Monday Night Raw
Date: September 18, 2023
Location: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We’re less than three weeks out from Fastlane and that means it might be time to start announcing something for the show. So far there are no matches officially announced, though you should be able to figure out a few of them without much trouble. Other than that, Becky Lynch is he new NXT Women’s Champion and we’ll likely hear something about that. Let’s get to it.
Here is Cody Rhodes to get things going. Before he can get very far though, here is Dominik Mysterio (Cody’s scheduled opponent) to interrupt. Dominik talks about how Jey Uso is going to join the Judgment Day and mentions that Rhea Ripley is out tonight after the attack at the hands of Nia Jax last week.
Cody asks if the fans heard that and thinks that the Dominik/Rhea relationship has some Steve Urkel/Laura Winslow vibes, because Rhea isn’t that into him (he must not have seen the last few seasons). Besides, if you watched last week, it seems that Rhea has eyes for Jey Uso. Cue Finn Balor and Damian Priest to join Dominik before the match.
Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio
Non-title. Cody starts fast and suplexes Dominik and grabs a quickly broken Figure Four. Dominik gets in a few shots of his own but walks into the Cody Cutter. Cross Rhodes finishes Dominik at 2:10. That’s a fast lost for Dominik, even against Cody.
Post match Judgment Day stares down Cody but Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn run down to even things up. Judgment Day backs off and leaves. Please not another six man main event. Cody goes to leave again but Owens says cut the music. Owens asks him to get back in the ring because they need to talk about something.
Post break Owens says that Jey Uso is back on Raw because of Cody, which Cody says is correct. Owens talks about everything Jey did to a lot of people, so why is Cody willing to bring him back? Cody says there are people in the back who need to hear this but there are people here who probably already know this. His job is to make these people happy and Jey deserves a second chance. And besides: now the Bloodline is down a member.
Sami tries to play peacekeeper and asks Owens to give Cody and Jey a chance. Owens says he sees where this is going and says sure, he’ll pretend Jey didn’t cost them all the Universal Title and is just one shade of eye liner away from joining the Judgment Day. He won’t trust Jey, but he’ll trust them and they better be right. This is getting interesting and I can always go for that.
We look at Rhea Ripley retaining the Women’s Title over Raquel Rodriguez but getting crushed by Nia Jax after the match was over.
Ripley has bruised ribs and is day to day, the same as Rodriguez, who has whiplash.
Kofi Kingston vs. Ivar
This was going to be a tag match but Erik is out so we’ll do it solo. Kofi can’t headlock Ivar (with Valhalla) down to start so Ivar runs him over with a clothesline. Back up and Kofi hits the jumping elbow, only to get crushed with a seated senton out of the corner. Elbows and right hands get Kofi out of the corner and a top rope shot to the head staggers Ivar.
There’s a running clothesline but it’s too early for the Boom Drop. Instead Kofi kicks him in the head for two but Ivar hits a backdrop to the floor. The big splash off the apron crushes Kofi again and we take a break. Back with Ivar hitting a powerslam and a crossbody drops Kofi for the third time. The top rope splash misses though and Kofi runs the corner for a spinning high crossbody.
The SOS gets two but Ivar tiger bombs him down for the same. Ivar nails a spinwheel kick and hits a Bronco Buster so he goes up top. The top rope splash is loaded up but Valhalla tells him to go bigger, meaning it’s a moonsault (not a bad one either) for two. Kofi fights up and hits a sunset bomb out of the corner, setting up Trouble In Paradise for the pin at 13:04.
Rating: B. That was a heck of a match as Kofi is still good for a pretty awesome performance when he is given the chance. Ivar was more than holding his own here though as the power vs. speed was rolling. Sometimes you find two guys who have surprising chemistry and that was absolute the case here. Rather good stuff.
We look back at Shinsuke Nakamura attacking Ricochet.
Ricochet says he’s the cheat code for Nakamura and tonight it’s game over.
Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Hold o though as here is Seth Rollins to charge at Nakamura and the chase is on, with agents and security breaking it up. Back with the bell ringing and Ricochet backing him into the corner. Nakamura gets in a cheap shot to take over but the kick to the chest is blocked. Instead Nakamura hits a running knee for two and we hit the seated abdominal stretch.
Ricochet fights up but gets kicked back into the corner for a choke. The sliding German suplex is blocked though and Ricochet hits the middle rope moonsault to the floor as we take a break. Back with Ricochet kicking a charging Nakamura down and a handspring elbow does it again. The running shooting star press gets two on Nakamura and a springboard high crossbody does it a second time. Nakamura knocks him outside and Ricochet hits an enziguri before chairing Nakamura down for the DQ at 12:58.
Rating: B-. Well at least Ricochet didn’t get pinned, though having him beat Nakamura down like that at the end was a little weird. Either way, Nakamura is all but guaranteed to go to Fastlane for a rematch with Rollins while Ricochet can continue to be the star of the future, as he has been for years now. It’s kind of his thing and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Post match Ricochet yells at the referee but Nakamura takes his knee out. Ricochet’s knee is destroyed with a chair and the post until Rollins runs in for the save. Nakamura backdrops his way out of a Pedigree attempt though and security breaks it up. Well they do for a bit at least as Nakamura gets in another cheap shot to the bad back to leave Rollins laying.
Post break Rollins needs help getting into the trainer’s room.
Piper Niven and Chelsea Green are ready for Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark because they’re friends. Niven doesn’t buy that, as Green doesn’t even know where she’s from.
Piper Niven/Chelsea Green vs. Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark
Non-title. Stark and Green start things off with Stark slugging away and hitting a basement clothesline. A slingshot hilo connects and it’s Baszler coming in for a reverse DDT backbreaker. Stark comes back in, though things seem a bit testy between her and Baszler. A missed charge in the corner staggers Stark though and Niven comes in to plant her for two. Stark gets up and hands it back to Baszler, who takes Niven outside. Cue Nia Jax to send Niven into the steps for the DQ at 3:52.
Rating: C. This was short and more about Jax than anything else. That may be here or there, but it is interesting to have her go after a bunch of different women rather than focusing in on just one to start. Other than that, good for not having the champs lose so soon, as they aren’t exactly the most firmly established in the first place.
Jax wrecks everyone post match and puts the division on notice.
Chad Gable comes up to Adam Pearce and asks for one more shot at Gunther but Pearce says he has to earn it. Bronson Reed comes in and says he’ll be glad to help. The match is on.
We look back at the Rock and Pat McAfee’s surprise cameos on Smackdown.
Damien Priest tries to talk Jey Uso into joining the Judgment Day, which is family instead of relatives. Priest wants an answer tonight.
Chad Gable vs. Bronson Reed
Otis and Maxxine Dupri are here with Gable. Some forearms stagger Reed to start and a missile dropkick does it again. It’s too early for the German suplex so Reed is right back with a powerslam. Reed catches him on top for a gorilla press toss onto the turnbuckle. We take a break and come back with Gable going after the knee. Reed blasts him with a clothesline but Gable grabs the cross armbreaker over the top. Reed’s backsplash only hits knees though and Gable can’t follow up. Gable grabs a sleeper so Reed drops backwards onto him, setting up the Tsunami for the pin at 9:35.
Rating: C+. That’s more than a bit surprising as you wouldn’t expect Gable to lose again so soon. That being said, it’s nice to have Reed get a win, as he is someone who has been in need of that kind of a moment for a good while now. I don’t know if he’s going to get a big showdown moment with Gunther, but I’ll take him getting an important win like this one.
Tommaso Ciampa is done with waiting and is ready to take out Imperium to get what he wants.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens still don’t see eye to eye about Jey Uso. Cue Jey, which has Owens walking off but Sami knows he has a big decision to make about Judgment Day.
Here is Becky Lynch to brag about winning the NXT Women’s Title. She wants to be champion that matters though and that means it is time to test herself tonight. Therefore the open challenge is on so here is Natalya to answer. This isn’t what Becky had in mind but Natalya says she deserves it and shoves her down. Ring the bell.
NXT Women’s Title: Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
Lynch is defending and gets sent outside hard to start as we take an early break. Back with Becky hitting a running forearm into the Bexploder for two. Natalya snaps off a release German suplex but the Sharpshooter is countered into a small package. A superplex gives Natalya two more but another Sharpshooter attempt is broken up. Becky hits the missile dropkick, only to have Natalya come back with a discus lariat. The Disarm-Her is countered into a rollup for two but Lynch reverses into a rollup of her own for the pin at 6:14.
Rating: B-. That’s about as Natalya of a match as you’re going to get: she comes in, she isn’t the most thrilling choice, she has a completely fine if not better than that match and then loses again. While she’s the perfect choice to guarantee at least a passable match. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter all that much as the fans don’t seem interested in her no matter what she is able to do in the ring. For a one off match, it high quality, but rather low on the interest levels.
Dragon Lee is in Adam Pearce’s office when Dominik Mysterio comes in to yell at both of them. Lee promises to win the North American Title next week.
Giovanni Vinci vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ludwig Kaiser is here too as Vinci uppercuts Ciampa into the corner. A clothesline puts Ciampa down again as we see Gunther watching in the back. Vinci gets two off a belly to back suplex but Ciampa strikes away. Ciampa comes back with a Thesz press and a reverse DDT but Kaiser offers a distraction. That doesn’t work for Vinci as Ciampa pulls him into the Sicilian Stretch for the tap at 3:28.
Rating: C. As has been the case with LA Knight in weeks past, what mattered here was that Ciampa got another win. That is how you make someone feel like a bigger deal and they are making it work with him. He’ll have to move up the ladder sooner than later if he is going to, but at least he has a place to start.
Seth Rollins says he’s tired and in a lot of pain but he’s trying to keep it together. He’s tired of these games though and he’s willing to do anything to get Nakamura in the ring. Nakamura can name the time, the place and even the stipulation if he wants. Now Nakamura needs to decide who defines his legacy.
Video on Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso.
Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso
They talk trash to each other to start until McIntyre shoves him into the corner and asks if this is all he has. Jey ducks a shot in the corner and strikes away but McIntyre is right back with the chops. A snap suplex gives McIntyre two but Jey sends him outside, setting up the dive. Another dive hits McIntyre and here is the Judgment Day as we take a break.
Back with McIntyre hitting the top rope superplex, followed by the Glasgow Kiss. Jey manages a quick Samoan drop for two but the suicide dive is cut off. Back in and McIntyre’s spinebuster gets two, only to have Damien Priest offer a distraction on the floor. Jey get in a hard shot of his own for two but kicks all of Judgment Day down. The distraction lets McIntyre hit the Claymore for the pin at 14:12.
Rating: B-. This was all about the angle rather than the match and McIntyre gets a nice rub with a pin in Raw’s main event. He hasn’t had many such wins for a bit so maybe things are turning around now. On the other hand you have Jey loses, but he should have his hands full with Judgment Day for the time being. Not a great match, but the kind that opens up a lot of doors in a variety of directions.
Post match McIntyre leaves and Uso gets beaten down. McIntyre thinks about making the save but stands still until Cody Rhodes runs in for the real save to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This show felt more like the NXT of old and that is a good thing. You could almost feel the list of things that they wanted to accomplish being checked off one by one. There were some things set up for the future, but none of those were set up for Fastlane. They still have two Raw’s left before the pay per view, but I’m getting tired of the matches being announced so late in the show’s buildup. Either way, good enough show here, as they got a lot done.
Cody Rhodes b. Dominik Mysterio – Cross Rhodes
Kofi Kingston b. Ivar – Trouble In Paradise
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Ricochet via DQ when Ricochet used a chair
Piper Niven/Chelsea Green b. Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark via DQ when Nia Jax interfered
Bronson Reed b. Chad Gable – Tsunami
Becky Lynch b. Natalya – Rollup
Tommaso Ciampa b. Giovanni Vinci – Sicilian Stretch
Drew McIntyre b. Jey Uso – Claymore
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