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WWE Raw live results: 30th anniversary episode

The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and others will appear on Raw 30.
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Date: January 23, 2023
Location: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA 

The Big Takeaway --

The Bloodline highlighted the show in the first hour, WWE legends were used as expected, the advertised Bayley-Becky Lynch cage match didn’t happen, the crowd became quiet as the show dragged on, and Brock Lesnar interfered in the main event. 

Show Recap --

Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart entered to start the show. Hogan spoke about the success of Raw (glossing over the part where he was very much with the competition) and he did his catchphrase.

Hogan’s microphone cut in and out as he spoke which drew some boos from the Philadelphia crowd. In fact, a stagehand literally ran out in the middle of his promo and handed him a new mic. Hogan plowed through it and put over the Philadelphia Eagles which got a big pop.

There was a long Raw intro featuring moments from the show’s history. (It included big moments from guys who are not currently with the company like Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson.)

********

Tribal Court of Sami Zayn

Roman Reigns’ music hit which got a huge pop and the Bloodline was showered with “Sami” chants once they hit the ring. Zayn looked rather morose.

Paul Heyman received “ECW” chants which he acknowledged. However, he told Reigns, “ECW is dead — and I wish the same for Sami Zayn.” The crowd booed and chanted for Sami.

Heyman called Zayn a Judas and a betrayer who has conspired with Kevin Owens since day one. Zayn has been leading them on to feel like the fans of the Eagles who were about to get conquered by Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers. (He said Brock Purdy’s name like he was Brock Lesnar, which was great.)

Heyman presented several clips as evidence against Zayn: August 12 when Zayn bailed after the Usos got attacked by Drew McIntyre; August 29 when Zayn didn’t help Jey Uso during his match against Owens, which Owens won; November 26 when Zayn celebrated alone atop the cage at War Games (instead of celebrating with the Bloodline); and December 23 when Zayn accidentally hit Reigns in the shoulder.

Heyman wondered if Zayn was planning an assassination of Reigns so he could become head of the table. Heyman said the court should find Zayn guilty.

Zayn said he had a whole defence lined up but he admitted it hurt hearing Heyman say all of those things after everything they’ve been through. Zayn was offended that he would be put on trial to defend himself. He emphasized how much it hurt and said, “my defence is I have no defence.” He tossed the mic and sat down.

Reigns was infuriated that Zayn had so much ego he wouldn’t even defend himself after letting him into his family. Reigns called upon Solo Sikoa.

Sikoa stood behind Zayn and was about to give him the Samoan Spike (and Zayn was not defending himself) but Jey Uso stopped him.

Jey presented his own clips as evidence going back to August of Zayn helping the Bloodline and sacrificing himself many times. Zayn appeared emotional seeing the footage and the crowd cheered.

Jey said Zayn has taken so many bullets for the Bloodline that he might as well be bulletproof and Zayn never gave up on him because that’s what family did. Jey asked everyone to put their ‘ones’ in the sky if they wanted Sami to stay in the Bloodline. The fans all put their fingers up and Jimmy Uso did as well. (Sikoa didn’t.)

Reigns determined that Zayn was not guilty — for now. Reigns wanted Zayn to thank Jey for buying him time. Reigns suggested that Zayn make them proud tonight and he didn’t want to see him again until the Royal Rumble on Sunday where he would face his final test to determine whether he was with the Bloodline or not.

Sami hugged Jimmy and Jey as the others left the ring.

(It was 8:30 pm when this segment ended.)

******** 

The Usos defeated Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio (w/Rhea Ripley & Finn Bálor) to retain the Rag Tag Team Championships (14:06)

Zayn replaced an injured Jimmy during the match and won it with Jey.

Priest wiped out both Usos with a flip dive and hit Jimmy with a lariat for a two count. Dominik tagged in and they did a Doomsday Device for two. Jey tagged and the Usos handed out superkicks which led to a two count on Priest. Bálor dropped Jey on the top turnbuckle so the referee tossed him.

Priest countered a splash into a cradle for a nearfall. Jey superkicked Priest and Jimmy followed with a splash for a very close nearfall.

Jimmy hit a suicide dive but he came up injured. The ref held up the “X” and officials ran down to assist. Adam Pearce said if Jimmy can’t continue, they must forfeit the match and the titles to Judgment Day. (Priest was already asking for the belts.)

Zayn stepped in and said he would take Jey’s place. Pearce agreed because he did the same for Judgment Day in the gauntlet match. The crowd cheered as the match continued.

Zayn took out Judgment Day with a dive but was distracted by Priest allowing Dom to apply a schoolboy with his feet on the rope for a nearfall.

Ripley distracted the ref allowing Priest to chokeslam Zayn and Dom made the cover for an extremely close nearfall.

Jey popped back in and handed out superkicks but stopped short of superkicking Ripley. The distraction allowed Dom to shove Jey and hit a 619. Dom followed with a frog splash but Zayn broke up the cover.

Zayn made a blind tag before Jey superkicked Dom. Jey and Zayn gave Dom the 1D and Zayn made the cover for the pinfall win. The Usos are still the tag champs.

This was really well done and the crowd was super into Zayn.

— In the back, a serious Reigns was glad Zayn did the right thing but he still didn’t want to see him until Saturday.

******** 

JBL and Baron Corbin ran into the Godfather backstage. Godfather was happy to see JBL but he didn’t know who his stooge Barry Corbin was. JBL wanted into their establishment — APA Protection — but Godfather had to check with the owner, Ron Simmons. Simmons agreed to let them in after Corbin handed him wads of cash. They walked through a door that wasn’t connected to anything (which was a funny sight gag) and entered the poker game.

They showed pictures from Raw through the years.

********

Undertaker appearance 

LA Knight was in the ring and he called Bray Wyatt a grown man incel who played with puppets. Knight said Wyatt was living off his past just like the legends in the back and he called out any of them to get a piece of him.

The lights went down and Undertaker’s music hit. The music cut to his Kid Rock American Badass theme and Taker entered on a motorcycle.

Knight, who left the ring, said he heard Taker on Joe Rogan’s podcast calling the locker room soft. Knight agreed with Taker but informed him that he was not one of those guys. Knight threatened to take Undertaker to the Undertaker but decided to let him off the hook.

Knight was about to leave but the lights went down again. Wyatt appeared and Knight backed into the ring. Taker grabbed him for a chokeslam but instead shoved him into Wyatt who hit Sister Abigail.

Taker and Wyatt faced off as the crowd chanted “holy shit.” Taker whispered something to Wyatt before leaving on his bike.

******** 

DDP won a poker hand at a table with Alundra Blayze, Corbin, Chad Gable and Otis.

[SECOND HOUR]

The first hour was commercial-free. Bayley entered with Damage CTRL after 9:00 pm and they went to break for the first time. They came back with… 

Steel Cage Match: Becky Lynch vs. Bayley (w/Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai & IYO SKY)

The match didn’t happen. Damage CTRL attacked Lynch outside the ring before she could enter the cage. They chucked Lynch into the ring, locked the cage and beat her up until Pearce ran down with officials. Pearce eventually cut the lock but the damage was done. Bayley and her buddies posed on top of the cage before leaving.

******** 

D-Generation X/Kurt Angle segment 

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac and Road Dogg entered to the DX theme. Kurt Angle entered with them.

Road Dogg was about to do their usual spiel but when it came time to introduce “the badass Billy Gunn” he instead pointed to Kurt Angle. They acted surprised to see him. Angle said he always wanted to be in DX and the crowd laughed. Angle removed his shirt to reveal a DX shirt.

Triple H took over the promo but was interrupted by Imperium. Intercontinental Champion Gunther entered with Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.

Kaiser said, “shame on all of you for all that filth and nonsense.” Gunther called them degenerates for insulting their precious sport. Gunther wanted them out of their ring unless one of them wanted to do something about it.

Triple H got in Gunther’s face but quickly backed down and said, “I’m retired, dude.” They looked to Michaels who backed down because he was too old. X-Pac and Road Dogg also backed down quickly. DX huddled up and came to the conclusion that Angle would fight them but Angle instantly shot that down.

Seth Rollins entered. X-Pac noted that Rollins was alone so that brought out the Street Profits.

They all looked at Triple H to make a match but he wasn’t sure what to do and said, “this booking stuff isn’t easy.” That brought out Teddy Long who got a nice reaction. Long made a six-man tag team match.

DX huddled again because they wanted to determine who should be the special referee. Angle interrupted them. Angle had a third shirt on under his DX shirt — a referee shirt. Michaels made it official.

This went long but the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

******** 

Jerry Lawler joined commentary wearing the same jacket he wore on the first Raw. He pretended not to know who Kevin Patrick was and made fun of his accent.

Six-man tag team match: Seth Rollins & The Street Profits defeated Intercontinental Champion Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci [Special Referee: Kurt Angle] (13:03)

Montez Ford made a hot tag following a break and chopped the hell out of Vinci. Ford and Angelo Dawkins put Vinci and Kaiser in ankle locks to the delight of Angle. Gunther booted them and got in Angle’s face so Angle shoved him.

Dawkins and Ford hit dives but Gunter cut off Rollins before he could do the same and hit a powerbomb for two. Rollins came back with strikes and an Angle Slam. Rollins worked together with the Street Profits who gave Kaiser a big double-team blockbuster. Rollins also gave Gunther a Pedigree.

Dawkins gave Vinci a spinebuster, Ford hit a frog splash and Rollins hit a curb stomp for the pinfall win.

The good guys celebrated with Angle.

******** 

Corbin won a huge pot over Ted DiBiase with four aces. IRS showed up and told him to pay his taxes. IRS took all but $100 and DiBiase laughed. Ron Simmons said Damn.

******** 

Cathy Kelley asked Bobby Lashley why tonight’s match was now no-DQ. Lashley said there would be no excuses. Austin Theory can’t escape and Lashley can’t be blamed for what he does. The only reason he wasn’t still the champion was because of Brock Lesnar. He planned on tearing Theory apart.

MVP jumped in and said he had no doubt Lashley would win and they could go out and celebrate. Lashley said he didn’t need help from MVP or Omos last week and wanted to handle business on his own.

******** 

[THIRD HOUR]

Charlotte Flair/Bianca Belair segment

Ric Flair entered. Ric said WWE has given him so much — including allowing him to see his daughter exceed all of his accomplishments. Ric introduced the greatest women’s champion in WWE history: Charlotte Flair.

Charlotte entered. She said Raw was where the women’s revolution began and turned her from a diva to the 14-time women’s champion. Charlotte mentioned beating the likes of Ronda Rousey, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Asuka and Rhea Ripley — all of whom helped her become who she was today. She might be on Smackdown now but Raw would always be her home.

Bianca Belair entered. Belair said Raw was her home and she did everything she could to make it the greatest show on television.

Sonya Deville interrupted. She asked Charlotte if it was necessary to fly daddy all the way there just to introduce her on a show that people don’t even want her on. She also wondered if Belair actually thought people watched the show for her. Deville wanted credit for being Raw GM for over a year.

Charlotte had enough of Deville and said Belair was free to handle her. Belair challenged her to a match.

******** 

Non-title match: Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair defeated Sonya Deville (8:25)

This went through a break. The crowd was silent despite Belair doing what she could to get the crowd into it. She abruptly hit the KOD a minute or two after the break for the pinfall win.

— After the match, Belair said she would beat Alexa Bliss at the Rumble and didn’t care if Bliss brought Uncle Howdy, Bray Wyatt or the funhouse playhouse.

Bliss appeared on the screen. Bliss warned Belair that she was the only thing Belair should be worried about. Bliss said she would leave Belair with her eyes at least so she could watch her walk out as champion.

******** 

There was a new Cody Rhodes video and it was very good. He was carrying everything into the ring at the Rumble, not just his most recent setback.

“Being in the ring is like oxygen and I really need to breathe again.”

******** 

The Miz was in the ring ahead of the main event. He was pissed he didn’t get a Miz TV segment or a title match. He ranted until Kevin Owens appeared through the crowd and dropped him with a stunner.

Owens said Reigns has held the WWE title hostage for over two years. Owens gave his word that he would do everything he could to change that and give everyone a champion they could be proud of. Owens would keep fighting until he had nothing left or he would die trying.

Owens gave Miz another stunner.

******* 

They ran down the Royal Rumble card.

  • 30-Man Royal Rumble match
  • 30-Woman Royal Rumble match
  • Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens - WWE Championship
  • Bianca Belair vs. Alexa Bliss - Raw Women’s Championship
  • Pitch Black match: Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight

******** 

(I didn’t mention it earlier but Alicia Taylor did the ring announcing tonight.)

No DQ match: Austin Theory defeated Bobby Lashley to retain the United States Championship (14:20)

Even though the only thing that’s happened since the last break was Lashley’s entrance, they went to break 69 seconds into the match.

Lashley was in control before the break but Theory raked Lashley's eye during a delayed vertical suplex attempt to take over.

The crowd was quiet and only barely cheered when Theory grabbed a table.

Lashley drove Theory into a steel chair that was wedged between the ropes, which sounded great, but Theory regained the edge by spraying Lashley in the face with a fire extinguisher ahead of another break with six minutes left in the show.

They came back with just about two minutes left as Lashley gave Theory a superplex.

Lashley hit a modified Dominator but Theory gave him a low blow as he set up for a Hurt Lock. Lashley slammed him through a table anyway.

With both men down, Brock Lesnar entered (in jeans and a cowboy hat) to wake up the crowd.

Lesnar gave Lashley an F5. He also gave Theory an F5 right on top of Lashley. Of course, that meant Theory was covering Lashley and the ref made the three count. Theory pinned Lashley to retain.

The crowd seemed to fall silent and the show ended.