WWE Raw Report – 5/22

May 22, 2023 - by Staff

– The WWE Night of Champions go-home edition of RAW opens live on the USA Network with a shot of Cody Rhodes arriving backstage to the GIANT Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Kevin Patrick welcomes us, and he’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves. Bock Lesnar suddenly attacks Cody and destroys him backstage. Lesnar taunts Cody while beating him around the backstage area. Lesnar smashes Rhodes’ arm and now it looks like Cody is hurt as Lesnar walks away.

– We go right to the ring and Paul Heyman is already waiting with a mic as fans boo.

Heyman says he had nothing to do with what we just saw, but it’s just an example of what Cody has coming at WWE Night of Champions. Heyman says last week’s appearance was so well-received, he was brought back. Heyman touts 3 Night of Champions main events and how Solo Sikoa and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, while The Usos proudly watch on TV from home. Heyman goes on and welcomes us to the final RAW before Night of Champions. Owens’ music hits, shocking Heyman. Sami’s music hits next and now the champions head to the ring while Samantha Irvin does the introductions. We see what happened on Friday’s SmackDown.

Sami cracks jokes at how fast Heyman left. Zayn and Owens feel really good going into Saturday’s title defense. Sami has said all he has to say. Owens brings up how Reigns dedicated the upcoming win to WWE Hall of Famers The Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika. Owens says that got him thinking and he wants to dedicate their win to the true pillars of The Bloodline… The Usos.

Sami says that’s pretty good, but that’s then and tonight they’re in six-man action against Imperium. The music interrupts and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Imperium hits the apron to surround the tag team champs. Matt Riddle then runs out and stands with the champs to even the odds. Imperium leaves but turns back and rushes into the ring to fight. Vinci and Kaiser are sent out. Riddle with a big knee to stun GUNTHER. Owens and Zayn try to clothesline GUNTHER to the floor but Riddle has to assist. The two teams face off.

Ricochet vs. Bronson Reed

We go back to the ring and out comes Ricochet to a pop as Samantha Irvin does the introductions. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and we see Cody Rhodes rolling around in pain earlier while Brock Lesnar looked down at him. Byron Saxton is outside of the trainer’s room now. Adam Pearce comes out but he has no update on Cody. Saxton asks him about a rumor on Cody breaking his arm. Pearce says he has no new information. We go back to the ring and out comes Bronson Reed. We get a pre-recorded promo with Reed blaming last week’s Battle Royal loss on Ricochet, and warning that actions have consequences.

The bell rings and Ricochet uses his speed to evade. Ricochet with strikes now. Ricochet hits the knee but Reed is still up. More back and forth now.

Ricochet stuns Reed again but runs into a huge splash, then a sitdown splash and a cannonball to send Ricochet out to regroup. Reed goes to the apron now, then nails a big splash to Ricochet from the apron to the floor. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and Ricochet fights out of a vertical suplex, fighting Reed off for 2. Ricochet with two neckbreakers over the top rope now. Ricochet flies off the top but keeps running after a duck. Ricochet superkicks Reed a few times, then hits the Standing Shooting Star Press.

Ricochet with another big shot from the apron for 2. Reed takes strikes and drops Ricochet with one blow. Reed clubs Ricochet to the floor, then flies with a cannonball but Ricochet meets him in mid-air with a big knee.

Ricochet brings it back in, nails a big kick, then goes to springboard but Reed clubs him to the mat. Reed decks Ricochet and man-handles him again, then drags him over for the Tsunami Splash for the pin to win.

Winner: Bronson Reed

– After the match, Reed stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Reed taunts Ricochet while he recovers.

– Apollo Crews is backstage with Cathy Kelley. He hopes Cody Rhodes is OK because that looked rough earlier. Apollo says otherwise, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t excited to be back on… Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley interrupt. Dominik says this was supposed to be Rhea’s interview time, but Cathy says Rhea was after Apollo. Dominik says Rhea is a busy woman and has something to say. She thanks Dom-Dom, then says Natalya has had a legendary career but she got in Ripley’s way so this Saturday at WWE Night of Champions, she will make an example of Natalya and make her regret coming to RAW, and end her legendary career. Dominik and Apollo have a few words and Crews asks Dominik what he’s going to do about it. Ripley says they will remind Apollo who runs RAW. Dominik says that’s right, Mami. Apollo can’t wait to see them try.

– Still to come, Seth Rollins’ sitdown interview continues. Back to commercial.

– We go to part three of Corey Grave’ sitdown interview with Seth Rollins. Regarding Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Rollins says he loves him but doesn’t like him… that’s brotherhood, right? He will always have love for Reigns, but he has no respect for the person Reigns has become. He says Reigns is poisoned by his own ego, and the title is the biggest thing… Reigns is taking opportunities from others and that’s about as selfish as you can be. Rollins says he will become champion so we can all forget about Reigns. Graves asks what RAW can look like with Rollins on top. He says RAW can be the land of opportunity, for change, it can push the industry forward. Rollins goes on and says he doesn’t want to jinx himself but he feels pretty invisible going into Night of Champions, he’s at the top of his game. Graves asks why Night of Champions is different. Rollins says this is it.

– We see footage of Shinsuke Nakamura having words with Damian Priest and Finn Balor on RAW Talk. Byron Saxton approaches Priest and Balor at the show now. Balor says Shinsuke Nakamura cost Priest a shot in the tournament, and he disrespected Priest, which is disrespecting the other members of The Judgment Day. Balor will make Nakamura pay and leave just enough on his bones for Priest to pick apart.

Zoey Stark vs. Candice LeRae

We go back to the ring and out comes Candice LeRae. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and we get a vignette on Zoey Stark. She is clear, calculated and vicious, and you won’t like her. She says she is here to tear down all of your idols apart and expose their weaknesses. The era of heroes is over and the Zoey Stark era is here. We go back to the ring and out comes Stark now.

Stark attacks as soon s the bell hits, ramming LeRae into the corner. Stark dominates to keep control, slamming LeRae for 2. Stark grounds LeRae now.

Nikki Cross runs down and begins rallying for LeRae. LeRae mounts offense and unloads on Stark, hitting a big back splash to the floor. Cross runs over to celebrate with Stark and LeRae, but Stark decks her to take control. Stark brings LeRae back in for the Z360 in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winner: Zoey Stark

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

– WWE touts how John Cena is currently in Fast X while Batista is in Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

– Byron Saxton is backstage with Mustafa Ali now, asking about his Night of Champions match with WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. Ali is at a loss of words, his “Positive-Ali” gimmick on hold tonight. Ali says he knows Saxton is looking for his usual, but this is way too real for him, he’s been dreaming about this since he was a kid – doing something great and becoming a champion but if you look at his career, he’s never come close, he’s been a failure over and over. Ali says no one thinks he can beat GUNTHER and become the… Brock Lesnar comes walking through the Gorilla Position area, pushing Ali out of the way. Lesnar turns and looks at Ali, then tells him to get a life, kid.

Lesnar is out on the stage now. He looks ahead and then marches to the ring as the music starts up. Lesnar is all business right now. Lesnar takes a mic and just waits as fans chant “Cody!” now. Lesnar asks Hershey what thy want to talk about. Lesnar says he would boo Cody also. He says unfortunately, Cody won’t be coming back out tonight and he won’t be fighting Lesnar at Night of Champions, but don’t worry… Lesnar will not let you down as he’s issuing an Open Challenge for anyone back there to fight him at Night of Champions. All you have to do is step up!

Lesnar laughs and looks ahead. Cody comes out with his arm in a sling. Adam Pearce and two referees try to get him to go back. Cody heads to the ring now, then takes off his shirt. Lesnar and Cody stare at each other. Lesnar charges and collides into Cody, then takes him down into the Kimura Lock. Lesnar screams “Fight, fight me!” while Rhodes clutches his own arm. Lesnar breaks as Pearce pleads from ringside. Lesnar stomps Cody’s arm some more and the boos pick up. Lesnar heads to the back while Pearce yells for medical. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see what just happened with Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes.

Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders

We go back to the ring and out comes Alpha Academy – Otis and Chad Gable with Maxxine Dupri. The Viking Raiders are out next – Erik and Ivar with Valhalla.

Erik starts off with Gable and they go at it. Erik with a big forearm and more strikes to keep control. Ivar comes in for the assist.

Ivar beats Gable around as fans rally now. Gable tries to turn it around but Erik spin kicks him for 2. Erik with thrusts in the corner. Ivar tags in and splashes Gable for 2. Gable ends up fighting both opponents off, then tagging in Otis for the hot tag. Otis runs wild on both opponents, then slams Ivar. Otis drops Erik and hits the Caterpillar on him. Ivar fights Otis off. Gable tags in but Erik hits a huge knee strike.

Valhalla simply yells and looks at Maxxine, then she runs away screaming. The distraction allows Gable to hit the O’Connor Roll and bridge for the pin to win.

Winners: Alpha Academy

– After the match, Otis and Gable head to the ramp to celebrate while Erik, Ivar and Valhalla seethe in the ring.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor

We go back to the ring and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura to a pop and pyro. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and we get a video of Indus Sher’s Veer and Sanga, narrated by Jinder Mahal. He says last week was the first day of the end for many on RAW. Veer and Sanga are forces of nature… thunder is crashing, the storm is here. So what happens next? Jinder says something about RAW in Hindi. Byron is waiting backstage to get a comment from Cody Rhodes. Adam Pearce enters and we hear him arguing with Cody. The door opens and Cody yells at Pearce, sending him on his way. We go back to the ring and out comes Finn Balor with Damian Priest. The bell hits and they go at it. Back & forth for the first several minutes.

Balor turns it around in the corner but Nakamura kicks him down. Balor blocks a kick but Nakamura hits the running high knee in the corner to send Balor to the floor. Nakamura with the sliding dropkick. They end up fighting at the ropes now. Balor backs away to argue with the referee, allowing Priest to attack from the floor and lay Nakamura out with a cheap shot on the floor. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Nakamura fights out of a hold but Balor puts him back down. Nakamura catches a kick and goes to work on Balor to a pop. Nakamura with the sliding German suplex.

Priest stares Nakamura down on the floor. Nakamura yells and tells him to bring it. Nakamura shows Priest up, then runs back in and drops Balor with a big kick for 2. Nakamura with a Facebuster, then knee strikes to the head. We have a brief connection issue and come back to both Superstars fighting back to their feet while the referee counts.

Priest pulls Balor to the floor instead and fans boo. Nakamura attacks Priest, then beats him against the barrier. Nakamura clotheslines Priest into the timekeeper’s area. Balor with a running dropkick from behind. Balor brings it back in and nails the Coup de Grace for the pin to win.

Winner: Finn Balor

– After the match, Balor and Priest stand tall as the music hits. We go to replays.

– The announcers talk about Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez relinquishing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Raquel Rodriguez vs. Sonya Deville

We go back to the ring and Raquel Rodriguez is out. We see how Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler attacked Raquel last week. Out next comes Sonya Deville with Chelsea Green.

Deville with strikes early on. They fight in the corner and Raquel takes a knee to the head. Deville with a middle rope knee for 2. Deville continues to dominate until she runs into a big boot and goes down. Raquel then hits the corkscrew elbow drop and the Texana Bomb for the pin to win.

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez

– After the match, Rodriguez stands tall until she is double teamed. Shotzi makes the save and then hits a big suicide dive as Rodriguez holds the rope open for her.

– Adam Pearce is told Cody Rhodes is blocking people from entering his locker room. Trish Stratus stops Pearce backstage and comments on how she made time in her busy schedule for tonight’s contract signing. She says Becky Lynch is feisty, so they need a no-touch rule for the contract signing. Pearce says a lot is going on tonight and he doesn’t see the need for a no-touch policy. Pearce thanks Trish and walks off.

– Still to come, Lynch and Stratus will make it official. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a new vignette for Matt Riddle. We see Riddle training and working out. Riddle has been in the ring with monsters and men who are bigger and faster than he is, so what is there to be afraid of? Riddle says he laughs in the face of adversity. This is his time and if you doubt him, that’s a mistake you can’t afford.

– Corey Graves is in the ring for a contract signing. We go back to the ring and out comes Becky Lynch to a big pop. We see how she returned two weeks ago to attack WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.

Lynch gives a shout-out to the locals, and says we’ve got business to handle. Lynch then calls Stratus to the ring, and here she comes. Trish says this is a big moment, her first contract signing. Stratus says this must be nothing to Lynch as she’s had so many contract signings… all thanks to Trish. She goes on to “What!?” chants when discussing how she changed the game, then left. Stratus goes on about how she will be “It” when she beats Becky. She wonders if Lynch will crawl into a deep, dark place and go through her stuff again. Trish says she has figured Lynch out, and she knows her weaknesses. Trish says Becky is her own worst problem.

Trish says this is her first contract signing, and Lynch’s last. She finally signs it. Lynch takes the mic and goes on about Trish being scared, not just of being hit, but how Lynch is better than she was and time is passing all of us by. Lynch thanks Trish… for being everything I never want to become. Lynch goes on and says she can overcome regardless. She says if Trish thought barking like a dog was embarrassing, just wait and see what happens at Night of Champions. Lynch barks and taunts Stratus. Stratus is furious now as she tips the announce table over. Lynch looks on as Stratus walks off.

– Adam Pearce is backstage on the phone. He tells the other person about how Cody Rhodes is refusing medical help and won’t talk to anyone.

Apollo Crews vs. Dominik Mysterio

We go back to the ring and out comes Dominik Mysterio with SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Byron stops Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez backstage. They talk about having respect for each other, then they agree to team up for SmackDown and then the title Fatal 4 Way on RAW. We go back to the ring and out comes Apollo Crews. Apollo with shoulders early on. Apollo blocks a counter and hits a long vertical suplex.

Dominik kicks out of the corner but Apollo presses him high in the air again, then to the mat. Dominik stalls and kicks Apollo with a cheap shot off the distraction. More back and forth now. Apollo goes to the top but he gets caught up and turned upside down. Dominik stomps away now.

Crews tries to turn it around but Dominik grounds him. They break and Apollo catches another crossbody attempt in mid-air. Apollo with a big slam. Crews goes on and hits a top rope crossbody for 2. Apollo avoids 619, then pulls Dominik to the floor and rocks him with a right. Apollo ends up sent face-first into the steel ring steps thanks to an assist by Ripley. Crews is also taken out by a steel chair now as the referee begins counting.

Crews slides in right before the 10 count but Dominik flies from the other side of the ring, hitting a big Frogsplash on Crews for the pin to win.

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

– After the match, Mysterio and Ripley celebrate as the music hits. We go to replays.

– We get a video on AJ Styles for the finals of the WWE World Heavyweight Title tournament. Back to commercial.

– We go to Seth Rollins and Corey Graves for part four of their sitdown interview. Rollins says it’s time for a change. He was never pegged to be that guy, so it made him want it more. Rollins says this is what he’s always dreamed of, it’s given him a life beyond his wildest dreams, he just wants to see it be the best it can be. This new title is it. He’s putting all his chips in and giving the match all he has. Rollins says he is the change we’ve been waiting on, he wants to be that guy.

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

We go back to the ring for tonight’s six-man main event and out first comes Imperium – WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Imperium hits the ring to pose as we go to commercial.

Back from the break and out comes Matt Riddle as the mystery partner. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are out next. Kaiser and Zayn start off. Kaiser gets the upperhand and stomps away in the corner now. Riddle tags in but he gets rocked. Vinci tags in and keeps control. Vinci goes from corner to corner. Vinci runs into a big kick. Riddle with a gutwrench slam.

Riddle and GUNTHER face off then go at it. GUNTHER smothers a takedown, then unloads with big kicks. GUNTHER kicks the leg out, then chops Riddle down. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Imperium is controlling the match. GUNTHER is alone with Riddle now, working him over and taunting the others. Riddle explodes up and levels GUNTHER with a big knee strike from out of nowhere.

Kaiser ends up taking Sami out by yanking him to the edge of the apron as Riddle is going for a pin. GUNTHER with a huge slam to Riddle as the follow-up. Riddle comes back with more offense on GUNTHER. More back and forth after the break. Owens unloads on Vinci, then stomps away and plays to the crowd for cheers. Owens is kicked but he clotheslines Vinci and lands a kick. Owens with a corner cannonball for 2.

Owens goes to the top but has to kick Kaiser away on the apron. Owens is going for a powerbomb but Vinci blocks him. Vinci and Kaiser hit the double team High & Low on the apron to send Owens to the floor. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Owens hits a big Frogsplash to Vinci. Sami tags in and runs wild on Kaiser, then knocks GUNTHER off the apron. Sami with a Michinoku Driver for 2. More back and forth now. Sami with a Blue Thunderbomb for 2. Sami sends Kaiser out but GUNTHER beats him down with chops to keep him dazed. Sami ducks and hits a Blue Thunderbomb for 2 as Vinci makes the save just in time.

Riddle and Vinci go at it. Vinci catches Riddle, then turns around to a Stunner from Owens. Kaiser sends Owens to the floor. Sami clotheslines Kaiser to the floor. Sami goes for a Helluva Kick but GUNTHER pulls him into a Sleeper hold. Sami fades in the hold but Riddle flies and hits a Floating Bro to the back of GUNTHER’s head to break it up.

Vinci swings and misses, then Sami launches him with the Exploder. Sami tries for a Helluva Kick but GUNTHER grabs him. Owens then superkicks GUNTHER. Riddle with a jumping knee to GUNTHER. Riddle goes on and sends GUNTHER over the announce table. Sami launches Kaiser back to the floor with a back-drop. Vinci goes for a corner clothesline but Sami nails a Helluva Kick for a big pop. Owens tags in and hits his Swanton Bomb on Vinci for the pin to win.

Winners: Matt Riddle, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

– After the match, the two teams recover and stare each other down.

– We see Cody Rhodes in his locker room. He tells someone he doesn’t need any help, then there’s a knock and in comes WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H. He says he understands where Cody is and what he’s trying o do, but he also knows Cody understands the position he’s in… he needs to get Cody medical attention. Cody says he doesn’t need any doctors. Triple H says he can look and see that Cody’s arm is broken, everyone can, and Cody knows damn well the arm is broken based on the look on his face. Triple H says no one is questioning how tough Cody is. They go on and Triple says he can’t let Cody go to Night of Champions to wrestle Brock Lesnar. Cody isn’t happy with Triple H saying he’s afraid, asking what he has to be afraid of. Cody says his legs work fine, he can make it to the ring. Triple H mentions seeing Cody wrestle with the torn pec and says no one questions how tough you are, but this is different. Triple H brings up the year Cody was on the shelf, and Cody admits it was a horrible year, but says it would have been much worse if he was a complete coward and a shell of himself, who didn’t go on and fight. Cody asks Triple H what would he have done. Cody says Triple H would have fought. Cody says he’s going to Night of Champions, and he’s going to fight Brock Lesnar. Fans cheer in the arena. Cody sits back down and Triple H sits with him. Triple H smirks, pats Cody on the leg, and says “alright.” Triple H then pats Cody on the back and walks off. The final RAW before WWE Night of Champions goes off the air.

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