Monday Night Raw – August 7, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 7th August 2023
Monday Night Raw
Date: August 7, 2023
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We’re done with Summerslam and the wasn’t much on the Raw side. Finn Balor again failed to win the World Title from Seth Rollins, Damian Priest still has the Money In The Bank briefcase and Cody Rhodes beat Brock Lesnar again. Payback is in about a month and that means it’s time to start the build up. Let’s get to it.
Long Summerslam recap video.
We’re commercial free for the first hour.
Here is Cody Rhodes to get things going. Cody talks about how he was face to face with one of Minneapolis’ own at Summerslam and defeated him when he beat Brock Lesnar. After the match, Lesnar shook his hand, which was Lesnar ACKNOWLEDGING him. Now Rhodes feels like he could beat anyone in the world….and here is Seth Rollins to interrupt. Rollins (in yellow sunglasses and what look like massive yellow Crocs) to say he is thanking Cody for helping him, but let’s put this “I can beat anyone” to the test.
Cue Judgment Day (minus Finn Balor) to say they run Raw, including determining the title matches. Dominik Mysterio is the REAL workhorse around here. Dominik takes the mic but Balor runs in through the crowd and the beatdown is on. Sami Zayn runs in for the save and the good guys stand tall. Cody throws out the challenge for the six man main event.
Earlier today, Ricochet complained to Adam Pearce about Logan Paul’s brass knuckles. Pearce can’t do anything, but Chad Gable, Riddle and Tommaso Ciampa all come in to interrupt. It’s a four way and the winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot against Gunther. Everyone gets in their promises of winning.
Ricochet vs. Matt Riddle vs. Chad Gable vs. Tommaso Ciampa
One fall to a finish and the winner gets a future Intercontinental Title shot. Feeling out process to start with no one getting anywhere. Gable and Riddle grab stereo ankle locks but Ricochet and Ciampa make the ropes. That leaves us with Riddle vs. Gable but Ciampa is back in to send Gable outside. Ricochet drops Ciampa with a springboard clothesline for two but Riddle gets the same off a fisherman’s buster.
Gable is back in to faceplant Riddle for two, with Ciampa coming back in with a reverse DDT or two. Ricochet flips out of the Fairy Tale Ending and the Benedriller gets two more. Everyone goes to the corner for a huge Tower Of Doom, with Ricochet bouncing off the mat for a rather funny facial. Gable ankle locks Ciampa, whose rope grab means nothing. Instead Riddle makes the save and knees Gable but has to take Ricochet out instead.
Another knee rocks Ciampa and a superplex makes it worse. Gable and Ricochet both come off the top but dive onto knees, giving Riddle and Ciampa stereo two counts. Ricochet hits a big flip dive to the floor but dives back into Ciampa’s kick to the face. Project Ciampa gets two so Riddle hits the Bro Derek, with Gable making the save off a top rope splash. Gable is back up with Chaos Theory to Ciampa for the pin at 10:06.
Rating: B. The action was pretty much non-stop here and it was cool to see these four getting to showcase what they can do. Gable, the hometown boy, gets another shot at Gunther, which makes last week’s loss a bit more questionable. Leave the five minute time limit thing alone and it would work but instead we’re getting a rematch after Gunther already beat him. Either way, good match here, with all of the moves you could want.
Post match Gable gets to celebrate, even carrying his son around the ring.
Video on Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.
Sami Zayn has to play peacemaker between Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins. They’re cool enough to work together to fight the Judgment Day, but Sami doesn’t buy it.
Video on Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso.
Miz is told he has to wait as LA Knight has a photo shoot.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed
Reed powers him up against the ropes to start and runs Nakamura over. Nakamura’s shots to the face have little effect as Reed shoulders him down again. Back up and Nakamura hits a running knee into a sliding kick to the face. Good Vibrations shakes Reed up but he runs Nakamura over again as we take a break (it’s not the end of the first hour yet but I guess picture in picture doesn’t count as a commercial).
Back with Nakamura hitting the middle rope knee and scoring with a running kick to the chest for two. Reed grabs a running powerbomb for the same and a Death Valley Driver gets two more. Nakamura’s spinning kick barely grazes Reed, who hits a hard clothesline. The Tsunami misses though and back to back Kinshasas finish Reed at 11:51.
Rating: C+. This has been a nice feud but I don’t really need to see them fight again. It’s also more than a little weird that Nakamura was showing no signs of last week’s heel turn, which had been built up for a few weeks. Reed losing again isn’t great, but at least Nakamura took some work to put him down. Just let them both move on.
We look back at Rhea Ripley attacking Raquel Rodriguez in recent weeks.
Ludwig Kaiser comes in to the Alpha Academy locker room to suggest that Maxxine Dupri (here alone) would be better off with Imperium (or at least Kaiser). She slaps him in the face and Otis pops up to issue the challenge for tonight. Deal.
Here is Becky Lynch for a chat. She is tired of dealing with Trish Stratus and she is ready to wrap this up next week. It’s the greatest of the previous generation vs. the greatest of this generation (and the next and the next and the next) but here is Zoey Stark to interrupt. She doesn’t like all of this badmouthing Trish, but Becky says Trish is just using her. Stark: “You are d*** right. I am good at what I do!” She rants about how great she is until Shayna Baszler interrupts.
Baszler is a bit banged up but she says you should see Ronda Rousey. Well you can’t, because she got rid of Rousey at Summerslam (Becky approves). Stark says Baszler looks like a tough punching bag, which Becky thinks are fighting words. Cue Adam Pearce to agree. Not the best exchange here, as none of them were exactly feeling it on the mic.
Before the match, we get a long video on Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins.
JD McDonagh is in the back with Finn Balor when Damian Priest interrupts. Priest wants to know what was up with Balor making his own plans earlier. They argue over Balor’s loss, with Priest saying Balor is crowding him. Balor: “That contract is crowding both of us.” Rhea Ripley breaks it up, saying they need to act like men. McDonagh tries to intervene, saying that if the briefcase is coming between them, maybe Priest should get rid of it.
Shayna Baszler vs. Zoey Stark
Becky Lynch is having some lemonade at ringside. Feeling out process to start with Baszler knocking her down without much effort. Back up and Stark kicks away at a variety of Baszler’s injuries, meaning the chinlock can go on. Baszler fights up and hits a few kicks to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Baszler fighting out of a chinlock and making the clothesline comeback. Stark kicks her in the face for two but Baszler grabs a gutwrench suplex for two more (Becky approves). The Kirifuda Clutch sends Stark outside but Becky offers a distraction, allowing Baszler to kick her in the ribs and eventually hit a Piper’s Pit (now the World’s Baddest Slam) for the pin at 12:42.
Rating: C-. This was a good bit longer than it needed to be. I’m not sure if they were playing up the idea that Baszler is hurt and can’t take out Stark like she usually would, but it wasn’t exactly a great first match for Baszler after the big Rousey victory. Baszler can do better than that, but she needs to be more of a killer than all hobbled around.
Becky toasts Baszler’s win.
Shinsuke Nakamura is being interviewed when we cut to JD McDonagh attacking Sami Zayn, who has a HUGE lump on his elbow (that’s either a bad dislocation or a bursa sac).
Otis vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Maxxine Dupri and Giovanni Vinci are here too. Kaiser punches him into the corner to start but Otis gyrates his way out and grabs a slam. Otis hammers away in the corner but Vinci offers a distraction, allowing Gunther to come in with a cheap shot. Kaiser hits an enziguri and gets the pin at 2:57.
Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes almost argue over who gets to say that Sami Zayn isn’t cleared to compete tonight, so it’s 3-2. Shinsuke Nakamura comes up and offers to be their partner. Rollins agrees without getting Rhodes’ approval.
Here is Miz for a chat. He doesn’t get what is going on here because the fans suddenly love LA Knight. Why is he waiting behind someone like Knight? You’re supposed to introduce yourself when you get here and pay respect to those who came before you. Knight did NOT do any of that and he is tired of the lack of respect.
Cue Knight to say he thought the battle royal was enough of an introduction but sticks out his hand anyway. Miz says no, because Knight doesn’t deserve to shake his hand. He calls Knight the flavor of the month, but Miz thinks Knight is just an Attitude Era fanboy playing cosplay in the middle of his ring. Knight says you don’t want to make this personal so Miz goes on a rant about what he has been doing for the last twenty years.
That sounds personal to Knight, who talks about spending the last twenty years making himself a dangerous man on the outside while WWE bet on all of the wrong horses. Like Miz for instance. He’s been waiting for the right chance to come in but Miz got a twenty year head start because he’s safe. Yeah Miz has won a bunch of stuff and good for him, but Knight hasn’t been here yet. Now Knight is on the rise and Miz’s career is in the toilet. Knight is fine with making Miz a stepping stone (and he doesn’t mean the little ones down there).
Miz goes on a rant about being the main event, so Knight says prove him wrong. The jacket comes off and Miz throws it at him to start the fight. Knight reverses the Skull Crushing Finale into Blunt Force Trauma to knock Miz silly. Knight shakes his hand on the mat for a bonus. This was a good comeback promo from Knight, who has the charisma to make this work, but the Miz stuff needs to be a one off match and not a feud.
Here are the Viking Raiders for an open challenge.
Viking Raiders vs. New Day
Valhalla is here with the Raiders and this is the first New Day match since before Wrestlemania. Woods kicks away at Erik to start before handing it off to Kofi for the same. A Valhalla distraction lets Ivar kicks Woods in the face and it’s a top rope splash to give Ivar two. The beating continues until Woods manages a tornado DDT to escape.
Kofi comes back in for the Boom Drop but misses Trouble In Paradise. The SOS gets two but Ivar splashes him in the corner, allowing Erik to knee him in the face for two. Back up and Kofi kicks Erik in the face, setting up Trouble In Paradise into the Limit Break to give Woods the pin at 5:37.
Rating: C+. It’s nice to have Kofi and the New Day back as the team can be slotted into any spot you want. They’re automatically near the top of the depth chart and that should make for a better future for the tag division. If Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are both out of action, New Day getting the titles again soon wouldn’t be out of the question.
Shayna Baszler interrupts a Becky Lynch interview and says she’ll be coming for The Man sooner than later. Lynch says she’s not hard to find.
New Day is glad to be back and teaches interviewer Jackie Redmond their dance.
Sonya Deville has torn her ACL and is out indefinitely, meaning the future of the Women’s Tag Team Titles isn’t clear.
Judgment Day vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins
During the entrances, here is Raquel Rodriguez to jump Rhea Ripley. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae are here to help try and break it up but Ripley jumps both of them off, meaning it’s Candice going after Ripley instead. They’re broken up, with Ripley throwing her shoe at Candice.
After a break we get down to the actual match (after Cole says Wrestlemania is coming to the northeast for the first time in eleven years, as math is no longer his strong suit), with Nakamura dropping Dominik for an early two. We take a break and come back with Nakamura in trouble and not quite being able to fight his way out. Nakamura finally manages to kick his way over to Rollins for the tag so house can be cleaned for a bit. Priest can’t get the Broken Arrow so Rollins hits the Falcon Arrow for two.
Rollins hits some suicide dives but springboards into an uppercut, allowing Priest to hit the swinging Downward Spiral. With Rollins outside, Balor shotgun dropkicks him into the barricade and we take a break. Back with Rhodes coming in to pick up the pace but Balor catches him with the reverse DDT for two. The Cody Cutter gives Rhodes the same but Priest uses the briefcase to break up Cross Rhodes. Cue Sami Zayn (with a taped up elbow) to jump Priest, allowing Rollins to superkick the briefcase into Balor’s face. Cross Rhodes finishes Balor at 14:22.
Rating: B-. This was your main event tag match and that’s all it needed to be given the kind of weird circumstances. What mattered here was giving the good guys a win as Rollins is now about as ready as he can be to move on to someone else. Nakamura’s heel turn seems to have been kind of dropped after last week but maybe they’re planning something for later with him.
Rollins and Rhodes reluctantly shake hands and the good guys celebrate…until Nakamura Kinshasas Rollins to end the show. Well I guess it’s later.
Overall Rating: B. They got a lot covered in here and had the action to back it up. There are probably four or five matches set up out of this show, plus the return of New Day for a nice moment. With not much time until Payback, this is the kind of show that they needed and they certainly got out of the blocks fast. Good show here, but more importantly, they did a lot of stuff for the future, which is not something you can often say about WWE TV.
Chad Gable b. Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa and Matt Riddle – Chaos Theory to Ciampa
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Bronson Reed – Kinshasa
Shayna Baszler b. Zoey Stark – The World’s Baddest Slam
Ludwig Kaiser b. Otis – Enziguri
New Day b. Viking Raiders – Limit Break to Erik
Shinsuke Nakamura/Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins b. Judgment Day – Cross Rhodes to Balor
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