Monday Night Raw
Date: September 11, 2023
Location: Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We have less than a month to go before Fastlane and there isn’t much set for the show so far. In a bit of a confusing way to go, there is a Women’s Title match this week, along with the return of Cody Rhodes. There is something a bit more historic to this show though, as it is the last WWE event before Endeavor officially takes over the company tomorrow. Let’s get to it.
We run down the card.
Here is Jey Uso to get things going and my goodness that’s a star’s reaction. Jey says it feels good to be here on Raw but here is Kevin Owens to interrupt. Owens says Uso should be saying he’s on the Kevin Owens Show. There are a bunch of people backstage who do not trust Owens, but a lot of people are saying not to trust Jey. Sami Zayn trusts him but that’s about it, and it’s going to take time to earn Owens’ trust.
Cue the Judgment Day, with Finn Balor saying no one talks to him like that. They respect Jey and Owens doesn’t speak for the locker room. Jey has said no to their offers to join and that’s ok, as Dominik Mysterio said no time after time but here he is. Damian Priest said he thought they were facing Owens and Sami Zayn tonight, but Owens says Sami isn’t here tonight. Owens is ready to fight them all himself, even if it’s one on three. Jey: “Hey Kevin. I’m here too.” Owens is in and Judgment Day is cleared out.
Judgment Day vs. Jey Uso/Kevin Owens
Non-title and Dominik Mysterio is here too. Jey takes Balor down to start and hands it off to Owens for two off a DDT. Priest comes in and stomps away in the corner but it’s right back to Jey with a high crossbody. Jey sends them outside for the dive but Dominik takes out Owens’ bad knee as we take a break.
Back with Owens fighting out of trouble and bringing Jey back in for an enziguri. The running Umaga Attack misses though and Balor kicks him down. Jey grabs his pop up neckbreaker on Balor and fires off superkicks but the Superfly Splash hits raised knees. Owens comes back in with a tornado DDT for two and the spinning brainbuster gets the same on Balor. Jey accidentally superkicks Owens and fights to the floor with Priest, leaving Balor to Coup de Grace Owens for the pin at 12:28.
Rating: B-. The action worked but as you might have expected, this was more about the storytelling elements. Owens doesn’t trust Jey and even though Jey did something nice, he got burned in the end. This feels like another step in a long story, and the good thing so far is Jey feels like a big star who isn’t in over his head.
Post match Owens doesn’t trust Jey at all and limps off on his own.
We look at Raquel Rodriguez vs. Rhea Ripley for the Women’s Title later tonight.
Post break, Kevin Owens doesn’t want to hear from Jey Uso. Of note: Wade Barrett implies that Cody Rhodes had Jey brought to the show.
We look back at last week’s Gunther vs. Chad Gable Intercontinental Title match.
Video on September 11.
Miz vs. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa snaps off a hurricanrana to start but charges into a big boot to cut him off. Miz kicks him down again and sneers, setting up a running knee. Three straight Skull Crushing Finales finish Tozawa at 3:02.
Rating: C. This was what it needed to be as Miz got to wreck Tozawa to get his win back while also looking like a bigger threat to LA Knight this week. That’s part of the serious Miz and it makes for a good moment, as that version of Miz can be rather effective. Now just make it work this Friday.
Raquel Rodriguez is ready to win the Women’s Title because she’s bigger, stronger and angrier than Rhea Ripley.
Shayna Baszler is praising Zoe Stark for her effort last week when Chelsea Green comes in. Green offers her a spot as the new partner since Piper Niven isn’t medically cleared. Baszler offers to hurt her tonight but Green promises to find a new partner. Baszler leaves and here is Niven to say she’s back and cleared.
Here is Imperium for Gunther’s championship celebration. Cue Gunther, in one heck of a suit, to say that to the shock of no one, he is now the longest reigning and greatest champion in history. It means a lot to him, even if the legends who held the title before him contributed nothing. He is running out of competition and from now on he is only competing against himself.
Cue Chad Gable to interrupt and say they had a classic last week. After Gunther won, Gable saw the realization in Gunther’s eyes that he just had the toughest title defense of his career. Gable promises to get the title after having to see his family cried last week. Gunther praises Gable’s abilities but calls him a bad father. The fight is on with Otis’ interference not getting him very far. Tommaso Ciampa chases the three off.
We recap the New Day/Drew McIntyre/Riddle/Viking Raiders ordeal.
Drew McIntyre apologizes to Xavier Woods for throwing the chair at him but Woods is cool with it. Woods brings up the insults to Kofi Kingston from last week and thinks it’s jealousy. Kofi got his big Wrestlemania moment in front of tens of thousands of people, while McIntyre was in front of no one. McIntyre promises pain tonight.
Tommaso Ciampa says he doesn’t like Gunther and Imperium using their numbers advantage, so Otis suggests a six man carnage tonight. Ciampa doesn’t say anything.
Drew McIntyre vs. Xavier Woods
McIntyre starts fast and Glasgow Kisses Woods down. Woods tries to pick up the pace but gets knocked down again, only to send McIntyre to the floor. The dropkick through the ropes connects but the slingshot dive is pulled out of the air. McIntyre throws him over the announcers’ table and we take a break.
Back with Woods slipping out of what might have been a superplex and hitting a powerbomb. A guillotine legdrop gets two on McIntyre but he snaps off the belly to belly. McIntyre neckbreakers him down but walks into a kick to the face for two. The reverse Alabama Slam is countered into a victory roll to give Woods two, followed by a penalty kick for the same. They slug it out and run the ropes until McIntyre nails a heck of a Claymore for the pin at 9:43.
Rating: B-. This was a much edgier McIntyre and that is a good thing. McIntyre has been kind of stale for a long time now and shifting towards a heel turn could be exactly what he needs. At the end of the day, he has the background and abilities to make it work and I’m curious to see how it could go. For now though, I’ll settle for a pretty awesome looking Claymore for the pin.
Here is Cody Rhodes for a chat. Cody wants to talk about Jey Uso but here are Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh to interrupt. Dominik says Jey is going to join the team and there isn’t a thing Cody can do about it. The fight is on and Cody cleans house without much trouble.
In the back, Drew McIntyre runs into Jey Uso and says they have unfinished business. McIntyre doesn’t trust him. Jey says cool, but McIntyre says Jey can’t stand on his own two feet. A match is set for next week.
Chelsea Green vs. Shayna Baszler
Piper Niven is here with Green. Baszler wastes no time in taking her down and going after the arm, only to get kicked in the head. The threat of a cross armbreaker sends Green outside but some damage has been done. Back in and the Kirifuda Clutch is countered into a victory roll for two but Baszler Pipers Pit’s her for the pin at 1:50.
Post match Niven goes after Baszler but Zoe Stark comes in for the save.
Shinsuke Nakamura says Seth Rollins isn’t honorable and brings up some of he horrible things Rollins has done. Nakamura will challenge him when he feels like it.
Here is Seth Rollins for a chat. Rollins agrees with all of the bad things Shinsuke Nakamura has said about him and is ready to fight for the title right now. Nakamura’s music plays but we cut to the back where Nakamura is beating up Ricochet. Nakamura will be around.
Finn Balor comes up to Jey Uso in the back and says he likes what he’s been seeing tonight. Jey isn’t sure what to think about this but the Judgment Day’s doors are always open.
Imperium vs. Alpha Academy/Tommaso Ciampa
Maxxine Dupri is here with the Academy and Ciampa. A Thesz press takes Vinci down to start and it’s off to Gable vs. Kaiser. Gable gets the better of things so it’s back to Vinci, with Kaiser low bridging Gable to the floor. Gable gets sent into the corner for the triple kick and we take a break.
Back with Gable not being able to dive over for a tag as Gunther knocks his partners to the floor. Gable finally takes Gunther down and brings Ciampa back in to pick up the pace. A reverse DDT gets two on Vinci, who is back up with a heck of a clothesline. Otis comes in and gets to clean house, including the Caterpillar to Kaiser. A missed charge sends Otis into the post though and it’s a double tag to bring in Gable and Gunther for the showdown.
Gunther snaps off a German suplex but the powerbomb is rolled through into an ankle lock. Vinci comes in and gets ankle locked as well, setting up Chaos Theory for two. With everyone else fighting on the floor, Gable ankle locks Vinci. Gunther tries to dive in for the save but Ciampa grabs the Sicilian Stretch to slow Gunther down and make him watch Vinci tap at 13:06.
Rating: B. This was a fast paced almost non-stop action match, especially after they went nuts after the break. Otis continues to have that weird charisma to him that makes even his goofy stuff look good, but this was again about Gunther vs. Gable. They’re likely to have another match at Fastlane and Gable almost has to win the title after this much hype.
Judgment Day is ready for the main event.
NXT Women’s Champion Tiffany Stratton is in the back to complain about how Becky Lynch isn’t here. Cue Lynch, so Adam Pearce wants to get the contract signed. First though, Stratton says she has been nothing but nice to Lynch, who is coming after the title anyway. Lynch says she sees all of the potential in Stratton so it’s time to bring her to the big time. Lynch signs as Stratton says she’s ready to prove she’s the best. Stratton signs as well and walks off.
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez
Ripley is defending and they take turns showing off the power to start. A powerslam gives Rodriguez two and we hit the bearhug. Ripley slips out and sends her outside for a dive off the steps, followed by some right hands back inside. Ripley misses a charge into the corner though and Rodriguez hits a big boot as we take a break.
Back with Ripley tying up the leg while hammering away at the same time. With that broken up, Ripley drops her in the corner, setting up a headscissors choke. Rodriguez powers up and drops Ripley on the corner for the break. They trade running forearms until stereo big boots put them both down.
Back up and they slug it out until Ripley gets two off a northern lights suplex. Riptide is blocked though and Rodriguez plants her down for two. Ripley knocks her down again and hits a frog splash for two and they head outside again. This time Ripley’s cannonball is countered into a swing into the announcers’ table, followed by an apron powerbomb. Ripley is thrown back in…..and Nia Jax returns to take out Rodriguez. Back in and Riptide retains the title at 15:43.
Rating: B-. They were having the hoss fight here and Rodriguez was going step for step with Ripley but then the ending happened. It’s a big shock to have Jax return, but unless she has improved a good bit since the end of her last run, it might not be the best addition. If she can move out there well enough and is a good bit safer then cool, but otherwise I’m not sure about this.
Post match Jax hits a Banzai Drop on Ripley to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. There was enough good action on this show to make the three hours go by pretty quickly and that’s the best thing that can be said about most Raw’s. The ending is the big moment of the show, along with what feels like a Drew McIntyre heel turn. I’m curious about where some of these things are going and Jey Uso feels like an actual high level star as he is sprinkled throughout the show. This week was more about setting things up for later and on that front, it was a good success.
Judgment Day b. Kevin Owens/Jey Uso – Coup de Grace to Owens
Miz b. Akira Tozawa – Skull Crushing Finale
Drew McIntyre b. Cody Rhodes – Claymore
Shayna Baszler b. Chelsea Green – Piper’s Pit
Alpha Academy/Tommaso Ciampa b. Imperium – Ankle lock to Vinci
Rhea Ripley b. Raquel Rodriguez – Riptide
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