The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/11/23 Review

wwe raw september 11

This week’s WWE Raw featured Rhea Ripley defending the Women’s World Title against Raquel Rodriguez along with Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and more.

After 30+ years and nearly 1600 episodes, this was the final Raw where WWE was owned by Vince McMahon and his family. The Endeavor acquisition of WWE is official now. I’m writing this on Tuesday morning, so it’s official today. It’s the biggest story over the year ever since it was announced on the day after WrestleMania back in April and it took five months for it to become official. Perhaps we’ll notice some changes to the WWE product soon, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s business as usual.

As I mentioned above, I’m writing this on Tuesday. From January to August I usually do the Raw Deal live, but September to December means a Tuesday morning posting because I like to watch the NFL Monday Night Football game live on Monday night. I’ve been doing it this way for 14 years with no plans to change.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1581 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw introduction video aired to welcome us to the show followed by an impressive pyro display. The video was new last week, so I guess WWE is going to show it more regularly.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show by promoting what’s coming up.

Let’s Hear from Jey Uso

Jey Uso made his entrance to his new “It’s just me, Uce” theme song with the fans cheering him loudly. Jey was wearing a brand new “Main Event Jey Uso” shirt. That’s how he was introduced too. Jey’s hand gesture is popular as well with the fans doing it along with him. The fans were chanting “U” and “So” loudly.

Jey started the promo saying “Main Event” Jey Uso is now in your city. Jey said it feels good being out of The Bloodline and being on his own. Jey also said it felt good to be here on Raw.

Kevin Owens was up first with the interruption. Owens was off last week, so now he’s back. Cole mentioned there being issues here because of the things that Jey and The Bloodline did to KO over the last three years. Owens took his time getting into the ring.

Owens said that Jey meant to say he’s now on the Kevin Owens Show. Owens spoke about how Jey has been in the same situation Jey is in right now. Owens said he did bad things to a lot of people and he tried to make up for the mistakes he made in the past. Owens said that some people in the locker room still don’t trust him and respect him, so Owens understands. Owens said that Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle are just two of the guys who don’t want Jey there. Owens said that people he never talks to are coming up to him saying they don’t want Jey in the locker room. Owens said Cody Rhodes is giving him a chance and Sami Zayn is welcoming back Jey with open arms. Owens said you have a long way to go to prove yourself to Owens and prove you’re not the same scumbag you were with The Bloodline.

The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio walked out for the interruption. Finn & Priest are the WWE Tag Team Champions and Dominik is NXT North American Champion. Balor said that The Judgment Day and Balor respect Jey. Priest said that Owens doesn’t speak for the locker room while adding that The Judgment Day runs the show. Priest said that The Judgment Day’s door is always open to Jey. Priest said that Dirty Dom said no a thousand times, but now he’s the best version of himself and he’s a champion. Dominik was about to speak, so the fans were booing loudly. Dominik said The J-Day has been there for him for his lows and his highs. It was hard to hear what Dominik was saying due to the booing. Priest said they thought they had a match with Owens & Zayn, but where is Sami?

Owens said that Sami wasn’t there, but he will fight all three of them. Jey said don’t worry about Sami because Jey is here. Jey suggested that he team up with Kevin Owens against The Judgment Day with the fans cheering it. Owen said “let’s do it” and Jey superkicked Dominik. Owens & Jey cleared the ring so the match could start after a break. The fans loved it.

Analysis: A hot start to the show with the fans reacting well to all of it. I like how they don’t ignore the fact that Jey Uso was hated for three years with The Bloodline, so he will have to prove himself to wrestlers on Raw like Kevin Owens and others. It’s important to not ignore the past. I like how this segment took place and the match was set up.


The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. Kevin Owens & Jey Uso

This is not a title match. Jey hit Balor with an uppercut match and brought in Owens for a senton splash. Owens hit a DDT on Balor for two. Balor did a chop block to the back of the left knee. Priest tagged in with punches, but Owens hit an enziguri kick. Jey tagged in with a cross body block off the top on Priest for two. Jey sidestepped Priest leading to a Samoan Drop. Jey sent both opponents out of the ring leading to Jey diving over the top and knocking Priest & Balor down. While that was going on, Dominik did a cheap shot to the back of Owens’ left knee on apron. That led to a break.


Owens was the face in peril that broke free to bring in Jey, who decked Balor with a punch. Balor did an eye gouge, but Jey hit a spinning kick to the body. Jey hit a belly-to-back suplex and a superkick. Jey went up top, he jumped off, but Balor got the knees up to block. Owens fired up the crowd as he got the tag against Priest with punches. Owens couldn’t run because he was selling a left knee injury. Owens kicked Priest and hit Priest with Tornado DDT off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. Priest battled Owens by the turnbuckle, Owens with some headbutts and Priest tagged in Balor. Owens hit Balor with a twisting cradle suplex off the turnbuckle for a two count with Priest breaking it up. Jey into the ring and he inadvertently superkicked Owens when Priest moved. Jey sent Priest over the top with a clothesline. Balor went up top and hit a Coup de Grace double foot stomp for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match as expected by talented wrestlers like these guys. The story was that Jey really didn’t mean to superkick Owens, but Priest moved out of the way and Owens ate the superkick from Jey. It was booked perfectly for this storyline with questions about if Owens can trust Jey, who happened to accidentally superkick Owens and cost him the match.

After the match, Owens was seated in the ring staring at Jey on the floor. Jey tapped his chest as if to say he was sorry. Owens shook his head and limped his way to the back.

Analysis: There is no reason to rush this story with Jey trying to prove himself to people on Raw. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the weeks ahead.

There were highlights shown of Payback when Rhea Ripley beat Raquel Rodriguez to keep the Women’s World Title.

Raquel Rodriguez was shown warming up for her match later when Natalya showed up to talk to her. That Ripley-Rodriguez match is later.


Kevn Owens was shown backstage sitting on an equipment box. Jey Uso walked up saying it was an accident. Owens told Jey to find his new Bloodline, they’re in The Judgment Day’s locker room. Owens left while Jey was frustrated.

Analysis: I like how this story is progressing. You can have Sami Zayn involved in future weeks trying to convince Owens that Jey is okay, but Owens should absolutely be reluctant to trust Jey.

A video package aired recapping the awesome GUNTHER-Chad Gable Intercontinental Title match from last week’s Raw. Gable nearly won, but GUNTHER found a way to win and became the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion ever.

There was a Mercedes Benz driven by Giovanni Vinci along with GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser as Imperium arrived wearing suits for a celebration coming up later.

The Miz made his entrance for a match.

A video aired about 9/11 with WWE honoring the lives lost on September 11, 2001. A day we’ll never forget.


Akira Tozawa vs. The Miz

Tozawa beat Miz three weeks ago, so now we get the rematch. Tozawa wit ha headscissors followed by a dropkick. Miz came back with a boot to the face. Miz splashed Tozawa against the ropes. Miz delivered kicks to the chest along with a kick to the head. Tozawa was sent to the apron, Tozawa with a kick and Miz sidestepped him leading to a knee. Miz with double knees to the chest. The Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale once, twice and a third Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall win. It went three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: * Easy win for The Miz to avenge his defeat. I wrote after Tozawa’s win over Miz that Miz would get his win back and there it is.

The Miz faces LA Knight on Smackdown, so it was a win to build up Miz for that match.

Raquel Rodriguez was interviewed by Byron Saxton. Raquel said that Rhea Ripley might be the most dominant woman in WWE and she has taken over the women’s division. However, Raquel is not like most people and Ripley knows that. Raquel said that Rhea would get a taste of her own medicine. Raquel said we’ll see who walks out as the Women’s World Champion.

Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci made their entrance for a segment up next.


Shayna Baszler was interviewed by Jackie Redmond with Baszler saying that Zoey Stark surprised her because she held onto the Kirifuda Clutch. Chelsea Green arrived doing her silly character with her Women’s Tag Team Championships on her shoulders and wanted Baszler to be her partner since they were peers. Baszler challenged Green to a match and left. Piper Niven walked up to Green, grabbed the title off her shoulder and Piper said “medically cleared” so she is back.

Analysis: Those Women’s Tag Team Titles are not booked well. I know they have had issues with injuries and title changes. They just aren’t at the forefront at all and they feel like an afterthought.

GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Championship Celebration

The Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER was introduced by Ludwig Kaiser, who did a great introduction as usual. GUNTHER was in a suit just like his Imperium buddies. GUNTHER set the record last week for the longest Intercontinental Title reign ever. GUNTHER broke Honky Tonk Man’s 35-year record, so it makes sense that there would be a big celebration.

Gunther stood on a podium in the ring to make himself taller than his buddies and stand more. Gunther said that “The Ring General” has re-written history, to the surprise of nobody. Gunther said he is now officially the longest-reigning and greatest Intercontinental Champion in history. Gunther said that past Intercontinental Champions contributed nothing because he has elevated the championship to heights never seen before. Gunther said he’s running out of competition and only competing against himself.

SHOOSH! It’s Chad Gable with the interruption. The fans popped for the interruption. Gable spoke about how they had a main event for the ages last week. Gable said a week later, Gunther is celebrating and Gable congratulated him for it. Gunther told Gable to come into the ring to say what he wanted to say to Gunther’s face. Gunther got off the podium he was on.

Gable told Gunther that he could tell on his face that nobody came as close to beating Gunther as Chad Gable did. Gable also saw his entire family’s face in the front row. Gable said he saw the tears of his oldest daughter Briella’s face in the front row and those were tears that Gunther caused. Gunther smiled. Gable spoke about how hard it was to see that. Gable said that Gunther has lit a fire under Gable and that fire wouldn’t burn out until Chad made this right. Gable said that he beat Gunther and he’ll beat him again. Gable said he doesn’t know when, where or how, but he’ll get another title match. Gable said this time for himself, his career and his family, he swears to God that he’ll win that championship. Gable said he swears his daughter will walk out with a smile on her face.

Gunther asked why would Gable want another title shot, to have Gable’s family watch him lose again? Gunther said that Gable was using his family to get a little bit of spotlight. Gunther admitted Gable pushed him to his limit and a fantastic athlete, but Gunther called him a disgusting, terrible father.

Gable punched Gunther, but Imperium beat up Gable. Otis ran out for the save. Otis did a back body drop to send Kaiser and Vinci out of the ring. Gunther clotheslined Otis. Gunther chopped Gable to knock him down. Tommaso Ciampa ran out for the save with a steel chair in hand, so Imperium retreated. Ciampa stood in the ring with Alpha Academy as the two sides argued from a distance.

Analysis: I thought that was great. Gunther came across as an egotistical heel who should be proud of himself for what he’s accomplished during his run as the Intercontinental Champion. Chad Gable is very likable as the babyface that is great in the ring and wants to right the wrong of his daughter crying at ringside last week, so Gable wants another shot at Gunther. I think this might lead to Gable being the guy to take the title from Gunther, but I don’t mind if it’s somebody else. The picture that Gable painted where he’s going to take the title to put a smile on his daughter’s face sounds like a great idea.

They showed replays of the last two weeks with Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle having issues with The New Day.

Drew McIntyre was shown backstage talking to Xavier Woods. It led to Woods saying he wondered why Drew was talking trash about Kofi Kingston. Drew said if Kofi has a problem he can talk to him himself. Woods claimed that Drew was jealous of Kofi winning his WWE Championship in front of 82,000 screaming bodies and Drew had the biggest moment of his career in an empty Performance Center. Woods thinks it keeps Drew up at night. Drew said that he knows what he is going to do and he doesn’t want to hurt him. Drew told Woods that he’s got his match and what happens tonight won’t be an accident, which is a reference to Drew throwing a chair at Woods two weeks ago.

Analysis: We found out earlier in the day that Matt Riddle wasn’t going to be there due to an airport incident (along with a sickness), so having Drew continue this story with just Woods is a way to keep it going. They can do a Drew & Riddle vs. The New Day in the future, most likely. I like what Woods said about how Drew was jealous of Kofi. It was a valid point that works very well. I also think this story is leading to heel Drew McIntyre, which I like.

Xavier Woods entered for singles action.


Alpha Academy (Chad Gable, Otis & Maxxine Dupri) and Tommaso Ciampa were interviewed by Jackie Redmond backstage. Ciampa said that he was advised to seize the moment. Gable said this isn’t over. Otis challenged Imperium to a six-man tag team match with Gable liking that idea while Ciampa appeared to be in as well.

Drew McIntyre vs. Xavier Woods

Woods hit a dropkick followed by punches. Drew came back with a headbutt (with his hand). Drew lifted up Woods for a suplex toss across the ring. Drew connected with a loud chop. Woods charged, but Drew stopped that with a clothesline. Woods sent Drew out of the ring, Drew with a running dropkick and Woods tried a dive, but Drew caught him. Drew tossed Woods over the commentary table.


Drew was working over Woods with punches by the turnbuckle, but Woods slipped out of that and hit a sunset flip Powerbomb. Woods went up top and hit a leg drop for two. Nice nearfall there. Woods went for the Honor Roll, but Drew caught him and hit a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Drew hit another release suplex followed by a neckbreaker. Drew charged, but Woods hit a superkick for two. Drew blocked a kick and hit a chop to the chest. Drew picked up Woods for a slam, but Woods rolled through for a two count. Woods with a kick, senton and a running knee for two. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for them. Drew and Woods exchanged strikes. Woods ran the ropes, ducked an elbow strike and slid under Drew, so Drew came back with a Claymore Kick from out of nowhere for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***1/2 I really liked that match. It wasn’t that long since it was around ten minutes, but it was competitive and fast paced. Woods got plenty of offense to show that he can compete at the same level as a former WWE Champion like McIntyre. I loved how they did that finish because instead of Drew hitting a bunch of moves to set up a Claymore Kick, it was a finish that saw Drew hit a Claymore Kick out of nowhere. That tells the audience it can come from anywhere.

After Drew McIntyre left to the back, Drew said: “It didn’t have to be this way.”

Analysis: I think it’s another step toward turning Drew McIntyre heel and I’m all for it.

Rhea Ripley was shown getting ready for her title match still to come.


Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a huge pop as usual. Cody wasn’t on Raw last week even though he was at the show and appeared in a post-show dark match. Cody did his usual bit asking what do we want to talk about? Cody mentioned “Main Event” Jey Uso, but here comes “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio along with JD McDonagh.

Dominik spoke about how happy he was that Cody brought Jey Uso to Monday Night Raw. The fans were booing Dominik loudly. Dominik said he was glad that Cody brought Jey Uso to Raw because he’ll join The Judgment Day and make Cody look like a fool. Dominik said there is not a thing Cody can do about it when Jey is in The Judgment Day. Dominik was flipping around Cody’s tie. Cody threw some punches on Dominik. JD McDonagh joined in on the fight and Cody cleaned house on both guys. Cody Cutter by Cody on Dominik, then a Cross Rhodes to JD and a Cross Rhodes to Dominik. The heels retreated while Cody celebrated in the ring.

Analysis: I like Cody as much as anybody, but this felt like a “get Cody on the show and do very basic stuff” as far as the creative team goes. It took up ten minutes on a three-hour show. However, there really wasn’t much to this other than a top babyface beating up some heels. Cody didn’t have a match at Payback and I am not sure if there is any storyline for him going into Fastlane either. I also think it’s possible that Cody is the guy that gets moved from Raw to Smackdown in exchange for Jey Uso because then Cody can go back to chasing Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title again. It makes sense to me.

Jey Uso was shown walking down a hallway and Drew McIntyre walked up to him. Drew said he didn’t trust Jey, who said it was cool. Drew said that he didn’t think Jey can stand on his own two feet. Jey dared Drew to pull up next week for a match. Drew told him “you’re on.”

Analysis: That’s a big match for next week. I like it.

Chelsea Green entered with Piper Niven for a match. They are the Women’s Tag Team Champions holding the rarely defended titles.


Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green (w/Piper Niven)

They showed highlights of the Baszler win over Zoey Stark last week in a physical match. They showed respect to each other after the match. Baszler hit a suplex followed by a stomp on the left arm. Baszler applied an armbar on the left arm, but Green managed to get away. Baszler shoved Niven out of her way. Green got a rollup for two for her only offense of the match. Shayna Baszler got the win with a spinning slam called the Exterminatus according to Cole. It went two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: * A dominant win by Baszler as you would expect here. Any time Green is in a singles match she loses in quick fashion, but at least she’s a Tag Team Champion.

After the match, Piper Niven attacked Baszler. Zoey Stark ran into the ring for the save with Stark superkicking Niven. Baszler hit Green with a knee to knock her out of the ring. Niven backed out of the ring.

Analysis: That makes it seem like Baszler & Stark will be a tag team going after Niven & Green’s titles. Stark went from being with Trish Stratus for three months to now being an ally of Baszler, which might be a good fit for both of them.

Shinsuke Nakamura was featured in a video package speaking in Japanese while the words were shown on the screen. Nakamura said some English too. Nakamura asked if Rollins feels like a champion. Nakamura spoke about how Rollins was a bad person in the past and the fans didn’t like some of the things he did. Nakamura called Rollins a manipulator, deceiver and a liar. Nakamura said that Rollins brings shame upon his family. Nakamura said he would strip Rollins of his title and Seth’s words mean nothing. Nakamura said he’ll challenge Rollins when he feels like it.

Analysis: Those videos are so great. Nakamura isn’t going to be the guy that stands in the ring doing a promo since English is not his first language, so having him do videos like that are an effective way of putting over Nakamura’s creativity as a performer. I like those videos a lot.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance for a promo after the break. Rollins had on a ridiculous jacket along with some unique sunglasses as usual.


Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Seth “Freakin” Rollins, the World Heavyweight Champion, welcomed us to Monday Night Rollins about two hours into the show. Seth went over his nicknames as usual. Rollins admitted he’s a manipulator, deceiver and liar just like Nakamura said that he was. Rollins added that he’s also a father, a fighter and your World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins said he tried to be what he thought everybody wanted him to be, but that didn’t work. Rollins referenced his days as a Messiah saying that didn’t work. Rollins said what he finally figured out is that the fans just want him to be himself. Rollins said that’s because you love him, not because he’s a good guy or a bad guy but because he’s Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Seth said that’s why you sing his song. Don’t they sing his song because it’s easy and catchy? Yeah. Rollins said he can look his daughter in the eyes, he can be at peace with his past and be proud of his future.

Rollins said he didn’t just come here to talk. Rollins said he wants to fight. Rollins said management doesn’t like that because they want him to slow down, but Seth isn’t built that way and he’s a workhorse that needs to run free. Rollins said that Nakamura didn’t want to have a World Heavyweight Title match last week because he wants to do it on his own time. Rollins said if Nakamura wants the World Heavyweight Championship, he needs to come and get it. Rollins wanted a World Title match right now.

Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit, but there was no sign of Nakamura in the arena while the fans were singing Nakamura’s song.

Nakamura was shown on the video screen beating up Ricochet in the backstage area. Nakamura told Rollins he would fight him, but he thought Rollins wasn’t medically cleared, so Nakamura fought already. Nakamura kneed and kicked Ricochet a few times. Nakamura said he’ll take Seth’s title, but not today. Rollins was shown with a frustrated look while the fans were booing.

Analysis: I liked the promo from Seth Rollins talking about his past while admitting he took some missteps along the way, which is another way of saying he was a heel and now he’s a babyface. Rollins is as popular as ever and it’s in part due to the song, but also because he has over a decade of experience on the main roster as a great wrestler. The fans love him and respect him.

Jey Uso was shown walking backstage again with “Grand Slam” Finn Balor walked up to him saying they were good. Balor spoke about Jey’s issues with Kevin Owens. Balor said Drew McIntyre isn’t a fan huh? Balor said he’s a big fan. Balor said that Damian is a fan, Dominik is a fan and Rhea is a fan. Jey asked “for real?” after he mentioned Rhea. Balor said that the door for The Judgment Day is always open. Jey said nothing.

Analysis: That was funny how Jey reacted when Balor said that Ripley was a fan.

Alpha Academy entered for their tag team match.


An image was shown of Women’s US Open tennis winner Coco Guaff with a WWE Title that WWE sent her. Coco is only 19 years old and has a very bright future in tennis.

Alpha Academy – Chad Gable & Otis (with Maxxine Dupri) and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Imperium – GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

Ciampa delivered a Thesz Press followed by punches on Vinci. Ciampa with a forearm to Vinci. Gable tagged in and he was driven into the Imperium corner as Kaiser tagged in with a punch. Gable did an impressive trip leading to an armbar on Kaiser. Vinci tagged in with an armbar along with an elbow on the arm. When Gable ran the ropes, Kaiser pulled the rope down and Gable went flying over the top to the floor. Gunther stomped on Gable on the floor. Gable tripped up Kaiser, but Kaiser came back with a back elbow and clothesline. The three Imperium guys hit dropkicks and a kick on Gable at the same time. That led to a break.


Gunther prevented Gable from tagging out as the face in peril. Gunther chopped Gable to knock him down again. Gable got an armdrag takedown leading to Ciampa tagging in. Ciampa worked over Vinci with a running clothesline and a reverse DDT for two. Ciampa was distracted by Kaiser on the apron and Vinci hit a clothesline on Ciampa. Kaiser tagged in, Ciampa slammed him down and Otis tagged into a big pop. Otis hit a spinning back elbow and a body slam. Otis with a corner splash on Kaiser. Otis did the Caterpillar elbow on Kaiser. Otis charged at Kaiser, who moved out of the way and Otis went crashing into the ring post. Gable tagged in against Gunther leading to Gunther hitting a German Suplex. Gable slipped through on Gunther leading to an Ankle Lock submission. Gunther was able to tag out to Vinci, who hit a cross body block off the top. Gable hit a Chaos Theory ending with a German Suplex for two because Gunther broke it up. Ciampa hit Gunther with a knee and Kaiser punched Ciampa. Otis ran over Kaiser with a clothesline while Gunther kicked Otis. Kaiser tried a submission, but Gable applied an Ankle Lock. Ciampa held onto Gunther in a Sicilian Stretch submission (similar to a Gargano Escape) to prevent the save and Gable applied a heel hook on the Ankle Lock, so Vinci tapped out. It went 13 minutes.

Winners by submission: Alpha Academy – Chad Gable & Otis and Tommaso Ciampa

Analysis: ***1/2 A great tag team match full of action and excitement. Any time Imperium is in a six-man tag team match it’s usually Vinci that takes the loss, so that result wasn’t much of a surprise. It’s also the right booking decision because Gable lost to Gunther last week, so you need to give Gable some momentum again and having Gable win this match does that for him. I thought the visual of Gable having Vinci in a submission while Ciampa held Gunther was really well done. The fans loved it too.

The Judgment Day was shown talking about Jey Uso with Damian Priest saying the more that Jey Uso is isolated, he’ll turn to The Judgment Day. Dominik Mysterio was upset about being able to be at ringside for Rhea Ripley’s match. Ripley said she’ll be fine because Mami is always on top. Ripley left for her match.


Next week on Raw:

* Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet

* Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso

Tiffany Stratton, the NXT Women’s Champion, was backstage complaining to WWE Official Adam Pearce. Becky Lynch walked into the office. Pearce said Shawn Michaels wanted them to sign the contract for the NXT Women’s Title match on Tuesday night. Stratton wondered why Lynch was coming after him? Lynch said when Stratton came to her show and showed up at Lynch’s matches, Lynch had to pay attention to her. Lynch said Stratton was athletic, but also dumb. Lynch said she’ll make Stratton famous when she takes her NXT Women’s Championship. Stratton said she’s been doing just fine on her own. Stratton claimed she was the greatest NXT Women’s Champion of all time. Lynch signed the contract and Stratton signed it right after her.

Analysis: Solid promos from both women. It’s a big match on NXT this week.

On WWE NXT this Tuesday night it’s Tiffany Stratton defending the NXT Women’s Title against Becky Lynch.

Raquel Rodriguez was up first for the main event followed by Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley of The Judgment Day. Ripley was alone since Dominik Mysterio is banned from ringside.


The in-ring introductions took place by Samantha Irvin, who always does a great job. Raquel likes her back muscles.

Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez

Raquel started with a clothesline. Ripley got out of a move, which led to another clothesline from Raquel. Ripley charged leading to Raquel hitting a powerslam for two. Raquel applied a bearhug and drove Ripley into the turnbuckle. Ripley headbutted Raquel followed by Ripley going up top and hitting a top rope dropkick. Ripley hit an impressive cannonball off the steps onto Raquel on the floor. Back in the ring, Ripley hit a running knee for two. Ripley hit a dropkick. Ripley charged and Raquel sent Ripley over the top to the floor. Raquel hit a running kick to send Ripley into the barricade.


Ripley was in full control using her legs to tie up Raquel on the mat. Raquel fought out of it, but Ripley managed to send Raquel face first into the top turnbuckle. Ripley had her legs wrapped around Raquel’s throat for some blatant choking. Raquel fought out of that and sent Ripley face first into the turnbuckle. Raquel hit a running forearm, Ripley came back with a running forearm and they each hit running kicks to knock eachother down. Raquel and Rhea exchanged punches. Raquel tried a lift, Raquel landed on her feet and Ripley hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Ripley tried for Riptide, Raquel blocked it and Raquel sent Ripley into the turnbuckle. Raquel hit a back body drop followed by a running boot to the head for two. Raquel tried the elbow splash off the ropes, but Ripley got boots up to block. Ripley went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Ripley did a shocked reaction face for that two count. Raquel was out on the floor. Ripley tried a cannonball onto Raquel, but Raquel caught her and sent Ripley into the commentary table. Raquel gave Ripley a Texana Bomb onto the edge of the ring apron. Ouch. The referee turned his back while looking at Ripley, so Nia Jax arrived from the crowd and hit a Samoan Drop on Raquel on the floor. Cole was screaming about it screaming “Nia Jax is here” and the fans reacted to it in a big way. Raquel tried to get back in the ring. Ripley kicked Raquel followed by Ripley hitting a Riptide slam on Raquel for the pinfall win at 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a very good match as usual between them, but the cheap finish hurts it a bit. I get that it’s a way to protect Raquel because she only lost due to Nia Jax’s return. It gives Raquel an out to say she would have won if Jax didn’t attack her. Ripley keeping the title is what most of us assumed would happen. I’m so impressed by Ripley being able to do power moves with ease while also showing off her athleticism really well too. I like how it was mostly an even match where Raquel looked like she had a shot to win a few times. I think Ripley’s title run will last until at least WrestleMania when she faces Becky Lynch there, but I don’t know for sure. Just my hunch.

After the match, Nia Jax went into the ring and had a staredown with Ripley. Jax headbutted Ripley. Jax did a leg drop to Ripley, whose head was against the ropes. Jax went to the middle ropes and hit a Banzai Drop on Ripley to sit on her. Jax was blowing kisses to the crowd as the fans booed her while Ripley was down on the mat. End show.

Analysis: I wasn’t really hoping for a Nia Jax return, but there she is. I think she fits a role as a powerhouse woman who can be used as a dangerous heel opponent for a lot of people. They can certainly have a Ripley-Jax rivalry in the months ahead although Ripley is a heel and Jax is better off as a heel, so I’m not sure how it will be done. Obviously, Raquel Rodriguez will want her revenge against Jax as well. Anyway, welcome back to Nia Jax after a few years away. I’m not surprised that WWE would bring her back because of how unique of a character she is.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Jey Uso & Kevin Owens
  3. Rhea Ripley


The Scoreboard

8 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2023 Average: 7.32


Final Thoughts

I thought it was a great episode of Raw from top to bottom. The matches were very good to great for the most part. There wasn’t a single match that was epic like Gunther-Chad Gable last week, but I enjoyed the tag team matches quite a bit while the main event between Rhea Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez was a lot of fun as well. They also continued the Seth Rollins-Shinsuke Nakamura rivalry without having them get physical with eachother. The way Nakamura has been presented over the last month is excellent.

They are really doing a nice job of telling the Jey Uso story with plenty of wrestlers on the roster doubting him while Jey wants to prove he’s a changed guy from The Bloodline days. I think it’s a logical story to tell. The way that guys like Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre and The Judgment Day interacted with Jey was really interesting. Drew had an awesome match with Xavier Woods too. Drew is starting to be a compelling character again and I feel like that heel turn is coming soon.

As for the main event, I wasn’t clamoring for a Nia Jax return. She attacked Raquel to cost Raquel the match against Ripley, so that gives Raquel an out about why she didn’t win. Ripley was so impressive in the match with the moves she did and the way she sells. Ripley is such a complete, all-around terrific wrestler. There’s nothing official for Fastlane yet, but overall I really like the booking on Raw right now. I know there were reports of “things changed at the last minute.” It doesn’t bother me especially when we were presented with a very entertaining show.


Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter aka X (I guess) @johnreport