– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a video package on recent happenings in the Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos feud. We cut to the standard SmackDown intro.
– We’re now live from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada as Michael Cole welcomes us. We see the packed crowd cheering and they are riled up for the show. Cole is joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. He hypes WrestleMania 39 and tonight’s penultimate episode.
Cody Rhodes vs. Ludwig Kaiser
We go right to the ring and out comes Cody Rhodes to a big pop and pyro. Samantha Irvin does the introductions as Rhodes marches to the ring, stopping to sign for a few fans. Rhodes hits the ring and poses to more pyro. We see Ludwig Kaiser already waiting in the ring with Giovanni Vinci, but no sign of WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER.
The bell rings and they lock up. Kaiser takes it to the corner and works Rhodes over. Cody with a long vertical suplex as fans cheer him on. Rhodes looks to capitalize but he’s distracted by Paul Heyman strolling out to the stage.
Fans boo Heyman as he walks out to the stage. Kaiser tries to take advantage of the distraction but Rhodes drops him and then hits a running knee to the face. Rhodes looks back at Heyman, then turns his attention to Kaiser again. Fans chant “Cody!” as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Heyman watches as Kaiser drops Rhodes for a 2 count. Kaiser mounts Cody with punches as fans boo and Vinci looks on from ringside. We see how Cody hit a superplex during the break. Kaiser works Cody over in the corner, then goes to wrap his leg around the ring post but Cody kicks him away.
Cody fights Kaiser around the ringside area, unloading against the top of the announce table. Cody brings it back in and but Kaiser blocks the Cody Cutter. Kaiser with a knee to the face for 2. Fans rally for Cody to make a comeback but Kaiser chokes him on the middle rope as the referee warns him. Vinci with a cheap shot to Cody while the referee isn’t looking.
Kaiser covers for 2 again, then grounds Cody in a headlock. Kaiser talks some trash while beating Cody around. Kaiser with sliding uppercuts for another close call. Kaiser focuses on the right arm some more. They trade strikes on their feet now. More back and forth in the corners. Cody knocks Kaiser off his feet with a Disaster Kick.
Cody looks to go for a Pedigree or perhaps Cross Rhodes as fans pop, but he drops Kaiser to the mat when Solo Sikoa comes walking out to the stage. Solo and Heyman slowly walk to the ring as Kaiser takes out Cody’s knee from behind. They end up on the floor and Kaiser whips Rhodes knees-first into the steel steps. Solo looks on while Cody is down as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they both go down after a Disaster Kick. They struggle to get back up but finally do, and start trading strikes. Solo and Heyman are watching from near the announce table now.
Cody and Kaiser unload with punches. Cody runs over Kaiser, then kicks him and hits the drop-down right hand. Cody with a powerslam for 2. Solo and Cody trade stares. Kaiser comes right back with a stiff clothesline for 2. Kaiser with a running uppercut and a kick into the corner, then a suplex out of the corner.
Kaiser comes off the middle rope but Cody catches him for CrossRhodes, but it’s blocked with roll-up for 2. They tangle and Cody nails a Cody Cutter to a big pop. Cody is fired up as he glances at Solo and Heyman, then hits Kaiser with CrossRhodes for the pin to win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
– After the match, Cody stands tall and looks up at the WrestleMania 39 sign as the music hits. Heyman and Solo are on the ring apron now. Heyman says Cody is owed an apology and since he’s The Wise Man of The Bloodline, he will be the one to deliver that apology. Heyman says Samantha Irvin did a lousy job with that announcement. He insults the local Vegas crowd to boos. Heyman then introduces Cody as the winner like only he can, and mentions Cody being the challenger to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Heyman then mentions a roadblock in Cody’s Road to WrestleMania, in the form of a one-on-one match with Solo on Monday’s RAW. Heyman says Reigns will then be on next Friday’s go-home SmackDown to see Cody one last time face-to-face. Fans chant “you suck!” as Heyman drops the mic. Cody asks if Heyman is moving the goal post for him now. He says Heyman interrupted the crowd while they were singing his song. Fans pop. Cody goes on and says he’s just days away from the biggest match in the history of his family, and he probably should’ve said no to Solo, but he also probably should’ve never wrestled with half of his body hanging out, but he went on to beat Seth Rollins in Hell In a Cell. Cody looks at Solo and says when it comes to him, undefeated and as good as Solo is… like Cody said last week, Solo is not ready. Cody says now for the champion, Reigns… fans interrupt with a “you’re not ready!” chant for Solo. Cody continues and says once Solo finds out he’s not ready, then Reigns will find out the same thing at WrestleMania – he is not ready either. Cody chucks the mic at Heyman and Sikoa as his music starts back up. The announcers hype Rhodes vs. Reigns at WrestleMania as Cody exits the ring, looking back at Heyman and Solo, while playing to the crowd as they sing his song.
– Cole announces that John Cena vs. WWE United States Champion Austin Theory will kick off Night 1 of WrestleMania 39.
– We see Charlotte Flair walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and tonight’s Progressive Match Flo replay looks at recent happenings between Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio and Charlotte Flair.
– We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair to a big pop. She stops and poses to pyro, then marches to the ring. Cole hypes Rhea Ripley vs. Flair at WrestleMania 39 as she hits the ring to pose.
Flair takes the mic and shouts-out Las Vegas, then points to the WrestleMania 39 sign and says we’re just 8 days away. Flair mentions her 14 title reigns and says those were not built on fear, insecurities or nepotism. These same three things have been used against her by everyone since she started in the business, and she’s beat them all.
Flair goes on and talks about what fear is and says this business was not built on fear, but respect. Flair says she does not fear Ripley, she respects her. The only thing Flair fears is her own potential. She respected WWE Hall of Famers The Bella Twins, Asuka, Natalya and so many other wrestlers she named. Insecurities… she says damn right she has insecurities. Fans give Flair the “What?!” treatment and she can’t believe it. She says this is important to her so listen. She has insecurities but has built this house on every brick that the people have thrown at her.
Last one… nepotism. Fans do the “Woooo!” at her. She says that’s right Vegas, she loves her dad, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, and she will never apologize for continuing the greatest legacy in sports entertainment, and whether you like it or not, you better learn to love it because diamonds are forever and so is Charlotte Flair. Flair delivers a “Woooo!” as her music starts back up and she exits the ring.
– We see Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens backstage preparing for The KO Show.
Rey Mysterio vs. LA Knight
We go back to the ring and out comes 2023 WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio to a pop. Rey heads to the ring and stops to greet his wife Angie and daughter Aalyah in the front row. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Vegas magician Piff The Magic Dragon is in the front row. Out next comes LA Knight as Mysterio looks on. We see how Knight taunted Rey last week backstage, and Rey decked him. The bell rings and they go at it with Rey using his speed to take control.
Knight goes for an elbow drop but misses. Rey catapults Knight, then mounts him in the corner with right hands as fans count along. Rey runs but Knight lifts him in the air, then spikes him into the mat. Knight stomps on Rey now. Knight sends Rey into the corner and works him over while the referee warns him.
Knight with a boot to Rey’s face to keep him down. Knight sends Rey face-first into the turnbuckles, then nails a reverse neckbreaker for 2. Knight stays on Rey and beats him around the ring from corner to corner. Fans try to rally for Rey now. Rey runs the ropes and ducks Knight, then launches him with a takedown. Knight stumbles to the floor to regroup. Ry dropkicks LA through the ropes to put him down on the floor. Rey then baseball slides under the bottom rope for a splash on the floor to LA. Rey plays to the crowd, then beats LA back into the ring.
Rey kicks Knight from the apron, then goes to the top for a moonsault but The Judgment Day’s music hits. LA takes advantage of the distraction, then knocks Rey to the apron. Dominik Mysterio comes walking out by himself while Knight has Rey down on the apron. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Rey looks to mount offense but LA dropkicks him in the face. Rey looks to charge in but Knight levels him with a big boot for a close 2 count. Knight drops a knee to Rey’s back now
Dominik looks on as LA nails a back suplex to Rey in the middle of the ring. Rey ducks a clothesline but LA catches his crossbody attempt, then spikes him into the mat. LA shows off now and misses the jumping elbow drop as Rey moves. Knight catches a springboard but Rey counters and turns that into a bulldog. Rey goes to the top and hits the seated senton.
Rey runs the ropes and hits the springboard crossbody for another close 2 count. Rey counters a suplex but LA catches him with a big back slam. Rey still kicks out. Fans chant for 619 as Knight scoops Rey but Rey counters and nails a tornado DDT. Rey dropkicks LA into position for 619. Rey goes for it but LA catches his legs.
LA looks to capitalize but Rey counters and sends him into the ropes again. Rey goes for 619 but Dominik grabs his legs. Fans boo. LA takes advantage of the distraction, rolling Rey up from behind for the pin to win.
Winner: LA Knight
– After the match, LA stands tall and exits the ring as his music hits. Dominik enters the ring and starts shoving his dad around, asking if he will finally grant him the WrestleMania match. Rey exits the ring and Dominik tells him to walk away like he always does. Dominik asks his mom Angie how it feels to be married to a complete loser who can’t even face his own son. Dominik goes to ringside to speak to his mother and sister now, asking his mom if she knew she was marrying a deadbeat. Dominik says she did because she sat there every night he wasn’t there, and she allowed it so that makes her a deadbeat mom. Dominik’s sister Aalyah jumps up in his face but Dominik tells her to sit down because she can’t do anything about it. Dominik’s mom steps to him but he tells her to shut up and sit down. Rey comes back to the ringside area and Dominik tells him to bring it. Rey drops him with a right hand and the crowd pops big. Fans chant “yes!” now. Rey says he didn’t want to do this, he didn’t want to hit Dominik, but he pushed him to this and made him do it. Rey says you don’t disrespect your mother like that, and that’s his wife. Rey says if Dominik wanted a fight at WrestleMania… you’re on. Fans go wild as Dominik looks up from the floor a bit worried. Rey says he will see Dominik at WrestleMania, son. Rey’s music starts up as he hugs his wife and daughter at ringside. Dominik retreats to the stage, clutching his forehead, as we go to replays.
WrestleMania 39 Showcase Fatal 4 Way Qualifier: Xia Li and Lacey Evans vs. Natalya and Shotzi
Back from a break and Lacey Evans is making her way to the ring for a WrestleMania Showcase Fatal 4 Way qualifier. Xia Li is already waiting in the ring. We see Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan sitting at ringside as Cole mentions how they qualified last week. Out next comes Shotzi and Natalya on the tank. The winners will join Rodriguez and Morgan, and two more teams, in the WrestleMania 39 Showcase Fatal 4 Way.
The bell rings and Evans starts off with Shotzi and works her over. Evans sends Shotzi to the corner and mocks fans cheering for her. Li tags in and works over Shotzi in the corner, stopping to taunt Natalya. Li climbs Shotzi with a stiff strike in the corner, then slams her with a suplex for 2.
Natalya rallies fans no. Evans and Li continue with quick tags now to keep Shotzi in their corner. Evans with a handstand into a Bronco Buster. Evans slams Shotzi’s face into the mat now. Shotzi kicks out at 2. Evans catches a kick and drops Shotzi. They tangle and Natalya is knocked off the apron with a cheap shot from Evans.
Shotzi fights back and drops Evans but Natalya is still down. Evans charges and levels Shotzi for 2. Shotzi fights off the double team now. She stuns Evans, then ducks so that Evans knocks Li out with the Woman’s Right.
Natalya gets back up and kicks Evans off the apron to the floor. Shotzi with a big suicide dive. Shotzi tags Natalya in and Li is also legal now. Shotzi and Natalya hit the Hart Attack on Li for the pin to win.
Winners: Shotzi and Natalya
– After the match, Morgan and Rodriguez hit the apron to have words with Natalya and Shotzi. The music interrupts and out comes Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. Rousey has a brace on her fractured elbow. Baszler says look at all the history in the ring – each woman has history and would like to get revenge on she and Rousey. Baszler names all the broken bones they’ve caused. Natalya holds Shotzi back as Baszler goes on. Baszler suggests she and Rousey head to the ring to fight. They walk but Rousey stops them, and asks show many times have they sold out this arena and this town, and how much do they appreciate us? Not enough. Rousey says they’ve already given Vegas more than it deserves, so not again, not tonight. Fans boo. Baszler agrees and says un-lucky for the other teams in the ring… Baszler wants to let them know that she and Rousey were added to the WrestleMania Showcase. Rousey’s music starts back up as the teams have words. Cole says the fourth and final team will qualify next week.
– We see what happened last week to finalize the WWE Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania 39.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Drew McIntyre to a pop. McIntyre hits the ring for a WrestleMania 39 contract signing. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see what happened earlier with The Mysterios. We go back to the ring and Adam Pearce welcomes us to the contract signing for the WWE Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania 39. Pearce is then interrupted by the music as The Brawling Brutes come out – Sheamus, Butch and Ridge Holland. Sheamus talks about the history he and Drew have, and how he told Drew about this dream for the WWE Intercontinental Title, then calls him a backstabber for stealing the dream. Drew tells Sheamus to shut up, pointing to how he keeps trying to guilt trip him each week, on TV or on social media like a teenage girl and it’s embarrassing.
Drew says last week they proved why they are two tough guys, and they should’ve been in the bar together afterwards like old times, but these days Sheamus is just so sensitive and can’t separate business with personal. Sheamus says Drew made this personal, you know you did. Drew has a lot to say but he will stick to the facts – he says he’s beaten Sheamus, he knows he can beat GUNTHER, and history shows Sheamus can’t. Butch holds Holland back as Drew and Sheamus face off. Pearce says they can fight all they want next week but we need 3 signatures to get there, so let’s get 2 of them right now.
Drew signs first, then slams the pad down on the table. Sheamus signs next. Drew tosses the pen to a fan as a souvenir. Sheamus and Drew face off now until the music interrupts and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. GUNTHER rushes the ring and tosses a chair over. He then steps to Pearce and tells him to justify this decision to make it a Triple Threat, why he’s in a match with two guys who can pin or submit each other and he will still lose his title. Justify it! GUNTHER signs the contract and asks Pearce if he’s happy now.
GUNTHER says whatever he has to do to defend at WrestleMania will be justified. He tells Sheamaus and Drew he will beat them at WrestleMania, and if he has to… he will beat Holland. GUNTHER asks Butch what he’s looking at. Butch charges and leaps over the table, decking GUNTHER. Holland holds Butch back while GUNTHER tosses the table over. GUNTHER backs Pearce down in the corner and yells at him to make the match right now. We go to commercial.
WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER vs. Butch
Back from the break and Butch vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER in a non-title match is already going on. GUNTHER dominates and levels Butch early on.
GUNTHER flattens Butch with ease in the middle of the ring as Sheamus, Drew McIntyre and Ridge Holland watch on from ringside. GUNTHER with a big back suplex for 2. GUNTHER stomps away. GUNTHER continues to punish Butch now, man-handling him. GUNTHER chops Butch right back to the mat, now controlling him by one arm.
Sheamus and Holland rally for Butch now. Butch with a submission but GUNTHER fights free and applies a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. Butch fights free and goes for the fingers but GUNTHER chops him to the mat with ease. Butch with two enziguris now. GUNTHER blocks the third and levels Butch. GUNTHER bends Butch over the top turnbuckle in the corner, and chops away. GUNTHER bends Butch over the top rope and mounts him, sending him to the floor. Butch hits hard on his way down. Sheamus checks on Butch as GUNTHER looks on. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Butch stops GUNTHER from hitting 10 Beats of the Bodhrán by bending his fingers back. Butch mounts offense and hits a flying double stomp to the forearm. They tangle and GUNTHER applies a Sleeper. Butch fades but breaks free and kicks GUNTHER in the back to send him to the floor.
Butch goes for a moonsault from the apron but GUNTHER side-steps and levels him with a big chop. GUNTHER, Drew and Sheamus face off at ringside now. Butch runs and leaps off the announce table but GUNTHER moves and Butch accidentally takes Drew down. Butch and GUNTHER bring it back in the ring now. Butch with a roundhouse kick. Drew gets on the apron to have words with Butch now. Sheamus comes over and pulls Drew off the pron but Drew drops him with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt.
Holland runs over but Drew sends him into the ring post face-first. Sheamus drops Drew with a big knee. GUNTHER takes advantage of the distraction to level Butch in the middle of the ring with a lariat. GUNTHER then finishes Butch with a Last Symphony powerbomb for the pin to win.
– After the match, GUNTHER stands tall with the title as the music hits. Sheamus enters the ring for a face-off. Drew charges in with a Claymore Kick, but Sheamus moves and GUNTHER is laid out. Sheamus and Drew stare each other down.
– The Street Profits are backstage hyping up the WrestleMania Showcase Fatal 4 Way. Braun Strowman and Ricochet walk up, and the two teams take some friendly jabs. Braun says they want all the smoke, every bit of it.
– We go back to the ring for The KO Show as Kevin Owens makes his way out. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is confirmed for next Friday on SmackDown. Owens welcomes us to The KO Show and introduces his friend, tag team partner, and brother… the one and only Sami Zayn. The music hits and out comes Zayn to a pop. Fans chant “Sami!” as he takes the mic.
Owens asks if he did Sami’s big introduction right. Owens reveals how he suggested they come out together, but Sami wanted to play both of their songs so the WWE Universe would cheer both. Owens says Sami wanted his own pop, and he gets it. Owens takes a seat. Sami asks if there’s any other backstage stuff they need to address before discussing The Bloodline. Sami also takes a seat now. He asks Owens if he realizes they are on the verge of winning the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, together and at WrestleMania after everything they’ve done.
Sami says WrestleMania feels different this year. Owens says the title win isn’t lost on him. He agrees WrestleMania feels different this year, which is why he brought Sami out. Owens recalls how he told Sami he needed a new t-shirt when The Bloodline gave him a custom t-shirt last year. Owens presents Sami with a new t-shirt. The front has the KO-Mania logo. Owens praises Sami and calls him the MVP of WWE for the last 12 months. Fans chant “MVP!” to Sami. Owens then goes to unveil the back of the t-shirt and says this year it’s not about KO-Mania, it’s about what is on the back. He tosses the shirt to Sami. Sami shows off the “WrestleZaynia” logo and the crowd pops. Sami is thrilled for the shirt. Owens is also wearing one and Sami loves it. He puts his shirt on.
Sami wants to hug but Owens says he hugged him last week, and he only gets one hug a year so that’s enough. Owens hugs Sami anyway and fans pop. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos suddenly attack to break the hug up. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso put Sami down, then double superkick Owens to boos. They lay Sami out with the 1D. Owens rushes back in with a steel chair, swinging it, but The Usos quickly retreat to the floor. The Usos’ music starts up as they stare Owens and Sami down while Sami struggles to get back to his feet. The two teams taunt each other as SmackDown goes off the air.
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