WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 2, 2023) from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza scheduled for later this month in San Antonio.
Advertised for tonight: Two different titles will be on the line, as Bianca Belair (wrestling in her hometown) puts the Raw women’s championship up for grabs in a singles match against Alexa Bliss while Seth Rollins gets another crack at Austin Theory and his United States championship. Plus, it’s the first show of the new year so expect a whole lot more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the Raw live blog will kick off once the show starts on USA Network. It will be below this line here. Reminder: GIFs and pics allowed, but no links to illegal streams, please.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 2
I’m thinking about you in my secret language, ‘cause I know you’re the only one who can help me take it easy. Now I’m happy in the head, and I’m going to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with the intro video, until it’s interrupted partway through by the Bloodline (sans Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman) jumping the guardrail and wreaking havoc.
Jimmy Uso gets on a commentary headset and says the Bloodline is taking over Monday Night Raw. They flip the commentary desk and Sami Zayn tells the camera that the Bloodline runs the show, on behalf of the Tribal Chief.
Enter Kevin Owens, microphone in hand.
Sami tells him to keep his mouth shut and listen carefully, because they’re not in a very good mood tonight, and this is a hostile takeover of Monday Night Raw by the Bloodline by any means necessary, and people will get hurt, and it’s because of Owens.
Kev says all he really wants to do is go punch Sami in the face, but Adam Pearce comes down with security to stop him. He tells the Bloodline that they’re not in charge of Raw, he is, and he’s let them get away with it for far too long. They’re not doing this tonight or at all in the new year, and the Bloodline are going to leave his ring and do it peacefully.
He sends security after them, they take them out with ease, and Owens takes matters into his own hands! He rushes the ring but gets overwhelmed by That Damn Numbers Game! Adam calls the locker room down and they feel the ring to take the Bloodline out!
Pearce tells the Bloodline if they want to come to work, he’ll put them to work, and he hopes he brought their boots and their gear, because they’re all gonna have matches tonight!
Bianca Belair is interviewed backstage.
She says she’s no victim, and after tonight she doesn’t want to talk to or about Alexa Bliss because their relationship is beyond repair. Alexa is her own person, Bray Wyatt or no Bray Wyatt, and she’s gonna prove why the title belongs with the EST tonight.
We cut back to commentary at their shattered desk and go to break.
Back from commercial, Adam Pearce meets with the locker room, who are all shouting about the matches they want against the Bloodline tonight.
Adam says he knows everyone wants a piece of them but there’s only four of them. Elias pitches a singles against Solo Sikoa, and Pearce books him a Music City Street Fight. For the rest, he makes a six-man tag, Sami Zayn and the Usos against Kevin Owens and the Street Profits.
As for the rest of them, he knows everybody wants hands on them, but it’s a new year in WWE and he wants everyone to act like it.
Alexa Bliss vs. Bianca Belair (c) (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)
Belair pops her one out the gates and then uses Alexa’s height against her, holding her back with one hand before throwing a punch! Headbutt follows, to the floor, blocking a headscissors, Bianca swings her into the barricade and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Bliss is getting some offense in but Belair cracks off a shoulder block, flips over her, taunting, Alexa tries to run away but Bianca grabs her hair! Counter a crucifix, swing her out, the EST slapping her own ass up in the turnbuckles!
Backflip up and over, dropkick into the corner, Bliss sidesteps and the champion goes hard into the post! Stomping away, standing on her back, stamping her face into the mat! Drawing her up for a suplex, jockeying for position, Bianca gets her up in a vertical but she floats over and turns it into a backbreaker... NOPE!
Choking the champion in the corner, trading right hands, another nearfall for Alexa! DDT countered, reversed into the delayed vertical and she gets it this time! Belair smashes her corner to corner, scoop and a slam! Another slam, a third, handspring moonsault... NOT ENOUGH!
To the floor, Alexa lands a cannonball senton and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Bianca hits an Iconoclasm out of the corner, gets shoved back in, shotgun dropkick from Bliss! Cover for two, reverse chinlock applied to try and grind the champion down. Insault to Injury tries to follow it up but Belair rolls away from the standing moonsault!
Bianca deadlifts her into a backbreaker rack, Alexa fights out but gets hossed up into a backbreaker for her trouble! Action to the floor, Bliss gets distracted by a man in an Uncle Howdy mask as referee Shaun Bennett counts. Back inside, up top, perching, distracted by another masked man, Alexa gets down from the turnbuckles.
The tron flashes Bray Wyatt graphics and Bliss hits a Lou Thesz Press on Bennett! One for Bianca, taking her to the floor, throwing her into the post repeatedly, finishing her off with a DDT into the steel steps that leaves Belair bloodied!
Bianca Belair wins by disqualificaiton, presumably.
Alexa comes back and draws her up... A SECOND DDT ONTO THE STEEL!
Medics come down with a stretcher and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a recap of what we just saw, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
We also get footage from the break, of Alexa storming off through the crowd and Montez Ford helping Bianca Belair to the back mostly under her own power.
Austin Theory is interviewed backstage.
He says Seth Rollins is the past and he’s the now, and he’s outplaying him at every turn, and his forever reign is just beginning.
Elias is in the ring to sing us a song.
He greets Nashville and says he’s gonna smash this guitar across Solo Sikoa’s face and show him that WWE stands for “walk with Elias.” He, of course, came prepared with a song, and of course Solo’s entrance interrupts him.
Elias vs. Solo Sikoa (Music City Street Fight)
Collar and elbow, Sikoa shoves him away, back to the lockup, side headlock from Elias, shot off, shoulder block! Another headlock, into the corner for shoulder thrusts to break, big right hand from the Enforcer! Right hands and headbutts, choking the Drifter in the corner!
Right hands, low bridge sends Solo to the floor, he sidesteps a dropkick and cracks a punch across the face of Elias! Sikoa grabs a cowbell but the Drifter cuts him off and picks it up, cracking it across his back! Into the post, right hands, Elias grabs an acoustic guitar but Solo ducks the El Kabong and it shatters across the ringpost!
Elias reverses a toss and throws Sikoa through a drum set and then smashes him in the head with a hi-hat as we go to break!
Back from commercial, Elias takes Solo to the stage, whip reversed and he goes into a speaker cabinet! Sikoa spikes him in the forehead with a microphone, superkick follows, and he throws the Drifter through a drum set! A snare stand to the midsection repeatedly as they go back down the aisle and a headbutt follows!
Back in the ring, whip reversed, Samoan Drop! Elias turns it around, smacking him in the baci wth a keyboard and getting a two count off of it! Rear chinlock follows, Sikoa straightens up and hits a belly-to-belly suplex! Lying in wait, charging in, Elias sidesteps and he goes into the post!
Smashing the enforcer in the head with a tamborine, punches and chops, whip across, Stinger Splash! Another one, off the ropes, spinning spinebuster takes Solo off of his feet! More tamborine shots, clothesline over the ropes and to the floor! Elias grabs the keyboard and smashes it over Sikoa’s back!
Grabbing the shattered guitar from earlier, Elias drops it and walks over to a musician of some repute named Hardy in the front row who gives him a guitar! Back inside, superkick counters, Hardy jumps the barricade and picks up the guitar himself! Sikoa sends him packing, cuts Elias out of midair with the Samoan Spike and hoists him up... SPINNING SOLO OFF THE APRON AND INTO A PIANO! IT’S OVER!
Solo Sikoa wins by pinfall with Spinning Solo off the apron and into a piano.
We get a recap of SmackDown’s tag team main event from last week and are promised our six-man after the break.
Kevin Owens & Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. the Bloodline (Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, & Sami Zayn)
Brawling before the bell, all six men throwing hands and spilling to the floor, Owens and Zayn fighting as Dawkins and Jimmy start the match in the ring and we get a bell! Shoulder block, drop down, leapfrog, leapfrog, spinning back elbow from Angelo! Shirt off, spinning Stinger Splash, kick, tag to Ford and a dropkick takes Uso off his feet!
Quick tags, working Jimmy over, whip reversed, front kick, Jey with an enzuigiri from the apron! Getting Dawkins in the corner, but he gets away and tags Owens in! Running hot, cleaning house, senton, crotch chop at Sami, calling him a little bitch, front chancery but Montez is distracted with concern for Bianca Belair and misses a chance for a tag!
Usos beating Kevin Owens down, tag to Sami and he stomps the hell out of his best friend before throwing the one up and sending us to break!
Back from commercial, tags made and Ford is distracted but comes in hot all the same! Big crossbody gets a two count on Zayn, up in the turnbuckles, jockeying for position, frog splash.. JEY BREAKS IT UP! Dawkins takes Jey out and then pounces him into the barricade on the floor!
Montez throws Sami out of the ring, runs the ropes... TOPE CON GIRO! Owens comes screaming around the corner to counteract Solo Sikoa, Ford throws Zayn back inside but gets caught...
The Bloodline win by pinfall with a Helluva Kick from Sami Zayn on Montez Ford.
The Usos put Owens in the ring after the match and Sami joins them in viciously beating his former best friend down! Solo goes and gets a chair and Zayn takes it from him, but before we can find out what he’s thinking Sheamus and Drew McIntyre run in and take them both out!
Brawling with the Usos, a knee takes Jey out, a headbutt for Jimmy and the babyfaces stand tall!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we’re informed of AJ Styles’ broken ankle he suffered over the weekend.
Chad Gable vs. Dexter Lumis
Action to the floor almost immediately, Otis runs interference, Gable slides back in but Lumis is right on him with a Lou Thesz Press and punches! Off the ropes with falling axehandles, Chad turns him around, top wristlock applied while Dozer cheers him on.
Whip him into the corner, northern lights suplex, Dexter throws him to the apron, he skins the cat but runs right into right hands! Running bulldog, back suplex, pop-up leg drop, Gable gets a German suplex! Back and forth, trading pins...
Dexter Lumis wins by pinfall with a pinning predicament.
We get a Cody Rhodes vignette.
Damage CTRL are shown walking backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Damage CTRL make their entrance and get in the ring and on the mic.
Bayley talks about how happy she is to be with her pals the tag champions Dakota Kai and IYO SKY, but before they celebrate she wants to address the Irish elephant in the room. She beat Becky Lynch, and it wasn’t easy, but it sure as hell was fun, and she’s beaten everyone—
Enter Becky Lynch.
She calls Bayley a dope and tells her to shut up, talking like she invented the wheel, but she’s been on a hamster wheel ever since she came back, a coward and a fraud, unable to do anything by herself. That’s the thing about Bayley, is she feels most comfortable in someone else’s shadow.
It took years and years to get out but only one to put herself right back into another shadow, and it’s the tag champs doing all the hard work while Bayley takes the glory, and it’s only a matter of time before someone turns on someone else. Bayley says she’s just upset she lost, but Becky says when she loses she doesn’t get mad, she just gets better.
But Bayley did bring up a good point, that this all started back at SummerSlam in Nashville, so how about they end it right here in Nashville, tonight. Bayley laughs it off and says she beat her fair and square but she pitches a tag team match if Lynch can find a partner.
Becky says she doesn’t have her phone so she can’t call anyone, but she fancies her chances two on one, let’s go to break!
Becky Lynch & “Michin” Mia Yim vs. Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai & IYO SKY)
Lynch and SKY starting off as a handicap match, Becky drops IYO with a kick, “eating her for lunch” to quote my wife, taking them both out but Kai nails her with the corner boot and gets a nearfall out of it! To the floor, assisted lariat, palm strike gets a dropkick, SKY takes her back inside for a straddle pin nearfall!
Tag to Dakota, fishhooking Becky Lynch, seated senton, back to the floor and IYO cracks a slap across her jaw! Mia Yim runs down and joins the match as Becky’s partner and tags in! Stacking the tag champs up, flapjack puts IYO into Dakota and she follows it up with a dropkick... NOPE!
Fist drop off the apron from Lynch, Yim dives on SKY and we go to break!
Back from commercial, tag champs double-teaming Mia Yim, Michin gets a neckbreaker on IYO and tags Lynch in! Becky drops a leg on Dakota from the apron, X-Factor to the floor, back inside, missile dropkick... SO CLOSE! SKY breaks up a pin off a double superplex, Shotei follows, Mia with a dropkick, Becky ends up beating Bayley down on the floor, Eat Defeat connects on Kai but IYO is legal and comes off the top...
Damage CTRL win by pinfall with the diving moonsault from IYO SKY on Mia Yim.
Seth Rollins is interviewed backstage.
He says 2023 is looking a lot like 2022, with the Bloodline trying to take his show and Austin Theory trying to take his spot, but as long as he’s bleeding and breathing, Monday nights belong to him, and in just a few minutes so will the United States Championship.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a recap of our women’s championship match.
Alexa Bliss is interviewed backstage.
She says she didn’t lose control, she gained control over Bianca Belair’s headspace and proved that the title belongs with her.
We get a recap of Dominik Mysterio getting arrested on Christmas Eve.
Dominik cuts a promo in a white tank top in a white room about what prison was like. He turns to the camera and reveals that he’s got a teardrop tattoo under his left eye now. He survived hard time and prison changes a man, but it’s not over for him. He’s just getting started, and he’ll see Rhea Ripley soon.
Austin Theory makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a Bronson Reed hype reel.
Austin Theory (c) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE United States Championship)
Theory with a charge, Rollins with a sidestep, holding court with the crowd as they sing his theme and then a test of strength. Austin kicks him in the leg and grabs a side headlock, wrenching it in. Shot off, drop down, leapfrog, off the ropes, Sling Blade connects!
Lariat sends Theory packing to the floor, dropkick through the ropes and back inside but Austin rolls right out the other side. Rollins jumps over a trip and drops a knee on the champion! Suplex over the barricade, leaving him hanging, Seth up on the announce desk and lining him up... DIVING KNEE ACROSS THE BACK OF THE NECK SENDS US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, Rollins throwing chops against the barricade with abandon, back inside, Theory on the comeback, backbreaker into a reverse chinlock to grind Seth down! Austin sidesteps a charge after the break, back to the reverse chinlock! Back body drop sends Rollins to the floor, smashing his face into the announce desk and then ramming his kidneys into the apron!
Theory throws him over the desk and grabs the title belt to scream in his face about how he won’t be disrespected before wailing on him with punches to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Theory is shoving Rollins, shifting to trading punches in the middle of the ring! Seth backing him off with forearms and chops, whip reversed reversed, big forearm! Superkick, front kick, discus lariat sends Austin to the apron! Off the ropes, suicide dive takes the champion off of his feet!
Back inside, front kick, underhooks, Pedigree reversed into a back body drop reversed into a sunset flip for two! Whip reversed, big knee against the ropes, back suplex backbreaker... SO CLOSE! Seth up top, Austin cuts him off, Rollins under him for the powerbomb, reversed, block the crossleg brainbuster, back elbow from Theory!
Brainbuster reversed again, small package... NOPE! Buckle bomb attempt, Seth’s knee gives out, Austin looking for a powerbomb of his own, cut off with an elbow, powerbomb lift but Theory climbs off into the turnbuckles! The champion regrouping, Rollins with the superplex but Austin reverses into the brainbuster over the knee... STILL NO!
Both men down and out, fireman’s carry blocked, trading superkicks, elbow for an enzuigiri and both men are right back down again! Back on their feet, trading punches on a postage stamp, the last full measure, Seth hits a rolling elbow and follows it up with Death Blow!
Rollins has him lined up but he stutter steps and Austin rolls away to avoid Blackout! Austin’s had enough and decides he’s gonna take his title and walk out, but Seth throws him back over the barricade and chases him back in the ring! Superkick blocks a belt shot, Rollins goes up top... ONE-LEGGED FROG SPLASH CAN’T KEEP AUSTIN THEORY DOWN!
Jockeying for position, Austin throws Seth into referee Danilo Anfibio, his knee gives out but adrenaline surges and he pops up to hit a Pedigree! Rolling into the cover, referee Eddie Orengo runs down to fill the gap... BUT THEORY KICKS OUT! Seth desperate, trying to find a way, Austin tries to throw him into the ref again but he blocks!
Theory takes advantage of the chaos, low blow, chop block, fireman’s carry...
Austin Theory wins by pinfall with A-Town Down to retain the WWE United States Championship.
That’s the show, folks.