WWE SmackDown announced a long-awaited showdown between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns ahead of their WrestleMania 39 main event. in singles.
Montreal’s SmackDown broadcast last week drew 2.408 million viewers.
WWE SmackDown Results | March 3, 2023
- Rhea Ripley defeats. Liv Morgan
- Dominik Mysterio defeated. Santos Escobar
- Shayna Baszler defeats. Tegan Nox
- solo score def. Sami Zain
WWE SmackDown Rankings
- February 24, 2023 | 2.408 million
- February 17, 2023 | 2.383 million
- February 10, 2023 | 2.438 million
- February 3, 2023 | 2.384 million
- January 27, 2023 | 2.544 million
- WWE SmackDown Location: Capital One Arena (Washington, DC)
- WWE SmackDown tickets distributed: 12,271
- Tickets available: 236
WWE SmackDown Winners and Ratings
Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns face off
Fans cheered Roman Reigns and The Bloodline loudly, but erupted even louder for Cody Rhodes.
Cody Rhodes mentioned that he and his friends sold a 10,000 seat building and the All Out reference was a huge hit.
Roman Reigns cut a nice promo about Main Event WrestleMania and his relationship with Dusty Rhodes, but it was an inferior version of a similar promo Paul Heyman cut about Rhodes weeks ago.
This segment felt like a WrestleMania main event. WWE isn’t just slowing down the storytelling, it’s slowing down the physicality. I wouldn’t be surprised if Reigns and Rhodes didn’t touch each other before they got to Inglewood.
Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns Faceoff Grade: A
Rhea Ripley defeats. Liv Morgan
Liv Morgan was the last woman to beat Rhea Ripley in May of last year, and I wish that was played out more.
Rhea Ripley continues to be portrayed as a freak en route to WrestleMania. If she wins the title, she could go on an undefeated run similar to Roman Reigns.
Rhea Ripley vs. Liv Morgan Grade: B-
Dominik Mysterio defeated. Santos Escobar
Roman Reigns wasn’t even the top heel on his own show, as that accolade went to Dominik Mysterio.
Mysterio’s heel work is reinforced by the fact that Michael Cole is enraged by Mysterio’s actions, such as Lance Russell in the Memphis fight.
After Mysterio’s victory, thanks to Rhea Ripley’s Riptide, he ripped off Rey Mysterio’s Santos Escobar’s gifted mask. He eventually returned the mask to Mysterio, but not before attacking his father yet again.
WWE continues to borrow from the 1998 Undertaker vs Kane playbook as Rey Mysterio refuses to get physical with his son the same way Undertaker refused to get his hands on Kane.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar Grade: B
Drew McIntyre challenges GUNTHER
Drew McIntyre feels like Batista during the 2008 WrestleMania season.
McIntyre called GUNTHER and got Sheamus. Then it turned into a cavlcacade of WWE Superstars with nothing to do at WrestleMania, including LA Knight, The New Day and Karrion Kross.
Intercontinental Championship Candidate Segment Ranking: C+
Shayna Baszler defeats. Tegan Nox
Shayna Baszler wasted no time stepping into the ring while Rousey wore an arm brace, which was also her judo black belt.
Shayna Baszler did some quick work on Tegan Nox and Baszler and Ronda Rousey were described as skimping on the women’s roster. That may be true, but it wasn’t treated like the big deal it should have been.
Shayna Baszler vs. Tegan Nox Grade: C+
Bobby Lashley calls out Bray Wyatt
After becoming a huge heel in the Brock Lesnar storyline, in the midst of a potential Hurt Business reunion, Bobby Lashley was back to smile and shake hands in his surprise SmackDown appearance.
Behind the scenes, Roman Reigns continued to manipulate Jimmy Uso into getting rid of Sami Zayn while Jey Uso remains influential.
Bobby Lashley vs. Bray Wyatt segment: B-
solo score def. Sami Zain
Roman Reigns said if Jey Uso doesn’t show up next week, Reigns is going to blame Jimmy.
Michael Cole did a great job of laying out the narrative of The Bloodline and how Roman Reigns might need to look in the mirror for inviting Zayn into the band to begin with.
Despite losing, Zayn narrowly escaped a beating and snuck in a Helluva Kick for his trouble. The bloodline hasn’t ended Sami Zayn, and next week’s SmackDown, with the possible return of Jey Uso, will be interesting.