WWE Raw results (6/19): Powell’s live review of Logan Paul’s return, Trish Stratus vs. Raquel Rodriguez in a MITB qualifier, Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya in a non-title match, Bronson Reed vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Matt Riddle vs. Ludwig Kaiser, Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders


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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,569)
Live from Cleveland, Ohio at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Aired June 19, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins made his entrance for his open challenge. The broadcast team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves checked in and noted that Rollins would also defend his championship on Tuesday’s NXT.

Once Rollins was in the ring, he was attacked from behind by Finn Balor. Graves assumed that Balor wanted to injure Rollins so that he wouldn’t have a chance to defend his title during Raw or on NXT tomorrow before their scheduled title match at Money in the Bank.

Balor dumped Rollins to the floor and continued to work him over until Adam Pearce and various officials ran out. Balor backed off, then ran to the ring step, jumped off and performed a Coup de Grace on Rollins. Balor followed up with another Coup de Grace from the barricade. Balor teased leaving and then ran back and perform another Coup de Grace off the steps… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good angle to put heat on Balor right out of the gate. It started a little rough, as it seemed like Rollins had to stand and wait longer than he should have for Balor to finally enter the ring and attack him. Otherwise, it was a good angle. By the way, Jason Jordan was one of the producers who ran out to talk Balor down.

Rollins was shown wincing while looking for Balor backstage while Pearce and trainers walked with him. Balor attacked him from behind again. Balor put his foot over Rollins’ throat and held the title while telling him that he’s been waiting seven years for this.

Graves spoke with Patrick and ringside and continued to speculate about why Balor was attacking Rollins. He added the theory that Balor wants Rollins to lose to Bron Breakker on Tuesday. The Miz interrupted from the ring and said he was going to accept Rollins’ open challenge. He said that can’t happen now so he issued his own open challenge.

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance. “It’s been a long time,” Ciampa said once he arrived at ringside. Miz held his arms open for a hug. Ciampa punched Miz and demanded that the referee call for the bell to start the match…

1. Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Miz. Ciampa dominated Miz to start in the ring and at ringside. Miz came back and eventually went up top. Miz leapt into a knee from Ciampa, who then hit the Fairytale Ending and pinned him clean…

Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Miz in 3:50.

Powell’s POV: The show is off to a fun start. Ciampa’s unadvertised return kept the momentum going from the surprise attack in the first segment.

The broadcast team hyped Logan Paul’s return for later in the show along with the MITB qualifying match. They said a recap of The Bloodline angle was coming up next. “Judgment Day” members Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor were introduced by ring announcer Samantha Irvin… [C]

Judgment Day remained on the stage. Balor took credit for Rollins’ open challenge being canceled. He said if the fans like Rollins’ entrance song so much, they can sing it at his funeral. Ripley said “Dom Dom” will take down Cody Rhodes.

Priest spoke in Spanish for a moment and then said the Money in the Bank briefcase would come with him. He said the contract inside would have his name written all over it. Priest said Cody Rhodes should keep Dom’s name out of his mouth or the Judgment Day would make sure Cody can’t fight anyone ever again.

Dom took his turn and was booed loudly when he tried to speak. Dom finally yelled over the fans by saying Cody would get a preview of what he would do to him at MITB if he could find two wrestlers to face Judgment Day later in the show…

The Bloodline recap video aired with Jey Uso choosing to side with his brother Jimmy Uso rather than remain with Roman Reigns in The Bloodline… Patrick hyped The Usos vs. Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa in the Bloodline Civil War for MITB…

Byron Saxton stood on the backstage ring set and interviewed Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Owens took issue with Saxton asking Zayn about The Bloodline. Zayn told Owens he didn’t want to do it here, but they need to talk because it’s enough.

Zayn told Owens that he has an anger problem. Owens was in denial. Zayn said that if Owens could make it through the night without a tantrum, then he wouldn’t bring it up again. But if he had an outburst, then Owens would have to concede that he has a problem. Owens agreed and walked away. Zayn told Saxton that he was sorry he had to see that. “It’s been twenty years of this, you know?” Zayn said…

Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville made their entrance for a tag match against Kayden Carter and Katana Chance… [C]

A series of camera videos showed Green being a Karen at various locations (funny)… Carter and Chance made their entrance to a flat reaction…

2. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance. Green distracted Chance from the apron, allowing Deville to throw a big boot to the head of Chance to start the match. A short time later, the babyface duo came back and hit a double springboard move that impressed the live crowd. They followed up by hitting their Afterparty move on Deville and then Chance pinned her to win the match…

Kayden Carter and Katana Chance beat Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville in 2:05.

Powell’s POV: It was fun while it lasted. It’s nice to see Green get some Karen time, but I still think they ruin the fun by having her lose so often. It reminds me of pest heel Miz being put in his place on a near weekly basis.

Cathy Kelley stood by the stage and introduced Cody Rhodes, who made his entrances dressed in a suit and his cast. Cody spoke with Kelley by the stage and accepted the Judgment Day’s challenge to a six-man tag match for later in the show. Graves questioned who would team with Rhodes… [C]

3. “Indus Sher” Veer Mahaan and Sanga (w/Jinder Mahal) vs. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. The final seconds of the Alexander and Benjamin entrance was televised and then the full Indus Sher entrance was shown. Alexander and Benjamin went right after Veer and Sanga to start. Sanga came back at ringside by tossing Alexander onto the barricade in front of the timekeepers area. Mahaan regrouped and got the better of Benjamin in the ring. Sanga tagged in and they hit their finisher before Sanga got the pin…

“Indus Sher” Veer Mahaan and Sanga beat Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in 2:15.

Powell’s POV: They did the right thing by doubling down on Indus Sher beating Alexander and Benjamin. The big question remains whether Indus Sher will continue click once they start working with more competitive teams. Having them win squash matches or even glorified squash matches is the easy part.

Backstage, Owens and Zayn were walking when a man walked around the corner and accidentally spilled water on Owens. Zayn said Owens hates getting wet. Owens said it was no problem. Matt Riddle showed up. Owens was annoyed by Riddle and yelled, “Oh my God, Matt.” Owens calmed down and told Riddle that he like the movie he had been talking about. Owens also told Riddle not to touch him. Patrick hyped Riddle vs. Ludwig Kaiser for later in the show… [C] Cleveland imagery was shown…

[Hour Two]  Logan Paul was introduced by Samantha Irvin. Paul sat on a ladder near the MITB briefcases that hang above the ring. Paul played to the crowd by saying it’s always great to be back in Ohio. He continued to butter up the fans by saying the best people in the world come from Cleveland. He listed LeBron James, Jerry Lawler, and himself.

Paul said he looks back on the moments that made him great. He determined that they started when he left. When the fans booed, Paul told them not to and said he’s the best that they have. Paul said Cleveland can’t stop losing. He pointed to his brother’s boxing loss, his own WrestleMania loss, and The Miz losing earlier in the show.

Paul said he would singlehandedly put respect back on the city’s name. “Because I can, I called the executors,” Paul said. “And your boy got a special invitation.” Paul announced that he will be competing in the Money in the Bank ladder match. He said that he would win the contract, cash in, and take the title from whoever he wants, whenever he wants.

Ricochet made his entrance with a mic in his hand. Ricochet congratulated Paul on being in the MITB ladder match. He said everyone understands that Paul has a big social media presence. He said Paul needs to to understand that everyone knows the only reason he was added to the match was because he made Paul go viral at the Royal Rumble. Ricochet said he doesn’t care how Paul got in the MITB ladder match because it doesn’t change his game and won’t stop him from winning.

Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance and asked if Paul being in the match was a done deal. Nakamura said Ricochet didn’t care, but he does. LA Knight’s entrance music interrupted Nakamura. Knight was cheered. He said Ricochet and Nakamura are as useless as basketball cleats. He mocked Paul for making videos for 14 year-old girls. Knight held up a map and said it would show Paul where he could stick his bottles of Prime.

Santos Escobar came out to the LWO theme. Escobar spoke of empty promises and lies. Escobar entered the ring and welcomed Paul to the party. Escobar said he would be standing tall and would represent the LWO.

Butch made his entrance without a mic. Butch entered the ring and attacked Paul, which led to all six men brawling. Paul ended up punching Butch off the apron. With everyone at ringside, Paul performed a flip dive onto Ricochet and Escobar, then held up his energy drink and pointed at the MITB briefcases.

Paul returned to the ring and placed the ladder under the briefcases. Paul climbed up the ladder and put one hand on the MITB briefcase and flexed with his other arm. Paul kissed the briefcase and patted it…

Powell’s POV: I’m not crazy about the story of Paul getting in the match because he’s a celebrity. It would be different if there was a heel authority figure who granted him access. As things stand, it makes the company look heelish for catering to a social media influencer. That said, his involvement gives the men’s match some needed juice and he instantly becomes of the favorites, if not the outright favorite to win.

The broadcast team recapped Balor’s attacks on Rollins… Matt Riddle made his entrance for his match… [C] Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser made their entrance. Highlights aired of Riddle putting Giovanni Vinci in an ankle lock two weeks ago, which they have been using to explain the absence of Vinci…

4. Matt Riddle vs. Ludwig Kaiser (w/Gunther). Riddle sent Kaiser to the floor and kicked him from the apron. Gunther distracted Riddle, allowing Kaiser to clip the leg of Riddle. Kaiser followed up by pulling Riddle off the apron and DDT’ing him on the way down. [C]

Riddle caught Kaiser with a kick and a knee. Riddle went for a springboard move, but Kaiser countered into a rolling senton for a near fall. Kaiser went to the ropes and dove at Riddle, who countered into a nice suplex. Riddle followed up with Bro Derek and scored the pin.

Matt Riddle beat Ludwig Kaiser in 9:15.

After the match, Gunther entered the ring and took some kicks from Riddle before tripping him. Kaiser attacked Riddle and then held him in place while Gunther grabbed his leg and drove his knee onto ankle multiple times… [C]

Powell’s POV: An ankle for an ankle? A good match and a quality heat generating post match angle.

Patrick hyped Seth Rollins as a guest on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday at 12:20pm ET…

Two trainers were shown helping Riddle, who winced when he put weight on his bad ankle…

Owens and Zayn were talking when Gunther and Kaiser interrupted them. Owens got flustered. Vinci said the same thing that happened to Riddle would happen to them if they are not careful. Owens got riled up and said Kaiser is longwinded and needs to get to the point. Zayn showed Owens something on his phone and said they had something to take care of…

Powell’s POV: As much as I’ve found Owens’ anger fits to be a little too tongue in cheek in recent weeks, I am enjoying the hook of seeing whether he’ll snap at some point tonight. I’m guessing that Zayn’s message was a request from Cody Rhodes about the six-man tag match.

Alpha Academy made their entrance. Highlights aired of Chad Gable holding a coaching session for Maxxine Dupri while Otis stood by earlier in the day. Gable went Happy Gilmore on her by saying it’s all in the hips. The Viking Raiders made their entrance while the broadcast team hyped Dupri’s appearance on their After The Bell podcast…

5. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis (w/Maxxine Dupri) vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar (w/Valhalla). Otis put Ivar down and then removed his shirt. “Give the people what they want,” Excalibur, er, Patrick said. Gable checked in and had a nice flurry of offense that included a moonsault onto both opponents on the floor and a top rope headbutt on Erik for a near fall.

Valhalla climbed onto the apron and barked at Gable. Dupri pulled Valhalla back to the floor and then suplexed her. In the ring, Erik hit a distracted Gable with a knee to the back and then pinned him…

“The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar defeated “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis in 4:15.

Powell’s POV: The Viking Raiders losing streak is over! I took a quick look at Cagematch.net and this is the first television match the duo has won since March 10.

Judgment Day spoke backstage. They turned on Dom’s mic late and there was some feedback. Dom said it didn’t matter who Cody picked because they wouldn’t be on the same page like they are. Ripley asked Balor and Priest if they are on the same page. “Eh, we’re cool,” Balor said. There was more feedback when Priest spoke. Ripley said good and then added that she had her own business to handle with Natalya. Ripley made her entrance… [C]

Natalya was standing at the Gorilla Position set when Cathy Kelley asked her about how her strategy would be different after Ripley dominated her at Night of Champions. Natalya said that match rocked her to her core. She said she needed to prove to Ripley that she belongs while also proving it to herself. Natalya made her entrance.

Once Natalya climbed onto the apron, she played to the crowd and was attacked from behind by Ripley before the bell. Ripley dominated Natalya at ringside and then threw her inside the ring. The referee called for help rather than calling for the bell to start the match. Ripley hit her Riptide finisher and then a bunch of referees and producers ran in…

Powell’s POV: So Natalya’s character learned nothing from the beating she took at Night of Champions after she was distracted by Dom.

Raquel Rodriguez was interviewed on the Gorilla Position set by Kelley. She said it was an honor to step in the ring with a legend in Trish Stratus. Rodriguez took issue with what Ripley did to Natalya. Ripley returned to the back. Rodriguez told Ripley that she better hopes she doesn’t win because she’s not ready for her. Rodriguez made her entrance… [C]

Cody Rhodes was warming up backstage when Akira Tozawa approached him. Tozawa said that if Cody was still looking for a partner, he was his man. Cody told him he would think about it. Owens and Zayn showed up. Zayn said he got Cody’s text. Zayn said Cody helped them on the road to WrestleMania and they wouldn’t forget that.

Cody said Tozawa would be pissed off. Owens cut in and got all fired up because he thought they were the partners and he would be able to punch people in the face. Cody said they would be the partners. Owens was happy. Zayn and Cody said they would see one another in the main event…

[Hour Three] Trish Stratus and Zoey Stark made their entrance. A pre-tape promo aired with Stratus saying fans were lucky enough to see The GOAT qualify for MITB. She also said she would win MITB, then backtracked to include the possibility of Stark winning MITB too…

6. Trish Stratus (w/Zoey Stark) vs. Raquel Rodriguez in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Rodriguez used an early bearhug and then slammed Stratus to the mat. Trish eventually crawled to the corner and tried to escape, but Rodriguez brought her back to the middle. Stratus slapped Rodriguez, who went back on the offensive until she crashed and burned when Stratus avoided her in the corner. Trish DDT’d Rodriguez and covered her for a near fall.

The broadcast team noted that Stratus was trying to qualify for the first ladder match of her career. She picked up another near fall and then blasted Rodriguez with a punch to the face. Stratus applied a Camel Clutch. Rodriguez powered up to her feet and side slammed Stratus. Rodriguez headbutted Trish and ended up performing Snake Eyes.

Rodriguez blasted Stratus with a wicked suplex and then followed up with a clothesline that sent Stratus to the floor. Rodriguez threw Trish back inside the ring. While the referee was tending to Trish, Stark swept the leg of Rodriguez, which led to a near fall for Stratus.

Becky Lynch ran out and attacked Stark. Lynch threw Stark into the barricade repeatedly. Trish left the ring and went after Lynch, who also threw her into the barricade. The referee called for the bell and disqualified Rodriguez due to Lynch’s interference.

Trish Stratus defeated Raquel Rodriguez by DQ in 5:55 to qualify for Money in the Bank.

Afterward, Lynch tried to explain herself to Rodriguez…

Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping this leads to a Rodriguez heel turn and an eventual feud with Lynch. I thought we might actually see Ripley get involved given the warning that Rodriguez gave her prior to the match. But I like the way that heel Trish qualified for MITB without really earning it.

The broadcast team recapped Balor attacking Rollins, and then hyped Rollins vs. Breakker for the World  Heavyweight Title for Tuesday’s Gold Rush Night One edition of NXT…

Bron Breakker was interviewed on the backstage ring set by Cathy Kelley, who said it’s unclear whether Rollins will be cleared for their match. Breakker said Rollins surely wouldn’t use this as an excuse to get out of their match when he’s talked a big game about being a workhorse. Breakker said he hopes that doctors prescribe Rollins with enough courage to show up on NXT because he will beat him to become the new World Heavyweight Champion…

Powell’s POV: A good promo from Breakker, who continues to find himself as a heel. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to an NXT match as much as I’m looking forward to Rollins vs. Breakker.

Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance for his match against Bronson Reed… [C]

Backstage, Saxton asked Lynch about inadvertently helping Stratus qualify for MITB. Lynch said she has enemies in Damage CTRL and with Trish and Stark in the match. She said she would either climb the huge mountain and win MITB or she would go down in a blaze of glory and take Trish and Zoey with her…

Patrick hyped WWE Payback for Labor Day weekend in Pittsburgh and the updated men’s MITB ladder match… Bronson Reed made his entrance…

7. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed. The bell rang and Nakamura immediately hit Reed with a kick. Reed came back briefly, but Nakamura performed his sliding German suplex. Ricochet showed up at ringside while Nakamura was still on the floor. [C]

Ricochet sat in on commentary. Graves showed him his copy of Trish Stratus’s 110th magazine cover, which he said he was going to get signed. Meanwhile, Reed was on the offensive and knocked Nakamura off the apron. Reed jumped off the apron and hit Reed with a shoulder block.

Reed teased throwing Nakamura back inside the ring, but instead he turned and ran him toward Ricochet, who stood up and held his chair for Nakamura to land in. Nakamura seemed annoyed. Ricochet dared Nakamura to hit him. Reed grabbed Ricochet and shoved him into the ring steps. Reed returned to the ring and avoided a charging Nakamura, who collied with Ricochet, who had climbed onto the apron. Reed suplexed Nakamura and then hit the Tsunami for the win…

Bronson Reed beat Shinsuke Nakamura in roughly 8:30.

Judgment Day was shown talking backstage while Patrick hyped the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s encouraging to see Reed avenge his MITB qualifying match loss by getting the better of Nakamura and Ricochet since then. I’m still not sure what Ricochet’s character is.

Cleveland sports imagery was shown…

Seth Rollins delivered a selfie update from a hospital. He said they made him get X-Rays on his ribs. He said he didn’t really give a damn what the doctors said, he would be at NXT to defend his championship against Bron Breakker. Rollins said the Balor he sees is the guy who beat him seven years ago,. He welcomed him back and said MITB can’t get here soon enough…

The broadcast team hyped the Rollins vs. Breakker match for Tuesday’s NXT Gold Rush themed episode…

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made their entrance for the main event. Cody Rhodes made his own entrance… [C] Patrick hyped Rollins’ appearance on Pat McAfee’s show for Tuesday… The entire Judgment Day faction made their entrance…

8. Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn vs. “Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley). Cody started the match for his team. Dom tagged himself in and teased starting the match with Cody, but then he tagged in Balor instead. Dom eventually ended up in the match and ate a kick from Zayn. Ripley climbed onto the apron and clotheslined Zayn while the referee wasn’t looking. [C]

Zayn was isolated by the heel trio coming out of the break. A cameraman climbed onto to the apron to show Zayn reached out to his partners for a tag before Dom ran over and knocked Cody off the apron. Owens took a hot tag a short time later and put the boots to Dom, who ended up at ringside. Owens brought Dom back inside the ring and hit him with a cannonball in the corner that led to a near fall.

Owens went for a Popup Powerbomb on Dom, but Balor made a blind tag. Balor put Owens down with a sling blade and then ran into a superkick. Cody got back on the apron and begged for the tag, which Owens made. Owens took it to Priest and powerslammed him. Cody followed up with a Disaster Kick for a near fall.

Cody ran up the ropes, but he hopped down when Ripley climbed onto the apron. Dom chokeslammed Cody and had him beat, but Zayn returned to break up the pin. Dom roughed up Zayn for a moment, but Zayn tossed him over the top rope. Dom ended up falling into the arms of Ripley, who then climbed back onto the apron and barked at Zayn.

Zayn ran the ropes and leapt over a ducking Ripley onto Dom with a flip dive on the floor. Cody hit the Cody Cutter on Priest for a good near fall. Owens and Priest ended up fighting at ringside. Priest rolled up Rhodes for a near fall. Priest went for a springboard move that Cody cut off. Cody went for the pin, but Dom broke it up. Owens ran in only to be tossed to ringside by Dom.

Dom set up for a 619 on Cody, but Zayn cut him off. Zayn performed a Helluva Kick on Dom. Owens put Dom down with a Stunner. Cody hit CrossRhodes on Priest and pinned him…

Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn defeated “Judgment Day” Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest in 13:40.

The babyfaces celebrated and then stared down Judgment Day, who glared at them from the entrance aisle. A graphic listed LA Knight, Kayden Carter and Katana Chance, and The Viking Raiders for Raw Talk. In the ring, Owens blew a kiss to the sky (did he pass his anger management test?)…

Powell’s POV: A well worked main event with a hot final sequence that included all three babyfaces hitting their finishers. Priest looked good for kicking out of the Cody Cutter before he ultimately took the loss for his team. It will be interesting to see if Priest being pinned heats up the tension between him and Balor or if that’s on hold until MITB.

Overall, Raw started string with Balor attacking Rollins and the unadvertised return of Tommaso Ciampa. It was pretty routine the rest of the way aside from the newsworthy announcement of Logan Paul being added to MITB and the final women’s MITB qualifier. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Raw 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 June 19 edition

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Readers Comments (15)

  1. TheGreatestOne June 19, 2023 @ 7:17 pm

    Miz shouldn’t be jobbing to Tiny Tom.

  2. TheGreatestOne June 19, 2023 @ 7:42 pm

    Two segments with Finn Balor, a match with Tiny Tom, and now the World’s Shortest Tag Team.

    I thought midget wrestling went out of style in the 80s.

  3. Why does someone hate watch a show? How empty must someone’s life be if they can’t find something better to do

  4. Steve Williams June 19, 2023 @ 8:03 pm

    Jason Powell does good work with these updates,, but he needs to find other adjectives than ‘fun’ to describe matches and events on the show.

  5. sistersalvation June 19, 2023 @ 8:08 pm

    Drinking game idea: Take a shot or chug a beer every time Graves says to put some respect on someone’s name. Christ

  6. sistersalvation June 19, 2023 @ 8:09 pm

    He’s just hoping there will be a Viking Raiders match that he can pull bone to.

  7. No one should be handed anything in wrestling. Terrible. This decision kills my interest in MITB

  8. Useless as basketball cleats. Yeah!!

  9. I always preferred as useless as a “Left-handed football bat” but basketball cleats was good too.

  10. Nice to see the brand separation is officially dead once again.

  11. Logan Paul doesn’t do anything for me. My nephew (15) thinks Logan is a blow hard, so if the TikTok generation is something the WWE is trying to attract, it’s failing miserably. Also, turn Powell’s use of the word “fun” into a drinking game, tell us how you feel tomorrow 😉

  12. Logan Paul winning MITB would be a terrible idea. Logan Paul will win MITB.

  13. Wow, Logan Paul in a MITB match, taking the spot of a wrestler that could have been used that’s there fulltime.
    As for Bron vs. Seth, I still can’t get into matches that have an obvious outcome, which that match obviously does.

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