We learned in advance that the September 11, 2023 edition of WWE Monday Night RAW from Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia would be the last produced under the Vince McMahon-owned WWE, an independent, though publicly traded company. Going forward, WWE programming will (probably) still look the same, but the parent company will be TKO (a merger of WWE and UFC). As I expected, that wasn’t even acknowledged on air. Instead I’ll talk about what was:

  • Main Event Jey Uso started things off to a huge crowd pop, only to be interrupted by Kevin Owens. This makes sense, Jey may have made peace with Sami Zayn, but KO is the, um, less forgiving one of the two. I liked how Judgement Day came out right away, inadvertently pitting the two babyfaces together against them in a tag match (specifically against tag champs Finn Bálor and Damian Priest). It was a good match, though I spent the whole time nervous that the inevitable problem would arise between Jey and KO, which, of course, it did, when Usp inadvertently superkicked Owens. It would make no sense for Jey to turn heel again so quickly, given how over he is, and I really want KO to stay babyface, and maybe get the tag tiles back with Zayn. The ensuing backstage segment made it clear that this outcome will take a bit of time. Also, while I’m sure Jey won’t join Judgement Day, I did like how he reacted to Finn informing him that Rhea Ripley like the idea of him joining in one of the later segments.
Jey Uso after accidentally superkicking Kevin Owens during a match with Judgement Day on WWE RAW September 11, 2023
  • The Miz defeated Akira Tozawa, because of course he did. I’ve been liking The Miz versus LA Knight, and I do think Tozawa is talented in-ring, and fun, but without Knight there, this match seemed pointless. I was more interested in the outcome of The Miz versus an invisible John Cena last week.
  • Gunther versus Chad Gable is an excellent feud that I want to see continue. I’m glad Gunther beat the Honky Tonk Man’s record and is now the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history, but now I really want Gable to take the title from him. The back-and-forth promos after Gable interrupted the IC title celebration was personal and total fire. When it switched back to the faction war between Imperium and the Alpha Academy (now with Tommaso Ciampa for some reason), I was fine with it. The later match with Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci versus Gable, Otis, and Ciampa, with Maxxine Dupri in their corner, was fun. Plus if this pushes the Gunther/Gable rematch to some place more significant, like Survivor Series, or even Wrestlemania, while keeping the feud hot, I’m all for it.
Chad Gable confronts Gunther during the Intercontinental Championship Celebration on WWE RAW September 11, 2023
  • Drew McIntyre has got to be one of the most impressive talents working today. I remember thinking just that when I saw him and Seamus take on the Viking Raiders at a live Smackdown in Montreal (the one with Sami’s return just before Elimination Chamber). He seems mired in the mid card storyline-wise, and I don’t think that will be fixed until he turns heel. While the match with Xavier Woods was solid, it won’t do the trick. Turning on Matt Riddle might have, but Riddle may not be around for a while for reasons outside of the ring. Turning heel next week against Jey Uso and feuding with him would get the job done. So I’m glad they set up a match in a later promo segment.
  • It’s always great to see Cody Rhodes. While I prefer see him progress an angle with his particular oratory skills, sometimes taking out Dirty Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh, for no reason other than the fact that they interrupted him, is good enough for me.
Cody Rhodes gives Dominik Mysterio the Cross Rhodes during an in-ring promo on WWE RAW September 11, 2023
  • I like the idea of Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark as a tag-team. I also like Chelsea Green’s interplay with Piper Niven. I wasn’t that fond of how the four of them were used on this episode. The match was way too short, and an obvious squash (because how could it not be), and the pairing and potential feud could have been set up better.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura was at it again with an intense promo, which worked really well. I also liked World Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins’ more serious tone in his subsequent in-ring promo, invoking his own fatherhood and literally saying this is the real him. I’m not sure where they’re going with Nakamura once again refusing Rollins’ challenge for a rematch, opting instead to attack Ricochet backstage. It’s clear this feud wasn’t meant as a one-off placeholder, or a way to set up a MITB cash-in. WWE is trying to get Nakamura over as a heel and keep the war going, I’m just not sure if this is how to do it. Still, though, I’m intrigued, or at least still curious.
  • So Becky Lynch is challenging Tiffany Stratton for the NXT Women’s Championship. Becky doesn’t need a belt to stay over, and she certainly doesn’t need an NXT title. It’s more like NXT needs The Man, like they need Dirty Dom, and needed rest of the Judgement Day, and Seth Rollins, for ratings. If Becky wins, though, it will remind me of being in Children’s Theatre when I was a kid, and one of the teachers always got the lead role in the big plays.
  • The Rhea Ripley/Raquel Rodriguez rematch was a solid main event for this episode of RAW, and it was a good, hard-hitting match, too. Of course I knew, and am pretty sure everyone knew, that Mami was going to retain the Women’s World Championship. I was also pretty sure that there would be some sort of interference at the end, to make the victory final in the feud for now, but not entirely clean. Dirty Dom was banned from ringside, so I , Nia Jax Raquel Nia is weird because it makes Rhea the babyface
Nia Jax attacks Rhea Ripley following the Women’s Word Championship match on WWE RAW September 11, 2023

So that was the final RAW, and the final piece of WWE TV produced under the old regime. It turned out to be a solid episode, ending with quite the surprise.

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>