Posted on 1/17/123 by Bob Magee

Date: January 16, 2023
Location: Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, OH

Show Recap --

There will be a six-way elimination match tonight to
determine Austin Theory’s next challenger for the US title
between Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Finn Bálor, Baron
Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. The winner gets the shot
on the 30th-anniversary show next week.

Opening segment

The Usos and Solo Sikoa entered to start the show. The Usos
talked about the message they sent to Kevin Owens on

They also announced that every generation of the Bloodline
will be on Raw next week to have a special acknowledgement
ceremony for Roman Reigns. Jey Uso said they would also beat
Judgment Day to retain the tag titles.

Judgment Day interrupted. Rhea Ripley told the Bloodline
that they run Raw. Bálor thanked the “ex-con Dom” for taking
care of business last week. (Bálor was still selling his
ribs.) Damian Priest said they would take the Raw tag titles
back to their show — permanently.

Priest wondered why the Bloodline never stepped to Judgment
Day whenever they invaded Raw. Dominik Mysterio said they
must be scared. The Usos laughed. Jimmy Uso mocked him and
called him little machismo.

The Usos ran down every team they’ve beaten — including Dom
and his daddy Rey Mysterio to begin their historic reign.
Dom said they talked tough but they wouldn’t last a minute
in the cell that he spent time in. Dom called them wannabes
and the biggest wannabe was Sikoa who just stood in the
background doing nothing.

Sikoa got in Dom’s face so Ripley stepped in and got in his
face instead. Sikoa wouldn’t back down so Dom punched him.
Sikoa took one step back before dropping Dom.

This led to a brawl and Ripley dared Sikoa to hit her. It
seemed like he was about to but Mustafa Ali flew in and
wiped out Sikoa. They have a match next.

Solo Sikoa defeated Mustafa Ali (5:30)

Sikoa was in firm control when the Usos decided to reappear
and pose on the apron. This brought out Kevin Owens who
fought off Jimmy and Jey. The distraction allowed Ali to hit
a tornado DDT for a nearfall (pretty much the only offence
he got). Sikoa avoided a 450 splash and hit a Samoan Spike
for the pinfall win.

— Owens immediately dropped Sikoa with a stunner after the
match. Owens put Sikoa on the announce table and was going
to put him through it (to return the favour from Smackdown)
but the Usos attacked.

Owens fought them off but Adam Pearce and a bunch of
officials held him back allowing the Bloodline to back away.
The crowd cheered as Owens posed on the table.


Bobby Lashley said he would put down five others tonight
with the Hurt Lock and would end Austin Theory’s reign next

Cody Rhodes video

There was a new Cody Rhodes video package focusing on his
recovery and rehab. They showed him at the Nightmare Factory
training four months after surgery.

“At the Royal Rumble: I’m back.”

The announcers put this over as a big deal.


Elias spoke to Byron Saxton about the Royal Rumble. MVP
appeared and warned Elias not to enter the Rumble because
the winner was already determined. Elias thought MVP was
talking about himself and told him he hasn’t been relevant
in years. MVP offered Elias a match against the eventual
Rumble winner and Elias accepted.


Angelo Dawkins entered wearing a Ja’Marr Chase Cincinnati
Bengals jersey.

The Street Profits defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric
Alexander (9:16)

MVP sauntered out before a break.

Dawkins gave Benjamin a spinebuster and Montez Ford hit a
frog splash but Alexander broke up the cover. Benjamin
suplexed Ford off the top but Dawkins broke up that cover.
Ford wiped out Benjamin with a dive before Alexander wiped
out Ford with a suicide dive. That led to Dawkins taking out
everyone with a flip dive.

Dawkins hit a spinning Stinger splash in the corner (MVP was
supposed to yank Alexander out of the way but he was too
late and Dawkins had to sell it anyway). MVP still
distracted the referee which allowed Benjamin and Alexander
to double-team Dawkins.

Alexander hit a knee strike and seemed to have it won but
Dawkins countered his cover into a cradle for the pinfall


Alpha Academy approached Judgment Day in the back. Chad
Gable said they should have been medically disqualified last

Dom bragged about prison and lifting weights. Gable told Dom
it was no surprise he wound up on the wrong end of the
criminal justice system and told him that you need a strong
mind to go with a strong body but it appeared Dom had
neither of those things.

Gable told Dom that if he wound up in prison again he should
take an online Alpha Academy course. Dom told Gable, “you
don’t even want to know what they do to guys like you (in
prison).” Priest advised them to leave.



Becky Lynch/Bayley segment

Lynch entered through the crowd and called out Bayley.
Bayley was taking too long so Lynch wondered if “Karen” was
yelling at a manager in the back.

Bayley (wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey) entered with
Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. The crowd booed so Bayley told them
to “shoosh please.” She also didn’t understand what a Karen

Bayley claimed Lynch didn’t have any friends. Lynch called
Bayley a sour dopey-looking goof who peaked in 2015. Bayley
whined about Lynch repeatedly taking her spot.

Lynch said she wasn’t called up before Bayley (years ago)
because WWE saw more in her. They wanted Bayley in NXT
because she was the focal point and had the spotlight. Lynch
was just another body on the roster.

Lynch said she wasn’t supposed to be The Man, she wasn’t
supposed to change the game and she wasn’t supposed to be
the first woman to main event WrestleMania. But she did all
of those things because she worked for it. All Bayley did
was whine and moan.

Bayley said Lynch only became “The Man” because she got
punched in the face by another woman. (She didn’t name who
it was.) Lynch thought that was a lazy comeback and
threatened to punch her right now. Bayley had no issue with
that because she already beat Lynch once.

Lynch challenged her to a match next week and Bayley
accepted. Lynch then goaded Bayley into reluctantly
accepting a cage match.


Ali approached Dolph Ziggler in the back to complain.
Ziggler told him that he didn’t have time for him today. Ali
decked him and asked, “do I have your attention now?”

Omos (w/MVP) defeated Elias (2:34)

Elias tried attacking Omos outside the ring but MVP got in
his way. MVP also threatened to hit Elias with his cane as
the referee just stood around and watched. Elias was going
to hit him with his guitar but Omos knocked him down with a
headbutt and smashed the guitar. Elias tried fighting back
in the ring but Omos hit him with a tree slam for the
pinfall win.

(Officially, Omos is in the Rumble match.)


Saxton asked Pearce for a preview of Raw 30. Pearce wouldn’t
give any specifics but did say it would be big. Akira Tozawa
appeared and told Pearce he wanted in the Rumble. Pearce put
him in a match. Winning wouldn’t guarantee a spot but would
help his case. Tozawa psyched himself up.

Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley & Finn
Bálor) defeated Alpha Academy (11:01)

Corey Graves said Priest was in the ring for over an hour
last week. Moments later, Kevin Patrick said Priest was in
the ring for 56 minutes. (The match was not longer than 50

Gable gave Dom a diving headbutt halfway across the ring and
made the hot tag to Otis (who the crowd was very into for
the third straight week). Priest booted Otis but Otis came
back with the World Strongest Slam for a nearfall. Otis also
gave Priest the caterpillar (sort of — he actually just fell
over on top of Priest).

Dom tried (and failed) to attack Gable but the distraction
allowed Priest to chokeslam Otis off the middle rope before
Gable gave Priest a Chaos Theory suplex. Dom tried to catch
Gable with a surprise schoolboy but Gable countered into an
ankle lock.

The crowd cheered because they wanted Dom to tap but a
distraction by Ripley and Bálor allowed Priest to chokeslam
Gable. Dom rolled on top of Gable to get the pinfall win.


There was a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute video set to
“Never Break” by John Legend.


“Michin” Mia Yim (w/Candice LeRae) defeated Tag Team
Champion IYO SKY (w/Dakota Kai) (4:35)

They had a back-and-forth match. Yim went for Eat Defeat but
stopped what she was doing when Kai jumped on the apron.
LeRae yanked her down so SKY dropkicked LeRae. This allowed
Yim to hit Eat Defeat for the pinfall win.

(Yim was announced as “Michin Mia Yim” but the graphics and
commentators only referred to her simply as “Michin.”)


There was an Alexa Bliss/Uncle Howdy video package.


They ran down the Royal Rumble card.

Bianca Belair/Alexa Bliss segment

Belair entered to a good reaction. Belair said she’s only
been out a couple of weeks but she really missed the crowd.
She knew this job had risks, like getting her face smashed
against the steel steps. Despite that, Belair would happily
face Bliss again and again and again and again — because
with any risk came the reward of being Raw Women’s Champion.

Belair called out Bliss. Bliss entered and said, “You fear
me because you don’t know what to expect from me. No one
does.” Bliss was about to speak about the Rumble but Belair
cut her off.

Belair basically told her that she didn’t need to enter the
Rumble match because she could face her for the title on the
show instead. Bliss wondered what the catch was. Belair said
Bliss wanted to be in control so she was giving her the
choice. Bliss accepted.

Belair didn’t want to wait to fight so she went after Bliss.
Belair tossed her around ringside and beat her up in the

Belair was going to give Bliss a KOD through two chairs but
froze upon seeing Uncle Howdy appear in the arena
vomitorium. Bliss slipped out of Belair’s grasp and gave her
a DDT.


Bronson Reed defeated Akira Tozwa (4:20)

This was a showcase for Reed. Tozawa had a flash of offence
which included a suicide dive. He tried a senton off the
apron but Reed caught him and powerbombed him on the edge of
the barricade, which looked brutal. Reed hit a running
shoulder tackle off the apron and Tozawa took a big bump for
that too. Reed finished him off with a Tsunami for the
pinfall win.


Saxton interviewed Seth Rollins who cut a very Seth Rollins
promo. Rollins was focused on the Rumble but WWE officials
called him and begged him to be in the Raw main event.
Rollins was happy to be in Cincinnati — a town that loves to
party and sing his song. He said he would win tonight, win
the US title, win the Rumble, and beat Roman Reigns at


Raw XXX next week in Philadelphia:

Steel Cage match: Becky Lynch vs. Bayley
The Bloodline Acknowledgement Ceremony with Roman Reigns
Raw Tag Team Title match: The Usos vs. Judgment Day
US Title match: Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley
WWE Legends appear — Undertaker, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels,
Kurt Angle, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Teddy Long, Jerry
Lawler, Ron Simmons, Sean Waltman and Road Dogg


Theory entered to join commentary. He had a funny comment
saying he felt like he grew up watching all of these six

Six-way Elimination Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Seth
Rollins, Finn Bálor, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin
(w/JBL) (26:46)

Seth Rollins eliminated The Miz (8:43)
Seth Rollins eliminated Dolph Ziggler (16:36)
Seth Rollins eliminated Finn Bálor (24:20)
Bobby Lashley eliminated Baron Corbin (25:36)
Bobby Lashley eliminated Seth Rollins (26:46)

The bell rang to start the match and they went to break 12
seconds later.

There was a tower of doom spot fairly early on which saw
Lashley convincingly powerbomb Bálor, Corbin and Rollins.
Ziggler gave Lashley a fameasser and Miz hit Skull Crushing
Finale but Lashley kicked out. Miz put Ziggler in the figure
four but Ziggler turned it over and Rollins gave Miz a
curbstomp for the first elimination at 8:43.

Rollins took out Corbin and Lashley with a suicide dive,
Bálor took out all three men with a flip dive, and Ziggler
took out all four men with a dive off the top. Ziggler
superkicked Corbin, gave Lashley a Zig-Zag and superkicked
Bálor out of mid-air. However, Rollins jumped in and gave
Ziggler a Pedigree for the second elimination at 16:36.

Lashley beat up everyone and gave Rollins a Dominator for
two. Lashley gave Bálor a delayed vertical suplex and set up
for the Hurt Lock but stopped for some reason upon seeing
Omos and MVP enter. Corbin and Rollins took each other out
while Bálor gave Lashley a dropkick and Coup de Grace.

Before Bálor could go for a cover, Rollins flew in and
stomped him for the third elimination at 24:20.

Omos chucked Rollins over the announce table. Corbin was
distracted by Omos so Lashley speared him for the fourth
elimination at 25:36.

Theory hit Lashley with the title belt and tried to brag to
Omos but Omos grabbed him for a chokeslam. Before he could
do it, Rollins stomped Omos before knocking down Theory.

Rollins superkicked MVP off the apron and went for a stomp
but Lashley speared him for the final elimination. Fun

Lashley faces Theory for the title next week. The announcers
ran down the Raw XXX card one more time.

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