This week’s WWE Raw featured Drew McIntyre back in tag team action, Ricochet-Logan Paul go face to face, plenty of The Judgment Day and more.
There was a shot of the live crowd in Buffalo getting ready. Finn Balor made his entrance for a promo leading to a video package showing Finn’s issues with Seth Rollins and potential problems with Damian Priest of The Judgment. A video package aired showing highlights of this story from last week on Raw.
Let’s Hear from Finn Balor
Finn Balor was in the ring wearing a shirt representing The Judgment Day with caricatures of the four wrestlers in the group. Balor said that the issues between him and Seth Rollins have not been put to rest because of Damian Priest. Balor mentioned Senor Money in the Bank Priest, but here’s an interruption from Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio.
Rhea Ripley walked out to the ring saying that whatever Finn has to say, they can talk about it backstage. Balor said that his issues are with Damian because Priest cost him at Money in the Bank. Ripley put her hand on the microphone to get Balor to try to calm down. Ripley talked to Balor without a microphone with Ripley saying she would promise something to Balor and Balor said he will hold her to that. Balor left for the backstage area.
Rhea Ripley, the World Women’s Champion, said that is their business. Ripley said that they still run Monday Night Raw. Ripley said that she would like somebody to question that fact because she’s the most dominant woman in WWE. Ripley said her Latino Heat Dominik will finish off Rollins. When Dominik Mysterio tried to speak, the fans booed loudly…as usual. That’s always great. Before Dominik could say anything, here comes Seth “Freakin” Rollins.
The World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins walked out with the World Title around his waist and he had a plate of food with him. Rollins said that they were there to party, eat some buffalo wings (cheap pop) and watch The Judgment Day implode before our eyes. When Dominik claimed he would beat Rollins, Seth busted out laughing. Rollins said that tonight he’ll be the only one “whipping little Dom Dom’s ass.” Rollins left laughing.
Analysis: It was pretty good for an opening segment with Seth Rollins enjoying the issues within The Bloodline. Finn Balor wanted Damian Priest to talk to him, but we didn’t get that, so we might see it later. It’s a way to build to something later with fans wondering if Finn wants to fight his ally Priest. Anyway, the Rollins-Dominik match was already announced, so it’s not a shock that they would push that again.
The commentary team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show while promoting what’s still to come.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance with Angela the sword and he got a huge pop. It is Drew’s first match since WrestleMania three months ago. Bro…it’s Matt Riddle as Drew’s tag team partner.
The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio backstage. Ripley told Priest to speak to Finn. Priest said he already spoke to Finn, but he chose not to listen. Priest said for Ripley, he’ll talk to Balor again.
Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle vs. Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci (w/GUNTHER)
I think Drew and Riddle could be the ClayBros, but I’m not going to force it. I guess McRiddle works too. Riddle still had his left foot/ankle taped up.
Kaiser was in control of Riddle with a side headlock. Riddle went for an armbar, but Kaiser broke free and delivered a punch to the jaw. Riddle came back with two straight gutwrench suplexes. Drew tagged in against Vinci with Drew hitting a clothesline. Riddle was back in and did a flipping splash off Drew’s hands for a two count. Vinci got the advantage over Riddle with a knee to the back by the ropes. Kaiser tagged in, Riddle gave him an armbar, the referee was checking on Kaiser and Vinci hit a cheap shot dropkick on Riddle. Kaiser hit a dropkick on Riddle to knock him off the apron to the floor. They went to break.
The match continued with the heels in control with Vinci delivering a boot and then Kaiser was back in. Riddle got some strikes on Kaiser, but Kaiser came back with an uppercut and a flatliner. Kaiser kicked Drew off the apron to the floor. Riddle came back with an up kick while Drew was fired up on the apron. Vinci tagged in with a delayed vertical suplex for two. Riddle escaped a double team move with a back body drop and knee to the face. Drew got the hot tag with the fans going crazy as Drew hit a clothesline and two belly-to-belly suplexes across the ring. Drew hit a neckbreaker. Drew hit a Powerbomb on Vinci followed by Drew staring right at GUNTHER on the floor since GUNTHER uses that move. Drew brought Kaiser into the ring, then Gunther grabbed Drew’s leg and Riddle hit a knee on Gunther. Drew ran the ropes and hit Vinci with a Claymore Kick. Riddle applied an Ankle Lock on Kaiser to prevent a save. Drew covered Vinci for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good tag team match with Riddle predictably working as the face in peril for most of the match until Drew got the hot tag and cleaned house. I liked the spot with Gunther grabbing Drew’s foot and then Riddle hit Gunther with a knee. It was not a surprising result to see Drew get the win in his first match in three months. They aren’t going to bring him back and have him lose, nor should they. Drew winning was the right move to give him momentum.
Post match, Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle had their hands raised as the winners. Gunther said something to Vinci while looking disappointed. Kaiser just looked at Vinci and Kaiser walked to the back.
Analysis: It’s only a matter of time until WWE sets up Drew against Gunther for the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam. I’m excited to see that match.
The Judgment Day was shown in the hallway. Damian Priest said he was never going to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Finn Balor if he was the champion. Priest said they can go back to running this place or…and Balor said that we can have a clean slate. Balor said he still has issues with Seth, so he gets Seth first. Priest asked if they are cool. Balor said that they are cool. Priest said that he knows Balor can be Seth to become champion and then Priest held up his briefcase saying, “either way, it’s covered.” Priest left while Balor was left to ponder that.
Analysis: They are on the same page for now…but are they really? It’s a heel stable, so you never really know for sure.
A look back at The Bloodline family drama story from Smackdown is up next.
There was a video package showing Smackdown highlights from last week featuring The Usos and their issues with Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa. Roman teased feeling bad for being a jerk to The Usos, but then he hit Jey with a low blow. This led to a fight that saw Solo put brother Jimmy Uso through the commentary table with a splash. Jimmy was taken away in an ambulance. Later in the show, Jey came back and got the upper hand on Roman & Solo. Jey had Roman’s Undisputed WWE Universal Title in his hands. Jey issued a challenge to Roman for a match. They didn’t say SummerSlam, but that’s the plan. The television ratings for Smackdown were excellent as well.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Jackie Redmond backstage. Zayn said he didn’t know what was next as they continue to face whoever comes after them. Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio interrupted the promo with Owens saying you can’t just show up. Ripley said that any version of them could take the titles off them and Dominik said maybe they do. Ripley said they’ll take all the titles. Ripley talked about Dominik beating up Seth Rollins and he never gets tired due to his time in prison. Zayn whispered something to Owens about what he thinks Ripley meant by that.
Analysis: There’s no obvious next tag team challenger team right now, but I hope that Sami & Kevin are on the SummerSlam card. They weren’t on the Money in the Bank card earlier this month. I think Sami & Kevin should always be on the PLE shows. They are awesome.
The duo of “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio and Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley entered for Dom’s match.
There was a video package featuring Jinder Mahal and Indu Sher’s Veer & Sanga. They looked angry in the video. They don’t get much TV time, though.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance as the World Heavyweight Champion. While Rollins was on the steps, Dominik attacked him from behind. Rollins recovered from that and Dominik ran away. Dominik ran into the crowd, then they went toward the ringside area and Finn Balor & Damian Priest showed up to beat up Rollins. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn ran out there to even the odds. Sami & Kevin fought with The Judgement Day in the ring. Rollins slid back into the ring with a chair and hit Dominik in the back with a chair. The heels left while the faces stood tall in the ring.
Analysis: That’s an easy way to set up a six-man tag team match for later in the show. It didn’t go too long. They got right to the point with Dominik doing the cheap attack and Seth-Kevin making the save was set up by Ripley getting in their face before the break.
Logan Paul was shown walking backstage for his face-to-face segment with Ricochet up next.
This Tuesday on NXT: The Judgment Day will be there just like they were all over the first hour of Raw.
It’s official for the main event: Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio with Rhea Ripley.
Face To Face: Ricochet and Logan Paul
Ricochet said that for every risk that he takes, he does it for the fans so you can say that he was the highlight of their night. Ricochet said he was there for Logan Paul, which led to the crowd booing. Ricochet said Logan’s accomplished a lot in WWE. Ricochet spoke about how Logan jumped Ricochet after Money in the Bank because Logan didn’t get his way. Ricochet didn’t like Logan criticizing Ricochet for being unprofessional on Logan’s podcast. Ricochet said if you had something to say, come say it face to face.
Logan Paul made his entrance with the fans booing him as usual. Logan said he’d make this quick because he doesn’t want to be in this crap city. Logan credited Ricochet for being a great athlete and when they get in the ring together, it is fireworks. Logan said that Ricochet blew the match for both of them at Money in the Bank. Logan called Ricochet a reckless amateur. Logan did his promo from the floor while calling Ricochet unprofessional.
Ricochet claimed that nobody wanted Logan to win Money in the Bank. Ricochet said he’s had 20 years of people telling him he wasn’t going to be anything. Ricochet said he was going to do the professional thing and challenge him to a match, but now all Ricochet wants to do is hurt him. Ricochet advised the rookie to never run his damn mouth about Ricochet again. Logan: “Or what?” Logan said he’s not going to be intimidated by a dude in a dress shirt (an extra medium button up) and 90% forehead. Logan said that Ricochet wants a match so that he can go viral.
Logan said he’s a WWE superstar that has a legendary knockout punch. Logan said that Ricochet is about replays and clips. Ricochet did a running somersault over the top floor and stood a few feet away from Logan. Paul said that was cool for a TikTok, but he’s not about that and he’s not about moments because he is the moment. Logan tried a cheap shot punch, but Ricochet ducked it and Ricochet hit a Sliced Bread neckbreaker on the floor. Ricochet backed up while Logan was sitting up against the side of the ring.
Analysis: There were some solid lines from both guys during the promo exchange, but I wouldn’t call it great. That is the most I’ve ever heard Ricochet talk in the ring alone in his WWE career. Definitely the most on the main roster. Ricochet is okay as a talker, but I’d say he’s a lot better as an in-ring performer. Ricochet’s somersault leap over the top onto the floor is something he did in NXT in the past. It’s still impressive to do something like that. Anyway, it was a way to further the storyline between them since they had the interaction at the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. It will be a crazy athletic match when it happens at SummerSlam, but it’s not official yet.
A replay was shown from last week when Maxxine Dupri pinned Valhalla in a six-person tag team match. Dupri’s graduation ceremony was coming up.
Becky Lynch made her entrance. She has been dealing with some injury and apparently wasn’t cleared earlier in the day, but after more testing, she got cleared so the match can happen.
There was a commercial for SummerSlam on August 5th in Detroit.
Zoey Stark entered with Trish Stratus, who still had the facemask on her lovely face.
Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark (w/Trish Stratus)
Stark hit a shoulder tackle. They exchanged some holds with neither woman getting the advantage until Lynch hit a dropkick. Lynch did two armdrags leading to an armbar. Lynch and Stark exchanged pin attempts for two counts. The referee was looking at Stark, so Trish tripped up Lynch while the referee wasn’t looking. Lynch came back quick with a kick to the ribs while Stark was on the apron. Stark hit a forearm followed by a springboard dropkick, which Lynch sold by rolling out of the ring to the floor. They went to break there.
The match continued with Lynch going for a cross body block, but Stark caught her. Lynch broke free and kicked Stark off the apron to the floor. Lynch dropkicked Stark on the floor. Lynch sent Stark into the barricade three times in a row. Lynch hit a pumphandle slam for a two count. Stark went up top, jumped off with nothing, Stark avoided it and Stark hit a running knee. Stark hit a necksnap across the top rope followed by a springboard twisting splash for two. Lynch countered a move leading to a reverse DDT for two. Stark came back for a two count. Stark hit a superkick for a two count with a loud leg slap during the move. Lynch and Stark exchanged pin attempts near the ropes, but then Stark grabbed the rope and the referee saw it. Lynch tried a pin with the ropes, but Trish told the referee. Lynch hit a running dropkick to knock Trish down on the floor. Stark capitalized with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while grabbing Lynch’s shorts for the pinfall win. It went about ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark
Analysis: *** A cheap win by the heel Stark similar to how Trish beat Lynch in late May thanks to a cheap attack by Stark. Lynch rarely loses clean at this point in her career, so I’m not shocked by the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! style surprise ending. They worked well together and had a competitive match. Lynch didn’t show any sign of whatever injury she is dealing with, so I’m glad she’s doing well.
The trio of Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens were talking in the locker room. Rollins wanted to know the strategy. Zayn said they are the champions on Raw. Owens was fired up saying he wanted to smash heads and beat up their opponents. They were all fired up. That was it.
The Maxxine Dupri “graduation” ceremony is next.
There was a commercial for Smackdown featuring Roman Reigns & Jey Uso along with Asuka defending the WWE Women’s Title against Bianca Belair, the former champion.
Maxxine Dupri Graduation Ceremony with Alpha Academy
Chad Gable and Otis were in the ring spouting their catchphrases. Gable said he was there to present the Alpha Academy diploma to the new model student, Maxxine Dupri.
Maxxine Dupri was wearing a pink robe and graduation hat. Maxxine was presented with her diploma. Maxxine said that she was wrong about Gable in the past while adding that Gable was a great teacher and friend. Maxxine said thanks to Gable’s training, she was able to beat Valhalla to win her first match. Maxxine called Otis her twin flame, her muse and her rock. Maxxine said if it wasn’t for Otis, then none of this would be possible. Maxxine thanked the fans for accepting her, thanked the fans for making her a star and this trio is just getting started. Gable and Otis put on their Alpha Academy jacket. Gable presented Dupri with an Alpha Academy jacket.
The Viking Raiders interrupted the ceremony from the aisle while Valhalla attacked Dupri from behind with a forearm. Valhalla stole the AA jacket from Dupri and Valhalla left.
Analysis: It was okay for a shorter segment to try to further this storyline. I think Valhalla stealing Maxxine’s jacket is lame, but I guess we’ll have to see where it goes from here.
Shayna Baszler was shown walking backstage for a match up next.
Shayna Baszler vs. Emma
They showed a video from earlier in the day when Emma sucked up to Baszler, but Baszler wanted a match instead. Emma hit a boot to the face and a running kick. Emma hit a cross body block on the floor. Baszler hit a clothesline to take over. Baszler stomped on Emma’s left arm. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch and Emma tapped out quickly. It went two minutes.
Winner by submission: Shayna Baszler
Analysis: 1/2* An easy squash match for Baszler.
Post match, Ronda Rousey showed up and got into the ring with Baszler. Rousey nailed Baszler with a stiff right-handed punch to the jaw. Rousey went for an armbar, but Baszler got out of it and Baszler left.
Analysis: I don’t think heel or face matters here. They are going to have a physical match and it should be solid. Baszler will probably win at SummerSlam since Ronda might be leaving WWE at that point to do other things in life.
They recapped Cody Rhodes fighting with Brock Lesnar last week. Cody is up next.
Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes was in suit wearing mode as usual. The fans sang the song and did the “WHOA-OH” for his entrance. Cody did his usual opening line saying: “What do you want to talk about?” Cody stared into the hard camera and then he turned his back so he could all around the arena. Cody said that he sees them. Cody said it feels like the fans are in this ring with him, so thank you very much.
Cody said that the reason it feels like that because it’s real. Cody said that it’s because these are his life goals. Cody was asked about his momentum while in the UK and Cody said he cited the fans saying every city is sold out. Cody put over how every crowd is louder and louder. Cody said that every metric you can judge him by, he’s doing okay. Cody said that his momentum is shaky. Cody said his momentum is shaky because of a mountain in front of him. Cody said you know who he is referring to: Brock Lesnar. The fans booed.
Cody said that Brock Lesnar wasn’t there, but Brock will be back next week. Cody said that everybody has a Brock Lesnar. Cody mentioned things impeding us from wanting to make things happen. Cody got to the point saying he wants a rubber match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Cody said that nothing would make him happier than Lesnar shaking his hand to set up the match. Cody wants to finish the chapter that Lesnar started for no good reason. Cody spoke about how Lesnar was next in line, but the prince doesn’t want to wait forever and Cody said he will be next in line.
Analysis: There’s the official SummerSlam match challenge from Cody for a third match with Lesnar. We know it’s coming, but again WWE is taking their sweet time in announcing these SummerSlam matches. The crowd is always hot for Cody, so that’s no surprise. That third Cody-Lesnar match should be great and it will likely have a stipulation as well.
There were replays shown of The Miz attacking Tommaso Ciampa on Raw two weeks ago.
The Miz made his entrance for this grudge match. It’s a No Disqualification Match after the break.
No Disqualification Match: Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Miz
No Disqualification also means no countout. I think calling it a Street Fight is better. Ciampa grabbed a chair from ringside, Miz left the ring and Ciampa threw Miz into barricades and threw Miz into the ring apron. They went into the ring to start the match. It was back out of the ring again as Ciampa sent Miz into the commentary table and tossed Miz over the table. Ciampa delivered a running knee while Miz was sitting in the leather chair. Ciampa had the chair in the ring and Miz avoided a move. Ciampa ran the ropes leading to Miz hitting a boot to the face. Ciampa avoided a chair shot with a punch to the gut. Miz came back with a running clothesline in the corner. Miz jumped off the top, but Ciampa threw a chair into Miz’s ribs. Ciampa put the chair around Miz’s head/neck and threw Miz into the ring post. Ciampa did his clapping on the table as the show went to break.
Ciampa was still in control as he went for a table, but Miz dropkicked Ciampa, who did a great bump over the table. Ciampa bumped into Patrick at ringside. Miz put the table back under the ring leading to boos. Ciampa came back with a running knee. Ciampa slammed Miz onto the hood of the commentary table, which is thin. Ciampa teased a move on the commentary table, but then Ciampa shoved Miz into the barricade. Ciampa threw a chair and trash can lid into the ring along with a table into the ring. Back in the ring, Miz regained control as the fans chanted “Tiny Balls” at Miz. When Miz jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a trash can, Ciampa hit a jumping knee to stop that. Ciampa hit a few running knees with the trash can lid into Miz’s face by the turnbuckle. Ciampa opened up the table in the ring. Ciampa set up Miz onto the top rope, then Ciampa had Miz on his back and he hit an Air Raid Crash (White Noise) slam through the table. Ciampa covered Miz, but Bronson Reed broke up the pin. Reed gave Ciampa an elbow drop on the floor. Back in the ring, Reed jumped off the top and hit a Tsunami splash on Ciampa. The Miz crawled over for a cover with a smile on his face for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an entertaining, competitive match that felt different from everything else on the show due to the weapon usage, so I like that they were able to use some weapons to stand out like that. Ciampa looked great in the match with a lot of weapons, he used weapons and the fans were rallying behind him. Ciampa got a lot of offense in the match, which also made me realize he wasn’t going to win because when that happens, you know the guy is going to lose. Reed needs to be doing more on Raw, so I didn’t mind seeing him in this spot. He’ll have good matches with Ciampa. I believe this was The Miz’s first win on TV this year. Yes, he really is booked that poorly.
After the match, The Miz celebrated the win while Reed was smiling about it.
Analysis: It suggests that Miz paid off Reed to help him like Miz has done in the past. If they keep Miz & Reed together against Ciampa then it could be a way to bring back Johnny Gargano as Ciampa’s partner again.
They showed a replay of Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville earning a Women’s Tag Team Title match last week.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan were standing backstage by the entrance area. Green & Deville showed up for some trash talk. Rhea Ripley walked up to Raquel Rodriguez telling her to stay out of her business. Chelsea tried to suck up to Ripley, but Ripley wasn’t interested in that so those girls left. Morgan told Ripley that they got into her business because Ripley disrespected Natalya last week. Raquel said something about being in Ripley’s business and Morgan laughed about it. Ripley just stared at them.
Analysis: It has been reported that Ripley vs. Rodriguez is penciled in for SummerSlam at this point, so clearly they are going in that direction with these interactions they have had. I recall writing about a Ripley interview where she said Raquel was her best friend in WWE, so I’m sure they’ll enjoy having a major match together.
Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan went to ringside to watch the next match. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville entered for their match.
Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
Carter and Chance did a double team move with Chance hitting a running dropkick. Green tagged in and they didn’t do a smooth sunset flip spot. Deville hit a knee on Carter and Green got a two count. Green sent Carter into the middle turnbuckle. Carter was on the turnbuckle as she kicked Green to knock her down. Chance tagged in, she was put on Carter’s shoulders and Chance splashed Green for two, but Deville broke it up. Deville took care of Carter on the floor. Green did a rollup (not of death) on Chance hooking the arms and Deville had a hold of Chance’s feet on the ropes, which was not seen by the referee, so Green got the win. It went about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green
Analysis: ** A cheap win for the heels. It gives Deville & Green some momentum going into their title match next week. Chance & Carter are fun to watch, but they aren’t getting pushed much right now.
Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle were interviewed by Byron Saxton. Drew said that he’s been home watching and seeing all of these groups in WWE, so he likes working with Riddle. They talked about how great it was to beat Imperium. Riddle said he’s facing Gunther next week, Drew said he’s away next week on company business and Riddle said it’s okay because he talked to Adam Pearce so Vinci & Kaiser are banned from ringside. Drew liked that. Drew and Riddle went off to celebrate the win, but Drew pushed Byron away instead of letting Byron party with them.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins, the World Heavyweight Champion, got his full entrance this time with the fans singing along as usual.
Next week on Raw in Atlanta:
* Brock Lesnar returns
* Alpha Academy vs. Viking Raiders in a Viking Rules Match
* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville
* Matt Riddle vs. GUNTHER
— WWE (@WWE) July 11, 2023
The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn made their entrance to a good ovation as usual. The Judgment Day foursome made their entrance for the main event.
The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
Dominik ran away from Rollins, then Balor tagged in and Rollins stomped away on him. Rollins hit a clothesline. Balor grabbed an armbar leading to Priest tagging in. Rollins and Priest exchanged strikes. Rollins sent Priest into the middle turnbuckle and Zayn tagged in with an elbow smash. Owens tagged in with a running senton splash. Owens into the ropes, so Balor did a cheap kick to the back of KO. The action spilled to the floor with five guys fighting out there, so Owens went up top and hit a somersault dive onto the three J-Day guys on the floor. Great job by Owens there.
There were about eight minutes left in the show as Priest worked over Owens with an armbar along with an uppercut punch. Priest hit a jumping elbow smash on Owens in the corner, Balor with a stomp, Dom with a senton and Priest/Balor hit a leg drop/backbreaker combo for two on Owens. Balor tried a move, but Owens hit a DDT on him. Rollins tagged in against Dom with kicks and a clothesline. Priest into the ring, so Rollins threw him out of the ring and Rollins hit a superkick on Dom for two. Dom did an eye gouge, Priest tagged in and hit a kick to the head. Priest decked Rollins with a clothesline for two. Rollins superkicked Priest into Balor, who was on the apron. Rollins hit a Pedigree on Priest for a two count because Balor made the save. Balor wanted the tag, Priest obliged and Balor/Rollins messed up a Slingblade spot for some reason. Rollins hit a front suplex and a forearm. Dom got the tag, as Balor hit an elbow drop and Dominik hit a Frog Splash for two. Zayn was a bit slow with the save, but Rollins kicked out. Balor went for a running attack leading to Rollins hitting a superkick. Zayn got the hot tag with a cross body block off the top on Balor. Zayn hit a spinning slam that wasn’t a full Blue Thunder Bomb. Balor came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb and a dropkick into the corner. Balor went for Coup de Grace, but Zayn avoided and Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Dominik with the save. Owens with a Stunner to Dominik, then Priest sent Owens out of the ring and Zayn clotheslined Priest to the floor. Zayn wanted a Helluva Kick, but Ripley held Zayn’s leg. Priest hit the South of Heaven slam on Zayn. Balor was still legal and he hit a Coup de Grace double foot stomp on Zayn for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good main event level tag team match with five veteran wrestlers and the young Dominik fits in well with them. Sometimes the heels need to get the win, which is fine because Rollins, Owens & Zayn win often and are all booked as strong champions. I liked how the referee was distracted by Ripley leading to Priest’s South of Heaven and it was followed by Balor’s Coup de Grace for the decisive victory. I think Balor getting the win in this match will set him up with another World Heavyweight Title match against Seth Rollins, perhaps at SummerSlam.
Post match, Balor and Priest hugged to show they are on the same page. Ripley and Dominik were happy about it. The Judgment Day posed together in the ring while the trio of the champions on the floor were frustrated. Graves mentioned The Judgment Day on NXT on Tuesday as well. The J-Day celebrated with their hands raised. End show.
Analysis: Balor and Priest are united for now, but it might not last for that long.
— WWE (@WWE) July 11, 2023
Three Stars of the Show
- The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio
- Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle
- The Miz/Tommaso Ciampa
7.25 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2023 Average: 7.24
It was a good Raw with some slow moments, but the match quality was strong. I thought they progressed a lot of stories well. The first hour was promo heavy with only one match. The second hour just didn’t feel that interesting. The third hour was better and the best of the three hours overall. I liked the Buffalo crowd too. They were into it.
What really stood out is that the heels had a big night. The only babyface win was Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle over Imperium. Everything was all about putting the heels over. I know Shayna Baszler did a babyface-style promo last week, but I think she’s still on the heel side. Some cheap wins too because of how Chelsea/Sonya won, Zoey Stark got a cheap W over Becky Lynch thanks to Trish Stratus and then Rhea Ripley got involved to help Judgment Day beat Rollins, Owens & Zayn.
There is still nothing official for SummerSlam right now, but we obviously know what several matches are going to be based on reports over the last week as well as just watching the show and figuring it out as an educated WWE fan. They just haven’t announced anything officially yet.
Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.