SmackDown Preview: Big in-ring return after 6 years, top heel attacks his mother on television, 3 biggest babyfaces join forces for war against Roman Reigns and The Bloodline
We are hours away from an action-packed episode of WWE SmackDown. Two huge matches have been confirmed for tonight’s show, including one featuring Cody Rhodes. Additionally, some of the biggest storylines might see huge developments, with WrestleMania less than ten days away.
Top WWE Superstars who were left off the WrestleMania card this year will look to make a huge impact in hopes of earning a last-minute opportunity on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Here, we look at the things that could unfold on tonight’s edition of SmackDown. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
#1 Cody Rhodes makes his in-ring return on SmackDown
The American Nightmare @CodyRhodes is set to compete on #SmackDown for the first time in 6 years!
? Friday 8e/7c on @FOXTV pic.twitter.com/REw18B78Ej
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 21, 2023
WWE has confirmed that Cody Rhodes will return on SmackDown this week for a singles bout against Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser. This will be the American Nightmare’s first match on the blue brand in six years. Since his return to the company last year, Rhodes has only appeared in promo segments and brawls on Friday nights.
The match was booked after Imperium interrupted his backstage interview in an off-air segment. The American Nightmare will look to gain momentum with a win on the Road to WrestleMania. However, this bout could also see The Bloodline run a crucial interference.
#2 Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn join Cody Rhodes in confrontation with The Bloodline
Now we have a problem.#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/V9nRJTiVRy
— Solo (@WWESoloSikoa) March 21, 2023
Cody Rhodes stood tall earlier this week during his promo battle with Roman Reigns on RAW. The segment also saw The American Nightmare take a shot at Solo Sikoa to instigate The Bloodline’s Enforcer. An irked Sikoa defied Reigns’ direct order and tried to attack Cody, but the latter responded with a well-prepared kick to the face.
Sikoa, alongside The Usos, could make their presence known by attacking Cody Rhodes during his bout or in the post-match segment. However, The American Nightmare will likely find reliable backups in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Cody played an instrumental role in reuniting KO and Zayn on SmackDown last week
Well done, @CodyRhodes! ?#SmackDown pic.twitter.com/FwT4RnpTAY
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) March 18, 2023
The two best friends also challenged The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 39. Their shared goal of destroying the Roman Reigns-led faction could lead to the three biggest babyfaces in WWE — Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens — joining forces in their war against The Bloodline.
#3 Rey Mysterio schools LA Knight on SmackDown
Last week, LA Knight crossed paths with Rey Mysterio in a backstage segment. Desperate for a WrestleMania match, Knight said he would face Dominik if Rey didn’t want to lock horns with his son at The Grandest Stage of Them All. The legendary masked superstar was annoyed and pushed Knight to end their conversation before sending a warning in Spanish.
They are scheduled to lock horns in a singles match on SmackDown this week. Knight has delivered good performances in his matches over the last few weeks but hasn’t picked up a win, much to the dismay of the WWE Universe. Will he change his luck tonight in a match against one of the greatest wrestlers to set foot inside the squared circle? Only time will tell.
#4 Dominik confronts the entire Mysterio family
.@DomMysterio35 is tearing the Mysterio family apart! ?? pic.twitter.com/mHmsl0ShLG
— WWE (@WWE) March 23, 2023
Dominik has mercilessly tormented his “Deadbeat dad,” Rey Mysterio, since betraying him and aligning himself with The Judgment Day. Rey had turned down Dominik’s previous demands for a WrestleMania match, arguing that he wouldn’t lay hands on his son. However, he is evidently close to snapping, and tonight’s segment might push him over the edge.
WWE announced that Dominik would confront his entire family on SmackDown tonight. The last time we saw Dominik and Rhea Ripley cross paths with the Mysterio family was during the holidays when his mother, Angie Gutierrez, slapped The Nightmare. We might see Dominik insult and attack his mother on television to provoke Rey Mysterio.
“I still love you son and I always will. There will be no match at #WrestleMania .”@ReyMysterio @DomMysterio35 #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/T0c0NPetrL
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 14, 2023
Only this time, his plans might backfire when Rey Mysterio forgoes all the resolutions and decides to teach Dominik a memorable lesson. Rey Mysterio will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Before that happens, we might see the eternal babyface deliver one of the best segments of his decorated career while sharing the ring with his son and the rest of his family tonight on SmackDown.
#5 Biggest title feuds grow intense as we inch closer to WrestleMania 39
Banger #Smackdown pic.twitter.com/Kjir7GLwxL
— Drew McIntyre (@DMcIntyreWWE) March 18, 2023
Speaking of The Judgment Day, Rhea Ripley is expected to accompany Dominik on SmackDown tonight. She is set to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair for the title at WrestleMania, with both superstars engaging in a brutal brawl last week. The creative team will look to make their championship feud more intense with a surprise twist to help make up for the show’s start.
Additionally, a double count-out in last week’s best match on SmackDown saw Drew McIntyre and Sheamus earn a shot at Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship. The Imperium leader attacked both superstars and now, the challengers will look to even score against The Ring General ahead of the triple-threat match for the title.