While the headlines ahead of the first Raw of 2023 revolved around just two championship contests, it was an invasion of The Bloodline that was the show’s biggest storyline on Monday night.
The Bloodline, still aching from a loss on SmackDown, burst into the show’s opening moments on Raw to make a mark. This would result in WWE officials throwing the group into two matches later in the night as punishment.
Ultimately, however, it was The Bloodline who carried out the punishment.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of the action from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
The Bloodline dominates the Raw locker room
The Bloodline descended on Raw to launch the show. After The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn took over the ring area, Kevin Owens made his way outside with a mic. Zayn told Owens it was a hostile takeover and people were going to get hurt, prompting Owens to try and storm the ring before Adam Pearce found his way out, saying that The Bloodline wasn’t the authority in the building and that the group would exit the building before sending the usual hapless security guards to ringside to get beaten up. Owens then ran to the ring but was overpowered, causing much of the Raw locker room to run to Owen’s aid and the intruders running off. Pearce then said if the group wanted to come to work he would send them to work and each of them would have a match later that night.
Solo Sikoa defeated. Elias in a street fight in Music City after hitting a rock bottom from the ring apron onto a piano. The match saw both men using instruments as weapons throughout before Sikoa scored the big finish. During the game, musician Hardy also hit Sikoa with a guitar, but the shot was ineffective.
The bloodline def. The Street Profits & Kevin Owens via Pinfall when Sami Zayn hit Montez Ford with a helluva kick. After the match, The Bloodline dragged Owens into the ring before attacking him as a group. Solo Sikoa grabbed a chair, but Sheamus and Drew McIntyre ran in to attack Sikoa and Zayn before knocking out the Usos.
The Bloodline had suffered some losses lately, with Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins earning a win over the group two weeks ago when Raw and Owens teamed with John Cena to beat Zayn and Roman Reigns last Friday. Given how strong WWE has kept the group all along, it’s not surprising that – without Reigns – they’re returning to Raw to be ruthless and pick up a few wins. It’s predictable, but this is a group that will remain incredibly strong until WWE decides otherwise. Grade B
What else happened at WWE Raw?
- Raw Women’s Championship – Bianca Belair (c) def. Alexa Bliss on Disqualification after Bliss attacked the referee. Bliss went berserk mid-match after grabbing her head and attacking the referee before brutally manhandling the champion outside the ring, including a DDT punch to Belair on the ring steps. During the attack, Belair appeared to injure her mouth as a stream of blood ran from her lips. Later in the show, Bliss said that instead of losing control, she gained control of Belair’s mind.
- Dexter Lumis defeated. Chad Gable via Pinfall by reversing a cradle pinning combination.
- damage CTRL def. Becky Lynch & Michin via Pinfall when IYO SKY hit Michin with a moonsault. Michin joined Lynch mid-game. Lynch was distracted as he attacked Bayley on goal, allowing Michin to take the pin.
- United States Championship – Austin theory (c) def. Seth Rollins on Pinfall after beating A-Town Down. Theory tried to drop the match, but Rollins grabbed him before the champion could run away through the crowd. Theory then attempted to use his title belt to beat Rollins but ate a superkick. Rollins ran, but the pair collided with the referee, causing a delay in the count after Rollins hit a pedigree. Theory hit Rollins with a low blow when the second ref was distracted, followed up with a chop block on Rollins’ already injured knee and hit A-Town Down to retain his title.