The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 04/17/23 Review

wwe raw deal april 17

This week’s WWE Raw featured a Brock Lesnar-Cody Rhodes showdown, Seth Rollins facing The Miz, Austin Theory taking on Bobby Lashley and more.

The next WWE PLE is Backlash on May 6th with nothing official going into Raw, but we should get some match announcements this week because some obvious matchups are brewing. That includes Cody Rhodes facing Brock Lesnar since Cody issued the match challenge last week on Raw.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1560 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Simmons Bank Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The was no opening video or pyro this week. Kevin Patrick welcomed us to the show with Corey Graves also on commentary.

Let’s Hear from The Bloodline

The Bloodline made their entrance with The Usos joined by Solo Sikoa and “Wise Man” Paul Heyman. The announcers did a rundown of what’s coming up during the show.

Paul Heyman reminded us that he serves as the Special Counsel to your Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Heyman said that he is also the Wise Man to the entire Bloodline. Heyman claimed that history was about to unfold…and here comes The Judgment Day.

The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and Smackdown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley made their entrance. They got into the ring with The Bloodline. Balor had a “FINN: 14 STAPLES” shirt as if it was Austin 3:16 or something like that.

Heyman shook hands with Priest. Heyman said that it’s a good day to be a bad guy. Heyman claimed that if there was a heaven then none of us are going into it. Heyman credited Reigns for this deal. Jey Uso said they didn’t know nothing about this. Heyman claimed Reigns didn’t want The Usos to know, but Solo knew. Heyman said that Balor isn’t happy about this because he has anger issues towards The Bloodline, but he’ll put it aside for good short term gain. Solo had a long staredown with Ripley, so Jey switched spots with Solo and then Ripley stepped over to stare at Solo again. Heyman asked Ripley if everything is okay and Ripley said “for now.”

Heyman claimed that Solo will handle Bad Bunny. Heyman spoke about their problems with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Matt Riddle facing The Usos & Solo at Backlash, which I guess is official now. Heyman said that Owens, Zayn & Riddle will be against The Judgment Day tonight. Heyman trashed Little Rock while adding that Solo will go one-on-one with WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio.

Analysis: It felt like a classic Raw opening promo with a rundown of a number of things coming up this week on Raw as well as the future. It’s Solo vs. Rey after a break, plus the six-man tag main event with Zayn, Owens & Riddle vs. Judgment Day. Heyman announcing it as a one-night-only deal with two heel stables The Bloodline & The Judgment is a cool idea. It’s not something that should happen all the time, but once in a while having stables align on the same side is fine. Also, Heyman announcing the Backlash six-man tag team match was done in a way that didn’t feel like a big deal, but obviously, it’s a huge match for Backlash. Lastly, I want to point out how smart it is to have Jey Uso mentioning he didn’t know Reigns came up with this, so Heyman explaining it was a way to further that story as well with Jey quietly questioning Reigns like that. That continues that long story.

Rey Mysterio made his entrance wearing an LWO shirt. Good pop for Rey as usual. That match is next.

A commercial aired for Backlash on May 6th.


Solo Sikoa vs. Rey Mysterio

Solo worked over Rey with punches. Rey jumped over a charging Solo and hit a springboard cross body block. Solo was back up with an uppercut punch. Solo whipped Rey into the turnbuckle so that Rey took the bump sternum first into the turnbuckle. Solo with a clothesline along with more punches. Solo sent Rey sternum-first into the turnbuckle again. Rey sent Solo into the middle turnbuckle, then Rey jumped on Solo’s back and Rey did a headscissors sending Solo out of the ring to the floor. They went to a break.


Solo remained in control squeezing on the neck, Rey stomped on his foot and Solo came back with punches to wear Rey down. Solo did the classic take too long charge to the corner, Rey moved and Solo hit the turnbuckle. Rey with a kick to the head, seated senton and a dropkick but Solo kicked out of a pin attempt easily. Rey went for a moonsault off the ropes, but Solo caught him leading to a Samoan Drop for two. Rey with the headscissors into the ropes, then a 619 kick and Rey jumped over the top with a splash and Solo kicked out at two. Rey sent Solo into the ropes again, but here come The Usos. The LWO guys showed up at ringside leading to Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde taking care of The Usos with kicks. Solo caught Rey, but Rey fought back by sending Solo into the ropes and Rey hit the 619 kick again. Rey went up top for a splash, Solo moved and Solo hit a Samoan Spike for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: *** A good match with Solo on offense for most of it, Rey selling very well the whole way and Rey getting some offense toward the end. The LWO guys showed up to stop The Usos from cheating, but Solo was still able to get the win as you would expect. Solo isn’t undefeated. However, he wins nearly every match he has, even if he needs help from The Usos to do a distraction leading to the finish.

Post match, Solo and The Usos beat up the LWO guys with Solo hitting The Samoan Spike to Wilde, Del Toro and Escobar. The Usos hit 1D on Rey as well. The Bloodline celebrated their dominance.

Analysis: That will probably set up a six-man tag team match on Smackdown or Raw next week with The Bloodline facing the LWO.

There was a clip from “Earlier Today” with Chad Gable, Otis and Maxxine Dupri arguing with Adam Pearce in Pearce’s office. Gable talked about how Alpha Academy has to stay together in the WWE Draft while Maxxine wants Otis to be on the same show as her. They continued arguing, Pearce made them be quiet and they left.

They replayed IYO SKY picking up a big win last week.

Bianca Belair made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.

This Sunday on WWE Rivals it’s Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart and Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels back to back.


Next Monday on Raw in Chicago: Bad Bunny returns.

Dakota Kai (w/Bayley & IYO SKY) vs. Bianca Belair

This is not for Belair’s Raw Women’s Title. Kai countered a slam attempt and did a hair pull. Belair grabbed Kai by her hair to toss Kai down. Belair hit a dropkick. Belair with a hiptoss followed by a standing moonsault for two. Belair elbowed Kai in the head, then Kai delivered a kick as they left the ring and Kai hit a bump kick. Belair was down on the floor leading to a break.


Belair went for a suplex, but Kai countered it into a cradle for two. Belair hit a blockbuster neckbreaker. Belair with dropkicks followed by a suplex and delayed vertical suplex. Belair hit the handstand moonsault for a two count. Kai countered a move to send Belair face first into the mat for a two count. Kai hit a running kick against the turnbuckle. Kai jumped off the top, Belair moved and hit a gutbuster onto the knee. Belair with a lift, Kai grabbed the hair and Kai countered another move to send Belair into the turnbuckle. Kai went for a kick again, Belair moved, Belair with a KOD (Kiss of Death) slam for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: **3/4 It was pretty good with Kai looking impressive for part of the match to show that she wasn’t easy to beat. Belair winning was the obvious result since she is booked so strongly on a consistent basis. I liked the spot with Kai pulling the hair to counter the first KOD attempt, but then Belair managed to hit it moments later for the win.

There was a video showing Brock Lesnar attacking Cody Rhodes on Raw two weeks when Cody thought Lesnar was going to be his tag team partner.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage in one of his shirts instead of a suit. Cody was up next.


A video aired about Bronson Reed saying he really was a nice guy and said he was “Mr. Nice Guy.” That was it.

The Judgment Day was shown talking backstage. Priest ripped on Bad Bunny, then Dominik mentioned Solo ripping apart Rey Mysterio and Paul Heyman walked in. Heyman asked: “Satisfied?” Balor shouted “Eh” at him or something. Heyman told them to take care of their part tonight and Priest said they will handle their business. Ripley stared at Heyman and said “Bye Paul.” Heyman told his phone to call Roman Reigns.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes made his entrance wearing one of his merchandise items along with wrestling tights and boots. Cody was in fighting mood instead of wearing a suit as usual. The crowd was loud during the “whoa-oh” part of the Kingdom song.

Cody: “So, Little Rock, what do you want to talk about?” Cody immediately said he knows what he wants to talk about and who he wants to as he called out Brock Lesnar. Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, told Cody that he can’t let him do it tonight.

Adam Pearce got into the ring to tell Cody he is not medically cleared to be there tonight. Pearce said we respect the spirit of Cody Rhodes as the fans chanted “we want Brock.” Pearce told Cody he is not medically cleared to be there tonight, so Pearce wanted Cody to leave the ring. Cody thanked him, said he was going to leave and Cody left the ring. Cody grabbed a steel chair and went back into the ring. Pearce said if Cody isn’t going to leave then he has some help to get Cody to leave the ring. Some indy wrestlers dressed as WWE Security entered the ring.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance with the fans popping for the music. Lesnar was in the black cowboy hat, black jacket and jeans. Pearce said that he’ll give Cody the match against Lesnar at Backlash. It’s official.

Lesnar called for Cody to come to him in the aisle. Cody used the chair to beat up the security guys and he stomped on them a bit too. Cody left the ring where more security guys were, so Cody fought them off. Cody threw a guy into the steel steps. More security guys showed up to keep Cody away from Lesnar while Lesnar was laughing about it. Lesnar put his hat on and walked to the back while the fans booed. Cody beat up the security guards around ringside and threw them out of the ring as well.

Cody said that Lesnar can wear the silly cowboy hat all he wants, but Cody grew up around cowboys and Lesnar is not a cowboy because Lesnar is a coward. Cody’s music played to end it.

Analysis: It was a hot segment without even doing that much since there was no physicality between Rhodes and Lesnar. Cody showed a lot of fire as the babyface that wasn’t going to back down while Lesnar was a cowardly heel hiding behind the security guys. Maybe it’s not cowardly and instead, Lesnar was smart to avoid the confrontation. There was no promo from Lesnar to explain why he attacked Cody when he did, but that’s okay because Lesnar is a man of few words. He doesn’t have to explain it. Anyway, Lesnar vs. Rhodes is a fresh match and a big main event for Backlash.

It’s Rollins facing Miz up next.

This Friday at Smackdown: GUNTHER defends the Intercontinental Title against Xavier Woods, plus Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville.


There was a replay of the Cody-Brock segment.

Brock Lesnar was shown walking backstage and leaving the arena. They showed the graphic that Cody vs. Brock at Backlash is official.

The Miz was up first. Seth “Freakin” Rollins was next with the crowd singing along with Seth’s song as usual. Miz attacked Rollins on the floor. Miz sent Rollins into the hood of the commentary table and back into the ring. The referee pulled back Miz leading to Rollins telling the referee to start the match.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. The Miz

The Miz charged, Rollins hit him with a clothesline and Rollins hit a clothesline sending Miz out of the ring. Rollins hit a suicide dive, then another suicide dive and Rollins hit a third suicide dive. The fans were singing the Rollins song again. Rollins went for a move off the barricade, but Miz shoved him and Rollins bumped onto some object at ringside. That led to a break.


The Miz jumped off the top with nothing, Rollins countered and there was a nearfall. Rollins got leaping kick to the head. Rollins with kicks to the body followed by a clothesline. Rollins hit a running forearm and a Slingblade neckbreaker for two. They fought over moves by the turnbuckle, Miz countered Rollins and Miz hit a Codebreaker for a two count. The Miz went for kicks, Rollins caught the boot and Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb. Rollins went for a Frog Splash off the top, but Miz got the knees up for an inside cradle for two. Rollins and Miz each got rollups for two. Rollins hit a superkick, then Miz blocked a superkick and Miz did a knee drop onto the knee. Miz applied a Figure Four Leglock submission, but Rollins got to the ropes to break the hold. Rollins got a rollup for two. Rollins with a forearm to the back, Rollins wanted The Stomp, Miz avoided it and Miz hit two DDTs in a row for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. The Miz teased an SCF on the top rope, but Rollins stopped that leading to the superplex into the Falcon Arrow slam. Rollins hit The Stomp for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match. It’s nice to see The Miz booked in a serious manner instead of being the comedy guy that he is far too often. Rollins is always going to be a guy that can have a great match with anybody. I hope this leads to something for Miz that sees him become a more serious competitor again because what he was doing in the past wasn’t that interesting. I liked the finishing sequence with Rollins hitting the superplex, Falcon Arrow and The Stomp for the decisive win. It worked.

The trio of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Matt Riddle were shown talking backstage. They mentioned their match against The Bloodline is official at Backlash. Owens told Riddle they can handle the strategy. Zayn said that Riddle deserves a voice in the group. Riddle talked about wrapping up his big toe and kicking Solo in a move called the Toe Bro. Owens didn’t like it. Riddle said he wasn’t serious. Riddle said they tried to take Riddle’s career. Riddle said he’s not here to joke around and be some idiot because he’s here to kick some ass. Riddle said that’s what they will do tonight. Riddle left.

Analysis: It was a more serious presentation for Riddle instead of his goofy comedy gimmick in the past. The “Toe Bro” thing was goofy, but he said he was kidding.


A video aired recapping Becky Lynch & Trish Stratus (Lita was taken out during a mysterious backstage attack) losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles to Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan. Morgan pinned Trish with a sunset flip to win the titles. After the match, Trish attacked Lynch from behind with a forearm and a Chick Kick. Trish is now a heel.

There were replays of the Bobby Lashley-Bronson Reed fight from last week leading to a double countout. Lashley and Reed fought after the match too.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance for singles action.


Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley

This is not for Theory’s US Title. Lashley with a shoulder tackle and a waistlock takedown. Lashley hit a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley clotheslined Theory out of the ring. Back in the ring, Lashley hit a flatliner into the mat. Theory hit an up kick, then corner clotheslines and elbows and a kick. Lashley was back up with a forearm to the back. Theory bailed to the floor, but Lashley sent him into the apron. Lashley picked up Theory and rammed Theory into the ring post. That led to a break.


Theory was in control after biting Lashley’s fingers and sending Lashley into the ring post. Theory grabbed a chinlock while Lashley’s mouth was bleeding. Theory kept on working over Lashley on the mat with some stomps. Theory charged, Lashley moved and Theory hit the turnbuckle. Lashley came back with a spinebuster. Lashley with shoulder tackles and a clothesline. Lashley charged, Theory with a leapfrog to avoid Bobby and Lashley hit a Dominator slam off the shoulders for a two count. Theory to the apron, then he tried a jumping attack, but Lashley caught Theory with a Hurt Lock. Theory went into the turnbuckle and Bronson Reed showed up to splash Theory and Lashley against the turnbuckle. It went about 11 minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: **3/4 They were on their way to the usual good match when Reed showed up, which really wasn’t a surprise based on what happened with Lashley-Reed last week. Theory doesn’t really have a rival or challenger right now, so hopefully there’s some plan to rectify that soon.

After the match, Reed nailed Lashley with a shoulder tackle on the floor. Reed splashed Lashley against the ring post. Reed went for a move, Lashley tried a Hurt Lock and Theory hit a dropkick on Lashley. Reed hit a Samoan Drop. Reed jumped off the top with the Tsunami splash on Lashley. Reed stood tall over Lashley to end it.

Analysis: A dominant attack by Reed, who was assisted by Theory hitting that dropkick, and that led to Reed yelling Tsunami off the top rope. They are obviously building to a Reed-Lashley match perhaps at Backlash. That will be the biggest match of Reed’s career on the main roster.

Oh, it’s time to rock ‘n roll because here comes WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus looking incredible as usual. She was wearing a black hat and showing off the goods as usual. The fans were booing as Trish entered the ring for a promo.

Analysis: It is Trish’s first time as a heel since 2005. As much as I loved her as a face in her career, I loved her even more as a heel. The best. My favorite woman in WWE history. Being a Canadian-Greek like me certainly helps, but the performance and just look at her…she’s my favorite even when she’s 47 years old.


Let’s Hear from Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus did a promo without the cowboy hat on. Trish said that she singlehandedly changed the women’s division. Trish said it wasn’t Trish and Lita – it was her. Trish said that she was the women’s division, she was the first woman to main event Raw and the first woman to make you people give a crap about the women’s division. Trish said without her there would be no women in the main event of WrestleMania. Trish said instead of chanting “this is awesome” you should be chanting “thank you Trish.” Trish said that Becky Lynch would have you believe that the Four Horsewomen started the Women’s Revolution and Trish said that was a joke. Trish talked about how Becky Lynch calls herself The Man, so Trish buddied up to Becky. Trish said not once did Becky open the door for Trish, not once did Becky thank Trish for what she did for the women’s division. Trish said that Lita was eating out of the palm of Becky’s hands. Trish said Lita was Becky’s little sidekick even though one year earlier they were fighting eachother. Trish said that she is not a sidekick and said this (her body) is not a sidekick.

Trish claimed that she had to take out Lita to put her out of her misery. Trish said she did that because she needed it to be crystal clear that the person that screwed Becky out of her titles was Trish. That led to Stratus mocking Lynch for having a stupid little accent when Lynch tried to console Trish. Stratus said that she made the point to take out The Man just like that. Trish said that she didn’t care. Trish said that she is not a nostalgia act, she is not your childhood fantasy and she is not anybody’s sidekick. Trish said that she is the greatest of all time, she’s the most important figure in the history of WWE (I think she meant to specifically say women’s division but that’s okay) and she was there to make sure that none of you forget it. Trish dropped the microphone and left.

Analysis: It was good for what it needed to be with Trish summarizing why she attacked Lynch when she did. Trish also admitted that she was the one that took out her best friend Lita to get out of her out of the picture so that Trish could be the one to cost Becky the Women’s Tag Team Titles. It should mean that Lita will come back to get payback against her friend too, so maybe we’ll see Trish-Lita in singles at some point before Trish-Becky, which is rumored to be a SummerSlam match, so they have a lot of time to get there. Anyway, I loved Trish’s confidence in the promo. I think some inexperienced might have been annoyed by some of the “what” chants, but she wasn’t rattled and got through it well. There were some obvious fake boos during the promo, which I don’t like, but WWE does it at times when there’s a new heel like this. Also, Trish looks incredible for 47 or 27 or whatever you want to say. Damn right, she is no sidekick. She’s absolutely stunning.

There was another replay of Cody-Brock earlier leading the announcement of the Cody-Brock match at Backlash.

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Cathy Kelley, who asked if Cody was satisfied that he is facing Brock Lesnar at Backlash. Cody said that he was happy about that, but then Cody was held back by 20 superstars from Brock Lesnar. Cody said that the only way to get through this is to smash Lesnar. Cody said that after everything he has been through, he can’t allow Lesnar to beat him.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan showed up to watch the next match.


Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville vs. “Michin” Mia Yim & Candice LeRae

Green & Deville get a title match on Smackdown, so that should tell us who is going to win here. LeRae was on offense against Green with a splash to the back and LeRae slammed both opponents. Nikki Cross was in the front row distracting LeRae, so Deville hit a running knee on LeRae for a two count. Green tagged in for a double team suplex. Michin tagged in against Deville with a headscissors takedown, then some strikes and Green went into the ring illegally. Candice dropkicked Green out of the ring. Michin with kicks to Deville and Michin hit Code Blue (Red) for a two count. Deville tackled Michin leading to a pin with the feet on the ropes, but the referee saw it. Green tagged in without Michin seeing it and Green hit a Killswitch-like move for the pinfall win after about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over Green & Deville ahead of their title match on Smackdown this week. The crowd was dead quiet for LeRae & Michin on offense. They just don’t get a lot of screen time, so it’s tough to get reactions.

Post match, Green threw some water on Morgan. Green & Deville backed away while Raquel & Liv made some angry faces toward them.

The six-man tag team match main event was next.


A video aired about the WWE Draft coming soon.

They showed The Street Profits, Rick Boogs & Elias talking about the WWE Draft along with possibilities of what might happen. Baron Corbin showed up to say that tag teams can be split up. The Street Profits said no to that and left saying they had to talk to Adam Pearce. Elias told Boogs that he (Elias) will be the first pick in the draft and he’ll make sure Boogs comes with him. Akira Tozawa walked up to tell Boogs he’s a big star while Elias will be the last pick. Elias and Boogs left, Corbin walked back in, Tozawa mocked him and Tozawa left, so Corbin was frustrated.

Analysis: It will be interesting to see if The Street Profits get split up. It wouldn’t shock me since Montez Ford in particular could stand out as a solo star. That’s nothing against Dawkins, but I just think Ford really has special potential.

The Bloodline was shown backstage doing a promo talking about how they set the LWO down. The Usos mentioned their Backlash match against Zayn, Owens & Riddle with some strong comments about how they were going to win.

The Judgment Day made their entrance for the main event.


Matt Riddle was up first for the babyface team followed by the WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, who are the Raw & Smackdown Tag Team Champions.

Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)

Zayn with an armdrag on Balor to start, Dominik tagged in and then tagged out to bring Priest in. Owens tagged in against Priest with a dropkick followed by a senton splash. Owens hit a sidewalk slam on Balor, but Balor came back with a chop block to KO’s left knee. Balor distracted the referee while Ripley hit a clothesline on the floor leading to Owens doing a flip bump on the floor. What a great bump by Owens there. Owens with a superkick to Balor. Riddle tagged in with a jumping kick to Dominik, forearms to Balor, Exploder Suplex and a broton splash. Riddle hit a Fisherman’s Suplex on Balor for two. Balor with an eye gouge, Priest tagged in and Riddle fought all three guys, but that was a mistake as Priest gave Riddle a Chokeslam on the ring apron. Ouch. That led to a break with Riddle on the floor.


Priest was in control of Riddle with kicks and forearms to the face. Balor and Dominik each made quick tags along with Priest leading to a backbreaker/leg drop combo. Riddle slipped behind Dominik and hit a German Suplex. Zayn tagged in with a clothesline on Dominik, then a back body drop and Zayn sent Balor/Priest out of the ring. Zayn went up top, Dominik stopped him there and Zayn hit a sunset flip Powerbomb that looked like a hard landing for Dominik, who kicked out at two. Zayn up top, Balor distracted the referee and Ripley shoved Zayn off the top. Dominik hit a Frog Splash on Zayn with Owens making the save. There were moves by the non-legal guys to send them all out of the ring including Zayn clotheslining Priest out of the ring. Zayn ran the ropes, Ripley grabbed the foot and the referee ejected Ripley from ringside. Dominik got a rollup for two. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Dom for two. Owens tagged in while selling the left knee injury. Owens jumped off the top with Swanton Bomb, but Dominik got the knees up. Balor tagged in with a shotgun dropkick and Balor jumped off the top with a Coup de Grace, but Owens moved. Zayn got the tag, Owens with a Stunner on Balor and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Balor too. Owens hit Priest with a Stunner to send him out of the ring. Riddle tagged in with a Floating Bro on Balor for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

Analysis: ***1/4 Good action throughout the match. I was mildly surprised that Balor was the one to take the pin because I figured it would be Dominik. I guess they went with Balor because Dominik & Priest are likely against Rey & Bad Bunny at Backlash, so WWE probably wants to keep Dominik & Priest strong. Anyway, it was a typical, good WWE tag team match with a babyface in peril for most of it, some chaotic action toward the finish and then the babyfaces hit their big moves for the win. Having Riddle win is smart because it gives him positive momentum after his recent comeback while Zayn & Owens already have a lot of momentum. I just think it was smart for Riddle to win.

The Bloodline went into the ring to attack the babyfaces Zayn, Riddle and Owens. The LWO (Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro & Juaquin Wilde) ran out to the ring to brawl with the heels as well. There were four different teams all fighting around the ringside area. Rey hit a 619 kick on Dominik. Owens suplexed Priest onto the commentary table, but it didn’t break the table. The LWO stood tall in the ring with Riddle, Zayn & Owens. End show.

Analysis: All of this could set up a 6 on 6 tag team match or different variations of 3 on 3 tag team matches. Anyway, it was an exciting way to end the show with chaos involving all of the groups fighting at once. I like that as an ending.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. The Miz
  3. Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

2023 Average: 7.17


Final Thoughts

A very good show from top to bottom. I wouldn’t say that the storylines are on fire or anything like that, but there are building some things well. Brock Lesnar didn’t touch Cody Rhodes and instead, Lesnar left like a coward (in Cody’s words) after Cody had to try to fight through security all night. Keep them apart so when they have the Backlash match it will mean a lot when they do fight.

In terms of match quality, there was a lot to like. I thought Seth Rollins and The Miz had the best match because The Miz finally got to wrestle as a serious threat instead of a comedy guy, so Miz put up a fight before Rollins put him away. I liked the six-man main event with Zayn/Owens/Riddle beating The Judgment Day since it gives the faces some positive momentum. I liked the opener with Solo Sikoa defeating Rey Mysterio too. Working with a guy like Rey is going to make Solo even better. Paul Heyman’s show opening promo to have The Bloodline & The Judgment Day work together was really well done too.

I liked the Trish Stratus promo explaining her heel turn on Becky Lynch and admitting that she attacked Lita as well. It sounded like WWE piped in some fake boos, though. I’m not a fan of that. I am a fan of how Trish looked at 47 years old and is still the hottest of them all. I’m also happy with how they followed up on the Lashley-Reed fight from last week by having Reed attack Lashley this week. That was great. I think it will be a big deal when they do that match. I could touch on more, but this part is long enough already. I enjoyed this week’s Raw.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Backlash on Saturday, May 6th from San Juan, Puerto Rico with this lineup so far:

* Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

* Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle vs. The Bloodline – Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

You can watch WWE Backlash, streaming LIVE from Puerto Rico on Saturday, May 6, streaming live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.


Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport