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Raw recap & reactions (July 10, 2023): Did Judgment Day find peace?

Rhea Ripley issues challenges, Zoey Stark gets a huge win, and the Judgment Day get on the same page on this week’s Monday Night Raw.

Chef Dreds

The Judgment Day continue their reign as the best thing on Monday Night Raw. And more importantly, they give others that shine. They got the main event spot tonight thanks to some events covered below these words so just be patient.

But let’s focus on their cohesiveness and whether or not the drama is truly over.

I’m leaning towards no because it felt too neat. They cleared the air during a backstage segment, Damian said something that confused Finn and me, then everything looked copastiteic during the six-man tag against Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, & Seth Rollins. They even won!

I do believe a drama-free Judgment Day presents a more formidable task for Seth. And since they invade NXT this week, you gotta present them as a solid unit to raise the stakes for Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams. And I do like Damian saying he never meant to hurt Finn’s chances at Money in the Bank, but he didn’t answer why he came to the ring or why he stood up when Finn climbed the top rope. I don’t know if that’s purposeful or a mistake but given the recent attention to detail we get from WWE, I’m guessing it’s the former.

I’m on record saying I don’t want a Judgment Day breakup but I also don’t know where the group goes when two members have the same goal. Finn said he still wants Seth. Damian says that’s cool. I don’t believe WWE takes the title off Seth this soon, but I’m a lot more interested in what happens if Finn defeats Seth. Does Damian go back on his word? Or does he just hold that briefcase until his friend loses the championship? That last option makes no sense but I can’t see the first thing happening without destroying the group.

That’s one of the reasons I dig this story; it’s unpredictable and every option presents something different. It says a lot about the work WWE put into each character and the whole group since they kicked Edge to the curb. Like everyone in the Bloodline, Judgment Day gets the advantage of being real people. The storytelling isn’t on the same level but I appreciate the effort.


B-Sides

Back At You

Drew McIntyre made his in-ring return this week. So yeah, even though this tag match with him, Matt Riddle, and Imperium was, in fact, a tag match, it still showcased Drew. He and Riddle worked well together and complement each other.

Of course Matt & Drew picked up the W, after Drew pinned Giovanni Vinci courtesy of the Claymore Kick. That L drew GUNTHER’s ire, along with a dirty look from Ludvig Kaiser. Giovanni’s on thin ice with his crew at the moment, which gives a little more intrigue going into a presumed match between GUNTHER and Drew.

Fast Eddie

The Judgment Day pulled a fast one on Seth Rollins. The show opened with Finn Balor all by his lonesome, and airing his grievances against his Judgment Day partner, Damian Priest.

The two squashed things a bit later because Rhea Ripley told them to do so. I mean, if Rhea told you to do something, wouldn’t you? Yeah, you know you would.

And all this happened after Dirty Dom asked for a rematch against Seth Rollins. I doubted an actual match happening so I got excited when Dom attacked Seth before the bell rang. They battled into the Buffalo audience and eventually Finn and Damian got in on the reindeer games. Besides shoring up any dissent in the crew (for now) it established Seth as their common enemy. It also brought Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn into the fold, as Rhea challenged them on behalf of her crew only a few moments prior. That’s pretty seamless storytelling and it paid off later.

Cruiser Weight Coke

Honestly? The less Logan Paul and Ricochet use the microphone, the better.

I didn’t dislike either of them per se here, but the approached bored me. Ricochet wants to impress the audience every night and Logan believes he just wants to go viral. Logan doesn’t care about going Viral because he’s a WWE guy now. Ricochet did an incredible somersault out of the ring and Logan says that’s great for Tik Tok.

Logan said nah, then went for a sucker kick, and Ricochet walked out on top after executing a pretty Slice Bread.

Yeah, just get to the match.

Brutus

I’m a little shocked they gave Zoey Stark the win over Becky Lynch but I applaud them for doing so. Yes, we got a little chicanery here as both women tried holding the ropes for a W, but that cancels it out. The story pretty much said that Becky got too distracted by Trish and in that moment, Zoey took advantage.

Obviously this isn’t over but that’s a big win for Zoey and a solid match to boot.

No complaints.

Right Now

I love Alpha Academy and anything they do. Maxxine shined in her graduation ceremony, even though Otis threatened to upstage everyone.

And right when Otis and Chad Gable presented Maxxine with her letterman’s jacket, the Viking Raiders interrupted and pillaged the jacket!

We all knew this wasn’t over after last week but the Alpha Academy needed a reason for war. Well, they got it.

Pavement

Emma and Shayna Baszler did a thing this week. I say it that way because I barely turned away for a moment and it ended. This week is mostly story based, so this followed that same pattern as the quick “match” gave way to a Ronda Rousey sighting. Ronda deserved her revenge for last week so we got a brief brawl between the two former friends and tag champs. Much like the Logan & Ricochet stuff, the more physical they are, the better.

Let. Them. Fight.

Goodnight

Tommaso Ciampa didn’t count on Bronson Reed showing up. Neither did I. Bronson interrupted a perfectly fun, violent No DQ match. Ciampa showcased his brand of violence (chairs, tables, throats into chairs and turnbuckles) but no stripping the padding off the ring mat. We didn’t have the time for that and I’m not sure if that’s a spot for Raw.

Miz used Bronson for muscle before so this is a great call back, plus it gives Bronson something to do now that he’s done with Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura. He and Tommaso sounds violent to me so bring it on.

Sunday School

So there’s a lot happening with this women’s tag team championship scene.

First, the tag champs sat ringside during Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville’s match against Kayden Carter & Katana Chance. Before that, Rhea Ripley stepped to the tag champs and told Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan to stay out of her business after what they pulled last week. Besides getting a nice moment where Liv chuckled to herself and then told the champ she and her partner don’t fear her, it’s another tease for Raquel vs. Rhea.

As for the match itself? Fine. Not a lot of time although I don’t quite like the finish. While I like making Kayden & Katana look strong through Sonya & Chelsea cheating, it contradicts last week’s turmoil where those two ran through everyone pretty fairly. We established they don’t need to cheat but they do it here with the champs sitting ringside.


A solid night of Raw. Solid storytelling with a few matches sprinkled in and one long match that ended the show but still revolved around storytelling. We also got a Cody promo that really didn’t do much for me because it illustrates how difficult it is building anything with Brock Lesnar when he’s just not in the building. That changes next week so hopefully these two regain their momentum when I assume Brock accepts Cody’s SummerSlam challenge.

What say you, Cagesiders?

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