WWE Raw Report – 5/8

May 8, 2023 - by Staff

– Tonight’s post-Backlash and post-Draft edition of WWE RAW opens up with a promo for the tournament to crown the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. We’re now live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida as Kevin Patrick welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves.

– We go right to the ring and out comes Cody Rhodes to a big pop and pyro. We see how Rhodes defeated Brock Lesnar in Saturday’s WWE Backlash main event as Rhodes hits the corners to pose.

Fans chant “Cody!” as he takes the mic. He gets a big pop when he mentions Jacksonville and then does the “Duuuval!” shout-out. Rhodes says he greatly appreciates the reception as many know this was home during the COVID-19 pandemic in another AEW reference. He says this was when they made a lot of great memories together, and we should make more tonight, but first let’s talk about Backlash, the biggest and most-watched of all-time.

Cody didn’t get to experience the beauty of the island because he had the task of facing The Beast, the most-decorated combat sports athlete ever. He discovered what Lesnar is made of because it was all over his fist, a reference to the blood. He also discovered Lesnar can be defeated. Cody says Lesnar took away his clarity and focus after WrestleMania 39, it became a game of survival, but now that Lesnar is in his rear-view, his focus is on the WWE World Heavyweight Title, which we see on display.

Cody exits the ring and walks to the stage to stand next to the title on display. He shows us the brackets and touts the talent in the tournament, and comments on how he will become champion. Fans chant “you deserve it!” now. Cody says he gets the honor to say this… Jacksonville, let the tournament begin!

World Heavyweight Title Tournament First Round Triple Threat: Damian Priest vs. Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The music hits and out comes Seth Rollins as fans begin singing his theme. Rollins stops and has a brief staredown with Cody Rhodes at the WWE World Heavyweight Title on display. Rollins heads to the ring and the music stops but fans keep singing. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and we see stills of Rollins’ win over Omos at WWE Backlash. Rollins continues his entrance as the announcers send us to a video package of highlights from the San Juan Street Fight between Damian Priest and winner Bad Bunny at Backlash. Cathy Kelly is backstage with Priest now. She asks if the loss to Bunny is weighing on him. Priest says Bunny did his thing but the name that will live forever is Damian Priest because it took an entire island to bring him down. Tonight Priest plans to put down his two opponents, by himself, then we’ll see if it’s Priest or Finn Balor that brings the WWE World Heavyweight Title to The Judgment Day. Priest does a sinister laugh, then heads off to the ring by himself as Samantha Irvin does the introductions. Priest makes his way to the ring with a limp now. The music hits and out last comes Shinsuke Nakamura making his first appearance as a member of the RAW brand.

The bell rings and Priest smashes Nakamura in the corner, then drops Rollins. Priest unloads on Rollins in the corner, then runs to the opposite corner with a right hand and stomps to Nakamura. Priest with a Stage Dive splash to Rollins, but the leg is bothering him.

Priest then delivers more offense to Nakamura. Rollins tosses Priest to the floor for a big pop. Rollins and Nakamura stare each other down now. Fans sing for Rollins as they go at it. Rollins fights Nakamura off but Nakamura delivers a knee to the gut, then a kick to the back, and another kick. Nakamura with corner kicks and a sliding German suplex under the rope.

Priest tries to nail a big boot at ringside but Nakamura moves. Nakamura decks Priest and lays him over the edge of the apron, dropping a big knee to the head to keep him down. We go to commercial with a look at the WWE World Heavyweight Title on display.

Back from the break and Rollins works over Priest. Nakamura charges but Rollins sends him into the turnbuckles. Rollins goes to the top and hits a crossbody on both opponents. Rollins nails a suicide dive to Priest, then one on the other side of the ring to Nakamura, sending him onto the announce table.

Rollins returns to the ring and poses for a pop. Rollins goes for another suicide dive but Priest meets him with a big right hand. Priest with a Stage Dive in the corner. Priest goes on and misses a splash to Nakamura in the corner, then gets kicked in the back of the head. Nakamura drapes Priest over the top turnbuckle for the high knee. Nakamura with a flying kick from the corner to Priest for a 2 count.

Rollins stops Nakamura from trying to suplex Priest, and rolls him up for 2. Priest tangles with Rollins, then drops Nakamura. Rollins springboards in with a knee but Priest hits an elevated Flatliner for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Rollins and Priest kick each other and Rollins drops Priest with the follow-up kick. Nakamura then drops Rollins with a kick.

All three opponents trade strikes in the middle of the ring now. Nakamura drops Priest by his knee, then Rollins superkicks Priest. Nakamura with a Sleeper to Rollins. They tangle and Rollins counters, then drops Nakamura with the discus lariat for a pop. Rollins goes to the top but Priest hits him from behind, crotching him on the top to boos. Priest smiles.

Priest with the Razor’s Edge attempt but his hurt leg goes out. Rollins nails a Stomp to Priest but Nakamura breaks up the pin just in time. Rollins and Nakamura have words. Nakamura tells him to bring it and Rollins yells back. They start brawling now. Nakamura ducks a move and hits the Exploder suplex. Nakamura calls for the Kinshasa as fans rally, but Priest intercepts Rollins and sends him to the floor.

Priest grabs Nakamura for South of Heaven but Nakamura beats him down and applies the knee bar. Rollins flies in off the top to break the hold with a huge Frogsplash. Priest rolls over clutching his leg, then Rollins lays Nakamura out with The Pedigree for the pin to win and advance to the semi-finals main event.

Winner: Seth Rollins

– After the match, Rollins stands tall and celebrates as the music hits and fans begin singing. We go to replays. Rollins is fired up to advance to face the winner of Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz.

– We get a look at the current RAW roster coming out of the WWE Draft.

– Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci are marching backstage, announcing that Imperium is here and WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER will arrive next week. They walk up on Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and Sami says they are in the middle of something, so come back in 5 minutes. Kaiser says they are Imperium, did you not hear us? Sami says in 5 minutes they will still be Imperium. Owens says it’s hard to concentrate with Kaiser pointing his finger. Kaiser says surely they are not trying to disrespect Imperium because when The Ring General arrives, it will put Owens and Sami in a very unfortunate situation. Vinci says if they keep disrespecting, not only will they put themselves in real danger, but the titles also. Owens wonders if they are GUNTHER’s henchmen like The Usos are to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Sami says no because they will deal with this problem in one night, not months. Sami says if they have a problem, they will see each other in the ring tonight. Owens pokes at Kaiser for wearing turtlenecks and for how he says “General” as Imperium walks off.

Otis vs. Mustafa Ali

We go back to the ring and out comes Otis with Chad Gable and Maxxine Dupri. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Mustafa Ali. The bell rings and they go at it. Otis quickly takes control and beats Ali around.

Otis keeps control but Ali escapes an attempt. Ali uses his speed until Otis turns him inside out with a big clothesline. Otis with a corner splash. Otis calls for The Caterpillar now. He goes back an forth between Maxxine, who tells him no, and Gable, who wants him to do the move.

Ali takes advantage of the distraction and decks Otis, then hits the 450 Splash for the pin to get the fairly quick win.

Winner: Mustafa Ali

– After the match, Ali stands tall as the music hits.

– The Miz is backstage now. He rants about being a WWE history maker, a true celebrity and true star, the only workhorse of this tournament. He goes on about how he will win the tournament because he is The Miz, and he’s awesome. Miz heads out.

World Heavyweight Title Tournament First Round Triple Threat: The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Cody Rhodes

We go back to the ring for tonight’s final WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament First Round Triple Threat as The Miz makes his way out. The winner will face Seth Rollins in tonight’s main event to advance to WWE Night of Champions. Miz hits the ring to pose as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and we see a shot of The Miz and Maryse at the Kentucky Derby this past weekend. We go back to the ring and Finn Balor is wrapping up his entrance. The music hits and out comes Cody Rhodes to a big pop and pyro as Samantha Irvin does the introduction.

The bell rings and they go at it. Balor is sent out as Cody rolls up Miz for 2. Miz is sent out now. Balor runs in and clotheslines Cody but Miz breaks the pin up.

Cody drops both opponents and works over Balor in the corner with lefts and rights, then side-Russian leg sweeps Miz. Cody slams Balor on top of Miz with a vertical suplex, then covers Miz for 2.

Miz and Balor are out on the floor now. Cody runs the ring and nails a suicide dive to take down both opponents at ringside. Cody stands tall to a pop and yells out to a pop as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Cody nails a double dropkick but his leg is hurting. They all get up and trade strikes. Cody with the drop-down right hand to Balor, then a running forearm to Miz. Cody with a powerslam to Balor, then one for Miz in the middle of the ring.

Cody with a big double Cody Cutter but he’s clutching his shoulder. Balor blocks a Cross Rhodes but Cody kicks him away. Cody with a Disaster Kick to Balor for a close 2 count while Miz is outside. Cody and Balor fight but Miz kicks them both and uses his DDT. Miz drops Balor with a DDT and covers Cody for 2. Miz stands tall and poses but fans chant “tiny balls!” at him.

Cody blocks a Skull Crushing Finale and Balor hits a Slingblade to Miz. Balor sends Miz out but Cody rolls him for 2. Balor with the big dagger for a 2 count. Balor with the corner dropkick to Cody for 2. Balor goes to the top but Cody dodges the Coup de Grace. Miz runs in and sends Balor into Cody to knock Cody to the floor.

Miz drops Balor with a Skull Crushing Finale but Cody breaks the pin up. Cody sends Miz to the floor. Balor blocks Cross Rhodes and cradles Cody for 2. Cody tries again and nails Cross Rhodes now. He goes for the pin but Miz runs in and tosses him out, then covers Balor for 2 as Cody runs back in.

Cody with a double Cross Rhodes to Miz, then he holds it for a third Cross Rhodes. Cody covers Miz but Brock Lesnar pulls him to the floor and lays him out at ringside with a big F5 as fans boo.

We see stitches on Lesnar’s face from Backlash. He looks down at Cody in front of the announce table now. Balor capitalizes and hits Miz with Coup de Grace for the pin to win and advance to tonight’s main event.

Winner: Finn Balor

– After the match, Balor stands tall as his music briefly plays. Lesnar grabs Cody at ringside and puts him through the announce table with a big F5. The mic is having troubles but Lesnar stands over Cody and asks him what he wants to talk about. Lesnar looks into the camera and yells to look at his face, which is beat up from Backlash. The mic is better now as Lesnar gets down in Cody’s face, asking what he wants to talk about. Me! Me! You want to talk about me. Lesnar holds Cody’s head and says he lucked into this face, he lucked into the Backlash victory. Lesnar now wants to talk about a fight. He wants a fight. Lesnar proposes a fight at WWE Night of Champions. Lesnar says we will see who is the coward now. Lesnar gets up and walks away as officials come over to tend to Cody, who is laid out. Lesnar marches to the back as fans boo and we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see what just happened with Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes. We cut backstage and see a medic helping Cody into the trainer’s room now.

– Graves and Patrick stand at the announce table debris, and look at the brackets of the WWE World Heavyweight Title tournament.

SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Dana Brooke

We go back to the ring for a non-title match as SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley makes her way out with Dominik Mysterio. We see stills from Ripley’s win over Zelina Vega at WWE Backlash. Dana Brooke is out next. We see an interview from earlier today where Brooke says she asked for this opportunity, and welcomed it even more when she found out her opponent was Ripley. Brooke says she belongs here and tonight we will see her untapped potential.

The bell rings and Brooke dropkicks Ripley into the corner. Brooke stays on her but Ripley drops her with ease. Ripley stands over Brooke and works her over while talking trash and posing to mostly cheers.

Brooke takes the knee out and keeps fighting Ripley off. Brooke blocks a slam with a Bulldog. Brooke leaps off the middle rope but Ripley grabs her in mid-air with a Gutbuster as Dominik applauds from ringside.

Ripley nails a Riptide in the middle of the ring but she doesn’t go for the pin. Ripley then rag-dolls Brooke with the Prism Lock to get the submission win.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

– After the match, Ripley stands tall with the title as the music hits. Dominik joins her. The referee checks on Brooke but Ripley grabs her and delivers another Riptide, then another Prism Lock. The music interrupts and out comes Natalya. Ripley keeps the hold locked on Brooke while staring Natalya down on her way to the ring. Ripley and Natalya face off now. Dominik whispers something to Ripley, and they laugh, then exit the ring as the music starts up.

– We get a video package on WWE NXT Superstars brought to RAW in the WWE Draft – Indi Hartwell, JD McDonagh, Indus Sher (Jinder Mahal, Veer Mahaan, Sanga), Odyssey Jones, Katana Chance, Kayden Carter and Zoey Stark.

– Byron Saxton is backstage with Zoey Stark now. He brings up her NXT success and asks how she is dealing with the added expectations of being on RAW. Stark laughs and says that doesn’t apply because she’s amazing at what she does, she has nothing but extreme confidence in her abilities and these other women… Stark tells Saxton to follow hr. She stops and taunts Nikki Cross, calling her a weirdo like these other women. Stark suggests they have a match tonight. Cross apparently accepts and Stark says we will see what Cross has got. Cross stares straight ahead and smiles as Stark walks off.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. Imperium

We go back to the ring and out come Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for another non-title match. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser of Imperium. We see a video package of highlights from last week’s WWE tour of Europe.

Kaiser and Sami lock up to start. Kaiser with a headlock. Sami turns it around with a takedown and headlock of his own. Vinci tags in and attacks from behind as Kaiser gets sent to the floor by Sami.

Vinci with a big uppercut. Sami fights back and drops Vinci, then goes to the middle rope but Kaiser shoves him off, right into a clothesline by Vinci. Sami kicks out at 2. Kaiser tags in and decks Sami while Vinci holds him. Kaiser works him over.

Kaiser has words with Owens, which distracts the referee, allowing Vinci to hit Sami with a cheap shot. Kaiser and Vinci with running dropkicks to Sami now while he’s stuck in their corner. Imperium poses to boos as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Kaiser is working on Sami in their corner. Sami dodges a shot and sends Kaiser to the floor. Vinci runs in and stops a tag but Sami kicks him away to the floor. Owens tags in and unloads on Kaiser as he comes back in. Owens beats Kaiser down and stomps him to a big pop.

Owens with more punches in the corner, then a big back-drop to Kaiser, then the inverted Atomic Drop and a big clothesline. Owens kicks and chops Kaiser in the corner, and rocks him with another right. Owens drops Vinci on the apron as he runs at him. Owens with the neckbreaker over his knee for a close 2 count on Kaiser. Owens goes to the top for the Swanton Bomb on Kaiser for another 2 count as Vinci rushes in to break it up.

Owens stomps Vinci out of the ring. Kaiser rocks Owens. Vinci tags in and they hit the double team. Vinci covers for 2. Vinci is frustrated now, lashing out at the referee. Kaiser tags in and kicks Owns, then hits a running uppercut in the corner and an enziguri. Owens explodes out of the corner with a big lariat to turn Kaiser inside out.

Sami and Kaiser rally for tags now. Vinci tags in and knocks Sami off the apron, then goes back to work on Owens. Kaiser tags in for the Imperium Bomb but Owns fights Vinci off, then hits the Stunner to Kaiser to send him to the floor. Vinci rolls Owens for 2. Owens superkicks Vinci.

Sami tags in as Owens runs and decks Vinci into the opposite corner, then Sami immediately hits a Helluva Kick to Vinci for the pin to win.

Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

– After the match, Owens and Zayn stand tall with the titles as the music hits.

– Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville are getting people to sign their petition for management backstage, including Xia Li, as they want another shot at WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez. They walk up on Indi Hartwell, Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano, and try to get them to sign. Dexter Lumis appears and gives a thumbs down to the petition, so all of The Way passes on signing. Green and Deville walk off, saying they will regret this when they are champions, and Lumis needs to smile. Indi says he is smiling. Gargano seems to indicate he believes WWE United States Champion Austin Theory is coming back to The Way, saying it will be great, but the others don’t agree.

Nikki Cross vs. Zoey Stark

We go back to the ring and out comes Nikki Cross. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and we see how The Bloodline picked

We go back to the ring and Cross looks on as Zoey Stark comes out for her official RAW debut.

The bell rings and Cross unloads on Stark, beating her into the corner. Stark comes out of the corner with a knee, then drops Cross and unloads to keep her down while the referee backs her off.

Stark goes back to work on Cross and launches herself in with a senton from the apron. Stark poses to some boos, then levels Cross with a lariat for 2. Stark grounds Cross with a headlock in the middle of the ring now. More back and forth between the two now, throwing strikes. Cross runs the ropes, ducks a clothesline and kicks Starks’ knee out.

Cross with more offense and a scream as fans pop. Cross splashes Stark in the corner. Stark blocks a tornado DDT from the corner, then nails a superkick. Stark quickly follows up with her Z360 finisher in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winner: Zoey Stark

– After the match, Stark stands tall as her music hits. We go to replays. Stark stands over Cross now.

– Byron Saxton is backstage with Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio. He asks if she’s feeling any extra pressure. Ripley says she welcomes it, it comes with running a division and… they stop when we hear Xavier Woods and Akira Tozawa laughing nearby. Dominik steps to them and tells them to show respect when Mami is talking. Woods says Dominik looks like he got his whole outfit from lost and found. Dominik says it won’t be funny if he punches Woods in the face. Woods says he just got to RAW and is looking for a fight, so how about tonight? Ripley steps in between them and Tozawa immediately walks away. Rhea says Dom-Dom accepts the challenge. Woods says that’s cool. He waves them both way, then looks around for the missing Tozawa.

– We see Trish Stratus backstage hanging and passing out “Missing” posters for Becky Lynch. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Patrick touts the success of WWE Backlash.

– We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus to boos. We see how she turned on Becky Lynch several weeks back.

Trish takes the mic to boos and asks if anyone has seen Becky. Trish goes on about being concerned for Becky. She’s used all her tools and resources to help find her. She asks Graves to tweet the missing poster. Trish is sure Lynch will be found, and then we can all thank Trish.

Trish says Becky will probably be found in some dark dank corner of Iowa, crying with her dumb daughter. Fans boo. Trish says no, the daughter is dumb because she doesn’t even know her colors… she’s only 2. But Becky will be found, she’s just not coming back to RAW because this is Trish’s show, her spotlight, and to be clear, no one is stealing her spotlight, not even Lynch.

The music hits for Lynch but she doesn’t come out. Stratus laughs and says everyone is so dumb, just as gullible as Becky when she thought Trish was her friend. Trish says no, Becky will not get her because she’s never coming back. Trish tells a story about how her daughter wanted a doll, so they bought it and took it home… fans interrupt with “Becky!” chants but Trish shoots them down. Trish’s daughter wanted to name the doll after Becky because she’s petty and… Becky’s music interrupts again but Trish tells production that the joke is done.

Lynch is standing behind Trish now, and Trish senses this. She turns around to a big right hand from Becky, and another. Lynch with n uppercut and a Bexploder suplex to send Trish out of the ring as fans cheer. Stratus retreats up the ramp as Lynch paces the ring. Lynch says she’s right here, The Man has come around to kick your ass. Lynch tosses the mic as her music starts back up. Trish throws a fit on the stage as Lynch yells at her.

– We see what happened earlier with Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes. Cody is now in the trainer’s room with Adam Pearce, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Sami wonders what is going to happen, and Pearce says nothing now.

Xavier Woods vs. Dominik Mysterio

We go back to the ring and out comes Xavier Woods to a pop. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Dominik Mysterio with SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. The bell rings and they go at it, trading holds and shots. Woods takes control and ends up having words at ringside with Ripley.

Woos comes back in but Dominik decks him to boos. Woods comes back with a dropkick and some showing off. Woods with lefts and right body shots in the corner, then a big right to the face. Woos beats Dominik into another corner but Dominik counters and puts him down. Dominik keeps Woods down but blows a kiss to Ripley, allowing Woods to hit him. Dominik quickly turns it back around and we get a 619 attempt but it’s blocked. He goes for it but gets tripped into the ropes.

Woods comes back and nails a top rope crossbody for 2. Woods unloads in the corner now, beating Dominik back down until the referee warns him. Woods charges but Dominik back-drops him over the top rope, and his face apparently hits the steel ring steps on the way down. Woods is laid out on the floor as Ripley taunts him and we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Woods rocks Dominik in the middle of the ring. Dominik blocks a suplex and hits a forearm. Fans boo as Dominik delivers the Three Amigos suplexes now while Ripley cheers him on. Woods kicks out at 2 and Dominik shows some frustration, as does Ripley.

Dominik grounds Woods with a headlock now. Woods fights up and out with chops into the ropes. Woods ducks several attempts by Dominik and levels him with a big shot. Woods with running strikes in the corners, then the rolling clothesline. Woods fights back in from the apron and rolls into the tornado DDT for a close 2 count.

Fans rally for Woods with “New Day, rocks!” chants. Woods fights back and charges but Dominik nails a flying corkscrew elbow in response. Dominik wastes some time on the apron, so Woods takes his feet out to send him to the floor. Woods has Dominik draped over the top rope now. Woods flies off the middle turnbuckle with a dropkick for a close 2 count.

Woods goes back to the top, walks the rope but then misses the flying elbow drop as Dominik moves out of the way thanks to Ripley pulling him out to the floor. Dominik immediately rushes back in and cradles Woods to get the pin to win, using his trunks for leverage.

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

– After the match, Dominik stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Mysterio and Ripley celebrate the win as Woods looks on.

– We see Seth Rollins and Finn Balor backstage getting ready for the main event. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see Indus Sher backstage – Veer Mahaan, Sanga and Jinder Mahal. Jinder narrates and says these two international juggernauts are united as one force of destruction, they have conquered and obliterated competition around the world, now they’re ready to bring unprecedented levels of pain. Jinder says they have waited patiently for the moment to strike, and now from the shadows they emerge to shake the very foundation of RAW. Jinder stands between Veer and Sanga, and smiles as they stare ahead.

– The Miz walks up on Shinsuke Nakamura backstage. Miz asks if he has nothing to say? Miz told Nakamura how RAW is different than SmackDown, so they needed to stick together and have each other’s backs, but they didn’t so now they’re both out of the tournament. Miz is willing to put all of this behind them and give it another chance, it will be a win-win situation. Nakamura says he’s right. Nakamura proposes a one-on-one match for next week and says it will be awesome. Miz is not happy.

– Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville are backstage planning to get more signatures on their petition. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez walk up and says all they had to do was woman-up and ask for a rematch if they want it. Liv asks for the clipboard, and both champs autograph the petition. Liv says after they beat Damage CTRL on SmackDown, then they will see Deville and Green next Monday. Green and Deville bust out in laughter and say they didn’t make these petition for Liv and Raquel, they planned on challenging Damage CTRL next week, then beating theme. They laugh and walk off as the champions mock their laughs.

– Cathy Kelley is backstage with Cody Rhodes, asking about being out of the tournament. Cody says he obviously doesn’t feel good about it, now he doesn’t get to be the first champion on RAW, in a tournament that respectfully was his to win. Cody says, sorry I… just what else is there to say? Cody doesn’t know. He goes to walk away but stops and says here is what he does know… this was the second time Brock Lesnar attacked him from behind and for no reason. Cody thinks it’s because Brock’s longtime grip and monopoly on the main event scene has been slipping since Cody got here, which Cody proved at Backlash, and Brock proved it tonight by asking Cody to fight. Cody says it’s against his better judgement but he accepts the fight for Night of Champions. Cody thanks Cathy and walks off.

WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament Semi-finals Match: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

We go back to the ring for the semi-finals round of the WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament as Finn Balor makes his way out by himself. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Seth Rollins as fans begin serenading him. The winner of this will advance to WWE Night of Champions to face a SmackDown Superstar to crown the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. We see the title belt on display.

The bell rings and they size each other up, then lock up. Balor takes control first but Rollins laughs at him. They lock up and go to the ropes, but Rollins backs off. They do a test of strength now but quickly lock up and go to the ropes. Balor with a back elbow to get Rollins off him.

Fans do dueling chants now. They fight and Balor nails a dropkick, then sends Rollins to the floor. Balor follows but Rollins hits a Slingblade on the floor. Rollins chops Balor and rolls him back in. Balor rocks Rollins as he comes back in, and works him over.

Balor grabs Rollins off the apron and runs to powerbomb him into the barrier, the same move that injured Balor at SummerSlam several years back. Balor asks Rollins how he likes it when it happens to him. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and they’re trading kicks and punches in the middle of the ring. Rollins can only use one arm but he unloads and drops Balor. Favoring his left arm and shoulder, Rollins mounts offense in the corner and nails a backbreaker. Rollins flies off the top and rolls into a pin attempt but Balor comes right out into a Fujiwara armbar, forcing Rollins to scream out. Balor with a Slingblade. He charges for a corner dropkick but Rollins superkicks him for 2. They end up on the floor, still fighting and trading offense, then slamming each other’s faces into the edge of the apron.

Rollins and Balor bring it back in and trade more big strikes. Rollins with an enziguri but Balor nails the overhead kick, and now they both go down. They get up talking trash and smiling. They charge in but Balor drops Rollins and hits a double stomp. Balor goes up top but Rollins cuts him off and hits a big superplex, holding it for the Falcon Arrow attempt but Balor blocks it. Balor with the inverted DDT for a close 2 count.

Fans chant “this is awesome!” as Balor shows off in the middle of the ring. Balor trash talks Rollins and stomps him in the corner some more. Balor dropkicks the back of Rollins’ neck against the turnbuckles, then dropkicks him into an opposite corner. Balor goes back to the top now but Rollins dodges Coup de Grace and can only hit a one-arm Pedigree.

Balor kicks out at 2. Fans begin serenading Rollins as he waits to deliver a Stomp. Balor slowly gets up, but dodges the Stomp. Rollins rolls through a pin attempt and hits an inverted Stomp. Rollins then follows up with a Stomp. Rollins crawls over with one good arm and covers for the pin to win to advance to the finals.

Winner: Seth Rollins

– After the match, Rollins stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Fans sing for Rollins as he heads to the stage now. RAW goes off the air with Rollins posing next to the new WWE World Heavyweight Title belt.

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