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5 Big Takeaways from WWE Monday Night RAW - April 17, 2023

SIMMONS BANK ARENA | LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

This week's edition of Monday Night RAW came to us from the Razorback State, and just like SEC Football, the action was running wild. This was a packed show, with lots of star power as the momentum is picking back up following a slight lull following WrestleMania.


As has been the case for months now, the program was dominated by appearances by The Bloodline, Judgment Daay, Seth Rollins, and The Miz. However, there was a continuation in the storyline between Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed, an explanation from Trish Stratus following her actions last week, and some wild brawling to close out the night.


If that wasn't enough, both Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes were in the house, so things were definitely on tilt. Things continue to heat up between the two, as The American Nightmare and The Beast Incarnate are set to collide soon. The WWE Universe is burning with anticipation for it, and this week added a little bit of fuel to that fire.


Three hours went by faster than usual for this one. Or at least, that's how it felt, as WWE kept the action coming at a steady pace. Here are five things that stood out on this entertaining edition of RAW:


#1 - The Bloodline & Judgment Day form an unholy alliance


Paul Heyman, The Usos, and Solo Sikoa headed out to the ring and were then quickly (and surprisingly) joined by The Judgment Day. Initially, things looked headed for a donnybrook as the two factions squared off on opposite sides from one another.


However, Heyman took control and said that while the two sides still had some issues, he had been authorized by Roman Reigns to form an alliance. For one night only, a deal had been struck for the two sides to work together.

They agreed to focus on one another's enemies, which led to Solo Sikoa having a match with Rey Mysterio. As any wrestling fans should probably expect - when factions are around, there's going to be a lot of hijinx involved. That just set the table for things for some events later in the evening.


Sikoa got a clean win, with the trio of brothers then laying the smackdown on Rey and his partners in the LWO.


#2 - Where is the situation headed with Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes?


So many questions. So few answers.


That's where things stood coming into this week, as Cody wants to hold the man who betrayed him accountable. Except, he isn't a man. He's a Beast Incarnate known as Brock Lesnar. So Rhodes made it clear that he knows the challenge that lies ahead of him. He also let it be known that he doesn't care; he's coming to Suplex City with both guns blazing.

Even more so now than during the build-up with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, Rhodes is delivering his message perfectly. When talking about the angle, he's clear and concise, while projecting the perfect amount of emotion. If he's seeking redemption for his character following that surprising WrestleMania loss, then it's coming in the form of some terrific mic work.


Though not medically cleared to be in the ring, he went out anyway. Then, Rhodes demanded that Lesnar come out for a fight. WWE officials and several security personnel couldn't contain The Nightmare, as Lesnar stood on the ramp, mocking him. More really good work here, to continue to build on this one. Brock is back in hardcore heel mode. Hopefully, that means he will put Cody Rhodes over and get him lined up for a re-match with Reigns.


#3 - Seth Rollins and The Miz... still two of the best in the business


What do you call it when two veterans who have literally wrestled thousands of times lock up? A blueprint for everything a match is supposed to be.


It seems like just yesterday Seth Rollins and The Miz represented the new generation of WWE stars. Then suddenly, we blinked, and they were two grizzled veterans. They have become stalwarts of the company. And even if you don't like either of their personas, a student of the game can at least appreciate how effortlessly they operate in the squared circle together.

Both of these WWE Superstars have had their detractors, both in the past and presently. But at the end of the day, they remain valuable members of the roster, and they're two reliable performers who can literally work with anyone. So naturally? They have great chemistry together, and this match-up was no exception.


Rollins got the win with The Stomp, as Miz continues his losing streak following WrestleMania. That's likely heading to a new arc for The A-Lister going forward. However, this one was just a typical good match from a couple of steady stars.


#4 - Trish explains it all


The return of Trish Stratus has been a little bit confusing.


While the WWE Universe is always happy to see the Hall of Famer come home, she's been pretty ineffective in this tenure. But she did a pretty decent job playing the heel role here, despite the fact that Trish hasn't always been the strongest performer in terms of her promos.

It was a typical wrestling trope, the 'bitter old veteran that time forgot about', which is a perfect way to play the foil to someone like Becky Lynch. Stratus went right to that well and took credit for everything that has happened in the Women's Division.


She scolded Lita for buddying up with The Man, The Queen of Stratusfaction said she cost Lynch and Lita the Tag Team titles, because she wanted to send a message to Becky. She said she is the greatest superstar in the history of the division, and she's here to make sure no one forgets it.


This angle has to be 99% about Becky Lynch further cementing her spot as the top female star in the promotion. Another win over another legend. Considering how great Trish looks these days, she should be fine to go for a handful of matches. We could even see flashes of her old brilliance if this heel turn puts a charge in her.


#5 - All Hell breaks loose to close RAW


Outside of Lesnar and Rhodes, nearly every other marquee star on Monday Night was involved in the final segment. Kevin Owens, Matt Riddle, Sami Zayn, the Bloodline, Rey Mysterio, Judgment Day, and the LWO are all now somehow intertwined, and that was evident in the show's conclusion.


Six-man tag action was the scheduled main event, with Zayn-O and Riddle taking on Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio. Pretty good action in the contest, and it's obvious that Dom's heel character has become one of the most over in the promotion. Which is to be commended. He looks nothing like the innocent little boy who once stood by his father's side. He's his own man now, both in the storyline and professionally. His transformation has been one of the true success stories in the industry today.

Rhea Ripley would get involved, and as the match reached its climax, things broke down. Too many bodies in the ring at once eventually led to utter chaos.


All the parties mentioned at the beginning of this segment were soon involved, with all the factions tearing into one another. In what was once known as the 'Nitro style' to end a show appeared to occur: We were DESPERATELY OUT OF TIME as the end credits popped onscreen.


FIND FIGURES & MORE AT THE REAL RASSLIN STORE


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