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Best and Worst of SmackDown: Popular faction finally set to get a big push, WrestleMania opponents involved in a bad segment (March 10, 2023)

ByRD Media

Mar 11, 2023

Welcome to this week’s edition of things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown! It was a good episode on the road to WrestleMania, as we’re now just three weeks away from the grandest stage of them all.

Although no WrestleMania matches were made official, there were teases that will lead to a few big bouts. Expect a flurry of ‘Mania matches to be made official this coming week for both RAW and SmackDown. This is a reminder that from now on – WWE programming starts one hour early!

Let’s get into the ups and downs of the blue brand this week as we start to wind down the road to WrestleMania!

 

#3. Best: Rey Mysterio not being made to look like a fool again

Throughout the entire feud against Judgment Day, Rey Mysterio has been made to look bad. This is nothing new, as WWE has often used him for beatdowns to gain sympathy.

However, things were a bit different this week. For one, he was officially announced as the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023 – becoming only the third active wrestler to achieve this after Ric Flair and Goldberg.

He was, of course, interrupted by the loud-mouthed Dominik Mysterio and the Judgment Day. Dom berated him, saying that Eddie Guerrero should have been his father and that the only Hall of Fame he should be inducted into is for deadbeat fathers.

All four members of Legado Del Fantasma returned and confronted The Judgment Day, with Zelina Vega officially turning face for the first time in her WWE career that began in 2017.

Although LDF lost to The Judgment Day, they stood by Rey Mysterio, and we’re happy to see that the popular faction is finally getting a big push.

 

#2. Worst: The awful Rhea Ripley-Charlotte Flair promo on SmackDown

Charlotte Flair approached Adam Pearce this week and demanded a match to essentially warm up during WrestleMania season. He obliged by giving her Shotzi, and the two had a decent match that Rhea Ripley came to watch.

Charlotte Flair looked her right in the eyes as she submitted Shotzi in a dominant performance, and Ripley stepped into the ring to talk to her WrestleMania opponent.

Unfortunately, this segment was awful. The two are brilliant stars in their own right, but this particular promo on SmackDown didn’t hit the mark. It felt awkward and unnatural, to say the least.

#2. Best: A great opening match on SmackDown

The first match on SmackDown this week saw a Fatal-5-Way bout to determine Gunther’s Intercontinental title opponent. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, LA Knight, Xavier Woods, and Karrion Kross went up in a fantastic match.

Each star had his moment to shine, and we will admit that Xavier Woods’ little hot streak was the best. However, it wasn’t his night. Instead, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus simultaneously pinned two different stars, making the match a no-contest.

A furious Gunther confronted Adam Pearce about his inability to find him a challenger at WrestleMania. The latter said that Sheamus would face McIntyre next week to determine Gunther’s Intercontinental title challenger at ‘Mania.

It looks like a triple threat is happening!

 

#1. Worst: Little consistency with The Viking Raiders’ characters?

The Viking Raiders defeated Ricochet and Braun Strowman in an excellent match on SmackDown this week. It was (almost) a clean win, with Valhalla seemingly casting a spell on Ricochet that only momentarily distracted him.

Either way, our main concern is this – what is our incentive to hate The Viking Raiders? They’re technically heels, but they defeated a good team and were better and more dominant. They were smarter, sharper, and thoroughly deserved to win.

There seems to be little consistency and effort put into the Viking Raiders, which is a shame because they’re an excellent team, as was demonstrated this week.

 

#1. Best: A good ending to SmackDown

SmackDown’s final segment saw The Usos get into the ring, with Jey Uso explaining his actions from RAW this week. In short, he told Sami Zayn that all he needed to do was fall in line and that he would always choose family over him.

The main concern was why Cody Rhodes was involved in The Bloodline’s business. It only took a second for The American Nightmare’s music to hit. Out of nowhere, Sami Zayn came and attacked Jey Uso.

Cody Rhodes joined the brawl, with the babyface duo standing tall. It wasn’t an excellent segment, but it was a good way to build momentum for two matches at WrestleMania 39.

Did you enjoy SmackDown this week? Voice your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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