The road to WWE Royal Rumble 2023 continues, as WWE Monday Night Raw returns tonight with the first episode of the New Year.
Scheduled to emanate from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN., the weekly three-hour WWE on USA Network program kicks off tonight at 8/7c.
On tap for this week's show is two title matches, with WWE United States Champion Austin Theory defending against Seth Rollins, as well as RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair returning to her home state to defend against Alexa Bliss.
Featured below are complete WWE Raw results from Monday, January 2, 2023. The following report was written by Rajah.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-11pm EST. on the USA Network.
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS (1/2/2023)
The first WWE Monday Night Raw show of 2023 kicks off with the usual "WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together" opening signature narrated by John Cena. From there, we shoot to the usual cold open video opening for the weekly red brand program.
The Bloodline Hostile Takeover
As it's playing, we cut-in LIVE to the Bridgestone Arena abruptly before it finishes and we see The Bloodline wreaking havoc at ringside, attacking security and officials as Corey Graves loudly yells, "What's The Bloodline doing here?!"
The Usos and Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn start trashing the set. The Usos jump on the commentary headsets after Graves leaves. Zayn talks directly into the camera saying this is a message to everybody in the back -- The Bloodline runs the show.
As this continues, we hear the familiar sounds of Kevin Owens' theme music. He comes out with a mic in hand but before he can say anything, Zayn is heard on the mic and shown in the ring. He says he sees the mic in Owens' hand but tells him not to say anything because as he can see, The Bloodline is in a bad mood tonight.
Zayn vows that it is a hostile takeover tonight that will see people get hurt. He then directly blames Kevin Owens, saying people are going to get hurt because of him. Owens says he could swear he had something to say.
He says that's why he's got a microphone but says after listening to him he can't remember because all he wants to do is punch him in the face. He drops the mic and starts walking to the ring.
Before he gets there, however, Adam Pearce yells and intervenes. He says he's let this get way too far and it's enough. He tells The Bloodline they're gonna leave peacefully right now. He then tells security to get them out of the ring and out of his building right now.
A ton of security officials head to the ring but The Bloodline beats them all down. Finally we see Kevin Owens hit the ring. He handles a couple of The Bloodline members but they eventually guzzle him up as well.
A ton of additional WWE Superstars run to the ring from the back and the entire Raw roster is out to clear The Bloodline from the ring, which they eventually do. Adam Pearce then gets back on the mic and says The Bloodline isn't getting out of dodge that easy.
He says since they wanna get to work, he's gonna put them to work. He said he hopes they have their gear because he's putting each and every one of them in a match tonight -- and that is official. Zayn is overheard off-mic saying, "What happens next is on YOUR hands," to close the segment.
Byron Saxton Interviews Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair
We shoot to Byron Saxton who is standing by in the interview zone backstage with Bianca Belair. He asks her about Alexa Bliss and their Raw Women's Championship showdown later tonight.
Belair says Bliss can blame Bray Wyatt all she wants but she's gonna prove tonight why the title belongs with the "EST of WWE."
Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves Run Down Tonight's Lineup
Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick are shown on-camera standing next to what is left of their commentary desk and section in general following The Bloodline's hostile takeover to kick off tonight's show.
Patrick wishes us a happy new year and then he and Graves run down the advertised lineup for tonight's show before we head to our first commercial break of the evening.
Adam Pearce Talks To Raw Locker Room, Books Bloodline Matches
We return from the break to see the entire Raw roster flipping out at Adam Pearce. He asks them what's up and they each mention how if The Bloodline are going to be involved in matches on tonight's show, they all want in. Elias wants Solo Sikoa.
Pearce agrees to them in a Nashville Music City Street Fight. For the rest it will be Sami Zayn & The Usos against The Street Profits & Kevin Owens. He says it's a new year and he wants to see them act like it.
Raw Women's Championship
Bianca Belair (C) vs. Alexa Bliss
Nashville's own Hardy is shown as the Royal Rumble song of his plays. He is featured in a brief on-cameo appearance in the front row inside the Bridgestone Arena as the commentators switch gears and prepare us for the first match of the evening.
On that note, Alexa Bliss' theme hits and out comes the women's wrestling star to a nice pop from the Nashville fans. As she settles inside the ring, we see her recent sit-down interview with Byron Saxton where Bliss attacked Belair and broke a vase over her head.
Bliss' theme dies down and we see her stretching on the ring ropes inside the squared circle. The familiar sounds of Bianca Belair's entrance tune hits and out comes the pony-tail-swinging 275-day champion of the Raw women's division.
Bianca Belair settles inside the ring as the formal pre-match ring introductions for this championship clash are handled. After those are finished up, the bell sounds and we're off-and-running with the first Raw bout of 2023.
As soon as the bell sounds we see Belair deck Bliss with a big boot to the grill. "The EST of WWE" backs up and talks trash as Bliss recovers. Now we see Bliss level Belair with a big dropkick that sends her sailing and crashing out on the floor.
Now we see Alexa Bliss head out after Belair on the floor at ringside, only to end up upside down with Belair swinging her head-first into the ringside barricade. On that note, we head to a mid-match commercial break as this championship contest continues.
When we return from the break, we see Bliss controlling the action and dominating the offense for a few minutes before we return to another mid-match commercial break as the title contest continues.
This time we return from the break and things culminate with Bliss executing a savage attack on the Raw women's champion after seeing a mysterious man with blond hair wearing a solid black mask sitting in the front row.
After she sees this person she turns and begins the violent attack on Belair. She also beats down the referee and pummels the crap out of him in the ring. Outside the ring, she spikes Belair on the steel ring steps on the floor on multiple occasions and busting her open.
A bloody Belair remains laid out as Bliss heads to the backstage to a chorus of boos from the fans inside Nationwide Arena. A bunch of WWE officials and medics run to the scene with a stretcher. They help the champ and tend to her as we fade into another commercial break.
Winner via DQ: Bianca Belair
During The Break: Montez Ford Helps Bianca Belair
When we return from the break, Graves and Patrick recap the savage attack from Bliss on the ref and Belair. We then see Belair being helped up by Montez Ford during the break and walking her to the back.
Kevin Patrick then tells us that Belair is being evaluated by doctors backstage. From there, they show us highlights of the promo segment with Austin Theory and Seth Rollins from Raw two weeks ago to promote their U.S. title showdown in our second of two title matches scheduled for tonight's show.
Cathy Kelley Talks To WWE U.S. Champion Austin Theory
We shoot backstage live where Cathy Kelley introduces her guest at this time, WWE United States Champion Austin Theory. She asks him about his title defense tonight against Seth "Freakin'" Rollins.
He talks with confidence about his "Forever Reign" being in full swing heading into tonight's match. "Not bad for a kid, huh Seth?" he says to close out the quick backstage interview segment.
Music City Street Fight
Elias vs. Solo Sikoa
Now we head back inside the Nationwide Arena in Nashville, TN. where Elias is introduced. He sits in the ring with his guitar and he strums a bit as he begins talking about his scheduled Music City Street Fight against Solo Sikoa later tonight.
He says WWE stands for "Walk With Elias" and then begins to sing his pre-match song. Before he can begin, however, "The Enforcer of The Bloodline" makes his way out. Out comes The Bloodline member for this scheduled Music City Street Fight.
Sikoa settles inside the squared circle and lets out a war scream. His music dies down and now we see he and Elias staring each other down from opposing sides of the ring. The bell sounds and we're off-and-running with this Music City Street Fight.
We see various musical instruments and other music-related weaponry and foreign objects spread across the ringside area. Elias and Sikoa lock-up and start to get after it. Sikoa backs Elias in a corner and pops him with a big shot that drops him to one knee.
As the action continues, we head to a mid-match commercial break. When we return, we see Sikoa still in control of the action, but not for long as Elias starts to fight his way back into competitive form.
Elias starts to take over, settling into the offensive driver's seat after blasting Sikoa with a tambourine on the floor at ringside, and then connected with a big shot in the ring with another foreign object. As Elias slaps a rear-choke on Sikoa
Corey Graves points out an update scrolling across the bottom of the screen about Bianca Belair's condition after the savage attack she endured at the hands of Alexa Bliss. The medics are still examining her and an update should be forthcoming soon.
Sikoa takes over in the ring, decking Elias and then setting him in the corner of the ring. He sprints across the ring for a splash but Elias moves and whacks Sikoa with a tambourine over the dome again.
We see Elias connect with a big spinebuster before picking the tambourine up again and beating the crap out of Sikoa with it as Corey Graves quips about feeling like "Walking like an Egyptian." The action spills out to the floor at ringside where Elias sees Hardy in the front row with a guitar.
He gives it to Elias, who heads into the ring with it but walks right into a big super-kick to the grill from The Bloodline member. Sikoa looks at a slumped over Elias in the corner and begins thumbing the crap out of him.
We see Hardy hop the rail at ringside and enter the ring with the guitar he gave Elias. He blasts Sikoa with it, breaking it into a billion toothpicks across the back of "The Enforcer of The Bloodline." Solo Sikoa doesn't budge. Hardy looks like he saw a ghost.
He runs and exits the ring. Sikoa turns around into a big shot from Elias. Elias heads to the top-rope with a piece of the broken guitar but leaps down into a Samoan Spike from Sikoa. Sikoa picks Elias up and chokeslams him onto a piano at ringside. He follows-up with the cover and picks up the win in this Music City Street fight.
After this we see a video recap of the John Cena & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn match on this past week's episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX before we head to another commercial break.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
Sami Zayn & The Usos vs. Kevin Owens & The Street Profits
When we return from the break we head to the ring where we hear the familiar sounds of the theme music of The Bloodline. Out comes The Usos and Sami Zayn, who settle into the ring for our next match of the evening.
The sounds of The Street Profits music plays and out comes the duo of Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford. They await the arrival of the third member of their team and then we hear the familiar sounds of Kevin Owens' theme song.
Out comes "The Prizefighter of WWE" and he heads to the ring with Dawkins and Ford. The six-men immediately start duking it out, as a wild brawl kicks things off in this six-man tag-team contest. When they smoke clears, we see Jimmy Uso being handled by Angelo Dawkins as the first two legal men in the match.
After some good back-and-forth action, we see a stand-off between the two three-man teams as we head to a mid-match commercial break with the match still in progress.
When we return from the break, we see Owens and Uso as the legal two men in the ring. Uso is dominating the action, beating down an already decked Owens. Owens shows his fighting spirit, however, and tries fighting back, but Uso ultimately gets the better of things.
Owens ends up blasting Jey Uso with a super kick to slow him down after he was distracted. Owens crawls over to make the tag to Montez Ford. Ford was distracted, lost in thought, so Owens had to crawl all the way to him to slap him to tag him in.
Ford is awake now, however, and he hits the ring like a bat out of hell. Zayn tags in for the other team. We see Ford's hot tag momentum continue as he becomes a one-man wrecking crew, taking out any-and-everyone in sight before attempting a pin on Zayn, who kicks out after two.
We see The Bloodline start to do well again, however they all end up outside the ring where Ford hits a crazy diving flip over the ropes, splashing onto all of them. After this, we see Solo Sikoa jump the guard rail to join in on the fight at ringside.
Back in the ring, Zayn and Ford head back into the ring with Dawkins. One is taken out and the other eats Zayn's big kick finisher. Zayn makes the cover after this and gets the three-count for the big win for The Bloodline.
Winners: Sami Zayn & The Usos
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus Run Off The Bloodline
Once the match ends, the fight continues in typical Bloodline fashion as they continue their hostile takeover where it left off earlier in show.
We see Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn and The Usos beating down The Street Profits and Kevin Owens after the bell until finally Drew McIntyre and Sheamus both make their way out. The two clean house of all of The Bloodline members, who are shown retreating up the entrance ramp.
McIntyre's theme plays and he and Sheamus are shown standing tall in the ring while Kevin Owens recovers in the background. That's how the post-match scene ends. The commentators plug our next match coming up and then we head to another commercial break.
A Look At Cody Rhodes' WWE Return
When we return from the break after a quick check-in with Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick, the Raw commentary duo sends us into a video package, the first in a series that looks at Cody Rhodes' return to WWE through to the current day. Very good stuff here.
After the package wraps up, we hear from the commentators as we see Damage CTRL -- Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai walking backstage and heading to the ring as we head to another commercial.
Damage CTRL Confronted By Becky Lynch
As we settle back in from the break, the aforementioned women's trio head to the ring. When they settle inside the squared circle, their music dies down. Bayley welcomes us to the New Year and then mentions how Damage CTRL was born in Nashville.
She says finally something good came from this place. She says she can't think of a better way to kick off 2023 than beside the women's tag-team champions Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai.
Bayley says before they begin their celebration they should address the Irish elephant in the room. She then mentions her win over Becky Lynch two weeks ago, claiming she did it all by herself.
Before she can say any more, the theme for Becky Lynch plays and out comes "The Man" with a microphone to a huge pop from the Nashville fans. Lynch begins by telling Bayley, the dope, to shut up.
She says Bayley talks like she invented the wheel but she's on a hamster wheel doing the same thing and saying the same stuff week-in and week-out. She tells Bayley she feels most comfortable in someone else's shadow.
Lynch mentions how Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai do all the hard work in Damage CTRL while Bayley takes all the glory. She says it's only a matter of time before someone in Damage CTRL turns on someone else.
"The Man" says things started between them in Nashville and then says how about they end them here in Nashville tonight. Bayley laughs this off and says since Lynch is obsessed with her girls Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai.
She says how about Lynch finds a partner and they can face them. Lynch says she doesn't have her phone on her so she can't call anybody. She says she still fancies her chances in a two-on-one handicap match.
She takes her jacket off, drops the mic and heads to the ring as her theme plays again and we head to a commercial break.
Becky Lynch & Mia Yim vs. Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai
When we return from the commercial break, we see the women's tag-champs Sky and Kai in the ring, with Bayley in their corner at ringside on the floor. On the other side of the ring is Becky Lynch.
It appears we will, indeed, have a two-on-one women's handicap match here on Monday Night Raw. The bell sounds and we're off-and-running with this one.
Iyo Sky and Becky Lynch kick things off. Kevin Patrick mentions on commentary how Adam Pearce confirmed this match during the break. They say it's technically a tag-team match but mention how Lynch has no partner so it is essentially a two-on-one handicap bout.
Thus far, we see "The Man" faring well, taking it to Sky with relative ease and rubbing it in the face of Bayley who is watching on from ringside. We see Kai tag in and take over, shifting the offensive momentum to her team's favor.
As the action continues, we see Lynch knocked out to the floor at ringside. Bayley looks down at her and backs up as both of the women's tag-team champions work "The Man" over on the floor. They hit a double-team clothesline spot and then bring the action back in the ring where Kai continues to take it to Lynch.
We head to a mid-match commercial break as the action continues with the Damage CTRL duo in the offensive lead. When we return from the break, things are much the same, with Lynch getting dominated by Sky and Kai, however we see that this handicap match has now become a tag-team match as Mia Yim joins Lynch.
Now Lynch starts to shift the offensive momentum in her favor, beating down Kai with vicious kicks and an assault that continues to the ringside area on the floor as fans inside Nationwide Arena chant "Becky! Becky!"
Back inside the ring, Lynch heads to the top-rope and comes flying off with a huge drop-kick that connects on Kai. She goes for the cover but Kai kicks out after the count of two. Lynch rams Kai into the corner and then sits her on the top-rope. Mia Yim joins her for a big double-team spot in the corner.
Lynch loses her cool on Bayley, turning her attention to her on the floor while Kai and Sky beat down Yim in the ring and hit a double-team finisher for the pin fall victory.
Winners: Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky
Cathy Kelley Talks To Seth Rollins About Tonight's Main Event
We shoot backstage to Cathy Kelley, who introduces her guest at this time, Seth "Freakin'" Rollins. Rollins says who's ready to sing tonight and then soaks it in as he hears the fans inside Nationwide Arena humming the tune to his theme.
Rollins then talks about The Bloodline's hostile takeover attempt, Austin Theory's words from earlier tonight and more before turning his attention to his U.S. Championship shot tonight.
"Party on Broadway tonight!" he says to close out the quick interview segment. After this wraps up, we head to another commercial break.
Another Music Star In The House
After a quick commercial for tomorrow night's NXT on USA show, we see music artist Jimmie Allen shown in the front row with his kid as the two are shown enjoying live WWE action here inside the Nationwide Arena in Nashville, TN.
Dominick Mysterio Addresses Doing "Hard Time"
The commentators mention what went down between Rey and Dominick Mysterio and Rhea Ripley over the holidays, which led to Dominick being arrested and shown telling Ripley to help him because "he won't make it in there," referring to jail.
We then shoot live to a message from Dominick Mysterio who talks about doing "hard time" and surviving and how his "hard time" has changed him. He sends a quick message to his "mami" / "mamaceita" to wrap up the segment.
WWE U.S. Championship
Austin Theory (C) vs. Seth "Freakin'" Rollins
Now we head back inside the Nationwide Arena in Nashville, TN. where we hear the familiar sounds of Austin Theory's theme song.
On that note, the WWE United States Champion makes his way out and heads down to the ring for his title defense in our main event of the evening here on the first WWE Monday Night Raw show of 2023.
As Theory settles inside the squared circle and poses with the title belt, we head to a pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see a vignette showcasing the dominant history of Bronson Reed in NXT and WWE as well as footage of his surprise return in the ladder match between The Miz and Dexter Lumis on Raw a couple of weeks ago.
From there, we get a quick plug for Hardy's song "Sold Out" being one of the official theme songs for this month's WWE Royal Rumble 2023 pay-per-view and then the commentators promote his music performance scheduled for the first premium live event of the New Year for WWE at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on January 28.
Finally, we shoot back inside the ring and see Austin Theory awaiting the arrival of his opponent. On that note, we hear "BURN IT DOWN!" and out comes Seth "Freakin'" Rollins as the fans sing along with the tune to his entrance music.
Rollins is settled into the ring and the formal, pre-match ring introductions begin for this championship main event contest. The bell sounds and we're off-and-running with the final match of the evening here on the first Raw of 2023.
We see Rollins dominate the action early on, taking it to Theory and beating him down. He knocks him out of the ring and then hits a big dive that sends Theory sailing into the barricade. He brings the action back into the ring but Theory keeps rolling and slides out to the floor again to avoid the fight.
We see Rollins follow him anyways and he leaps and connects with a flying knee. He drapes Theory across the ring barricade and leaps off the commentary desk with double knees that connects on the back of Theory's neck. After this, we head to a mid-match commercial break as this U.S. title showdown between Rollins and Theory continues.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Rollins still taking it to Theory on the floor as Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick inform us that Rollins was dominating Theory all throughout the break. Back in the ring, Rollins hits a high-spot off the top-rope that decks Theory.
Seth "Freakin'" Rollins yells "c'mon, kid!" as Theory to taunt him, and moments later, that's exactly what the U.S. Champion did. Theory recovers and starts violently pummeling Rollins with ground and pound on the mat.
He leaps and stomps on Rollins and then slams him into the top-turnbuckle in the corner. "I'm on top, me!" Theory yells at Rollins as he continues working him over in the corner of the ring.
We see Theory cut off a comeback attempt by Rollins and we head into another mid-match commercial, this time with the champ dominating the offense. As we settle back in from the break, we see Rollins fighting from underneath back into competitive form before ultimately taking over on offense.
Rollins leads the fans in humming the tune to his theme as he knocks Theory out to the floor. He hits a big dive onto Theory on the floor and then brings him back into the ring, where he looks for a Pedigree. Theory avoids it but Rollins decks the champ with another big spot just the same.
As Seth "Freakin'" Rollins heads to the top-rope, Theory catches up with him and stops him before he does anything. Rollins ends up getting Theory up in the power-bomb position, looking for a buckle-bomb, but Theory escapes out the back door.
The two hit a series of counters until we see Rollins go for something, only for his knee to give out on him. He clutches his knee and screams out in pain, but Theory continues to press the attack regardless. Rollins fights back and hoists Theory up for another buckle-bomb attempt, only for Theory to once again escape.
Theory knocks Rollins down, but Rollins explodes back up and hits a super-plex to bring Theory down the hard way. Theory somehow quickly turns things in his favor and covers Rollins, but Rollins kicks out just after the count of two.
Now we see some great back-and-forth action from Rollins and Theory, with each man attempting big spots only to be cut-off and countered by the other. They eventually both end up laid out and slowly making it back to their feet. When they do, they exchange strikes in the middle of the ring as the crowd reacts to each shot that lands.
Rollins waits for Theory to get up after decking him, as he is eyeing a stomp to finish this one off. Instead, his knee gives out on him and Theory high-tails it out of there. He grabs his title and goes to leave, but Rollins limps out to stop him.
Back in the ring, Rollins lays out Theory with a super-kick. Rollins heads to the top-rope and connects with a one-legged frog-splash for a close near fall, which Theory somehow kicks out of. Now Rollins backs in a corner and eyes another stomp attempt.
He charges at Theory as he gets up. but again Theory avoids it. The two bump the ref and then Rollins' knee gives out on him again and he collapses. Rollins gets back up and connects with a Pedigree on Theory. Another ref runs down to make the count. Rollins covers him. 1-2....Theory kicks out.
Again we see Rollins look for a stomp but a third time Theory avoids it. He takes out the knee of Rollins and then hits his finisher. Theory goes for the cover and he gets the 1-2-3 to retain his U.S. title in an absolutely incredible first Raw main event of 2023.
Theory celebrates with his title held high as his theme plays and the commentators wrap things up. That's how the broadcast goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Austin Theory