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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 1.16.23

January 16, 2023 | Posted by Tony Acero
WWE Raw Bobby Lashley 1-16-23 Image Credit: WWE
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Acero’s WWE RAW Review 1.16.23  

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Daddy’s home! Thanks for the week off. Last Monday was my mom’s birthday, and I had to celebrate with her instead of the RAW Roster. Shout out to her for saying what I watched was fake when I was 12, but Hulk Hogan was “real.” Oh mother…

It’s Monday…you know what that means.

We start with The Usos and Solo Sikoa who want to talk about Smackdown, specifically with Kevin Owens. They hope he got the message, and at Royal Rumble, Owens will learn a hard lesson at Royal Rumble. Speaking of which they have huge plans at RAW 30. Every generation of their family will be present to acknowledge Roman Reigns, and they’ll be defending their titles against The Judgment Day.

The Judgement Day are here. Rhea Ripley on the mic first, telling The Usos that The Judgment Day runs Monday Night RAW. Finn Balor says they run this show, they ran the gauntlet, and now they’re running straight for The Bloodline.

They walk up the steps to enter the ring, making this a four on three altercation.

Finn wants to take this moment to thank the ex-con Dom for his help. Damien Priest makes mention that The Bloodline has never stepped to them, not once. Dom knows why. He says he smells fear. They’re scared. Is Jimmy scared? Jey? Y’all scared?

Jimmy says who? Scared of who? He mocks Dom, tells him to check the track record. They’ve sat down every team that stood up, and even list a few. They started this by beating Dom and Rey and at RAW 30, they are welcoming Judgment Day to The Uso penitentiary.

Dom says the reality is they wouldn’t last a minute in the cell with the prisoners that he was in with. In the pen, they call an Uso a wannabe Ese. Dom calls Solo the biggest wannabe. This causes Solo to go face to face with Dom, but here comes Rhea to take his place and stand nose-to-nose with Solo. Solo backs up, then gets right back in the face of Rhea. Rhea smiles as Solo holds his thumb up. Dom cheap shots him out of nowhere, but Solo is too tough. He attacks om. Everyone else starts the battle, leaving Rhea and Solo in the ring alone. Rhea calls for the pain. Solo readies himself, looks to attack, but Mustafa Ali flies off the top rope out of nowhere onto Solo as we go to break.

Match 1: Solo Sikoa vs Mustafa Ali

We are back to the show and Ali is already flying. Solo hits a Samoan Drop rather quickly, but Ali uses numerous dropkicks and a superkick to send him to the outside. Ali tries for a suicide dive, but Solo slaps him on the side of the head. Solo re-enters and smacks Ali across the face, dropping him to the mat. Solo goes for the cover 1…2…NO!!! Ali to the top, tires to fly, but Solo grabs him by the neck and shoves him into the post while on the apron! Ouch! He went back first and flopped to the outside like a dead fish.

The Usos come back to the ring through the audience, and stand on the apron to applaud their younger brother, but Kevin Owens’ music hits, and out he comes to even the odds. The Usos meet him at the bottom of the ramp, and Owens attacks! Rights to Jey, to Jimmy, he sends Jey into the barricade, then Jimmy to the steps.

Ali to the 2nd buckle, he flies off with a tornado DDT to Solo. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Ali to the top rope. 450 Sp—NO!!! Solo grabs him by the neck. SAMOAN SPIKE! Cover! 1..2….3!!!

Winner: Solo Sikoa
I can watch Ali wrestle all day, even if half of the match is just him looking like he just got murdered.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 5:20 shown

Kevin Owens enters the ring! STUNNER TO SOLO!!! He fights Solo to the outside, sending him into the steps, and starts removing shit off the tabkle. The Usos attack, so Kevin just grabs a bunch of chairs and starts tossing them towards The Usos. Out come some agents to try and stop Owens. We got Noble and Helms and Pearce all holding Owens back as The Usos make their way up the ramp.

Backstage, Bobby Lashle stands by in a darkened locker room. He brings up his opponents and says there is only one All Mighty. He says tonight, five people will tap out to The Hurt Lock. He mentions Theory, saying his reign has an expiration date. He is coming for his title, and he’s putting Theory away for good.

We come back to a Cody Rhodes video package going over his comeback, injury, and surgery. At the very end of the package, Cody announces that at the Royal Rumble…he is back.

Backstage, Byron is standing by Adam Pearce’s office, where he says that the door has been open and closed with superstars all trying to make their case for the Rumble. One of them? Elias. He says 2022 was a roller coaster. He saw his brother’s career explode then fizzle out. It’s time to right some wrongs, and when he gets into the Rumble match, the Vengeance Tour begins.

Out comes MVP, who accidentally bumps into Elias. He tells Elias that the winner is a done deal, so don’t bother asking to be in the match. Elias says MVP hasn’t been relevant in years. MVP tells Elias fine, he’ll face the winner of the RR match tonight. Elias is down, and MVP confirms with Pearce who is off screen. Looks like Omos is facing Elias later.

Match 2: Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander vs The Street Profits

Shelton starts te match with a huge right hand. Damn. Big kick from Shelton. A German. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Tag to Cedric, Dawkins is cornered. Cedric and Shelton double team him with right hands, then stomp him down. Whip to Dawkins into the ropes, Dawkins with a right hand, tag to Ford. Ford high kicks cedric, heads to the top rope ,flies with a cross body. He hits Cedric with a huge clothesline, then sends Cedric flying.

WE get a one-commercial break, come back to see Cedric dropping Ford on his head on the outside, and MVP coming down to the ring, then go back to the commercial break. Odd.

WE BACK. Dawkins is taking care of both dudes, flying over Shelton then hitting a back elbow. He waits for Shelton to stand, then spins into the corner. Ford tags, high kick from Dawkins, Ford to the top. Spinebuster from Dawkins. Frog Splash to Shelton. Cover for 1..2…..NO!! Cedric there to stop the pin. Dawkins sits Shelton on his shoulders, Ford to the top. Cedric clips the knee from behind! Shelton runs up and sends Ford flying with a belly to belly! Cover for 1..2…NO!!! Ford and Benjamin up. High kick from Ford. Tag to Cedric, tag to Dawkins. Ford flies over the top rope onto Shelton. Cedric hits the ropes, Dawkins leaps over him, suicide dive from Cedric to the outside! Dawkins wants to join the fun. He hits the ropes and flies over the top with a front flip!

Back in the ring, Dawkisn spins and hits Cedric with a splash. MVP on the apron, tries to stop the move, ref yells at him allowing Shelton and Cedric to double team Dawkins.

Cedric thinks he’s got it, covers for 1..2.N!O!! Dawkins with a crucifix pin! 1..2.3!!!!

Winners: The Street Profits
Kind of an oddly laid out match here, but hoping it leads to something for all involved.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 9:10

Holy cow, Cathy is backstage and….wow. I can’t breathe.

Oh, Judgment Day is nearby, and Finn is ready for the six-pack challenge.

Here comes Alpha Academy to become the most heelish team of all time due to making Cathy leave. They will be getting their win back from last week, says Gable. Rhea warns him that she’ll do something she won’t regret. Dom says he won’t be able to hold her back due to all the iron he’s been pumping.

We are back and Becky Lynch’s music hits! She comes out through the crowd, mentions the Bengals win, then says she has some business to take care of. She calls out Bayley, the dope, and tells her cumquat eating ass to come out here.

Bayley comes out, but she is not alone. Bayley is wearing a 49ers Jersey, saying her name is Bayley, not Karen. Becky wants the crowd to explain to Bayley that she is a Karen; a moody, entitled idiot with a crappy hair cut.

Bayley and Co enter the ring, call Becky mature mockingly. Becky is standing there, calling her names, but this is just a bitter reaction and Becky is still standing there without friends. Becky says she has an arena full of friends, though, and they all think that Bayley is a sour-faced dope that peaked in 2015.

Bayley says oh, 2015, the year Becky ran off and took her spot? Becky wonders if Bayley is trying to recreate something. Bayley says she was robbed. Everything Becky has should have been hers. Becky says the point that they are missing is that Bayley was kept in NXT because she wanted to be a leader. She wanted to help the newcomers. Wasn’t this true, or is Bayley full of crap? Bayley was supposed to have her own spotlight. Becky was supposed to be just another body. She wasn’t supposed to change the game or be the first woman to win the main event of Mania, but she did because she loves this, and she’ll do this till she cant anymore. She knows Bayley loves this, too, but the difference is when Bayley isn’t the focal point, Bayley whines and moans that it’s everyone else’s fault but hers.

Bayley tells the crowd not to bother chanting Becky’s name. We know nothing. We don’t know who she is. The only reason she became a man is because she was punched in the face by another woman. Becky offers to punch Bayley in the face to get her out of the rut that she’s been stuck in.

Bayley says she doesn’t need Iyo or Dakota. Becky says then one-on-one next week in a steel cage. It’s official.

Backstage, Mustafa Ali enters the locker room where Dolph Ziggler is getting ready. Ali takes offense in the fact that Dolph keeps getting opportunities. Dolph tells Ali he has no time to pay attention to Ali today.

Ali attacks! He clubs Dolph in the back of the head and asks if he has Dolph’s attention now.

Elias is out for his upcoming match that he thinks is with MVP. Of course, here comes MVP to tell Elias that his opponent is actually Omos.

Match 3: Omos vs Elias

Elias attacks immediately. Omos corners him, Elias side steps, then attacks in the corner. Omos shoves Elias back, then hits a big boot to knock Elias down hard. Elias rolls to the outside to catch a break. Omos leaves the ring an hops off the apron. Elias shoves Omos into the apron, then walks up the steps and locks in a sleeper. Omos wit a snapmare off the back. Omos rushes and Elias moves so Omos hits the ringpost. Elias runs for a move, but MVP stops him with the cane. MVP threatens a hit, so Elias grabs his guitar and goes to smack MVP. Omos stops the move and headbutts Elias. Omos has the guitar in his hand and smashes it on the floor then hops up on the apron. High kick from Elias. Omos continues to enter, high knee, another, Elias hits the ropes, a third high knee. Omos to one knee.

Elias to the top rope. Omos stands, GOOZLE!!! Omos with the Tree Slam. Cover for 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Omos
I suppose this is the typical big man push before the Rumble, but it does absolutely nothing for me.
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:33

Backstage, Adam Pearce says RAW XXX will be huge. -insert dick joke-

Akira Tozawa runs up on Pearce telling him he wants in on the Rumble. Pearce tells him to earn it. Akira wants a match tonight. He will show that he deserves to be in the ring. Pearce tells him he has a match tonight.

Further backstage, Judgment Day walks with purpose.

Match 4: Dominik Mysterio and Damien Priest vs Alpha Academy

Dom and Gable to start. Dom goes for a knuckle lock, but Gable mock shoots the legs causing Dom to flinch. He gets some tips from Rhea then tags in Priest. Priest misses a right hand, Gable shoots the legs, Priest lifts Gable and tosses him back on his feet. Go behind from Gable, he dodges a back elbow and locks up again. Priest is able to send Gable to the outside. Gable slides back in, Priest work the left arm. Gable rols out, bridges, breaks the hold, spins into a drop toe ho-no. Priest stops the hold and looks to kick, but mises. A right misses and Gable catches a kick and turns it into an anle lock! Priest kicks Gable away, Gable rushes him, into a boot, and Priest stomps him down. Whip to the corner. Priest msises a back elbow, Gable catches another kick. Dragon screw. Tag to Otis for a big reaction. He hits the ropes and a right hand to the head.

We are back and Gable slides into the ring for a tag, but Priest does the same and stops it from happening by shoving him. Priest attacks Gable into the corner, hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Priest sits Gable on the top rope, hits a right hand. Tag to Dom. Dom climbs the rope, locks the head, mocks Eddie, but Gable hits a right and shoves Dom down to the mat. Gable stands on the top rope, flies with a headbutt!!! TAG TO OTIS! Crowd is ALIVE! He shoves Priest who just got a tag. Elbow to Priest. Running knee to Dom. He lifts Priest, Priest lands on his feet, boxes the ears, headbutt from Otis! Big kick from Priest. Otis with a HUGE Slam to Priest! Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Tag from Dom. Otis with a splash to Priest and Dom! He sends Priest ot the corner, smash to Priest. Priest falls. Crowd wants the worm! Huge splash. Tag to Gable. Otis to the 2nd rope, Dom pulls Gable off the apron. Priest with a Goozle on the 2nd rope! Priest with a chokeslam!!! Gable enters, roll through, GERMAN TO PRIEST! Dom in! Rollup for 1..2…NO!!! Gable with the ankle lock!

Rhea to the apron, Priest enters. South of Heaven to Gable! Dom covers! 1…2…3!!!

Winners: The Judgment Day
Gable and Otis are QUICKLY becoming fan favorites, and this match pushed that even further. It was also really good, playing into the crowd as well as the characters. Highlight of a rather dull night thus far.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 11:38

Match 5: Iyo Sky (w/ Dakota Kai) vs Michin (w/ Candice LeRae)

Lockup! Mia shoves Iyo down face first. Whip to Iyo, Mia goes behind, hits a dropkick off the rope. Huge clothesline in the corner. Whip to the corner by Mia, Iyo slinks to the apron, ducks under a clotheslkine, gras the head, but Mia hits an elbow. She lifts Iyo by the hair, Iyo with a hangman. Iyo springboards, thinks twice, hops back down, kicks mia, to the top rope, dropkick by Iyo! Double knees in the corner! Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Iyo grabs the hair and scrapes Mia across the ropes. Kick from Mia, right hand to the face, another, Iyo drops Mia and locks in a crossface. Mia rolls into a pin for 1..2..NO!!! Iyo with an axe handle to the chest. Double underhook. Mia drops her weight, then goes for a back body drop, but Iyo lands on her feet. Uppercut, Mia grabs the trunks, Iyo drops elbows to the head, tries for a rana, but Mia holds on, elbows to the head, Sky drops to her feet, neckbreaker from Mia. Flapjack from Mia. Dropkick to Iyo. Mia grabs the head, whip to the ropes, but Iyo holds on, blocks, misses a kick, Mia locks up from behind. GERMAN!

Mia tries to finish it with Eat Defeat, but Dakota is on the apron. Cover from Sky for 1..2.NO!!! Candice pulls Dakota off the apron. Eat Defeat from Mia! Cover for 1..2……3!!!

Winner: Michin
Pretty average match that neither surprised nor disappointed.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 4:35

Dakota Sky attacks as soon as the bell rings. Candice LeRae enters to stop the attack, sending Dakota out of the ring.

Alexa Bliss video package.

Bianca Belair is here after the break lookin mighty fine.

She knows it’s only been a couple of weeks, but she has missed us. If it was up to her, she’d never miss a RAW, but with this job, it aint possible without risk. Just like the risk of her bustin her face on those steps. Even if she ends up with a scar, she will still face her again and again and again. Cuz with every risk comes the reward of remaining champion. She wants to know if Bliss has the guts to say this all to her face.

Here she come!

Bliss tells Bianca that she will gladly come out and repeat herself. Bianca fears her because she doesn’t know what to expect – no one does. She’s considering the Rumble, though.

Bianca tells her to stop. Does she really wanna try to beat 29 others to wait for a title shot, or does she want to face her for the title at the Royal Rumble? What’s the catch? The choice is hers. Bliss tells Bianca she’ll see her at the Rumble.

Bianca: “You can see me tonight, too.”

Bianca removes the earrings! She sends Bliss into the post. She tosses Bliss into the barricade, then into the apron. A face smash against the apron again, then loking to toss her in to the steps. Bliss reverses. Bianca stops herself. Bianca shoves Bliss into the barricade, tries for a crossbody, but lfies over the barricade as Bliss drops down. Bliss stands, Bianca creeps up from behind slowly then turns her around and pulls her into the crowd with a bunch of left hands. Bianca kicks Bliss into a stage wall and attacks with a barrage of rights and lefts. She tosses Bliss into a trash can then grabs a chair. Bianca sets it up and kicks Blsis in the ass. Damn. Bianca sets up another chair, facing each other, and sets up for a KOD. She walks Bliss over and…

There’s a smoke filled hallway with Uncle Howdy standing there. Bliss with a DDT to Bianca on the cement! Bliss stares down the hallway, then down at her handywork.

Match 6: Bronson Reed vs Akira Tozawa

Reed with a crossbody to start, drops Akira, lifts up with a waist lock. Akira locks the ropes, breaks the hold. Dropkick to Reed, a flurry of offense. Akira hits the ropes and Reed with a pounce! Reed lifts Akira, headbutt. Chop to the chest. Reed steamrolls through Akira and cleans his hands of Akira. Another waist lock from behind. Akira with a back elbow, high kick, kick to the knee, rana from Akira. Sliding dropkick to Reed on the outside. Akira hits the ropes, suicide dive to Reed! Akira to the apron, tries for a cannonball but Reed catches him and powerbombs him onto the edge of the barricade! Nice. Reed to the apron. He dives off with a shoulder tackle!

Reed sends Akira into the ring. To the top rope! He dives off with a splash. Cover for 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Bronson Reed
Akira goes splat
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 4:15

Seth Rollins goes Pacino, says just when he is ready to leave, the US Title calls him back in. He had his sight set for the Mania main event, but WWE Officials called him, said they need a main event, is he in? Of course he is. New plan! Tonight, Seth wins the challenge. Next week, he takes back his US Title, then goes to win the Rumble, and take it all to the main event of Mania. He quotes Freddie Mercury then leaves.

Match 7: Six Pack Challenge
Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs Bobby Lashley vs The Miz vs Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler

Theory is present for this match.

We get Finn/Seth, Corbin/Lashley, and Miz/Ziggler matching up as we head to commercial.

We are back and Finn and Seth are going at it in the ring. Bobby and Baron are clobbering each other while Miz and Dolph continue to dance. Lashley looks to attack Corbin, but JBL shoves him in the back. Corbin hits a knee while e’s distracted. Dolph gets sent over the timekeeper’s area by Miz. Ziggler to the top of the barricade. He flies off and hits a tornado DDT.

In the ring, Seth hits a huge gutbuster to Finn. Seth to the top rope. Corbi clips the legs and enters the rings. He hits a hard right, another. Corbin climbs up the corner. He hooks the head, Finn up and slaps Seth one time. He climbs again and he and Corbin lock Seth’s head. Here comes Lashley to assist in the tower of doom spot. Lashley looks pretty bad ass standing there after the move as if he powerbombed all three guys. Seth is up, Lashley goes for a Spear, but Seth moves. Miz enters and sends Seth out. Ziggler goes for Zig Zag on Lashley, Lashley shrugs him off. Miz in, tries for a Skull Crushing Finale, Lashley shoves him away, Fameasser from Ziggler! Skull Crushing Finale!!! Cover from Miz. 1..2..N!O!!! Dolph tries for a DDT, but Miz shoves him to the corner. Stomps. Miz runs with a clothesline. Corbin on the apron, Miz kicks him off. Rollup to Ziggler. 1..2.NO!!! Big Boot from The Miz. IN comes Finn to roll Miz up!1..2..NO!!! Miz kicks the knee. Kicks ot the chest. Another to the head. Miz goes for akick to Ziggler, Ziggler ducks, Miz catches a kick, trips the leg, FIGURE FOUR TO DOLPH! Seth comes in. Figure Four turned around. STOMP TO THE MIZ!!!!! Cover for 1..2..3!!!

The Miz is eliminated at 8:47

We are BACK and Corbin and Finn are double teaming Lashley on the outside. They send him into the post then Finn enters the ring to get his ass kicked by Seth. Kick to the gut, the chest, clothesline. Seth to the apron, running knee to Finn on the outside! Seth walks up to the announce table, gets some water from a bottle, then sprays Theory cuz why not.

Back in the ring, Finn tries for an elbow to the chest, but Seth drops to his back and kicks up. Corbin in, grabs Seth. Ziggler saves him. They double team, right hands, kick to Corbin from Dolph. Seth and Dolph go face to face, Dolph shrugs, they look to team up. They each run the corners and hit Corbin and Finn. Again. Lashley pulls Corbin out of the ring and sends him into the steps. Ziggler rolls Seth up for 1..2..N O!!!! Seth tries his own rollup for 1..2..NO!!! Seth hits the ropes, avoids a superkick, dieves to the outside! Finn avoids a splash, hits the ropes, he dives over onto Lashley, Seth, and Corbin! Dolph to the top rope! He dives with a splash onto everyone outside!

Ziggler with a superkick to Corbin! Lashley is in! He tries for a spear! Ziggler dodges, Zig Zag! Finn in! He gets dropped. Seth in! Pedigree to Ziggler! Cover for 1..2….3!!!

Dolph Ziggler eliminated at 16:49

We back. Seth and Baron fighting in the ring. Seth gets tossed over the rope, he lands on the apron, right hand, springboard, and Corbin hits a hard right. He talks some shit but Lashley is in the ring ow, so they go head to head. Rights from Lashley corner Corbin. Whip to Corbin, big clothesline, hits the ropes, a shoulder into the corner, another, neckbreaker. Big clothesline to Corbin sends him outside. Finn enters, Lashley hits a clothesline! In comes Seth ,Lahley grabs him. PayDirt/DDT! He lifts Seth, hits his old finisher and covers for 1..2..NO!!! What was that shit called? Lashley grabs Finn on the apron, brings him in the hard way, and hits a suplex. Lashley calls for the end. Finn stands up slowly. Lasley is about to lock it in, but MVP and Omos come out. Lashley stares them down. Corbin enters the ring, hits the ropes, big clothesline to Lashley. Splash in the corner to Finn, he hits the ropes, misses a clothesline, slingblade from Finn, Seth clotheslines Corbin to the outside! Finn rushes the corner with a shotgun dropkick! Finn to the top rope! Coup De Grace! STOMP FROM SETH!!! COVER!!! 1..2….3!!!

Finn Balor Eliminated at 24:04

The crowd is singing the Seth song. He is up! Corbin pulls Seth to the outside. Seth gives him a kick. Seth hops to the apron, but Omos grabs Seth by the trunks and tosses him over the table. Corbin stands, rolls into the ring, and eats a SPEAR!!!! 1..2…..3!!!

Baron Corbin Eliminated at 25:18

Lashley is pissed. He talks shit to Omos through the ropes, and there’s Theory to clock Lashley with the US Title. Omos looks to chokeslam him onto the table, but Theory is left standing. He punches Omos and drops to the otherside. Omos is still holding on. Seth with another STOMP TO OMOS!!!!! He dives onto Theory!

Seth back in the ring! MVP on the apron! Seth with a superkick to MVP! He turns! SPEAR FROM LASHLEY!!! Cover! 1..2….3!!!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley
A great main event for a mediocre RAW that saw the seeds being watered for a Hurt Business reunion that I think plenty of people will enjoy. Seth was the star here, hitting stomps out of nowhere, and kudos to the camera crew for capturing each one the right way, because they were great.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 26:29

See y’all next week when RAW turns XXX!

End Show

The final score: review Good
The 411
RAW tonight was definitely a one-match episode, as there was really nothing that stood out as spectacular outside of it. Thankfully, it was a nice way to spend 20+ minutes. I would assume that they didn't try as hard due to the NFL, but I've always found that a tiresome way to book a show, as you should always be striving to put on a solid show. Tonight's first hour dragged a bit, and only just picked up steam during the second. Two squash matches didn't help. All in all, a middle of the road episode with a great main event.

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RAW, WWE, Tony Acero