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WWE Raw results, live blog (Feb. 20, 2023): The Road to WrestleMania

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Feb. 20, 2023) from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, featuring all the fallout from the Elimination Chamber Premium Live Event that went down this past Saturday night in Montreal.

Advertised for tonight: it’s the start of the Road to WrestleMania 39 proper, as there are no longer any events until the biggest show of the year. Austin Theory will put his United States championship on the line against Edge, Asuka is now the number one contender to the Raw women’s title, what’s next for Bobby Lashley, and more!

Come right back here at 8 pm 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.


Olé... Olé, Olé, Olé... Olé... Olé. Friends, let’s Raw.

We start with a video package on the main event of Elimination Chamber, and my heart still hurts. Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves welcome us to Ottawa, and remind us we’re on the Road to WrestleMania.

Sami Zayn is here!

He still looks pretty fired up, but he’s all business. We do get a smile as the crowd cheers for him (Not Montreal levels of course, but a pretty good pop and lots of singing along to his theme). Loud “Sami” chant that bleeds into a little Bouncing Souls and back again. Our hero soaks in it for a bit, gestures his thanks, and says, “Wow.”

“I’m feeling a lot of feelings here, guys.” The most prominent feeling is gratitude, and he thanks us all again. That brings out a “You deserve it” chant. Another thing he’s feeling after coming up short in front of his family? Guilt. Zayn feels like he let us down. Everyone told him, “Finish the story,” but he didn’t. But thanks to reactions like this, he realized that around here, the story is never over. They are entering the final chapter, though, and there’s one person he needs to talk to more than anyone else. “Kevin Owens, I would love it if you came out here right now.”

KO’s music hits and he walks to the ring as Graves reminds us about the complicated relationship between these two men. Owens looks... contemplative? He’s definitely not smiling as he gets a microphone and listens to cheers for him and his arrival from his countrymen.

Zayn says there’s so much I wanted to say to you, but now that you’re standing here I don’t know what to say. He wants to say thanks, but obviously things have gotten messy. They’ve both said things they can’t take back, but over the months Kevin’s been saying the only thing that matters to him is bringing down The Bloodline. Now Sami won’t rest until he brings them tumbling down. But Owens couldn’t do it alone, and neither could Zayn. So they only way they can do it is if they do it together.

Another pause for cheers. KO says he didn’t do what he did on Saturday for Sami. He did it for him, and his family who watched him get destroyed at Royal Rumble. And he did it for Zayn’s family so they wouldn’t have to see Sami get destroyed the same way. Owens is going to keep fighting — on his own. He told Zayn he was done with him, and he meant it.

“But hey, if you need help taking down The Bloodline... just ask your buddy Jey.” Mic. Drop. KO walks away, leaving Zayn speechless as the announcers run down the card. Before commercial we see Sami taking one last look at the crowd, when Baron Corbin runs in and attacks from behind! We go picture-in-picture as Corbin continues the assault. A team of referees can’t stop him, but Zayn comes back swinging! The comeback doesn’t last long, though. Security is out to protect Sami, but first Baron sends him crashing into the video wall.

Jamie Noble and security are trying to help Zayn up as Corbin gets a mic. He says that was payback for cutting him off last week when he was trying to say Sami couldn’t hang with Roman Reigns, and he should know cause he’s the last guy to beat Reigns. What happened Saturday was an embarrassment, and his begging of KO tonight was worse. Corbin says Zayn is a complete failure.

Sami’s on his feet now, and Adam Pearce tells him to go handle his business. He rushes the ring and knocks Corbin to the floor. It’s official!

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin

Right at him on the outside after the bell, sending Corbin into the ring post. Sami rolls him into the ring, and Baron goes to roll out... but when Zayn follows he drives his shoulder into Sami’s midsection. He rips Zayn’s shirt off to show of the bruises and scars from Elimination Chamber, and it looks like the beatdown is back on. Sami fires back with strikes, but he gets on the middle rope and leaps right into a backbreaker. Our hero is down as we go PiP again, where Baron keeps kicking his ass.

Zayn got a nearfall in there, but I confess to thinking about the loaded tater tots on the bigger picture so I didn’t see how. Corbin’s wrenching Sami’s back when we go full screen again. Zayn with an elbow to Barons head, a pair of middle rope axe handles, and he climbs the ropes for a DDT that gets two!

He baits Corbin into charging and sends him to the floor, and follows with topé senton! He gets him back in and lines him up for the Helluva Kick, but BC meets him with a clothesline first. Deep Six! One, two, no! Both men take their time getting up. Corbin with a few splashes, but on the last one HELLUVA KICK OUT OF NOWHERE!

Sami Zayn def. Baron Corbin via pinfall

Highlights of Saturday night’s mixed tag are brought to you by Progressive. We’re reminded about Edge’s shot at United States champ Austin Theory, and we see Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio getting ready for a sit down interview as we go to more commercials.

Byron Saxton gets to ask the questions. He starts by asking Ripley about her loss at Elimination Chamber. The last thing Rhea will say about Beth Phoenix is that after the match, the Hall of Famer said she was the real deal. She doesn’t think they’re done, but now she’s focused on Charlotte Flair and WrestleMania. Saxton tries for a follow-up, but Dom shuts him down. If Byron bothers Mami about those has-beens (like his dad) again, he’ll show him what he did to guys when he was locked up.

Flair’s said that three years ago she taught Ripley a lesson, but this year she’ll put her in her place. What will Rhea say when they come face-to-face on Friday? The Royal Rumble winner says you’ll have to tune in to find out. Dom says his dad has a match on SmackDown, so he’ll tag along and wish him luck.

Flashback to Logan Paul helping Theory retain in the Chamber on Saturday, and the press conference back-and-forth with Edge that set up tonight’s title defense. Cathy Kelley interviews A-Town on the backstage ring set. He’s banged up, but he’ll put down Edge just like he put down five of the WWE’s best last weekend. What he doesn’t get is why the headline is that John Cena will be back in two weeks. He should be the focus, and he will be after he continues his forever reign by beating Edge tonight and going on to WrestleMania. How’s that for a headline?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Mustafa Ali

We see the footage of Ali rejecting Ziggler’s veteran advice from last week that set up this match. Mustafa with a condescending handshake at the bell, which Dolph turns into a takedown. It’s all Ziggler until Ali bails and snaps the Show Off on the ropes when he tried to follow.

After some taunts from outside, Ali rolls... right into a DDT that gets two. Fameasser, but Ali dodges with a handstand! Crucifix pin!

Mustafa Ali def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall

Sarcastic celebration in Zig’s face as we go backstage where Kelley tries to get a word with Miz, who’s canoodling with his gorgeous wife. Maryse steps away for a sec so Cathy steps in, but first Mrs gives her husband an anniversary present. The gift is apparently amazing (better than his “game winning shot” in the NBA Celebrity All-Star game (it didn’t count), but we’ll have to wait until next Monday’s Miz TV to find out what it is. Kelley does get in a few questions about his opponent tonight, Seth Rollins, which allows Miz to put over his “protege” Logan Paul.

Cody Rhodes is walking to the ring before another batch of ads. After those and some trivia about how big last Saturday’s main event was on social media, we’re reminded that wrestling has more than one royal family.

The American Nightmare looking sharp in a suit as CG & KP act like it’s any kind of surprise Rhodes will be facing Roman at ‘Mania. Rhodes soaks in cheers and a “Cody” chant before saying, “So”... but he’s cut off by Paul Heyman on the Titan Tron. Heyman is wearing a neck brace to sell the post-match beating he took from KO on Saturday. Rhodes asks him to come out the arena, but Paul can’t because he was subjected to the Canadian healthcare system after taking a Stunner.

The Wise Man has a message for Cody as the weight of his story’s end is upon him: he can’t beat Roman Reigns. Ottawa doesn’t like it, so Paul plays out the hypothetical of Rhodes ending Roman’s reign. If he does that, he won’t have Heyman’s counsel to navigate the world. That means he’ll have to do 200 days on the road, plus another 50 doing charity work, then another 30 overseas promoting WWE. Add on more to promote PLEs and his promotion of house show title defenses in Peoria. Cody will be home 60 days a year, and when he is home, he’ll be on Zoom calls for WWE.

Is that the life he wants? It will be like Dustin Rhodes says about Dusty, even when he’ll be home, he won’t be home. Heyman won’t say anything crass like Roman will keep Brandi company, because Reigns is a married man. But Paul isn’t. Either way, Cody is facing his own personal nightmare.

Cody is riled up, and takes a moment to compose himself. He acknowledges Roman Reigns as the best, but says don’t send this man again. He may be the greatest WWE Universal champ of all-time, but he has to finish the story and beat him at WrestleMania.

After a quick clip of her historic Chamber win, Asuka is here! But first, Seth & Becky’s Joker spot, and commercials.

Asuka vs. Nikki Cross

Right after the bell rings, Asuka’s ‘Mania opponent gets a full entrance. While Bianca Belair skips to a chair by the announcers, I’ll tell you that the two women in the ring had a really fun Last Woman Standing match in NXT. Check it out if you’ve never seen it.

Cross starts off crazy, which Asuka is ready for. This is one-sided until Nikki dodges a kick on the apron and Asuka’s foot cracks off the ring post. We go PiP with Cross in full control on the outside.

They’re back inside when get back, and Asuka is making her comeback after a drop kick. An array of strikes puts Nikki down, and The EST is into it. Two count off a suplex, but Cross heads to the floor, then traps a sliding Asuka in the ring skirt. She throws her in and climbs up top, but Asuka catches her there. Punches, and a bulldog off the middle rope! One, two, no!

Forehead to forehead they rise, exchanging strikes. Asuka with kicks, and Cross asks for more. She dodges one and tries to life the Empress, but Asuka slips free. She gets her again with a scoop slam for two. Nikki with a crazed scream, but ends up getting her arm (and fingers) stretched. Cross has no choice but to verbally tap.

Asuka def. Nikki Cross by submission

The Raw Women’s champ climbs into the ring to dueling chants and raises her title. Both women point to the ‘Mania sign. Asuka feigns spewing blue mist on Belair but chokes it back and smiles. Bianca looks shook.

Cathy Kelley backstage with Carmella, and asks if Mella’s come up with a new plan for getting to WrestleMania. She doesn’t have one yet, but she does plan to make Asuka pay.

Before Cathy can throw it back to Patrick and Mella’s hubby, she spys Seth Rollins. He cackles into the mic about Logan Paul costing him the Rumble and in the Chamber, but quickly gets serious telling us he’s going to find and hurt Paul. But since Logan isn’t here tonight, Seth thinks Miz is a perfect surrogate for suffering.

During the break, the SmackDown teaser features Jey Uso & Roman Reigns issues while asking what’s next for The Bloodline. We’ll also get the aforementioned Ripley/Flair segment, and an edition of Firefly Fun House.

We see Brock Lesnar attacking referees after his disqualification loss to Bobby Lashley last Saturday, then MVP issues a WrestleMania challenge to Lesnar on behalf of Omos. He tells Brock to show up next week and deliver his answer in person.

Seth Rollins vs. The Miz

The Visionary attacks like a rabid dog at the bell. Miz rolls out, but unlike others tonight, he doesn’t get the drop on Rollins when he follows. Seth throws the A-Lister back in for more boots and a quick stretch. The ref pulls Rollins aside for a second... then he clotheslines Miz over the top and into the announce desk.

Back in and Miz uses the official as a screen, then spikes Seth for two! Rollins rolls out as we go PiP. Maryse’s mister in control there, even after The Man’s man hulks up.

Rollins comes back with strikes as soon as we come back. Miz slows his roll by whipping him sternum-first into the turnbuckles. High knees as Corey Graves joins the Ariel Helwani hype train calling Miz an unbiased journalist and noting WWE is rife with those these days. Seth’s comeback leaves his opponent open for a stomp, but Miz has that scouting. They trade covers before Rollins goes to the corner, Miz knocks him down and delivers a Codebreaker, but can’t get three.

Skull Crushing Finale evaded, back and forth, running knee from Miz for another nearfall. IT Kicks, but makes the mistake of using Logan Paul’s name in his next taunt. An enraged Rollins catches the last kick, strikes, STOMP! Seth weighs his next move, stalking the ring before delivering another STOMP! He still looks crazed, and Miz is out. The ref tries to wave Seth off, but we get a third STOMP! The official calls for the bell.

Seth Rollins def. The Miz via referee stoppage

Carmella is walking and talking with Pearce backstage, and since she asked nicely, he gives her a match with Asuka next Monday. A happy Mella leaves, and Scrap Daddy’s phone rings. It’s Chelsea Green, who WWE travel accidentally sent to Michigan. He says they’ll be there next month, so he’ll have someone get her there for next Monday. Green is not happy, but Pearce pretends to have bad service in Canada.

He walks past Otis and Chad Gable posing in a mirror and wondering why Maximum Male Models don’t want Chad along with Otis. Bronson Reed comes up behind them and mocks them for getting ready for a match that way. Seems we’re getting Reed vs. Gable tonight, but first... Ding Dong, Hello! with IYO SKY & Dakota Kai.

But first, commericals!

The Damage CTRL guests are in the ring when we get back, and then our Damage CTRL host enters through her door. Bayley debated not coming to Canada for this, especially after she didn’t get into the Elimination Chamber match. But since it’s Family Day in Canada, she wanted to be here with her family. The fans don’t appreciate the Women’s Tag champs, but she does and wants to give them a chance to hear their beautiful voices.

Kai praised Bayley, and says they wouldn’t be here without her. And they wouldn’t be the greatest Women’s Tag champs in history, or run through everyone without Bayley. She starts to list the people they’ve beaten when Becky Lynch’s music hits!

The Man mocks how long its been since their last defense, and says she wants to take the Tag belts from them. Bayley laughs and asks who would team with her, Roux! Lynch plays up coming up with a name and Lita’s music hits — she’s back! Bayley tells them they have to use the door if they want to interrupt her show, and they actually do lol.

Some fun banter between Bex & Lita follows (sorry, not used to live blogging and am running out of gas... how does Claire do this 4-5 times a week?), which gets us to a challenge for a Women’s Tag title match as Lynch & her Hall of Fame pal think they should go to WrestleMania as champs. Bayley accepts on her faction-mates behalf, which Kota & IYO don’t seem to like. Damage CTRL exchange words and the faces grab their belts and h old them up.

Backstage, Cathy Kelley tries to get an update on Johnny Gargano from Candice LeRae. She says he’ll be back, but then sees Nikki Cross sulking behind them. She confronts her, wanting to know why she’s been following her. She has a match with Piper Niven next week, and can’t worry about that and this. Cross whispers something about all her friends leaving her and being all alone.


We see Otis and Gable making their way to the ring before more messages from our sponsors.

Bronson Reed vs. Chad Gable

Completely one-sided at the start, and seems it might just be a squash while teasing Otis vs. Reed (they do have a staredown on the outside), but Gable evades a splash and grabs an ankle lock! Chad almost gets Reed up for a suplex, but does get two on a diving headbutt.

Otis is distracted by the appearance of Maxxine Dupri while Gable does get the suplex on Reed! Chad tries to get his attention, which allows Bronson to finish him off with a Tsunami.

Bronson Reed def. Chad Gable via pinfall

Otis is still looking at the card Maxxine gave him while he check on his partner.

The lying liar Elias is in the ring after a break. He tells Rick Boogs he hopes he’s backstage taking notes (and we quickly see Boogs is watching a monitor taking notes). Elias points to the sign and asks who wants to walk with Elias at WrestleMania?

Not sure if he’s out for Elias, but Bobby Lashley is here! The All Mighty grabs and slams Elias. The Drifter rolls out, and Lashley follows to bounce him off the ring post. Back in... SPEAR! Slaps on the Hurt Lock, and quickly throws him down to get a mic.

“Everybody has a pan until I slap that Hurt Lock in.” He did it to Lesnar on Saturday and Brock panicked, hitting the low blow to get the DQ. No one can break the hold, and he won’t be disrespected again. Step to him and get put down.

A rundown of next week’s card confirms the Becky Lynch & Lita vs. Damage CTRL WWE Women’s Tag title match will happen on Feb. 27.

Backstage, Byron catches up with Edge. The Rated R Superstar is glad The Judgement Day is finally behind him, Beth is back home with the girls, and he can finally refocus on what he came out of retirement to do it. Austin Theory has the potential to rule over WWE for the next 20 years. He has the physical tools, but does he have the mental strength. Edge will find out when he slaps the stupid duck face off his overly manscaped head tonight. He’s running out of time to win gold too. His second ever WWE match was in Ottawa all the way back in 1997, and he thinks it would be great to win the U.S. title here tonight. He’s thrown out a lot of cliches, but here’s one more... never say never.

The champ is walking to the ring as we get some more commercials. He’s there when we get back, and Edge enters in Maple Leaf tights to a raucous reception from his fellow Ontarians.

Austin Theory (c) vs. Edge for the United States Championship

Patrick tells us the champ was four the only time Edge held the red, white and blue belt. Fast-paced evenly matched first as the crowd chants “You still got it.” Nearfall as we go PiP, where Edge stays in the driver’s seat. He’s working a rest hold when we return to full screen.

Theory quickly powers out and lands kicks to the bread basket in the corner. Whip, but the wily veteran slides out. He dodges the champ on the floor, then grabs him for a throw and gets back on the apron to launch a clothesline. Back in, A-Town with a clothesline of his own and punches and kicks to the downed Edge. The younger man firmly in control now, getting two off a throw and grabbing a chin lock.

Edge powers up, but quickly gets slammed down by his hair for another pin attempt. Edge back with forearms and a whip, but he charges and gets sent face first into the turnbuckle by a drop toe hold. Two count and we get one last set of commercials while Theory heels it up to the crowd. He works the heat until the ads are done.

Stomping Edge down and yelling about he’s the past, Theory relishes the boos. Edge fights off a vertical suplex, so the champ puts him on the top turnbuckle and climbs. The Hall of Famer fights it off, sending Theory to the mat and following with a crossbody that hits A-Town in the back of the head.

Both men slow to rise, but Edge gets the drop with a pair of clotheslines and some flapjacks that get two. Theory dodges a strike and hits a few of his own, back and forth the the apron where Theory snaps Edge’s surgically repaired neck off the ropes. He rolls in, but Edge with a powerbomb counter that nearly ends it. Edge’s turn to soak in the crowd, but that gives Theory time to recover and avoid a Spear. Lands on his feet from a throw and grabs a submission, but Theory makes the ropes and gets his feet on them for a pin attempt, but the referee spots it.

Things break down, Edge-e-cution, one-two-no! Finn Bálor is here and on the apron. Edge strikes first and covers Theory, but the kickout sends him into the ropes where The Judgement Day’s highest ranking male member delivers a kick to the head. That sends Edge right into A-Town Down.

Austin Theory def. Edge by pinfall to retain the U.S. title

Bálor strikes after the bell, the beating leads to a Coup de Grace and Finn yelling at Edge that this ain’t over. One more Coup de Grace, pause for jeers, and then another.

That’s the show, folks.

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