WWE SmackDown Live Coverage – August 25, 2023: ‘Celebrating Bray Wyatt’

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We are still in shock and continue to mourn the loss of the late great Bray Wyatt, known in real life as Windham Rotunda. This week also witnessed the passing of the legendary Terry Funk. It has been a tough 48 hours for the wrestling world.

Tonight’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, as well as eWn’s coverage of the show, is dedicated to the memory of Windham Rotunda as well as Funk. We request you to keep all discussions in the comment section respectful; let’s honor the legacy of Bray Wyatt & Terry Funk tonight.

SmackDown is live tonight from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. Notably, Cody Rhodes and Braun Strowman will be in attendance at the show. WWE Women’s Champion Iyo Sky will be in action against Zelina Vega, United States Champion Rey Mysterio will face Grayson Waller, while Jimmy Uso is also slated to be in attendance tonight.

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We see a graphic “In Memory of” for Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt. The roster stands on stage at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY, Firefly visuals from fans around.
Michael Cole, spotlighted aside from roster in the ring, acknowledges the loss of Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt, and says that that WWE will be honoring them tonight. Erick Rowan, among others not on the regular roster, are also on the stage.
A moment of silence follows the traditional ten-bell salute. An emotional video tribute for Windham Rotunda (Bray Wyatt) is shown—his journey, from OVW to the present, ends with a lit lantern. As the roster applauds, fans chant “Thank you, Bray!” “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” As the Superstars can be seen breaking down yet again, the lights go down with a spotlight on empty rocking chair and we head to a commercial break.
Back, there’s a touching tribute package for Terry Funk – plus Superstars’ tweets, photos, memories flash on the screen. Michael Cole says both legends will be honored tonight, and Cody Rhodes will be especially present for Terry Funk’s tribute.

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#1. Rey Mysterio vs. Grayson Waller – Winner: Rey Mysterio

The finish saw Austin Theory come out to cost Mysterio the match, before Santos Escobar neutralized him. Shenanigans followed, and Waller took advantage, but was ultimately taken down by Mysterio for the 1-2-3.

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A compilation of several tweets, touching messages, etc. by WWE Superstars are shown in honor of Bray Wyatt. It’s announced that in memory of Wyatt, LA Knight will go one-on-one with Finn Balor in tonight’s main event.

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Following a quick backstage interview featuring Damage CTRL, we head to the next match:

#2. WWE Women’s Championship: Iyo Sky (C) vs. Zelina Vega – Winner: Iyo Sky

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We see more of the wrestling world’s reaction to the passing of Bray Wyatt, before we return to the arena for Cody Rhodes to make his entrance. He pays tribute to Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt, before there is another video package honoring Terry Funk.

He then announces that the following match will be dedicated to Funk and will be a ‘Terry Funk Hardcore Match.’

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#3. The Brawling Brutes vs. The Street Profits – Winners:

A few minutes into the match Bobby Lashley made his way to ringside. The finish saw him take out Ridge Holland with a tackle and Pete Dunne with a Spear. Ford & Dawkins then landed the 3D on Holland for the three count.

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We see more of the wrestling world’s reaction to the passing of Bray Wyatt, before a video package recounting LA Knight & The Miz’s history is shown. It then cuts to a TMZ interview with Miz, who is asked about Knight’s popularity. An irate Miz downplays Knight’s popularity. We now head to the arena as LA Knight’s music hits and the crowd erupts.

Knight takes the microphone and pays tribute to Wyatt, sharing how he has helped his career, and how me much he learnt during their feud earlier this year. He concludes with “thank you Bray,” before shifting his focus to The Miz. Knight proceeds to cut a hell of a promo – cerebral insults all way round.

Among other things, he makes fun of the bass in Miz’s voice, how the most relevant he ever was was as the backdrop of the setting of John Cena vs. The Rock, how his stunt double was more popular than him.

He ends by saying, referencing Wyatt – “A wise once told me, ‘the next time you see me, RUN.'” After the commercial break, Finn Balor makes his way to the ring for the main event.

#4. LA Knight vs. Finn Balor – Winner: LA Knight

LA Knight beat Finn Balor with BFT for the win.

As LA Knight made his way up the ramp, the lights went out reminiscent of The Fiend. We then saw Wyatt’s lantern in the ring, with an image of him on the giant screen. The crowd continues to chant “Thank you Bray” as SmackDown goes off the air.

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It was a truly emotional episode of SmackDown tonight. We continue to mourn the loss of Bray Wyatt, as well as Terry Funk, and this is me, Tathya, paying my respects to two icons, who helped change the course of the industry we love. Most importantly, to two consummate family men, who shall continue to be loved and cherished by all of their loved ones, their colleagues, to those whom they inspired, and to wrestling fans for eternity.

I’ll see you all tomorrow night for AEW Collision. Take care, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

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