SmackDown Results: AJ Styles advances, Reigns & Sikoa get title shot

WWE SmackDown Results
May 12, 2023
Thompson-Boling Arena – Knoxville, TN

By: John Kleinchester

World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – First Round

Friday Night SmackDown kicked off with the triple threat match between Edge, Rey Mysterio, and AJ Styles in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament. Edge got an entrance and had his children in the front row whereas Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles had their entrances broadcast exclusively on Twitter before the show began. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett explained that Edge retired twelve years ago and forfeited the World Heavyweight Title and that he now wants to win the title he never lost, possibly linking this new title to the lineage of the “big gold belt” of yesteryear. 

AJ Styles won the match with Phenomenal Forearm after Edge botched what appeared to be an attempted spear on Rey Mysterio who was coming off the top rope. Styles would go on to face the winner of the other triple-threat match in tonight’s main event. 

Fun fact: The combined age of all three competitors in this match was 142 years. 

Up next was the second triple threat match in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament with Sheamus taking on Bobby Lashley and United States Champion Austin Theory. At some point, Lashley was busted open somewhere on his head and was bleeding pretty profusely. The finish saw Lashley getting Theory into The Hurt Lock only to have Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Theory in the middle of it. Lashley quickly dumped Sheamus to the outside and score the pinfall and would go on to face AJ Styles in tonight’s main event.

The NXT Influx

Grayson Waller approached Adam Pearce in the back and asked to have the winner of Styles/Lashley on The Grayson Waller Effect next week on SmackDown.

Next saw the debut of Cameron Grimes taking on Baron Corbin. Before the match, Corbin got on the mic and ran down Grimes for being picked last in the WWE Draft. The bell rang and hit the Cave-In and won in 7 seconds.

Later in the evening, Pretty Deadly approached Sheamus and The Brawling Brutes backstage and insulted them, and then scurried away. The Brutes responded by saying “They’ll see” and left to go get some pints.

Roman Reigns Returns

Roman Reigns made his return and was flanked by the entire Bloodline. Reigns said that Solo Sikoa stepped up at Backlash when they most needed it and if there is ever a problem, he eliminates it. Roman said that Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens were no longer a problem, but that their problem right now is The Usos. Reigns asked why they dedicated a tag team match to him and then lost it when he is a singles star. He then demanded an apology to which Jimmy Uso responded by laughing. Reigns referenced the WrestleMania “Goodfellas” commercial they did and wondered if he was a clown and then pie-faced Jimmy. Jimmy was about to charge at Reigns when Jey stopped him and apologized on their behalf. Jey asked for one more shot to bring the Tag Team Championships back to The Bloodline. Paul Heyman then explained that Reigns had pulled every string to get another title shot but this time it would be Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa taking on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia. Reigns then dedicated their match to “the greatest tag team of all time, The Wild Samoans”. 

Later backstage The Usos ran into the LWO and accused them of laughing at them. Santos Escobar said it wasn’t their fault that Roman doesn’t love them anymore. The Usos stormed off angrily.

Interesting fact: This indicates Sami Zayn will wrestle in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez took on Damage CTRL’s Bayley & Dakota Kai. During the match, Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn were shown watching backstage. Cole said they “were” (as in past tense) the NXT Tag Team Champions but they still are and even had their titles over their shoulders. Wade Barrett also chided Cole here for getting Isla Dawn’s name wrong last week. The champions retained after an attempted interference by Io Sky was caught by Rodriguez which allowed Liv Morgan to get the roll-up pin.

Bianca Belair Championship Celebration

Knoxville’s own Bianca Belair came out and was swiftly interrupted by Asuka who blew mist into Belair’s face, ruining the champ’s hometown celebration. After the break, Bianca was shown freaking out still feeling the effects of Asuka’s mist.

World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Semi-Final

The main event was the two winners of the night’s earlier triple threat matches AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley vying for the chance to face Seth Rollins at Night of Champions for the brand-new World Heavyweight Championship. Lashley was busted open a second time in this match and again bleeding from his head. Styles won again with the Phenomenal Forearm and will face Seth Rollins at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia. The show went off the air with The O.C. celebrating with Styles.

Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Columbia, SC:

  • Face-to-Face with Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
  • LWO’s Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs. The Usos
  • Pretty Deadly vs. The Brawling Brutes
  • The Grayson Waller Effect with AJ Styles

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: AJ Styles over Rey Mysterio and Edge in 16:13
  • World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Triple Threat: Bobby Lashley over Sheamus and Austin Theory in 12:59
  • Cameron Grimes over Baron Corbin in :07
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez over Damage CTRL in 8:08
  • World Heavyweight Championship Semi-Final Match: AJ Styles over Bobby Lashley in 12:02
About John Kleinchester 161 Articles
New Jersey born and raised. Wrestling fan since Lex slammed Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Favorite Wrestler of all time is Owen "The Rocket" Hart.