Winners and ratings at the start of the 2023 WWE Draft

WWE SmackDown announced Night 1 of a huge WWE Draft where Raw, SmackDown and NXT
talents can be fished out. Pretty Deadly, Roxanne Perez and Cora Jade are apparently in town for the festivities with AJ Styles.

SmackDown also announced Zelina Vega vs. Sonya Deville and a huge main event as Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens defend the WWE Tag Team Championships against The Usos in a WrestleMania 38 rematch.

SmackDown’s broadcast last week drew 2.175 million viewers.

WWE SmackDown Results | April 28, 2023

  • LA Knight beats. Mannish
  • Street profits def. Ricochet and Braun Strowman and LWO
  • Zelina Vega defeats. Sonya Deville

2023 WWE Draft Results

Drafted to WWE SmackDown

  • Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa | Round 1, Choose 1
  • Bianca Belair | Round 1, choice 3
  • Street Profits | Round 2, Choose 1
  • Edge | Round 2, choice 3
  • Bobby Lashley | Round 3, Choose 1
  • The CO (Styles, Michin, Gallows and Anderson) | Round 3, Choose 3
  • CTRL Damage (Bayley, Sky, Kai) | Round 4, Choose 1
  • Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn | Round 4, choice 3

Drafted to WWE Raw

  • Cody Rhodes | Round 1, Choice 2
  • Becky Lynch | Round 1, choice 4
  • Imperium (GUNTHER, Kaiser and Vinci) | Round 1, choice 6
  • Matt Riddle | Round 1, choice 8
  • Drew McIntyre | Round 3, choice 2
  • The Miz | Round 3, choice 4
  • Shinsuke Nakamura | Round 4, choice 2
  • Indi Hartwell | Round 4, Pick 4

WWE SmackDown Rankings

  • April 21, 2023 | 2.175 million
  • April 14, 2023 | 2.135 million
  • April 7, 2023 | 2.468 million
  • March 31, 2023 | 2.484 million
  • March 24, 2023 | 2.219 million
  • WWE SmackDown Location: American Bank Center (Corpus Christi, TX)
  • WWE SmackDown tickets distributed: 7,536
  • Tickets available: 0

WWE SmackDown Winners and Ratings

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn take on the Usos

The sold-out Corpus Christi Texas crowd was a far cry from the dead crowd this venue has had in the past. Of note, a mention of the NXT roster received a huge pop.

Jimmy Uso has once again predicted that Kevin Owens will turn on Sami Zayn at some point, which is the only material WWE seems to know how to write for him.

The Usos were not drafted with the Bloodline, suggesting that the Bloodline will be split into two different factions on SmackDown and Raw, where Jey Uso will inevitably reunite with Sami Zayn.

Zayn-Owens vs. Usos Promo Grade: B-

LA Knight beats. Mannish

Anyone who thinks the LA Knight craze was a passing phase is a fool. LA Knight received strong pop again and fans continue to support him. WWE finally seems to be working with her giving LA Knight a clean win.

Michael Cole noted that LA Knight and Butch aren’t eligible to be drafted until Monday, which doesn’t make sense if the Raw stars were drafted on this show.

LA Knight vs. Butch Grade: B

Street profits def. LWO and Ricochet and Braun Strowman

Michael PS Hayes appeared as a guest to announce the second round of the draft. The irony of Hayes appearing on WWE TV while WWE is embroiled in another racial controversy is not lost on me.

Fans have been dreaming about booking Street Profit’s demise for about a year now, but all WWE has done is draft them as a team.

Braun Strowman was given a second chance to meet Ricochet on the top rope after the two wasted the spot last week. It’s the kind of second chance Top Dolla didn’t get when he missed a dive. Such a microcosm suitable for the wrestling business.

Triple Threat Tag Team Rating: B

Zelina Vega defeats. Sonya Deville

Round 3 special guests were Teddy Long for Raw and JBL for SmackDown.

While “building up” Zelina Vega as an underdog against Rhea Ripley at WWE Backlash, Micael Cole said “is it likely? No. Is it possible ? Probably not…” then he was interrupted by an attack from Ripley on Vega. If that’s not likely or possible, then what could be the good news? A miracle?

Zelina Vega’s win could have been LWO’s first win since the group reunited.

Zelina Vega vs. Sonya Deville Grade: C+

The return of AJ Styles, the fight between OC and Viking Raiders

The way AJ Styles came off looking like he hadn’t left TV in months was one of the most disappointing comebacks you’ve ever seen. Fans took their time singing for Styles, and the vocals didn’t even fully develop.

AJ Styles just showed up on a turnbuckle while The OC and Viking Raiders brawled.

DX members Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg were special guests in Round 4, suggesting this was the round where an NXT talent would be selected.

AJ Styles grade back: C

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defeat. The Usos

Sami Zayn went shirtless in this match and he got in great shape. He looked shredded like Sami Zayn from the NXT era.

During a “that’s awesome” chant, WWE went backstage where Paul Heyman dispatched Solo Sikoa through a phone call from Reigns. Sikoa was cut by Matt Riddle.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens retained. Michael Cole has suggested that Roman Reigns is pulling the strings behind the scenes to keep The Usos away from The Bloodline unless they prove they can track down the beacon titles. Although that’s probably the story being told, Wade Barrett compared Cole to a flat-lander.

Owens-Zayn vs. Usos Grade: B+

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