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WWE Raw Review 4/12/2023

Hello everyone, I am one half of your Irn Bruiserweights bringing you your Raw Review. So let's get into it.

We’re into the final month of the year and the big story coming out of last week is the return of both Randy Orton and CM Punk. You might be able to guess what is up first for the two of them and there is a chance we’ll find out some of that this week. In addition, Seth Rollins is defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Jey Uso.

Opening sequence.

Here is Drew McIntyre to get things going. McIntyre calls Raw the land where you can do whatever you want, say whatever you want, leave and come back completely forgiven! Fans: “CM PUNK!” McIntyre: “Oh come on I could be talking about anybody!” McIntyre talks about how Jey Uso apologized to Randy Orton last week before moving on to Sami Zayn, his opponent for tonight.

Cue Zayn to interrupt, because McIntyre has something to say to him. McIntyre says Zayn is the only one who deserved to be screwed over by the Bloodline. Zayn was part of the team and then screwed him over, so what was he expecting to happen? Zayn says he and McIntyre are nothing alike because Zayn turned a loss in front of his family into winning in the main event of Wrestlemania. Is McIntyre making his family proud? McIntyre wants a referee out here right now so here we go.

Match 1 - Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre powers him into the corner to start and fires him off with a belly to belly. Zayn sends him to the floor though and we take a break. Back with McIntyre whipping him towards the barricade, only to have Zayn moonsault off of said barricade for a knockdown. They go back inside where McIntyre runs him over, followed by a hard chop to put Zayn down again.

Zayn fights up and avoids a charge to send McIntyre into the post. Despite favouring something in his leg, Zayn manages a suplex and a tornado DDT gets two. McIntyre gets in a neckbreaker but gets sent outside. That means a slingshot dive from Zayn but McIntyre catches him in the air and sends him over the announcers’ table.

We take another break and come back again with Zayn getting two off a victory roll. McIntyre’s sitout powerbomb gets the same before taking Zayn up top. What looks like a super White Noise is countered into a super sunset bomb to give Zayn two and they’re both down. Stereo kicks to the face let Zayn get two off the Blue Thunder Bomb. The leg is too hurt to follow up though and McIntyre chop blocks him. The Claymore finishes Zayn at 20:06.

Official Winner - Drew McIntyre

Official thoughts - These two have had some good matches in recent weeks and that was the case again here. McIntyre didn’t so much cheat here as much as he capitalized on Zayn’s injury and that made for a good story throughout the match. McIntyre gets some momentum back after Survivor Series and you can almost guarantee he’ll be around for the title match tonight.

Shayna Baszler is ready to hurt Nia Jax. Again.

Video on Jey Uso, who wants his first singles title tonight. We look at his entire career, but before all that, it was just him, and now it’s time for him to get his title.

Sami Zayn is getting his bad ankle looked at but here is Drew McIntyre to jump him again. McIntyre says Zayn brought this on himself and crushes the ankle under an anvil case.

Post break, Adam Pearce, a trainer and Jey Uso check on Zayn.

Nia Jax interrupts a Becky Lynch interview to ask about Becky wanting some fights. That would include Nia, who says she’s all Becky’s after Nia squashes Shayna Baszler.

Match 2 - Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler

Baszler kicks away but gets crushed in the corner. A running knee rocks Jax but she powerbombs her way out of an armbar in the corner. They go outside where Nia is sent into the post, only to come back with the legdrop over the ropes. We take a break and come back with Baszler fighting out of a neck crank but getting sent into the post.

A running hip attack sends Baszler into the post but she strikes away for the next comeback. Jax plants her with a Samoan drop, only to have Baszler come back with a running knee for two. A backsplash gives Jax the same but Baszler grabs a German suplex to break up the Annihilator. The Kirifuda Clutch goes on until Jax drops back onto her for the break. Now the Annihilator can finish Baszler off at 12:13.

Official Winner - Nia Jax

Official thoughts - This was about what you would have expected, with Jax doing her power offence and Baszler striking away. It didn’t help that Baszler kept getting cut off every chance she had but at least she didn’t get squashed. The result is pretty much expected with Jax seemingly lined up for Becky Lynch, but this was a competitive match on the way there.

Post match Becky Lynch comes out and Jax bails in short order.

We look back at CM Punk’s return on Survivor Series and follow up on Raw.

Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae fire up DIY when Imperium (facing DIY in a 2/3 falls match tonight) interrupts. Some trash talk ensues and we’re ready to go.

Match 3 - DIY vs. Imperium

2/3 falls. Ciampa and Kaiser start things off and don’t do much of anything before it’s off to Vinci. A very fast running crossbody hits Ciampa and the rather cocky Kaiser can come back in for the armbar. Ciampa hits an enziguri and rolls underneath a clothesline for the tag off to Gargano. The pace picks way up and a slingshot spear to Kaiser looks to set up Meet In The Middle but Vinci makes a save. That’s enough for Kaiser to roll Ciampa up with tights for the pin and the first fall at 4:37.

DIY takes both of them down though and it’s a double clap as we take a break. Back with Kaiser flipping Gargano over for a faceplant, setting up the double running dropkick in the corner. The Imperium Bomb is loaded up but this time it’s Ciampa making a save, allowing Gargano to roll Vinci up at 10:12 overall to even things up.

Gargano rolls over to Ciampa for the tag as everything breaks down. A powerbomb/belly to back suplex combination (that’s a new one) gives Gargano two but Vinci is back in with a backbreaker. Another Imperium Bomb attempt is broken up with a hurricanrana so Vinci goes with a moonsault for two instead. The exchange of strikes to the face and a DDT to Vinci leaves all four down. A super White Noise hits Kaiser and, after taking out Vinci, Meet In The Middle finishes Kaiser for good at 15:09 overall.

Official Winner - DIY

Official thoughts - DIY needed this win and it feels like this should be the big blowoff to their feud. There is no reason for it to keep going and hopefully, DIY can get somewhere off of the win. If nothing else, we should get Imperium having to explain themselves to Gunther and no way is going to go well.

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven interrupt Tegan Nox and Natalya to mock their loss. Natalya says they’re still coming for the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

We look at the Creed Brothers becoming the new #1 contenders to the Tag Team Titles.

New Day praises the Creed Brothers when the Alpha Academy come in to offer the Creeds some training help. They seem impressed, which becomes even more impressive when Maxxine Dupri squats Akira Tozawa.

Judgment Day throws R-Truth Out and Damian Priest says he’s in charge since Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor aren’t here.

Match 4 - Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Tegan Nox and Natalya

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven are on commentary. Nox spins out of Carter’s wristlock to start before Natalya comes in to run Chance over. It’s too early for the Sharpshooter so Carter suplexes Chance onto Natalya for two. That’s broken up and it’s Nox coming back in to pick up the pace. A Molly Go Round hits the illegal Carter so Chance takes her down. It’s back to Natalya, who powerbombs both of them out of the corner for two. Carter hits a basement suplex to Natalya, setting up an assisted spinning splash to give Chance the pin at 4:43.

Official Winners - Kayden Carter and Katana Chance

Official thoughts - This was a rough sit as they didn’t have the best chemistry and the crowd was almost eerily silent. Chance and Carter tend to be mainly based around whatever fast paced and high lying moves they can do, but those spots have to work. This was more on the sloppy side and while I do like a more established team moving towards the titles, Chance and Carter didn’t impress here.

Post match an annoyed Green gets on the apron, where a dropkick puts her back down.

Here is Cody Rhodes for a chat. Rhodes doesn’t even hit the catchphrase before moving into a story of the first time he ever saw the poison mist. That was from the Great Muta, and now he has experienced it first hand from Shinsuke Nakamura. Now Nakamura has his attention so he can either explain himself, or they can fight right now.

A spotlight hits Cody and Nakamura pops up on screen to say they are part of the same story. They have both won the Royal Rumble but lost at Wrestlemania, sending them off a cliff. Now Cody is trying to get back there so Nakamura wants to take the story out of his hands. Cody says they aren’t the same and welcomes Nakamura to prove it.

We recap Sami Zayn’s ankle injury and Drew McIntyre attacking it further.

Jey Uso comes in to see Adam Pearce, who has no updates on Zayn. Uso is fired up for his title shot and leaves, with Gunther coming in to chat with Pearce.

Match 5 - Judgment Day vs. Creed Brothers

JD McDonagh/Dominik Mysterio for the team here and Ivy Nile is with the Creeds. Brutus takes Dominik down without much effort to start before grabbing a suplex. Rather than dropping Dominik, Brutus hands him to Julius or the suplex….as R-Truth is here, thinking he’s in Judgment Day. McDonagh comes in and gets taken down by the arm for his efforts. The Creeds take turns kneeing McDonagh in the ribs for two but the heels manage to send the Creeds outside.

McDonagh hits an Asai moonsault and we take a break. Back with Dominik stomping Brutus down in the corner but having his third Amigo blocked. Julius comes in for the suplexes into the nip ups, which always looks awesome. Cole: “I’ve never seen that before. Like, ever!” Last week man, last week. McDonagh’s attempt at a poisonrana is cut off but Dominik breaks up the Brutus Ball. Julius suplexes both of them down and Brutus Pounces Dominik onto the announcers’ table. Now the Brutus Ball can finish McDonagh at 10:49.

Official Winners - Creed Brothers

Official thoughts - The Creeds are on an absolute roll right now and giving them a win over some of Judgment Day before going after the champs is as logical as it gets. There is always a place for some amateur stars in WWE and having the Creeds out there mixing up their amateur skills with crazy athleticism is making things awesome. Not a great match here, but the Creeds continue to look good.

We look at Randy Orton signing with Smackdown.

Adam Pearce tells Seth Rollins that CM Punk is invited to Raw next week so Pearce can sign him to an exclusive contract. Rollins is fine with that but for now, he’s ready for Jey Uso. Cue Uso, who says he’s winning the title. Uso and Rollins threaten each other but seem to have respect.

Damian Priest yells at Judgment Day, with JD McDonagh blaming R-Truth but Dominik Mysterio saying the Creeds are the real deal.

Match 6 - Raw World Title: Seth Rollins vs. Jey Uso

Rollins is defending. Feeling out process to start with an exchange of grappling not going to either of them. An early Stomp attempt misses for Rollins and Uso rolls him up for two as we take an early break. Back with Rollins hammering away and hitting a moonsault for two. The fans chant for CM Punk as Rollins gets two off a belly to back suplex. Uso is right back with a pop up neckbreaker for two of his own and they fight to the apron.

Rollins loads up the Buckle Bomb but gets DDTed to send us to a second break. Back again with Rollins hitting a dive, only to have Uso fight back and hit his dive. They get back inside where stereo crossbodies leave both of them down. Uso wins a slugout but Rollins knocks him into the corner as the Punk chants start up again.

Uso fights back and hits the running Umaga Attack but Rollins hits a Sling Blade. The top rope splash gives Rollins two but Uso’s superkick into the Superfly Splash gets the same. Uso goes up again and takes too long, allowing Rollins to superplex him into the Falcon Arrow for two more. Rollins misses the Stomp though and gets speared down for two. The Buckle Bomb connects for Rollins but Uso is back with another spear into another Superfly Splash for two more. A third spear is countered into the Pedigree though and now Rollins can hit Stomp for the pin to retain at 23:00.

Official Winner - STILL World Champion - Seth Rollins

Official thoughts - This felt like a big time title match and the two of them beat the heck out of each other. Uso was in over his head against Rollins but he put up a great fight. What mattered was making Uso feel like a major star and giving Rollins a good win. Drew McIntyre won’t be happy with any of this and that should this to the new year.

Respect is shown post match but here is Drew McIntyre to Claymore Uso. Rollins tries to make the save but gets dropped as well, allowing McIntyre to put Uso through the announcers’ table to end the show.


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