WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Mar. 17, 2023) with a live show emanating from T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming WrestleMania 39 two night extravaganza scheduled for Sat., April 1 and Sun., April 2 in Inglewood, California.
Advertised for tonight: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus fight each other in a singles match. The winner of this bout moves on to face GUNTHER for the Intercontinental championship at WrestleMania 39.
Elsewhere on the card, Sami Zayn confronts The Bloodline’s Jey Uso about his recent betrayal on Raw, and more!
Come right back here at 8 pm ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on FOX. It will be below this line here. (Note: Links to illegal streams are prohibited. Pics and GIFs are allowed.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR MAR. 17
So fate will have to wait ‘til time heals the scar. See my heart is ruled by Venus, and my head by Mars, and I’m going to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with commentary welcoming us to the show.
Cody Rhodes makes his entrance and gets on the mic.
He asks the crowd what they want to talk about and says the last few weeks tempers have flared and stakes have been high, but he wants to say he has the utmost respect for Roman Reigns. He thinks Roman is the greatest champion in sports and sports entertainment alike, he looks forward to seeing him in the ring and he looks forward to beating him at WrestleMania.
But he doesn’t want to talk about somebody, he wants to talk to somebody, and he calls Kevin Owens to the ring.
Enter Kevin Owens.
He thanks Cody and says he’s pretty sure he knows what this is about and they’ve been over this, and Rhodes asks him to just hear him out, because this isn’t a conversation between just the two of them, and he calls Sami Zayn down.
Enter Sami Zayn.
Cody says in the spirt of the Road to WrestleMania he’s gonna peel the curtain back slightly for those who don’t know, he has an incredible amount of love and respect for Kevin Owens. Six or seven years ago when he was so bold to say goodbye to WWE, he said it with false confidence.
He needed help, contacts, structure, someone to have his back, and Kev introduced him to some friends who made that possible and bettered his livelihood and he can never repay that favor but he’d like to try right now. We’re all here, why don’t we have The Conversation?
Owens says he’s heard everything Zayn has to say, and Sami says he hasn’t heard everything Kevin has to say, and he feels like through the years, friends or enemies, they’ve done unspeakable stuff to each other many, many times, but they always found a way to get back on the same page and he can’t understand why this time is so different.
So nevermind what he has to say, if KO needs to get something off his chest, if he needs to scream at him or punch him in the face, do it, do whatever you have to do so they can get back to working together. Owens asks Rhodes if he’s got what he wants and can leave now.
Cody says we’re in the people-pleasing business, it doesn’t matter what he wants. Sure, it’s what he wants, it’s what Michael Cole wants, it’s what everybody in the crowd wants, he wnts, she wants, they want, we all want to see Owens and Zayn back on the same page.
Sami says they can take down the ones and maybe it’ll take years to get over it but they don’t need to be friends to do this. Kevin says he’s heard it, he gets it, but why would he fight for someone who doesn’t even want to be his friend? KO thanks Cody for trying, he really appreciates it, but he’s all set.
Zayn watches him leave, stunned,
We see Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley walking backstage and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Sami Zayn catches up to Kevin Owens in the parking lot.
Sami tells him to forget the Bloodline, forget everything he said, they ARE friends, they’re more than friends, they’re brothers, and if Owens doesn’t want to talk to him ever again, that’s fine, Zayn just needed to tell him he loves him.
KO drives away without responding.
Judgment Day (Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley) vs. Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar & Zelina Vega) (Mixed Tag Team Match)
Escobar and Mysterio to start, Dominik blindsides Santos but the veteran luchador turns things around and unloads on him! Ripley in, Escobar blocks a kick and tags out to Vega! Seated senton off the top, headscissors driver follows and Santos dives on Mysterio on the floor!
Zelina with an Asai moonsault for Rhea and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Mysterio in control on Escobar, gamengiri from the apron, snapping his neck over the top rope, slingshot senton, cover for two! Santos cracks a dropkick to the face that rings out across the arena, inverted headlock guillotine leg drop, Ripley runs in and slams Dom on him but Zelina breaks it up!
Both men go for crossbodies, down and out, crawling, tags made! Vega with a basement dropkick, off the ropes, running knee, following it with a tornado DDT, schoolboy but Dominik breaks it up! Up top, Rhea gets under and completes the tower of doom!
Zelina with a diving crossbody, a hard knee, up on the second, diving Frankensteiner to Mysterio! Rhea catches her from behind...
Judgment Day wins by pinfall with Riptide from Rhea Ripley on Zelina Vega.
Post-match, Mysterio gets on the mic and says he just wanted to come back here and say your WWE Hall of Famer is nothing but a disrespectful deadbeat dad. He was never there through all those sleepless nights, and at the end of the day—
Rey Mysterio appears on the tron, walking with his hands on his hips and a stern expression on his face to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Rey Mysterio makes his entrance.
Dominik gets on the mic, surprised that Rey actually showed up given how many nights he went without a father. Mysterio the Elder asks Rhea Ripley for a moment alone with his son and she takes a step back. Mysterio the Younger asks where Rey was when he needed him before accusing him of being so selfish as to take away his WrestleMania moment because he’s scared.
And there’s something Dom wants to get off his chest, which is that Rey is just a piece of sh— his dad cuts him off and admits that he hasn’t been the best father. He missed birthdays, Christmases, graduations, football games, but that doesn’t take away his love.
He still loves Dominik, and whether he believes him or not, he’s his world, but soon he’s gonna find out that this business is selfish and that he made sacrifices so he, his mom, and his sister could have a live that Rey only dreamed of. All the fancy cars and brand names he had, the way he’d get bailed out whenever he got into trouble...
Mysterio the Elder gets choked up and admits he’s having a hard time coping with all of this. He’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he’d love nothing more than to have Dom standing by his side on that stage, but maybe it’s too late for that.
His biggest regret is what Dominik has become, and if someone like him, some ungrateful disrespectful pathetic punk-ass kid called him out at WrestleMania, he’d gladly whoop their ass. But unfortunately, Dom is his son, and fighting him would be the biggest disgrace as a father.
He says he will not fight him at WrestleMania, and Dominik asks why not. Is it because he’s running away, the thing he does best? He continues to taunt Rey as he leaves.
We see the Brawling Brutes psyching Sheamus up backstage.
Commentary announces that there will be men’s and women’s showcase four-way tag team matches at WrestleMania and qualifiers start now!
Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez make their entrance and we go to break.
Emma & Tegan Nox vs. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez (WrestleMania Showcase Qualifying Match)
Rodriguez and Nox to start, Tegan slips out of an early powerbomb attempt and gives her an open-hand chop that works out poorly for her. Raquel puts her in the corner, tag to Morgan, Stinger Splashes, enzuigiri, cover for two! Nox cuts her off with a hard running knee, tag to Emma, the low crossbody in the corner connects and a senton follows from Tegan!
Cover for two, quick tags, working Liv over until she gets a lungblower for separation and makes the tag! Rodriguez with a fallaway slam on Emma, the corkscrew Vader Bomb follows but Nox breaks the cover up! Codebreaker from Liv cuts Tegan off on a run-in, Emma takes her out, Raquel overpowers her!
Tag to Liv, the one-arm powerbomb connects...
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez win by pinfall with Oblivion from Morgan on Emma, qualifying for the WrestleMania showcase match.
We get a recap of Rhea Ripley confronting Charlotte Flair last week.
Charlotte makes her entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Charlotte Flair gets on the mic.
She talks about how when she was growing up, this sport was built on Rhodes as a challenger, and Flair as a champion, and now it’s once again built on Rhodes as a challenger, and Flair as a champion. This is her seventh WrestleMania and she’s been either champion or challenger for each of them, and she’s definitely a star.
She says Rhea can’t be a star until she goes through her, and she can’t do it any more than she could three years ago, because the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Enter Rhea Ripley.
She tells Charlotte she’s 100% right, and she chose her. Whe she walks through the locker room, men and women all turn their backs and walk away because of fear, because she’s dangerous and she’s bloody good at what she does and everyone fears her... except for Flair.
Look at her right now, staring her down without an ounce of fear in her eyes, and frankly that pisses her off. She’s a 14-time women’s champion for a reason, because she’s one of the biggest stars in the whole company and she can give her all the credit in the world, but she needs the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
She needs to be a star, and after WrestleMania, when it’s all done and dusted, Charlotte will learn to call her champion and she’ll learn to fear her.
Dominik Mysterio weasels his way up to Flair’s face and jaws at her, giving Rhea an opening to drop the champion with a cheap shot!
Charlotte attacks Rhea on the floor and they brawl, referees and road agents Petey Williams and Kenn Doane trying and failing to keep them apart. Flair jumps off the announce desk onto her to prolong the brawl at one point!
Sami Zayn is interviewed backstage.
He says when people who love you start pushing you away eventually you start to think maybe you’re the problem, and he’ll handle it himself if he has to. Jey Uso wants him to pull up tonight, fine, he’ll pull up.
Xavier Woods makes his entrance and we go to break.
LA Knight vs. Xavier Woods
Side headlock, back suplex counter, Woods floats over and lands on his feet but Knight sends him crashing into the turnbuckles and puts boots to him! Xavier off the ropes, slide under, rolling elbow countered and LA snaps off A DDT for two! Woods gets a missile dropkick for some separation, follows it with a delayed Falcon Arrow... NOPE!
Xavier reverses a suplex attempt...
Xavier Woods wins by pinfall with a small package.
We get a hype reel for the Great Muta’s induction into this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class and we go to break.
Back from commercial, LA Knight runs into an interview but ignores her almost immediately.
He walks up to Rey Mysterio and says he’ll fight Dominik if he won’t, you can call him LA Mysterio and he’ll be a deadbeat dad too. Rey cold cocks him and walks off.
GUNTHER makes his entrance, accompanied by the rest of Imperium, to watch our next match and we go to break.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus (WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
Collar and elbow, struggling around the ring, McIntyre breaks out with a stiff knee and a chop, following with a straight suplex, cover for two! Wade Barrett gets GUNTHER to join the commentary desk briefly but he gets tired of Wade’s ill-thought questions.
Back and forth, Drew hits the Michinoku Driver for two! Beats of the Bodhran blocked, Sheamus drags him back in with a couple knees, White Noise countered but the Celtic Warrior gets his knees up! Jockeying for position, a superplex leaves both men down and out and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Sheamus snaps Drew’s neck over the ropes and hits the Beats of the Bodhran! Sidestep the Brogue Kick, McIntyre with a big neckbreaker, counting down... SHEAMUS COUNTERS WITH A KNEE BUT DREW KICKS OUT! Slugging it out in the clinch, both men swinging lariats with abandon, McIntyre with a headbutt, Sheamus with a knee and both men are down and out!
Finisher collision in the middle of the ring, referee Jason Ayers issues the standing ten count but GUNTHER interrupts him because he’s not gonna have a non-finish again! He asks them who it’s gonna be and Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci attack them from behind!
The match goes to a no-contest.
Imperium clear the ring and GUNTHER takes Sheamus out with a lariat and then powerbombs him into McIntyre!
Adam Pearce gets on the tron and calls GUNTHER out for his actions telling a different story from his words and makes it official for WrestleMania— he’ll defend the Intercontinental Championship against both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in a triple threat!\\
We see Jey Uso walking backstage and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Jey Uso is in the ring.
Sami Zayn makes his entrance, stridently asking Jey if this is what he wanted and saying he pulled up. He asks Uso how he wants to do this and Jey steps up to him and says he has a job to do but Sami is about to hear this. From day one he didn’t like Zayn, he didn’t trust him, didn’t want him around his family at all.
But then week after week they started liking Sami. Jimmy, then Solo, then Heyman, and even the Tribal Chief, but not him. As a boy he always thought it was his job to protect his family, and the one time he put his guard down to someone he thought loved him, what’d he do?
He embarrassed him and made him look stupid in front of the whole world. He called Sami his brother and do you know what that means to him? Somebody said he second guesses himself all the time and she may be right, but from day one Zayn has been a fake-ass Uce, and now he doesn’t have a choice—
Sami cuts him off and tells him he always had a choice, from day one, and instead he CHOOSES to take Roman’s abuse day after day. He loves Jey, he loves this family, but he chose not to take the abuse. He says he thinks Jey isn’t mad at him, he’s mad at himself and he’s mad he didn’t hit Roman Reigns with the steel chair first.
This stuns Uso and Sami reiterates that you always have a choice. Jey snaps and launches a forearm and they brawl! Zayn with a Lou Thesz Press into punches but Jimmy Uso is here to cut him off! Jey takes Sami out with a superkick, they go to the floor and bounce the steel stairs off his face! Back inside, more beatdown...
KEVIN OWENS MAKES THE SAVE!
HE APPEARS BEHIND THE USOS WHILE HIS MUSIC PLAYS! A lariat for Jimmy, unloading punches on Jey, throwing Jimmy back to the floor for more punches and then a Stunner as Sami recovers! Jey off the ropes... POP-UP POWERBOMB TAKES HIM OUT! KEVIN SCREAMS PRIMAL RAGE AT USO AS HE ROLLS OUT OF THE RING!
Sami gets to his feet and he and Kev share an uneasy peace for a moment... KO COMES IN FOR THE HUG! OWENS AND ZAYN TOGETHER AGAIN! FRIENDSHIP WINS!
We see Cody Rhodes backstage where he nods approvingly like a force ghost because he’s that much of a dork and I love him for it.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn stand tall.
That’s the show, folks.