WWE Friday Night Smackdown Highlights 22nd March 2024

Published on 23 March 2024 at 18:00

WWE Friday Night Smackdown came with expectation of the WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes locked in war of words ahead of their titanic battle expected at WrestleMania 40, along a vast array of matches to secure the match cards for the two epic of nights of WrestleMania bought live on Smackdown.

Santos Escobar Defeats Rey Mysterio

In a stunning turn of events on SmackDown, the epic battle between Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar took a dramatic twist. With General Manager Nick Aldis's decree echoing through the arena, the night was set for a clash of titans without the presence of LWO or Legado del Fantasma at ringside, ensuring a fair and square bout. The tension was palpable as the two luchadors squared off in the ring, each one a master of the high-flying, pulse-quickening style that is the hallmark of lucha libre.


The crowd was on the edge of their seats as Mysterio and Escobar traded blows in a spectacular display of athleticism and skill. It was a match that told a story of rivalry, respect, and the heart of a warrior, as only two seasoned performers like Mysterio and Escobar can.


As the match reached its crescendo, an unforeseen twist shocked everyone. A figure shrouded in mystery and wearing the iconic mask of Rey Mysterio made a surreptitious entrance. This assailant, whose motives were unclear, stealthily interfered in the match, catching everyone off guard, including the referees.


The mystery was short-lived, however, as the masked intruder revealed his identity. It was “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio, whose betrayal sliced through the crowd's roars like a knife. His alignment with Santos Escobar, now dubbed "The Emperor of Lucha Libre," marked a pivotal moment in his career and perhaps a turning point in the landscape of SmackDown's lucha libre heritage.


Dominik's interference was a game-changer, swinging the momentum irreversibly in favour of Escobar. With a mix of cunning strategy and raw talent, Escobar capitalised on the chaos, seizing the moment to claim a decisive victory over the legendary Rey Mysterio.


This victory could very well be a cornerstone in the legacy of Santos Escobar, as he triumphed over one of the most revered figures in lucha libre, etching his name into the annals of SmackDown's storied history. Rey Mysterio, ever the embodiment of the luchador spirit, may have been outmaneuvered on this night, but his legend continues to inspire and captivate fans around the world.


Austin Theory & Grayson Waller Defeats The O.C. in the WrestleMania XL Tag Team Title Tournament Qualifying Match

In a bout that crackled with the electrifying promise of WrestleMania glory, Austin Theory and Grayson Waller clashed with The O.C. in what was a high-stakes qualifying match for the WrestleMania XL Tag Team Title Tournament. The air was thick with anticipation as both teams knew what was on the line: a chance to ascend the rungs in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the coveted Undisputed WWE Tag Team Title at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania.


The match was a showcase of grit, technique, and the sheer will to prevail. Theory and Waller, two superstars with their eyes set on the prize, displayed a combination of raw power and cunning agility. Meanwhile, The O.C., no strangers to the limelight themselves, matched their opponents blow for blow, move for move, in a dance of controlled chaos inside the squared circle.


As the match unfolded, every near-fall, every submission attempt, brought the audience to the brink of ecstasy and agony. The referee, vigilant and strict, somehow missed a crucial moment — Austin Theory, in a desperate bid for triumph, propped his feet upon the ropes, leveraging the illegal advantage to secure the pinfall.


The bell rang, and amidst a cacophony of reactions from the WWE Universe, Theory and Waller's hands were raised in victory. Controversial as it may be, this win propelled them forward, now just a step away from reaching the zenith of tag team wrestling at WrestleMania.


The outcome has undoubtedly added fuel to the fiery road to WrestleMania, with Theory and Waller now poised to scale new heights. As they ready themselves for the Six-Pack Ladder Match, they know the eyes of the world, the cheers and jeers of millions, will be upon them as they vie for a chance to etch their names into the annals of WWE history.


IYO SKY Defeats Naomi 

In a night that exemplified the unpredictable nature of WWE, the Women's Champion IYO SKY notched a hard-fought victory over the formidable Naomi. The match had an air of controversy even before the bell rang, with SKY removing her biggest roadblock to retaining her title, the No. 1 Contender Bayley, through a backstage ambush that left the WWE Universe in shock.


The match with Naomi was a showcase of high-octane wrestling, with both superstars bringing their A-game. IYO SKY, known for her aerial mastery and technical prowess, lived up to her reputation, but Naomi's resilience and athleticism shone bright, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. It was a match teetering on the knife-edge of victory and defeat until the inevitable interference.


Damage CTRL, ever the architects of chaos, injected themselves into the fray, tipping the scales in SKY’s favor. Despite Naomi’s valiant efforts, SKY executed her spectacular Over The Moonsault, sealing the deal and retaining her title under dubious circumstances.


The drama escalated post-match when Bianca Belair stormed the ring with righteous fury, aiming to even the odds and stand up against the underhanded tactics of Damage CTRL. Her efforts, fierce and bold, were momentarily electrifying, suggesting a turn of tides. However, the advantage of numbers was too much to contend with, and the segment concluded with both Naomi and Belair laid out in the ring, victims to the overwhelming force of the faction.


As the dust settled, the message was clear: IYO SKY remained the champion, but at what cost? And with Bayley waiting in the wings, the stage is set for more enthralling confrontations on the road to WrestleMania.


LA Knight incited a brawl at AJ Styles’ home and gets arrested 

In what can only be described as a tumultuous and shocking incident, LA Knight dramatically escalated his feud with AJ Styles by taking the confrontation beyond the ring and to a personal level. The WWE Universe was left aghast as Knight, driven by animosity and a desire to unsettle his rival, arrived unannounced and unwelcome at Styles’ private residence, inciting a chaotic brawl that spilled over the threshold of Styles’ home.


The altercation, brimming with intensity, saw both superstars engage in a fierce exchange, throwing not just verbal jabs but physical ones, as the lines between professional rivalry and personal vendetta blurred. Neighbours and onlookers were startled by the commotion, which was an uncanny sight in the normally tranquil neighbourhood.


As the situation spiralled out of control, local authorities were summoned to the scene. They arrived to find a heated scenario with Knight clearly the aggressor in the situation. Despite Styles' attempts to defuse the encounter and protect the sanctity of his home, the damage had been done.


Law enforcement acted promptly, detaining Knight amidst the chaos. The repercussions of this brawl are not just legal but will undoubtedly add more fuel to the already blazing fire between these two superstars. Knight's arrest adds a new chapter to their rivalry, raising questions about the lengths to which he will go to get under Styles' skin and the potential fallout for both their careers.


This breach of privacy and decorum marks a new low in their feud, and while Knight faces the consequences of his actions, the WWE Universe is left pondering what will be the next twist in this ever-intensifying saga.


The Street Profits Defeats Authors of Pain in a WrestleMania XL Tag Team Title Tournament Qualifying Match

In an evening charged with the promise of WrestleMania XL, The Street Profits, comprising Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, rose to the occasion in a pivotal qualifying match for the Tag Team Title Tournament. Their opponents, the formidable Authors of Pain, known for their imposing presence and destructive prowess, stood as a colossal challenge.


As the battle waged on, the audience was treated to an exhibition of athleticism and strategy. Ford and Dawkins, bringing their signature blend of charisma and combat finesse, went toe-to-toe with the sheer power and aggression of the Authors of Pain. It was a contrast in styles, a thrilling narrative unfolding within the ropes.


As the match neared its crescendo, it seemed the Authors of Pain were on the verge of securing their victory, their dominance nearly insurmountable. But in the waning moments, with the stakes at their highest, Montez Ford summoned an explosive burst of agility and savvy, executing a sudden and precise inside cradle that caught his opponents off-guard.


This quick-witted manouver was enough to secure a pinfall, snatching a hard-earned victory from the jaws of defeat. The arena erupted as Ford and Dawkins had their hands raised in triumph, the realisation of what they’d achieved dawning on them. They had not only toppled giants but had also carved their path forward in the tournament, their eyes now firmly set on their next obstacle: A-Town Down Under.


With this victory, The Street Profits inched closer to the glory of the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Title, a prize befitting the grand spectacle that is WrestleMania, often referred to as The Showcase of the Immortals. The path to WrestleMania is laden with potential and peril, and Ford and Dawkins have shown that they have the heart and the hustle to walk it.


WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his WrestleMania Opponent Cody Rhodes even the odds on each other turning into a six-person standoff

In a moment that was supposed to be a tense yet straightforward confrontation, the WWE Universe witnessed the simmering tensions boil over as WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his No. 1 Contender for WrestleMania, Cody Rhodes, stood face to face in the ring. The air was thick with anticipation for the words they would exchange, the mind games that would unfold. But the squared circle is rarely a place for just words, and it wasn't long before this standoff evolved into something much more volatile.


As Reigns and Rhodes stared each other down, the atmosphere was palpable, the audience waiting with bated breath for the slightest spark to ignite the powder keg. And ignite it did, as other titans of the ring couldn't resist the pull of this confrontation. World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his presence felt, his entrance ramping up the intensity of an already charged situation.


Not to be outdone, the familial force of the Uso's, Jey and Jimmy, alongside their imposing cousin Solo Sikoa, arrived on the scene. The ring was no longer just a stage for Reigns and Rhodes but a battleground where allegiances and rivalries intersected, where every individual had a stake.


The tension escalated as six of WWE's elite athletes, bristling with competitive fervor and a readiness to unleash mayhem, occupied the ring. The crowd knew that this was not just a standoff; it was a powder keg of potential conflict, a preview of the explosive action that would come to define WrestleMania.


As words turned to shoves, and shoves threatened to erupt into an all-out brawl, the WWE Universe realised they were witnessing the kindling of a blaze that would only grow as WrestleMania approached. It was a volatile end to what started as a moment of confrontation, and a clear signal that the road to WrestleMania would be fraught with clashes of will, muscle, and ambition.

If you would like to see how last night's events of WWE's Friday Night Smackdown unfolded then click the video below!

Aaron Teasdale

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