Monday Night Raw – July 24, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 24th July 2023
Monday Night Raw
Date: July 24, 2023
Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
Summerslam is right around the corner and thankfully the card is all but set. You should have a good idea of what to expect from the show after the last few weeks but there is always time for one more push towards Detroit. Odds are that means more Judgment Day this week so let’s get to it.
Here is Judgment Day, minus Dominik Mysterio, to open things up. They brag about everything they have been doing as of late and we see a clip of Dominik winning the North American Title last week. Cue Dominik to quite the negative reaction and we see a package on him and Rhea Ripley. Now it’s Kevin Owens (to a huge reaction) and Sami Zayn to interrupt, with Owens saying we did this last week. It drives Owens crazy when people don’t learn their lesson and now we have Dominik who can’t learn a lesson and now the best thing he can do for this business is shut his mouth forever.
After that amazing one sentence rant, Dominik says he will not be disrespected like this, which Zayn thinks is a good point. The thing is no one respects him in the first place so it doesn’t matter! Zayn remembers Judgment Day complaining about last week not being a title match, so how about Zayn vs. Dominik in a North American Title match tonight? Ripley accepts for Dominik, with Balor giving her a “well…..ok then” look.
Zoey Stark vs. Becky Lynch
If Becky wins, she gets to face Trish Stratus (ringside) again, but if she loses, she has to get a THANK YOU TRISH tattoo. Becky starts fast and knocks her down before taking the beating to the floor. Zoey gets in a shot of her own though and a springboard hilo hits Becky for two as we take a break.
Back with Becky being knocked outside, where the face masked Stratus gets in a headbutt. Zoey’s superkick gets two but Becky pulls her into a cross armbreaker. That’s reversed into a powerbomb for two but Becky reverses a rollup into the Disarm-Her. Trish throws the mask in for a distraction though and Zoey gets two off a rollup. The Manhandle Slam finishes Zoey at 9:40.
Rating: B-. This match did something rather difficult as it had some false finishes in a match that shouldn’t have had the slightest bit of drama. Trish vs. Lynch is tailor made for a big blow off at Summerslam and the tattoo stipulation felt like something out of 1999, but some of those near falls made me jump a bit. Good stuff here, even as they got to what should have been a completely obvious ending.
We look at Brock Lesnar taking out Cody Rhodes last week.
Here is Cody Rhodes for a chat. He talks about how Brock Lesnar beat him down last month and that wasn’t on his bucket list. Cody brings up Lesnar getting everything handed to him so fast, from the UFC to the NFL, but now he did this in front of Cody’s mother. That’s the same mother who watched Terry Funk throw fireballs at Dusty Rhodes and then went drinking with Gordon Solie. Now Cody is slapping the bear in the face and wants Brock to bring it at Summerslam. This was a bit rambly, but there is only so much that you can do when the story has been set for months.
We look at Logan Paul going after Ricochet in recent weeks.
Ricochet will say what he thinks of Paul to his face.
NXT North American Title: Sami Zayn vs. Dominik Mysterio
Dominik, with Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest, is defending and Kevin Owens is here with Zayn. A clothesline puts Dominik on the floor to start and there’s the big flip dive as we take a break. Back with Priest shoving Zayn off the top so Owens decks him as well. Owens is out….and so are Priest and Ripley. Zayn gets the Michinoku Driver for two and hits a clothesline to cut off a 619 attempt.
Dominik dropkicks him out of the air but Zayn is right back with the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Another 619 attempt gives Dominik two and Three Amigos put Zayn down again. Back up and Zayn suplexes him into the corner but here are Priest and Ripley to jump Owens on the stage. Dominik rolls Zayn up (with tights) for the pin at 11:55.
Rating: C+. They were starting to roll at the end and the question became how would Dominik cheat to win here rather than would he at all. He’s basically the Honky Tonk Man at the moment and there is nothing wrong with that as it is an idea that works. Good enough match here as Dominik gets another win that he doesn’t deserve.
Post break, Owens’ ribs are pretty banged up.
We look at Jey Uso and Roman Reigns agreeing to Tribal Combat at Summerslam.
Ricochet asks Shinsuke Nakamura if he has seen Logan Paul. Nakamura says he’ll tell Ricochet if he sees him before turning around to see Tommaso Ciampa. Last week Nakamura got in a shot on Ciampa and that’s his only free one. If Nakamura gets involved again, they’ve got a problem.
Judgment Day runs into Apollo Crews and Akira Tozawa and demand some respect. Crews doesn’t like that and gets a match with Damian Priest tonight.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bronson Reed
Ciampa charges right at him and it doesn’t go so well. Some knees to the head get Ciampa out of a suplex but Reed tosses him outside without much trouble. Reed powers him around until Ciampa slips out of a fireman’s carry into a chinlock. That earns him a big crash back from Reed, giving us a great “OW!” look from Ciampa. Reed sends him outside but Ciampa knees him out of the air and we take a break.
Back with Reed running him over for two more but Ciampa fires off some running forearms. The discus forearm sets up a running Fameasser from behind but Reed isn’t having this being whipped thing. Instead he drops a backsplash on Ciampa and fires off chops, which just seem to wake Ciampa up. Ciampa hits a jumping knee and an Air Raid Crash of all things for two. Cue Shinsuke Nakamura for a distraction, allowing Reed to run Ciampa over again. The Tsunami finishes Ciampa at 12:44.
Rating: C+. Reed getting another win is nice to see but it’s rather depressing to see Ciampa lose, even with a screwy finish. Odds are this is setting up a big showdown with Nakamura (and possibly Reed), which is again more or less the same feud we just finished. For now though, at least Reed is looking like a monster.
We look back at Rhea Ripley attacking Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan, leading to them losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Morgan is ready to beat up Ripley tonight. Maybe she gets taken out, but maybe she doesn’t. With Morgan gone, Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville come in to ask why they aren’t being interviewed. That would be because they don’t have a match tonight, but here is Rhea Ripley to stare them off.
Liv Morgan vs. Rhea Ripley
Non-title and Morgan gets jumped during her entrance as the destruction is on outside. Morgan’s arm gets Pillmanized and, despite a medic and referee being there, Ripley does it a second time. No match.
The Alpha Academy want an Academy Rules match with the Viking Raiders. Maxxine Dupri is ready to face Valhalla in her first singles match.
Here is Ricochet to call out Logan Paul, even if Paul doesn’t belong here. Ricochet calls Paul an arrogant little pr***, who does not deserve to be here. The people who are here every week have sacrificed to get to this spot, but Paul just does whatever he wants. The challenge is on for Summerslam and here is Paul to jump him from behind and accept said challenge. As Paul talks to his phone, Ricochet is up with a superkick before taking his own picture.
Shayna Baszler is sick of Ronda Rousey so they’re going to FIGHT at Summerslam.
Logan Paul says that was unprofessional and he’s coming for Ricochet next week.
Damian Priest vs. Apollo Crews
Crews starts fast and hits a dropkick into a high crossbody. Priest is right back with a shot to the head and the big discus forearm drops Crews. A hammerlock lariat sets up South Of Heaven to finish Crews at 3:09.
Rating: C. Pretty much just a squash here for Priest. It’s nice to have him in the ring to keep looking dominant, though there can be such a thing as having someone on television too much in a week. This show has been very heavy on the Judgment Day stuff and I’m not sure this really needed to be on the sow.
Becky Lynch says it isn’t over with Trish Stratus until she wins.
Valhalla and the Viking Raiders are in against the Alpha Academy and Maxxine Dupri.
Here is Imperium for a face to face showdown with Drew McIntyre. The challenge is on for an Intercontinental Title match tonight but Gunther says he’ll humiliate McIntyre at Summerslam instead. Gunther brings up their Summerslam match, with Drew talking about how he and Sheamus have known each other for years (Drew: “I was 19 and Sheamus was about 42.”) and their dream was to face each other at Wrestlemania. That is what they did this year, but Gunther snuck in and stole the win. At Summerslam it’s one on one but Ludwig Kaiser interrupts. Gunther thinks Kaiser should lead Imperium but he’ll settle for a match.
Drew McIntyre vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Kaiser grabs a headlock to start as Graves goes into a Kaiser impression. McIntyre fights back and knocks him to the floor for a chop and a posting. There’s a ram into the barricade and some loud chops but Kaiser manages to post him as well to take over. Back from a break with McIntyre hitting an Air Raid Crash and nipping up, only to have the Claymore cut off by a kick in the general vicinity of his head. Not that it matters as the Claymore finishes Kaiser at 9:34.
Rating: B-. These two beat the fire out of each other for a little while until McIntyre finished him off. Kaiser is a great character and awesome at all of his talking, but he got to show off some in-ring abilities here. It was a pretty nice match and I got into seeing these two beating each other up rather well.
Post match the triple teaming is on, with Matt Riddle coming in for a failed save attempt. McIntyre fights back though and powerbombs Gunther through the announcers’ table.
Ronda Rousey is down to fight Shayna Baszler at Summerslam.
Here is Finn Balor to sign the contract with Seth Rollins. He believes the two of them can handle this like gentlemen with no Adam Pearce so here is Rollins to quite the serenade. Rollins says they can just sign and maybe Balor wins, but Damian Priest is going to cash in on him immediately anyway. Balor hesitates before signing, saying Rollins must think he has all of this figured out.
Cue Judgment Day, with Balor talking about how he has felt helpless for seven years. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch….a seven year itch. At Summerslam, Rollins becomes the seven year b****. Rollins turns the table over but gets beaten down, with Sami Zayn making a failed save attempt. The big beatdown wraps up the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The problem right now is that Summerslam is all but set, and that doesn’t leave much to cover over multiple hours a week. There was some stuff here that got a nice push towards the pay per view, but what we saw was either stuff being confirmed after being all but guaranteed or a slight stronger push or matches already set. That makes for only a pretty ok show, and that’s what we had here.
Becky Lynch b. Zoey Stark – Manhandle Slam
Dominik Mysterio b. Sami Zayn – Rollup with tights
Bronson Reed b. Tommaso Ciampa – Tsunami
Damian Priest b. Apollo Crews – South Of Heaven
Drew McIntyre b. Ludwig Kaiser – Claymore
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