Monday Night Raw
Date: April 3, 2023
Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
It’s the night after Wrestlemania and while WWE will hype it up a lot, there have only been so many big moments/surprises on this show in recent years. Maybe they will surprise us this year, but I’m not sure who is out there to bring in for the right kind of surprises. Let’s get to it.
Here is HHH for a chat. He talks about what a great weekend it was and wants to think everyone who came to the show and everyone who worked together to make it work (including a cameraman named Stu). Finally, he thanks all of the fans who makes everything possible. It’s the day after Wrestlemania and WWE is the water cooler talk, with WWE making a huge announcement.
What you need to know is that WWE is going nowhere and it’s the same WWE put on Wrestlemania this weekend. We will be here week in and week out, event after event and sold out event and sold out event after sold out event. Then, now, forever, together. For now though, there is one more person who we need to acknowledge.
Cue Roman Reigns, with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa, for a chat. After walking around for a bit, Reigns tells the crowd to acknowledge him but here is Cody Rhodes to interrupt. Rhodes says he thought he would be champion and he’ll acknowledge that Reigns won last night. He wishes these other guys were a factor but he knows that Reigns knows there have been matches where he skated by.
Last night, Rhodes had him, so there is one word that is on his mind: rematch. Heyman asks Rhodes would like this hypothetical rematch. Rhodes: “TONIGHT!” Reigns shakes that off so Heyman says no to a rematch in Puerto Rico, at Summerslam, Survivor Series, the Royal Rumble, Madison Square Garden, San Francisco, California or anywhere else. If that’s off, then Rhodes wants a tag match because he was fighting both of them last night. Heyman and Reigns have a huddle and Reigns nods to something.
The tag match is accepted, but the partner has to be someone who will never get another title shot against Roman Reigns as long as he is champion. In addition, they had to wrestle at Wrestlemania, which is going to limit Rhodes’ options. Cue BROCK LESNAR and Heyman/Reigns know this is trouble. So there’s your main event and yeah it feels huge, though Lesnar vs. Reigns in any form is a bit much to take.
Omos vs. Elias
MVP is here with Omos. Elias gets slammed, thrown around, booted in the face and chokebombed for the pin at 1:36.
The Usos go to see Roman Reigns but get Paul Heyman instead. Reigns is talking to Solo Sikoa about the tag match tonight but Reigns wanted Heyman to congratulate them on Wrestlemania. The seafood is already loaded onto the jet. Heyman goes into Reigns’ locker room and says he took care of it.
Video on the Hall Of Fame ceremony.
Bad Bunny is here and is very happy to be hosting Backlash in Puerto Rico.
Here is Rey Mysterio for a chat. Rey thanks the fans for the 619 chants because he wouldn’t be here without them. He also thanks Bad Bunny for everything he does, but here is Austin Theory to interrupt. Theory talks about how only he and Rey did what they promised at Wrestlemania, but he doesn’t want to hear the YOU TAPPED OUT chants. Theory is waiting on the post-Wrestlemania Raw crowd to eat him alive. The fans are chanting for Cena but Theory says he’s a part timer. Theory offers to add Rey to his collection so Rey is in.
Rey Mysterio vs. Austin Theory
This seems to be non-title. Theory gets shouldered down to start and we take an early break. Back with Theory holding a chinlock before putting Rey on the top. Rey fights out of trouble though and hits a tornado DDT. Some right hands in the corner rock Theory, who is right back with a torture rack bomb for two. Rey is right back with a 619 attempt but Theory blasts him with a clothesline. A Town Down finishes Rey at 9:26.
Rating: C. This was ok while it lasted but it was kind of a flat match. There was no drama about Rey winning the title or anything that ever went to another level. Going through the motions might be a good phrase here, as they’re both capable of more but it just didn’t happen this time around.
Post match Dominik Mysterio and Damien Priest come out to go after Rey. Dominik goes after Bad Bunny though and shoving ensues. Bunny jumps the barricade and decks Dominik, earning a shot from Priest. The chokeslam through the table knocks Bunny silly and probably sends him to Backlash.
Post break, Adam Pearce yells at Damien Priest, who doesn’t really care.
Here are Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for a chat. The fans think they deserve it, which Owens agrees with, though the fans deserve it too. Sami says they couldn’t be here without them, and yes he knows how cliched that is. Zayn thinks they should celebrate, and Owens thinks the best way is with a good fight. So bring out someone who wants a chance, which brings out the Street Profits. After a quick exchange, it seems like we have a match.
Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Street Profits
Again seems to be non-title. Zayn armdrags Dawkins down to start and works on an armbar but Dawkins is up with a jumping elbow to the face. Ford slingshots in with a hilo and Sami is in a bit of trouble. Back up and Owens gets the tag, only to be armbarred as well as we take a break.
Back with Zayn getting the tag and hitting a tornado DDT. The running flip dive hits both Profits and Zayn sunset bombs Ford back inside. Dawkins is back in to pick Zayn up for the Doomsday Blockbuster, with Owens having to break up the cover. Ford is rather fired up and hits the big no hands flip dive to take both of them down. Back inside and Owens is fine enough to snap off a Stunner. The Helluva Kick gives Zayn the pin at 12:54.
Rating: C+. Perfectly fine match here, though nothing from either team that we haven’t seen. You don’t want your champs losing anytime soon but I’m not sure how smart it is to have them face probably the biggest non-Usos team out there. The match was good enough and the best in-ring action on the show so far, but I’ll need a bit more than that.
Seth Rollins is happy with his victory and it’s time to celebrate. The party is in the ring and after the break, Rollins comes out, listens to the chants, and leaves without saying a word.
Bobby Lashley isn’t happy with not being on Wrestlemania when Bronson Reed shows up. Reed requests to be Lashley’s student so that one day the pupil can surpass him. That’s not happening so Reed leaves. Cue Mustafa Ali, who talks about how Lashley has had a bunch of losses. Lashley agrees, so he’ll beat up Ali.
Bobby Lashley b. Mustafa Ali
Hurt Lock finishes Ali at 31 seconds.
The Bloodline is ready for Brock Lesnar, because he can’t get another title shot anyway and it’s a one night only thing.
Here is Bianca Belair to celebrate her Wrestlemania win because they did it. Cue Rhea Ripley to interrupt and say that she won at Wrestlemania too but she’ll be back for Belair. That’s fine with Belair, who is ready to do this when Ripley is ready. Glaring ensues.
Liv Morgan/Raquel Rodriguez vs. Damage Ctrl
Winner gets a future Tag Team Title shot. Rodriguez gets knocked into the ropes to start so Morgan tags herself in. The Backstabber hits Kai and Sky gets dropkicked into the corner. Kai gives her a better dropkick but Damage Ctrl is sent outside. That lets Rodriguez powerbomb Morgan over the top onto both of them and we take a break. Back with Morgan fighting out of the corner so Rodriguez can clean house. The Tejana Bomb is broken up though but the second attempt works, setting up Oblivion to finish Kai at 7:01.
Rating: C. So the team who didn’t win the showcase is getting a title match because the showcase wasn’t for a title shot? I’m sure there’s a logic in there somewhere but this was just another match that came and went. Morgan and Rodriguez at least have the energy and popularity to be plucky challenges, but if WWE wants this t be a division, they need to actually develop some more teams.
Here is Miz to talk about how he had to deal with surprises for a few days. We hear about Pat McAfee, Shane McMahon (Miz: “I beat him so badly he couldn’t even finish the match!”) and Snoop Dogg. Now he’s done with surprises….but here is the returning Matt Riddle (Corey Graves: “It’s been nearly a year!” It was December.). The beating doesn’t take long and Miz is left laying.
Trish Stratus, Lita and Becky Lynch are happy with Wrestlemania and ready to keep it going next week.
Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa vs. Cody Rhodes/Brock Lesnar
We get the Big Match Intros….and Lesnar jumps Cody before the bell. Two F5’s in the ring ensue and the beating goes to the floor as Reigns and company walk away. The beating continues on the floor and then another F5 drops Rhodes on the steps. Lesnar chokes Cody with a chair to end the beating that went on for the better part of ten minutes. Medics come down and Lesnar returns for a double middle finger to end the show. I’m guessing Lesnar is mad that he can’t fight Reigns for the title again and he’s mad that Cody didn’t get the title back in play?
Overall Rating: D. What was THAT? I know that WWE has lowered the amount of effort and energy they put in the Raw after Wrestlemania in recent years but this was horrible. When the best match on your show is a just pretty good tag match, there isn’t much to be seen here. The only real surprise was Riddle’s return, with Bad Bunny and the angle at the end as the big deals. WWE has been very busy lately, but this was one of the worst Raw’s I’ve seen in a very long time. Maybe it’s a one off, but dang this was a hard sit.
Omos b. Elias – Chokebomb
Austin Theory b. Rey Mysterio – A Town Down
Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens b. Street Profits – Helluva Kick to Zayn
Bobby Lashley b. Mustafa Ali – Hurt Lock
Raquel Rodriguez/Liv Morgan b. Damage Ctrl – Oblivion to Kai
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