7/28 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso on the road to Tribal Combat, Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar for a shot at the Intercontinental Title, Karrion Kross vs. Karl Anderson

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,250)
New Orleans, Louisiana at Smoothie King Center
Aired live July 28, 2023 on Fox

[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show while noting that SummerSlam was just over a week away. Cole was joined on commentary by Wade Barrett…

Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced Jey Uso, who was already in the ring. “Main Event Jey Uso is now in your city,” Uso said. The entrance music of Roman Reigns played. Reigns headed to the ring with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa. Cole said the Tribal Combat match has no disqualifications or count-outs, and the only way to win is to pin or submit your opponent.

Reigns entered the ring with Heyman and Sikoa. Reigns held up his title belt and then pyro shot off. Reigns looked back at Jey, who was standing in the corner. A loud “Uso” chant broke out. Reigns held out his hand and then Heyman passed him the mic and said, “Oh, yes.”

“Nawlins, acknowledge me,” Reigns started. Reigns asked the crowd if they know why they like the Usos. Reigns said it’s because of him. Reigns said Jey must have forgotten that if the Tribal Chief is scheduled to appear, then the Tribal Chief opens the show.

Reigns said Jey was labeled the righthand man because he made him that. Reigns also took credit for making him “Main Event” Jey Uso. Reigns asked Jey if he thinks he’s the Head of the Table and the Tribal Chief. Jey said he never wanted any of that. Jey said he watched Roman’s back and supported him.

Jey said he was the righthand man because he believed in his Tribal Chief and believed he could lead the family. Jey said Reigns broke the family and now he has to do what he has to do. Jey said Roman broke the family, the Bloodline, and Jimmy. “It is all your fault,” Jey said.

Reigns said he wouldn’t take that blame. He said it was Jey’s fault. Reigns accused Jey of being selfish for asking for a title shot the moment that Jimmy got hurt. Reigns said the only reason Jey became the righthand man is because Jimmy was hurt.

Reigns said Jey will be all alone because he screwed his twin brother and his younger brother has more respect for Reigns than Jey. Reigns said that if Jey were to beat him, he would take everything from him. But Roman said he’ll always be Roman Reigns, where as Jey would have nothing.

“You can’t beat me, Jey,” Reigns said. He questioned why Jey thinks he can. “It’s because I already beat you,” Jey responded. “I pinned you. I’m the only one to do it.” Jey put his hand on Roman’s neck, looked him in the eye, and said, “And at SummerSlam, I’m going to beat you again.” Jey left the ring and played to the fans while Reigns looked bothered by what Jey told him…

Rey Mysterio made his entrance for the opening match heading into a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: So the Tribal Combat match is another No DQ match with a fancy name. I was hoping that it would at least be established that there’s absolutely no outside interference permitted per the rules of combat, meaning it would be shameful to go against the family tradition. That said, it was a pretty basic segment by Bloodline standards and yet also effective in terms of pushing the SummerSlam main event. I’m filling in for Jake Barnett, who is celebrating his 40th birthday today.

Jey was shown walking backstage where Grayson Waller approached him and said he loved the passion out there. Waller said it gave him an idea. He said that whether Jey wins or loses, then assumed he’d lose, he could give him the Grayson Waller Rub by having him on the Grayson Waller Effect. Grayson called him Little Jey and tried to yuck it up with Jey, who laughed with him and then punched him out…

Santos Escobar made his entrance to a flat response…

1. Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar in the U.S. Invitational Title final. The wrestlers shook hands prior to the match. Austin Theory was shown watching the match from a luxury box while eating popcorn. Escobar threw a kick to Rey’s thigh early in the match. Rey slapped Escobar, who slapped him back. Rey got Escobar in position for the 619, but Escobar rolled to ringside. Rey hit him with a flip dive heading into a break. [C]

Escobar had a run of offense. Both men ended up at ringside where Rey hit a huracanrana. Rey went for a baseball slide and then crashed and burned when Escobar moved. Escobar returned to the ring and hit Rey with a suicide dive. [C]

An ad for Monday’s Raw focused on Brock Lesnar and Logan Paul appearing.

Coming out of the break, Rey was on the apron being tended to by a trainer. They replayed the suicide dive spot and played up the whiplash effect. The referee informed Mike Rome, who relayed the news that Rey was unable to continue and therefore Escobar was the winner.

Santos Escobar defeated Rey Mysterio via medical stoppage in 14:40.

After the match, Escobar hugged Rey and then took a knee and bowed. Rey pulled him up. Theory stood in his luxury box and mocked Escobar for being emotional. Barrett hyped the Theory vs. Escobar match for the U.S. Championship being held in two weeks on Smackdown…

Powell’s POV: My best guess is that it was a planned finish if only because Rey seemed okay afterward and wasn’t helped to the back. Again, that’s just a guess. His neck definitely snapped back from the impact of the suicide dive, though it didn’t appear as though his head hit the ground in the process.

Kayla Braxton stood on the backstage ring set and introduced Bianca Belair for an interview. Belair started to talk about her SummerSlam match when she was interrupted by WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville. They spoke about numbers, including that they’ve gone eleven days without a championship celebration. They also vented that things are always about Bianca or Charlotte Flair.

Bianca said they could always have a Triple Threat match. Charlotte showed up and said she needed Belair at one hundred percent heading into SummerSlam. Flair asked Belair to team with her against Green and Deville. Belair wasn’t interested, but Flair said that made her want to do it more. Flair said was going to talk to Adam Pearce about the match… [C]

The Hit Row trio of Top Dolla, B-Fab, and Ashante Thee Adonis were in the ring. They taunted the New Orleans fans. Ashante told Top Dolla to talk slowly so the fans would understand. Dolla said he needed only two words – Roll Tide.

LA Knight made his entrance to a big reaction and had a mic in hand. Knight said he knew Will Smith was in the game, but he didn’t know Uncle Phil became a rapper. Dolla sold it. Knight said they were corny, but B-Fab seemed horny based on the way she was looking at him. Knight said a lot of people claim to be undeniable or inevitable, whereas he lives it…

2. LA Knight vs. Ashante Thee Adonis (w/Top Dolla, B-Fab). Adonis took advantage of a distraction and attacked Knight to start the match. Knight eventually came back with a neckbreaker. Dolla climbed onto the apron and was knocked back to the floor by Knight, who then powerslammed Adonis. Knight did his big elbow drop and then hit Blunt Force Trauma for the win…

LA Knight defeated Ashante Thee Adonis in 1:40.

Powell’s POV: Will this be enough to make Knight fans stop fearing the worst for at least a week?

Jey Uso was looking at his phone when Adam Pearce approached him. Pearce said Waller has been beating down his door and asking for a match after what happened earlier. Jey said Waller had been running his mouth and he would make it quick…

Charlotte Flair made her entrance for the tag team match… [C] New Orleans imagery was shown while Cole hyped Jey Uso vs. Grayson Waller for later in the show…

Bobby Lashley was shown meeting in a lounge with Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. He said he spoke with someone who had a lot of good things to say about the Profits. He said they are stars and should dress like stars. Dawkins wondered who they were talking about. A woman rolled in some suits. The Profits got excited and then Lashley said it was on him…

[Hour Two] The remainder of the entrances for the tag team match took place. Cole hyped Liv Morgan and Cody Rhodes hosting a Connor’s Cure and The V Foundation charity event in Detroit at Ford Field next Friday…

3. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green vs. Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair in a non-title match. Belair performed an early handspring into the ropes followed by a standing moonsault on Deville. Belair mounted Deville on the ropes and threw punches. Green ran in. Belair backflipped over Green and sent her to ringside. Deville blasted Belair with a big boot and covered her for a two count. [C]

Flair took a hot tag and went up top. Deville and Green awkwardly walked into her crossbody block. Flair chipped Green repeatedly and put her down with a fallaway slam. Flair played to the receptive crowd and then clotheslined Green before covering her for a two count.

Deville tagged in. Flair speared Green and then dodged a charging Deville. Flair took Deville down moments later and set up for her finisher, but Deville kicked her into the corner. Belair tagged in. Green made a blind tag and tripped Belair as she was going for a handspring move. Flair pulled Deville to the floor to prevent her from performing a double team finisher.

Belair hoisted up Green for her finisher, but Flair tagged herself in. Flair hit a big boot on Green, who was being held up by Belair. Flair blew off a frustrated Belair and then pinned Green.

Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair beat WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green in 10:25 in a non-title match.

After the match, Belair was upset and questioned why Flair wanted to team together. Flair celebrated their win and said they both won…

Powell’s POV: I don’t want to read too much into one match given that they were working with two of the top wrestlers in the division, but it looks like Deville and Green are being pegged as bumbling, vulnerable heel champions.

Bayley was shown watching on a backstage monitor and said it was embarrassing. Iyo Sky showed up and asked Bayley why she left her last week. Bayley said she didn’t leave her, she was going to get the keys from their valet. Bayley said it was best to get their stuff and run after she saw Shotzi’s creepy video. Bayley pulled out a note with clipped letters that read “See You Soon.”

Asuka showed up and spoke about facing two of the best at SummerSlam. She told Sky she would make her regret it if she tried to cash in her Money in the Bank contract. Sky said it doesn’t matter who wins at SummerSlam because she will leave as the WWE Women’s Champion… Cole hyped Jey Uso vs. Grayson Waller for later in the show… [C]

Cole announced a SummerSlam Battle Royal with wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown competing…

Pearce was on the phone talking to someone about the battle royal when LA Knight showed up. Knight spoke about it being a misstep that he wasn’t in the U.S. Title match. Knight said they could make it right by putting him in the battle royal.

Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch showed up. Sheamus said the battle royal can’t be won with promos. Sheamus said you have to fight like your life depends on it. The Brawling Brutes went into “banger after banger” mode. Knight said the only thing banged on would be Sheamus getting banged upside the head.

Pearce said he would put Knight and Sheamus in the battle royal and they could have a match on Smackdown “and we see who walks into SummerSlam with a little bit of momentum.” Knight asked if he was being put in the ring “with this marble mouth.” Sheamus stole Knight’s line by saying, “Yeah” in his face…

Grayson Waller was shadowboxing backstage when Cathy Kelley asked him about provoking Jey Uso. Waller said he didn’t deserve the cheap shot that Jey gave him. Waller said Jey is so focused on Reigns that he’s not ready for the Grayson Waller Effect…

Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their entrance… [C] Backstage, Karl Anderson told AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Michin that he knows they have his back, but things with Kross have become personal and he needed to do it on his own. The trio agreed…

Karl Anderson made his entrance. Cole said Rey Mysterio was being evaluated by doctors backstage and said more information would be available online over the weekend…

4. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Karl Anderson. Anderson leapt from the ropes and performed an early neckbreaker for a two count. Scarlett grabbed Anderson’s leg while the referee was focused on Kross, who then took advantage of the distraction. Kross suplexed Anderson and then hit him with the Kross Hammer. Kross yelled “AJ” before hitting a finisher called the Final Prayer and then scored the pin.

Karrion Kross beat Karl Anderson in 2:10.

Afterward, Kross applied a Kross Jacket on Anderson. Kross looked into the camera and yelled, “Look what you did, AJ.” AJ Styles ran to the ring, causing Kross to release the hold and go to ringside with Scarlett…

Powell’s POV: Kross was more vocal during his match, so it looks like they are trying something new.

Roman Reigns was shown watching a television in a backstage area while Heyman held the Tribal Chief lei and Solo Sikoa stood behind him. Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event… [C]

Cole hyped Sheamus vs. LA Knight for next week’s Smackdown, and Austin Theory vs. Santos Escobar for the U.S. Title on the post SummerSlam edition of Smackdown… Grayson Waller made his entrance…

5. Jey Uso vs. Grayson Waller. Jey took offensive control a few minutes into the match and dazed Waller with a step-up enzuigiri. Jey set up for a move in the opposite corner, but he was distracted by Roman Reigns’ entrance music. Reigns walked out with Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman. Waller hit a distracted Jey with kick heading into a break. [C]

Reigns was seated in a chair near the entrance aisle with Heyman and Sikoa standing behind him. Waller maintained offensive control and cut off a Jey comeback attempt with a spinebuster. Waller spoofed the People’s Elbow while Reigns laughed at ringside, but Jey avoided the actual elbow drop.

Jey went for a hip attack in the corner. Waller avoided it. Waller went for his rolling Stunner finisher only to eat a superkick. Jey looked down at a smiling Reigns and then speared Waller. Jey stood up and looked down at Reigns, who smirked when Heyman spoke to him. Jey followed up with a top rope splash and scored the pin.

Jey Uso defeated Grayson Waller in 11:10.

After the match, Solo Sikoa attacked Jey. Solo held up his thumb. Roman did the same and then nodded. Solo went for the Samoan Spike, but Jey ducked it and superkicked Solo. Reigns ran in and ate a spear from Jey. The crowd popped big. Jey went up top. Solo shoved him off and then hit him with a uranage. Cole acknowledged that Sikoa could be a deciding factor in Tribal Combat.

Reigns got to his feet and was fuming. Reigns and Sikoa did the war cry. Roman ran the ropes and speared Jey while Solo simultaneously hit Jey with the Samoan Spike. Reigns and Sikoa stood over Jey and jawed at him. Reigns told Jey that he couldn’t handle the this and dropped the belt next to him. Roman got annoyed by a crowd chant and then he and Solo repeated the spear and Samoan Spike combo. Reigns posed on the ropes while Cole hyped Tribal Combat for SummerSlam…

Powell’s POV: A momentum building win for Jey. I’m as high as anyone on Waller, but it’s not his time. The key for him in this match is that he mocked the People’s Elbow to keep his thing with The Rock going. Will it lead to something? Who knows, but it’s not like Rock is as busy as usual with the Hollywood strikes.

Overall, this was a quality show on the road to SummerSlam. The live crowd are really behind Jey heading into SummerSlam and I’m really looking forward to seeing what type of match he and Reigns put together. I will have more to say in my same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading the show below.

Join John Moore for his live review of NXT Great American Bash on Sunday night.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. TheGreatestOne July 28, 2023 @ 8:28 pm

    Been a pretty good show so far, but the Human Insomnia Solution vs Karl Anderson shouldn’t be on TV.

    Opening promo shows how good The Bloodline story is even when it’s not their best segment.

    How they get to Santos turning on Rey and taking the LWO heel will be interesting to see. Not sure if it will work, but it’s worth a try.

    LA Knight calling Flop Dolla Uncle Phil was great. Decent enough showcase match.

    WWE just can’t help themselves when it comes to making tag champs look weak, but Charlotte seemed to be moving better tonight.

    I am interested in seeing Waller and Jey try to carry the main event slot.

  2. Thank God we got the greatestturd’s opinion on everything. A 350 lb senior citizen who hasn’t left his house in years is the foremost authority on wrestling and has the gall to say someone else is boring

  3. People seem to forget Waller has history with the Rock. He played Ric Flair on the first season of Young Rock

  4. Man, WWE, booking the tag champs like that is why Sasha and Naomi walked. You never learn.

  5. Considering they’ve made Chelsea into a Karen-like character, are you really surprised by this? I am not.

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