WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES (4/5): Logan Paul, Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner, Andrade in and Dragon Lee out, Cody and Seth and Jey close show

By Charlie Cate, PWTorch contributor


HIT: KO Mania T-Shirt VII

The Kevin Owens WrestleMania t-shirts remain a fun tradition every year.

HIT: Arena attendance

Friday night had another packed house for one of WWE’s TV tapings. The reduced entrance stage set with visible fans behind the video screens add to the big time feel of today’s WWE. The full arenas displayed on tv should continue to encourage fans to “be there” when shows come to their town.

HIT: Logan Paul

Logan Paul cutting his promo from the WrestleMania XL stadium was a nice touch.

MISS: Randy Orton and Kevin Owens

There has been some criticism about WWE’s decision to make the United States Championship match at WrestleMania a triple threat. The playful behavior of Randy Orton and Kevin Owens tonight did not do much to save their match from feeling like an afterthought. When compared to the Intercontinental Championship feud on Raw, the determination of Sami Zayn combined with Gunther’s confidence is serving that championship (and both wrestlers) a lot better.

MISS: Ivar/Otis/Tozawa

A literal miss. Poor Tozawa. Accidents happen, but it does seem it was more of Ivar overthrowing Tozawa than Otis missing the catch.

HIT: Bronson Reed

For the 2024 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Winner, the right guy one. Curious to see what Paul “Triple H” Leveque has in store for Reed during the 2024-2025 season. There’s something there, I’m just not sure where it fits with so much talent on the roster. As history has taught us, an Andrew the Giant Memorial Battle Royal win can mean something or nothing.

MISS: Andrade in / Dragon Lee out

Never say never, but this felt like a death nail for Dragon Lee on the main roster. Either they wanted Andrade in the match over him, or an audible was called for a different reason. Regardless, he feels dead on arrival from a momentum perspective.

It is also unclear if this direction for Andrade will serve him beyond getting on the Mania card this weekend. Could tonight’s segment turn out to be a red herring that leads to a feud between Andrade and Rey? If so, an intriguing result would be the return of Zelina Vega as Andrade’s manager.

HIT: Jade Cargill / Bianca Belair / Naomi promo

As a music fan, Corey Graves’s mentions and the trio’s cowgirl attire was a fun nod to Beyonce’s new country record “Cowboy Carter.” Simple promo. I expect the match to be mostly a showcase for Belair and Cargill.

HIT: Judgement Day

I don’t want to see Damian Priest and Finn Balor lose their titles this weekend. I’m not sure who the team to beat them is right now, but splitting the titles to two lesser teams or having Judgment Day drop their Unified tag titles to one of the teams in the match feels like a mistake.

MISS: WWE Women’s Championship feud between Bayley and Io Sky

Bayley and Io not did not have an in-arena segment anytime during the last four TV tapings. This is not what anyone expects for one of the Royal Rumble winner’s matches leading into WrestleMania. At this point, I’d like the feud to continue beyond Mania as it seems to need more time to salvage Bayley’s recent single push.

HIT: L.A. Knight

He’s still over and I’m eager to see how he does in the ring with Styles this weekend. Yeah!

THUMB IN THE MIDDLE: Final Testament and The Pride

Street Fight stipulations always have the potential to be fun, so we’ll see how things go at Mania. I would say what hurts this feud the most is many fans of the Street Profits are at a boiling point waiting for Ford to be given a shot at a singles run. Hopefully he gets that chance in 2024.

HIT: Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins/Jey Uso

A nice final statement from Cody on the mic. Finish the story or bust!

I hope everyone attending WrestleMania weekend in Philadelphia and watching around the world has a great weekend! Get some sleep where you can – this is going to be a long weekend! Take care!

RECOMMENDED NEXT: WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (4/5): Keller’s report on start of WrestleMania XL weekend with Andre Battle Royal, Orton on The KO Show, Waller & Theory vs. Dunne & Bate, Jey Uso vs. Solo Sikoa

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: NXT Stand & Deliver results: Moore’s live review of Trick Williams vs. Carmelo Hayes, Ilja Dragunov vs. Tony D’Angelo for the NXT Title, Lyra Valkyria vs. Roxanne Perez for the NXT Women’s Title

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