WWE Raw results (9/11): Powell’s live review of Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez for the Women’s World Championship, Cody Rhodes’ appearance, Gunther’s Intercontinental Title reign celebration

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

WWE Raw (Episode 1,581)
Norfolk, Virginia at Scope Arena
Aired live September 11, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] The Raw opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were on commentary and pushed the Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez match for the Women’s World Championship with Dominik Mysterio barred from ringside along with other previously advertised segments…

Jey Uso made his entrance to a strong reaction. He said it felt good to be out of The Bloodline and on his own, and to be on Monday Night Raw.

Kevin Owens made his entrance. Owens said that Jey is now on the KO Show. He said he’s been where Uso has been. He said there are a lot of people who don’t want Jey on Raw. He mentioned Matt Riddle and Drew McIntyre and said they weren’t alone.

Owens said Cody Rhodes wanted him there and Sami Zayn welcomed him with open arms, but that’s it. Owens said Jey had to to prove to him that he’s not the same guy he was when he ran with The Bloodline.

The Judgment Day theme played and then Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, and Damian Priest walked out. Balor asked who Owens was to talk to Jey that way. Balor said the Judgment Day respects Jey. Priest said Owens doesn’t speak for the locker room or Judgment Day as the trio entered the ring.

Priest said he knew that Jey would need some time. He said Dom said no to Judgment Day a thousand times, but now he’s the best he’s ever been. Dom tried to speak and it sounded like his mic was turned way down while the fans booed. Dom told Jey not to let Owens questions his character.

Priest said there was supposed to be a match with Zayn and questioned where he was. Owens said Zayn wasn’t there and that’s why he was dressed for a fight. Jey said he would fight with him and recalled Owens saying he had to earn his respect. Jey called for him and Owens to face Judgment Day. Owens hesitated and then said, “Let’s do it.”

Jey superkicked Dom. Owens tackled Priest. Jey fought Balor and then tossed him out of the ring. Owens and Jey stood tall while the heels regrouped at ringside heading into the first commercial break… [C]

1. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso in a non-title match. Balor offered Jey a handshake, which Jey had no interest in. A few minutes into the match, Jey performed an early dive over the top rope onto both opponents. Dom took a shot at the bad knee of Owens. [C]

Jey went for a top rope splash on Balor, who put his knees up. Owens checked in and set up for a cannonball on Priest, but he clutched his knee. Owens was able to hit a tornado DDT on Priest moments later, which resulted in a two count.

Balor checked in and took a middle rope brainbuster from Owens, who had the pin, but Priest broke it up. Priest stuffed a Stunner from Owens. Jey tried to superkick Priest, who moved, causing Owens to take the superkick. Priest and Owens fought to ringside while Balor hit the Coup De Grace on Owens and pinned him…

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest defeated Kevin Owens and Jey Uso in 12:30 in a non-title match.

After the match, Cole said that what happened with Jey seemed innocent enough, but people don’t trust him due to his history. Jey tried to talk to Owens, who glared at him and then limped to the back without him…

Powell’s POV: I held off on commenting on the opening segment because I was hoping it wouldn’t be as simple as Jey and KO making peace in just one promo segment. The match finish prolonged their tension while also giving the new tag team champions a nice win. Nicely done.

Raquel Rodriguez was shown talking with Natalya in the backstage area. Cole hyped the Women’s World Championship match for later in the show… [C]

Backstage, Jey tried to apologize to Owens, who told him to find his new Bloodline. Owens said they are in the Judgment Day locker room and told Jey to dye his hair purple…

Cole and Barrett set up a video package on the Gunther vs. Chad Gable match from last week’s Raw…

Giovanni Vinci drove a black car into the backstage parking area. Ludwig Kaiser exited the passenger seat, and then Gunther exited the backseat. All three men were dressed in suits and Gunther was in a celebratory mood…

Ring announcer Samatha Irvin introduced The Miz, who made his entrance for a match against Akira Tozawa. The broadcast team was shown at their desk. Cole set up a brief video package honoring the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks… [C]

2. The Miz vs. Akira Tozawa. A portion of Tozawa’s entrance was shown coming out of the break. Miz took offensive control early and threw some kicks. Tozawa came back briefly, but Miz cut him off with a knee strike. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. He picked up Tozawa and hit the move again. Miz picked up Tozawa a third time and said “M-I-Z” before hitting a third Skull Crushing Finale and scoring the pin…

The Miz beat Akira Tozawa in 2:15.

Powell’s POV: I wasn’t a fan of Tozawa beating Miz even in flukey fashion, so I’m all for them running this back and giving Miz a dominant win. If they want Knight’s beating Miz to mean something, then Miz actually needs to mean something as a wrestler.

Byron Saxton stood in the backstage area and hyped Miz vs. LA Knight for Friday’s Smackdown and then spoke with Raquel Rodriguez. Saxton asked what was going through her mind going into her title shot. Rodriguez said Rhea Ripley might be the most dominant women to ever step in the ring. Rodriguez said people lose to fear before the bell rings for matches with Ripley, but she’s not like most people. Rodriguez said Ripley would get a taste of her own medicine…

Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci made their entrance for the celebration of Gunther’s record breaking title reign… [C]

Jackie Redmond interviewed Shayna Baszler on the backstage ring set. Baszler said Zoey Stark surprised her in their match last week. Chelsea Green showed up and said she was looking for a partner because Piper Niven isn’t medically cleared. Baszler said she could meet Green in the ring and show her limb by limb exactly how large the gap is between them.

Green turned around and Piper Niven was standing there. Green said she was happy to see her and knew she was coming back tonight. Niven took one of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Title belts and said “medically cleared” before walking away…

Powell’s POV: Curse broken?!?

[Hour Two] Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci stood in the ring where they had two pillars set up with a podium in between. Kaiser introduced Gunther, who made his entrance dressed in a suit. Once in the ring, Gunther stood on top of the podium and delivered his promo.

Gunther boasted that he is now the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history. Gunther told the fans that they contributed nothing. He said he elevated the title to heights never seen before. Gunther said he seems to be running out of competition and is only competing against himself.

Chad Gable’s entrance theme interrupted Gunther. Gable walked out with a mic in hand and spoke on the stage. Gable said they had a main event for the ages. He said the world won’t stop talking about it. Gable said he was still feeling it this morning. Gable walked to ringside and congratulated Gunther for winning their match.

Gunther told Gable to enter the ring and say what he had to say to him. Gable entered the ring and said he saw the look on Gunther’s face and it said that no one has come as close to beating him as Gable did. Gable said he saw the same look on the faces of his entire family, including his oldest daughter Briella, who had tears caused by Gunther.

Gable said Gunther lit a fire in him that won’t burn out until he makes everything right. Gable said he beat Gunther once and will beat him again. Gable said he didn’t know when, where, or how, but he would get another title shot. He swore to God that he would win the championship for himself, his career, and his family. Gable also swore that his daughter would walk out with a smile on her face.

Gunther asked if Gable wanted another opportunity to have his family travel to the show and see him take the biggest beating of his life. Gunther accused Gable of using his kids as bait. Gunther said Gable pushed him to his limits, but he’s a disgusting, terrible father.

Gable punched Gunther. Kaiser and Vinci intervened and held Gable while Gunther hit him. Otis ran out and cleared

Kaiser and Vinci from the ring momentarily, but the numbers game was too much. Tommaso Ciampa ran out with a chair and chased off the Imperium trio…

Powell’s POV: I couldn’t take my eyes off those wobbling pillars during the brawl. Anyway, I’m pleasantly surprised that Gable will apparently get another title shot. I assumed that last week’s match was the end of the feud.

Cole recapped footage of the issues involving Drew McIntyre and the New Day duo of Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods…

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Woods approaching McIntyre and asking him why he was talking trash about Kingston. McIntyre said he had a lot on his mind. He added that if Kingston mans up and grows a set, he could come talk to him.

Woods stopped McIntyre from leaving. He accused McIntyre of being upset that Kingston won his world championship in front of “82,000 screaming bodies” at WrestleMania, whereas McIntyre on his in an empty WWE Performance Center. McIntyre said he didn’t want to hurt Woods, but then promised that whatever happens tonight wouldn’t be an accident, it would be because of him…

Xavier Woods made his entrance… [C] Cole hyped Cody Rhodes’ appearance on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast, which is available on Peacock…

Jackie Redmond spoke with Ciampa and Alpha Academy in the backstage area. Ciampa said Adam Pearce told him last week to sieze his moment. Ciampa said there wasn’t a bigger moment that Gunther celebrating his record reign. Gable said he hates Imperium. Otis called for a six-man tag match. Gable asked Ciampa what he thought. Ciampa walked away and then Gable told Otis that he assumed Ciampa was in…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance with his stupid sword…

3. Drew McIntyre vs. Xavier Woods. Woods to a little offense to start, but McIntyre put him down with a Glasgow Kiss. Woods battled back and went for a dive onto McIntyre on the floor, but McIntyre caught him and threw him onto the broadcast table. [C]

Woods hit a top rope leg drop for a near fall. McIntyre fought back and counted down for his finisher, but Woods cut him off with a superkick and got another two count. McIntyre stuffed another superkick and then chopped Woods, who fell to the mat. McIntyre attempted an Alabama Slam, but Woods countered into a rollup. Woods threw another kick and performed a couple of senton splashes for another two count.

A “this is awesome” chant broke out while both wrestlers traded forearms. Woods ran the ropes and ducked a couple of McIntyre moves. Woods continued to run the ropes and ran into a Claymore Kick, which led to McIntyre getting the three count.

Drew McIntyre defeated Xavier Woods in 9:45.

After the match, McIntyre went to the stage and said it didn’t have to be that way…

Powell’s POV: This was more competitive than I expected it to be and it turned out to be a good match. Woods has ditched the awful trombone and seems to be taking a more serious approach. Meanwhile, all signs point to McIntyre turning and becoming the top heel on the Raw brand.

Rhea Ripley was shown seated backstage next to her title belt. Cole hyped the Women’s World Championship match as the Raw main event. Barrett said Cody Rhodes would appear after the break… [C] Cole hyped the Connor’s Cure charity drive…

Cody Rhodes made his entrance and asked, “What do we want to talk about?” Cody said they would talk about Jey Uso. Before he could say more, Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh made their entrance. Dom spoke over the booking crowd and said he wanted to talk about how happy he is that Cody brought Jey Uso to Raw.

Dom and McDonagh entered the ring and said that Jey would join Judgment Day and make Cody look like a fool. Dom told Cody that there isn’t a thing that Cody can do about it. Dom toyed with Cody’s necktie until Cody punched him.

McDonagh hit Cody from behind. Cody cleared McDonagh from the ring and then hit the Cody Cutter on Dom. McDonagh rushed back to the ring and took CrossRhodes. When Dom stood up, Cody put him down with CrossRhodes. The heels fled the ring while Cody stood tall to end the segment. “I want to know what Cody was going to say,” Barrett said…

Powell’s POV: You’re not alone, Wade. Cody beating up two heels was a crowd pleasing moment for sure, but I was hoping that the Cody character would explain why he pushed for Jey to come to Raw. I think most people assume that Cody will end up being moved to Smackdown in exchange for Jey, but it feels like it’s only something they talk about on the Friday night show.

Backstage, McIntyre stopped Jey Uso and told him that he doesn’t trust him. Jey said cool. McIntyre said Jey can’t stand on his own two feet after being with his brother and then the Bloodline. Jey said it sounded like McIntyre wanted to right some wrongs and suggested a match for next week. McIntyre accepted…

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven made their entrance… [C] Shayna Baszler made her entrance to a flat reaction…

4. Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green (w/Piper Niven). Baszler put Green down with a back suplex and then did her elbow stomp. Baszler applied an armbar. Green broke free and scrambled to the floor by Niven. Baszler went to ringside. Niven jawed with Baszler, who shoved her before returning to the ring. Green rolled up Baszler for a two count. Green went for her finisher, but Baszler stuffed it and hit an Exterminator (Piper’s Pit) and scored the pin.

Shayna Baszler defeated Chelsea Green in 1:50.

After the match, Niven and Baszler fought. Zoey Stark came out and drilled Niven with a kick. Bazler hit Green with a knee strike. Baszler and Stark approached Niven, who rolled out of the ring…

Powell’s POV: I’d love to think that Baszler and Stark didn’t destroy Niven because they want her to join them in a killer heel faction. I don’t know if that’s what they had in mind, but the women’s division clearly needs strong heel singles wrestlers way more than it needs two tag teams.

A Shinsuke Nakamura video package aired with subtitles. He asked if people would still sing Seth Rollins’ song if they remember the things he’s done. Footage aired of Rollins ending The Shield. Nakamura said the road to Seth’s success is lined with the bodies of those who trusted him. Nakamura said Rollins believes the weak exist to be consumed by the strong. Nakamura called Rollins a manipulator, a deceiver, and a liar. He said Rollins brings shame upon his family and he has no remorse. Nakamura said he will strip Rollins of his title and expose the lies he claims to stand for. Nakamura said he will challenge Rollins “when I feel like it.” Nakamura laughed…

Powell’s POV: Another good Nakamura video. I was hoping we’d get something announced for WWE Fastlane tonight, but that promo left me assuming that won’t happen until next week.

World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins made his entrance… [C]

Rollins said he is all the things that Nakamura claimed that he is. Rollins said he’s also a father.

[Hour Three] Rollins said he’s a fighter and your World Heavyweight Champion. He said there was a time when he didn’t know who he was. He said he surrounded himself with people who lied to him when he was in The Authority. He talked about trying to be what the fans wanted and he finally figured out what that was – “myself”.

Rollins said he can now look his daughter in the eyes, be at peace with his past, and be proud of his future. Rollins said the fans didn’t come to see him talk, they wanted to see him fight. Rollins recalled Nakamura not accepting his challenge and said he thinks their Payback match took more out of him than he was letting on. Rollins got fired up and called out Nakamura to face him.

Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music played, but he didn’t come out. Rollins wisely looked around for him. Nakamura appeared on the big screen and was beating up Ricochet. Nakamura said Rollins’ has bad timing. He said Rollins isn’t medically cleared, so he fought already. Nakamura put the boots to Ricochet. “So sorry, I will take your title, but not today.” Rollins was shown standing in the ring…

Powell’s POV: Rollins showed no interest in trying to save Ricochet. But can you really blame him?

Finn Balor spoke to Jey Uso in the backstage area and said they were both professionals and what happens in the ring stays in the ring. Balor said he saw what Uso did to Kevin Owens and he thought it was very nice. Balor said it didn’t seem like Drew McIntyre was a fan of Jey, but he and the rest of Judgment Day are. Balor told Jey that the doors to The Judgment Day are always open…

The Alpha Academy trio made their entrance… [C] Cole congratulated Coco Gauff for winning the U.S. Open and showed a split screen shot of her celebrating with the trophy and another of her with a replica WWE Championship belt over her shoulder while holding the trophy… Tommaso Ciampa and Imperium made their entrances…

Powell’s POV: You know, I’m starting to feel slighted that WWE never sent a replica title belt to my beer league softball team when we won the fall league in back-to-back seasons a few years ago. Okay, several years ago. Fine, many, many years ago. Just shut up.

5. “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Chad Gable, and Otis (w/Maxxine Dupri). Imperium isolated Gable and had him draped over the middle rope while they struck their pose heading into a break. [C]

Ciampa took a hot tag and worked over Vinci. Ciampa knocked Gunther off the apron with a knee strike and then picked up a two count on Vinci. Otis tagged in and ended up hitting the Caterpillar on Kaiser. Gunther tagged in after Otis crashed and burned in his own corner. Gable also tagged in.

Gunther stuffed a Gable suplex and then put him down with a German suplex of his own. Gunther went for a powerbomb, but Gable countered into an ankle lock. Gunther was able to take in Vinci, who performed a crossbody block. Gable rolled through it and applied an ankle lock that Vinci escaped.

Gable hit the Chaos Theory on Vinci and had him beat, but Gunther broke up the pin. Moments later, Gable caught Vinci in the ankle lock again. Gunther tried to break it up, but Ciampa caught him in a submission hold. Vinci tapped out…

Tommaso Ciampa, Chad Gable, and Otis beat “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci in 13:30.

Powell’s POV: It feels like the fans like Gable, but they don’t believe he will be the guy who upsets Gunther. It’s hard to blame them because Gunther has been so dominant while Gable is still one-half of a comedy tag team.

Backstage, Balor told the other Judgement Day members that they had to keep the pressure on Jey Uso. Damian Priest said the more Jey feels isolated, the more he’ll need Judgment Day. Rhea Ripley agreed and said they always come around like Dominik Mysterio did. Dom said he wished he could be at ringside for Ripley. She said she wished he could be too, but she would handle her business. “Mami’s always on top” Ripley closed…

Cole hyped the main event… [C] Cole listed The Miz, Alpha Academy, and Drew McIntyre as the guests on Raw Talk… Cole announced Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet for next week’s Raw…

Backstage, Tiffany Stratton was complaining to Adam Pearce about not having the red carpet rolled out for her. Becky Lynch arrived. Pearce wanted them to sign the contract for Tuesday’s NXT Women’s Title match. Lynch said Stratton is only concerned with being famous. Lynch welcomed her to the big time. Stratton said she doesn’t need Lynch to be famous, but she has no problem beating her and making her name at Lynch’s expense. Both women signed the contract… Cole pushed the Stratton vs. Lynch match for NXT television…

Raquel Rodriguez made her entrance to a flat reaction despite doing her weird back flexing pose twice. Rhea Ripley came out to a stronger reaction… [C] Cole hyped next week’s Raw in Salt Lake City…

6. Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez for the Women’s World Championship with Dominik Mysterio barred from ringside. Samatha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Rodriguez put Ripley down with a clothesline that didn’t even come close. She followed up with a better one and performed a powerslam.

Ripley took offensive control and dropkicked Rodriguez. Ripley charged Rodriguez in the corner, but Rodriguez elevated her over the top rope and sent to her to the floor. Rodriguez followed and hit Ripley with a big boot on the floor. [C]

Both wrestlers hit back to back running forearms. They followed up by throwing simultaneous kicks that left them both down. A short time later, Rodriguez performed Snake Eyes and put Ripley down with a big boot that led to a near fall.

Ripley came back and performed a top rope frog splash for a near fall. They ended up back at ringside and Rodriguez powerbombed Ripley on the edge of the apron. Rodriguez shoved Ripley back inside the ring. The referee was tending to Ripley.

Nia Jax showed up and put Rodriguez down with a Samoan Drop on the floor. Cole referred to Jax as the annihilator and the irresistible force. Rodriguez returned to the ring and was drilled with a knee to the head. Ripley hit her Riptide finisher and scored the pin…

Rhea Ripley defeated Raquel Rodriguez in 15:15 to retain the Women’s World Championship.

After the match, Jax entered the ring and headbutted Ripley. Jax draped the neck of Ripley over the bottom rope and then leg dropped her on the apron. Jax followed up with an ass splash from the ropes. Jax blew kissed to the booing crowd…

Powell’s POV: Jax could be helpful in getting over Rodriguez as a babyface and/or in turning Ripley babyface. For what it’s worth, Jax was wearing purple and black. As much as I wanted to see a Ripley and Rodriguez double turn that would cast Rodriguez in the role of Dom’s new Mami, they could do something similar with Jax. But Jax has worn those colors before, so I’m not reading into it as much as I’m just having some fantasy booking fun.

Overall, a decent episode with nothing particularly newsworthy until the closing moments. I will have a lot more to say in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading it below.

WWE Raw Poll: Grade the September 11 edition

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Readers Comments (13)

  1. You know, the “Jey Uso is a toxic presence” and “nobody likes Jey” is a not-so-subtle jab at some real life locker-room punks.

  2. I pooped today. Where is MY replica belt??

  3. Nia Jax. That’s some true subtraction by addition

  4. The Fake Jon Jones September 11, 2023 @ 10:17 pm

    Every time I see Jax do just about I get legit scared that she’s going hurt someone trusting her not to. Especially than banzai splash. I hope she’s gotten better.

  5. Arby’s

  6. It’s a three hour show so some matches are going to go on longer than they actually should

  7. Why is anyone worried about who gets “traded” to Smackdown for Jey? People are already appearing on both shows, just like after every WWE so-called draft.

  8. Holy crap, that was an awful show. At least we have Wednesday and Friday.

  9. My hole!!!!!

  10. Jax might be sent from the bloodline because of how Judgement day keeps talking smack about them. (she is related to the rock)

  11. Nia Jax, proof you don’t need to be good at your job if you’ve got nepotism.

  12. Seth doing his best job to be cast in the monsters inc live action remake

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