WWE Friday Night SmackDown 03 24 2023

WWE SmackDown Results
March 24, 2023
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Commentary: Michael Cole and Wade Barrett
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

“Then. Now. Forever. Together.” The WWE video leads us into the show.A video kicks off the show that highlights Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn reuniting last Friday on SmackDown. This past Monday on Raw, they challenged the Usos to an Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania.

“Wrestling has more than one royal family…”

Cody Rhodes vs. Ludwig Kaiser w/ Giovanni Vinci

This is Cody Rhodes’ first SmackDown match since April 2016. The bell rings, and they circle the ring. They lock up, and Kaiser turns Rhodes into the corner. Kaiser punches him in the midsection. Rhodes counters out of a whip and hits a delayed front suplex.

Paul Heyman, the Special Council for Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, makes his way out to the stage. Rhodes stares at him. Kaiser grabs Rhodes, but Rhodes takes him down and hits a running knee. Kaiser rolls out of the ring to recover. Rhodes angrily looks toward Heyman, who is standing at the top of the ramp.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Kaiser hit Rhodes with an uppercut and a flatliner for a two-count. Paul Heyman is still on the stage watching. Kaiser punches away at Rhodes and looks at Heyman. During the commercial break, Rhodes hit a top rope superplex on Kaiser. Kaiser elbows Rhodes in the head and goes outside the ring. Kaiser pulls Rhodes’ legs to the ring post, but Rhodes pulls him into the post. Rhodes punches Kaiser around ringside and punches away at him against the commentary table. Rhodes gets Kaiser in the ring, ducks a clothesline, and goes to the ropes for a springboard, but Kaiser chop-blocks him! Kaiser knees Rhodes in the face for a near fall. Rhodes tries to fight back, but Kaiser pushes him down into the ropes before choking him. The referee admonishes Kaiser, so Vinci gets a cheap shot in. Kaiser covers Rhodes for a one-count. Kaiser applies a chin lock. Rhodes fights up, but Kaiser powers him down. Kaiser saunters around the ring and talks a little trash before punching away at him again. Kaiser stomps the forehead and hits a sliding uppercut for a near fall. Rhodes leans against the ropes. The WrestleMania sign looms ominously in the background. Kaiser kicks the ropes into Rhodes’ neck. Rhodes tries to fight back, but Kaiser hits a jawbreaker. Kaiser stomps Rhodes in the corner and whips him to the opposite corner. Rhodes quickly drops Kaiser on the apron and hits a Disaster Kick!

Rhodes gets to his feet, and Paul Heyman is staring intently at the man his Tribal Chief will face at WrestleMania. Rhodes sets up for Cross Rhodes, but he tosses Kaiser aside when Solo Sikoa joins Heyman’s side. Heyman and Sikoa start making their way down the ramp. Kaiser quickly chop blocks Rhodes and whips him into the steel ring steps.

-Commercial Break-

Back from the break, Rhodes and Kaiser take each other out with a double clothesline. Both men slowly get to their feet before the referee counts them down. They trade punches before Kaiser kicks him. Rhodes reverses a whip and follows him into the ropes for a running forearm. Rhodes drops down and hits an uppercut a la his older brother, Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes. Rhodes slingshots over Kaiser and hits a snap powerslam for a near fall.

Heyman and Sikoa stare on from ringside. Vinci throws his shirt into the ring. The distraction allows Kaiser to hit a stiff lariat on Rhodes for a near fall. Rhodes stumbles to the corner. Kaiser hits a running uppercut and a kick to the head, followed by a double underhook snap suplex. Kaiser comes off the second rope for a diving uppercut. Rhodes counters into a Cross Rhodes attempt. Kaiser quickly counters into a roll-up for a two-count. Rhodes ducks a clothesline and hits the Cody Cutter! Rhodes gets the crowd fired up. Rhodes connects with Cross Rhodes for the victory.

Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa get on the apron. Heyman has a microphone and says Rhodes is owed an apology. Since he’s the Wise Man of the Bloodline, Heyman will be the one to deliver the apology. Heyman gets in the microphone. Heyman says Samantha Irvin did a bad job announcing him and says she must be from Las Vegas. Heyman does the post-match ring announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, your winner and STILL challenger for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes!” Rhodes stares at Heyman.

Heyman then says, “The very same Cody Rhodes that sees his road to WrestleMania with a giant pothole in front of him that happens this Monday night on Raw when you go one versus one against Solo!” Sikoa sneers at Rhodes. If Rhodes survives against Solo, then it’s not the Road to WrestleMania. All roads lead to Roman Reigns, who will be live on SmackDown next Friday to see Rhodes one final time face-to-face.

Heyman throws the microphone, but Rhodes catches it. Rhodes asks if “Mr. Heyman” is moving the goalposts on him. Rhodes isn’t happy that he interrupted the crowd singing his song. Is Rhodes expected to say no to the Raw match with only six days before WrestleMania? Rhodes still wrestled with half his body hanging off and beat Seth Rollins. As good as Solo Sikoa is, Rhodes already told him that he’s not ready. As for the champion Roman Reigns, after Solo finds out that he’s not ready, on April 2nd, he’ll find out the same thing. Reigns is not ready either. Rhodes throws the microphone to Heyman, who drops it.

Michael Cole announces that John Cena vs. Austin Theory for the United States Championship will kick off WrestleMania Weekend on Saturday, April 1! Wow!

SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair is walking backstage.

-Commercial Break-

The Progressive MatchFlo showcases the big brawl between SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley last week.

SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair makes her way to the ring to a great reception. Flair gets in the ring and greets Las Vegas. We’re just 8 days away from WrestleMania. 14-time World Champion… Flair says that was not built on fear, insecurities, or nepotism. The same three things have been used against her by everyone since she started in this business. Fear… what is fear? It’s a lack of understanding and ignorance. This business wasn’t built on fear. It was built on respect. She doesn’t fear Rhea Ripley… she respects her. The only thing Flair fears is her own potential. She respected every woman she’s ever entered the ring with.

You’re damn right that Flair has insecurities. Flair gets angry that the crowd is giving her the “WHAT” treatment. Flair says she’s built this house that every brick the people have thrown at her for the last seven years.

Lastly: nepotism. Flair says she loves her dad and will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment. Whether you like it or don’t like it, you better learn to love it because diamonds are forever, and so is Charlotte Flair. Flair lets out a “WOO,” and her music plays.

Still to come tonight, Sami Zayn will be the special guest on “The KO Show.”

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are shown talking backstage.

Rey Mysterio, who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2023 next Friday, makes his way to the ring. Mysterio embraces his daughter at ringside and kisses his wife. Mysterio will face LA Knight next.

-Commercial Break-

Las Vegas magician Piff the Magic Dragon is at ringside.

We’ll have a WrestleMania Contract Signing for the WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match later tonight.

Rey Mysterio vs. LA Knight

The bell rings, and Mysterio quickly takes it to Knight. Mysterio hits a dropkick to the corner and goes for a monkey flip, but Knight holds him up and slams him down. Mysterio avoids an elbow drop and connects with the monkey flip. Mysterio kicks Knight in the leg and does the 10 punches in the corner. Mysterio shimmies like his soon-to-be fellow WWE Hall of Famer best friend, Eddie Guerrero. Mysterio hits the ropes, but Knight hits him with a flapjack. Knight stomps away at Mysterio and puts him in the corner. Knight punches Mysterio down on the ropes. Knight shoves Mysterio to the corner and hits a neckbreaker for a one-count.

Knight continues to punch Mysterio and puts him back in the corner. Knight sends Mysterio into the ropes, but Mysterio ducks two clotheslines. Mysterio sends him out of the ring with a head-scissor takeover. Mysterio floors him with a baseball slide before sliding out of the ring into a splash on Knight. Mysterio poses for the crowd and gets Knight back in the ring. Mysterio shoulders Knight and kicks him in the head.

Mysterio goes to the top rope, but the music of Dominik Mysterio hits to distract him. Dominik Mysterio walks down the ramp. Knight chop blocks Rey off the top rope.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Knight stomping away at Rey. Dominik Mysterio is standing at ringside. Rey punches back at Knight, but Knight knees him in the midsection. Rey quickly rolls Knight up before dropkicking him down. Rey slides through the legs and charges, but Knight crushes him with a big boot for a near fall. Knight takes Rey down with a back suplex and poses over him. Knight pulls on the mask before sending him into the ropes. Rey goes for a running cross-body block, but Knight catches him and counters into a powerslam. Rey soon manages to avoid a leaping elbow drop.

Rey elbows Knight back and hits a springboard wheelbarrow bulldog. Rey goes to the top rope for a flying seated senton. Rey follows up with a springboard cross-body for a two-count. Knight reverses a whip and kicks him. Rey flips through a back suplex, but Knight counters a head-scissor into a modified alley-oop bomb for a near fall! Knight goes for a powerslam, but Rey counters into a tornado DDT. The crowd chants, “619.” Rey dropkicks Knight into the ropes and goes for a 619, but Knight catches him! Rey counters into a wild head-scissor to put him back into the ropes. Rey hits the ropes, but Dominik grabs his father’s feet! Knight rolls Rey up for the victory!

Winner by Pinfall: LA Knight

Dominik gets on the microphone and gets in the ring. The boos are LOUD. Dominik asks if his father is going to give him what he wants. Dominik shoves his father and asks if he’ll run away. Will he finally be a man and face him at WrestleMania? Rey angrily stares at his son and wags a finger in the negative. Rey rolls out of the ring.

Dominik tells his father to walk away like he always does. Dominik asks his mother what it’s like to be married to such a pathetic loser. This coward cannot stand up to his own son. Dominik goes to ringside and approaches his mother and sister. Did his mother know she married a deadbeat? She angrily looks at him. She sat there every night while his father abandoned him. That makes her a deadbeat mom. His sister gets in his face, but Dominik calls her stupid. Angie Mysterio grabs the microphone from his hands, but he grabs it back and yells in her face to “shut up.”

Rey has seen enough of his son’s insolence. Rey punches Dominik down, and the crowd EXPLODES! Rey says Dominik pushed him to this. Dominik cannot disrespect his mother like that. That’s Rey’s wife. Rey says, “You wanted a fight at WrestleMania? You’re on!” The crowd ERUPTS with glee. Rey says, “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, son!” Dominik backs away from his father. Rey tends to the family that he’s not fighting at WrestleMania.

Later tonight, Sami Zayn will be the special guest on “The KO Show.”

WrestleMania goes Hollywood in 8 days.

-Commercial Break-

Andy Kaufman will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2023, joining Rey Mysterio and The Great Muta.

Liv Morgan and Raquel Gonzalez are shown at ringside.

Tag Team Match
Lacey Evans and Xia Li vs. Shotzi and Natalya

Shotzi starts against Lacey Evans. Evans quickly takes her down by the hair for a one-count. Evans shoulders Shotzi in the corner and tags Xia Li in. Li knees Shotzi in the face and hits an exploder suplex for a two-count. Evans tags back in and hits a slingshot bronco buster. Evans bounces Shotzi off the mat a few times for a two-count. Evans takes Shotzi down and knocks Natalya off the apron. Shotzi quickly rolls Evans up for a two-count. Shotzi then drops her with an enzuigiri. Shotzi boots Evans back and charges, but Evans cuts her off with a clothesline for a two-count. Li tags back in. Evans and Li send Shotzi into the ropes. Shotzi kicks Li in the face and hits Evans with a jawbreaker. Shotzi ducks a Woman’s Right, and Evans accidentally takes out her tag team partner Li.

Natalya is on the apron and gets Evans out of the ring. Shotzi hits a suicide dive on Evans. Natalya picks Li up. Natalya and Shotzi hit Li with the Hart Attack. Natalya then applies the Sharpshooter for the submission.

Winners by Submission: Shotzi and Natalya

Shotzi and Natalya have qualified for the WrestleMania Women’s Tag Team Showcase.

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler walk out to the stage! Baszler says a lot of the women in the ring have a reason to hate them. They’ve broken their hands, arms, noses, and spirits. Baszler says they can give them a reason to hate them. Rousey declines, saying they’ve sold out this arena enough and never got any respect. Baszler says they’ve been added to the WrestleMania Showcase match and will see them there!

Replays are shown of WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther attacking Drew McIntyre and Sheamus before a winner could be determined last week on SmackDown.

Drew McIntyre makes his way to the ring. The contract signing for the WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania is next.

-Commercial Break-

Replays are shown of Rey Mysterio punching Dominik Mysterio after the latter disrespected Angie Mysterio.

Next week at WrestleMania, Rey Mysterio will battle his son, Dominik Mysterio.

WrestleMania Contract Signing

WWE Official Adam Pearce welcomes everyone to the official contract signing for the WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania.

Sheamus’ music cuts him off, and he comes out to the stage with Ridge Holland and Butch. Everyone is wondering why he’s so mad at Drew McIntyre. Imagine working for 15 years to achieve a particular goal. Then imagine telling your best friend that particular goal and him trying to steal it for you. It’s a friend that you did so much for, including bringing them to his first training session for this business. Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes get on the apron. Sheamus says to imagine getting the opportunity to smash that person’s face in at the Grandest Stage of Them All because they’re a backstabber.

Drew McIntyre tells Sheamus to imagine shutting up. McIntyre says it’s embarrassing that Sheamus keeps carrying on. Last week, they reminded everyone why they’re the most physical superstars in WWE. After, they should’ve been in the bar laughing about it. Now Sheamus has such a temper. Sheamus can’t separate personal and business. McIntyre has beaten him and knows he can beat Gunther. History has shown that Sheamus can’t.

Pearce says they can fight a week from now, but he needs three signatures on the contract. Two get taken care of when McIntyre signs, and then Sheamus does.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther charges down to the ring and gets in Adam Pearce’s face. Gunther wants Pearce to justify making this match where these two could pin each other, and he can still lose. Pearce begs him to back down. Gunther angrily signs it and asks if Pearce is happy. Gunther says whatever he does to retain his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania will be justified. Gunther will beat Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and even the Brawling Brutes. An irate Butch dives over the table and attacks Gunther before being pulled off. Gunther demands that Pearce make a match now.

-Commercial Break-

Non-Title Match
Butch vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther

Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Drew McIntyre remain at ringside.

We join this match in progress. Gunther big boots Butch down, and hits a scoop slam. Butch kicks Gunther in the face and goes for joint manipulation. Gunther counters out with a vertical suplex. Gunther saunters around the ring and viciously chops Butch down. Gunther pulls Butch up and viciously chops him back down. Gunther continues to pull him up to his feet and chop him back down. Butch tries to apply a submission, but Gunther counters with a Boston Crab. Butch tries to twist out, but Gunther counters into a crossface. Butch twists the fingers to get out, but Gunther clubs him in the chest to take him out. Gunther pulls him up, but Butch hits a pair of enzuigiris. Gunther avoids a third and turns him inside out with a German Suplex. Gunther lays him on the top rope and viciously chops the chest before choking him. Butch falls out of the ring and hits the steel steps on the way down.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Gunther attempting the 10 Beats of the Bodhran. Butch counters and snaps the fingers. Butch forearms Gunther back and kicks him in the face. Butch comes off the second rope with a stomp to the arm. Gunther gets out of a slam and applies a sleeper hold. Butch soon flips through a German Suplex and kicks him in the head. Gunther rolls out of the ring and avoids a moonsault off the apron. Gunther then chops Butch over the commentary table.

Sheamus and Drew McIntyre approach Gunther. Butch leaps off the table, but Gunther sends him into McIntyre. Gunther knocks Butch into the ring. Butch stomps Gunther’s hand as he gets in. McIntyre gets on the apron, but Sheamus pulls him down. McIntyre hits Sheamus with a Glasgow Kiss. Ridge Holland grabs McIntyre, but McIntyre sends him into the ring post. Sheamus then knees McIntyre in the face. In the ring, Gunther turns Butch inside out with a clothesline. Gunther connects with the Last Symphony for the victory.

Winner by Pinfall: Gunther

Sheamus gets in the ring and approaches Gunther. Sheamus then steps aside, and McIntyre hits Gunther with a Claymore Kick! McIntyre and Sheamus stare at each other.

The Street Profits are backstage and are excited about being in the Men’s WrestleMania Tag Team Showcase match. Braun Strowman and Ricochet approach them, and both teams argue.

Kevin Owens makes his way to the ring. The KO Show is next.

-Commercial Break-

This Monday on Raw, Cody Rhodes will battle Solo Sikoa.

Next week on WrestleMania SmackDown, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes go face-to-face. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus will team against Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Finally, we’ll see the return of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

The KO Show w/ special guest Sami Zayn

Kevin Owens welcomes everyone to “The KO Show.” His guest is his tag team partner, friend, and brother, Sami Zayn!

Sami Zayn makes his way to a big reception. Zayn gets in the ring, and a loud “Sami” chant picks up. Owens asks if he did Zayn’s introduction correctly. Zayn says he didn’t want a big introduction. Owens says he wanted to come out together, but Zayn wanted to come out by himself. Owens says Zayn wanted his own pop. The crowd loves Zayn. Owens gets it. Another “Sami” chant picks up.

Zayn asks if they can talk about WrestleMania. Zayn has been wanting to take down Roman Reigns, The Usos, and the Bloodline. Zayn asks if Owens realizes what they’re on the verge of doing. They started together in Montreal from nothing and are on the verge of winning the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship together at WrestleMania. This isn’t just any WrestleMania. This WrestleMania feels different this year.

Owens says he does feel that. WrestleMania is different. That’s why Owens brought him out here. Owens has something for Zayn. Owens told him months ago, after Roman Reigns gave him the “Honorary Uce” shirt, he told him he needs a new shirt. Owens unveils the new KO-Mania shirt. Zayn likes it. Owens says there is something else on the shirt. This shirt pays tribute to the MVP of WWE. An “MVP” chant picks up. This year it is about what’s on the front of the shirt. Owens tosses Zayn the shirt. Zayn shows that it says, “Wrestle-ZAYN-ia!” Zayn flips out. Owens takes off his jacket and is already wearing the shirt. Zayn then puts his shirt on. The crowd loudly cheers.

Zayn wants a hug, but Owens says he gets one hug a year. They then hug to a big pop. The Usos then assault them from out of nowhere! The crowd loudly boos. The Usos take Owens out with a double superkick. They then take Zayn out with the 1D! Owens chases them off with a steel chair. The Usos stare at their WrestleMania opponents as the show comes to an end.