clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Mar. 31, 2023): WrestleMania go home show

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Mar. 31, 2023) with a live show emanating from Arena in Los Angeles, California, featuring the final build to this weekend’s WrestleMania 39 two night (Apr. 1 & Apr. 2) extravaganza in Inglewood, California.

Advertised for tonight: Cody Rhodes and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will have one final confrontation before they fight for the gold this weekend in the main event of WrestleMania.

Tonight’s show also features the annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Madcap Moss will try to win the trophy in consecutive years among a field that also includes names like Bobby Lashley, LA Knight, Dexter Lumis, Xavier Woods, Johnny Gargano, Bronson Reed, Karrion Kross, Santos Escobar, 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.)


Hey y’all, no lyrics today because today is Trans Day of Visibility and as most of you probably know I am hypercommitted to being visibly out and proud, a walking talking reminder that if you want to be a girl, you can be a girl. It took me a long time to get here but that axiom combined with the realization that cis people don’t agonize over their gender got me to be the woman I am today.

If that sounds like you, staring at the ceiling and pleading with the universe to just show you who you are, well I believe in you, cats and kittens. And the coolest part is, y’know, when I came out to myself I thought “okay I don’t care how this turns out, I just know it’s gotta be better than not transitioning” and a) I was SO right and b) I turned out to be exactly the girl I always wanted to be, anyway!

On with the show!

The show opens with commentary welcoming us to the show and hyping tonight’s card up.

The Usos make their entrance and get on the mic and are shortly thereafter interrupted—

Enter Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

Tomorrow night it all ends, Sami says, but tonight they’re going to make sure that nothing is left unsaid between them. Owens says he’s actually conflicted about having to win the titles, because when he first started in WWE, the Usos were the first guys who made him feel like he belonged in that locker room.

They played with his son and he thought they were guys he could look up to, that is until they started doing their cousin’s bidding. Then he lost all respect and it only got worse at the Royal Rumble when the two of them tried to take his career, and he shouldn’t be standing there but he is!

There’s a part of him that doesn’t want to do what he has to, but part of him does, and he can tell by looking in the Usos’ eyes that they see it too, and it’s not paranoia, they’re taking the tag team titles at WrestleMania! Jimmy says he’s right, when they came here they showed him love because that’s who they are, but now they ain’t got no love for either of them.

He talks at length about how they’re blood, and Sami says guess what, blood isn’t the only thing that makes you family, loyalty makes you family. Jey asks what he knows about loyalty, and Zayn says he was loyal to them the whole time, they were the ones who chose blood over loyalty.

They chose Roman Reigns because he’s blood, but he was never loyal to either of them. He’s gonna do one last favor for both of them and put them out of their misery tomorrow night at WrestleMania, and when they do, that’s the end of Roman Reigns, of the Bloodline, of all of it.

Then the Usos get to go back to being themselves, the guys that everyone in the lockerroom and the stands loved, they’re just not gonna have the titles with them anymore.

The Usos are stunned for a minute before Jey replies. He says that ain’t it, it’s gonna be the same thing with Owens and Zayn it always is— they’re gonna lose the big match, and Kev is gonna stab Sami in the back again. Meanwhile, the Usos will keep doing what they’re doing, being the greatest tag team of all time.

Street Profits make their entrance and we go to break.

Chad Gable vs. Erik vs. Montez Ford vs. Ricochet

Pairing off, Gable working Ford over while Erik pounds Ricochet. Babyfaces clear the ring, the One and Only with a leg pick, waistlock, back handspring, Ford ducks a lariat, O’Connor roll denied, stalemate! Gable back in, they fend him off, Erik returns, duck under, double dropkick sends the Viking sprawling to the floor!

Slingshot planchas, heels catch them, stereo exploder suplexes! Chad bounces Rick off the steel steps, Erik puts Montez into the post, Gable back inside, whip, up and over scouted, axhandle to the kidneys and an arm drag out of the corner! Erik clobbers Chad with a forearm, throwing Ricochet in the corner for body blows!

Gable returns to the ring to take Erik down with a lariat and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Erik gets a superplex on Ford and Gable follows with one of his own on Ricochet! Fountain of dives from the babyfaces, backfist from Montez but Rick takes him out with a diving lariat! Chad hits the Chaos Theory... ERIK BREAKS IT UP!

Match breaks down, Ford with an enzugiri, off the ropes, tope con giro into the crush! Throwing Gable back inside, Montez is slow to capitalize, Ricochet off the top...

Ricochet wins by pinfall with a 450 splash.

Post-match, Braun Strowman and Ricochet point at the WrestleMania sign.

We see the Bloodline chatting backstage and snapping to attention when Roman Reigns rolls up.

Cut to Bobby Lashley working out backstage to send us to break.

Back from commercial we get a video package for Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley.

A hype reel for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in Memory of Andre the Giant follows.

Bobby Lashley makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we see a crewmember leave the Great Muta’s dressing room with a face full of mist.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in Memory of Andre the Giant

The usual chaos of the early goings of a battle royal early on, Baron Corbin gets dumped first, loser that he is. Lashley dumps Top Dolla, one of the Legados follows soon after, the ring still thick with bodies. Otis touches fingers with the Maximum MAle Models lads, they try to turn on him and dump him but Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano work together to eliminate them instead!

Otis dumps somebody, Ali tries and fails to put Dolph Ziggler over the ropes and Dozer is eliminated by Rick Boogz to save Elias! Los Lotharios eliminate Elias in turn, Rick goes after them and dumps them both! He flexes and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the crowd has thinned a little, Madcap Moss eliminates Dexter lumis and Mustafa Ali comes from behind to attack him! Ali back to going after Ziggler, both men in danger hanging off the apron, kicking at each other, Mustafa lines him up but LA Knight blasts him off the apron!

Karrion Kross puts Knight in the Krossjacket, Bobby Lashley has Dolph in the Hurt Lock and then they both let go of their prey to square up! Trading blows, Bob gets him in a fireman’s carry, Kross slips out but gets passed to the apron in danger! Hanging in there, and Bronson Reed boots Madcap Moss off the apron!

Big men work together to send Dolph packing and then start clubbering amongst themselves! Lashley going corner to corner between Braun and Bronson, floats over a slam attempt, the Hurt Lock is in on Strowman but he breaks with a ram to the corner! Reed with a body avalanche, Brawling Brutes clobber him with strikes!

Pete Dunne stomps Johnny Gargano’s hands, Bitter End reversed into a DDT! Johnny ducks a lariat from LA but eats a pop-up drop and gets put over the ropes into danger! Kross with the Saito, Santos Escobar takes him out with a tijeras, Johnny with the Superman Spear!

Lashley chokeslams Gargano and eliminates him! Bronson takes Ridge Holland out with a lariat, Dunne tries to sleeper him but Reed eliminates him with ease! LA Knnight takes a crack but eats a headbutt and gets dumped over the ropes! He hangs in there, trying to eliminate Bronson but Reed gets under him and dumps him to the floor!

Bob with Stinger splashes, Braun scoops him up and hits the running powerslam in the middle of the ring! Reed dumps Strowman, off the ropes, shoulder block eliminates him! Reed draws Lashley over, up top for the 747 Splash... NOBODY HOME! BOBBY LASHLEY WITH THE SPEAR!

Jockeying for position in the ropes, back in, Bob dumps Bronson!

Bobby Lashley wins, last eliminating Bronson Reed.

Post-match, Bobby Lashley poses next to the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy in Memory of Andre the Giant.

A video package for Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns follows.

We see Cody in quiet contemplation backstage.

Raquel Rodriguez makes her entrance and we go to break.

Natalya vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Sonya Deville

Natalya and Raquel gang up on Shayna early, Sonya looking to pick the bones but Neidhart makes short work of her. Collar and elbow with Rodriguez, off the ropes, tilt-a-whirl, blocked, wheelbarrow, Deville in with a kick and a bulldog... NOPE! Nattie grabs a Sharpshooter, Shayna breaks it up with a reverse chinlock, fighting in the turnbuckles, Raquel makes the save!

Both women fireman’s carried, marching to the middle of the ring but Deville kicks her leg out from under her! Match breaks down, big boot from Rodriguez gets a knee from Sonya and then posted! Looking for the one-arm powerbomb, fending Baszler off...

Raquel Rodriguez wins by pinfall with the one-arm powerbomb on Sonya Deville.

We see Rey Mysterio and John “Bradshaw” Layfield hanging out backstage in their Hall of Fame tuxes and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we cut to Paul Heyman chatting in Roman Reigns’ ear.

We get a recap of all things Mysterio family.

Rey Mysterio is backstage and Legado del Fantasma roll up.

Rey wanted to thank them for having his back last week and Santos Escobar says it’s the least they could do for a legend they love and respect, and as a father it breaks his heart to see how Dom is acting and he hopes Rey teaches him a lesson.

And if Judgment Day tries to play the numbers game again, they’ll have his back. Rey says if they do, they’ll do it in style, and walks offscreen briefly, returning with a stack of t-shirts and handing them out. They open them and reveal Latino World Order t-shirts!

Rey says it’s official, they’re the new lWo!

Banger Bros make their entrance for a relevos increibles tag and we go to break.

Banger Bros (Drew McIntyre & Sheamus) vs. Imperium (Giovanni Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser)

McIntyre and Vinci to start, Giovanni explodes out of the corner, Drew blocks a hip toss and clobbers him with a lariat! Float over, Kaiser with a cheap kick and they start working McIntyre over! Sheamus in, Beats of the Bodhran on Ludwig, Drew with a blind tag!

Celts shoving each other, a brawl breaks out when Imperium run in, we see GUNTHER watching backstage and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Imperium in control as McIntyre paces the apron waiting for a chance to tag in. Sheamus gets the Irish Curse for some separation, both men down and out! Tags made, Drew in hot with lariats, belly-to-belly suplexes, and neckbreakers!

Counting down, Sheamus with the blind tag, Vinci gets the better of him momentarily but he cracks off a knee! Fired up, Drew fends Kaiser off...

Sheamus wins by pinfall with the Brogue Kick.

Post-match, Drew and Sheamus square up.

Commentary hypes WrestleMania up and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get some hype for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.

Cody Rhodes makes his entrance and gets on the mic.

He asks Los Angeles what they want to talk about and says he could talk about how this is the end of the road, the precipice of the biggest event in sports entertainment history, WrestleMania is here. And on this ride we’ve all sat shotgun with him, and we’ve seen all his cards are on the table, no ace left in the hole.

He got here this week and the media started, you think about scheduling your workouts and planning your nutrition, no stone unturned so on Sunday he executes and does as he’s told us and becomes the WWE Universal Champion. So when it comes to Sunday, as an athlete and a man he can tell us he’s the most prepared he’s ever been.

But in the spirit of transparency, right now he feels wildly unprepared. He knows the fans want a showdown, they want a fight, they’ve waited long enough, and he recites a little bit of California Love as only the grandson of a plumber can. He could talk about his gratitude, not just welcoming him back but letting his audience come with him.

We let him be emotional and he’s projecting poise and usually that means something is broken inside and maybe the only medicine for him is defeating Roman Reigns. And speaking Cody he couldn’t even be the guy in his own company, but he’s been an 11-year investment that only started paying off in year 8.

There’s something else Roman has to say that stuck with him— everybody thinks they’re The Guy until they meet The Guy, so allow him to introduce himself, he’s not just Dusty’s son, he’s not dashing, he’s not dust, but he is Roman’s successor, the next Head of the Table, the American Nightmare, and the next Undisputed Universal Championship.

On Sunday at WrestleMania, he finishes—

Enter Roman Reigns, flanked by Paul Heyman.

Roman gets on the mic to ask LA to acknowledge him but stops short, saying he doesn’t care about any of them.

It’s not their turn, it’s Cody’s, and he demands that Cody Rhodes acknowledge him. Rhodes gets right up in his face as he’s talking and Reigns holds the title high.

That’s the show, folks.

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