This week’s Raw offered up more of the WrestleMania fallout while also building on Backlash. Several matches were moved due to last-minute travel issues, but the card was still stacked. In fact, the show was an incredible change from last week when fans criticized a product they believed Vince McMahon had on his hands.
There was some good action, a badass turn, incredible promotion, and some last-minute surprises that made the show really strong. Here are their winners and losers from Raw, April 10, 2023:
Winner: Rey and Dom open the show
It’s unclear if this is how WWE intended to open Raw, but there were worse ways than the company’s second hottest angle. The show started with Rey Mysterio talking about his roller coaster year. He didn’t get very far in promoting himself when Dominik interrupted him. Sun claimed that he would have won at WrestleMania if it wasn’t for Bad Bunny. He then showed footage from last week and Judgment Day’s troubles with the most popular recording artist on the planet and the host of Backlash. Rey challenged Dom to a rematch and Dom said that he didn’t want to fight his father. Finn Balor answered the call in his place.
Balor and Mysterio were about as good as the contest would sound on paper. These two can go and they showed it. Balor showed no signs of having 14 staples in his head after their Hell in a Cell match, which shows just how much of a warrior he is. Rey fell victim to the numbers game and Dom hit his father with a chain, prompting Balor to apply the Coup de Gras to win. This was a really solid match with drama for a hot crowd.
WWE aired footage from earlier in the day where Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan were tending to Lita, who was attacked from behind by someone. The clue was there that maybe Raquel and Liv knew more than they were letting on, but they played innocent. Returning from the commercial break, it was revealed that Trish Stratus would be taking Lita’s place in the title match.
Winner/Loser: Trish loses the titles to Lynch and Lita, then turns heel
Becky started the match and seemed preoccupied with accusing Raquel of being responsible for Lita’s attack. Liv and Raquel had the early advantage, but Becky and Trish fought back. Whether intentional or not, there were some hiccups in the champions’ offense (which played well considering the circumstances). Unfortunately, those hiccups continued and damaged the flow of the contest.
This match had some good moments, but also some confusing ones. It was clear there was a slight lack of familiarity and chemistry. As chaos ensued to end the match, Trish went for a Chick Kick and missed. Liv won it and there were new champions in pairs! Stratus looked surprised, and Lynch comforted her. Trish then attacked her from behind and hit Lynch with a Chick Kick.
This wasn’t perfect, but it was a solid match with a twist that opens up a rivalry between Lynch and Stratus. WWE should get something out of that.
Backstage footage showed Damage CTRL having a conversation about staying together during the WWE Draft, but teased some potential friction as Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky were upset when they both learned Bayley was offered the chance to challenge. in a Triple Threat matchup for a No. 1 place contender.
Winner: Lashley vs. cane bronson
Then the two powerhouses came to a head as Lashley and Bronson Reed tried to outdo each other in a match that was a bit clunky, but still had a big fight feel to it. Lashley made the cardinal mistake of thinking there was no one who could match him in the strength department and paid for it early. WWE went to a commercial with Reed in command. Lashley pulled off a couple of big power moves and attempted the Hurt Lock twice. The two men ended up being counted.
They continued to fight outside the ring and the officials had to separate them, but it was difficult to keep these two men apart. The officials didn’t actually break up the big men before showing Cody walking towards the backstage entrance.
The fans were really interested in this match and the feud that seems to be coming out of it. Reed and Lashley in the second round will have fans excited with the teaser both men delivered tonight. The double count was a smart backup pick.
Addressing his loss at WrestleMania, Cody quickly turned his attention to Brock Lesnar and was unexpectedly attacked by The Beast Incarnate. Cody said that he had heard it was about Lesnar’s place on the card, but Cody believed it was because Lesnar questioned what kind of damage The American Nightmare and the arrival of sushi could do to Lesnar’s position in the company. Saying that Lesnar has always viewed his opposition as prey, Cody will turn the tables and become the predator. He then challenged Lesnar to a match at Backlash.
This was a fantastic promotion for Cody. He had to go from point A to point B, effectively shift the story from Reigns to Lesnar, and deliver some lines that could have come across as arrogant and smug. He walked that line perfectly.
Winner: Uses vs. alpha academy
This was an intriguing position to put The Usos in. The story seemed to be that the former champions were out of their minds mentally and the fact that the start of this match saw Otis and Chad Gable playing with the best wrestling team seemed to back up that story. The Usos eventually found their way and took control. The Usos remained in control until Otis was given the hot tag much to the delight of the fans. The action continued with blocks and close spikes, but the Usos were ultimately victorious with the 1D.
This was a great match. The fans liked it and the action was wildly entertaining, including humor and a little extra punch that made it a lot of fun.
Winner: Iyo Sky
One match that was added due to travel issues was a Triple Threat between Iyo Sky, Piper Niven, and Michin. It was really about selling the underlying tension in Damage CTRL. Sky picked up the win, with which Bayley seemed a little less than thrilled. Niven always hits with impact, Michin made some great moves, but Sky was the standout.
Winner: Bloodline outnumbers Owens
Without Sami Zayn or Matt Riddle to help him, an injured Kevin Owens was at a clear disadvantage in his match against Solo Sikoa and went down early. It seemed like a possible child’s game for Sikoa ahead of the break. Owens continued to fight the pain in his leg and just when he looked like he might have it, Jey landed a superkick and Sikoa landed a Samoan Spike. Owens lost.
Riddle and Sami Zayn eventually made it to the arena and helped save Owens after the match. The tables turned to end the show and Owens delivered a Stunner as the rest of The Bloodline dropped out.