The John Report: WWE Smackdown 03/10/23 Review

wwe smackdown march 10

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured a Fatal 5-Way match for a shot at the Intercontinental Title, The Bloodline drama continues and more.

The big news coming out of Raw this past Monday was Jey Uso finally making a choice by attacking Sami Zayn (after hugging Sami), so Jey is loyal to The Bloodline. Sami has issued a warning to The Bloodline too. The next step is to see when Sami will finally get some help from his buddy Kevin Owens as we continue on the road to Wrestlemania 39 three weeks away.

From the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this is Smackdown for episode #1229. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video package showed the Raw highlights with Jey Uso making his decision. Jey hugged Sami, then Jey nodded at his brother Jimmy and Jey hit Sami with a superkick. Cody Rhodes ran out to save Sami and The Bloodline retreated to end the show.

Paul Heyman was shown in the parking lot area as The Usos drove up in a truck. Heyman was happy to see Jey, who asked where is The Tribal Chief? Heyman said that The Tribal Chief is so proud of Jey and Paul hugged Jey. Paul said he is proud of Jey too. Jey told Paul to tell Roman that he is here. Kayla Braxton arrived and asked Jey why he turned on Sami Zayn. Jey said he’ll say it in the ring. Jimmy said she should ask Cody Rhodes why he is getting involved in The Bloodline’s business.

Analysis: There’s a tease for later with Jey doing a promo as the story continues. Heyman didn’t answer where Roman was when Jey asked, so that was a bit interesting.

The entrances took place for the Fatal 5-Way match with Drew McIntyre up first to a big pop. Karrion Kross was next with Scarlett looking amazing as usual. Xavier Woods was up third as a replacement for his injured buddy Kofi Kingston, LA Knight was fourth and Sheamus was up last to a good ovation. The commentary team is Michael Cole and Wade Barrett as usual.

Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Sheamus vs. LA Knight vs. Xavier Woods

The winner gets an Intercontinental Title match against GUNTHER at WrestleMania. No countouts or disqualifications in this match.

Drew and Sheamus cleared the ring quickly. That led to Drew and Sheamus arguing with Drew saying it didn’t have to be this way. The other guys went back into the ring with some punches. The show went to break there just two minutes into the match.


Kross kicked Drew out of the ring, Knight worked over Woods in the corner, Sheamus pulled Knight out of the ring and Kross went after Sheamus with punches. Knight sent Drew into the ring post. Knight and Kross hit a double team flatliner on Woods. Drew got back into it with punches/chops, Knight hit Drew in the ribs and Kross/Knight hit a double team suplex on Drew. Sheamus jumped off the top with a clothesline on Knight. Kross with a single-leg crab on Drew and Knight hit a neckbreaker on Sheamus for two. There was a second referee that slid in to count that pin attempt because the first referee was looking at the submission. That’s a unique twist. Woods with a rolling forearm and the Honor Roll clothesline on Kross. Woods sent Knight into the ropes leading to a splash/dropkick combo. Woods superkicked Sheamus on the floor and Woods back in the ring with a DDT on Kross. Woods with double knees to the ribs of Knight. Woods went up top and hit an elbow drop across the ring on Woods for a two count as the other three guys broke up the pin. The IC Champion GUNTHER and his Imperium buddies showed up in the aisle to watch the match. They went to break there.


The match continued with Drew doing a pull up by the turnbuckle leading to a suplex on Knight/Kross doing a superplex spot. Drew usually does that to one guy in a match, so seeing it on two guys was very impressive. Drew with an elbow smash on Kross and a suplex across the ring on Knight. Drew with a neckbreaker on Kross. Knight fought off a DDT attempt with a clothesline. Sheamus was back in with two forearm smashes on Knight, a backbreaker on Woods and a powerslam on Knight by Sheamus. Sheamus did the forearm smashes on Woods, then Kross was next and Sheamus did ten forearms to Kross as well. Sheamus saw Knight on the apron so Sheamus hit him with ten forearms as well. That’s 30 forearm smashes by Sheamus. Drew was back in with a headbutt to knock Knight down. Drew and Sheamus went face to face, Woods jumped off the top and Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick. Drew hit a Claymore Kick on Knight. Drew and Sheamus both went for covers. Referee Jessika Carr counted Drew’s three count and Dan Engler counted Sheamus’ pin so both pinfalls were at the same time. It went about 18 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match that was given a lot of time, but I wouldn’t call it great at any point. The action after the last commercial was the best part. I think they could have had a more interesting match with some more nearfalls for everybody in the match. Woods had a good nearfall with the elbow drop, but Knight and Kross didn’t look like they had a chance. When they had the two referees out there (Carr as the main ref and Engler was used if she was occupied) it seemed obvious that the double pin was coming. The right guys won for sure.

The referees argued while Drew and Sheamus argued. The fans were chanting “triple threat” because they know what’s coming.

Analysis: A triple threat between GUNTHER-Drew-Sheamus has been rumored for two months now, so if they go with that then it would be great. However, we found out later there would be another match next week.

Paul Heyman was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Heyman said that Cody Rhodes has been getting involved in The Bloodline’s business and he didn’t like that. Heyman talked about how for the past 1000 days, The Tribal Chief has asked Heyman how they should beat somebody. Heyman talked about their different strategies to take guys out. Heyman said Cody Rhodes was the one guy they didn’t want to see against Reigns. Heyman said Reigns suggested they can take Cody out gangster style with the truth. Heyman said at WrestleMania, Cody will be a defeated opponent. Heyman said then Cody will have to acknowledge the “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns.

There’s a 2023 WWE Hall of Fame announcement up next.

A commercial aired for WWE A&E Biography on Kane and the Batista-Triple H feud on WWE Rivalries after that.


There was a backstage segment with Drew McIntyre and Sheamus arguing. The Brawling Brutes duo of Butch and Ridge Holland showed up to break up the argument. Drew said they should be fighting and having drinks after.

WWE Hall Of Fame Announcement

The first name announced for the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame is…Rey Mysterio!

They showed a video featuring some of Rey’s peers talking about how great of a performer he was and still is. Rey started in WWE over 20 years ago, he’s a three-time World Champion and has done a lot in WWE.

Analysis: It’s rare to have an active wrestler in the WWE Hall of Fame, but I certainly don’t mind it. Rey is clearly deserving of the honor. Plus, I think with Rey being from San Diego it makes sense to put him in HOF in the LA area because it’s close.

Rey Mysterio made his entrance to a big pop with the fans applauding the greatest masked superstar in WWE history. Rey was getting “you deserve it” chants from the crowd, but here comes The Judgment Day.

Dominik Mysterio walked out with The Judgment Day. Dominik called his dad a washed-up old man while saying that Rey missed Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and soccer games all to make the Hall of Fame. Dominik got in the ring with Rey saying he was ashamed to be Rey’s son.

Legado Del Fantasma walked out to the ring with Santos Escobar supporting Rey. Escobar shouted at Dominik to shut up. Escobar said that Legado and Judgment Day are supposed to have a match later tonight, so how about they have it right now? They were all in their wrestling gear, of course. A referee ran out to the ring and the match is after a break.

Analysis: Great spot to get Dominik some more heat for being disrespectful towards his father. Escobar has done a nice job in the new babyface role of supporting Rey during this storyline.


There were images shown about Backlash taking place in Puerto Rico on May 6th with Bad Bunny as the host of the event.

Legado Del Fantasma – Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde (w/Rey Mysterio & Zelina Vega) vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

The J-Day trio worked over Cruz with some quick tags while Cole was trashing Dominik as usual. Cruz with a headscissors on Balor, then Escobar tagged in and the three Legado guys all hit running splashes on Balor. Wilde with a suplex on Balor and a springboard splash for two. Balor tripped up Wilde off the ropes and Priest hit an elbow smash on Wilde. Priest sent Wilde into the turnbuckle, Balor and Dominik each hit sentons and Balor hit a backbreaker while Priest hit a leg drop. Judgment Day was in control as the fans booed leading to a break.


Escobar was legal with forearms on Balor along with a leg drop across the chest for a two count. Balor hit a reverse DDT with an elbow drop to the chest. Dominik was booed heavily as he got the tag, but Escobar kicked Dominik. Cruz tagged in with a cross body block off the top followed by a Spanish Fly slam for two as Priest broke up the pin attempt. Cruz hit a missile dropkick to knock Priest out of the ring. Escobar and Wilde hit suicide dives on the guys on the floor. Vega tried a headscissors on Ripley, but Ripley tossed her onto two Legado guys. Rey got in Ripley’s face, Dominik kicked Rey to knock him down. Rey was on the apron, the referee was distracted, so Priest superkicked Cruz in the head. Dominik hooked Del Toro’s leg and got the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: *** It was a solid tag team match with a creative finish to give Dominik another win since he beat Escobar last week. The right team won since Dominik needs wins going into WrestleMania. I hope the Legado guys get some wins soon because they are a fun team.

After the match, Dominik Mysterio asked his friends to leave the ring because Dominik wanted to talk to his father Rey. That led to Rey getting into the ring with his son.

Dominik said he doesn’t understand why WWE is inducting Rey into the Hall of Fame. Dominik said that Rey should be in the Deadbeat Dad Hall of Fame and at the end of the day, Dominik should be Eddie’s son. Dominik shoved Rey in the face. Dominik dared his father to hit him. Dominik charged, Rey ducked and Dominik bumped to the floor. Rey said he’s not going to fight him. Dominik shouted that Rey will. Legado talked to Rey while Dominik was with his J-Day buddies.

Analysis: We know the likely plan is for Dominik to face Rey at WrestleMania, but what we don’t know is how the creative direction will lead to Rey actually striking his son. With three weeks until WrestleMania, it has to happen soon.

Still come: “The prodigal brother has returned” in reference to Jey Uso.

Braun Strowman & Ricochet were shown talking backstage because they’re in tag team action.

The WrestleMania 39 parody video was shown featuring The Miz and his lovely wife Maryse doing a Top Gun tribute.


It was announced that country singer Jimmie Allen will be performing America The Beautiful at Wrestlemania Sunday. I don’t know who he is (I’m old and barely listen to any current music), but I hope he does well.

Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, was in the office of WWE Official Adam Pearce. Charlotte said she wants a match tonight and Pearce said he’ll find her a suitable opponent. Charlotte told Pearce to hang in there.

Analysis: The guy that runs the show just has an empty spot in the second hour of Smackdown? Sure.

Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders – Erik & Ivar (w/Valhalla)

Ricochet with a dropkick on Ivar, which led to Strowman getting the tag and clotheslining Ivar out of the ring. Strowman knocked Erik out of the ring. Strowman launched Ricochet over the top onto both VR guys on the floors. That was a cool spot.


The Raiders were in control as Ivar got the tag leading to both guys punching Ricochet repeatedly to knock him down. Ivar with a knee to the ribs and Erik tagged in with a knee to the face for two. Erik said he would break Ricochet’s face, then they exchanged forearms and Erik crushed Ricochet with an elbow smash to the jaw. Ivar grabbed Strowman on the apron and Erik knocked Strowman off the apron. Ivar hit a cross body block on Strowman against the barricade. Ricochet broke free, but Strowman wasn’t there to tag in. Ricochet knocked Ivar off the apron and a hurricanrana by Ricochet on Erik for two. Erik hit Ricochet with a knee to the face (with a loud leg slap) and a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Ricochet with two forearms to Erik followed by a springboard moonsault onto a standing Erik. Strowman was back up on the apron leading to Braun getting the tag with shoulder tackles to both Raiders. Strowman with a running splash on Ivar, then a dropkick sending Ivar out of the ring and the crowd was getting into it. Strowman tagged Ricochet while Braun left the ring with a running shoulder tackle on Ivar. Strowman went running over the announce table because Valhalla shoved Erik (her husband) out of the way. Ricochet hit a diving forearm smash on Erik on the floor. Ricochet was distracted by Valhalla at ringside, so Ricochet was slow to go to the top. Ricochet missed a 450 Splash off the top and Ivar hit a spin kick on Ricochet. Ivar jumped off the top with a Viking Splash for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with a result that I liked because the regular tag team should beat the team comprised of two singles guys. Ricochet worked most of the match, Strowman was barely in there and then he ran over the commentary table to take himself out of the match. I liked how the finish was booked with Ivar hitting a spin kick and a Viking Splash to win cleanly. Pushing the Viking Raiders would be fine with me.

Imperium was in the office talking to WWE Official Adam Pearce with GUNTHER complaining about what happened in the IC Title contender’s match. Gunther didn’t want to face two challengers, so Pearce said he had a solution and booked Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus for next week on Smackdown. The winner of that match gets to face Gunther for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 39. Gunther was fine with that.

Analysis: That means we have to wait another week to find out who faces Gunther. It’ll be interesting to see if they go with a cheap finish again or if they go with one guy, which is likely going to be McIntyre if I had to pick one.

Charlotte Flair entered for singles action.


Charlotte Flair vs. Shotzi

This is not for Charlotte’s Smackdown Women’s Title. They touched hands as a handshake as a sign of respect since they are both faces. Flair with a shoulder tackle. Shotzi with a headscissors and Shotzi came back with a waistlock takedown. Flair hit a boot to the face. Rhea Ripley’s music played and Ripley made her way down to the ring since she’s challenging Flair at WrestleMania. Flair hit a German Suplex on Shotzi leading to a break.


Flair was on the middle turnbuckle, Shotzi went after her there and Shotzi hit a hurricanrana for two. The fans barely reacted to that. Shotzi missed a charging attack by the ropes, Shotzi to the floor and back on the apron, so Flair kicked Shotzi down. Shotzi with a kick that missed, so then she did it and then Flair came back with a forearm. They went into the ring with Flair delivering multiple chops leading to “WOO” chants. Flair hit a fallaway slam, a kip up and Flair hit a Spear. Flair applied the Figure Eight submission, Shotzi tapped out and that was it after eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: ** It was a cold match with no storyline going in and nobody believed that Shotzi had a chance of winning the match. I’m surprised it went eight minutes and had a commercial break in the middle of it. It could have been a more decisive win for Flair in about five minutes. Anyway, the predictability meant there wasn’t much excitement here.

Ripley went into the ring with Flair, who asked: “What do you have to say, kid?” Ripley told Flair to wipe the smug look off of her face. Ripley said she sees all of Flair’s insecurities. Ripley said at WrestleMania she’ll take the one thing that makes Flair feel so important when Ripley becomes the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Flair said that Ripley is proud of her own improvement, but Flair has improved every day of her life. Flair said that she wants it more. Flair looked like she forgot her line as she said that she will outwork everybody in this business. Flair said that Rhea “Bloody” Ripley will rip anybody apart, but Flair said that Ripley won’t do it to her.

Analysis: It was just decent. I think Charlotte forgot a line to say so she just improvised after that. They haven’t really done anything physical yet for this match, but that can be a good thing too since the fans will anticipate the physicality when they have a match.

The Usos were shown backstage for their main event promo after a break.


A video aired about WrestleMania 39 taking place in 22 days.

Next week on Smackdown in Kansas City: Drew McIntyre faces Sheamus with the winner challenging Gunter for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 39.

Let’s Hear from The Usos

Jimmy and Jey Uso made their entrance as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. Jimmy started it by saying that The Bloodline is in your city. Jey said the big question of the night and the whole week…here are the “Sami” chants. Jey said they ask him why did he betray Sami Zayn like that? Jey asked if you were in his position, what would you do? Jimmy said that when your family member’s cars breaks down, you help them, you feed them, you pay their light bill and he asked what would you do? Jey said he did it “because I had to.” Jey said he didn’t want to do it, but he had to do it because Jimmy is his twin, his blood and his brother. Jey said that Sami is not that and neither are any of the fans.

Jey said that you sit in your living room and don’t know what he is going through. Jey said there is one person he blames: Sami Zayn. Jey said that Sami’s problem is he was selfish. Jey told Sami that all he has to do is fall in line, but he doesn’t know about that because his ass ain’t blood and he never will be. Jimmy said since they got rid of the Sami Zayn problem, they have to get rid of Cody Rhodes. Jimmy wondered what was Cody’s issue?

Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a big ovation as the pyro went off for his entrance. Cody told them to talk directly to him. Cody said he doesn’t answer to Roman Reigns, he answers to the fans. Cody said it sounds like the fans want them to fight. Jimmy threatened Cody by saying they would put Cody on the shelf like they did to Sami Zayn.

Sami Zayn got into the ring to attack Jimmy Uso at ringside. Cody went fighting with Jey into the crowd. Jimmy ran into the crowd to save Jey, so Zayn joined in. Zayn tossed Jey over the barricade at ringside. Zayn tossed Jey out of the ring. Cody and Jimmy were in the ring, so Cody tossed Jimmy out of the ring. Cody and Sami stood tall in the ring while The Bloodline retreated in the aisle. Cody’s music played while he celebrated with Zayn. End show.

Analysis: It was a solid main event promo segment. I wouldn’t call it great like the end of Raw. Cody showing up unannounced was good to see because it shows he isn’t backing down against these guys while Sami Zayn did another attack sliding into the ring. The brawl around the ring was fine, but then they kind of rushed it towards the end where they went back in the ring just so the faces could knock the heels out of the ring. Jey’s promo was fine because it made the point that we all know – he’s loyal to his family.

What I’m wondering is when we get that Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens reunion to set up their Tag Team Title match against The Usos at WrestleMania because that should be happening soon.

Three Stars of the Show

1. Drew McIntyre/Sheamus

2. The Usos

3. Viking Raiders

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7

2023 Average: 7.03

Final Thoughts

I liked the show overall. The IC Title contender’s match had a tie finish with Drew McIntyre & Sheamus winning leading to a Drew vs. Sheamus match next week. I guess that’s fine because that match will be awesome. I liked the two tag team matches on the show with Viking Raiders beating Braun/Ricochet and the finish to The Judgment Day’s win over Legado was well done.

Rey Mysterio going into the WWE Hall of Fame is a bit of a surprise just because he’s a current star in the company that is near the end of his career. Since it’s a California show, maybe WWE feels like it’s the right spot to do it since Rey is from San Diego and it’s an LA event. Anyway, Rey still didn’t want to hit his son Dominik, who continues to get mega heat.

The main event promo from The Usos was fine with Jey saying he had no choice but to be loyal to his family. Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn got into a brawl with them. Maybe we get that tag team match before WrestleMania. No Roman Reigns on the show hurt it a bit.

Here’s the WrestleMania 39 lineup so far taking place on April 1st and April 2nd:

wwe wrestlemania 39 roman reigns cody rhodes

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley

* United States Championship: Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena

* Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka

* Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Logan Paul

* Damage CTRL – Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai vs. Trish Stratus, Becky Lynch & Lita

* Brock Lesnar vs. Omos

The Miz will be the host of WrestleMania 39.


Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport