Monday Night Raw – January 9, 2023: Keep Them Coming
Monday Night Raw
Date: January 9, 2023
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We’re back to the red show and closing in on the Royal Rumble. There are only three names announced for the Royal Rumbles so far and that means some spots need to be filled. Odds are some of that is done tonight but there is the chance that they’re leaving some surprises this year. Let’s get to it.
Here is Kevin Owens to get things going and the fans seem to like him. Before he can say much though, here is JBL to interrupt. After insulting the crowd, JBL says no one is buying Owens having a chance against Roman Reigns. JBL brings out Baron Corbin to insult the fans even more, including some University of Alabama insults. Owens buries his face in the turnbuckle as Corbin gets in every standard insult you can imagine. He says he was in a “JBL and Baron Corbin were talking for three minutes but didn’t say anything” coma but for now he’s willing to fight Corbin. Sure.
Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens
JBL is here with Corbin, who stomps Owens down in the corner to start. Owens gets in a few shots of his own though and they fight to the floor. That means Corbin can go face first into the announcers’ table but he’s back with a chokeslam onto the apron as we take a break. Back with Owens knocking Corbin off the top and landing the Swanton for two. Corbin comes back with Deep Six for two, only to walk into the Stunner for the sudden pin at 8;37.
Rating: C. Yep, that was a Corbin TV match. Corbin continues to be the definition of “you know what you’re getting” and nothing more, as you can guess almost everything you are going to see when he is in the ring. Owens wasn’t going to lose so close to his title match and Corbin isn’t going to win against that big of an opponent. That left us waiting on the pretty clear ending and that’s what we got, just like any other Corbin match.
Post match the Bloodline runs in to beat on Owens but he grabs a chair and fights them off.
Post break, the Bloodline is going to leave but Adam Pearce comes up to tell them about a Tag Team Turmoil match to crown new #1 contenders. They won’t be around to see it though as they’re banned from the arena, even as Solo Sikoa faces Dolph Ziggler.
We look back at Alexa Bliss snapping again last week against Bianca Belair, who wound up injured. Belair is ok and just needed stitches.
Alexa Bliss pops up on the announcers’ table to say Belair is scared of her, because she is the face of evil. She hasn’t felt this good in a long time and is willing to hurt people….and the Uncle Howdy video starts playing, this time with clips of the old Alexa and Lillie. Cue Uncle Howdy to stare at Bliss and we go to a break.
Bayley vs. Mia Yim
Damage Ctrl is here with Bayley, who says that she is going to prove what she is to Becky Lynch with this beating. The rest of Damage Ctrl leaves as Bayley starts fast, only to get caught with a running neckbreaker. Yim sends her to the floor for a kick to the chest from the apron to send us to a break. Back with Yim fighting out of a chinlock but getting sent to the apron for a Stunner. Bayley suplexes her from the Stunner to the floor but Yim kicks her in the head back inside. The Cannonball misses though and Bayley grabs a backslide with feet on the ropes for the pin at 8:03.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t the most interesting but Bayley needed the win to keep her strong for the real showdown with Becky Lynch. The action was ok enough, though having a break in the middle of an eight minute match is a bit much to take. It also doesn’t help when the most interesting part of the match is figuring out if it’s Mia Yim or Michin.
Johnny Gargano has a knee injury and is out of Tag Team Turmoil.
Candice LeRae is upset for Johnny Gargano not being in Tag Team Turmoil but she likes the idea of challenging for the Women’s Title at Wrestlemania. Rhea Ripley comes in to talk down to her, setting up a match tonight.
Here is Austin Theory to say THE CHAMP IS HERE and everyone has to accept the truth. The truth is that the now is forever and Seth Rollins couldn’t stop him last week. Then Rollins hurt his knee…but here is Rollins, on crutches, to interrupt. One of the crutches is thrown down though and Rollins gets in the ring without a problem.
Theory gets to the point by saying he is better than Rollins and promises to win the Royal Rumble so he can leave Wrestlemania with all of the gold. Rollins says his knee isn’t 100%, but it will be in time for him to win the Royal Rumble. Rollins: “I’ll see you at the Rumble….kid.” With Rollins gone, here is Bobby Lashley to spear Theory down. Lashley says he’s back from his suspension and ready to win the Royal Rumble.
Candice LeRae vs. Rhea Ripley
Candice slugs away to start and counters a big boot into a rollup for two. Ripley finally manages to knock her into the corner though and there’s the toss by the hair. A superplex is broken up though and Candice slams her off the top instead. Another missed big boot sends Ripley outside but she sends Candice into the barricade. Back in and Riptide finishes Candice at 4:16.
Rating: C. They had an interesting story here with Ripley seeming a bit distracted and Candice getting in what she could before the monster caught her. Ripley feels like she is ready to move into the title picture again and that included wrecking Candice on the way. The good thing is Candice didn’t get squashed so it could have been far worse.
Bobby Lashley is in the back when MVP comes in. Lashley won’t shake his hand but MVP thinks a thank you for getting him reinstates is in order. Lashley: “I haven’t punched you in the face yet have I?” MVP says they need to get back to what worked before, as Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin are already back in the right place. Lashley says they’re good, but they won’t be working together. That’s cool with MVP, but just remember that his number is the same.
Video on Cody Rhodes’ recovery from his injury, including an appearance from Brandi Rhodes. To be continued.
Dolph Ziggler is ready for the Bloodline when Mustafa Ali comes in. Ali says they were offered a spot in Tag Team Turmoil but Ziggler turned it down. Last month Ziggler cost Ali the United States Title and now he’s costing him a shot at the Tag Team Titles. Ziggler says it’s not about him tonight and hopes he understands. Ali does not seem to understand.
Video on Bronson Reed.
Reed, who is the same height as Byron Saxton, is cut off by Miz before he can say anything. Miz suggests that Reed is his bodyguard and offers him a spot on MizTV tonight. Reed says there is no us, and if Miz wants something, pay him.
Solo Sikoa vs. Dolph Ziggler
Sikoa runs him over to start and the beating is on fast. The neck crank and nerve hold go on Ziggler but he’s right back up. Ziggler slips out of a powerslam attempt and hits a dropkick, only to be tossed over the top and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Sikoa hitting the running Umaga attack in the corner.
The chinlock goes on but Ziggler fights up and avoids the charge into the corner. Sikoa is back with a fireman’s carry but Ziggler slips out and hits the Zig Zag for two. Back up and the superkick is blocked, allowing Ziggler to try the Fameasser. That’s pulled out of the air though and a pop up Samoan Spike finishes Ziggler off at 10:51.
Rating: C. The ending was good but the rest of the match was lacking a bit in the excitement department. Sikoa destroyed Ziggler for the most part here and that is a good sign for his future. WWE has turned Sikoa into something of a wrecking ball, which not only makes the Bloodline look stronger, but it also makes someone beating him a bigger deal. Not the most thrilling match, but Sikoa looked good when it mattered.
We look at Dominik Mysterio being arrested and then being hardened in jail.
Damage Ctrl brags about their win until Mia Yim interrupts. Yim calls Bayley a cheater and gets beaten down as a result.
It’s time for MizTV and we get right to the point, with Dominik Mysterio (and the rest of Judgment Day) being brought out as the guest. Dominik explains that you always roll with your crew in prison, but he can’t talk about what happened because snitches get stitches. Dominik: “When life comes at you, you have to grab it by the balls. Kind of like Maryse does to you.”
Then he threatened his cell mate and made sure he stayed safe because that’s how it works. Miz is a bit confused though, as he was told Dominik was in county jail for a few hours. Damien Priest doesn’t like that because it’s time to win Tag Team Turmoil. Violence is teased but here is the OC to interrupt and start the match.
Tag Team Turmoil
There are five scheduled teams with Judgment Day (Damien Priest/Finn Balor) in at #1 and the OC in at #2. Of note: commentary says this is for a RAW Tag Team Title match, not both sets. Anderson elbows Balor down to start and it’s Gallows coming in for some elbows of his own. A shot to Gallows’ face just annoys him so Priest comes in for the battle of the big men.
Gallows takes over again and hands it off to Anderson for the HI YAH kick in the corner. Priest sends him outside though and it’s a whip into the steps as we take a break. Back with Gallows coming in to clean house but Dominik Mysterio grabs Anderson’s leg, allowing Balor to roll him up at 10:17.
Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin are in at #3 and jump Judgment Day from behind to start. We settle down to Alexander knocking Balor down for a kick to the back. The chinlock doesn’t last long so Benjamin comes in with a Dragon Whip to Balor and German suplexes to Balor and Priest. Benjamin tosses Priest into Alexander’s jumping knee for two, with Balor having to make the save. The Neuralizer gives Alexander two but Priest catches a charge with South of Heaven. Balor adds the Coup de Grace for the pin at 15:47 total. Alpha Academy is in at #4 and we take a break.
Back again with Balor hitting a Sling Blade on Gable so Priest can come in with the Broken Arrow. We hit the chinlock, followed by a backbreaker/legdrop combination for two. Gable fights out of trouble and brings in Otis to clean house, including the running splash in the corner to Priest. Otis brings back the Caterpillar and hits the Vader Bomb on Balor…who pulled Gable on top of him. The stunned Otis is kicked in the face to give Priest the pin at 24:33. Hold on though as Balor, who was crushed under both Otis and Gable, is really banged up. Adam Pearce says Dominik is taking Balor’s place and the Street Profits are in at #5.
We’re joined in progress with Dawkins ripping Dominik’s shirt off and handing it off to Ford to hammer on him in the corner. Dawkins comes back in with the spinning splash in the corner as the beating stays on. A toss into the corner allows Dominik to bring in Priest so Ford slingshot flips in (with the camera cutting because WWE cameras can’t sit still) for the showdown. With that not working, Dominik comes in to distract Ford to the floor. That’s fine with Priest, who runs Ford over to send him over the announcers’ table. Dawkins hits the big dive though and we take a break.
Back with Dawkins still in trouble as Dominik grabs a chinlock. Priest adds a slam and Ripley certainly approves on the floor. Dawkins fights up and brings in Ford with a double high crossbody. Dominik gets shoved into a German suplex for two but Priest is back in to blast Dawkins with a clothesline for two more. Priest sends Dawkins over the barricade but Ford is there with the big lip dive over the corner. Back in and the 450 connects, only to have Priest break up the cover. Ford jumps from the floor to the apron to avoid a charge, leaving Dominik to roll him up (with Ripley grabbing the feet for the assist on the final pin at 48:19.
Rating: B-. The match was good for the most part but you could feel the times where they were dragging things out for the sake of filling in time. That’s understandable as they had the better part of an hour to fill, but at the same time it can get a little tiring for a bit. The good thing here was having the Judgment Day hold on throughout, as I was expecting them to lose somewhere in the middle and then have the Profits get the title shot. Good match, even if it felt like they were just putting it out there to fill in the last hour of the show.
Post match the Usos come out to stare down Judgment Day to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. Passable enough show here, though it wasn’t the most exciting. There is a good chance that WWE more or less punted this week because of the National Championship game airing at the same time and that is a bit understandable. The good thing is all you need is a bunch of Royal Rumble talk (check) and things feel important as a result. This isn’t a show you needed to watch, but it was acceptable enough if you weren’t watching the game.
Kevin Owens b. Baron Corbin – Stunner
Bayley b. Mia Yim – Backslide with feet on the ropes
Rhea Ripley b. Candice LeRae – Riptide
Solo Sikoa b. Dolph Ziggler – Samoan Spike
Judgment Day won a Tag Team Turmoil match last eliminating the Street Profits
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: