WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from John Cena's Return (2023)

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from John Cena's Return

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    WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from John Cena's Return (1)

    John Cena.WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of WWE Raw on March 6.

    We are less than a month away from WrestleMania 39, so WWE is bringing in the big guns as it preps for the biggest show of the year.

    John Cena made an appearance this week, and with Austin Theory unable to keep the 16-time world champion's name out of his mouth, it was easy to predict what he was going to be doing.

    Seth Rollins invited Logan Paul to open the evening, Kevin Owens faced Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso battled Sami Zayn, Carmella took on Bianca Belair, and Johnny Gargano faced Finn Bálor.

    Let's take a look at what happened during Monday's show.

Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa

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    Raw opened with a shot of most of The Bloodline arriving backstage. Paul Heyman spoke to Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa about their responsibilities on the show.

    The first match saw Sikoa take on a man who has been a huge thorn in the group's side: Kevin Owens.

    This was two brawlers doing what they do best. It was hard-hitting and felt personal, but they weren't just throwing punches. We saw some slams and other moves mixed in. We just didn't see any chain wrestling, which is not a bad thing when it's two guys like this.

    Jimmy ran down and distracted KO long enough for Sikoa to take control. He hit Owens with two massive hip strikes as the show went to a break. Throughout the commercial, Sikoa dominated the match.

    This is a combination that always seems to work. Sikoa and Owens are similar in a lot of ways but use their attributes in different ways, so they blend together perfectly as opponents. They won't put on many technical clinics, but they will always give you a good fight.

    The Prizefighter managed to make a comeback, but Jimmy broke up a pin to cause a disqualification. This felt both predictable and a little disappointing. Sikoa and Owens were having a great match, so this just killed all of its momentum.

    The ending may have made sense from a storyline perspective, but it's still not ideal. However, Sami Zayn's arrival to save KO from more of a beating got a huge pop out of the crowd. The Master Strategist offered his hand, but Owens didn't take it.

    Winner: Kevin Owens by disqualification

    Grade: B-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • For a big guy, Sikoa is a lot more agile and quicker than he appears. He gets decent height on his vertical jumps.
  • The second hip strike against the barricade did not look so great. Sikoa came nowhere near hitting Owens the way it was supposed to appear.
  • When KO and Zayn finally shake hands and hug, it's going to be the biggest pop for friendship since Kane and Bryan Danielson.

Bianca Belair vs. Carmella

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    After coming face-to-face with the scariest version of Asuka last week, Carmella was back in action this week against Raw women's champion Bianca Belair.

    This was a non-title match, so The Princess of Staten Island was hopeful that a win would earn her a title shot, and she even had Chelsea Green in her corner to give her an advantage.

    They had a nice exchange early on as both women showed off their athleticism. While the champ may have had the upper hand at first, Carmella turned things around right as the show cut to a break.

    Green provided a distraction to keep Belair from getting a pin, but Carmella was unable to capitalize on the opportunity when her superkick only got her a two-count.

    The EST of WWE threw Green over the barricade before finishing off Mella with a KOD.

    This was a solid match. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was a good display of what both women bring to the table. It had a few awkward moves, but nothing too egregious.

    Green's involvement brought out Asuka to spit blue mist in her face. The Empress of Tomorrow stared at Belair and the WrestleMania sign to end the segment.

    Winner: Bianca Belair

    Grade: C+

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • It's disappointing to hear Mella's new entrance music every time.
  • When Mella pulled Belair's head over the top rope, it looked like The EST may have hit her mouth on the rope. She was fine, but that had to hurt.
  • Green is starting to display some of the personality traits that made her such a good heel on the indie scene and in Impact. She can be a great addition to the division if WWE uses her the right way.
  • The way Carmella hits a crossbody is just slightly different than most. She sort of flies straight at her opponents instead of turning to the side, but Belair had no problem catching her anyway.

Logan Paul Comes to Raw, Omos vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    The Miz was in the ring to welcome Logan Paul to Raw for his confrontation with Seth Rollins. It barely took a few seconds of the YouTuber being in the ring before The Visionary made his way out.

    The crowd continued to sing along to Rollins' song for a long time, so Paul got some heat by telling everyone to shut up because they had a time limit.

    Rollins and Paul traded insults while The Miz stoked the fire. The Visionary ended up fighting The A-Lister and his guest, but the numbers game caught up to him and he ended up eating a knockout punch from the social media star.

    Paul relied on some cliche heel tactics, but Rollins made all of this work. This was a solid segment to build up their WrestleMania 39 contest.

    Grade: B-

    Omos came out with MVP by his side for the next match against Dolph Ziggler. Mustafa Ali was in the crowd pretending to cheer on The Showoff.

    Ziggler tried to jump on Omos' back, but the giant threw him to the mat with ease. He defeated his opponent in less than a minute. This was barely a contest.

    Winner: Omos

    Grade: Incomplete

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Rollins sold the life out of that punch from Paul.
  • WWE didn't do a very good job editing out the non-PG chant the crowd had for Paul.

Finn Bálor vs. Johnny Gargano

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    Dexter Lumis accompanied Johnny Gargano to the ring for his match against Finn Bálor, who had all of The Judgment Day with him for support.

    The group leader took control with a quick shoulder tackle before grounding Johnny Wrestling with an armbar. For the first few minutes, Gargano was unable to mount any kind of offense.

    It took until after the commercial break for Gargano to begin making some headway. He built up a head of steam as he hit a series of moves that led to a slingshot spear for a two-count.

    These two weren't trying to match some of their previous performances, but they put on a pretty decent TV match. As Bálor prepared to finish Gargano, Edge's music hit.

    Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley were looking up the ramp, so they didn't see The Rated-R Superstar knock the Irishman off the top rope. This allowed Gargano to hit The Final Beat for the pin and the win.

    This continued the trend of dirty finishes on the show and kept the Edge vs. The Judgment Day feud going, though it feels like it should have ended six years ago.

    Winner: Johnny Gargano

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Watch the match in the video above. It's incredibly good.
  • As great as he is with Gargano, WWE needs to figure out something for Lumis. If Indi Hartwell is not going to join him on the main roster, then he needs to break off and figure out his own character.
  • Bálor has great facial expressions. That is something he has worked on in recent years, and it has made him a much better performer.

Nikki Cross vs. Piper Niven

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    Last week, Nikki Cross ended up costing Piper Niven her match against Candice LeRae, so the Scot got a chance to get her hands on Cross this week so she could attempt to get some payback.

    Cross attacked Piper as she was making her entrance. The ref called for the bell right before the wrestler formerly known Doudrop was taken down with a crossbody.

    Once Niven regrouped, she easily defeated Cross. This wasn't quite a squash, but it was close. What they did looked fine, they just didn't do much.

    Winner: Piper Niven

    Grade: C-

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Cross was wearing simpler attire than she has in recent months. It actually fit her character better.
  • Cross kneeling in the middle of the ring until her opponent arrived was somewhat unnerving, which was definitely what she was trying to do.

John Cena Addresses WWE Universe

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    John Cena came out to a very warm welcome from the WWE Universe. He spoke into the camera during his entrance and jokingly pointed to the WrestleMania sign. He couldn't even get the mic to his mouth before Austin Theory's music hit.

    The United States champion claimed he only became a WWE Superstar because of Cena and wanted to offer him a gift. He offered Cena a match at WrestleMania on April 1-2.

    Cena very plainly told him no and said he wasn't interested because Theory hasn't earned that right yet. He ran the U.S. champ down and talked about how he could be great if anyone cared about him.

    Theory mocked Cena's bald spot, and the veteran showed it to the camera to prove he didn't care. Predictably, this led to Cena accepting the challenge for 'Mania.

    This was probably one of the best segments involving Theory since he joined WWE, but that is mostly thanks to Cena being the pro that he is. He probably got a lot of people to care about this match in one night, which is exactly what the company was hoping he would do.

    Grade: B

Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin

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    Chad Gable was out with Otis by his side to take on Baron Corbin in a singles match. Earlier in the night, we saw Maxxine Dupri making more plans to recruit Otis to her stable.

    The crowd chanted for Otis as The Modern Day Wrestling God dominated Gable, but the Olympian was able to gain some momentum for a few moments and managed to apply the Ankle Lock for a submission win.

    This was a short contest, but seeing Gable get a victory on television will always be satisfying. This marked his first win since November.

    Winner: Chad Gable

    Grade: C

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Corbin was tasked by Maximum Male Models with getting rid of Gable so they could recruit Otis.
  • Gable hitting a rolling German suplex on a guy twice his size is always going to be impressive.

Jimmy Uso vs. Sami Zayn

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    Lita, Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus had a confrontation with Damage CTRL that led to a WrestleMania challenge for a six-woman tag match. Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai were sent out of the ring before it could be accepted.

    The main event was up next. Jimmy Uso and Sami Zayn have been shown throughout the night interacting with other people, but it was finally time for them to meet one-on-one in the ring.

    The crowd was firmly in Zayn's corner as he and Jimmy brought the fight out of the ring almost immediately. Chants of "ole" echoed through TD Garden as the show cut to a break with Zayn in control.

    We returned to see Jimmy talking some trash as Zayn started trying to make a comeback after spending the commercial on defense. WWE gave them the last 25 minutes of the show, so they ended up battling through two breaks.

    This was definitely the match of the night, both for the quality of the wrestling and the story that was being told. Zayn is a master at selling anything with his facial expressions, but Jimmy was doing some great work in that area, too.

    Jey Uso showed up toward the end and stood on the announce table. He appeared to be cheering on his brother, but Zayn ended up using his presence and the distraction it caused to pin Jimmy from out of nowhere.

    The Usos came face-to-face in the ring, and both men told a story with their looks. The crowd went silent as it watched Jey walk out of the ring and hug Zayn. It then erupted with cheers as Jimmy dropped to his knees.

    Next, out of nowhere, Jey drilled Zayn with a superkick. He screamed at his former friend that this was about family and beat him down with Jimmy and Solo until Cody Rhodes ran down to make the save.

    Winner: Sami Zayn

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

  • The way Zayn is over right now is something you simply can't force. This kind of crowd support only comes from years of hard work.
  • The Master Strategist hit a nice sunset flip powerbomb during the second break.
  • The look on Jimmy's face after he lost was perfect.
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