WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 17, 2023) from the Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Backlash Premium Live Event scheduled for early next month in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Advertised for tonight: Brock Lesnar returns to television to answer Cody Rhodes’ challenge for a match at Backlash, Trish Stratus explains why she turned on Becky Lynch after losing the tag team titles last week, Bobby Lashley takes on United States Champion Austin Theory in a non-title match, and a whole lot 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.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR APRIL 17
Fight for their lives, fight for their lives, the hopeless are useless in desperate times. You got it bad? Try having passion, try still believing that some good will happen while I liveblog this her pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with the Bloodline making their entrance, tonight consisting of Paul Heyman, the Usos, and Solo Sikoa.
The Usos greet the crowd and Heyman takes over, doing his usual introductory schtick before saying history will unfold tonight—
Enter the Judgment Day.
They get in the ring and square up on the Bloodline.
Damian Priest gets on the mic and calls Paul before stepping up to Solo. Heyman says it’s a very good day to be a very bad guy and if there’s a heaven, none of them are getting into it, and this is a short-term deal engineered and approved of by your Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.
Jey says they didn’t know anything about that and Paul takes the mic back to explain further. Roman didn’t want anyone except for Solo to know ahead of time and even Finn Balor isn’t happy about it because he has deep-rooted anger issues about the Bloodline, but he’s going to put that aside in the name of good, short-term villainry.
Speaking of which, the Judgment Day has a Bad Bunny concern, and Solo is an expert at assuaging concerns. Rhea Ripley says everything is good for now, and Paul lays it out, the Judgment Day need Bad Bunny taken care of, and Solo will do that because they have a Kevin Owens problem, a Sami Zayn problem, and a Riddle to solve.
And so tonight, the three of those babyfaces will wrestle the Judgment Day. Bloodline has no problem extending credit, and they’ll take care of things tonight, because right now in the godforsaken city of Arkansas, Solo is going to go one-on-one and smash his opponent tonight, Rey Mysterio.
Rey makes his entrance and we go to break.
Rey Mysterio vs. Solo Sikoa
Mysterio keeping his distance, probing leg kicks and punches, off the ropes, slide under but Sikoa takes him out with a lariat! Bodyslam follows, trapezius claw applied, electric chair but Rey fights out of it and they crash to the floor to send us to break!
Back from commercial, Sikoa raining overhead elbows down, back to the trapezius claw! Mysterio to the apron, kicks set up a sunset flip, dodge the Banzai Drop counter, seated senton and a dropkick only get one! Catching Rey out of midair with a Samoan Drop... NOPE!
Fireman’s carry, out with elbows, tijeras sets Solo up, off the ropes... 619 connects! Springboard splash... SO CLOSE! Whip blocked, off the ropes, drop toehold sets him up again but the Usos come to ringside for the distraction! The LWO jump the barricade and beat the Usos down!
619 caught this time, on the followup, back in the ropes, another 619 but Solo rolls out of the way of the splash...
Solo Sikoa wins by pinfall with the Samoan Spike.
Post-match, the Bloodline turn the tide on the LWO and Solo wipes them all out with Samoan Spikes! Drawing Rey up, Sikoa throws him into the 1D!
We get footage from earlier of American Alpha backstage with Maxxine Dupri and Adam Pearce.
Chad Gable and Maxxine are arguing over which of them Otis Dozovic should be locked to in the Draft. Adam says he’ll take it all into consideration but he’s got a lot going on.
We get a recap of IYO SKY becoming #1 contender last week.
Bianca Belair makes her entrance and we go to break.
Bianca Belair vs. Dakota Kai
Collar and elbow, Belair backs her into the corner and breaks clean, back to it, back in the corner, Kai breaks dirty with a shove! Arm wringer, scoop, float over, mat slam from Dakota! Into the corner, schoolboy blocked, back handspring into a dropkick, Bianca kips up, fired up!
Off the ropes, drop down, handspring, hip toss into a standing moonsault... NOPE! Jockeying for position in the ropes, Kai blasts her with a boot, kick on the floor and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Belair with a jawbreaker and a schoolboy for two! Following it up with a vertical suplex, reversed into a small package, no deal, into the corner, slingshot back in... BIANCA HITS AN ESSEX DESTROYER?! Straight suplex, roll through, delayed vertical follows!
Handspring moonsault, only two! Rolling wheelbarrow facebuster almost gets it for Kai! Into the corner, kicking away, big boot connects and Dakota goes up top, nobody home on the double stomp! Tilt-a-whirl gutbuster from the champ, backbreaker rack but Kai blocks by grabbing her braid!
Duck under a lariat, double chickenwing, reverse into a Lawn Dart! Backbreaker rack out of the corner...
Bianca Belair wins by pinfall with KOD.
We get a recap of Cody Rhodes / Brock Lesnar business and we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a hype reel for Bronson Reed where he starts calling himself Mr. Nice Guy.
Judgment Day are backstage talking about Bad Bunny’s return to Raw next week.
Dominik tells Damian that he doesn’t need to be Bunny’s friend, and talks about the great joy he felt seeing Solo Sikoa tear Rey Mysterio apart.
Paul Heyman rolls up and asks if they’re satisified, and Finn Balor tells him “eh.” Paul tells them to do “eh” to Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle so they don’t fall into debt with their Tribal Chief. Priest says the Judgment Day handles their business and Rhea tells Heyman goodbye.
He slinks off calling Roman Reigns.
Cody Rhodes makes his entrance and gets on the mic.
He asks Little Rock what they want to talk about and says he knows exactly what he wants to talk about and who he wants to talk to, so he calls Brock Lesnar on down.
Adam Pearce comes out instead and says he appreciates the spirit but he can’t let him do that tonight. Nobody’s discounting what he wants to do, we all respect him, but he’s not medically cleared to be here tonight.
Cody accepts what he has to say and goes to leave before grabbing a chair from under the ring and getting back inside. Pearce says if Cody won’t leave under his own power, security will escort him out, and he begs Rhodes to think about it.
Enter Brock Lesnar.
Adam Pearce, in a panic, makes the match official for Backlash on the spot! Brock waves from the ramp and tells Cody to come get some, and Rhodes starts wailing on security with the chair and beating them down! He jumps to the floor and gets swarmed by guards but is able to fight them off and clear a path to the Beast!
Cody charges up the ramp but another wave of security jumps in and gets him back to the apron to hold him back! Brock leaves but Rhodes is still fighting! He lays out another dozen security guards and goes back in the ring to beat some more up!
Rhodes gets back on the mic and says Brock can wear his cowboy hat all day, but he’s not a cowboy, he’s a coward.
And so 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.)
Brock Lesnar is shown walking backstage.
Seth Rollins vs. the Miz
The Miz attacks Rollins during his entrance and beats him down on the floor, smashing him into the announce desk a few times, back inside, punches in the corner until referee Rod Zapata separates them and calls for the bell!
Brawling, to the floor, Rollins with the trifecta of dives and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Rollins cuts Miz out of midair with a kick, underhooks, blocked, nearfall sets up an enzuigiri and both men are down and out! Charge in the corner, whip reversed, Sling Blade connects! Duck a kick, buckle bomb, Seth off the top with a frog splash... KNEES ARE UP!
Full nelson reversed to a victory roll, reversed, handful of tights, no good! Superkick connects, Miz dodges a second and drops a knee across his knee! Figure four leglock in the middle of the ring, Rollins gets his hands on the ropes for the break! Spinning toehold, reversed, rolling elbow, Death Blow, Blackout denied, Miz hits the basement DDT!
Hanging on, rolling through, a second basement DDT... STILL NO! Up top, looking for Skull Crushing Finale, blocked, jockeying for position... SUPERPLEX INTO THE FALCON ARROW! Charging in as Miz gets up...
Seth Rollins wins by pinfall with Blackout.
Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Matt Riddle are chatting backstage.
Zayn wants to get them all on the same page and says Riddle had some ideas that he thinks should be heard out. Owens wants Matt to leave the thinking to them, but Sami says they talked about it and Riddle deserves to have a voice. Matt was thinking maybe he should wrap up his big toe like Solo Sikoa and kick people in the throat and knock them out and call it the Toe Bro.
Sami says it’s certainly an idea, KO gets mad about encouraging them, and Riddle says he wasn’t being serious, he’s not an idiot, and runs down the list of things the Bloodline did to him and says he was watching them fight the Usos at home. He’s not here to waste time, he’s here to kick some ass.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a recap of Trish Stratus turning on Becky Lynch last week.
A recap of Bronson Reed and Bobby Lashley brawling follows.
Bobby Lashley makes his entrance to send us to break.
Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley forces him into the corner, Theory with a headlock on the break, shot off, shoulder block, front chancery sets up a gator roll but Austin in the ropes forces a break and he rushes in with punches. Delayed vertical from the All Mighty, blasting Theory to the floor after, where Austin snaps his neck over the ropes!
Back in, off the ropes, leapfrog sets up the reverse STO and Bob is still in control! Upkick, corner lariats and elbows, Theory running hot, but Lashley nails him with a northern forearm and beats him down in the corner! To the floor, Bob rams him into a ringpost and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Bob looking for the Hurt Lock, but Theory bites his fingers to block! Posting him, again, schoolboy for two! Mounted punches, choking Lashley in the ropes! Snapmare into a stomp to the chest, cover for two! Austin with a reverse chinlock, Bob fights to his feet but Theory takes him right back down!
Chop block, big elbow, cover for two! Austin putting boots to him, body blows in the corner, shoulder block, sidestep another charge and Lashley is back in it! Big lariat, duck on, chokeslam sends Theory to hell! Corner lariat, shoulder blocks, another lariat and Austin is down and out!
Bob waiting for him to rise, leapfrog the charge, fireman’s carry, slip out, up on one shoulder for the Yokosuka Cutter... NOT ENOUGH! Laying in wait again, Austin rolls to the apron, shoulder block, rolling thunder blocked, the Hurt Lock is on! Theory rams him into the corner, Bronson Reed out of nowhere with a corner body avalanche on both of them...
The match goes to a no contest.
Post-match, Reed nails bob with a diving shoulder off the apron! Drawing him up, throwing him back inside, Lashley recovers and tries for the Hurt Lock but Austin nails him with a dropkick, letting Bronson hit the Samoan Drop! Up top... 747 SPLASH!
Trish Stratus makes her entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Trish Stratus gets on the mic.
She wants to start with a little history lesson, and says when she first came to WWE, women’s wrestling was a joke and she single-handedly changed everything. She brought credibility to a nonexistant women’s division and she knows some of us will say “it was Trish and Lita” but there was no “we,” it was all her.
She was the women’s division, the trailblazer and the first to make us give a crap about the women’s division. Without her there would be no women’s revolution and certainly no women in the main event of WrestleMania. When Becky, Charlotte, and Ronda were in the main event, we were chanting “this is awesome” but we should have been chanting “thank you Trish”
But you wouldn’t believe that if you listened to Becky Lynch, who would tell you the Four Horseladies broke the boundaries and made you care again, but that statement, like Becky, is a joke. She sat back for a long while and letting it slide, because she gets selling yourself and bragging about your accomplishments.
But after a while it was like “wait, does she actually believe her own hype?” and she popped in here and butted up to ol’ Bex, but not once did she say “thank you for opening the door for me.” She’s gotta give it to her, she’s very convincing and even convinced Lita.
There she was at WrestleMania, dancing down the aisle as Becky’s little sidekick, but Trish Stratus is nobody’s sidekick. It got embarrassing, so she had to take Lita out of the picture and save her the embarrassment, so she could make it crystal clear that the person who screwed Becky out of her titles was her.
She asks if Lynch remembers the moment when she put her arm around her and said “good try, Trish, we’ll get ‘em next time, friend”? She decided in that moment that there would be no next time and she’d take out the Man just like that. She wasn’t about to let anyone rewrite history.
She’s not a nostalgia act, she’s not a sidekick, she’s the greatest of all time and the most important figure in the history of WWE and she’s going to make sure none of us forget it.
Another recap of Brock and Cody follows, ‘cause we gotta fill time I guess.
Cody Rhodes is interviewed backstage.
He’s satisfied and ecstatic that he’s wrestling Brock Lesnar at Backlash, but he’s also confused about tonight’s events. What kind of mirror universe are we in that he’s the one held back by twenty security guards and not Brock Lesnar? He apologizes to Adam Pearce for losing his temper and says he’s backed the Beast into a corner and his only way out is to win, but after everything he’s been through, Cody will not allow it.
Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez make their entrance in street clothes to send us to break.
Back from commercial we have a hype reel for Backlash.
Candice LeRae & “Michin” Mia Yim vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville
Liv and Raquel are on commentary for this one, naturally.
Yim and Green to start, Mia gets her in the corner, quick tag, whip into a backsplash, snapmare into a jackknife pin for two! Step-up senton gets another nearfall, Chelsea with a knee lift and she takes LeRae into the corner to tag Deville in. Candice DDTs both of them, step-up senton and Nikki Cross is watching from the front row!
LeRae up top, Sonya cuts her off, running knee for two! Double suplex, Green jawing at hte tag champs and she misses an elbow drop! Tags made, Mia ducks a lariat, clears the apron, boots for everybody and then a headscissors takeover out of the corner! Dropkick to Deville sets off an “everybody do something cool” segment.
Kick combo from Michin sets up the Yoshi Tonic but Chelsea breaks it up! Deville with a folding press, feet in the ropes but referee Aja Perera spots it and calls the count off! Chelsea tags in, underhooks...
Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville win by pinfall with a Killswitch from Green on Mia Yim.
Post-match, Green throws a water bottle at the champions and she and Sonya run away!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial I miss the beginning of a segment involving the Street Profits, Baron Corbin, Elias, and Rick Boogz and come in just in time to see the Profits walking off.
Elias assures Rick that wherever he gets drafted to, he’ll try to get Boogz brought along.
Akira Tozawa rolls up to mock them, Baron tries to play nice but Tozawa correctly tells him nobody likes him.
The Usos cut a promo about the LWO stepping up to them and getting sat right back down.
Judgment Day makes their entrance and we go to break before the match can begin.
Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio, & Finn Balor) vs. Kevin Owens, Matt Riddle, & Sami Zayn
Zayn and Balor to start, Finn with a side headlock, shot off, drop down, arm drags from Sami! Tag to Priest, Owens legal as well, front kick into a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, shoulder block, and finally a dropkick takes Damian off his feet! Senton into a crotch chop, big right hand staggers him!
Balor back in, trading punches, whip across, duck a lariat, Owens with an Air Raid Crash but Finn chop blocks him! Putting boots to him in the ropes, Ripley runs interference with a lariat! Riddle tags in, exploder suplex and a senton, follow it with the fisherman buster... NOPE! Fireman’s carry, Finn claws his face to escape and tags Priest in!
Penalty Kick off the apron, Damian meets him... South of Heaven over the ropes to the floor and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Priest in control on Riddle, quick tags. Both men down and out, the path is clear and Zayn tags in hot! Clearing house, headed up top, Mysterio cuts him off! Jockeying for position, Sami with a sunset flip powerbomb... NOPE! Sami up top, Rhea Ripley cuts him off this time, Dom off the top... KO BREAKS UP THE PIN!
The match breaks down, Riddle with the ripcord knee, Priest hits the reverse STO, Sami clotheslines him to the floor! Zayn off the ropes, Rhea trips him up! Referee Chad Patton saw it and he ejects her from ringside! Dominik with a schoolboy for two, Sami catches him with the Blue Thunder Driver... SO CLOSE!
Tag to Owens, he goes up top, senton atomico... THE KNEES ARE UP! Balor goes for the Coup de Grace, nobody home, Stunner connects, one for Damian too, Sami charges in... HELLUVA KICK! Riddle wants the tag and gets it, corkscrew senton atomico...
Kevin Owens, Matt Riddle, & Sami Zayn win by pinfall with the corkscrew senton atomico from Riddle on Finn Balor.
Post-match, the Bloodline beat the babyfaces down but the LWO shows up to even the odds! The brawl continues at length with neither side getting a definitive advantage! Owens back suplexes Priest into the announce desk and the babyfaces stand tall!
That’s the show, folks.