It’s the first RAW In A Nutshell of the new year, and we are starting 2023 off in the Music City.
The same city that hosted SummerSlam  last summer is getting us rolling in 2023.
And how are we starting 2023 in the Music City? Or, rather, with what matches?
How about Alexa Bliss and Bianca Belair for the RAW  Women’s Championship?
If that doesn’t pique your interest, how about Seth Rollins and Austin Theory  for the United States Championship.
All that and much more, of course. Figure that we might see The Bloodline, as they’ve been all over lately.
After SmackDown sent 2022 out with a bang,  RAW will hopefully be starting 2023 off in the Music City in grand fashion too.
It’s time to get into…
RAW In A Nutshell: Starting 2023 Off In The Music City
Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!
Best Match of the night:
Going with the safe pick, I think, and calling it for Rollins and Theory.
Curious if the Rollins knee thing was just part of the plan, or if there’s something else there.
Also just to note Seth went to his knee very early in the match, I noticed it after the kick to Theory to the outside #SethRollins 
– This spot here 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/O83xjBo8tm 
— Seth Rollins Fans : Fanpage (@SethRollinsFans) January 3, 2023 
Because, you hope it was just part of the plan…WWE already has one injury to a Superstar  in the last few days.
But…this is concerning…
Seth Rollins’ knee injury looks legit. pic.twitter.com/fQYhL2yqtq 
— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) January 3, 2023 
Worst match of the night:
Maybe worst isn’t fair, but Belair and Bliss was far from their best.
And of course, the match was a no-contest, after Bliss was triggered by a couple of guys in the crowd wearing those masks, and the usual Wyatt logo flashed and Bliss snapped.
Still not yet a complete transition to a follower of Wyatt once again, but it’s the closest we’ve gotten so far.
Star of the Night
I do think it was a star type of night for Austin Theory.
Spot of the Night:
The Spaceballs spot…Bianca holding Alexa at arms’ length.
Jobber of the Night:
Not going to pick on any one person here.
I mean…Elias wasn’t going to beat Solo…but he didn’t really get jobbed out either.
Upset of the Night:
Not a single upset.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Sorry folks, I have to pivot at least a little to a non-WWE event.
Full honesty, I was watching Monday Night Football on one screen and RAW on the other, until my son went to bed.
Right before he went to bed, the Damar Hamlin hit and tragic event happened, and as things unfolded, it got quite hard to really focus on RAW.
So, if I miss anything, if I gloss over anything, if my Nutshell seems a bit worse…I apologize.
That said…prayers to Hamlin and his family. In a blink, it reminds us that sports are just an escape, and there are many things far more important.
Botch of the night:
Bliss and Belair were sloppy.
But as I just said above, I admit I was distracted due to the much larger sports news going on, so I was not focused on botches like usual.
LOL Moment of the night:
How can you not LOL at the Dom/Rhea Christmas arrest, or Dom now acting like he’s all hardened from doing time.
I find it somehow surprising that WWE opted not for the surprise return, but is instead doing the long build toward Cody’s return.
We saw a vignette tonight, so you know he’s close. Maybe Rumble close.
Granted, we all know what his injury status was, and social media allows us to see some progress. Most of us probably expected him to be a “surprise” return in the Rumble.
But…that said, he does deserve the hype, so…bring it on.
And…maybe something, maybe nothing, but you had 3/4ths of the Hurt Business in the back talking to Pearce…
I almost am beginning to feel like the Bloodline chaos at the beginning of the show is too much.
Like, we see these guys week in and week out. It kind of loses something, no?
I had higher hopes for Bliss and Belair. Either a crisper match with a clean finish, or a clear and decisive Bliss turn (leaving with the masked guys, or a Bray video message).
Got neither…but we shall see how this goes.
The six man was solid, plus serves to build up the tag title match as Drew and Sheamus made the save.
Austin Theory is living in the moment and doing quite well.
After the final bell:
Not the worst way to start 2023.
Was not always the sharpest, but things are progressing and you have to think it’s going to build more now.
Royal Rumble is weeks away, so….buckle up.
Now we await word on Seth Rollins, because…that did not look great.
But, all in all, not a bad way to be starting 2023 in the Music City.