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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.29.24

March 29, 2024 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Naomi Bianca Belair Jade Cargill Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.29.24  

It’s time for another episode of WWE Smackdown this Friday evening, and boy oh boy is WrestleMania coming up right around the corner. Next week is the go home show for Mania and things need to be heating up as we head towards that event. Tonight on the wrestling side we’ve got Kevin Owens and Randy Orton teaming up against Pretty Deadly, Bianca Belair taking on Dakota Kai and if anything’s going to happen for Belair at Mania they really can’t wait much longer to get her on that card. We’ve got a couple more tag team matches with Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. the Street Profits and New Catch Republic vs. Angel and Humberto, both winning teams will get into the WrestleMania tag team ladder match while the losers really have to hope there’s another angle for them. Jade Cargill is heavily advertised for tonight, she announced her signing with Smackdown last week and we’ll have to see if she’s wrestling or just appearing tonight, but either way Jade is generally poised to be a player going forward. No Rock, no Roman, no Cody, or anyone like that is set for tonight so we’ll see if Smackdown is able to hold interest and really build momentum without the Bloodline to lean on. But that’s the preamble, so let’s get to the action.

First a teaser of a recap of The Rock beating down Cody Rhodes on Monday. Jannetty “Lesser” Uso and Solo arrive with Paul Heyman, Bianca Belair and Damage Control are here as well.

To the ring and here comes Randy Orton. He’s followed by Kevin Owens. Pretty Deadly are out after that and we’re just going to start with a match, that’s refreshing.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Randy Orton and Kevin Owens vs. Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson and Elton Prince)

Owens attacks Wilson right at the start and lays into him with strikes and a senton. Randy tags in, as does Prince. They tie up, Randy tosses Prince into the corner and lays into him with punches, then goes for the 10 punch but stops at 9 to hit Wilson who tried to get involved. Randy gets tossed out of the ring and slammed into the ring post, then Randy is hit with his release back suplex on the table to send us to break.

Randy is fighting out of a side headlock from Wilson as we come back, and he hits a back suplex to put both men down. Double tag and that means it’s time for Owens to run wild on Prince. Manhattan Drop into a DDT from Owens but only a 2 count. Owens goes up top but Prince gets knees up to block the Swanton Bomb. Wilson tries to attack Randy but Randy just follows him to the floor and starts abusing him. Prince comes over to save his partner, and in the ring Logan Paul with a Power of the Punch behind the refs back to lay out Owens and then Wilson heads back into the ring to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Pretty Deadly won in 7:01

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: The commercial break gutted this one, but this was a decent way to help rehab Pretty Deadly after they were on the wrong end of things for a while.

Post match Randy watches the recap on the big screen and wakes up Owens so they can both go after Logan who retreated under the ring. Randy heads under the ring and finds Logan, he pulls him out of the ring and starts punching him in the head. Over by the announce table and Randy continues pummeling Logan then climbs up there with him but Pretty Deadly return to attack Randy and save Logan. They fight back into the ring where Randy and Owens fight them off with a Stunner and an RKO so the good guys can stand tall and stare down Logan. Actually Randy isn’t content to just stand tall, he chases Logan through the crowd but Logan gets cornered as Owens is here as well. Eventually they head to the back, Logan is egging on Randy before he swipes a car and speeds off.

We head to break with a teaser that we’ll get video of a brawl between Iyo Sky and Bayley on the other side of it.

Post break we’re reminded that WrestleMania is in 8 days.

After that we start with an Iyo Sky video promo, she talks about Bayley using herself and Dakota to retain relevance and calls Bayley a narcissist. Now we all feel sorry for her? The hypocrisy of the fans disgusts Iyo. Eventually they got tired of Bayley and outgrew her, then they did what needed to be done. She used to see Bayley as her friend, and she’ll regret that for the rest of her life. Once Iyo is done Bayley jumps her and we get a brawl around the photo set. Eventually they’re pulled apart by on lookers.

Back to the ring where Nick Aldis has a mic, he’s got some big business to handle and his goal has been to make Smackdown the best show in all of pro wrestling. He believes that bringing Jade Cargill on board brings him a whole lot closer to that goal. Jade comes out after that and signs her Smackdown contract. Mic time for Jade as well, she says it’s about damn time. Since pen has finally been put to paper she’s going to make herself clear, that’s one of the best women’s rosters in the world back there, but none of them are Jade Cargill. Not he headline, a once in a lifetime superstar. The storm has arrived. Short and sweet, that’s appreciated.

In the back Kayla talks with Dakota Kai and the Kabuki Warriors, Kai doesn’t care about Jade and knows that Bayley will lose at Mania. The best part of Smackdown tonight though is her impending victory over Bianca Belair. You’d think Belair would have learned, she already had to deal with years of Damage Control and if she were the smartest she’d have stayed far away. That sends us to break.

Post break we see Nick Aldis walking the back, he runs into the Unholy Union briefly and Alba Fyre drags a very talkative Isla Dawn away. Aldis then runs into AJ Styles, AJ wants to confirm that LA Knight isn’t here, Aldis asked him to stay home but AJ isn’t convinced.

To the ring and Austin Theory and Grayson Waller await their opponents. We then see Bobby Lashley and B-Fab hyping up the Street Profits who then head to the ring. In the back we see Judgement Day watching TV.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: Grayson Waller and Austin Theory vs. Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Ford and Waller start us off, Ford lands a back elbow but he’s tripped by Theory and that allows Waller to take over. Theory tags in and they try a double suplex but Ford flips free and tags out blind. Some brawling towards the floor and Dawkins wipes out Waller with a Pounce over the announce table as we head back to break.

Waller is in control as we come back, he’s trying a rope walk elbow drop but Dawkins catches him and hits an exploder suplex. Theory tags in but Dawkins makes the tag to Ford and Ford gets to run wild. Some nice clotheslines from Ford then a back suplex and a standing moonsault for 2. Dawkins tags in and they set for the Doomsday Blockbuster and hit it but Waller breaks up the pin. Waller and Ford get tossed out, Theory with a School Boy but only 2. Theory tries the rolling dropkick but he’s caught in the Sky High, Ford tags in but we cut to seeing Bobby and B-Fab wiped out in the back. Karrion Kross and Scarlett have done that deed and mock the champagne and tell the Profits they’re missing a great party. All of this means that Dawkins is distracted, Ford tries From the Heavens but Theory gets his knees up then grabs a School Boy on Ford for the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Austin Theory and Grayson Waller won in 6:21

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: Decent match but more about what happens after the match. Theory and Waller in the ladder match makes a degree of since seeing as the Profits have something else already lined up.

Post match Akam and Rezar show up to beat down the Profits. Kross and Scarlett head down as well as the Authors Pain hit a Super Collider on the Profits. The Final Testament stand tall, Bobby Lashley starts moving towards the ring and fights through a couple of referees then charges the ring and hits Kross but Akam and Rezar are there as well to beat him down. Bobby tries to fight but he’s held up for a Kross Hammer and Kross tells him that no one is going to Mania, he’s failed the Profits and himself.

Next a recap of Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar from last week and the unwanted re-emergence of Dominik Mysterio into this issue.

After that Legado del Fantasma head to the ring, not for a match but so Santos can yap after this break.

Post break Legado is all in the ring and Santos Escobar has a mic, he claims he hates to be that guy but he told us. He wants us to remember that it was him, he put Rey on the shelf and while he didn’t get Rey’s leg amputated like he wanted he did get to beat him in this ring last week. Mild “what” chants at Santos here, but mostly they don’t care. He outsmarted Rey, and all it took was one call to Dom. That brings out Dumb Dom. Dom has a mic and Santos tries to get some reflected heat from him as he thanks him for last week then apologizes for some of their past issues, but ultimately Dom was right and he admits that. Dom tries to talk and this whole thing is starting to overstay its welcome. The upshot is Dom still wants to make Rey’s life difficult. Escobar chimes in so the crowd will quiet down but here’s Rey with the LWO as backup. Both groups get face to face, Rey has a mic and says it’s a shame that Dom is here because he though they were done fighting. But now if he wants back in on this whole thing, then so be it, this is a moment of divine intervention for Rey to beat respect into both Escobar and Dom. Rey challenges Escobar and Dom to a tag team match, with a partner of Rey’s choosing at Mania. Dom asks which of these dorks will be Rey’s partner, then guy from the lollipop guild, the guy with the hair, or the non-latino? Rey tells him it’ll be Dragon Lee, the newest LWO member. That does bring out Dragon Lee. The men start walking away, but Zelina and Elektra get into it and that kicks off the predictable brawl and ultimately the LWO stand tall and Lee with a sick dive onto the pile of Legado members.

In the back Bianca Belair warms up, and Naomi comes over to promise that if things go sideways she’ll be there for her. Belair accepts that and welcomes her to the fight with Damage Control. Naomi then hypes up Belair.

Back to the ring where Humberto and Angel wait and here come the New Catch Republic their entrance sends us to break.

Post break we see Judgement Day complaining about communication, because no one knew Dom was about to do that. Dom wanders in and says he wanted to handle business then apologizes. Finn Balor asks if there’s anything else he should tell them then JD walks him to the trainers. Damien Priest says this is too important for them, as a group and as individuals.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate) vs. Legado del Fantasma (Angel and Humberto)

Joined in progress, because who cares about this match, as Dunne has one up on Angel but Angel fights back and tags out. Some quick tags from Angel and Humberto as they keep Dunne isolated. Again we see Balor and Priest watching TV in the back. Dunne has had enough of this and drills Angel with a rebound German suplex. Bate tags in and runs wild on Angel, then hits a t-bone suplex and running shooting star press on Humberto. Dunne then gets involved on the floor with kicks to set up a Bate dive and that sends us to another break.

Bate with a headscissors to Angel as we come back then he tags in Dunne, they hit a rebound lariat and German suplex combination for a 2 count. Bate tags back in and they kick Humberto in the corner, then Bate with an Airplane spin but Angel tagged in and kicks Bate. Some awkward moves from Humberto but ultimately he hits a powerbomb then Angel follows with a lionsault for a 2 count. More kicks to Bate then a cheap shot to Dunne for good measure. Angel tags in and they set for a double avalanche gorilla press, it hits but Dunne breaks up the pin. Dunne then spikes Humberto with a DDT. Angel with knees to Dunne and Bate then Bate avoids a powerbomb and punches Angle then tags out. Double Burning Hammer, sort of as I’ve stated my issues with calling it that, but it connects and it’s enough for Bate and Dunne to pick up the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: New Catch Republic won in about 7:12

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Between not seeing the start and then the commercial break this match had no hope of actually having flow to it. That said all four men are talented and the right team went over.

Next, a recap of The Rock beating down and bloodying up Cody Rhodes.

We see Paul Heyman now, he says the Final Boss took out Cody Rhodes by orders of the Tribal Chief. Jokey Uso is here to say that Solo’s taking his place against Jey at Mania. OK then, that’s certainly a thing you can do I guess?

To the ring and here comes AJ Styles, his entrance sends us to break. Oddly laid out episode tonight.

Post break we get some general WrestleMania hype stuff then we cut back to AJ in the ring with a mic. AJ says it’s been a little over a week, then pauses before telling the crowd they’re the reason LA Knight came to his house and attacked him. He should have pressed charges and made Knight miss WrestleMania, but AJ wants the biggest possible spotlight when he exposes him as the overachieving undertalented piece of trash that he is. He knows that Knight is here despite what Aldis said, so how about Knight comes down that aisle right now. AJ plays a bit with where Knight could be, he could even be the camera man, then AJ does get in a cameraman’s face to make sure it’s not Knight then he tells him to get out of the ring. A guy in a hoodie jumps the barricade, but security is here to stop him and it’s not Knight. AJ asks if we’re done with the games yet, because AJ isn’t playing games at Mania. Knight is obviously in security garb right next to AJ, he takes a wig off and then jumps AJ. They fight into the ring with Knight stomping down on AJ in the corner then following that with a running knee strike. Knight heads out of the ring to get a chair and he swings at AJ but AJ avoids him. Knight on the chase with the chair now but AJ scampers to the back through the crowd and Knight gets a mic then stands on the announce table. Some insults from Knight to AJ, and he tells him to run, hide, or whatever he needs to but at Mania Knight will make sure AJ knows who’s game this is with everyone saying LA Knight. . . you’re damn right YEAH! That took a bit too long to get to the relevant part but AJ and Knight still work well together.

We get a hype promo for Tiffany Stratton.

Back to the ring and here comes Bianca Belair for our main event. Belair skips to the ring because nothing sells hatred for your opponent like that, and we head to break.

Next week we’ll get the Andre the Giant battle royal, Randy Orton on the KO Show, Zelina Vega vs. Elektra Lopez, oh I guess Jey Uso vs. Solo was for next week, not Mania. OK, that was horribly set up via that promo earlier.

Back to the ring and here comes Dakota Kai, hey Kai has her own theme music now at least.

Match #5: Bianca Belair vs. Dakota Kai

Belair immediately takes down Kai and they fight on the mat. Belair tosses Kai around after that for a bit including a corner shoulder strike. Kai gets a boot up but she can’t stop Belair who then hits rolling suplexes, but Kai avoids the last one and kicks Belair through the ropes and gets to be allegedly in control as we head to break.

Kai is working a chin lock as we come back. Belair fights up to her feet then lands a delayed vertical suplex. Corner offense from Belair including a 10 punch, but Kai slips free only to eat a tilt a whirl gutbuster. Kai avoids a handspring moonsault and pulls at Belair’s hair but Belair fights back with an elbow then an Implant Buster and the handspring moonsault for a 2 count. Kai fights off a second Implant Buster and sends Belair into a corner then hits a stomp for a 2 count. Belair fights back and they trade some elbows for a bit before ultimately Belair shoves Kai over but Kai fights back with a Scorpion kick but misses the corner Yakuza Kick. Kai does avoid a Kiss of Death but Belair avoids a knee strike and Kai knees the ring post, that goes poorly for her. Belair then climbs up on the ropes with Kai and hauls her back into the ring with a superplex. Spear from Belair then a Kiss of Death to pick up the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bianca Belair won in 9:19

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Paint by numbers but that’s not always a bad thing, and they’re trying to find something for everyone here in Damage Control that isn’t Iyo Sky and given what follows this match it seems like they’ve finally set up stuff for Damage Control and Belair for Mania.

Asuka and Kairi Sane jump Belair as soon as the bell rings and stomp her down but here’s Naomi to even the odds. Naomi takes the fight to Asuka but Sane hits her with a title belt. Kai has recovered by now and it’s a 3 on 2 fight with Damage Control stomping down Naomi and Belair. The crowd want Bayley but instead here comes Jade. Jade heads to the ring and pump kicks Askua then hits a pop up powerbomb on Kai. Sane tries her best but Jade crushes her with Jaded and stands tall. Naomi and Belair seem a little unsure but Jade doesn’t attack them and all three women stand tall to end the show.

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was kind of an odd show, it was about moving pieces into place but mostly mid-card pieces which isn't bad but this felt like the kind of mandatory outing rather than anything really inspired. That's not exactly a bad thing, and honestly the biggest drawback tonight was the layout in terms of commercial breaks and a couple of promo segments that took a bit too long to get anywhere. Still, not bad but this does feel like a bit of an off week for Smackdown.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree