This week’s WWE Raw featured a Women’s Money in the Bank Summit, Cody Rhodes facing Damian Priest in the main event and more.
The opening video package showed some highlights of the key moments in the Dominik Mysterio-Cody Rhodes feud.
Let’s Hear from Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley
Dominik Mysterio and WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley were already in the ring for a promo. The fans were booing loudly. Ripley said that Cody Rhodes is a wannabe and a loser. Ripley said that Cody’s momentum is slowing down and at Money in the Bank, Dom is going to end it completely.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance wearing a suit. There were ladders all around the entrance area. Huge pop for Cody in his home state of GA with the fans loudly singing the “WHOA-OH” part of the Kingdom song too. Cody welcomed us to Raw like Dominik tried to do.
Ripley said that Dominik is a very dangerous man. Dominik tried to speak, so then the fans booed and Dominik told Ripley to say it. Ripley said that Dominik will prove how dangerous he is.
Cody mentioned a quote from the Cat in the Hat children’s book because it related to how he felt about Dominik. Cody said that Dominik is a scared little boy, which led to Dominik going from the apron to the floor. Ripley left with Dominik while the fans booed them. Cody mentioned he’s facing Damian Priest later tonight. Cody told Dominik he’ll give him a free shot, so let’s do this here and now. Dominik went onto the apron, but then he backed away. Dominik left with Ripley.
Cody said he sees Dominik walking away. Cody said that Dom’s cheap shots have been effective, but at Money in the Bank, Cody wants to find out if Dom is half the man that his father is. Cody said or we may find out if Dom is just “Mami’s little boy.” Cody’s music played to end it.
Analysis: They have done a nice job of having Dominik avoid getting his ass kicked throughout this last month of building this match. Cody wants to fight him, but Dominik keeps backing away to avoid physicality, which is a smart way to get heat on Dominik as a cowardly heel. I love how the crowd continues to boo Dominik so much that he can barely talk. Anyway, Cody should win that match with Dominik, but I think Dominik will be competitive during the match.
The Raw commentary team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were on camera welcoming us to the show.
A replay was shown of last week’s Raw when Bronson Reed beat Shinsuke Nakamura with Ricochet getting involved in the match as well.
Shinsuke Nakamura entered for a singles match against Ricochet.
There was a commercial for Money in the Bank this Saturday on Peacock/WWE Network.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet
Nakamura and Ricochet are in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Bronson Reed was watching at ringside and he’s not in the MITB Ladder Match since he lost a qualifying match to Nakamura.
Nakamura hit a knee drop. Ricochet tried a kick, Nakamura blocked it and hit an elbow. Nakamura blocked a headscissors leading to a kick to Ricochet’s arm. Ricochet hit a spin kick to the gut along with an ax kick. Ricochet sent Nakamura to the apron, but Nakamura applied a sleeper using the ropes. Ricochet and Nakamura each kicked eachother in the head while on the apron. Both guys bumped to the floor. Reed encouraged both guys to keep going. Nakamura got in Reed‘s face, then Ricochet kicked Reed and Nakamura kicked Reed too. Ricochet hit a back elbow. Ricochet and Nakamura each kicked Reed to keep him out of the ring. The referee ejected Reed from ringside.
Analysis: Reed didn’t touch either guy, but they both kicked him. Since Reed didn’t touch either wrestler, the match kept going rather than end in a disqualification.
Ricochet avoided a charging Nakamura with a boot to the face. Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline. Ricochet hit a handspring elbow followed by a standing Shooting Star Press for a two count. Ricochet went for a springboard moonsault, but Nakamura got the knees up. Nakamura with a front suplex along with knees to the gut. Nakamura hit an inverted Exploder Suplex. Nakamura went for a charging attack, Ricochet avoided it and hit the Recoil knee for a two count. Ricochet up top, Nakamura kicked him and hit a running knee. They did a sequence of moves where Ricochet avoided several kicks and Ricochet hit a Sliced Bread neckbreaker. Ricochet went up top and hit a Shooting Star Press for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ricochet
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match that was competitive between two babyfaces in the MITB match. The action with Reed was booked well to get him out of the picture. I liked the last few minutes of the match with all the counter moves and Ricochet hitting Sliced Bread before the SSP finish. It was booked well. While it gives Ricochet momentum, I think LA Knight is going to win the MITB match.
They showed replays of the GUNTHER-Matt Riddle rivalry. Earlier on Monday, Matt Riddle challenged GUNTHER to an Intercontinental Title match at Money in the Bank.
Matt Riddle was interviewed by Byron Saxton, who asked if it was a smart challenge. Riddle said that his ankle was good enough. Ludwig Kaiser interrupted the promo saying that Riddle got exactly what he deserved and trashed Riddle for having “amateur skills.” Riddle said that he used his amateur skills to beat Kaiser last week. Riddle attacked Kaiser, but GUNTHER showed up so they knocked Riddle down. Gunther said Riddle’s challenge was accepted. Gunther stomped on Riddle’s taped-up left foot for good measure.
Analysis: There is the expected Intercontinental Title match at Money in the Bank with GUNTHER defending against Riddle. It’s a smart move to book GUNTHER on a show in London, England where the crowd is going to be very vocal reacting to him since he wrestled in Europe a lot in his career. GUNTHER should keep the title against Riddle.
Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, was in his office when Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley showed up. Dominik said he wanted a match tonight to show Cody Rhodes how tough he is. When Pearce asked who Dominik wanted to face, Ripley spoke in Dom’s ear and then said they’ll get back to Pearce on it.
A video package aired about Money in the Bank while mentioning some of the stats about the MITB match. The key stat is that 78% of male winners have successfully cashed in to win Money in the Bank while 100% of women (7 of 7) have cashed in to win a championship.
Analysis: There were many more stats mentioned in the video. It was well done.
Ronda Rousey made her entrance with Shayna Baszler. They are the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions that will defend those titles at Money in the Bank against Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan. Rousey faces Rodriguez up next.
Raquel Rodriguez (w/Liv Morgan) vs. Ronda Rousey (w/Shayna Baszler)
Rousey tried to apply a choke submission, but Raquel powered out of it. Rousey attacked Raquel by the turnbuckle and pulled on the arm, but the referee made Rousey stop because she was by the ropes. Rousey tripped up Raquel leading to an Ankle Lock, but Raquel kicked out to break free. Raquel got a hold of Rousey and slammed her across the ring. Raquel hit a fallaway slam on Rousey. Baszler saved Rousey from a splash by Raquel. Morgan jumped onto Baszler on the floor followed by punches. Rousey managed to tie up Raquel’s limbs and sat on top for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ronda Rousey
Analysis: ** It’s rare to see Raquel get pinned like that, but it was done in a way where it was almost like a fluke. Plus, Rousey has a lot of credibility, so if you are going to have Raquel take a pin then it might as well be against somebody like Rousey.
There was a video about Finn Balor talking about his match against Seth “Freakin” Rollins at Money in the Bank. Balor said that the guy that beat Seth seven years ago is dead, but this guy is much better. Balor reminded us about his torn shoulder at SummerSlam 2016, but he still pinned Rollins to be the first Universal Champion for 22 hours, so Balor was forced to relinquish the championship. Balor said that Rollins laughed in Balor’s face and Seth rubbed salt in Finn’s wounds (they showed the video of it). Balor said that the bitterness is all he has now while Seth has it all. Balor said that he was going to take everything back and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Finn said it was going to be a bitter pill for Seth to swallow.
Analysis: Good stuff with Balor giving us some insight into how focused he is going into the match against Rollins at Money in the Bank. I thought it was excellent. Balor made a lot of sense and appears to be as focused as ever.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown backstage for a promo up next.
There was a commercial for the NXT Gold Rush special on Tuesday headlined by Carmelo Hayes defending the NXT Title against Baron Corbin.
Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin” Rollins
It was the top of hour two as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance wearing the championship around his waist. Rollins had a shiny red jumpsuit outfit along with shades on. The fans were singing Seth’s song as usual.
Seth said we had a special guest tonight – the NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes, who was sitting in the crowd behind the barricade. There were some “NXT” chants. Rollins thanked Hayes for having his back last week on NXT. Rollins told Hayes to whoop up on that bum ass Corbin on NXT this Tuesday night.
Rollins spoke about defending the World Heavyweight Title against Finn Balor at Money in the Bank. Rollins spoke about Balor attacking Seth on Raw and NXT last week. Rollins said he’s still standing, so Balor should come out there to finish the job right now. No sign of Balor.
Rollins said that Balor is the smartest and most dangerous that he has ever been. Rollins said that Balor is surrounding himself with the right people. Rollins knows that Balor wants to take what Seth has because of what Seth took from Balor seven years ago. Rollins admitted he’s not 100% and he won’t be at 100% at Money in the Bank. Rollins said that when the bell rings, the best version of Finn Balor is not as good as the best version of Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Seth said that was a bitter pill that Balor has to swallow. Seth mentioned his nicknames and held up the World Title, which led to Balor showing up, but Rollins was ready.
Rollins took down Balor and delivered some punches. Balor attacked the ribs. Rollins tried to fight back as they left the ring, but Balor sent Rollins into the steps. Balor sent Rollins ribs-first into the commentary table. Balor went for a steel chair, but Carmelo Hayes ripped the chair from Balor. When Rollins got back up, Balor ran away through the crowd while Rollins stayed at ringside. Seth’s music played to end it.
Analysis: They put Carmelo Hayes at ringside for a reason and that reason was revealed when Hayes helped Rollins by taking the chair from Balor, who ran away. I liked the promo from Rollins putting over Balor for being as dangerous as ever now, but Rollins claims he’ll be better. I think Rollins win what should be an awesome match.
Tommaso Ciampa was interviewed saying he spent the last nine months rehabbing from hip surgery. Ciampa said he didn’t hear from The Miz at all in that time. Ciampa said that people say Miz is a user and manipulator with Ciampa saying that the injury was a blessing in disguise. Ciampa said it allowed him to think about how he was playing second fiddle to The Miz. Ciampa said this time around, he creates his own opportunities.
Analysis: It covered why Ciampa was mad at The Miz and how Ciampa is going to create his own opportunities this time in his WWE career.
The Miz was shown walking backstage for his match against Ciampa.
A commercial aired about Smackdown on Friday with Asuka defending the WWE Women’s Title against Charlotte Flair, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against Pretty Deadly and Roman Reigns returns.
There was a replay of what happened before the break. It was announced that Carmelo Hayes will face Finn Balor. That will be Melo’s first match on Raw.
Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance for a match, but The Miz showed up for a cheap attack by hitting Ciampa with a forearm to the back. Miz sent Ciampa into the barricades around ringside, into the ring apron and Miz suplexed Ciampa into the barricade. The fans were chanting “Tiny Balls” at Miz. Miz gave Ciampa a Skull Crushing Finale on the floor. Miz walked away. No match.
Analysis: I thought it was an effective way to make us care more about their next match. Miz was humiliated by Ciampa last week, so Miz decided to go with the cheap attack route. That will make Ciampa more of a face and the fans could get into their next match.
Imperium’s GUNTHER and Ludwig Kaiser were shown talking when Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens arrived with the WWE Tag Team Titles. They said they didn’t like what Imperium did to Riddle. Kaiser mentioned GUNTHER beating Owens a few weeks ago. Zayn challenged GUNTHER to a match and it was accepted. That should be great.
Dominik Mysterio entered for a match and he had Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley with him as usual.
Akira Tozawa vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley)
Dominik with a head slam early in the match. Tozawa was on fire with some offense including a hurricanrana and then a suicide dive on the floor. Tozawa went up top, Ripley distracted him and Dominik knocked Tozawa off the top. Dominik went up top and hit a Frog Splash for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dominik Mysterio
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win by Dominik even though Tozawa did hit a few moves. A brief distraction by Ripley helped Dominik pick up the win.
The Viking Raiders and Valhalla appeared in a darkened area of some kind to issue a warning to the Alpha Academy group.
Trish Stratus and Zoey Stark walked out to the ring for the Women’s Money in the Bank Summit after a break.
Women’s Money in the Bank Summit
Becky Lynch made her entrance to join the Women’s Money in the Bank Summit with Trish Stratus, Zoey Stark, Bayley, IYO SKY and Zelina Vega. There were two ladders in the ring along with Corey Graves as the host.
Bayley cut off Graves saying she’s won Money in the Bank before. Bayley said you can let her run this thing now because she has the best chance to win…or IYO SKY. Sky said “may the best woman win.”
Zelina Vega spoke about how Lynch has done it all except with MITB. Vega mentioned Stark as a groupie while telling Stratus she doesn’t know what it’s like in a Ladder Match. Vega said she’s going to win. Vega said that her and Santos Escobar will both win MITB to bring the briefcases to the LWO.
Trish said that what she sees are a bunch of little girls. Stratus said that she’s a woman that is the greatest woman in the history of WWE. Trish said that they can all thank her for being part of a historic moment. Trish trash talked Becky a bit, which led to a fight between the six women.
Lynch tossed Trish and Stark out of the ring. Vega kicked Bayley out of the ring. Sky hit a dropkick on Vega to knock her out of the ring. Sky did a necksnap on Lynch by the ropes and then Sky hit a moonsault onto the pile of women on the floor. With the other women out of the ring, Lynch climbed the ladder and pulled down the briefcase so she can become Becky in the Bank.
Analysis: It was the typical segment with people taking turns talking about how they are going to win. I understand why it’s done and I don’t mind that it happens every year, but there’s nothing that interesting about it. I’m leaning towards an IYO SKY win but I may change my pick.
Carmelo Hayes was interviewed by Cathy Kelley. Hayes spoke about how Seth Rollins invited him to be there so he watched his back. Hayes said he was ready for his match with Balor.
GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, entered with Ludwig Kaiser for a match.
Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage where she walked up to Rhea Ripley as the Women’s World Champion. Ripley threatened Lynch about possibly trying to cash in on Ripley. Lynch said when she was the champion she was defending it in main events while Ripley does not. Lynch told Ripley that the title needs Lynch.
Sami Zayn (w/Kevin Owens) vs. GUNTHER (w/Ludwig Kaiser)
Kevin Owens joined commentary. Gunther was in control with a shoulder tackle and a side headlock takeover. Zayn came back with a deep arm drag. Gunther charged, Zayn got an elbow up and Zayn sent Gunther into the turnbuckle. Giovanni Vinci appeared with two crutches. Zayn went for a springboard attack, but Gunther caught Sami and Gunther hit a German Suplex. That led to a break.
Gunther was in full control of a hard chop to the chest. Zayn tried coming back with an Exploder suplex, but Gunther stopped that and hit a forearm to the chest. Zayn got a nearfall after a Sunset Flip Powerbomb. Zayn got some offense going with multiple clotheslines. Gunther countered a suplex leading to Gunther applying a tight rear naked choke submission. Zayn got out of the move, which led to Zayn hitting a Blue Thunder Bomb on Gunther for two. Zayn jumped off the top with nothing and Gunther chopped him for a two count. Gunther went up top with a Superfly Splash for another two count. Kaiser jumped on the apron, so Owens went after him with punches. Gunther hit a running kick on Owens on the floor. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Gunther on the floor. Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Kaiser distracted the referee, Vinci hit Sami with a crutch and Gunther hit a Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: GUNTHER
Analysis: ***1/2 Great match with a cheap ending that’s fine for a heel like Gunther. Zayn was incredible making his babyface comeback and nearly winning a few times, but Gunther continues his winning ways. These guys had great chemistry together. We don’t always see Gunther cheat to win because he wins clean quite a bit for a heel, but I think it was fine in this instance and also puts over Zayn for being tough to beat.
Post match, Kevin Owens ran into the ring to try to help Zayn. Matt Riddle’s music hit Riddle had his left foot taped up. Riddle nailed Vinci with a crutch repeatedly. Riddle went after Gunther, who bailed quickly. Owens hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Kaiser as well as the heels retreated.
Analysis: Matt Riddle will lose to Gunther, but that’s okay. Gunther should keep his title until at least September when he breaks Honky Tonk Man’s record for the longest IC Title reign ever.
A video aired about the NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes.
Finn Balor made his entrance for singles action.
There was a training video featuring Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable, Otis and Maxxine Dupri during a training session. Dupri said she’s ready whenever Valhalla wants to fight. Gable asked Otis what the plan was and Otis said the plan was pure carnage.
They showed Rhea Ripley attacking Natalya last week on Raw at a time when it appeared as though they were going to have a match. Instead, Ripley just did a cheap attack.
Natalya was interviewed by Cathy Kelley. Natalya said she signed up for this life and Ripley is at the top of the mountain right now. Natalya said that the biggest battle she’s facing is in her head. Natalya talked about how she has been broken, she’s been down and she is still here. Natalya said she wanted Rhea Ripley to defend her title against Ripley next week.
Analysis: I don’t know where the story is going, but I hope it works out well for Natalya because she’s a valuable performer in WWE.
Carmelo Hayes entered as the NXT Champion without his buddy Trick Williams. Melo was confident as usual.
Finn Balor vs. Carmelo Hayes
This was not for Carmelo’s title. Balor was in control with a chinlock. When Hayes broke free he connected with a dropkick and Melo hit a kick to the head. Melo hit a springboard leg drop that he calls the Fadeaway. Melo hit a dive over the top on Balor on the floor.
Balor delivered running chops, but Hayes came back with a back elbow to the head. Melo hit a clothesline, then he ran the ropes and hit a springboard clothesline for two. Melo went for a running attack, but Balor hit a clothesline and Melo did a flip bump. Balor stomped on Melo to keep him down. Balor hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Balor charged, Melo hit a superkick and Melo hit a springboard DDT for two. That was a great move! Melo got a rollup for two. Balor hit double knees to the ribs for a gutbuster. Balor hit a shotgun dropkick into the turnbuckle. Balor went up top and hit a Coup De Grace double foot stomp for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good match with Balor picking up the clean win. No cheating for the heel Balor, which shows that WWE wanted Finn to win clean to look more impressive going into the World Title match against Rollins. I thought Carmelo Hayes was very impressive in the match with a lot of cool moves. Clearly, Melo likes the springboard moves because he did several of them. I don’t really like Hayes losing his Raw debut, but it’s not like Melo is part of the Raw roster full time yet. Balor winning makes more sense in this instance.
Cody Rhodes was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley with Cody hanging out with his dog Pharaoh on hand. Cody credited Dominik Mysterio for getting under his skin with all the cheap shots. Cody spoke briefly about facing Damian Priest too. In five days, Cody will find out what Dominik is all about.
A look at the issues involving The Bloodline is up next.
There was a video about The Bloodline story that will see The Usos face Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa this Saturday at Money in the Bank. Last Friday on Smackdown, The Usos hit double superkicks on their brother Solo to end the show.
They did a rundown of the Money in the Bank lineup. It’s at the bottom of this review. There are seven matches on the show.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance for the main event. Another big pop for Cody.
Damian Priest of The Judgment Day was next on his own. Priest is in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Priest
They battled for a couple of minutes. Cody hit a suicide dive onto Priest on the floor. Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley arrived at ringside to cause a distraction for Cody, so Priest was in conrol. They went to break.
Priest was in control with a Broken Arrow slam for a two count. Priest bounced off the ropes with a clothesline leading to Cody doing a great flip bump. Priest went up top, but Cody jumped up there with him and got an armbar takedown off the top. Cody connected with a Disaster Kick followed by Cody doing an elbow combo like his father for a two count. Priest kicked Cody away to avoid a submission move. Cody charged, Priest avoided it and Priest hit a headlock driver for a two count. Cody tried for Cross Rhodes, but Priest got out of it. Cody hit a Pedigree on Priest leading to Priest rolling out to the floor. Cody was on the top rope, Priest back in the ring, Cody jumped off with nothing, Priest avoided it and Priest delivered a superkick. Priest tried for a springboard attack, but Cody stopped that with a kick. Ripley distracted the referee, Dominik touched Cody’s leg to stop a move and Priest hit the South of Heaven for the pinfall win. Dominik on the apron, Cody broke free and shoved Priest into Dominik. Cody hit a Cody Cutter followed by Cross Rhodes for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Analysis: ***1/4 It was another good match on this show where you know Cody was winning. It wasn’t that special or anything like that, but a clean win for the top babyface show on the show. Priest getting bumped into Dominik led to Cody hitting the two big moves for the win. An obvious result for a match like that.
Post match, Cody was celebrating the win. While that was going on, Dominik did a cheap shot forearm to Cody followed by Dominik retreating with his J-Day buddies. Cody looked on from the ring. End show.
— WWE (@WWE) June 27, 2023
Three Stars of the Show
- Cody Rhodes
- GUNTHER-Sami Zayn
- Finn Balor-Carmelo Hayes
7.25 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2023 Average: 7.23
I’ll keep it brief this week and just say it was an enjoyable show overall. Plenty of good in-ring action throughout the show with GUNTHER-Zayn, Balor-Hayes and Rhodes-Priest standing out as the better matches. I thought they did a nice job of advancing all the stories related to the Money in the Bank matches whether it was in promos or other ways. They kept the Miz-Ciampa story going as well thanks to a cheap attack from Miz, so that’s good.
I like the Money in the Bank lineup for Saturday with seven official matches now. It’s going to be a fun show with a hot crowd in England. Bring it on.
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:
* Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
* Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: LA Knight vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet vs. Butch vs. Santos Escobar vs. Damian Priest vs. Logan Paul
* 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. Trish Stratus
* Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Matt Riddle
* Women’s Tag Team Championships: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan
You can watch WWE Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1 at a special start time of 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.