WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (4/5): Barnett’s review of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Jey Uso vs. Solo Sikoa, KO Show with guest Randy Orton, final hype for WMXL


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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,285)
Philadelphia Pennsylvania at Wells Fargo Center
Aired live April 5, 2024 on Fox

A WrestleMania video package aired to start the show. It had footage highlighting the major matches with new vignette content. It featured the Meek Mill track “Big Boy Stick” running throughout.

In the arena, Kevin Owens made his entrance for the KO Show with Randy Orton. KO welcomed the audience to the show and said his guest was a legend. He said it was an honor every time he got to spend time in the ring with him, and then introduced Randy Orton, who made his way out to the ring. Orton and Owens spoke about their mutual disdain for Logan Paul. A “Logan Sucks” chant broke out as Owens said he had a difficult question to ask. He asked Orton on a scale of 1-10 how annoying and repulsive he found Logan Paul. 

Orton said Paul was an 11, and then he appeared on the screen. He was at Lincoln Financial Field on the stage for WrestleMania XL. Paul said he was two steps ahead of them focused on WrestleMania where he will pin one of them and retain his United States Championship. Owens said Paul was talking a lot of trash for a guy who is right across the street, and they set off through the crowd to go find him. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory popped out from under the ring looking surprised, and Corey Graves and Wade Barrett questioned whether or not they had missed their opportunity to spring a trap on Orton and Owens…[c]

My Take: That segment was odd and didn’t accomplish much. Hopefully they pay it off in a satisfactory way once Orton and Owens find Logan Paul.

Owens and Orton climbed aboard a golf cart and drove across the street to Lincoln Financial Field. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller followed behind on foot, though they were running just about as fast as the Golf Cart could take Orton and Owens. A video was then introduced for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. 

A large number of wrestlers were already in the ring. Ricochet got a full ring entrance, as did Omos. There was an MVP sighting during the Omos entrance. 

1. Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Pretty Deadly attacked Omos but got stuffed for their trouble. Kit Wilson was quickly thrown out by Omos. Elton then eliminated himself voluntarily. A brawl then broke out. Wilde and Del Toro from the LWO quickly eliminated Angel and Humberto from LDF. Cameron Grimes was then eliminated, followed by Apollo Crews. Indus Sher was eliminated by the Creed Brothers. Omos then picked up JD McDonagh by this neck and slammed him to the ground…[c]

My Take: I’m not a huge fan of the rapid eliminations with little or no effort expended in the process. It makes the match feel pretty low effort.

Omos eliminated himself in the process of taking out the Creed Brothers during the break. Cedric Alexander and Joaquin Wilde were quickly eliminated. Ashante the Adonis was the next one to be tossed by Ivar. Akira Tozawa, Ricochet, Ivar, Bronson Reed, and Otis remained in the match. Ivar and Bronson Reed collided in the middle of the ring in an impressive spot. JD McDonagh pulled Ricochet off the apron and climbed back into the ring, apparently going under the bottom rope during the break. 

Akira Tozawa landed a superkick to eliminate McDonagh. Ivar and Reed then splashed him simultaneously in a crushing move. Otis then got fired up and took down Reed. He then performed the worm before dropping a big elbow. Ivar then tossed out Otis, and then picked up Tozawa and threw him at Otis on the outside. I believe Otis was supposed to catch him, but he did not.Ivar 

Ivar and Reed battled back and forth in this Meat Mountain section of the match. Reed managed to avoid a Doomsault and land a rolling thunder type maneuver in an impressive display of agility. He then clotheslined Ivar out of the ring to claim the victory. 

Bronson Reed won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at 6:37

After the match, we got a video package that focused on the beatdown on Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes at the conclusion of Raw. Jey Uso and Solo Sokia were shown entering the arena earlier in the day. Logan Paul was shown backstage, having somehow slipped Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. 

My Take: A nice win for Bronson Reed, though it rarely means much for the winner at this point.

A Final Testament promo aired where Karrion Kross mocked Bobby Lashley for whining about his spot on WrestleMania last year, and said he had single handedly carried their conflict to a point where they got a WrestleMania match. This was too inside for it’s own good. 

In the arena, Logan Paul made his entrance and tore into Philadelphia, saying he would fire whoever forced him to spend the weekend there. He mocked members of the audience as idiots, and said that’s why they would choose to cheer Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. Paul said they were two of the dumbest guys in WWE. He asked how Orton’s head got so big but his brain remained so small, and said that Owens brain power is completely consumed attempting to digest his last meal. 

Theory and Waller were at Lincoln Financial Field, and Paul said they were going to ambush Orton and Owens and it wouldn’t be pretty. Cue footage of Theory and Waller looking confused saying that Orton and Owens weren’t there. Orton and Owens then appeared on the outside of the ring as it dawned on Paul that he got outsmarted. Owens delivered a Stunner to Paul, and Orton delivered an RKO after a little setup. He and Owens congratulated each other on a job well done. 

Backstage, Dragon Lee was found hurt by Carlito. Rey Mysterio and Zelina Vega approached and were concerned. Zelina and Rey had to make an entrance for the next match, and left Dragon Lee with Carlito and the trainers. Legado Del Fantasma made their entrance next. Elektra Lopez was accompanied by Santos Escobar, Dominik Mysterio, and Andrade…[c]

My Take: I’m a little bummed they didn’t introduce any hints that Orton and Owens might struggle to get along Sunday. I guess we’ll see how it plays out during the match.

2. Elektra Lopez vs. Zelina Vega: This match was in progress coming out of commercial. Vega landed a Meteora in the corner and covered for a two count. Lopez caught Vega coming off the top rope and delivered a swinging Uranage for a near fall. She then climbed the ropes, but Vega knocked her down with a 619 to her legs. Vega followed up with a Hammerlock DDT, but Dominik prevented the pin by jumping on the apron. After a distraction from the extras on the outside, Lopez landed a sit out powerbomb and covered for the win.

Elektra Lopez defeated Zelina Vega at 2:40

After the match, Dom attacked Rey, and Santos joined in. Andrade surprised them by clearing them from the ring, and giving a hug to Zelina Vega. He gave a sign of respect to Rey and told off the heels at ringside…[c]

My Take: So Andrade joins Rey as his partner at WrestleMania, and then turns again? I could definitely see it happening.

Naomi and Bianca Belair made their entrances in some Cowboy themed gear (Thanks Beyonce) while a video package aired of Jade Cargill joining them to fight off Damage Ctrl last week. Bianca and Naomi joked about getting dragged around by Damage Ctrl. Bianca said she took beatings for years before Naomi showed up to help. They agreed that they couldn’t do it themselves, and brought out Jade Cargill as the key to their plan. Jade made her entrance in a western themed outfit of her own. 

Jade took the mic and thanked Bianca and Naomi. She then gave a special shout out to Damage Ctrl for stepping up to get stepped on by “The Big 3” on the grandest stage of them all. Jade then told them that they are now in the Eye of the Storm. 

We then got a backstage promo from Jey Uso, who said he would whoop both of his brothers tonight and tomorrow at WrestleMania. He then led the crowd in a “Yeet Down” and put his sunglasses back on. New Catch Republic made their entrance in the arena. They will face Grayson Waller and Austin Theory next…[c]

My Take: A pretty basic segment from Naomi, Bianca, and Jade. They seem happy to be teaming together, at least. 

Backstage, Rey Mysterio was told that Dragon Lee was out of tomorrow’s match. Andrade was quick to offer his services. Carlito walked up too late, and looked disappointed that he wasn’t able to sub in for the injured Lee. 

Waller and Theory were announced for the next match in the arena.

3. New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate) vs. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory: Dunne and Bate showed some team chemistry ealy, isolating Austin Theory and landing some clever offense. Waller tagged in and got beat down for his trouble as well. Theory landed an uppercut to a diving Pete Dunne, and the match turned around. Waller then landed an apron DDT on Bate and both Theory and Waller celebrated on the outside…[c]

Theory landed a rolling blockbuster on Bate, but Waller was the legal man and there was a goof up on the cover attempt. Bate showed off his power by landing a deadlift suplex on Waller. Dunne then tagged in and landed snap german suplexes to Waller and Theory. He then twisted up the fingers of Waller, who writhed in agony. Theory broke up the finger manipulation, but got sent to the floor by Bate. After a moment, Bate and Dunne landed a double Burning Hammer on Waller and got the win. 

New Catch Republic defeated Waller and Theory at 7:36

After the match, Judgment Day showed up and destroyed everybody. Waller took a South of Heaven Chokeslam and a frog splash from Dom, and Bate was put down with a Coup de Grace. After the Judgement Day celebration, we got a video package for Bayley and Iyo Sky video package that focused on the formation and breakdown of Damage Ctrl. The soundtrack of the video was “Simmer” from Hayley Williams from Paramore. Solo Sikoa was shown getting ready for his match with Jimmy Uso…[c]

My Take: Judgment Day picking the bones of the tag match was on brand for them and the crowd was into seeing them. The Bayley and Iyo video package was well done but they never quite got there when it came to heating up that feud.

LA Knight made his entrance in street clothes. Footage was shown of their brawl from last Friday where Knight outsmarted AJ Styles. Knight called AJ phenomenal at not showing up and running away, and on Sunday he would be phenomenal at getting stomped out by the Megastar. Knight got choked up on his own gum and stumbled through a few words. He said Styles should pray at the altar of LA Knight, because when he puts the boots to him at least people talk about it. Knight said he would kick Styles through the uprights for 3 points just like Jake Elliot, and gave his catchphrase. 

A pre-taped promo from Bobby Lashey, The Street Profits, and B-Fab. They said they would take it to the dark side and finish them on Sunday. Back in the arena, Jey Uso made his entrance for the Main Event…[c]

My Take: Knight tried, but his feud with AJ Styles is stick running on fumes. Same could be said for Bobby and The Profits. There just isn’t much there.

Graves and Barrett ran down the WrestleMania card. Solo Sikoa then made his ring entrance for the Main Event. 

4. Solo Sikoa vs. Jey Uso: The action spilled outside quickly. Jey dumped Solo to the floor, but got stuffed on a dive attempt. He then followed up by driving Jey into the apron with a Uranage…[c]

Solo continued to dominate the match. He delivered clubbing blows to Jey in the corner and then backed up for a hip attack. Jey cleared out of the way and got to his feet to land punches. Jey followed up with a superkick and a lariat. He then landed a hip attack of his own and covered for a two count. Solo got back on offense with a Samoan Drop, and set up for a spike. Jey avoided it and landed a series of kicks followed by a spear. He then delivered an Uso Splash, but Jimmy interfered to prevent the pinfall to cause a DQ.

Jey Uso defeated Solo Sikoa by DQ at 6:32 

After the match, the beatdown on Jey continued. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins made a surprise entrance to even things up. Cody landed a cutter on Solo and took off his weight belt. He proceeded to whip both Jimmy and Solo with the belt. They tried to escape, but Jey threw Jimmy back into the ring. Seth ended up whipping him with the belt, and Jey followed up with an Uso Splash. 

Cody then got on the microphone and asked the crowd if they could feel 40 years of WrestleMania. He said they would slap The Rock so hard that his ego would lift out of his body and he would remember what it meant to be The People’s Champion. Cody then said on Sunday he would dethrone The Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. A Cody chant broke out, and he said he is fighting for everyone who supported him and dared to dream out in the open. He then said when one story ends an even better one begins. They saluted the crowd to close the show. 

My Take: A strong close to the show with Cody and Friends standing tall. I don’t think there’s much of a chance they win on Saturday, but I look forward to seeing how the story is told. Tonight’s Smackdown felt really light on star power until the final segment. It wasn’t a bad show, but also didn’t do much to make you any more interested in WrestleMania than when you started watching.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Beyonce and Jaz-z are happy as flies on crap….. after that 3 cowgirl segment.

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