clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE SmackDown preview (Mar. 11, 2022): They can’t even plan out the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time

SmackDown airs tonight (Mar. 11) with a live show from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the third SmackDown episode during the six week build towards WrestleMania 38 on the weekend of April 2 and April 3.

WWE doesn’t know what to do with the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time

WWE is marketing the upcoming Title vs. Title unification match between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns as the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time. The angles to build up a match of this magnitude would surely be planned out well in advance of the actual fight, right?

One the one hand, yes, Roman Reigns delivered a bloody beatdown on Lesnar last weekend at Madison Square Garden. But that was after WWE let everyone in the venue down when the much-hyped mystery challenger for Lesnar’s title turned out to be Austin Theory, who was of course easily squashed by Brock. Many fans were understandably disappointed in how this played out because WWE promoted a mystery opponent who actually stood a chance against Lesnar. Was Theory always going to be the guy who replaced Bobby Lashley? It seems doubtful this was planned out well ahead of time.

Either way, the bloody attack by Reigns is perhaps the most important angle thus far to set up the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time. But it wasn’t televised, so WWE must have a killer follow-up angle ready to go for tonight’s episode of SmackDown. Right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s the case. Lesnar and Reigns are both listed on the events page of WWE’s web site for appearances tonight, but WWE hasn’t actually announced what they’ll be doing. So it seems that WWE’s chaotic creative process is still scrambling trying to put it all together. It’s only the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time; why should there be any urgency to plan things out ahead of time?

The rest of the title scene

The Usos retained the SmackDown tag team titles last week against the Viking Raiders. Later in the show, Jimmy and Jey ambushed Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs during their entrance routine. That probably means the babyfaces are coming for the belts soon enough.

Ronda Rousey dominated Sonya Deville last week in the main event and then humiliated Charlotte Flair afterwards. It turns out that Ronda has more tricks up her sleeve than just ripping off arms, because she forced the Queen to tap out via ankle lock. Right now it looks like Rousey is the favorite to defeat Flair for the SmackDown women’s championship at WrestleMania 38, so Charlotte better come up with a scheme to give herself an unfair advantage.

Sasha Banks and Naomi haven’t wrestled any tag team matches together recently yet they’ve earned a tag title match at WrestleMania 38 by simply declaring their intention to win the gold. That’s a smarter strategy than the one used by Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan over on Raw, who actually had to fight together and win to earn the same title shot. Carmella and Queen Vega suddenly look like very vulnerable Women’s tag team champions, and there is time for more makeshift teams to be added to what is currently a triple threat match at WrestleMania. After Naomi defeated Carmella last week in singles action, Banks gets a one-on-one match against Vega tonight. That’s probably because there are no other women’s tag teams around to compel Banks & Naomi to actually wrestle a tag team match together.

Ricochet is on the rise after winning the Intercontinental championship last week. Will WWE find an opponent (maybe Shanky?) for Ricochet to defend the title against at WrestleMania 38, or is the champ still in an uphill battle to avoid being dumped into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Austin Theory named himself as Pat McAfee’s opponent at WrestleMania 38, and then he slapped the SmackDown commentator right in the face. It’s expected that Vince McMahon will become a focal point of this story by the time the actual match happens.

- Drew McIntyre is looking to end Happy Corbin’s joke of an undefeated streak at WrestleMania 38. Corbin’s laughter disappeared last week when the reality of the danger he is in became apparent. Madcap Moss and Corbin better have some kind of contingency plan in place, otherwise, Drew is going to impale Happy with his giant sword on the grand stage.

- Sheamus & Ridge Holland destroyed Big E’s ATV last week. That’s the set up for tonight’s tag team match pitting New Day Big E & Kofi Kingston against Sheamus & Holland.

- Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn is happening at WrestleMania 38. Zayn is irate after being screwed out of championship gold last week by this jackass.

- It feels like the angle between Xia Li and Natalya is completely lost in the shuffle while everyone else around them is trying to secure their spot on the stupendous WrestleMania card.

What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats