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The "WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together." opening signature narrated by John Cena airs to get this week's show off-and-running.
From there, we shoot inside the All-State Arena in Chicago, Ill. where we hear the familiar sounds of Cody Rhodes' theme. "The American Nightmare" makes his way down to the ring to start this week's show.
He asks what Chi-Town wants to talk about and then begins by mentioning how the 2023 WWE Draft is coming up soon. He then talks about the unenviable task he has in fighting Brock Lesnar soon.
Rhodes then shows footage of Brock Lesnar attacking him from behind and then starts pulling a Ric Flair, stripping off his suit and clothes and throwing them into the crowd. He then shows off his pec scar, noting it's the first time he's been here in All-State Arena since working Hell In A Cell with the torn pec.
"The American Nightmare" then tells Lesnar to pick a spot on his body and try and add another scar. He says he's had many moments in Chicago and there are many more, and in case he doesn't get another chance to say it -- thank you very, very much.
Before he can say anything else, the theme for The Judgment Day plays and out comes Finn Balor talking about how "we all got scars, mate!" Balor makes his way to the ring as he tells Cody that he trusted the wrong man in Lesnar.
Balor tells Rhodes he needs to be smarter, like him. He tells Cody he's facing "The Beast Incarnate" all beaten and bruised. He bluntly tells him it's a match he can't win on his own. Rhodes says, "Let me stop you ..."
Rhodes mentions how he assumed there was a mutual respect between the two of them, but regardless of that, whatever he is out here trying to sell him, he's not buying it. Balor says if Cody respects him, he'll hear what he has to say.
The Judgment Day leader says he knows, Cody knows and the fans know that Cody Rhodes would be unstoppable if he joined The Judgment Day alongside Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and himself.
Cody points out the crowd saying "You suck" at Balor and then tries respectfully declining Balor's invitation to join The Judgment Day. Balor says it's a shame because you're either with The Judgment Day or you're against it. He tells him to watch his back because some day he's gonna smack the bleach out of his head.
Balor goes to walk off but Cody stops him and points out that he is smiling right now because he thinks Finn is of the impression that due to Brock Lesnar's recent attack on him, is that he's not medically cleared. He informs him that just a few hours ago he was medically cleared to compete here tonight.
He goes on to mention that he can't think of a better way to send a message than to beat down Finn Balor in one-on-one action later here tonight. The fans chant Cody's name as his music plays to end the segment while Balor retreats to the back.
After the opener wraps up, we hear the familiar sounds of The Usos' theme song and out comes the three-man team from The Bloodline of Jimmy and Jey Uso and Solo Sikoa. They head to the ring for our first match of the evening.
As the three settle in the ring, Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick mention their upcoming six-man tag-team bout at WWE Backlash against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Riddle. First, The Bloodline trio will lock horns with the LWO.
On that note, we head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return, we see Jimmy, Jey and Solo waiting for their opposition in the ring. The theme for LWO hits and out comes Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. Wilde and Jey kick things off for their respective teams. Uso jumps into the early offensive lead and then he tags in Jimmy. Jimmy and Jey hit some double-team spots and then Sikoa tags in and takes over.
Santos Escobar finally fires up and starts taking out all three members of The Bloodline, with the help of Del Toro and Wilde. They knock the three members of The Bloodline out of the ring and pose on the ropes as the fans cheer. We settle into a mid-match commercial break on that note.
We return from the break to highlights of the LWO's offensive spree that preceded the commercial break. We then see live action of Solo working over Wilde. Santos tags in as does Jimmy. Santos hits the ropes and blasts into Uso. Jimmy tries firing back with a super kick but Santos ducks it and blasts him with a big knee.
Escobar heads to the top-rope and comes leaping off with a flying cross-body press for a close near fall attempt. Del Toro tags in and hits a wild Phoenix Splash off the top for a close near fall of his own. Things come unglued from there, as Jey and Santos fight out to the floor and Jey rams Santos into the ring post.
Sikoa hits a Samoan Spike on Wilde on the hard part of the ring apron. In the ring, Cruz Del Toro runs into a big back elbow from Jimmy. He fires back with a big kick that drops The Uso member. He heads to the top-rope and looks for a coast-to-coast dive but is caught coming down with a Samoan Spike in mid-air by Solo. The Usos follow-up with 1D for for the win.
Winners: The Bloodline
Once the match wraps up, Jimmy and Jey Uso talk about having one bad night. They say they let down The Bloodline and The Tribal Chief at WrestleMania 39.
They claim they won't have a bad night on Friday when they recapture the tag titles from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in their WrestleMania Rematch on SmackDown. They dedicate the match to YOUR Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.
Now we shoot backstage where Bianca Belair is interviewed about her next Raw Women's Championship defense coming against Iyo Sky at WWE Backlash 2023.
Before she can say much of anything, up comes the Damage CTRL trio where Bayley laughs in "The EST of WWE's" face and mentions how Iyo Sky wants to fight Belair tonight. Bayley tells Belair to find two idiots that want to get beat up with her tonight.
After this wraps up, Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves mention Bad Bunny possibly having retribution on his mind when he returns later this evening. From there, we head to another commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Jey Uso on the phone when Sami Zayn approaches him. Jey asks what he wants. Sami says he's not here to fight. He says they have all the time in the world to fight on Friday.
Zayn mentions how he heard what he just said out there about dedicating his match to Roman Reigns. He says after all they've been through he's surprised he's not doing this for himself.
He says he shouldn't have attached Roman's name to it because he and Kevin Owens aren't gonna lose and there's no telling what Reigns will do then. Jey asks why he cares. Zayn says he's worried about him. Jey says he doesn't need his worry. He says he's made his choice and walks off.
Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves shoot to an extensive video package showing Trish Stratus' recent heel turn and rivalry with Becky Lynch. We shoot live backstage and Trish Stratus is interviewed and asked about "The Man" not being here tonight.
She says Lynch confided in her and says the pressure is getting to her being a mother and her WWE career. She says what she needs to do is be sitting at home and saying, "Thank you, Trish." Cathy Kelley thanks Trish for her time and Trish says, "See, you get it."
Now we return inside All-State Arena where we hear the familiar sounds of The Street Profits' theme song. Out comes Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford for our next match of the evening.
As the two settle inside the squared circle, we head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return from the break, we see The Street Profits' opponents, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, have joined them in the ring.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. Shelton and Montez start things off for their respective teams. We see Montez faring well early on but then Cedric tags in and hits a big move for a close near fall.
Benjamin tags back in and picks up where Cedric left off, taking it to Montez. Montez finally hits a step-up kick to slow Shelton down. Both guys make the tag, however it is Dawkins who comes in off the hot tag and goes on an offensive spree.
Dawkins hits a Silencer for a close near fall, but Shelton breaks it up. Dawkins hits a couple follow-up spots and then tags in Ford, who hits a frog-splash off the top-rope for the pin fall victory. Corey Graves hypes Triple H's big announcement as we head to a commercial break.
Winners: The Street Profits
When we return from the break we hear the familiar sounds of Motorhead and out comes Paul "Triple H" Levesque. He heads to the ring to a big pop and talks about his history in All-State Arena in Chicago, Ill.
Triple H goes on to talk about Roman Reigns' iconic streak of nearly 1,000 days as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. He lends his own catchphrase to him by saying he is "that damn good."
He mentions how Reigns negotiated himself into a spot where he doesn't have to defend his title that often. He mentions how he said the WWE Draft will shake things up this year. He says wherever Reigns is drafted he will stay with the Universal title.
"The Game" goes on to mention that on May 27 at Night of Champions, a new world heavyweight champion will be crowned. Triple H then unveils the title belt, which looks awesome, and the crowd pops.
He says the man who wins this title will be a real true champion who defends it every place, any time, any where in the world. He won't have to demand your acknowledgement, he will earn it.
We shoot backstage and we see Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio standing side-by-side when Cathy Kelley approaches Priest about Bad Bunny being here tonight in Chicago. Finn Balor, who was also standing by, is offended he is not acknowledged.
Priest tells Balor he has to get ready for his match anyways. He then talks about how he's not shy about being a bad guy. He says he doesn't go to Coachella and grab the mic and interfere with his business. He says he has no problems putting Bad Bunny through a table again.
Dominik Mysterio also mentions how Priest is gonna beat up his dead-beat dad. Priest agrees and then wraps up.
From there, we shoot to a video package for Bronson Reed and then return live backstage to The Bloodline locker room. Jey Uso is upset and mentions how he wonders what happens if they don't recapture the titles on Friday after dedicating the match to Roman Reigns.
Jimmy Uso hears that he bumped into Sami Zayn and flips out, saying he's just playing mind games. He says you can't listen to Sami. Jey says all he is saying is what if we don't win. Jimmy tells him they're gonna win and walks off.
We shoot back inside All-State Arena where out comes the Damage CTRL trio of Bayley, Dakota Kai and number one contender to the Raw Women's Championship, Iyo Sky. They settle in the ring and their music winds down.
Now the theme for the reigning Raw Women's Champion hits and out comes "The EST of WWE" Bianca Belair. She introduces her partners for tonight's six-woman tag-team bout -- the reigning WWE Women's Tag-Team Champions Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan.
The bell sounds and we're off-and-running with this one. After some early back-and-forth action, we see Liv Morgan get laid out on the floor at ringside as Bayley and Iyo Sky stand over her laughing. On that note, we head to a mid-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Morgan being beaten on by Kai in the ring. After some more back-and-forth action she recovers and tags out. We see the baby face trio take over on offense. Morgan hits a wild dive from the ring to the floor.
Back in the ring, we see Belair fire up on offense and her offensive run culminates with a K.O.D. on Bayley for the pin fall victory.
Winners: Bianca Belair, Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan
We see a video package on the status of the United States Championship, which will be defended in a triple-threat match when Austin Theory puts the title on-the-line against Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed at WWE Backlash 2023.
After the package wraps up, we return inside All State Arena where we hear the familiar sounds of Theory's theme song. The reigning WWE U.S. Champion emerges and heads to the ring as we head to another commercial break.
When we return from the break, the U.S. Champion welcomes us to "Austin Theory Live." He then goes on to address his upcoming defense in the aforementioned triple-threat match at the upcoming premium live event in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
From there, Theory boasts being the best U.S. Champion of all time. He then looks over and points out the new championship that Triple H just introduced tonight. He says that title shouldn't be on that pedestal, it should be around his waist.
He says instead of getting the title, he's defending his own in a match that he doesn't even have to be pinned or submitted in to lose. The fans chant "You suck!" at him until he acknowledges the chants and says he may suck, but he pinned John Cena at WrestleMania.
Before he can say much of anything else, the familiar sounds of Bobby Lashley's theme hits the house speakers inside All State Arena and "The All Mighty" heads to the ring with a big smile on his face.
Lashley settles in the ring and the fans chant his name. He asks Theory if he hears that. He says his only problem with Theory is that he is holding his title right now. He then questions Theory's claims to being the greatest U.S. Champion ever. He says Theory runs away from every obstacle that he should be looking to overcome.
"The All Mighty" then gives Theory props for being young, hungry and tough. He asks what it is then, is he lazy and someone who doesn't want to work, or is he scared. Theory asks Lashley if this triple-threat match was his idea.
Bobby goes on to tell Theory he should look for every opportunity to fight for that title, because he would. He then reveals it was he who requested the triple-threat match. Theory asks if it was that simple for Lashley to ask for matches, where was his match at WrestleMania.
Lashley tells Theory he should knock his teeth down his throat for saying that. Theory tries sucker-punching him but Lashley ducks the shot and double leg-dives the champ. He continues beating him down on the floor, launching him into the barricade.
We see him hoist Theory over his shoulders, only to let him down as he sees Bronson Reed coming. He starts duking it out with Reed but is knocked down by Theory from behind. Theory and Reed both beat him down and then Reed tells Theory to hold Lashley, which he does, grabbing his leg and holding him while Reed runs and splashes onto it on the ring post.
The two bring Lashley into the ring. Theory hoists Lashley up and hits him with his A-Town Down finisher. Theory looks down at Lashley and talks trash to him but then turns around into a big clothesline and back-splash from Reed. Reed then heads to the top-rope and hits his Tsunami finisher on the champ. Reed holds the U.S. title and looks down at the two conquered individuals.
Backstage With Elias, Rick Boogs, Gable, Otis, Maxine & Mustafa Ali
We shoot backstage where Rick Boogs is being calmed down by Elias. He talks about being overwhelmed after Triple H's announcement, the WWE Draft and other things. Chad Gable comes in and Elias tells him to explain it to Boogs one more time.
He then explains how the Draft works and explains why he and Otis will end up on the same brand. Maxine comes up and says she has made sure Otis ends up on whichever brand she does.
Mustafa Ali comes into the picture and says they need to have a more positive attitude towards things. He explains the glass-is-half-full scenario that each could face if their respective alliances were broken up in the Draft.
Ali then takes it a bit far, taunting the guys and specifically telling Gable that he's gonna beat him when they square off in the ring later tonight. After this wraps up, we see footage of Bad Bunny arriving to the arena for his appearance later tonight.
Now we return inside All State Arena in Chicago where Alpha Academy's theme hits. Out comes Chad Gable accompanied by Otis and Maxinne Dupree. He heads to the ring for his scheduled singles match.
On that note, we head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return, the ring announcer introduces Chicago's own Mustafa Ali. Out comes the positive person for the next match of the evening here on Raw.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. Gable immediately jumps into the offensive lead, hitting a big suplex that launches Ali and then belting out his first loud "THANK YOU!" of the evening. He follows up with some chops.
Ali tries launching himself onto Gable out of the corner, but Gable catches up and connects with a Dragon suplex for a close near fall. We see Otis and Maxinne talking at ringside and then we see Ali hit a DDT that spikes Gable's dome into the mat to shift the offensive momentum in his favor.
Mustafa heads to the top-rope and looks for a 450 splash but Gable moves. Ali lands on his feet. Gable goes for a move but Ali counters and rolls Gable up and gets the three-count for the victory. Ali goes on a victory lap outside of the ring afterwards.
Winner: Mustafa Ali
We then shoot backstage and we see Sami Zayn walking with his tag titles over his shoulders. Jimmy Uso stops him and says he knows what he's doing talking to Jey Uso. Sami says he's not doing anything but telling the truth.
Jimmy then tells Sami he keeps asking what happens if they lose. He tells Sami what happens if he and Kevin Owens lose. He says Kevin won't be by his side or have his back anymore.
He says Kevin didn't forget all the times he kicked him in the face and only teamed up with him to use him to get to the titles. He tells Sami to worry about his own family and walks off as Sami appears lost in thought.
From there, we head back inside All-State Arena where The Judgment Day theme hits and out comes Finn Balor for our next match of the evening, where he is scheduled to go one-on-one against Cody Rhodes.
As Balor settles inside the squared circle to kick off the third and final hour of this week's show, we head to a pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we hear the familiar sounds of Cody Rhodes' theme music as "The American Nightmare" emerges and heads down to the ring. He settles inside and his music dies down.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. We see some general back-and-forth action coming out of the gate and then Cody settles into the offensive lead as fans chant their support for him with calls of "Let's go Cody!"
Rhodes hits a gut-buster maneuver on Balor in mid-air for a close near fall attempt. Balor snatches up an arm of Cody's and goes to work on it on the mat. Cody works his way back to his feet and as another "Let's go Cody!" chant fires up, we see him fire up on offense.
Balor ends up cutting Cody's offensive comeback short after Cody gets tied up in the ring ropes. He holds his pec afterwards and then Balor takes him out to the floor where he slams him on the commentary desk.
On that note, we head to a mid-match commercial break as the action continues. When we return from the break, we see Cody connect with a disaster kick for a close near fall on Balor that shifts the momentum back in his favor.
We see Cody look for the Cody Cutter but Balor avoids it and takes back over. Balor hits a Sling Blade and backs in the corner, stalking "The American Nightmare." Cody pops up and connects with a Cody Cutter and goes for the cover, but Balor kicks out at two.
Balor looks for the Coup de Grace, but Cody avoids it. Cody looks for the Cross-Rhodes, but Balor avoids it. Cody then hits a Pedigree and fires up the crowd as he looks to finish this one off. He waits for Balor to get up and then hits his Cross-Rhodes for the pin fall victory.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
After Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves hype Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar for WWE Backlash and show footage of the last time Bad Bunny appeared on Raw, where Damian Priest put him through a table, we return inside All-State Arena.
The familiar sounds of Seth "Freakin'" Rollins' theme hits and out comes the WWE veteran as the fans sing along with the "whoa-oh-oh's" in his entrance tune. He settles inside the ring as we head to a commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Rollins in the ring and he welcomes us to Monday Night Rollins. He calls himself the visionary and then says he came out here to talk about his scheduled match at WWE Backlash against "The Nigerian Giant" Omos.
He says he came out to talk about that but something bigger caught his eye. He then turns and takes his sunglasses off to look at the newly introduced World Heavyweight Championship belt at ringside. The fans chant "You deserve it!" before Rollins even says anything.
"Chicago, are you just saying that because I'm a Bears fan?" Rollins says jokingly. He then talks about Triple H's speech and the new title. He talks about someone who isn't on the long list of foes Roman Reigns has conquered.
Rollins continues to talk as he exits the ring and approaches the new title. He says some people carry themselves like Roman Reigns and take it easy, and others still want to fight. He says this new title is an opportunity and it's more than part-timers.
He says the title will be crowned to the first-ever champion at WWE Night Of Champions 2023 on May 27 and he says you know who he's putting his money on. Before he can say anything else, the theme for his WWE Backlash 2023 opponent plays.
MVP and Omos make their way out and head to the ring. MVP apologizes for interrupting him and says he means that sincerely. He calls Seth Rollins one of the best Superstars to ever grace a WWE ring.
He goes on to caution Rollins in making predictions about his future because after he fights Omos, he might not have much of a future after WWE Backlash. Omos then gets in Rollins' face. Well, his chest gets in Rollins' face.
Rollins begins, "Why, thank you ..." but is cut off by loud "whoa-oh-oh's" from the crowd in Chi-Town. He tells Chicago they should thank MVP for the kind words. He then says MVP under-sold his giant. He calls Omos the tallest man he's ever met and among the baddest men ever.
He warns him that at Backlash he's gonna wake up to the fans singing his song. They begin doing just that. Rollins drops the mic and walks off. After this, we head to another commercial break.
When we return from the break, we shoot backstage and see Kevin Owens and Riddle when in comes Sami Zayn. Owens asks where he's been all night long, and he isn't happy. Zayn then mentions how he ran into Jey Uso and later Jimmy Uso.
Owens freaks out and asks why he possibly spoke with them. He walks off. Riddle says he knows exactly what Sami is going through. Zayn asks how. Riddle then mentions his past with Randy Orton and RK-Bro. Zayn replies, "Wow" and genuinely thanks him.
Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick run down the updated lineup for WWE Backlash 2023 and then show updated footage from Bad Bunny's Instagram account that shows him pulling up to All State Arena.
We then shoot back inside the building where Rey Mysterio's theme hits and the newest addition to the WWE Hall of Fame makes his way out to the ring for our main event of the evening.
As Mysterio settles inside the squared circle, we head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return from the break, we hear The Judgment Day theme and out comes Damian Priest for our final bout of this week's Raw.
The bell sounds and we're officially off-and-running with this one. We see Mysterio come out of the gate strong as the Chi-Town crowd cheers him on, however it isn't long before the bigger, stronger Priest takes over.
Priest begins a prolonged beatdown of the new WWE Hall of Fame legend and starts taunting him and the crowd while doing so. This sets up the big pop as we see on the big screen that Bad Bunny has arrived and is exiting his car and heading towards the entrance to the ring.
On that note, we head to a mid-match commercial break as our main event of the evening continues in the ring with Priest in a dominant lead over Mysterio. When we return from the break, we see Rey firing up for an offensive comeback.
Mysterio gets in a bunch of shots but then leaps off the ropes and is caught and Donkey Kong'd into the mat by "The Punisher" of The Judgment Day. Priest heads out to grab a steel chair but Rey drop kicks it in his face as he goes to enter the ring.
The two fight over the chair and then Rey catches Priest with a shot that puts him in position for his 6-1-9 semi-finisher. He connects with it and then heads to the top-rope. Priest blatantly blasts Rey in the grill with a chair shot and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner via DQ: Rey Mysterio
Once the match wraps up, we see Priest continue to beat down Rey. He heads to the floor and clears off the commentary table and heads back into the ring to grab Rey. While he does, we hear some music playing.
Out comes Bad Bunny with a Kendo stick in-hand to an enormous pop from the Chicago crowd. He heads to the ring where Priest is waiting for him. The two have a brief stare down and then Bad Bunny begins wearing out Priest with the Kendo stick.
On the floor, we see Priest look to lift Bad Bunny up on top of the commentary desk to once again choke-slam him through it, but Bad Bunny ends up catching him with a Kendo stick as soon as he lifted him.
Bad Bunny continues beating on Priest with the Kendo stick until finally The Judgment Day member runs up the aisle. Bad Bunny stands on the commentary desk and grabs a mic. He tells Damian he's not hosting Backlash anymore, he's going to Puerto Rico to kick his ass.
It is then made official that it will be Bad Bunny versus Damian Priest in a Street Fight at the upcoming WWE premium live event on May 6. The crowd reacts, the commentators hype it up and that's how this week's show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!
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