Date: October 23, 2023
Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Show Recap —
Damian Priest and Finn Bálor entered following a recap of their tag title win over Jey Uso and Cody Rhodes. Bálor was pumped up to be champs again. Priest said the rest of Judgment Day was taking care of business in the back. Priest was about to say Judgment Day was back to running WWE but was interrupted by Cody Rhodes.
Rhodes got a big response. Rhodes had some choice words for the leader of Judgment Day but he noticed Rhea Ripley wasn’t there. He knew they thought there was no leader in Judgment Day and said it wasn’t just Dom Dom — Ripley was their Mami too. She pulled the strings, called the shots, and cut the deals — including one with the Bloodline.
Rhodes turned his attention to Priest who gave him a low blow last week. Rhodes warned him that would not be the final shot in this fight. Priest reminded Rhodes that he also put him through a table.
Priest said people talk of Rhodes’ story but he didn’t know what it was. All he could see was that Rhodes’ story was one of him failing. Rhodes threatened to fight him now but Priest said he had a scheduled match against Jey. Priest challenged him to a match at Crown Jewel instead and Rhodes accepted.
Rhodes still wanted a fight tonight. Priest was fine with that because Ripley and Dominik Mysterio made their way down. Jey ran out to assist as Rhodes went after Priest. (Jey took out Dom but Bálor took out Jey.)
Rhodes set up the announce table but JD McDonagh chop-blocked him from behind. They Pillmanized Rhodes’ leg before officials ran down to back them off. The crowd booed as Priest proudly walked away (and McDonagh followed).
The announcers ran down tonight’s card. (Kevin Patrick is not on commentary.)
Michael Cole said Wade Barrett had some big moments at American Airlines Center over his career. Barrett mentioned that he won season one of NXT here and beat John Cena at Hell in Cell in 2010. Cole reminded him that the New Day also retired him in his building.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated Chad Gable & Otis (w/Maxxine Dupri & Akira Tozawa) (10:16)
Cole said Tozawa was Alpha Academy’s latest recruit.
Gable and Otis gave Woods a Steinerizer but Kingston broke up the cover. Kingston kicked Gable out of the ring and Otis hit Kingston with the Caterpillar. Woods fought back and tried a reverse Caterpillar/Worm but Gable (who tagged himself in) grabbed him and applied an ankle lock. Woods slipped out as Otis tagged himself in.
New Day worked together on Otis. Kingston hit him with Trouble in Paradise before wiping out Gable with a flip dive. Woods hit Otis with a flying elbow drop for the pinfall win.
Jackie Redmond interviewed Becky Lynch. Redmond asked why she would defend her title on back-to-back nights. Lynch acknowledged that Hartwell never got a chance to regain her title and that’s what this title was all about — a chance for people to show what they’re made of. Lynch knew that Lyra Valkyria was here tonight but she couldn’t look past Hartwell. Lynch told Hartwell, “Welcome to the big time.”
(Someone, likely Xia Li, could be seen watching this in the background.)
There was a video package for Ivar (with Valhalla). No Erik.
Rhea Ripley/Seth Rollins segment
Rhea Ripley approached Seth Rollins in the back. She offered Judgment Day as insurance against Drew McIntyre. Rollins laughed and said Ripley must’ve lost faith in Priest, that’s why she’s been making deals. Rollins knew why Judgment Day would want the world champion but wondered why he would want them.
Ripley said alliances could change. If Rollins joined them, maybe Priest would cash in on someone else and they’d have all the titles. Without Judgment Day, Rollins could never have a title reign like Roman Reigns, especially with the condition of his back. Judgment Day could have his back and make people acknowledge him.
Rollins removed his shades and told her he didn’t want to be anything like Reigns. Ripley said “That wasn’t a no,” and told him to think about it.
Natalya met with Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae. She offered advice and wished her luck.
Lyra Valkyria was at ringside for the next match.
Becky Lynch defeated Indi Hartwell to retain the NXT Women’s Championship (9:16)
Lynch gave Hartwell a lot but retained with the Disarmer.
The announcers said Hartwell had the strength advantage and she drove Lynch into the barricade ahead of a break.
Hartwell hit a diving elbow to the back for a two count. Hartwell cut off Lynch’s comeback with a big boot for two. Hartwell went to the top but Lynch brought her down with a superplex. Lynch immediately went for an armbar but Hartwell hoisted her up and hit a powerbomb for two. Hartwell followed with a spinebuster for two.
They traded cradles before Lynch countered a boot and applied the Disarmer for the submission win.
— Lynch shook Hartwell’s hand after the match. Lynch also faced off with Valkyria at ringside.
LeRae was shown watching in the back. Xia Li decked her and said that was a warning to both her and Hartwell.
Pearce told security to be ready for tonight’s contract signing. Nick Aldis approached and asked for a word. Pearce was annoyed but Aldis tried to smooth things over. Aldis said they got off on the wrong foot and he made a rookie error by escorting Pearce out of the building on Friday. He just wanted friendly competition and asked Pearce to accept his apology.
Pearce knew what it felt like to be the new guy and called it water under the bridge. Pearce welcomed him to stay for the rest of Raw and watch how it’s done. They shook hands. After Aldis left, Pearce asked a referee to double their number of security guards for tonight.
Women’s World Championship Contract Signing
Security surrounded the ring. Pearce said the women’s division has been chaotic lately and normally wouldn’t reward that type of behaviour but also said they settle things in the ring.
Pearce introduced the title challengers one at a time: Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark and Nia Jax. They each signed as they entered the ring. Jax hesitated because Ripley wasn’t there. Pearce said he would get Ripley to sign later. Jax signed. (Barrett noted that they didn’t even bother setting up a table.)
The crowd chanted “We want Mami” and Ripley entered moments later. Ripley was pissed at Pearce. She thought she was being set up and threatened to make Pearce’s life a living hell. All Pearce was doing was ensuring that his women’s division would have four fewer women in it. Ripley would prove she was the most dominant woman in WWE because Mami was always on top.
Jax took the mic from Pearce and the crowd booed. Jax said Ripley was smart. Ripley remained on the apron and Jax figured she wanted her to squash the rest of the women. Jax was insulting to the other women, particularly Rodriguez because she was from Texas. Jax spoke slowly to Rodriguez so Rodriguez punched her.
Security immediately hit the ring to separate the four women. They all chucked the security guards aside and got into a brawl as Ripley watched in amusement. Rodriguez and Jax stood tall so even more guards hit the ring to separate them. Rodriguez broke through and clotheslined Jax but Jax bounced off the ropes and laid her out with a Samoan Drop.
Ripley smiled and waved at Jax.
Ludwig Kaiser told Giovanni Vinci that he needed him to take out Johnny Gargano tonight. Vinci understood.
Bronson Reed showed up and said he was ready for round two against their boss. Kaiser invited Reed to go tell Gunther himself. Imperium left.
Tozawa showed up and challenged Reed to a match tonight. Reed politely declined because he was feeling merciful. Tozawa chopped him and screamed and challenged him again. Reed accepted and said, “It’s your funeral.” Reed left.
Maxxine Dupri ran in and told Tozawa, “Not him!” She was worried and figured Gable wouldn’t be happy. (According to Cole, Tozawa said on social media that he was ready to try out what he’s learned from Alpha Academy.)
Johnny Gargano defeated Giovanni Vinci (w/Ludwig Kaiser) (2:42)
Kaiser was on the apron threatening to get in the ring so Tommaso Ciampa suddenly appeared to take him out. Gargano hit Vinci with One Final Beat for the pinfall win.
(They aired a 20-second movie ad during the middle of this match.)
There was a Shinsuke Nakamura video promo. Nakamura said a brutal beating from him was a beautiful thing and he was so happy to give Ricochet this experience. Nakamura was looking for a new opponent who would inspire the yet-to-be-seen self within him. “Who is worthy enough to set me free?”
Logan Paul segment
The crowd booed Logan Paul who responded, “Dallas, Texas, wow! So much love.” Paul said the boxer he beat was dropped by his fight league and said it sucked to be that guy.
Paul said he was a free agent too. When he beat Rey Mysterio for the United States title, he would give everyone something to talk about. Maybe he would show up to Raw to defend his title.
Dominik entered to a big ovation (from Paul). The crowd booed. Dom’s promo was drowned out by the volume of the crowd. Paul put over Dom and said he overcame his deadbeat dad to become the champion of an entire continent.
Paul remembered that being on Raw meant his favourite ring announcer was here. He invited Samantha Irvin into the ring. She shook her head. Paul said she deserved her flowers for everything she did for this organization.
Irvin reluctantly entered the ring. Paul said he knew it was hard for her to announce him as the winner at SummerSlam over her fiancé Ricochet. But she did it because she was a professional. Paul wanted a preview of Crown Jewel and asked her to announce him as the new United States champion.
Ricochet ran in and tackled Paul. Dom tried to help Paul so Ricochet decked him. Ricochet went for a dive on Paul but Dom got in his way again. Ricochet was about to hit Dom with a move off the top but Paul pulled Dom out of the ring.
Ricochet checked on Samantha.
Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green & Piper Niven defeated Natalya & Nikki Cross in a non-title match (3:12)
The story here was that Nikki Cross wasn’t her usual frenzied self. (She hasn’t been on Raw in a while so the announcers used every adjective they could to remind us what she’s normally like.) Cross slowly and stoically entered for the match and took so long that they started the match without her. When she finally did get on the apron, she stared blankly at nothing and left during the match.
Natalya tried fighting valiantly on her own but the numbers caught up to her. As Natalya tried putting Niven in a Sharpshooter, Green hit her with an Unprettier. Niven followed with a running crossbody for the pinfall win.
Drew McIntyre approached Jey Uso in the back. Jey wasn’t happy to see him. McIntyre sarcastically said he was sorry for what happened last week because he couldn’t possibly imagine what it felt like to lose a title because of the Bloodline. He told Jey to just get over it.
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McIntyre also said that his match tonight against Sami Zayn wouldn’t be happening without Jey, so whatever happened to Zayn was on him.
Miz confronted Pearce and complained about something before Ripley appeared with the contract. She signed it and gave it to Pearce. She told him she was keeping the pen. As she left, the camera followed her and Miz asked, “Where’s the camera going?” Ripley bumped into Dom who acted like he was hurt (thanks to Ricochet).
Drew McIntyre defeated Sami Zayn (14:50)
McIntyre had the early edge until Zayn hit a moonsault off the barricade. Zayn tried a crossbody but McIntyre caught him and hit a vertical suplex. Zayn tried a dive but McIntyre caught him again and easily chucked him across the announce table.
After a break, Zayn avoided a charge and McIntyre went shoulder-first into the post. Zayn followed with a vertical suplex and flip dive. The crowd got into it as they battled on the ropes. McIntyre set up for a middle rope White Noise but Zayn countered into a sunset flip powerbomb for two. The crowd popped and chanted, “This is awesome.”
McIntyre went for a Claymore Kick but Zayn booted him and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a good nearfall. Zayn tried an exploder into the corner but McIntyre hit him with consecutive overhead suplexes and a neckbreaker.
McIntyre set up for Claymore when Ripley entered to her music (and lighting effects). Zayn applied a schoolboy but McIntyre kicked out. Zayn hit an exploder into the corner and set up for a Helluva Kick.
Ripley leaped on the apron and distracted Zayn in full view of the referee. McIntyre used the distraction to hit a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win. (Fun match until the finish.)
— Ripley smiled as McIntyre stormed by her to the back.
Aldis spoke to Katana Chance and Kayden Carter in the back when he was approached by Pearce. Pearce said he offered to let him watch Raw, not chat with his superstars. Aldis said he was just having a friendly conversation. Aldis could see Pearce was having a tough night so he decided to leave now. Pearce was glad. They shook hands.
An expressionless Nikki Cross walked by so Pearce said, “I need a drink.”
Bronson Reed defeated Akira Tozawa (w/Maxxine Dupri) (2:32)
There were chants of “Let’s go Rangers” and “Astros suck” during this match. The Texas Rangers are currently beating the Houston Astros 10-2 in the 6th inning of game 7 in the ALCS.
Reed won via pinfall after a DVD, senton and Tsunami.
Gable gave Tozawa some words of encouragement in the back. New Day were there too and DIY joined them. Otis gave Tozawa a Dallas Cowboys title belt and he tried to do the same dance he did last week.
Rollins approached McIntyre and congratulated him on his first win as a member of Judgment Day. McIntyre said Ripley almost cost him the match and it was Rollins who spoke to her earlier. Rollins got serious and said he didn’t need Judgment Day to beat McIntyre. Rollins said, “May the best man win,” and McIntyre responded, “He will.”
Next week on Raw in Greenville, SC:
Seth Rollins vs. JD McDonagh (non-title) Candice LeRae vs. Xia Li Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni VinciDominik Mysterio vs. Ricochet (non-title)
Barrett said DIY were teaming for the first time in three years.
Tag Team Champion Damian Priest defeated Jey Uso (12:17)
Jey hit a dive ahead of a break but Priest was in control following the break. Barrett told us Priest has been dominating for the past five minutes but we have no idea how.
Priest hit a falcon arrow before the two men exchanged strikes. Jey got the better of that exchange and hit a flying crossbody for two. Priest responded with a back elbow and clothesline for two. Jey blocked a chokeslam and hit a Samoan drop for two.
Priest blocked a suicide dive and gave Jey a flatliner into the announce table. Jey tried to fire up but Priest hit him with a flatliner in the ring for two. Jey slipped out of a Razor’s Edge attempt and hit a spear and Uso Splash.
The ref never counted Jey’s pin attempt because Finn Bálor ran out and the ref decided he had to stop him from entering the ring. However, it seemed like Bálor was late and too much time passed so it looked stupid that the ref didn’t count.
Jey took out Bálor with a dive, but as Jey went back into the ring, the ref distracted himself by pulling Priest away, and Bálor managed to yank Jey into the ropes by the leg (effectively crotching him on the middle rope). Priest followed with a chokeslam for the pinfall win.
(This match was fine, I guess, but the crowd was quiet and the ending was no good.)
— Bálor gave Jey a Coup de Grace after the match. Bálor and Priest grabbed chairs but Rhodes limped out (to his music). Rhodes chucked Bálor into the barricade and hit Priest with a chair.
Rhodes was about to Pillmanize Priest’s leg but Bálor saved him. Rhodes was about to go after them but officials ran down to get between them. Jey and Cody embraced as the show ended.