By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,513)
Live from Evansville, Indiana at Ford Center
Aired May 23, 2022 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with footage of Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeating Randy Orton and Riddle to become the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions… Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary. They announced Riddle and The Street Profits vs. The Usos and Sami Zayn in a six-man tag match…
Riddle made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo while the broadcast team spoke about the punishment he took during and after the unification match on Smackdown. Riddle said he had a heavy heart. He called Randy Orton his friend, mentor, and bro.
Riddle said they’ve had the time of their lives, but Orton’s back has been giving him a lot of problems. Riddle said Orton could barely walk before the unification match, but Orton wanted to follow through with the match because he knew how much the match meant to him and the fans.
Riddle acknowledged that he and Orton lost to the Usos. Riddle said the Usos are a hell of a team, but he took issue with Roman Reigns getting involved. Riddle called Reigns trash and said he would get his revenge on the entire Bloodline.
Riddle said he knew that Orton was watching at home and said that he loves him. Riddle said he didn’t know what the future held for RK-Bro or whether it would ever be a thing again. Riddle led the fans in chanting RK-Bro. Riddle looked into the camera and thanked Orton and said he loves him, then rejoined the chant as the show cut to a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Riddle showed emotion, as it looked like he was on the verge of tearing up when he started the promo.
The broadcast team spoke about Riddle’s promo. They also hyped previously advertised matches and then announced AJ Styles and Liv Morgan vs. Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley, and Veer Mahaan on The King’s Court with Jerry Lawler for later in the show. They once again used a countdown clock for Cody Rhodes, this time counting down to his match against The Miz for the top of the third hour…
The Street Profits and Sami Zayn made their entrances for the six-man tag match. The Uso delivered a backstage promo about winning the unified tag titles and taking credit for Randy Orton’s injury and playing up that it could be the end of RK-Bro. They were introduced by ring announcer Mike Rome and then made their entrance. Zayn was waiting on the stage and excitedly jumped around with the.
Riddle, who had his ribs wrapped, went to the stage and fought with the heels. He was joined by the Street Profits. All six men fought until several referees ran out to separate them… [C]
1. Riddle and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn. Zayn wore a Bloodline t-shirt and started the match with Ford. Riddle tagged in and Zayn targeted his ribs. Later, one of the Usos ran Ford into the ring steps and superkicked him. The Usos stood over Ford heading into a break. [C]
Riddle had a nice offensive flurry with suplexes and senton splashes on one of the Usos and Zayn. Ford took out the Usos moments later with a flip dive at ringside. In the ring, Riddle put Zayn down with a Draping DDT. Riddle struck the Viper’s Pose and then went after the Usos, who dropped off the apron. The Usos walked out on the match. Riddle put Zayn down with an RKO and pinned him…
Riddle and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins defeated Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Sami Zayn in 12:35.
Powell’s POV: A nice spotlight win for Riddle, who is reportedly next in line or a title shot against Roman Reigns. The Profits obviously got the win too, but the focus was on Riddle. Poor Sami was deserted. I’m already looking forward to Paul Heyman spinning it in a manner that makes Zayn feel okay about the way this went down.
A video package recapped Bobby Lashley beating Omos in a steel cage match when the cage broke last week… Lashley made his entrance… [C] The broadcast team announced Lashley vs. Omos for the Hell in a Cell event…
Bobby Lashley stood in the ring and said he survived a cage mach with a giant. He spoke about facing Omos again at the HIAC event. He said tonight would be the All Mighty Challenge and then called for Omos and MVP to come out to hear the details.
Omos and MPV walked out dressed in suits and stood on the stage. MVP took issue with Lashley treating them like dogs by assuming that they would just come when he called them. MVP said Lashley thinks he’s the top dog, but the whole world saw Omos beat his ass inside the cage. MVP blamed faulty equipment for Lashley’s win and said he filed a formal complaint.
Lashley told MVP to shut his mouth and said it’s not over between him and Omos. Lashley said a regular match wouldn’t be enough to settle their differences. Lashley said he wanted a match and the winner would be able to select the stipulations of their match at HIAC.
MVP tried to speak, but Lashley cut him off and challenged MVP to face him in the match to determine the stipulation of his match against Omos at HIAC. MVP took issue with Lashley accusing him of being afraid. MVP said he made Lashley and would be responsible for his downfall. MVP accepted the match. Lashley asked him when the last time he won a match and said that if anyone made anyone, it was him who made MVP. Lashley said he would put MVP in a Hurt Lock in front of the fans.
MVP whispered to Omos and then the duo walked to the ring. Omos walked toward the broadcast table. MVP climbed onto the apron with his cane, but Lashley spotted him and knocked him back to ringside. Omos checked on MVP, who barked at Lashley from the floor…
The broadcast team recapped Rhea Ripley forcing Liv Morgan to tap out during a match two weeks ago and then attacking her after the match. They also recapped footage of last week’s segment involving Judgment Day, Ripley, AJ Styles, and Finn Balor…
The Judgment Day trio of Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest made their entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: A decent segment with Lashley, Omos, and MVP. Lashley was a lousy promo for a lot of years. He showed real improvement during this run with Impact Wrestling. He won’t win any awards for his mic work, but Lashley is serviceable on the mic. MVP is where he needs to be, as Omos has yet to show much on the mic. My guess remains that Lashley vs. Omos will meet in an HIAC match, but I guess we’ll find out later tonight.
The broadcast team announced the return to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for WWE Crown Jewel on Saturday, November 5…
A video package recapped Asuka beating Becky Lynch last week to become No. 1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship…
Backstage, WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke told Adam Pearce that she wants to fight Carmella. Becky Lynch entered the picture and bumped into Brooke, who left the scene.
[Hour Two] Lynch complained to Pearce about Asuka spraying mist in her face before beating her last week. Lynch wanted the loss removed from the books, but Pearce declined. Rather, Pearce said the fair thing was to have Lynch vs. Asuka in a rematch. If Lynch wins, then the Raw Women’s Championship match at HIAC becomes a Triple Threat…
The Judgment Day trio of Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest stood in the ring. Priest told the fans to rise and show the proper respect to them. Priest recalled Edge delivering the faction’s mission statement and inviting others to join. Priest credited Edge with showing him and Rhea Ripley the way and setting them free. Priest said the fans lack the courage to accept and be proud of who they are. He said they could help the fans if they just help themselves.
Ripley told Liv Morgan to stop listening to the peasants on Twitter and the simpletons in attendance. She said she might even forgive Morgan for failing her in the past. Ripley told Morgan to save herself like she did by joining Judgment Day.
Edge said Judgment Day is truth. He said the truth is right in front of the faces of fans but they are just afraid to see it. Edge said it’s physical and mental power. He said anyone who joins them could rewrite their career while sitting under his learning tree. He told fans to imagine if Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, or Michael Jordan had offered the olive branch like he did.
Edge said the fans are sheeple who are afraid to grab life by the throat and wring it for all that it’s worth. Edge said it was a chance for anyone in WWE to headbutt the glass ceiling to bits, just as he did decades ago. A “you suck” chant started. Edge told the fans to look in the mirror for that.
Edge wondered who the next person to join them would be. He threw out the names Tommaso Ciampa (yes, he used his first name), Corey Graves, Alexa Bliss, Drew McIntyre, Liv Morgan, Finn Balor, or even AJ Styles. Edge told Styles to make the right choice and maybe his children will start calling him Uncle Edge.
Liv Morgan and AJ Styles made their entrances for the mixed tag match… An ad for Friday’s Smackdown hyped Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and a mystery partner vs. Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch… [C]
Powell’s POV: I continue to hope that T-Bar will be repackaged and added to Judgment Day. I know that Priest claimed they delivered a mission statement last week. And I suppose they did to some extent, but the faction still seems to be missing that major goal, perhaps because of the way that all of the meaningful titles are with The Bloodline currently.
2. Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley (w/Edge) vs. AJ Styles and Liv Morgan in a mixed tag match. Graves quickly explained the basics of a mixed tag match. Morgan dove onto Ripley at ringside. Styles hit Priest with a knee from the apron. Later, Styles and Priest checked in. Ripley distracted Styles long enough for Priest to hit him from behind. Priest picked up Styles and dropped him face first onto the apron. [C]
Late in the match, Styles clotheslined Priest over the top rope and both men tumbled to the floor. Morgan went for her Oblivion finisher, but Edge grabbed the back of Ripley’s belt from the floor and held her in place, causing Morgan to crash and burn. Ripley covered and pinned Morgan.
Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley defeated AJ Styles and Liv Morgan in 11:35 in a mixed tag match.
After the match, Edge entered the ring and talked smack while standing over Morgan. Styles returned to the ring and went after Edge, but he was quickly outnumbered. Priest picked up Styles and swept his legs while Edge speared him. Ripley picked up Morgan and performed her Riptide finisher…
Powell’s POV: This reminded me of the Jericho Appreciation Society’s early feud with Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz in that it’s tough to feel pity for the babyfaces when they knowingly walk into situations where they were outnumbered. There’s a fine line between nobility and stupidity.
Backstage, The Miz was warming up for his match when Kevin Patrick approached him for an interview. Miz said he’s sick of Cody because there’s one thing in life he knows – you never trust a man with a neck tattoo. Miz said Cody’s ego is out of control and he has more pyro than the Fourth of July. Miz said he’s not bragging about Miz & Mrs. returning in two weeks. He said he doesn’t need a countdown clock. He said people will wait all night to see him take down Cody…
Jerry Lawler made his entrance for the King’s Court segment… [C] Lawler stood in the ring and introduced Veer Mahaan as his talkshow guest. Lawler said he wanted to give Mahaan a chance to show that he’s not a man of few words. Lawler asked him the key to his success in WWE. Mahaan said nothing.
Lawler said that was a dumb question and then asked Mahaan why he has targeted Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio. Mahaan did not answer. Lawler said Rey told him that Mahaan is so hairy that when he walks his dog, people pet him. He started to tell another bad joke when Mahaan stopped him.
Mahaan said Rey is a legend, but he’s too busy worrying about his little boy Dominik. Mahaan said that made Rey weak and he took both of them out. Mahaan grabbed Lawler’s arm and the mic went flying. Mahaan picked up the mic and put it back in Lawler’s’ hand. Mahaan asked if that’s fear he smells on him. Lawler said that’s just his cheap cologne. Mahaan said enough with the jokes. He said rather than explain who he is to Lawler, he would show him who he is.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance. Mahaan met them at ringside and quickly dominated them. Mahaan pressed Rey over his head and tossed him in the ring, then threw Dom in too. The Mysterios kicked Mahaan from the ring several times to keep him out while the broadcast team pointed that Mahaan never left his feet. Mahaan got to the apron and yelled at the Mysterios before dropping back to the floor and backing up the ramp…
Powell’s POV: Well, at least the Mysterios weren’t outnumbered? I’ll take Sanga speaking like a real person on NXT 2.0 over cartoon villain voiced Mahaan on Raw.
Backstage, Sarah Schreiber interviewed Alexa Bliss, who was holding a Lilly doll. Bliss said her return is going great. Schreiber asked about Sonya Deville, and Bliss recapped her recent misfortune. She also said she would face her former tag partner Nikki ASH. Bliss said she’s best friends with a doll and now ASH dresses like a superhero. Bliss made her entrance… [C]
Nikki ASH and Doudrop made their entrance. The broadcast team recalled that that the duo was scheduled to be in last week’s main event. They recapped Sasha Banks and Naomi relinquishing the tag titles last week, leaving the building, and “disappointing the WWE Universe in the process”…
3. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki ASH (w/Doudrop). Bliss placed the Lilly Doll on a top turnbuckle. Graves said Bliss appeared to be in cruise control and wasn’t showing any sense of urgency. Moments later, ASH made the mistake of playing to the fans while she was standing on the ropes with Bliss, who kicked her off and ended up hitting Twisted Bliss for the win.
Alexa Bliss beat Nikki ASH in 3:00.
Powell’s POV: Graves ended up agreeing with Saxton that Bliss stepped up when she needed to, but added that “she didn’t seem like the Bliss of old just yet.” Meanwhile, the story of ASH losing focus continues. We get it. Here’s hoping they move to the next chapter soon with ASH and Doudrop ideally being repackaged.
Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kevin Patrick on the backstage interview set. Rollins said they used to sing his song every night in every city, yet now all he hears are Cody chants. Rollins said it makes him physically ill to hear that name. Rollins noted the countdown clock for Cody and asked when it stops. He asked where the countdown clock is for him, then said he has one in his mind. Rollins said it is ticking away second by second, but the question is what happens when the clock strikes zero. Rollins cackled to end the interview…
Cody Rhodes made his entrance. He removed his weight belt, kissed it, and handed it to a young fan before entering the ring… [C]
Smith, Graves, and Saxton hyped Cody vs. Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match, and touted Asuka challenging Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship. A brief Asuka video package aired…
[Hour Three] Schreiber interviewed Asuka on the backstage ring set. Asuka said Becky Lynch wasn’t ready for her last week because she was too busy crying. Asuka said she would beat Lynch and turn her into Big Time Baby. She yelled that nobody is ready for Asuka…
The broadcast team spoke more about Cody vs. Rollins in an HIAC match and then The Miz made is entrance…
4. Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz. Miz caught Cody charging him in the corner and ended up crotching him over the top rope. Miz kicked Cody off the ropes and down to ringside. [C]
Cody hit the Cody Cutter. He let out a “wooooo” and then applied a figure four leg lock. Miz reached the ropes to break the hold and rolled to the floor. Cody went up top for a move, but Seth Rollins showed up and shoved him down for the disqualification.
Cody Rhodes defeated The Miz by DQ in 9:00.
Rollins and Miz worked over Cody at ringside and tossed him knee-first into the ring steps. One of the broadcast team members said it may have broken Cody’s kneecap. A referee checked on Rhodes. Rollins took Cody’s weight belt away from the young fan and then whipped Cody with it. Rollins left. Cody got back to his feet and limped while bringing the belt back to the young fan. The referee helped Cody to the back…
Powell’s POV: They could have had Cody beat Miz and then had Rollins attack Cody afterward, so my guess is that the DQ finish means they intend to run this match back next week. The injury angle with Cody is interesting. Are they trying to make Cody look vulnerable so that it seems like Rollins has a chance to beat him after losing their two previous matches or is this more about setting up an injury that will give Cody an out for losing to Rollins in HIAC?
5. Ezekiel vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). Kevin Owens sat by the broadcast table. Only the last few seconds of Ezekiel’s entrance was televised, and none of the heel entrances were shown. Otis grabbed the leg of Ezekiel from the floor, allowing Gable to go on the offensive.
Gable eventually went for a moonsault, but Ezekiel put his feet up. Ezekiel followed up with a spinebuster. Otis stood on the apron and clotheslined Ezekiel. The referee ejected Otis from ringside. Owens tried to sneak into the ring, but the referee caught him and ejected him as well. Ezekiel rolled up Gable and pinned him.
Ezekiel defeated Chad Gable in 4:10.
Owens and Otis tried to attack Ezekiel afterward, but Ezekiel hopped the barricade and went into the crowd. Owens took the mic and said he doesn’t care what Ezekiel calls himself, he wants to beat the hell out of him. Owens challenged Ezekiel to a match at Hell in a Cell…
Cody Rhodes exited the trainer’s office and told Kevin Patrick that he dinged his knee, but he can still put weight on it. He said that’s bad news for Seth Rollins and then spoke about their HIAC match…
Bobby Lashley made his entrance for his match against MVP… [C] MVP and Omos made their entrance. MVP whispered in the ear of Omos at ringside before the match…
6. Bobby Lashley vs. MVP (w/Omos). MVP stalled to start. MVP faked a knee injury while Lashley was on the floor, which distracted the referee while Omos clotheslined Lashley. Later, Lashley got caught up in fighting with Omos on the floor and was counted out.
MVP beat Bobby Lashley by count-out in 3:05.
Afterward, Lashley put MVP in the Hurt Lock for about seven seconds and then tossed him aside. The broadcast team pointed out that MVP would select the stipulation for Lashley’s match against Omos at Hell in a Cell…
Powell’s POV: Meh. MVP stalling and being opportunistic was logical. But Lashley’s brief post match Hurt Lock on MVP felt pretty tame considering that MVP turned his back on Lashley.
The broadcast team hyped Lacey Evans returning to action on next week’s Raw. They also hyped Bianca Belair defending the Raw Women’s Championship Asuka and potentially Becky Lynch depending on the outcome of the Raw main event…
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance… [C] Saxton announced Jerry Lawler, Alexa Bliss, and Ezekiel as the guests for Raw Talk… Asuka and Becky Lynch made their entrances for the main event…
7. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka. Lynch will be added to the Raw Women’s Championship at WWE Hell in a Cell if she wins. Belair was seated next to the broadcast team at ringside. Asuka sent Lynch to ringside with an early kick. Lynch ducked a kick from the apron. Lynch climbed onto the apron and shoved Asuka into the ring post casing. [C]
Lynch was dominant coming out of the break. She performed a leg drop from the ropes for a near fall. Asuka threw Lynch to ringside. Lynch returned to the ring and both wrestlers went for clotheslines simultaneously and stayed down on the mat. Asuka threw a series of strikes that she capped off with a running knee for a near fall.
A short time later, Asuka caught Lynch on the top rope and then superplexed her for a near fall. Lynch avoided a Hip Attack and applied a Disarmer in the ropes, which she had to release. Asuka connected with a Hip Attack the sent Lynch to the floor and then slide kicked her.
Asuka drilled Lynch with a knee to the head. Lynch ended up seated on Belair’s lap. Asuka threw a kick that Lynch ducked, causing it to take out Belair. Lynch returned to the ring and Asuka got in at the referee’s nine count. Lynch rolled Asuka into a pin and got the three count.
Becky Lynch defeated Asuka in 11:25 to earn a spot in the Raw Women’s Championship match at Hell in a Cell.
Powell’s POV: Lynch is in the title match, and Asuka’s kick that took out Belair adds friction between those characters. It should be a great match, but it doesn’t feel like these three character are clicking as well as they have in the past. Obviously, the Triple Threat wasn’t the plan before Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out last week, but Belair, Lynch, and Asuka could use a strong segment next week to really heat things heading into their title match.
Overall, a middle of the road show that was somewhat newsworthy with the expected additions to the HIAC lineup. Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).