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WWE RAW REVIEW 30/10/23


We’re less than five days away from Crown Jewel and that means it is time for the final push towards the show. There is always the chance that we’ll get some more matches set as well and that could make for some interesting changes. Other than that, I’m sure Judgment Day will be doing something as usual. Let’s get to it.



Here are Rhea Ripley, JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio for a chat. Ripley is ready to see the men win but other than that, she wants Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins to make the right decision. One of them can walk out of Crown Jewel as World Champion and they need to make up their minds. As for Rhea herself, she is ready to be against the odds at Crown Jewel….but here is Sami Zayn to interrupt.


Zayn is sick of Ripley talking and hearing about how Judgment Day runs Monday Night Raw. He has dealt with people obsessed with power like them for his entire career and his name is rebellion. He’ll fight them no matter the odds, so Ripley suggests he face Damian Priest tonight. The fight is teased but cue Ricochet (scheduled to face Dominik) to even things up a bit.



Match 1 Dominik Mysterio vs. Ricochet


Non-title with Rhea Ripley and JD McDonagh at ringside. We’re joined in progress with Dominik sending him to the apron and twisting his leg around. Back in and Dominik stomps him down in the corner before posing on the ropes for a bit. Ricochet uses the delay to kick him in the head and hit a belly-to-back suplex. The running shooting star press gets two and we take a break.


Back with Dominik hitting Three Amigos but Ricochet fights up. The springboard high crossbody hits Dominik and the Lionsault gives Ricochet two. Dominik knocks him down but misses the frog splash, allowing Ricochet to hit a superkick. Ripley offers a distraction though and a McDonagh distraction lets Dominik grab a rollup while holding the tights for the pin at 11:25.


Official Result Dominik Mysterio wins





Rating: B-. Good stuff here as Ricochet can get things going when he is given the chance. At the same time, Dominik is capable of hanging in the ring. They played up the idea that Dominik needs a lot of help and that is the entire point of what he is doing. Nice match and a bit better than I was expecting.


Post match Ricochet beats up the men but Ripley saves him from the shooting star press.


Video on DIY, who reunites tonight.



Video on Raquel Rodriguez.


Match 2 Alpha Academy vs. Creed Brothers




The Creeds, with Ivy Nile (to oppose Maxxine Dupri and Akira Tozawa, are from NXT and this is a result of an Academy open challenge. We get a Creeds video before Gable wrestles Julius down without much effort. Gable gets him to the mat but Julius, from the mat, lifts him up into a delayed vertical suplex, which he hands off to Brutus to drop him down. Otis comes in and runs the Creeds over, setting up a double clothesline from Gable. Stereo suplexes have the Creeds in trouble and we take a break.


Back with Brutus hitting something like a Samoan drop for two and the tag brings Julius back in. That’s fine with Otis, who runs them over and hits a clothesline on Julius. The Caterpillar gets two on Julius as everything breaks down. Julius and Gable crash out to the floor and Otis hits a World’s Strongest Slam on Brutus.



Julius comes off the top with a 450 for the save and Gable moonsaults onto all three for the break. Dupri offers a distraction but Nile pulls her down. Tozawa tries to break it up and gets suplexed for his efforts. Back in Otis misses a charge and the Brutus Ball (Doomsday Device with Brutus hitting a flying body block) is good for the pin at 10:56.


Official Result Creed Brothers Win





Rating: B+. This was an AWESOME tag match and if the Creeds aren’t on the main roster full-time by the end of the year (at the latest) I’ll be stunned. They’re by far the best team in NXT and feel like some kind of second-generation Steiner Brothers with some other goodness sprinkled in. The Academy more than backed up their half as well and this was one of the better matches Raw has had in a good while.


We look at Judgment Day taking out Cody Rhodes last week, only to have Rhodes run out for the save later in the night.


New Day (as the New Judgment Day) comes into the Judgment Day’s locker room to go trick or treating (Kofi Kingston’s candy bucket is a mini Money In The Bank briefcase, complete with a contract). They’re promptly sent out (Finn Balor takes Xavier Woods’ candy), though Woods does stop to flirt with Rhea Ripley.


With New Day gone, Damian Priest isn’t happy with not being out there earlier in the night. Priest teases cashing in at Crown Jewel and they decide to make tonight about themselves. Of note: Priest seemed cool with JD McDonagh being there with them.



Video on Nia Jax.






Here is the Miz for MizTV. Miz goes to introduce Gunther as his guest….but gets Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci instead. Kaiser goes on a rant about how Miz is everything wrong with WWE and is nothing more than a clown.


Miz says he’s been a lot of things but never a sidekick, which makes Vinci the third wheel. Vinci: “Weren’t you your wife’s sidekick on Total Divas?” Miz: “HE TALKS! He said something! Give him a round of applause ladies and gentlemen!”


Miz points out that it was Miz and Mrs. and Vinci wishes he could be shouted at by someone as hot as Maryse. Vinci is told to not talk until Gunther or Kaiser tells him to but here is Gunther to interrupt.


Gunther says he isn’t Miz’s guest, but rather that he’s here to ask why this is a talk show in 2023. This ring is sacred to him and everything Miz does in it, plus Miz himself, is beneath him.


Miz says he’s heard that before and calls the invisible John Cena that he interviewed a few weeks ago more entertaining than Gunther. That makes Gunther laugh, as he says it’s why Miz is a talk show host while Gunther is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time.


Miz gets serious and talks about his resume, including his two WWE Titles. He was very serious when he made the Intercontinental Title the most prestigious in all of WWE (the fans agree) and he’d be glad to do it again. Fans: “TAKE IT BACK!”



Gunther offers to make a memorable moment and Imperium starts wrecking the set. Miz is told he’ll do nothing about it as always but he clears out the goons….and gets taken down by Gunther’s chop. Miz tries to fight back again but gets cleared out to wrap it up. Odds are that’s a Crown Jewel match and something of a Miz face turn, which has gone so well before.


Post break Miz rants to Adam Pearce and wants a title shot at Gunther. Pearce can’t do that, because Bronson Reed wants a shot of his own. A #1 contenders match seems likely.


Match 3 DIY vs. Imperium


DIY comes out as Miz leaves. Vinci is taken into the corner to start and it’s off to Ciampa. That’s a bit better for Vinci, who knocks him up against the ropes and hits a clothesline. Kaiser comes in and gets taken on by Gargano, giving us the DIY double self-clap. Vinci drops Gargano onto the apron though and Kaiser hits a basement dropkick to put him on the floor as we take a break.


Back with Gargano still in trouble and Vinci hitting a backbreaker for two. Gargano DDTs his way out of trouble though and it’s Ciampa coming back in to clean house. A reverse DDT gives Ciampa two but the Fairy Tale Ending is broken up.


Everything breaks down and Gargano kicks Vinci in the head, leaving Ciampa to roll Kaiser up for two. A discus lariat puts Ciampa back down but Gargano kicks Kaiser out of the air. Vinci misses a moonsault press and gets kneed in the face, setting up Meet In The Middle (running knee/basement superkick combination) for the pin at 10:50.


Official Result DIY win




Rating: B-. This was the match they had set up for the last few weeks and then it went just fine. DIY is a team that can be added into the tag team scene without much trouble and that is what we got here. I’m not sure what the issue is for Imperium, but this doesn’t bode well for Vinci’s future. Either way, good match and DIY gets off to a nice start.


Shinsuke Nakamura is still looking for his next opponent and wants someone to step forward.


Video on Candice LeRae (or according to Cole, Candice Michelle, who hasn’t wrestled for WWE in almost 15 years).


Video on Xia Li.


Match 4 Candice LeRae vs. Xia Li


Indi Hartwell is here with LeRae as Cole apologizes for the name slip. LeRae starts fast and kicks her down in the corner to start, setting up a running backsplash for an early two. Li ties her up in the ring skirt for a knee to the head, followed by a spinwheel kick back inside. That’s enough to knock Candice silly and we pause for a second before the referee calls it off at 2:03.


Official Result Xia Li Wins




That definitely felt like a way to get Li over as a dangerous striker more than anything else.



Candice gets checked on but seems fine enough to leave on her own.




Jey Uso comes up to wish Sami Zayn luck tonight. The interviewer comes in to talk to Jey, who thinks he and Cody Rhodes want the Tag Team Titles back. Then maybe Rhea Ripley will think about him differently.


Video on Shayna Baszler.


Candice LeRae gets checked out by medics.


Video on Drew McIntyre talking about the pinnacle of his career taking place when no one was around. Of course, he’s angry and we even get a look back at the Chosen One days.


He took his second chance and then came back to win everything, including the Royal Rumble….and then the pandemic happened. McIntyre won the WWE Title in the empty Performance Center and he did what he was supposed to do.


Then the people came back but his moment had passed. He was going to win the title back at Clash At The Castle but Solo Sikoa interfered and the Bloodline cost him everything. Now it’s his time to get it back, because Seth Rollins may be willing to break his back to keep the title, but McIntyre is willing to break Rollins’ back to get it.



No more broken dreams. Heck of a video here as we see McIntyre’s side of the story, but he still comes off as whiny, which seems to be exactly the point.


Video on Zoey Stark.


Here is Seth Rollins for a chat before his match. Rollins is ready to take out JD McDonagh tonight and then he can go on to face Drew McIntyre at Crown Jewel. He brings up McIntyre’s issues and tells him to cry a river. Everyone was suffering in 2020 and there were people who had it a lot worse than McIntyre.


People didn’t know if they were going to work or eat again or see their relatives again. So be grateful for what you had, because Rollins has a lot of people who want to take the title from him. If McIntyre can beat him and take the title, Rollins will be the first person who shakes the new champ’s hand. Rollins is no longer the Messiah or the Architect…but here is McDonagh to jump him from behind.


Match 5 Seth Rollins vs. JD McDonagh


Non-title and McDonagh charges into a boot to the face to start. They head outside with Rollins chopping him around and cutting him off from going over the barricade. Back in Rollins hits a backdrop but McDonagh knocks him into the corner. Rollins gets choked on the rope but he sends McDonagh crashing out to the floor. The suicide dive sends McDonagh crashing over the announcers’ table and we take a break.


Back with McDonagh being sent face-first into the middle buckle but Rollins grabs a Sling Blade. The Stomp misses though and the Pedigree is countered, allowing McDonagh to hit a hard headbutt. McDonagh grabs a standing Spanish Fly for two and frustration sets in.


Rollins is up with a buckle bomb but a frog splash hits raised knees. Cue Damian Priest with a referee to stand at ringside, which has Rollins looking rather serious. A top rope belly-to-back superplex hits McDonagh and the Pedigree into the Stomp gives Rollins the pin at 13:58.


Official Result Seth Freakin Rollins Wins




Rating: B-. I’m not sure how much the result of this match was ever in doubt and that’s not a bad thing. Rollins needed a warmup for Crown Jewel and they tied in McDonagh’s issues with Priest at the same time. McDonagh continues to be in a weird place and that is likely to continue for a bit, but at least he had a pretty good match here.


Post match Rollins gets in Priest’s face but nothing happens.


Ricochet isn’t happy with Dominik Mysterio so Adam Pearce offers him a chance to get an Intercontinental Title shot. That works for Ricochet, so here are Chelsea Green and Piper Niven, as the Hart Foundation, to complain about their match tonight. With them gone, Ivar and Valhalla come in, with Valhalla wanting to get Ivar an Intercontinental Title shot. They’ll be in his office, and Pearce needs another drink.


Becky Lynch is upset by her NXT Women’s Title loss but she is glad it was to someone as good as Lyra Valkyria. She defended her title more times in 42 days than Rhea Ripley has all years and the title needs her. Xia Li comes in and wants to fight, but again says on her time. Lynch points out that she’s said that before.


Match 6 Chelsea Green vs. Natalya


Trick or Street Fight, with Green as Bret Hart (and Niven as Jim Neidhart) while Natalya is a leather-clad bunny. Green gives a fan her sunglasses but takes them back like a villain should. Green starts fast with a pumpkin pie to the face and it’s time to throw in some candy. Some trashcan lid shots keep Natalya down but she avoids a leg drop through a table.


Green gets sent into the bobbing for apples bowl but Natalya has to deal with Niven. The double Sharpshooter is broken up without much trouble so Green goes for a pumpkin. One of them has the still completely stoic Nikki Cross’ head underneath but Green sends Natalya into the steps anyway.


The candy corn is poured out (Cole: “They once used tacks, now they use candy corn! This is hardcore!”) but Natalya powerbombs her onto the corn. The Sharpshooter goes on so Niven offers a distraction….and gets pied in the face. The distraction lets Green hit the Unpretty-Her for the pin at 5:32.


Official Result Chelsea Green Wins




Rating: C. This was the kind of fun match that these things tend to be, as Green gets to showcase some of her incredible talents. She knows how to play the mean woman very well and she did so again here, with the cosplay making it all the better. This was fun and it’s nice to see one of the Women’s Tag Team Champions getting a win.


Video on Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov for the latter’s NXT Title tomorrow on Halloween Havoc.


Video on Rhea Ripley.


Crown Jewel rundown.


Match 7 Damian Priest vs. Sami Zayn





They start fast with Priest getting the better of things as commentary talks about who Judgment Day’s leader really is. Priest kicks at the chest but Zayn gets in a few shots of his own. Those are broken up rather quickly though and Priest plants him on the apron as we take a break.


Back with Zayn fighting back but cue Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio for a distraction. Priest grabs the Reckoning (pretty much Cross Rhodes) but Zayn is able to slip out of the Razor’s Edge. Balor offers another distraction so Dominik can deck Zayn. Cue Jey Uso to go after Judgment Day, including a superkick to Priest for the DQ at 8:58.


Official Result Damian Priest Wins via DQ



Rating: C+. The ending was almost a little strange but I guess WWE doesn’t want Zayn taking another pin after last week’s loss to Drew McIntyre. At the same time, the stage continues to be set for WarGames in some form as the ragtag group of good guys getting to face Judgment Day could work very well. It's not a great main event here, but they did at least give some time to the biggest story on Raw.


Post-match the beatdown is on until Cody Rhodes (moving better but still with a slight limp) comes out for the save. Rhodes and Priest fight on the floor as Zayn and Uso clear the ring. Back to back, Cross Rhodes plants McDonagh on the announcers’ table, leaving Rhodes to yell about how Priest is always walking behind someone else. Rhodes promises to take him out, with Cole wondering if it’s going to a “Saudi Arabian Nightmare” at Crown Jewel.


Overall Thoughts


This show took a bit of a different path towards building up Crown Jewel and it worked well. I liked having the five quick videos for the Women’s Title match rather than some big talking/brawling segment and the McIntyre video explained a lot of his deal. There was more than enough good wrestling with that Creeds vs. Academy match stealing the show. Pretty strong show here, but Crown Jewel is what matters most.



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