NXT sees the return of HHH, but under sad circumstances. The Game will address Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, and what happens with his precious championship!
- NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle; Cole wins and will face Johnny Gargano for the vacated NXT Championship at TakeOver: New York.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple H opens NXT!
Full Sail is happy to see The Game, but he comes out holding the NXT Championship. HHH goes to the ring and also picks up a mic. He takes a moment to hear the fans chant for him and NXT before getting to business. “From those cheers, I don’t have to remind you of just how special this place is.” The building, the environment, the fans. “NXT is something special.” It is here in NXT and the ring that “dreams can become possibilities.” For some, the dream starts in NXT. For others, it takes a long time, maybe years of scratching and clawing, going up and down a road, just to get to this ring. But in reality, for every superstar, their dream can end at any moment.
HHH was going to announce the main event of TakeOver: New York, an epic years in the making, of Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano VS Psycho Killer, Tommaso Ciampa. But the reality has made that impossible now. Ciampa’s dream is on hold, because he needs neck surgery. That surgery has taken place, and now Ciampa must relinquish the title. But the beauty of NXT is that when one dream ends, another begins. And that new dream begins right here! Gargano continues his dream and he WILL compete for the NXT Championship! But against who? We find that out tonight! Five men step into this ring! Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
Those five men fight for an opportunity to live a dream in New York, on the biggest stage yet, and compete for the title against Gargano. It will be decisive in New York, 2 Out of 3 Falls! The winner will walk out the NEW NXT Champion! A major match of former, current and future champions, but who will have a match with Gargano to determine NXT’s future?
Backstage interview with various superstars.
The Finest thinks Cathy Kelly was waiting for him. But since he showed up, what is his reaction to the big news tonight? Well tonight’s main event will be great, but Kona Reeves knows it won’t be The Finest. The Forgotten Sons appear next, and they don’t care about tonight’s main event. They are more concerned with next week’s main event, because in case people have already forgotten, they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic FINALS! Aleister Black & Ricochet need to not forget Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake are coming. They hope one of those two win, so that they’ll be too focused on something else. Then it’ll be that much easier for the Forgotten Sons to go on and win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Then no one will forget them ever again.
NXT Media shares Tommaso Ciampa’s trip to Birmingham, Alabama.
This is not the first time Ciampa has been to the WWE’s preferred surgical facility. Ciampa has had one knee and both shoulders, but now the neck leaves him no choice but to have another surgery. The pressure on his spinal cord could paralyze Ciampa, so this is not just for his career, but for his life as he knows it. There are various bone graftings and now it’s just about time. When and where will the greatest sports entertainer in NXT make another return?
NXT’s contenders speak.
The King of Flight and the Embodiment of the End are one of the most unexpected duos in the tag team division. They work together because they expect the best from each other. But there’s no misunderstanding, it will be every man for himself tonight.
Velveteen Dream is already the NXT North American Champion, but he wants the biggest spotlight possible. The way he sees it, tonight’s Fatal 5 Way will be #DreamOver. And when Dream wins it all, then Dream will just be the first ever dual champion, on the grandest stage in NXT history.
The Original King of Bros is still undefeated, and is stoked to have such a big opportunity so soon. Riddle worked his ace off to get here, and nothing will stop him from going to NXT TakeOver: New York and becoming the new NXT Champion, bro.
Adam Cole says he is the one who makes history in NXT, and no one is more deserving! The inaugural North American Champion wants to be the first to also have the top title. He takes on four of the best to then go to the Barclays Center. That’s the very place Cole made his debut and held that title high above his head. He’ll do it again, when the announcement is made that he is the new NXT Champion! And that is Undisputed!
Backstage interviews with The Sky Pirates.
Io Shirai & Kairi Sane are very excited for tonight’s main event to see who goes to TakeOver. And speaking of, they’re both going, too, because they’re in a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Women’s Championship. Are they concerned the title and their friendship will get in the way? Not at all! May the best woman win! Io and Kairi both want the title, and will fight each other if they need to. “Gurl, uh-uh!”
Bianca Belair knows this isn’t her business, but this shouldn’t be a Fatal 4. Shayna got in the way and kept Bianca from beating Io. And this doesn’t have anything to do with the little pirate! But now it does, so in New York, The EST will run through both of them to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. No one can do anything about it, because she still feels Un-De-Fea-Ted. Io holds Kairi back while Bianca takes her leave. Whether it’s Bianca, Kairi or Io, will there be a new Women’s Champion alongside a new NXT Champion in New York?
NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
The One and Only, Panama City Playboy, Dutch Destroyer, Patrick Clark Experience and Original Bro wage war like NXT has never seen! Johnny Wrestling awaits, who moves on to challenge him for the vacant throne?
The fans are already fired up for “All These Guys!” as the bell rings. Cole goes after Aleister than Ricochet while Riddle chases Dream. Riddle originally wanted after Dream for the North American title, so why not have that out here? Dream has other ideas as he throws Riddle into barriers then gets back in the ring. Aleister and Ricochet work together against Cole then Dream. Ricochet clotheslines Cole out but Cole drags Ricochet out. Dream rolls ALeister, TWO! Riddle returns but Dream throws him back out. Aleister waistlocks but Dream throws him off. Dream runs into Aleister’s boots then Aleister hops up. Aleister leaps but Dream gets under. Dream lifts Aleister but Aleister slips out. Aleister sweeps but Dream jumps over and rolls through! Aleister slips out again to cradle, TWO!
Dream runs into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs but Cole trips and drags him out. Cole swings but gets Aleister’s kick! Aleister clibms up but Dream sends him back down. Ricochet mule kicks and whips Dream but Dream reverses. Ricochet rolls off the back and handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Dream bails out but Riddle’s back. Riddle gut wrenches Ricochet, then holds on to do it again! And again! Full Sail is thunderous for the “Bro!” but Cole is after him. Riddle standing switches but gets an enziguri from Cole. Cole stomps a mudhole, then hits his pose BAYBAY! ALeister attacks but Cole reverses. The Unexpected Duo work together, leg sweep and standing moonsault! Cole gets away, and now the tag team phenomenons face each other. They shake hands and circle. But Cole disrupts it by shoving Ricochet into Aleister!
Aleister falls out and Cole stomps away on Ricochet. Cole hits a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Cole keeps Riddle out with a right hand then goes after Ricochet. He snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Ricochet just escapes, but Cole boots Aleister back out! Cole drags Ricochet up for a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Another close call but Cole can’t put Ricochet away. Cole goes after Dream but Dream shoulders in. Ricochet somersault shotgun dropkicks Cole! Dream knees Ricochet out then throws heavy hands on Cole. Dream whips but Cole reverses, only for Dream to slide out. Cole runs over but gets an uppercut! Dream climbs up and ax handles Alesiter out.
Dream tosses Cole out then climbs, to LEAP for a big ax handle! He puts Cole in fast and climbs back up. Purple Rain- Riddle gets Dream with a German! Aleister kicks but Riddle reverses! Riddle wants and gets the BroMission!! But Dream breaks it with a falling elbow! Dream stalks Riddle as fans fire up again. Dream tosses Riddle out and turns his attention to Aleister. Aleister fires off a strike fest, sweep to knee! Cole returns but Aleister is ready, two-for-one quebrada! Aleister roundhouses Dream, covers, TWO! Dream survives but Aleister keeps going. Aleister lifts Dream with his foot, but Cole drags Aleister out by the other foot. Cole sends Aleister into steel steps! Cole returns to the ring, only to meet Riddle. They were going to fight to see who contends for the North American title, so now they have it out!
Riddle gets the edge with open palm CHOP after CHOP! Cole stomps Riddle’s bare foot! But his superkick is caught, Riddle gets Cole in a Bromission! But again Dream breaks it up with a leaping ax handle! Dream haymakers Riddle but Riddle ROCKS Dream with that right! Cole hits Riddle now, but Riddle hits back. Dream, Riddle and Cole brawl on their knees in a triangle of strikes. They slowly stand, throwing big hands, forearms and uppercuts. Riddle CHOPS Dream, Cole BOOTS Riddle, Dream SUPERKICKS Cole! Ricochet returns, rolls and PELES Dream down! Cole SUPERKICKS Ricochet but Riddle KNEES Cole! Aleister returns and fires off with Riddle, double roundhouses take them both out! All five men are down and Full Sail reaches a fever pitch!
Ricochet staggers up and goes after Riddle. He puts the Bro in the drop zone then climbs up. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Cole intercepts Ricochet. Cole climbs up to join Ricochet, but Ricochet resists. Dream adds on, climbing up to join them. They brawl and Aleister staggers over. Riddle follows, and they’re all on the second rope! It’s a Double Russian Leg Sweep SUPERPLEX! All five men are down again and fans know “This is Awesome!” The referee checks on everyone in turn and they’re all okay to continue. Fans build to a rally as the five slowly stir. Cole, Riddle and Ricochet bail out while Dream meets Aleister. Dream and Aleister trade haymakers on their knees. Aleister fires off hand after hand but Dream powers him to a corner. Aleister boots Dream away then hops up, Meteora!
Dream’s up but gets a roundhouse and a German! But Riddle sentons the bridge! Riddle drags Aleister up in a deadlift Fisherman Buster! Cradle, but Cole breaks it! Cole drags Riddle up but Riddle fires off fast hands! Riddle misses, gets a SUPERKICK, and Last Ride brainbuster! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Ricochet drags Cole up but Cole breaks free. Ricochet fakes Cole out for a boot and an ax kick! He keeps going, fireman’s carry but Cole rakes eyes! SUPERKICK to the front, SUPERKICK to the back! Cole brings the knee pad down but misses the Last Shot Wizard to get a Reverse-Rrana! Cole rolls all the way out and Ricochet can’t believe it. But Ricochet also sees a prime target, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Ricochet wipes Cole out but hurries to get back up.
Dream returns to the ring but so does Riddle. The would-be North American Championship showdown happens as Riddle throws chops. Riddle swings up and around Dream’s clothesline to powerbomb, but Dream slips out! Dream wants but Riddle denies the Sidewinder, to wring Dream out for a Bro Trigger! Riddle reels Dream into the BroMission! Dream flails but Cole yanks the ref out! No Disqualifications, but plenty of consequences as Riddle BOOTS Cole! Riddle turns around into BLACK MASS! Aleister turns around into Dream Valley Driver! Dream hurries to the top rope, but Ricochet’s right up for a SUPER STEINER onto Aleister and Cole! Ricochet hurries up for his own, SHOOTING STAR onto Riddle! Cover, but LAST SHOT!! Cole covers, Cole wins!!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall; will face Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship
You never see the shot that takes you down! Cole came outta nowhere, and now he’s going to New York City! Will Cole finally make the NXT Championship #Undisputed? Or will Gargano once again become Johnny Champion?
I’m going to call this episode a one match classic, because how else would you describe it? First it is unfortunate for Ciampa to again be out with an injury, and an injury as serious as the neck, so I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying get well soon, Psycho Killer. But HHH had such a great speech to open the night, and it is very true, this became a massive opportunity for another superstar to move up. The five men chosen were the right choices, and this made for an amazing Fatal 5 Way.
However, it makes a lot of sense for this to be Adam Cole’s night. Aleister & Ricochet are not only busy on the main roster, but they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, where I would think they defeat the Forgotten Sons and move on to the War Raiders. It wouldn’t be very good to give those two double duty on TakeOver Friday and possibly something on Mania Sunday. Then Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle can and will still happen, and that is going to be great. It would’ve been too epic if Dream was trying for both titles, even if it’s Wrestlemania Weekend. Gargano VS Cole is going to be great and really could go either way, but I feel that since Gargano VS Ciampa was the plan, Gargano might’ve won that title to have his triumphant victory on the biggest WWE weekend of the year.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/30/23)
We’re on the Road to WrestleMania!
It’s the Raw after the Royal Rumble!
Two Rumble matches, two Nightmares as winners! Cody Rhodes and Rhea Ripley will both share their plans for WrestleMania tonight on Raw!
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Rollins wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Candice LeRae w/ Mia Yim VS Iyo Sky w/ Damage CTRL; Sky wins.
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Johnny Gargano w/ Dexter Lumis VS Baron Corbin w/ JBL; Gargano wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- The Miz VS Rick Boogs; Boogs wins.
- Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Dolph Ziggler VS Bronson Reed; Bronson wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
- Cody Rhodes VS Finn Balor w/ The Judgment Day; Cody wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes is here!
The American Nightmare is the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble winner, having made his return after surgery on his torn pectoral! Cody gets the pyro but fans are already plenty fired up as he goes to the ring. Cody gets the mic as fans chant his name. The fans also chant, “You Deserve It!” as Cody looks up at the WrestleMania sign. Cody soaks up the energy and then says, “So… What do you guys wanna talk about? I think it goes without saying, but every week there’s someone new watching this show, so I’ll go ahead and say it. I am not the same person when I started this journey over 15 years ago on this very show.
“I’ve thought a lot, though, about 19-year-old me, first day on the job, pulling up to this metal barn, Ohio Valley Wrestling. There’s a sign on the door that says, ‘Tomorrow’s superstars today.’ And I’m sitting in my beat-up Volkswagen Jetta, and I remember, I vividly thought to myself, ‘I’m gonna be WWE Champion inside of two years.’ Hey, I was ambitious, albeit a little delusional, because I also thought, ‘I’m gonna be the next John Cena.'” Cody says if he could go back, maybe write a letter to young Cody, what would he say? Cody wonders if he’d tell himself, “I don’t think it’s gonna go down like that, chief.”
Would Cody reveal that one night in London, you’re gonna get slapped so hard on live TV that your knees buckle. “You’re gonna be Dashing Cody Rhodes, and you’re gonna give out grooming tips. You’re gonna win the Intercontinental Championship and restore it to its former retro glory. You’re gonna paint your paint and become less than. That triumph will become tragedy will become triumph all over again.” Would Cody tell himself that the lovely lady ring announcer becomes his wife? Would Cody tell himself that he’s gonna lose his 295 best friend but gain a 6 pound one back that has his same eyes?
Would Cody tell himself that he’s gonna be on fire at some point, bleed all over the world, and that in 2015, he does what everyone tells him not to and goes on excursion? And that one part of that excursion is fully focused on the industry’s health and neglecting his own? Or that on January 28th, 2023, at the Royal Rumble, he outlasted 29 others and punched his ticket, the very first in the family to do this, and go under the brightest lights on the biggest stage at WrestleMania?
Fans fire up again and chant Cody’s name, and Cody tells them, “Truth be told, I wouldn’t tell him a single thing. I wouldn’t tell him a single thing because every single piece on this broken road, every splinter on this upward ladder has been unequivocally, 100% worth it!” Fans cheer that! Cody says he is here tonight, he heard the fans singing his song, and that song will still be his song, but the most important words are those very first ones, because those are his own. “Wrestling has more than one royal family.” In fact, WWE has more than one royal family.
“But for that to be true, for it to be real, for it to be venerated, validated and vindicated in my heart, I have to stand across from another. I have to stand across from an entire bloodline. I have to stand across from the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table.” Fans already boo, knowing who he’s calling out. Cody says he has to stand across from one who is essentially the LeBron James of WWE, the biggest star on the planet, a man who has held the title for over 800 DAYS. Cody must stand across… from Roman Reigns. Fans chant “ROMAN SUCKS!” but Cody says, “I’m sure you can hear it, I have a great deal of respect for Roman.”
But what’s next, Cody has the same sincerity: WrestleMania is in 62 days. That might be just 62 normal days for Roman, but that is 62 days “from the rest of my life.” At WrestleMania, undesirable has already become undeniable, but it will be uncrowned until that night when it ends. At WrestleMania, pull up a chair, sit wherever the hell you want, because on that night, someone else will be eating. After WrestleMania, Roman can be the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the biggest star in the world, but what he won’t be… is the UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION! The American Nightmare has spoken, but wait, here comes the Judgment Day!
Damian Priest, Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio head tot he ring, with mics of their own. Finn is confused. Is Cody returning to do something original? Or is he just gonna knock off all of Finn’s old stuff like Cody’s done before. And on top of that, Cody ruined the Judgment Day’s plans at the Rumble! Mami Rhea did what she was supposed to and she won her Rumble match. Later tonight, we all have the honor to hear her tell us who her opponent will be. But DOM was supposed to win the Men’s Rumble! Fans boo because that was not happening. Finn says speaking of the Rumble, what happened to Rey that he couldn’t make it?
Dom knows, he found Rey’s mask. And y’know what? Cody, you put your hands on Dom. Cody ruined Dom’s moment at the Rumble. But if that happened in prison, Cody wouldn’t be standing here right now. He would’ve got got! Priest says Dom should be the ONLY multigenerational superstar to main event Mania! Not some suck up who gets whatever he wants! Look at Rhea: entered #1, outlasted 29 others, and won the whole thing. She EARNED a spot! Cody is the golden boy, he got handed #30! How does that happen? Dom says it doesn’t matter. Cody owes Dom. Cody owes Dom an apology!
Cody has them stop there. Dom, Cody doesn’t wanna run the risk of pissing you of, but uh… Is Dom trying to scare Cody straight? Is that what this is? This could be very different. Cody already mentioned WWE’s royal families. The Rhodes, the Mysterios, Cody has a huge amount of respect for Dom’s dad. Yeah, Dom’s dad? Real funny, since Dom doesn’t. And Dom doesn’t have respect for anyone’s dad here, not even Cody’s! Fans boo, but Cody says fine. Cody gets this now. Fans chant “KICK HIS ASS!” Cody says between now and Mania, he could play it safe, try and stay healthy, or he could be himself, and kick Dom’s ass!
Cody is ready to take anyone on, really! And he’ll do it here, tonight! Judgment Day wants to punish Cody for “stealing” the moment, but will he end up doing that anyway here on Raw?
But wait! EDGE IS HERE! And he CLOBBERS each member of the Judgment Day! Edge rains fists on Finn but Priest drags him up. Edge brawls with Priest and Dom, security and officials rush out, and Adam Pearce will not have this break down onw! But then Cody joins in! Cody goes after Finn, and security, and Dom! Tulsa is thunderous, will The American Nightmare have the Rated R Superstar watching his back against common enemies?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!
Austin Theory will defend his United States Championship in THE Elimination Chamber, and the first qualifier is here! The Visionary takes on “Master” Gable, will we be singing the song all the way to Montreal? Or will Gable “SHOOOSH~!” everyone here in Tulsa?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Rollins wrenches to a wristlock, but Gable rolls, bridges, handsprings, wrenches back and headlocks to spin and toehold! Gable gets an ANKLE LOCK, but Rollins scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Fans chant, “GABLE SUCKS!” but Gable keeps focused as Rollins stands up. Fans sing, “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” as Rollins and Gable reset. They circle, Gable waistlocks, CHAOS THEORY! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rollins escapes, bails out, but Gable goes to the apron to CANNONBALL! Gable puts Rollins in, throat chops him down, then goes up the corner! DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!!
Rollins survives, Gable is steaming, but Raw goes picture in picture. Gable says, “A THANK YEW~!” as Rollins flops back out of the ring. Rollins shakes out the stars and stands up, but Gable stalks him around the way. Gable puts Rollins back in, then drags him to a corner. Gable has a leg, and he says, “SHOOSH!” before he SLAMS the leg into the post! Rollins scrambles away, clutching the knee. Gable goes in, has Rollins in a corner, and wraps the leg around ropes. The ref counts, Gable lets off but then stomps the leg! Gable brings Rollins out to DRAGON SCREW the leg! And then Gable wraps on a standing toehold!
Rollins endures, keeps his shoulders off the mat, and fights the hold. Gable YANKS the leg, then tells everyone to “SHOOSH!” Gable drags Rollins back to the corner, “SHOOSH~!” but Rollins YANKS Gable into the post! Otis fans Gable off but Rollins builds speed! Rollins hobbles but he manages to WRECK Gable with a dropkick! Rollins puts Gable back in, hurries after him, but Gable hits another DRAGON SCREW! Gable drags Rollins by that bad leg and has another standing toehold. Gable YANKS the leg, then looms over Rollins. Gable drags Rollins around to spinning toehold! And then another spinning toehold! And another!
Gable cranks on the leg but Rollins endures. Raw returns to single picture and fans rally up. Rollins kicks and CHOPS Gable, and he gets free! Otis is upset but Rollins brings Gable up. Rollins CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS! Rollins whips, Gable reverses and runs in to get the leg! Gable puts one in the ropes, to have the other with a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Rollins writhes and clutches his bad leg while Gable climbs up. MOONSAULT, but Rollins moves to roll Gable up! TWO and Rollins deadlifts Gable for a BUCKLE BUMP! Both men are down and Otis is freaking out. Otis coaches Gable but fans sing the song, “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!”
Gable and Rollins rise, and Rollins rallies with LARIATS! Mule kick, front kick, ROLLING- NO, Gable gets around, O’Conner to the CHAOS THEORY but Rollins lands out! SUPERKICK! FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Gable survives but Rollins is in too much pain to be frustrated. Rollins rises as the fans sing even louder and harder. Rollins shakes the bad leg out as he goes to a corner. Rollins runs in but Gable avoids the stomp! Rollins kicks low, hooks the arms, but Gable trips to a jackknife! TWO!! Gable runs in, into a roll-up! TWO, sunset flip! TWO and Rollins jackknifes! TWO as Gable bridges up!
Gable spins Rollins, Canadian Rack, for the CLIFFHANGER! Cover, TWO!!! Rollins survives and no one can believe it, least of all Gable! Gable snarls and fans rally up. Gable tells everyone to “SHOOOOSH~!” and he brings down the straps! Gable deadlifts but Rollins elbows the suplex away! PELE, but into an ANKLE LOCK! Gable keeps on the bad leg, then leans on the hold! Rollins kicks and rolls but Gable still holds on! Rollins rolls to a VICTORY ROLL! TWO!!! STOMP- NO! Gable grabs the leg to have the ANKLE LOCK! Rollins rolls, kicks, Gable comes back to jackknife, but Rollins rolls through! PEDIGREE!!! Cover, ROLLINS WINS!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall (advances to the Elimination Chamber)
The Visionary finds the way to win, and he’s headed to Montreal! Will he get that title back from Theory? Who else will join them in that high risk match-up?
Candice LeRae w/ Mia Yim VS Iyo Sky w/ Damage CTRL!
This grudge has been going for some time not, but the Women’s Rumble match only added fuel to the fire. The Genius of the Sky, the Captain of Team Kick, and the self-proclaimed Role Model all ganged up on the Poison Pixie, and everyone in that match really, so it’s time for payback! Will #CandiceWrestling get a big win off the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion? Or will DMG CTRL check off some contenders on the Road to WrestleMania?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Candice trips Sky, things speed up, Sky redirects but Candice follows. Sky goes Matrix, rolls Candice up but Candice slips free. Candice avoids the sweep, keeps moving, and avoids a dropkick! Jackknife bridge, TWO! STEP-UP SENTON! Cover, TWO! Sky YANKS Candice into ropes! Candice sputters, Sky hits a FLAPJACK! DMG CTRL fires up but the fans boo. Bayley wants commentary to emphasize Sky eliminating Candice in the Rumble. Sky scoops Candice to SLAM her down! Fans rally for Candice but Sky clamps on a chinlock while Raw goes picture in picture.
Sky grabs Candice’s arms and has a straitjacket stretch! Candice endures, Raw returns to single picture, and Candice fights up. Candice backs Sky into a corner, then arm-drags her away. Sky comes back but into boots! Candice runs, to dropkick Sky down! Fans rally while Sky bails out. Bayley says Candice still sucks, but Candice WRECKS Sky with a dropkick! Candice hurries to put Sky on the apron but Sky kicks Candice away! Sky builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the ramp and Sky eggs the fans on! Fans boo, Mia coaches Candice but DMG CTRL is loving this. Sky puts Candice back in, steps in, but into a dropkick!
Sky falls back out, Candice goes up the ropes! SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY! Fans fire up, Mia argues with DMG CTRL, and Raw goes picture in picture again. Sky and Candice rise, but Candice drags Sky up into the ring. Kai keeps Bayley from hearing the fans taunt them, but Candice climbs up the corner. Sky trips Candice and she falls into the ring! Sky elbows Candice, RAMS into her, then RAMS her again! The ref counts, Sky lets off, and Mia coaches Candice again. But Sky digs both boots into Candice! And then SWINGING METEORAS! Sky eggs Candice on, then brings her around to a cover, TWO!
Sky is annoyed but she’s back on Candice with a chinlock. Candice endures, even as Sky digs her knee into Candice’s back. Candice fights up but Sky shifts to a dragon sleeper! Candice still fights up, throws body shots, and runs, to tilt-o-whirl and IRON OCTOPUS! Sky endures now, flails and reaches out, but Candice pulls on the arm! Sky powers out to a SIDEWALK SLAM! Both women are down and DMG CTRL is upset. Candice goes to the apron, Sky goes to the other end. Sky runs in to SUNSET FLIP, but Candice holds onto the ropes! Candice stomps but Sky dodges, to trip Candice up! Candice hits the apron, but Sky gives her an APRON BACK SUPLEX!
Candice writhes while Sky climbs back up. Candice kicks Sky away! Candice stands, runs in, APRON COMPLETE SHOT! Sky flounders, Candice hurries up a corner, and Raw returns to single picture. Fans fire up for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!! Sky survives and Candice grows frustrated. Bayley talks trash but Candice puts Sky up top. Candice CHOPS, then climbs up. But Sky hops down to YANK Candice down! Candice hits buckles, and then Sky underhooks! TIGER BACKBREAKER! Bayley is fired up but fans boo. Sky goes to the corner, runs in, SHINKANSEN! Sky puts Candice in the drop zone and goes back up!
Fans boo but Candice SPANKS Sky! Candice climbs up to SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX! High stack cover, TWO!! Sky survives again and Kai breathes easy again. Candice and Sky are both down but Mia rallies the fans. Candice and Sky go forehead to forehead, then forearm for forearm! Candice forearms, CHOPS and repeat! She fires off in the corner, runs in but Sky dodges. Sky runs in but into an elbow! Candice climbs but Sky CLUBS her! Electric Chair Lift, but Candice fights it to a POISON-RANA!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sky survives yet again and DMG CTRL is beside themselves! Candice snarls as she stalks Sky to a corner.
Candice hoists Sky up top, climbs up after her, and brings her in. But Sky throws Candice away! No wild rides here! Sky adjusts, fans boo, OVER THE MOONSAULT onto BOOTS!! Candice drags Sky into a cradle but Kai distracts the ref! Mia is pissed, Candice would’ve won already! The ref finally counts, TWO!! Mia chases DMG CTRL off and Candice hits a CODE BREAKER! Bayley gets up, Candice DECKS her! But Sky rolls Candice up! SKY WINS!
Winner: Iyo Sky, by pinfall
The numbers game wins again! Michin wasn’t enough to stop Bayley and Kai, but will DMG CTRL face the consequences of their actions soon enough?
Rhea Ripley heads to the ring!
As promised, the Judgment Day’s Eradicator is here, and she is ready to make that WrestleMania decision. Rhea has the mic to say, “It’s been awhile since I’ve been out here without my Latino Heat, my Dom-Dom, and the Judgment Day crew. But I really just wanted all the attention on me. Two nights ago, I disrupted the status quo. I did the unthinkable, I went the distance, I came in here at number one, and overcame and outlasted 29 other women to win the Royal Rumble match. And now… I get to choose whichever champion I wanna face at WrestleMania.”
Fans “WOO~!” but also chant, “EST! EST!” Rhea says three years ago, she had just turned 24 and her career just got started. She was NXT Women’s Champion. She came here to Raw, stood in this ring, and challenged the winner of the Women’s Rumble, Charlotte Flair. She wanted the match at WrestleMania, and Charlotte put her in her place. The funny thing about Charlotte is she’s somehow always in the title picture. Charlotte is always at the top of her game, and Rhea hates to give her credit, “but she seems to get better each and every year. The normal flow here in the WWE is that Charlotte Flair is at the top.
“But I’m the disrupter. I don’t like the natural flow, I don’t like the normal formula, and I don’t like things being overplayed. So, Charlotte. I advise you to enjoy everyone rising and bowing down to the Queen. Because they’re about to rise to Rhea Ripley!” Fans fire up for that! At WrestleMania, Rhea plans to put Charlotte in her place! “Charlotte Flair, I choose you.” Rhea isn’t worried about the title, she’s focused on revenge! Will the SmackDown Women’s Champion soon face her Judgment Day?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
Cathy Kelley is with the Visionary, and he is fired up! Before we talk Elimination Chamber, let’s talk tonight! Tulsa, Oklahoma~! “What a crowd! What a fight against Chad Gable, and what a win! And now, I’m going on to Elimination Chamber. I’m gonna beat five other dudes inside that Chamber. I’m gonna take the United States title back from Austin Theory, and when it’s time, WRESTLEMANIA! LOS ANGELES! LET’S GOOO~! HAHAHAHA!” Then Cathy has to ask, at the Rumble, there was a lot of chatter after seeing surprise entrant, Logan Paul, eliminating Rollins. Can we get a comment?
Rollins takes a breath, and smiles, before walking away. Is the Visionary going to ignore Logan Paul to focus on The Now? Will the ImPAULsive Influencer do something to change that?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Johnny Gargano w/ Dexter Lumis VS Baron Corbin w/ JBL!
Johnny Wrestling has run into the Modern Day Wrestling God before, both in the ring and at the poker table. But the stakes are even higher than those encounters combined! Who will win their way into the Elimination Chamber in Montreal? And who will be left out in the cold?
The bell rings and Gargano rushes in! Corbin catches Gargano, RAMS him into a corner, but Gargano dodges the lariat to fire off haymakers! Corbin CLOBBERS Gargano, drags him up and whips him to ropes, but Gargano ducks ‘n’ dodges and RANAS! Corbin staggers up, into a DROPKICK! But Corbin comes back to BOOT Gargano down! Corbin puts Gargano in a corner, throws hands, but fans taunt “BUM ASS CORBIN!” Corbin gets annoyed by that, but he whips Gargano corner to corner hard! Gargano tumbles up and out to the apron, but Corbin drags him back in. Corbin choke grips, to CHOKE SLAM BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Corbin is annoyed but Gargano survives. Fans rally for Johnny Wrestling but Corbin scoops him. Gargano slips off, elbows Corbin away, then sidesteps to schoolboy KICK! Corbin staggers, Gargano throws him out of the ring, and then builds speed to WRECK Corbin with a dropkick! Gargano slingshots, Corbin slides in, but Gargano shoulders into him! Slingshot, but into a HAYMAKER! Down goes Gargano and Corbin goes out after him. Corbin choke grips, stares down Lumis, and CHOKE SLAMS Gargano on the barriers! Gargano falls and fans boo as Raw goes picture in picture.
Corbin looms over Gargano, drags him back up, and brings him around. Corbin SMACKS Gargano off the announce desk, the ref wants him to get this i the ring, but Corbin tells him to hold on. Corbin drags Gargano around to then RAM into barriers! Gargano falls, Corbin refreshes the ring count, and Corbin stalks Gargano. JBL argues with the ref but Corbin drags Gargano into the ring. Cover, TWO! Corbin looms over Gargano, drags him up, and ROCKS him with a right! Corbin has Gargano in the corner with more haymakers, then he puts Gargano up top. Corbin ROCKS Gargano again, climbs up after him, and throws down fists!
Corbin then stands Gargano up, but Gargano throws body shots! Gargano HEADBUTTS Corbin off the corner! Gargano reels Corbin in, for a TORNADO DDT! JBL is stunned but the fans rally up! Gargano drags himself to ropes, staggers over, and he throws haymakers on Corbin! The ref counts as they’re in the corner, but Gargano whips corner to corner. Corbin reverses, runs in, but Gargano dodges. Corbin slides out, slides in, and CLOBBERS Gargano! Cover, TWO! Corbin is furious, so he clamps on a half nelson chinbar! Gargano endures as Corbin leans on the hold. Raw returns to single picture as fans rally up for Gargano.
Gargano fights up, throws elbows, then elbows free! Gargano runs, but Corbin CLOBBERS him! Corbin rains down elbows then covers, TWO! Gargano goes to the apron and Corbin scowls. Corbin storms over, drags Gargano up, and ROCKS Gargano. Corbin runs side to side, but into a SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Cover, TWO! Corbin survives but JBL still looks a bit worried. Gargano drags Corbin up, Lumis is stoic, but Corbin choke grips! Corbin TOSSES Gargano to a corner, runs in, but Gargano BOOTS him away! Gargano goes up, leaps over Corbin, but Corbin slides out and in, into a SUPERKICK! Another SUPERKICK knocks Corbin down! Cover, TWO!!
JBL is worried again while Gargano grits his teeth. Corbin sits up, fans rally for Johnny Wrestling, and Gargano storms up on Corbin. Corbin throws body shots but Gargano throws forearms. Corbin shoves Gargano, Gargano gets around, redirects, dodges, but Corbin ELBOWS him! Gargano rebounds to DISCUS! Corbin rebounds, into an ENZIGURI! Gargano keeps moving, but runs into DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Corbin is furious! Corbin rains down fists but the ref warns him. Corbin lets off, throws off his shirt, but fans boo, they do NOT want that free souvenir.
Corbin drags Gargano up, reels him in, but Gargano ROCKS him! Gargano goes to a corner, Corbin runs in, but Gargano POSTS him! JBL is furious, but Gargano DIVES to send Corbin into the desk! Gargano puts Corbin in the ring but JBL tears the desk apart! But then Lumis steps over, with a HATCHET! JBL wants his hat but Lumis CHOPS it with the hatchet! JBL shouts for 911, but Lumis gives Gargano a thumbs up. Gargano GAMANGIRIS, but Corbin BOOTS Gargano out of the spear! END OF- NO, ROLL-UP!! GARGANO WINS!!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall (advances to the Elimination Chamber)
Corey Graves questions why Lumis was out here at all, but we just saw why! Lumis made sure JBL didn’t pull something. Gargano is going to Montreal, will Johnny Wrestling become Johnny America with the United States title?
MVP is in the VIP Lounge!
Montel Vontavius Porter welcomes us, and says that means big things are still popping, little things are still stopping, so sit back, relax and enjoy the view, because the VIP Lounge is still for people better than all of you. But tonight’s guest is a man “courageous enough to defend the United States Championship inside the Elimination Chamber.” It’s Atlanta’s own, Austin Theory! Fans boo as The Now struts his way out to the ring. Of course, Theory is only champion because Brock Lesnar screwed out Bobby Lashley again, but he’s still gonna count that.
Anyway, Theory steps past the velvet rope and through the ring ropes to relax on the couch. MVP says to make himself comfortable, and Theory says, “Just wow!” Fans boo, but MVP wants them to hear the man out. Theory says first of all, beyond all this disrespect, thank you, MVP, for inviting him! MVP says you’re welcome, happy to have you. When Theory was a “little kid,” he used to watch the VIP Lounge. In fact, that was a long time ago. But that’s why Theory’s here! He’s here to reinvent the VIP Lounge and make it relevant again, just like he will for MVP. Oh, how considerate.
Think about this: The VIP Lounge presents ATL – Austin Theory Live! Even better, get rid of the VIP Lounge and just make it Austin Theory Live! MVP says there is a ring to that, but to remind Theory, hot trends come and go, but classics never go out of style. Well, Theory is a classic. Uh, no, you’re not old enough yet. But they’ll figure this out. The VIP Lounge presents Austin Theory Live! Fans boo and Theory tells them to shut up. MVP does like the sound of that title, but maybe after the Elimination Chamber, Theory won’t have one. MVP wants to talk with Theory about that. Fans chant “YOU SUCK!” at Theory but he grins.
“Oh, I suck? You shut up because I am the CHAMP! And speaking of champ, did MVP just call me champ?” MVP confirms, he did. The same man that called Bobby Lashley the champ? And last week, MVP said Lashley was gonna beat MVP. MVP admits to that. So MVP thinks Lashley can beat Theory? MVP knows Lashley can. Oh, he knows? Well… Theory says he’s just messing around. But let’s talk the Chamber. It’s grueling, it’s hard to survive, but Theory survived it before. Theory was in the most grueling spot! Brock Lesnar F5’d him off the top of a chamber! But here he is, still standing!
And why is that? Because Theory IS the ruthlessness that this new generation needs! And NO amount of aggression can stop him! MVP says he likes this! MVP likes the confidence! He gets it, he understands where Theory is psychological. MVP was once a young, brash United States Champion, and was also once in an Elimination Chamber match. And Undertaker threw MVP off the top of a pod! So that means Theory is terrified, scared out of his mind, but doing a good job hiding it, just like MVP did. “But you never know who’s gonna be in that Chamber.” Theory asks MVP if that’s a threat. No, it’s a warning.
MVP is putting Theory up on game. Oh, is he? Trying to compare Lashley to the Undertaker? Lashley is MORE dangerous than Taker, to Theory. Oh, well that’s great Lashley is more dangerous, because Theory’s already beaten him twice. And this US Championship will be defended in the Chamber, but Lashley won’t be in it! So let’s talk about something that’s not the past. No problem, MVP can do that. He and Lashley aren’t business partners, so MVP is not at liberty to speak on Lashley’s back. But MVP knows Lashley, so for Theory’s health, should he survive- HIS HEALTH?! MVP cares about Theory’s health? Just a little bit.
Well, MVP should be more worried about his own health! More importantly, MVP should be worried about Lashley’s health. Everyone here knows that Lashley is MVP’s meal ticket, and that meal ticket is gonna get chewed up by Brock Lesnar! But wait! Here comes Bobby Lashley! Fans fire up as the All Mighty makes his way to the ring, and MVP defends he has nothing to do with this. Lashley pushes over the velvet rope, gets in the ring, and Theory says he shouldn’t even be here! What’s Lashley doing? But then MVP has Lashley stay back, and Theory says, “That’s right, Bobby. Listen to your daddy.”
Hearing that, MVP shrugs and says whatever. MVP stands aside and Lashley ROCKS Theory! And clotheslines him in the corner! Lashley throws the furniture around, Theory runs in, but into a COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up as Lashley continues to move things aside! MVP stands Theory up, Lashley runs in, but Theory uses MVP as a shield! The SPEAR hits MVP!! Theory runs away, and Lashley is even more furious! Theory says Lashley is the past and he’s done with the past! But will Lashley force The Now to deal with him in the near future?
Backstage interview with the Judgment Day.
Byron Saxton walks over to ask Finn about tonight’s main event, the first-time-ever of Finn VS Cody. But also, Byron brings up their altercation with Edge. Finn thought Edge would’ve had enough by now, but clearly not. Byron knows Finn isn’t hard to find, so tell Edge that Finn works Mondays. As for Cody, the Too Sweet is Finn’s. The finger guns, that’s Finn’s. The number 30 spot in the Rumble, that SHOULD’VE been Finn’s! Cody’s been stealing from Finn for years! “So tonight, he’s getting taxed! Because Finn Balor is coming to collect.” The Prince is ready, but will he be able to get even with the American Nightmare?
The Miz is in the ring!
The Hollywood A-Lister says he has something on his shoulder, and it’s a hell of a lot more than a chip! First, last week on Raw’s 30th Anniversary show, Miz was not given time, he was assaulted by Kevin Owens! “Who, as far as I’m concerned, got exactly what he deserved at the Royal Rumble.” And speaking of, Miz got a terrible number in the Rumble! And then everyone teamed up on him because he was a threat, and he got eliminated FIRST! Then Miz goes to the airport and fans chanted “FIRST MAN OUT!” at him. The fans chant that here now! IF they wanna act like children, he’ll treat them like children! He raises his hand! “When my hand goes up, your mouths go shut!”
And tonight, instead of Miz having a chance to qualify for the Elimination Chamber, he has NOTHING! He wants to be treated with RESPECT! And until he is given matches that deserve his star power- Adam Pearce interrupts. We get it, Miz is upset, but Miz is always upset. Miz wants opportunities, but he always wants opportunities. But Pearce has a guy beating down his down wanting that same opportunity. So please welcome to the Raw roster… RICK BOOGS! Fans fire up as Boogs is back! Boogs air guitars and air drums to the ring, and Miz is confused. Boogs rocks in the ring, and Miz has him hold on. “Boogs? You want me to have a match with Boogs?!”
Miz says he is in a $10 THOUSAND suit that Maryse bought him! He can’t have a match! Pearce says fine, but Miz is always talking about how awesome he is, so here’s the way to prove it. A ref heads to the ring, this is happening!
The Miz VS Rick Boogs!
The bell rings, Miz protests, but he backs up into Boogs! Boogs TOSSES Miz into a corner! Boogs runs in but Miz has him stop! Miz doesn’t want him damaging the suit! Boogs fires up and stars air-drumming again. Miz ROCKS Boogs with a sucker punch! Fans boo, Miz says he’s in a suit! Boogs still gut wrenches Miz, throws him around, and Miz’s shoes fly off! Boogs then hits a GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Miz staggers up, into a trophy lift! And a POWERSLAM! Cover, Boogs wins!
Winner: Rick Boogs, by pinfall
Now that was awesome! Boogs is ready to rock on Raw, will we see him turn it up to 11 on the way to WrestleMania?
The Alpha Academy regroups backstage.
Otis says that when the going gets tough, the tough get rough. Is that the saying? Otis and Gable go to the locker room, and Maximum Male Models is here? Maçé and Mansöôr don’t even understand what they’re looking at in Otis. “It’s disgusting.” “It’s grotesque!” But Maxxine Dupri says Otis is PERFECT! Huh? Is Maxxine looking at the same Otis we all are?
Bayley heads to the ring!
The Role Model walks back out, not only feeling good over helping Iyo Sky win against Candice LeRae, but also feeling good from making sure Becky Lynch didn’t win the Women’s Rumble, and beating down Becky to avoid the steel cage match with her. Bayley laughs and gets the mic as fans boo. “Did you guys really think I’d leave the building without talking about that?” Fans chant “BAYLEY SUCKS!” but she says she doesn’t. She knows we all saw what happened on Raw 30. Everyone is talking about how DMG CTRL took out Becky and made history. “It felt so good. We had so much confidence going into the Royal Rumble, if you couldn’t tell.”
They were dominant! Elimination after elimination after elimination, etc! But Bayley’s favorite was when she single-handedly eliminated The Man, Becky Lynch! HA! “Now finally, thank goodness, I’m done with Becky. The story is down, we’ve ended things, this obsession she has with Damage Control is done-” WAIT! Here comes Big Time Becks! Becky is the birthday girl tonight, and she tells Bayley, “Shut up, Bayley, ya stupid fool.” They’re not done until The Man says they’re done. Becky had already won the Rumble, she was just making sure Bayley and her team didn’t. Right, sounds like an excuse to Bayley.
Oh, excuses like robbing the fans of their Steel Cage match. Excuses like attacking Becky before the bell because Bayley was too scared. Excuses like doing whatever you can to avoid going 1v1 because Bayley doesn’t want to admit Becky’s better than her. Bayley laughs at that, and tells the fans to pipe down. Excuses, huh? Bayley is making excuses? No, Bayley is smart! Read a book or something! But Becky says Tulsa gets it. Bayley says she’s here to celebrate but Becky has to come out here and make it all about her. Well, it is Becky’s birthday. Bayley doesn’t give a damn! Becky doesn’t tell Bayley where and when to be or what to do! She’s not the suck-ups in the crowd!
Bayley knows Becky. And Bayley doesn’t like “Rebecca.” Becky is overrated. Becky isn’t good enough for all of this. To be champion again. Or to be in the ring with Bayley 1v1. Becky isn’t even good enough for her husband, Seth Freakin’ Rollins! HAH! Don’t act like you don’t know. The only reason Rollins married Becky is cuz he knocked her up! Becky stares daggers at Bayley’s smug smile. Becky says after all this time, she thought they were only fighting over wrestling. But whatever this is, this once-friendship, this animosity, this bitterness Bayley has, it all started 10 years ago in NXT in Orlando.
So since Raw will be in Orlando next week, that is where they should end this! Becky and Bayley will get that Steel Cage match once and for all! Bayley says, “What’re you, stupid, Becky? No! No chance!” Becky had a feeling Bayley would say that, so she’ll be right back. Oh, is she gonna go find another excuse? Another reason why she’s better than Bayley? Bayley has no time for this! She has to leave this crappy city. But then Becky returns, dragging Dakota Kai! Bayley is freaking out as Becky has Dakota’s leg inside a chair! What is it gonna be, Bayley? Kai, shush, The Man is talking. Bayley has to choose: the steel cage, or Kai getting the steel chair?
Bayley says wait WAIT WAIT! Bayley accepts the match! Oh, good. Thanks. Becky lets Kai go, and says Bayley can bring her friends along. But uh, maybe go check on Iyo in the back. Becky leaves and Bayley hurries to Kai’s side. Will Bayley regret pushing Big Time Becks to this point?
Backstage interview with Adam Pearce.
Cathy Kelley is with the WWE official, and says he has something big to announce. Yes, two big announcements. First, he is ecstatic that yes, next week, Becky VS Bayley in the Steel Cage is happening! And as if that’s not big enough, Rhea Ripley called out Charlotte Flair for her WrestleMania title match, so who will face Bianca Belair for her title? We figure that out at Elimination Chamber! There will be a Raw Women’s Championship #1 contenders Elimination Chamber match! The winner goes on to WrestleMania to face the EST!
Pearce says that the first four entrants are already decided, as they will be the final four superstars in the Women’s Rumble: Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross and Asuka! “But wait, there’s more!” Also next week on Raw, they will hold a qualifying match for the fifth entrant in a Fatal 4 Way! Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella! All this, next week on Raw in Orlando! But wait, in walks CHELSEA GREEN! She asks if Pearce is the manager. He introduces himself but she already knows his name. She just wants to be sure he’s the man to talk to about the “unacceptable accommodations” she’s been given. Um, sorry?
Chelsea feels embarrassed for him, but someone must not have told Pearce. Chelsea is not just any returning superstar. She is THE Chelsea Green. Where is her private room? Where is her fresh spring water? Where is her Swiss chocolate? Uh… Chelsea expects this to be resolved IMMEDIATELY! Okay, then he’ll get her the chocolates… The Hot Mess is back, but will she focus less on her accommodations and more on her WrestleMania plans?
Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Dolph Ziggler VS Bronson Reed!
The Show-Off has had his issues with Austin Theory, he’s had the US title around his waist, and now he gets to go after both! Well, if he gets through the Colossal Aussie! Will Ziggler ride a wave of momentum into Montreal? Or will he be washed away by the Tsunami?
The bell rings and the two circle. Ziggler stays low with his amateur wrestling, but Bronson grabs him and THROWS him to a corner! Bronson rushes in but Ziggler dodges and then DROPKICKS back! Bronson stays up so Ziggler SPLASHES in the corner! ZIG- NO, Bronson bucks that, and then BODY CHECKS Ziggler! Bronson storms around, drags Ziggler up, and he HEADBUTTS Ziggler back down. Bronson drags Ziggler up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then runs to STEAMROLL him! Cover, TWO! Bronson is annoyed but he drags Ziggler into a chinlock. Ziggler endures as Bronson leans on the hold.
Fans rally, Ziggler fights up, and Ziggler JAWBREAKERS free! But Bronson clamps right back on! Ziggler fights up again, to JAWBREAKER again! Bronson staggers, but he runs in, into an elbow! Ziggler BOOTS Bronson, then dodges! Bronson hits buckles, and turns around into the SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Bronson is hanging tough, but Ziggler SUPER- NO, Bronson blocks the kick to ROLLING ELBOW! Ziggler wobbles, Bronson reels him in to suplex. Ziggler slips off, ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!?! Bronson survives Ziggler’s best shot, but he is also dazed. Ziggler and Bronson rise, and Ziggler throws hands.
Ziggler throws knees into Bronson’s head and fans rally for Ziggler. Ziggler HEADBUTTS, kicks low, and runs, but Bronson turns Famouser into POWERBOMB! Bronson puts Ziggler in the drop zone, then climbs up top! TSUNAMI!! Cover, Bronson wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall (advances to the Elimination Chamber)
And that’s all Bronson needed to crush Ziggler’s hopes and dreams! Will Bronson prove he is the top dog in the Elimination Chamber?
Backstage interview with Carmella.
Cathy starts but Mella needs more excitement first. She’s Carmella! The Moonwalking, Trash Talking Princess of Staten Island, and she’s back! And she’ll be back on top where she belongs when she wins the Fatal 4 Way to get into the Elimination Chamber. Because #MellaIsMoney. And there is not a single woman- Oh, wait! Asuka walks over! Is she welcoming Mella back? Or maybe she’ll say, “Mella is not ready for Asuka!” No, Asuka. You are not ready for Mella! Paint your face up, Mella still isn’t afraid. But then Asuka has blue teeth as she grins. Mella is more grossed out than afraid, but does this mean no one is ready for THIS Asuka?
The Street Profits talk with Elias and Boogs.
They’re all excited, but then Byron walks over to ask Boogs how it feels to come back after injury. “It feels like I’m climbing a mountain, in a loin cloth, and I just wanna scream at the top of my lungs! EEEEEEEEEYAH!” But for real, being back in front of the fans is electric. It feels like he’s riding the lightning! It has been a long road of recovery, but it is official! Rick… BOOOOOGS~ is BACK! Ford fires up for that! Boogs is a maniac but Ford loves it! Dawkins says he’s also shredded, and he can shred a guitar, too! YEAH! Elias says anyone can shred, but it takes true skill to be an artist. And Boogs has that potential.
Ford wants Elias to cool it with the hating. Boogs got the dub, now he has to get dressed so they can have a night out on the town! Boogs is BOOGING OUT! New thing, booging out! Byron then asks the others that all three of them have a shot at the Elimination Chamber match for the US title. Dawkins takes on Damian Priest, Ford takes on… Elias! Whoa, Byron sure knows how to stir the pot. But Ford and Elias go back like fins on a Cadillac, but Ford promises that HE will be the one moving on. Elias says hold on, hold on. Just like Cadillacs, Elvis and Johnny Cash, Elias is an American classic. And next week, things turn around for Elias, at Ford’s expense.
Elias has GOT to be the next US Champion! Whoa, don’t sleep on ya boi. Next week, when Dawkins beats Damian, he’ll be walking into SoFi as the US Champion. WHAT?! These friends all argue, but will it be like the Rumble: every man for himself?
Cody Rhodes VS Finn Balor w/ The Judgment Day!
The American Nightmare opened the night but was interrupted, and we now have a first-time-anywhere showdown! Will Finn exterminate the so-called Bullet Club parasite? Or will the Prince learn why Cody is uncrowned wrestling royalty?
The bell rings and Cody circles with Finn. Fans rally for Cody as they feel out the grapple. They tie up, go around, end up on ropes and then in a corner. Finn and Cody end up in another corner, and then Finn shoves Cody away. The two stare down, Finn jabs Cody in the chest with a finger, but Cody kicks low and drops for the RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then wrenches an arm, suplexes Finn up and holds him up for TEN before the GOURD BUSTER! Finn scrambles out and fans fire up with Cody. Judgment Day coaches Finn up while Raw goes picture in picture.
Finn cools off, Rhea and Priest talk trash to Cody, and then Finn goes up the steel steps. Cody patiently waits, and Finn steps back in. Cody and Finn circle, feel things out, and then tie up. Finn headlocks, Cody powers up but Finn holds on tight. Cody fights up but Finn fights the suplex. Cody powers up again but Finn again holds tight. Finn hits a takeover, Cody headscissors, but Finn shrugs that off. Finn grinds the headlock, but Cody fights up again. Cody powers out this time, things speed up, but Finn KICKS Cody away! Cody clutches the repaired pec and Finn grins, knowing he hit the mark.
Finn and Cody reset, tie up again, and Finn waistlocks to drag Cody down. Finn keeps on an arm then floats to a facelock. Cody fights up, slips around and hammerlocks Finn. Finn fights up to get the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Cody lets off, but then Cody ROCKS Finn with a right. Cody CHOPS Finn, and Finn staggers away. Cody ROCKS Finn again, whips him to ropes, but Finn reverses. Cody sunset flips, Finn rolls through but Cody blocks the boot! Cody stands up, backs Finn into a corner, and puts the leg in the ropes to KICK it! Finn hobbles and Cody CLUBS him! Cody stalks Finn to the apron and DECKS him!
Cody springboard stomps, something he really is taking from Finn! Cody whips Finn corner to corner as Raw returns to single picture. Finn goes up but Cody catches him into an Alabama! Finn CLUBS Cody, Cody sets him down, and Finn trips Cody! Cody avoids the stomp to ELBOW, then he drops. But Finn blocks the uppercut to STOMP away on the bad pec! Finn SLAMS Cody’s arm, too, and Rhea mocks Cody, “How’s that feel, Nightmare?” Fans boo but Finn soaks up the heat. Finn drags Cody up, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS him! Finn pulls the bad arm around the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts.
Finn CHOPS Cody again, snapmares him, then runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Rhea argues the count but Finn keeps cool. Finn stomps Cody to ropes, then drags him over to stomp him more. Finn springboard stomps to show Cody how it’s done! And again, and again, and again! The ref counts, Finn lets off, and fans boo. Finn tells Tulsa off, then he brings Cody through the ropes. Finn kicks Cody, kicks again, but Cody blocks to DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Then BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Finn falls to the floor and Cody builds speed! Cody DIVES and Finn hits the desk! Cody puts Finn in, but he has to dodge Priest!
Priest tumbles into the timekeeper’s area! Dom runs in, but Cody TOSSES him over the desk! Cody gets in the ring, he dodges Finn, and then hits a SPINNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Mami Rhea helps Dom-Dom up, and fans fire up, “This is Awesome!” Cody CLUBS Finn, springboards, but into a waistlock! Dragon sleeper, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn is frustrated but Raw goes picture and picture again.
Cody sits up and grits his teeth but Judgment Day soaks up the heat. Rhea even says to “SUCK IT!” Finn clamps onto Cody, and he throws down elbows! Cody wants the bad arm but Cody resists! Finn still clamps on a chicken wing, but Cody fights up to his feet! Cody arm-drags Finn away! Cody runs in, but into a do-si-do that gives Finn to COBRA TWIST! Cody endures the stretch, pries at Finn’s legs, but Finn CLUBS Cody in the side again and again! Cody still endures as Finn puts more pressure on! Cody powers out to HIP TOSS Finn away! Cody then runs to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Finn gets to the corner and Judgment Day is relieved.
Cody storms up to whip Finn corner to corner, then he runs in, only for the splash to hit buckles! Finn stomps Cody back down, then stomps him more. Finn goes to the corner and he climbs up while Rhea mocks Cody. Finn reaches the top, but Cody ROCKS him first! Cody climbs up to join Finn, throws forearms, but Finn hits back! They brawl up top, Cody gets the edge, and Raw returns to single picture as Cody SLAPS Finn on the back! Cody SUPERPLEXES Finn!! Both men are down and Tulsa is thunderous! Judgment Day is worried, they coach Finn up but “This is Awesome!” as both men stir.
Finn and Cody rise, and Cody ROCKS Finn! Finn ROCKS Cody! Cody ROCKS Finn! Finn ROCKS Cody! The hands go back and forth, faster and faster, and Finn kicks low! Finn soaks up the heat, runs, but Cody follows to springboard, CODY CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Finn survives but Cody keeps focus. Cody stands and the fans rally up! Cody dragon sleepers, but Finn slips through! But Cody drops down to KICK Finn away! But Finn SLINGBLADES on return! Finn aims from the corner, runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Cody covers, TWO!! Judgment Day continues to worry, but fans rally up behind Cody.
Cody has Finn’s legs, “WOO~!” and FIGURE- NO, cradle! TWO!! Finn runs in, Cody trips him and steps in again, but Finn BOOTS Cody out of the ring! Cody is surrounded by Judgment Day, but then Priest spots EDGE in the crowd! Priest intercepts, Priest and Edge brawl in the crowd! Edge THROWS Priest into walls! Edge DECKS Dom on his way to ringside, and then he keeps ON Dom! Dom flounders with every haymaker and Rhea is freaking out! Edge SPEARS Dom down! But then Rhea CLOBBERS Edge!! BUT HERE COMES BETH!! The Glamazon SPEARS Rhea like she did on Saturday!!
Fans are losing their minds, and Cody brings Finn up. Finn trips Cody, to DOUBLE STOMP! Finn takes aim, SHOTGUN sends Cody into the corner! Cody is in the drop zone, Finn climbs up! Fans boo, but Edge distracts Finn! Edge hops down, Finn leaps, but Cody avoids the Coup de Grace! CROSS RHODES!! But Cody holds on, for another CROSS RHODES! AND ANOTHER CROSS RHODES!!! Cover, Cody wins!
Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall
The Rated R Superstar and the Glamazon made sure Judgment Day faced some of their own medicine! Will Edge & Beth finally finish what Edge started? And now, the American Nightmare is rolling along this Road to WrestleMania! Will Cody be ready to take down the Tribal Chief?
This was really a great Raw, especially in following up the Royal Rumble. For one, they built off of just about everything from the Rumble event, and we got great stuff out of Cody Rhodes, Judgment Day and of course, Edge and Beth. Great opening promo from Cody to establish that he is going after the Undisputed Universal title, aka both belts, not just the black ‘n’ gold world title belt. Good stuff from Judgment Day, acting like Dom was even close to winning the Rumble. And we got a great main event, including Edge and Beth again getting the best of Judgment Day. We most definitely need Edge & Beth VS Rhea & Dom at the Elimination Chamber event, since we know Rhea’s plans.
I was rather surprised Rhea chose Charlotte Flair, but her logic is also 100% spot on as to why she wants Charlotte. As such, it makes sense that Adam Pearce brings in a couple (currently) SmackDown superstars to fill out the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match. Raquel and Liv have been building momentum on SmackDown, they’re great choices, and Nikki Cross has always been solid so good to see her get the nod. Carmella and Asuka are back, and they had a good promo together. Mella has reset back to her original gimmick, which is fitting since Asuka is being more like “Kana,” her persona in Japan. That Fatal 4 Way is going to be hard to call, but if Mella is back and she’s already had interaction with Asuka, it’d make sense if Mella got in.
Chelsea Green also had a good bit with Pearce, acting entitled given how strong she was going in Impact Wrestling. Great match out of Candice VS Sky, even with the ever constant overbooking of DMG CTRL getting involved. And then a great promo segment from Bayley and Becky. Becky taking out Kai & Sky offscreen some time before this was a nice touch, and Becky scaring Bayley into accepting the cage match was good stuff. It does seem pretty fitting to have this supposed blow-off in Orlando, maybe that cage match should be the main event. And while Sky beat Candice, she lost to Mia, so maybe we’ll get a tag title match come Elimination Chamber.
Rick Boogs being back was unexpected, and having him beat Miz while Miz is in his suit was good stuff. Great qualifying matches for the US Championship Elimination Chamber match. Rollins was a natural choice, but great match with Gable. I also like that Otis has oddly caught they eye of Maxxine Dupri now that MMM has moved over to Raw. As ridiculous as the male modeling agency gimmick is, they might as well lean into it and have Maxxine make round mound Otis into her masterpiece project. Great win for Bronson over Ziggler, and great win for Gargano over Corbin. Lumis with the hatchet was hilarious, especially with Corey being horrified by it.
And great locker room promo from Boogs, the Profits, and Elias. Elias and Boogs both being musical gimmicks, I am very confident they’ll be in a program on the Road to WrestleMania. And while Priest likely beats Dawkins to get into the Chamber, I would love for Ford to get in there. It’ll be a great showing for Ford as a singles guy, and could you just imagine seeing his From the Heavens frog splash off the top of a pod? That’d be an amazing moment all by itself. But also, good VIP Lounge segment from Theory, MVP and Lashley. Lashley accidentally hitting MVP adds a bit to their story, but I think Lashley is getting in the Chamber, too.
I don’t see Lashley winning the Chamber, but he could do most of the damage for Theory to capitalize on. And as I said before, Lashley VS Lesnar at Mania isn’t going to be about a title, so therefore Lashley doesn’t need to have a title on him. Depending on how this Hurt Business 2.0 goes, maybe Lashley moves over to SmackDown to start fresh.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/30/23)
Lexington gets Elevated!
Can All Heart overcome the Swiss Superman?
The ROH World Championship returns to AEW Dark: Elevation, and Claudio Castagnoli takes on Blake Christian. Will All Heart survive the Swiss Superman?
- Red Velvet VS Billie Starkz; Velvet wins.
- Alex Reynolds & John Silver VS The Workhorsemen; Reynolds & Silver win.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Brian Pillman Jr; Rush wins.
- Athena & Diamante VS Skye Blue & Yuka Sakazaki; Skye & Yuka win.
- Top Flight VS Ari Daivari & Tony Nese w/ Mark Sterling; Top Flight wins.
- The Kings of the Black Throne w/ Julia Hart VS Turbo Floyd & Truth Magnum; The Kings of the Black Throne win.
- ROH World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli VS Blake Christian; Claudio wins.
A pretty good line-up, and I think Athena will end up in a program for her ROH Women’s Championship coming out of that tag match. Good tune-up match for Top Flight going into their AEW World Trios Championship program with the Elite, that should be a good win. And Blake Christian is going places. He’s had good stints on NJPW Strong, he’s in ROH and AEW, he’s going to give Claudio a great match. Claudio will still win, this is mostly to get things going towards Supercard of Honor on March 31st, but Blake could easily find himself going for a midcard title like the ROH Pure Championship or AEW All-Atlantic Championship.
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