WWE Raw results (8/21): Powell’s live review of Gunther vs. Chad Gable for the Intercontinental Title, Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle vs. New Day, Shinsuke Nakamura on what he told Seth Rollins


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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,578)
Live from Quebec City, Quebec at Centre Videotron
Aired August 21, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a recap of last week’s Judgment Day related segments… Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were on commentary…

Sami Zayn’s entrance theme played and he made his entrance while the live crowd sang his entrance theme. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin introduced Zayn as one-half of the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, and Zayn had his title belts around his waist.

Zayn got a Quebec flag and draped it around his neck while standing on the middle rope. The crowd roared and then chanted his name. Cole and Barrett checked in from ringside and noted that it was a homecoming of sorts for Zayn, who stood in the ring and soaked up the great crowd reaction.

Zayn fired up in the crowd and showed off the goosebumps on his arm from the crowd’s cheers. The crowd sang “Ole” while Zayn smiled and took it all in. Another loud “Sami” chant followed. Zayn spoke briefly in French while welcoming viewers to Monday Night Raw.

The “Judgment Day” theme played and then Damian Priest, Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, and Finn Balor headed to ringside and surrounded the ring. Zayn said he had only one question. He spoke in French. The fans roared. “Did you really think I would come here, of all places, alone?” Zayn asked.

Kevin Owens made his entrance to another big reaction. Dom dropped off the apron and met Owens at ringside. Owens destroyed Dom. Balor ran the ropes inside the ring and was tripped by Owens, who pulled him to the floor and ran him into the barricade. Priest tried to chokeslam Zayn, who slipped away, and then Owens put Priest down with a Stunner. Cole said the tag team champions were back in force.

Zayn picked up the mic and handed it to Owens. The crowd chanted Owens’ name. “It’s been far too long since I’ve had a match on Raw,” Owens said. He proposed a match against any two members of Judgment Day. Owens spoke in French and tossed the mic aside…

Powell’s POV: The crowd made the segment with their home province love for Zayn and Owens. That was fun. For those who missed it, Owens returned on Friday night after Smackdown went off the air. He had been sidelined by a rib injury.

Cole openly pulled for Adam Pearce to make the match official. Cole and Barrett spoke about the previously advertised matches and segments…

“New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance for their match against Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle heading into the first commercial break… [C]

Cole touted that over 90,000 tickets have already been sold for WrestleMania 40 while mainstream headlines touting the success were displayed… Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle made separate entrances. Yes, McIntyre still had his stupid sword…

1. “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle. McIntyre performed suplexes that sent both New Day members to ringside. Riddle hugged McIntyre, who then suplexed Riddle over the top rope onto Kingston and Woods on the floor. [C]

Riddle was isolated by New Day coming out of the break. Kingston jumped off the top rope and was drilled with a knee to the face. Woods tagged in and prevented Riddle from tagging out. Riddle came back moments later with a fisherman’s suplex from the ropes.

Riddle crawled to his corner, but Woods grabbed his ankle. Erik from The Viking Raiders pulled McIntyre off the apron. Kingston tagged in and hit Riddle with Trouble in Paradise, which led to the pinfall.

“New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated Drew McIntyre and Matt Riddle in 9:30.

Afterward, Erik and Ivar attacked both teams. McIntyre eventually cleared them to ringside on his own. Valhalla was on the floor and yelled at McIntyre, who barked back at her…

Powell’s POV: The idea was that New Day was unaware of McIntyre being pulled to the floor by Erik. I’m all for the Viking Raiders being rebuilt, but it won’t surprise me if they are just fed to both teams.

Backstage, Jackie Redmond interviewed JD McDonagh and Finn Balor. Redmond asked McDonagh about his relationship with Balor and whether it adds to the tension between Balor and the other Judgment Day members. McDonagh said Balor is like a brother and he hopes it makes his relationship with the group stronger. Balor accused Redmond of trying to stir the pot.

Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio showed up. Ripley told Balor that they had to talk about which two members of Judgment Day would face Owens and Zayn. McDonagh tried to join them, but Ripley stopped him and told him it was Judgment Day business. The tag team match was listed as the show’s main event… [C]

A Shayna Baszler video package aired and included footage of her SummerSlam win over Ronda Rousey. She said she’s not here to be your hero, she’s there to put it all on the line and set it all on fire. She said your only hope is to survive. “Let the world burn,” Baszler closed…

Footage aired from “earlier today” of Gunther delivering a promo about his title defense against Chad Gable. Gunther said he respects Gable’s accomplishments, but he won’t make a name for himself at Gunther’s expense. Gunther said Gable’s fairytale story would end tonight…

Byron Saxton spoke with Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri on the backstage interview set. Otis and Dupri sang Gable’s praises. Gable said there was only one thing left to say. Gable did his “thank you” bit to a flat reaction and then headed to the ring on his own… [C]

John Cena’s appearance on the September 1 Smackdown was touted by the broadcast team. They also said he would be on the “huge live event” in India a week later…

Gunther made his entrance. Cole said Gunther was 18 days away from breaking Honky Tonk Man’s streak for longest Intercontinental Title reign…

2. Gunther vs. Chad Gable for the Intercontinental Championship. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Gunther picked up Gable and tossed him to ringside heading into an early break. [C]

[Hour Two] Gunther caught Gable in a sleeper, but Gable slipped out of it and suplexed Gunther. Gable followed up with a dragon screw leg whip and then applied an ankle lock. Gunther reached for the ropes, but Gable pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Gunther kicked his way out of the hold.

Gable executed a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Gable went to the ropes, but Gunther shoved him to the floor. Gunther went to ringside and hit Gable with a big boot and some chops. Gable avoided a chop, causing Gunther to chop the ring post. Gable suplexed Gunther into the timekeepers area.

Chad Gable defeated Gunther via count-out in 13:05 in an Intercontinental Title match.

Cole said Gable is the first person to beat Gunther in a singles match since Gunther “arrived on the scene” a year-and-a-half ago. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci showed up and barked at Samantha Irvin until she announced that Gunther was still the Intercontinental Champion…

Powell’s POV: The expected strong match with an unexpected finish. I assumed Gable would lose clean and Gunther would move on. I love the idea of giving Gable a win and presumably setting a rematch that will be closer to the date when Gunther has a chance to break the record for longest Intercontinental Championship reign.

The Judgment Day members sat in a dark room and debated which wrestlers should face Owens and Zayn. Balor and Priest both made their case for teaming with Dom, who sheepishly said he thinks they are both amazing. Ripley told them to make the decision before she and Dom returned or she would make it for them…

Cody Rhodes was shown talking with Byron Saxon in a backstage area… [C]

Backstage, Gunther chewed out Kaiser and Vinci and stormed away. Once Gunther walked away, Kaiser said they had to make it right. Kaiser asked Vinci what he was going to do and then walked away…

Powell’s POV: A similar situation played out at my house over the weekend when I lost a game of Madden and my dogs were forced to listen to me vent. And I don’t even own the new Madden yet!

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Byron Saxton backstage. Cody took issue with Finn Balor sitting on him “like a piece of furniture” at the end of last week’s Raw. He also mentioned that JD McDonagh’s head on his little body makes him look like a Funko Pop.

Cody said this setting wasn’t working, then led Saxton through the backstage area and onto the main stage. Cody asked Quebec in French what they wanted to talk about. Saxton asked Cody what he wanted to talk about. Rhodes welcomed Cole and Barrett to Raw. Cody said it was like a JBL Show reunion and gave a shoutout to “the cowboy.”

Cody spoke about how Judgment Day has the numbers game on their side and said you have to respect it. Cody said if there’s one place where those numbers don’t matter, it’s down the road from where Owens and Zayn grew up. Cody played up that he would be in the corner of Owens and Zayn during the main event. Cody said we would watch Judgment Day rise and fall…

Cole played up the question of what Shinsuke Nakamura told Seth Rollins last week. A video aired with Nakamura speaking in Japanese while subtitles were used. He said Rollins is a man who acts like he has it all. Nakamura said he knows Rollins and he knows his weakness.

Nakamura said he whispered to Rollins that he knows about his back. Nakamura said Rollins’ back has been broken for many years and he lives in pain. He said Rollins’ pain has created a void that nothing can fill. He spoke about what Rollins has and said he still lives in pain. Nakamura said he can break Rollins once and for all.

Nakamura said that he and Rollins are not so different. He said they live by a code that others do not. Nakamura said Rollins has the code displayed on his back (the Japanese tattoo). Nakamura said Seth’s body has crumbled under the pressure of his own vanity. “Are you satisfied, Seth?” Nakamura asked. He said he would not be satisfied until he takes this burden away from Rollins. “Watch your back,” Nakamura closed…

Cole announced Rollins vs. Nakamura for the World Heavyweight Championship for the WWE Payback event on September 2…

Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance… [C] A video hyped John Cena’s return for the September 1 edition of Smackdown…

Powell’s POV: The Nakamura video was great. I have no idea why it’s taken the company so long to use subtitles for him and others whose first language is not English. I guess this means Rollins will be selling his back a lot more going forward.

Ripley and Dom were still in the ring coming out of the break. The broadcast team hyped their mixed tag match for Tuesday’s NXT Heatwave episode. Candice LeRae made her entrance and was accompanied by Indi Hartwell…

3. Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. Candice LeRae (w/Indi Hartwell) in a non-title match. LeRae got Ripley down and hit her with a springboard moonsault for a near fall. Ripley came back and caught LeRae in a submission hold for the win.

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley defeated Candice LeRae in 1:20 in a non-title match.

After the match, Raquel Rodriguez came out using a crutch. Ripley and Dom laughed at her. Raquel threw the crutch at Ripley and then hit her with a big boot. Rodriguez threw Ripley into the barricade and then inside the ring. Ripley fought back, but Rodriguez dominated the fight and put Ripley down with a clothesline. Rodriguez followed up with a fallaway slam. Ripley rolled out of the ring.

Rodriguez got a mic and announced that she was medically cleared to compete. Rodriguez said she spoke with Adam Pearce and she will challenge Ripley at WWE Payback. Rodriguez said she would take the Women’s World Championship from Ripley…

Powell’s POV: Ripley went over strong in her match, which was what it needed to be. The post match angle was pretty good even if it was pretty obvious that Rodriguez wasn’t as injured as she was letting on. I look forward to seeing Ripley vs. Rodriguez at Payback.

The broadcast team recapped Austin Theory beating LA Knight thanks to a Miz distraction on Smackdown…

The Miz made his entrance… [C] Cole plugged Undertaker’s upcoming one-man shows…

Tommaso Ciampa sat backstage in front of a brick wall. He said it had been nine weeks since he returned to Raw. He said it had been a long 63 days to reflect on the man he’s been since he returned. Ciampa said he’d be lying if he didn’t want the Intercontinental Title opportunity that Chad Gable beat him for. He spoke about how he nearly had Nakamura defeated. He said the pressure is like oxygen and he’s dying to take a breath. He said do it yourself and added that he’s here to take over. Ciampa stood up and kicked his chair out of the way, just as he did in NXT…

The Miz stood in the ring and told the crowd that Maryse is from Montreal and would never come to Quebec City. Funny. He spoke of Knight losing on Smackdown and said everyone is blaming him. Miz said Knight fails to realize that there’s no room for excuses on the big show. Miz said The Rock messed with his match at WrestleMania and he was still able to retain his title.

Miz said people will remember him 20 years from now as a game changer and a trend setter. He said 20 years from now, people will remember LA Knight as a blip on the radar and as the Hoobastank of WWE. Miz said Adam Pearce let him handpick his opponent. He said it was someone bigger, stronger, and faster than anyone Knight has faced.

Akira Tozawa made his entrance as Miz’s opponent. Miz introduced Tozawa and recalled him being a former WWE 24/7 Champion. Miz said it’s too bad that title doesn’t exist anymore because it would be perfect for Knight because it’s also a relic from the Attitude Era.

Tozawa answered with a “yeah” whenever Miz asked him a question. Miz got upset and booted him in the face. Miz called for the bell to ring…

4. The Miz vs. Akira Tozawa. Once the bell rang, LA Knight made his entrance. Tozawa dropkicked a distracted Miz to ringside. Miz returned to the ring and ran after Tozawa, who held the top rope down, causing Miz to tumble to the floor. Tozawa hit Miz with a suicide dive. Knight leaned down and said “Yeah” as the show went to break. [C]

Knight was on commentary and mocked Miz for recalling the Attitude Era when “he was a background singer for John Cena and The Rock.” He also mocked Miz for repeatedly complaining about the way he was treated when he first arrived in WWE.

In the ring, Tozawa connected with a shining wizard. Tozawa went to the ropes and was booted to ringside by Miz, who went to the floor and jawed at Knight. Miz tried to run Tozawa into the broadcast table, but Tozawa jumped on it and then performed a huracanrana that caused Miz to awkwardly bump into the steps.

Tozawa sent Miz back inside the ring and then went for a top rope move, but Miz put his knees up. Miz looked at Knight and mocked him while setting up for his finisher. Tozawa hooked Miz into a pin and got the three count.

Akira Tozawa defeated The Miz in roughly 7:00.

Afterward, Miz argued with the referee. Knight entered the ring and put Miz down with his BFT finisher. Knight left the ring, then returned and placed a tissue next to Miz…

Powell’s POV: A little payback for Knight, and a cute win for Tozawa.

Backstage, Riddle pleaded with McIntyre, who told him that their tag team wasn’t going to work out. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods showed up. Woods said Riddle and McIntyre had a good thing going and shouldn’t give up. Woods suggested they call themselves “McRiddle.”

“I’m loving it,” Kingston added. Woods said he and Kingston are facing The Viking Raiders next week and would love to run back their match. Riddle asked McIntyre to team up one more time. McIntyre pointed at him and walked away. “That wasn’t a no,” Riddle said…

Becky Lynch made her entrance while Cole hyped her cage match with Trish Stratus for WWE Payback… [C]

Backstage, Ripley and Dom asked Priest if he was able to work things out with Balor. Priest said no because Balor didn’t trust him and told him to talk to McDonagh. Ripley got upset and said she tried things their way and now they would do things her way…

Cole hyped that the Lynch vs. Trish Stratus feud “will finally end” at WWE Payback…

[Hour Three] Lynch stood in the ring and said there had been a lot of talk about who is the best during her feud with Stratus. Lynch spoke about what you’re in control of and what you’re not in control of and turning lemons into lemonade. She said her legacy won’t be defined by championships, it will be defined by survival.

Lynch said you can break her bones and ligaments, but she will always come back. Lynch said she’s unstoppable because she always fights. Lynch started to talk about how she had unfinished business with Zoey Stark and mentioned that she’d spoken with Adam Pearce.

Trish Stratus and Zoey Stark came out. Stratus said it was nice to be in Canada and complained of having to deal with “USA-holes.” Stratus spoke to the crowd in French for a moment, then said it meant nothing to be in Quebec City because it’s not Toronto or even Montreal.

Stratus and Stark entered the ring. She said she wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for “this sourpuss.” She said she would have “made like Trudeau and split.” The crowd chanted something in French. Stratus said she didn’t even know what they were saying.

Stratus said she would prove she’s the greatest of all-time whens he beats Lynch. Stratus said she’s never fought in a steel cage before. Lynch said Stratus looked scared. Stratus said she was scared. She also said she was scared when she was thrown in the ring for the first time at age 24, but she killed it. The same goes for when she was the first woman to main event Raw.

The crowd chanted in French again. “What are all these frogs doing?” Stratus said. Stratus said Lynch would see a side of her that she’s never seen before. “You’re not going to surprise this one, bitch,” Stratus said. Lynch said she was so scared.

Lynch announced that she would be facing Stark in a Falls Count Anywhere match next week on Raw. “Welcome to the big time,” Lynch said…

Powell’s POV: A rough segment. Trish was all over the place and her promo had no rhythm.

Backstage, Saxton spoke with WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. Green said she was authorized to come up with a new partner once Sonya Deville was injured. Niven was annoyed by Green and ended the promo. They made their entrance for a match against Kayden Carter and Katana Chance… [C]

A Piper Niven video aired… Carter and Chance made their entrance…

5. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance in a non-title match. Cole said over 92,000 tickets have already been sold for WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia and emphasized that there are still tickets available.

Carter and Chance executed a nice double team move on Green, but the referee didn’t count the pin because she didn’t see them tag. Niven pulled Carter to ringside and ran her into the broadcast table. Back in the ring, Niven hit Chance with a crossbody block splash and scored the pin.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven beat Kayden Carter and Katana Chance in 1:35 in a non-title match.

After the match, Green remained on the match selling her injuries while no nonsense Niven held both title belts. Niven eventually passed the belts to Green and then hoisted her up on her shoulders and carried her to the back…

Powell’s POV: A quick showcase for Niven. It just sucks that the women’s tag team division is so thin that they beat one of the only true tag teams.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were shown preparing for the main event. Barrett questioned which two members of Judgment Day they would face… An ad aired for a Kurt Angle documentary on Peacock… [C] Quebec imagery was shown…

Seth Rollins was interviewed by Jackie Redmond on the backstage interview set. Rollins encouraged the crowd to sing his song, which they did. Redmond asked Rollins about what Nakamura said about his back. Rollins took a turn for the serious and said he does have two fractures in his lumbar spine. He said he’s been living with it for over four years.

Rollins said it’s something that will get worse and he doesn’t know much longer he’ll be able to do things at the level he’s currently running at. Rollins said that’s part of the gig. He got fired up about Nakamura bringing up his wife and daughter and said that Nakamura better be prepared to face him man to man.

Rollins said Nakamura wasn’t even at Raw, he was in a TV studio thousands of miles away. Rollins said he was going to give Nakamura one more chance to play his little mind games. He said he could prove to the world that he’s an honorable warrior. Rollins said he would be in the center of the ring, dressed to the nines, with the world title wrapped around his waist, with the whole world chanting his song…

Cole recapped Gable beating Gunther via count-out earlier in the show…

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made their entrances for the main event… [C] Cole announced that The Viking Raiders, Chelsea Green and Piper Niven, and Akira Tozawa will appear on Raw Talk…

The broadcast team listed the following matches for next week’s Raw: Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark in a Falls Count Anywhere match, and Chad Gable vs. Ludwig Kaiser…

The Judgment Day entrance theme played. Damian Priest walked out with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Rhea Ripley dragged Finn Balor out with her. Ripley shoved both men and told them she’s sick of it and told them to get it done. They headed to the ring and fought with Owens and Zayn…

6. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor and Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio) in a non-title match. Owens sent both heels to ringside and then followed them to the floor and clotheslined both men.

Owens took out Balor in the ring, then performed a cannonball off the apron onto Priest. Owens returned to the ring and executed a top rope Swanton on Balor. Owens went for a Stunner, but Balor shoved him off and hit him with a sling blade clothesline.

Priest grabbed his MITB briefcase. Zayn dove off the steps and took out Priest. JD McDonagh showed up and picked up the briefcase. McDonagh tried to pass the briefcase to Balor, but Owens intercepted it and his Balor with it for the disqualification finish.

Finn Balor and Damian Priest defeated Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn by DQ in 2:35 in a non-title match.

After the match, Priest barked at McDonagh and told him that he would tear his head off. Zayn hit McDonagh. Judgment Day put the boots to Owens and Zayn. The crowd chanted for Cody Rhodes, who ran out holding his weight belt, which he struck Dom with. The heels fled to ringside. Rhodes said they weren’t ending Raw like that. He called for an immediate six-man tag match. Adam Pearce walked out and made the match official… [C]

7. Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley). The match was joined in progress coming out of the commercial break. The heel trio isolated Owens heading into a break. [C]

Late in the match, Zayn was weary when Dom went for a frog splash. Zayn put his knees up and was able to make a hot tag to Cody, who hit a double Cody Cutter on Dom and Priest, which led to him getting an near fall on Dom. Cody set up for his finisher. Balor ran in, so Cody released Dom and hit the move on Balor instead. Dom rolled up Cody for a two count.

Cody hit Dom with CrossRhodes. Dom stumbled into his corner. Cody tagged in Zayn. Owens tagged in before Zayn hit Dom with a Helluva Kick. Owens followed up with a kick and a Stunner before pinning Dom to win the match for his team.

Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn beat Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio in 14:25.

After the match, the babyfaces celebrated their victory. The Judgment Day faction stood together near the entrance aisle. Zayn got a mic and told them better luck next time. Zayn spoke in French and got a pop from the live crowd. Cole closed the show by thanking viewers for watching…

Powell’s POV: A crowd pleasing main event with a great finishing sequence. There were no real Judgment Day developments and they were together afterward, but every week it feels like we’re a step closer to the end or at least a change. It was good to see Owens back and looking fully recovered from his rib injury.

Overall, was it just me or did it feel like this show dragged more than usual? Three hours is a long time and the company has been doing a much better job of filling all three hours, but for some reason this episode felt like more of a marathon than usual. It wasn’t bad, it just felt long for some reason. I will have more to say about Raw in 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 (5)

  1. So is Drew teaming with Riddle because Orton’s not ready yet?

  2. Judgment Day = Good
    New Day = That Milk Expired in 2019
    Gable vs Gunther = Old school brilliance in a New school match.

  3. Drew being punished or did he not resign so he is being buried in the way out the door?

    Whatever it is. It’s just awful

  4. Did you not see Owens in anguish grabbing his ribs after the match? Sure looked like he reinjured himself.

    • I did. It may have been selling. He had his ribs run into the barricade when the heels isolated him and he cam up selling the rib injury. It’s hard to tell. You can usually go back and pinpoint a lot of other injuries, but aggravating a rib injury can be as simple as just moving the wrong way.

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