WWE pays tribute to a fallen Superstar tonight in Louisville, Kentucky.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown returns tonight at 8/7c on FOX with a tribute show to Bray Wyatt (Windham Rotunda), who tragically passed away at age 36 earlier this week.
On tap for tonight’s show in addition to Bray Wyatt tributes, is WWE United States Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Grayson Waller in non-title action, as well as the return of Jimmy Uso and IYO SKY vs. Zelina Vega for the WWE Women’s Championship.
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, August 25, 2023. The following report was written by PWMania.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FOX.
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (8/25/2023)
The “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together.” opening signature narrated by John Cena kicks off the show as usual. We then see a duel “In Memory of” graphic honoring Terry Funk and Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt).
WWE Honors Terry Funk & Bray Wyatt
We shoot live inside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. where we see the entire roster standing on the stage as the “Fireflies” are shown all over the building from the fans.
Michael Cole is shown with a spotlight aside from the roster and he acknowledges the passing of Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt. He says tonight they will honor the lives and careers of two iconic men. We see Erick Rowan and others standing on the stage with the roster.
Cole then asks for a moment of silence for the traditional ten bell salute. After the ten bell salute wraps up we head into a very touching and emotional long-form video package to pay homage to the life and legacy of Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt).
We hear “He’s got the whole world in his hands!” as clips of Wyatt from his beginnings in OVW to his most recent incarnation are shown. The video ends with him blowing the latern out. We then see the entire roster still on the stage clapping and looking emotional. The fans chant “Thank you, Bray!”
The crowd starts loudly singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands” and we see the Superstars looking emotional standing on the stage again. The lights go down and then out and a spotlight is shown on an empty rocking chair half way down the entrance ramp. We head to a commercial break.
When we return from the break, we head directly into a quick Terry Funk tribute package showing tweets of Superstars commenting on his passing as photos are shown on the screen. We then shoot into the arena where Michael Cole says they will honor the lives of the two legends tonight, and Cody Rhodes will appear for a tribute to Terry Funk.
Rey Mysterio vs. Grayson Waller
Now we head to the ring for our opening contest. The familiar sounds of Rey Mysterio’s theme hits and out comes the WWE Hall of Fame legend and leader of the LWO, the reigning WWE United States Champion.
He settles in the ring as Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves sing his praises. The theme for Rey Rey shuts off and he gets ready for this non-title opener. The commentators hype Mysterio’s title defense against Austin Theory at WWE Payback 2023.
Rey is wearing a tribute arm band with Terry Funk’s and Bray Wyatt’s initials on it. The theme for Grayson Waller hits and now the host of “The Grayson Waller Effect” makes his way out and heads to the ring.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with the opening match on tonight’s show. We see some good back-and-forth action and then Waller starts to take over. As the action spills out to the floor, Rey Rey fights back into the lead and hits a big high spot from the ring.
On that note, we head into a mid-match commercial break as the action continues. When we return, we see the action back in the ring with Rey in the lead. This doesn’t last for long, however, as Waller comes down hard on Rey, who crumbles in the corner. Waller settles into the offensive driver’s seat from there.
Waller dominates for the next few minutes, but then Rey starts to show signs of life and eventually take over. He has Waller in position for the 6-1-9 but is distracted when Austin Theory’s theme hits and the former chamion makes his way out. The distraction allows Waller to jump back into the lead.
Santos Escobar ends up running down and attacking Theory from behind but Theory ends up laying him out. Rey dives out and takes Theory out on the floor. He turns around and is turned inside-out by a big clothesline from Waller. He rolls Rey into the ring but stops to deck Santos. He heads into the ring and Rey connects with a 6-1-9 and finishes him off for the win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Tonight’s Main Event In Honor Of Bray Wyatt
We return from the break to another video package, much like the aforementioned Terry Funk one, which shows various tweets and comments from WWE Superstars and legends acknowledging the passing of Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt).
From there, we hear Michael Cole confirm LA Knight vs. Finn Balor for later tonight, noting they were two of Wyatt’s memorable opponents from his career. We then shoot to the commentary table where they talk more about his passing.
WWE Women’s Championship
IYO SKY (C) vs. Zelina Vega
Now we shoot backstage where we see Kayla Braxton standing by with Damage CTRL. She asks them about Zelina Vega’s past victory over IYO SKY and how if that happens tonight, there will be a new World Champion.
Bayley takes shots at Kayla for being small and then sings the praises for SKY while talking about why she’s gonna defeat Vega tonight. She says “we are in IYO’s era,” and suggests we buckle up and enjoy the ride.
From there, we shoot back inside the KFC Yum! Arena in Louisville, KY. where IYO SKY’s theme hits and out she comes with Bayley and Dakota Kai.
Zelina Vega settles in the ring and Corey Graves makes some jokes about bunny ears or some kinda goofy headband she’s wearing. The lights go down and the ring announcer handles the formal pre-match ring introductions for the champion and the challenger.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We immediately head to a pre-match commercial break before we see anything physical happen.
When we return from the break, we see another video tribute to Bray Wyatt, this time it is a flashback looking at the debut of The Fiend character in WWE. From there, we shoot back inside the arena where the bell rings again and now the match finally starts.
IYO SKY jumps into the early offensive lead, beating Zelina down as the camera keeps cutting to show Bayley and Dakota Kai cheering her on and lecturing the fans. IYO hits a big slam and goes for the cover but Zelina kicks out and then recovers and blasts IYO with a big kick.
She heads to the top-rope but IYO brings her down the hard way. She goes for a cover but Zelina kicks out. IYO works Zelina over with mat-based offense now. IYO misses a big splash in the corner and Zelina takes back over. Zelina hits a big clothesline and a meteora for a close near fall.
“The Genius of the Sky” hangs in there and starts to fight back. She hits a big missile drop kick off the ropes. Zelina looks for Code Red but IYO avoids it. IYO hits a big lay down power bomb. IYO heads to the top-rope but Zelina pulls her down and hits Code Red. IYO rolls to the floor to avoid being pinned.
Zelina heads out after IYO on the floor but ends up crashing and burning. Back in the ring, IYO hits running double knees to Vega in the corner. She heads to the top-rope and connects with her moonsault finisher for the win. Good match. After the bout, we head to another commercial break.
Winner and STILL WWE Women’s Champion: IYO SKY
Cody Rhodes Appears Live To Pay Tribute To Terry Funk
When we return from the break, we see more tweets from WWE Superstars and legends reacting to the news of Bray Wyatt’s passing.
After the tweets are shown, we return inside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. where we hear the familiar sounds of the theme song of Cody Rhodes.
Fireworks and pyro erupts as “The American Nightmare” emerges and heads to the ring as fans sing along with the lyrics to his entrance tune. Cody kneels down and pounds the ground and looks up to the heavens at Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt.
He begins, “So, Louisville, Kentucky, I know what I want to talk about tonight.” He then goes into some stories about his father and Terry Funk to honor the legacy of “The Funker.”
Rhodes says it’s cool to be called a WWE Superstar. He says they’ve been called other things throughout history, such as wrestlers, competitors, artists and sometimes even carnies. He says it takes a special man to be called a “Cowboy.” He says Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt were “Cowboys” in the best sense of the word.
Cody goes on to talk about legends giving stars the “rub.” He then mentions how Terry did this time and again, and even did so for an entire generation and revolution in ECW. He then introduces a special Terry Funk tribute package.
Terry Funk Hardcore Match
The Brawling Brutes vs. The Street Profits
After the video package wraps up, we return live and Cody Rhodes says he’s proud to announce that the next match coming up, will be a Terry Funk Hardcore Match.
With that said, the theme for The Brawling Brutes hits and Michael Cole proclaims it to be “FIGHT NIGHT!” on commentary as Ridge Holland and Butch make their way out and head to the ring.
We settle into a pre-match commercial break as they settle into the ring. When we return, we see them in the ring awaiting the arrival of their opposition as their music dies down.
Now the familiar sounds of The Street Profits’ theme hits and out comes Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford. They settle into the ring and the bell sounds for this special Terry Funk Hardcore Match.
All four guys duke it out in the center of the ring. After the early brawl settles down, we see Butch and Montez Ford as the legal two men in the ring. We see Ridge Holland get involved and he hoists Butch up and uses his own partner like Terry Funk would a ladder, spinning in circles and knocking down anyone in sight.
As the action continues with The Street Profits hitting high spots from the ring to the floor, we hear the familiar sounds of Bobby Lashley’s theme music. Out comes “The All Mighty” as we head into a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Dawkins hoist Butch up on his shoulders and Ford hits a top-rope blockbuster to bring him down the hard way. They go for the cover but The Brawling Brutes hang in there. Bobby Lashley is shown at ringside watching on as the action continues.
After some more near finishes from both teams, we see Butch go under the ring to pull out a table. He bumps into Lashley in doing so. Lashley gives him the death stare. Butch sends the table into the ring. He heads to the top but Lashley shoves him off and spears him on the floor. The Street Profits put Ridge through the table and win.
Winners: The Street Profits
LA Knight vs. Finn Balor
We see the first-ever Firefly Fun House in the latest tribute video for Bray Wyatt. We shoot live backstage and see LA Knight walking the hall ways as he prepares to head to the ring for the main event against Finn Balor.
As he does, we head to a commercial break. When we return, we see footage of LA Knight interfering in Miz’s match with Akira Tozawa on Raw. We then see TMZ Sports’ interview with The Miz where he vows Knight won’t make it to WrestleMania if he keeps disrespecting him.
Back live, the radio screeches and the theme for LA Knight hits. The entire crowd erupts and stands on their feet as “The Mega Star” makes his way out and settles into the squared circle for our main event of the evening.
Knight gets on the mic and says he’ll get to The Miz in a second, but from what he can tell, tonight is about Bray Wyatt. He brings up the fans showing the “Fireflies” at the start of the show. He talks about great foes being great helpers. He says he and Bray Wyatt went through hell and through that, what Wyatt was really doing was getting him ready for anything.
He says he was doing good keeping it together until he saw photos of him and his family and that got to him. He says everyone can feel the spirit of Bray Wyatt in this building. The fans chant “Thank you Bray!” Knight says it as well.
From there, he switches gears and says, “Let me talk to ya!” He then brings up Miz’s interview with TMZ Sports. He says if he’s a fad, he’s okay with that, because Miz never was — no one ever cared about him. He says when he had a stunt double, he played second fiddle to him. Even when he was champion, he was a background story to the real main event of The Rock and John Cena.
LA Knight finishes by saying a wise man once told him, “The next time you see me … run!” On that note, we shift gears and see Bray’s Extreme Return as another tribute clip before heading into another commercial break.
When we return from the break, Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves confirm John Cena and Jimmy Uso’s return for next week’s SmackDown, as well as Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs. Grayson Waller & Austin Theory. They also announce LA Knight vs. The Miz for WWE Payback 2023.
In the arena, Finn Balor’s theme hits and he makes his way out for tonight’s main event. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see Knight jump into the early offensive lead. He takes Balor out to the floor and repeatedly bounces his head off the commentary desk.
The action resumes in the ring where Knight heads to the top, but Balor sweeps his legs out from under him and he crashes and burns — bad. On that note, we shift gears and head into a mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
When we return from the break, we see Balor working over Knight, who he eventually hits with his trademark Sling Blade spot. Knight fights back and starts going at Balor again, but this doesn’t last long, as Balor sweeps him down and stomps on his chest. He hits a running drop kick into the corner.
Balor heads to the top-rope looking for his Coup de Grace, but Knight moves just in time. Knight fires up on offense after hitting Balor with a big power slam and playing to the crowd. Seconds later, Knight finishes off Balor for what the commentators call the biggest win of his career.
Winner: LA Knight
WWE Turns Out Bray Wyatt’s Latern
After the main event wraps up, we see LA Knight head to the back. The lights go out and the fans loudly chant “Thank you, Bray!” as the “Fireflies” spread throughout the arena and are shown via a wide camera shot.
In the ring, we see Bray Wyatt’s latern light up. A silhouette of Wyatt is shown on the big screen and the fans continue chanting “Thank you, Bray!” as the latern slowly fades out, as does the picture of the broadcast. That’s how this week’s show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!