July 21, 2023
Orlando, Florida – Amway Center
Commentary: Michael Cole & Wade Barrett
Quick Match Results
- WWE United States Championship Invitational Fatal 4-Way Match: Rey Mysterio defeated Sheamus, Cameron Grimes, LA Knight via hurricanrana on Grimes
- Charlotte Flair defeated IYO SKY via Natural Selection
- Santos Escobar defeated Austin Theory via Phantom Driver
- NXT North American Championship: “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio (c) defeated Butch via pinfall after throwing him into the ring post
A video highlights what happened last Friday on SmackDown. Jey Uso was furious over his brother Jimmy Uso being taken out by Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa. Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa interrupted him. Heyman told Jey he’d discuss the Rules of Engagement with Roman Reigns this coming week. Jey would eventually take out Sikoa and superkick Heyman down. Jey threatened Heyman with a chair, but Sikoa thwarted the attack. Sikoa and Heyman were left retreating.
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is walking backstage with Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman. Reigns is on his 1,055th day as champion.
United States Champion Austin Theory is seated at ringside.
NXT Superstars Wes Lee and Dragon Lee are shown in the crowd at ringside. Lee lost his NXT North American Championship to Dominik Mysterio this past Tuesday.
Before the match begins, LA Knight makes his entrance with a microphone. “Lemme talk to ya!” The crowd is absolutely on fire for Knight as they chant his name. SummerSlam is right around the corner, and it’s called the Biggest Party of the Summer, yeah! Knight wants to go to a party that involves him taking the United States Championship. Tonight, we’ll see some “stepping stone action.” Three men are in the way, but they’ll go down one by one. They’ll be saying his name: LA Knight, yeah!
The winner of this match will face Santos Escobar next week on SmackDown. The winner of that match will face Austin Theory for the United States Championship.
The bell rings, and a brawl breaks out. Rey Mysterio and Cameron Grimes concentrate on each other, while LA Knight and Sheamus go at it. Grims knocks Mysterio out of the ring. Knight knocks Sheamus off the apron and into the commentary table. Grimes tries to attack Knight, but Knight gets the better of him and sends him over the top rope. The crowd loudly chants his name again!
We return from the break to see Sheamus running over Knight with shoulder tackles. At ringside, Grimes sends Mysterio into the LED barricade. In the ring, Knight clotheslines Sheamus down for a one-count. Sheamus quickly stuns Knight with a punch to the midsection, followed by a rolling fireman’s carry senton. The crowd roots Knight on. Sheamus sends Knight into the ropes. Knight ducks a clothesline and takes Sheamus down with a back elbow. Sheamus pulls himself up on the ropes and sends Knight to the apron. Sheamus elbows Knight down. Grimes attacks Sheamus from behind, but Sheamus knocks him into the ropes. Knight looks like he was supposed to be hit, but he wasn’t ready. Mysterio then sends Grimes back into the ropes, and this time, Grimes hits Knight, sending him to ringside. Sheamus and Mysterio hit Knight and Grimes (respectively) with 10 Beats of the Bodhran!
Sheamus and Mysterio high-five in the ring before Mysterio tries to blindside him. Sheamus stays standing and pulls Mysterio to his feet. Sheamus scoops Mysterio up, but Mysterio slides off and dropkicks him in the knee to put him into position. Mysterio hits the ropes for a 619, but Sheamus counters with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Sheamus puts Mysterio on his shoulders, but Grimes takes him out with a diving clothesline off the top rope. Grimes is fired up and starts kicking Sheamus and Mysterio in the chest. Knight enters the ring, and Grimes greets him with a step-up enzuigiri. Mysterio tries to attack Grimes, but Grimes plants him with a side slam. Grimes covers Mysterio, but Sheamus pulls him off and punches him to the corner. Sheamus lifts Grimes, but Grimes slides off and kicks him against the ropes. Grimes hits the ropes, but Sheamus hits a clothesline. Sheamus follows up with an Irish Curse Backbreaker on Grimes. Knight goes after Sheamus, but Sheamus sends him out of the ring. Knight pulls Sheamus out of the ring and backs him into the apron. Knight then hits a back suplex on the apron. Knight then attacks Grimes. Mysterio hits Knight with a baseball slide and gets him in the ring. Mysterio goes to the top rope, but Knight sweeps the feet. Knight goes for a superplex, but Sheamus cuts it off. Sheamus climbs the ropes, but he slips off to the canvas. Grimes charges Sheamus, but Sheamus gets him in a powerbomb position. Sheamus then powerbombs Grimes, who grabs Knight and slams him down as Knight superplexes Mysterio! Nice!
We come back from the break to see Grimes slam Mysterio and pick up a two-count. Knight and Sheamus take each other out at ringside with a nasty double clothesline. In the ring, Grimes gets Mysterio in the electric chair position. Mysterio pulls him over the top rope, but Grimes keeps him on his shoulders! Mysterio then counters with a hurricanrana into Austin Theory’s chair! Theory just managed to get out of the way. Theory yells at Mysterio. Mysterio grabs Grimes, and Sheamus wipes them out with a diving double clothesline off the top rope to the floor! Sheamus sends Grimes into the barricade before going after Mysterio. Sheamus sends Mysterio into the LED barricade.
Sheamus snaps Knight off the top rope and gets in the ring. Sheamus hits a top rope diving clothesline on Knight. Mysterio runs into the ring, but Sheamus hits him with a powerslam. Sheamus hits Knight with White Noise for a near fall. Sheamus goes to the corner and signals for the end. The crowd starts booing Sheamus, who usually is a fan favorite, but everyone is super into LA Knight tonight. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick on Knight, but Knight counters into a slam. Knight covers, but Mysterio dives on them to break it up.
Sheamus pushes Knight into a superkick from Grimes. Sheamus then annihilates Grimes with a vicious knee to the face. Knight pops up and hits Sheamus with an inverted Death Valley Driver. Knight covers, but Mysterio breaks it up. Mysterio charges Grimes, but Grimes catches him with a Collision Course. Grimes covers, but Mysterio kicks out. It looks like Knight was late getting to break up the pin. Mysterio soon catches Knight with a 619 to the midsection. Mysterio kicks Grimes back and goes to the top rope. Grimes cuts Mysterio off and goes for a superplex. Sheamus attacks Grimes with some stiff clubs to the spine. Sheamus has Grimes in the electric chair position. Grimes slides off, but Mysterio hits them with a double hurricanrana into the middle rope! Mysterio hits them both with a double 619! Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Mysterio hits Grimes with a springboard splash and covers, but Austin Theory pulls Mysterio out of the ring! Theory sends Mysterio into the steel ring steps!
Santos Escobar runs down and attacks Theory. Escobar and Theory brawl into the crowd and to the back. In the ring, Knight hits Grimes with a big elbow drop. Sheamus then hits Knight with a Brogue Kick! Grimes catches Sheamus with a Cave In. Mysterio then hits Grimes with a hurricanrana into a cradle for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio will face his protege and LWO stablemate Santos Escobar in the United States Championship Invitational finals next week on SmackDown. Escobar returns to the ring and celebrates with Mysterio. They shake hands and embrace before they do battle next week.
The Cavinder Twins of NXT are shown at ringside, even though they haven’t debuted on NXT yet.
Jey Uso is walking backstage. Also shown backstage are Tony D’Angelo, Channing Lorenzo, and the Creed Brothers, all of NXT.
Backstage: Austin Theory, Adam Pearce
United States Champion Austin Theory walks up to WWE Official Adam Pearce. Theory is furious that Santos Escobar attacked him and wants a match against him tonight. Pearce says it should be for the United States Championship. Theory says Escobar doesn’t deserve a title match. Pearce makes the match official.
NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are shown at ringside.
NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton is watching this match from ringside.
Replays are shown of Charlotte Flair helping to thwart a Money in the Bank cash-in by IYO SKY, only for Flair to wind up spearing Bianca Belair accidentally. Asuka then spat mist into Bayley’s eyes.
Bayley will be on commentary for this match.
The bell rings, and they lock up. Flair powers Sky to the corner. Sky climbs to the second rope and jumps down for an arm drag, but Flair counters with a cartwheel. They lock up again, and Flair pulls her into a side headlock. Sky pushes her off, but Flair shoulder tackles her. Flair hits the ropes, so Sky drops down. Flair does two cartwheels and shows Sky up. Sky hits the ropes, so Flair leapfrogs her before dropping down. Sky cartwheels over her twice. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. In 15 years, I don’t think I’ve ever used that in a recap.
Anyway, Flair and Sky hit the ropes. Sky dropkicks her in the knee to take her down. Flair blocks another kick and takes the Genius of the Sky down. Sky soon boots Flair back and punches away at her. Sky sends Flair into the corner, but Flair rolls up the turnbuckles and boots Sky down, a la her legendary father, Ric Flair. Flair goes to the top rope and connects with a flying cross-body block on Sky. Flair attacks Sky in the corner and goes for a slam, but Sky slides off and dropkicks Flair in the knee. Sky knocks Flair back and hits a springboard dropkick for a one-count. Sky isn’t happy. Flair catches her with a waistlock, but Sky runs out of the ring and snaps her off the bottom rope. Sky goes for a dropkick, but Flair avoids it. Flair goes for a plancha, but Bayley distracts her. Sky avoids the plancha and hits Flair with a hurricanrana on the floor.
We come back from the break to see Flair and Bayley jaw-jacking. Flair gets Sky in the ring and attacks the left leg. Sky avoids a knee to the leg and hits Flair with a running double knee in the corner. Sky covers for a two-count. Sky applies a modified crossface, but Flair powers up and hits a back suplex. Flair and Sky begin trading punches before Sky dropkicks her in the injured knee again. Sky sends her into the ropes, but she lowers her head and eats a kick. Flair hits her family’s famous chops to the chest. Sky charges, but Flair catches her and walks around the ring with her before hitting a fallaway slam. Flair kips up and is fired up. Flair hits a cartwheel into a clothesline for a near fall.
Sky avoids an avalanche in the corner, but Flair soon hits her with a reverse STO into the turnbuckle. Flair puts Sky on the top rope and rocks her with a strike. Bayley gets up from commentary and distracts Flair. Sky bounces Flair off the top turnbuckle and hits a sunset flip into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
Suddenly, Shotzi appears on the titantron, calling for Bayley as scissors are heard cutting hair. Bayley looks worried and starts looking around, all paranoid. Bayley walks off and apologizes to Sky. Sky isn’t happy about that. Sky goes to the top rope, but Flair rips her off. Flair charges, but Sky sends her headfirst into the middle turnbuckle. Sky goes for the Over the Moonsault, but Flair moves. Flair goes for a moonsault, but Sky gets a boot up. Sky hits a head-scissor into a crossface. Flair fights it, so Sky rolls her for a pin and a two-count. Flair then rolls Sky up for a two-count. Sky avoids a big boot and hangs her leg up on the top rope before snapping it. Sky goes to the top rope and goes for a missile dropkick, but Flair catches her and applies a Liontamer! Sky gets out and rolls her up for a two-count. Sky quickly rocks Flair with a basement dropkick.
Both women take a few moments to recover before Sky lets out a primal scream. Sky punches away at Flair before hitting the ropes. Flair quickly spears Sky down for a two-count. Sky soon connects with an inside cradle for a two-count. Flair hits a German Suplex into a bridge for a two-count. Sky rolls Flair up and hits a vicious double stomp to the midsection, knocking all the breath out of the Queen. Flair weakly elbows her back and pulls herself up to the middle rope. Sky attacks the injured knee and uppercuts her. Sky goes to the top rope, and the crowd chants, “Let’s go, Iyo!” Sky hits a top rope hurricanrana into a cover. Flair kicks out and rolls her up for a two-count. Sky then rolls and covers her for a two-count. Flair hits Natural Selection on Miss Money in the Bank for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair gets to her feet in victory, but WWE Women’s Champion Asuka attacks her from behind with a German Suplex! Asuka hits a running knee to the face before applying an armbar! The referee pulls her off, and Asuka celebrates with her title. In two weeks, Asuka will defend her title against Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair in a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam.
Replays are shown of Dominik Mysterio defeating Wes Lee (with much help from the Judgment Day) to win the NXT North American Championship this past Tuesday.
Kayla Braxton is backstage with NXT North American Champion “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio and Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley. Dominik says he wants to show his deadbeat dad what a real champion looks like. Even if his father wins his match next week and goes on to win the United States Champion, he’ll only be the champion of the United States. Dominik is the champion of all of North America with 23 countries…
…Butch of the Brawling Brutes walks up to him. Butch wants Dominik to put the title on the line against him tonight. Dominik says he is not dressed to compete. WWE Hall of Famer (and NXT authority figure) Shawn Michaels walks up! HBK says that sounds like an excellent match for SmackDown and makes it official.
Backstage: Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is seated and looking very pensive backstage, with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa looking at him, watching his every move. Reigns looks up and stares at Sikoa, who eventually looks away.
Roman Reigns will make a decision on his cousin Jey Uso’s SummerSlam challenge later tonight.
Backstage: Bayley, Iyo Sky
Bayley pulls Miss Money in the Bank IYO SKY in the locker room and says they need to go. Bayley’s luggage is destroyed with a pair of scissors stabbing a picture of her in the chest. Bayley is terrified of Shotzi.
Austin Theory vs. Santos Escobar
The bell rings, and they quickly lock up. Theory backs Escobar to the corner, but Escobar quickly fights out. Theory lifts Escobar, but he slides off and dropkicks him down. Escobar caught him pretty snug with that. Theory soon gets Escobar in the corner and stomps him down. Theory connects with a textbook vertical suplex for a two-count. Theory taunts the crowd, but Escobar makes him pay with some punches. Theory whips Escobar to the corner, but Escobar pops out and hits a hurricanrana. Escobar pulls Theory up, but Theory drops him with a DDT for a two-count. Theory puts Escobar in the corner and stomps him. Escobar fights back and hits the United States Champion with the traditional ten punches for a two-count. Escobar covers again, but Theory kicks out at one.
Theory stuns Escobar with a kick to the midsection. Escobar hits the ropes and rolls Theory up before going for a submission. Theory gets out, so Escobar clotheslines him over the top rope. Escobar hits the ropes, but Theory moves. Escobar puts the brakes on and poses on the turnbuckles.
We return from the break to see Theory whip Escobar to the corner before hitting a backbreaker for a near fall. Theory slaps the mat in frustration. Moments ago, Theory hit Escobar with his Rolling Thunder Dropkick. Theory goes to the apron, and the crowd boos him. Theory tries to suplex Escobar out of the ring, but Escobar fights it. Escobar then knocks Theory off the apron with a step-up enzuigiri. Escobar hits the ropes and absolutely CRUSHES Theory with a suicide dive. Theory tried to go over the commentary table on the bump, but he got hung up a bit.
Escobar chases Theory into the ring and hits him with a pair of diving clotheslines. Escobar catches the champion with a running hurricanrana. Theory soon drops him on the apron, but Escobar knocks him back with a forearm and a kick. Escobar comes off the top rope with a big cross-body block for a near fall. Escobar sets up for a Phantom Driver, but Theory slides off and clips the knee before striking him for a near fall. Theory catches Escobar with a nasty fisherman’s buster neckbreaker over the knee for a near fall.
Theory lifts Escobar for A-Town Down, but Escobar slides off and boots him back. Theory stumbles to the corner, so Escobar puts him on the top rope. Escobar climbs, but Theory shoves him off. Escobar quickly rises back up. They’re standing on the top turnbuckle. Theory thinks he got the better of him, but Escobar catches him with an INSANE super hurricanrana! Escobar makes the LWO signal before hitting running double knees. Escobar follows up with the Phantom Driver and pins the United States Champion!
Winner by Pinfall: Santos Escobar
Bobby Lashley is backstage with NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams. Lashley says he was hoping to see them.
Replays are shown of Ridge Holland turning Elton Prince of Pretty Deadly inside out with a shoulder tackle last week on SmackDown. Prince separated his shoulder on the landing and will be out awhile. Prince still fought through the injury and pinned Holland to win the match for Pretty Deadly.
NXT North American Championship
“Dirty” Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Butch
They lock up, and Butch powers Mysterio to the ropes. Mysterio takes Butch down and stomps him. Mysterio hooks the head for a side headlock. Butch whips him off, drops down, leapfrogs him, and drops down again before hitting a clothesline. Butch takes Mysterio down and starts doing some joint manipulation. Butch bends the fingers and twists his ear. Butch bends Mysterio’s arm and stomps it. Mysterio goes to the corner and boots him back. Butch quickly comes back with a hammerlock takedown before stomping the head a few times. Butch snaps Mysterio’s fingers and applies an armbar, but Mysterio gets his feet on the ropes to break it up. Mysterio snaps Butch on the top rope. Rhea Ripley runs over and hands Mysterio a steel chain before distracting the referee. Ridge Holland runs down and rips the chain out of Mysterio’s hand. Butch hits an X-Plex for a near fall. Ripley looks worried.
We come back from the break to see Mysterio hit Butch with a slingshot senton for a two-count. Butch punches away at Mysterio on the kick-out. Mysterio punches back and applies a chin lock.
Kit Wilson brings Elton Prince out in a wheelchair. Prince’s shoulder was separated, not his legs. Pretty Deadly hates the Brawling Brutes. In the ring, Butch kicks away at Mysterio and drops a knee on his arm. Butch punches Mysterio down and hits a running kick to the chest. Ripley shouts at Michael Cole over his commentary. Mysterio pulls Butch throat-first into the middle rope. Butch sidesteps him before he hits a 619 and double-stomps the hands. Butch takes Mysterio down for a near fall.
At ringside, Pretty Deadly yells at Ridge Holland. Kit Wilson attacks Holland. Holland shakes it off, and Butch runs out to attack Wilson. Wilson runs away, leaving a “wheelchair-bound” Prince between Butch and Holland. Prince begins to look like he’s going to weep. Prince is miraculously healed and runs off, with Holland chasing after him. Butch kicks Mysterio back from the apron, but Ripley soon chop blocks the knee. Mysterio sends Butch headfirst into the ring post. Mysterio pulls him into the ring and covers, but they’re too close to the ropes, and the referee won’t count the pin. Mysterio pulls him away from the ropes and covers him for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and still NXT North American Champion: “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio
Next week on SmackDown, which will be back on FOX, will see Rey Mysterio battle Santos Escobar in the Finals of the United States Championship Invitational. Karl Anderson will also battle Karrion Kross.
In-Ring: Jey Uso, Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa
We come back from the break to see Jey Uso pacing in the ring. The ring is decorated with a red carpet. There is a long table and two chairs, one on each side of the table.
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring alongside “The Wise Man,” his special counsel Paul Heyman, and “The Enforcer” Solo Sikoa. Reigns looks down the ramp and into the ring to see his own family member, cousin Jey Uso, staring back at him, waiting to hear the rules of his opportunity to take the title off his cousin. Reigns gets in the ring with Sikoa and Heyman and holds his title up as pyrotechnics go off. Heyman is holding the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship, which comprise the entirety of the single championship belt around Reigns’ waist.
Reigns grabs a microphone and looks around. Reigns holds the microphone and says, “Orlando… acknowledge me!” The crowd roars with a mixed reaction, but everyone is making a noise and has an opinion. Reigns maneuvers his chair and sits at the head of this table, signifying that he still considers himself THE Head of the Table. Reigns is nearly sitting next to Jey Uso.
Reigns asks Jey if he still wants to do this. Is Jey sure about this? Jey looks conflicted before saying, “Yeah, I still wanna do this. I’m supposed to do this. You’re making me do this ’cause you called the shot. Jimmy’s in the hospital. So now, Roman, I’ve gotta get you.” Reigns growls and calls him “Little Jey.” Jey isn’t going to get him because he doesn’t get IT. Jey is just a soldier, a pawn in this game. Reigns slaps the microphone down and pulls the contract over. Reigns laughs until he hears the crowd going, “US-O!” Reigns signs the contract for a championship match at SummerSlam.
Jey grabs the contract and rips it up. Jey says they don’t need a contract. This contract is written in blood. This is Tribal Combat now. Reigns looks lost in thought. Reigns asks if the elders know about this. Jey says it was their idea. Jey says Tribal Combat means anything goes. If he wants to light him up with a stick, he can. Hit him with a chair or put his ass through the announcer’s table, he’d like to. He might even grab that lady’s slipper and hit him with it. The crowd cheers. Solo Sikoa puts his head down. Reigns tells Orlando and “Little Jey” to shut their mouths. The Tribal Chief is talking now. Reigns says this is not his first rodeo. He’s run this place for a decade now. Reigns puts the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the table and says it doesn’t mean anything to him. Reigns wants to fight now.
Jey reiterates that it is Tribal Combat now. The crowd chants something vulgar that gets censored. Reigns looks emotional and slowly removes the lei from around his neck. Reigns puts the lei on the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Reigns and Jey stand in front of the table and shake hands before putting their heads together. Reigns looks into Jey’s eyes before walking off. As he leaves the ring, Solo Sikoa flips over the table and grabs Jey for a Samoan Spike. Reigns quickly stops Sikoa from hitting the move. Jey then superkicks Sikoa out of the ring. A very serious Roman Reigns looks at Jey Uso before walking off again. Jey looks intensely after his cousin. Paul Heyman, knowing what Tribal Combat means, looks very unsure.
Reigns is putting his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line at SummerSlam, but it looks like he’s also putting the title of “Tribal Chief” on the line. It’ll be Tribal Combat for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso at SummerSlam in two weeks.
Next week on SmackDown, Rey Mysterio battles Santos Escobar in the Finals of the United States Championship Invitational.
Reigns looks at his cousin, and Heyman looks close to tears.