SmackDown Results: John Cena Returns, Will Host Payback

September 1, 2023
Giant Center – Hershey, PA

By: John Kleinchester

John Cena Returns 

SmackDown started with John Cena coming out to the ring to a massive pop. Cena got on the mic and thanked the fans for everything they had given to him and said that it felt good to come home to WWE. He went on to mention that he’ll be having a match in India and will also be hosting Payback tomorrow night. Cena was about to announce himself in a match tonight when Jimmy Uso interrupted. “Jimmmy” (as his lower third had him listed) complete with new entrance music said that he did what he did to Jey because he loves his brother. Jimmy called Cena “corrupted” and said that he and Roman Reigns are exactly alike – they both take and take but Cena does it with a smile. Cena responded by saying “I’ve been wanting to say this to you for three years… The wrong Uso quit” which led Jimmy to attempt a superkick but Cena reversed it and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Jimmy Uso. 

Backstage, Kayla Braxton asked Grayson Waller and Austin Theory what their thoughts on Cena hosting Payback were. The pair laughed and Theory said that he beat Cena at WrestleMania and Waller added that people only cared about him having Cody Rhodes on The Grayson Waller Effect at Payback. They said they would also take care of Rey Mysterio and “Uno Leg” Santos Escobar up next. The match saw both teams working well together much to the delight of the announce team until Theory bumped Waller off the apron. The finish saw Escobar shove Mysterio out of harm’s way but Theory took out Escobar’s already injured leg. Waller hit the Rolling Stunner on Escobar for the victory. 

Michin was talking to Adam Pearce and Jimmy Uso interrupted. Pearce admonished Jimmy for being rude to the crew backstage and Jimmy said “Is that it?” Pearce said yes and Jimmy said okay and walked off. Later, Michin was explaining what happened to AJ Styles and The OC. Gallows & Anderson said it wasn’t a big deal but Styles said it was and stormed off. Later still, AJ Styles got into a heated argument with Jimmy Uso and the two started shoving each other. Suddenly, Solo Sikoa attacked Styles from behind. Jimmy said that not Solo, Roman, or Paul could tell him anything. With that, he left the building. After the break, Styles said he was going to handle it and challenged Solo Sikoa to a match tonight. Gallows & Anderson again said they shouldn’t get involved with The Bloodline but Styles said that SmackDown was the house he built. 

Bobby Lashley was out next and the announcers noted that he had been on a “recruitment drive” over the last few weeks and he had big news to announce. Lashley said that “real recognizes real and great recognizes great” and brought out The Street Profits. The Profits said that ever since they aligned with Lashley, they have seen great success and they thanked Bobby. Lashley said they were putting everyone on notice and were coming for Championship gold. The trio started heading to the back when Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn interrupted. The champions walked by the potential challengers to take on the LWO’s Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde. Owens & Zayn won with a Helluva Kick and Stunner in two and a half minutes. After the match, the victors got on the mic and told Judgment Day that tomorrow night would be the fight of their lives.

The Miz was out next and said that tomorrow night LA Knight would be competing in the biggest match of his career and that Knight isn’t half the star he was ten years ago. LA Knight interrupted and said that Miz wouldn’t last a day in his boots. Miz said that LA Knight was on a reality show called “The Hero” but no one knows because he was the first one eliminated. The two traded jabs back and forth until Miz attacked Knight and hit him with the Skull-Crushing Finale. Miz celebrated on his way to the back but Knight jumped him from behind as officials pulled Knight off as Miz ran away.

A recap of Damage CTRL’s attack on Bianca Belair from two weeks ago was shown just before the trio made their way to the ring. Bayley took on Shotzi with her new-look spiky hair. At one point in the match, Bayley asked for Iyo’s Championship belt when Charlotte’s music hit. Charlotte attempted to hit a big boot on Iyo but missed and connected only with the belt and continued to the ring, clobbering Bayley and allowing Shotzi to pick up the win.

In an online exclusive interview, John Cena said that his last match isn’t next but it is “soon”.

The main event saw Solo Sikoa taking on AJ Styles after their kerfuffle earlier in the night. Early in the match, Paul Heyman came down the ramp holding his phone. Sikoa dominated much of the match until Styles countered the Samoan Spike and hit a Pelé kick. The pair traded near falls until Styles could not get Sikoa up for the Styles Clash. Styles was about to go for the Phenomenal Forearm but Solo distracted the referee and Jimmy Uso appeared out of nowhere to knock Styles off of the top rope. After the match, Jimmy tried to celebrate with Solo and Sikoa nearly spiked him until Heyman urged him to stop. Sikoa then backed off as Jimmy Uso hit Styles with a superkick and an Uso Splash to end the show. 

Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Boston, MA:

  • Charlotte Flair & Shotzi vs. Iyo Sky & Bayley

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Grayson Waller & Austin Theory over Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio in 8:09
  • Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn over Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde in 2:32
  • Shotzi over Bayley in 9:17
  • Solo Sikoa over AJ Styles in 12:08
About John Kleinchester 144 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.