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SmackDown recap & reactions (Feb. 24, 2023): The saga continues

Jimmy Uso spent the majority of Friday Night SmackDown this week agonizing over his brother Jey and how things have changed, first at the Royal Rumble and then again in Montreal at Elimination Chamber. Paul Heyman delivered a message from Roman Reigns that Jimmy needed to deal with it before next week, or he’ll deal with it himself.

He cut an impassioned promo talking about being there for his brother, always, no matter what, just like he needs Jey to be there for him now.

But Jey wasn’t there.

Instead, Sami Zayn showed up.

He told Jimmy how much all of this has hurt, that he felt like they were brothers too and when Jimmy took him down with no hesitation at Royal Rumble it really hurt him. Jimmy seemed conflicted but then quickly made clear where he stands.

“You so damn selfish!”

It was Sami who had the chair, and Sami who made the choice, and Sami who tore everything apart. It was going just fine without him and then he came along and everything changed.

Zayn, of course, made the same appeal to Jimmy that he made to Jey. And then Jey showed up in the arena, walking in through the crowd, and Jimmy used the distraction to launch an attack on Sami.

Zayn got the better of the ensuing confrontation — in part because Jimmy was looking to Jey — putting him down with a Helluva Kick. Jey simply stood in the crowd and watched all this happen. Sami was run off by Solo Sikoa, but what we ended up with here were more questions.

Jey is undecided.

It’s an impossible position to be in, having to choose between two people he loves, but it’s clear a choice must be made and he’s running out of time to make it. Soon, that choice will be made for him.

This story isn’t over, not yet by a long shot, and I’m still right at the edge of my seat for all of it.

For the first time since the match became official, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and her challenger at WrestleMania 39, Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley, came face-to-face. That was the plan, at least.

And then the one and only Dominik Mysterio hit the scene to have a back-and-forth.

It was incredible.

Dom held his own verbally sparring with Flair, allowing Charlotte to get in some nice shots about the much thicker Latino heat she has at home — accent, of course — and Dom to bring their fathers into it. They’ve both had to make the most of themselves under that shadow. Putting the two opposite each other in this way worked wonders to showcase just how well Charlotte has actually done for herself.

Ripley only hit the scene when Charlotte was about to put the boots to Dom. They had a brief staredown before he pulled her away. I like the idea — keep them a bit distant, and make us want to see them confront each other more and more as we go along.

Dom really helped make that work here.

The Firefly Fun House returned and it didn’t look like we’re used to:

I don’t know what the hell to think of any of that.

At the very least, it does indeed appear as though Wyatt vs. Bobby Lashley is looking like the play at WrestleMania 39.

All the rest

  • Madcap Moss may have teased a heel turn with Emma after TV last week but he started this week’s show teaming up with Braun Strowman & Ricochet in a six-man tag team match against Imperium. He ended up taking the fall for the team, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how he reacts to that. Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre walked out about halfway through and watched the match, seemingly making it obvious he plans to go after GUNTHER and the Intercontinental championship. The Viking Raiders hit the scene to interfere before anything could get kicked off in that direction, but they started the tease for it here. There’s plenty of time to flesh that out between now and WrestleMania 39.
  • I will never stop laughing at Dominik Mysterio having gotten himself over the way he has, doing the bit about how hard his time in prison was. It just works for the character so very, very well and Rhea Ripley, who doesn’t even need it, benefits from being there with him because she’s the real muscle. The whole thing is beautiful.
  • After spending some time down in NXT putting over its tag team division, The New Day are back on the main roster. They showed up here to interrupt LA Knight talking about making his moment at WrestleMania 39, and some bickering led to a match pitting Knight against Kofi Kingston. They were given a surprising amount of time — two commercial breaks! — and Kingston won via pinfall.
  • Shayna Baszler had a match with Natalya and they had her enter to Ronda Rousey’s music. I’m not sure what that says, if anything. Earlier in the night, they had Nattie pleading with WWE medical to let her wrestle and she was cleared to do so but they still recommended against it. Tegan Nox was there to say she would provide backup as needed. It wasn’t much of a match, with Nattie getting distracted by Rousey and quickly submitted just after. The attempted post-match beatdown was thwarted by Nox. Rousey’s response to this was “who is this? You’re done next week, Skittles. You’re gonna be tasting the rainbow next Friday!” I’ll let that speak for itself.
  • How does everyone feel about the full Karrion Kross entrance? I go back-and-forth on it but I definitely think it should be a PLE thing and never on TV. Meanwhile, Kross got a win back on Rey Mysterio thanks to Dom interfering and stopping him from hitting the 6-1-9. After the match, Dom pushed his dad around and demanded Rey “be a man, hit me.” Rey finally got in his face and cocked back his fist — but he couldn’t do it. The fans chanted for it. And still he couldn’t. This whole story has been fantastic and they’re going to blow the roof off when dear old dad finally decides to teach his son a lesson he so badly needs.

This show was largely about setting things up for later. Still a strong effort from the blue brand.

Your thoughts?

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