Date: May 12, 2023
Location: Thompson-Bowling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
It’s tournament week again as we have the Smackdown half of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. That means two more triple threat matches with the winners having a singles match, with the winner of that facing Seth Rollins at Night Of Champions for the title. Other than that, Roman Reigns is back so let’s get to it.
World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round: Rey Mysterio vs. Edge vs. AJ Styles
Only Edge gets an entrance and they start with Edge’s sunset flip to Styles sending Rey flying. Edge slows things down and an Edge-O-Matic gets two on Styles. Back up and Styles hits the sliding forearm on Edge, followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two on Rey. Rey gets in a few kicks of his own, only to get fall away slammed by Edge.
The spear is broken up by a double kick to the face before Rey hurricanranas Styles into the corner. A Code Red gets two on Edge but AJ sends Rey to the floor. Edge catches Rey in a hanging DDT, with AJ hitting a dropkick to drive them both down as we take a break. Back with Edge hitting a double spear through the ropes and to the floor for the crash. With Edge down, Styles grabs the Calf Crusher on Rey but Edge adds a Crossface at the same time. Edge and Styles headbutt each other to break it up and the non-Mysterio guys slug it out.
Mysterio tries a 619 but gets caught with a double dropkick to leave everyone down again. Back up and they go to the corner for the sunset bomb into the Tower of Doom and a big crash. Edge is up first and Edgecates Mysterio before switching it over to Styles. The rope is reached (means nothing in a triple threat) so Rey hits a 619 to Edge. Rey goes up and gets….kind of speared out of the air. Styles hits the Phenomenal Forearm to finish Edge at 16:12.
Result: AJ Styles b. Edge and Rey Mysterio – Phenomenal Forearm to Edge (16:12)
We recap the Usos’ recent losses, though they did win at Backlash, albeit with Solo Sikoa on the team as well.
World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round: Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory vs. Sheamus
Non-title and Theory rolls outside to start, only for the other two to send him back inside. Back in and Theory gets clotheslined to the floor again, allowing Lashley to knock Sheamus into the corner for a running shoulder to the ribs. Sheamus is fine enough to knock Lashley to the apron for the forearms to the chest, followed by even more to Theory.
We take a break and come back with Lashley sending Theory into the post. Back in and Lashley drops Sheamus with a clothesline but runs into a raised boot in the corner. Lashley is right back with a belly to belly suplex but Theory comes back in to clean house. Sheamus shrugs that off and runs Theory over, setting up a super White Noise for two.
Back in and a bleeding Lashley spears Sheamus but gets sent into the post so Theory can get two. Theory elbows Lashley in the head but A Town Down is countered into a spinebuster. The Hurt Lock goes on until Sheamus Brogue Kicks Theory. Lashley sends Sheamus outside and pins Theory at 12:58.
Result: Bobby Lashley b. Austin Theory and Sheamus – Brogue Kick to Theory (12:58)
Grayson Waller comes up to Adam Pearce and asks to have the winner of Styles vs. Lashley on the Grayson Waller Effect (talk show) next week. Sure.
Baron Corbin vs. Cameron Grimes
Before the match Corbin says in about two minutes, Grimes is going to want to go back to NXT. The Cave In (standing double stomp) finishes Corbin at 6 seconds.
Result: Cameron Grimes b. Baron Corbin – Cave In (0:06)
Here is the Bloodline in full force to open things up. Reigns is rather happy here and says the people in this ring main evented both nights of Wrestlemania, which will never be done again. He’s also very pleased with Solo Sikoa for stepping up at Backlash. There was some worry about bringing Sikoa up to the main roster so fast because you can sink or swim. Sikoa swims like a shark though, because he deals with problems. Look at the Riddle problem! Sikoa mentions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, which has Reigns pleased because Sikoa is still thinking ahead.
We pause for the SAMI chant but Reigns says Sami and Owens aren’t a problem anymore. There is a problem though, and that is Sikoa’s brothers. Reigns wants to know what they thought was going to happen. Were they just going to lose in the main event of Wrestlemania and then lose the rematch (dedicated to Reigns) and not talk about it? Why are they dedicating a tag match to a singles wrestler? There are Hall of Fame tag teams in their family but they dedicated it to him?
Reigns doesn’t want to hear anything from them but an apology, though the fans aren’t sure about that. If Reigns was the Usos, he would just apologize, though Jimmy starts to laugh. Reigns shoves him in the face and Paul Heyman gets (halfway) out of the ring. The fans chant something that has to be censored but Jey gets between Reigns and Jimmy. Jey apologizes for the team and says they’ll bring the titles back with one more shot.
Reigns likes the idea and has Heyman fill the Usos in: at Night Of Champions, it’s Reigns/Sikoa vs. Zayn/Owens for the Tag Team Titles. Reigns dedicates the victory and the title reign to the greatest team of all time: the Wild Samoans (his uncle and father). Cool surprise, though undermining the Draft less than two weeks in is something even for WWE.
Damage Ctrl is ready to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles, though Iyo Sky is not thrilled at first.
The Usos don’t like the Latino World Order laughing at them so Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar come up to laugh even more. Jey has to walk away while hitting things.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Damage Ctrl vs. Liv Morgan/Raquel Rodriguez
Morgan and Rodriguez are defending and Rodriguez powers Kai into the corner to start. Morgan comes in for a running shot in the corner, followed by the same from Rodriguez. We see Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre watching in the back as Bayley comes in with a clothesline for two. We take a break and come back with Rodriguez fighting out of trouble and bringing Morgan back in.
Rodriguez uses Morgan as a battering ram (with Morgan waving at the fans) but Kai manages to come off the top with a Meteora/powerbomb from Bayley combination to plant Morgan for a rather delayed two. Rodriguez cuts off Sky bringing in a belt, allowing Morgan to roll Bayley up to retain at 8:47.
Result: Liv Morgan/Raquel Rodriguez b. Damage Ctrl – Rollup to Bayley (8:47)
Sheamus is upset at his loss when Pretty Deadly comes in. Pretty Deadly introduces themselves but are filling out forms to figure out who everyone is. The rest of the Brawling Brutes aren’t pleased with various insults to their intelligence, so a match seems imminent.
Here is Bianca Belair for a rather orange and white (University of Tennessee colors) championship celebration. Before she can say anything though, here is Asuka to mist her. A trainer comes out to check on Belair.
Post break, Belair is still being checked on.
World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinals: AJ Styles vs. Bobby Lashley
The winner gets Seth Rollins for the title at Night Of Champions. Lashley, with a big bump on his head, tries to back Styles into the corner but Styles bobs and weaves away. Styles finally gets caught in the corner for some elbows to the neck as Lashley takes over. They head outside with Lashley posting him as we take a break.
Back with Styles grabbing the Calf Crusher before switching to a DDT for two. Lashley muscles him up with a lifting Downward Spiral for two but his knee might have given out. Styles hits the sliding forearm but misses a charge and gets Hurt Locked. The rope breaks that up as Lashley is busted open again. Styles is able to post Lashley for a change and knocks him into it again for a bonus. The Phenomenal Forearm is cut off back inside and Lashley’s running powerslam gets two more. The spear only hits post though and now the Phenomenal Forearm can send Styles to Night Of Champions at 12:01.
Result: AJ Styles b. Bobby Lashley – Phenomenal Forearm (12:01)
We run down the Night Of Champions card.
The OC comes out to celebrate with Styles to end the show.
AJ Styles b. Edge and Rey Mysterio – Phenomenal Forearm to Edge
Bobby Lashley b. Austin Theory and Sheamus – Brogue Kick to Theory
Cameron Grimes b. Baron Corbin – Cave In
Liv Morgan/Raquel Rodriguez b. Damage Ctrl – Rollup to Kai
AJ Styles b. Bobby Lashley – Phenomenal Forearm
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