Date: August 25, 2023
Location: KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators; Wade Barrett, Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick
This is not going to be a normal show and it shouldn’t be. The wrestling world lost an all time legend and a current star this year as Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt both passed away. As a result, I’m not expecting much in the way of storylines tonight, but it isn’t likely to be a full on tribute show either. Let’s get to it.
We open with a double graphic for Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt (listed as Windham Rotunda) with the roster (including Braun Strowman and also Erick Rowan). Michael Cole is at ringside and talks about how this is for the two of them and we get the ten bell salute.
We get the music video on Wyatt (starting with He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands) and looking at most of his WWE run, including the Firefly Fun House and the Fiend. We see some pictures of him with the other Wyatts and his family (oh boy). He blows the lantern out…..and we’re back in the arena where the empty rocking chair gets a spotlight.
Back from a break and we get a series of tweets from wrestlers and personalities memorializing Terry Funk.
Rey Mysterio vs. Grayson Waller
Non-title. Rey takes him down to start and does Waller’s knee drop pose, followed by a forearm to the face. A headscissors sends Waller into the corner but another is countered to send Rey to the apron. Waller kicks him in the face and slides out after him, only to get hurricanranaed into the barricade.
We take a break and come back with Waller stomping Rey down into the corner before hammering away with some forearms. Waller’s top rope elbow gets two but he charges into a boot in the corner. Rey hits a springboard DDT for two and knocks Waller down again but here is Austin Theory for a distraction. The ensuing rollup gives Waller two and a collision puts both of them down. Cue Santos Escobar to go after Waller but his knee gets banged up again. Rey is back up with a 619 and hits the slingshot splash for the pin at 12:04.
Result: Rey Mysterio b. Grayson Waller – Slingshot splash (12:04)
We see the original Bray Wyatt vignette from NXT.
We get some tweets on Bray.
Commentary talks about Bray.
Damage CTRL yells at Kayla Braxton and call her short. Like Zelina Vega, who isn’t beating Iyo Sky tonight.
We look at the Fiend’s debut.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Iyo Sky vs. Zelina Vega
Sky, with Damage CTRL, is defending. Vega gets slammed to start but slips out of a second and kicks Sky in the head. Sky is dropped again and Vega hits a middle rope Meteora. Back up and Sky hits a great looking springboard missile dropkick but Vega is back with a DDT. Code Red is blocked but works on the second time, with Sky falling out to the floor. Sky is fine enough to send her into the steps, followed by t running knees in the corner back inside. Over The Moonsault retains at 6:10.
Result: Iyo Sky b. Zelina Vega – Over The Moonsault (6:10)
More Bray tweets.
Here is Cody Rhodes to pay tribute to Terry Funk. He remembers being at the airport in Denver with his dad at 11 years old when he heard someone call Dusty Rhodes an egg sucking dog. The same person said something about his mother and Cody didn’t quite get it. Of course it was Funk, and we get the In Memory graphic.
The people who get in this ring have been called a lot of things, but Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt were cowboys in the best sense of the word. Of all of the wrestlers who said they went to West Texas State University, Funk actually attended classes there. Funk gave an entire company and a revolution “the rub”, and we see the WWE tribute video to him. Tonight we’re getting a hardcore tag match in Funk’s honor.
Street Profits vs. Brawling Brutes
Hardcore. It’s a brawl to start with the Brutes taking over, including Butch hitting a dropkick to each of them. Holland is back in as Butch moonsaults onto both of them. Holland puts Butch in a fireman’s carry for a version of the Terry Funk ladder spot (that was nice) but Ford sends them both outside. There’s the big flip dive and cue Bobby Lashley as we take a break.
Back with the Brutes hitting the stereo ten forearms to the chests and getting two on Ford. The Profits are back up with Ford hitting a nice Blockbuster for two, with Butch making the save. Butch pulls out a table (and seems to offend Lashley in the process) but Ford takes it away. What looks to be a Rock Bottom is broken up but Lashley spears Butch down on the floor. The Sky High/neckbreaker (the Revelation) sends Holland through the table for the pin at 12:24.
Result: Street Profits b. Brawling Brutes – Revelation to Holland through a table (12:24)
More Bray tweets.
We get a TMZ video with Miz threatening LA Knight.
Here is LA Knight or a chat before his match. Knight talks about how he saw the Fireflies out here earlier tonight. It got him thinking about how your greatest foes can be your greatest helpers. He and Bray Wyatt did some horrible things to each other but it was Bray getting him ready for anything.
That brings him to Miz, who threatened him (with Knight doing a high pitched impression) but was only an afterthought even when he was main eventing Wrestlemania. If Miz wants to try and end Knight, come find him anywhere anytime. Knight hits the catchphrase but has one more piece of advice for Miz: the next time you see him, RUN.
Here’s what’s coming next week, including the rescheduled return of Jimmy Uso.
LA Knight vs. Finn Balor
Wyatt’s last opponent vs. the person the Fiend debuted against. Knight starts fast by sending him to the apron for a hand stomp. As we’re told Miz vs. Knight is set for Payback, Knight rams him face first into the announcers’ table for two back inside. We take a break and come back with Balor getting faceplanted and kicked in the head for two.
Balor fights back and hits the shotgun dropkick into the corner. The Coup de Grace misses though and Knight hits his powerslam. Balor is back up and drops Knight again, only to get crotched on top this time. Knight jump sot the top for the superplex and the BFT is good for the clean pin at 10:45.
Result: LA Knight b. Finn Balor – BFT (10:45)
Knight leaves and the lights go out Fiend style, with the lantern showing up in the ring and a silhouette of Bray (appearing to have wings thanks to the firefly behind him) appearing on the Titantron. A THANK YOU BRAY chant takes us out.
Rey Mysterio b. Grayson Waller – Springboard splash
Iyo Sky b. Zelina Vega – Over The Moonsault
Street Profits b. Brawling Brutes – Revelation to Holland
LA Knight b. Finn Balor – BFT
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