WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 30

Doc-Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2023

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 30

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    Cody Rhodes.
    Cody Rhodes.WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on January 30.

    Saturday's Royal Rumble was one of the most predictable pay-per-views in recent memory, but that doesn't mean people were upset with the results. In fact, both winners were fan-favorite picks leading into the show.

    Rhea Ripley won the women's Rumble, and Cody Rhodes claimed victory in the men's match. Both Superstars will now have a title shot waiting for them at WrestleMania 39.

    We also saw The Bloodline begin to crack as Sami Zayn was seemingly ousted from the group following his attack on Roman Reigns. Jey Uso's status remains uncertain after he walked away from his family.

    We also saw Bianca Belair retain the Raw women's title, and Bray Wyatt defeated LA Knight in the Mountain Dew Pitch Black match.

    Let's take a look at how Raw addressed all of this and kept us going on The Road to WrestleMania.

Opening Segment and Seth Rollins vs. Chad Gable

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    The post-Rumble Raw opened with a video recapping the events of the PPV before Rhodes came out to a big pop and fans chanting his name and "You deserve it."

    The American Nightmare talked about the journey he has taken through his entire career, including leaving WWE. He said all of the ups and downs have been worth it.

    After he finished up, The Judgment Day's music hit. Damian Priest, Finn Bálor and Dominik Mysterio came out to taunt him.

    The promo from Rhodes was great, but the stuff with The Judgment Day that came after it kind of killed the momentum until Edge came out and attacked everyone on the stage. Rhodes joined the fight and took down Bálor as the show went to a break.

    Grade: B

    The first match of the night was an Elimination Chamber qualifying bout between Seth Rollins and Chad Gable. As usual, Otis was at ringside to support his Alpha Academy teammate.

    Both of these men have an excess of technical ability, so we all knew this would be a fun encounter as soon as they hit the ring.

    They did a bit of everything in this bout. We saw grounded submissions, high-flying moves, lots of strikes, and a few slams and suplexes. This was like a sampler pack of a wrestling match.

    Gable got in more offense than expected and had counters for all of Rollins' biggest moves until he found himself being spiked with a Pedigree to give The Visionary the win.

    This was an outstanding match that left a lot of room to grow if they face each other again.

    Winner: Seth Rollins

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Rhodes didn't really need to get involved in that fight, so it was kind of funny when he just decided to jump in out of nowhere. 
    • The crowd loves Rollins everywhere WWE goes. He needs to be back in the hunt for a title soon. He's too hot to let him cool off in non-title feuds for too long. 
    • Gable's senton from the apron was great. 
    • Countering the enziguiri with an ankle lock was a fantastic counter spot. 

Candice LeRae vs. Iyo Sky

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    Mia Yim accompanied Candice LeRae to the ring for her match against Damage CTRL's Iyo Sky to help even the odds against Bayley and Dakota Kai at ringside.

    These two know each other well after having had several matches over the past few years, so they wasted no time trying to feel each other out.

    They had some slow moments, but for the most part, this was an energetic contest that showed off the skills of both competitors.

    There were some shenanigans outside the ring with Bayley that led to Sky scoring the win. The finish was a bit contrived, but it's nice to see Sky get the win because it feels like Damage CTRL lose too often.

    Winner: Iyo Sky

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Why have so many people been wearing lime green as part of their gear recently?
    • LeRae made good contact with her baseball slide dropkick, but Sky made more contact with her suicide dive a moment later. 
    • There was one near-fall that looked a little questionable. Sky may not have kicked out in time. 

Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano

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    Rhea Ripley delivered a promo that saw her choose Charlotte Flair as her opponent for the WrestleMania 39 title shot she earned by winning the women's Rumble.

    The next match was another qualifier for the Elimination Chamber, with Johnny Gargano taking on Baron Corbin. JBL and Dexter Lumis were both at ringside for this one.

    Both men played to their strengths, so Corbin focused on power moves while Johnny Wrestling tried to use his speed and agility to stay out of his reach.

    Once the former King of the Ring had the upper hand, he kept it for several minutes by keeping Gargano grounded as much as possible. It took a slingshot spear out of nowhere for the former NXT champion to begin his comeback.

    Gargano was able to pull off the victory by countering The End of Days into an inside cradle. He had a little help from Lumis taking care of JBL at ringside, but this was mostly a clean match.

    Winner: Johnny Gargano

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Corbin's character might be annoying but his entrance music is kind of catchy. 
    • The change WWE made to Gargano's music is a crime. 
    • Corbin's chokeslam backbreaker is a great move. 

The VIP Lounge and Rick Boogs vs. The Miz

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    MVP was in the ring for the first edition of The VIP Lounge of 2023. He gave his usual intro before bringing out Austin Theory as his guest. The crowd booed him quite loudly as he tried to speak.

    This was kind of an awkward exchange, but both men were able to get a few good lines in. Bobby Lashley eventually showed up, but Theory was able to avoid the Spear while pulling MVP into its path. The United States champ was still running his mouth as he walked away.

    This segment accomplished the goal of keeping Theory and Lashley's feud going, but that's about it.

    Grade: C

    The next match saw The Miz take on a man who is returning from a months-long hiatus due to injury, Rick Boogs.

    The A-Lister complained about being in a suit and not being prepared to wrestle, but WWE official Adam Pearce made him work anyway.

    Boogs was doing a lot of air guitar and drums during his entrance and the match, but he was still able to easily overpower his opponent. He powered Miz up for a military press into a big slam for the win.

    This was barely a contest, but it wasn't supposed to be anything more than a quick reintroduction for Boogs, so it worked fine on that level.

    Winner: Rick Boogs

    Grade: C-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The way Theory avoided the Spear while pulling MVP in front of him looked good. 
    • The Miz is one of those guys who is going to be appreciated a lot more after he retires. 
    • Boogs' air drums looked so much dumber than his air guitar. 

Bronson Reed vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    Bayley was out for a promo to talk about how she and Damage CTRL took out Becky Lynch last week and during the women's Rumble match. The Man came out to confront her about being a coward.

    Lynch wanted to have the cage match next week and when Bayley said no, The Man brought out Dakota Kai with a chair wrapped around her ankle. She threatened to hit her with it until The Role Model agreed to the match. Lynch told her to check on Iyo Sky to end the segment.

    The next match was the third men's Elimination Chamber qualifier. This time it was Dolph Ziggler and Bronson Reed fighting for a spot.

    The Showoff was the veteran here, so he was able to combat Reed's size at times, but he could only avoid the big man for so long. After a short exchange, Reed hit a splash from the turnbuckle to get the win.

    This was much quicker than expected, but it made Reed look good by beating a former world champion so quickly.

    Winner: Bronson Reed

    Grade: C+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • So was Kai just laid out in the backstage area just behind the entrance the whole time? It seems like she could have gotten up and left at some point. The promos were good, but this part of the segment didn't make a lot of sense. Somebody from the Gorilla Position would have helped. 
    • We need WWE to make the tag team of Ziggler and Mustafa Ali a reality. 

Finn Bálor vs. Cody Rhodes

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    The main event of the night was set up earlier in the evening during Rhodes' promo to open the show. This was the first time he and Bálor had been in the same ring for a singles match.

    The men's Rumble winner has his sights set on the world title, but the Irishman was out to prove he is better than Rhodes, who he views as the golden boy who has everything handed to him.

    They started with a simple collar and elbow tie-up, but they quickly became more aggressive as the show went to the first break.

    Bálor put a lot of his focus on damaging the same pec that kept Rhodes out of action for several months. The rest of The Judgment Day laughed as The Prince stomped on his chest.

    This was a great main event that would have been even better without the rest of the heel group getting involved. The fans were on their feet as we came out of a commercial break with just a few minutes left in the match.

    Edge arrived through the crowd and began fighting Priest and Mysterio. Ripley jumped on The Rated-R Superstar until Beth Phoenix arrived to take her down with a Spear.

    Back in the ring, The American Nightmare avoided the Coup de Grace before hitting Cross Rhodes three times in a row for the win.

    Winner: Cody Rhodes

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • WWE always makes allusions to The Bullet Club but rarely says the actual name of the stable. It's kind of frustrating sometimes. 
    • The pyro may have been overdone during Rhodes' entrance. It made the match look smoky for a few minutes. 
    • The dragon screw over the middle rope is one of those spots that always looks painful. 
    • The way Priest flew over the barricade into the timekeeper's area looked great. 
    • The delayed superplex from Rhodes was an impressive display of balance and strength.