The biggest story after Raw last night is that Vince McMahon was backstage for the first time in almost a year. Vince resigned last year after the Wall Street Journal dropped an explosive report that he was under investigation by the WWE board of directors and was revealed to have paid nearly $20 million to four women in hush money, some of which were on-screen talent. Vince remained the largest shareholder in the company, and returned to his Chairman of the Board position in January, promising not to get involved with day-to-day and only focusing on selling the company.
McMahon has been seen at the office regularly since returning but had yet to make an appearance at a WWE live event or taping. Allies of his told multiple outlets he was only there to visit John Cena, but McMahon was seen backstage in the "gorilla position" right before the entrance the entire night.
The most notable thing about his appearance was that Vince is now sporting a mustache. There are a few fake images going around of what he looked like (aggregated above), but I'm dying to see the real deal.
Triple H still ran the show, as he had been doing the entire time Vince stepped down. Vince was not offering any direction while visiting, but multiple outlets are reporting his influence being seen on the WrestleMania card. Brock Lesnar vs. Omos is happening at Vince's suggestion.
A report on what happened in front of the cameras on Raw last night can be seen further down below.
AEW Revolution Fallout
AEW Revolution 2023 is in the books and it will definitely be an event that will be remembered for a long time, with three matches in specific standing out.
The main event 60-minute iron man match that the entire show was built around with MJF defending the AEW World Title against Bryan Danielson delivered on high expectations and ended up being the best, and most dramatic iron-man match I have ever seen. I loved the overtime segment and while it was initially annoying that dirty tactics were used to win, I was impressed that Danielson tapped out. I am excited for both wrestlers to be able to move on to new programs but they worked excellently together.
The Texas Death Match between "Hangman" Adam Page and Jon Moxley may have even edged out the iron-man match for me as my favorite of the night. I am not somebody who goes out of his way to watch too many death matches, but I felt the violent weapons used here actually did tell a story, even though some instances (like the fork) were really gruesome. I thought the ending was perfectly executed. Hangman wins by hanging!
The trios title match with the House of Black vs. the Elite was the match I was most looking forward to going in as I love the House of Black's entire package and Kenny is "my guy," so to speak. All parties put forth an incredible effort in creating some very exciting action that had me glued to the television. The right team won as I am selfishly excited to see Kenny back in singles action, and this match REALLY made me want to see Kenny vs. Malakai Black now.
There were no bad matches on the show, everything was good, including the opener with Ricky Starks defeating Chris Jericho and the wild coffin match between Jungle Boy and Christian. If you were thinking about ordering the replay, it's definitely worth your time.
MJF worked the show with some injuries stemming from the pull apart brawl on Dynamte two weeks ago. No major injuries coming out of the show.
MJF got in trouble for a stunt he pulled during his match. You can see it below. He was in the audience and grabbed a woman's drink and threw it at a child. It's alleged the drink was not water and was alcohol. After the kid started crying and other fans tried to console him, and offer merch, an AEW representative came out and apologized profusely. They brought the kid back and he got to meet his favorite wrestler, Will Hobbs and score some tickets to AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, so it all ended well.
Also, FTR made their long-awaited return by attacking the Gunn Club, who retained their titles.
Here's a cool video of highlights in VHS format.
What happened on RAW?
Jey Uso finally made his return, and picked a side. But who did he pick? No spoilers from me but here is what happened:
WWE seems to be teasing that Cody will be the one to reunite Kevin and Sami:
John Cena made his return to WWE and officially challenged Austin Theory for the United States title at WrestleMania, and in doing so made sure to weirdly bury Theory by saying “I would so much rather be bald than have them pipe in fake crowd noise for my matches because nobody cares.” This is the first time WWE has acknowledged piping in crowd noise.
Also, here's the latest Hollywood spoof with Miz and Maryse.
What's on TV this week?
WWE NXT is tonight and they have a big show with Roadblock at 8pm on USA Network:
- NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Meiko Satomura
- Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin
- Bron Breakker & The Creed Brothers vs. Jinder Mahal & Indus Sher
- Jailhouse Street Fight: Tony D’Angleo vs. Dijak
- Andre Chase vs. Joe Gacy
- Grayson Waller Effect with guest Shawn Michaels
- Pretty Deadly have a face-to-face with Gallus
MLW Underground airs tonight at 10pm on REELZ
- Lio Rush vs. Jacob Fatu
- MLW World Champion Hammerstone defends against Samoan SWAT Team's Lance Anoa'i
AEW Dynamite is live on Wednesday at 8pm on TBS. Not much announced yet:
- AEW TNT Title: Wardlow defends against Powerhouse Hobbs
- More fallout from AEW Revolution
Impact is live on Thursday at 8pm on AXS with this lineup:
- Knockouts Champion Mickie James defends against Gisele Shaw
- Jonathan Gresham vs. KUSHIDA
- Callihan vs. Rhino
WWE Smackdown on Friday at 8pm has two matches announced:
- Fatal five-way: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. LA Knight vs. Karrion Kross vs. Kofi Kingson
- The Viking Raiders vs. Braun Strowman & Ricochet
More Wrestling News
While Becky, Lita and Trish vs. Damage CTRL is confirmed for WrestleMania, Dave Meltzer reports we can still expect a separate Women's Tag Title match. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Bazler were penciled for that match, but no word yet on who their opponents will be.
WrestlingNews.co reports WWE is very high on Solo Sikoa and he is expected to get a big push coming out of WrestleMania. Dave Meltzer reports they are keeping Solo strong for a clash with Roman Reigns down the line.
WWE officially announced their King and Queen of the Ring premium live event for May 27th, the same weekend as AEW Double or Nothing. The WWE event is on Saturday afternoon and the AEW event is on Sunday night.
David Finlay has revealed himself as the newest member of Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is now managed by Gedo, basically taking Jay White's spot.
Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier will be doing coverage of WrestleMania for ESPN.
Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.