WWE Raw Results (5-8-2023): Pomares’s report with analysis of Nakamura vs. Priest vs. Rollins, Cody vs. Balor vs. Miz, Backlash fallout

By Mauricio Pomares, PWTorch contributor

Full results and analysis of WWE Raw


MAY 8, 2023

Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

Tonight after WWE Raw, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Darrin Lilly from PWTorch to break down the show with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com


– The show opened with a video package hyping up the participants of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament.

– Cody Rhodes made his way to the ring, as a recap of his victory over Brock Lesnar aired. Cody talked about making great memories in Jacksonville during the pandemic and he wanted to make more great memories tonight. He talked about his encounter with Lesnar at Backlash, gloating about his victory. Cody said that what is next for him is the World Heavyweight championship before asking to see the tournament bracket. Cody stood next to the title to declare that the tournament would begin.

– Seth Rollins crossed paths with Cody, as he made his way to the ring.

(Pomares’s Analysis: As per usual, Cody Rhodes cut a pretty good promo, but this one felt kind of unnecessary. It only served to waste a few minutes and have Cody and Seth have a brief face-off.)

[Commercial Break]

– A series of pictures recapping Seth Rollins’ victory over Omos appeared on-screen.

– A video package aired, recapping the entirety of Bad Bunny and Damian Priest’s match at Backlash.

– At backstage, Cathy Kelly interviewed Damian Priest about his match tonight and his loss to Bad Bunny. Priest evaded speaking about his loss at Backlash and focused on winning the World Heavyweight championship by himself.

(1) SETH ROLLINS vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. DAMIAN PRIEST – World Title Tournament match

Priest took control early on with elbow strikes and stomps on Rollins and Nakamura. Nakamura cracked Priest with an enzuigiri while Rollins took him out of the ring with a knee strike to the back. Nakamura evaded a kick from Rollins to blast him with an axe kick, a sliding knee strike and a sliding German suplex. At ringside, Nakamura avoided an attack from Priest and clocked him with a knee drop on the apron.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Rollins hit Priest with a rising kick and Nakamura with a flatliner into the turnbuckle. Rollins took Nakamura and Priest down with a high crossbody, setting them up for a pair of suicide dives. Priest blocked another suicide dive with an elbow strike, followed by a corner splash on Rollins. Nakamura caught Priest with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head, a rising knee to the ribs and a diving knee strike for a two count.

Rollins tried to hit Priest with the Pedigree, but Priest sent him to the apron. Priest cracked Nakamura with an elbow strike and Rollins with a flatliner for a nearfall. Priest, Nakamura and Rollins exchanged roundhouse kicks, thrust kicks and spinning kicks, knocking everyone down. Priest attacked Rollins with knees to the ribs before receiving a kick to the knee and a thrust kick. Rollins landed on his feet off a reverse Xploder and knocked Nakamura down with a discus clothesline.

Rollins evaded Priest’s Razor’s Edge, but Nakamura broke his pinfall at the last moment. Nakamura and Rollins traded numerous elbow strikes, until Nakamura dropped Rollins with an inverted Xploder. Priest blasted Nakamura with a clothesline before he could hit Kinshasa and tossed Rollins out of the ring. Nakamura nailed Priest with kicks to the legs before putting him in a knee bar. Rollins broke the pinfall with a diving splash and knocked Nakamura out with a Pedigree for the victory.
WINNER: Seth Rollins in 14:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: Really fun triple threat to open tonight’s in-ring action. Seth Rollins is the favorite to win the belt, so it’s no surprise that he picked up the win.)

– At backstage, Imperium’s Gionvani Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser were shown walking around backstage to announce that Gunther would arrive next week. They tried to confront Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, but they were interested in speaking with them. Kaiser and Vinci warned them that they would be in danger if they kept on disrespecting them. Sami said that unlike the Usos, they would deal with them tonight, setting up a tag team match.

– Alpha Academy and Maxxine Dupri made their way to the ring.

[Commercial Break]


Ali climbed Otis’ back, but was immediately slammed into the mat. Ali nailed Otis with a couple of dropkicks before being turned inside out with a shoulder tackle. Otis tried to go for a Military press slam, but Ali evaded it. Ali kept on avoiding Otis’ strikes, until Otis turned him inside out with a lariat. Otis tore off his shirt and prepared to continue the attack, but Gable and Dupri started distracting him with an argument. Otis missed a corner splash, allowing Ali to pick up the win with a 450 Splash.
WINNER: Mustafa Ali in 2:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: I’m happy to see Mustafa Ali win some matches, but with how short this was, it’s pretty clear the focus was on continuing the Alpha Academy and Maxxine Dupri storyline.)

– At backstage, The Miz talked about all of his accolades and said that people would respect him when he became champion.

– The Miz made his way to the ring, ahead of his triple threat match.

[Commercial Break]

(3) CODY RHODES vs. FINN BÁLOR vs. THE MIZ – World Hvt. Title Tournament match

Cody tried to pin Miz early on with an O’Connor ROll. Finn nailed Cody with a clothesline before receiving a shoulder tackle from Miz. Cody took Miz down with a Russian leg sweep before dropping Finn on top of Miz. Cody knocked Finn and Miz off their feet with a suicide dive, as WWE RAW went to a commercial break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Cody took Finn down with a missile dropkick, followed by a series of right hands on both of his opponents. Cody caught Finn and Miz with snap powerslams and a double Cody cutter. Finn blocked the Cross Rhodes, only to receive a Disaster kick for a nearfall. Finn avoided a powerbomb from Cody, only for him and Cody to receive a double DDT from Miz. Cody blocked the Skull Crushing Finale while Finn hit Miz with a sling blade. Finn dropped Cody down with an elbow drop, followed by a shotgun dropkick.

Finn missed the Coup de Grace, allowing Miz to hit him with Skull Crushing Finale for a nearfall. Cody caught Finn with Cross Rhodes, but Miz tried to steal the pinfall. Cody laid Miz out with three back-to-back Cross Rhodes. Brock Lesnar showed up to pull Cody out of the ring and plant him with an F5 at ringside. Finn crushed Miz with a Coup de Grace to pick up the victory.

WINNER: Finn Bálor in 10:00

– After the match, Brock Lesnar put Cody Rhodes through the announce table with an F5. Lesnar asked Cody what he wanted to talk about while telling him that he lucked into a victory. Lesnar challenged him to a match at Night of Champions.

(Pomares’s Analysis: While not as good as the first triple threat, this was still a pretty solid encounter. I wasn’t expecting Cody to advance to the next round, so I’m fine with Lesnar costing him the match and setting up a rematch. Though it makes the decision to book their match at Backlash as the main event look even worse.)

[Commercial Break]

– A recap of Brock Lesnar’s assault on Cody Rhodes aired.

– Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio made their way to the ring, as pictures from Ripley’s title defense at Backlash were shown.

– Earlier today, Dana Brooke said that she would show her untapped potential tonight.

(4) RHEA RIPLEY (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. DANA BROOKE

Brooke immediately nailed Ripley with a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Ripley cracked Brooke with a headbutt and a couple of seated sentons. Brooke caught Ripley with a wheelbarrow bulldog. Ripley countered a high crossbody with a gutbuster, followed by the Riptide and the inverted Cloverleaf for the win.

WINNER: Rhea Ripley in 2:00

– After the match, Rhea Ripley hit Brooke with the Riptide and put her in the Cloverleaf again. Natalya showed up to face Ripley in the middle of the ring.

(Pomares’s Analysis: The match was only a set up to the post-match angle. Natalya is a fine first opponent for Rhea Ripley, but has no real chance of winning.)

– A video package aired, showcasing the NXT call-ups from this year’s Draft.

– At backstage, Byron Saxton interviewed Zoey Stark about her arrival to RAW. Stark started talking about her skills before confronting Nikki Cross. Stark challenged Cross to a match tonight.

– Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens made their way to the ring, ahead of their match with Imperium.

[Commercial Break]

– A video package showcasing WWE’s tour through Europe aired.

(5) KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN vs. IMPERIUM (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)

Sami avoided Kaiser’s strikes and tossed him out of the ring, only for Vinci to attack him from behind. Sami knocked Vinci down with a clothesline, but couldn’t follow up after Kaiser pushed him off the top turnbuckle into an uppercut from Vinci. Kaiser distracted the referee while Vinci choked Sami using the ropes. Imperium crushed Sami with a double dropkick on the apron, as WWE Raw went to commercials.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Sami tossed Kaiser out of the ring and kicked Vinci away, reaching Owens for the tag. Owens pummeled Kaiser with a barrage of right hands and stomps. Owens dropped Kaiser with a back body drop and a lariat, setting him up for a pair of chops. Vinci tried to take a cheap shot, but Owens knocked him off the apron with a clothesline. Owens laid Kaiser out with a fisherman suplex neckbreaker for a two count. Owens crushed Kaiser with a Swanton Bomb, but Vinci broke the pinfall.

Imperium dropped Owens with a modified High Low, but he managed to kick out at two. Kaiser cracked Owens with an enzuigiri, but he immediately responded with a lariat. Vinci knocked Sami off the apron, only for Owens to take him out with a back body drop. Owens took care of Kaiser with a Stunner and Vinci with a thrust kick. Sami got the hot tag to finish Vinci with the Helluva Kick for the three count.

WINNER: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in 10:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: I would have preferred to see a longer build to Kevin and Sami vs Imperium, but this was still a pretty fun match to establish the champions on RAW.)

– At backstage, Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green tried convincing people to sign a petition to get a title rematch. They tried to get Candice LeRae, Johnny Gargano and Indi Hartwell to sign, but Dexter Lumis stopped them.

– Nikki Cross made her way to the ring, ahead of her match against Zoey Stark.

[Commercial Break]

– A recap of the confrontation between The Bloodline during their match against Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle aired.


Stark immediately slapped Cross, only for her to respond with a barrage of forearms. Stark drove Cross, smashed her head into the turnbuckle and nailed her with a mid-rope corkscrew senton. Cross caught Stark with a jawbreaker, followed by a series of forearm strikes. Cross hit Stark with a dropkick to the leg and a basement dropkick, followed by a corner splash. Stark blocked a Tornado DDT, cracked her with a thrust kick and knocked her out with the Z-360.

WINNER: Zoey Stark in 2:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: Solid showing from Zoey Stark in her main roster debut. Kind of sucks that they never addressed the storyline Nikki Cross had with Candice LeRae.)

– At backstage, Byron Saxton interviewed Rhea Ripley about feeling pressure as top champion. Xavier Woods and Akira Tozawa were heard laughing, angering Dominik Mysterio. Woods challenged Dominik to a match which Ripley accepted for Dominik.

– Trish Stratus was shown sharing missing signs for Becky Lynch backstage.

[Commercial Break]

– A video package showing numerous highlights from Backlash aired.

– Trish Stratus made her way to the ring, as a recap of her assault on Becky Lynch aired. Stratus made fun of Becky Lynch by asking where she has been. Stratus said that Lynch would eventually come back to her show, but wouldn’t be able to steal her spotlight. Lynch’s theme music played, only for Stratus to reveal it was a ruse and say that Lynch would never come back. Stratus talking about her daughter getting a doll and calling her Becky Lynch, only for Lynch to actually show up behind her. Lynch took Stratus down with right hands and a Xploder, forcing her to retreat.

(Pomares’s Analysis: Decent promo from Trish Stratus to set up the Becky Lynch return. Don’t think Becky was gone for long enough or Stratus did enough in the meantime to really make this comeback work for me.)

– A recap of Brock Lesnar assaulting Cody Rhodes aired. Cody was shown in the trainer’s office being checked by a doctor while Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn stood by his side.

– Xavier Woods made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against Dominik Mysterio.

[Commercial Break]


Woods quickly took Dominik down with a headlock takeover, until he responded with a headscissors hold. Ripley distracted Woods, but Dominik was not able to take a cheap shot. Woods knocked Dominik down with a dropkick, but was tripped into the turnbuckle. Dominik sent Woods into the ropes with a dropkick, only to get tripped into the ropes himself and receive a dropkick through the ropes. Woods nailed Dominik with a high crossbody, followed by numerous right hands. Dominik was able to launch Woods onto the steel steps, as WWE RAW went to an ad break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Dominik clocked Woods with an elbow strike, following it with the Three Amigos. Woods blasted Dominik with various chops and a discus elbow strike, setting him up for a barrage of clotheslines. Woods spiked Dominik with a mid-rope Tornado DDT, but he kicked out at two. Dominik managed to hit Woods with a running back elbow for a two count. Woods swept Dominik off the apron, nailing him with a diving stomp to the back afterwards. Ripley pulled Dominik out of the ring to save him from a diving elbow drop, allowing Dominik to steal the win with a pinning combination.
WINNER: Dominik Mysterio in 10:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: This match went for quite a while, but never really clicked for me. Dominik’s act isn’t nearly as strong now that the storyline with his father is over.)

– At backstage, Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins were shown preparing for their main event match.

[Commercial Break]

– At backstage, Jinder Mahal hyped up the arrival of Indus Sher to Monday Night Raw.

– At backstage, The Miz tried to convince Shinsuke Nakamura to join his side after their losses tonight. Nakamura agreed that Miz would be his next opportunity, setting a singles match for next week.

– Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez confronted Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green about their petition for a title rematch. Liv & Raquel were willing to give them a rematch, but Deville & Green said that they were coming for a match against Damage CTRL after they won the titles on SmackDown.

– A recap of Brock Lesnar assaulting Cody Rhodes aired.

– At backstage, Cathy Kelley interviewed Cody Rhodes about his loss tonight. Cody said that he didn’t have much to say about the title before focusing on Brock Lesnar. Cody claimed that he proved that Lesnar can’t handle him, accepting to fight Lesnar at Night of Champions.

– Finn Bálor made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against Seth Rollins.

[Commercial Break]

– It was announced that next week Gunther would make his debut on RAW, we would see SHinsuke Nakamura vs The Miz and Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green challenging for the Women’s Tag Titles.


Finn and Rollins exchanged hammerlocks, until Finn caught Rollins with a back elbow. Rollins went for a sunset flip, but Finn immediately responded with a basement dropkick. Rollins took Finn down with a sling blade at ringside, followed by a series of chops. Finn powerbombed Rollins into the barricade, as WWE Raw went to its final commercial break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Rollins blasted Finn with a series of chops and a clothesline. Rollins dropped Finn with a backbreaker, but he retaliated with a slings blade. Finn went for the shotgun dropkick, but Rollins shut him down with a thrust kick for a nearfall. Rollins kicked Finn out of the ring to start a trade of shots onto the apron. Rollins cracked Finn with a discus elbow strike and an enzuigiri, only for Finn to respond with a Pele kick. Finn caught Rollins with a roll-through into a double stomp before climbing the top turnbuckle.

Rollins stopped Finn before the Coup De Grace and dropped him with a superplex. Finn blocked the Falcon Arrow and hit Rollins with a reverse DDT for a nearfall. Finn blasted Rollins with two back-to-back shotgun dropkicks, but missed the Coup de Grace. Rollins managed to hit Finn with a one-armed Pedigree for a close two count. Finn avoided the Curb Stomp and tried to roll Rollins up. Rollins immediately responded with a Curb Stomp to the face, followed by a traditional Curb Stomp for the victory.

WINNER: Seth Rollins in 13:00

(Pomares’s Analysis: Great main event to decide the contender to the World Heavyweight title. Seth Rollins was once again the favorite, but they did enough to make it seem like Finn Bálor had a shot. With Rollins in the finals, I really don’t see anyone from SmackDown with a strong enough case to win the belt over Rollins.)

Tonight after WWE Raw, join Wade Keller live with guest co-host Darrin Lilly from PWTorch to break down the show with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com

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