Cody Rhodes really wanted to start talking about Jey Uso, but once again, for the second week in a row, he was interrupted by The Judgment Day. In this case, that damn Dirty Dominik Mysterio. He claimed he would dedicate his win over Cody to Rhea Ripley, who is out injured.
Rhodes took a new angle of attack — he dropped a seed into Dom’s head that Ripley clearly isn’t into him the way he’s into her. In fact, she seems to be far more into Jey Uso.
Dom brushed it off fairly quickly, saying The Judgment Day is family. Right on cue, Finn Balor and Damian Priest hit the scene to join him in a show of support.
Still, I’m kind of surprised there hasn’t been another babyface to take this particular point of attack against him. The fans absolutely ate it up.
They had their match right after, and, to my surprise, Cody just straight up beat him down. It wasn’t quite a squash match but it wasn’t all that far away from one. This came after they showed Dragon Lee in the crowd and revealed he’ll be back on raw next week to challenge Mysterio for the North American championship.
I guess the idea is he’s vulnerable?
Then, in a surprise, Kevin Owens, who had come out with Sami Zayn to help fend off a post-match Judgment Day attack, asked Rhodes to stick around for a chat.
He brought up Rhodes being responsible for bringing Jey Uso to the red brand. He wanted to know why Cody thought it was a good idea to bring him to the locker room.
The response: his job is to make people happy and the people really like Jey. He deserves another chance to show the world that he’s changed. Plus, The Bloodline is down a member this way!
Then it was Sami’s turn to take up for Jey, asking Owens to give him a second chance in the same way he’s given his best friend a second chance. Look where that went. The main event of WrestleMania!
Owens ultimately decided to go along with them, though he wouldn’t go so far as to say he trusts Jey now. His trust in Cody and Sami is enough to allow the space they were asking for, however.
This story with Jey branching off this way, with all the parties involved, continues to be incredibly well told. And it would only get better.
Later, Priest met up with Jey backstage and put on the full court press — he claimed the rest of The Judgment Day wants Jimmy but he wants Jey and came to campaign for as much. They can offer him the family he always wanted but never had while he was with The Bloodline.
Jey didn’t respond. Instead, Priest told him to mull it over and get back to him by the end of the evening.
Some time later, Jey and KO had a confrontation backstage. Owens outright said he thinks Jey is halfway in The Judgment Day while Jey wanted it settled. Zayn played the role of peacemaker. Then he made it clear tonight was all about Jey making his big decision.
“So good luck with that.”
Finally, it was main event time and Jey taking on Drew McIntyre, who wanted payback of his own for all the grief and pain he went through thanks to Jey and the rest of The Bloodline. Naturally, The Judgment Day hit the scene to assist Jey in their continued attempts to get him to join up.
And then he fist bumped Priest. It looked like he may have made his decision.
But then he superkicked Priest, and then did the same to Balor, and finally Dirty Dom.
Decision made indeed.
But McIntyre decided to take advantage anyway, and planted his ass with a Claymore to score the pinfall and the victory. He still needed his pound of flesh and he got it.
The Judgment Day attacked post-match and McIntyre was left tortured over whether he should help or not. He ultimately elected not to do so.
But Cody Rhodes did.
And that’s how the show faded out.
This was a big step forward for this story, and paves the way to Jey having a proper run as a babyface at or near the top of the card. Perhaps there will be more to the McIntyre issue.
Becky Lynch won the NXT women’s championship less than one week ago, and that meant coming back to Monday Night Raw with some gold on her shoulder.
She admitted she didn’t have winning that title on her bingo card this year but she had to take the chance she was given and make the most of it. And that’s what she did. She is now a Grand Slam champion, and that’s nice, but what she really wants is to defend that title and elevate it in a way it hasn’t ever been before.
So she wants to start testing herself against the very best the future has to offer.
But that’s the future. The present demanded an open challenge, so that’s what she wanted to do.
Natalya answered the call, cutting a passionate promo about being dedicated for 15 years now and how Becky is a hypocrite for going to NXT and stepping in the front of the line to take the title for herself. She called Lynch a ginger witch, and got her title match.
Of course, Lynch won that match via roll up. She’s got business to take care of in NXT this week, and she promised to be there. Nattie, meanwhile, was left disappointed in the ring and who knows where she goes from here.
Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler just decided to join forces to become a tag team the other week. The women’s tag team division is such that this meant they got a non-title match against the champions, Chelsea Green & Piper Niven.
That’s something I’m going to take every opportunity to talk about because WWE continues doing very little to address the issue.
In the end, they didn’t even get to go to a finish for the match. That’s because Nia Jax showed up to put the boots to everybody, leaving all four women in the ring annihilated.
“It’s open season,” she was heard saying as she walked up the ramp. “I’ll take out anyone I want. The women’s division is on notice.”
Both Rhea Ripley and Raquel Rodriguez were given the week off to sell injuries from Jax from last week. They’ve given her one hell of a return story — a monster destroying everyone. The question is whether anyone is going to get invested in her like this.
Me, I’m not really there. But it may be worth waiting and seeing on this one.
All the rest
- The New Day were supposed to work a 2-out-of-3 Falls match against The Viking Raiders but we learned Erik is not medically cleared. So instead, Kofi Kingston won a game of rock, paper, scissors with Xavier Woods to work a singles match against Ivar. It was a pretty damn good match, too, a physical back-and-forth that saw Kingston survive a lot of punishment from the big fella to score the pinfall victory off Trouble in Paradise following a sunset flip powerbomb.
- Seth Rollins tried to attack Shinsuke Nakamura before the latter’s scheduled match against Ricochet, as he was good and pissed about everything Nakamura has been saying and doing the past few weeks. Officials, of course, held the world heavyweight champion back. The match went ahead and it was fine but ended with Ricochet electing to use a chair Nakamura was going to use on him and getting disqualified for it. Rollins came out to brawl after, and ended up in the trainer’s room. This is a really basic pro wrestling feud but I’m still quite enjoying it.
- Chad Gable campaigned for another Intercontinental championship match and was told he impressed everyone with his performance against GUNTHER. Bronson Reed showed up to offer a challenge of his own and wouldn’t you know it, the big man was just too much for Gable to overcome. This is upsetting in the sense that I kind of really wanted Gable to get another shot at the title and maybe he be the guy to win it but if they aren’t going that direction, it makes some sense to make that clear by having him take a loss like this.
- Tommaso Ciampa talked about making his own opportunities, and then he went out and submitted Giovanni Vinci. Ludwig Kaiser was none too happy about the defeat. The match was fine. GUNTHER was watching on a monitor backstage. Could it be that Ciampa is next in line?
This wasn’t a bad show, but it wasn’t anything special either. It was very much one of those Triple H shows where a lot of story was being told but it couldn’t be all that thrilling because of it.