Friday Night Smackdown Round Up 15/09

by | Sep 16, 2023 | WWE News | 0 comments

John Cena made an appearance on The Grayson Waller Effect this Friday night during SmackDown, marking his second time sharing the stage with the budding Aussie star this year. This segment was the most buzzed about portion of the night, which also showcased a keenly awaited rematch between LA Knight and The Miz.

Find out the details and more in this rundown of the recent Fox broadcast.

Match Card

Segment 1 of 8

Scheduled ahead for the broadcast on September 15 were:

  • The Grayson Waller Effect featuring John Cena
  • AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
  • Asuka vs. Bayley
  • LA Knight vs. The Miz
  • Surprise returns by Pat McAfee and Austin Theory, and a breathtaking appearance by The Rock

Segment 2 of 8

In an unforeseen return to SmackDown broadcasting live from Denver, Pat McAfee amped up both the audience and fellow commentator Michael Cole. However, his energized monologue was cut short by Austin Theory.

After a heated exchange of words, McAfee heralded SmackDown as the “people’s show”, signaling the grand return of The Rock. The arena erupted as The Rock delivered his iconic People’s Elbow, creating an exhilarating start to the event.

Grade: A+


  • The unpredictable return of the Rock
  • The crowd’s lively engagement with The Rock’s act despite attempts to censor it

Segment 3 of 8

Despite a commercial break interruption, AJ Styles and Finn Balor still managed to deliver an engaging face-off. Interferences from Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio, and Jimmy Uso created a dynamic, although somewhat disorderly, narrative that saw Balor clinch victory.

Grade: A-


  • The background of Styles and Balor as pivotal figures in the wrestling landscape
  • The escalation of tensions with Jimmy Uso hinting at ongoing battles

Segment 4 of 8

Backstage, we saw Finn Balor persuading Jimmy Uso to consider joining The Judgment Day, emphasizing its leaderless structure. Meanwhile, a charged promo in the ring led to a quick but decisive victory for Montez Ford and Angel Dawkins against LWO’s Del Toro and Wilde, painting the latter team as the antagonists.

Grade: C+


  • The emerging rivalry between Escobar and Mysterio
  • The necessity for a theme change for The Street Profits to suit their heel persona

Segment 5 of 8

LA Knight tallied another victory against The Miz, fueled by the crowd’s roaring support. This match seemed to be a stepping stone for Knight, hinting at a larger confrontation in the horizon possibly involving Roman Reigns.

Grade: B


Segment 6 of 8

Asuka and Bayley presented a commendable match, albeit one that echoed the Balor-Styles duel in terms of finish. A interference from Shotzi paved the way for Asuka’s victory, continuing the intricate narrative but also showcasing a lack of creativity in the match endings.

Grade: B


  • An acknowledgment of Asuka’s history in other promotions during the commentary
  • The recurrent theme of Shotzi causing a distraction, albeit a bit overplayed

Segment 7 of 8

The Grayson Waller Effect featured John Cena but left fans wanting for more from the wrestling legend. A cluttered confrontation involving Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and AJ Styles saw the heroes prevailing, yet left the segment feeling disjointed and underwhelming, particularly given Cena’s limited involvement.

Grade: C+


  • Waller engaging the Denver crowd with topical references
  • The unexpected alliances and confrontations keeping viewers on their toes

Overall :

Despite a high-energy start with returns from big names, the show seemed to lose a bit of its momentum over time. Nevertheless, with a line-up of star-studded matches and key segments focusing on significant superstars, the broadcast managed to hold a strong ground. The closing segment, however, left a lot to be desired, setting a hopeful stage for more thought-out encounters involving John Cena in the future.

Overall Grade: B


  • The promising beginning with Pat McAfee and The Rock’s return
  • An expectation for more substantial utilization of the talent pool in the forthcoming episodes

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