The road to WWE SummerSlam continues tonight.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown goes down this evening from Amway Center in Orlando, Florida with this week’s edition of the two-hour WWE on FS1 show.
On tap for the show is the Rules of Engagement with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso, as well as the second part of the ongoing WWE United States Championship Invitational with Rey Mysterio vs. Sheamus vs. Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight.
Additionally, Charlotte Flair goes one-on-one against Iyo Sky, Dominik Mysterio will defend his NXT North American Championship and more.
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, July 21, 2023. The following report was written by eWrestling.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FS1.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (7/21/2023)
The regular “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together.” opening intro narrated by John Cena flashes on the screen to get this week’s special WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FS1 show underway.
“The Tribal Chief” Is In The House
A lengthy video package airs after that, showing highlights of what went down last week with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman / Solo Sikoa. After that, we shoot live backstage and we see Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman arriving to the building.
From there, we shoot inside the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. as the camera pans the crowd. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett promote the Rules of Engagement for SummerSlam between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso for later tonight.
WWE United States Championship Invitational
Rey Mysterio vs. Sheamus vs. Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight
WWE United States Champion Austin Theory is shown sitting at ringside. He will face the winner of the winner of the match pitting tonight’s winner against Santos Escobar.
The familiar sounds of Rey Mysterio’s theme hits and the LWO leader makes his way to the ring as Cole reminds us that fellow LWO member Santos Escobar already advanced to the finals of the Invitational with his win last week.
We see Wes Lee and Dragon Lee in the crowd from NXT on camera. Sheamus’ theme hits and Cole proclaims it is, of course, “FIGHT NIGHT!” Out comes “The Celtic Warrior” and he settles in the ring.
Now the entrance tune for Cameron Grimes hits and out comes the former standout performer from NXT for this Invitational opener. The commentators sing his praises as he makes his way out and settles inside the squared circle.
LA Knight’s music hits and the crowd in Orlando goes absolutely nuts as the charismatic performer makes his way out and heads to the ring for this high stakes opening contest. Knight has a microphone in-hand and says, “Let me talk to ya!” He says “The Biggest Party of the Summer” is around the corner and vows the beat Theory for the U.S. title (YEAH!).
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. All four men duke it out. Grimes knocks Mysterio out to the floor. Knight does the same to Sheamus. Grimes tries throwing Knight out, but Knight lands on the apron and slingshots himself back in for a battering ram shoulder block. He leads the fans in a “LA KNIGHT — YEAH!” chant as we head to a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Knight and Sheamus duking it out in the ring. Things break down and we see all four men working spots in the ring together. We see two bodies clear out and left alone are Sheamus and Mysterio, who wait for Knight and Grimes to get on the ring apron and hit dueling Ten Beats over the Bowery shots.
Now Grimes takes over and blasts Sheamus and Mysterio with kicks as they sit on their knees. All four men end up in the corner for an insane four-man spot where we see a suplex and two power bombs coming off the ropes in the corner. After that, we head to a second mid-match commercial break as the match proceeds.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Grimes go for a cover on Rey, who kicks out. Meanwhile we see Sheamus and Knight brutally brawling at ringside. Mysterio leaps out there and fights over near Austin Theory, who has to get up from his chair to avoid getting smashed. Sheamus comes flying off the top rope to take out Rey and Cameron.
Back in the ring, Sheamus hits White Noise and goes for the cover, but Knight kicks out. Knight hits a big slam on Sheamus after catching him in mid-air, but The Mega-Star’s pin attempt is broken up by Mysterio.
Rey sends Sheamus and Grimes onto the middle rope for a double 6-1-9. He goes for the cover, and has it won, but Theory jumps up from his chair and yanks Rey out to the floor. Santos Escobar runs out from the back and starts beating down Theory at ringside as the crowd goes wild. He throws Theory over the barricade and hits a running flying clothesline on Theory over the barricade.
We see Knight in the ring doing his version of The People’s Elbow (man, he does rip off The Rock an obnoxious amount!) His pin attempt ends up getting broken up and then Rey hits the ring and gets the pin. It will now be Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar in a battle of co-LWO members to find out the winner of the WWE United States Championship Invitational to determine the next title challenger for WWE U.S. Champion Austin Theory.
Winner and ADVANCING: Rey Mysterio
Austin Theory Wants Santos Escobar Tonight
When we return from the commercial break, we see Jey Uso walking backstage after we are shown The Cavinder Twins sitting in the crowd. Uso walks past Tony D’Angelo and Stacks.
Now we shoot to Austin Theory, who approaches Adam Pearce. Theory tells Pearce he wants a match tonight with Santos Escobar because he attacked him moments ago. Pearce makes it official. Theory doesn’t want the title on-the-line.
From there, we see the Atlanta homecoming last week of Cody Rhodes, which led to Brock Lesnar’s return and the announcement of their trilogy bout at WWE SummerSlam 2023.
Charlotte Flair vs. Iyo Sky
We head back inside the Amway Center where the familiar sounds of the entrance theme of Charlotte Flair plays. As “The Queen” heads to the ring, we head to a pre-match commercial break.
Back live, we see NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton sitting in the front row. Stands up for her on-camera cameo appearance. Now Iyo Sky’s theme hits and Ms. Money In The Bank makes her way down to the ring.
Michael Cole confirms Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair in a triple threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship at WWE SummerSlam 2023 on August 5. Now the bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one.
Now joining the gang on special guest commentary alongside Cole and Barrett is the leader of Damage CTRL, Bayley. She and Cole immediately get into it verbally as Flair goes to work on Sky in the corner of the ring.
We see Sky take over on offense as Bayley sings her praises on commentary. Cole tries to bring up Shotzi seemingly shaking her last week with her video, but Bayley isn’t interested in talking about that. We see Sky roll Charlotte on the floor at ringside as we head to a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Sky still in control over Charlotte in the ring as Bayley continues to avoid questions on commentary about Shotzi. Charlotte starts to taker over but Sky hits a power bomb off the top on “The Queen” for a close near fall.
Bayley has popped up from her seat on special guest commentary and is at ringside consumed with the action. A video of Shotzi acting psycho appears on the big screen, with her taunting and shouting the name of Bayley. We see Bayley freaking out at ringside, running around nervous. She tells Sky she can’t be out here anymore and heads to the back.
The distraction slows Sky down, but she tries refocusing and heading to the top. Charlotte takes her down but then Sky counters and flattens “The Queen.” She heads to the top rope again and goes for her trademark moonsault, but Flair moves. Flair goes to the top rope for a moonsault of her own but lands on the boots of Sky.
Sky locks Charlotte in a cross-face. She goes for a pin but Charlotte escapes and counters with a pin attempt of her own. Flair catches Sky coming off the top rope and grabs her leg. She locks her in a Boston Crab and cranks back. Sky reverses into a pin attempt but Charlotte kicks out. Sky hits a big drop kick. Charlotte hits a big spear for a close near fall. Seconds later, Charlotte finishes Sky off for the hard-earned victory.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Asuka Attacks Charlotte Flair
As soon as Charlotte gets the win, we see her stand up and immediately get launched by WWE Women’s Champion Asuka. “The Empress of Tomorrow” hits another suplex and then locks Charlotte in her trademark arm-bar finisher.
Several referees have to hit the ring to pull her off. Charlotte stays down as Asuka poses with her title as Michael Cole plugs the triple-threat match for the title at WWE SummerSlam 2023.
Shawn Michaels To Help Make NXT North American Title Bout Tonight
Backstage, we see Kayla Braxton as she introduces her guests at this time, NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio and WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley. “Dirty” Dom mocks Rey Mysterio and says even if he wins the U.S. Title Invitational and becomes U.S. Champion, he’s still only a champion of the U.S., whereas Dom-Dom is champ of the entire continent of North America.
In comes Butch, trying to pull Dominik Mysterio’s punk card. He tells Dom-Dom he should defend his title tonight. Dom claims he doesn’t even have his gear on. In walks Shawn Michaels, who tells Dom he’s gonna try and get this done.
A Quiet Bloodline Locker Room
Now we shoot backstage and we see Roman Reigns sitting with Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman in The Bloodline locker room. No one says anything. Reigns turns and looks at Solo. We fade out.
Austin Theory vs. Santos Escobar
Back inside the arena, the familiar sounds of the theme song for the WWE United States Champion hits. As “A-Town Down” plays, out comes Austin Theory in his ring gear with his title around his waist for this scheduled non-title contest that he requested.
He settles in the ring for our next match of the evening. As he does, we shift gears and head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return, we see Bayley and Iyo Sky return to their locker room only to see a pair of scissors stabbed through a picture of Bayley. The Damage CTRL duo gets spooked and runs off.
Now we return inside the arena where the familiar sounds of Santos Escobar’s theme hits. The LWO member makes his way out to the ring wearing the trademark LWO t-shirt. He settles in the ring as the commentators hype him facing Rey Mysterio in the finals of the U.S. Title Invitational Tournament next week.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see Theory immediately go to work on Santos. This continues for a few moments but then the LWO member picks up the pace and starts shifting the momentum in his favor. He goes for a big dive but Theory backs off and tries calling time out from ringside as we head to a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Theory hit a back-breaker and then go for the cover. Santos kicks out after the count of two. We see some back-and-forth action and then Escobar hits a wild hurricanrana off the top of the ring post. Moments later he finishes Theory off and gets the pin for the victory in this non-title bout.
Winner: Santos Escobar
Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams Meet Up With Bobby Lashley
Now we shoot backstage where we see even more NXT influence, as NXT World Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are shown meeting up with “The All Mighty” Bobby Lashley. The guys shake hands and then we head back inside the arena.
NXT North American Championship
Dominik Mysterio (C) vs. Butch
As we head back inside the arena we see The Judgment Day duo of WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley and NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio making their way down to the ring.
“Dirty” Dom heads into the ring and settles inside the squared circle for this scheduled defense of his newly won NXT North American title. As he settles in the ring, we head to a quick pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, The Brawling Brutes / Sheamus theme music hits and for the second time this evening, Michael Cole is loudly proclaiming that it is, indeed, “FIGHT NIGHT” in Boston.
Butch settles in the ring and the music dies down. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see Butch immediately settle into the offensive driver’s seat, taking it to “Dirty” Dom and yanking at his fingers with his trademark joint-manipulation style of offense.
As the action continues, we see Dom fight his way back into competitive form. With Butch down in the ring, we see Dom get handed a giant chain by Rhea Ripley at ringside. Before he can use it, however, Ridge Holland from The Brawling Brutes runs down and takes it away from him.
Now we see Butch and Dom going back at it in the ring as we head to a mid-match commercial break as this title tilt continues. When we return from the break, we see the action still in progress.
Out of nowhere, Kit Wilson is shown pushing his Pretty Deadly tag-team partner Elton Prince, who has a separated shoulder, down to the ring in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, we see Butch kicking the crap out of Dom-Dom with rapid-fire kicks in the corner of the ring.
Things escalate to where we see Elton Prince and Kit Wilson at ringside. Kit sprints to the back when Butch and Ridge Holland get over near them. He leaves Elton in the wheelchair by himself. Elton pops up and sprints to the back as well as Ridge chases him. Back in the ring, we see Ripley provide an assist for Dom-Dom, who scores the pin to retain.
Winner and STILL NXT North American Champion: Dominik Mysterio
SummerSlam Rules Of Engagement With Roman Reigns & Jey Uso
After Michael Cole and Wade Barrett announce Karrion Kross vs. Karl Anderson and Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar in the finals of the U.S. Title Invitational for next week’s show, we hear the familiar sounds of Jey Uso’s theme song.
As “Main Event” Jey Uso makes his way to the ring for the SummerSlam Rules of Engagement main event segment with “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns, we head to a quick commercial break.
When we return from the break, Michael Cole does an ad-read for tickets for WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, PA. and then we see Jey Uso in the ring with his head down doing his poo-poo face routine while wearing “The Real Chief” t-shirt.
Now the familiar sounds of the theme song for Roman Reigns plays and out comes “The Tribal Chief” with his WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship, as well as “The Wise Man” Paul Heyman on one side of him, and Solo Sikoa on the other. As the Boston crowd reacts, fireworks explode and the trio make their way to the ring for our main event segment.
Reigns settles into the ring with his “The Only One” shirt on. The ring is decked out with a red carpet, table and two computer chairs, like a usual contract signing set up. His music fades down and “Uso!” chants start up. They wind down and then Reigns begins, “Boston … acknowledge me!” They react and then Reigns and Uso each take a seat at the table. Instead of across from each other, Uso sits on one side and Roman, of course, sits at “The Head of the Table.”
“The Tribal Chief” continues, looking at Jey with a smirk. “You sure you still wanna do this?” Jey says, “Yeah, I still wanna do this. I’m supposed to do this. You makin’ me do this! ‘Cause you called the shot, Jimmy’s in the hospital, so now, Roman, I gotta get you!”
Roman tells Jey he can’t get him, because he’s gonna be too busy getting it. Jey slams the contract closed. He tells Roman they don’t need a contract because the contract is in the blood. He says this is tribal combat now. The fans “ooh” and “ahh” at that remark. Roman asks Jey if the elders know about this. Jey says it was their idea. He reminds Roman that tribal combat means anything goes. He says he can use a stick, a chair, a table, anything else he wants. He’ll grab that ladies left slipper in the front row and slap him across the face with it.
The Orlando crowd pops. Roman tells Orlando to shut their mouths. He tells Little Jey to shut his mouth. He says this ain’t his first rodeo. He’s ran this business for over a decade now. He puts his title on the table and stands up with his arms out-stretched. Roman tells Jey it’s done, let’s go. Jey says he said it’s tribal combat now. Reigns hesitantly takes his lay off his neck and lays it over the title, since they’re also fighting for the title of “The Tribal Chief.” Jey and Roman go face to face.
Roman goes to leave. As he does, Solo Sikoa tries to sneak in a Samoan Spike to Jey, who sees it coming and takes him out instead. Roman looks at Jey nervously and then exits the ring with “The Wise Man” Paul Heyman. Jey Uso’s theme plays and he and Roman stare each other down as this week’s show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!