WWE had a solid show planned for SmackDown this week. Top superstars from the blue brand delivered epic performances to elevate their respective storylines on the Road to WrestleMania. The night’s biggest highlights included a controversial finish and a vengeful confrontation.
Additionally, WWE confirmed Rey Mysterio as the first inductee into the Hall of Fame Class of 2023. But a couple of moments also compromised the show’s quality.
Here, we look at some of the biggest flops and hits from the latest edition of WWE SmackDown. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
#1 Hit on WWE RAW: The revenge against The Usos
Jey Uso is amazing at cutting promos.#WWE #SmackDown #WWESmackDown #WWEHOF pic.twitter.com/txodP3hIcI
— Wresumo (@wresumo) March 11, 2023
Jey Uso stunned the world with his Superkick to Sami Zayn on WWE RAW earlier this week. The Usos launched a brutal attack on Zayn, while Jey repeatedly ridiculed him for thinking he would be picked over The Bloodline. At the time, Cody Rhodes ran out to defend The Master Strategist on RAW.
On SmackDown this week, Jey Uso explained his actions and that choosing his family was his only option. He also labeled Sami Zayn selfish, boring words from Roman Reigns. Following that, Jimmy Uso declared that they have dealt with the Sami Zayn problem and will now focus on Cody Rhodes.
This prompted The American Nightmare to walk out to a thunderous pop. Cody Rhodes demanded a match against The Usos, and the Bloodline members warned The American Nightmare against feuding with them. This allowed Sami Zayn to sneak inside the ring and attack Jey Uso.
The four superstars then engaged in an all-out brawl in the show’s final moments, forcing WWE officials to step in and separate them in the fight. Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn are expected to lock horns with The Usos soon. Interestingly, the tag team champions can count on Solo Sikoa to back them throughout the potential match. Will this lead to Kevin Owens finally arriving at his friend Sami Zayn’s defense in their war against The Bloodline?
#2 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley
This week on SmackDown, Charlotte Flair locked horns with Shotzi in a singles match. Rhea Ripley made her presence known halfway through the bout as she strutted down the ramp to taunt the champion from ringside. It was all good until Flair picked up the win by forcing Shotzi to submit while looking right into Rhea Ripley’s eyes.
But then they engaged in one of the most awkward promo segments we have seen in a while. Ripley was uncomfortably slow while issuing threats, and Flair seemingly forgot the lines during her retaliation. There’s no doubt that Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair could deliver good segments in the build-up to their championship match, but that was shockingly not the case on WWE SmackDown this week.
They are both incredible superstars at the top of their respective games and share a brutal history dating back to WrestleMania three years ago. But their latest interaction was ridiculously flat. Both Ripley and Charlotte will have to step up to keep fans interested in their title feud on the Road to WrestleMania.
#3 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Rey Mysterio
There has hardly ever been a WWE fan in history who watched Rey Mysterio and didn’t fall in love instantly. The masked legend is among the most-liked individuals to set foot inside the squared circle. Hence, everyone was beyond delighted to see WWE announce Rey Mysterio’s induction into the Hall of Fame this year in honor of his legendary career.
Rey walked out to a standing ovation as he wished to address fans following the announcement. However, Dominik arrived with The Judgment Day to interrupt his dad once again. This annoyed Santos Escobar, who brought Legado Del Fantasma to confront The Judgment Day. It led to an entertaining six-man tag team match that ended with Dominik picking up the win for his side.
????#WWE #SmackDown #ReyMysterio #Dominik pic.twitter.com/R0UWDhrkiR
— Sportskeeda Wrestling (@SKWrestling_) March 11, 2023
He then took the microphone and insulted his father, claiming he should have been Eddie Guerrero’s son. Dominik also assaulted Rey Mysterio, and the crowd prompted the latter to attack his son. While Rey didn’t really snap, he outsmarted Dominik and subtly teased the end of his patience.
The father-son duo is expected to engage in an intense feud leading to their match at WrestleMania 39. Thus, their next interaction could account for must-watch TV as Rey Mysterio might finally decide to slap sense into his son Dominik.
#4 Hit/Flop on WWE SmackDown: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus win, huge opportunity missed
"It didn't have to come to this!"@DMcIntyreWWE @WWESheamus #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/63m2jwZy0p
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 11, 2023
This week on SmackDown, WWE Superstars Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Xavier Woods, LA Knight, and Karrion Kross locked horns in a Fatal 5-Way Match for a title opportunity at WrestleMania. The highly intense physical bout kickstarted the show on an excellent note as all five superstars took turns dominating the match.
There was no weak performance inside the ring, which reflected well on Karrion Kross and LA Knight. Xavier Woods was at his best, but all eyes were on Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in the end. The two friends were involved in stand-offs throughout the match but didn’t attack each other.
Simultaneous pin, both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus pick up the win!#WWE #SmackDown #WWESmackDown #WWEHOF pic.twitter.com/QvCEJEKdJn
— Wresumo (@wresumo) March 11, 2023
The match’s final moments saw Sheamus hit Xavier Woods with a Brogue Kick after saving McIntyre from the New Day member. Drew returned the favor instantly, hitting Knight with a Claymore Kick when the latter tried to hit Sheamus from behind. McIntyre and Sheamus then went on to pin Knight and Woods. There were two referees inside the ring, each counting a different pinfall but at the same time.
The disputed ending has the potential to create an unforgettable rivalry involving three talented superstars. But it was shocking to see the WWE creative let go of a golden opportunity. When the final bell rang, the referees awarded the win to both McIntyre and Sheamus.
I'm a simple man. I don't ask for much. pic.twitter.com/CnD95oxgtA
— Humble Wrestling (@WrestlingHumble) February 25, 2023
Both superstars yelled at the officials as they were confused about the result, but the crowd erupted with “triple-threat” chants. For now, Adam Pearce has decided that Sheamus and McIntyre will lock horns next week to determine the only challenger for Intercontinental Champion Gunther at WrestleMania.
The finish was controversial but could lead to an epic triple-threat match between Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship. It will be interesting to see how the Imperium leader navigates around two threatening challengers. Additionally, we might see a full-blown war between McIntyre and Sheamus on the Road to WrestleMania.