Welcome to the Wrestle Purists’ Live Coverage of Monday Night Raw for the June 12th, 2023 episode.
Rhea Ripley Receives The New WWE Womens World Championship:
We are kicking off Raw with the Smackdown Women’s’ champion Rhea Ripley. Adam Pearce is in the ring and it looks like she won’t be called Smackdown Champion for long. The ring is set up just like it was for Asuka’s new championship presentation this past Friday. Adam Pearce says Rhea is the brand new Women’s World Champion and unveils a belt that looks just like Seth’s but with the white strap. It’s NICE. Out comes Dominik Mysterio who hilariously holds the belt over his head before strapping it around the waist of Mami. Rhea tells “Dom Dom” to explain to the people how amazing she is. Dominik says he will always be there to support Mami but is quickly interrupted by the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes. We really are starting off hot!
Cody is out in full Homelander ring gear with the “WOAHS” as loud as ever. Cody asks Kansas what they want to talk about. He says they could talk about Rhea and the new championship. He heaps praise on her. Cody says we could talk about his match with the Miz later. But he instead throws to the clip from last week’s excellent segment between Cody and Dominik that ended with Dominik slapping Cody. I have a feeling these two are going to face off at Money in the Bank. Rhodes mentions he doesn’t think Brock Lesnar has the balls to face him again. But Dominik had the balls to slap him. So why not Dominik versus Cody at Money in the Bank? Dominik says he isn’t afraid of anyone in the world but hesitates to answer the challenge. Cody asks for the clear answer and Rhea and Dominik both look worried. Rhea says her Latino Heat is more of a man than anyone in the arena especially Cody. Rhea says Dominik accepts when Miz tries to attack Cody. Rhodes fights off the Miz and Dominik gets off another cheap shot. That was a fun segment with some clunky timing at the very end. Still excited to see crazy London gets for this match up.
Cody Rhodes Defeats The Miz:
Back from break and the bell rings for our opening contest. These two got some criticism for their Raw match last year that was a bit sloppy. This one starts with Cody on the attack with both a Disaster Kick and a dive to the outside on the A-Lister. Miz sells the leg early on an irish whip but Miz is able to turn the tide when he drives Cody face first off the steel steps. A small chant of “tiny balls” breaks out. Look it’s not my cup of tea but there is no denying Miz has gotten a lot of mileage out of that bit. Cody gets the upper-hand again but quickly loses it when Miz moves out of the way and Rhodes goes shoulder first into the post. Miz takes advantage and grabs Cody outside of the ring, throwing him into the steel steps again. So far I’m enjoying how desperate the Miz is wrestling. Clearly Cody is higher in the pecking order, and the Miz isn’t hesitating to try whatever it takes to win. Back from break and the Miz hit’s his world famous corner clothesline. Cody won’t stop coming though with a side effect planting the A-lister. A scoop slam ala Goldust is followed by a second Disaster kick that almost gets the three count! Miz counters the Cody Cutter into the set up for the Skull Crushing Finale but that’s countered into a roll up! The It kicks are followed up by a spike DDT but that only gets a two count. Miz calls for his finish again bt Cody rolls out this time into a successful Cody cutter that wakes the crowd right up! A big crossrhodes for the one…two…three! A really solid match, these two definitely were out to give a better showing then their last match. Some awesome counters!
Becky Lynch Backstage Segment/Promo:
Commentary is all we can hear on audio but we see Becky talking to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and then as she heads to the ring we see Chad Gable and Otis training Maxxine Dupri on a few wrestling moves. Lynch is staring up at the briefcases as she hopes to win her first ever Money in the Bank match. Before she takes on Chelsea Green, the Man has a mic. She says she has been lucky enough to do so much in her career but winning MITB is the one thing that has eluded her. She says we’ve all been conditioned to think the top dog is the person who holds the championship. But the person who is number one in the company is the person who holds the power. Becky says that the person holding the briefcase is the one holding the power. She gets tongue tied but acknowledges it like a pro by saying she is getting tongue tied because she likes power! Lynch says the briefcase will make the champion’s scared. And speaking of scared, we need to look at Trish Stratus. That’s why she brought on Zoey Stark because in Trish’s mind Stratus had already lost at Night of Champions. Out comes Zoey to interrupt. Zoey says the one accomplishment she will never get to do is beat Trish Stratus. And at Money in the Bank she can add not beating Zoey Stark to her failures. Becky says she has so many failures and she has learned from them all, making her great. The Man says while we don’t know much about Zoey, she knows Zoey is special in this ring. But the one thing Stark lacks is a personality. Stark says Becky only became relevant because someone broke her face and Becky is just holding onto to fame. That’s why Becky is holding onto Trish Stratus. Becky says we don’t have to wait till London but that brings out Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville. A quick side note, I think Zoey did okay here. Obviously going to be hard to go toe to toe with Becky on the stick but she didn’t wilt. And the only way she is going to get better is to be put in situations like this. I’m glad they are trusting her to do it.
Chelsea says she is sorry to interrupt but Sonya says it’s time to address Becky Lynch’s blatant disrespect of Chelsea last week. Sonya tries to give tending to Green as an excuse for losing but much like her friend Kevin, The Man is fed up of the wrestling tropes and tells Chelsea to get in the ring. That leads us to…
Becky Lynch Defeats Chelsea Green:
Becky immediately takes Green down with a fury of strikes as we head to commercial break as soon as the match starts. We’re back and apparently Chelsea has dominated during the entire break. Zoey Stark is watching atop a ladder as Becky tries to fight back. Green hits a nice face stomp into the corner. So far Chelsea has been able to fight off Becky’s comeback attempts with some effective strikes. A headbutt from Lynch gives her just enough separation to hit a shotgun dropkick from the top rope. Becky takes Green outside and throws her multiple times into the barricade. Green keeps fighting with a nice looking enzuiguri. She goes for a killswitch but Becky tries for the Manhandle slam. Green counters that into a rollup but Becky is too good, as she rolls further into the Dis-Arm-Her for the tap out! Nice showing from Green while furthering the Zoey/Trish/Becky program.
Recap Of Seth Rollins vs Damian Priest From Last Week:
We get a recap of last weeks main event with a focus on Priest agreeing to leave the Judgment Day backstage and Finn Balor’s displeasure at the decision. We see Finn’s interference that upsets Damian and Seth Rollins surviving with the stare down with Finn after.
Backstage With The Judgement Day:
Three out of the four members of the Judgment Day are happy while Finn Balor is stewing. Finn says he just has a lot on his mind. Damian Priest once again asks to go out alone, and stares at Finn as he heads towards the ring.
Money In The Bank Qualifier – Damian Priest Defeats Matt Riddle:
These two former friends square off to be the final entrant in the men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. If Riddle gets in i’m not sure if I could see him winning, but I definitely could see Priest winning the case. Riddle grabs the ankle early, and after Priest counters Riddle is right back on with a Kimura. Priest again counters but Riddle jumps on with a sleeper. Priest has the power advantage but Riddle may just have more fight in him. Riddle goes for the punt kick on the apron but Priest grabs Riddle’s leg and sweeps him off. Damian Priest tries for some sort of running maneuver on the outside but Riddle ducks and Priest ends up with a sick looking dive onto the announcers table. Riddle gets the better of Priest with a series of strikes and then an excellent suplex and bro-ton combo. Riddle connects this time with the apron kick and then a dive to the outside. Riddle has Priest back in the ring and both men try for tombstones until Riddle hits an impressive bridging German suplex for a two count. Priest has Riddle rocked until Matt counters with a jumping knee. Priest is able to reverse an attempted suplex into a broken arrow. Riddle rolls up Priest into the ankle lock and then settles for a sleeper after Priest slips out. Priest is just too powerful, but Riddle will not stop trying to apply the sleeper. Priest hits a headlock driver on Riddle who is prone on the top rope for a close two count. Priest goes for South of Heaven but Riddle reverses. He is looking for a Floating Bro but Priest cuts that off. Oh man! Priest has him set up for a top rope Razor’s Edge but thankfully Riddle gets out. A Fisherman Superplex almost wins it for Riddle. Riddle is ready to try the Floating Bro again, but Priest moves out of the way. Riddle rolls through and tries for a springboard off the rope but Priest knows him too well! He grabs him for a very quick Razor’s Edge to punch his ticket to London!
After the match GUNTHER and Kaiser are out (sans Vinci who Riddle took out last week.) Priest and GUNTHER stare down until Priest tells him to “pick the bones.” The two on one advantage is too much for Riddle as one chop takes Riddle to the ground.
Cody Rhodes Interview:
Cody is backstage with Cathy Kelley after his match with Dominik Mysterio is made official for Money in the Bank. Cody says everyone is gassing up Dominik. Brock Lesnar won’t show up. Dominik won’t go away. Cody isn’t stupid, he knows ever since he lost at Mania all eyes have been on him. He runs towards that ring because that’s the path to finishing his story. No one is going to knock him off his path.
Natalya Interview Featuring Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn:
Natalya is backstage with Byron Saxton. He says lately people have been saying Natalya hasn’t been acting the same ever since her quick loss to Rhea Ripley at Night of Champions. She says being her has gotten her nowhere. And that maybe she doesn’t know how to be her anymore. Natalya leaves dejected. Saxton says to follow him and he goes nowhere as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come into frame. Kevin Owens says he was so close to beating the seemingly unbeatable before he is interrupted by Ludwig Kaiser and GUNTHER. Ludwig Kaiser says last week Kevin Owens lost, but Sami Ayn taunts Imperium by asking “where is baldie?” Ludwig Kaiser asks if Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are so confident, why don’t they put the tag titles on the line tonight? Kevin Owens blows up and says as long as he gets to fight him, he will put the titles on the line anytime. Looks like tonight’s main event is for the titles!
Recap Of Bloodline/Usos Storyline From Fridays SmackDown:
A recap of the multi-segment Jey Uso story from Smackdown. As with most Bloodline content, this is worth checking out. Really love that Paul Heyman tried to say Jey is being groomed to be the next Tribal Chief.
Indus Sher Backstage:
Jinder Mahal says they aren’t satisfied with last week’s beat-down before the match of Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. They need an actual match to finish the job.
Bronson Reed Defeats Ricochet via DQ:
Ricochet and Bronson Reed keep up their feud from last week where Bronson ruined the match between Nakamura and Ricochet. Bronson is furious he isn’t in the Money in the Bank Ladder match (because he lost his qualifier) but I do like that he is trying to make a statement against those who are in the match. Ricochet doesn’t wait long and is all over the bigger Bronson as the match starts. The strikes don’t seem to have much impact as one forearm from Bronson nearly knocks Ricochet out. The crowd comes alive as Nakamura saunters down to the ring. This distraction is enough for Ricochet to build up a head of steam for a few running strikes. It’s not enough to combat the power of Bronson who, with Ricochet laying on the top rope, jumps onto the ropes and catapults Ricochet onto the mat in one of the coolest things I’ve seen in the ring in awhile. Ricochet sticks and moves and hits a beautiful springboard crossbody followed by a lionsault that barely gets a two count. Ricochet moonsaults off the apron but Bronson catches him and throws him right into Shinsuke who is sitting at ringside. Bronson is going up for the Tsunami but Nakamura hits a kick on Bronson and gets Ricochet disqualified. Ricochet is pissed and arguing with Nakamura, which allows Broson to clothesline the King of Strong Style. Bronson once again goes for a Tsunami but the other two men head him off. Ricochet and Nakamura work together and hit a double superplex on Bronson Reed!
A “holy shit” chant from the crowd, I do wish these matches had finishes but I get the feeling we are on our way to a triple threat next week. Hopefully Bronson Reed gets a chance to win it and get into Money in the Bank.
Backstage With Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn:
Sami asks what is with Kevin blowing up so much lately. He says Kevin is at a ten and Kevin insists he is at a six. Kevin says he has been stressed, they’ve gone from the Bloodline to these weird tall guys who “speak European.” Kevin insists he is doing great and Sami is clearly trying to convince himself that’s true.
Backstage With Adam Pearce:
Adam Pearce is backstage with someone on the phone and announces that it’s official for tonight that the main-event is for the Tag Team Championships. Ricochet asks Pearce for a match with Bronson Reed next week but Pearce says Reed already has a match next week. Shinsuke Nakamura enters the frame. Ricochet says is something like tonight happens again, they will have to finish this. Nakamura says Ricochet can have Bronson Reed after Nakamura is done with him.
Finn Balor In-Ring Promo:
Finn Balor is out with a stylish black polo shirt. His remix theme has really grown on me. Balor says he knows Seth Rollins is here and they need to talk. “No jokes, no zingers, no sing-a-longs, just facts.” Seth’s music hits and it sounds like the people of Kansas didn’t get Balor’s memo about no singing along. Balor says he has been waiting for seven years to say this so the crowd better shut up. Balor says seven years ago he was a first round draft pick to Raw and he beat Roman Reigns on his first night. Then three weeks later he beat Seth to become the first ever Universal Champion. The crowd still is singing through all of this! Seth asks what does Balor want to say so badly to ruin the audience party. Balor says it should have been the highest of highs seven years ago but it was the lowest of lows because of Seth. Balor says he isn’t complaining about the injury. Man the people will not stop singing. Balor says Seth took everything from him. He took his momentum, his title, and a year from his career. Balor says now it’s his turn to take it all back. He is going to take Seth’s momentum, Seth’s title, and a year from his career. He is going to do it at Money in the Bank. Seth responds with his Joker laugh which turns the crowds singing into cheers. Seth says he is laughing because this is the Finn Balor he has been waiting to see for the past seven years. Their careers went on two different paths after that Summerslam because Balor got bitter and Seth got better. Seth says he admits he has done bad things over the last seven years. But he also has made moments and memories that people will never forget because he adapted. Seth changed and got better, he is the greatest version of Seth “Freakin” Rollins and the proof is the World Heavyweight Championship. He tells Balor that he is on for Money in the Bank! Seth asks which version of Balor will come fight for the title. The bitter shell of a champion Balor doesn’t stand a chance. But the Balor that beat Seth to become the first ever Universal Champion with his arm hanging off his body, he has a shot. Seth asks, which Finn Balor is he bringing – that champion or the Balor that has been walking around the last seven years acting like a little bitch?! This is the must watch segment from the show, the crowd would not stop singing. Kudos to Balor for powering through his promo.
Shayna Baszler Defeats Raquel Rodriguez:
We get a video recap of the segment between Rousey/Baszler and NXT Champions, Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn. Baszler and Rodriguez lock up and Raquel gets the early advantage with two fall away slams. Baszler ducks a big boot and hits a great looking kick to the back of Rodriguez knee. This starts the knee and ankle work from Baszler. Rodriguez fights through the pain and is about to hit Baszler with her finish until Rousey gets up on the apron. Rodriguez is distracted and Baszler rolls her up and Rousey adds a foot on the butt of Baszler to make sure she get’s the three count. We couldn’t give these women more than two minutes? Where is Shotzi? I know the tag belts seem cursed but booking like this doesn’t help
Iron Sheik Memorial Video Package:
R.I.P Iron Sheik
Chad Gable Defeats Erik:
Chad Gable is out in what looks like coach attire accompanied by Maxxine Dupri and Otis. Erik is in rare singles action here. A VERY loud “Let’s Go Gable” chant breaks out which is great to hear. Gable tries to shoosh Erik but the size difference works in Erik’s favor at the start. Gable is able to quickly out wrestle Erik and then hit a flying headbutt on Erik. Vahalla charges outside at Maxxine who hits the flying armdrag that Gable has been teaching her! The crowd is eating this up. In the meantime Gable reverses Erik’s attack in the corner for a roll up for the victory! I’m not sorry, I love Chad Gable and the Alpha Academy. Thank you!!!
Rhea Ripley Video Package:
Not a surprise but clearly the WWE knows what they have with Rhea. A badass video package highlighting perhaps their most badass star. It’s crazy she is only 26.
Backstage With Finn Balor & JD Mcdonagh
Finn is backstage with JD McDonagh. Finn is telling him the important thing is not to make friends but to..I think he said make moments? Priest interrupts but Finn congratulates him on qualifying for Money in the Bank. Damian Priest congratulates Finn on the title shot. Finn asks Damian if he would cash in on Finn and Damian is upset he has to ask. Damian gives him his word, but tells Finn next time he needs to keep to his word referring to Finn’s interference last week. Damian says Seth has Finn all messed up, and at Money in the Bank Finn has to finish this.
Seth Rollins Interview:
Seth is backstage with Cathy Kelley and is in a great mood. She asks if he is prepared for a bitter Finn Balor. Seth says he is as prepared and as confident as one man can be. The real question though is Finn prepared for Seth? Because after Money in the Bank, Finn wont just lose his mind, seems like he will lose his buddy Damian Priest too. Seth says he is too hyped up so let’s do something risky. Next week on Raw, it’s an open challenge once again for the World Heavyweight Championship!
Logan Paul Returns Next Week:
Oh boy, where does he fit in for Money in the Bank? Does he weasel his way into the ladder match? Or is this for Summerslam?
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) Defeat GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser (WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships):
After last weeks incredible one on one match with Kevin Owens and GUNTHER, this one promises to be a fun one. We start with Sami and GUNTHER, which I’m going to need in a singles as soon as humanely possible. Sami avoids the first chop from the Ring General and hits three chops of his own. They have almost no effect. Sami hits an early dive to the outside that takes out GUNTHER. Ludwig is now in with Sami. Ludwig has really been a jack of all trades for Imperium. He is a solid promo and a great wrestler. Kevin tags in and hits a Best Moonsault Ever on Ludwig for the two count. GUNTHER makes a blind tag and then hits a big boot on Sami followed by one on Kevin. Those boots were one of the main reasons he was able to beat Kevin last week. A quick tag back to Ludwig and it’s becoming clear Imperium is isolating Sami. Back from break and Sami hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope onto Ludwig to a huge ovation from the crowd. Ludwig tags in GUNTHER but Sami tags in Kevin! Kevin wastes no time with the right hands. He hits two clotheslines that don’t knock down GUNTHER, but he is able to shake off a big boot to hit a third clothesline that does drop the Intercontinental champion. Kevin is finally able to hit the cannonball dive into the corner quickly followed by the Swanton bomb. One…two…no!
GUNTHER goes for the same rollup he won with last week but Kevin escapes. Kevin goes for the stunner but GUNTHER connects with the big boot as both men collapse to the mat. Sami and Ludwig tag in and Sami hits the exploder onto Kaiser in the corner. GUNTHER pulls Sami out before he can go for the Helluva kick, GUNTHER goes for a chop but Sami ducks and GUNTHER’S hand connects with the ring post! Sami rolls back in, reverses a clothesline from Ludwig and tries for a Blue Thunder Bomb but Ludwig hits a driver into a double team uppercut with GUNTHER. A HUGE lariat from GUNTHER to Sami is enough for what looks like the three count but Sami kicks out! Imperium hit the Imperium bomb and would have it but Kevin shoves the Intercontinental champion into the pinfall to break it up. Kevin and GUNTHER brawl on the outside but GUNTHER gets the upperhand by driving Kevin into the post. Here comes Matt Riddle followed by officials and referees. GUNTHER takes out Matt Riddle with a boot but Owens hits a DDT on the outside to GUNTHER! Inside the ring Sami Zayn catches Ludwig with a Blue Thunder Bomb for the one…two…three!! Kevin and Sami are STILL your tag team champions! An excellent tag team match with a phenomenal near fall. Love that a Blue Thunder Bomb ended a main event match. Sign me up for Sami versus Gunther. I cannot wait!