Monday Night Raw
Date: March 27, 2023
Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
It’s the go home Raw before Wrestlemania and that means it is time to get the final push for a lot of this show’s weekend matches. In addition, we’ll have Cody Rhodes facing Solo Sikoa before his final showdown with Roman Reigns on Smackdown. We might get one or two more additions to the card but there isn’t much left to do. Let’s get to it.
Here is the Miz to get things going. He is fired up to be here and promises to get to the bottom of a very personal feud. This brings out Trish Stratus, Lita and Becky Lynch for a chat. Becky accuses Miz of having small testicles, with Miz saying his wife disagrees. Becky: “It must be comforting to know that Maryse didn’t get around much before you were married.” Lynch talks about how she respect these two but Miz asks Lita and Trish what it’s like to be Becky’s backup. Lita says she feels like a champion but here is Damage Ctrl to interrupt.
Bayley accuses Lita of meaning something 20 years ago but Trish says that title says she means something now. Bayley talks about how being in the ring with these two would be a dream 20 years ago. Now though, it’s still a dream for people who can’t accomplish anything. They want the titles back, which sends Becky into a rant about how many times Damage Ctrl loses, they keep coming back. The triple staredown ensues.
Becky Lynch vs. Iyo Sky
Lynch starts fast with a suplex to send Sky outside. With Damage Ctrl having a meeting, Becky grabs Bayley by the hair to bring her back in. Sky hits a running dropkick to take over but Becky is back with a running forearm for a double knockdown. With Sky on the floor, Lynch hits a baseball slide, followed by a forearm off the apron.
Back in and a layout reverse DDT gets two on Sky as we take a break. We come back with Lynch getting two off a suplex but Sky catches her on top. That means an Asai moonsault can drop Lynch on the floor for two back inside as the fans approve. Over The Moonsault misses though and the Manhandle Slam finishes Sky at 11:50.
Rating: B-. This was another good example of what happens when you have two talented stars going in there and getting to do their thing. Lynch is able to wrestle a good match when she is given the chance and Sky really can make the high flying work as well as probably any woman in the division. Good match here, and the six woman tag could have a lot of potential.
We look back at Cody Rhodes predicting that the Bloodline would turn on Roman Reigns.
Video on Asuka, with various Hall of Famers and legends talking about how awesome she really is.
We recap Logan Paul knocking out Seth Rollins last week. Then in the back, Paul stole the mic and shouted about getting to do it again at Wrestlemania.
Seth Rollins….is interrupted by Mustafa Ali, who wants Rollins to be more positive. Rollins laughs at the Positive Ali idea and the result is a match later tonight.
Seth Rollins vs. Mustafa Ali
Ali forearms him in the face to start and Rollins seems annoyed. A clothesline turns Ali inside out and the stomping is on in the corner. Ali gets tied in the corner for a running stomp, followed by the regular version to give Rollins the pin at 2:07. The stomp in the corner looked painful.
Post match Rollins says if he can’t beat Logan Paul at Wrestlemania, he’s the joke. The match is on Paul’s anniversary and Rollins wants to take him out, so sing that song!
Earlier today Baron Corbin was asking Adam Pearce what was going on with his losses when Chelsea Green interrupted. She wants to know why she isn’t in the Women’s Showcase at Wrestlemania. Pearce says she doesn’t have a partner, but here is Sonya Deville to say Pearce is just jealous that she didn’t do as well as she did in this role. That’s enough or Pearce, who puts them in a qualifying match for the showcase. Corbin is still there and asks “seriously?” but Pearce leaves.
It’s time for a weigh-in between Omos (with MVP) and Brock Lesnar. Before Lesnar comes out, MVP talks about how Lesnar has done great things at Wrestlemania, including beating people like Kurt Angle, Goldberg, Roman Reigns and even…..the Undertaker. Unlike those men though, Lesnar cannot suplex or F5 Omos. With that, Omos weighs in at 410lbs. Cue Lesnar, who goes right after Omos and even picks up the scale, only to get kicked in the face. That’s enough for Lesnar to bail outside and look a bit scared. This was pretty quick but they got the point across.
Video on Charlotte being awesome over the years.
Finn Balor talks about Edge wanting to be inside the Cell with him and says there is nothing more dangerous than a caged demon.
Street Profits/Braun Strowman/Ricochet vs. Alpha Academy/Viking Raiders
Valhalla is here with the Raiders. Dawkins takes Gable down to start but has to slip out of the ankle lock. Strowman comes in to clean house on the villains until Ford (with his own double bicep pose) comes in for some armdrags. Everything breaks down and we get the Ivar vs. Strowman vs. Otis showdown. Otis plants an invading Ford and the Academy stands tall as we take a break.
Back with Erik chinlocking Ford and handing it off to Otis, as Maxxine Dupri is watching in the back. Maxxine likes the Otis shirt coming off for a running elbow (with Otis telling her he’s here). An enziguri gets Ford out of trouble and it’s Dawkins coming back in to clean house. Strowman comes in to do the train around the ring. Ricochet Swantons off of Strowman’s shoulders to hit Erik, followed by Ford (who tagged in) diving OVER Strowman with the frog splash for the pin at 11:21.
Rating: C+. The ending looked great as Ricochet did his crazy flip and then Ford made it look even better. This was probably a lot more interesting than the showcase is going to be, as I still can’t believe there isn’t even a title shot on the line. For now though, this was a good match with a better finish so maybe they’ll surprise me at Wrestlemania.
Cody Rhodes finds it interesting that he has to face the Bloodline’s enforcer this week. The question has been if he has earned it and Cody says he has always earned it. Tonight he beats Solo Sikoa, and at Wrestlemania, it’s Roman Reigns.
This week’s parody trailer: the Bloodline are Goodfellas. At least that matches up.
Video on Bianca Belair coming up the ranks and becoming a major star. Belair really is one of the only women who has come up with no wrestling background and become part of the top group.
Earlier today, Austin theory was in the empty arena and talked about how John Cena allegedly humiliated him on the microphone a few weeks ago. The only thing Cena can’t see is the future, because Theory is a star. It doesn’t matter if Theory is in an empty ring or in a sold out stadium, because he’ll show Cena what a star really is. Good stuff here, but Theory needs to win in a pretty dominant fashion on Saturday.
Stacy Keibler is going into the Hall of Fame.
Wrestlemania Showcase Qualifying Match: Sonya Deville/Chelsea Green vs. Michin/Candice LeRae
Michin gets taken into the wrong corner to start so Deville and green can take turns hammering on her. A double neckbreaker gets Michin out of trouble as everything breaks down. A quick Unprettier gives Green the pin on Yim at 2:57.
Paul Heyman gives a Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes version of the 23rd Psalm before saying Rhodes isn’t ready. Yes he needs to face Solo Sikoa tonight because Roman Reigns has been guided from being the Big Dog to the Tribal Chief. Rhode isn’t ready for Sunday but needs to be ready to take a beating tonight and then another from Reigns. Be ready for pain, and to acknowledge the Tribal Chief.
Here are Dominik Mysterio and Damien Priest (who have been standing in the ring since before a break and Heyman’s interview) with Dominik talking about what a horrible father Rey Mysterio really is. We see Rey punching Dominik and agreeing to face Dominik at Wrestlemania. He should have told his mother to shut up a long time ago and wishes Eddie Guerrero was his real father.
Damien Priest vs. Rey Mysterio
Dominik Mysterio is here with Priest and we’re joined in progress (19 minutes after Priest’s music started to play) with Rey taking Priest down. Priest plants him with a lifting Downward Spiral for two but misses a big boot. The 619 is broken up with a heck of a clothesline but Rey super hurricanranas him down. Now the 619 can connect but Dominik crotches Rey on top for the DQ at 3:10.
Rating: C. This was about having Dominik screw over Rey before they fight at Wrestlemania so there wasn’t much to expect from the match itself. They did as much as they could with the time they had so this was good enough to fulfill its purpose. Other than that, can we please find something for Priest to do? Or at least a feud of his own? It has been a long time now for him.
Post match the beatdown is on but Legado del Fantasma runs in for the save.
Video on Andre the giant, who has a battle royal named after him on Friday.
The Good Brothers and Johnny Gargano are in the Andre battle royal and go to do something else. Rick Boogs is excited about being in and Elias promises to win. Dexter Lumis and Bronson Reed both scare Elias, as does Bobby Lashley.
We look at the Usos jumping Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on Smackdown.
Owens and Zayn talk about how this is going to be the biggest Tag Team Title match of all time. They have to win because the Bloodline has to be stopped.
Gunther vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title and Imperium is here with Gunther. Ziggler hits a dropkick and the jumping DDT but Gunther gets him in the corner for the boot choke as we take a break. Back with Ziggler getting two off a Fameasser but getting chopped HARD out of the air. A German suplex and the powerbomb set up the Last Symphony to finish Ziggler at 5:43. Not enough shown to rate but Ziggler got in some offense before getting crushed by the monster that is Gunther.
Post match Gunther promises the same thing for Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.
Cody Rhodes vs. Solo Sikoa
Paul Heyman is here with Sikoa. A dropkick hits Sikoa to start but he snaps off a Samoan drop for a breather. They head outside with Sikoa being whipped into the steps but he suplexes Rhodes back inside. That’s enough to send Cody outside, where Sikoa can drop him onto the announcers’ table as we take a break. The swinging Rock Bottom onto the table has Cody in trouble as we take a break.
Back with Cody fighting out of a nerve hold but getting clotheslined in the corner. Cod jumps over him in the corner and snaps off the powerslam, followed by the Disaster Kick. The Cody Cutter connects and Cross Rhodes drops Sikoa again for a rather delayed two, with Sikoa getting a foot on the rope.
A moonsault misses for Cody but the Samoan Spike misses. Cody grabs another Cody Cutter but here are the Usos (with music), allowing Sikoa to hit a superkick. Spinning Solo gets two (Heyman is surprised) but here are Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to brawl with the Usos. Another Samoan Spike is countered into Cross Rhodes to finish Sikoa at 12:53.
Rating: B-. Rhodes winning to shake Heyman (and presumably Reigns) up is a smart move and I don’t think Sikoa is going to be ruined by having his first loss be to someone who very well could be World Champion next week. This was the best way to end Raw, as Rhodes only has Reigns left in front of him. We’ll get a showdown on Friday and a match on Sunday, so nice job on setting things up.
A serious looking Heyman pulls out his phone to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of complaints about this show not being the most exciting or the highest quality and those are pretty fair. At the same time though, this is one of the few shows of the year that isn’t about what takes place between the bells. This show is all about getting things ready for Wrestlemania and it went fairly well, with a few good matches thrown in. Good enough show, but none of it is going to matter once the bell rings on Saturday.
Becky Lynch b. Iyo Sky – Manhandle Slam
Seth Rollins b. Mustafa Ali – Stomp
Street Profits/Braun Strowman/Ricochet b. Alpha Academy/Viking Raiders – Frog splash to Erik
Sonya Deville/Chelsea Green b. Michin/Candice LeRae – Unprettier to Green
Rey Mysterio b. Damien Priest via DQ when Dominik Mysterio interfered
Gunther b. Dolph Ziggler – Last Symphony
Cody Rhodes b. Solo Sikoa – Cross Rhodes
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