Friday, July 19, 2024

SmackDown recap and reactions (February 24, 2023): The saga continues


Jimmy Uso spent the majority Friday Night SmackDown This week he agonizes over his brother J and how things have changed, first at the Royal Rumble and then again in Montreal at the Judicial Department. Paul Heyman dropped a message from Roman Reigns that Jimmy needs to deal with it before next week, or he’ll deal with it himself.

He cut into an excited declaration speaking of being there for his brother, always, no matter what, just as he needs Jey to be there for him right now.

But Gee was not there.

Instead, Sami Zayn appeared.

He tells Jimmy how hurt it all was, that it felt like they were brothers too, and when Jimmy took him in without hesitation. Royal Rumble It really hurt him. Jimmy looked conflicted but quickly made his place clear.

“You are so selfish!”

It was Sami who got the chair, Sami who picked, and Sami who tore everything apart. Things were going fine without him and then he came along and everything changed.

Of course, Zayn made the same appeal to Jimmy that he made to Jay. Then J appears in the arena, walking through the crowd, and Jimmy uses the distraction to launch an attack on Sami.

Zayn got the best of the ensuing confrontation and – in part because Jimmy was eyeing the G – put a helluva kick on him. Ji simply stood in the crowd and watched all this happen. Sammy was pulled over by Solo Sequa, but what we ended up with here were more questions.

J is hesitant.

It’s an impossible situation for me to be in, having to choose between two people he loves, but clearly a decision has to be made and he’s running out of time to do it. Soon, that option will be selected for him.

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This story isn’t over by a long shot yet, and I’m still on the edge of my seat the whole time.

For the first time since the match became official, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and her rival in the WrestleMania 39, Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley, Head to Head. At least that was the plan.

And then lonesome Dominic Mysterio hit the scene for a back-and-forth.

It was incredible.

Dom sets up his verbal sparring with Flair, allowing Charlotte to get some sweet takes on the thicker Latin heat they have in the house — the accent, of course — and Dom to bring their parents to her. Both of them had to make the most of this shade. Placing the two opposite each other in this way worked wonders to showcase how well Charlotte was doing herself.

Ripley only comes across the scene when Charlotte is about to put the shoes on for Dom. They stared for a while before he pulled her away. I like the idea – keeping them a bit more distant, and making us want to see them confront each other more and more as we move forward.

Dom really helped make this work here.

The Firefly Fun House is back and it doesn’t look like we’re used to:

I don’t know what the hell to think of any of that.

At the very least, it already looks like Wyatt vs. Bobby Lashley looks like they’re playing out WrestleMania 39.

all the rest

  • Madcap Moss may have sparked a fling with Emma after last week’s TV, but he kicked off this week’s show teaming with Braun Strowman & Ricochet in a six-man tag team match against the Imperium. He ends up taking the fall for the team, so it’s worth watching his reaction to that. Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre came out about halfway through and watched the match, making it clear that he was planning on chasing GUNTHER and the Intercontinental Championship. The Viking Raiders hit the scene to intervene before anything in this direction could get started, but they’re starting to stir it up here. There is plenty of time to flesh that out between now and then WrestleMania 39.
  • I will never stop laughing at Dominic Mysterio after he obsessed over what he does, and did a little bit about how difficult his time in prison was. He just works with the character so well, and Rhea Ripley, who doesn’t even need her, benefits from being with him because she’s the real muscle. Everything is beautiful.
  • After spending some time in NXT in the tag team division mode, The New Day returned to the main roster. They came here to interrupt LA Nate talking about making his moment in WrestleMania 39, and some bickering led to a match between Knight and Kofi Kingston. They were given an amazing amount of time – two commercial terms! Kingston won by pinfall.
  • Shayna Baszler had a match with Natalya and they made her entrance to Ronda Rousey’s music. I’m not sure what that says, if anything. Earlier in the night, they had asked Natty to petition WWE’s medical staff to allow her to wrestle and she was authorized to do so but they still recommended against it. Tegan Knox was there to say she would provide backup as needed. It wasn’t much of a match, as Natty was distracted by Rossi and quickly submitted afterward. The knockout attempt after the match was thwarted by Nox. Rossi’s response to this was “Who’s that? You’re done next week, Skittles. You’ll be tasting rainbows next Friday!” I’ll let that speak for itself.
  • How does everyone feel about the full Carrion Cross entry? I wander back and forth on it, but I definitely think it must be a PLE thing and never on TV. Meanwhile, Cross got a win over Rey Mysterio thanks to Doom’s interference and blocking him from hitting a 6-1-9. After the match, Doom pushed his father and demanded that Rey “be a man, beat me”. Finally, Ray made a face and returned his fist – but he couldn’t do it. Fans cheered her. And still can’t. This whole story was great and they’re going to blow the roof off when the old dad finally decides to teach his son a much needed lesson.
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This show was very much about setting things up for later. Still a solid effort from the blue brand.

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Elena Frances
Elena Frances
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