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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 01/09/23 Review

wwe raw deal sept 19

This week’s WWE Raw featured a Tag Team Turmoil main event match for a shot at the Raw Tag Team Titles, plus Kevin Owens facing Baron Corbin and more.

There has been big news over the last week regarding Vince McMahon returning to WWE at least to try to sell the company. He’s not running the show creatively again. I had some extensive thoughts on that in my Smackdown review last Friday. I might write more about it this week as well.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1545 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Kevin Owens made his entrance to a big ovation along with loud “KO” chants. Owens thanked the fans while sounding like he was going to talk about his Royal Rumble match against Roman Reigns. The promo was interrupted by John Bradshaw Layfield.

JBL ripped on the “Redneckville, Alabama” fans saying that nobody believes that Owens can beat Roman Reigns. JBL reminded us that Corbin was the last man that beat Reigns in 2019. Corbin and JBL trashed Alabama’s football team. Corbin said that if he’s in the Royal Rumble, he’ll go on to win and he’ll go on to beat Roman Reigns again, only this time it will be in the main event of WrestleMania. Corbin said he’ll walk out as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Owens had his head against the turnbuckle like he was sleeping. JBL said Owens should show respect and called him a “goofy Canadian.”

Owens said that he was in a coma because they managed to say nothing interesting. Owens said judging by the crowd’s faces, it wasn’t very good. Owens told Corbin he was ready for a fight, so invited Owens to have a match with Owens telling Corbin he was going to hit him with a Stunner. They agreed to the match with a referee in the ring, so it’s on.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a match. Corbin hasn’t been around much in the last few weeks. JBL and Corbin did a lot of cheap heat things to insult Alabama in that promo. Owens looked like a tough guy since he issued the challenge for a match.

Baron Corbin (w/John Bradshaw Layfield) vs. Kevin Owens

Corbin was aggressive with punches and he sent Owens into the turnbuckle. Corbin whipped Owens hard into the turnbuckle. Corbin charged, Owens avoided it and Owens hit an atomic drop followed by a clothesline. Owens with a senton splash onto Corbin, then a crotch chop by KO to JBL and Corbin left the ring. They fought by the ring apron with Corbin hitting a Chokeslam onto the edge of the ring apron leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Owens was in control with a cannonball attack. Owens went up top, Corbin met him there with punches, Owens knocked Corbin down with a headbutt and Owens hit a Swanton Bomb for two. Corbin came back with a DDT for two. Owens tried to come back, but Corbin hit him with the Deep Six Slam for a two count as usual for that move. Corbin did some trash talk, he charged off the ropes and Owens hit a Stunner for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: **3/4 An obvious winner with a sudden finish to the match. Corbin got his usual nearfall with the Deep Six slam, but other than that he really didn’t have much offense in the match. Owens is getting the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns, so of course he’s going to win a match like this. It’s logical booking.

Post match, The Bloodline was there as The Usos and Solo Sikoa beat up Owens at ringside. Owens tried to fight them off, but the trio of brothers outnumbered him. Solo gave Owens a superkick that knocked Owens over the barricade to the floor. Owens fought back with a shoe from Mike Rome, plus a steel chair that he used to hit The Bloodline guys in the back. The Bloodline retreated in the aisle, then WWE Official Adam Pearce and other officials showed up to keep The Bloodline back.

Analysis: I like that Owens managed to fight them off. If you have him get beat up then he looks weak, so at least using a chair he looks tough in how he fought against The Bloodline in that situation.

An update on Bianca Belair’s condition was up next.

A commercial aired for NXT New Year’s Evil on Tuesday. I’ll review that too, of course.

(Commercial)

The Bloodline trio of The Usos and Solo Sikoa were shown in the parking lot area with Adam Pearce telling The Usos they have to leave while Solo will face Dolph Ziggler. The Usos didn’t want to leave, but Pearce told them they had to while adding that Kevin Owens was told to leave or he’ll be punished for it.

The commentary team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were shown on camera setting up the recap from last week.

They showed last week’s Raw when Alexa Bliss got disqualified against Bianca Belair in the Raw Women’s Title match last week. Bliss turned heel by viciously attacking Belair. Bliss also saw two dudes in the crowd with creepy masks and Bliss attacked the referee as well. Bliss beat up Belair by tossing her into a bunch of objects along with a DDT on the steel steps. Belair was bleeding from the mouth.

Let’s Hear From Alexa Bliss

The announcers tried to give a worked update on Belair, but they were interrupted. Alexa Bliss stood on the commentary table saying that Bianca Belair went to go run and hide. Bliss said that Belair knows she doesn’t have to run from Bray Wyatt or Uncle Howdy, she has to run from Bliss because Alexa is the “Face of Evil.” Bliss said that she hasn’t felt his good in a really long time. Bliss said she’s the one in charge while saying she has the whole world in her hands (a Bray Wyatt line) and said she’s going to tear more scars into Bianca Belair and take the Raw Women’s Championship.

A creepy video was shown of a playground. They showed a video featuring Uncle Howdy, who asked: “Do you feel in charge?”

Uncle Howdy’s creepy music played as the man in the giant mask with a top hat made his entrance. Bliss remained standing on the commentary table. Howdy simply stood by the entrance area as they went to break.

Analysis: There was a report earlier in the day that Bo Dallas is definitely back in WWE and he likely is Uncle Howdy although I don’t know that for sure as of this writing. That has been my thought ever since he showed on Smackdown two weeks ago and hit Sister Abigail on Bray Wyatt. Bliss said the Bray Wyatt line “I have the whole world in my hands” was a logical thing for her to say in that spot due to the link to Wyatt. As for the Bliss-Belair feud, I figure it will lead to a rematch at the Royal Rumble perhaps with a stipulation.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for A&E Biography specials coming to A&E TV on February 19th. They are usually very well done.

Bayley and “Michin” Mia Yim made their entrances for a match. The nameplate that they showed said Michin as if it’s her only name. Bayley did a promo talking about how she doesn’t know if Becky Lynch is jealous of Damage CTRL. Bayley told Becky to watch what Bayley does to Michin while Bayley also sent Dakota Kai and IYO SKY to the back.

Bayley vs. “Michin” Mia Yim

Bayley with punches to start, Michin got a boot up to knock Bayley down followed by a dropkick. Michin was on the attack, so Bayley bailed to the floor and Michin did a running kick to the shoulder while on the apron.

(Commercial)

Bayley was in control with a neckbreaker while Michin was against the ropes. Bayley suplexed Michin off the apron to the floor. Michin countered a move on the apron by sending Bayley to the floor. Michin hit a suicide dive onto Bayley on the floor. Michin with an overhead kick followed by a German Suplex. Michin hit a jumping knee to the face for a two count. They exchanged some moves, Michin got a spin kick to the head and Bayley got a backslide pin with her feet on the bottom rope after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match between two veterans with Bayley getting the win since she’s pushed a lot more than Michin is. I get that Bayley is a heel that cheats to win sometimes, but this is only against Michin so a clean win could have worked just fine. Anyway, it gives Bayley some momentum going into the Royal Rumble.

The announcers mentioned that Johnny Gargano has a Grade 2 AC Sprain in his shoulder. It’s not a major injury, so he’ll probably miss a few weeks.

Candice LeRae was interviewed by Cathy Kelley, who asked for an injury update on Johnny Gargano. Candice talked about how he was resting and trying to get back to 100%. Candice talked about looking forward to the Royal Rumble match leading to Rhea Ripley interrupting the promo. Ripley mocked Candice for thinking she has a chance of winning the Rumble. They exchanged words leading to a match for later.

Analysis: They didn’t announce a single match before Raw, so they are setting them up during the show.

Austin Theory was shown walking backstage with the US Title on his shoulder and he’s up next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Austin Theory

Austin Theory started his promo by saying “The Champ Is Here” like John Cena, so that could be a tease for WrestleMania. Theory said that “The Now” is here forever. Theory asked where Seth “Freakin” Rollins was because he thought he was going to outclass him and beat him, but the crowd chanted “WHAT” at him, so that threw off Theory a bit. The fans chanted “we want Rollins” with Theory saying that Rollins limped away from the ring because his old knee couldn’t hang with Theory. Austin said that Rollins was outclassed, outshined and he was taken to school by the United States Champion. Here comes Rollins.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance to a big pop with Rollins using crutches to sell the right knee injury, but then Rollins walked fine to show there was no actual injury. Rollins sold it really well last week, some people thought he was hurt, but he really wasn’t hurt at all. Anyway, the fans were loudly signing Seth’s song.

Rollins got in the ring with Theory, who reminded Rollins that he knows that Austin beat him last week. Theory said that Rollins claimed he was the mountaintop while Theory said if Seth is the mountaintop then Theory is the pinnacle of this “entire damn industry.” Theory said that Rollins is one of the best, but Theory has surpassed his ass and Theory is onto bigger and better things. Theory said he’s going to win the 2023 Royal Rumble. Theory said he’s going to headline WrestleMania history where he’s going to walk out as the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.

Rollins, who was wearing giant sunglasses, asked: “Are you done?” Rollins took the sunglasses off as the fans sang the song for Seth. Rollins claimed that his knee was not 100%, but his knee will be 100% just in time for him to win the Royal Rumble. Rollins said it will be 100% in plenty of time for Seth “Freakin” Rollins to main event WrestleMania. Rollins said he just came out here to hear the fine folks of Birmingham sing Seth’s song. Rollins: “I’ll see you at the Rumble…kid.” Rollins left his crutch with Theory and Rollins left the ring.

Bobby Lashley was back after four few weeks off with Lashley in his wrestling gear. As Lashley approached the ring, Theory told him not to come in here. Lashley ran the ropes leading to a Spear that dropped Theory. The fans chanted “Bobby” for Lashley. That led to Lashley tossing Theory over the top rope to the floor.

Lashley said it doesn’t matter who is in the Royal Rumble because he’s back. Lashley said that his suspension is over, so he can’t wait to manhandle every superstar in the Royal Rumble. End promo. Bobby needs a catchphrase to end a promo like that. Anyway, the fans cheered as Lashley celebrated.

Analysis: That trio of Theory, Rollins and Lashley have been around the US Title picture for several months now. They also all talked about how they were going to win the Royal Rumble match. I think the main point behind this was to bring back Lashley after he was given a month off. Rollins is very popular again thanks in part to that song of his while Theory is good at getting heat.

This Friday on WWE Smackdown: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn and GUNTHER defends the Intercontinental Title against Braun Strowman.

(Commercial)

Rhea Ripley vs. Candice LeRae

LeRae tried a DDT, but Ripley powered out of it to slam LeRae into the mat. Ripley with a hard whip that sent LeRae into the turnbuckle. Ripley with shoulder tackles to the ribs along with a toss across the ring two times in a row. Ripley wanted a superplex, LeRae slid out of it and hit a German Suplex while Ripley was standing on the middle rope. LeRae avoided a running kick. LeRae jumped off the ropes onto Ripley on the floor, but Ripley caught LeRae leading to Ripley sending LeRae into the barricade. Ripley swung LeRae into the barricade. Ripley hit the Riptide slam for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: *3/4 A dominant win by Ripley while LeRae only got a bit of offense. Ripley is pushed a fair bit while LeRae is not, so the result was obvious here. The fans barely reacted to the match. Ripley is a threat to win the Royal Rumble and if she doesn’t win, I think she’ll have an impressive showing in the match.

Bobby Lashley was shown in the locker room with Byron Saxton showing up for an interview, but Montel Vontavious Porter showed up to excuse Saxton. MVP wanted a handshake, Lashley wouldn’t shake it and MVP told Lashley he should be thanking him (MVP) for getting Lashley back on Raw. MVP said he’s trying to mend fences while admitting that mistakes were made. MVP talked about how he has gotten Shelton and Cedric to realize the mistakes that they made, so tonight they’re in the tag team turmoil. Lashley said he’s not going to forget what went down between them. Lashley said they’re good, but not right now. MVP said that Lashley can handle his business as he sees, but if he wants to expand that business, MVP’s number is the same.

Analysis: The Hurt Business group of Lashley, Cedric, Shelton and MVP are coming back together, but it’s a slow burn to it. Last year MVP turned on Lashley to side with Omos in a lengthy feud that Lashley eventually won. I think it’s smart to go back The Hurt Business because it’s a stable that worked well together that should have been together longer. Perhaps this time they will be faces although I think they work better as heels.

A video update on Cody Rhodes is up next.

(Commercial)

There were images shown of the media covering Money in the Bank being announced for London, England on July 1st.

Cody Rhodes Return Video

They showed the Hell in a Cell PLE event when Cody wrestled Seth Rollins while Cody had a torn pectoral muscle for the match. Cody talked about how he had no major injury since he started wrestling about 15 years earlier. Cody spoke about how no human being could have kept him from being in the ring. Cody talked about how his chest was heavily damaged, he had a full tear and when he hit a springboard Cutter, he was ready to vomit. Cody would go on to win that match, which was one of the best matches of 2022. Cody admitted that he hasn’t watched that match, but he doubts he can ever watch it back. Four days later, Cody was shown getting surgery in Birmingham, Alabama. They showed Cody’s wife Brandi talking about the nerves saying that he’s never had a major injury like that. The doctor was shown saying the surgery went well and it has to heal. Cody was shown walking into his gym while he spoke about how he knows the work begins now. To be continued.

Analysis: I liked the video a lot. I’m ready for Cody Rhodes to come back. It will probably be at the Royal Rumble and I think he’s going to be a popular pick to win that match.

Dolph Ziggler was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Ziggler said he’s here for some revenge against The Bloodline. Mustafa Ali walked up to Ziggler saying he was told that they could be in the Tag Team Turmoil match together, but Ziggler turned it down because he wanted to face Solo Sikoa. Ziggler said it’s not about championships or Ali, it’s about something else meaning he wanted to beat Solo Sikoa in a match.

They showed Solo Sikoa getting ready.

(Commercial)

Bronson Reed was interviewed backstage by Byron Saxton, but The Miz was standing there saying that Bronson and himself have eachother’s backs. Miz said that he wants everybody to know that if you mess with him, then you mess with them. Reed said there is no “us” and if Miz wants something, he should pay Reed. That led to Reed leaving. Miz claimed that was “classic Bronson” and it’s part of their rapport.

Analysis: That told us there’s really no alliance between Miz and Reed, but if Miz wants to use him, then Reed will do it if he gets paid.

Solo Sikoa vs. Dolph Ziggler

Solo has been dominant on the main roster as he ran over Ziggler with a running shoulder tackle. Ziggler tried a sleeper, but Solo broke free to hit Dolph with an uppercut. Solo hit a running headbutt to the body. Solo squeezed on Dolph’s neck, Ziggler broke free and hit a jawbreaker. Ziggler tried a leaping DDT, but Solo dumped him over the top to the floor.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Solo hitting a running hip attack on Ziggler against the turnbuckle. Solo with a chinlock, Ziggler broke free and Solo hit a Samoan Drop. Solo took way too long setting up in the corner for a move, so Ziggler was back up with an elbow, a punch, a kick and after Solo hit the ring post with his forehand as Graves called it (it was really his hand), Ziggler hit a leaping DDT for two. Solo with a headbutt, but Ziggler broke free with a Zig Zag for two. That’s a good nearfall spot since it is Ziggler’s old finisher. Ziggler wanted a superkick, Solo blocked it, Ziggler with a kick to the knee and wanted a Fameasser, but Solo caught him. Solo launched Ziggler in the air leading to the Samoan Spike to the chest. Solo covered Ziggler for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: **3/4 It was a decisive win by Solo as you would expect against Ziggler, who isn’t being pushed much these days as a veteran. Solo continues to look like a monster in every match. Since Ziggler has always been great at selling, he’s the right kind of guy to sell the power of Solo.

Post match, The Usos showed up at ringside to celebrate the win with their brother Solo.

A recap was shown of Dominik Mysterio’s “arrest” on Christmas Eve. Last week, Dominik did a promo saying he was just getting started.

They showed The Judgment Day backstage because they were up next.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage interview with Bayley that was conducted by Cathy Kelley. Bayley was bragging about her win earlier in the night along with her past win over Becky Lynch as well. “Michin” Mia Yim got in Bayley’s face, they exchanged words and Damage CTRL beat up Yim to leave her down on the floor.

Analysis: The numbers game worked again.

Miz TV with Dominik Mysterio

The Miz made his entrance to host his talk show. Miz was in a grey/white suit. The Miz talked about having big guests in the past like John Cena and Roman Reigns, but tonight he’s going to look at the justice system because he’s got Dominik Mysterio as his guest. Dominik Mysterio made his entrance with the rest of The Judgment Day including Damian Priest, Finn Balor and of course Rhea Ripley too. Dominik was wearing a plaid shirt along with a bandana. Congrats to Dominik on getting engaged recently to a girl he’s been with for a long time. It’s not to Ripley, of course. They are not together in real life.

Dominik said he learned in prison that you always run with your crew. Dom said that “snitches get stitches” in jail. That’s what he learned. The Miz wanted to know what happened. Dom talked about being locked up with the world’s most dangerous people and it’s either push or be pushed. Dominik talked about how when life comes at you fast, you have to grab it by the balls like when Maryse does it to The Miz. Dom claimed he was in a cell on the top bunk saying a guy wanted to punch him in the face, so Dom slapped the guy and asked if they had a problem. Miz wanted the arena to give Dom a round of applause. That led to boos. Dom said he knows how Martha Stewart feels. Funny line. Miz claimed that his sources told him Dominik was only in jail for a few hours, so Priest and J-Day were mad about it. Priest said that Dominik is going to watch Finn and Priest win Tag Team Turmoil tonight, so they warned The Usos that they are coming for the Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: A comedy interview with Dominik telling stories about his time in “jail” that he was in for a few hours as part of the ridiculous story. The Martha Stewart line was the best part. It’s really over the top, so I don’t mind it from a comedy standpoint, but if you take it seriously then obviously there are logic holes. It’s a case of a heel lying and that’s really what the joke was.

Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows entered for tag team action.

(Commercial)

They put Tag Team Turmoil on in the main event with about 50 minutes in the show. It’s for a Raw Tag Team Title shot so they are splitting the titles up in theory.

Tag Team Turmoil #1: The OC – Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest

Anderson started with Balor, then Gallows tagged in with elbows and Anderson was back in sending Balor into the turnbuckle. Gallows worked over Balor with punches in the corner. Balor broke free leading to Priest facing off against Gallows leading to Gallows hitting a splash against the turnbuckle. They exchanged strikes, Priest kicked the knee and brought Gallows to the heel corner. Balor and Priest made quick tags as they worked over Gallows. Priest hit a jumping back elbow on Gallows, but a suplex didn’t work as Gallows countered with a suplex. Anderson tagged in with chops, then he knocked Balor off the apron and Anderson hit some uppercuts on Priest. Anderson hit a jumping kick to knock Priest down. Anderson punched Balor to knock him down. Priest pulled Anderson out of the ring (while the referee wasn’t looking) and sent Anderson into the steel steps.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Anderson hitting Balor with a neckbreaker. Gallows tagged in an uppercut, running back splash and a kick that knocked down Priest. Gallows hit a spinning slam off his shoulders for a two count. Anderson tagged in, he ran the ropes, Dominik grabbed his foot, Gallows knocked Priest out of the ring and Balor did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Anderson for the pinfall win.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson were eliminated.

Tag Team Turmoil #2: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest vs. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin

Cedric was aggressive on Balor with a suicide dive followed by a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Shelton tagged in with a suplex for two. Shelton decked Balor with a clothesline. Cedric back in with a forearm on Balor followed by a kick to the back. Shelton was back in with a spin kick on Balor leading to Priest tagging in. Benjamin with German Suplexes on Priest and Balor a few times. Shelton hit a running knee to Priest’s face. Cedric tagged in with a rising knee but Balor broke up the pin. Cedric hit the handspring into the Neuralizer kick on Priest for a two count. Cedric hit a dropkick, Priest caught Cedric and gave him a South of Heaven Chokeslam. Balor had tagged in and he jumped off the top with a Coup de Grace double foot stomp for a pinfall on Cedric. Priest was preventing Shelton from making the save.

Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander were eliminated.

The Alpha Academy made their entrance as the next team in the turmoil/gauntlet match.

(Commercial)

Tag Team Turmoil #3: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest vs. Alpha Academy – Chad Gable & Otis

Priest was in control of Gable in the corner with Balor tagging in with a stomp to the chest. Priest was back in with a leg drop while Balor held Gable over his knee leading to Priest getting a two count on that. Balor grounded Gable with a chinlock, Gable broke free and hit a belly to back suplex. Otis tagged in with a spinning back elbow, body slams, a splash on Priest and a splash on Balor/Priest in the corner. The fans were cheering for Otis. That led to Otis hitting the Caterpillar taunt with an elbow drop. Balor jumped onto Otis, who caught him and hit a powerslam. Balor had Gable trapped in his arms, so Otis hit a splash off the ropes onto Gable/Balor. Priest hit a running lariat on Otis for the pinfall win.

Chad Gable & Otis were eliminated.

Analysis: I don’t know if this means that Otis & Gable are faces now or if it was just for this match since there were a lack of face teams. The crowd loved Otis and I think they can use “SHOOSH” in a babyface way too. We’ll see if there’s a follow up to it next week.

After the fall, Balor was selling the rib injury after the splash from Otis. They had medical personnel check on Balor and it looked like it was indy wrestlers instead of actual doctors. Adam Pearce told Balor and Judgment Day that they had to forfeit or Dominik had to replace Balor. Priest said that’s fine then because Dominik will replace Balor in the match.

The Street Profits were the next team in the match.

(Commercial)

Tag Team Turmoil #4: The Judgment Day – Dominik Mysterio & Damian Priest vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

It was about 30 minutes into this match. Dawkins beat up Dom with some stomps and threw his flannel shirt away. Ford tagged in with a running dropkick. The Profits took turns beating up Dom while Balor was in a chair selling the rib injury. Dawkins sent Dom into the turnbuckle followed by the spinning splash on Dom. Ford tagged in with a kick to the gut. Dawkins tossed Dom across the ring, so Priest tagged in against ford. Priest stomped on Ford repeatedly followed by a hard whip into the turnbuckle two times. Ford fought back with strikes, then a somersault over a ducking Priest and Ford hit a backhand to Priest’s mouth. Priest was bleeding from the mouth. Ford sent Priest out of the ring, Dominik got involved and Priest shoved For onto the commentary table. Dawkins jumped over the top with a somersault dive onto Priest/Dom on the floor. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

There were less than ten minutes. The match continued with the heels in control. Dominik set up Dawkins for a 619 attempt, but Dawkins got out of that predicament with a jumping back elbow. The fans chanted “we want the smoke” as Ford tagged in with a cross body block off the top on both guys. Ford worked over Dom with kicks, a jumping kick to the head and a belly-to-back suplex. Ford with a standing moonsault on Dominik for a two count. Dawkins tagged in, launched Dom and Ford hit a suplex leading to Dawkins covering for two. Priest tagged in with a kick, a lifting flatliner on Ford, a kick to Dawkins and a clothesline for a two count. Priest jumped off the ropes, Dawkins punched him and Ford tagged in. Dawkins dropkicked Priest, but Priest tossed Dawkins over the barricade. Ford jumped over the top of the ring post and landed on top of Priest against the barricade. Ford knocked Dominik down and hit a 450 Splash for two as Priest made the save. Ford sent Priest into the steel steps. Dominik got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with his feet on the ropes (plus Ripley putting her hands on Dom’s feet for leverage) for the pinfall win. The match went 47 minutes. There was a point where they said Priest was in the match for over 50 minutes, but it never got to that point.

The Street Profits were eliminated.

Winners: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: ***1/4 A long match that was pretty good, but I wouldn’t call it great or that exciting overall. The first few falls were in front of a mostly dead crowd that woke up when Otis was out there doing his comedy routine. The Street Profits are great so when they were interacting with The Judgment Day it worked really well. Dominik getting the cheap win gives him some credibility, which is needed as the youngest guy in the group. Priest deserves a lot of credit for wrestling as long as he did in this match. I know it’s a tag, but it’s still impressive to be part of a match that went nearly 50 minutes and got better as it went on.

Post match, The Usos walked out of the back and held up the Raw Tag Team Titles in front of The Judgment Day. They had a staredown. The show ended there.

Analysis: I think there might be a title change. Since they specified that it is the Raw Tag Team Titles only, this is probably a case of WWE wanting to get some gold onto The Judgment Day group. It’s a way to get that done. I think the Smackdown Tag Team Titles will be Usos vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn at WrestleMania and I think KO/Sami win there.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Judgment Day
  2. Kevin Owens
  3. The Street Profits

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2023 Average: 7

Final Thoughts

It was more of an average edition of Raw. I think WWE likely assumed that a lot of people would be watching the college football championship (Georgia crushed TCU) so they barely advertised anything for this show and just set up matches as the broadcast went on. There were more big angles and title matches last week. I do like the tease of The Hurt Business coming back soon because I think that would be good for everybody involved in that. It was interesting to see Uncle Howdy in the arena staring at Alexa Bliss from a distance. That is likely Bo Dallas, but they aren’t saying his name.

The last hour of Raw featured the Tag Team Turmoil match with The Judgment Day competing for nearly one hour. As the winners, they will get a shot at The Usos for the Raw Tag Team Titles (WWE specified just one set of titles) and I think there might be a title change there. Anyway, I was really annoyed by Corey Graves on commentary since he did so many lame prison jokes regarding Dominik Mysterio. I get why it was done, but maybe ten minutes would have been fine. The same lame material for one hour is not good for television.

While I wouldn’t call it a bad show or anything like that, it was just less interesting than their better shows. The build for the Royal Rumble has been okay. I have enjoyed the Cody Rhodes comeback videos. Some wrestlers that got wins on Raw like Solo Sikoa, Rhea Ripley, Bayley and Kevin Owens (who faces Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble) are pushed a lot, so they got some more momentum on this show.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is the Royal Rumble on January 28th in San Antonio. Here’s the lineup so far.

* 30-Man Royal Rumble Match

* 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens

* Pitch Black Match: Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight

You can watch the Royal Rumble on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 8 ET/5 PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else!

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Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport