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WWE SmackDown preview (Mar. 3, 2023): Cody Rhodes finally gets what he wants

SmackDown airs tonight (Mar. 3) with a live show from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. This is the second SmackDown episode during the six week build towards WrestleMania 39, which takes place on the weekend of Apr.1 and Apr. 2.

Cody Rhodes finally gets what he wants

Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble match in late January, yet here we are in early March and he still has not crossed paths with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. After spending too much time exchanging words with Paul Heyman last month, Cody finally makes the trek over to SmackDown to force the issue and confront the Tribal Chief. This is what Cody has wanted ever since he pointed at the WrestleMania sign at the Rumble.

But will it really be that simple? Reigns’ bigger priority tonight is to get to the bottom line of the Jey Uso problem. Jey has been conflicted ever since Sami Zayn turned on the Tribal Chief and was booted out of The Bloodline at Royal Rumble. In order for Roman to walk into his WrestleMania match with Cody at full strength, he will need to get Jey back in line, even if it requires violence to make that happen.

Rhodes doesn’t care about all of that and will try to make Reigns finally acknowledge him face-to-face tonight, but it’s at least possible that Roman will send Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa, or Paul Heyman to deal with Cody while the Tribal Chief handles Jey. If Cody and the rest of The Bloodline do end up fighting each other tonight, though, it might be the first step towards getting Jey back in line, because he will absolutely stick up for his family in that case.

The rest of the title scene

SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair defends the gold at WrestleMania against Raw star Rhea Ripley. Rhea sent Dominik Mysterio to get under Flair’s skin last week before a quick face-to-face confrontation between Ripley and the champ. Ripley returns to the blue brand tonight for a singles match against Liv Morgan. Liv and Rhea were the first two entrants in this year’s Royal Rumble match. Per WWE’s web site, Morgan is “out to prove that the 2023 Royal Rumble winner is not unstoppable.” Good luck with that one, Liv.

Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER led Imperium to a six man tag team victory last week over Braun Strowman, Ricochet, and Madcap Moss. Drew McIntyre took a special interest in the match and later made it known that he wants a shot at GUNTHER’s belt. However, the Viking Raiders still won’t leave the Banger Bros alone.

Becky Lynch and Lita are the new WWE women’s tag team champions. Is it too soon for them to show up on SmackDown for a confrontation with Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey? Rousey has Tegan Nox in her crosshairs tonight after Tegan knocked Ronda on her ass last week.

The Tribal Chief better get Jey Uso to fall back in line soon, because Jimmy Uso is struggling to deal with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens at the moment. KO is not interested in joining forces with Sami just yet, but it seems clear that they can win the WWE tag team titles if they repair their broken relationship for the sake of taking down The Bloodline.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Rey Mysterio was screwed over by Dominik in last week’s match with Karrion Kross. It was the closest Rey came to punching that little shithead son of his in the face, though. The fans want to see it happen, and Dominik is hell bent on pushing Rey to the brink. If The Judgment Day tries messing with Rey again this week, though, they might just have to deal with Santos Escobar and Legado del Fantasma.

- Bobby Lashley is stuck dealing with Bray Wyatt’s spooky supernatural puppet shtick. Will the All Mighty show up on the blue brand to send a direct message to Wyatt and Uncle Howdy?

- LA Knight’s big mouth got him into a spat with the New Day last week, and then Kofi Kingston beat him in a singles match. Is this the start of an angle that is leading to a Cinnamon Toast Crunch match at WrestleMania 39?

- Madcap Moss ate the pin in last week’s six man tag team match against Imperium. Will this be the final straw that causes him to snap and officially turn heel with Emma?

- Lacey Evans and her devastating Cobra Clutch have yet to make an impact on the road to WrestleMania. Will anything change on that front tonight?

- Are Strowman and Ricochet destined to be dumped into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal this year?

- Raquel Rodriguez needs to figure out her next move after coming up short at Elimination Chamber.

- How many times will Michael Cole make fun of Top Dolla tonight?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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