WWE SmackDown advertised John Cena amid the looming end to the writers and actors strike. Cena teamed with AJ Styles to battle the Bloodline (Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa.) SmackDown also advertised Iyo Sky defending the WWE Women’s Championship against Asuka and Rey Mysterio and Escobar against the Street Profits.
Last week’s broadcast of WWE SmackDown, with the return of The Rock, garnered 2.569 million viewers.
WWE SmackDown Results | September 22, 2023
- LWO def. The Street Profits
- Iyo Sky def. Asuka | WWE Women’s Championship
- A-Town Down Under def. the Brawling Brutes
WWE SmackDown Ratings
- September 15, 2023 | 2.569 million
- September 8, 2023 | 2.094 million
- September 1, 2023 | 2.443 million
- August 25, 2023 | 2.647 million
- August 18, 2023 | 2.094 million
- WWE SmackDown Venue: Desert Diamond Arena (Glendale, Az.)
- WWE SmackDown Tickets Distributed: 11,495
- Available Tickets: 202
WWE SmackDown Winners and Grades
John Cena Opens SmackDown
John Cena battled “what’ chants during his promo, but they were friendly “what” chants if there were such a thing. Cena leaned into them while listing all the roles he has had in WWE. As the “what” chants continued, however, Cena did everything he could to extinguish them.
Cena called upon AJ Styles to team up with him and battle The Bloodline at WWE Fastlane. Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa answered the challenge, though they refrained from getting physical in the opening segment.
With Reigns on one of his many vacations, the Bloodline is starting to feel like Power Rangers Zeo.
SmackDown Opening Segment Grade: B
Rey Mysterio And Santos Escobar Def. The Street Profits
Mysterio and Escobar surprisingly won this match, meaning either WWE is already breaking up the Street Profits and Lashley, or they’re telling a deeper, long-term story where the Street Profits will have to really listen to Lashley and turn completely heel. Hopefully it’s the latter.
After the match, Lashley demanded his watches and suits back and threatened if the Street Profits couldn’t find a killer instinct he would find somebody who could.
Street Profits vs. LWO Grade: B-
Iyo Sky Def. Asuka
WWE hyped this match up with a great video package for both Asuka and Iyo Sky.
As the only Japanese women in the white man’s WWE, Asuka and Iyo Sky remind me of The Other Black Girl on Hulu.
WWE gave this match a lot of time, and Asuka and Iyo worked it like a Stardom match minus the dangerous spots. The lack of paralysis will hurt this match’s star ratings, but thankfully, Dave Meltzer-s 63-year-old star ratings don’t mean a damn thing.
Iyo Sky won with outside interference from Bayley, even after Charlotte tried to even the odds.
WWE aired a hilarious vignette with Pretty Deadly as Elton Prince recovers from a (overdramatized) shoulder injury.
Iyo Sky vs. Asuka Grade: A
A-Town Down Under Def. The Brawling Brutes
Austin Theory was barking at Michael Cole earlier in the night, and let’s hope this doesn’t lead to the return of Singlet Michael Cole.
This was a match pitting two pro wrestlers (Butch and Ridge Holland) against two sports entertainers (Waller and Theory). I’ll give you one guess as to who got more heat.
Both teams showed great chemistry, especially Theory and Waller, who eeked out a win in the end. Michael Cole even exclaimed “that was a great match!” and he sounded so surprised.
A-Town Down Under vs. Brawling Brutes Grade: A-
Cena And Styles Vs. Bloodline Contract Signing
Jimmy Uso continued to overstep his boundaries by accepting this challenge without seeking approval, and all signs point to Jimmy getting kicked out of the Bloodline again. If that happens, boy will he turn into a Jabroni Uso.
Before this contract signing could even start, Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso beat down AJ Styles. Sikoa dived from 15 feet in the air onto Styles. I don’t think AJ will be able to make it to Fastlane.
Cena and WWE officials didn’t come to Styles’ aid until right after the backstage mugging. Terrible timing.
The Bloodline got so much heat for their actions when Paul Heyman was in the ring. He said “ladies…” and they booed. Heyman followed up by saying “they boo ladies in Arizona.”
Of course, fans chanted “Rocky!” as it became apparent Cena would need a new tag team partner.
The overexubernt Jimmy Uso snatched the mic from Paul Heyman, cutting a promo on Cena before Cena hit the ring. Cena’s replacement did not show up tonight. Instead, Cena was laid out by Sikoa and Jimmy Uso. Uso hit Cena with two splashes.