WWE RAW Report – 1/2

Jan 2, 2023 - by Marc Middleton

– The first WWE RAW of 2023 opens up on the USA Network with the standard intro video. The show opens up live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee with chaos at ringside as The Bloodline is running wild. Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves welcome us to the carnage while we see Solo Sikoa taking out a crew member, while Sami Zayn and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos are also destroying the ringside area. Zayn looks into the camera and says this is a message for everyone in the back – The Bloodline runs this show.

The music interrupts and out comes Kevin Owens to the stage. Zayn cuts him off on the mic and warns him, saying The Bloodline is in a bad mood tonight and this is a hostile takeover of RAW. Some fans boo. Owens isn’t impressed. Zayn says they are taking over RAW and people will get hurt, and this is all because of Owens. Owens thought he had something to say when he came out, but after hearing Zayn just now, he only wants to come punch him in the face. Zayn marches to the ring. Adam Pearce runs out with security to stop Owens. Pearce says The Bloodline is not the authority on RAW, he is, and he’s let them get away with this for far too long, and that goes for Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns as well. Pearce says we are not doing this in the new year, not at all. He tells The Bloodline they will leave the ring peacefully. Pearce sends security to the ring to escort The Bloodline out.

Security enters the ring but Sikoa starts destroying them with no problem. Zayn taunts Owens. Owens rushes the ring and fights but The Bloodline beats him up 4-on-1. Pearce screams for more security but here comes Shelton Benjamin, Luke Gallows, Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Elias, and The Street Profits instead, maybe a few others. The Bloodline retreats through the crowd but Pearce says they’re not getting off that easy. Pearce says he’s putting them to work, so he hopes they have their boots and gear because each one of them will be in a match tonight. And that’s official, Pearce says as he drops the mic. Zayn barks back from the crowd, saying what happens tonight will be on Pearce’s hands.

– Byron Saxton is backstage now. He’s with RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, who says she is no victim. She says she no longer wants to talk about Alexa Bliss after tonight because their relationship is beyond repair. Belair says Bliss can blame Bray Wyatt all she wants, but we know Bliss is her own person and she does what she wants. Belair says Bliss asked for this match tonight but Belair wants to prove why the title belongs with The EST of WWE.

– We go back to Graves and Patrick to hype tonight’s show as we get a look at the destroyed ringside area. They plug the two title matches, and promise a look at the recovery of Cody Rhodes. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and Adam Pearce is backstage with most of the Superstars who attacked The Bloodline earlier tonight, and Dolph Ziggler. They are all fired up and they want a piece of The Bloodline tonight. Montez Ford and Kevin Owens speak up and make it known they need these matches tonight. Elias speaks up and cares only about getting a piece of Solo Sikoa because Solo tried to end his career. Pearce books Elias vs. Sikoa in a Music City Street Fight. Pearce also books Sami Zayn and The Usos vs. Owens and The Street Profits. Pearce says it’s a new year in WWE and it’s time we all start acting like it. Pearce thanks everyone.

– The announcers thank singer Hardy for his “Sold Out” single, which is the official theme song for the WWE Royal Rumble. Hardy is shown at ringside watching RAW now, and he will perform at The Rumble.

RAW Women’s Title Match: Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair

We go back to the ring for our first title match and out comes Alexa Bliss. We see how Bliss smashed a vase over the champion during their recent interview with Byron Saxton. Out next comes RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair to a pop from her home state. We get formal ring introductions from Mike Rome.

The bell rings and Belair quickly drops Bliss with a right hand, then taunts her. Bliss tries to attack but Belair holds her back while she keeps swinging, just punching air. Belair then uppercuts Bliss to the mat.

Belair continues to dominate Bliss early on, shocking the challenger a bit. Bliss attacks, barely connects a strike or possibly misses it altogether, but then dropkicks Belair in the back to send her to the floor. Belair catches Bliss off the apron for a powerbomb but Bliss resists. Belair ends up swinging Bliss into the barrier head-first. Belair stands tall at ringside and plays to the crowd as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Bliss is looking to mount offense but Belair clotheslines her. They have a stalemate now as Bliss taunts Belair from her knees, and Belair mocks her. Bliss counters a slam with an arm drag but Belair goes to the middle turnbuckle to taunt her. Belair dodges Bliss out of the corner, then dropkicks her and kips-up for a pop.

Belair charges but Bliss sends her shoulder-first into the ring post. Bliss shows off some and wastes time as the referee checks on Belair. Bliss stomps away in the corner now to keep Belair down. Bliss stands on Belair’s back now, then stomps some more. Bliss covers for 2. Belair counters Bliss with a long vertical suplex, which she turns to an even longer suplex but Bliss counters and drops her for 2.

Bliss shows a bit of frustration now. More back and forth now. Belair counters a DDT with another long vertical suplex. Fans rally for Belair now. She attacks Bliss with a flurry of forearms, then sends her into the corner. Belair takes Bliss from corner to corner, head-first into all turnbuckles. Belair with a scoop slam in the middle of the ring, and another, then a third.

Belair keeps control and drops Bliss for another 2 count. Belair is frustrated now. Bliss slides out of a slam attempt, then dumps Belair off the apron to the floor. Bliss with a big neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. Bliss recovers at ringside as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Bliss gets a close 2 count. They tangle and trade pin attempts in the middle of the ring. Belair powers up with Bliss on her shoulders, then goes for the KOD but Bliss blocks it. Belair counters and ends up mounting Bliss in the corner with right hands as fans count along. Bliss uses Belair’s hair to yank her out to the floor. Bliss kneels down and yells in Belair’s face about this being her title.

A man with an Uncle Howdy mask appears behind Bliss in the crowd. Bliss senses this, then turns around. She is shook and distracted. Bliss shrugs the man off and goes back to Belair, rolling her back into the ring. Bliss goes to the top for Twisted Bliss but she’s spooked by another Howdy mask-wearing man in the crowd again. The man just stares ahead while standing in the front row at the barrier.

Bliss climbs back down from the top turnbuckle as we see Bray Wyatt’s graphics flash on the big screen. This does something to Bliss, blinding her in some way. Bliss stumbles around, then attacks the referee with a Thesz Press and punches. Bliss then hits the Thesz Press and punches on Belair. Bliss follows Belair to the floor, launching her into the barrier and destroying the champ. Bliss sends Belair face-first into the steel ring steps now. Bliss with a DDT on top of the bottom part of the steps. Bliss stands on top of the steps now, looking down at Belair, who has blood coming from her mouth.

Bliss looks to walk out on the match but she stops and comes back. Bliss grabs Belair for another DDT into the bottom part of the steps. Bliss walks away again, this time making it to the stage. Belair is bleeding more from her mouth as a referee checks on her. Fans chant “one more time!” as medics bring a stretcher out. Another medic tends to Belair at ringside as we go to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see what just happened with Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair. Bliss was helped to the back by husband Montez Ford, but she was upset and didn’t want to walk out without a piece of Bliss. Kevin Patrick says Belair is being checked out backstage by a medic.

– We see the war of words between Seth Rollins and WWE United States Champion Austin Theory from two weeks ago. Cathy Kelley is backstage with Theory now, asking how confident he is for tonight’s main event. Theory says his confidence is at an all-time high because of the new year. 2022 is his year, and 2023 will also be his year. Theory brings up how he got under Rollins’ skin two weeks ago. He says Rollins picked a fight with The Bloodline and when Rollins least expected it, Theory dropped him. Theory says that proved Rollins is the past and Theory is the now. Theory holds all the cards in his hand, and he’s out-plying Rollins in every hand. He says his forever reign is just beginning, and he’s not just some kid, huh Rollins? The announcers hype tonight’s main event some more.

Music City Street Fight: Elias vs. Solo Sikoa

We go back to the ring and Elias is with his guitar, under a spotlight. He plays a quick tune and fans pop. Elias says he plans on smashing his guitar over Sikoa’s face, and tonight Sikoa will find out what singer Hardy and everyone else knows – WWE stands for Walk With Elias. Elias says he came prepared with a pre-fight song to get everyone in the mood. He begins playing but Sikoa’s music interrupts and out comes The Enforcer of The Bloodline. We see several instruments on display around the ring at ringside, including drums, guitars, and a large piano.

The bell rings and they go at it. Elias with a headlock. They collide with shoulders in the middle of the ring. Elias with another headlock. Sikoa takes him to the corner for a big shoulder thrust. Sikoa rocks Elias with a big right hand.

Sikoa works Elias over in the corner now, then man-handles him a bit. Sikoa with a big chop. Elias fights back with chops of his own. They tangle with hip toss attempts, then Sikoa drops Elias. Sikoa charges and Elias dumps him over the top rope to the floor. Elias misses a dropkick through the ropes, but lands on the floor. Sikoa immediately rocks him with a big right hand.

Sikoa slams Elias face-first into the edge of the apron, then rocks him with a punch. Sikoa grabs a cow bell but it’s blocked as Elias decks him. Elias uses the bell now. The fight continues around ringside as they trade chops. Elias swings a guitar but it smashes over the ring post as Sikoa ducks. Sikoa grabs Elias, and yells at him, but Elias counters and sends Sikoa into a set of drums at ringside.

Elias grabs one of the drum stands and rocks Sikoa, sending him over the barrier and into the timekeeper’s area. Elias raises the stand in the air and yells out as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Elias is in control of Sikoa on the stage. There’s a setup for a musical performance, and Sikoa sends Elias into a large speaker and production case. Sikoa continues the assault, using the music equipment on Elias and launching him into the equipment. Sikoa grabs a drum stand and jabs Elias in the gut with it.

Sikoa with a headbutt as he beats Elias back to the ring. They enter the ring and Sikoa calls for the Samoan Spike, but Elias hits him with an electric keyboard. Elias goes on but Sikoa catches him with a big Samoan Drop in the middle of the ring. Sikoa waits but covers for a 2 count. Sikoa tosses Elias to the floor, then stands tall to play to the crowd once again. Sikoa follows out but Elias decks him with a tambourine shot to the face. Elias brings it back in and they trade strikes. Elias drops Sikoa with the electric keyboard, then smashes it over his back. Sikoa kicks out at 2. Elias grounds Sikoa now. Sikoa with a belly-to-belly suplex out of nowhere.

Sikoa signals for the end but Elias dodges the Umaga splash into the corner, and Sikoa smashes into the turnbuckles face-first. Elias with another tambourine shot. Elias unloads into the corner, then nails a big splash into the opposite corner, and another. Elias charges again, ducks a clothesline, then catches Sikoa with a Spinebuster in the middle of the ring. Elias with more tambourine shots to the head. Elias clotheslines Sikoa to the floor. Elias follows with the keyboard, smashing it over Sikoa’s back again.

Country music singer Hardy appears at the barrier, and he hands a guitar to Elias. Elias brings it in the ring but Sikoa blocks it with a superkick. Sikoa then stalks Elias into the corner and pounds on him. Hardy hops the barrier and enters the ring with a guitar. He smashes the guitar over the back of Sikoa. This does nothing to Solo. Sikoa turns around and stares Hardy down.

Hardy retreats back into the crowd. Elias takes advantage and drops Sikoa. Elias goes to the top and flies at Sikoa but Sikoa knocks him out of the air with a big Samoan Spike. Sikoa then takes Elias to the apron and slams him into the piano at ringside with a Spinning Solo. Sikoa pins Elias on top of the piano at ringside for the pin to win.

Winner: Solo Sikoa

– After the match, Solo looks to go for Hardy but he has retreated. The music hits as Sikoa stands tall and yells out. We go to replays. Solo stands on the steel steps at ringside, looking down at Elias, who is still laid out on what’s left of the piano.

– We get a look at how John Cena and Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn on SmackDown.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos and Sami Zayn vs. The Street Profits and Kevin Owens

Back from a break and out comes The Bloodline – Sami Zayn and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. Out first comes The Street Profits for their team – Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Out next comes Kevin Owens.

Owens and The Profits quickly rush the ring as a brawl breaks out. The brawl spills out to the floor but Dawkins and Jimmy bring it back in as the referee calls for the bell. Owens is working on Zayn at ringside. Dawkins and Jimmy go at it now. Dawkins with a big back elbow in the air. Dawkins with a corkscrew splash into the corner, then an enziguri to stun Jimmy for a 2 count.

Ford tags in and takes Jimmy down. Dawkins tags back in and they keep control of Jimmy. Dawkins with a big boot. Jimmy with a big enziguri to turn it around. Jey tags in and he unloads on Dawkins in the corner, stomping away now. Zayn tags in and keeps the assault going on Dawkins. Zayn takes Dawkins to the corner and in comes Jimmy off the assist. The Usos double team Dawkins now, working on his leg. Jey covers for 2. Jey talks some trash but Dawkins rocks him. Owens tags in and he unloads on Jey against the ropes.

Owens levels Jey with a back elbow, then he hits the senton. Owens knocks Jimmy off the apron, then crotch chops Sami after Sami jumps off the apron to avoid a punch. Owens talks some trash to Sami while Jey rocks him to turn it around. Jey knocks Owens into the corner, and in comes Jimmy to double team Owens. The Bloodline takes turns on Owens in their corner now. Sami works Owens over and raises his finger in the air to boos. We go to commercial with Sami in control.

Back from the break and Ford begins to mount some offense now. Zayn comes in as Ford nails an enziguri on Zayn and Jimmy. Ford runs wild on Zayn now. Ford with a corner clothesline, then a big back slam and a kip-up. Ford with a standing moonsault to Zayn for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Zayn and Ford are up top now. Ford resists a superplex, then rocks Zayn and knocks him to the mat.

Ford flies with the big Frogsplash but Jey makes the save just in time to break the pin up. Dawkins rocks Jey and tosses him to the floor. Dawkins runs around and launches Jey into the barrier. Ford sends Jimmy to the floor, then sends Sami to the floor with him. Ford runs the ring and leaps out with a huge dive, taking Jimmy and Sami back down at ringside.

Solo Sikoa suddenly appears at ringside, and he drops Dawkins with a big strike. Owens runs over and attacks Solo, beating him against the barrier until Jey superkicks him. Owens is out against the barrier in a daze now. Sami and Ford return to the ring. Ford knocks Jey off the apron but Sami takes advantage of the distraction and rocks Ford with a big Helluva Kick. Sami covers Ford for the pin to win.

Winners: Sami Zayn and The Usos

– After the match, Zayn’s music hits as he stands tall with The Usos. They triple team Owens in the ring now. Solo joins them, then Solo goes back out to grab a steel chair. Sami meets Solo at ringside and Sami grabs the steel chair. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre suddenly attack Sami and Solo at ringside, taking them both out. Sheamus and Drew enter the ring for a fight. The Usos attack but the SmackDown babyfaces block them. Sheamus with a huge knee to send Jey to the floor. Drew with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt to Jimmy, then a clothesline over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus and Drew stand tall in the ring now while The Bloodline regroups at ringside. Drew’s music starts back up as Owens recovers looks on.

– Still to come, Dexter Lumis vs. Chad Gable. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and the announcers hype the WWE Royal Rumble.

– The announcers send best wishes to AJ Styles after the ankle injury he suffered last Thursday at the live event in Hershey, PA. We see AJ’s tweet on the screen.

Chad Gable vs. Dexter Lumis

We go back to the ring and out comes Alpha Academy – Chad Gable with Otis. Dexter Lumis is out next. Lumis hits the ring and slithers around, freaking Graves out.

The bell rings and Lumis chases Gable around the ring. Gable grabs Lumis but gets sent to the floor. Lumis chases Gable around the ring now. Otis gets in the way and barks at Lumis. Gable goes back in but Lumis meets him there. Lumis crawls at Gable, spooking him.

Lumis with a Thesz Press and right hands. Lumis unloads to keep Gable down. Lumis slithers at the ropes to knock Otis off the apron. Gable counters Lumis and drops him throat-first over the top rope. Gable chops Lumis now. Gable mounts more offense and stops to thank everyone. Gable grounds Lumis by his arm now as Otis continues to yell words of encouragement from ringside. Lumis fights to his feet but Gable sends him to the corner.

Gable runs into a big boot, but comes right back with a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Gable continues to “shooosh!” the crowd. Lumis sends Gable over the top rope but Gable pulls himself back in. Gable attacks but Lumis rocks him. Lumis with a big elevated uppercut and more offense. Lumis with the Bulldog, then a back suplex. Lumis kips-up into a leg drop but Gable kicks out at 2. Gable counters a suplex with a German suplex of his own, sending Lumis to the floor.

Gable comes from behind with a knee to the back to send Lumis face-first into the ring post. Gable returns to the ring as Otis tries for a discus forearm but Lumis moves out of the way, and Otis smacks the ring post. Lumis comes back in but Gable takes him down and cradles him for 2. Lumis counters the cradle with a pin of his own for the win.

Winner: Dexter Lumis

– After the bell, Gable quickly tries to get Lumis back but Lumis retreats to the floor. Alpha Academy looks on as Lumis heads to the back.

– The announcers send us to a video package on Cody Rhodes, with new footage of Rhodes speaking, with footage from his recent WWE run. Rhodes says he was gone for 6 years and it was a long journey, people didn’t think he was coming back but in coming back at WrestleMania 38, he thought everyone understood the path. Rhodes says he gets another shot at living the first dream he ever had. We see photos of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, along with footage of Cody’s speech on wanting to win the WWE Title, and more footage of Cody’s recent WWE run. Cody says The American Nightmare is real, and an extension of The American Dream. Cody says this has been a perfect alignment of all the stars. We see footage of his torn pec and Hell In a Cell, the match with Seth Rollins. Cody says he’s been doing this for 20 years and he almost felt bulletproof. No human being could’ve kept him from getting in the ring, it was like oxygen and he needed to be in the ring. We see how Cody removed his jacket to reveal the nasty bruise at Hell In a Cell. This is to be continued… Patrick says this was part one of Cody’s road to recovery.

– Damage CTRL is backstage now. They’re all smiles and laughs as we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and out comes Damage CTRL to the ring – Bayley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. They hit the ring as we see how Bayley defeated Becky Lynch two weeks ago.

Bayley wishes “Trashville” a Happy New Year and they boo her. Bayley goes on taunting Nashville and says she couldn’t think of a better way to ring int he new year than to be with her two best friends. She says first we need to address the Irish elephant in the room – Becky Lynch. She goes on about beating Lynch by herself, it was so fun and easy. Bayley says this is getting ridiculous, how good she is and how she’s beating everyone. The music interrupts and out comes Lynch to a pop.

Lynch calls Bayley a dope and tells her to shut up. Lynch goes on and calls Bayley a fake and a fraud, afraid to do anything by herself. Lynch said she had it wrong a few weeks ago when she called SKY and Kai the lackeys to Bayley as they’re doing all the hard work while Bayley takes the credit, and it’s just a matter of time before someone turns on the other. Lynch says Bayley is right about one thing, that this all started in Nashville at SummerSlam, so why don’t we end it here? Bayley laughs and says she already beat Lynch. Bayley says since Lynch is obsessed with her girls, how about a match tonight? Bayley will even let Lynch pick her partner. Lynch says she doesn’t have her phone on her, but she’s down for a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Lynch’s music starts up as she heads to the ring to fight. Back to commercial.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY vs. Becky Lynch and Mia Yim

Back from the break and Becky Lynch is facing WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Lynch and SKY go at it to start. Lynch gets the upperhand, then baseball slides Kai back into the barrier as Bayley looks on.

SKY blocks a kick but Lynch nails the enziguri for a close 2 count. Lynch with the Dis-Arm-Her but SKY rolls her into a 2 count. SKY takes it to the corner and in comes Kai with a running big boot. Lynch blocks it and kicks Kai in the chest. SKY charges but Lynch hip tosses her into Kai. Lynch covers Kai for 2. Fans chant for Lynch as she keeps control of Kai, hitting a leg drop and taunting Bayley.

Lynch with a running right hand to Kai in the corner. Kai dodges another running punch. SKY attacks from the apron but Lynch sends her to the floor. Kai takes advantage of another distraction, and rocks Lynch for a 2 count as Bayley applauds. The champs work on Lynch at ringside now. SKY brings Lynch back in for a 2 count. Kai tags back in to keep Lynch grounded.

Kai with another close 2 count. Lynch is sent to the floor, and SKY sends her into the barrier as SKY is legal now. SKY keeps knocking Lynch around at ringside. SKY talks some trash and rolls Lynch back in for a 2 count. SKY with another pin attempt. The music interrupts and out comes Mia Yim as Lynch knocks Kai back off the distraction.

Yim hits the apron and offers her hand for a tag to Lynch. Yim tags in as does SKY. Yim with clotheslines. Kai comes in but Yim drops her, then slams SKY on top of her. Yim with a dropkick to SKY for a close 2 count. Lynch drops Kai at ringside with a big punch. Yim with a suicide dive to SKY to put her down on the floor as well. Lynch and Yim fist bump at ringside as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Kai whips Yim into the corner but runs into a big boot. Kai with a Scorpion Kick to rock Yim. The champs double team Yim now with kicks. SKY with a big dropkick to Yim for a 2 count. SKY tries for a Crossface submission but Yim resists as Lynch rallies the crowd. SKY takes Yim down and applies the Crossface now in the middle of the ring.

Lynch looks concerned from the apron. The hold is broken. Yim sends SKY to the floor but she runs back in. SKY is sent back into the corner but Kai tags in as she;s knocked off the apron. SKY attacks Yim but Yim hits a neckbreaker. Kai is still down at ringside, but sh runs over and gabs Lynch’s leg as Yim tags Lynch in. Lynch fights Kai off from the apron, then nails a Facebuster into the floor. Lynch sends Kai into the ring post, then the barrier. Lynch and Kai are legal now as Lynch continues to dominate.

SKY attacks but Lynch sends her into the barrier. Fans chant “Becky!” now as she brings Kai into the ring. Lynch goes to the top as fans cheer her on. Lynch with the missile dropkick to Kai for a close 2 count. Lynch rams Kai into the opposite corner. Yim and Lynch take Kai to the top for a double superplex, and they nail it as Bayley looks worried. Yim covers Kai but SKY breaks it up just in time.

SKY stops the Man-Handle Slam but Yim dropkicks SKY into the corner. Yim drops Kai over the top rope with a head-scissors takedown and covers for the pin but Bayley places Kai’s foot on the bottom rope to boos. Bayley rocks Yim from ringside but Lynch attacks Bayley to a big pop. Yim hits Kai with Eat Defeat, but this leads to SKY hitting her top rope moonsault on Yim for the pin to win.

Winners: Damage CTRL

– After the match, Lynch rushes to attack but Damage CTRL quickly retreats to the floor. The music hits and we go to replays. Bayley continues ranting to the camera as Damage CTRL celebrates.

– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Seth Rollins. He asks who is ready to sing tonight in Nashville? Rollins says 2023 is already looking like 2022 as The Bloodline is trying to take over his show and Austin Theory is trying to take his spot. Rollins says as long as he’s breathing, Monday nights will belong to him. He laughs and says in just a few minutes, so will the WWE United States Title. Rollins digs how much Theory is willing to do to keep the title because that shows how much the title means, but as good as Theory is and as good as he will be, there’s one thing he isn’t – Rollins. He says that’s because he is a visionary and a revolutionary, he’s Seth freakin’ Rollins. Rollins says there will be a party on Broadway tonight. Rollins walks off as the announcers hype the main event. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and singer Jimmie Allen is shown at ringside. He provided the theme song for WWE Tribute to The Troops last month.

– We see what happened earlier tonight with Alexa Bliss and Bianca Blair. Byron Saxton is backstage waiting to get a word with Bliss now. He asks if she lost complete control earlier tonight. Bliss says no, she gained control over Belair’s head-space, and now Belair knows that the only threat is Bliss, and that the title belongs with Bliss. She walks off.

– The announcers show us what happened when Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley crashed the Mysterio Family Christmas. Dominik was arrested by police, but Ripley later bailed him out. We get a pre-recorded message from Dominik now. He says sadness is not a bad thing to feel, but the cold absence of feeling is what prison was like. Dominik asks if we think he’s playing a game? Do we think this is a game to him? Dominik says he served hard time and he survived. Dominik says prison changes a man, and we might think that it’s over for him, but no, he’s just getting started. Dominik tells Ripley he will see her soon, then he speaks in Spanish to her to end the segment. Graves says Dominik has street cred now.

WWE United States Title Match: Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory

We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as WWE United States Champion Austin Theory makes his way out. Theory hits the corners to pose as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and we get a teaser vignette for Bronson Reed to show off his dominance. We go back to the ring and out comes Seth Rollins to a big pop. Fans sing Rollins’ theme as Mike Rome begins formal ring introductions. The bell hits as fans continue singing Rollins’ theme. Theory goes to lock up but Rollins ducks him, then laughs.

The crowd is singing louder now. Rollins taunts Theory. They go for a test of strength but Theory kicks Rollins, then applies a tight headlock while talking some trash. They run the ropes and Rollins nails a Slingblade. Rollins clotheslines Theory over the top rope to the floor. Rollins plays to the crowd again. Rollins runs the ring and dropkicks Theory through the ropes, sending him back into the barrier.

Rollins puts Theory back down at ringside, and returns to the ring. Theory attacks but Rollins jumps over him, then nails a knee from the apron. Rollins slams Theory over the top of the barrier, then drapes him there. Rollins takes the top off the announce table, then leaps off the table to nail a knee to the back of the neck of Theory while he’s draped over the barrier. Theory falls to the floor and a referee checks on him as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Rollins is destroying Theory at ringside. Rollins brings it back in and rocks Theory with a forearm, then springboards in with a flying knee to the head. Theory positions himself under the bottom rope to prevent a pin. Theory stuns Rollins over the top rope, then rolls in with the big dropkick for a close 2 count.

Theory mounts Rollins with lefts and rights now. Theory is fired up but some fans boo. Theory man-handles Rollins around the ring while taunting him to his face. Theory launches Rollins into the turnbuckles hard and he goes down. Theory keeps Rollins grounded and talks more trash. Fans rally for Rollins as he mounts some offense now. Theory catches Rollins in a backbreaker for a 2 count. Theory with a headlock now, taking Rollins back down. Rollins breaks free with a back suplex. Rollins charges but Theory slams him for a 2 count, then goes right into a chinlock. Theory grounds Rollins as fans begin to rally again. They tangle and Rollins nails the jawbreaker. Theory charges but Rollins kicks him. Theory back-drops Rollins over the top rope to the floor, and Rollins lands hard.

Theory follows and slams Rollins face-first into the announce table a few times. Theory sends Rollins kidney-first into the edge of the apron, then launches him over the announce table. Theory grabs the title belt and holds it down in Rollins’ face, ranting about how he’s the champ and he will not be disrespected. Theory pounds on Rollins some more and gets back to his feet as we go back to a commercial.

Back from the break and they’re going at it. They taunt each other and continue the back & forth brawl. Rollins and Theory trade strikes in the middle of the ring but Rollins unloads while laughing. Rollins drops Theory twice, then nails a kick and a clothesline. Rollins plays to the crowd and they sing. Rollins nails a big suicide dive to the floor.

Rollins brings Theory back in but The Pedigree is blocked. Theory kicks Rollins but Rollins nails a knee to the gut, then a backbreaker over the knee. Theory kicks out just in time. Rollins goes up but Theory cuts him off. Theory blocks a Buckle Bomb attempt but that is also blocked. They rock each other. Rollins blocks a suplex and rolls Theory up for 2.

Theory blocks another powerbomb attempt, and it looks like Rollins may have tweaked his knee. Theory tries to capitalize but Rollins rocks him. Rollins tries for another Buckle Bomb attempt but Theory jumps onto the top turnbuckle. Theory drops Rollins as he approaches. Theory re-positions up top but Rollins leaps up and nails a superplex. Theory counters the Falcon Arrow attempt with a big suplex of his own. Rollins kicks out and Theory can’t believe it.

Fans chant “this is awesome!” now while both Superstars are down. Theory gets up behind Rollins. Rollins blocks The ATL. Theory blocks a kick and nails a boot to the face. Rollins with a kick of his own, then a big enziguri. Both are back down as the referee checks on them. They both get up and trade more big strikes in the middle of the ring. Rollins with a rolling elbow, then the forearm to the back of the neck to put Theory back down. Rollins goes for the Stomp but Theory retreats to the floor after Rollins has an issue with his leg.

Theory grabs the title belt and goes to walk out as fans boo. Rollins follows Theory into the crowd, then brings him back over the barrier. Rollins chases Theory in the ring. Theory readies for a belt shot to the face but Rollins superkicks him down. Rollins goes to the top and hits the big Frogsplash in the middle of the ring but Theory kicks out just in time. No one can believe it.

Theory intercepts Rollins but can’t hit The ATL. Rollins is shoved into the corner but he goes into the referee, and the referee goes down. Rollins looks to capitalize but his knee buckles again. Rollins rocks Theory and hits the Pedigree but there’s no referee. Another referee rushes down and counts the pin but Theory kicks out just in time. Rollins readies for the Stomp but Theory side-steps it.

Theory shoves Rollins towards the corner, where the second referee is checking on the first. Rollins puts the brakes on and avoids hitting the referees, but Theory drops him with a low blow. Theory then takes Rollins’ leg out with a chop block. Theory then hits The ATL in the middle of the ring for the pin to win and retain.

Winner: Austin Theory

– After the match, Theory stands tall as the music hits. Theory clutches his title as Rollins looks up, trying to recover. The first RAW of 2023 goes off the air with Theory celebrating the win.

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