The John Report: WWE Smackdown 08/04/23 Review

wwe smackdown august 4

This week’s WWE Smackdown saw Jey Uso facing Solo Sikoa, LA Knight battling Sheamus and more on the night before SummerSlam.

It’s the last Smackdown before SummerSlam. Check out our TJRWrestling SummerSlam preview here.

From the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio, this is Smackdown for episode #1250. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show.

LA Knight made his entrance for a match, but first there’s a promo, which is a good idea for him. The fans were cheering loudly and chanting “YEAH” during his promo. Knight mentioned the 25-man battle royal with a graphic showing people like Sheamus, AJ Styles, The Miz, Grayson Waller, Shinsuke Nakamura, Matt Riddle, Karrion Kross and Santos Escobar. Knight mocked The Miz for thinking he was Mr. Must-See TV, but said everybody is talking about LA Knight. LA said Sheamus has done it all in WWE, but tonight he will add another accomplishment because he’ll be beaten by LA Knight.

Analysis: Putting him on first is a good idea because LA Knight is so popular and it gets the crowd fired up right away. The big push has to come soon. Knight is my pick to win the battle royal at SummerSlam, but I think he should get the US Title fairly soon after too.

Sheamus (w/Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. LA Knight

The fans chanted “LA Knight” after the bell rang. Sheamus was booed after a knee to the ribs even though Sheamus is a face. Sheamus was also booed for a shoulder tackle because the fans like Knight a lot. Sheamus with another shoulder tackle, but Knight came back with a high elbow. Knight charged at Sheamus with a cross body block leading to both guys tumbling over the top to the floor. Santos Escobar walked out to ringside followed by The Miz, Grayson Waller, Karrion Kross with Scarlett and AJ Styles with Michin. Knight fought off Sheamus on the apron, but then Sheamus caught him and gave Knight a White Noise slam on the apron.


Sheamus went for a powerslam, Knight slipped out of it and hit a reverse DDT. Sheamus with a kick to the chest, but Knight came back with a powerslam. Knight hit the running elbow with the fans chanting “LA Knight yeah” for it. Knight put Sheamus on his shoulders leading to a spinning slam to the mat for a two count. Sheamus came back with a backbreaker. Sheamus got a hold of Knight on the middle turnbuckle and Sheamus hit a White Noise slam for two. Sheamus applied the Texas Cloverleaf submission, but Knight got to the ropes quickly. Knight charged, Sheamus hit a boot to the face and Sheamus pulled himself to the top rope. Knight tried a top rope suplex, but Knight slipped and they both collapsed to the floor. That didn’t look good. I assume it was going to be a suplex from Knight. Austin Theory ran down to ringside and hit Escobar in the head. The wrestlers around ringside got into a brawl on the floor. Styles hit Kross with a forearm. Miz kicked Holland, so Sheamus hit Miz with ten forearms to the chest with the fans chanting along. Knight rolled up Sheamus for two. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Miz because Knight moved. Knight hit the Blount Force Trauma (BFT) for the pinfall win. It went 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: LA Knight

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with Knight getting a win over a former World Champion, so that’s a nice thing for Knight to brag about. It wasn’t that clean due to all the chaos outside the ring, but it’s still a pretty big win by Knight. I liked their chemistry. It was interesting how Sheamus was booed for part of the match, yet the fans loved his ten forearms to The Miz because of how hated The Miz is. Anyway, the right guy won to give Knight some positive momentum. I hope that positive momentum continues at SummerSlam with Knight winning the battle royal.

After the match, LA Knight escaped into the crowd to avoid getting attacked by Waller and Kross.

Solo Sikoa was shown standing backstage since he’s in the main event against Jey Uso.


There was a backstage scene with The Brawling Brutes arguing with The OC. Pearce told the Brutes and The OC tag teams to go have a match now. Sheamus and Styles had a staredown. So nothing else was booked at all for the next match? I know we’re not supposed to ask questions. Let’s just move on.

A lengthy video package aired about the Cody Rhodes-Brock Lesnar feud that has taken place over the last four months leading to their SummerSlam match. It’s the same video that aired on Raw.

The Brawling Brutes duo of Butch & Ridge Holland entered for tag team action.


Jey Uso was shown walking backstage getting ready for his match later.

The OC – Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (w/Michin) vs. The Brawling Brutes – Ridge Holland & Butch

Gallows with punches and a fallaway slam on Holland. Gallows with a corner splash. Anderson tagged in leading to a double team boot/legsweep on Holland. Holland hooked Anderson’s arms and hit a double underhook suplex. Butch tagged in to hit a running dropkick. Butch stomped on Anderson’s arm while pulling back on the right arm. Butch even did some dreaded ear twisting. Gallows and Anderson hit a double team neckbreaker for two with Holland making the save. The OC were in control going into the break.


Anderson was in control of Holland for a bit until Ridge powered back up with a clothesline. Butch tagged in with a running kick on Gallows followed by multiple kicks on Anderson and a jumping knee to the arm of Anderson. Butch hit a running knee on Anderson for two with Gallows making the save. Holland hit a back body drop on Gallows. Anderson kicked Holland and Butch with a step up enziguri. The Street Profits ran into the ring wearing suits as they attacked both teams. That ended the match after about eight minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match with no finish to push The Street Profits story. I did think Butch was impressive here, but they don’t really push him much.

After the bell rang, The Street Profits rammed Gallows shoulder-first into the ring post. Dawkins hit a huge spinebuster on Anderson. Ford with a jumping kick on Holland. Dawkins with a double underhook suplex on Holland. Dawkins did a Pounce on Butch leading to Ford catching Butch and hitting him with a suplex. The Street Profits (with Dawkins in a tie) stood tall as the fans cheered for them even though they did heelish actions.

After some replays, Bobby Lashley appeared from the backstage area and he was happy about what The Street Profits did. Lashley hugged them. The fans chanted “Bobby” for Lashley, who was smiling.

Analysis: It’s a new version of The Street Profits after weeks of seeing them with Bobby Lashley. They might go with The Hurt Business name for the group or something else. I like it, that’s for sure.

There was a video of Charlotte Flair hanging out on some yacht or boat. She did a promo saying she is the past, present and future and she has been since 2015. Flair spoke about her 5-0 record at SummerSlam saying she’s the Iron Woman of this division. Flair said she has Asuka’s number and Belair is the mountain that Belair has to climb. Flair said Belair has been on top for two years, but Flair has been on top her entire career. Charlotte said she’s about to become a 15-time Women’s Champion…woo.

Analysis: It was okay as a promo in a different location. Flair looked great and was confident as usual.

There’s a video package about the Roman Reigns-Jey Uso rivalry up next.


Paul Heyman Introduces Us To Tribal Combat

It was promo time featuring the “Wise Man” Special Counsel Paul Heyman in the ring alone for a promo. Heyman said this is not what your Tribal Chief Roman Reigns wanted. Heyman claimed this was the last thing that Roman Reigns wanted. Heyman told us we may not see Jimmy Uso ever again and said we can all blame Jey Uso again. Heyman said what happens to Jey Uso at SummerSlam will be the accountability of Reigns. Heyman talked about how there will be no remorse, no regret and no forgiveness because when Reigns enters this ring, he will be cognizant of the fact that it’s a match called Tribal Combat.

A video aired about Tribal Combat talking about generations of Samoan fighters talking about the importance of the red lei. There were comments from Rikishi (Jey Uso’s father), Afa and Sika (Roman Reigns’ father) talking about the importance of the red lei saying it represented The Tribal Chief. Heyman in the video said that there will undoubtedly be a winner in the Tribal Combat match.

Analysis: It was a cool video especially due to the appearances of Rikishi, Afa and Sika talking briefly.

Back to the ring, Heyman reminded us that Roman Reigns is the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion and the Tribal Chief. Heyman said Roman has been that for three years and that will never be Jey. Speaking of Jey…here’s the interruption.

Jey Uso made his entrance wearing a shirt that said “The Real Chief” on it with the fans giving Jey a big ovation. Jey got into the ring with Heyman as the fans chanted “Uso” for him.

Jey told Heyman he was right that Tribal Combat is happening. Jey said he’s going to light him with one of these sticks, one of the chairs and Reigns is going through a table too. Jey said he’s bringing this passion tomorrow. Jey said he’s bringing the spirit of his family and his ancestors. Jey said he’s going to become the new Tribal Chief as well as the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance to confront his brother Jey, who he is facing later in the show. Solo joined Jey and Heyman in the ring.

Jey told Solo said that he can always forgive Solo because he is his brother. Jey said all Solo does is take orders. Jey said that Heyman is saying the same thing to Solo that he used to say to Jey every night. Solo stared towards Heyman, who asked to talk to Solo privately. Solo told Heyman “get out” and as he did that, Jey superkicked Solo out of the ring. Jey teased hitting Sheamus, but he didn’t do it as Jey left the ring. They will be back for the main event later.

Analysis: There’s a tease of Jey trying to reason with his brother Solo Sikoa about how Heyman is telling Solo the same things that Heyman used to tell Jey. It’s a good point by Jey since he used to be in the role that Solo is in. Heyman knew that Jey was telling the truth, but Solo didn’t want to hear it and Jey capitalized with a superkick to stand tall to end it.

There was a replay of Rey Mysterio getting injured during his match with Santos Escobar in their match for a shot at the US Title.

The update on Rey Mysterio is he suffered “severe whiplash” and he’s considered day to day.

Analysis: If he is day to day then the whiplash wasn’t that severe. Just saying. Anyway, I’m glad that Rey is fine.

Austin Theory, the US Champion, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. Theory talked about how he’s going to beat Santos Escobar next week and he’s going to crush Cameron Grimes’ dreams tonight.

Austin Theory made his entrance with the US Title around his waist.


Austin Theory vs. Cameron Grimes

There was no reaction for Grimes. I like him, but the main roster fans don’t know him. Theory’s US Title was not on the line here.

Santos Escobar showed up the entrance area and officials were there to stop him. Theory was looking at that, so Grimes hit a Cave In for two because Theory’s foot was on the rope while Grimes was pinning him. Theory to the floor, so Grimes hit him with a suicide dive. Grimes hit a cross body block off the top. Grimes hit a spinning side slam for two. Theory ran the ropes leading to the running cross body block by Grimes for a two count. Grimes charged, Theory moved and Theory sent Grimes to the apron. Grimes up top, but Theory hit the ropes to knock him down. Theory hit A-Town Down for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: *3/4 A match where Grimes was on offense for 95% of it, but Theory was able to knock him off the top rope and hit A-Town Down for the easy win.

After the match, Santos Escobar went into the ring and hit Theory with a Phantom Driver.

Analysis: It gives Escobar the advantage going into the US Title match next week. I think Theory will win.

A video aired featuring Asuka training in a gym while ranting in Japanese. They showed captions with Asuka saying it wasn’t fair that she had to defend her title in a triple threat. Asuka claimed she beat both women already. Asuka said she will win because she has a plan and she spit some mist into the camera.

Analysis: I picked Charlotte Flair in our preview, but I certainly think it’s possible that Asuka will win.

The Grayson Waller Effect talk show was up next.

A commercial aired about the new Cody Rhodes documentary on Peacock. I really liked it. I should have done a review, but it was a busy week.


The SummerSlam open will be narrated by Kid Rock and feature his songs. It’s already available on WWE’s social channels.

Grayson Waller Effect with Bayley & IYO SKY

Grayson Waller was in the ring hosting his talk show. There were plants in the ring along with screens. Waller introduced Miss Money in the Bank IYO SKY and Bayley, who are known as Damage CTRL.

Bayley and Sky were in the ring with Waller saying that they won’t disclose their strategy for the Money in the Bank briefcase. They played Shotzi’s voice calling for Bayley repeatedly, so Bayley was scared and Waller said he did it to get Bayley riled up.

Shotzi made her entrance on the TCB tank, but it turned out that Shotzi wasn’t actually in the tank. Instead, Shotzi was in the ring with a short haircut. Bayley apologized to Shotzi saying she was so sorry. Shotzi punched Bayley and brought out a shaver. Bayley rana way through the crowd, so Shotzi went running after Bayley.

The woman in the tank was Zelina Vega of the LWO, who is Sky’s opponent up next.

Analysis: It was a way to bring back Shotzi after Bayley cut her hair leading to Shotzi shaving her head.


There is a Jey Uso SummerSlam Vlog on WWE’s YouTube channel now.

IYO SKY vs. Zelina Vega

Vega hit a jawbreaker. They each ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline. Vega sent Sky into the turnbuckle leading to punches to her own head (or Sky’s head in theory) and Vega hit a clothesline for two. Vega hit a Meteora (double knees) for a two count. Sky blocked a move leading to a double underhook backbreaker. Sky hit running knees in the corner. Sky went up top, but she saw Shotzi attacking Bayley by the entrance area. Bayley managed to shove Shotzi off her. Sky was distracted, so Vega hit a Powerbomb and a Code Red for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zelina Vega

Analysis: *1/2 It was a distraction finish with the heel Sky distracted by her own friend Bayley and Shotzi while Vega capitalized for the win. I don’t like Money in the Bank holders like Sky losing a match like that, but it’s not a big deal.

There was a video featuring Bianca Belair shown making her own gear. Belair talked about how she was untouchable until Asuka blinded her and stole Belair’s title. Belair said she doesn’t make excuses, she just gets back to work. Belair said she’s not letting up while reminding her two opponents that she’s the EST of WWE and she’ll take back what’s hers to become the WWE Women’s Champion.

The announcers did a rundown of the SummerSlam card.

wwe summerslam 2023 large

* WWE Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte Flair

* Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes

* Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

* MMA Rules: Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* SummerSlam Battle Royal

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor

* Tribal Combat Match For the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event.


In two weeks on SmackDown on August 18th in Toronto, hometown hero Edge returns for his 25-year anniversary celebration.

Next week:

* AJ Styles vs. Karrion Kross

* Austin Theory defends the US Title against Santos Escobar.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance with the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman.

Jey Uso vs. Solo Sikoa (w/Paul Heyman)

Solo started with a shoulder tackle. Solo delivered headbutts followed by some choking by the ropes. Solo hit a rising back elbow. They left the ring. Solo teased a slam through the commentary table, but Jey fought out of that. Jey hit a suicide dive onto Solo into the side of the commentary table.


Solo was in control squeezing Jey’s traps/shoulders. Jey managed to send Solo out of the ring and when Jey tried a suicide dive, Solo punched him. Solo hit a Samoan Drop. Solo hit another Samoan Drop. Solo worked over Jey with punches while Jey was selling against the turnbuckle. Solo took a long time setting up in the corner, so Jey avoided the hip attack Jey fought back with punches along with a kick to the gut. Jey with an uppercut punch, but Solo came back with a clothesline. When Jey tried to get some momentum with a running attack, Solo hit him with a spin kick. Solo hit a Spinning Solo slam. Jey Uso ducked a Spike, Jey with a superkick, Solo with a superkick and Jey wit ha Spear. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jey Uso

Analysis: *** It was the usual good match by the brothers. Jey hitting the Spear shows that he is able to do it effectively just like Cousin Roman, so there will probably be a nearfall spot at SummerSlam with that move. Solo losing probably won’t hurt him much at all, but I hope Solo gets his own storyline sooner rather than later.

After the match, Solo hit Jey in the back. They left the ring, Solo was in control, but Jey hit him with a superkick. Jey grabbed a steel chair and hit Solo in the back a few times. When Solo got back up, Jey hit him with a running chair attack to knock Solo down. Jey celebrated on the commentary. End show.

Analysis: More dominance by Jey, who goes into SummerSlam with a lot of momentum. That’s nice, but I pick Reigns to win.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jey Uso
  2. LA Knight
  3. Paul Heyman/Solo Sikoa


The Scoreboard

6.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

2023 Average: 7.21


Final Thoughts

It was just an average episode of Smackdown this week. It’s still easy to watch, but hardly anything I’d call “must see” on the show. We got videos about the three women in the Women’s Title match at SummerSlam, a video about Brock & Cody and Roman Reigns wasn’t there. At least the LA Knight-Sheamus tried to promote the battle royal a bit. That was pretty much it for building SummerSlam matches.

I was intrigued by seeing The Street Profits in fancy clothes destroying The OC and Brawling Brutes to ruin their match. That group with The Street Profits and Bobby Lashley should be very interesting.

Jey Uso and Solo Sikoa/Paul Heyman did a good job of building up the SummerSlam main event with Jey against Reigns. Jey looked strong again, so he goes into SummerSlam with a lot of momentum.

The next WWE Premium Live Event for the main roster is SummerSlam on August 5th at Ford Field in Detroit with this lineup so far:

wwe summerslam 2023 roman reigns jey uso

* Tribal Combat Match For the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

* Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor

* WWE Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Charlotte Flair

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* MMA Rules: Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler

* Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

* SummerSlam Battle Royal

You can watch SummerSlam streaming live on Saturday, August 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter aka X @johnreport