WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES (3/29): Lack of Cody, Roman, Seth, and Bloodline, plus Iyo Sky promo, Jade Cargill segment, Logan Paul’s interference

By Charlie Cate, PWTorch contributor

Jade Cargill


HIT: Production and overall vibe

The introduction to the show depicting the highways traveled by WWE on the Road to WrestleMania, high-quality lighting in the arena, shots of the concourse inside Mohegan Sun arena and casino, and ring entrances with fan interaction were all positives. The argument can be made that the world of WWE feels more lived in than any other time in history. Randy Orton’s entrance to open the show also epitomized the joy of performance we’ve been seeing from the entire WWE roster since the recent direction changes under Paul “Triple H” Leveque.

MISS: WWE2K24 Video Game Rankings

The rankings only hurt, they don’t help. Kevin Owens at 86 and Orton at 91, despite Owens main eventing Night 1 of the last two WrestleManias, makes zero sense. The game is fantastic and should be advertised on WWE television, but the rankings are too subjective to be shown next to the real life wrestlers.

MISS: Logan Paul’s brass knuckle jab to Kevin Owens

A bit of a whiff by Logan Paul. Having said that, Logan continues to look like he belongs against former world champions Randy Orton and Kevin Owens.

HIT: Jade Cargill

The sample size has been small, but you can’t deny the star power, confidence, and charisma of Jade Cargill.

HIT: Iyo Sky promo

I like seeing a more serious Iyo and think she is capable of a lot more character work when not sharing her air time with the rest of Damage CTRL. However, the subtitled promos feel like Shinsuke Nakamura’s thing and begin to feel a little watered down when you start having Andrade and Iyo (who are also heels) getting the same presentation. I’m not sure there is a better direction for promos of wrestlers who are not fluent in English, but I hope WWE can come up with a more varied approach to their international stars.

HIT: Dragon Lee

Tagging with Rey can’t hurt Dragon Lee’s start-stop introduction to the main roster. The introduction from Rey Mysterio and his swanton to the entirety of Legado Del Fantasma made him feel the most important he has since his call up.

HIT: L.A. Knight

L.A. Knight continues to be popular with the live crowd and feels like a worthy opponent for most of WWE’s top stars. The problem to solve for WWE with Knight is finding accomplishments for him to achieve that don’t feel mid tier if he’s not going to get a run with one of WWE’s secondary titles in the next year.

MISS: No in-ring presence from Cody, Roman, Rock, Seth, or The Bloodline:

I get giving Monday’s beatdown of Cody by Rock time to breath, but Smackdown certainly felt like the weak link compared to Monday’s stacked episode of Raw. Hoping this doesn’t become a trend once Raw becomes a Netflix exclusive.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (3/29): McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Cargill’s first appearance, Street Profits vs. Theory/Waller, Belair vs. Kai, New Catch Republic vs. Legado del Fantasma, Owens/Orton vs. Pretty Deadly

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: 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

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