4/24 WWE Raw results: Powell’s live review of Triple H’s big announcement, Bad Bunny’s return to WWE, Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest, the ongoing build to WWE Backlash


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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,561)
Live from Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
Aired April 24, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were on commentary, and Mike Rome was the ring announcer…

Cody Rhodes made his entrance dressed in a suit and headed to the ring for a promo. There were loud “Cody” chants once he was in the ring. Cody asked what the Chicago crowd wanted to talk about. He said they could talk about the draft and how he could end up on Smackdown or stay on Raw.

Cody said they could talk about his unenviable task of having to slay The Beast that is Brock Lesnar at WWE Backlash. Cody spoke about Lesnar waiting until his back was turned to jump him. Still shots were shown of Lesnar’s attack on Rhodes from the Raw after WrestleMania.

Cody said he wanted to show the fans something else. He removed his jacket and then mouthed, “Not that” to some fans. Funny. Cody removed his tie and tossed it into the crowd and then unbuttoned his dress shirt, which he also threw into the crowd.

Cody pointed to the scar from the surgery he underwent to repair a torn pectoral muscle. He noted that it was the first time he’s stood in the ring in Chicago since he faced Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match that was held prior to the surgery. Cody once again stated that he’s never actually watched the match.

“Pick a spot,” Rhodes told Lesnar. Cody told Lesnar to find a spot to add a new scar. Cody credited the Chicago crowd for picking him up and carrying him across the finish line during his match with Rollins. Cody thanked the Chicago fans for doing so.

Finn Balor made his entrance and said, “We’ve all got scars, mate.” Balor walked to the ring and said that Cody had Roman Reigns beat at WrestleMania and he got screwed. Balor entered the ring and said the reason Cody was screwed was because he didn’t have anyone there to watch his back.

Balor told Cody that he trusted the wrong man when he agreed to team with Lesnar the night after WrestleMania. Balor said that Cody needs to be smarter like him. Balor told Cody that he can’t beat Lesnar on his own. Cody said respectfully, he wasn’t buying whatever Balor was selling.

Balor said that Cody in the Judgment Day would be unstoppable. Balor noted that Rhea Ripley is the Smackdown Women’s Champion. He said that Damian Priest put the biggest star in the music industry through the broadcast table. Balor said that Dominik Mysterio has already proven that he is far greater than his legendary father ever was, which is something Cody should try.

Balor said Cody made a mistake at WrestleMania and shouldn’t make the same mistake at Backlash. “Let us have your back,” Balor said. Cody said he had a hard time hearing Balor because the crowd was chanting and had them repeat their “you suck” chant.

Cody said he appreciated the offer and said that Balor had done a lot for him. Rhodes said that he respectfully declined and then offered a handshake. Balor blew off the handshake and said that you’re either with or against Judgment Day. Balor told Cody to watch his back because he would slap the bleach off his head someday.

Rhodes wondered if Balor was under the impression that he was not medically cleared to compete because of the Lesnar attack. Cody said he was cleared a few hours ago and challenged Balor to face him in a match later in the show. Balor nodded in approval before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: Cody continues to shine with strong promos in key segments. Finn Balor did a fine job and had good logic for making the Judgment Day invitation. They did a good job of setting the table for their match later in the night.

The broadcast team hyped Bad Bunny’s appearance for later in the show, as well as Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest, and Triple H’s announcement “that will rock the foundation of WWE”…

Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa made their entrance for a six-man tag team match against the LWO… [C] An ad aired for the WWE Draft… The LWO trio made their entrance with entrance music that Graves said paid homage to Eddie Guerrero…

1. Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa vs. Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro. Wilde and Del Toro wore their LWO t-shirts during the match, just as the Usos wore their own “We The Ones” t-shirts. Wilde and Del Toro performed a crowd pleasing double flip dive onto the Usos one side of the ring, and then Escobar hit Sikoa with a suicide dive on the other. The LWO trios stood tall in the ring. [C]

Graves played up the possibility that this could be the final time that these trios are together due to the upcoming WWE Draft. Escobar performed a top rope crossbody block on Jimmy for a near fall. Del Toro tagged in and performed a Phoenix Splash on Jimmy and had him pinned, but Jey broke it up.

Jey ran Escobar into the ring spot. Sikoa performed a uranage slam on Wilde on the apron. In the ring, Del Toro went up top and dove toward Jimmy, but Sikoa took him out with a Samoan Spike in mid-air. Jey tagged in and hit 1D with Jimmy, and then pinned Del Toro.

Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa beat Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Cruz Del Toro in 8:40.

After the match, Jimmy and Jey Uso delivered an in-ring promo and said they would regain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship. Jimmy said they would dedicate their win to Roman Reigns…

Powell’s POV: I’m not sure if the finish went as planned. Sikoa returned to the ring and was scolded by the referee, who then turned his attention to Jey while Sikoa hit the Samoan Spike on Del Toro that led to the finish. Either way, it was a hot match and that’s the hottest a crowd has been for the LWO trio on the main roster.

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was interviewed by Cathy Kelley on the backstage ring set and noted that Belair will defend her title against Iyo Sky at WWE Backlash. The Damage CTRL trio of Sky, Bayley, and Dakota Kai interrupted the interview. Bayley sang the praises of Sky until Sky interrupted her to speak in Japanese. Kai said Sky wanted to face Belair tonight. Bayley cut in and challenged Belair to a six-woman tag match…

Patrick noted that there seemed to be some uncertainty with the Damage CTRL trio and then hyped Bad Bunny for later in the show… [C] Chicago imagery was shown…

Backstage, Jey spoke on the phone and said that they handled their business like they always dow. Sami Zayn showed up and said he wasn’t there for a fight, but he added that it was weird that they were going to dedicate a potential tag team title win to Reigns rather than Jey doing it for himself.

Zayn said that he and Kevin Owens would not lose the tag titles. Zayn questioned what would happen if the Usos came up short now that they put Roman’s name on the match. Jey asked Zayn why he cares. Zayn said he feels bad. Jey told him not to feel bad for him and said that he and Jimmy would take the titles back. Jey said that Zayn made his choice, and whether Zayn likes it or not, he made his choice too…

A video package recapped the Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch feud…

Stratus was interviewed by Kelley on the backstage ring set. Kelley mentioned that Becky Lynch hadn’t been at Raw the last two weeks. Stratus said Lynch confided in her that she was having a hard time handling the pressure of being a mother and a top star. Stratus said she had to take Lynch out of her misery…

The Street Profits made their entrance for a match against Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. Yes, Graves did say this might be the last time we see the Profits together… [C]

2. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. The Profits had Chicago Bulls inspired gear. Graves played up that the draft could put an end to both teams. In the end, Ford hit his top rope frogsplash on Alexander and pinned him clean…

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins beat Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander in 2:20.

Graves hyped that Triple H would make his announcement next… [C]

Powell’s POV: A quick squash in what I wouldn’t mind being the last Profits tag team match for at least a year.

Triple H made his entrance and was introduced a WWE Hall of Famer. Triple H wore a suit and slapped some hands before entering the ring. Graves said that judging by the smirk on Hunter’s face, it would be good news for the WWE Universe. A loud “Triple H” chant broke out.

Triple H said that as a WWE Superstar, he had the privilege of competing at the highest level and recalled doing so at WrestleMania 22 in the same venue against John Cena.

[Hour Two] Triple H said he was there to speak about Roman Reigns and noted that he was coming up on 1,000 days as champion. Hunter said it was incredible and unheard of in the modern era. “I can say that after seeing them all for thirty years, I can’t think of many who could be able to hang in the ring with Roman Reigns,” Hunter said. “He is that damn good.”

Triple H said Reigns did something very smart during his reign by negotiating himself into a position to where he didn’t have to defend his title as frequently. Triple H said he doesn’t blame Reigns for that because it’s great for Reigns, but it’s not great for WWE. Triple H told the fans that they deserve more.

Triple H recalled saying the WWE Draft would change WWE to its core. Triple H said that Reigns will be drafted to one brand and he will take the championship with him and stay there. Triple H said the other brand will crown a new champion on Saturday, May 27 at WWE Night of Champions.

Triple H pulled a veil back to reveal a new WWE World Heavyweight Championship title belt. Triple H said the new champion will be a champion the fans can be proud of. He said the new champion will defend the title all over the world at any time, any place. He said the new champion won’t demand your acknowledgement, the new champion will earn it…

Powell’s POV: This will probably please a lot of fans, but I actually like the way the company has made their titles more meaningful by unifying the singles and tag titles, and by having longer title reigns in most cases. Will they end up having brand specific tag team champions too?

The broadcast team spoke about the announcement and then shifted their focus to recapping the Bad Bunny angle from the Raw after WrestleMania…

Backstage, Cathy Kelley approached Damian Priest, who was speaking with Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio. Balor asked if he was invisible. Priest talked him down and then Balor left the scene. Kelley asked Priest for his thoughts on Bad Bunny being at Raw in Chicago.

Priest said it was awesome and touted Bad Bunny’s credentials. Priest noted that Bad Bunny had success in WWE, but only when he had Bad Bunny’s back. Priest said he doesn’t go to Coachella and grab the mic and interfere with Bad Bunny’s business. Priest said that if Bunny was coming to play games, then he was really looking forward to him. Dom spoke up about Priest taking out his father, and then Priest said he would exterminate Rey Mysterio…

The Damage CTRL trio made their entrance for a match against Bianca Belair and two partners… [C]

A Bronson Reed vignette aired. He said he looks around WWE and doesn’t think anyone can compete with him. He boasted about his strength, speed, and power. He said even if they could compete with him, they all want to be nice guys. He said they could take selfies, sign autographs, and kiss babies, but they won’t measure up to him…

In a backstage room, the Usos sat on chairs while Sikoa stood behind them. Jimmy spoke about how they would have a Superkick Party on Friday. Jimmy dubbed himself “Main Event Jim Uso” and “Righthand Man Jim Uso.” Jey didn’t look pleased and Jimmy called him on it. Jey wondered what would happen to them if they failed to retain the tag titles on Friday. He told Jimmy that he spoke with Sami Zayn, which upset Jimmy, who shot up out of his chair. Sikoa put his arm out to calm down Jimmy, who then said they would win the tag titles for The Bloodline and the Tribal Chief. Jimmy got upset and left the room…

Bianca Belair made her entrance followed by WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan…

3. Bianca Belair, Raquel Rodriguez, and Liv Morgan vs. “Damage CTRL” Iyo Sky, Bayley, and Dakota Kai. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt was set on a podium next to the broadcast team. Morgan put Kai down with a Codebreaker, but Kai was able to escape to the floor. Sky dropkicked Morgan, who was down on the floor. [C]

Morgan put down Kai with a Backstabber and then both women tagged out. Rodriguez worked over Bayley and hit her with a corkscrew elbow from the ropes and had her pined, but Kai broke it up. Rodriguez tossed Kai to the floor and then tagged in Morgan, who was willingly powerbombed into a trust fall style dive onto Bayley and Kai at ringside.

Sky took out Rodriguez. Belair went for a KOD on Sky, who held onto the ropes. Belair ran Sky into the ring post. Bayley returned and ate a KOD before being pinned by Belair.

Bianca Belair, Raquel Rodriguez, and Liv Morgan vs. “Damage CTRL” Iyo Sky, Bayley, and Dakota Kai in roughly 9:00.

After the match, Sky glared at Belair and ended up jawing at her from the floor while the babyface trio celebrated their win…

Powell’s POV: The expected outcome, though I wish they would have done more to spotlight Sky to make her seem like a bigger threat to Belair. I assume that Damage CTRL will be split up in the draft. I doubt it will happen, but I wouldn’t complain if Rodriguez and Morgan were split up too. I continue to hope that this is somehow leading to a Rodriguez heel turn because this smiling babyface persona is just too generic.

Footage aired of Bronson Reed interrupting last week’s Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley match…

U.S. Champion Austin Theory made his entrance while Graves used their new line about experiencing Theory live… [C]

Graves touted a sale price on the latest WWE video game (but he did not say it could be the last time we see the game due to the WWE Draft)…

Austin Theory stood in the ring and welcomed everyone to “Austin Theory Live.” Theory said it’s the experience that everyone wants to be a part of. Theory said Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley both want the experience. Theory boasted that he’s been the best U.S. Champion in a long time. He asked where the respect was because he didn’t pick his opponent.

Theory pointed out that new championship belt at ringside and said it would end up around his waist. Theory said Triple H said the title should be earned, and he’s earned it. Theory delivered the usual complaint about how he could lose his title without being pinned or submitted in the Triple Threat with Lashley and Reed.

A loud “you suck” chant broke out. Theory acknowledged it and then said he’s the guy who pinned John Cena at WrestleMania. The fans responded with a “you tapped out” chant. Theory said they were watching the greatest of all-time.

Bobby Lashley’s entrance theme interrupted Theory and then he made his entrance and slapped hands with fans on his way to the ring. Lashley walked by the new championship belt and ignored it while getting a microphone, which he then brought into the ring with him.

Lashley referred to Theory as “kid” and said the only problem he has with him is that he’s holding his title. Lashley asked Theory when he would start stepping up and accepting every challenge that comes his way if he wants to claim he’s the greatest U.S. Champion in history.

Lashley said he’s been in the ring with Theory and he knows how tough he is, but he doesn’t think Theory realizes it. Lashley asked Theory if he was lazy and doesn’t want to work or if he’s just scared. Lashley said Theory should welcome every opportunity to fight for his title, just as he would.

Lashley said he requested the Triple Threat match for WWE Backlash. Theory asked where Lashley’s WrestleMania match was. Lashley said he should knock Theory’s teeth down his throat for saying that. Theory threw a sucker punch that Lashley ducked.

Both men ended up at ringside where Lashley dominated Theory. Lashley hoisted Theory up on his shoulders, but Theory slipped away and shoved Lashley toward Bronson Reed, who was shown for the first time at ringside. Theory hit Lashley from behind.

Reed had Theory hold Lashley against the ring post and then Reed splashed Lashley. Both heels threw Lashley inside the ring. Theory hit Lashley with the A-Town Down and then talked smack while standing over him. Reed ran into Theory and knocked him down before performing a senton. Reed went up top and performed the Tsunami splash on Theory. Reed picked up the title belt and held it up while standing over Theory…

Powell’s POV: I hope Reed holding up the U.S. Championship belt while standing over Theory is the same shot that ends the Triple Threat match at WWE Backlash. Either way, it was a good angle that made Reed look like a badass.

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Rick Boogs and Elias talk about the draft. Chad Gable explained that some wrestlers are eligible to be drafted on night one, while others are eligible for night two. Gable said that you have to make sure that you and your tag team partner are drafted together or you could be split up.

Gable introduced Otis and said he made sure they would be drafted together. Maxxine Dupri showed up and said she made sure that she goes wherever Otis goes. They bickered until Mustafa Ali showed up. Ali said they all needed a more positive attitude about the draft.

Ali spoke about how Gable could reach his full potential and become the new world heavyweight champion. Ali said that would be the end of Alpha Academy and life as they know it. Ali said Gable would be a loser just like he would lose their match later. Otis interrupted and said Gable would show Ali a shakedown…

Instagram footage showed Bad Bunny was in the area…

Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri made their entrance… [C] Mustafa Ali made his entrance…

4. Chad Gable (w/Otis, Maxxine Durpi) vs. Mustafa Ali. Ali went for his finisher, but Gable rolled out of the way. Gable went for his rolling suplex, but Ali countered into a pin and got the three count…

Mustafa Ali defeated Chad Gable in 1:50.

Powell’s POV: Mark it down, Ali got a win in his hometown on WWE television. I’m not sure what his new character is quite yet, but I’m intrigued. I can’t tell whether they need to keep Ali away from Seth Rollins due to some over the top similarities or if they’ll end up being fun rivals.

Backstage, Jimmy Uso confronted Sami Zayn and said that he and Jey would take the tag titles back on Friday. Jimmy said Kevin Owens never forgave Sami for all the times he kicked him in the face and said he was standing right there every time. Jimmy said Owens would turn on Zayn and he would deserve it. Jimmy told Sami not to worry about Jey when he should be worried about his own brother. Sami looked concerned…

Finn Balor made his entrance… [C] Chicago sports imagery was shown…

[Hour Three] Cody Rhodes made his entrance and presented his title belt to a young fan along the barricade…

5. Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor. None of the Judgment Day members accompanied Balor to ringside. Graves played up the idea that Rhodes was an underdog against Brock Lesnar despite having come so close to beating Roman Reigns at WrestleMania.

Cody was on the offensive until he dove at Balor, who ducked, and Cody crashed into the ropes. Cody rolled to ringside. Balor followed and shoved him into the broadcast table. Balor walked over and looked at the new championship belt and raised his arms. [C]

Late in the match, Balor put Rhodes down with a shotgun dropkick. Balor went up top and attempted a Coup de Grace, but Cody rolled out of the way. Cody went for CrossRhodes, but Balor countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Rhodes kicked Balor and then put him down with a Pedigree. Cody followed up with CrossRhodes and scored the pin.

Cody Rhodes beat Finn Balor in 11:00.

After the match, Cody went into the crowd and stood on a chair while playing to the fans. Cody dropped off the chair and slapped hands with fans while Graves questioned whether Rhodes will be a member of the Raw roster coming out of the draft…

Powell’s POV: A competitive and entertaining match despite there being no mystery regarding the outcome. Cody continues to ride high as the top babyface in WWE.

The broadcast team touted Bad Bunny’s appearance and Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest for later in the show…

Seth Rollins made his entrance for a promo segment… The WWE Draft teaser aired followed by an ad for Friday’s Smackdown… [C]

Rollins played to the crowd with his usual self-introduction. He said he was going to come out and see what people thought about his WWE Backlash match against Omos. Fans booed (and perhaps groaned). Rollins said that if they can believe it, something bigger has caught his eye.

Rollins looked down at the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship title belt. A “you deserve it” chant broke out. Rollins exited the ring and went to the ring steps and asked, “Chicago, are you just saying that because I’m a Bears fan?” Funny.

Rollins recalled Triple H appearing earlier in the show and said that he said some very nice things about Roman Reigns and listed some of the people he’s beaten. Rollins said his name was not on that list. Rollins said people want what Reigns has, but added that some of us still want to fight.

“And this is an opportunity for us to fight,” Rollin said. “This is an opportunity for us to push the industry forward. This is an opportunity for us to have a world heavyweight championship and it’s about more than politics and part-timers.” Rollins said he would give Chicago one guess as to whom he would put his money on when they crown the new champion at Night of Champions.

Omos made his entrance dressed in a suit and had MVP behind him. MVP had a mic and asked Rollins to forgive the interruption. MVP said he respects Rollins immensely. MVP said that in his estimation, Rollins is one of the most impressive superstars to ever grace a WWE ring.

Omos and MVP entered the ring while Rollins joined them after being at ringside. MVP said Rollins had accomplished nearly everything there was to accomplish. MVP said Rollins was brilliant despite his fashion choices. MVP said that’s why Rollins had been chosen. MVP explained that Omos getting a win over Rollins would be huge.

MVP said he would caution Rollins against making predictions about his future because he might not have much of one after he faces Omos at Backlash. Rollins looked up at Omos, who took a step forward. Rollins said thank you and then paused while the fans chanted his entrance theme.

Rollins said he should be afraid of Omos, but he’s not. Rollins said he would make Omos famous by giving him the match of his life. Rollins said he would bounce Omos’s head off the mat and then an arena filled with people would be singing his song. The fans chanted Seth’s song again and then he tossed the mic aside and exited the ring…

Rey Mysterio was shown warming up backstage while dressed in an LWO t-shirt… [C]

Powell’s POV: While we have to see how the draft plays out, Rollins does strike me was a strong candidate to win the new championship. I would prefer to see Cody Rhodes continue his pursuit of Roman Reigns rather than finish his story by winning a different championship. As for the angle, I think Rollins hyped the match in the most compelling manner possible by not showing fear of Omos while essentially telling viewers to watch him carry the green giant to his best match. I cringed like most people when the match was announced and yet I also find myself curious to see what Rollins can get out of the big man.

A John Cena narrated video aired on WWE’s work with Make-A-Wish… Make-A-Wish alumni and their family members were shown in the crowd…

Backstage, Matt Riddle was talking Kevin Owens’ ear off when Sami Zayn arrived. Owens demanded to know where Zayn had been while indicating that Riddle had been driving him nuts. Zayn explained that he spoke to the Usos. Owens questioned why he’s still doing this. Owens said the Usos deserve whatever happens to them after they beat them on Friday.

Zayn tried to speak, but Owens told him no and walked away. Riddle told Zayn that he knew exactly what Zayn was going through. Zayn questioned how that could possibly be. Riddle spoke about his history with RK-Bro. Riddle told Zayn that they were bros and everything would be cool win, lose, or draw. Zayn thanked Riddle…

Graves hyped Owens and Zayn vs. The Usos for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship for Friday’s Smackdown… Patrick said it’s a massive two weeks and then he and Graves ran through the WWE Backlash lineup, which now includes Belair vs. Sky for the Raw Women’s Championship…

More footage was shown from Bad Bunny’s Instagram page of him arriving at the venue…

Rey Mysterio made his entrance for the main event. Rey took a Mexican flag that a fan brought and put it around his shoulders as he headed to the ring… [C]

Brock Lesnar was advertised for next week’s Raw…

Damian Priest made his entrance. Yes, Graves said it might be the last time we see Priest, Mysterio, and even Smackdown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley on Raw (even though Ripley had not appeared on the show)…

6. Rey Mysterio vs. Damian Priest. Priest took offensive control to start and blasted Rey with a punch to the jaw in the corner. Rey used his quickness to slide under Priest and then caught him with a kick. Priest caught Rey on his shoulders and performed a gutbuster.

An SUV was shown pulling into the backstage area. Bad Bunny exited the SUV and some fans cheered. Meanwhile, Rey performed a huracanrana from the ropes and covered Priest for a two count. Priest came right back with a couple of punches that knocked Rey down. Priest tossed Rey, who slid under the bottom rope and crashed to the floor. [C]

Rey battled back and performed a springboard crossbody block for a near fall. Rey went for a 619, but Priest stood up and dropped Rey with a big superkick and then covered him for a near fall of his own. Priest went for a crucifix slam, but Rey slid away. Priest still managed to put Rey down with a Flatliner for another near fall.

Priest went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Rey kicked Priest through the ropes. Both men went for the chair, but Priest grabbed Rey by the throat and entered the ring. Rey broke free and ended up hitting the 619. Rey went up top, but Priest threw the chair at the head of Mysterio (really?) for the DQ.

Rey Mysterio defeated Damian Priest by DQ in 11:20.

After the match, Priest put Rey down with a South of Heaven chokeslam. Priest cleared the broadcast table.

Bad Bunny made his entrance with a kendo stick in hand. Priest jawed at him from the ring, and then Bunny entered the ring with the kendo stick. Priest approached Bunny, who hit him in the gut with the kendo stick. Bunny blasted Priest with a few more kendo stick shots as they headed to ringside.

Priest grabbed Bunny by the throat while standing on the broadcast table, but Bunny was able to hit him with two more kendo stick shots. Priest fled over the barricade and was next shown standing on the stage while Bunny stood on the broadcast table and played to the crowd.

Bad Bunny remained on the broadcast table and said he wasn’t sure if Priest knew, but he’s no longer the host of WWE Backlash. Bad Bunny announced that he will face Priest in a Street Fight. Priest yelled off-mic that he will kill Bad Bunny in Puerto Rico and end his entire career…

Powell’s POV: Bad Bunny won the kendo stick battle over what we saw from the women on AEW Dynamite. Anyway, I hope Rey was supposed to put his hands up, because it was really gross to see Priest throw a chair at his head. They can always change it, but I am surprised that they seem to be going with a Bunny vs. Priest singles match for Backlash. I assumed it would be a tag team match or even a six-man tag team match. It’s a big moment for Priest and he’s done solid work since they shifted the focus to him during the build to this match.

Overall, this was a good edition of Raw that effectively filled all three hours nicely. While I’m not a fan of adding another championship, the announcement felt worthy of the same day hype. That said, I am very disappointed that Triple H didn’t do anything to assure viewers that the draft will actually matter long term. I keep waiting for some indication that they intend to honor the rules of the brand split for once, but they just haven’t gone there. I will have more to say about that and the overall show during my weekly same night Raw audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the April 24 edition

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Readers Comments (13)

  1. Michael Tennant April 24, 2023 @ 8:26 pm

    I understand you like that longer reigns. And I would too if not for the fact that every championship win has been tainted by ridiculous amounts of outside interference to help Roman hang on to the titles. That undoes all the goodwill that’s created by the longer title reign.

    • But will that change if there are more titles? I’m not sure how far back you go, but I don’t remember all these complaints about Ric Flair’s legendary title reigns, which also featured a lot of outside interference. Don’t get me wrong, I wish they would do more clean finishes than they do. I just think people have selective memories when it comes to great heel title reigns from the past.

  2. Yeah the majority don’t Agree Jason that I promise you.. and guess what? The majority rule and that.. that is just good business but cool take guy.

  3. TheGreatestOne April 24, 2023 @ 9:15 pm

    Paul got into Tony’s booger sugar. That huge announcement that will “rock the foundation of WWE” isn’t that big of a deal and isn’t really a positive.

    More belts is the last thing wrestling needs. The world champ, tag champs, and women’s champ should be defended on both brands. If you have 2 champs you have 0 champs.

  4. Wow with that statement I guess AEW has -43 Champs

  5. An extra belt just waters things down. They would be better to strip Roman of the WWE Title (since they are saving his first loss in singles competition obviously) then creating a belt from scratch. I think the IC belt could carry a show by itself. But they didn’t even give it a chance. Beautiful title, and they are trying to make it seem important. But I hate titles with no lineage being made out to be important without a backstory. Tell me that whoever has that belt and successfully depends it gets $3000 per defense, suddenly it means something.

  6. I mean, we all know that these folks are paid ridiculous money to [checks notes] put their careers on the line in [checks again] catering…

    But I completely agree that they never communicate the stakes involved. Older wrestlers would talk about “laughing at the pay window” because there was something on the line. At least they can talk about the fame, endorsement opportunities, or something that adds some heft to it.

  7. I was a viewer who hated the Four Horsemen always cheating to win, but websites didn’t exist then, LOL
    It did get old.
    I agree the same about Roman’s tenure. I hate how they say he’s the best of this generation, etc., when every main event is a distraction win. His character hasn’t earned those accolades, no matter the length of the reign.
    Frankly, I think it’s been a pretty forgettable title run, and the chances for feel good victories by Sammi and Cody were wasted.
    And now this (third?) WWE heavyweight belt is watering things down further. It’s a consolation prize.
    Better to have split the belts (Sammi, Cody), or since too late for that, as someone else posted, make the IC belt the main event, like it used to be, when Hogan was headlining one house tour, and the IC champ was headlining the other.

  8. >Bad Bunny won the kendo stick battle over what we saw from the women on AEW Dynamite.<<

    Shocking that's your take. I seem to remember you saying kendo stick shots lack a lot because they are used so much, but SUDDENLY, they were good this time. LOL.

    • The point stands about kendo sticks. Now watch the two segments. You tell me which kendo stick shots looked painful and which looked light as a feather. Can you admit that or are you just too far gone as a fanboy, Angry Mike?

  9. One of the angles Reigns used in the buildup to his match against Rhodes at Wrestlemania was the Rhodes wasn’t ready for the massive workload and hectic schedule demanded of the champion. Now a new title is being created because the champ Reigns “negotiated” a lighter schedule for himself. Yeah, ok then.

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