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WWE SmackDown 3/24/23 Full Review, Match Ratings, Results

WWE SmackDown 3/24/23 Full Review, Match Ratings, Results

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With the road to WrestleMania nearing its destination, tonight's SmackDown took place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In a SmackDown event that was deemed a must-see, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were ambushed by The Usos on "The KO Show." Additionally, Rey Mysterio struck his son and agreed to fight him at WrestleMania, while Cody Rhodes faced off against Ludwig Kaiser, among other noteworthy occurrences.

In the opening match, Cody Rhodes defeated Ludwig Kaiser. Charlotte Flair vowed to defeat Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania. LA Knight defeated Rey Mysterio. Natalya & Shotzi defeated Lacey Evans & Xia Li to qualify for WrestleMania Showcase Match and much more.

"The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes Vs Ludwig Kaiser (w/Giovanni Vinci)

In an electrifying opening match, Cody Rhodes emerged victorious over Ludwig Kaiser. The match was centered around Rhodes risking an injury before WrestleMania, and the two wrestlers were given ample time to tell a compelling story and work at a brisk pace, with the crowd fully invested in the action.

As soon as the bell rang, the fans erupted in a thunderous "Cody" chant. Kaiser tried to gain an early advantage by backing Rhodes into the corner, but Rhodes countered with a delayed vertical suplex, holding Kaiser up in the air for an extended period of time before dropping him face-first onto the mat. As this happened, Paul Heyman made his way to ringside, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the proceedings.

During a commercial break, Rhodes hit a superplex and seemed to be in control of the match, but Kaiser targeted Rhodes's leg, hoping to weaken him before going for the win. Rhodes fought back, taking the fight to Kaiser outside the ring and slamming him against the commentary table. However, Kaiser regained control by choking Rhodes on the middle rope and scored a two-count with a cheap shot from Vinci.

Kaiser hit Rhodes with a sliding uppercut, but Rhodes regained momentum with a disaster kick. He set up for his signature move, the pedigree, when Solo Sikoa made his way to the ring, distracting Rhodes and allowing Kaiser to take him down with a chop block.

Rhodes and Kaiser continued to trade blows in the center of the ring, both struggling to gain the upper hand. Rhodes managed to hit a powerful power slam for a near fall, but Imperium took advantage of a distraction caused by Vinci's jacket to launch an attack on Rhodes. The commentators missed this crucial moment, but Rhodes fought back, countering Kaiser's roll-up with a Cody cutter and finishing him off with the crossroads for the win.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes


After the match, Heyman and Sikoa made their way to the ring, with Heyman apologizing to Rhodes for the way Samantha Irvin announced his victory. He then proceeded to praise Roman Reigns, further fueling speculation about Reigns's potential involvement in Rhodes's upcoming WrestleMania match.

Heyman dismissed Rhodes as a minor obstacle on the way to Reigns facing his next challenger on Raw, Solo Sikoa. However, if Rhodes can manage to defeat Sikoa, he will earn the right to face Reigns at WrestleMania. Heyman announced that Reigns would make an appearance on SmackDown the following week to confront Rhodes in person.

Rhodes was visibly annoyed that Heyman had interrupted the fans as they sang his theme song. He took the opportunity to remind Sikoa that he wasn't ready to face him in the ring. The fans picked up on this and chanted "He's not ready" in agreement. Rhodes then confidently declared that Reigns would soon learn that he, too, was not ready to face him at WrestleMania.

UP next was Charlotte Flair Segment

As Flair made her way to the ring, she began to address her highly anticipated match against Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania, which is set to take place in just a week's time. Flair touched on the sensitive topic of nepotism and spoke candidly about her insecurities. Although she acknowledged that she is not immune to insecurity, she stated that she does not fear Ripley, but rather, she respects her. Flair went on to express her respect for several other notable female wrestlers, including Nikki, Brie, Sasha, Bayley, Trish, Asuka, and Ronda.

However, the fans in attendance seemed to be less interested in Flair's words than in causing a disturbance. They began to chant "What?" repeatedly, much to Flair's annoyance. Despite her growing frustration, Flair continued to deliver her message. She spoke about the influence of her father and the impact of nepotism in the wrestling world, promising to defeat Ripley and prove that she is a worthy competitor.

In a final bold statement, Flair declared that diamonds are forever, just like Charlotte Flair, hinting that she plans to leave a lasting impression on the wrestling world with her upcoming match at WrestleMania.

LA Knight Vs Rey Mysterio

Knight defeated Rey in a brief but enjoyable match. However, the real highlight came after the match when Dominik provoked Rey, yelling at his mother and sister sitting at ringside. The audience had a huge response to this angle, especially when Rey finally struck Dominik. As a result, Rey accepted Dominik's challenge for WrestleMania.

During his entrance, Rey Mysterio embraced his wife and daughter, Aalyah, who were at ringside. The popular Las Vegas act Piff the Magic Dragon was shown sitting at ringside.

Knight received another great reaction from the crowd. Rey initially used his speed to avoid Knight's attacks, catching him with a dropkick and a series of punches in the corner. However, Knight gained control by tossing Mysterio in the air and slamming him down. He followed up with a jumping neck breaker, which resulted in a near fall.

The crowd erupted into a "Rey Mysterio" chant, which turned into a back-and-forth "Rey Mysterio" and "LA Knight" chant. Mysterio made a comeback and landed a sliding dropkick on Knight, followed by a baseball slide into a splash on the outside. Back in the ring, Mysterio prepared for a moonsault, but Dominik Mysterio's music played, causing Rey to become distracted. Knight capitalized on the distraction and knocked Rey off the top rope as the show went to commercial. This was similar to the spot in the Cody-Kaiser match when Solo Sikoa interrupted Rhodes.

Knight remained in control and delivered a boot to the face of Mysterio. However, Knight missed an elbow drop, allowing Rey to hit a springboard bulldog. He followed up with a seated senton and a springboard crossbody, almost securing a pinfall. Knight executed a unique move with a running power slam, but he accidentally dropped Mysterio behind him. The fans started a "619" chant. Rey landed a DDT and set up for the 619, but Knight countered. Mysterio tried again, but Knight anticipated the move and positioned himself on the opposite side of the ring. The match ended when Dominik interfered, tripping up his father and causing Knight to pin him with a Roll-up.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes


After the match, Rey Mysterio agreed to face his son at WrestleMania!

WrestleMania Showcase Qualifying Match: Natalya & Shotzi Vs Lacey Evans & Xia Li

Raquel Gonzalez and Liv Morgan were watching the match intently from ringside.

Jessamyn Duke and Mei Ying worked together to isolate Shotzi Blackheart on their side of the ring. Duke knocked Natalya Neidhart off the apron, leaving Blackheart with no one to tag. The heels continued to dominate the match.

However, Shotzi made an impressive comeback against both heels. Duke accidentally hit Ying with the Women's Right. Blackheart took Duke out with a suicide dive, leaving Natalya and Shotzi to hit the Hart Attack on Ying. Natalya then locked in the Sharpshooter to secure the win. With this victory, Natalya and Shotzi earned a spot in the Women's Four-Way at WrestleMania.

WINNERS: Natalya & Shotzi


After the match, Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler made their way to ringside. Baszler taunted both teams and challenged them to a fight right then and there. Rousey intervened and believed that they have done enough in Las Vegas and do not need to prove anything else. Baszler then announced that they will be competing in the Women's Four-Way Showcase Match at WrestleMania 39.

WrestleMania 39 Intercontinental Title Match Contract Signing

Drew McIntyre made his grand entrance just before the commercial break. Upon returning from the break, Adam Pearce introduced all the participants. Sheamus, on the other hand, didn't wait for his turn and made his way into the ring with Ridge Holland and Butch. Sheamus then proceeded to talk about how McIntyre betrayed him and issued a challenge to Gunther for a title shot. McIntyre retorted by stating that they both fought hard last week, but it was Sheamus who got sensitive. McIntyre then confidently stated that he could defeat Gunther and that Sheamus couldn't.

Just before they could engage in a brawl, Pearce intervened and convinced them to sign the contract. And just as they were about to do so, Gunther's theme music began to play, signaling his arrival. He walked down to the ring and immediately got in Pearce's face, demanding an explanation as to why he had to defend his title against both McIntyre and Sheamus. However, Gunther eventually signed the contract and vowed to beat not just McIntyre and Sheamus, but also Holland and even Butch. Butch was fired up from the moment he arrived at ringside and ended up losing his cool, jumping over the table onto Gunther. Sheamus and Holland were quick to intervene and pull Butch off, while Gunther angrily berated Pearce.

Intercontinental Champion Gunther Vs Butch

The match had already begun during the commercial break with Gunther starting off strong by delivering a brutal kick to Butch's head, followed by a rough slam and a sickening chop. Butch attempted to fight back but was easily overpowered by Gunther who hit a suplex and rocked him with forearm shots. Despite Butch trying to absorb the shots, Gunther destroyed him with a hard chop.

Butch then tried to go for an arm bar, but Gunther quickly reversed it into a Boston crab, and then transitioned into a cross-face. Butch attempted to attack Gunther's fingers to break free, but Gunther responded with another chop. Although Butch managed to fight back with an enziguri, Gunther quickly recovered and delivered another chop, sending Butch reeling.

Gunther then placed Butch on the corner and stepped on his head, causing Butch to fall to the ringside and hit the stairs. When the show returned from commercial break, Gunther attempted to continue his dominance by delivering the ten beats of the bodhran, but Butch managed to fight back. Gunther then locked in a sleeper hold, but Butch broke free with a kick to the back. The fans even started a brief and faint "Bruiserweight" chant.

Butch attempted a moonsault but missed, landing on his feet. Gunther once again rocked Butch with another chop, sending him crashing into the announce table. Meanwhile, McIntyre, Sheamus, and Gunther faced off at ringside, and Gunther took advantage of the distraction to hit the last symphony on Butch for the win.



After the match, Gunther celebrated in the ring while McIntyre and Sheamus continued to brawl outside.

The KO Show with Sami Zayn

In an explosive ending to SmackDown, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn stole the show with a surprise appearance ahead of WrestleMania next week. Owens made his entrance to a huge ovation, followed by Zayn to an even bigger reception with the crowd chanting his name. Owens began by accusing Zayn of wanting his own entrance to get a bigger reaction from the fans, which Zayn denied.

Zayn spoke about their long-lasting friendship and their chance to take the tag team titles from The Usos at WrestleMania. Owens then presented Zayn with a special "KO-Mania" t-shirt, but with a twist. The front of the shirt now read "Wrestle-Zayn-ia," which delighted Zayn.

After sharing a hug, The Usos ambushed Owens and Zayn, sparking a massive brawl to end the show. The Usos' attack on the beloved duo earned them a chorus of boos from the crowd.

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