SmackDown Recap and Reactions (February 24, 2023): The saga continues

Jimmy Uso spent most of it Friday night smackdown tormented this week by his brother Jey and how things have changed, first at the Royal Rumble and then back in Montreal at Elimination Chamber. Paul Heyman delivered a message from Roman Reigns telling Jimmy to handle it by next week or he’ll handle it himself.

He cut an impassioned promo talking about being there for his brother, always, no matter what, just like he needs Jey to be there for him now.

But Jay wasn’t there.

Instead, Sami Zayn showed up.

He told Jimmy how much this all hurt, that he felt like they were brothers too and when Jimmy knocked him down without hesitation royal rumble it really hurt him. Jimmy seemed confused, but then quickly made it clear where he stood.

“You are so damn selfish!”

It was Sami who had the chair, and Sami who made the choice, and Sami who ripped everything apart. I was fine without him and then he came and everything changed.

Zayn, of course, made the same appeal to Jimmy as he did to Jey. And then Jey appeared in the arena, walked in through the crowd, and Jimmy used the distraction to attack Sami.

Zayn overcame the ensuing confrontation – in part because Jimmy was looking at Jey – and knocked him down with a Helluva Kick. Jey just stood in the crowd and watched all this happen. Sami was chased off by Solo Sikoa, but we ended up here with more questions.

Jay is indecisive.

It’s an impossible position to have to choose between two people he loves, but it’s clear that a choice has to be made and he’s running out of time to make it. Soon that choice will be made for him.

This story isn’t over, not by a long shot, and I’m still on the edge of my seat for it all.

For the first time since the match became official, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and her challenger joined Wrestle Mania 39, Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley, came face to face. At least that was the plan.

And then the one and only Dominik Mysterio came on the scene to go back and forth.

It was unbelievable.

Dom held his own verbal sparring with Flair, allowing Charlotte to get some nice shots about the much thicker Latino heat she has at home – accent, of course – and Dom to get their dads involved. They both had to get the best out of themselves under that shadow. Putting the two against each other in this way did wonders for showing just how well Charlotte has actually done for herself.

Ripley didn’t arrive until Charlotte was about to give the boots to Dom. They stared down for a moment before he pulled her away. I like the idea – keep them a little distant and make us want to see them confront each other more and more as we go along.

Dom really helped make that work here.

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

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

At the very least, it seems indeed that Wyatt vs. Bobby Lashley looks like the play Wrestle Mania 39.

The rest

  • Madcap Moss may have teased quite a turn with Emma after TV last week, but he kicked off this week’s show teaming with Braun Strowman & Ricochet in a six-man tag team match against Imperium. He ended up taking the blame for the team, so it’s worth watching how he reacts to that. Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre walked off at the midway point and watched the game, making it seem clear that he intended to go after GUNTHER and the Intercontinental Championship. The Viking Raiders arrived on the scene to intervene before anything could be kicked off in that direction, but they started teasing it here. There’s plenty of time between now and now to work that out Wrestle Mania 39.
  • I will never stop laughing at Dominik Mysterio who conquered himself just the way he is by talking about how hard his time in prison was. It just works so very, very well for the character and Rhea Ripley, who doesn’t even need it, benefits from being with him because she’s the real muscle. The whole is beautiful.
  • After spending some time in NXT taking over the tag team division, The New Day is back on the main roster. They came here to interrupt LA Knight as they talked about making his moment at Wrestle Mania 39, and some bickering led to a match between Knight and Kofi Kingston. They got a surprising amount of time – two commercial breaks! — and Kingston won via pinfall.
  • Shayna Baszler had a match with Natalya and they let her join Ronda Rousey’s music. I’m not sure what that says, if anything. Earlier in the evening, they begged Nattie at WWE Medical to let her wrestle and she was allowed to do so, but they still advised against it. Tegan Nox was there to say she would provide backup if needed. It wasn’t much of a contest, with Nattie being distracted by Rousey and quickly surrendering soon after. The attempted assault after the match was thwarted by Nox. Rousey’s response to this was “who is this? You’ll be done next week, Skittles. Next Friday you will taste the rainbow!” I’ll let that speak for itself.
  • What does everyone think of Karrion Kross’ full entrance? I’ll go back and forth about it, but I definitely think it should be a PLE thing and never on TV. Meanwhile, Kross got a win over Rey Mysterio thanks to Dom stepping in and stopping him from hitting the 6-1-9. After the game, Dom shoved his dad around and demanded Rey “be a man, hit me.” Rey finally got in his face and put his fist back – but he couldn’t. The fans chanted for it. And still he couldn’t. This whole story has been fantastic and they are going to blow the roof off when that dear old dad finally decides to teach his son a lesson he so desperately needs.

This show was largely about setting things up for later. Still a strong effort from the blue brand.

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