This week’s episode of Raw comes to us from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In Ring Segment:
Cody Rhodes is standing in the ring. Cody holds the microphone and says, “So, Salt Lake City, whattaya wanna talk about?” He says that last week, he was interrupted, so he would really like to talk about “Main Event” Jey Uso.
Dominik Mysterio’s music hits and Dominik walks out to the stage. He starts to speak, but the crowd boos him. Dominik says once Jey Uso joins the Judgment Day, they will continue to be the most dominant faction in all of WWE. Dominik says that “Mami” isn’t here tonight because she was injured by Nia Jax last week, but she will be back soon and better than ever. Dominik then says that after he beats Cody tonight, he will dedicate his victory to Rhea Ripley.
Cody asks the crowd if they heard Dominik, and they shout, “No!” Cody then gives Dominik another chance to speak, but Dominik won’t talk. Cody repeats that Dominik is going to dedicate his victory to “Mami”. Cody says maybe that’s the thing that will do it, maybe it will impress Rhea enough that she will finally define their relationship. Cody says that it seems like Dominik is far more into Rhea than Rhea is into him. Cody asks what the deal is with Dominik and all his dedication to Rhea. Cody says that it seems that Rhea has eyes for Jey Uso. Dominik is not happy with that. Dominik says it’s not like that at all. They are all family. Once Jey Uso joins the Judgment Day, he’ll know what it’s like to have a family. A family always has each other’s backs.
The Judgement Day’s music hits and out comes Finn Balor and Damian Priest.
Match 1: Cody Rhodes vs Dominik Mysterio w/Judgement Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest)
Dominik shoves Cody and talks trash. Cody kicks Dominik in the midsection and uppercuts him. Cody pulls Dominik up for a delayed front suplex. Cody then locks Dominik in the Figure Four Leglock. Dominik quickly gets to the ropes to break the hold. Cody puts him in the corner and chops the chest. Cody attempts a whip to the opposite corner, but it is reversed and he rolls up the turnbuckles before landing on the apron. Cody knocks Dominik back. Dominik grabs the referee to distract him. Finn Bálor pulls Cody off the apron.
Dominik gets Cody in the ring and stomps away at him in the corner before flexing. Dominik starts up the Three Amigos. Cody counters before the third one is hit, and he drops Dominik with a Cody Cutter. Cody follows that up with the Cross Rhodes and stares at Finn and Damian while covering Dominik for the win.
Basically a squash match - there was never any doubt that Cody would be the one winning this, even with Judgement Day being at ringside. Still, it is a bit of a strange way to treat the North American Champion. It will be interesting to see where Dominik goes with his title run, if he continues to lose on Raw. Grade C
After the match, Finn, Damian, and Dominik stand on the apron and stare at Cody, who is alone in the ring. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn run down to even up the odds. The Judgement Day gets off the apron and backs away. They leave through the crowd.
Cody leaves and starts to take selfies with fans. Kevin Owens gets on the microphone and tells the production crew to cut Cody’s music. Kevin asks him to return to the ring because they have to talk.
In Ring Segment:
Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are in the ring as we come back from the break. Kevin says Jey Uso is back on Raw because of Cody. Cody says that is correct. Kevin says he doesn’t need to go into details about what Jey Uso did to a lot of people back in the locker room when he was part of the Bloodline. Cody is well aware. All he wants is for Cody to tell him why he thought it was a good idea to bring Jey Uso into their locker room. A lot of people need to hear it. Kevin wants Cody to enlighten them.
Cody says a lot of people need to hear it, but there are a lot of people in the crowd who probably know why. Cody says has had a lot of roles, tasks, and duties. His job is to make the people happy. He will answer Kevin’s question, but he first asks the crowd if they like Jey Uso. They cheer. Kevin is looking at someone who has received a lot of second chances. Jey is one of the best in the world and deserves a second chance. They should give him the chance to show that he’s changed. Not to mention the Bloodline, who they are all very familiar with, are now down a member. What’s bad about that?
Sami says he doesn’t want to pile on, but Kevin has always taken a bit more time to warm up to people. Sami says that he is the opposite, maybe he trusts people too quickly. Still, he has been through a lot with Jey Uso. Kevin doesn’t have to give him a second chance, but Sami thinks he should. Kevin has given him second chances and vice versa. Because of that, they won the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles in the main event of WrestleMania. That doesn’t happen without a second chance.
Kevin says he sees where this is going. If Sami wants to pretend that Jey Uso is a huge reason why he didn’t win the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at Elimination Chamber, he can do that. If Cody wants to pretend that Jey Uso wasn’t a big reason why he didn’t leave WrestleMania as champion, he can do that. He says that Jey Uso cost him five title matches against Roman Reigns. Kevin says he will even pretend that Jey Uso is not one shade of eyeliner removed from joining the Judgment Day. Kevin can’t trust Jey Uso but he trusts Cody and Sami, so he hopes they’re right. Kevin walks off.
Nia Jax attacks Raquel Gonzalez to cost her the Women’s World Championship against Rhea Ripley last week on Raw. After the match, Nia viciously attacked Rhea and flattened her with a Banzai Drop.
Michael Cole announces that Raquel Rodriguez suffered whiplash at the hands of Nia Jax. Rhea Ripley is suffering from bruised ribs from the attack.
Match 2: Kofi Kinston vs Ivar w/Valhalla
Kofi quickly goes for a headlock takeover, but Ivar doesn’t go down. Ivar knocks Kofi back and shoulder tackles him. Ivar hits the ropes, but Kofi leapfrogs him twice and knocks him back with a back elbow. Kofi avalanches Ivar in the corner. Kofi charges again, but Ivar stops him with a seated senton out of the corner. Ivar punches Kofi back and elbows him in the corner. Ivar viciously whips Kofi to the opposite corner. Kofi punches Ivar back, but Ivar reverses a whip to the corner. Ivar charges, but Kofi hits a pendulum kick. Kofi comes off the top rope with a diving clothesline. Kofi chops the chest and hits a dropkick before taking him down with a leaping clothesline. Kofi goes for a Boom Drop, but Ivar moves. Ivar knocks Kofi back, but Kofi quickly drops Ivar with a roundhouse kick to the skull for a two-count. Kofi charges at Ivar, but Ivar hits a back body drop over the top rope. Ivar comes off the apron with a splash to the floor as we go to a break.
We come back from the break to see Kofi punching away at Ivar. Kofi hits the ropes, but Ivar flattens him with a sidewalk slam before hitting a low cross-body block. Ivar heads to the top rope and dives, but he crashes on the mat when Kofi rolls out of the way.
Kofi heads to the second rope and splashes Ivar as he attempts to get up. Kofi covers Ivar for a two-count. Ivar quickly throws Kofi to the corner, but he springboards off the top rope with a cross-body block for a two-count. Ivar gets to his feet and boots Kofi down. Kofi quickly retaliates with an SOS for a near fall. Kofi hits the ropes and hits a penalty kick before hitting a Boom Drop. Ivar ducks a Trouble in Paradise attempt from Kofi. Kofi then avoids a heel kick and goes for an SOS. Ivar fights out and hits a double underhook sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
Ivar pulls Kofi up and crushes him with a spin kick for a near fall. Kofi crawls to the corner and sits there. Ivar hits Kofi with a Bronco Buster. Ivar heads to the second rope, but Valhalla calls out to him. Ivar climbs to the top rope and hits a Moonsault on Kofi for a near fall. Ivar angrily puts Kofi on the top rope and sets up for a superplex, but Kofi clubs the back to fight it. Kofi then hits Ivar with a sunset flip powerbomb. Kofi takes out Ivar with Trouble in Paradise for the win.
This was actually a really good match. I know that this was supposed to be a 2 out of 3 falls match but with Erik not being medically cleared it was changed. At least we still got some form of a match from the teams and they definitely pulled out all the stops to put on a good one to compensate. Grade B
Jackie Redmond is backstage with Ricochet. She asks if he has any final comments before facing Shinsuke Nakamura. Ricochet says Shinsuke is making a mistake by thinking that he’s a mind game for Seth Rollins. If Shinsuke wants to play games, Ricochet says that he is a cheat code. Tonight, it’s game over.
Match 3: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Ricochet
Ricochet quickly backs Shinsuke to the corner before giving a clean break. They lock up, and Shinsuke quickly backs into the ropes. The referee tries to separate them, but Shinsuke winds up dropping Ricochet with a kick to the face. Shinsuke throws Ricochet headfirst into the turnbuckle and stomps him. Shinsuke sets Ricochet up and hits a stiff kick to the chest. Shinsuke kicks him in the chest again. Ricochet blocks a third kick and hits a head-scissors takeover followed by a dropkick. Ricochet covers, but Shinsuke grabs the bottom rope at one. Ricochet stomps him in the corner and backs up. Ricochet lifts Shinsuke, but Shinsuke slides off. Ricochet elbows Shinsuke and hits the ropes for a handspring manoeuvre, but Shinsuke hits a sliding kick to the head. Shinsuke lays Ricochet on the top rope and hits a running knee to the ribs for a two-count. Shinsuke drops a knee for a two-count.
Ricochet fights out of a suplex and elbows Shinsuke. Ricochet hits the ropes, but Shinsuke knees Ricochet in the ribs before kicking him in the chest. Shinsuke then applies a grounded abdominal stretch. Ricochet fights out and kicks Shinsuke down before hitting a standing moonsault for a two-count. Shinsuke fights back and chops Ricochet in the corner. Shinsuke puts a foot on the throat before whipping Ricochet to the corner. Shinsuke goes for a sliding German Suplex, but Ricochet avoids it. Ricochet takes Shinsuke out at ringside with a moonsault block as we go to a break.
We come back from the break to see Shinsuke walking around the ring with Ricochet down in the corner. Shinsuke charges, but Ricochet pops out with a Busaiku Knee Kick. Ricochet punches away at Shinsuke. Shinsuke reverses a whip, but Ricochet floors him with a handspring back elbow. Ricochet hits a standing shooting star press for a two-count. Shinsuke quickly lays Ricochet on the top rope, but Ricochet avoids a knee. Ricochet kicks Shinsuke in the head and hits a springboard cross-body block for a near fall.
Ricochet charges at Shinsuke in the corner, but Shinsuke puts him on the ropes and boots him to the apron. Shinsuke kicks Ricochet’s legs out from under him. Shinsuke grabs a steel chair, but Ricochet fights it away and hits Shinsuke in the back with it. Shinsuke wins by DQ.
A good match between these two. It does seem that Ricochet has kind of been wedged into the Shinsuke/Rollins feud out of necessity though. But a good match nonetheless. Grade C+
After the match, Ricochet is not happy with the ref's decision to disqualify him. Ricochet tells the ref that Shinsuke brought the chair into the ring. Shinsuke then hits Ricochet with a chop block to the knees and he then hits a Kinshasa to the back of Ricochet’s head. Shinsuke then drags Ricochet to the corner and grabs the steel chair. Shinsuke then hits Ricochet in the ankle with the steel chair.
Seth Rollins runs in through the crowd and attacks Shinsuke. Seth gets Shinsuke in the ring and sets up for a Pedigree. Shinsuke counters with a back body drop, and Seth lands back first on the steel chair. They brawl at ringside, and Shinsuke slams Seth on the commentary table. Security pulls Shinsuke to the back.
Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark joined forces to fight off an attack from WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven.
Byron Saxton is backstage with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. Chelsea says Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark are not a real team. What makes a great team is friendship. Piper says that they are not friends and asks Chelsea where she is from. Chelsea thinks Piper is from Florida. Byron tells Chelsea that Piper is from Scotland. Chelsea pretends like she knew that and chases after Piper.
Match 4: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark vs Chelsea Green & Piper Niven
Zoey Stark starts against Chelsea Green. Chelsea takes the fight to Zoey, but Zoey soon takes her down and hits a springboard twisting senton for a two-count. Shayna Baszler tags in and takes Chelsea down. Shayna plays around a bit with Chelsea. Zoey tags in. Chelsea knocks Zoey back. Piper pulls Chelsea away from an attack. Chelsea comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick for a two-count. Piper Niven tags in and hits a shoulder-breaker for a two-count. Chelsea tags in, but Zoey fights her. Chelsea kicks her in the face and hits a step-up enzuigiri. Chelsea hits the ropes, but Zoey superkicks her. Piper breaks up the pin. Shayna knees Piper in the face and brawls with her at ringside. Piper hits Shayna with a scoop slam.
Out of nowhere, Nia Jax appears at ringside and shoves Piper into the ring post before whipping her into the steps. Nia gets in the ring and hits Zoey with a Samoan Drop before hitting a senton splash. Chelsea gets up, but Nia throws her across the ring into the corner. Nia then hits a running hip attack. Nia avalanches Shayna in the corner. Nia then crushes Shayna with an Annihilator before slapping her. Nia blows kisses to the crowd as they boo. Nia says the division is on notice.
The match ended in a no contest due to the interference from Nia Jax. The pairing of Shayna & Zoey just feels a little “meh” to me. Like they had nothing for either of them after their previous storylines ended, so just threw them together. It will be interesting to see where this goes with Nia taking out the Women’s division. Grade N/A
Adam Pearce is on the phone. Chad Gable comes up and asks how Seth Rollins is. Pearce says he’ll be ok. Chad asks about another Intercontinental Championship match against Gunther. Pearce says it was a career-making performance, but he’s got to earn another shot. Bronson Reed walks up and says Chad has to go to the back of the line. Chad says he’s made a career suplexing big guys like Bronson. They get into an argument, and Pearce says they’ll have a match next.
Jey Uso is backstage with Jackie Redmond. She asks about the lack of a warm welcome to Raw. Jey says he and Drew McIntyre have a history, and he’ll show him what he’s about. Damian Priest walks up and asks for a moment. Damian says he wants Jey Uso in the Judgement Day. It’s not his decision, though. They’re a family. It’s not a dictatorship. Damian says the Bloodline and their blood make them relatives. The Judgement Day is different. They could be the family Jey has been looking for his whole life. Damian just asks that Jey not make him look bad in front of his family. They need an answer by the end of the night. Damian walks off.
Match 5: Chad Gable w/Alpha Academy (Otis & Maxxine Dupri) vs Bronson Reed
The men lock up, and Bronson quickly takes Chad down a few times. Chad goes for a takedown, but Bronson powers him up. Chad slides away and hits a pair of running forearms that stumble Bronson. Bronson drops Chad on the apron, but Chad knocks him back. Chad hits a missile dropkick and sets up for a German Suplex. Bronson fights it and elbows Chad in the face. Bronson avalanches Chad in the corner and hits a snap powerslam. Bronson takes it to Chad and whips him sternum-first into the corner. Bronson talks trash and clubs the back. Chad punches back, but Bronson cuts him off with a right hand. Chad flips through a back suplex and strikes away at him. Bronson pushes Chad to the corner, but Chad boots him back. Bronson grabs Chad by the throat and presses him over his head. Bronson throws Chad into the ring post before knocking him off the apron as we go to the break.
We return from the break to see Chad fight up from a chinlock. Chad goes for a chop block, but Bronson doesn’t go down. Chad charges, but Bronson clotheslines him down for a two-count. Bronson puts him on the top rope, but Chad applies an armbar while hanging over the top rope. Chad stuns Bronson and punches away at him before hitting a somersault kick. Chad goes to the top rope and connects with a diving head-butt for a near fall. Chad sets up for Chaos Theory, but Bronson gets out and avalanches him down. Bronson goes for a senton splash, but Chad gets the knees up. Chad goes for a German Suplex, but his knee gives out. Bronson gets Chad on his back and hits a backpack senton. Bronson goes to the top rope and hits a Tsunami for the win.
What was the point of building Chad up with impressive matches with Gunther for him to lose to Bronson Reed?? Unless this is a way to have Chad claw his way back to the Intercontinental Championship picture, this was a pointless loss for Chad. The match itself wasn’t too bad, but Chad has had better matches. Grade C-
Tommaso Ciampa is shown backstage. He says in life you have to create your own opportunities. Gunther has what he wants, and he’s going to take it. Ciampa chose Imperium for this reason.
We see Becky Lynch defeat Tiffany Straton on NXT to become the new NXT Women’s Champion.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are talking when Jey Uso walks up and asks if Kevin has something to say to him. Kevin says it’s just a matter of time before Jey joins the Judgement Day. Kevin doesn’t trust him. Sami tells them to calm down. Kevin says he won’t trust Jey whether he joins the Judgement Day or not. Kevin walks off. Sami wishes Jey luck on the decision he has to make tonight.
In Ring Segment:
Becky Lynch makes her way to the ring. Becky says, “The Man has come around to Salt Lake City!” She is now the NXT Women’s Champion. Becky says that wasn’t on her bingo card for this year, but you have to take the opportunities as they come. Becky says she didn’t want to just be a Grand Slam Champion, even though that’s nice, but she also wants to take this title to heights it’s never seen. NXT is about the future and represents hopes and dreams. She wants to face the best of the future. She’ll be on NXT tomorrow, but tonight is Raw. She’s issuing an open challenge.
Natalya answers the challenge. Natalya says no one has worked harder for an opportunity than she has. Eight weeks ago, she took Rhea Ripley to her limit. Becky says she respects Natalya, but she was hoping to face someone new. Natalya says Becky stepped over a bunch of new people looking for an opportunity. Natalya calls her a “hypocritical ginger witch” before shoving her. Becky accepts the challenge.
Match 6: NXT Women’s Championship Match - Becky Lynch vs Natalya
The bell rings, and Natalya quickly sends Becky into the ring post shoulder-first. Lynch falls to ringside and is in pain as we go to the break.
We come back from the break to see Becky connect with a diving clothesline. Becky avalanches Natalya in the corner before hitting a Bexploder for a two-count. Natalya fights out of a Manhandle Slam and connects with a German Suplex. Natalya goes for a Sharpshooter, but Becky counters with an inside cradle for a two-count. Becky quickly knees Natalya and kicks her in the face. Becky heads to the top rope, but Natalya cuts her off. Natalya connects with a superplex for a two-count.
Natalya gets up and goes for the Sharpshooter again. Becky fights it and pulls Natalya headfirst into the turnbuckles. Becky goes to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick. Natalya quickly rolls out of the ring, but Becky flattens her with a baseball slide. Becky gets Natalya in the ring and goes to the top rope. Natalya moves and hits a discus clothesline for a two-count. The women trade roll-ups with Becky coming out on top.
Unfortunately, there was nothing really special with this one. If Becky is going to elevate the NXT Women’s Championship, she does need to defend it against future stars. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have NXT talent come to Raw to challenge her for the title. Grade D
Adam Pearce is backstage talking with Dragon Lee. Dominik Mysterio walks in and says he lost to Cody Rhodes because Rhea Ripley wasn’t there. Dominik blames Pearce for Rhea’s injury because he didn’t punish Nia Jax. Dominik says Dragon Lee’s mask reminds him of his deadbeat dad. Dragon Lee says he’ll beat him to win the NXT North American Championship next week.
Match 7: Giovanni Vinci w/Ludwig Kaiser vs Tommaso Ciampa
The men lock up before backing into the ropes. The referee backs Giovanni up, and Ludwig grabs Tommaso’s leg. Giovanni punches Tommaso down. Tommaso fights back with punches and chops. Giovanni comes back with a back suplex. Tommaso makes a comeback with some punches and a Lou Thesz Press. Tommaso clotheslines Giovanni down before hitting a corner clothesline. Tommaso hits the ropes, but Giovanni lifts him. Tommaso slides off and hits a neckbreaker. Ludwig goes for a distraction, but Tommaso fights it off. Giovanni hits a springboard, but Tommaso knees him out of midair. Tommaso applies a Sicilian Stretch for the submission victory.
An OK match. Is this teasing an Imperium split? Not much to say on this one really. Grade C-
After the match, Gunther is seen angrily watching backstage. Ludwig Kaiser looks at Giovanni Vinci with disgust.
Seth Rollins is walking backstage when Byron Saxton stops him. Seth says he will do anything to get Shinsuke Nakamura in the ring. Shinsuke can name the time, place, and stipulation. Their destinies are now intertwined. Will Shinsuke write his legacy, or will Seth?
Main Event: Jey Uso vs Drew McIntyre
Jey Uso talks a bit and tells Drew, “Let’s go!” The men lock up, and Drew shoves Jey off. Drew says if that’s all he’s got, this will be quick. They lock up again, and Drew powers Jey to the corner. Jey ducks a right hand and punches away at the midsection. Jey connects with a step-up enzuigiri. Drew reverses a whip to the corner, but Jey puts the brakes on. Jey charges, but Drew clotheslines him down. Drew puts Jey in the corner and chops him. Drew rips Jey’s shirt off and chops his bare chest. Drew stomps him down. Drew pulls him to his feet, but Jey responds with some punches. Drew reverses a whip to the corner, kicks him, and hits a snap suplex for a two-count.
Drew continues to strike him until Jey blocks a punch. Jey gets him in the corner and starts the 10 punches. Drew fights out and whips him to the corner. Drew chops the chest and sends him into the rope. Jey holds the ropes. Drew charges, but Jey sends him over the top rope before hitting a suicide dive. Jey gets in the ring and hits a second suicide dive.
Finn Balor, Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio make their way out to watch this match more closely as we go to the break.
We come back from the break to see Drew punching Jey on the top rope. The Judgement Day is at ringside. Jey fights Drew, but he bounces back and hits a top-rope superplex.
Both men are down. They slowly get up and trade punches. Jey peppers him with some punches before Drew hits a Glasgow Kiss. Jey soon comes back with an enzuigiri and a Samoan Drop for a near fall. Drew rolls out of the ring to recover. Jey goes for a suicide dive, but Drew forearms him back. Drew heads to the top rope and dives, but Jey moves. Drew hits a spinebuster followed by a jackknife pin for a two-count.
Drew sends Jey to the corner, but Jey boots him back. Drew responds with a neckbreaker before kipping up. Drew counts down in the corner. Dominik Mysterio gets on the apron to distract the referee. Damian grabs Drew’s feet, but he pulls away. Jey superkicks Drew for a near fall. Damian and Finn tell Jey to do this “for the Judgement Day”. Damian gets on the apron and talks to Jey before yelling at him. Jey superkicks Damian, Finn, and Dominik off the apron. Jey then turns into a Claymore Kick from Drew. Drew picks up the win.
A good match to end the show. I like where the Jey Uso/Judgement Day stuff is going. It’s reassuring to see that Jey hasn’t gone from the Bloodline just to jump in with Judgement Day.
After the match, Judgement Day enters the ring and begins to beat down Jey Uso. Drew McIntyre is watching from the ramp, he turns his back on Jey and begins to walk up the ramp. He stops as if he is thinking about his decision.
Cody Rhodes then comes out, he runs down to the ring to make the save. Cody hits Dominik with Cross Rhodes. The Judgement Day retreats. Cody helps Jey up as the show goes off the air.
Overall, a decent episode of Raw. There was still far too much recapping and video packages. I’ll keep saying that Raw should go back to 2 hours. Maybe now that it is with Endeavour, it might change.
Some good matches, some not so good matches and bits in between. It's going to be fun to see where the Women’s Division goes from here and who the next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship will be.