WWE Raw results (6/12): Powell’s live review of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest in a Money in the Bank qualifier, Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz


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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,568)
Live from Wichita, Kansas at Intrust Bank Arena
Aired June 12, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with Rhea Ripley making her entrance carrying the Smackdown Women’s Championship. WWE official Adam Pearce stood in the ring with a covered belt on a podium and introduced Ripley. Pearce dubbed Ripley the new “Women’s World Champion” and then unveiled the new title belt. A “Mami” chant broke out. Ripley was all smiles as she looked at the new belt and then held it up over her head.

Dominik Mysterio ran out and was booed. Dom took the title from Ripley and put it around her waist. The broadcast team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves checked in briefly. Ripley told “Dom Dom” to tell the fans how amazing she is. Dom said the crowd’s booing was disrespectful to him and Ripley.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance dressed in his ring gear and still sporting a cast over his left arm. A loud “Cody” chant broke out once he was inside the ring. Rhodes asked the Kansas crowd what they want to talk about. Cody offered respect to Ripley for her new championship.

Rhodes also said they could talk about his match with The Miz later tonight. Rather, he pointed to the big screen, which showed footage of Dom taking a cheap shot at him last week. Dom smirked and put his arm around Ripley.

Cody said it would be nice to hear Brock Lesnar’s music and have him come out and accept his challenge, but Cody said he didn’t think Lesnar had the balls to accept his challenge. As such, Cody challenged Dom to face him in a singles match at Money in the Bank.

Dom said that he’s not afraid of anyone in the world. Dom said he embarrassed Cody in the middle of the ring, just as he would anyone else. A loud “you suck” chant broke out. Cody told Dom that it’s either yes or no. Dom and Ripley spoke off-mic for a moment.

Ripley said Dom is more of a man than anyone in the arena and more of a man than Cody. The Miz tried to sneak attack Rhodes, who quickly disposed of him. “We accept,” Ripley said. Cody caught Dom sneaking up on him, but then had to turn his attention back to Miz and quickly got the better of him again. Dom snuck up and slapped Cody again. Graves said Cody would face Miz after the first break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I continue to love the idea of Cody vs. Dom. And I still love the idea of Dom stealing a win with help from Brock Lesnar or many others to set up Dom for a fun championship match with Seth Rollins. That said, I’m guessing Cody will go over and it will still be a lot of fun. Finally, I’m thrilled that the women’s titles are no longer named after Raw or Smackdown.

1. Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz. The referee was in the ring and called for the bell right out of the commercial break. Cody knocked Miz off the apron with a Disaster Kick. Cody wanted to go up top, but Miz walked to the other side of the ring to avoid him. Cody opted to perform a suicide dive instead.

Rhodes went to work on Miz’s knee with a dragon screw leg whip and then stomped it. Miz came back by sliding through the legs of Rhodes, who was on the apron. Miz tripped up Cody, who fell face first onto the ring steps. A short time later, Miz dodged a charging Cody, who went through the ropes and collided with the ring post. Miz ran Cody into the ring steps. [C]

Cody put Miz down with a uranage slam. Rhodes put Miz down with a Disaster Kick for a near fall. Miz came back and hit his series of kicks. Cody ducked the finale, but Miz connected with a couple more and then DDT’d him for a near fall. Cody blood from a cut on the rear right side of his head. Cody hit the Cody Cutter and followed up with CrossRhodes for the win…

Cody Rhodes defeated The Miz in 10:45.

Powell’s POV: This is when all those losses that Miz has taken really hurt. No one views him as a threat to beat a lot of mid-card wrestlers and certainly not the top wrestlers. So while the match was well worked and well received by the live crowd, there was zero sense of mystery regarding the outcome. It’s a fixable problem that would simply require giving Miz some wins. And I hope they do because he’s such a good talker and a mainstay who should mean more than he does. All of that said, the Cody continues to get great reactions from the live crowds.

The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised matches for later in the show…

Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Becky Lynch were shown talking in the back. The cameras followed Lynch as she walked away and then as she stopped and watched Chad Gable, who was dressed like a coach, and Otis giving Maxxine Dupri some pointers. Lynch then made her entrance for a match against Chelsea Green. Graves called Patrick a weirdo after he mistakenly referred to Green as “Becky Green”… [C]

Footage aired of Becky Lynch beating Sonya Deville to qualify for the Money in the Bank match. Patrick noted that Lynch has never won an MITB ladder match…

Lynch delivered an in-ring promo. She spoke about how winning the MITB match has eluded her. She said she had a good feeling about this year. Lynch said everyone has been conditioned to believe that the number one person in the company is the person who holds the championship. Lynch said the person who holds the most power is the person who holds the MITB briefcase.

Lynch spoke about how people do crazy things when they are scared and said she likes it because it makes her better. Lynch said Trish Stratus was so scared that she got herself an insurance policy in the form of Zoey Stark at Night of Champions.

Zoey Stark made her entrance and said everyone knows about Lynch’s accomplishments, but she won’t beat Trish and said she won’t beat her. Lynch said she’s had many failures and she’s learned from each of them and that’s what makes her great.

Lynch said Stark is special in the ring and is built like a pitbull. Lynch said Stark lacks a personality. Stark got upset and asked Lynch if she owns a mirror. Stark said Lynch became famous for someone breaking her face and now she’s trying to hold on.

The fans gave Stark the “What” treatment. She told them to shut up. Stark said said she would break Lynch’s face at MITB and make her famous. Lynch said they didn’t have to wait until MITB.

Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville made their entrance. Stark was annoyed by Green, so she and Deville headed to ringside. Green and Deville made excuses for Lynch beating Deville last week. Lynch cut them off…

2. Becky Lynch vs. Chelsea Green (w/Sonya Deville). Zoey Stark stood in the entrance aisle and watched the match. Graves said Trish Stratus wasn’t present because she was shooting her 110th magazine cover. Green caught Lynch with a kick and then went to the ropes, but Lynch shoved her to ringside. [C]

Both wrestlers ended up at ringside. Lynch ran Green into the barricade a few times. Back in the ring, Green came back with an enzuigiri. Lynch went for her finisher, but Green countered into a pin for a two count. Lynch immediate applied the Disarmer and got the submission win…

Becky Lynch defeated Chelsea Green in 7:15.

Powell’s POV: While it she hasn’t taken nearly as many losses, what I wrote about Miz applies to Green. They had something with her Karen character, but they’ve taken the heat out of it by having her lose so often. What good does it do Cody or Lynch to beat people who lose 95 percent of their matches?

A video package recapped Seth Rollins beating Damian Priest to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in last week’s Raw main event, followed by Rollins taunting Finn Balor afterward…

Judgment Day members Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor were walking backstage. Ripley noticed that Balor wasn’t paying attention or talking and asked if he was okay. Balor said he had a lot on his mind. Priest said he would qualify for MITB and asked that the others let him go out on his own…

Matt Riddle made his entrance for the MITB qualifier… An ad for Smackdown played up the question of whether Jey Uso would stay with The Bloodline or leave with Jimmy Uso… [C] Damian Priest made his entrance while being introduced by ring announcer Samantha Irvin…

3. Matt Riddle vs. Damian Priest in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Riddle applied an early sleeper while both men were on their feet. Priest back into the corner to break the hold. Riddle ran the ropes and put Priest down with a kick and then kipped up and hit Priest with a running forearm.

[Hour Two] Priest got angry and charged Riddle, who dodged him and held the top rope down, causing Priest to tumble to the floor. Priest tripped Riddle on the apron. Priest went to the floor and charged Riddle, who sidestepped him, causing Priest to crash on top of the broadcast table.

Back inside the ring, Priest put Riddle down with a Flatliner. Priest tossed Riddle into the corner and hit him with punches and then kicks. Priest performed a backbreaker and covered Riddle for a two count.

Both men traded strikes. Riddle got the better of it and threw an overhead kick. Riddle followed up with a suplex and a Broton. Priest went to ringside. Riddle went to the apron and threw a kick before performing a springboard dive.

Riddle performed a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall once both men were back in the ring. Priest came back briefly, but Riddle cut him off with a knee to the face. Priest came right back with a Broken Arrow. [C]

Late in the match, Riddle caught Priest on the top rope and performed a fisherman’s suplex, which resulted in a nice near fall. Riddle went for a Floating Bro and rolled through once Priest avoided it. Riddle set up for a springboard move, but Priest caught him and performed the Razor’s Edge before scoring the pin…

Damian Priest beat Matt Riddle in 14:20 to qualify for the Money in the Bank match.

After the match, Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser walked out. Priest approached them. “Pick the bones,” Priest told Gunther. Gunther and Kaiser entered the ring. Gunther worked over Riddle while Kaiser watched and then taunted Riddle. Kaiser picked up Riddle and held his arms while Gunther chopped him…

Powell’s POV: I’m legitimately surprised by the outcome of that match. I was actually hoping that Gunther encouraging Riddle to win MITB and come after him was actually a swerve that would result in Riddle turning heel and going after Seth Rollins. More than anything, I’m happy that the broadcast team said the MITB field is set on the men’s side, meaning there won’t be any ridiculous second chance qualifying matches.

Highlights aired of the Cody, Dom, and Ripley segment from earlier in the show…

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Cathy Kelley on the backstage ring set. She asked him for comments on his MITB match with Dom. Cody said Lesnar won’t show up and Dom won’t go away. Cody said he’s clinging to every second as he tries to finish the story. He said Lesnar and Dom won’t knock him off his path and then wished “Dom Dom” good luck in London…

Patrick hyped a Bloodline video recap from Friday’s Smackdown… [C]

Natalya was interviewed by Byron Saxton, who said people have remarked that she’s not the same Natalya. She said being her has gotten her nowhere and she doesn’t even know how to be herself anymore.

Saxton called in Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn after Natalya walked away. He asked Owens how he felt after losing to Gunther. Owens said it was tough because he nearly beat the unbeatable.

Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser showed up, causing Saxton to leave. Kaiser taunted Owens about losing the week before. Zayn said it took three of them to steal a win over Owens. Zayn asked where “baldie” was and assumed that Matt Riddle hurt Giovanni Vinci.

Adam Pearce showed up. Zayn assured him that things were fine. Kaiser said that if Owens and Zayn are so confident, they should put the tag titles on the line. Owens went into this over the top anger mode while agreeing to make it a tag title match. Gunther told Pearce to make it a title match. Pearce said he would think about it…

The Bloodline recap video aired with footage from Friday’s Smackdown… Patrick hyped Roman Reigns for Smackdown along with Jey Uso’s decision… Ricochet made his entrance for a match against Bronson Reed… [C]

Jinder Mahal was shown walking backstage and ended up standing between Veer Mahaan and Sanga. Mahal said their opponents became prey before the match last week. He said they are not satisfied because the job isn’t done if their opponents are still walking. Mahal said they were offering Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin a proper match…

Bronson Reed made his entrance. Footage aired of a Reed promo from last week where he boasted about squishing Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura earlier in the night…

4. Bronson Reed vs. Ricochet. Reed no-sold some Ricochet strikes and then tossed him into the corner. When Ricochet charged, Reed dropped him with a forearm to the face. Shinsuke Nakamura walked out with no entrance music, which distracted Reed. Ricochet went on the offensive for a moment, but Reed draped him over the top rope and then flung the rope to send Ricochet flying back into the ring. [C]

Ricochet rallied and performed a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Ricochet performed a springboard crossbody block and then followed up with a springboard moonsault, but Reed kicked out aggressively.

Ricochet went for a moonsault off the apron once Reed rolled to the floor, but Reed caught him and tossed him at Nakamura, who was seated next to the broadcast team. Reed threw Ricochet back inside the ring. Reed went to the ropes for his finisher, but Nakamura kicked him to end the match.

Bronson Reed defeated Ricochet by DQ in 7:40.

After the match, Ricochet was upset with Nakamura. As they bickered, Reed hit Nakamura from behind, which sent him crashing into Ricochet. Reed put Nakamura down and set up for his finisher. Ricochet cut off Reed. Nakamura and Ricochet teamed up for a double superplex on Reed. The crowd’s “holy shot” chants were censored (you know, because no one ever says shit on cable television)…

Powell’s POV: I’m enjoying this unconventional rivalry between Reed and two opponents. The only problem is that I’d be more excited about Reed being in MITB than I am about actual qualifiers Ricochet and Nakamura.

Backstage, Zayn spoke with Owens about how he’s been blowing up lately. Owens spoke about how he’s had months of stress going back to their feud with The Bloodline. Owens started going off again while talking about Imperium. Zayn called him down and asked Owens if he was going to be good once they went to the ring. Owens assured him that he would be…

Finn Balor was shown walking backstage. Patrick said Balor was on his way to the ring and said viewers would find out why after the break… [C]

Finn Balor made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Balor said he knew Seth Rollins was there and said they needed to have a talk without jokes, zingers, or singalongs. Balor said it would be just facts and called for Rollins to come to the ring.

World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins made his entrance while the crowd chanted his entrance theme. Once Rollins was in the ring, Balor asked the fans if they were done. Balor said he’d been waiting seven years to say what he had to say. He said he wasn’t waiting a second longer, so the fans better shut up. The fans continued to chant.

Balor said that seven years ago, he was a first-round draft pick and beat Roman Reigns on his first night on Raw. Balor said he beat Rollins three weeks later to become the first ever Universal Champion. The fans continued to sing. Rollins smiled. Balor said it was serious.

Rollins asked the fans if they were having fun, which made them cheer rather than sing. Balor said he wasn’t having fun and said he’s waited seven years. The fans chanted again. Rollins asked Balor what he’s waited seven years to say and told him to get it off his chest if it was so important for him to run the fans’ party.

[Hour Three] Balor said the highest of highs became the lowest of lows due to Rollins. He spoke of various injuries and said he’s not complaining because it’s a tough business. The fans chanted the Rollins theme again. Balor asked Rollins if he knew what bothered him, aside from the idiots singing.

Balor said the fans chant the song even though they don’t even know Rollins, who then asked Balor what he was talking about. Balor said Rollins took his momentum, his title, and a year from his career. Balor said it’s his turn to take it all back by taking Rollins’ momentum, title, and a year from his career.

Balor said he would take it all at Money in the Bank. The chanting picked up again. Rollins cackled. He said this was the Balor that he’s been waiting to see for the last seven years. Rollins said one of them became bitter and one of them became better.

Rollins said he’s done some bad things over the last seven years, but he’s made memories, history, and moments that the fans will never forget. Rollins said he changed, he adapted, and rolled with the punches. Rollins said he got better every single day and now he’s the greatest version of himself.

Rollins pointed to his title belt as proof and said that if Balor wants a shot at MITB, then he’s on. Rollins asked what version of Balor would come to London and challenge him for the title. Rollins said the bitter shell of a champion in front of him didn’t stand a chance.

Rollins said the Balor who beat him with one of his arms hanging off his body has a shot. Rollins asked if Balor would bring that version of himself or the version who has been walking around acting like a little bitch for the last seven years. Rollins laughed, tossed the mic aside, and exited the ring…

The broadcast team said the Cody Rhodes vs. Dominik Mysterio match was official for MITB… Raquel Rodriguez made her entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: So Rollins was waiting for the Balor he saw in front of him, yet that Rollins then said that Balor doesn’t stand a chance? Awkward. That said, Rollins did what he could to get the crowd to tone it down long enough for Balor to make his points. I’m sure these two will have a great match in London, but I’m beyond over the story of Balor forfeiting his championship due to the injury suffered in the match with Rollins. And I can’t get over the fact that we just saw Rollins beat Balor clean in a semifinal tournament match on Raw last month. Are they not planning ahead or it just bad booking?

The broadcast team announced Rollins vs. Balor for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank… Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey made their entrance. Footage of their angle with Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre from Smackdown was shown…

5. Shayna Baszler (w/Ronda Rousey) vs. Raquel Rodriguez. Rodriguez performed a couple of fallaway slams and went to the ropes. Baszler ducked to ringside. Rodriguez got her back in the ring and went for a big boot in the corner that Baszler avoided. Baszler kicked the back of Rodriguez’s knee and then stomped her ankle.

Rodriguez put Baszler down with a clothesline. Rodriguez threw a series of kicks to Baszler’s hamstring and then performed her twisting senton. Rousey climbed onto the apron. Rodriguez set up for a powerbomb and released it when she spotted Rousey climbing onto the apron. Rodriguez grabbed Rousey. Baszler rolled up Rodriguez and got the pin while Rousey added some leverage.

Shayna Baszler defeated Raquel Rodriguez in 2:10.

The broadcast team hyped Rousey and Baszler vs. NXT Tag Team Champions Dawn and Fyre in a unification match for a week from Friday on Smackdown…

Powell’s POV: A finish that made the babyface look like a blithering idiot. Why?

A video package aired in tribute to the late Iron Sheik. The fans applauded once the video finished playing and then a memorial graphic was shown… [C] The tail end of Alpha Academy’s entrance aired, and then the full Viking Raiders entrance was shown…

6. Chad Gable (w/Maxxine Dupri, Otis) vs. Erik (w/Valhalla, Ivar). Early in the match, Valhalla charged Dupri, who took her down with an arm drag. In the ring, Gable performed a sunset flip on Erik and pinned him…

Chad Gable beat Erik in 1:40.

Powell’s POV: Beating the Viking Raiders no longer means anything because they’ve taken so many losses. What a shame.

The broadcast team set up a video package on Rhea Ripley. She said people can call her the villain, but all she’s ever done is refuse to fall in line. She said she won’t wait her turn or accept the established order. She said the food chain has been toppled and she stands above all…

Backstage, Finn Balor told JD McDonagh that the important thing is making an impact. McDonagh thanked him for the advice while nodding to point out that Damian Priest was approaching. McDonagh told Balor to take his own advice when it comes to his other problem.

Balor was all smiles and congratulated Priest for qualifying for MITB. Priest congratulated Balor on his title shot. Balor wondered if Priest would come after him if he won the championship and Priest won MITB. Priest said of course he wouldn’t do that. He told Balor that he needs to end things with Rollins at MITB…

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made their entrance for the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m still not sure what to make of the issues between Priest and Balor. It seems like Priest is turning babyface. While I really don’t know why when there’s such a need for strong heels on the Raw brand, I am very curious to see where this all leads.

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Cathy Kelley in the backstage area. Rollins said he’s as prepared and confident as a man can be, but the question is whether Finn Balor is ready for him. Rollins said Balor won’t just lose his mind because it looks like his buddy Damian Priest is out on him as well. Rollins called for an open challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship on next week’s Raw…

The broadcast team announced Logan Paul’s return for next week’s Raw. They also hyped Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed…

The Imperium duo made their entrance. Footage aired of Matt Riddle taking out Giovanni Vinci with an ankle lock in a backstage segment from last week’s show. Graves said there’s been no update on Vinci’s condition and added that he wasn’t with Gunther and Kaiser throughout the night…

7. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Sami sent Gunther to the floor and performed a flip dive onto him heading into an early break. [C]

Gunther took a blind tag and blasted Zayn with a big boot before knocking Owens off the apron. Gunther picked up a two count on Zayn. The challengers continued to isolate Zayn while Graves said the champions were in trouble heading into the final break. [C]

Zayn battled back and made a hot tag. Owens put Gunther down and hit him with a Swanton Bomb for nice near fall. Owens went for a Stunner a short time later, but Gunther shoved him off and then hit him with a big boot to the face. Both men tagged out.

Zayn performed an exploder suplex on Kaiser. Zayn set up for his finisher, but Gunther pulled him to the floor. Zayn avoided a big chop from Gunther, who hit the ring post instead. Zayn returned to the ring.

Gunther and Kaiser rallied. Gunther put Zayn down with a big clothesline for a good near fall. Gunther threw another lariat and only got a two count. Gunther hoisted up Zayn and then Kaiser hit the Imperial Bomb. Gunther stood in front of Owens to stop him, but Owens shoved Gunther into the pin to break it up.

Matt Riddle headed out while producers and referees tried to stop him. Gunther blasted Riddle with big boot to the face at the bottom of the ramp. Owens put Gunther down with a DDT on the base of the ramp. In the ring, Zayn put Kaiser down with a Blue Thunder Bomb and pinned him.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defeated Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser in 18:20 to retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles.

As Owens and Zayn celebrated, the broadcast team hyped Logan Paul’s return, and Seth Rollins defending the World Heavyweight Championship in an open challenge for next week’s Raw. A graphic listed Becky Lynch, Alpha Academy, and Zoey Stark for Raw Talk…

Powell’s POV: A hot match that served as a great show closer. That was fun. It provided a nice bump to an otherwise middle of the road show. I will have more to say about Raw in my same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. TheGreatestOne June 12, 2023 @ 9:10 pm

    Wrestling thrived for decades with most TV matches having predictable outcomes. There’s no reason why most TV matches should be more than a showcase for the stars and getting in reps for the midcarders and below.

    • And then the Monday Night War happened. Times change. I’m not suggesting that every match has to be competitive or look even on paper. I’m an advocate for spotlighting wrestlers with squash matches when they make sense. My point is simply that Miz and Green matches could be more enjoyable and their characters could be more meaningful if they weren’t booked to lose constantly.

  2. Wait. Zayn won with a Blue Thunder Bomb???? Say it ain’t so!!!

  3. Chelsea Green is just above enhancement talent. She knows her role and does it well.

    • Agree to disagree. Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair haven’t meant as much as they should because the company has failed to build up meaningful heel opponents for them. Rhea Ripley is great. Asuka has been elevated. Most of the other heels feel like pushovers. Green has a good look and she can talk. Her character is fun. Why not give her some wins and see what happens?

  4. Why Am I Watching This? June 13, 2023 @ 9:54 am

    It sounded like Corey was giving Kevin a lot of time to call the tag match by himself. Corey had to keep jumping in to break the silence. But after the final break, Kevin seemed to come to life, but I’m still put off by his constant breathlessness.

    On another note, it’s cool to see Zayn actually finally win one with the Blue Thunder Bomb.

    Will Owens/Zayn be next for a new undisputed tag belt?

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