SmackDown Notes: Rhodes & Zayn brawl with Usos, McIntyre vs. Sheamus next week

Originally published at

March 10, 2023

PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA

By: John Kleinchester

SmackDown started with a recap of the events of Raw this past Monday with Jey Uso feigning aligning with Sami Zayn and then superkicking him allowing for both Usos and Solo Sikoa to beat Sami down until Cody Rhodes made the save. We then cut to live at the arena with Paul Heyman greeting the arriving Usos giving Jey a big hug saying that Reigns and Heyman are so proud of him. Jey seemingly choked back a tear hinting at a twinge of regret for what he did to Sami. Jey told Heyman to let Reigns know he was here. Kayla Braxton asked Jey why he turned on Sami and Jey said he’d say everything he needed to say in the ring tonight.

"Everything I need to say, I'mma say it in the middle of that ring tonight."

Jimmy and Jey @WWEUsos are finally back together, but after everything that's gone down in #TheBloodline, what will Jey have to say for himself? 👀#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

The action of the night kicked off with the Fatal 5-Way match to determine Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship opponent at WrestleMania. Michael Cole explained that Kofi Kingston was injured in last week’s brawl so Xavier Woods was replacing him in the match. Cole also mentioned that he would bet on Sheamus in this match as the Intercontinental Championship was the one title that has always eluded him. The ending of the match came when Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Xavier Woods and Drew McIntyre hit a Claymore on LA Knight in quick succession. For some reason, a second referee entered the ring as both men were pinning and both referees counted to three simultaneously. The crowd chanted “triple threat” and no winner(s) were announced. 


Who's the winner? @WWESheamus or @DMcIntyreWWE? 🤔#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman backstage and asked if he had any insight as to why Jey did what he did on Monday. Heyman seemed distracted and then brought up Cody Rhodes complaining about him getting involved in the Bloodline business. Heyman said that Cody Rhodes is the one guy he never wanted to see Roman Reigns’ face but Reigns wisely told him that they were going to attack him with the truth.

After the break, we cut to Sheamus and Drew McIntyre arguing in the back. Sheamus was swiftly pulled away by the Brawling Brutes. Next Rey Mysterio was announced as the first 2023 Hall of Fame inductee. Rey then came down to the ring and before he could get any words out, Dominik and the rest of Judgment Day interrupted. Dominik said he was ashamed to be his son and then Legado del Fantasma came out to back Rey up. Santos Escobar said that Legado del Fantasma was scheduled to have a match against Judgment Day later tonight but they should just have it now instead. A referee ran down with the match seemingly about to start as we went to the commercial.

#TheJudgmentDay have once again rained on @reymysterio's parade. @DomMysterio35 continues to disrespect his father and his achievements. 😔#WWEHOF #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

After the break, a promotional video highlighting Bad Bunny hosting Backlash and a “Progessive Match Flo” showing what happened between Rey, Dominik, and Santos last week to find the matchup already underway. The finish of the match saw Dominik utilizing a referee distraction to score the pinfall on Cruz del Toro for the victory. After the match asked Rey to talk to him one on one and asked the rest of Judgment Day to leave the ring. Dominik said the only Hall of Fame Rrey should be inducted into is the “Deadbeat Dad Hall of Fame” and followed that up with “I should have been Eddie’s son”. Dominik attempted to attack Rey but Rey ducked and Dom flew out of the ring. Rey repeated he would not fight his son.

"At the end of the day, I should have been Eddie's son." @DomMysterio35 has taken this way too far. @reymysterio #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

Jimmie Allen was announced to be performing America the Beautiful on WrestleMania Night 2. Adam Pearce ran into Charlotte Flair backstage and she asked for “any” match tonight. 

The one and only @JimmieAllen will perform America the Beautiful on #WrestleMania Sunday 👏👏👏

— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) March 11, 2023

Next up was Ricochet & Braun Strowman taking on The Viking Raiders accompanied by Valhalla. Toward the end of the match, Strowman was doing his “train” run around the ring but Valhalla pulled Erik out of the way sending Braun Strowman crashing over the announce table. The finish saw Valhalla distracting Ricochet allowing Ivar to hit a spinning heel kick and a splash from the top rope for the win.

WHOA! @KingRicochet with a show of UNBELIEVABLE strength in this match against #TheVikingRaiders! 😱#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

Imperium was with Adam Pearce in the back. Gunther said he was supposed to have a single challenger at WrestleMania, not multiple. Pearce said that next week Sheamus will face Drew McIntyre to determine who faces Gunther at Mania.

Next Charlotte came to the ring and her opponent was revealed to be Shotzi. During the match, Rhea Ripley came out attempting to distract Flair. Charlotte persevered and defeated Shotzi with the Figure 8. After the match, Rhea got into the ring and the two traded barbs about who would win in three weeks at WrestleMania. 

.@RheaRipley_WWE really said: 🫵😂@ShotziWWE and @MsCharlotteWWE are going at it here on #SmackDown and Rhea made sure she had a front row seat.

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

The main event segment was The Bloodline coming down to the ring and Jey hesitating again but then saying that he betrayed Sami Zayn because he had to and he didn’t want to do it. Jey said no one knew what he was going through and the only person he blames is Sami Zayn. Jey called Sami selfish and said all he had to do was fall in line but it didn’t matter because he wasn’t blood and he never would be. Jimmy then took the microphone and switched subjects to Cody Rhodes which immediately lead to Cody coming out onto the stage. Sami Zayn ran out from the crowd attacking The Usos and Cody immediately joined in with the four brawling into the crowd and then back into the ring. As the show went off the air, Michael Cole posited “did Cody make a critical mistake getting involved in the business of The Bloodline”?

.@SamiZayn and @CodyRhodes just gave Jimmy and Jey @WWEUsos the beatdown that's been coming to them for a long time! 😤#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) March 11, 2023

Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Pittsburgh:

  • Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus (winner faces Gunther for the IC title at WrestleMania)

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Intercontinental Championship Qualifying Fatal 5-Way Match: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre (double pin) over LA Knight, Xavier Woods, and Karrion Kross in 17:35
  • Judgment Day over Legado del Fantasma in 13:58 (estimated – match started in commercial break)
  • The Viking Raiders over Ricochet & Braun Strowman in 10:53
  • Charlotte Flair over Shotzi in 8:29