Monday Night Raw
Date: March 6, 2023
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We are less than a month away from Wrestlemania and tonight is going to be one of the bigger shows, as John Cena is back. There is a good chance that we get his Wrestlemania match set up this week, as he is running out of time. Other than that, we also get a face to face staredown between Logan Paul and Seth Rollins. Let’s get to it.
The Bloodline (Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa) arrived earlier today, with Heyman reiterating Roman Reigns’ orders to deal with Sami Zayn. Now Zayn escaped on Friday, so he must be here in Boston tonight. Instead, Sikoa is going to solve the Kevin Owens problem tonight, and Jimmy will solve Zayn, whether Jey is here or not. Jimmy and Solo leave and Heyman calls Reigns.
Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa
Owens jumps him before the bell but Sikoa fights back and we officially get going. Sikoa kicks away at him a few times and a right hand gets two. Owens slugs away but gets taken down with a shot to the stomach. Some standing clotheslines put Sikoa down and there’s the backsplash for a bonus. The Cannonball is loaded up but Sikoa bails to the floor, allowing Owens to take him down with a dive.
Cue Jimmy Uso for the save and Sikoa slams Owens off the top. It’s too early for the running Umaga attack so Sikoa hits it against the barricade as we take a break. Back with Sikoa hitting a Samoan drop as Jimmy is looking all over the building, presumably for Jey. Sikoa goes shoulder first into the post and Jimmy’s distraction fails, allowing Owens to hit the Cannonball. The Swanton connects on Sikoa but Jimmy comes in for the DQ at 11:20.
Rating: C. This was ok, with even commentary saying it wasn’t about the win or loss but rather the Bloodline hurting Owens. That does make sense in this case, as the Bloodline has long since been all about taking care of Owens’ enemies. The Zayn reunion is still coming for Owens, and this is the reason why he would need him. It’s another step in a long path, but the payoff is going to be huge.
Post match the beatdown is on with the splash through the announcers’ table loaded up. Cue Sami Zayn for the save and he chases the villains off with a chair. Sami leans down to help Owens up but Owens rolls away and leaves on his own. The long form teases continue.
Bobby Lashley wants Bray Wyatt to face him like a man.
Carmella is sick of Adam Pearce and Chelsea Green comes up to applaud her. They want the Wrestlemania match changed and are going to go to Pearce’s manager after tonight. They’re rather pleased and then throw Byron Saxton out for eavesdropping.
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella
Non-title and Chelsea Green is here with Carmella. A few early shots have Belair in trouble but she sends Carmella into the corner and pops back up. Carmella knocks her off the corner though and we take a break. Back with Belair fighting back but Green distracts the referee to avoid the count. Carmella hits a quick superkick for two and isn’t happy with the kickout. Belair rains down right hands in the corner but Green offers another distraction. This time Green is sent over the barricade and the KOD finishes for Belair at 8:35.
Rating: C-. These two feel like they have fought a few dozen times and I don’t remember any significantly different result. WWE tries to make Carmella feel like a big deal but just being a former multiple time champion doesn’t mean you feel like a threat to Belair here. This was little more than a workout for Belair, which is what she needs on her way to Asuka.
Post match the beatdown is on again and Asuka makes the save.
Sami Zayn comes up to Kevin Owens and says tonight was proof that the Bloodline is too big for any one person. They need to go after them together but Owens remembers Zayn joining the team right here in this very arena. Sure they could fight them together, but Owens doesn’t want to. Zayn should just rejoin Roman Reigns and get the acceptance he wants. Just leave Owens out of it.
Video on Rhea Ripley.
Here is the Miz to moderate a meeting between Seth Rollins and Logan Paul. The fans sing Rollins’ song for so long that Paul tells them to shut up before the segment runs out of time. Rollins sucks up to Boston and mocks the idea of Paul gracing us with his presence. Paul talks about how he is just better than Rollins at his job and he has done more in a year and a half than Rollins has done in twenty. If Paul was Rollins, he wouldn’t like him either.
Rollins calls Paul the scum of the earth and a troll, plus a fraud. Rollins and the fans don’t want him in their house but Boston is here to see Rollins get his pound of flesh. The fight is teased but Miz says not so fast. Miz isn’t going to let any violence go down tonight, but Paul says don’t put words in his mouth. Paul isn’t going to fight here in Boston, but he might if the stage is bigger.
Miz brings up that he is the host of Wrestlemania and can make the match happen, which has Rollins very interested. He even throws Miz out so he can get there faster. Paul jumps Rollins from behind but misses the Stomp, only to drop him with one heck of a right hand. Paul says that when Rollins wakes up, he can tell him about Wrestlemania. Imagine that: Paul is an outstanding heel when he is given the chance to be one. This was more great stuff from Paul, who is getting to be his natural self for a change.
We recap Brock Lesnar agreeing to face Omos at Wrestlemania.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Omos
This is thanks to Mustafa Ali getting the match made. Ziggler gets in a shot but charges into a big boot. The chokebomb finishes Ziggler at 52 seconds.
The Maximum Male Models are amazed by someone. Baron Corbin comes up to say thank you, but they mean Otis. Corbin: “What does he have that I don’t have?” Mansoor: “Hair.” Maxxine Dupri tells Corbin to beat Chad Gable and maybe she’ll take him on as a client.
Paul Heyman tells Jimmy Uso to deal with Sami Zayn, but he better make sure Jey Uso is on Smackdown.
Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano
The rest of the Judgment Day and Dexter Lumis are here. Balor works on an armbar to start but Gargano sends him outside. The suicide dive drops Balor and we take an early break. Back with Gargano fighting back and hitting the slingshot spear, only to get suplexed down. Balor reminds Gargano of his name and hammers away, only to get sunset flipped for two.
Gargano goes after the rest of Judgment Day, allowing Balor to hit a double stomp to the chest. The shotgun dropkick connects….and here is Edge through the crowd (as telegraphed by Damien Priest going up the aisle), allowing Edge to shove Balor off the top. One Final beat finishes Balor at 9:34.
Rating: C+. These two have had some awesome matches before but that was then and this isn’t NXT. For now, Gargano needed a win to give him somewhere to go and Edge costing Balor another win pushes them even closer to Wrestlemania. Nice TV match, but it does kind of show you how long has passed since the heyday of NXT.
Post match Lumis and Edge take out Judgment Day.
We recap Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns’ showdown on Smackdown. Reigns asking “have you ever won that one” got me.
King and Queen of the Ring are back in Saudi Arabia on May 27. That’s the day before AEW Double Or Nothing.
Edge says he’ll be in the ring alone next week. If Finn Balor has the guts, come finish this.
Nikki Cross vs. Piper Niven
It’s a big brawl before the bell but Niven says ring the bell. Cross hits a crossbody to send Niven outside but can’t grab a swinging neckbreaker back inside. Instead, Niven grabs the Loch Ness Slam for the pin at 52 seconds.
Rick Boogs is trying to lift a semi truck when Elias comes in. Elias is trying to help him by getting Boogs to fight, so Boogs goes up to Bronson Reed. Unfortunately we get a miscommunication and it’s Elias vs. Reed next week. That’s not what Elias meant! Of note: Cody Rhodes and Kevin Owens could be seen talking in the background.
Here is John Cena (looking to have dropped A LOT of muscle) but before he can say anything, Austin Theory interrupts. Theory says Cena inspired him to get into wrestling so he has a gift for him (after the CENA chants die off that is): the two of them, one on one for the US Title at Wrestlemania. Cena: “No.” Cena says that Theory doesn’t have the authority to give a gift like that. Theory is a nothing guy with a generic look and no heart.
Cena points out a sign saying Theory is a Cena wannabe and says Theory is in the Ruthless Aggression Era. That time almost got Cena fired and now the people don’t see anything in Theory. Cena: “You’re a pair of trunks away from being a jabroni.” Cena says that Theory has the best name in WWE history. Not Steve Austin, the Rock, or the Undertaker, because there is no name better than Austin Theory. That’s exactly what he is: a theory.
In theory, he should be great and everything that a WWE executive look for. But he’s just a guy with no heart. Therefore, Cena and the people of Boston are giving him a gift: the chance to leave in one piece. Theory says he isn’t going anywhere, just like Cena’s bald spot. Theory talks about Cena’s NEVER GIVE UP shirt but saying no sounds like giving up to him.
The hat says RESPECT, but where is the respect for the people? Cena has a chance to face the greatest US Champion ever and he’s giving up? Where is the hustle, loyalty and respect? Cena: “I would much rather be bald than have them pipe in fake crowd noise for my matches because nobody cares.”
Cena didn’t say no because he gave up, but rather to save an unready Theory. If they fight at Wrestlemania and Theory loses, he loses everything. Then he’ll have to go out the next night on Raw and explain what happened. Therefore, Cena now has to ask the fans what they want. The fans are into it and approve, so Cena is in. Cena goes to leave but says Theory isn’t ready for Wrestlemania. Here’s someone who is though: Cody Rhodes, who gets the hug from Cena for the endorsement.
This was another very heavy verbal beating from Cena, as Theory needs to win something, but I’m not sure if it did much good for him, even if Cena wins. Cena beat him down so heavily and now Theory is going to have to do something big against Cena and then follow it up even better to make things better.
Sami Zayn can’t get through to Kevin Owens but he isn’t leaving without getting rid of Roman Reigns. Tonight, that means taking out Jimmy Uso.
Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
The fans want Otis as Corbin puts on an over the shoulder backbreaker. Gable is right back up with some rolling German suplexes and the ankle lock finishes Corbin off at 2:02. That worked, as it’s amazing how much easier it is to deal with the Alpha Academy when they don’t do their catchphrase over and over.
We look back at Becky Lynch and Lita winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles last week.
New Wrestlemania trailer: Miz and Maryse in Top Gun. These trailers feel like they came up with an idea but then didn’t bother making them funny/entertaining/good.
Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins is set for Wrestlemania.
Here are Becky Lynch and Lita to celebrate being the new Women’s Tag Team Champions. Lita wanted one more chance and took what she had, but there is one more person to thank. Cue Trish Stratus, who is glad she could help, but here is Damage Ctrl to interrupt. Bayley is sick of hearing from Trish, who threatens to go from retired to unretired. The challenge for a six woman tag is thrown out and accepted rather quickly. That felt rather fast as I’m wondering if the show is running long.
Sami Zayn vs. Jimmy Uso
Solo Sikoa is here too. Sami goes right after him to start and we take a break less than a minute in. Back with Sami in trouble but he gets in a DDT for a breather. Zayn’s high crossbody gets two but he gets sent outside. Hold on as Sikoa almost goes after him, which is enough for an ejection. Back in and the Blue Thunder Bomb gives Zayn two as we take a second break just over six minutes into the match. We come back with both of them down and Jey Uso comes through the crowd. The distraction lets Zayn grab a rollup at 10:37.
Rating: C-. That was dangerously close to not having enough shown for a rating, which is hard to do in a ten minute match. This was of course all about the Jey appearance and setting up the big decision on Friday, which is going to be the latest step in the Bloodline Saga. It’s nice to see Zayn getting a win though, as you don’t want to have him get beaten into a pulp over and over again before the big Wrestlemania moment.
Post match Zayn goes to the floor and Jey gets in the ring to confront Jimmy. They stare at each other for a good while and Jey grabs him by the shoulders. Jey leaves, stares at Zayn, and hugs him (Zayn is SHOCKED), leaving Jimmy looking crushed. The posing is on, but then Jey superkicks Zayn and throws him inside (with Jimmy’s face turning into an evil smile). The big beatdown ensues, with Solo Sikoa coming out to make it worse. Cody Rhodes runs in for the save to end the show. That was great, as they FINALLY did something definitive and pulled the trigger on Jey, which had to be done.
Overall Rating: B. This was a show that was heavy on the emotion and moving the chains for Wrestlemania, which is what you need to do with less than four months to go. We had three new matches set up for the show, plus the big moment at the end. What matters is getting those things done by the time they get to Los Angeles and this show did a lot of the heavy lifting. It wasn’t so much that these matches were surprises (the six woman tag might be) but rather things that needed to be done. WWE did that tonight, and Wrestlemania feels bigger as a result. It was an efficient show, and that’s what WWE needed.
Kevin Owens b. Solo Sikoa via DQ when Jimmy Uso interfered
Bianca Belair b. Carmella – KOD
Omos b. Dolph Ziggler – Chokebomb
Johnny Gargano b. Finn Balor – One Final Beat
Piper Niven b. Nikki Cross – Loch Ness Slam
Chad Gable b. Baron Corbin – Ankle lock
Sami Zayn b. Jimmy Uso – Rollup
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