WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (10/13): Barnett’s review of the season premiere with Roman Reigns, Triple H, and John Cena, Pretty Deadly vs. Ridge Holland and Butch


By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,261)
Tulsa, Oklahoma at the BOK Center
Aired live October 13, 2023 on Fox

Kevin Patrick, Michael Cole, and Corey Graves welcomed the TV audience to Smackdown. John Cena’s music hit and he headed to the ring for the opening segment. Video was shown of LA Knight and John Cena picking up a victory at Fastlane. Cena said tonight was big so he had to do this right. He then shouted welcome to the season premiere of Smackdown. Roman Reigns’ music then hit and the crowd whiplashed their heads towards the entrance. 

Roman walked out with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa. Jimmy Uso was conspicuously absent. Paul Heyman’s gray hair from Sunday was back to its usual color in comedic fashion. The bloodline got in the ring and Heyman had control of the microphone. The crowd chanted for Cena and Heyman handed over the mic to Cena. Roman called Cena “John-Boy” and “Hollywood”, and told him to open the show the right way. He then asked Tulsa to acknowledge him. 

The crowd chanted for Cena and Roman took exception to it and called him a coward, and then had the gaul to come back and have people call him the greatest of all time. Roman said Cena knows who the GOAT is, and it’s Roman Reigns. He then said that they’ve sorted this business out before but they can do it again, so he can leave or they can make him leave. Cena responded that Smackdown is unpredictable and with Roman and John Cena in the ring, so he’s going to throw him a curveball. 

Cena then complimented Reigns and said his title reign in this era is the greatest accomplishment of all time, and it was earned. He then elaborated that he wasn’t there to challenge him, because he hadn’t earned it, but he does know someone who has. Cue LA Knight, who made his entrance while Roman looked on perplexed. Cena told him it was his time and handed him the microphone. Roman continued to look confused by all the LA Knight chants. 

Knight asked Roman if he was pissing his pants yet. Knight poked at him and called him the Tribal Chief, but blew him off when he asked the crowd if he was a “Defending Champion”. Knight said that since Roman has been gone for the last month and a half, and then polled the crowd on who’s game it was. Roman said he was proud of him that they know his name now, but who the hell is he to stand in the ring with him? Knight started to explain himself when Jimmy Uso jumped him from behind. 

After one cheap shot, Knight quickly disposed of Jimmy Uso and tossed him out of the ring. Knight then jawed at Roman, who left the ring. He told Solo to forget Cena and handle him, and Solo challenged Knight to a match off camera. Knight then accepted the match on the microphone, and told Solo he would turn his ass upside down and use him as a mop. 

Triple H was announced for later, as well as Pretty Deadly vs. The Brawling Brutes up next…[c]

My Take: Fun opening segment with a lot of star power. The crowd was into everything. Jimmy Uso made a clown of himself and Roman barely acknowledged his existence. It’ll be curious to see how that’s handled as the show goes on.

Pretty Deadly made their entrance and Elton Prince heroically got up out of his wheelchair. Butch and Ridge followed with their entrance. 

1. Elton Prince and Kit Wilson “Pretty Deadly” vs. Ridge Holland and Butch “The Brawling Brutes”: Prince started the match with Butch. After an arm ringer from Butch, Prince quickly escaped the ring and made a tag to Wilson. Butch and Ridge remained in control and Butch knocked Prince off the apron. He then stomped on Wilson’s hands. Butch and Ridge grabbed both Kit and Elton and landed some clubbing blows to the chest….[c]

Wilson and Prince isolated Butch and landed a beatdown in the heel corner. Butch used some finger manipulation to break free briefly, but was quickly knocked back down. Prince and Wilson did a goofy Elton Strong gimmick on the apron, which allowed Butch to crawl away and make a hot tag to Ridge. He entered the match and quickly took down both Wilson and Prince, and then slammed Prince onto Wilson. Ridge the performed a press powerslam on Prince, but Wilson broke up the pin attempt. 

Butch took down Kit with a shining wizard. He attempted a piledriver on the apron, but Kit laned a back body drop. Ridge landed an overhead suplex, and Prince sold a knee injury. This was all a ruse, which led to Kit Wilson taking a cheapshot and Prince rolling up Ridge for the victory.

Pretty Deadly defeated The Brawling Brutes at 7:31

After the match, we got a video recap of the LWO getting the victory over Lashley and The Street Profits at Fastlane. 

Backstage, Carlito was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. He was asked to describe his return, and he said it was cool. Lashley walked up and said the last time he saw him he was beating him up on Smackdown. Carlito said that was a long time ago, and challenged him to a match for his first time back on Smackdown. Lashley begged off, and The Street Profits hit Carlito from behind with a chair and stomped him out. They were separated by WWE Officials…[c]

My Take: Not much flow in the match between Pretty Deadly and The Brawling Brutes. It wasn’t awful, just never got out of second gear. I’m curious if they introduce Carlito as being a regular member of the LWO or if he’s going to be doing his own thing adjacent to them.

Backstage, Bayley walked up on the interview set where Carlito was being attended to by medics. Bayley and Zelina Vega got into an argument. Bayley wanted time for an Iyo Sky celebration and Vega said they had bigger things to worry about. Adam Pearce got sick of it and booked them in a match. 

Elsewhere, Roman asked Jimmy Uso what he was doing. He said he was calling audibles and making plays. Roman told him he isn’t a quarterback, and asked him what he thought they should do next. Jimmy said go after Jey. Roman initially said he was old news, but said teaming with Cody Rhodes was a slap in the face of the Bloodline, and told him to handle it. Roman asked if he could do that, and he said “yeet”. Roman said he didn’t like that, but they were good, and they bumped fists. 

In the arena, Bayley made her entrance with Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai. 

My Take: Cody and Jey showing up later should make for some interesting TV.

Footage was shown of Iyo Sky retaining her title with the help of Bayley at Fastlane. Zelina Vega made her entrance after the video. 

2. Zelina Vega vs. Bayley: They went back and forth for the first minute or so until Bayley leveled Vega with a big lariat. She then landed an elbow drop and covered for a two count. She then went for Bayley to Belly, but Vega avoided it and tripped her onto the bottom rope. She then landed a modified 619 and a Meteora from the top for a near fall. Iyo caused a distraction on the apron that gave Bayley an opening to land a Roseplant, and then got the win. 

Bayley defeated Zelina Vega at 3:09

After the match, Damage CTRL continued the assault on Vega, but Charlotte walked down to make the save. Triple H is up next…[c]

My Take: I guess Charlotte is Iyo’s challenger in Saudi Arabia? Not much to that match.

Triple H made his entrance and soaked up the crowd reaction. Adam Pearce was in the ring with him. He complimented Fastlane and said they were just weeks away from Crown Jewel and right around the corner is Survivor Series. He then said it all starts tonight on the premiere edition of Smackdown. He then drew attention to Adam Pearce, who he said was an unsung hero of WWE over the last few years. He announced that he had a thankless job, and he deserved a lot of credit for the success of Raw and Smackdown. 

Pearce thanked him, and Triple H told him he was due a promotion. He announced Pearce as the GM of Raw, which brought him to who would be the General Manager of Smackdown. They were interrupted by Dominik Mysterio. Dom walked to the ring and got booed out of the building. Triple H told the crowd to try and keep it down, and they booed louder. Dom railed against the injustice of Cody and Jey defending their titles. 

Triple H said he thought they piped that in, he didn’t actually believe they were that loud. Triple H said he and Adam Pearce weren’t the people he needed to talk to. He then introduced the General Manager of Smackdown as Nick Aldis. He introduced himself and thanked WWE for the opportunity. Aldis then said he wanted his first order of business to be announcing the trade from Raw that is owed due to Jey Uso moving to Raw. 

Dom got booed as he interrupted again, and said he would slap the taste out of this new person’s mouth and make him respect him. Cue Kevin Owens, who walked down and gave Dom a stunner to end the segment. He held up the arm of Nick Aldis. 

Backstage, Roman Reigns watched all this happen and got increasingly angry. He told Jimmy to stop drinking his water and get to taking care of business. Jey asked if he was serious, and he said he wasn’t, but imagine if he was. Jimmy then sprung into action and asked Solo to come with him. He said “yeet” again, which Roman reiterated he hated…[c]

My Take: Interesting segment that splits the duties between Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis. I approve of it, because these shows should have a different flavor to their backstage segments. KO moving over puts an end to his tag team with Sami Zayn, which I think is needed at this point.

Backstage, Nick Aldis was approached by Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. They asked for new title belts, as the ones they were holding are cursed. Charlotte then walked up, and Aldis dismissed Niven and Green. He said he saw what happened at Fastlane, and since things are changing around here, he wanted to grant her a title match with Iyo next week. She thanked him, but ran into Triple H and Jade Cargill as she left the room. Jade introduced herself, and said it was a pleasure. Charlotte said it will be, and walked away. 

In the arena, Jey Uso made his entrance, followed by Cody Rhodes…[c]

My Take: Jade showing up all over WWE TV. It’ll be interesting to see where she lands.

Video was shown of Cody and Jey winning the Tag Titles at Fastlane. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory made their entrances. 

3. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso: Rhodes and Waller started the match. Cody dominated the early going and made a tag to Jey. Waller tried to headbutt Jey, forgetting he was a Samoan. Theory and Waller eventually took control and knocked Cody to the floor. They then sent Jey into the ring post from the apron on the outside…[c]

Video was shown of Cody and Jey winning the Tag Titles at Fastlane. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory made their entrances. 

3. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso: Rhodes and Waller started the match. Cody dominated the early going and made a tag to Jey. Waller tried to headbutt Jey, forgetting he was a Samoan. Theory and Waller eventually took control and knocked Cody to the floor. They then sent Jey into the ring post from the apron on the outside…[c]

Theory continued to work over Jey Uso in the heel corner. He stomped on him and choked him with his foot. Cody fired up on the apron and distracted the ref, which allowed for a double team choke spot from Waller and Theory. Jey tried to fire up and get back in the match, but Theory landed a backbreaker and Waller came off the ropes for a Demolition Decapitator for a near fall. 

Jey landed an Enziguri on Theory and made the hot tag to Rhodes. He bounced Theory around the ring and landed a powerslam. Cody followed up with a disaster kick on both Theory and Waller. Theory punched Cody in the throat and landed a Fisherman’s Buster. Jey broke up the fall and landed a Superkick on Theory. They landed a Cody Cutter 1D, and then Rhodes landed Cross Rhodes and got the win. 

Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso defeated Greyson Waller and Austin Theory to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships at 11:14

After the match. Cody and Jey celebrated with the crowd. The Bloodline music played and Jimmy and Solo walked out. Jimmy and Solo confronted Cody and Jey, and then Roman walked out to get in Cody’s face. They stared daggers at one another before Nick Aldis showed up to tell them that it wasn’t happening here tonight…[c]

My Take: Predictable outcome to the Tag Match, but it was well worked. Cody and Roman having their staredown got a rise out of the crowd, and it was shot well and made for some good TV. Hopefully they make good about paying it off down the road.

Charlotte Flair vs. Iyo Sky was advertised for next week. Santos Escobar vs. Montez Ford was also announced. Solo Sikoa was shown already in the ring. LA Knight then made his ring entrance. 

4. LA Knight vs. Solo Sikoa: Both man landed some shots early, but Solo landed a strong back elbow that took Knight off his feet. Solo attempted a suplex, but Knight landed on his feet and reversed into a neckbreaker. There was a clumsy spot where Solo landed a lariat that looked real awkward. Knight was talking to the referee, who forced Solo to give him some space. Knight got to his feet and tried to slam Solo, but was blocked when he tried to pick him up. 

Knight sent Solo to the floor with a lariat. Solo entered the ring, but Knight set up for a suplex from the ring to the floor. Solo blocked it and sent Knight into the ring post and down to the floor…[c]

Solo continued the assault and landed a hip attack in the corner. Knight fired back with a back elbow as Solo charged into the corner. He then landed a second rope elbow drop and covered for a two count. Solo fired back with a big Samoan Drop and got a near fall. Knight went for a sunset flip, and avoided it when Solo attempted to drop onto his head. Solo jumped into the corner and hit his head on the ringpost.

Knight rocked Solo with a series of punches, followed by a flying clothesline. He then hit a running knee in the corner. He attempted a second one, but Solo caught him. Knight reversed out of it and landed a powerslam for a near fall. Both men collided with a double clothesline. Jimmy Uso tried to get involved, but John Cena stopped him with an Attitude Adjustment. Solo landed a Samoan Spike on Cena, but Knight caught him with a BFT for the win. 

LA Knight defeated Solo Sikoa at 12:04

Knight celebrated on the ropes, but turned around into a Roman Reigns spear. The crowd booed Roman loudly to close the show. 

My Take: A decent match to close the show, and I think the outcome that was foreshadowed in the opening segment played out as you would expect. LA Knight will get a platform to challenge for the WWE Unified Championship in Saudi Arabia, and from where I guess time will tell.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. Real talk here — if the pop for LA Knight were within 30 decibels of the boos for Dominick Mysterio, then no one would question his worthiness for a title shot.

    That kid has thermonuclear heat, and he isn’t getting enough credit for how he’s powering through the noise. To be as young as he is, and able to elevate the stories of others along the way? That’s veteran shit.

    Dirty Dom is a hidden MVP. And I don’t think ANY of us had that on the 2023 bingo card.

    • Dom is arguably the most over heel, as an actual heel, in the business right now. I’m not taking a guess on his long term upside, but the last time a legacy babyface debuted so poorly and then turned into the hottest heel in the business, it was the Rock.

      There’s no way to tell if Dom will ever get to those heights, as most don’t, but he’s done more this year than I expected out of his whole career.

  2. Jade worked her ass off in AEW, and I’m sure she’ll do the same in the WWE, but she is just not that good in the ring, and that will be exposed if she steps in there with Charlotte.

    • That’s the point of putting her in the ring with a veteran like Charlotte. They know what they have and her strengths and weaknesses. Rehearsal combined with working with a vet can only help. Ronda Rousey had very little experience and was able to have some quality matches early on.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.