SmackDown Notes: Draft & Tag Title rematch announced for 4/28

Photo Courtesy: WWE

April 14, 2023
Pinnacle Bank Center – Lincoln, NE

By: John Kleinchester

SmackDown began with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn coming out for an in-ring promo. Sami said that they haven’t even had time to process their WrestleMania main event title win with everything going on with The Bloodline and the upcoming draft. Owens said that no matter what happens with the draft they’ll be defending their titles on Raw or SmackDown. The Usos interrupted and said that despite what Sami had been saying for weeks, The Bloodline was stronger than ever. Jey Uso said that Sami Zayn is going to backstab Kevin Owens just like he did The Bloodline. Jimmy, Jey, and Solo began to surround the ring only to have Matt Riddle run out to even the odds. The six men brawled in and around the ring with The Bloodline eventually retreating. Riddle yelled that he wanted Solo tonight. Backstage Adam Pearce made it official that Matt Riddle would face Solo Sikoa in tonight’s main event.

A recap of the past few weeks of Xavier Woods and LA Knight feuding over video games was shown. During their match, the commentary team continually referred to Knight as “the Megastar”. The finish saw LA Knight go for an O’Connor Roll and grab Xavier’s tights but the referee immediately saw the cheating attempt and refused to count. With Knight distracted with arguing with the official, Xavier Woods rolled Knight up and grabbed his tights for the cheap victory.

A promo ad ran saying that the WWE Draft begins two weeks from tonight on SmackDown and continues two weeks from this coming Monday on Raw.

Imperium was shown backstage talking strategy when Xavier interrupted playing his trombone annoyingly loud. Gunther called Xavier a goof and said he would beat respect into him. Xavier said he’s never had a shot at the Intercontinental Championship before and with the draft coming up, he has no idea what show he’s going to be on. Woods said he’s the hottest free agent out there and he’s beyond ready to face Gunther. 

Footage was then shown of Solo Sikoa taking out Matt Riddle on Raw in December. Michael Cole said that Riddle was taken to a hospital and was out for four months.

Sami Zayn was backstage apologizing for being a part of The Bloodline when Solo took him out and he would feel terrible if anything happened to him tonight. Kevin Owens argued the other side saying he had to do everything to take Solo out for revenge. Riddle responded by saying they both had good advice but that he learned he can only control his actions and how much pain he can inflict on Solo.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley, and Dominik Mysterio in the back and Priest said that Santos Escobar can go but can’t pick friends. He then promised to address Bad Bunny in the ring. Priest warned Bad Bunny that he should not mess with his family again. They showed footage of Priest putting Bad Bunny through the announce table from Raw two weeks ago and the LWO came out to jump Judgment Day, leading into the scheduled match of Damian Priest vs. Santos Escobar.

Dominik and Rhea got involved leading to the two teams brawling on the outside but Priest was able to pick up the pin amid the chaos. Afterward, Priest was going to chokeslam Escobar through the announce table when Rey Mysterio ran out and jumped Priest. This led to Rey and Domink briefly coming to blow in the ring with Rey attempting the 619 only to have Rhea pull Dominik out and high-tail it. 

Backstage, Paul Heyman was pumping up Solo Sikoa saying that Riddle embarrassed their whole family including Afa, Umaga, Rikishi, and most importantly Roman Reigns. Sikoa stopped Heyman and instructed him to “tell the Tribal Chief I got this”.

The newly crowned Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez were out for a “championship celebration” next. Liv and Raquel noted that they were only just getting to know each other and it was incredible that they were already champions. Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green interrupted and asked how Liv & Raquel were champions when they didn’t beat the actual champions. Liv said they would talk to Adam Pearce and the pair would be their first challengers. This led to a brief brawl with Morgan and Rodriguez standing tall.

Shinsuke Nakamura’s return was next with Nakamura squaring off against Madcap Moss. Emma was shown pumping Moss up telling him “We need this” and encouraging him to “show them why you’re going to be a top pick in the draft”. 

Nakamura defeated Moss in roughly 90 seconds with the Kinshasa. After the match, Emma instructed Moss to attack Shinsuke but was caught with an armbar and then pulled out of the ring by Emma. Immediately after that, Scarlett and Karrion Kross were shown with a tarot-style card with Nakamura on it. Kross said “tick tock” and the segment ended.

Backstage The Viking Raiders jumped Braun Strowman and Ricochet putting Ricochet through a table. 

Matt Riddle was accompanied to the ring for the main event by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Before the match began, Heyman got on the mic and said that it was now official – two weeks from tonight (the same night the WWE Draft begins) in Corpus Christi, TX, The Usos would get their rematch against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships. Heyman then said that Reigns was losing patience with “the two of you” and changed his glare from Zayn & Owens to The Usos, but Jimmy and Jey didn’t notice as they were fixated on the champions.

Early in the match, both teams at ringside were ejected by the referee but wandered back out to ringside shortly thereafter only to have Zayn & Owens come back to fight them off. This led to Riddle leaping onto The Usos, allowing Sikoa to recover and hit the Somoan Spike for the victory. Sikoa then slammed Riddle onto the announce table before flipping it over on top of him. The show went off the air with Zayn & Owens checking on the fallen Riddle. 

Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Columbus, OH:

  • Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Xavier Woods
  • Women’s Tag Team Championship: Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green
  • Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • LA Knight over Xavier Woods in 11:50
  • Damian Priest over Santos Escobar in 11:48 (estimated – match began during commercial)
  • Shinsuke Nakamura over Madcap Moss in 1:31
  • Solo Sikoa over Matt Riddle in 10:43
About John Kleinchester 101 Articles
New Jersey born and raised. Wrestling fan since Lex slammed Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Favorite Wrestler of all time is Owen "The Rocket" Hart.