Raw is XXX: Everything We Know So Far About WWE’s 30th Anniversary

Raw is XXX logo

Monday Night Raw is turning 30 and on January 23rd, 2023 live from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, WWE will be throwing an anniversary celebration unlike any other. Billing the show as “Raw is XXX,” with throwback graphics and a logo to boot, WWE has already announced some huge matches and segments for the card as well as a list of legends confirmed to be returning in some capacity. And of course, rumors of other names of those who might appear have been floating around as well as it’s hard to keep an event of this magnitude under wraps. With so much swirling around this big show, we at Last Word on Pro Wrestling are here to help keep everything straight with updates on everything we know so far about Raw is XXX.

The Location

Announced in November, Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, home to the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NLL’s Philadelphia Wings, and NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, will be the host venue for this historic night. An important city in the history of pro wrestling, Philadelphia has hosted countless marquee events for WWE including SummerSlam (1990), Survivor Series (2006), Extreme Rules (2019, 2022), King of the Ring (1995), Royal Rumble (2004, 2015, 2018), and WrestleMania XV. Philadelphia is also set to host WrestleMania 40 in 2024. The Wells Fargo Center has a capacity of approximately 13,670 for wrestling and per WrestleTix, as of January 16th, all but approximately 400 tickets for the event had sold. The expectation is that this event will be a sell out. Should that be the case, Raw is XXX will be WWE’s sixth-highest non-PPV attended event in the last three years.

Raw is XXX Card

Raw’s anniversary show is of course largely going to be focused on the appearances of the legends who have helped make Raw a top TV program for the last three decades, but what would a wrestling show be without matches? In addition to the appearances WWE has planned, Raw is XXX is lining up to have one of the company’s best non-PPV cards in quite some time. Already announced are a steel cage match of Bayley vs Becky Lynch, a United States Championship bout pitting Austin Theory against Bobby Lashley, who defeated The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Baron Corbin in last week’s #1 contender’s match, and a Raw Tag Team Championship match of the Judgment Day against the reigning champion Usos, who have held the belts for over 244 days.

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In addition to the major matches, a special segment acknowledging the Bloodline is on tap as Roman Reigns has promised that every generation of the faction will be present for an acknowledgement ceremony. Of course, that leaves a lot of speculation as many wonder if this segment and this episode of Raw is where WWE pulls the trigger on a Rock return to set up the most anticipated WrestleMania match in quite some time, of Rock vs Reigns. But that is all speculation at this point.

All we know is that the presence of the Bloodline’s Anoa’i/Maivia family tree is strong in WWE, both past, present and future. Members not named Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who could be on hand for Raw is XXX include Afa and Sika (The Wild Samoans), Sean Maluta, Manu, L.A. Smooth, and Ava Raine. This ceremony could also set the stage for Naomi, related to the Bloodline by marriage, to make her speculated return to the company.

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Unlikely to appear are Jacob Fatu and Lance Anoa’i, who currently perform in MLW as a new incarnation of the Samoan SWAT Team. But speaking of the original Samoan SWAT Team, while not confirmed by WWE (more on that below), Samu announced that he and Rikishi will be in attendance for Monday night’s acknowledgement ceremony.

Raw is XXX Returns (Confirmed by WWE)

As listed on their website noting featured superstars for Raw is XXX, WWE has confirmed that the Undertaker, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, and the Bella Twins will appear. In a graphic posted on WWE’s social media channels, it has also been confirmed that Road Dogg, Ron Simmons, Sean Waltman (X-Pac), Teddy Long, and Jerry “The King” Lawler will be present on the show.

It is anticipated that more names will be announced in the coming days, however, it is also expected that there will be some surprises not announced in advance. Needless to say, this should be one of WWE’s most anticipated episodes of television in quite some time.

The Returns (Confirmed by Wrestlers)

Now, here is where things get a little tricky. While WWE has not confirmed the below wrestlers for Raw is XXX, statements made either by the wrestlers themselves or by their peers have them expected to be in attendance Monday night.

Samu and Rikishi – confirmed by Samu in the Daily Item

Hulk Hogan – confirmed by Ric Flair on Ric Flair’s To Be the Man podcast

 

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on Raw is XXX and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.