WWE SmackDown Review: Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins Accept The Bloodline’s Challenge

WWE SmackDown
American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas 

The show opened with a highlight package of The Rock and Roman Reigns challenging Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins to a WrestleMania Night One tag team match. We saw The Rock arriving to the arena wearing a Cowboy hat earlier in the day. There was security walking behind The Rock. They showed Roman Reign arriving earlier. There were security standing outside. Reigns walked into his locker room. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins were greeted by SmackDown GM Nick Aldis. Aldis and security walked behind Cody and Rollins. 

The camera panned into a sold out American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. Corey Graves and Wade Barrett welcomed us to WWE SmackDown. 

Logan Paul Promo 

WWE United States Champion Logan Paul came out to tons of boos. Paul said Dallas was his city of first. Paul spoke about wrestling his first match at WrestleMania in Dallas. Paul said the crowd is about to witness history. Paul said he was a concourse. The crowd chanted “What!” Paul said he was not doing that. The crowd chanted “What!” Paul said they sucked. Paul said he didn’t just join WWE to take part. Paul said he joined WWE to takeover. Paul said he had the best rookie years and is the United States Champion. Paul said nobody can gain attention like him. Paul brought up his various accomplishments including five-star matches. Dave Meltzer would be proud hearing that. Paul spoke about WWE breaking reactions since his arrival. Paul said he’s the secret sauce and business is booming. 

Paul said you could say WWE is in its Prime. Paul asked for a drumroll. They showed a Prime Energy bottle on the centre of the WWE mat. Paul said it’s first centre ring sponsor. Paul said it will start appearing at WrestleMania and every WWE PLE going forward Paul called Prime co-founder KSI into the ring for some photo-op to loud boos from the crowd. 

The crowd cheered as Randy Orton’s music played to a huge reaction. Orton appeared behind Paul and KSI. Orton went for an RKO but Paul escaped. KSI kept looking at the entrance ramp. Orton stood behind KSI. The crowd cheered Orton gave KSI an RKO. KSI took an awesome bump for the RKO. They showed an overhead shot of Orton placing KSI on the centre of the Prime bottle. Huge Randy chants from the crowd. Orton grabbed the Prime drink and said it was good. Orton dumped the Prime drink onto KSI. Orton tossed the Prime bottle into the crowd. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) Logan Paul was just tremendous here as he just looks like a WWE Superstar. It was just a matter of time before we saw some sponsorship on the WWE mats once TKO owned the company. I’m fine with them using the Prime Bottle logo for WWE PLEs. This was a great heel heat segment with Paul announcing his Prime Energy bottle as the centre logo. Orton giving KSI an awesome RKO was a great way to get the crowd excited. 

Randy Orton & Kevin Owens def. Austin Theory & Grayson Waller in 9:50. Kevin Owens came out to a big reaction. Owens took control early catching Theory with an arm drag. Owens rocked Theory with a running senton. Waller tagged in. The crowd cheered as Orton tagged into the match. Orton rocked Theory with corner strikes. Owens rocked Theory with corner clotheslines. Theory responded catching Owens with a rolling dropkick. Waller followed rocking Owens with a sliding clothesline on the floor. Theory and Waller planted Owens with a double suplex. Waller mocked Orton’s RKO pose. Waller went for an RKO but Owens blocked. Orton ran wild planting Waller with a snap suplex. Owens caught Theory with a flying cannonball on the floor. Orton planted Waller with a draping DDT. Orton called for the RKO but Theory caused a distraction. Owens made the save rocking Waller with a Stunner. Owens caught Waller as Orton caught him with a great looking Popup RKO for the win. 

  • Logan Paul attacked Orton and Owens after the match. Paul went to use the Brass Knuckles but Orton stopped him. Orton grabbed the Brass Knuckles from Paul. Orton went to use the Brass Knuckles but Paul ducked. Orton stopped from using the Brass Knuckles on Owens. Paul walked to the back with Theory and Waller. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) This was a fun tag team match. A good showing from Orton and Owens as they work fun together as a team. The closing Popup RKO for the finish looked great. I liked the post-match angle with Orton wanting to attack Paul but almost attacked Owens. I could see a Triple Threat between Orton, Owens and Paul for the United StatesTitle at WrestleMania. 

We saw security standing outside Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins locker room. 

We saw a highlight package of Dakota Kai turning on Bayley last week on SmackDown. 

Kayla Braxton had a sit-down interview with Bayley. Braxton asked Bayley about Dakota Kai actions from last week. Bayley said she’s hanging on by a thread. Bayley questioned if Damage CTRL cared about her or was just using her. Bayley spoke about Kai tricking her. Braxton asked Bayley wondering if she had this coming? Bayley noted she’s made a lot of enemies. Bayley said she was trying to get to the top. Bayley said she did everything to help Iyo Sky and Dakota get to the top. Bayley said everything she built is backfiring on her. Braxton asked Bayley about her heading into WrestleMania. Bayley said she’s more focused heading into WrestleMania. Bayley said Damage CTRL underestimated her. Bayley said she built Damage CTRL with all her heart. Bayley said she will do everything to break them. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) I’ve been liking the build between Bayley and Iyo Sky. Bayley’s explaining what Damage CTRL meant to her is a reason why she doesn’t have people having her back. Bayley closing line was great wanting to show why she was the leader of Damage CTRL. 

We saw Naomi watching Bayley’s interview on a monitor backstage. Bianca Belair appeared questioning why Naomi was feeling bad for Bayley. Belair doesn’t feel bad for Bayley. Naomi said she had groups fall apart on her before and feels what Bayley is going through. Belair mentioned how Bayley was behind Damage CTRL and that’s why she doesn’t feel bad for her. Belair left. Naomi looked conflicted. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) I actually liked that Belair didn’t side with Bayley right away after her rivalry with Damage CTRL. Interesting to see where this leads with Belair who was playing heel. I could see Jade Cargill possibly siding with Bayley and Naomi against Damage CTRL. There was a tease with Jade and Damage CTRL. 

We saw security standing outside The Bloodline locker room. 

Bobby Lashley def. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) via Disqualification in 8:40. Lashley got a strong babyface reaction and firework display. Kross got a strong heel reaction. Lashley took control early rocking Kross with strikes. Kross took back control planting Lashley with a Fisherman’s suplex. Lashley responded sending Kross flying with a T-Bone Suplex. The action moved to the floor as Lashely ran Kross into the barricade. Scarlett stood in Lashley’s way. Kross took control running Lashley into the ring post. Kross stomped away at Lashley as they returned from break. Kross planted Lashely with an Exploder Suplex for two. Lashley battled back catching Kross with a clothesline on the floor. Lashely took the lead running Kross into the ring post. Lashely went for the Hurt Lock but Kross broke free. Kross caught Lashely with a Northern Lights Bomb for two. Lashely responded catching Kross with a Spinebuster coming off the ropes. Lashley called for the Spear. AOP attacked Lashley for the DQ. 

  • The crowd cheered as The Street Profit ran down to make the save. Dawkins and Ford delivered stereo splash to AOP on the floor. Scarlett distracted Lashley. B-Fab appeared slapping Scarlett. B-Fab chased Scarlett to the back. Lashely went to place Kross in a Hurt Lock but AOP made the save. Kross laid out Lashley with his finish. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) This was a good action packed match as both Kross and Lashley worked well together. I didn’t expect to get a clean finish this close to WrestleMania. A good post-match angle with The Final Testament continue to look strong. Both factions have been feuding for some time now. I could see this leading to a big six-man tag team match at WrestleMania with Lashley and The Street Profit getting their big win. 

We saw highlights of Rey Mysterio returning to SmackDown last week. 

We saw Dragon Lee on the phone backstage. Santos Escobar and Electra Lopez appeared. Angel Garza and Humberto appeared as well. Escobar and Lopez mocked Rey Mysterio for saying Dragon Lee was the future of Lucha Libre. Escobar told Dragon Lee that Legado del Fantasma is the future. Escobar told Dragon Lee he was nothing. Dragon Lee got in Escobar’s face. Garza showed Dragon Lee to the floor. They said they will see Dragon Lee in the ring. 

Tiffany Stratton def. Michin in 2:30. Tiffany received a strong reaction. Michin caught Tiffany with a backslide for an early near fall. Michin called for Eat Defeat. Tiffany countered yanking Michin to the mat. Tiffany took control hitting a cartwheel handspring elbow. Tiffany followed rocking Michin with a running double stomp for two. Tiffany connected with a backdrop suplex for two. Tiffany went for a rolling senton but Michin broke free. Michin called for Code Red but Tiffany blocked. Tiffany made a comeback planting Michin with an Alabama Slam. Tiffany connected with the Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the win. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) This was a fun match as both Michin and Tiffany worked well together. The PME Moonsault is an awesome finish for Tiffany to showcase her incredible athletic ability. The crowds are reacting to Tiffany like a star who’s showing she absolutely belongs on the WWE main roster. 

AJ Styles explained he attacked LA Knight the Elimination Chamber because he walked around like he owned the place. Styles said Knight doesn’t deserve to belong in the same locker room with him. Styles thought Knight was funny. Styles said that’s until Knight took his momentum at Styles expense. Styles said his is a cutthroat place to be. Styles said Knight was overachieving, under talented and a loud mouth who’s in a need of humbling. Styles said he’s a phenomenal choice for the job. 

We saw LA Knight watching backstage. Knight grabbed a chair and smashed the TV monitor. 

We saw Pete Dunne watching Tyler Bate playing WWE 2K24 backstage. Bate spoke about Dunne being in the video game. Dunne kept giving Bate a stoic look. Bate suggests they go to the gym and get some reps. Bate said he’s going to talk to Nick Aldis to figure out the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Title picture. Bate handed Dunne the control. Bate left. Dunne shrugged and began playing WWE 2K24. 

Dragon Lee def. Angel Garza (w/Legado Del Fantasma) in 7:17. Dragon Lee got a strong babyface reaction. Dragon Lee started quickly rocking Garza with a Woo Dropkick. Dragon Lee followed nailing Garza with a corner dropkick for a near fall. Garza played possum selling a leg injury. Garza took advantage nailing Dragon Lee with a dropkick. Garza delivered a running knee strike sending Dragon Lee to the floor. Dragon Lee responded catching Garza with a deadlift Sit-Out Powerbomb as they retuned from break. Dragon Lee made a comeback nailing Garza with a superkick. Dragon Lee rocked Garza with a flying double stomp. Dragon Lee connecter with a Tope Con Hilo onto Garza and Humberto on the floor. Garza caught Dragon Lee charging with a superkick. Dragon Lee caught Garza with a Dragon Hurricanrana for the win. 

  • Legado del Fantasma attacked Dragon Lee after the match. Escobar, Garza and Humberto laid out Dragon Lee with an assisted Powerbomb. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) This was a good action packed match. Fun to see Dragon Lee back wrestling on SmackDown. A strong showing from Dragon Lee as he looked good in the win. Strong post-match angle setting up LWO’s return for SmackDown next week. I could Escobar and Rey Mysterio having a single’s match with a stipulation at WrestleMania That’s how both LWO and Legado Del Fantasma make appearances in the match at WrestleMania. 

We saw Damage CTRL, Iyo Sky, Asuka, Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai backstage. Kai said she’s always been the brains behind Damage CTRL. Sane spoke in Japanese with English subtitles. Sane said if you were smarter, you would have seen it coming faster. Asuka said, it was easy to manipulate you, and it always has been. Iyo Sky said, Bayley was never part of our vision and it was Iyo’s era from day one. Kai told Bayley to show she can tear Damage CTRL apart. Kai challenged Bayley to a match next week. 

We saw Nick Aldis knock on Cody and Rollins locker room. Nobody was inside. Aldis left with the security guards.

Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins accept The Rock & Roman Reigns WrestleMania Night One Challenge

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns came out to a huge mixed reaction and a firework display. Reigns came out with Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso. The light went out. The Rock’s music played to a huge reaction. Rock got a new entrance which looks awesome. There’s now lightning effects as Rock stood on the stage. Rock wore sunglasses and vest. There were Rocky chants from the crowd. Heyman handed Reigns a mic. Reigns told the crowd greatness stood before them. Reigns offered Rock his hand. Rock hesitated but then shook Reigns hand. Rock and Reigns shared a hug. Reigns said “Acknowledge Us!” 

The crowd cheered as Cody Rhodes music played. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins came from the crowd. They entered to Cody’s music. Nick Aldis and security were standing around the ring. Cody and Rollins entered the ring. Huge Cody chants from the crowd. The crowd began singing Rollins song. Cody said’s it’s kinda tense. Cody said he’s feeling a little lucky. Cody said they should feel this reaction in a sold out arena in Dallas. Cody said he heard Rock’s challenge and stipulations. Cody wondered if Rock had the authority to make the stipulation? Cody said Rock acknowledged Reigns as his Tribal Chief. Cody was about to answer. 

Rock told Cody to shut his mouth. Rock told Rollins to shut up before he even starts talking. Rock said he wanted to drop some gospel on Cody’s punk ass. Rock said he acknowledged Reigns because that what family does. Rock said if Cody and Rollins win at WrestleMania Night One. Rock said Cody will be free to finish his story for his dad. Rock said when he and Reigns win at WrestleMania. The crowd chanted “Diarrhea!” Rollins began laughing. Cody tried to keep a straight face. Rock said it will be Bloodline rules. Rock said he will do anything to make sure Cody doesn’t leave WrestleMania as champion. Rock asked Cody if he accepts? 

Rollins told Rock to shut up. The crowd cheered this. Rollins said he knows the stakes. Rollins called Rock as “Mr. Mid-Life Crisis!” The crowd gasped at that line. Rollins removed his sunglasses. Rollins said Rock had his time. Rollins said Rock can’t have their time. Rollins accepted the WrestleMania match. This got a big reaction. Reigns began laughing. Reigns questioned why Cody would let Rollins answer for him. Reigns said Cody must be an idiot. Reigns said Cody must be from Texas. The crowd booed. Reigns called Rollins a cross-dresser. Reigns said Cody isn’t getting another title match if Reigns wins at WrestleMania.

Rock called Rollins a walking clown emoji told him to keep quiet. Rock said he will make sure Cody doesn’t win. Rock pointed at Rollins title saying he will make sure it goes away. Rock said he’s part of the Board of Directors at TKO. Rock said TKO owns WWE. Rock said he’s Cody and Rollins boss. Rock told Cody if he doesn’t win he will never get a shot at the Undisputed WWE Universal Title. Cody looked nervous. 

The Rock spoke about Cody’s family. Rock brought up Cody being one of three children. Rock said Cody’s sister who was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. The crowd cheered this. Rock said Cody’s brother (Dustin Rhodes) is a future Hall Of Famer. The Rocks asked Cody if it’s also true that he is 20 years younger than his siblings. Rock said Cody was a mistake. The crowd gasped at this line. Rock took off his sunglasses. Rock told Rollins to let him go. Cody slapped Rock across the face. The show ended. 

(Amin’s Thoughts) The WrestleMania Night One tag team match was going to be accepted. Rollins delivery was tremendous as he needed that comeback after the way Rock has been running him down. It was interesting noting both Rock and Reigns said Cody can’t challenge for the Undisputed WWE Title at WrestleMania if he losses again. It makes you wonder if they are going to add another stipulation to up the stakes for WrestleMania Night Two. My guess is Rock will pin Cody on WrestleMania Night One. Rollins will lose the WWE World Heavyweight on WrestleMania Night most like to Drew McIntyre (or Damian Priest if he cashes in the Money in the Bank briefcase.) This gives Rollins the opening to go heel because he was too distracted with helping Cody finish his story. Cody will beat Reigns and win the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania Night Two. That will lead to Rock getting upset with Reigns for losing the title if Rock gets the winning pin on WrestleMania One. Rock also winning could lead to him facing Cody for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title. Cody slapping Rock was much need to build more drama for the WrestleMania tag match. An awesome segment as they made both night of WrestleMania feel like a really big deal. 


A very fun episode of SmackDown. There were some good matches on the show. I would liked if the Women’s match got some more time. Tiffany came off looking like a star so that matches accomplished what was needed. I really liked Bayley and Damage CTRL storyline which is playing a bigger part with nobody in the division is there to help Bayley. You see the groundwork has been laid to set up Orton/Owens/Paul for WrestleMania for the US Title. The closing segment between Cody/Rollins and Rock/Reigns was excellent as they made the WrestleMania Night One tag feel like a really big deal. Overall, a strong episode of SmackDown. We are getting closer to WrestleMania which is really starting to get the feeling of a special show.