Monday Night Raw
Date: February 13, 2023
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Corey Graves, Kevin Patrick
It is the go home show for the Elimination Chamber and that means we need to finalize everything for the red half of the event. We should be in for some hard pushes, including the contract signing between Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar. There is also the Lita return last week to deal with so let’s get to it.
Here is Becky Lynch, with Adam Pearce, for a chat. Becky is happy to be here and says she even dressed spiffy for us. She thanks Lita for her help last week but realizes that she needs a path to Wrestlemania. That sounds like something to do with a title to her, so she wants in the Elimination Chamber.
Cue Bayley, who says she should be in the Chamber, because Lita CHEATED last week. That match should be stricken from the record book, which sends Bayley and Becky into an argument over Wrestlemania credentials. Bayley says Becky lost in her Wrestlemania main event (Huh?) and brags about defending both Women’s Titles there instead.
With that bizarre bit out of the way, cue Bianca Belair to say all this talk about the title should involve the champ. She wants both of them in the Chamber, so Pearce has an idea: a triple threat between the three of them tonight. If Bayley or Becky win, both of them are in and the Chamber, with seven women, starts in a triple threat. If Belair wins, the two of them are both out of the Chamber. I’m thinking that was either worded badly or I misheard it, because that’s some insane booking otherwise. I’m assuming if Becky or Bayley wins, the winner and only the winner goes in?
Judgment Day is ready for their upcoming week, including tonight and at Elimination Chamber.
Judgment Day vs. Street Profits
Priest hits Ford in the face to start and it’s Balor slingshotting in with a stomp for two. A kick to the head rocks Balor though and it’s Dawkins coming in for a double flapjack to Priest. The house is cleaned and we take a break, maybe three minutes after coming back from the previous one.
Back with Dawkins coming in to clean house but missing the spinning splash in the corner. Not that it matters as Ford tags himself in and catches Balor with a German suplex for two. The Doomsday Blockbuster gets two more and Ford hits the big flip dive onto Priest. Dominik gets brought in and Pounced by Dawkins, allowing Balor to hit the Sling Blade. The shotgun dropkick sets up the Coup de Grace to give Balor the pin at 7:35.
Rating: C+. The energy was high but my goodness I could go with them not having the breaks in the middle of the match. What does it even help? You have a somewhat hot match here but instead of letting the fans see it, we get about two half of it due to a pair of breaks. There has to be a better way to format this show and it would be nice if they could make the change.
Post match the beatdown stays on but Edge and Beth Phoenix run in for the save. Beth loads up the Glam Slam on Dominik but Rhea Ripley (not supposed to be here) runs in and lays Beth out with the Riptide.
Here are Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley for a contract signing. Since Lesnar signed last week, Adam Pearce needs Lashley out here, so here is….a bunch of security. Lashley sets up his own table at the stage and says he isn’t sure about this. He has had everyone from his agent to his kids sign and he doesn’t know if he’s going to do it. Lashley calls him Basic B**** Brock so Lesnar goes up the aisle. Security is dispatched and Lashley backdrops (yes backdrops) him on the floor. There’s the spear to cut Lesnar down and Lashley signs. That was a bit uneventful.
Mia Yim vs. Piper Niven
This is fallout from Niven threatening Yim’s friend Candice LeRae last week. Niven runs her over to start and falls on top of Yim in a slam attempt. Yim grabs a fairly scary looking DDT but charges into something like a Rock Bottom out of the corner. The backsplash gives Niven two but Yim slips out of the over the shoulder piledriver. Instead, Niven grabs a swinging Boss Man Slam (the Loch Ness Slam) for the pin at 2:41.
Long recap of the Jey Uso Saga from Smackdown.
Baron Corbin is asked about his fallout with JBL last week….but we need to cut back to the arena because Sami Zayn is in the ring. He isn’t here to hold up the show but he has something to say to someone and he might not get the chance after this week. Zayn wants Cody Rhodes out here right now and his request is quickly granted. Rhodes asks what Zayn wants to talk about, so Zayn brings up Cody saying he thinks it’s going to be himself vs. Zayn at Wrestlemania.
Zayn wants to hear it from his face and yes, Cody did mean what he said. Fans: “THIS IS AWESOME!” Cody says that with all due respect, that’s not what this is all about. Does Zayn believe that he can beat Reigns? Fans: “OLE!” Zayn says that the truth is he doesn’t know. Reigns is telling the truth when he talks about being on another level. Now after 900 days, does he know if he can take out Reigns?
Yes he believes he can do it but he doesn’t know if he can. Fans: “YOU CAN DO IT!” Cody doesn’t know how to take that but says there is distention in the Bloodline for the first time ever and that is because of Zayn. Everything going on right now is because of him and Reigns is just a man. Go crack him open and take him out, because Rhodes is going to be waiting on him at Wrestlemania.
Michael Cole said Cody can finish hist story, but now it is time for Zayn to finish his. Rhodes goes to leave, but says one more thing: he doesn’t want to see Zayn on Raw next week, because he wants to see him at Wrestlemania. This was more greatness and while I don’t buy Zayn having a real chance to win, they’re pushing the heck out of this and it’s starting to feel bigger and bigger every week.
Nikki Cross and Carmella are ready for a six woman tag, with Asuka coming in, complete with clown look, to scare Carmella off. Candice LeRae comes in to see Cross, asking why she has been following her. Cross laughs.
Baron Corbin is sick of being disrespected and at Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns beats Sami Zayn. Corbin was the last person to beat Reigns, and then Reigns is going to run through Rhodes at Wrestlemania. He doesn’t get Rhodes, who happens to be behind him. Corbin mocks Rhodes’ brother and dad, which is enough to start the brawl. They fight into the arena with Cody, in a suit, saying get a referee.
Cody Rhodes vs. Baron Corbin
They start on the floor with Corbin being sent into the barricade and then the post. They fight onto the announcers’ table before Corbin is sent into the steps. Cody sends him inside for the first time and hits the Cody Cutter, setting up Cross Rhodes for the pin at 2:03. This made Cody look like a killer and it went very well.
Natalya, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez don’t like the Raw women in the Elimination Chamber. They’re not sure about each other either.
Asuka/Carmella/Nikki Cross vs. Raquel Rodriguez/Natalya/Liv Morgan
Rodriguez fall away slams Cross to start so Carmella comes in, earning a Sharpshooter from Natalya. Everything breaks down and the Smackdown women clear the ring as we take a break. Back with Natalya fighting out of a bodyscissors and bringing Morgan in to kick away at Cross. Everything breaks down and it’s an exchange of kicks to the head. Asuka ties up Morgan’s arms for the tap at 7:13.
Rating: C-. They blazed through this (again, with a mid-match commercial) and it was little more than a way to remind you that the match was taking place on Saturday. There are not many potential winners for the Chamber match so boosting Asuka, one of the potential winners, is a good idea. Nothing to see here for the most part, but at least they didn’t do anything ridiculous.
Otis is having a hot dog but Chad Gable doesn’t approve. Gable throws it away and hits the Maximum Male Models, with Maxxine Durpri thinking Otis could be the face of their brand. She gives him a card, with Gable critiquing the design. Bronson Reed comes up and scares them.
Bronson Reed vs. Mustafa Ali
Reed starts fast and knocks Ali outside. A shot off the apron takes Ali down again but he gets back inside for a running kick to the face. They go outside again and Ali is LAUNCHED over the barricade and into a pile of chairs. Ali’s hurricanrana doesn’t get him very far as Reed runs him over. The Tsunami finishes Ali at 3:09.
Rating: C. There is something so fun about watching someone the size of Reed crush someone, as that Tsunami looks absolutely effortless every time. That is what we got to see again here and it absolutely still works. At the same time, it is becoming more and more clear that Ali is never going to be anything more than this around here, but he does seem to still be putting in the effort. That’s more than some will do so good for him.
Here is Miz for MizTV. Miz isn’t happy about not being in the Elimination Chamber but he’d rather talk about his guest. That would be Seth Rollins, who may be a mastermind, but is his mind in the Chamber or on Logan Paul? First though, Miz looks at Rollins’ huge red boots and asks WHAT ARE THOSE!
Rollins says it’s style so Miz moves on to Logan Paul. That’s not what the people want to talk about so we pause for the fans to sing Rollins’ music. If Miz wanted to hear singing, he would listen to Taylor Swift (Miz: “You’re all jealous because I got tickets and you didn’t!”). Rollins talks about having a dream but Paul doesn’t buy into it. All Paul wants is to be a star and that makes Rollins want to kick his teeth in. Miz: “It sounds like you’re jealous.” Rollins: “Come on Mike. We all know you’re stupid but you’re not THAT stupid.” Miz: “I AM NOT STUPID!”
Miz goes on about their accomplishments and gets hit in the face. Rollins hits him in the face with a chair as well but here is Austin Theory to pull Rollins to the floor. The distraction lets Miz kick Rollins in the face but Rollins takes him down. Theory is back up with A Town Down to drop Rollins.
Elias comes up to see Rick Boogs and compares their backgrounds. If Boogs can impress him tonight, maybe there is a collaboration in the future. Boogs: “RIGHTEOUS!” He’s ready to beat up Miz tonight and Elias approves. Sidenote: MVP was seen talking to Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in the background.
Miz vs. Rick Boogs
Miz is barely able to get to his feet and says the match isn’t happening. Boogs disagrees and jumps him, setting up a pumphandle slam with fifteen curls. The gorilla press World’s Strongest Slam finishes Miz at 1:01.
Chelsea Green comes in to see Adam Pearce and brings up the emails she has sent management. Pearce says he got them and responded to them, but Green wants to be treated like a star. She wants to be in the triple threat match tonight and won’t leave until she’s in. Green feels VERY threatened so Pearce leaves.
Judgment Day promises to win both of their matches at Elimination Chamber. Then Rhea Ripley can go on to win the Smackdown Women’s Title at Wrestlemania. Ripley knows she is going to win and that rise to the top starts at Elimination Chamber.
Elimination Chamber rundown.
Video on the Elimination Chamber.
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
Non-title and if Bayley (with Damage Ctrl) or Lynch win, they are in the Elimination Chamber. If Belair wins though, neither goes in. Joined in progress with Belair cleaning house but Bayley fights up to take over. Becky dives back in with a save with Belair having to make her own as well. A double DDT plants Belair and Bayley as we take a break.
Back with Belair dropping Bayley onto the turnbuckle for two but Becky sends Belair into the corner as well. Bayley comes back in and takes Becky down for two each, followed by a top rope elbow for two more on Becky (ignore Belair laying on Becky as Bayley went up, which should have been a pin).
The Manhandle Slam hits Bayley but Damage Ctrl makes the save to pull Becky outside. Another distraction lets Bayley can roll Belair up for two. Cue the people in the Elimination Chamber to brawl with Damage Ctrl, leaving Belair to throw Sky onto the pile. Back up and Belair KOD’s Becky onto Bayley (with Becky rolling off for no logical reason), allowing Belair to get the pin at 15:00.
Rating: D+. I don’t even know where to start with this mess. First and foremost, absolutely nothing has changed as a result. Becky and Bayley weren’t in the Chamber coming in and they’re not in it with Raw over. They were both playing with the house’s money and it changed nothing. Then you had all of the (expected) interference, plus the multiple occasions where there should have been pinfall attempts but the referee either didn’t count or one of them rolled away from a legal cover. Bad wrestling, weird stipulations and pieces that were just a mess make what could have been big into a pretty awful main event.
We run down the Elimination Chamber card again to fill out the rest of the show’s time.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a weird show and a lot of that is due to the Elimination Chamber matches. Neither feels remotely important, as you have Asuka, Rodriguez and….are any of the other four realistic winners? Carmella and Natalya aren’t winning and Cross/Morgan are long shots at best. On the other hand you have the US Title match, which has little heat and feels all over the place. Ford and Priest were in a tag match (granted against each other), Rollins is fighting with Miz and talking about Logan Paul and Gargano wasn’t even on the show.
Now on the other hand, there was some good stuff on here. The Cody/Zayn segment was outstanding and Cody looked awesome against Corbin. You also had Reed feeling like a monster, Niven and Boogs being boosted up and Lashley managing to get one over on Lesnar. There was good stuff on the show, but the bad stuff was bringing it right back down. The good news is that Elimination Chamber is over in six days and we can move on to the stuff that really matters. For now, this was another show that would have been great at two hours but was only pretty good at three.
Judgment Day b. Street Profits – Coup de Grace to Dawkins
Piper Niven b. Mia Yim – Loch Ness Slam
Cody Rhodes b. Baron Corbin – Cross Rhodes
Asuka/Carmella/Nikki Cross b. Raquel Rodriguez/Natalya/Liv Morgan – Armbar to Morgan
Bronson Reed b. Mustafa Ali – Tsunami
Rick Boogs b. The Miz – Gorilla press World’s Strongest Slam
Bianca Belair b. Becky Lynch and Bayley – Belair KOD’s Lynch onto Bayley
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at:
Remember to check out Wrestlingrumors.net for all of your wrestling headline needs.