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Raw recap & reactions (Sep. 4, 2023): Jey Uso did it to himself

The Judgment Day might expand, Seth Rollins needs help, and GUNTHER makes history on Monday Night Raw.

I Miss My Dawgs

Jey Uso is a man without a country right now. And I love every bit of this intrigue.

Jey opened Raw and after getting seemingly the entire North Carolina state on their feet, he kept it real. Jey knows he wronged a lot of people in that locker room. It’s a nice contrast to how much the crowd loves Jey but lest we forget he served as the Right Hand Man for years. He did a lot of dirt on Roman Reigns’ behalf. He cheated, lied, and injured people for the Tribal Chief. He changed lives and shattered dreams for many on the red brand. But, to his credit, he’s not hiding from his past or anyone he wronged.

He also wants them to come see him if they have a problem because he’s not going anywhere. It wasn’t a threat so much as him offering an olive branch but also willing to fight if it comes to that. This is wrestling, after all, so it usually does.

Of course, he does have one friend.

Sami Zayn hit the ring and greeted the man he once called “brother.” I’m thrilled they got this out the way early. This thing between Sami and Jey has layers (like an onion) and it’s better peeling them away now rather than building for later. And with Jey by himself in a hostile environment, it makes no sense if Sami just sits there and watches all that drama unfold and does nothing. That’s just not him.

We finally got a hug between these two without any backstabbing or second guessing. But even that brings complications. Which ones? Glad you asked.

As Jey left the ring, Drew McIntyre & Matt Riddle entered. Drew and Jey entered into a staring contest on the entranceway, that only ended when Sami broke it up. Sami wants Drew, Matt, and everyone else to give Jey a chance. Drew expressed that his patience for Jey’s do-over only goes but so far. And he even mentioned taking out his frustration on Cody Rhodes, the man who brought Jey back into everyone’s lives.

Right there, we got issues between Jey and Drew, Jey and Matt, and possibly Drew and Cody. And after Jey found out that someone from Raw gets traded to SmackDown for fairness and basketball reasons, even more people might hate his guts. That not only makes Jey a marked man but makes him the underdog, a brand new position for a Bloodline member who rolled from city to city with Roman.

The final deliciousness came when Dirty Dom empathized with Jey’s plight and offered him something he knows Jey craves more than anything: family. Yeah, Dom invited Jey to join the Judgment Day with the fervor of a Jehovah’s Witness. When Dom stopped talking, I wanted to join the group. And that’s a thing for me because I’m notoriously not a joiner!

Jey considered it because he has no allies and he sees nothing but bad tidings on the horizon.

I love it. I don’t have a single complaint and I can’t wait to see what he does or how this all boils over. Will he join Judgment Day? Will he stick it out by himself? And how will Kevin Owens feel about Sami making up with Jey? KO missed the show this week and left Sami by his lonesome. If there’s one thing we know about the Prize Fighter it’s that he rarely forgives and never forgets.

So many questions and hopefully the answers do them justice.


All the Stars

Chad Gable needs a singles run. If there’s one thing that I hope he showed Triple H and anyone else who matters, it’s that he belongs in that ring on the dolo tip with anyone. He and GUNTHER impressed this week. Yes, GUNTHER made history but they booked the match in a way that made him work for it. Chad put his title in and historical run in jeopardy several times, including a fantastic sequence where he kept GUNTHER’s ankle in his hand at all costs.

Watch the match. Watch it now. Give both men their props and clap for history. But know that Chad wrote some beautiful music these past few months, with this match acting as the high note.

Momma I’m Sorry

Two things come to mind for the tornado tag match between Highlanders (still going with that) and the Viking Raiders:

One, great use of Chekov’s table.

And two, Drew McIntyre & Matthew Riddle might find themselves in a feud with the New Day when Xavier comes back. Or, at the least, we get more bad blood between Drew and Kofi Kingston while Matt plays peacemaker and hopes cooler heads do the thing they usually do. And they foreshadowed that this week.

The match itself was chaotic, as expected. But it also mostly showcased Drew’s stated intentions: He got his hands on both Raiders without tagging. A good portion of the match put Drew one on two and he handled himself extremely well. And for me, that goes a long way for the story because Drew still doesn’t really want a partner. He needs a reason for that and right now, I don’t see it.

Kofi messed up trying to save Matt from catching Ragnarok through a table. And he succeeded at first. But Trouble in Paradise missed the intended target and hit Matt, creating actual trouble in paradise for the former WWE champ.

The Raiders got the W while Drew’s frustration boiled over.

This actually got me interested in a story that left me nonplussed at best.

That’s Crazy

Interesting through line on Raw. And if not for the one I went with starting this recap, I’d write more about it.

Becky Lynch escorted Seth Rollins out of Pittsburgh in a wheelchair. That’s crazy enough that WWE banned Seth from performing this week or any week until they clear him.

For anyone new or those paying attention for years, Seth said “nah” to all that and showed up anyway. Ricochet gave him props for the match and for showing up. But he told Seth that carrying Raw on his brittle back isn’t the only option; Ricochet wants some of that burden. Seth didn’t hear that either and hit the ring, where he called out Shinsuke Nakamura for a rematch. Shinsuke said “nah” Typical heel move where the bad guy wants the match on their terms rather than giving the face what they want. Shinsuke wants the advantage, so yeah, why give Seth the match when he’s prepared?

I get it.

But of course a brawl ensued. Ricochet, putting his money where his mouth is, had Seth’s back. Literally.

Speaking of which, once Ricochet and Shin’s impromptu match started, Shin focused on Ricochet’s back. Good touch showing him keeping Seth in mind. That exclamation point hit when Shin slammed a chair on Ricochet’s back and got disqualified. Beating Ricochet was never the thing; he sent a message to Seth, which the champ heard loud and clear.

Now, prior to Seth rushing the ring and going off on Shin and the security guards, Adam Pearce warned him about any physical activity. He even told him that this is about more than one night and about his career. Seth can’t keep up the pace, and Adam knows it. But Seth disagreed and, well, yeah, he paid the price. Seth went off on everyone after Shin got DQ’d and Shin arranged a meeting between Seth’s spine and the steel steps.

Pretty compelling stuff with a champion doing way too much, obsessing over someone he already beat, and that same someone is more than a little bit dangerous. Oh, and Damian Priest lurks with his brand new Judgment Day-themed briefcase.

I Get Physical

Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler united over fallen mentors. Well, united-ish. Shayna wanted a piece of Zoey without Trish. Zoey happily obliged.

They got physical too. This felt like a true wrestling match that only ended when Zoey passed out from the Kirifuda Clutch. Shayna gave her props after the match and both women lamented the past while seemingly looking forward to a future partnership. Shayna commended Zoey for putting up “a better fight than Ronda,” which stings all types of ways.


Chelsea Green dove in deep this week, didn’t she? Before getting to that, apparently Piper Niven is on the shelf! Adam let that nugget fly when he spoke with Chelsea prior to the tag champ putting her foot in her mouth.

So, yeah, that’s pretty big. What happens with those titles now?

The other big news from this “match” between Chelsea and Raquel? Raquel gets her rematch with Rhea Ripley next week, sans Dominik. Rhea skated at Payback thanks to her beau. What happens when he’s banned?


Anyone remember that moment in Hook where the Lost Boys ate “never food”? Peter Pan, now an adult, wanted actual food while the Lost Boys manifested food through their imaginations.

That’s what Miz did this week, except not entertaining nor did it advance character and theme.

Miz invited John Cena to Mis TV for an explanation on his loss to LA Knight. Only John never showed. Miz conducted an interview with no one, got into a fight, and even issued a Skull Crushing Finale. Why? Because we can’t see John Cena.

You hear that? That’s the sound of a rimshot somewhere in the faint distance.

I’m sure Miz said some fine things during his promo about John and LA. I know he asked for a rematch. I’m sure he showed that obsession. But the segment lost me the minute Miz interviewed an empty chair like Clint Eastwood at the 2012 Republican Convention.

Didn’t work then, didn’t work now.

Leave the games to the Lost Boys.

Give Em Hell

Combining a few things here because everything connects.

The Judgment Day hit the ring this week with pep in their step, gold around their waists—and shoulders—and bones to pick. Since I already touched on one of those bones, let’s get to JD McDonagh, who once again tried ingratiating himself to the crew.

And he brought gifts!

JD not only gave Damian that new briefcase I mentioned earlier, but gave off himself when he took a proverbial bullet for Dirty Dom. Sami hit the ring with righteous fury. Dom’s interference put those championships in Judgment Day’s camp, and Sami wanted all of that static. But JD sacrificed himself for the little Mysterio.

Before the match, Finn advocated for JD’s Judgment Day membership. Damian remained leery, Dom proved ever the weather vane, while Rhea provided pragmatism: See how JD does against Sami first and then circle back.

And, of course, Rhea had a plan to make sure JD got the W.

But I don’t think that was the test. She knew if Dom interfered, which he did, that JD’s road to victory got a lot less rocky. The true proving ground came when Sami, irate after Dom caused him yet another match—and JD pinned him with a hand full of tights—made a beeline for the North American champ. Sami put Dom in his clutches while the champ screamed for help. JD, who almost left the ring and actually watched the beatdown happen for a while, finally saved Mami’s Latino Heat.

And JD caught a Helluva Kick for his troubles.

JD showed he’s down for the crew, and more importantly, especially for Rhea, put Dom out of harm’s way. And he seemingly won over Damian as well. We’ll see how this plays out but despite Finn’s declarations, I still don’t trust the guy. Maybe there’s just too much NXT in my head. And that’s a me thing. I need to let the past be the past and allow for growth.

Dope episode from top to bottom. It moved, showed purpose, felt complete, and even threw in teases for down the line. What did Tomasso Ciampa and Adam Pearce talk about? Who knows! But we’ll find out.

The Jey stuff and the Judgment Day saga, along with the excellent main event, truly ran the show. That’s some of the best stuff going in WWE at the moment and everything was a home run this week.

What say you, Cagesiders?

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