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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (July 21, 2023): Rules of engagement

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 21, 2023) with a live show emanating from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming SummerSlam Premium Live Event scheduled for early next month in Detroit.

Advertised for tonight on FS1: WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns returns to SmackDown for the SummerSlam Rules of Engagement with Jey Uso.

Also on the card: The United States Championship Invitational continues with a four-way match featuring Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, LA Knight, and Cameron Grimes. The winner goes on to face Santos Escobar on next week’s show.

Come right back here at 8 pm ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on FS1. It will be below this line here. (Note: Links to illegal streams are prohibited. Pics and GIFs are allowed.)


Visions cupped within a flower, deadly petals with strange power. Faces shine a deadly smile, look upon you at your trial, but me? I’m just here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with a recap of the last few weeks of Bloodline warfare.

LA Knight cuts a promo in his entrance about how he’s invited to every party and this is stepping stone action between him and a SummerSlam party for the United States Championship.

Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sheamus (WWE United States Championship Invitational Semifinals)

Austin Theory is on commentary for this one.

Chaotic brawling, Knight clears the ring but Grimes is right back in, slingshot shoulder block and LA dumps him to the floor to send us to break!

Back from commercial, Sheamus in control on Knight, whip across, duck a lariat, big elbow, back body drop takes him to the apron and the Celtic Warrior clubs him down! Grimes looking for a quick nearfall, no deal, Mysterio puts Cameron into the ropes, squaring up with Sheamus, impromptu alliance and they hit stereo Beats of the Bodhran!

Alliance breaks down, Rey wants 619 but Sheamus gets the Irish Curse! Cameron running hot, Celtic Warrior blocks a pin, brawls him into the corner, scoop lift, float out, dropkick sets up kicks in the ropes, Cameron off the ropes but Sheamus blasts him with a lariat and hits the Irish Curse!

Everybody ends up stacked up in the turnbuckles... SHEAMUS POWERBOMBS ‘EM INTO A TOWER OF DOOM AND WE GO TO BREAK!

Back from commercial, Grimes gets Mysterio in an electric chair and hangs on over the ropes and to the floor where Rey turns it into a Frankensteiner! Theory jawing at him, Sheamus dives and takes both of them out! Back in the ring, Sheamus with a tilt-a-whirl slam for Rey, White Noise on LA, no deal on either!

Knight with a slam to counter a dive from the Celtic Warrior, Rey breaks up the pin, BFT denied, Cameron with a kick, knee from Grimes, Knight gets under him, backbreaker rack facebuster, no good! Crossbody powerslam from Cameron on Mysterio, still no! Double 619, Rey off the top with a splash... AUSTIN THEORY PULLS HIM OFF THE COVER AND PUTS HIM INTO THE STEEL STEPS!

Santos Escobar runs down stepping off the steps to smash Theory with a forearm, the match breaks down...

Rey Mysterio wins by pinfall with a rana pin on Cameron Grimes.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we see Jey Uso walk past Tony D’Angelo, Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo, and the Creed Brothers and seemingly exchange polite greetings with them.

Austin Theory goes to complain to Adam Pearce to get a match against Santos Escobar, and Pearce says sure great, it’s a title match. Austin is upset about it being a title match and Adam makes it official.

We get a video package for Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are shown in the first row.

Charlotte Flair makes her entrance to send us to break.

Charlotte Flair vs. IYO SKY

Bayley is on commentary for this one.

Circling, showing off, SKY ducks under, snaps off a dropkick, Flair catches a kick and trips her down. To the apron, cut her off with a boot, up top, diving crossbody! Kicks, Charlotte having trouble with her hamstring, IYO ducks under, springboard dropkick, cover for two!

Over the ropes, trading shots, Flair blasts her with a boot, goes for a plancha but IYO sidesteps! Diving tijeras off the apron and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Flair laying chops in, catches her for the fallaway slam to follow! Kip-up, handspring lariat into a folding press for two! Setting SKY up top, chops, Bayley gets fed up on commentary and runs interference, allowing IYO to smash Charlotte’s face into the turnbuckles and hit a Liger Bomb... NOT ENOUGH!

Shotzi Blackheart appears on the tron calling Bayley out over a montage of her maniacally snapping scissors shut. Bayley takes a walk over SKY’s calls for help! Giant step, up top, Flair trips her up! Sidestep the spear, passing Charlotte into the turnbuckles, IYO perches... NOBODY HOME ON THE MOONSAULT!

Flair off the top with her moonsault, the boots are up, La Mistica into the arm-trap crossface, roll into a crucifix... NOPE! Duck under, snap Charlotte’s feet over the top rope, missile dropkick countered into a Boston Crab! Breaking free, slugging it out, off the ropes, spear... IYO WON’T STAY DOWN!

Back and forth, avalanche hurricanrana, trading pins, Charlotte gets it...

Charlotte Flair wins by pinfall with Natural Selection.

Post-match, Asuka immediately runs in and tears into Flair with a cross armbar!

We get a recap of Dominik Mysterio winning the NXT North American Championship this week.

Dominik is interviewed backstage, Rhea Ripley at his side.

He says he came to SmackDown to show his deadbeat dad what a real champion looks like, and to point out that as champion of all of North America, he outranks the United States Champion.

Pete Dunne rolls up to challenge him to a title match tonight.

Mysterio says he’s not dressed and the title’s not polished and no one from NXT is here to make the match official.

“Heartbreak Man” Shawn Michaels rolls up out of nowhere and says he thinks it’s a great idea and goes off to talk to Adam Pearce about getting it official.

The Bloodline are in Roman Reigns’ dressing room.

The Tribal Chief cradles his lei like a rosary and shares a meaningful look with Solo Sikoa.

Austin Theory makes his entrance to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Bayley and IYO SKY are arguing on their way to the locker room and Bayley finds her bag stabbed through with a scissors, piercing an 8x10 of hers.

Austin Theory vs. Santos Escobar

Collar and elbow, into the corner, trading punches, fireman’s carry, drop down, dropkick, Austin puts boots to him in the corner. Straight suplex, cover for one, DDT follows but still can’t put Escobar away! Boots in the corner, punches, Escobar turns things around with mounted punches, cover for a nearfall!

Theory runs away and we go to break.

Back from commercial, back and forth, duck a lariat, flying forearms connect! Santos snaps off a tijeras, corner enzuigiri, diving crossbody, cover for two! Theory with an elbow then a neckbreaker over the knee, Escobar kicks out! Fireman’s carry, Santos slips out, boot to the face, jockeying for position... SANTOS ESCOBAR AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER OFF THE TOP!

Corner knees...

Santos Escobar wins by pinfall with the Phantom Driver.

Backstage, Bobby Lashley meets Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams and they exchange pleasantries.

Dominik Mysterio makes his entrance flanked by Rhea Ripleyk.

Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Pete “BUTCH” Dunne (NXT North American Championship)

Dunne hot out the gates, armbar and small joint manipulation, Mysterio gets to the ropes, Ripley passes him a length of chain and runs interference with referee Jessika Carr but Ridge Holland grabs the chain out of Dom’s hand and Pete hits the X Plex for a nearfall that sends us to break!

Back from commercial, Mysterio with a slingshot senton atomico, and Kit Wilson wheels poor Elton Prince down the ramp, in a wheelchair with his arm in a sling. Dominik putting boots to Dunne, disdainfully patting his head, Pete fired up and slugs him one, repeated enzuigiris in the corner, knee drop across the hand and a punch square on the ear!

Penalty Kick, stepping on his hands and punching him in the head! Dom puts Dunne in the ropes, 619 reversed into a German suplex, stomp the hands, buzzsaw roundhouse... SO CLOSE! Pretty Deadly confronting Ridge Holland, Rhea Ripley runs interference with a chop block and Dunne goes into the ringpost hard...

Dominik Mysterio wins by pinfall with a lateral press, retaining the NXT North American Championship.

Commentary hypes up next week’s SmackDown for us.

Jey Uso makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a hype reel for WrestleMania XL.

The Bloodline make their entrance.

Roman Reigns asks Orlando to acknowledge him and takes a seat at the table next to Jey Uso. He asks if he’s sure he still wants to do this and Jey says he has to do this because he called the shot and Jimmy’s in the hospital and that means he’s got to get Roman.

Reigns says he won’t get him because he doesn’t get it— he’s just a soldier, a pawn in the game, and he goes ahead and signs the contract. Jey tears it up and says they don’t need a contract, because the contract is in the blood! This is tribal combat now! Reigns asks if the elders know about this and Uso says it was their idea.

Tribal combat means anything goes— light him up with a stick, grab a chair, steel chair, through the announce table, through this table, this lady’s left slipper, he’ll use that too! Roman tells Orlando and Jey Uso both to shut their mouths and says this isn’t his first rodeo.

He sets the title down on the table and stands up, and Jey tells him he said it’s tribal combat now. Reigns hesitates and takes his lei off and sets it on the title, walking over to ceremonially shake Jey’s hand and touch foreheads. Roman goes to leave, Solo tries to attack Jey but Reigns stops him! Uso superkicks his own brother out of the ring!

The Bloodline leave and regroup on the ramp.

That’s the show, folks.

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