Monday Night Raw
Date: September 4, 2023
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We’re done with Payback and Seth Rollins has retained the Raw World Title over Shinsuke Nakamura. However, Nakamura attacked him again after the show was over so we might be in for a rematch. That would likely be at Fastlane in a little over a month, but we have some time to set that up. Let’s get to it.
Here is Jey Uso, through the crowd, for his Raw debut. He talks about being introduced by Cody Rhodes and some people aren’t going to be happy that he’s here. Cue Sami Zayn to say that’s true, but Sami is indeed happy that he’s here. Sami extends his hand but Jey doesn’t move. That’s cool with Sami, who says he’s happy to wait and will talk whenever Jey is ready. Sami goes to leave but Jey says that wasn’t very Ucey of him. Jey holds out his hand and Sami hugs him, so everything is cool. As they leave, Jey runs into Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle, both of whom stare at him but nothing gets violent.
We look at Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura from Payback.
Ricochet is asking Adam Pearce for an opportunity when Seth Rollins comes in. Pearce isn’t happy he’s here because of the medical report on his back and Jey Uso. Rollins: “Uso schmuso. Medical schmedical.” Ricochet says Rollins doesn’t have to carry the show himself when he has help but Rollins insists he’s fine.
Of note: we cut back to McIntyre and Riddle waiting in the ring for their match to start, with McIntyre being heard saying “we’ve been out here forever”.
Drew McIntyre/Matt Riddle vs. Viking Raiders
Tornado tag and Valhalla is here with the Vikings. They start fast and the Vikings get dropped, allowing McIntyre to flip Riddle onto Erik for two. The Vikings are sent outside, with McIntyre suplexing Riddle onto them. It’s already time for the table (why there is a monitor under the ring isn’t clear) and we take a break. Back with McIntyre saving Riddle from a splash through a table. A double superplex to Ivar misses the table as well but Erik is back up.
McIntyre suplexes his way out of trouble and hits a Death Valley Driver on Ivar. Another suplex on the floor drops Erik but Ivar dives off the announcers’ table with a splash to McIntyre. Riddle is back up to clean house but the Vikings are back up thanks to Valhalla interference. Cue Kofi Kingston to break up Ragnarok but he accidentally hits Riddle with Trouble In Paradise. Kofi is tossed at McIntyre and a double powerbomb through the table finishes Riddle at 9:40.
Rating: B-. It was the usual wild brawl as this was basically another version of a street fight. The Kofi interference going the wrong way opens up some doors as we are likely heading towards a triple threat tag team match. It’s a story that has been going for a few weeks now and isn’t losing steam so well done on putting things together well enough.
In honor of tonight’s main event, we look at some legends who held the Intercontinental Title over the years.
Here is Seth Rollins for a chat. Shinsuke Nakamura brought it on Saturday and Rollins didn’t know if he could continue the fight, but he’s still the champ. Then Nakamura attacked him after the match, meaning Nakamura walked out of the arena but Rollins was wheeled out by his wife. So Nakamura can get out here right now and we’ll finish this.
Cue Nakamura, who won’t get in the ring. Therefore, Rollins offers to put the title on the line right now. Nakamura responds in Japanese, which Rollins takes as a yes, so let’s ring the bell. Nakamura: “No.” Rollins is confused so Nakamura says it again, which makes it even more confusing. That doesn’t work for Rollins, who charges up the aisle and the fight is on. Security is here to break it up but Nakamura gets in some knees to the back. Ricochet makes the real save.
Post break Adam Pearce tells Rollins that he’s going too fast and Pearce is just trying to protect him.
Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura bails tot he floor to start but Ricochet throws him back in. A suplex doesn’t work for Ricochet and Nakamura hits a middle rope knee to the face. Nakamura hits the sliding German suplex and we take a break. Back with Nakamura striking away as Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest are watching backstage. Ricochet hits a running boot in the corner and the running shooting star press gets two. Nakamura kicks him in the head but Ricochet hits the Recoil for two of his own. They head to the floor with Ricochet being driven into the barricade. Then Nakamura hits him with a chair for the DQ at 9:32.
Rating: C+. They only had so much time here but there is something to be said about Ricochet as Rollins’ buddy, as he can hold his own against a lot of people. One thing that helps that theory is the lack of a pin here, as Ricochet was in trouble but lost via DQ. That helps quite a bit and for some reason it is often overlooked.
Post match Nakamura wraps a chair around Ricochet’s neck but Seth Rollins runs in for the save. Security can’t break it up so Nakamura drives him into the steps. Ricochet makes the real save with a chair. We cut to the back where Rhea Ripley tells Damian Priest “not tonight”.
We look at Becky Lynch beating Trish Stratus at Payback, with Zoey Stark turning on Trish after the match.
Zoey Stark says she respects Stratus, but no one pushes her around. Shayna Baszler (oh yeah she’s supposed to be a thing now) comes in to say she’s glad Stark got rid of the dead weight. Stark wants a match tonight so Baszler says show her something.
Here is Judgment Day for a chat. Dominik Mysterio is of course booed out of the building as he tries to go over what the team managed to do at Payback. Finn Balor thanks the team for everything they have done, including Damian Priest, who has had some issues with him, but now they’re the champs. Balor thanks JD McDonagh for having his back but also himself, as he is now Grand Slam Finn. Rhea Ripley is proud of the team for rising to the occasion, but now people are talking about Jey Uso instead of the team.
Cue JD McDonagh to say that the team needs some kind of a change. That would be a new briefcase for Priest, with the new version being blue and saying Senor Money In The Bank. Cue Sami Zayn to say he hears a bunch of talking but wants Mysterio tonight. McDonagh steps in instead though and the match seems to be set.
More Intercontinental Champions.
Gunther is ready to be in the history books and he’ll prove it tonight.
Adam Pearce gives Raquel Rodriguez something. Chelsea Green comes in to say the Women’s Tag Team Titles are NOT cursed and someone like Rodriguez isn’t getting them. The thing that Pearce gave her by the way? A match with Green.
Zoey Stark vs. Shayna Baszler
Baszler takes her down fast and starts in with the strikes to the arm. They fight to the floor where Stark has to get out of a choke. The big dive drops Baszler again and we take a break. Back with Stark kicking Baszler down and hitting a springboard dropkick for two. Baszler kicks her down for two more but has to block the Z360. Instead Stark knocks her to the floor and hits a splash off the apron. Back in and Stark misses a springboard splash, allowing Baszler to grab the Kirifuda Clutch for the (eventual) knockout at 8:52.
Rating: C. This is a good example of a match that probably shouldn’t have been made. You had Baszler get the big win at Summerslam but then Stark had her big moment two days ago. With both of them needing to follow up on things, having the match means one of them is probably going to have to lose. Why do it in the first place then?
Respect is shown post match.
Judgment Day wants JD McDonagh to prove himself and Finn Balor agrees. They’re off to keep an eye on things. Rhea Ripley tells Dominik to go take care of this.
Raquel Rodriguez vs. Chelsea Green
Green tries to bail to start and is quickly ragdolled. Some shots to the face don’t do much to Rodriguez, who catches a crossbody and plants Green. A hard clothesline sets up the Tejana Bomb for the pin on Green at 1:40.
More famous Intercontinental Champions.
Chad Gable, with the Alpha Academy, is ready to win the Intercontinental Title.
It’s time for MizTV and Miz isn’t happy about that loss to LA Knight. He accuses Knight of being in league with John Cena and wants an explanation. Cue Cena….or at least the invisible version. Miz yells at him as they have a seat, and Miz apparently gets a confirmation that Cena cheated. Therefore, the loss to Knight should NOT count.
Miz tells Cena to get out and the fight is on, with Miz hitting the Skull Crushing Final. Miz says there is nothing invisible about how unfair that loss was, so now he wants a rematch with Knight. That was certainly different and I’m not sure if that’s good or not. Knight vs. Miz doesn’t need to continue though and the fact that it is isn’t a good sign.
Video on Gunther vs. Chad Gable.
Jey Uso runs into Adam Pearce and says Smackdown is getting compensation for the trade for Jey (It was a trade?) and it’s going to tick people off. Jey leaves and Tommaso Ciampa comes in to see Pearce to continue some conversation they’ve been having.
JD McDonagh vs. Sami Zayn
McDonagh bails to the floor to start but takes over back inside. They trade chops in the corner before heading outside, where McDonagh rams him into the announcers’ table. We take a break and come back with Sami fighting out of a chinlock and hammering away in the corner. A backdrop sets up the Michinoku Driver for two on McDonagh. Sami loads up the Helluva Kick but cue Dominik Mysterio to break it up. The villains are both beaten up but McDonagh grabs a rollup with tights for the pin at 8:00.
Rating: C+. Not a bad match, with McDonagh getting a needed win. McDonagh has been up and down throughout his time on the main roster so maybe this is the next step for him. At the same time, that’s back to back falls for Sami, who is mostly bulletproof but doesn’t need to lose over and over.
Post match Sami fights up and hits the Helluva Kick on McDonagh as Mysterio leaves.
We look at Tiffany Stratton interrupting Becky Lynch after Payback.
More Intercontinental Champions.
Judgment Day is pleased with JD McDonagh but Dominik Mysterio goes over to see Jey Uso. They have a lot of things in common, like coming from a broken family. If Jey is interested, there are open arms in the Judgment Day. Jey doesn’t say no.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Intercontinental Title: Chad Gable vs. Gunther
Gunther is defending and after the Big Match Intros, a headlock takeover puts Gable down. Back up and Gable dropkicks him to the floor as we take a break. We come back with Gable cranking on the leg over the ropes. The leg is fine enough for a big boot and the hand is fine enough for a chop but Gable is right back up. Gable unloads in the corner but Gunther kicks him out to the floor as we take another break.
Back again with Gable reversing a powerbomb into a hurricanrana to the floor. Gunther kicks him down and goes up, only to have Gable run the corner for a superplex. The ankle lock is broken up but Gable suplexes his way out of a sleeper. Rolling Chaos Theory gets two and the grapevined ankle lock goes on. That’s broken up as well and Gunther gets the sleeper. With that broken up, Gunther hits a sleeper suplex into the powerbomb into the hard clothesline to retain at 16:03.
Rating: B. They were rolling by the end and made the most out of a rough situation. Gunther has gone over a year as champion and will break the record for longest reign ever later this week. There is no reason to take the title off of him here, so Gable was tasked with making the most out of a rough situation. It was a heck of a fight here near the end, but this was the only way it should have gone.
Gunther leaves but gives Gable a respectful look to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a bit of a tighter show, with multiple stories running throughout the show. That made for a good night, as you can see where multiple stories are probably going. On top of that, you had a heck of a main event as Gunther is all but guaranteed the record for longest Intercontinental Title reign of all time. Solid show here, which is even better coming off a pretty unimportant pay per view.
Viking Raiders b. Drew McIntyre/Matt Riddle – Double powerbomb through a table to Riddle
Ricochet b. Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ when Nakamura used a chair
Shayna Baszler b. Zoey Stark – Kirifuda Clutch
Raquel Rodriguez b. Chelsea Green – Tejana Bomb
JD McDonagh b. Sami Zayn – Rollup with tights
Gunther b. Chad Gable – Lariat
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