Monday Night Raw – March 13, 2023: The Non Boat Rocking Time
Monday Night Raw
Date: March 13, 2023
Location: Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We have six major TV shows left before Wrestlemania and there is still some work to do. Most of the matches and stories are already set but there are a least a few things that need to be finalized. There is a good chance that some of those will be covered, or at least addressed, tonight so let’s get to it.
Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.
Here is Edge to get things going. He loves that kind of reaction from the crowd but wants to get straight to the point. Edge calls out Finn Balor so here is the full Judgment Day. Edge says that Balor’s request for a Wrestlemania match is on, which Balor appreciates. With that out of the way, Edge recaps the feud and says he doesn’t have time to deal with all of these people anymore. That’s why at Wrestlemania, he wants Hell in a Cell.
Balor says Hell couldn’t handle his demons so they’re on for Wrestlemania. Judgment Day storms the ring and the big beatdown is on until Dexter Lumis, Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae run in for the save. They had to make the match and at it feels special so nice job. I’ll take it over “it’s October so here’s the Cell”.
Johnny Gargano/Dexter Lumis vs. Judgment Day
It’s Dominik Mysterio/Damien Priest for the team here and Edge/Balor have both left. Joined in progress with Gargano kicking Dominik in the head and Priest coming in. Lumis comes in as well but gets taken into the corner for some shots to the face. A front facelock of all thins gets Lumis out of trouble so it’s back to Gargano, who gets dropped face first onto the top turnbuckle. Gargano sends Dominik outside for a dive though and we take a break.
Back with Priest hitting the Broken Arrow for two on Gargano and slapping on the chinlock. Dominik comes in but misses the 619, allowing Gargano to nail the slingshot spear. It’s back to Lumis to clean house, with a spinebuster and legdrop getting two on Priest. Dominik rolls Lumis up with feet on the ropes but Candice LeRae makes the save. Rhea Ripley takes out LeRae and Gargano dives onto Priest. Back in and Lumis tries to Silence Dominik, only to get caught with South of Heaven for the pin at 13:59.
Rating: C+. It was a fast paced match to open the show as the fans are going to respond to everyone involved. They started to turn it up at the end and it was a good opener as a result. Lumis getting pinned is fine as Gargano has the big match coming up at NXT Stand & Deliver so they even got the ending right.
Miz arrived earlier today and after confirming that he hadn’t seen Otis (as asked by Chad Gable), he laughed of the idea of having a co-host for Wrestlemania. We cut over to Damage CTRL beating up Trish Stratus and leaving her laying.
Here are MVP and Omos to call out Brock Lesnar, who doesn’t leave them waiting long. Lesnar, with the top of his head coming up to Omos’ neck, stares up at Omos, who puts his fist out towards Lesnar’s face. The fist is turned into an open hand and they shake before the fight is on. Lesnar can’t suplex him and Omos shoves him out tot he floor as referees and security run down. Really basic stuff here and I still don’t care to see the match.
We recap the reunion of the Usos, with Cody Rhodes joining Sami Zayn to fight them on Smackdown.
Cody Rhodes vs. LA Knight
Cody knocks him down to start and grabs a headlock before sending Knight outside. The dive is cut off with a shot to the face but Cody sends him into the steps. Back in and Knight superplexes him down as we take a break. We come back with Knight getting two off a DDT but getting caught with the Disaster Kick for two more. The Cody Cutter into Cross Rhodes finishes Knight at 9:38.
Rating: C. The nearly perfect Cody push continues as they aren’t doing anything too out there. Rhodes is winning match after match and building himself up for the Wrestlemania main event. This was as it should have been, with Rhodes hanging in there until the end and winning with his big stuff. Nice job and another good piece of the bigger story.
Post match Rhodes grabs the mic and says he has been told to stay out of Bloodline business. Well he doesn’t work for the Bloodline, so he’ll do whatever he wants. Cody talks about wearing a suit because he wants to be someone and the Bloodline needs to acknowledge him. He grew up thinking he was a prince in this business but has no crown or even a Master Sword. On April 2, when the sun goes down on Hollywood, it is going down on Reigns’ run as well. Those who have followed him until the end (nice) will see him crowned the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
We recap Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul being made last week.
Seth Rollins talks about Logan Paul knocking him down last week but not being able to keep him down. Miz comes in to call Rollins jealous of Paul, who will be hosting Impaulsive next week. Baron Corbin comes up to ask about being the guest host of Wrestlemania but gets laughed off. Instead, Corbin offers Rollins boxing lessons for Wrestlemania but has to settle with facing Rollins tonight.
Bronson Reed vs. Elias
Rick Boogs is here with Elias and taking notes. Reed runs him over to start and hits a rolling splash, setting up a nerve hold. With that not working, Reed hits a clothesline and drops the Tsunami for the pin at 2:06. Total destruction.
Chad Gable is still looking for Otis (he has fliers) but nearly gets knocked down by Lita and Becky Lynch, who go to check on Trish Stratus.
Kevin Owens needs help but he doesn’t want to fight alongside Sami Zayn. He also appreciates Cody Rhodes’ help but wants to do everything alone tonight. Rhodes needs to be focused on Roman Reigns, so tonight he wants to face Solo Sikoa on his own.
We recap John Cena ripping Austin Theory apart last week.
Earlier today, Theory ran into the Street Profits, who laughed at him for last week. Theory thinks they’ll be fired soon before bragging about how big of a Wrestlemania match he has. He asks about which of the Profits has a backbone and Angelo Dawkins seems ready to fight. Instead, Theory laughs about the two of them having nothing to do at Wrestlemania and walks away.
Austin Theory vs. Angelo Dawkins
Non-title. Dawkins wrestles him down to start and hits a good dropkick for two. Back up and Theory fires off the shoulders in the corner before grabbing the chinlock. Dawkins is sent outside and we take a break. We come back with Dawkins hitting a suplex, followed by the jumping back elbow. Theory scores with a dropkick though and A Town Down finishes Dawkins at 9:33.
Rating: C. It wasn’t much, but Theory absolutely needed this win to boost him back up after last week’s massacre by Cena. Theory is only now getting back to where he feels like a legitimate star and the Cena stuff from last week tore a lot of that down. Hopefully they can do something with him in the coming weeks, or Wrestlemania could be ugly.
An annoyed Paul Heyman is ready to get rid of Kevin Owens tonight and at Wrestlemania Cody Rhodes is next. Cody went too far by mocking Roman Reigns so next week, he can do it in person when Reigns is on Raw. Next week, Cody can decide if he is a problem or a challenge.
Rey Mysterio Hall of Fame video.
Here is Rey Mysterio for a chat. Rey is so glad to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after all these years. He is looking forward to being with the fans…and here is Dominik Mysterio to interrupt. Dominik complains about how his dad neglected him over the years, like with going to Wrestlemania instead of taking him out for getting good grades. And when Rey got him a BMW instead of a Mercedes, it wasn’t even an M series!
Dominik calls him an excuse for a man and a father. Don’t worry though, as Dominik will let Rey have his Hall of Fame induction, but he wants a match with Rey at Wrestlemania. Rey says no because he still loves his son and walks away. Dominik yells at him about walking away before saying the only thing Rey taught him was what not to be. They’re taking their time setting this up, but you can see Rey getting closer and closer to saying yes every week. The match itself is going to be tricky, but this was another layer on an already deep build.
Trish Stratus, Lita and Becky Lynch are sick of Damage CTRL and the only thing they managed to do was anger Stratus.
This week’s Wrestlemania trailer: Rhea Ripley is Eleven from Stranger Things. She uses her mind powers to crush a can, turns over a table…and that’s it. This was the weakest one they’ve ever done.
Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
Miz is on commentary. Corbin jumps Rollins before the bell but of course Rollins wants to go anyway. Rollins fights up and kicks Corbin to the floor, setting up the suicide dive onto the announcers’ table. There’s the knee to the face and Corbin is knocked into Miz for a bonus. Rollins cuts off an interfering Miz by kicking him into the ring. Miz is used as a launch pad to Stomp Corbin for the pin at 2:19. Quick and to the point here, as it should be with Corbin.
Mustafa Ali, now in a hat and sunglasses, hasn’t seen Otis either. Chad Gable finds Otis posing with the Maximum Male Models. Gable gets in on the photos and breaks the camera. Otis blows off training for more photos. Otis doing comedy is the best thing for him, but I could see this joke getting old fast.
Bianca Belair vs. Chelsea Green
Non-title and Carmella is here with Green. Belair scares her into the corner to start and backflips over her out of the corner. There’s the standing moonsault for two on Green but a Carmella distraction lets Green sweep the legs. We take a break and come back with Green getting kicked off the ropes, only to walk into a side slam. Belair kicks Carmella off the apron but gets hit in the face to give Green two. I’m Prettier is blocked though and the KOD gives Belair the pin at 8:06.
Rating: C. The build to Belair vs. Asuka has been weird as Belair has run over the pretty weak opponents she has been facing on her way to Wrestlemania. At the same time, Asuka hasn’t done much other than run in on people after they have been beaten up by Belair. That doesn’t give me much of a reason to want to see Belair vs. Asuka, but it should wind up being good.
Post match Green and Carmella beat Belair down until Asuka makes the save. Asuka picks up the title and doesn’t immediately hand it back. Instead she dances a lot and drops it, with Belair not being happy.
Solo Sikoa vs. Kevin Owens
Street fight. The brawl starts outside with Owens getting the better of things. Owens fights up but the Cannonball doesn’t quite Sikoa loads up a chair on the floor and we take a break. Back with Owens throwing in a bunch of chairs and setting them up. That takes too long too though and the splash only hits a raised foot.
Owens gets slammed onto the chairs for two and Sikoa is stunned. Owens fights up and they go outside, where the Cannonball crushes Sikoa against the barricade. They fight into the back and…the Usos jump Owens as soon as they walk through the entrance. The beatdown takes Owens back to the ring, where the Samoan Spike gives Sikoa the pin at 11:35.
Rating: C+. This was the “shoe is on the other foot” moment for Owens, as he needs his own help dealing with the Bloodline. I don’t know if this is enough to get him to saying yes to Sami Zayn but something is going to have to break him. Again they’re taking their time to get there, but the reaction for the reunion is going to be worth it.
Owens can’t breathe to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. We are absolutely in the time of “don’t do anything stupid” with Wrestlemania just a few weeks away. There was a big match added to the show this week and some steps taken to two other important ones, but other than that it was more fine tuning the Wrestlemania card than anything else. That can make for some less than interesting TV, but they are putting in the work to get us to the important stuff in Los Angeles.
Judgment Day b. Dexter Lumis/Johnny Gargano – South of Heaven to Lumis
Cody Rhodes b. LA Knight – Cross Rhodes
Bronson Reed b. Elias – Tsunami
Austin Theory b. Angelo Dawkins – A Town Down
Seth Rollins b. Baron Corbin – Stomp
Bianca Belair b. Chelsea Green – KOD
Solo Sikoa b. Kevin Owens – Samoan Spike
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