Preview: WWE SmackDown Tonight (3/31/23) – Friday Night SmackDown Card

WWE‘s Friday Night SmackDown returns with its yearly WrestleManiago-home show! That’s right, WrestleMania 39 (or XXXIX, if you are old school) has already arrived and this week’s episode of SmackDown will complete the finishing touches going into WrestleMania weekend. So, what’s in store for this week’s WWE SmackDown from Los Angeles, California? Let’s dive right in and find out!

André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on SmackDown
Photo: WWE

The André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is an annual battle royal disguised as a tribute to one of the all-time great legends of professional wrestling, André the Giant. Yet, this yearly match has been one widely regarded as lackluster – with almost all of its winners failing to achieve much within the WWE after winning the battle royal. The battle royal is one which has been such a colossal letdown that it was eventually dropped from its yearly spot at WrestleMania (and the WrestleMania pre-show) to the go-home edition of SmackDown. Maybe this is a better spot for it. With Bobby Lashley seemingly headed into the match after a perceived WrestleMania bout with Bray Wyatt collapsed, the All Mighty has to be the favorite.

Sheamus & Drew McIntyre Vs. Imperium

Sheamus Drew McIntyre WWE RAW
Photo: WWE

Sheamus and Drew McIntyre have a more peculiar friendship than most. Historically speaking, you would be welcome to criticize almost any aspect of a friendship which has been rife with drama, blood and betrayal. Until recently, it appeared as though the two Gaelic behemoths had put their differences aside for good; with their friendship stronger than ever. Last week, there were hints this might change sometime soon. With the two “bros” set to be competing against each other in the WWE Intercontinental Championship triple threat match with champion Gunther at WrestleMania, it is highly probable their friendship falls apart ahead of then. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci will be looking to capitalize on SmackDown.

Cody Rhodes & Roman Reigns Come Face-to-Face

Cody Rhodes is set to meet Roman Reigns one more time ahead of their WrestleMania championship match

Photo: WWEThe final meeting of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, and the “American Nightmare”, Cody Rhodes, ahead of their WrestleMania championship match will occur on this week’s go-home edition of SmackDown. We’ve heard from both sides over the past few weeks and, in fairness, the back-and-forth promos have built extra layers that we did not know were there (for example, Reigns being a favorite of the late Dusty Rhodes). The storyline has also been more traditional, in that we have not really seen the two come to blows so far. Cody has been busy with the side quest of reuniting Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn whilst Reigns tries his best to keep The Bloodline together – something becoming increasingly untenable. On SmackDown, they meet one more time before what will no doubt be an excellent WrestleMania match.

Not Announced But Expected for Friday Night SmackDown

– Expect the finishing touches to be put on all WWE SmackDown feuds going into WrestleMania weekend. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio will have one final moment ahead of their family grudge match; the partnership of Owens & Zayn will continue its resurgence ahead of their championship contest with The Usos and Rhea Ripley will have another night to cement herself as the rightful successor to Charlotte Flair as SmackDown Women’s Champion.

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