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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Sept. 1, 2023): John Cena returns

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Sept. 1, 2023) with a live show emanating from the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania featuring the final push to the company’s Payback premium live event Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Advertised for tonight: John Cena is back, kicking of a run that will see him appear on most of the blue brand’s episodes for the next couple months!

Also on the card: Jimmy Uso will show his face for the first time since his twin brother Jey quit The Bloodline & WWE after SummerSlam, United States champion Rey Mysterio teaming with Santos Escobar to take on Grayson Waller & Austin Theory, and much 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.)


So let it pass baby now, the slow and riding cloud which may take me from you, but certainly not before I’ve finished liveblogging this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with a recap of Bloodline business.

Live in the arena, John Cena makes his return to SmackDown.

He welcomes us to the show and talks about all the years of memories he has in this ring and it never ever gets old. In fact, every single time it gets better. And now he has the opportunity to travel to India for the first time in his career, and he just found out right before he came down here that he’s gonna get to host Payback tomorrow night!

And he’s given his word that he’ll do his very best to give back to us, and that starts here and now with SmackDown tonight—

Enter Jimmy Uso, to brand new music of his very own.

He gets in the ring and stands off with Cena as the crowd chants for his brother Jey. Jim asks John what he’s doing here when people paid to see him, Jimmy Uso, a top star, explain why he did it. The answer is simple— he’ll save his brother ten times over if he has to, and he doesn’t care if we disagree, he did it out of love.

He did it so that Jey wouldn’t become like Roman Reigns... or John Cena. Cena admits he has a certain style but Uso continues, saying John is just like Roman in that they both take, take, and take, but Cena takes with a smile. John tells him the wrong Uso quit.

Jim fakes out, Cena blocks the superkick, fireman’s carry... ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!

Austin Theory and Grayson Waller are interviewed backstage.

They have a good laugh about John Cena hosting Payback, because Austin beat him already and Grayson has a more anticipated segment of Payback. Theory says they’re the best tag team of all time and they’re gonna beat Latino World Order.

The Latino World Order make their entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, an angry Jimmy Uso walks backstage yelling at crew members and demanding they say his name.

Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. Latino World Order (Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar)

Mysterio running hot early, Rocket Launcher with Escobar’s assistance wipes the heels out and we go to break!

Back from commercial, heels have Rey isolated and are working him over at some length. Rey manages to knock Theory down, Waller with a desperate tag, clear the apron, cut off the tag! Tilt-a-whirl slam reversed into a tijeras, tag to Santos! Escobar in hot, flying forearms, enzuigiri, diving crossbody, only two!

Avalanche Frankensteiner, Austin breaks it up, Rey comes in to neutralize him! Santos with a dropkick, Mysterio directing traffic but Theory runs in and takes Escobar’s legs out form under him! Rey takes Austin to the floor, Grayson takes advantage...

Austin Theory & Grayson Waller win by pinfall with the rolling thunder Stunner from Waller on Santos Escobar.

Mia Yim is meeting with Adam Pearce backstage when Jimmy Uso rolls up to interrupt and demand Pearce’s attention.

Adam says this is why he called him in, he’s being rude to everybody and nobody likes it. Jim walks off and Pearce apologizes to Yim.

Bobby Lashley makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the OC are in disarray backstage.

Bobby Lashley gets on the mic.

He says everywhere he goes, people ask him the same question— what’s going on with him and the Street Profits.

So he’s here tonight to give us a straight, simple answer: Real recognizes real, and great recognizes great, and that’s why he recognizes the Street Profits.

Enter the Street Profits.

Bob says they’re athletic, charismatic, and now they’re more aggressive than ever. Montez Ford thanks him for everything he’s done for them and it’s been a long time since they had this much success. Angelo Dawkins says Lashley helped them step over what was and into what is.

They thank Bob and he says they’re coming for power, control, and championship gold.

Enter Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

They have an appropriate face-off with Lashley and the Profits, who block the ramp briefly before letting them through and sending us to break.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Latino World Order (Cruz del Toro & Joaquin Wilde)

Wilde and Zayn to start, Sami with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, cover for two! Owens in, del Toro soon after, Cruz running riot with kicks, Pele off the apron staggers KO but he still rolls away from the slingshot senton atomico and hits a pop-up powerbomb!

Helluva Kick knocks Joaquin off the apron, another one blasts del Toro, tag to KO...

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn win by pinfall with the Stunner from Owens on Cruz del Toro.

Post-match, Sami calls Judgment Day out and says tomorrow night isn’t going to be fun or pretty, because tomorrow night will be the fight of their life.

Jim Uso runs into AJ Styles backstage, a shoving match breaks out briefly, and Solo Sikoa rolls up to take AJ out. Solo tells Jim that he’s not out the Bloodline until they say he’s out the Bloodline, and Uso says they can’t tell him anything and leaves the arena to send us to break.

AJ Styles is interviewed backstage.

He says he wants Solo tonight and he wants to knock his teeth down his throat and give him some of his own medicine. Karl Anderson rolls up to try and talk him out of it but Mia Yim is on team AJ and Styles refuses to back down.

The Miz makes his entrance and gets on the mic.

He says tomorrow night, LA Knight will have the biggest match of his career, and that’s not an insult, just a fact. We saw how easy it was for him to be Knight on Raw and he’s not half the star Miz was even ten years ago—

Enter LA Knight.

He gets on the mic and lists off Miz’s little cosplay moments, like the Rock, John Cena, and now he’s done LA Knight. And what do they have in common, aside from Miz not being able to fill their clothes out, the skinny little turd? Miz wants to be them but he can’t.

Miz wants to say it’s easy being LA Knight? He brought himself out of the sewer to be in this ring, he’s cashed his checks at the payday loan place and Miz wouldn’t last a day in his boots. He says Miz is right that they’re not on the same level, but he’s the higher one.

The A-Lister says Knight failed where he succeeded, and he recounts LA’s failed reality show career as proof. LA says he’s gonna leave him broken and battered and leaving his wife bereft but he can fix that with one phone call. Miz says he crushes dreams like Knight’s all the time and when he loses his popularity and his job he’ll go back to his roach-infested apartment just like it’s 2003.

LA says the one thing Miz said that was correct is he doesn’t know how to quit and tells him to get in his time machine because at Payback tomorrow, he’ll stomp him out and prove this is his game. LA ducks a lariat, Miz runs away but comes back, throat thrust, Skull-Crushing Finale!

Miz tells him that’s his future and leaves, soaking in the hate of the crowd, and Knight attacks him in the aisle and beats him down as referees and road agents swarm him!

Damage CTRL make their entrance and we go to break.

Bayley vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Blackheart running hot, shrugging off a paintbrush from Bayley and laughing, whip reversed, boot up in the corner, Shotzi with a hanging headscissors in the ropes and a break at four! Bayley turning the tide, stomps in the corner, disdainful slaps, Blackheart clocks her with an enzuigiri!

Out to the floor, pulling the Role Model to the floor, snapmares on the mat! Somersault senton off the ropes, back in to break the count and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Blackheart throwing dives with abandon, back inside, inverted Sling Blade, rising knee, round kick, Shiranui blocked and Bayley gets her in the Tree of Woe and drops a leg! Snap suplex into the corner, step-up senton, up top, Damage CTRL run interference and Bayley cuts her off!

The Role Model asking IYO SKY to use her title as a weapon, Charlotte Flair comes down and neutralizes her with a big boot! Shotzi takes advantage of the distraction...

Shotzi Blackheart wins by pinfall.

Post-match, Charlotte slides in the ring and raises Shotzi’s hand, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a video package for Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins tomorrow night.

We get a recap of tonight’s previous developments in the Bloodline story and we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up next week’s show.

AJ Styles vs. Solo Sikoa

Sikoa taking him to the corner, Styles fighting out with chops, shoved back, big shoulder block from Solo! AJ takes a kick, returns one, knee drop, drag him up, Sikoa blocks a slam! Solo with a slam of his own, whip across, Styles meets him with a kick, leapfrog, drop down, dropkick connects!

Forearm in the corner, Paul Heyman makes his way out onto the stage and Sikoa blasts AJ with an elbow! Low bridge takes Solo to the floor, Styles with a knee from the apron, plancha forearm connects, Paul backs off, and we go to break!

Back from commercial, whip reversed, boot up in the corner, AJ off the second but Solo cracks him one in the jaw! One-handed bulldog into the post, Styles crashes to the floor! Back inside, belly-to-belly suplex for two! Back body drop, Sikoa in control, calling for the spike, AJ blocks it with a kick!

Pele kick connects, both men are down and out! Styles with a basement dropkick, sliding forearm, fired up! Corner lariat, fireman’s carry, Solo slips out, AJ slips out of one of his own! Styles Rush, shoved off, pop-up Samoan drop... NOT ENOUGH! Criss-cross, Styles with a lariat, quebrada... STILL NO!

Thinking Styles Clash, Solo hosses him up, AJ grabs the ropes, to the apron, forearm staggers Sikoa! Styles lines him up but Jimmy Uso is here and trips him up! Solo takes full advantage...

Solo Sikoa wins by pinfall with the Samoan Spike.

Post-match, Jim gets in the ring and hugs his brother, but Solo goes to spike him! Paul Heyman intervenes and Sikoa backs down!

Uso spikes AJ with a superkick and splashes him before throwing the one up and staring Heyman and Sikoa down from the ring!

That’s the show, folks.

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