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WWE SmackDown preview (Aug. 25, 2023): This should be a Bray Wyatt tribute show

SmackDown airs tonight (Aug. 25) with a live show from KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the third episode of SmackDown during the four week build towards Payback, which takes place on September 2.

This should be a Bray Wyatt tribute show

WWE is advertising three separate segments for tonight’s episode of SmackDown. Jimmy Uso will return to TV and speak his mind after being superkicked by his brother Jey, Rey Mysterio goes one-on-one with Grayson Waller, and IYO SKY defends the WWE women’s championship against Zelina Vega.

That’s all fine, and maybe WWE will proceed with these stories as planned, but none of that really matters to me because I can’t stop thinking about Bray Wyatt.

I’m still trying to process yesterday evening’s shocking and tragic news of Bray Wyatt’s death at 36 years old. I was on the clock for Cageside last night when the story broke. It was my job to cover it for the site for the rest of the night, so I tried my best to put emotions to the side and do what needed to be done for the site.

But that attempt to compartmentalize was an impossible task upon reading every new heartbreaking comment that came into the blog, with so many community members confused, crying, in pain, and grieving over the loss of a man whose charisma and charm touched them in some way over the last decade.

Most wrestling fans who have expressed how much this hurts have never met Windham Rotunda in person. The terrible news hits even harder for his colleagues in the WWE locker room who know the man behind the gimmick so much better than any of us do, and have developed a personal relationship with him over the years. It goes without saying that many of them are also struggling to come to terms with his death, and some of them may not be ready to perform tonight.

With that in mind, this is one of those times where WWE should scrap whatever plans they originally had for tonight’s SmackDown and instead turn it into a Bray Wyatt tribute show. I don’t believe that most fans and wrestlers are ready to move on from the news of Bray’s death just for the sake of getting lost in the ongoing twists and turns of WWE kayfabe. We need more time to deal with what’s in front of us and is impossible to ignore, and that means dedicating this entire episode of SmackDown to the memory of Bray Wyatt.

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