SmackDown recap & reactions (Mar. 10, 2023): United front

Return Use returned to Friday Night SmackDown this week alongside his brother, Jimmy, as a united front with The Bloodline. He came to explain why he turned on Sami Zayn.

Because he had to.

“I don’t want to do it. But I had no choice. Because (Jimmy) is my blood.”

That says it all, doesn’t it?

As much as anything else, it means that Kevin Owens was right all along. As much as Sami wanted to be a member of the group, he was never their blood and he never would be. Jey repeated those same words in this show itself.

He blamed Sami for everything, saying that if he hadn’t been so selfish, none of this would have had to go down this road. But he remained human as he also lashed out at the fans because “you all don’t know what I’m going through.” There was something deeply personal here that added so much to the character, and the story as a whole. It was great.

Next, they turned their attention to Cody Rhodes who, wouldn’t you know it, was in the building and showed up after he heard his name called. They tried to goad him into a fight, and that’s when Zayn hit the scene to start a big brawl that spilled out into the crowd.

They made it back to the ring just so the babyfaces could clear the heels and stand tall as the show came out. Commentary wondered if Rhodes had made a critical mistake by involving himself in this side of The Bloodline’s business.

Owens, for his part, was nowhere to be seen.

They’re doing a good job of weaving the two stories together, and it’s looking more and more like WrestleMania 39, where we see the fall of The Bloodline. But I’m still struggling to see how they get Owens back and on Sami’s side considering where he still stands right now. They have six shows left to do it.

Wouldn’t it be something if Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens closed WrestleMania holding all the gold?

All the rest

  • This show opened with the Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Karrion Kross vs. LA Knight vs. Xavier Woods Fatal 5-Way to determine who would move on to challenge GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 39. I want to start by pointing out. that Knight again got a real nice standing ovation and I hope the right people recognize the potential there. He didn’t win here but he has Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner written all over him. The actual winner was, well, both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, who scored a pinfall victory at the exact same time. The referees argued about what to do as the two men argued about it and they later said that Adam Pearce would have a decision to make about it. The decision he came down to was McIntyre vs. Sheamus next week to determine who wins the title shot, which is actually a good way to get there considering it means they’ll get hot enough to win it outright.
  • Rey Mysterio was announced as the first official inductee in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Naturally, his son Dominik appeared to oppose him before he could even thank him for the honor, saying he was ashamed to be his son. This brought forth Legado del Fantasma, where Santos Escobar stands for a man he supported as a legend he looked up to. A six-man tag ensued, a match that The Judgment Day won because Dom kicked his dad, who tried to answer and inadvertently created a distraction that Damian Priest took advantage of. After, Dom again called his dad dumb and even went so far as to say that he should have been Eddie Guerrero’s child. We got a little closer to retaliating from Rey, but he repeated again “I won’t fight you!” This story continues to be great, and Rey was amazing as the tortured dad who doesn’t want things to be that way with his son.
  • The Viking Raiders defeated Ricochet & Braun Strowman in a match that got more time than you might have expected but was absolutely way better than you would think you would get out of a televised tag match like this. They’ve been flirting with the Raiders as top contenders since the fresh paint, and this could help send them on their way to contenders after WrestleMania. Meanwhile, is it time to start wondering about a Strowman and Ricochet split?
  • Charlotte Flair asked Adam Pearce for a match on that show, considering we’re so close to WrestleMania, so he put her against Shotzi. Soon into the match, Rhea Ripley showed up to hang ringside to see it all go down. What she saw was Flair hitting Shotzi with the Figure Eight. Afterwards, she jumped in the ring and called Charlotte insecure while promising to take the one thing that makes her feel important, the SmackDown women’s championship. Flair’s response? That while Ripley has improved, so has Charlotte and she will outwork anyone, male or female, because she takes this business seriously. It was good to see these two team up but am I the only one who doesn’t feel the kind of tension they need for a big title match? Hopefully that will change in the coming weeks.

This was an interesting show if only because they didn’t go too thin on everything, doing fewer segments but giving those segments more time.

It was a good show.

Give me your thoughts.

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