clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Raw recap & reactions (July 24, 2023): Judgment comes to Monday night

Becky Lynch gets her wish, Maxxine gets a match, and Seth Rollins gets jumped on this week’s Monday Night Raw.


Seth Rollins saw this coming, right? Ray Charles saw it coming and he’s not only blind, but also dead. The Judgment Day ran wilder than Hulkamania on this week’s Monday Night Raw. They broke multiple arms—more on that later—and asserted their dominance every chance they got. So when the World Heavyweight champ entered the contract signing with a smile on his face and giant shades over his eyes, he knew about the set up. Right?

Maybe so, maybe no, but he clearly came ill prepared. Seth tried stirring the pot with Finn Balor, noting that win or lose at SummerSlam, Finn loses in the long run. If Seth beats him, all that anger bottled over seven years spills over and goes nowhere but into the bottom of a drain. If he wins, then his partner and friend lurks over his shoulder with that green briefcase.

No argument here.

We already saw tension between Damian and Finn over that very idea. They seem buttoned up now because Rhea demanded they squash it, and even showed solidarity tonight when Finn referenced himself as the next World Heavyweight champ. But things change when possibilities become reality.

However, Seth underestimates just how little Finn possesses right now. Finn told Seth that all his losing since 2016 did nothing but drive him insane. Essentially, he not only has no f*cks to give, but nothing to lose as well. That’s a dangerous man with an even more dangerous squad behind him. Said squad entered the picture while Finn spoke, and surrounded Seth.

This. This is the thing I hope Seth saw coming because come on, bruv.

Seth got his licks in but no. He even got a little help from Sami Zayn, who wanted revenge for events that transpired earlier, but that barely mattered. They handled Sami then teed off on Seth one by one. Finn, along with his crew, stood triumphant when the show faded to black, ending the show much like they started.

I’m out of words when it comes to Judgment Day. They run Raw and established themselves as the show’s spine. Finn continued last week’s momentum, Seth looks extremely vulnerable, while the group looks fantastic.

And yes, I still think Finn should win. Not just for the seven year payoff, but for the story between Damian and Finn. And there’s no reason for Seth to just leave the story either.

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I think it’s the right call.


The Finish Line

A foregone conclusion but they did everything almost everything possible that might make one wonder.

Becky Lynch defeated Zoey Stark in a match that I wish got a little more interference from Trish Stratus or at least truly made Becky sweat. I didn’t dislike the match at all but it just lacked drama given the match’s importance and the future collision between Becky and Trish. It got us from point B to point C, so it did the job.

I liked Trish inserting herself, and the finish that saw Zoey get a little too big for her britches, springboard from the top rope, and get caught in a Manhandle Slam. But like I said, serviceable.

And as that video above shows, Zoey and Trish don’t see eye to eye right now.

Still D.R.E.

Based on his recent moves, I too believe Elon Musk loves Dirty Dom.

I loved the way they booked Dom’s second successful title defense. How did we get here?

Judgment Day opened the show touting their accolades and welcoming Dom to the ring like he cured cancer and solved wealth inequality. Kevin Owens & Sami entered the chat with visions of violence dancing in their heads, simply out of annoyance. Sami challenged Dom and demanded he put the North American championship on the line. Rhea Ripley, as usual, accepted on her man’s behalf.

The first act set the terms for their encounter, with Dom seemingly in over his head because, well, Sami is Sami. The ref tossed Rhea & Damian Priest because they did too much, but also tossed KO.

The second act established Dom might get the job done without them as he pushed Sami at certain points and survived several of Sami’s best blows, including a Blue Thunder Bomb.

But then we got to the third act where Sami really took control and the camera caught KO rolling out of the locker room area into the arena with Rhea & Dom behind him. This distracted Sami and gave Dom just enough time to get the quick roll up pin win.

And KO? Well, apparently Judgment Day broke his arm.

Good match with heightened drama, a nice plot twist, and furthers the story because Sami wants blood.

Be Easy

Bronson Reed finds himself in the middle of beef but not really cooking any of his own. Exhibit A? Tommaso Ciampa ran up on Shinsuke Nakamura and told him to be easy and forget what happened last week. If not, then he and Shinsuke have a problem.

Well, guess what? They have a problem.

Shinsuke showed up during Tommaso’s very fun match with Bronson and distracted the Black Heart just long enough for Bronson to get the W thanks to a massive Tsunami Whew, that’s a long sentence.

Shinsuke vs. Tommaso sounds like the type of violence I love. I do hope they give Bronson something to do besides playing the the odd man out in wrestling Three’s Company. But he keeps picking up wins, which is nice.

Break ‘Em Off Some

Well, that escalated quickly

Rhea is Raw’s main character. We talk about it in the Cageside offices all the time and Geno said as much a few weeks ago. This week, they illustrated just how dangerous and scary their main character is when someone pushes her. Liv Morgan downright shoved her last week and Rhea got her bloody revenge this week.

We never got the scheduled match between the two because Rhea ambushed Liv before the bell rang, threw her around, took her back in the ring, head butted her again (repeating last week’s hilarious move), then smashed her arm between a steel chair. Twice.

Rhea laughed, gloated, and did several evil stares while Liv’s cries echoed throughout the arena. The last shot featured Liv crying to the WWE officials that she can’t move her arm.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Everyone did their job here and when Raquel Rodriguez comes back, this gives her even more motivation for revenge.

It also upped some tension between Judgment Day and Adam Pearce with the group now responsible for severely injuring two wrestlers on his watch.

Respect Due

This thing between Ricochet and Logan Paul still does nothing for me. I get the respect angle, I get the reasoning. But something is missing. Just get to fighting! Ricochet bested Logan this Logan says he’s back next week to get even. The match is official, so let’s just get there. Please, God, let’s get there.


Maxxine’s first singles match is next week against Valhalla. Figured burying the lede made no sense so just got straight to it.

The Alpha Academy wanted revenge after losing a match that Chad Gable scoffed at its lack of rules and sense. Before Master Gable finished describing an Academy match, Maxxine interrupted and called out Valhalla. I like Maxxine taking the challenge for her team and asserting herself on behalf of the Academy. Good character growth and a great move for her rising position. It’s also a good move for Alpha’s evolution into a formidable threesome.

Nope, get your minds out of the gutter. Cheeky, bastards.

Psycho Dwarf

Few things happening here:

First, we got the confrontation between GUNTHER and Drew McIntyre. Drew wanted to fight, GUNTHER wanted no static at the moment, but their SummerSlam match is official.

Two, Drew sowed those tasty dissension seeds. He buttered up Ludvig Kaiser, who already finds himself in the Ring General’s doghouse. Drew thinks Ludvig should lead Imperium.

Third, Ludvig found all this disrespectful and accepted Drew’s challenge right there.

They put on a physical and fun match, that also gave us Corey Graves’ insane Ludvig impression. That alone is worth your attention.

Drew got the W, which of course upset GUNTHER. The Intercontinental champ ambushed his future opponent, and an Imperium beatdown ensued. Then out came Matt Riddle, who evened the odds.

Drew got the best of GUNTHER this time, and their feud needed that. GUNTHER dominates the competition at every turn. Showing Drew turn the tables on the big man and Power Bomb him through the commentary table, then stand tall over GUNTHER’s prone body? Big deal in that context.

Fun Raw this week! Seriously, the show keeps doing its thing. We got a Damian vs. Apollo Crews match that didn’t do much for me, and Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler turned their SummerSlam match into a fight. Still waiting on what exactly that means but I’d like an MMA angle for their Detroit matchup.

But Judgment Day rules. This is their show, so give them all the gold. They actually reminded me of the NWO during its early days the way they set a tone through violence and omnipresence.

What say you, cagesiders? Dope Raw or no bueno?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats