowd, or he might even be a cameraman. Styles intimidated the camera man.

Someone came in through the crowd and was grabbed by security, but uncovering their disguise revealed it was not LA Knight. Eventually Knight was shown to be one of the crew working around the ring, and he attacked Styles. After a brief brawl, Styles escaped through the crowd. Knight then grabbed a microphone and said he would show the whole world who’s game it is when he defeats Styles at Wrestlemania. 

A vignette for Tiffany Stratton aired where she talked about the burdens of perfection and introducing everyone to what Tiffy Time is all about. Back in the arena, Bianca Belair made her entrance for the main event…[c]

My Take: Another kind of mediocre segment from Styles and Knight. This feud never quite won me over.

The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take place on Smackdown next week, along with Randy Orton on the KO Show. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory will take on New Catch Republic, and Jey Uso will take on Solo Sikoa. In the arena, Dakota Kai made her entrance alone.

4. Dakota Kai vs. Bianca Belair: Bianca jumped out to an early advantage. She landed a series of vertical suplexes, but Kai stuffed a third one and sent her into the ringpost…[c]

Bianca landed a suplex as the show returned and a shoulder charge in the corner. Dakota grabbed Bianca’s braid, but Bianca somersaulted away and landed a dropkick. She then followed up by tossing Dakota headfirst into the mat several times. Kai managed to grab the braid again, but Bianca flipped away and picked her up for slam. Kai fired back using the ropes to her advantage to land a stomp. 

Belair rallied and landed a big forearm strike. Kai shut her down with a scorpion kick. She attempted a running kick, but Bianca avoided it. Kai then attempted a knee, but ended up hitting the ring post. Belair then pulled Kai back into the ring from the apron with a deadlift suplex and both women were down. Bianca ended up landing a spear and a KOD and got the win. Damage Ctrl attempted to interfere, but they were just a second too late. 

Bianca Belair defeated Dakota Kai at 9:39

After the match, the Kabuki Warriors took down Bianca with strikes. Naomi attempted to intervene, but was quickly overwhelmed by the numbers. Jade Cargill the made her entrance and cleared out all three women with power moves. Naomi and Bianca then joined at her side and stared down Damage Ctrl at ringside. The three of them stood tall to close the show. 

My Take: So maybe we get a six woman tag match at the PPV after all. The Main Event was well worked but I never really bought into Kai as a threat to Bianca, and there’s no reason to think Damage Ctrl would stand much of a chance at WrestleMania unless the babyface team implodes immediately. Overall, this was a B- level episode of Smackdown. There were some solid moments, but it didn’t live up to the lofty expectations set by Raw earlier this week.


Readers Comments (5)

  1. Well the appearance of Jade made it slightly above b level if you ask me.

  2. They finally did something with Jade been waiting forever for them to do something with her. Iyo’s promo was nice too, they need to let her speak more.

    I like the Judgment Day descension as well as Dom will be a good fit with Santos.

  3. We should have seen that coming actually, as Black wrestlers always have to be grouped together in WWE.

    • Latinos as well as we see with LDF and LWO. We need to put more diversed groups together like Judgment Day had with with Latinos with three white wrestlers.

  4. I saw somebody post this on a different site, but I digging this as they should have Dom run with LDF, and give Rhea her own female faction. Have Rhea recruit a heel Roxanne Perez and Tatum Paxley from NXT into her new group.

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