The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 06/12/23 Review

wwe raw june 12

This week’s WWE Raw featured Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn facing off against Imperium’s GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser, Cody Rhodes against The Miz, plus a Matt Riddle-Damian Priest Money in the Bank qualifier and more.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1568 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Rhea Ripley Gets A New Championship

It started with the WWE Official Adam Pearce in the ring. He had a new championship belt for Rhea Ripley, who walked out with the Smackdown Women’s Title.

Pearce presented Ripley with the new Women’s World Championship. It was like the Men’s World Championship that Seth “Freakin” Rollins holds, but it’s a Women’s World Title instead.

Analysis: They gave Asuka a new WWE Women’s Title on Smackdown and now Ripley gets a new Women’s World Title on Raw. No more Raw & Smackdown Women’s Titles.

Dominik Mysterio went to the ring to celebrate with Ripley. Dominik put the title on Ripley. Dominik said he’ll always be there to support Ripley. When Ripley was about to speak, the music of Cody Rhodes hit as the American Nightmare made his entrance in his ring gear with the customary robe.

Cody Rhodes got a big ovation on his way to the ring. Cody: “So Kansas, what do you guys wanna talk about?” Cody said we could talk about Ripley starting this legacy with this new championship and he said he respected her. Cody mentioned facing The Miz later tonight.

Cody cued up a video from last Monday on Raw with Dominik calling Cody a bad father while Cody called Dominik a terrible mistake from Rey Mysterio, so Dominik slapped Cody as payback for that.

Cody said that he doesn’t think Brock Lesnar has the balls to face him again. Cody said that Dominik thinks that he can slap Cody in the face and get away with it. Cody suggested a match against Dominik at Money in the Bank. When Dominik spoke again, the fans booed him loudly. Dominik said he’s not afraid of anybody and he embarrassed Cody in the ring just like he would to anyone else. The fans chanted “you suck” at Dominik. Cody told Dominik it’s a yes or it’s a no.

Rhea Ripley said that her Latino Heat is more of a man than anybody in this arena, anybody watching at home and more of a man than Cody. Ripley said that Dominik accepts while Miz attacked Cody from behind. Cody punched Miz and clotheslined Miz out of the ring. Dominik hit Cody with a forearm to the back. Ripley and Dominik retreated while Cody was frustrated about it. Cody’s match was next.

Analysis: It gives Cody Rhodes a match at Money in the Bank with Dominik Mysterio getting a chance to show what he can do against one of WWE’s biggest stars. The interesting thing about how it was done is that Ripley accepted the match rather than Dominik, which showed that Dominik was hesitant to accept the match since he’s a cowardly heel despite what he says about himself. Miz attacking Cody from behind was a clever way to end it because it allowed Dominik to get another cheap shot leading to Dom running away again.


The Raw commentary team was Kevin Patrick & Corey Graves as usual.

Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz

Cody was wrestling with a black cast/brace on his lower left arm to sell the “broken arm” storyline. Cody was aggressive early on as he sent Miz out of the ring and Cody hit a suicide dive on Miz on the floor. Back in the ring, Cody did a dragon screw leg whip to take down Miz. Cody charged at Miz, who slipped out of the ring and Miz tripped up Cody to send Cody into the steel steps. The fans chanted “Tiny Balls” at Miz. Miz got some basic offense, but then Cody hit a front suplex. Cody charged, Miz avoided it and Cody went crashing into the ring post. Miz whipped Cody into the steel steps at ringside.


The match continued with Cody hitting a Side Effect-style slam. Miz charged right into a Cody powerslam. Cody hit a springboard Disaster Kick for a two count. Cody and Miz each went for moves, but there were counters from both guys. Miz delivered the kicks to the chest, then Cody ducked a roundhouse kick. Miz kicked the arm (I think) and Miz hit a DDT for two as usual for that move. Miz wanted a Skull Crushing Finale, Cody avoided it and Cody jumped off the ropes with a Cody Cutter. Cody hit the Cross Rhodes for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: *** A good match from two veterans that started in WWE around the same time and have likely wrestled many times in the last two decades. I don’t mind Miz as a worker, but from a logical standpoint the heel Miz should have attacked the left arm injury that Cody has been selling. Instead, it was like Cody didn’t have a big cast on his left arm. Cody getting the win was the match result we expected since he rarely loses while Miz loses more than he wins at this point in his career.

The announcers mentioned what’s coming up.

Becky Lynch was shown talking to her buddies Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens backstage. They bumped fists while Lynch walked towards the ring. Lynch saw the Alpha Academy with Maxxine working out in the hallway as she walked out to the ring.

Becky Lynch made her entrance into the arena with the fans cheering loudly for her.


Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch was staring up at the Money in the Bank briefcases above the ring since she qualified for the Women’s MITB match last week. Lots of “Becky” chants for her. Lynch said she’s accomplished a lot in her career, but she’s yet to win Money in the Bank. Lynch said she has a good feeling about this year. Lynch tried to theorize that holding the MITB briefcase gives that person a lot of power, even more than the champion. Lynch talked about people being scared, which led to her talking about Trish Stratus. Lynch said that at Night of Champions, Trish got herself an insurance policy in Zoey Stark, so here comes Stark alone.

Zoey Stark said that Lynch has a list of accomplishments and that’s good for her, but Lynch won’t be able to say she can beat Trish Stratus. Stark said that Lynch can’t beat Zoey either and Becky can add it to her list of failures. Lynch said that she has had so many failures, so that’s what makes her great. Lynch knows that Stark is great in this ring and she’s built like a pitbull, but she lacks a personality. Stark yelled at Lynch didn’t become relevant off of her personality – it was because somebody broke her face. Stark said that Lynch is trying to hold onto that fame and she was holding onto Trish Stratus. Stark she’ll break Lynch’s face again and make her famous.

Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville entered for the scheduled match. Deville and Green complained about Lynch’s blatant disrespect last week. Deville said that the only reason that Lynch won is because Deville was tending to Green. Lynch told them to start the match right now and wanted Stark to take a seat so Lynch can show her why Lynch is famous. Graves said no Trish Stratus on Raw tonight because she was filming her 110th magazine cover. I miss Trish already. Thank you Trish.

Analysis: The promo was fine with Lynch showing a lot of confidence going into Money in the Bank. While I think she could win, I think the presence of Stark in the match and Stratus possibly interfering might cost Lync the match. Stark got to speak more than she usually does. Stark is a better in-ring performer than talker, but she has improved a lot in terms of promos. What Stark said was typical for what most heels say towards Lynch.

Becky Lynch vs. Chelsea Green (w/Sonya Deville)

Lynch beat Deville last week, so this week Green gets a match with Lynch. Green was trying something by the turnbuckle, but Lynch knocked her down and Green bumped to the floor. They went to break after about 20 seconds.


The match continued with Green in control with a chinlock while Stark was seated on a ladder by the entrance area. Green kicked Lynch in the back to send Lynch into the turnbuckle. Green and Lynch battled by the turnbuckle, Lynch headbutted Green down and Lynch hit a missile dropkick off the top. Lynch hit a forearm off the apron. Lynch tossed Green into the barricade a few times. Back in the ring, Green hit an enziguri kick. Green went for an Unprettier, Lynch went for a Manhandle slam, Green got a rollup and Lynch applied the Dis-arm-her submission leading to Green tapping out after about six minutes.

Winner by submission: Becky Lynch

Analysis: ** It was a dominant win by Lynch. They got six minutes with a commercial, which means we only got to see about three minutes of action. Green is skilled, but they aren’t pushing her right now. Lynch winning was the obvious decision and the right decision considering Lynch is in the Money in the Bank match.

A video aired about Seth “Freakin” Rollins beating Damian Priest last week on Raw to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Title.

The Judgment Day was shown talking backstage. Rhea Ripley was happy with her new Women’s World Title while Dominik was also happy. Finn Balor was quiet and pondering something, so he didn’t say much. Damian Priest talked about how he’s going to qualify for Money in the Bank by beating Matt Riddle and he said he’s going to go out there alone. Priest was staring at Balor when he said it.

Analysis: Priest was mad at Balor for showing up at ringside last week, so it continues that story.

Matt Riddle made his entrance for the Money in the Bank qualifying match.

This Friday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns returns yet again as we find out if Jey Uso falls in line with The Bloodline or if he leaves with his brother Jimmy Uso.


Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest

Riddle was going for submissions right away, Priest drove him to the turnbuckle and Priest hit a back elbow. Graves put over how close Riddle and Priest were as friends. Riddle hit a running kick to the chest, then a running forearm and another forearm. Riddle sent Priest to the outside, Priest blocked a kick and Priest tripped up Riddle on the apron. Priest went for a running attack on the floor, Riddle avoided it and Priest went crashing onto the commentary table. Riddle sent Priest back into the ring with a forearm smash. Priest blocked a kick and hit an elevated flatliner. Priest hit a backbreaker for two. Riddle tripped up Priest and used his legs for a pin attempt, but Priest kicked out. Riddle hit an overhead kick and an overhead suplex followed by a Broton Splash. Priest went to the floor. Riddle with a kick to the chest while he was on the apron, Riddle hit a Floating Bro off the ropes onto Priest on the floor. Back in the ring, they battled over a move leading to Riddle hitting a bridging German Suplex for two. Priest blocked an up kick, Priest with forearms and Riddle hit a jumping kick. Priest came back with a Broken Arrow slam.


Riddle went for the Ankle Lock submission on the left foot, but Priest got out of it. Riddle went for a sleeper, Priest fell backwards and slammed Riddle onto the mat. Riddle went for it again, but Priest was back up with a clothesline. Priest went for a running attack in the corner and Riddle caught him wit ha submission on the arm. Priest was able to break free and hit an uppercut punch while Riddle was on the apron. Priest hit a headlock driver for a two count. Priest went for a big move, Riddle got out of it and Priest shoved Riddle off the top onto the turnbuckle. Priest went for a move off the top, Riddle flipped out of it and Riddle hit a Fisherman’s Suplex off the top for a two count. Great move for a nearfall. Riddle went for a move off the ropes, Priest avoided it and Priest hit a Razor’s Edge for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest

Analysis: ***1/4 I thought they worked well together and it ended up being an entertaining match. Plenty of nearfalls for both guys in the match. That Fisherman’s Suplex by Riddle off the top was impressive. Priest doesn’t normally win with a Razor’s Edge, so I was a bit surprised that was the finish, but it’s certainly a good move and a big enough move to end a match like that.

That means the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match participants are LA Knight, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet, Butch, Santos Escobar and Damian Priest.

Analysis: My pick to win is LA Knight as long as they don’t add anybody else.

After the match, Imperium’s GUNTHER walked out with the Intercontinental Title and Ludwig Kaiser was with him. Priest told GUNTHER to pick the bones while Patrick reminded us that Riddle took out Giovanni Vinci. GUNTHER punched and kicked Riddle. GUNTHER delivered a hard chop to Riddle. GUNTHER and Kaiser stood over a fallen Riddle.

Analysis: That will likely lead to Matt Riddle getting an Intercontinental Title match against GUNTHER. I know that Riddle losing to Priest doesn’t elevate Riddle, but I think that’s the obvious match for Money in the Bank or perhaps on TV soon.

There was a replay of the Cody Rhodes segment with Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley earlier on Raw.

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Cathy Kelley about his match against Dominik Mysterio at Money in the Bank. Cody said that since April 2nd, every eye has been on him. Cody said he smiles, he hands his belt away and he loses his mind when the fans lose their mind to the “Kingdom” song. Cody said that Dominik Mysterio, Brock Lesnar and nobody is going to knock him off this path to finish the story. Cody was confident as he ended the promo.

Analysis: Well said by Cody as usual. That should be a win over Dominik at Money in the Bank. A loss would be a big surprise.

A recap of The Usos family drama was up next.


There was a video about WWE supporting the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.

Natalya was interviewed by Byron Saxton backstage, who said that some people say Natalya hasn’t been the same since she lost to Rhea Ripley at Night of Champions. Natalya said that being herself hasn’t got her anywhere and maybe she doesn’t know how to “be me” anymore. Natalya left.

Analysis: I don’t know if that means Natalya is going heel or where it’s headed. The loss to Ripley was a sudden defeat, so I assumed they would follow up on it and I’m glad they are following up on it now.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn walked into the picture as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions with Saxton talking to them. That was interrupted by GUNTHER and Kaiser. Kaiser reminded Owens that he lost to GUNTHER last week. Zayn said it took three guys to beat Owens. Zayn said that Riddle injured Baldy, Zayn asked where Baldy was and Owens said there he is as Adam Pearce showed up. Zayn was referring to Giovanni Vinci. They exchanged some words, Kaiser suggested a Tag Team Title match and a fired-up Owens accepted. Imperium laughed at Zayn, who said you are looking at the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. Zayn left with GUNTHER telling Pearce that you heard the champions, so make it a title match. Pearce said he’ll think about it.

Analysis: I thought it was funny when Sami & Kevin were talking about “Baldy” not being there referring to Giovanni Vinci, then Pearce showed up and Owens thought it was him. Anyway, making it a title match raises the stakes for the main event.

A video aired recapping The Usos drama on Smackdown from last Friday. Jey Uso nearly won the US Title from Austin Theory, but Jimmy Uso messed up after taking out Pretty Deadly and Jimmy accidentally superkicked Jey when Jimmy was going for Solo Sikoa instead. Jey ended up losing the match because of Jimmy’s accidental kick. Jey left alone without siding with Jimmy and Jey didn’t side with Paul Heyman/Solo Sikoa either.

We will find out more about this great family drama on Smackdown this Friday when Roman Reigns is back.

Ricochet made his entrance for singles action against Bronson Reed after a break.


Indus Sher was shown with Jinder Mahal, who says that they are offering Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander after Indus Sher beat them up last week.

Ricochet vs. Bronson Reed

Ricochet is in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match while Reed is not. Reed used his power to toss Ricochet across the ring followed by a forearm smash to the head. Shinsuke Nakamura went out to ringside since Reed attacked both guys in the past. Ricochet went for a DDT, but Reed caught him and Reed suplexed Ricochet stomach-first onto the top rope. Reed launched Ricochet into the air leading to Ricochet hitting the mat. Reed hit a running body attack on Ricochet leading to a break.


Reed charged into a boot from Ricochet, who did a flip and kicked Reed in the head. Nakamura was watching from ringside. Ricochet hit a jumping kick to the shoulder followed by a springboard dropkick that knocked Reed out of the ring. Ricochet hit a suicide dive onto Reed, who crashed into the commentary table. Ricochet hit a springboard cross body block and a springboard moonsault for two. Reed left the ring, Ricochet tried to jump on him and Reed caught Ricochet. Reed launched Ricochet onto Nakamura, who was seated at ringside. Reed went up top, so Nakamura attacked him with a kick. That led to a disqualification after seven minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Bronson Reed

Analysis: **1/4 The action was okay, but this was more about advancing the angle that has led to a three-way rivalry between Ricochet, Reed and Nakamura. Reed is usually booked strong even though he lost to Nakamura recently in the MITB qualifying match.

After the match, Reed was smiling about the win. Ricochet argued with Nakamura about it and Reed knocked them both down. Reed clotheslined Nakamura. Reed went to the turnbuckle, but Ricochet stopped that and Nakamura went after Reed as well. Nakamura and Reed hit a superplex off the top on Reed. It didn’t look smooth, but it was effective enough. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” for it.

Analysis: Cool spot there with the two guys superplexing Reed off the top. You don’t see a 400-pounder like Reed taking bumps like that often, so it felt like a big deal. All of this could be leading to Reed being added to Money in the Bank even though the graphics make it look like it will be just six guys.

Sami Zayn was talking to Kevin Owens in the locker room with Zayn saying that Owens has been blowing up a lot lately. Owens said it’s been stressful and frustrating. Owens said that everywhere he turns, we see these guys coming after them. Zayn said when you get out there, are you good and Owens said he’ll be good. Owens left to get some water.

Finn Balor was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.


They showed WWE Official Adam Pearce on the phone saying that Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn will defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles against GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser later. Ricochet went up to Pearce saying he needs a rematch next week against Bronson Reed. Pearce said that Reed is already booked in a match next week…and here’s Shinsuke Nakamura, who faces Reed next week. Ricochet said that he didn’t want Nakamura’s help. Nakamura said it’s nothing personal because he’ll succeed where Ricochet failed. Nakamura said that you can have Reed after Nakamura is done with him.

Let’s Hear from Finn Balor and Seth Rollins

Finn Balor of The Judgment Day made his entrance to the ring alone. Balor called out Seth Rollins saying they need to talk with no jokes, no zingers and no sing-alongs, just facts. Balor told Rollins to get out here now.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance leading to the sing-along from the crowd as Rollins was wearing a ridiculous outfit as usual along with some pink shades. The fans were signing Seth’s song loudly as usual and even sang it after the music stopped.

Balor said that he’s been waiting seven years to say this and he’s not waiting another second, so he wanted the fans to shut up. Balor said that seven years ago he was a first round draft pick on Raw, he beat Roman Reigns on his first night and three weeks later he beat Seth Rollins to become the first Universal Champion. The fans kept on singing Seth’s song while Balor spoke. Rollins laughed as the singing continued while Balor said this isn’t funny, this is serious. Rollins asked if Kansas was having fun, they cheered and kept on signing.

Rollins asked Balor what does he want to say and Rollins told Balor to do it right now. Balor said that the highest of highs became the lowest of lows because of Rollins. Balor had a torn bicep, torn pec and torn labrum. Balor said he wasn’t complaining about the injury because injuries happen. Balor trashed the fans for being idiots that won’t stop singing. Balor said that the fans don’t even like you and they don’t even know you. Rollins asked what are you talking about? Balor said that Rollins took everything from Balor, who said that Rollins took his momentum, title and a year from Balor’s career. Balor said he’s going to take it all back from Rollins. Balor said he’s going to take that World Heavyweight Title and take a year from Seth’s career while claiming he’s going to take it all at Money in the Bank. The fans kept on singing the song again.

Rollins said this is the Finn Balor he’s been waiting to see for the past seven years. Rollins brought us back to the inaugural Universal Title match at SummerSlam 2016. Rollins said that one of us got bitter (Finn) and one of us got better (referring to himself) while the fans sang the song again. Rollins said he did some bad things over the past seven years, but he’s also made memories, made history and made moments that these people will never forget. Rollins said that he did that because he changed, adapted and got better every single day while now he is the greatest version of Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Seth said that the proof is that World Heavyweight Championship. Seth said if Balor wants a crack at it at Money in the Bank then he is on.

Rollins wondered what version of Balor will fight Rollins in London. Rollins told Balor that this version of Balor has no shot. Rollins said that the Balor that beat him with his arm hanging off his body has got a shot. Rollins wondered if he’ll bring THAT Balor to Money in the Bank or bring the Balor that has been “acting like a little bitch” for the last seven years. Seth left as his song played to end it.

Analysis: Great job by both guys in front of a hot crowd that was singing the song for a long time. The singing was certainly a bit distracting from a viewing standpoint, but I credit Balor for not stumbling through it and he was able to deliver the key points in the promo. Nice work by Finn being able to do that. Rollins had a great line to end it just like the last time, so apparently that’s going to be a thing for Seth where he has a “zinger” line at the end. I don’t think Seth will lose the title to Balor, nor do I think anybody watching believes that Balor has a shot to win. That’s fine, though. It should be a great match.

It’s official for Money in the Bank on July 1st: Cody Rhodes faces Dominik Mysterio.

Raquel Rodriguez entered for singles action.


It’s official for Money in the Bank on July 1st: Seth “Freakin” Rollins defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Finn Balor.

Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shayna Baszler (w/Ronda Rousey)

Shayna & Ronda are the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Raquel hit a fallaway slam, corner splash and another fallaway slam. Raquel went for a kick, Baszler moved and Baszler kicked the left knee. Baszler stomped on Raquel’s left ankle. Raquel came back with a lefty clothesline. Raquel delivered multiple kicks to the leg followed by a senton splash off the turnbuckle. Rousey was on the apron, Raquel grabbed her, Baszler did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and Rousey used her foot to add some leverage leading to Baszler getting the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put over Baszler & Rousey by showing they will do anything to win and that includes cheating. Raquel rarely gets pinned, but it was done in a cheap way to protect Raquel.

A video package aired about the late, great Iranian known as The Iron Sheik, who passed away over the last week at the age of 81. It’s the same video that aired on Smackdown. Rest in Peace, The Iron Sheik. He will be missed.


Chad Gable (w/Otis & Maxxine) vs. Erik (w/Ivar & Valhalla)

Gable applied an armbar takedown on Erik. When Gable ran the ropes, Erik ran him over with a forearm. Erik set up Gable on the turnbuckle, Gable knocked him down and Gable hit a headbutt off the top. Valhalla ran after Maxxine, who hit an arm drag on the floor. Gable jumped onto Erik’s back leading to a sunset flip pin for the pinfall win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chad Gable

Analysis: *1/4 That felt rushed. I’m guessing the Rollins-Balor segment ran long and they had to cut time from this match. Keep in mind there’s plenty of time for the main event, but this is the kind of match where WWE is going to cut time. This was all about giving Maxxine that moment with Valhalla to likely set up a six-person tag with the girls being a part of it.

A video aired about Rhea Ripley talking about being the eradicator and brutality.

Finn Balor was shown talking to JD McDonagh saying the important thing isn’t to make friends, it’s to make an impact and he said JD can do that. Damian Priest walked up, so JD left. Priest and Balor talked about things with Balor asking if Priest would cash Money in the Bank on him. Priest said he wouldn’t do that. Priest said Balor should keep his word to Priest. Priest said that Seth is causing tension between them, so Priest wants Balor to end this at Money in the Bank.

Analysis: It was another tease of Priest possibly going babyface soon since he mentioned Balor showing up last week when Priest didn’t want him to be there. Balor trained JD McDonagh to be a wrestler, so they are close. It could also be a tease to put JD into The Judgment Day while perhaps Priest gets kicked out of the group.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn entered as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions for their main event match. Big pop for them as usual.


Seth “Freakin” Rollins was interviewed by Cathy Kelley. Seth is as prepared and confident as one man can be. Seth said that it sounds like Finn’s buddy Damian Priest might be out on Balor as well. Seth wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing saying next week he’s going to have an open challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. Seth went over his nicknames to end it.

Analysis: An open World Title challenge for next week’s Raw. That’s big. I’ll pick Seth to win. They didn’t have Seth address if he’ll answer Bron Breakker’s challenge on NXT although there was a commercial about it during the show.

Next Monday on Raw:

* Logan Paul returns.

* Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed.

* Seth “Freakin” Rollins is having World Heavyweight Title open challenge.

The Imperium team of Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER and Ludwig Kaiser entered for tag team action.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser

Zayn tried chops against Gunther, then Gunther hit an uppercut and a side headlock. Gunther hit an uppercut, then Zayn sent Gunther out of the ring and Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Gunther.


Kaiser with a shoulder tackle followed by Zayn getting an arm drag. Zayn blocked a kick by Kaiser leading to Zayn hitting an elbow smash to the head. Owens tagged in with a senton splash to Kaiser’s back. Owens hit a moonsault off the middle rope onto Kaiser. When Kaiser tried a running attack, Owens hit him with a clothesline and a senton splash for two. When Zayn tagged in, Kaiser drove him to the corner, Gunther tagged in without Zayn seeing it and Gunther decked Zayn with a boot to the head. Gunther hit a splash on Zayn for two. Gunther with some hard chops to the chest. Kaiser was back in as he hit a dropkick to knock Zayn out of the ring. Gunther slammed Zayn onto the apron leading to another break.


The match returned with Zayn hitting a sunset flip powerbomb off the turnbuckle on Kaiser. Owens got the tag against Gunther with Owens hitting two clotheslines, Gunther with a boot and Owens hit another clothesline. Owens with a senton splash along with an Exploder Suplex sending Gunther across the ring. Owens with a superkick. Owens hit a cannonball splash on Gunther in the corner. Owens went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb for two. After a distraction by Kaiser, Gunther got a rollup for two. Gunther with a boot to Owens. Zayn and Kaiser were back in with Zayn hitting an Exploder Suplex into the corner. Zayn avoided a chop by Gunther. Kaiser hit a step up enziguri and a slam off the shoulders. Gunther went for a Powerbomb with Kaiser hitting a forearm to the back. Kaiser with a suicide dive onto Owens on the floor. Gunther hit a stiff lariat with Zayn doing a flip bump leading to a two count. Gunther with another lariat knocking Zayn down for two. Kaiser hit an uppercut off the ropes while Gunther had Zayn on his shoulders. Owens broke up the pin by tackling Gunther into the pin attempt to stop the pin. Gunther was fighting with Owens when Matt Riddle showed up, so Gunther kicked Riddle. Owens gave Gunther a DDT on the ramp. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Kaiser for the pinfall win! It went 19 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Analysis: ***3/4 A great match featuring four talented veterans that know how to tell a classic tag team match story when they get nearly 20 minutes. The fans were really into it especially in the third segment of the match as both teams got nearfalls that looked like the potential finish. Zayn actually won with a Blue Thunder Bomb instead of getting a two count from it, so that’s cool. Riddle showing up to distract Gunther leading to Owens hitting a DDT on Gunther was a way to take out Gunther from the finish, so that led to Zayn beating Kaiser to win. Matches of this quality in the main event are only going to help elevate the value of the Tag Team Titles, so I’m all for it. Good stuff here.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn celebrated the win while the announcers shilled what was coming up next week. End show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
  2. GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser
  3. Damian Priest/Matt Riddle


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 8

2023 Average: 7.23


Final Thoughts

I thought it was a very good Raw overall. The main event tag team match was awesome with Zayn/Owens overcoming GUNTHER/Kaiser. The last five minutes were fantastic and the crowd was super hot for it. I liked the Damian Priest-Matt Riddle MITB match too. Cody Rhodes beating Miz was fine to give Cody some more momentum. Some other matches were okay while a few of them were really short.

The promo segments were effective because they set up Money in the Bank matches with Cody facing Dominik Mysterio. Meanwhile, I thought the Seth Rollins-Finn Balor segment was terrific in part because the crowd kept singing Seth’s song while Finn was trying to speak, so Finn was annoyed by it.

As for Rhea Ripley getting the new Women’s World Championship, that’s fine with me. No more Raw & Smackdown Women’s Titles so when champions get moved in a draft there are no issues in the future. That makes sense. I know some people are frustrated by the design being the same as the title that Rollins has, but I think it’s just WWE wanting to be consistent and tell the fans that the women’s title is just as valuable as the men’s version of the title. That’s okay with me.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1st in London, England. Here’s what we know so far:

* Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: LA Knight vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet vs. Butch vs. Santos Escobar vs. Damian Priest

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor

* Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Bayley vs. Zelina Vega vs. Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark vs. IYO SKY vs. at least one more wrestler.

* Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio


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

Thanks for reading.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport