WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 14, 2023) with a live show emanating from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam Premium Live Event scheduled for early next month in Detroit.
Advertised for tonight: Asuka defends the WWE women’s championship in a rematch against Bianca Belair. Will Charlotte Flair or IYO SKY show up and ruin the finish?
Also on the card: WWE says there will be follow-up on Jey Uso issuing a challenge to WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, lots of fans are hoping to see LA Knight, and more!
Come right back here at 8 pm ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on FOX. It will be below this line here. (Note: Links to illegal streams are prohibited. Pics and GIFs are allowed.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JULY 14
Sean here, ready to bring you a live blog with 80% less wrestling knowledge, 90% less style, and 100% less song lyrics than your usual SmackDown host. Let us do this.
Bianca Belair is here to start the show.
Once she’s in the ring and on the mic, The EST talks about how she has had to wait forever for something that was rightfully hers in the first place — a rematch for the title Asuka took from her. Tonight she finally gets that opportunity, and no one can stop her.
That’s Charlotte Flair’s cue. Bianca has The Queen fired up, and she thinks Bianca will win tonight here in Flair Country (WOO).
Flair wants to make sure there’s no confusion, when Belair does win the title back — she’s first in line. She asks Bianca thinks, and they shake on it, seemingly agreeing they’ll face each other at SummerSlam.
Brawling Brutes vs. Pretty Deadly
Sheamus & Ridge Holland watch their opponents while Michael Cole makes Abba jokes. Sheamy starts with Elton Prince, but first he takes care of Kit Wilson. Holland tags in as Cole & Wade Barrett remind us about his “throat injury” from a Solo Sikoa spike a couple weeks back. It doesn’t keep him from fighting through a two-on-one assault by Pretty Deadly to drop both men and tag his partner. The Brutes set Wilson & Prince up for more than Ten Beats of the Bodhran as we go to break.
Everything flipped while we were watching commercials, as Kit & Elton have the Celtic Warrior in peril when we return. Sheamus gets Wilson up for a backdrop, but Prince pulls Holland off the apron before a tag can be made. Kit flies for an axe handle and jumps right into a boot. Tag to Ridge the Fridge who runs wild, throwing Pretty Deadly around and even into one another! Fisherman’s Buster on Prince gets two.
He rolls to safely, so Sheamus climbs to leap on both of them. He only gets Kit, which means he can break up the pin Holland tries seconds later. Prince gets up and pulls the cover off the turnbuckle. When Ridge charges in, Elton sidesteps so his injured throat hits it first. Leg drop off the top and that’s that.
Pretty Deadly def. Brawling Brutes via pinfall
We get a video package on Grayson Waller swimming against Edge last Friday, then Cathy Kelley is here to interview Waller about his spot in the United States Championship Invitational. He’s not surprised he’s competing for a championship opportunity this soon in him main roster career. Mostly, he talks about giving The Rock being focused on his while his whole family is imploding on SmackDown every week. If the Great One needs “the Grayson Waller rub”, he knows where to find him.
Our latest amazing video package on The Bloodline Saga brings us back from another set of ads, this one focused on last week’s Tribal Court segment, and the Main Event Jey Uso’s show-closing revenge for what Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa did to Jimmy in that opener. Cole & Barrett tell us that Jimmy will be out “for the foreseeable future” as a result of the injuries suffered last week.
Backstage, Charlotte Flair is rolling her bag down the hall. Adam Pearce rolls up to ask what she’s doing, and she says she’s leaving because she knows she has a hard time letting things go, and she how the brass hates people getting involved in title matches. After Flair walks up, Bayley and Ms. Money in the Bank IYO SKY roll up to say they’ll be watching Belair vs. Asuka. After Damage CTRL walks off, the camera pans out and we see Charlotte standing there. She tells Pearce that given what she just witnessed, she’ll be sticking around after all.
Zelina Vega makes her entrance as we get another break.
Bayley is carrying Shotzi’s hair during her entrance, which prompts a flashback to that happening two weeks ago in London. Sure hope Shotzi doesn’t show up with an undercut in this one...
Zelina Vega vs. Bayley
Bayley attacks at the bell, kicking the LWO member out of the ring and slamming her face-first into the announce table. A follow-up on the apron gets countered, and Vega mounts her comeback. She gets two off a meteora.
Bayley gets free and grabs the chancla. Vega gets that back, but she gets Rose Plant-ed before she can pop the crowd with it.
Bayley def. Zelina Vega via pinfall
As Damage CTRL exits, Shotzi shows up on the big screen. Maybe she is a little weird, she says. Shotzi tells Bayley & IYO she’s not scared, she’s in control! She shaves her head while laughing somewhat maniacally. Bayley looks scared, but Jey Uso is here so we don’t have any more time to deal with the unhinged former Blackheart.
But first, more commercials!
We see The O.C. gassing AK Styles up for his U.S. Title Invitational 4Way later, then it’s back to the ring where Jey is crouched down.
He rises, mic in hand, but takes a momet to compose himself. Growing up, he & Jey were inseparable. It’s a twin thing. When one of them is sad, so’s the other. Same thing when they’re happy, or hurting (he does this seamlessly with a What” chant, btw). He just never believed Jimmy would be hurt at the hands of family.
Jey respects his family, but that stops when it comes to Roman Reigns. He’s gonna put “little brother” Solo Sikoa over his knee just like he did last week. And wise man? Paul Heyman has been puppeteering his family for decades, and that stops now. Because he’s the Head of the Table — Main Event Jey Uso!
That brings out Heyman & Sikoa. The Enforcer is only here to enforce the peace, though. This is something that’s passed down from Afa & Sika, and their ancestors. Next week, Roman Reigns will be here, and he & Jey will discuss the rules of engagement.
Everyone in the ring now, and Heyman talks about how angry Jey sounds. In fact, he sounds more like a Tribal Chief every day. Solo doesn’t say anything, but Paul says he’s right. Jey doesn’t have any insight. He doesn’t realize that what happened to Jimmy is all his fault. He rose up and tried to take control of the family, and Jimmy paid the prize. Heyman speaks right to Jimmy, saying the same thing. Then he tells Jey that Jimmy and their parents will never forgive him. Neither will he or Roman.
Sikoa then puts his hand out for the mic, and a surprised Heyman gives it to him. He tells his brother that what happened to Jimmy is on him, and he’ll never forgive him either.
They exchange forearms, and Jey superkicks his brother to the floor. He’s all alone with Paul, but takes his time cornering him. Sikoa from behind with a couple clubbing blows, but Jey dodges the Spike! He clears the ring of Solo and SUPERKICKS HEYMAN! He dives onto his brother at ringside as the crowd chants “US-O” and “One More Time”. Paul’s begging, Jey has a chair... but Sikoa gets in between to take the shot while Heyman escapes.
The heels slink away while Cole reminds us Roman will be here next week (and gives us our latest reminder that next week’s is on FS1).
We see Bianca Belair talking to Adam Pearce, then U.S. champ Austin Theory enters to watch the 4way at commentary as we take another break. On the other side of that, Santos Escobar & Butch are already in the ring. Waller & Styles get entrances.
Grayson Waller vs. AJ Styles vs. Butch vs. Santos Escobar in the United States Championship Invitational
The winner of this will face the winner of next week’s 4Way between LA Knight (YEAH), Rey Mysterio, Cameron Grimes & Sheamus for a shot at Theory.
Waller with a cheap shot at the bell, then jaws with Theory at ringside. Typical multi-man stuff with Escobar in control when Waller breaks up a spot of his offense on Styles. The Aussie seems to be in the driver’s seat as we go to commercial.
It’s Grayson & Butch when we return. Santos gets involved and dropped with a high knee. Butch snaps the fingers, then gets sent over the top. At that point the Phenomenal One is back with a flurry that gets a cover, which is broken up by a Butch dropkick to the head. Escobar back in, he and Butch in the corner where Santos ranas the Brawling Brute into Styles. They trade covers, then Waller & Escobar battle on the ropes, leading to our a triple sunset flip powerbomb spot from the El Phastasmo’s hijo.
“This is awesome” chant as Escobar delivers running knees to all of his opponents in corners. He covers Waller, but that’s broken up. Three man showdown between the faces in the match. Butch counters out of a Styles Clash, dumps AJ, and catches a diving Escobar with a punch! Waller re-emerges to send Butch to the outside, and we get a series of dive spots with Santos connecting on Butch. he brings him in for the finish, but AJ flies in. Phenomenal Forearm, Styles goes to finish Butch and Karrion Kross is on the big screen. He took out the O.C. backstage. AJ goes to check on that, rolling cutter from Waller on Butch... cover, but Santos flies in. One, two, three!
Santos Escobar pins Grayson Waller to advance in the United States Championship Invitational
It’s Asuka’s turn to talk to Pearce as we get some more ads.
The O.C. is tended too, then Street Profits are out in the parking lot waiting for someone to show up. A limo pulls up and it’s Bobby Lashley! He asks if they’re ready to talk, and welcomes them into his ride for that conversation.
Rey Mysterio gets a chance to talk about finding his family in the LWO, getting a Hall of Fame ring, and next week being one step closer tot the U.S. title. Cameron Grimes & Sheamus are next. Those were via video. Someone else gets to talk to us live in the arena.
LA Knight enters to his customary huge pop. All of a sudden LA Knight’s everywhere. People want to use his name on the internet for clicks. You can call him a Megastar, hell you can call him the GOAT. But very soon we’ll call him champ. YEAH. He plugs next week’s show on FS1 off mic as he exits.
The EST enters before yet another break.
Bianca Belair vs. Asuka
Just after the bell, before the combatants lock up, Bayley and IYO SKY take a seat in the crowd, showing off the tickets they bought to do so (not sure why they needed to do that, but they did).
Fast start in the ring leads to an early KOD attempt. The champ counters that and both women end up down as we see Charlotte Flair entering, showing off her ticket (if those backstage segments lead to these people being banned from ringside, I missed it... Flair, in fact, told Pearce she was staying, so I don’t think I’m the one who missed something).
Anyway... one last break.
Belair in control when we return. Cartwheel moonsault gets two. They head up top, but Asuka fights off a superplex and fires a missile dropkick from there for two. A brief exchange, then the champ goes for an armbar but the challenger gets to her feet. Spinebuster from Bianca for two. Series of attempts and counters leads up the apron, and Belair KOD-ing the champ onto the announce table.
That prompts Damage CTRL to jump the barricade, so Charlotte follows and takes Bayley out with a boot. SKY gets Belair’s face with the briefcase, so Flair gears up for a boot... but hits Belair!
Asuka def. Bianca Belair by disqualification to retain the WWE Women’s championship
Bayley tries to convince IYO to cash in on a still prone Asuka, and she rolls the champ into the ring to do so. Bayley goes to hand referee Jessica Carr the case when Asuka pops up and mists her! The champ scurries away as we never got the cash-in.
Bayley’s apologizing to her partner, Belair & Flair are frustrated and Asuka is smiling as the show ends.