Monday Night Raw – July 3, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 3rd July 2023
Monday Night Raw
Date: July 3, 2023
Location: CFG Bank Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We’re back stateside after Money In The Bank in London and the big story around here is Damian Priest being the new Mr. Money In The Bank. That means there is officially a threat over a few champions’ heads and that could make things interesting for a long time to come. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of pretty much everything that happened at Money In The Bank.
Here is Seth Rollins to get things going. After a long serenade, Rollins talks about retaining the title at Money In The Bank but now he has to worry about that pesky briefcase. Cue Cody Rhodes to interrupt….but he can only get a “So…” out, here Brock Lesnar interrupts. Cody immediately goes outside for the fight but Lesnar takes him side. The F5 is countered and a Cody Cutter sends Lesnar running.
Post break, Rollins is still in the ring but here is Judgment Day (minus Finn Balor) to interrupt. Damian Priest recaps the Money In The Bank concept and Rollins offers him a match tonight. Priest says Rollins can fight someone standing next to him. Rhea Ripley: “Well I’m already defending my World Women’s Title against Natalya.” So it’ll have to be Dominik Mysterio instead. Rollins smells a trap but listens to the fans and says he’ll do it.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Damian Priest
Ripley and Mysterio are here with Priest. Nakamura takes him down fast to start and fires off the knees to the ribs, only to have Priest hit him in the face. Back up and Priest stomps away in the corner, setting up the running elbow. Nakamura manages to put hum on top for the running knee to the ribs as the fans are all over Dominik. They head outside with Priest dropping him onto the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Nakamura striking away and hitting an STO. The sliding German suplex drops Priest and lets Nakamura…go outside to hit on Ripley. With that odd visual out of the way, Priest knocks a diving Nakamura out of the air and hits a good looking spinning kick to the head for two. Nakamura hits a kick of his own and adds the middle rope knee to the chest. Not that it matters as Priest hits a HARD clothesline, setting up South Of Heaven for the pin at 11:00.
Rating: C+. Well Priest is already off to a better start than some Money In The Bank winners as he’s not losing after slipping on a banana peel. Priest has been treated seriously for months now and it is nice to see that continue after he gets his big win. Keep it up and WWE might actually have a star on their hands if they’re not careful.
We recap Shayna Baszler turning on Ronda Rousey to cost the team the Women’s Tag Team Titles at Money In The Bank.
Here is Rousey for a chat but Baszler interrupts, saying people are sick of hearing her trying to talk. Rousey wants an explanation, saying she is owed one. That sets Baszler off, saying she is the reason Rousey got into wrestling so she owes Rousey nothing. The only thing she owes ANYONE is an apology for getting Rousey into the business. Rousey says they worked to become champions, which sets Baszler off again.
Baszler doesn’t remember Rousey building rings to work in front of 30 people or having to fill out an application. Rousey came in and went straight to Wrestlemania. Baszler loves this and owes Rousey the reality that there is someone here who can shut her up. The fight is on with Rousey getting the better of things until Baszler gets an ankle lock. With Rousey slowed, Baszler gives her a running knee and leaves, even as Rousey tells her to get back here. That’s not exactly an explanation, as Rousey and Baszler were a successful team. So Baszler waited until they were a success together to let out all of this anger? That’s a bit odd.
Maxxine Dupri is ready to make her in-ring debut and is ready to prove that Chad Gable is a heck of a trainer. Gable is ready to give the Viking Raiders a dose of patriotism.
Tag Team Turmoil
For a Women’s Tag Team Title shot against Liv Morgan/Raquel Rodriguez (at ringside). Chelsea Green/Sonya Deville are in at #1 and Candice LeRae/Indi Hartwell are in at #2. Hartwell goes after Deville to start but everything breaks down quickly. Green gets sent to the apron but comes back in with UnprettyHer to LeRae. Deville’s running knee is enough for the pin at 1:32.
Emma/Nikki Cross are in at #3 with Cross Checking on the banged up LeRae. Green comes in and gets Russian legsweeped, but Cross is still worried about LeRae (who is gone). The UnprettyHer and another running knee finishes Emma at 4:55 total. Tegan Knox/Dana Brooke are in at #4 and clear the ring rather quickly as we take a break. Back with Deville pinning Nox with the running knee at 7:54 so it’s Kayden Carter/Katana Chance in at #5.
Carter drops Deville for a fast two but she has to fight out of the corner. Green is taken up top but Carter goes up with her. Chance tags herself in and hits a super hurricanrana for two with Deville having to make the save. The After Party is broken up and Deville gets in a cheap shot from the floor. UnprettyHer gives Green the pin and the title shot at 11:49.
Rating: C. Deville and Green are a good enough team to get a title shot out of all of this, but a match like this one really shows you just how shallow the division is. Other than the winners, it’s three thrown together teams and Carter/Chance, who have mainly been treated as losers since getting called up. There might (and I emphasize that word) be a decent division between all three brands, but this really didn’t do the division any favors.
Video on the women’s Money In The Bank match.
Video on Bronson Reed.
Here is a ticked off Becky Lynch who didn’t win Money In The Bank, but wants to finish this with Trish Stratus RIGHT NOW. Cue Stratus and Zoey Stark, with Stratus sporting a face mask to protect a broken nose. Lynch: “HAHA LOOK AT HER FACE!” Stratus: “You think this is funny?” Lynch: “I DO!” Stratus isn’t medically cleared to fight so Lynch will beat up Stark instead.
Lynch isn’t impressed but Stratus calls herself the greatest of all time. Lynch says Stratus is just back to plug some low level show and appear on the cover of a local magazine that she paid to be in. Once she leaves, is she taking Stark back to be the secretary of her yoga studio? Why is Stratus still here? Stratus talks about being the face of the women’s division and Lynch is jealous of all of the attention that Stratus gets. Now Stark is going to break her face….or not as Stratus has a medical appointment right now, so they have to leave Balti-less right now (Graves liked that one). Lynch vs. Stratus at Summerslam should work.
Cody Rhodes comes out, welcomes new interviewer Jackie Redmond, and says Brock Lesnar is back. Rhodes will fight him anywhere anytime…and that’s that.
Alpha Academy vs. Viking Raiders
Six person tag here, with Otis wasting no time in hitting the Caterpillar on Ivar. We take a very fast break and come back with Gable coming in to clean house. A dive to the floor hits Erik and a top rope headbutt hits Ivar. Erik takes Gable down though and it’s the women coming in, with Dupri managing the suplex. Valhalla breaks up the Caterpillar from Dupri though, as Gable moonsaults onto the Vikings at ringside. A sunset flip out of the corner gives Dupri the pin on Valhalla at 7:58.
Rating: C-. I do kind of like the fact that WWE isn’t hiding what they’re doing with Dupri. She is far from a skilled star in the ring but she has nice gear and a bunch of charisma. If they keep her doing low level, mostly non-serious stuff like this, she’ll be fine as someone who can be brought up slowly. Not much of a match but they were smart enough to keep the women’s part short.
Ricochet isn’t happy that Logan Paul was in Money In The Bank so how about they settle it face to face next week.
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya
Ripley is defending and gets jumped from behind during the entrance. They go inside for the opening bell and they go straight back to the floor, with Ripley sending her face first into the announcers’ table. Back in and Ripley forearms her in the back, followed by a headbutt out of the corner. A low superkick keeps Natalya down as this is one sided so far.
Natalya fights out of the corner and hits a high crossbody for a double knockdown. Ripley is back up with a basement dropkick for two and we take a break. We come back with Ripley hitting a kick to the head for a double knockdown. Natalya hurricanranas her way out of a powerbomb but Ripley gets up top for a missile dropkick.
The Prism Trap goes on but Natalya sends her into the corner for the escape. Ripley drops her again and goes up for a frog splash (complete with Eddie dance) only to hit raised knees. A powerslam into the Sharpshooter sends Ripley to the ropes but she’s right back with a headbutt. Riptide retains the title at 13:06.
Rating: B-. This got a lot better after the break and they had a pretty good match despite the lack of uncertainty over the winner. Natalya’s problem has never been her abilities in the ring so it’s no surprise that she can get going in a long match. Just stop trying to have her involved in stories and she’s a lot better. Ripley isn’t likely to lose the title anytime soon, so giving her a nice win like this is a good way to go.
Post match Ripley stays on her until Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez make the save.
We look at Miz attacking Tommaso Ciampa last week.
Ciampa says he fought Miz face to face but Miz attacked him from behind. There is a silver lining in this though: Ciampa saw that look in Miz’s eye. He’s happy to have that Miz back and now he can face the good one.
Miz says he’s feeling better than he ever before so he’ll face Ciampa in a no DQ match next week.
Video on the Bloodline Civil War at Money In The Bank with Jey Uso finally pinning Roman Reigns.
Rhea Ripley is in the back and runs into Ms. Money In The Bank Iyo Sky. Ripley says try her, because it would be a huge mistake. Sky leaves and Dominik Mysterio/Damian Priest come in. They haven’t heard from Finn Balor but Ripley threatens Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez. Dominik Mysterio is ready to hurt Seth Rollins, which has Ripley approving.
Matt Riddle vs. Giovanni Vinci
The rest of Imperium is here with Vinci. Riddle kicks away at the chest but Vinci goes after the still banged up ankle. The middle rope moonsault connects for Vinci but Riddle grabs a rollup for the pin at 1:20.
Post match the beatdown is on until Drew McIntyre makes the save. The Claymore drops Vinci and McIntyre stares Gunther down.
We recap Seth Rollins retaining over Finn Balor at Money In The Bank.
Matt Riddle thanks Drew McIntyre for the save and they’re going to face Imperium next week. For tonight, they’re hitting the town.
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio
Non-title and the rest of Judgment Day (minus Finn Balor) are here with Dominik. Rollins takes him over with a headlock as the fans are all over Dominik. Rollins’ headlock is reversed into another headlock but he’s right back up with a running clothesline. With Dominik on the floor, Ripley offers a distraction but Dominik gets tossed outside again anyway.
We take a break and come back with Rollins snapping off Three Amigos but another Ripley distraction lets Priest shove him off the top. Dominik hits the frog splash and then does it again but doesn’t bother covering. A third only hits raised knees though and Rollins first off some running forearms in the corner. The running knee drops Dominik again and a clothesline sends him outside. Rollins hits a dive onto Dominik and Priest, the latter of whom comes in with the South of Heaven for the DQ at 9:50.
Rating: C+. This was the right way to go as Dominik isn’t going to be a threat to Rollins straight up, but Dominik with Ripley and Priest could be. It’s also good to not have Dominik take another fall, as you don’t want to run him into the ground. Priest coming in for the DQ to set up a cash in tease worked fine and it was nice to see the champion getting to beat someone up for a bit.
Post match Priest loads up the Razor’s Edge through the announcers’ table but Rollins slips out. Dominik gets in a briefcase shot though and Priest teases cashing in. Cue Finn Balor though, and he knocks Rollins into Priest to break up the cash-in attempt (Priest didn’t do it). The argument lets Rollins escape, albeit after a Pedigree on Dominik on the floor. Judgment Day argues a lot to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This show had quite the level of HHH efficiency going on and that’s a great thing to see. You had the Judgment Day/Seth Rollins stuff going on throughout the show, plus some things being set up for the future. While not officially announced, you can probably guess most of the Summerslam card from a month out and that’s not bad. Keep doing stuff like this and Raw should be in a good place on the way to Detroit.
Damian Priest b. Shinsuke Nakamura – South Of Heaven
Sonya Deville/Chelsea Green won Tag Team Turmoil last eliminating Kayden Carter/Katana Chance
Alpha Academy b. Viking Raiders – Sunset flip to Valhalla
Rhea Ripley b. Natalya – Riptide
Matt Riddle b. Giovanni Vinci – Rollup
Seth Rollins b. Dominik Mysterio via DQ when Damian Priest interfered
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