WWE Friday Night SmackDown 05 12 2023

WWE SmackDown Results
May 12, 2023
Knoxville, Tennessee (Thompson-Boling Arena)
Commentary: Michael Cole and Wade Barrett
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

“Then. Now. Forever. Together.” The WWE video leads us into the show.

We go live into the Thompson-Boling Arena. Tonight, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will be on SmackDown. This will be his first appearance since WrestleMania.

“You think you know me…”

WWE Hall of Famer Edge makes his way to the ring. He passes the World Heavyweight Championship on the stage and looks at it. Edge kisses his kids at ringside.

World Heavyweight Championship First-Round
Triple Threat Match
Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles vs. Edge

The bell rings, and all three men cautiously approach one another. AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio then attack Edge and punch him down in the corner. Mysterio knocks Styles back, and Edge rolls him up for a two-count. Mysterio rolls Edge up for a two-count. Edge big boots Styles and forearms Mysterio. Edge stomps away at Styles and grabs Mysterio. Edge punches Mysterio to the corner and whips him to the opposite corner. Mysterio drops Edge on the apron and kicks him. Edge hits Styles with a sunset flip as Styles hits Mysterio with a catapult. Styles quickly grabs Edge and catapults him onto Mysterio. Styles charges, but Edge hits him with a flapjack on Mysterio. Edge connects with an Edge-O-Matic on Styles for a near fall.

Edge punches Styles down in the corner and whips him hard sternum-first into the opposite corner. The momentum sends Styles headfirst into the ring post. Edge boots Mysterio off the apron before turning his attention back to Styles. Styles drops Edge with a strike combo and a sliding forearm. Mysterio shoulders Styles back and charges, but Styles counters with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Edge kicks Styles and sends him into the ropes, but Styles reverses it on him. Styles clotheslines Edge over the top rope. Styles whips Mysterio to the opposite corner, but Mysterio slingshots over him and hits a head-scissor takeover. Edge runs into the ring, and Mysterio catches him with a head-scissor takeover. Mysterio rolls through a sunset flip from Styles and kicks him in the head. Mysterio elbows Edge and goes for a springboard cross-body, but Edge catches him. Edge big boots Styles down and hits Mysterio with a fallaway slam. Edge goes for a Spear, but Styles and Mysterio kick him. Edge quickly sends Styles into Mysterio, but Mysterio comes right back with Code Red for a near fall. Edge rolls out of the ring to recover.

Styles and Mysterio go at it in the ring. Styles slides Mysterio out of the ring, but Edge grabs him with a front facelock. Styles then hits Edge with a baseball slide, causing Edge to hit Mysterio with a DDT off the apron!

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Styles attempt to suplex Mysterio out of the ring to the floor, but Mysterio lands on the apron. All of a sudden, Edge spears them through the ropes off the apron to the floor! Wow!!

Edge gets Mysterio in the ring and covers for a near fall. During the break, Styles hit Edge with a reverse DDT while hitting Mysterio with a regular DDT. Edge stomps Mysterio in the corner and charges Styles getting in the ring. Styles sidesteps Edge and gets him out of the ring. Mysterio forearms Styles back and hits a step-up enzuigiri. Mysterio charges Styles in the corner, but Styles counters with a Calf Crusher. Mysterio screams in pain. Edge runs in and applies a crossface to Mysterio. Edge and Styles then attack each other, and Mysterio rolls out of the ring to recover. Edge and Styles exchange strikes from their knees before fighting up and going back and forth. Mysterio comes off the top rope and hits both men with a flying hurricanrana! Mysterio goes for a double 619, but Edge and Styles hit a double dropkick! Edge and Styles then wipe each other out with a double clothesline!

Everyone is down in the ring. Mysterio attacks Styles, but Styles reverses a whip. Mysterio ducks a clothesline and dropkicks Styles to the apron. Mysterio hits the ropes, but Edge big boots him down. Styles charges Edge, but Edge sends him face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Edge fights up and goes to the top rope. Mysterio quickly cuts him off and punches away at him. Mysterio sets up for a super hurricanrana, but Styles grabs Mysterio and hits a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Styles gets to his feet and looks at Edge, who is still on the top rope. Styles goes for a superplex, but Mysterio breaks it up. Mysterio hits Styles with a sunset flip powerbomb, and Styles hits Edge with a superplex. Mysterio covers Styles for a near fall.

Mysterio dropkicks Edge into the ropes and goes for a 619, but Styles sweeps the feet. Styles goes for a Phenomenal Forearm on Edge, but he ducks it. Styles leapfrogs over a Spear. Mysterio hits Styles with a springboard seated senton. Mysterio goes for a 619 on Edge, but Edge grabs him and applies an Edgecator! Edge cinches it in, but he lets go when he sees Styles coming up. Edge then applies an Edgecator to Styles. Styles screams in pain, but he manages to crawl to the bottom rope. There are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat Match. Mysterio hits Edge in the face with a 619 to break up the Edgecator. Mysterio goes to the top rope and dives. They mistime a Spear out of midair. Edge wasn’t ready. Styles then wipes out Edge with a Phenomenal Forearm for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: AJ Styles

AJ Styles advances to the Semi-Finals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament. The Semi-Finals will take place in tonight’s main event. Styles will face the winner of the next Triple Threat Match.

Replays are shown of Sami Zayn hitting Jey Uso with three Helluva Kicks in the main event of WrestleMania Night One to win the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship with Kevin Owens. Two weeks ago, Zayn and Owens defeated The Usos in a rematch to retain the titles.

This past weekend at WWE Backlash, The Usos and Solo Sikoa defeated Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle.

The Usos are pumped up backstage. Roman Reigns returns later tonight. We don’t know what Reigns’s thoughts are toward the Usos since losing the titles at WrestleMania.

Sheamus makes his way to the ring.

-Commercial Break-

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair will have a Championship Celebration later tonight.

World Heavyweight Championship First-Round
Triple Threat Match
Sheamus vs. Bobby Lashley vs. United States Champion Austin Theory

The bell rings, and Austin Theory immediately gets out of the ring. Sheamus and Bobby Lashley go outside and surround him. Theory tries to get in the ring, but they pull him out. Sheamus and Lashley double-team Theory with stomps and put him in the ring. Lashley hits Theory with a running shoulder and a neckbreaker. Sheamus drops a knee on Theory and hits a rolling senton. Lashley then clotheslines Theory over the top rope.

Lashley and Sheamus square off in the ring. Sheamus elbows him and lifts him up. Lashley slides off and hits a flatliner. Lashley hits a running shoulder to the midsection in the corner and strikes away at him. Lashley backs up and hits Sheamus with another running shoulder in the corner. Lashley punches Sheamus and hits the ropes, but Sheamus counters back with a powerslam for a one-count. Sheamus hits Lashley from behind with a forearm to the back. Lashley is knocked to the apron. Lashley tries to suplex Sheamus out of the ring to the floor, but Sheamus snaps him off the top rope. Sheamus sets up for the 10 Beats of the Bodhran, but he moves when Theory charges. Theory hits Lashley and knocks him off the apron. Sheamus then hits Theory with the 10 Beats of the Bodhran.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Lashley run over Theory with an avalanche at ringside. Lashley puts Theory on his shoulders and drives him headfirst into the ring post. Lashley gets in the ring and squares off with Sheamus. Both are sweating profusely. They exchange stiff blows in the center of the ring. Lashley reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a knee. Sheamus hits the ropes, but Lashley clotheslines him down. Lashley charges Sheamus in the corner, but Sheamus boots him down. Sheamus pulls himself up to the top rope and goes for a diving shoulder, but Lashley catches him and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Lashley sets up for a Hurt Lock, but Theory hits them with a rolling thunder dropkick. Theory chops blocks Sheamus and takes him down, but Lashley breaks up the pin. Lashley attacks Theory, but Theory boots him back. Theory hits a rolling thunder sling blade, but Sheamus breaks up the pin.

Theory turns Sheamus in the corner before shouldering and stomping him down. Theory gets fired up. Lashley is down at ringside. Theory goes outside and sends Lashley headfirst into the ring steps. Theory gets on the apron and goes for another rolling thunder move, but Sheamus counters with an Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus smirks before hitting a pair of clotheslines. Sheamus puts Theory in the corner and hits a corner clothesline. Sheamus sends him to the opposite corner and hits another corner clothesline. Sheamus lifts Theory and goes to the second rope to hit an avalanche White Noise for a near fall!

Sheamus signals for the end and sets up for a Celtic Cross on Theory. Theory counters with a roll-up for a two count. Sheamus crushes Theory with a vicious knee to the face. Sheamus gets the crowd fired up and signals for a Brogue Kick. Sheamus turns, but Lashley spears him down! Theory sends Lashley into the ring post and covers Sheamus for a near fall. Lashley is bleeding from the top of the head after going into the steel steps. Lashley hits Theory with a one-armed spinebuster. Lashley locks the United States Champion in the Hurt Lock. Sheamus gets in the ring and hits Theory with a Brogue Kick. Lashley quickly sends Sheamus out of the ring and covers Theory for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Bobby Lashley is a bloody mess, but he celebrates his win in the ring. Lashley will face AJ Styles in tonight’s main event to determine who will face Seth “Freakin” Rollins at Night of Champions for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Roman Reigns’s locker room is shown backstage.

-Commercial Break-

AJ Styles will battle Bobby Lashley in the Semi-Finals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament later tonight.

WWE Official Adam Pearce is on the phone when Grayson Waller comes in. Waller says The Grayson Waller Effect should be on the show next week. Pearce agrees.

Baron Corbin vs. Cameron Grimes

Baron Corbin gets on the microphone before the match starts. Cameron Grimes was the last pick for SmackDown. In a few minutes, Grimes will be flat on his back wishing he was still in NXT.

The bell rings, and Grimes immediately crushes Corbin with a Cave In for quick victory!

Winner by Pinfall: Cameron Grimes

Video Package: Brock Lesnar challenges Cody Rhodes to a rematch at WWE Night of Champions. Rhodes accepted.

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring alongside his Bloodline compatriots Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa, and The Usos. This is Reigns’s first appearance on SmackDown since before WrestleMania. We’ll hear from the Tribal Chief next.

-Commercial Break-

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair will celebrate her record-breaking championship run later tonight.

The Bloodline is in the ring. Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is in the ring and holds his titles up while fireworks go off. Paul Heyman takes the titles and puts them over his shoulders. The crowd is buzzing with anticipation. Reigns holds a hand out, and Heyman hands him a microphone. Reigns says, “Knoxville, Tennessee… acknowledge me!” The crowd loudly reacts with some acknowledging and some refusing.

Reigns says greatness garners that kind of reaction. It garners respect. Regardless of reactions or not, this is one thing that must be respected. There is a lot of talk about royal families or families of importance in the wrestling business, but there is only one. Every man in this ring main evented both nights of WrestleMania. They’re probably thinking they’ve only done two nights for so long, but they’re the only ones that will ever main event both nights of WrestleMania. The success doesn’t stop. Even at Backlash with the Tribal Chief not there, everyone has to step up. Who stepped up this time? Solo stepped up. Sikoa stands stoically in the ring. Reigns says there was a little concern when they first got Sikoa on the road because he’s in the ring with the very best of all time. When you’re thrown in the deep end, you have to know if you can swim. Sikoa swims like a shark. Sikoa handled the Riddle problem. Sikoa says something, and Reigns says he’s still concerned about Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. A “Sami” chant picks up. Reigns laughs. Reigns tells Sikoa not to worry about that. They’re not a problem.

Reigns says there is an actual problem, but it’s not Owens and Zayn. Reigns says, “The problem are your brothers.” The crowd is shocked. Jimmy and Jey Uso look uneasy in the ring. Reigns approaches them for the first time. Reigns asks what they thought was going to happen. Did they think they could lose in the main event of WrestleMania and not talk about it? Then they beg for a rematch, dedicate it to him, and then lose. Reigns is furious that they dedicated a tag team match to him and lost. Reigns is the greatest singles competitor of all time. They disrespected their bloodline by dedicating a tag team match to him. Reigns says he tried to take some time for himself, and The Usos embarrassed him. They misrepresented him, the Bloodline, and their family. They know better than this. Reigns demands that they apologize. The Usos look confused. Jimmy looks at Jey. Reigns tells Jimmy to look at him and apologize. Jimmy looks at Heyman. Reigns says he doesn’t want to hear anything come out of his mouth aside from “I’m sorry” or “I apologize, my Tribal Chief.”

Jimmy starts to laugh, which upsets Reigns. The crowd chants, “No!” Reigns tells Jimmy not to listen to the idiots in the crowd. Reigns pokes him in the chest and tells him to apologize. Jimmy is still smiling. Reigns says it’s like they’re making the Goodfellas commercial again and he’s a clown. Reigns pie faces him back. Jimmy isn’t smiling anymore. Reigns asks if Jimmy is going to do something. Heyman gets out of the ring to protect himself just in case. Jimmy is seething with anger. The crowd chants, “Do something.” They must start chanting something else because the censors blocked out all audio. Jimmy approaches Reigns, but Jey steps in front of him and says something that we cannot hear. The audio comes back. Jey apologizes on behalf of his brother. If they can get one more opportunity at the Tag Team Titles, they’ll bring them back to the Bloodline.

Reigns says they have a plan and tells Heyman to explain. Heyman says they flexed their Bloodline muscle. The Tag Team Titles will come home to the Bloodline at the Night of Champions when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will lose the Tag Team Championships to… Solo and your “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns! The Usos are stunned! Reigns says he and Sikoa will do what they always do and hold it down. Reigns is dedicating the match to the greatest tag team of all time, Afa and Sika, the Wild Samoans! The Usos are speechless and embarrassed. Reigns, Heyman, and Sikoa walk off, leaving The Usos in the ring.

Kayla Braxton is backstage. She talks about the huge match for the Tag Team Championship happening at Night of Champions. She is then joined by Damage CTRL. Bayley says this is supposed to be their interview time, not Roman Reigns’s. Bayley says she and Reigns have some things in common. They are both great champions and leaders. Bayley thinks she pushed IYO SKY too hard at Backlash. Just like Reigns, she’ll take matters into her own hands. Bayley will win the Women’s Tag Team Championship with Dakota Kai. Kayla can tell Roman Reigns that SmackDown belongs to Damage CTRL.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez make their way to the ring.

-Commercial Break-

AJ Styles will face Bobby Lashley in the Semi-Finals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament in tonight’s main event.

Video Package: WWE Backlash highlights

The Usos are walking backstage when they see the Latino World Order laughing. Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde say they weren’t talking about them. Zelina Vega is laughing. Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar walk up, and The Usos walk off.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez (c’s) vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley and Dakota Kai) w/ IYO SKY

Dakota Kai will start against Raquel Rodriguez. Kai goes for a crucifix pin, but Rodriguez doesn’t budge. Rodriguez gets Kai in the corner and tags Liv Morgan in. Rodriguez whips Morgan into Kai before Morgan whips Rodriguez into her. Morgan picks up a two-count. Kai fights back with a kick.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn are shown watching backstage.

Kai hits Morgan with a vicious forearm and tags Bayley in. Morgan fights them off and rolls Bayley up for a two-count. Kai grabs Morgan, but she gets away. Bayley clotheslines Morgan down for a two-count.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Rodriguez and Kai tag in. Rodriguez hits a pair of clotheslines. Rodriguez connects with a fallaway slam followed by an avalanche in the corner. Rodriguez hits a second fallaway slam before going for a slingshot corkscrew elbow, but Kai moves. Bayley tags in, but Rodriguez hits Damage CTRL with a double chokeslam. Morgan tags in. Rodriguez throws Morgan into Damage CTRL in the corner. Rodriguez then uses Morgan as a battering ram on them before throwing Morgan into Bayley. Rodriguez is kicked out of the ring by Kai. Morgan then knocks Kai out of the ring.

Morgan kicks Bayley in the corner and puts her on the top rope. Kai blind tags in. Kai kicks Morgan in the face. Bayley holds Morgan up, and Kai comes off the top rope for a powerbomb/diving knee combo on Morgan! Dawn and Fyre are still watching backstage. Kai slowly covers Morgan, but Rodriguez breaks it up. Bayley tags in and directs IYO SKY to do something. Kai distracts the referee as Sky goes to give Bayley one of the tag titles. Rodriguez pulls it away. Morgan then rolls Bayley up for the win.

Winners by Pinfall and still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez

The Brawling Brutes are trying to get Sheamus to cheer up backstage. Pretty Deadly walk up to them. Elton Prince and Kit Wilson mock them and walk off.

The ring is being decorated for Bianca Belair’s championship celebration next.

-Commercial Break-

It’s official: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa at Night of Champions.

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is already in the ring celebrating. Her hometown crowd gives her a great ovation. Balloons decorate the ring with the Tennesee Vols colors. After the fireworks go off, Asuka makes her way to the ring. Belair looks confused. An “EST” chant picks up, even though no one in the crowd is moving their mouths in that manner. Asuka wants a handshake, and Belair obliges. Asuka then spits blue mist in her eyes! Belair screams in agony and writhes in pain on the mat. The crowd boos.

Trainers and referees run down with water and towels to wash the champion’s eyes out. Asuka celebrates as the crowd loudly boos.

AJ Styles, who is still feeling the effects of his Triple Threat Match from earlier tonight, is preparing for his main event match. Bobby Lashley is shown preparing elsewhere backstage. The main event is next.

-Commercial Break-

We go to the trainer’s room to see Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair screaming, “Help me!” She has been blinded by Asuka’s mist.

Next week, Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa will come face to face with the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio will also take on The Usos. Pretty Deadly will face The Brawling Brutes. Finally, either AJ Styles or Bobby Lashley will appear on the Grayson Waller Effect.

World Heavyweight Championship Semi-Final
AJ Styles vs. Bobby Lashley

The bell rings, and they circle the ring. Lashley has a big clot on the top of his head from where he was busted open earlier tonight. Wade Barrett says Lashley lost two pints of blood. Styles sidesteps Lashley and taunts him. Lashley looks upset. Styles backs up to the corner and stares at him. Styles sidesteps him and chops the chest. Styles dances around the ring, but Lashley drops him with a knee to the midsection. Lashley throws Styles to the corner and stomps him down before choking him with his boot. Lashley hits the ropes for a running forearm, but Styles sidesteps him. Styles strikes away at Lashley and goes for a whip, but Lashley puts the brakes on. Lashley then viciously sends Styles over the top rope to the floor. Lashley throws Styles into the LED apron. Lashley lifts Styles onto his shoulders and drives him headfirst into the ring post.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the final break of the evening to see Lashley elbowing away at Styles’s head. Lashley sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Styles stomps away at him and attacks the ankles. Styles hits the ropes, but Lashley drops him with a back elbow. Lashley punches away at Styles. Lashley whips Styles to the corner and charges, but Styles counters with a Calf Crusher. Styles has it cinched in, but Lashley manages to hook the head and slam him into the mat to break the hold. Lashley pulls Styles up by the hair. Styles blocks a right hand and hits another strike combo that brings Lashley to his knees. The cut on top of Lashley’s head has been reopened! Styles hits a DDT for a near fall.

Lashley is down on his knees and looking weak. Styles punches Lashley and puts him on his shoulders. Lashley fights out and hits a lifting flatliner for a near fall. Lashley’s face is quickly turning into a crimson mask. Lashley goes for a modified Dominator, but Styles lands on his feet. Styles connects with a sliding forearm. Lashley manages to stumble up to his feet and avoids a running forearm. Lashley applies a Hurt Lock to the Phenomenal One. Styles puts himself through the ropes to break the hold.

Styles is down on the apron. Lashley gets out of the ring and grabs him. Lashley slams Styles off the steel steps and puts him on his shoulders. Styles slides off and sends Lashley into the ring post. Styles then stuns Lashley with an overhead kick. Styles puts Lashley in the ring and sets up for a Phenomenal Forearm. Lashley grabs Styles and puts him on his shoulders to counter. Styles fights out and goes for a Calf Crusher. Lashley gets out and goes for a suplex, but Styles knees him in the face. Styles hits the ropes, but Lashley counters into a Running Powerslam for a near fall. Lashley tries to set up for another Hurt Lock, but Styles elbows out. Lashley backs up and charges for a Spear, but Styles twists away. Lashley hits the ring post shoulder-first. Styles knees Lashley’s skull into the ring post! Styles connects with a Phenomenal Forearm for the victory!

Winner by Pinfall: AJ Styles

AJ Styles will face Seth “Freakin” Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. The commentators run down the huge matches for that card.

Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and “Michin” Mia Yim run out to celebrate with Styles to end the show.