Kevin Owens Vs. Austin Theory (With Logan Paul)
To kick off the show, United States Champion, Logan Paul came out to the ring, essentially to gloat. The Maverick felt extra confident after his win over Kevin Owens at The Royal Rumble and he wasn’t afraid to show it. Soon enough, Owens enters the arena and attempts to shut Paul up, telling Paul he doesn’t need “brass knucks to beat your dumbass.” Logan then takes a step back and tells Owens that he’ll be on commentary for his match against Austin Theory. While Paul stated he would never give Owens a rematch, nobody was fooled by that controversial finish to their match at the Rumble. There’s more to this rivalry when Wrestlemania is just around the corner.
Austin Theory and Grayson Waller have had their issues with Owens for over a month now. Since Paul got thrown into the mix, Theory and Waller have found themselves quite acquainted with the influencer. This match was quick and had a high amount of interference, consisting of Waller jumping up on the apron, followed by Paul lending his brass knuckles to Theory while the official was distracted.
At this point, the knuckles have become pretty overused, especially when it comes to Logan Paul. Owens took the knuckles and used it to win the match, successfully this time. The segment concluded with Owens chasing Paul out of the arena after his victory, more than ready for another fight for the U.S. Championship. While the finish was predictable, the idea of Owens winning the title from Paul at Wrestlemania is nothing more than a dream come true for so many fans (and enthusiastic Logan Paul haters.)
Pretty Deadly Vs. LWO Vs. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate Vs. Legado Del Fantasma
Judgment Day takes notice, as the first of two tag-title qualifying matches features promising teams from the blue brand. The winner of this Fatal-4-Way will face the winners of RAW’s qualifying match, with the victors being allowed to challenge Judgment Day for the tag titles at Elimination Chamber in Perth, Australia. Dunne and Bate have been becoming heavy fan favorites through their matches with Pretty Deadly in the past few weeks. Dunne’s redemption arc gets many excited about the character in a way that they haven’t in a long time. While LWO has some heat behind them as well, It was clear who the audience wanted to pick up the victory.
Angel and Amberto have been very impressive in the ring since their return to Smackdown. They kept their sites locked in on LWO during the match, continuing their feud from weeks prior. Meanwhile, Dunne and Bate target Pretty Deadly, a strategy that ended up winning them the match after a double-team and allowed them to get one step closer to Perth.
Bayley picks her WrestleMania opponent
After Bayley won the 2024 women’s Royal Rumble last Saturday, many wondered which women’s champion she would choose as her Wrestlemania opponent. While Rhea Ripley first appeared as the clear choice, Damage Control has been getting more and more cracks in their stable. Tonight, the cracks showed. Bayley turns her attention away from Rhea Ripley and toward her teammates in Damage CTRL, especially the women’s champion, Iyo Sky. Bayley tells Sky that their faction is not what it was when they started it together.
She tells Sky that she knows she, Asuka, and Sane have been talking and plotting behind her back. Sane and Asuka respond by attacking Bayley, who comes prepared with a pipe hidden under the ring. Bayley was able to reach the pipe, take the fight to her former friends, and challenge Iyo Sky for the women’s title at Wrestlemania. This is an exciting, developing feud that many, including myself, were hoping to see. Bayley Vs. Sky is sure to steal the show, regardless of which night of Wrestlemania it falls on.
The Final Testament Vs. Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits (or not)
After weeks of blind attacks, Karrion Kross and AOP (now The Final Testament) looked to engage in a fair competition with Lashley and the prophets, but it didn’t go that way. The two teams got into a Brawl before the bell could even ring. Scarlett once again went to cover the eyes of Lashley but was stopped dead in her tracks by B-fab, the seemingly newest member of Lashley’s stable. As if we didn’t realize before, this feud is far from over. The fields are now equally leveled and it’s time for Lashley and his group to finally build some momentum after being buried consistently for multiple weeks by The Final Testament.
Tiffany Stratton Vs. Michin
Tiffany Stratton makes an impressive debut tonight against The OC’s Michin. After being one of NXT’s hottest stars, Stratton looks to see what kind of impact she can have on the main roster in a highly competitive environment, especially considering that we’re currently on the road to Wrestlemania. The short-lived match didn’t have any remarkable spots but perhaps sold the average viewer on Stratton, the main goal for new talent on the main roster.
On the other hand, Michin didn’t give Stratton an easy time in the ring. It was a competitive and technical match that showed people Stratton’s worth on the blue brand going forward. Ultimately, Tiffany hit Michen with her signature Moonsault off the top rope, leaving many fans in attendance speechless. The future for Stratton on Smackdown looks quite bright after this clean and impressive win.
Cody Rhodes picks his WrestleMania Opponent (And it is not Roman Reigns)
This segment was slated to be all about Cody Rhodes and which story he wants to finish, but it ended up being about a lot more than just Cody’s match. Cody makes it clear that finishing the story does involve Roman Reigns, but it won’t at Wrestlemania. Rhodes implies heavily that one of the people he took council from over this decision was very interested in Reigns. All of a sudden, The Rock’s music starts blaring through the arena. The Rock walks into the arena and causes the entire house to come unglued. He steps into the ring, shakes the hand of Cody Rhodes, and squares up with the Tribal Chief as Smackdown goes off the air. It’s finally happening. Rock Vs. Reigns will finally headline Wrestlemania.
With Codes giving the spot against Reigns over to The Rock, that means Rollins has his wish. It will be Rollins Vs. Rhodes at Wrestlemania after all. Many believed CM Punk to be Rollins’ original opponent, but now that Punk has been injured, the landscape of Wrestlemania may have changed. Tonight we got confirmation of three world title matches at Wrestlemania, Including Roman Reigns Vs. The Rock. The road to Wrestlemania is shaping up to be unlike any year yet!