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WWE Raw Review 5/6/23

This week’s Raw emanates from the XL Center in Hartford Connecticut.

We will see some more Money in the Bank qualifying matches and we have our big Championship match between Seth Rollins and Damien Priest.

In Ring Segment:

Seth welcomes us all to Monday Night Rollins. He says that this week has been a wild week as champion. He continues to say that it has been two years since a world title has been defended on Raw, so that is why he put out an open challenge on social media. It was Damein Priest who accepted the open challenge. Rollins says that he is excited. Rollins says that Judgement Day is good, but no matter how good they are, they aren’t him. Rollins is then interrupted by Damien Priest and Finn Balor. Rollins asks where Dominik and Rhea are, will they be jumping him from behind? Priest tells Rollins that Dominik and Rhea have their own business to deal with tonight. Balor tells Rollins that Priest will be taking the World Title home tonight. Rollins challenges Priest to make tonight's match, a one-on-one match, leaving Judgement Day in the back. Priest accepts this challenge. Priest says that Rollins is going to have the shortest title reign. Rollins says that his title reign is longer than Balor’s was.

Match 1: Money in the Bank Qualifying Match - Becky Lynch vs Sonya Deville w/Chelsea Green

Lynch attempts an early Manhandle Slam, but Deville avoids it. After a distraction from Green, Deville attacks Lynch from behind. Deville works over Lynch. Lynch gets fired up. Sitout reverse DDT by Lynch. Trish Stratus’ music hits, Stratus and Zoey Stark walk out on the stage. We go to a break. Once we return from the break, Deville superplexes Lynch. Lynch is able to kick out at two. Lynch fires up again and lands a flurry of strikes on Deville. Deville rolls out of the ring. Lynch hits Deville with a baseball slide. While the referee is distracted, Green boots Lynch in the face. Green sends Lynch back into the ring. Deville immediately lands a running knee. Lynch kicks out. Enzuguri by Lynch. Deville back body drops Lynch out to the apron. Lynch lands on her feet. Green hops up on the apron and gets knocked off by Lynch. Lynch sends Green into the barricade over and over again. Deville attacks from behind but gets launched into the barricade as well. Lynch tries a Mandhandle Slam, but Deville is able to avoid it. Lynch tries the Disarmher but Deville turns it into a pin. Green puts her foot on Deville’s back to help her with the pin. Lynch kicks out. Deville dives off the second rope and gets Manhandle Slammed. Lynch pins Deville to qualify for the Money in the Bank Match.

An OK match. The interference was definitely needed here, it did seem like this was a little mismatched. Deville is definitely stronger in tag teams (in my opinion). Lynch winning here was the obvious move, I think Money in the Bank is the only thing that Lynch hasn’t won, so her qualifying makes sense. Grade C

Backstage Interview:

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are being Interviewed by Byron Saxton. They discuss the Bloodline imploding. Imperium interrupt, this sends Owens into a rant again about how nobody mentioned their name. Gunther tells Owens that he is undisciplined and he will teach him some respect. Owens then storms towards the ring and tells Gunther to meet him there.

Match 2: Intercontinental Champion Gunther w/Imperium vs Undisputed Tag Team Champion Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn

Owens and Gunther lock up and get tied up in the corner, Gunther gives Owens a clean break. Headlock takeover by Gunther. Owens tries to fire Gunther off the ropes, but Gunther holds on. Owens tries again and manages a shoulder block. Gunther grabs an armbar and Owens manages to get to the ropes but Gunther doesn’t break the hold. Owens slaps Gunther in the face. Gunther tries a chop, but Owens ducks it and lands one of his own. Owens hits the ropes and runs right into a big boot. Gunther immediately hits a German suplex. Owens rolls out of the ring and Gunther follows, they trade strikes. Gunther slams Owens’ head into the barricade. Back suplex on the apron by Gunther. After the break, Gunther body slams Owens. Neck snap by Gunther and Owens rolls around in pain on the mat. Gunther continues his assault on Owens. Owens tries to fire up, but Gunther destroys him with a pair of chops.

Gunther ducks a clothesline and hits another German suplex. Owens pops back up to his feet and hits a German suplex of his own. Both men are down. Owens and Gunther trade strikes. Owens manages to land a series of superkicks, making Gunther fall into the corner. Cannonball by Owens, he goes for a pin but Gunther kicks out. Gunther applies a Boston Crab and he transitions into a crossface. Owens gets to his feet and fights out of the hold. Owens lands a chop and Gunther lands one of his own. Owens tries a suplex, but he can’t get Gunther off his feet. Gunther blasts Owens with a lariat. Gunther pulls Owens back to his feet and lands another lariat. Owens fires back with a flurry of short-arm clotheslines of his own. Gunther tries a sleeper, but Owens fights it off. Shotgun dropkick by Gunther. Owens fires back and hits a fisherman’s buster, covers Gunther but Gunther kicks out! Owens goes up to the top rope but Gunther cuts him off and lands a superplex. Gunther covers Owens, but Owens kicks out. Gunther tries a big splash, but Owens manages to get his knees up. Owens lands a swanton on Gunther, pins him, but Gunther kicks out! Vinci gets on the apron but Zayn attacks him. Kaiser then joins in. Owens pulls Kaiser into the ring and drops him with a Stunner. Gunther surprises Owens with a schoolboy and picks up the win.

Brilliant big, powerful man match. These two don't hold back and it looks like their hits hurt! It’s good to see Gunther having matches where he is pushed. I think they ended this one right with having Gunther get the pin, but not doing it fully clean. That way, neither man looks weak. Grade B

Backstage Interview:

Matt Riddle is being interviewed by Cathy Kelly. He tells Cathy that he is fed up with Gunther cheating to win and that if he didn’t have Kaiser and Vinci at his side, he doesnt think Gunther would be the intercontinental champion. Riddle is then interrupted by Imperium (without Gunther). Kaiser begins threatening Riddle, Riddle tells Kaiser to not put his hands on him, Kaiser again puts his hands on Riddle, so Riddle throws Kaiser over some storage case looking things. Vinci attempts to kick Riddle, but Riddle grabs Vinci’s leg and puts him in an ankle lock. Riddle doesn’t let go until he is dragged away by producers and refs.

Backstage Interview:

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler want some competition. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance appear and ask about a title shot. Rousey and Baszler make fun of them both, but accept their challenge.

Match 3: WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match - Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

Chance and Carter take Baszler down and they hit combo offence. Baszler rolls to the corner and tags in Rousey. Rousey boots Carter in the chest before trapping Chance in a rope-hanging armbar. Carter superkicks Rousey to break the hold. Carter uses Chance to help her land a dive off the top. Chance lands a dive on both Rousey and Baszler. As Chance gets back in the ring, Baszler jerks her arm on the top rope. Rousey holds Chance in place, and Baszler lands a running knee. Baszler stomps on Chance’s arm. Chance manages to tag in Carter. Carter lands a flurry of strikes on Baszler. Carter lands the Heatseeke, covers Baszler but Baszler kicks out. Chance and Carter hit the After Party on Rousey, cover on Rousey but Baszler manages to break up the pin. Chance lands a crossbody off the top, covers Rousey, but Rousey kicks out. Rousey traps Chance in an ankle lock. Chance manages to send Rousey into the corner. Baszler tags in. Baszler traps Carter in the Kirifuda Clutch, causing Carter to tap out.

A good match, but very strange having Katana & Chance come in and have their first match be against a team that are seen to be incredibly dominant. I was hoping for a Katana/Chance upset win here personally. We might get to see that happen further down the line though, especially with how well they were portrayed on NXT. Grade C

Backstage Segment:

Bronson Reed is complaining that Ricochet is in the Money in the Bank match and he isn’t. Ricochet says that he won his qualifier but Reed didn’t, he lost to Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura appears and Reed storms off, saying next time will be different. Ricochet says that he is going to win the Money in the Bank match. Nakamura says he will meet Ricochet in the ring.

Video Package:

We see a video package for Johnny Gargano. He talks about his time working in the indies and making his way to NXT. He says that he was told he didn’t belong there. 5 years after that, he was the face of NXT. He says he thrives on being underestimated. He says the Johnny Gargano story is just getting started.

Match 4: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Ricochet.

Ricochet and Nakamura trade takedowns. Nakamura hits the ropes and gets dropkicked by Ricochet. Nakamura falls out of the ring. Ricochet tries a dive, but Nakamura cuts him off with a kick to the head. Nakamura gets kicked and falls off the apron. Ricochet flattens Nakamura with a Fosbury flop. After the break, Nakamura tries a reverse exploder suplex. Ricochet lands on his feet and hits a springboard back elbow. Springboard dropkick by Ricochet. Ricochet gets a near fall after a standing shooting star press. Ricochet gets hung up in the ropes. Sliding German suplex by Nakamura. Ricochet counters the Kinshasa with a knee of his own. Recoil by Ricochet. Ricochet sets Nakamura up for a shooting star press. Nakamura cuts him off. Bronson Reed hits the ring and crushes Nakamura in the corner. The referee calls for the bell.

A good match from two very talented men, it's a shame they didn't have a long match but having the match go to a DQ due to Bronson was a good idea as neither man is made to look weak on the lead up to the Money in the Bank match. Grade C

After the match, Ricochet jumps on Reed’s back. Reed then hits a splash on Nakamura still with Ricochet on his back. Ricochet is then hit with a Body Block by Reed. Reed then hits Ricochet with a Tsunami.

Backstage Segment:

We see Alpha Academy and Maxxine Dupri. Gable and Durpi aren’t sure what to do about the Viking Raiders, but Otis has a plan. Otis wants Gable to train Dupri. Gable says he cannot train her in what she is wearing, but she has the perfect outfit in her locker.

In Ring Segment: Miz TV

Miz announces his guest tonight is Cody Rhodes. Rhodes joins Miz in the ring. Miz asks Rhodes about his challenge to Brock Lesnar to meet him in any city he’s in so they can fight. Miz says that Lesnar broke Rhodes’ arm and beat him at Night of Champions, so challenging him was stupid. Rhodes calls Miz “Mike,” and Miz quickly corrects him, saying while he’s in the ring, his name is The Miz. Rhodes says people have said his challenge took balls, and Miz knows a little about balls. Miz says he has a surprise guest, someone who knows the same pressure that Rhodes does as a second-generation talent. Dominik Mysterio. Rhodes looks on, confused, as Dominik and Rhea Ripley walk to the ring. The crowd showers Dominik with “you suck chants.” The Miz starts to speak, but Ripley tells Miz to shut up, because Dominik has something to say. Ripley hands Dominik a mic, and the crowd lets him have it. Rhodes sheepishly asks the crowd not to boo Dominik. Of course, the boos get louder. Dominik starts to speak and is completely drowned out with boos. Dominik goes on a rant about Rhodes being a bad father for being here when he should be home with his daughter. He’s a deadbeat dad, just like Rey Mysterio. Rhodes says after Dominik’s 15 minutes in jail, he left with a jail tattoo worse than the one he has. Dominik went to face his father at WrestleMania, but Rhodes wouldn’t call it a match. He’d call it a public spanking. Rhodes adds that he knows Rey Mysterio isn’t perfect. He knows Rey Mysterio has made mistakes, in fact, he’s looking at one right now. Dominik is seething. Dominik slaps Rhodes and hides behind Ripley. Ripley and Dominik slink out of the ring. Miz laughs. Rhodes clocks Miz with his cast.

Match 5: Money in the Bank Qualifying Match - Zoey Stark w/Trish Stratus vs Natayla

Stark drives Natalya into the corner. Instead of giving a clean break, Stark lays in a flurry of strikes. Natalya and Stark trade submission and pin attempts. Natalya does an up and over, but she tweaks her knee. Stark kicks Natalya in the face and works over her injured knee. Natalya surprises Stark with a German suplex. Natalya locks in the Sharpshooter. Stark screams as she tries to crawl to the ropes. Stark gets to the ropes and breaks the hold. After a distraction from Stratus, Stark hits the Z360 for the win.

As expected, Stark wins. It's a shame that Natayla is basically used to make others look good. She is a damn good wrestler and she deserves at least one more run (a good run) with a championship. Stark winning can keep the Trish/Stark/Becky feud going as well. Overall, a pretty standard match. Grade C-

Backstage Segment:

Paul Heyman invites us to this week’s SmackDown so that we can hear Jey Uso’s decision. He will either Acknowledge Roman Reigns as his Tribal Chief, or else.

Match 6: Indus Sher w/ Jinder Mahal vs Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin

Before the bell rings Sanga and Veer attack Benjamin and Alexander. Veer and Sanga hit Demolition Decapitation on Alexander. The referee checks on Alexander and calls off the match. Veer and Sanga pick up Alexander and hit another Demolition Decapitation.

Not even a match this time. I honestly do not care about this tag team. The crowd just always seems dead when they have their matches as well. Grade F

Main Event Match: World Heavyweight Championship Match - Seth Rollins vs Damien Priest

Priest forces Rollins into the corner. Rollins avoids Priest charging into the corner. Rollins surprises him with a guillotine leg drop as Priest tries to go through the ropes. After the break, the fight spills to the outside. Priest tries to send Rollins into the ring post. Rollins escapes and sends Priest into the ring post. Priest back body drops Rollins into the timekeeper’s area. Rollins tries diving off the barricade, but Priest decks him in midair. Priest works over Rollins. Rollins surprises Priest with a head kick. Rollins lands a flurry of strikes, but Priest won’t go down. Rollins manages to drop Priest with a roaring lariat. Backbreaker by Rollins. Rollins goes up top but Priest is able to avoid Rollins’ splash, but Rollins lands on his feet. Spin kick by Priest. Rollins tries a Pedigree but Priest escapes. Slingblade by Rollins. Priest falls out of the ring. Rollins tries a dive but Priest catches Rollins and hits a leaping complete shot on the announce desk.

After the break, Priest knocks Rollins off the top. Rollins hops up top and hits a superplex. Rollins tries to hit a falcon arrow. Priest almost counters with a suplex of his own, but Rollins deadlifts Priest up for the falcon arrow. Rollins lands a series of suicide dives. Rollins sends Priest back into the ring and gets a two count after a frog splash. After a bunch of counters, Priest lands Dirty Deeds #1, covers Rollins and Rollins kicks out. Priest tries South of Heaven but Rollins is able to backflip out of it. Rollins goes up top. Priest cuts him off and sends him flying with a top rope hurricanrana. Priest covers Rollins, but Rollins kicks out. Priest and Rollins fight on the apron. Rollins hits a running powerbomb into the barricade. Priest is clutching at his shoulder. Bálor hops the barricade and gets hit by a superkick from Rollins. Priest asks Bálor why he is here. Rollins rolls back in the ring and eventually lands the Stomp, covers Priest and gets the win.

A really good match. I was pleasantly surprised with how good this match was. Not trying to say anything bad about Priest or Rollins, as I think they are both really good, but I just wasn’t expecting this match to be as good as it was. Balor coming to the ring was definitely not needed, I’m hoping that this isn’t hinting at Priest leaving Judgement Day as he was really one of the founding members. But it did seem strange. Grade B+

After the match, Bálor and Rollins have a staredown.

Overall, I actually didn't hate this week’s episode of Raw. There was a lot of filler in it again, which is why I will continue to argue for Raw to go back to 2 hours, but the matches were really good (apart from the Indus Sher “match”).


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