SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Cody Rhodes opening promo – HIT
Excellent promo to start Smackdown. The opposite of the typical WWE promo train. Cody wanted to call a truce between Sami and Kevin Owens. I liked how Cody went into his history with Sami and Kevin, saying he wouldn’t be there today without them. I was nervous about how Cody would interact with Sami after Elimination Chamber, but WWE has done a great job layering each story alongside one another.
Legado del Fantasma and The Judgment Day mixed tag team match – HIT
The match didn’t blow me away tremendously or anything, but this undoubtedly exceeded my expectations. Zelina Vega and Rhea Ripley had great chemistry and I wouldn’t mind seeing a singles match between these two next week. Judgment Day going over Legado del Fantasma was the correct call—an easy win to build momentum for Rhea Ripley for WrestleMania.
Dominik and Rey post match promo – MISS
I imagine this match finally gets booked for WrestleMania after Rey is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the overall story doesn’t do anything for me. It seems like a waste of Rey’s time to wrestle his son, who desperately needs to go down to NXT to work on the basics.
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Emma & Tegan Nox – MISS
You could hear a pin drop in the T-Mobile Center during this match. The match was very clunky at times and a match I will never remember. Happy to see Raquel and Liv on the WrestleMania card, but the concept of a showcase match seems silly and forced. Hopefully, each men’s and women’s showcase opens each night of WrestleMania and goes less than 10 minutes.
Charlotte Flair Rhea Ripley promo – HIT and MISS
Let’s start with the good. The Brawl Charlotte and Rhea had was the best thing they have done to build this WrestleMania match thus far. Less words more actions from these two make this feud more palatable. And now the bad. I thought the script for Rhea’s promo sucked. Rhea saying she needs to be a superstar when she’s already above Charlotte in fan popularity and ringwork is insane to me. Charlotte, labeled as the default babyface in this face in this feud, drives me crazy. With this match as the main event of night one of WrestleMania, I get the vibe that Charlotte will retain the Smackdown Women’s title, which, if that’s the case, I hope I’m wrong.
L.A. Knight vs. Xavier Woods – MISS
I like Xavier Woods, but I don’t understand the point of L. A Knight losing by flash pin if he is a guy WWE will push? I would love to see a Xavier solo push, but I don’t think it will happen.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus – MISS
I knew the match wouldn’t have a clean finish, so there was no point in giving much analysis. The triple-threat match I.C. title should deliver during WrestleMania weekend.
Jey Uso and Sami Zayn face off – HIT
What a home run this main event segment was. Jey and Sami did great with their facial expressions throughout the promo. Sami saying to Jey he always has a choice was simple and effective. Kevin Owens returned to aid Sami from the Uso beat down was good stuff, and the pop was excellent. One of the loudest reactions I’ve heard from a WWE crowd in, sometime after Sami and Kevin hugged it out. Cody grinning ear to ear in the back as he knows his plan is coming together to take down the bloodline was fantastic and was a great way to end the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: You always want to bookend your weekly wrestling show and this episode undoubtedly had that from start to finish.
CATCH-UP: 3/17 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Zayn-Jey confrontation, Rhodes appearance, McIntyre vs. Sheamus, Mixed Tag
Leave a Reply