The road to WWE Payback 2023 continues tonight in Canada!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown returns from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 8/7c tonight with this week's edition of the weekly two-hour WWE on FOX Friday night program.
On tap for tonight's show is the 25-year Celebration of Edge, with Edge vs. Sheamus, as well as Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar on The Grayson Waller Effect, Charlotte Flair & Bianca Belair vs. Bayley & IYO SKY and the latest build-up to the upcoming WWE Payback 2023 premium live event.
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, August 18, 2023. The following report was written by Rajah.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FOX.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (8/18/2023)
The "WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together." opening signature narrated by John Cena airs to get this week's show officially off-and-running.
The Grayson Waller Effect With Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar, Austin Theory & LA Knight
We shoot inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto where we hear the "Who's Better Than Me? I Don't See Nobody!" theme plays and the camera pans the crowd.
Michael Cole and Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves talk about what is scheduled for tonight's show and then we head to the ring for our opening action, which features the latest edition of "The Grayson Waller Effect."
Now we shoot to Grayson Waller in the ring where his theme plays, stops, the drum-roll hits and his music sounds again. Waller talks about making people relevant on his talk show as the fans in Toronto boo him.
Waller then gets right down to business and introduces his two guests for tonight, the new WWE United States Champion Rey Mysterio and his fellow LWO member, Santos Escobar. The two make their way down to the ring together to a massive pop from the Toronto crowd.
Highlights are shown of Mysterio beating Austin Theory for the U.S. title last week after filling in for Santos. Waller congratulates Rey on being a legend who is still making moments. Waller then tries stirring the pot between Rey and Santos. Grayson accuses Rey of purposely taking Santos' opportunity and the title.
Santos calms Rey down as he takes exception to Grayson's comments. He then tells Grayson to shut up before saying the only person he has a problem with is Theory for his sneak attacks. He mentions giving his friend and mentor Rey his blessing to take his spot. He says Theory got what he deserved.
When he goes to say what he's gonna do when he heals, he is interrupted by the theme for Austin Theory. Out comes the former U.S. Champion to a chorus of boos. He sarcastically congratulates Rey on becoming a three-time U.S. Champion. He asks where his "Father of the Year" award is and asks who's running this show, calling what happened last week a "tragedy."
Theory tells the fans to shut up and mocks Santos for being weak. He demands Adam Pearce get out here right now and hand him back what is rightfully his, the U.S. Championship. Pearce comes out and says he had an idea Theory would do this. He says no one wants to hear him complain tonight.
Before he can say anything else, the theme for LA Knight hits and the crowd goes absolutely bonkers. Knight comes out and, of course, asks if he can talk to us. The fans roar with approval. Knight asks if he heard right that Theory claims to be the best U.S. Champion of all-time. He says he only defended the title once every three months and ultimately fumbled the ball.
LA Knight congratulates Rey and says he doesn't care who ends up with the title, because it's eventually coming to him. Knight then challenges Theory to a one-on-one bout to determine the next challenger for Rey's U.S. title. The fans like that idea. Pearce does, too.
He says the only thing makes it better is if they do it right now. The fans roar and Knight wraps things up by saying Theory has a first class ticket to a B.F.T. with everybody sayin, L-A KNIGHT -- YEAH! His theme hits and we head to a commercial break.
WWE U.S. Championship Eliminator
LA Knight vs. Austin Theory
When we return from the break, we see Theory and Knight already in the ring, but before the bell sounds, we hear the familiar sounds of The Miz's theme song. Out comes the WWE veteran, who settles in on special guest commentary for this scheduled U.S. title eliminator.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running, with the crowd solidly behind Knight as Miz talks trash about him on commentary. Theory takes over but once the action spills out to the floor, we see Knight beat Theory down in front of Miz as the crowd chants along. Miz gets bumped as we head to a mid-match commercial break.
Michael Cole mentions record first-day sales for WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, PA. next year, with over 91,000 tickets reportedly sold for the two-night premium live event scheduled for next April. After making the announcement, we return to the action, which sees Theory taking over as Miz continues to talk trash about Knight on commentary.
Knight starts to take over again, so Miz leaves the commentary desk and tries getting involved. His distraction ends up leading to Knight getting rolled up by Theory for the pin fall victory. Theory held onto the tights during the pin for even more cheating leverage. With the win, Theory secures the next title shot at new U.S. Champion Rey Mysterio.
Winner and NEW No. 1 Contender To WWE U.S. Championship: Austin Theory
Many WWE Stars, Including John Cena, Thank Edge
After the match, the commentary trio of Cole, Patrick and Graves mention the 25-year celebration of Edge still to come, with "The Rated-R Superstar" going one-on-one against "The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus for the first-time ever later tonight.
We then shoot to a lengthy video with comments from many WWE Superstars about Edge, including John Cena. We then head to another commercial break.
When we return from the break, another lengthy video package airs. This was really well done. Ric Flair retirement level good. It started with a young Edge in the crowd during a Bret Hart TV appearance asking for his advice and getting a cheap plug in for his gym.
The video goes on to show the legendary WWE career of Edge with comments from many more WWE legends. Amazing stuff. Definitely seems obvious Edge is retiring tonight in his hometown. The video wraps up and the crowd is shown chanting "Thank you Edge! Thank you Edge!"
IYO SKY & Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair & Bianca Belair
Once the emotional Edge video package wraps up, we return inside the arena where Damage CTRL's theme hits. Out comes Bayley and Dakoa Kai. They tell us that they're gonna grace us with the presence of a champion and then introduce "The Genius of the Sky," reigning WWE Women's Champion IYO SKY.
IYO SKY and Bayley make their way down to the ring for scheduled women's tag-team action. On that note, we shift gears and head into a quick pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see video footage showing how Bianca Belair beat Asuka for the title only to lose it to IYO SKY after she cashed in her Money In The Bank briefcase. We return live and out comes "The EST of WWE." She settles in the ring and then Charlotte Flair comes out and joins her.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this women's tag bout. Kicking things off for their respective teams are Belair and Bayley. Belair takes it to Bayley early on and then tags in Charlotte Flair. "The Queen" enters the ring and picks up where "The EST of WWE" left off, taking it to the Damage CTRL leader as the fans in Toronto cheer her on.
Flair beats Bayley down and then knocks her out to the floor at ringside. IYO SKY comes out to join her but the two are both taken out by a flipping splash from "The Queen." As Charlotte Flair soaks up the adulation from the crowd after the impressive high spot, we head into a mid-match commercial break as the bout continues.
When we return from the break, we see a shift in momentum has taken place during the commercials, as Charlotte is now being beaten down by Bayley and IYO SKY. Belair finally gets the hot tag and starts taking out both Damage CTRL members by herself. They start double-teaming Belair and working on her knee.
Charlotte tags back in. She ends up getting knocked out to the floor where she immediately clutches at her ankle. Belair ends up tagging in again and hitting the K.O.D. for the win. Good match.
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Bianca Belair
The Street Profits vs. The O.C.
We see another video package with more current WWE Superstars like Cody Rhodes, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler and many others thanking Edge for the moments and the memories as part of his 25-year celebration for his rumored retirement tonight.
From there, we shoot back inside the arena where The Street Profits make their way out for our next match of the evening. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins will take on Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson of The O.C. when we return.
On that note, we shift gears and head to a quick pre-match commercial break. When we return, we see Belair backstage being interviewed when the Damage CTRL trio beats her down with chairs and further injures her knee.
Back inside Scotiabank Arena, the theme for The O.C. hits and out comes Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows being accompanied by Michin. The duo settle in the ring for this scheduled tag team bout as the commentators plug tickets for WrestleMania 40, which has already set the all-time gate record and highest first-day ticket sales in history.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. We see Ford and Anderson kick things off for their respective teams. Ford takes the early offensive lead and then tags in Dawkins, who picks up where he left off, taking it to The O.C.
Anderson fights back and tags in the big man. Gallows comes in and the two look for The Magic Killer but they don't hit it. They do hit a double-team spot, however, and Gallows goes for the cover. They go for it again but again Dawkins avoids it. Ford hits the ring and launches himself onto Gallows on the floor.
Ford blind tags himself in and then he and Dawkins hit a double-team spot, a sit-out power bomb neck-breaker, which Ford follows up with a pin attempt. 1-2-3. The Street Profits win. Very quick match. After the match, Bobby Lashley comes out and celebrates with Ford and Dawkins. We head to another commercial break.
Winners: The Street Profits
Kayla Braxton Interviews Paul Heyman
We return from the break to video highlights of Jey Uso quitting WWE last week on SmackDown. Back live, Kayla Braxton approaches a distraught looking Paul Heyman backstage. She wants to ask him about rumors she has heard. Heyman has some fun with Braxton and then addresses Bloodline business.
He then gets a call and turns away from Braxton. He mentions being on live TV and then says "really? Thank you...hello?" Whoever it was hung up on him. Braxton asks him about it. Heyman says it's not a rumor, it's a fact.
It's a spoiler. Jimmy Uso will be here live on SmackDown next week. Braxton asks if Heyman would like to share his source. Heyman says he would love to but even he wouldn't dare. He walks off.
Sheamus vs. Edge
It's main event time!
We head back inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto where the familiar sounds of Sheamus' theme hits. Out comes "The Celtic Warrior" as Michael Cole proclaims it is, in fact, "FIGHT NIGHT!" Sheamus is joined by Ridge Holland and Butch coming out, who turn and head to the back as he makes his way down to the ring.
Sheamus settles into the ring as we shift gears and head into a quick pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, WWE United States Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Grayson Waller is announced for next week's show, as well as a live appearance by Jimmy Uso.
Back live, after a delay, the theme for Edge hits and the Toronto crowd explodes as "The Rated-R Superstar" makes his way out for what is strongly expected to be his retirement match. He settles in the ring after an emotional entrance and the "Thank you Edge!" chants immediately break out.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with our final match of the evening here on this week's special 25-Year Celebration of Edge edition of SmackDown. Edge dominates the action coming out of the gate but Sheamus eventually starts to take over as we settle into a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Edge fire up on offense. He leaps off the bottom rope backwards for a big spot and then hits a drop-down into a pin attempt. Sheamus kicks out but then Edge power bombs him from the ring apron to the floor. Ouch.
Back in the ring, fans chant "Let's go Edge!" as he comes soaring off the top with a cross body splash for another close near fall attempt. The two hit a crazy spot from the ring to the floor and both crash and burn. We see Beth Phoenix smiling after that in the front row as we head into another mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
As we settle back in from the final break of the evening, we see Edge fight back into the offensive lead. He connects with a super-plex off the top-rope and then an Edge-ecution for a close near fall attempt. The fans chant "You still got it!" as Edge continues to try and put away Sheamus in this first-ever battle of WWE legends.
Things start to get physical now, as Sheamus can't finish off Edge either but starts getting vicious. He picks him up and yells at him "I warned ya!" Edge slaps him and then knocks him down. He waits for Sheamus to get up and goes for a Spear but Sheamus kicks him with a Brogue Kick as he was coming in. He goes for the cover but somehow Edge kicks out.
Moments later, Edge connects with a Spear and goes for the cover, yet somehow Sheamus also manages to avoid being put away. The camera has cut over to show Beth Phoenix in the crowd after every high spot.
Sheamus looks for a Brogue Kick but Edge counters with a Spear for the win. Great match. If it was the last one, thanks for the memories Edge! You were a Rated-R Superstar and a Grade-A human being! Edge looks emotional and hugs Sheamus as this week's show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!