The road to WWE Fastlane 2023 continues tonight.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown returns on FOX tonight at 8/7c from the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
On tap for tonight’s show is Finn Balor going one-on-one against AJ Styles, Asuka vs. Bayley, LA Knight vs. The Miz II, as well as John Cena appearing on “The Grayson Waller Effect.”
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, September 15, 2023. The following report was written by eWrestling.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FOX.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (9/15/2023)
The usual John Cena-narrated “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together.” opening signature airs and then we shoot into the Ball Arena in Denver, CO. as the “Who better than me?! I don’t see nobody!” theme plays and the camera pans the crowd.
Pat McAfee Is In The House
We immediately hear the theme song for Pat McAfee and the former commentator makes his way to the ring as Michael Cole geeks out on commentary and Corey Graves bah-humbug’s. McAfee gets on the mic and tells the Mile High City that he loves them.
He says he was in town covering Deion Sanders and the Colorado football scene and saw online that SmackDown was an hour down the road. He says there was no way he wasn’t making the drive. As he continues talking, Austin Theory’s theme hits and out he comes.
Theory gets in the ring dressed almost identical to McAfee. He tells him this isn’t SmackDown, it’s Austin Theory Live. He tells him he’s gonna drop him in a couple seconds and then he can go back and talk about college football. McAfee says he ain’t gonna do a damn thing and points out how he dresses like him.
The Rock Is In The House
McAfee tells Theory this isn’t Austin Theory Live, it’s The People’s Show. He says we all know what that means.
“IF YA SMELL!!!!”
Out comes “The Brahma Bull,” folks, to an enormous sustained roar from the Denver crowd. The Rock soaks up the moment and takes some time before heading down to the ring, stopping briefly to grab a fans phone and take a selfie with it. He gives it back, climbs the ropes and throws his mighty fist in the air, Rock-style.
His theme dies down and the insanely loud “Rocky! Rocky!” chants break out. The Rock soaks up that as well. A loud “Holy sh*t!” chant breaks out and the television sound goes dead silent because of it.
The Rock stands in front of Theory and stares him up and down. Theory asks Rock if he knows who’s ring he’s in. He tells Rock it’s been a long time. Rock cuts him off, “Shut your b*tch ass up!” He takes his jacket off to reveal his own black tank-top and then he does his catchphrase. “Finally, The Rock has come back to Denver!”
Theory says finally the people get to see The Rock and Austin in the ring one last time, only not “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but real Austin, the ass-kicker. The Rock continues but Theory cuts him off, “It doesn’t matter what The Rock says!” The Rock says, “See it does actually matter what The Rock says.” He says it matters more what the people say.
Rock tells Theory that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is his boy and if he were here right now, he’d say, “If you wanna see Rock kick this jabroni’s ass gimmie a hell yeah!” He tells Theory this side of the arena is gonna chant, “You are,” and the other side is gonna chant “an assh*le!” It has to be edited off TV, so doesn’t really play well for those at home. Funny stuff, nevertheless.
He stops them, but then switches and has each side of the arena say the opposite. It again gets heavily edited off the broadcast. Yikes. McAfee reminds Rock it’s a two-hour show, as the chants go on forever. Rock says he knows it’s a two-hour show, but The Rock and the people are having fun, baby! He tells Theory he’s gonna kick his ass in three seconds.
Theory tries jumping The Rock but The Rock fights back and spinebusters him down. He pops up and looks at the crowd and they explode, knowing what’s coming next. He doesn’t have an elbow pad, but he does his arm gesture and then hits the ropes, slides and hits the most electrifying move in all of sports and entertainment, “The People’s Elbow.”
His theme hits again and he then tells McAfee to do it, too. His theme cuts off and McAfee does “The People’s Elbow.” Awesome opener to this week’s show. Memorable stuff. If they don’t have The Rock do something with LA Knight tonight, it’ll be a let-down!
AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
Kevin Patrick and Michael Cole run down the lineup for tonight’s show and then we return into the arena where The Judgment Day theme hits. As it does, we see Finn Balor emerge. He heads down to the ring accompanied by Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio.
As they head to the ring, we head to a quick pre-match commercial break. When we return from the break, the theme for A.J. Styles hits and out comes “The Phenomenal One” for our opening contest. The fans in Denver give him a nice pop coming out.
He settles in the ring and his music dies down. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see Styles start off fast, but Balor takes over after a nice basement drop kick. He slaps a rear chin lock on Styles and brings him to the mat to slow him down.
Styles escapes the hold and starts to fight back. He fires up the crowd as he takes it to Balor, knocking him out of the ring near his fellow Judgment Day members. On that note, we shift gears and head into a quick mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
When we return from the break, we see Balor take over but then both guys collide into each other at the same time. When they get back up, Styles catches his second wind and starts to take it to The Judgment Day member. He splashes him in the corner and then hoists him up for a move but Balor rakes his eyes.
AJ goes for a hurricanrana off the top-rope but Balor knocks him off. He looks for a Coup de Grace, but Styles pops up and crotches him on the ropes. He drags him off in position for the Styles Clash but instead hits a back-breaker. Balor rolls out to the floor. Styles springboards onto him with a splash.
Styles hits Dominik Mysterio for getting in his way. He goes to springboard back into the ring on Balor but Damian Priest grabs his leg. The referee catches that one and ejects both Judgment Day members from ringside. Styles goes for a Phenomenal Forearm but Balor avoids it.
Jimmy Uso jumps in out of nowhere and blasts Styles, leading to Balor scoring the pin. Jimmy is shown smiling and laughing at ringside. After the match, we head to another commercial break.
Winner: Finn Balor
The Rock, Pat McAfee & John Cena Backstage
We return from the break and we see The Rock and Pat McAfee laughing and again repeating the “you are” “an assh*le” chant from the crowd, which yes, is again censored off the program.
As McAfee walks off, we see John Cena approach The Rock. They give each other a look and then Cena starts to smirk. Rock says he sees Cena starting to smile. Cena tells him welcome home. Rock says it’s good to be here.
Finn Balor Tries Recruiting Jimmy Uso For The Judgment Day
Now we see Jimmy Uso backstage. Finn Balor walks up and thanks him for the assist. Uso says it was payback for last week and now they’re even. Balor says that’s cool. He says he saw his brother Jey Uso on Monday. He says he knows he probably misses him.
He tries to relate to him about it and then mentions how Jey was invited to join The Judgment Day and didn’t say no. He says it got him thinking that they could both join. Jimmy says he appreciates it but he’s good.
Balor tells him the good thing about The Judgment Day is there is no leaders. That means there’s no Roman Reigns. Jimmy seems to be thinking about it. Paul Heyman walks up and points at Balor as he walks off.
Santos Escobar Challenges Rey Mysterio
We shoot back inside the ring and we see the entire LWO group standing together. Rey Mysterio talks about how he went through a rough time last year, but befriended the LWO and they reminded him what true family is all about and now he is the WWE United States Champion.
Santos Escobar then speaks and says it’s always been his dream to face Rey Mysterio in the ring with a title on the line. He asks if Rey will give him a shot at the U.S title. Rey asks if he’s serious. Santos says he is, but with all respect. Rey says of course and reveals he was joking and respectfully accepts.
Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits Confront LWO
As they hug it out, the theme for Bobby Lashley plays and out comes “The All Mighty” with The Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford. They head to the ring and talk about teams falling apart and others having awkward love fests in the ring like the LWO.
Lashley says he told them they’d be taking over, and it looks like it’s gonna be easier than he thought. The other LWO members respond to Lashley and the Profits and tell them that they are always ready for a fight. A referee runs down and we head to a commercial break.
LWO vs. The Street Profits
When we return from the break, we see Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde of the LWO in the middle of their match against Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford of The Street Profits.
We see Wilde and Dawkins in the ring duking it out. Ford and Del Toro enter the mix and bodies start flying everywhere. Wilde goes to the top but Ford moves and then tags Dawkins back in. The two hit a big double team move and get the three count in a match that lasted all of 90 seconds at best.
After the match, we see the fight continue as The Street Profits beat down the LWO guys. Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio hit the ring but so does Lashley. Lashley and the Profits leave all the LWO guys laying and head to the back. We head to another commercial break.
Winners: The Street Profits
LA Knight vs. The Miz
A very in-depth, pay-per-view style pre-match video package airs to get us ready for The Miz vs. LA Knight II. When it finally wraps up, The Miz’s theme music hits and out comes “The A-Lister” to the ring for our next match of the evening.
The radio screech hits and then the familiar sounds of LA Knight’s theme plays and the crowd in Denver goes bonkers as “The Mega Star” makes his way down to the squared circle talking trash in a vest like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He settles in the ring and the “LA Knight!” chants hit and the wide-eyed pan of the crowd.
Miz and Knight lock up and Knight shoves Miz down to the mat. Knight continues to go to work on Miz and the fans get on Miz’s case with “Tiny balls!” chants. Miz lures the ref in and cheap shots LA to take over. The fans get on his case again with “Tiny balls!” chants.
Knight hits a big neck-breaker and a bulldog off the middle rope. He goes for the cover but The Miz kicks out after the count of two. Miz takes back over as we head into a mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
When we return from the break, we see the match still in progress with The Miz in the offensive driver’s seat. Knight hits a side-Russian leg sweep and a DDT and then puts the boots to Miz in the corner like “Stone Cold” stomping a mudhole in someone’s ass and walking it dry.
After some more back-and-forth action, we see Knight hit “Stone Cold’s” old Stun-Gun finisher from his “Stunning” Steve days and then follows up with Blunt Force Trauma for the win.
Winner: LA Knight
Paul Heyman Talks To Solo Sikoa About The Bloodline
LA Knight says he saw the top of the mountain when he arrived on SmackDown and it doesn’t matter who he has to go through, whether it be Rey Mysterio, GUNTHER, Seth Rollins or even Roman Reigns. Most of those aren’t even SmackDown guys, no? He finishes with his catchphrase and then we see The Bloodline locker room.
Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa are shown watching on a monitor. Solo wants to kick Knight’s ass. Heyman tells him they need to focus on Jimmy Uso. He mentions how Uso is picking fights with everyone that Solo is gonna have to fight the battles for.
Heyman tells Solo they can only make moves when “The Tribal Chief” calls and gives the orders. Solo tells Heyman he’s gonna finish things tonight. Heyman looks nervous as Solo walks off. “But who gave that order?!” he questions to himself before calling Roman Reigns.
Adam Pearce Talks To Pretty Deadly
When we return from the break, we see Adam Pearce approaching Pretty Deadly. He tells them he’s happy to hear about them healing up from their injuries. He mentions that it was a shoulder injury and asks why he’s in a wheel chair. They pretend not to be physically ready but Pearce brushes that off.
Asuka vs. Bayley
We see a quick backstage segment with Bayley where it looks like there’s trouble in paradise within Damage CTRL and then we return inside the arena where Asuka’s theme hits. “The Empress of Tomorrow” makes her way out and heads to the ring for our next match of the evening.
When we return from the break, IYO SKY vs. Asuka for the WWE Women’s Championship is announced for next week’s show. We then see Bayley make her way down to the ring accompanied by Dakota Kai of Damage CTRL for our final match of the evening.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see Asuka start off well, however Bayley ends up taking over. She lays her out on the floor at ringside as we shift gears and head into a mid-match commercial break.
As we settle back from the break, we see Bayley working over Asuka inside the ring. The commentators remind us of next week’s IYO SKY vs. Asuka showdown for the title as “The Empress of Tomorrow” starts to show signs of life and begins fighting back into competitive form.
We see Asuka take over and get a huge Codebreaker of the top-rope. She transitions into her trademark armbar but Bayley rolls to the ropes and then the floor to escape. Bayley clears off the commentary table and picks up Asuka, but then Shotzi pops up from the crowd with a psycho smile on her face.
Bayley looks like she’s seen a ghost as she rolls back into the ring. Asuka rolls her up and gets the pin fall victory. After the bout, Shotzi scares Bayley off to the back and then we head to another commercial break.
“The Grayson Waller Effect” Featuring John Cena
When we return from the break, the theme for Grayson Waller plays and then we shoot into the ring where we see the WWE Superstar. He mentions how he has had some big guests on “The Grayson Waller Effect” before but none bigger than tonight.
He talks about everyone wanting to be the GOAT. He says his next guest’s career was fading quicker than his hair line. He then introduces John Cena. Cena comes out to a big pop. Grayson says his parents always told him to take his hat off for an elder. Cena smiles.
Waller says he watched Cena at WWE Payback and says he needs help learning how to be a host. Help from someone like Grayson Waller. Waller says he can tell after seeing Cena return as a special guest referee that he doesn’t want to be a competitor anymore.
Cena finally loses his cool and stands up and takes his hat and shirt off. Boy is he balding. Before Cena can say anything, the theme for Jimmy Uso hits and out he comes. Uso yanks Cena’s mic out of his hand and echos Waller’s sentiments. He says no one wants Cena here.
Solo’s theme hits and out he comes accompanied by Paul Heyman, who keeps looking at him confused at what he’s gonna do. Solo gets in the ring and gets right in Cena’s face. He then turns and grabs Jimmy like he’s gonna hit him with a Samoan spike. He instead turns and super kicks Cena.
Uso joins Solo in beating down Cena while Waller watches. AJ Styles’ theme hits and out he comes to help Cena. Cena fights back and Super Cena starts hitting his five moves of doom. He hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes to hit Jimmy with an Attitude Adjustment but Solo saves him per Heyman’s orders. Cena’s theme hits and that’s how this week’s show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!