The John Report: WWE Smackdown 08/18/23 Review

wwe smackdown august 18

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured Edge celebrating 25 years in WWE while facing Sheamus, plus Charlotte Flair & Bianca Belair in tag team action.

Last week on Smackdown saw Jey Uso get revenge against Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa and his own brother Jimmy Uso by laying them all out. After Jey did that, he said he was quitting The Bloodline, Smackdown and all of WWE. It’s just a storyline of course, but it’s a way to give Jey a break for however long WWE decides. The Bloodline guys are expected to be off the Payback PLE on September 2nd.

As for this Smackdown, they are celebrating Edge’s 25-year career in his hometown of Toronto. Edge requested a match with Sheamus last week since they have never wrestled and Sheamus said he was happy to do it. There is also speculation that Edge could be retiring after this because he publicly admitted it was his last match under his current WWE deal. There could be always more matches too, but going into the show, we don’t know what Edge’s future is.

From the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, this is Smackdown for episode #1252. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it

The commentary team of Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show with a rundown of what’s coming up.

Grayson Waller Effect with Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar

Grayson Waller was in the ring doing a promo welcoming us to the Grayson Waller Effect talk show. Waller took a shot at Edge and brought out his guests, the US Champion Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar. Rey walked out with the US Title joined by Santos Escobar, who was in a suit and wearing a brace on his injured left knee.

A video package aired recapping what happened last week on Smackdown when Rey beat Austin Theory for the US Title after Theory injured the left knee of Santos Escobar.

Rey Mysterio was seated behind a table in the ring while Escobar was standing to support Mysterio. Rey said it feels great to be US Champion once again. Waller taunted Escobar saying he could imagine what it feels like. Rey said he spoiled Austin Theory’s plan and now the US Title is with the LWO. Waller said that Rey stole Escobar’s opportunity. Waller recapped when it was Escobar’s big night, Rey stole the opportunity and stole the title from Escobar. Waller said that Rey is not ready to pass the torch because he wants to hold on to the glory.

Escobar told Theory to shut up. Escobar said that the only person he’s angry, and livid at is that low life, good for nothing Austin Theory. Escobar said he gave Rey his blessing because he has the utmost respect for the man, the myth, the legend, WWE Hall of Famer, Escobar’s friend and mentor Rey Mysterio. The fans were cheering. Escobar said that Theory got what he deserved.

Austin Theory arrived in his wrestling gear and it looked weird not seeing him with the US Title he had been carrying around for the past nine months. Lots of booing for Theory. Ausitn congratulated Rey on becoming a three-time US Champion. Theory wondered if Rey also had a “Father of the Year” award. Theory said what happened last week was a tragedy. Theory got into the ring saying that Escobar wasn’t man enough to step up to the greatest United States Champion. Theory said that Adam Pearce is going to come out here right now and hand Theory back the United States Championship.

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, joined the promo party. Pearce said nobody wants to hear Theory complain tonight.

It’s LA Knight! The fans popped huge for LA Knight, who soaked up the ovation before he spoke. Loud “LA Knight” chants. Knight was in the aisle standing near Pearce. Knight trashed Theory saying he defends his title every three months and he fumbled the ball. Knight congratulated Rey and said he didn’t care who the champion is because that belt is coming to Knight. It led to Knight setting up a match against Theory and the winner gets a shot at the US Title. Pearce approved it and that match is next.

Analysis: It’s great hearing LA Knight getting those ovations every week where Smackdown goes. I think Santos Escobar is going to turn heel on Rey Mysterio out of jealousy, so that will be a big deal whenever that happens. Grayson Waller does a nice job as a heel trying to instigate problems on his talk show. Knight facing Theory is a fresh match to do.


It was announced by Michael Cole that over 91,000 tickets have already been sold for two night WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia next April. Tickets were officially put on sale earlier on Friday after there was a pre-sale earlier in the week. It’s the largest gate in WrestleMania history already. That was actually announced by WWE earlier in the day.

The Miz walked out in a suit to watch the match since he has had issues with LA Knight.

Analysis: The Miz is a Raw guy, but Knight was on Raw recently, so now we get to see Miz on Smackdown too. There is still a brand extension, but it’s not that strict.

Austin Theory vs. LA Knight

The Miz joined commentary. Theory hit a fallaway slam. Knight hit a suplex. Knight hit an elbow drop off the middle rope. Theory with a kick, but Knight came back with a powerslam. Theory grabbed LA by the tights and sent Knight out of the ring. Theory beat up Knight outside the ring in front of The Miz on commentary. They went back into the ring briefly, but then it was back out of the ring again and Knight rammed Theory’s head (both hands) into the commentary table hood repeatedly. Theory kicked Knight and tried to send Miz into the hood of the table, but Knight stopped that. Knight threw Theory into Miz to knock them both down. Knight celebrated leading to a break.


Knight knocked down Theory with a shoulder tackle leading to a sunset flip. Theory got out of that and hit a roll-through dropkick for two. Miz was back on commentary. Knight went for a move off the apron into the ring, but Knight caught him and hit a belly-to-back suplex. Knight whipped Theory into the turnbuckles repeatedly followed by a neckbreaker. Knight hit a neckbreaker along wit ha running boot to the face for two. Knight had a small cut on his forehead, but there wasn’t a lot of blood. Knight hit a running knee on Theory against the turnbuckle. Theory came back with a chop block, a forearm to the head and Theory went for A-Town Down, but Knight got out of it. Knight hit a powerslam followed by Miz jumping on the apron to distract. Knight tried to punch him, but Miz avoided it. Knight turned around and DDT’d Theory. Knight chased Miz around the ring, then into the ring and Knight clotheslined Miz over the top (on the second attempt) to the floor. Theory did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Knight with a tights grab for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: *** The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. It’s so deadly, after all. That was about as cheap as it gets since Knight had to deal with Miz by clotheslining him out of the ring, which led to Theory doing the rollup with tights for the cheap win. It’s one of the worst finishes in wrestling, but it’s a way to end it in a cheap manner while protecting the guy taking the pin. It makes sense to do Knight vs. Miz at Payback, so having Miz cost Knight this match makes a lot of sense.

The win by Theory means he’ll get a US Title rematch against Rey Mysterio.

There were video messages paying tribute to Edge. There were comments from John Cena, Sheamus, Natalya, The Miz, Edge, Charlotte Flair, Sami Zayn (talking about how Adam is as a person) and they all thanked Edge.

Edge faces Sheamus later in the show.


Edge Tribute Video

A tribute video aired about Edge’s incredible 25-year career in WWE. There were comments from some of Edge’s greatest allies and rivals in his career. It was an excellent video that lasted about four minutes.

Bayley made her entrance with Dakota Kai, who is back on the road even though she can’t wrestle yet due to knee surgery several months ago. Bayley introduces us to her other Damage CTRL buddy IYO SKY, the WWE Women’s Champion. There’s a tag team match up next.


Bianca Belair made her entrance first for her team. Belair appears to no longer be selling the knee injury she suffered at SummerSlam two weeks ago. It was just a storyline injury. Charlotte Flair was up next.

Bianca Belair & Charlotte Flair vs. IYO SKY & Bayley (w/Dakota Kai)

Belair started with Bayley, which led to Flair tagging in and Flair hit a low dropkick. Bayley did a hair pull takedown. Sky tagged in, chop by Flair, a corner splash by Flair and Flair kicked Sky off the apron to the floor. Flair hit a forward dive onto both opponents on the floor leading to a break.


Flair was in control of Bayley with a backbreaker followed by Flair sending Bayley into the turnbuckle. Flair went up top, so Bayley slammed her off the top like opponents did to Ric Flair hundreds of times in Ric’s career. Sky tagged in with a spinning takedown on Flair’s back leading to a Crossface submission. Flair did a back body drop on Sky to break free. Flair had to act like she couldn’t make it while Bayley told Sky to keep Belair off the apron. Sky hit a dropkick on Flair into the ropes. Flair picked up Sky and sent her into the ropes. This time Belair got the tag with two shoulder tackles on Sky, a dropkick and a vertical suplex. Belair worked over Sky with the punches in the corner, which is really just Belair punching the turnbuckle pad. Bayley was in illegally, Belair knocked her down and hit a standing moonsault. Sky hit a chop block to the back of the left knee of Belair as the heels took control. Bayley was back in with a wrenching of the left knee. Belair got a hold of both opponents and hit a neckbreaker/DDT combo. Flair got the hot tag with a cross body block off the top rope. Flair with chops, then an overhead suplex on both opponents. Flair did a cartwheel into a clothesline on Bayley for two. Flair went up top and Bayley shoved Flair off the top to the floor. Flair was grabbing her right ankle. Sky stopped on Flair a few times and Bayley sent Flair back in the ring for a two count. Sky tagged in, she wanted the moonsault, Flair moved out of the way and Sky hit an uppercut. Sky charged, Flair moved and Sky hit the ring post. Bayley tagged in, Flair got out of Bayley’s Figure Four Leglock attempt, Belair tagged in, Flair kicked Bayley and Belair hit the KOD (Kiss of Death) on Bayley for the pinfall win. Flair was bleeding from the nose. It went about 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bianca Belair & Charlotte Flair

Analysis: *** A good match to put over the title challengers while the champion Sky didn’t take the pin because that’s what Bayley was there for. I wouldn’t say it was great at any point or anything like that, but perfectly acceptable tag team wrestling by some talented women. There were a few spots where it felt off a bit, but they got through it and set up the finish well. I don’t know if Belair beating Bayley will give Belair a title shot instead of Flair. There were no issues between Belair and Flair. They worked well together.

There were more comments from superstars paying tribute to Edge. The comments were from Cody Rhodes, AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Becky Lynch, Bobby Lashley, Ricochet, Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle.

The Street Profits entered for tag team action. They have new ring gear.


Bianca Belair was about to be interviewed by Cathy Kelley, but Damage CTRL attacked with Bayley hitting Belair in the back with a steel chair. Bayley placed a steel chair on Belair’s left leg and Asuka used a steel chair to hit Belair’s left leg. Belair was screaming in pain as WWE Officials like Ken Doane, Jamie Noble and a referee showed up to get Damage CTRL out of there.

Analysis: Cheap attack to take out Belair and show that Damage CTRL want to do their best to hurt possible opponents.

The OC – Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (w/Michin) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Ford and Dawkins had on more traditional gear with Ford in tights while Dawkins was in a singlet. Gallows & Anderson got some offense on Ford, who came back with a clothesline. Dawkins tagged in with an overhead suplex on Karl. Dawkins hit a double underhook suplex. Ford tagged in and hit a Frog Splash on Anderson, but Gallows made the save. Dawkins sent Gallows out of the ring. Dawkins put Anderson on his shoulders, Anderson got out of that, Ford had made the tag and Anderson hit Ford with a spinebuster. Gallows & Anderson hit a double team neckbreaker. Patrick called it a Magic Killer, but it wasn’t that. Ford clotheslined Gallows out of the ring and Ford hit a somersault dive onto Gallows. Ford made a blind tag and Dawkins hit a sitout Powerbomb leading to a neckbreaker by Ford as a combo move. Ford covered Anderson for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay as a simple match to put over the new attitude of Ford & Dawkins wrestling a more serious style. The crowd was hot for most of the show, but they barely reacted to Gallows & Anderson. I liked the double team finisher with Dawkins doing the Powerbomb leading to a Ford neckbreaker.

After the match, The Street Profits were standing by the entrance. Bobby Lashley arrived in a suit and he got a huge ovation. Lashley congratulated The Street Profits on their win. Lashley was excited about it.

Analysis: I like the group. There’s still no name. Lashley also hasn’t wrestled for several months at this point. I hope we get some more advancement to this story soon.

Paul Heyman was shown backstage ahead of an interview up next.


It was announced that 16,121 fans were at a sold out Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The actual number is less than that, but it’s still a sellout. Big crowd in Toronto. I’ve been there many times.

There was a video package about Jey Uso quitting on Smackdown last week.

Kayla Braxton tried to interview Paul Heyman backstage, but Heyman said no. Braxton said she was hearing rumors backstage. Heyman mentioned Jey Uso quitting on Smackdown last week. Heyman fired back on Kayla about rumors about her mom and her dad. Heyman said that she doesn’t want to ask him about Edge’s career or Austin Theory beating this wannabe, flash in the pan LA Knight. Heyman said she wants to ask about…Heyman looked at his phone and answered a phone call. Heyman listened to whoever was on the other end of the phone. Kayla asked what that was about? Heyman said that Jimmy Uso will be live on Smackdown next week. Kayla asked him to share his source, but then Heyman said even he wouldn’t dare do that. Heyman left.

Analysis: It was the usual from Paul Heyman not wanting to give away a lot, but then revealing that Jimmy Uso is back next week on Smackdown. Also, I really liked Heyman taking a shot at LA Knight randomly because just having Heyman do that puts over Knight a bit in terms of shining a spotlight on him.

Sheamus made his entrance for the main event match against Edge with plenty of time left in the show.

This Monday on Raw: Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle vs. The New Day, GUNTHER defends the Intercontinental Title against Chad Gable and more on the Seth Rollins-Shinsuke Nakamura story.


Next week on Smackdown:

* Jimmy Uso returns.

* Rey Mysterio faces Grayson Waller. That’s not a US Title match.

On this day I see clearly, it was a HUGE ovation for Edge in front of the hometown crowd in Toronto. Edge had some Toronto Maple Leafs styles gear on, which is pretty cool to see. The fans were popping huge for Edge as expected. I think some of them were cheering. Edge hugged his trainer Ron Hutchison, kissed his wife Beth Phoenix and hugged his daughters Lyric & Ruby before posing in the ring to soak up the ovation. It was a great moment seeing Edge get that kind of reaction with the fans chanting “Edge” For him. A standing ovation for Edge in Toronto! I love to see it.

Analysis: That was a cool moment seeing that entrance in Toronto one more time. The fans were on fire.

Sheamus vs. Edge

Edge and Sheamus shook hands. Cole: “We have all heard the rumors online. If this is it, tear the house down, Edge!” Sheamus knocked down Edge with a shoulder tackle. Sheamus hit an Irish Curse backbreaker leading to a break.


The match continued with Edge jumping off the bottom rope with a back elbow to knock Sheamus down. Edge hit a sitout neckbreaker for two. Sheamus was sent to the apron, Edge slide out underneath him and Edge gave Sheamus a Powerbomb on the floor. That was a big bump for Sheamus. Back in the ring, Edge jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Edge charged, Sheamus caught him and Sheamus came back with a powerslam for two. Sheamus went for the forearm smashes, but Edge blocked that and punched Sheamus repeatedly. Edge delivered knee lifts to the ribs. Sheamus was on the apron, so Edge hit a Spear knocking them both off the apron to the floor. Great move by Edge there.


There were about ten minutes left in the show as Sheamus was in control with an Irish Cloverleaf submission. Edge fought his way out of that and applied a Crossface submission. Sheamus managed to get to the bottom rope to force a break. Sheamus kicked Edge down and pulled himself up to the turnbuckle. Edge hit a superplex followed by the Edgecution DDT for a two count. The fans chanted “you still got it” which is a dumb chant because he never lost it! I don’t really like that chant. Anyway, Edge did a very slow climb to the top. Sheamus grabbed Edge on the middle turnbuckle and Sheamus hit White Noise off the middle rope. Sheamus picked up Edge and hit the Celtic Cross (Razor’s Edge) for a two count. Sheamus doesn’t do the Celtic Cross that often, but Sheamus did it safely and it drew a big pop. Beth Phoenix had some great reactions at ringside. Sheamus was booed as he hit Edge with the ten beats to the chest although some chants were chanting for the forearms. Edge did a middle finger gesture I think and then Sheamus delivered about 20 more forearms to the chest. Edge came back with an open handed slap to the face followed by a clothesline. Edge got back up with the fans coming alive with him. Edge charged, Sheamus hit a knee to the jaw and Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick for a two count. Beth was doing a fantastic job of being a concerned wife at ringside looking like she was nearly in tears. Sheamus set up for a Brogue Kick, Edge avoided it and got a rollup for two. Edge charged and hit a Spear, but Sheamus got his left shoulder up for two. Edge hit another Spear while it looked like Sheamus jumped into it. Edge covered with his arms across the chest of Sheamus for one…two…and three! Edge gets the pinfall win. It went about 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Edge

Analysis: ****1/2 That was an excellent match. It lived up to the hype and they delivered a “banger” as Sheamus likes to say. The nearfalls at the end really put over both guys as being tough to beat. There aren’t a lot of guys that get to kick out of a Brogue Kick, but it made sense for Edge to do it to keep the match going. I think as a babyface vs. babyface match, it was full of action and drama. I don’t think it’s easy doing those face/face matches sometimes. However, these guys are just so experienced and know how to tell a story in a match like that. Edge winning was the right result. As an Edge fan, I really hope there are more matches for him, but if he wants to stop at this point then more power to him. I think we can all respect that.

After the match, Edge had his hands raised by referee Charles Robinson while fireworks went off in the arena. They showed Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix and kids cheering him on. Edge blew them a kiss. Edge hugged Sheamus with the fans popping huge for that. The show ended there.

Analysis: A cool way to end it with Edge & Sheamus hugging in the ring. I was wondering if they might have some heel wrestler get involved to set something else up, but I think it was the right move to end it this way.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Edge
  2. Sheamus
  3. LA Knight


The Scoreboard

7.75 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2023 Average: 7.24


Final Thoughts

I liked the show a lot since it was carried by Edge’s 25 Years in WWE Celebration. The video tribute was awesome as were the words from his friends and peers. The match between Edge and Sheamus was outstanding. They really put on one of the best WWE TV matches this year and probably one of the better matches Edge had since his post-2020 comeback too. Two very talented veterans putting on a “banger” as Sheamus would say. That match was terrific.

The rest of the show was pretty good for the most part. It flowed smoothly with a promo to start it off. LA Knight losing to Austin Theory might upset people that want Knight to win every match, but with The Miz getting involved, Theory won in a cheap way that protects Knight. Bianca Belair & Charlotte Flair got a quality win as a team too. I also liked the presentation of The Street Profits with an altered look and more intensity than they had shown in the past. I’m excited to see what’s next for them with Bobby Lashley by their side.

The build to Payback has been okay I guess, but certainly could be stronger in terms of announcing matches. It’s only two weeks away. It was an enjoyable show overall.


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