With WrestleMania less than a month away, WWE SmackDown booked some stellar contests and segments this Friday. Sami Zayn defended his Intercontinental Championship against Ricochet. The Usos also put their tag team championships on the line against The Viking Raiders.
Ronda Rousey competed in her first match on WWE SmackDown against Sonya Deville. Meanwhile, Sheamus and Ridge Holland ambushed Big E and Kofi Kingston before the planned Sheamus vs. Big E match. The two heels hijacked their ATV before smashing it with sledgehammers.
Pat McAfee found his opponent for WrestleMania in Austin Theory. It would be great to watch the two athletes compete at The Show of Shows.
Drew McIntyre also made a statement by defeating former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. Roman Reigns delivered another intense promo to ensure he remained on top of his game against Brock Lesnar.
Take a look at the five things WWE SmackDown got right on the Road to WrestleMania.
# 5. Naomi defeated Carmella to build their storyline on WWE SmackDown
Carmella squared off against Naomi in singles competition on WWE SmackDown this week. The former put her mask on before the match as Naomi wreaked havoc on her.
The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE was left reeling early after a few well-timed strikes by Naomi. Sasha Banks took down Queen Zelina at ringside with a Meteora into the steel steps.
The Glow kept the pressure on and ended the one-sided match with Rear View in the corner. It wasn’t the best match of the night, but it helped develop their storyline.
Carmella and Zelina have held the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships since November 2021 but haven’t defended it since early January 2022. Banks and Naomi will prove to be good opponents for the two heels at WrestleMania 38.
The victory gives the babyface team much-needed momentum ahead of WrestleMania. WWE should look to award the titles to Banks and Naomi at the show.
# 4. The Usos retained their WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships against The Viking Raiders
Erik started strong and tagged in Ivar to take control of the contest. He got a near-fall after a dive to Jimmy Uso, and The Viking Raiders nearly hit the Viking Experience before Jey made the save.
The Usos fought back and sent Erik into the timekeeper’s area. Jimmy went for a big splash, but Erik got his knees up in time. The babyfaces once again went for the Viking Experience, but Jey broke the pin.
The Usos used some underhanded tactics late in the contest and hit 1-D to pin Erik. It was a smart move to keep the titles on The Usos even though The Viking Raiders have been doing an excellent job in the tag team division.
The brothers will defend their titles at the MSG live event and possibly walk into WrestleMania 38 as the SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
# 3. Ronda Rousey punished Sonya Deville before taking down Charlotte Flair
Deville fired back and targeted her opponent’s knee. Rousey fought off The Pride Fighter and took her down with the Piper’s Pit. She made her tap out to the armbar on WWE SmackDown.
After the match, The Queen entered the ring but could not get the better of Rousey. The Baddest Woman on the Planet proved her dominance by trapping Flair in an ankle lock and making her tap out.
The match was decent and gave Rousey a good fight on SmackDown. She picked up a solid win to remind fans of her in-ring capabilities.
It was also good to see Rousey make Flair tap out to an ankle lock instead of the armbar. The angle proved that she isn’t just a one-trick pony.
# 2. Ricochet stunned Sami Zayn to win the Intercontinental Championship on WWE SmackDown
Ricochet started with offense and caught the champion off guard with a near-fall. Zayn fought back and delivered a slam on the apron to turn the tides in his favor.
The One and Only hit a Frankensteiner for another near fall before Zayn slammed him onto the mat. The Conspiracy Theorist hit a Superkick and was looking to end the match before the Jackass theme played.
Johnny Knoxville showed up and got on the apron to distract the champion. The distraction allowed Ricochet to hit a hurricanrana and pin Zayn to pick up the win.
Not many fans expected the titles to change hands on Friday night. Zayn and Knoxville were expected to compete for the title at WrestleMania 38. However, it seems to be the right move to take the title off Zayn and make their match a standard one.
Meanwhile, Ricochet deserves to be rewarded for the good matches he’s put on in recent months. WWE could look to give him a good title reign on SmackDown along with a solid match at WrestleMania.
# 1. Roman Reigns made a clear statement before WrestleMania 38
The Usos attacked Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs while making their entrance. The attack paved the way for Roman Reigns‘arrival, who entered the arena to a thunderous ovation.
In the ring, The Tribal Chief reminded Paul Heyman about his famous “spoiler” statement before asking the Miami fans if they wanted a spoiler. Reigns promised to smash Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 and walk out as the unified WWE and Universal Champion to end the show.
He said that Lesnar would have no choice but to acknowledge him and ended the promo by telling everyone watching SmackDown to acknowledge him.
It was another great promo by Reigns. He keeps on getting better every time he gets hold of the mic. After the bold statement on WWE SmackDown, It will be interesting to see if Lesnar retains his WWE Championship at the MSG live show and responds to The Tribal Chief on RAW.
Q. Who will become the unified WWE and Universal Champion at WrestleMania 38?
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