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Acero’s WWE Raw Review 9.18.23

September 18, 2023 | Posted by Tony Acero
WWE Raw Cody Rhodes Jey Uso Image Credit: WWE
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Acero’s WWE Raw Review 9.18.23  

Did you guys smell what The Rock was cookin on Friday?

It’s Monday…you know what that means

RAW starts off with Cody Rhodes because why the fuck not?

He’s taking on Dominik Mysterio, but first he wants to talk about Jey Uso. He was interrupted last week, and this week will be no different, because Dominik Mysterio is out here to do just that.

Dom says the only thing we need to know about Jey is…

Showers of boo rain on Dom’s promo. He continues that once Jey joins Judgment Day, they will continue to be a dominant force. Speaking of dominant, Rhea is not here due to Niaruption last week, but she’ll be back better and soon. He dedicates his victory tonight to Mami.

Cody tries to make Dom repeat himself. He says this must be a big night for Dom. Maybe a victory will impress Rhea enough to where she finally defines their relationship. He’s getting a real Urkel/Laura Winslow vibe. It seems he is far more into Rhea than she is into him. What’s the deal? It seems like Mami has eyes for Jey Uso.

Dom says it’s not like that. They are a family. Once Jey joins, he’ll know what it’s like to have a family.

Speaking of family, Vin Diesel The Judgment Day come out as we go to break.

We come back to see Dragon Lee in the crowd.

Cody Rhodes vs Dominik Mysterio

Cody with a drop down uppercut immediately. He then catches Dom in a delayed vertical suplex and immediately locks on a Figure Four. Dom makes it to the ropes. Finn with a cheap shot and Dom gains control. He corners Cody and hits some stomps, then tries for the Three Amigos.

Cody is able to hit a neckbreaker after the first one, then hits the ropes and bounces off with a Cody Cutter. Cody with a Cross Rhodes. Cover for 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Cody Rhodes
Well that was short…
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 2:08

The Judgment Day hops on the apron, ready to attack. But Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn run down to stand side by side with Cody Rhodes.

JD decides they have no interest in a fair fight and hop off the apron. They attempt to leave through the crowd, holding their titles high in the air.

Cody’s music hits and he heads up the ramp, but Kevin Owens asks for a mic and tells production to cut the music. He and Cody gotta talk about something.

WE come back to RAW with Kevin sittin on the turnbuckle, and Sami standing by his side. KO wants to confirm that Jey Uso is back on RAW, and it’s because of Cody. Cody says yes, that is correct. KO brings up the fact that there are a lot of people upset with Jey, and wonders why Cody thought it was a good idea to bring Jey Uso into their locker room here on RAW. This isn’t just for Kevin, it’s for everyone in th back that wants to know, too.

Cody says there are a lot that need to hear it. There’s a lot of us who already know why, though. Cody has had a lot of roles, tasks, and duties, but his job is to make these people happy. He will answer, but he asks us first if we like Jey Uso. WE do. KO is looking at someone that has received a large amount of second chances. Jey deserves a second chance, and we should give him the time to show us that he’s changed. Not to mention, The Bloodline are now down a member – what is bad about that?

KO ponders this while Sami has something to add. This is how KO has always been. He takes more time to trust and warm up. Maybe Sami is the opposite. But Sami knows Jey Uso. He’s been through a lot. The situation Jey had to dig himself out of. KO doesn’t have to give him a second chance, but Sami thinks he should. KO has given Sami second chances, and he has done the same for KO and because of that, they main evented Mania. That doesn’t happened without a second chance.

KO says ok, he sees where this is going.

He hops down and says he hears them. They want him to pretend why Jey isn’t a part of why Sami didn’t win the title at ELiminatio Chamber, or why Jey isn’t a part of why Cody didn’t win at Mania. He’ll even pretend that Jey isn’t one shade of eyeliner away from joining Judgment Day. He cant trust Jey, but he trusts both Cody and Sami, so he hopes they are right.

KO tosses the mic and leaves the ring.

This is followed by a recap of last week where Jey hit KO with a superkick on accident.

Recap of Rhea v Raquel and the worst rehire since B Fab and Top Dolla

We are informed that Erik is no longer medically cleared to compete, so there will not be a 2 outta 3 falls match. Kofi challenged Ivar because of this, and after an intense game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Kofi gets the match.

Kofi Kingston vs Ivar

Kofi fights back, attacks the back. Tries for a Sunset Flip! He gets it! Kofi pulls himself up. Trouble in Paradise! Cover! 1…2….3!!!!!

Winner: Kofi Kingston
They did this right. The first half was built up well to allow the commercial break to do its thing before coming back with just balls to the wall action. Great first match.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 13:07

Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Ricochet last week.

This week, Ricochet has some final comments before he faces Shin in a match. Ric is nobody’s pawn. He is only involved because Shin attacked him last week. This made it personal. Ric is fired up. Shin, if it’s games that he wants to play, let’s play em. Ricochet is a cheat code, and tonight is Game Over.

Shinsuke Nakamura makes his entrance, then Seth Rollins makes his before Ricochet can. Pearce comes out to stop Seth, but he aint havin it. He rushes down as a bunch of security guards run down to stop Seth. The men are held apart, as Shinsuke smiles. He rolls into the ring and looks at Seth, beckoning him to COME ONNNNNNN.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Ricochet

Lockup! Ric gets Shin in the corner, and Shin uses the ropes to break the hold. Cheap shot from Shin. He stomps Ric in the corner. Shin toys with Ricochet, slapping him around, then kicking Ricochet’s chest in. Another drops Ric on his back. He tries for a third, Ricochet catches it, drops the leg, hits a right, an uppercut, forearm, whip, shin swtops it, Ric rolls through, locks the head up and scissors Shin down. Dropkick and a pin gets a 1..NO! Shin breaks it with a rope break. Stomps from Ricochet in the corner. Ref stops him. Ric lifts Shin up, fireman’s, Shin slides down, back elbows from Ricochet, he tries for a springboard elbow but Shin with a sliding dropkick. He lays Ric across the ropes and attacks the midsection. Running knee from Shin. Cover for 1..2..NO!! Shin locks up the head. Ricochet tries to fight out. He attacks the mid section. Breaks the hold. Uppercut. Ric hits the ropes, high knee from Shin. Kick to the face. Shin wit a submission in the center of the ring. He attacks the mid section. Both men up. Ric hits a snapmare. Kick to the back. Standing moonsault. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Ricochet drops an elbow to the back of the head. Hits the ropes. Another elbow to the back of the head. Ric lifts hin up, Shin with some knees, a quick strike, corner and he chops Ric down. Another big chop. Whip to Ric into the corner, big boot to the chin, Shin spins Ric and tries for the sliding German, but Ric side steps and hits a moonsualt off the 2nd rope to the outside!

We are BACK and Ric is tryin his darndest. He hits the springboard elbow and runs for a standing shooting star press. Cover gets a 1..2..NO!!! Ric with a knee! He’s on the apron! Kick to the buckle, which hits Shin! Springboard crossbody! Cover! 1.2….NO!! Ricochet to the apron. Shin slides outside, kicks the back of the leg and trips up Ricochet! He bounces off the apron. Shin with a running start, but Ricochet runs up his body, lands on his feet, enziguri!

Shin has a chair! He misses a hit, Ricochet kicks Shin. Ric grabs the chair. He smacks Shin with the chair!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
This was fun, even if a bit slow to start. I really like that Ricochet took the chair shot, as he should be mad and uninterested in being a full on good guy.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 12:56

Ricochet runs into the ring to argue with the ref that he was only defending himself. Shin runs in to kick the ankle hard, looking like a break. Ricochet screams and holds his ankle. KINSHASHA!!! He grabs the ankle and slams it down hard. Shin wraps Ricochet’s leg around the post! He grabs the chair and smacks the leg over and over again.

Here comes Seth Rollins! He attacks Shin in the ring, but Shin with a back body drop onto the steel chair, attacking Seth’s back again.

Shin makes his way up the ramp, grabbing an enlarged Seth Rollins head poster from a kid in the process.

Seth Rollins, is struggling to walk backstage. He says he is fine, but a ref asks him to please let him help. Seth takes the help and they head to the trainer’s room.

The Women’s Tag Team Champs are backstage with Byron. He asks what their thoughts are on Shayna and Zoey. Chelsea Green says they’re not even a real team. Lol. She says what makes a real team is friendship, and that’s what Piper and she is. Best Friends.

Piper Niven says if they are such friends, what country is she from? Green guesses Florida and Piper walks away. Green says tonight, they will show everyone what a real team looks like.

Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark vs Chelsea Green and Piper Niven

Zoey and Green to start. Green with a kick, right hands to the back of the head. Another. Zoey fights back with some rights nad a whip, hard uppercut, another in the corner, snapmare, and a low clothesline. Zoey with a springboard senton off the ropes onto Green. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Zoey works the arm, tags in Shayna.She works the left ar and drops her down, showing Zoey how its done. Green with a slap, and Shayna eats it. Green tries for a tag, but Shayna grabs her arm and falls down hard. Running knee. Tag to Zoey. Some kicks TO Green. Whip into the corner. Back elbow from Green. Zoey tries for a splash, but Piper pulls Green out of the way, and Zoey eats post. Green from the top rope! Missile Dropkick! Cover! 1..2..NO!!! Tag to Piper. Shoulder breaker from Piper. Cover for 1..2.NO!! Piper attacks t he back with some rights. She sends Zoey into the corner. Tag to Green. Chop to Zoey. Zoey with one of her own. Right hand from Green. Whip but Green kicks. Enziguri to Zoey. Green hits the green. Kick from Zoey. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Piper in to pull Zoey off the cover. Shayna runs in with a knee to Piper, shooting heroff the apron! Headbutt from Piper! Body slam to Shayna! Piper hops back on the apron but…

Nia Jax is here to attack Piper! She sends her into the ring post, then enters the ring and Zoey turns right into a Samoan Drop!

Winner: Nobody
I wish I could say that this degrades the tag team championships but….ya know.
Total Rating: NR
Match Time: 3:42

Nia with a senton to Zoey. Green turns, Nia grabs her. She tosses Green aside like nothing. Shayna in the ring now. Splash from Nia. Nia to the 2nd rope. She flies off with the Anialator.

Nia says loud enough for cam to hear that the division is on notice.

Adam Pearce is on the phone with someone. Chad Gable comes up to ask him how Seth is. Pearce says he’s being checked on. He’s gotta go deal with Nia shit. Gable wants one more chance against Gunther. Pearce says he’ll have to get in line. Bronson Reed comes up to say that’s right, he’s next. Gable challenges him, Pearce makes it official.

We are back to RAW and Jey Uso is backstage with Jackie. She wonders how he’s handling all the hate.

He says it’s all good. He knows there’s a big target on his back. Here comes Damien Priest to tell Jackie to leave so he can talk to Jey. He makes another offer, telling Jey that JD is special. If he is willing and wants, they can be the family Jey has been looking for.

Chad Gable vs Bronson Reed

Reed with a whip to start, Gable hops over out of the corner. Big right hand from Gable. Another. Gable rushes the corner, Reed shoots him over, Gable with a right hand. Top rope, dropkicks! Reed with a splash in the corner. Reed with a headbutt. Reed whips Gable into the corner chest first. Axe handle from Reed to the back. Again. Gable with a throat thrust, right chop to the chest, again. Reed grabs the head and tosses Gable into the corner. Kick from Gable, but Reed takes over as we go to break!

We are back and Reed has a big headlockon Gable. Gable turns into the hold and attacks the chest with some chops. He clips the leg but Reed is still standing. Big Clothesline drops Gable. Reed corners Gable. Sits him on the top. Reed with a right hand. Arm bar from Gable, but the ref breaks it at 4. Reed tries for a splash, Gable side steps. Reed to the knee. Gable with a right, another, another, big elbows to the face. He drops an overhead kick to the top of the head! Gable to the top rope! Flying headbutt! Cover! 1.2….NO!!! Gable tries for Chaos Theory, Reed holds onto the corner. Big tackle! Running senton, but Gable got the knees up! He hurt his knee. He tries to German Reed, but cant do it. Reed pulls Gable onto his back and falls back onto Gable.

Reed pulls Gable to the corner. Reed to the top rope. TSUNAMI!!! Cover! 1..2…3!!!

Winner: Bronson Reed
The commercial break kind of gutted the match a bit, but it was good for what we got. Kinda sad that Gable lost, but that might just be a personal preference, because Gable has just been killing it.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 8:38

Promo time with Tommaso Ciampa who talks about how he told himself he’d play the long game. He waited, and waited, and waited until he found out that patience in not a virtue, it’s a crutch. So tonight, he starts destroying Imperium. He chose them, not the other way around. He tells Gunther that he has what Ciampa wants.

Backstage, Jey Uso comes up to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to call KO out for not saying what he had to say to his face. KO tells Jey he’s damn near a part of Judgment Day. KO says it doesn’t matter, he still doesn’t trust Jey, and he’s going to leave.

Jey tells Sami to talk to his boy. Sami says to give KO time.

Becky Lynch is here. She is the NEW NXT Women’s Champion, and although she’ll admit that winning the title wasn’t on her bingo card, she has learned to take chances and opportunities while you can. She wants to elevate the title. NXT represents hope and progress, and she wants to test herself against the future. She will be at NXT tomorrow night, but tonight, she wants to offer up an open challenge.

It is answered by…Natalya.

She says she has worked her ass off more than anyone. 8 weeks ago, she took Rhea to her limit. She’s been sitting backstage ever since, waiting for her chance. Natalya accepts.

Becky tells Nattie she has nothing but respect for her. They go way back. But when she issued the challenge, she meant it to be for someone new. Nattie has been here for 15 years.

Nattie says yeah, 15 years she’s been doin this. She’s not taking a spot. Becky went to NXT and stepped over everyone to get her title shot. Becky is a hypocrite.

She shoves Becky. Becky accepts and calls for the bell.

NXT Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs Natalya

Nattie shoves Becky just as we go to break.

When we come back, Nattie is trying for a sharpshooter but Becky escapes and heads for the apron. High kick to Nattie. Another. Becky to the top rope. Nattie stops her with some rights. Nattie climbs and locks the head. Superplex to Becky. Nattie tries for the sharpshooter again! Becky counters with the Disarmer!! Nattie rolls her up for 1..2.NO!!! Manhandle Slam attempt, Nattie switches, Becky rolls through for a pin. 1..2.NO!!!

Nattie reverses for 1…NO! Becky keeps the roll going and gets 1…2…3!!!

Winner: Becky Lynch
Kind of one of those “just there” matches. Nothing bad, Nattie can still go, but has no real effect on the show good or bad.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 7:11

Pearce is backstage with Dragon Lee. In comes Dominik Mysterio who says he lost because Rhea isn’t here, and Rhea isn’t here because Pearce isn’t doing his job. Instead, he is here talking to this guy. Dom tells Lee he doesn’t like guys in masks, because it reminds him of his deadbeat dad. Lee says he’s going to take that title next week.

Giovanni Vinci vs Tommaso Ciampa

Lockup against the ropes. Ludwig grabs the ankle of Ciampa, allowing Vinci to hit an uppercut. Another. Kick to the back of the head. Vinci catches a kick and pulls Ciampa into a short clothesline. Vinci sends Ciampa into the corner chest first. A back suplex landing mostly on the neck to Ciampa. Cover for 1..2.NO!!! Vinci kicks the chest, another kick. Slap to the back of the head. Ciampa stands and hits some rights! Uppercut. Kick from Vinci, Ciampa hops over the shoulder, but Vinci catches him. Thesz Press from Vinci with the knees only! Ciampa with a surprise clothesline. One in the corner, hits the ropes, runs into a fireman’s, Ciampa lands on his feet and drops Vinci back. Ciampa drops the knee pad. Ludwig distracts. Vinci rolls up. 1.2…NO! Ciampa with a huge right hand. Kick to the face Vinci chops.

Whip, stopped, Vinci off the ropes, but Ciampa hits a knee. He locks in The Sicilian Stretch! Vinci reaches for ropes! He taps!

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Nice little short work just to show Ciampa guttig through Imperium. Let’s hope Kaiser gives him a little bit more of a challenge.
Total Rating: *
Match Time: 3:29

Backstage, Byron is with Seth Rollins. How is he feeling? Tired, in a lot of pain, and he is trying to keep it together, but he is losing his mind. He tells Shin that the ball is in his court. Any place, any time. Any stipulation.

Jey Uso vs Drew McIntyre

Drew is big mad, not forgetting Clash at the Castle, according to Cole. Jey has no apologies. They lockup. Drew stuffs him, telling him if this is all he’s got, this will be quick. Jey attacks the midsection in the corner, then hits a high enziguri to the head. Whip to the corner, Drew reverses, Jey slides and stops, but drew hits him with a clothesline. Drew stomps Jey out in the corner. Jey is up, hits a right. Another. Whip to Drew. Reversed. Kick from Drew. Suplex to Jey! Cover! 1..2..NO! Drew with a chop. Jey fires back with a right, so Drew drops him with another chop. Drew lifts Jey, Jey blocks a right. Headbutt from Jey. Another. Another in the corner. Jey mounts and hits some rights. Jey whips and its reversed again. Right hand from Drew. Chop to Jey. Whip to Jey, Jey ducks under, holds on, sends Drew outside. Jey hits the ropes. Big dive to the outside!

The Judgment Day is here to get their answer from Jey.

We are BACK and Drew is hitting a superplex off the top, hurting himself about as much as he hurt Jey. Drew doesn’t cover, but instead takes his time trying to recover. Drew with a right hand! Jey gives him one of his own. They go back and forth. Jey with some Rock like slaps. He spits the hand, turns, Drew with a Glasgow Kiss. BUT YOU CANT HEADBUTT A SAMOAN!!!! Jey kicks. SAMOAN DROP! Cover! 1..2….NO!!! Drew rolls to the outside. Jey calls for another dive. He hits the ropes, dives, Drew with a right hand! Drew collapses in the ring. Drew to the top rope. He flies, Jey moves, Drew rolls through. Spinebuster! Jackknife cover! 1..2…NO!!! Right hand from Drew. Whip to the corner. Jey kicks out of the corner, misses a right. Drew with a neckbreaker! KIP UP from Drew! He waits for Jey, calls for the Claymore. DOM IS ON THE APRON! Priest pulls Drew’s leg. Jey with a SUPERKICK! Cover! 1..2….NO!!! Jey backs up into the corner where Judgment Day waits. He tells them it’s his time. It’s their time. Jey pulls himself up. Priest gives him some advice. He hops on the apron, in his ear.

Jey turns, tells Priest alright, knocks knuckles, then…SUPERKICK TO DAMIEN PRIEST! TO FINN BALOR! TO DOMINIK! The crowd pops HUGE! DREW WITH A CLAYMORE! COVER! 1…2….3!!!

Winner: Drew McIntyre
Damn, the crowd is still firmly behind Jey Uso, and I love em for it. A good match to boot.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 14:11

Drew leaves Jey in the middle of the ring.

Here comes Judgment Day. They enter the ring and circle around Jey like vultures.

Drew stops at the ramp and turns. He watches as Judgment Day attacks Jey with stomps. They lift Jey up. Finn starts in with some right hands. Drew struggles at the top of the ramp. Priest wit a right hand. Jey drops. Finn barks orders for more. Drew turns his back and walks up the ramp. He stops, turns. Crowd wants him to help. Drew stares down Priest. Priest waves him off.

Here comes Cody Rhodes! He runs in and attacks Priest, then Finn. Kick to Finn! Dom gets caught with a Cross Rhodes! Superkick from Jey to Finn! Jey in the corner, hurt. Cody stands as Judgment Day stands angrily at the bottom of the ramp.

End Show

The final score: review Good
The 411
Another pretty solid episode of RAW with some choices that, although I don’t agree with, I find willing to forgive to see where they go – which is a far cry from how I used to feel about very similar choices just a year or so ago. What are they? Well, Gable losing was kind of deflating, but I get the impression something more is coming for him. Natalya getting the title shot just seemed so unimportant, and literally anything involving Nia is just…no. As I joked, I can’t even say she devalued the titles because they have none, but she still made little work of two teams that are trying (to varying results) to find a footing. Still, we had some good wrestling and continued builds for the big stories.

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RAW, WWE, Tony Acero