4/17 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of Brock Lesnar’s first appearance since attacking Cody Rhodes, U.S. Champion Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley in a non-title match, Trish Stratus explaining her attack on Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins vs. The Miz


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw (Episode 1,560)
Live from North Little Rock, Arkansas at Simmons Bank Arena
Aired April 17, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Kevin Patrick welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Corey Graves. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman made their entrance and were introduced by ring announcer Mike Rome. Patrick hyped that Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes were both in the building.

Jey told the crowd that “The Bloodline is in your city.” Jey passed the mic to Heyman, who introduced himself as the special counsel to Roman Reigns. Heyman said he was also honored to be appointed the wise man of The Bloodline. Heyman started to talk about how history would unfold tonight, but he was interrupted.

The “Judgment Day” faction of Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor made their entrance. The group entered the ring and stood opposite the Bloodline members. Priest and Sikoa glared at one another, and Heyman talked down Sikoa before shaking hands with “Mr. Priest.”

Heyman said it was a very good day to be a very bad guy. Heyman said that if there’s a heaven, none of them were getting into it. Heyman said there was a short-term deal that was engineered by Reigns. Jey said he and the others didn’t know anything about that. Heyman said Reigns didn’t want anyone other than Sikoa to know about it.

Heyman said Balor put his personal issues with the Bloodline aside. Ripley and Sikoa glared at one another. Heyman had Jey switch spots with Sikoa, but then Ripley swapped spots to get in front of Sikoa again. Heyman asked if everything was okay. “For now,” Ripley replied.

Heyman said the Judgment Day had an issue with Bad Bunny that Sikoa would take care of. Heyman said The Bloodline had problems with Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Matt Riddle. Heyman announced that Zayn, Owens, and Riddle would face the Judgment Day during Raw. Heyman said they would take care of Judgment Day’s concerns by having Sikoa face Rey Mysterio.

Rey Mysterio made his entrance. The broadcast team hyped Rey vs. Sikoa for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: That was unexpected fun. I wasn’t sure if Judgment Day were there to confront The Bloodline when the segment started, but I like the idea of the two heel factions working together temporarily. The friction between Sikoa and both Priest and Ripley was great.

1. Solo Sikoa vs. Rey Mysterio. Rey performed an early springboard crossbody block and got a one count. Sikoa stood up and quickly put Rey down with an uppercut. A short time later, Sikoa put Rey in Electric Chair position. Rey threw punches at Sikoa’s head and then performed a head-scissors that sent both men over the top rope and down to ringside. [C]

Sikoa performed a Samoan Drop and covered Rey for a near fall. Sikoa set up for second Samoan Drop, but Rey escaped and hit a 619. Rey performed a slingshot splash for a near fall of his own. Rey tripped up Sikoa and set up for another 619, but he was distracted.

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso walked to ringside. “LWO” members Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro, and Joaquin Wilde hopped the barricade and attacked the Usos. Rey went for a 619 that Sikoa stuffed, but Rey fought right back and hit the move. Rey went for a top rope splash that Sikoa avoided. Sikoa hit the Samoan Spike and scored the pin.

Solo Sikoa defeated Rey Mysterio in 12:35.

After the match, Escobar, Del Toro, and Wilde checked on Rey. The Usos returned and roughed them up. Sikoa hit Samoan Spikes and then the Usos performed 1D on Rey. The Bloodline trio stood tall over the LWO members…

Powell’s POV: A fun match and a credibility building win for Sikoa even with the distraction from the Usos.

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri in Adam Pearce’s office. Gable said he and Otis are a package deal in the draft. Dupri made her pitch. Gable shoooshed her and then she returned the favor. Gable told her that she wasn’t saying it right…

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance. The broadcast team reminded viewers that Iyo Sky earned a title shot last week. Graves hyped Belair facing Dakota Kai in a non-title match for after the break… [C]

Bad Bunny was advertised for next week’s Raw in Chicago…

2. Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Dakota Kai (w/Bayley, Iyo Sky). The Damage CTRL trio’s entrance was televised. Kai caught Belair with a kick at ringside heading into an early break. [C] Kai threw a running kick at Belair, who was seated in the corner. Kai went for a top rope move that Belair avoided.

Belair went for a KOD, but Kai held onto Belair’s ponytail. Kai stuffed another move attempt. Belair avoided a running kick in the corner and then hit the KOD for the win…

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair beat Dakota Kai in 9:55 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: The sequence before the commercial break was rough, but the match improved after the break. Belair went over clean while Kai looked competitive in defeat. One can only imagine that Damage CTRL’s days are numbered regardless of whether they are split in a storyline or via the draft.

A video package recapped Brock Lesnar attacking Cody Rhodes on the Raw after WrestleMania 39…

Cody Rhodes, who wore a sweatshirt rather than a suit for once, was shown smiling as he walked through the backstage area… [C]

A Bronson Reed vignette aired with footage of him destroying opponents as well as him speaking into the camera. Reed said people ask him what his problem is. Reed said he has lots of them. He said he’s actually a really nice guy. He said his mother called him Mr. Nice Guy. “That’s me, ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ Bronson Reed”…

Judgment Day was shown talking backstage. Priest spoke about Bad Bunny appearing next week. Priest said Bunny needs to return with a different attitude. Priest said Bunny knows what can happen and he’ll just stop being his friend. Dom said Priest doesn’t need to be his friend, just as he doesn’t need Rey Mysterio.

Paul Heyman walked through the shot and asked the faction if they were satisfied. Priest asked Balor what he thought. “Eh,” Balor responded. Heyman told the group that it was their turn to do “eh” to Owens, Zayn, and Riddle to avoid falling into debt with the Tribal Chief. Priest said that sounds like a problem with Roman and the Usos. Priest said Judgment Day handles its business. “Bye Paul,” Ripley said. Heyman pulled out his phone and issued the “call Roman Reigns” command…

[Hour Two] Cody Rhodes made his entrance dressed in his gear and a cut-off hoodie. Cody got a mic and asked the crowd what they want to talk about. Cody said he knew what he wanted to talk about and who he wanted to talk to. Cody called out Brock Lesnar.

Adam Pearce walked out and said he appreciates Cody’s spirit and what he was trying to do, but he couldn’t let him do it. Pearce entered the ring and said that Cody wasn’t medically cleared to be there. Pearce said everyone respects Cody and his spirit, but he asked him to clear the ring because he wasn’t medically cleared.

Cody said okay and then left the ring, but then he pulled a chair out and returned to the ring. Pearce said that if Cody wouldn’t leave on his own, then he needed security to help him leave. A bunch of security guards ran out and surrounded Rhodes while Pearce told Cody that it didn’t have to happen like this.

Brock Lesnar’s entrance theme played. “Cody, listen to me, don’t do this,” Pearce said. Lesnar walked out wearing a black hat and a black trench coat. Pearce told Cody that he would give him a match with Lesnar at WWE Backlash and then begged him to fight Lesnar then, not tonight.

Lesnar took off his hat and mocked Cody from the stage by motioning for him to come get him. Cody roughed up the security guards in the ring with a chair and then fought off others at ringside. Cody ran and leapt toward Lesnar, but another group of security guards showed up and caught him. Lesnar laughed and then headed to the back.

Cody fought the new security guards. Cody got a mic and said he spent last week throwing out positive platitudes about Lesnar. Cody said he left one out. Cody said Lesnar can wear a silly cowboy hat all day long. Cody said he grew up around cowboys and Lesnar isn’t a cowboy, he’s a coward…

Powell’s POV: They don’t make security guards like they used to. Most of those guys were knocked out by a single punch. Putting that aside, I dig Lesnar’s new Man In Black appearance as a follow-up to his babyface country boy look, but he should talk to Paul Heyman about improving his trench coat game. Are there a lot of cowboys in Georgia? Honest question.

An ad for Smackdown hyped Gunther vs. Xavier Woods for the Intercontinental Title, and Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles… [C]

Lesnar was shown walking through the backstage area…

A graphic officially listed Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar for WWE Backlash…

The Miz made his entrance. Seth Rollins’ entrance followed, but he was attacked by Miz while he stood by the ring steps and played to the crowd. Miz worked over Rollins at ringside and then tossed him inside the ring…

3. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz. The referee checked on Rollins and then called for the bell to start the match. Rollins quickly regrouped and hit three suicide dives. Miz backdropped Rollins into the timekeepers area, but Rollins landed on his feet. Rollins climbed onto the apron and was shoved off by Miz. [C]

Rollins eventually went for a top rope splash, but Miz put his knees up. Miz picked up some near falls and applied a figure four, which Rollins broke by reaching the ropes. Miz pulled Rollins into the middle of the ring and wanted to reapply the hold, but Rollins caught him in an inside cradle for a two count.

Rollins went for a Stomp that Miz avoided. Miz performed back to back DDT’s and got a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out briefly. Miz got Rollins on the ropes and wanted to perform his finisher from there, but Rollins countered into a superplex and followed it with a falcon arrow. Rollins hit a Stomp and scored the pin…

Seth Rollins defeated The Miz in 12:05.

Powell’s POV: A pleasant surprise. It was really tough to buy into Miz’s near falls no matter how well executed they were. I hope this is the first step toward Miz regaining some in-ring credibility, but he needs to rack up some wins or fans will continue to view him as a pushover in the ring.

Backstage, Sami Zayn spoke with Kevin Owens and Matt Riddle. Zayn said Riddle had some ideas and said he and Owens should hear him out. Riddle started to speak, but Owens cut him off and suggested that Riddle leave the thinking to them. Zayn said they should hear him out. Riddle came up with the Toe Bro as a counter to the Samoan Spike.

Zayn said that was an idea. Owens said it was stupid. Riddle said he’s not an idiot and recalled what The Bloodline did to him. Riddle said he watched them do something awesome by beating the Usos at WrestleMania. He said he was there to help them kick ass on Raw and at Backlash… [C]

The ad hyping Bad Bunny for next week’s Raw was replayed…

A video package recapped last week’s angle involving Trish Stratus, Becky Lynch, and Lita…

Graves hyped the Trish would explain her actions. Patrick and Graves recapped last week’s Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed match, which ended in a double count-out…

Bobby Lashley made his entrance for his non-title match with Austin Theory… [C] Austin Theory made his entrance and posed on the stage before heading to the ring…

4. U.S. Champion Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley in a non-title match. Lashley performed an early suplex and then clotheslined Theory over the top rope to the floor. Theory climbed back onto the apron and clotheslined Lashley with the top rope. Back in the ring, Lashley put Theory down with a Flatliner. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock, but Theory avoided it and caught Lashley with a kick. They ended up at ringside where Lashley hoisted up Theory and ran him into the ring post. [C]

Lashley had some blood in his teeth coming out of the break. Late in the match, Theory leaped over a Lashley spear attempt. Lashley slipped out of Theory’s A-Town Down attempt. Lashley slammed Theory to the mat and covered him for a two count.

[Hour Three] Lashley set up for a spear, but Theory rolled to the apron. Theory returned with a roll through the ropes only to have Lashley catch him in the Hurt Lock. Theory backed into the corner. Bronson Reed splashed both men to end the match.

U.S. Champion Austin Theory fought Bobby Lashley to an apparent no-contest in 12:00.

Theory rolled out of the ring while Reed worked over Lashley after the match. Reed set up Lashley for a move, but Lashley countered into a Hurt Lock attempt. Theory returned and dropkicked Lashley from behind. Reed put Lashley down with a Samoan Drop and then hit him with a Tsunami splash…

Powell’s POV: The presentation of this match was weak with no mic work from either man. The company have the broadcast team talk about all of Theory’s wins over big opponents, including John Cena, but anyone who has been watching knows that those were tainted wins. Theory feels ice cold and the U.S. Championship value feels diminished despite being on the brand that truly needs a strong secondary champion.

The broadcast team hyped the six-man tag main event…

Trish Stratus made her entrance in dressed in black with a long jacket and a cowboy hat… [C]

Powell’s POV: Brock and Trish could form a new outlaw tag team.

Trish stood in the ring and said she wanted to give a history lesson. She said women’s wrestling was a joke back in the day and she brought credibility to it. She said people say it was Trish and Lita, but Trish said she was the women’s division and the true trailblazer.

Trish said that the fans who chanted “this is awesome” during the Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley match at WrestleMania should have been chanting “Thank you, Trish.” Stratus said Becky Lynch would have fans believe that the women’s evolution started with the Four Horsewomen. Trish said Lynch wants people to believe that they broke boundaries, but that’s a joke like Lynch.

Trish said she let Lynch call herself The Man until she eventually wondered if Lynch believed her own hype. Trish said that Lynch never thanked her once for opening the door for her. Trish said Lynch is very convincing because Lita was eating out of Lynch’s hands when they were fighting just a year earlier. Trish said Lita acted like Lynch’s sidekick.

Trish said she is nobody’s sidekick. Trish said she had to take Lita out of the picture and then told the crowd that she was responsible for it. Trish said she wanted to be the person who screwed Lynch out of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Trish asked if Lynch remembered the moment she put her arm around her and said they would get ’em next time. Trish said she wasn’t Lynch’s friend and she took out The Man.

Trish said she’s not a nostalgia act, a childhood fantasy, or a sidekick. Trish said she’s the most important figure in the history of WWE and she’s here to make sure no one forgets it. Trish dropped the mic and left the ring…

Powell’s POV: So why did Trish spend so much time fighting Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan during the tag title match? I don’t blame her for the turn your brain off booking of that match, but I’m disappointed in the way they laid out the match with this turn in mind. I also think it was a mistake to have Trish deliver this promo in the ring rather than during a sit-down interview. She is well spoken, but her monotone delivery seemed to inspire some “What?” chants.

The broadcast team recapped the Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar angle and hyped their match for WWE Backlash…

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Cathy Kelley in the backstage area. Rhodes said he’s happy about facing Lesnar at WWE Backlash, but he’s bewildered over what transpired earlier. Cody said he was held back by 20 security guards and Lesnar walked out on him. Cody said he has to apologize to Adam Pearce for losing his temper and then questioned what it is about him. Cody said that when you back The Beast into a corner, the only way out is for The Beast to win, but after everything he’s been through, he can’t allow that…

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez made their entrance in non-wrestling attire… [C] The final seconds of the Candice LeRae and Michin entrance was televised, and then Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville made their entrance…

5. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville vs. Candice LeRae and Michin. Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez sat at ringside and watched the match. Nikki Cross was shown standing in the front row. Patrick assumed that Cross was stalking LeRae. Late in the match, the referee caught Deville using the ropes as leverage while covering Michin. Green made a blind tag and hit an Unprettier on Michin before pinning her.

Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville beat Candice LeRae and Michin in 3:15.

After the match, Green and Deville went to ringside for a staredown with Morgan and Rodriguez. Green threw water in Morgan’s face. A referee held back Morgan…

The broadcast team pushed the WWE Women’s Tag Title match for Smackdown and then hyped the Raw main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: Wow, these last few segments really brought the crowd down. It started with Theory and has gotten progressively worse. Green’s Karen character would get heat if they’d just give her the mic. Who knew that Cross stalking LeRae was still a thing?

An ad aired for the WWE Draft…

Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins, Rick Boogs, and Elias were shown talking about the draft in the backstage area. Boogs said he was confused because he just got there. Ford and Dawkins spoke about how the draft works.

Baron Corbin showed up and put his arms around Ford and Dawkins and reminded them that tag teams can be split up. Ford and Dawkins said they were going to talk to Adam Pearce. Elias told Boogs he would probably go first in the draft, but he would put a word in for Boogs so that they could stay together.

Akira Tozawa showed up and shook his head in disbelief at Elias. Tozawa said Boogs is a big star, but Elias will be the last pick in the draft. Elias and Boogs left. Corbin returned and told Tozawa that was a good one. “Nobody wants you, you suck,” Tozawa told Corbin…

The Usos delivered a promo while Sikoa stood behind them in Taz mode with his arms crossed and a black towel over his head…

The broadcast team hyped the six-man tag match for WWE Backlash…

Judgment Day made their entrance for the main event. Finn Balor wore a shirt that read “Finn: 14 STAPLES”… [C] Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle made their entrance to Sami’s theme…

6. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle vs. “Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor (w/Rhea Ripley). Dom tagged in early and teased facing Zayn, but he tagged in Priest instead. Owens tagged in to face Priest. Owens failed to move Priest with a couple of shoulder blocks, but he knocked him down with a nice dropkick (yes, really). Owens followed up with a quick senton and then did a crotch chop to the Judgment Day corner.

A short time later, Priest caught Riddle standing on the middle rope and then chokeslammed him onto the apron. [C] There was a sequence of the wrestlers hitting rapid fire spots that concluded with Zayn in the ring with most of the others on the floor. Zayn ran the ropes for a move, but Ripley grabbed his foot. The referee ejected Ripley from ringside.

Dom rolled up Zayn for a two count. Sami came right back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn tagged in Owens, who went for a Swanton, but Dom put his knees up. Balor tagged in shotgun dropkicked Owens. Balor went up top for his finisher. Owens avoided it and tagged in Zayn.

Owens tagged in Zayn. Owens hit Stunners on Balor and Priest. Zayn put Balor down with a Helluva Kick. Zayn tagged in Riddle, who hit a Floating Bro on Balor and then covered him for the win.

Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle beat “Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor in 12:20.

After the match, The Usos and Solo Sikoa attacked the babyface trio. Graves said they were trying to pick up the slack because the Judgment Day didn’t hold up their end.

Rey Mysterio’s entrance theme played and he led fellow LWO members Escobar, Del Toro, and Wilde to the ring to help the babyfaces fight the two heel factions. Rey hit Dom with a 619. Owens dumped Priest on the broadcast table. The babyfaces stood tall to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good main event with a fun, chaotic brawl that closed the show on a high note. I really enjoyed the first two hours. The third hour really fell off quite a bit until the closing segment. I will be back with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (10)

  1. Wow this is an actual prowrestling show tonight.

  2. “Are there a lot of cowboys in Georgia? Honest question.”

    Well, sure. Bill Watts, the Blackjacks, Ron Bass, the Funks, Bobby Duncum and probably more that I’ve forgotten.

  3. They seem to be in “hold” mode with Rollins Theory and some others while they wait for the draft. Rollins moving to SDL and challenging Gunther would be fun and maybe Drew or Seamus flips to Raw and (hopefully) dethrones (an ice cold) Theory

    Poor Miz. He does everything they ask of him and does it well. Would be fun to see Waller called up and Miz acting as his mentor

    • Well, then they’ve been in hold mode with Theory since about two weeks after his character grew up and stopped being Vince’s bumbling doofus. Things were looking up for him and then they just went right back to having him get flukey wins.

  4. “So why did Trish spend so much time fighting Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan during the tag title match?”

    Because if Trish had won the match, she would be officially recognised as a tag team champion, further adding to her accolades and claim of being the greatest ever. Win or lose, she could have still attacked Becky post-match with the same rationale. Just would have had to give up the title like Cora Jade did when turning on Roxanne Perez.

  5. I guess making it up to a degree. But I’m pointing out that everything Trish said could still make sense with her fighting in the match and winning.

    She doesn’t want to be a sidekick, she doesn’t want to be Becky’s little friend. She believes she’s the greatest of all time and she’s not a nostalgia act- which a potential win of the tag title match would have been further evidence of.

    • You used good logic. I wish they had used it. I just watched it back. Trish said she needed Lita out of the way so that Becky knew that she was the person who screwed her out of her titles. So there’s just a big logic gap there. Please send them your application if you can fill in more holes like this one before the segments make television!

  6. I can see it. Particularly if it turns out Becky said something patronizing to her with that last little hug before walking past.

    Could they explain it a little better? Yes. But I think the confusion is probably affecting more people based upon how “heel turn coming” savvy they are.

    Messy. But not fatal.

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