SmackDown Notes: Owens & Zayn embrace, Intercontinental Triple Threat; Two Fatal 4-Way matches added to Mania

Originally published at

March 17, 2023

T-Mobile Center – Kansas City, MO

By: John Kleinchester

SmackDown started with Cody Rhodes coming to the ring. Rhodes talked about having the utmost respect for Roman Reigns but then called out Kevin Owens. As Owens came to the ring, highlights of Raw were shown with Owens getting taken down by The Bloodline. Rhodes then called out Sami Zayn as well. Rhodes said that seven years ago Owens introduced him to some friends when he needed them and he wanted to repay that favor now. Sami said that he and Owens have turned on and hurt each other so many times he doesn’t understand why this time is different. He said that Owens should do whatever he needs to do to get back to working together and that they could be the ones to bring down “The Ones”. Owens asked why he would fight alongside someone that didn’t want to be his friend. Owens thanked Cody for trying to do this but said “I’m good” and left.


Despite @CodyRhodes' efforts to unite the former friends so they can take down #TheBloodline, @FightOwensFight still wants nothing to do with @SamiZayn. #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

After the break, Kevin Owens was seen leaving the arena when Sami Zayn caught up with him. Zayn said to forget everything he said in the ring and that they’ll always be friends. He said that they’re more than friends, they’re brothers, and that he loves him. Owens then sped off without a word.

"We're not just friends, we're brothers." 😭@FightOwensFight @SamiZayn #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

For the first match of the evening, we had a mixed tag match with Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio taking on Santos Escobar & Zelina Vega. At the end of the match, Zelina executed a Hurricanrana on Dominik momentarily taking her focus away from Rhea which then allowed Rhea to hit the Riptide for the victory.

After the match, Dominik got on the mic and started calling Rey a deadbeat Dad. Rey then appeared on the TitanTron walking in the backstage area and the show went to a commercial. When we came back from the commercial, Rey’s music hit and he came down to the ring. Rey asked Rhea for a moment alone with his son to which she obliged. Dominik continued his verbal onslaught against Rey until Rey admitted that he hasn’t been the best father but that he still loves Dominik. Rey said he would love nothing more than to have Dominik standing by his side at the Hall of Fame but it was too late for that. And that fighting him would be the biggest disgrace as a father. Rey said he would never face his son – and not at WrestleMania – and left.

.@DomMysterio35 is UNHINGED! 🫢#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

Michael Cole & Wade Barrett announced two “showcase” fatal four-way matches would be happening at WrestleMania – one men’s and one women’s – and that the next match was a qualifying match. Out to the ring were Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez taking on Emma & Tegan Nox, with Morgan & Rodriguez easily winning in under four minutes.

Charlotte was out next. She said that when she was a baby, there was a Rhodes as the challenger and a Flair as the champion just like this year’s WrestleMania. Rhea and Dominik reemerged, interrupting Flair. Rhea said that she was dangerous and everyone fears her except for Charlotte. Dominik got in between the two and Rhea slapped Charlotte. The two brawled at ringside and into the crowd before the referees broke them up. 


Somebody stop them! 🔥🔥🔥@MsCharlotteWWE and @RheaRipley_WWE clearly can't wait until #WrestleMania!

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

Kayla Braxton then interviewed Sami Zayn backstage asking if what happened earlier would affect his headspace for the confrontation with Jey Uso later tonight. 

LA Knight versus Xavier Woods was next. Before the match began, a backstage video from earlier in the day was shown with LA Knight interrupting Ridge Holland and Xavier Woods playing WWE 2K23, which ended up being the impetus for tonight’s match. Woods beat Knight with a roll-up in just over two minutes. Backstage LA Knight approached Rey Mysterio saying that he would fight Dominik for him and Rey hit Knight telling him to be careful with what he says. 

Was he asking for it? YEAH! 👊💥@RealLAKnight @reymysterio #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

The final match of the night saw Sheamus taking on Drew McIntyre for the right to face Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania. During the match, Gunther was observing at ringside when Wade Barrett gave him a headset. Gunther reiterated he would beat either man in a singles match at WrestleMania. Both Sheamus and McIntyre were down with the referee counting to ten and Gunther interrupted the count. This led to Imperium jumping both men leading to a double disqualification. Adam Pearce appeared on the screen and announced that it would be an Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat match at WrestleMania.

.@ScrapDaddyAP makes it official! 👏👏👏

It's going to be a Triple Threat Match for the #ICTitle at #WrestleMania! @WWESheamus vs. @DMcIntyreWWE vs. @Gunther_AUT!#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

The main event saw the confrontation between Sami Zayn and Jey Uso. Jey said Sami betrayed him and made him look stupid in front of the whole world and “from day one, you’ve always been a fake-ass Uce”. Sami retorted saying that it was Jey’s choice to keep taking Roman’s abuse. Sami said that Jey was mad that he didn’t hit Roman with the chair first. The two then started brawling with Jimmy quickly running in to help Jey. Kevin Owens’ music then hit and Owens attacked The Usos from behind wearing a hoody just like Sami had done in the weeks prior. Owens cleared the ring and then turned to Zayn, embracing him. The camera then briefly cut to a smiling Cody watching on a monitor backstage. 

WHAT. A. MOMENT. 🤩@FightOwensFight and @SamiZayn just took on Jimmy and Jey @WWEUsos TOGETHER!

And yes, they hugged it out. 🫂#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 18, 2023

Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Las Vegas:

  • Rey Mysterio vs. LA Knight

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Rhea Ripley & Dominik Mysterio over Santos Escobar in 7:11
  • Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez over Tegan Nox & Emma in 3:44
  • Xavier Woods over LA Knight in 2:20
  • Intercontinental Championship Qualifying Match: Sheamus / Drew McIntyre – double DQ in 11:38