The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 10/02/23 Review

wwe raw october 2

This week’s WWE Raw featured a GUNTHER-Tommaso Ciampa title match, Drew McIntyre facing The Miz and more.

It’s the last Raw before WWE Fastlane this Saturday, October 7th in Indianapolis. Only three months left in 2023, my friends.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1584 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

As Raw came on the air, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were brawling. They went down to the ring where security tried to break it up. Raquel Rodriguez made her return after missing a few weeks and she got into a fight with Jax too. Rhea Ripley, the Women’s World Champion, also made her entrance to brawl with Jax as well. Ripley beat up some security guards and gave one guy the Riptide slam as well.

Rhea Ripley said that “Mami” is back on Raw and she’s not leaving yet. Ripley called out The Judgment Day to come out there right now because they need to talk.

Analysis: Rhea Ripley was given the last two weeks off as a vacation and she was visiting family in Australia along with fiancé Buddy Matthews of AEW. The storyline excuse was that Nia Jax attacked Ripley and Raquel three weeks ago on Raw.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett did a rundown of what’s coming up.

Damian Priest, who is Senor Money in the Bank & one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions and Dominik Mysterio of The Judgment Day entered the ring with Ripley. Cole mentioned Finn Balor wasn’t here this week.

A commercial aired for WWE Fastlane this Saturday with John Cena & LA Knight teaming up against Solo Sikoa & Jimmy Uso.


Let’s Hear from Rhea Ripley and The Judgment Day

Rhea Ripley said she had some The Judgment Day business to attend to. Ripley said that there is no leader in the group, but they have roles and somebody has to come up with a game plan. Ripley said she gets taken out for two weeks by Nia Jax and all of a sudden things go wrong for The Judgment Day. Ripley said that she left the responsibility to Priest to handle things and things went wrong. Ripley said that Finn is out injured while Priest isn’t medically cleared against Jey Uso. Ripley said Dominik also lost his NXT North American Championship to Trick Williams at NXT No Mercy (the fans cheered). Ripley said that Priest wasn’t there to help Dominik like Ripley told him to be there. Ripley said that Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso don’t fear them and they will try to take the Tag Team Championships from them.

Damian Priest said that Ripley isn’t saying anything he doesn’t already know. Priest said yeah Cody and Jey might be coming for the Tag Team Titles. Priest said when push comes to shove, he will push harder. Priest said screw Cody Rhodes and screw Jey Uso. Priest said the thoughts of The Judgment Day falling apart, screw that. Priest said he still has the Tag Team Titles and his Money in the Bank briefcase, so Mami, where is Dom Dom’s title? The fans let out an “ooohhh” reaction.

Ripley talked to Dominik, who chanted “where’s your title?” at Dominik. Ripley told Dominik at NXT tomorrow, he has a rematch with Trick Williams for the NXT North American Title. Ripley said she is “Mami” and Dominik is “Papi” so Ripley said if you don’t come home with that championship, then don’t bother coming home.

Analysis: A title match on NXT this Tuesday is a big deal. It wouldn’t shock me if Dominik did beat Trick for the title although it would hurt Trick to have such a short title reign. I just think long term it’s better for Dominik to have the title.

Jey Uso arrived to a big ovation with the fans popping loudly for him and they like doing his up/down hand motions as well. Jey got into the ring saying that we missed Ripley and they all missed her. Jey said that it appears we have a new Tribal Chief on Monday night and it appears she has bigger balls than Roman Reigns ever did.

Damian Priest said he was really tired of hearing Jey open his mouth. Priest approached Jey, but stuck his hand out to stop Jey. Dominik tried to speak and the fans were booing loudly. Dominik said that Priest isn’t medically cleared, so Dominik would take care of Jey.

Dominik stepped up to Jey in the ring while Priest and Ripley were on the floor. Dominik tried an attack, but Jey hit a superkick. JD McDonagh arrived for a cheap shot on Jey. JD and Dominik beat up Jey with punches. Cody Rhodes ran out for the save as Jey hit a superkick on JD, Cody punched Dominik and Jey hit a superkick on Dominik. Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Dominik as well.

Analysis: It was a lot talking, but they made their points well and Cody looks like the hero for saving his buddy Jey as they continue to work well together. I liked Jey’s line calling Ripley “The Tribal Chief” and saying she had bigger balls than Roman Reigns.

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, appeared to say that Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso will face Damian Priest & Finn Balor for the WWE Tag Team Titles at WWE Fastlane.

Analysis: I don’t think there will be a title change, but it’s a way to get big names like Cody and Jey on the show in a pretty big match.

There were images shown of media coverage showing that WWE has signed Jade Cargill.

Alpha Academy made their entrance for tag team action.


Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci vs. Alpa Academy – Chad Gable & Otis (w/Maxxine Dupri)

No GUNTHER with Imperium. Kaiser is in charge of Ciampa, which we learned last week. Kaiser hit a running shoulder tackle knocking Vinci down. Kaiser worked over Gable with a kick. Vinci tagged in, Gable nearly got an Ankle Lock, Vinci broke free and Gable hit an overhead suplex. Kaiser saved Vinci from an attack. Gable charged, Otis launched Gable over the top and Gable went crashing onto Vinci on the floor.


Vinci did a belly-to-back slam on Gable on the apron leading to Kaiser hitting a running dropkick. Vinci hit an uppercut, Gable came back with a backslide pin attempt and Vinci hit a clothesline. Kaiser tagged himself in with a punch to the face for two. Gable with an Ankle Lock, Kaiser kicked out of it with Gable knocking Vinci off the apron and Gable hit a German Suplex. Kaiser wanted to tag out, but Vinci was on the floor and Otis tagged in with a clothesline. Otis with a back elbow. Otis hit an overhead suplex along with a running splash against the turnbuckle. Vinci jumped onto Otis, who turned it into a front slam. Otis did the Caterpillar leading to an elbow drop. The fans chanted for Otis, who went for a suplex off the middle rope, but Vinci tripped him up. Gable jumped onto Vinci. Kaiser hit a jumping kick to Otis leading to the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good match. A win for Imperium as a team after losing singles matches recently. Gable worked the majority of the match for his team leading to Otis getting the hot tag and the crowd came alive for that. Imperium needed a win, so Otis was the loser here. Vinci’s trip of Otis led to Kaiser getting the win.

A video aired about Becky Lynch’s win over Tiffany Stratton at NXT No Mercy last Saturday. Lynch retained the NXT Women’s Title in a great Extreme Rules Match. Lynch also needed 11 stitches after getting cut on her arm. It was a physical match and they did an awesome job.

The announcers talked about Lynch needing stitchers for her arm while showing a picture that Lynch posted on social media. Lynch will be at NXT TV on Tuesday.

They showed Tegan Nox talking to WWE Official Adam Pearce, who told her that he had to postpone the NXT Women’s Title match. Chelsea Green walked in as a Women’s Tag Team Champion mocking Nox about how she’s going to lose to Lynch when she faces her. Green said that some people, like Nox, aren’t championship material. Nox suggested a match with Green, Pearce liked that and made it official. Green left saying she’ll go talk to management.


Bronson Reed vs. Cedric Alexander

A rare Cedric Alexander sighting on Raw. Cedric is a good worker and I’m glad he survived WWE releases, but he’s not being used much. Cedric attacked with punches. Cedric avoided a charge, Cedric hit a missile dropkick and Reed was out of the ring. Cedric hit a suicide dive followed by a somersault dive over the top onto Reed. When Reed was on the apron, he decked Cedric with a clothesline. Cedric hit a handspring into a leaping kick for the Neuralizer and that got a two count. Reed took control with a running cross body block and a senton splash. Reed went up top and it was Tsunami time for the pinfall win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bronson Reed

Analysis: * A dominant win by Reed as you would expect here. Cedric got some offense for about a minute, but the fans barely reacted to him because they knew what was coming. The Tsunami splash is great as a finisher and even better with how Wade Barrett shouts it out.

Drew McIntyre was shown talking to WWE Official Adam Pearce. Drew said he’s not going to be on Miz TV tonight. Pearce said he requested it. Drew said he still has some things to say and he told Pearce that if Miz pokes his head out there then Drew will take him out. Pearce asked if he’s good and said that Drew seems off. Drew said he didn’t recall anybody doing “the right thing” when The Bloodline was beating him up.


They showed George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and other players at ringside. Nice Shawn Michaels shirt by Kittle. Do you know who hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 29 years? The San Francisco 49ers. You know who has won one within the last two years while beating the 49ers in the NFC Title game? My Los Angeles Rams. Just saying.

Intercontinental Championship Contract Signing: GUNTHER and Tommaso Ciampa

Adam Pearce was in the ring to moderate this. There was a black carpet in the ring, a table and two leather chairs in the ring. GUNTHER was seated while Ciampa was standing.

Ciampa told a seated Gunther that the difference between them is that Gunther has been given opportunity after opportunity. Ciampa said that he was served roadkill and then he finally gets a filet. Ciampa spoke about how next week when his music hits, he will walk out and win the Intercontinental Title to win a title he has dreamed about since he was five years old. Ciampa said next week he’ll have his family at ringside, but he won’t win it for them, he fights for that five-year-old boy who has dreamed about this very moment for his entire life. Ciampa said that at the end of the night, he’ll be the new Intercontinental Champion. Ciampa signed the contract.

Gunther mocked Ciampa for showing up in a tank top along with some army fatigue pants. Gunther respects fighting for your family and standing up for yourself. Gunther fights for what is near and dear to him, which is the Intercontinental Title. Gunther reminded us he is the greatest and longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all-time. Ciampa clapped. Ciampa said that Gunther said that he feels so confident for somebody who is going to lose that title. Ciampa told Gunther to sign the contract.

Gunther told Ciampa to never interrupt him again. Ciampa did it again. Gunther said that when he is done with Ciampa, he can go hug his family again and know that this is the closest he’ll get to this championship.

Ciampa was fired up saying they could change things around. Ciampa said they don’t have to wait until next week or Fastlane because he would love to make Gunther tap out tonight. The fans liked that, so it led to “YES” chants.

Gunther told Pearce that he thinks he should prove it. Gunther signed the contract. Pearce announced that it’s official that this match takes place tonight. Gunther punched Ciampa, so Ciampa fired back with punches. Ciampa threw a chair at Gunther. Ciampa locked in the Sicilian Stretch submission move, but Gunther got out of it. Ciampa celebrated with the IC Title in the ring and then he tossed it at Gunther.

Analysis: A contract signing leading to a future match getting changed to a match in the same night isn’t that common, but the fans certainly liked it because they get to see the match later in the show. Ciampa is a likeable, gritty babyface while Gunther is arguably the best heel in all of WWE, so the dynamic worked.

The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley were in their dressing room area with JD McDonagh as well. Priest wasn’t happy about being unable to get physical tonight. Ripley and JD talked to Priest about their enemies Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Ripley said Owens doesn’t ‘like Jey, so JD said they need to divide and conquer. Priest left saying he needs to think about it.

Xavier Woods entered for a match with Kofi Kingston by his side.


Ivar vs. Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston)

Kofi Kingston was on commentary. Woods attacked with a jumping knee. Ivar came back with a leaping splash sitting across the chest of Woods. Ivar hit a suplex across the ring. Ivar hit a running splash against the chest of Woods against the turnbuckle. Woods went for clothesline, Ivar avoided it and Woods slipped under leading to a superkick. Woods clotheslined Ivar out of the ring. Woods tried an attack on the floor, so Ivar sent him back first into the apron. Ivar went for a charging attack, Woods avoided it and Ivar hit the side of the apron. Woods went up to the barricade and hit a dropkick.


Woods with kicks to the body and a forearm to the face. Woods tried a lift and slammed Ivar with a slam off the shoulders like an Attitude Adjustment for a two count. Ivar with a backbreaker followed by a body slam. Ivar went to the turnbuckle, Woods tried a Powerbomb and Ivar collapsed on top of him. Ivar went up top and went for a splash, but Woods moved. Woods tried a cradle for two. Woods countered a move and did a small package into the inside cradle pin known as Back Woods for the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xavier Woods

Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good match here, but not as great as the recent Kofi/Ivar match was. Woods showing off the power drew a big pop when he hit that move off the shoulders. Ivar is a great athlete for a guy his size. Clever finish with Woods getting the inside cradle to win.

Post match, Ivar attacked Woods, so Kofi jumped off the top with a punch. Kofi charged, but Ivar decked him with a spin kick. Ivar with a spin kick on Woods as well. Ivar gave Kofi a Powerbomb onto Woods. Ivar went up top and hit a moonsault onto both New Day guys. That was impressive with the fans popping for it. Barrett called it “spectacular devastation” while the fans chanted “holy shit” for it.

Analysis: It made Ivar look strong after losing a match. I’ve enjoyed this singles run of Ivar due to Erik’s injury.

A video package aired about the Seth Rollins-Shinsuke Nakamura story going into Fastlane and the Last Man Standing Match.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown walking backstage for an interview up next.


Seth “Freakin” Rollins Interview

The World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance with unique attire as usual. Rollins had on a brown puffy shirt along with a black/white jacket and pants combo. Michael Cole was in the ring to conduct an interview.

Rollins welcomed San Jose to Monday Night Rollins. Seth told the fans to give it up for Michael Cole, which led to cheers. Cole talked about how he’s called most of Seth’s matches in his career. Cole said that Rollins has been a puppeteer at times, but it seems this time around, Rollins might be the puppet. Rollins asked what show have you been watching? Rollins said that Nakamura finally gave him his rematch. Cole asked Rollins what is he doing? Cole said that Rollins has accomplished everything in his career and he’s a Hall of Famer. Cole reminded Rollins what a Last Man Standing Match means while pointing out Seth’s back injury with Cole saying that “your back is hanging by a thread.” Cole asked Rollins why is he putting himself through this? Rollins took a moment to answer while the fans sang his song.

Rollins said he didn’t know how to put it into words. Rollins asked Cole how many years has he been sitting at that commentary table? Cole said “26” and the fans cheered. Rollins asked Cole how many shows he has missed? Cole said two. The fans cheered that. Rollins said that Cole gets it because it’s an addiction, you need it and you love it. Rollins said that’s what it is like for him in this ring. Rollins said he needs this, he loves it and he has an honor, responsibility and a duty. Rollins said this ring has given him everything because it put a roof over my head, put food on my table, how he met his wife and it’s why he has a beautiful baby girl. Rollins said that responsibility grows when you’re the World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins said that if his back gives out and he can’t do it anymore, then what matters is that he left it all in the ring. Rollins said that he would be an honorable man that would be an example for his daughter. Rollins said that’s the best reason he has – it’s not words, it’s a feeling. Rollins said it feels right.

Analysis: I really liked that promo from Rollins. It was less of the cocky babyface that he is and more of a veteran wrestler speaking from the heart talking about how much he loves the business. It was nice to see some appreciation for Michael Cole’s incredible run in WWE too. Respect.

Shinsuke Nakamura appeared in a video speaking in Japanese while the translation appeared in English captions. It was a taped message because Nakamura appeared from behind with a forearm from the back. Nakamura hit a Kinshasa knee strike to the back. Nakamura on the video counted to ten, but Rollins was back up at seven. Nakamura brought a chair into the ring with a chair to the ribs along with multiple chair shots to the back. Nakamura beat up Rollins with multiple chair shots to the back. Nakamura sat in a chair while the video of himself counted Rollins down for a ten count, but Rollins got back up before ten. Nakamura gave Rollins a backbreaker onto the open chair in the ring. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa running knee to put Rollins down. Nakamura picked up the microphone and counted from 1 to 10 very quickly with Rollins staying down. Nakamura held up the World Heavyweight Title over his head while Rollins was down in the ring.

Analysis: That was really good. Nakamura has brought the intensity to this storyline and it has become a personal feud with Nakamura targeting the back injury. It has been booked so well that it’s believable that Nakamura could beat Rollins at Fastlane. I’m probably going to take Rollins in my official predictions for the match, but I think in terms of the build it has been really good. No complaints here.

Tegan Nox was backstage with Becky Lynch walking up to her with Lynch having her right arm in a sling. Lynch said when she is cleared, get ready for a fight because they’re going to go. Natalya walked up to Lynch, but then she spoke to Nox instead. Natalya said she respects Nox after last week. Natalya said that Nox will get her opportunity and when she does, she’s going to nail it. Nox said she appreciated that.

Chelsea Green, who is one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, entered for singles action with tag team partner Piper Niven by her side.


Tegan Nox vs. Chelsea Green (w/Piper Niven)

Green with a boot to the face. Nox hit a running elbow. Nox countered a move leading to a headbutt. Green bounced off the ropes with a superkick to knock Nox out of the ring. Green to the apron, Nox punched her and Nox jumped onto Green on the floor with a somersault dive. Nox went up top, Niven talked to Nox while there and Natalya’s music played while Natalya ran out to ringside to make Niven back away. Nox knocked Green off the apron and hit the Molly Go Round that Molly Holly used to use. Nox hit the Shiniest Wizard knee for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tegan Nox

Analysis: *1/4 Easy win for Nox over Green, who loses nearly every singles match she has. I don’t know why they felt the need to play Natalya’s music for her run to ringside, but they did. Natalya being friends with Nox will likely see them as a tag team against Green & Niven soon.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance in his wrestling gear. Good ovation for Drew, who still has the power and the sword in his hands.


Jey Uso was interviewed by Byron Saxton, who asked what is he thinking now? Jey said that coming to Raw was a fresh start. Jey said he’ll throw hands with The Judgment Day any time and he’s good with teaming with Cody Rhodes too.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre

Drew asked: “What should we talk about?” Almost like a Cody Rhodes promo. Drew said that he didn’t have to explain himself to that locker room because the only people he has to answer to are the fans. Drew said that the fans have been with him since he was 22 through all the titles, firings, ups and downs and all the way until right now. Drew said he’s going to stop interfering in fights he didn’t start in the first place. Drew said he’s done with it. Drew claimed that people want to run their mouths, but they are a bunch of hypocrites. Drew said that Cody Rhodes is just cleaning up his own mess and he does what he wants, says what he wants. Drew said forgiveness when it comes to Jey Uso is weakness, not strength.

The Miz showed up in a suit for the interruption. The Miz said he didn’t forgive Drew for what he did last week on Miz TV and canceling this week’s edition of Miz TV. The Miz got into the ring saying he told Drew’s story and Drew told Miz to shut up. Drew told Miz to bugger off so Drew can finish what he was saying. The Miz said he was standing up for Drew and Miz said last week he had an arena chanting “Shut Up Miz” so these fans did that too. The Miz told Drew to embrace who he really is. Drew: “Shut Up Miz” The fans chanted it too.

Drew said that The Miz wants him to be the bad guy, go attack Seth Rollins backstage, beat him down in the ring and take the title off him. Maybe Drew should screw Jey Uso over at Fastlane. Drew said that’s not how he operates. Drew said he’s the kind of man who picks up wins to earn title opportunities. Drew said he could use another W, so he challenged The Miz to a match. The Miz said he is not dressed for a match since Miz is in a suit and Drew is in a skirt (kilt). The Miz said that right now it’s good Drew, but then if somebody gets beaten down, Drew will be the bad Drew. Miz said Drew is not Batman, he’s Two Face and does whatever Drew wants. The Miz kept on ranting and Drew said it was time to fight. The Miz said a Mama Miz said a bigger man will always walk away from a fight, so he’ll be a hero and walk away. Drew turned his back, so Miz ran into the ring and hit Drew with a microphone in hand. Drew drove Miz into the turnbuckle and pounded on Miz as officials went into the ring to try to break it up. Miz left the ring.

Analysis: I thought it was a good promo exchange with Drew McIntyre basically he’s not going to go back to being a heel again and would rather earn title opportunities instead of doing cheap attacks. Whether that’s genuine or not is something we’ll see in the future. The Miz is good in this role as a guy that is trying to push buttons and get Drew to go back to the “dark” (heel) side, so to speak. It might happen and I think it will happen, but there’s no rush either.


Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz

Drew was wrestling in his usual wrestling attire while The Miz was in a suit including a tie and jacket. Drew attacked Miz on the floor by ramming him into the barricade along with the apron. Miz managed to break free enough to shove Drew into the ring post. Miz threw his jacket down. Miz hit his corner clothesline, Drew caught him and hit a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring two times. Drew hit a neckbreaker along with a kip-up back to his feet. Drew with a punch, Miz sent Drew to the apron and Miz hit double knees while near the ropes. Miz took protective covering off the turnbuckle, but the referee stopped that. Drew hit Miz with the Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Drew grabbed his sword, the referee admonished him and put it out of the ring. Drew took the turnbuckle off. Drew sent Miz into the steel turnbuckle and Drew hit a Future Shock DDT to pin Miz after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ** It was another decisive win on this show with McIntyre beating Miz, who rarely wins any matches. McIntyre using the exposed steel to win shows he’s willing to bit more aggressive and heelish in his matches. I don’t remember the last time Drew won with the Future Shock DDT, but it shows that he can without a Claymore Kick.

Drew McIntyre did a promo saying he was not the same guy he was 30 seconds ago. Drew said he was sorry for actions and now that he said sorry, he is automatically forgiven.

Analysis: I hope Drew has an interesting storyline soon. This guy needs to be featured in PLE events more than he has been this year.

A replay was shown of No Mercy when Trick Williams beat Dominik Mysterio to win the NXT North American Title.

Trick Williams, the NXT North American Champion, was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. Trick has to defend the title the on NXT this Tuesday. Trick said he’s 6’4” and 230 pounds of muscle with gold all around him. Dominik Mysterio interrupted with Rhea Ripley and JD McDonagh. Ripley said that Dominik won’t be coming to NXT alone. Ripley said he’ll walk out with his NXT North American Championship. Dominik: “Keep it clean for me.”

Analysis: I think Dominik is going to win the title back. Just a hunch.

Tomasso Ciampa was shown getting ready for his IC Title match still to come.


Cody Rhodes Interview

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Jackie Redmond by the entrance area near where some fans were sitting. It gives the fans a chance to sing his song and pop for the “WHOA-OH” part. Cody spoke about teaming with Jey Uso against Damian Priest & Finn Balor at WWE Fastlane. Cody said that he never anticipated tagging with Jey Uso. Cody said that The Judgment Day has been backed into this fight. Cody said that The Judgment Day’s plan is to be on Smackdown this Friday, so Cody said he’ll be there with Jey Uso too. Cody said they will win the WWE Tag Team Championships and it will be a very different Monday Night Raw.

Analysis: I don’t think Cody & Jey will win at Fastlane. However, it will be interesting to see if Cody being on Smackdown will drop hints that Cody will get moved to Smackdown soon.

The announcers went over the WWE Fastlane lineup for this Saturday in Indianapolis.

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (c) vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso

* WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka

* Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. LWO – Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar & Joaquin Wilde (or Cruz Del Toro)

* World Heavyweight Championship – Last Man Standing Match: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

* John Cena & LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

Analysis: There are only five matches official at this point. I assume they will add one or two more matches to the show.

GUNTHER made his entrance as the Intercontinental Champion for his title match.


Alpha Academy was in the locker room with Otis feeling bad about losing, but Chad Gable said that Otis didn’t need to apologize. Gable said that the idiots are going to pay for the setbacks they have caused. Chad shouted “savages, idiots” a few times.

This Friday on Smackdown: The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest will be there.

Next Monday on WWE Raw:

* Becky Lynch defends the NXT Women’s Title vs. Tegan Nox.

* Viking Rules Match: Ivar vs. Kofi Kingston.

* Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nia Jax.

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance. There was a lot of time left in the show for them to have a long match.

Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER vs. Tommaso Ciampa

They started out throwing strikes with Ciampa doing several clotheslines. Ciampa went for a leaping attack, but Gunther slammed him down and wanted a Boston Crab until Ciampa got out of it. They left the ring, Ciampa slipped out of a slam attempt and sent Gunther into the ring post. Ciampa went for the Sicilian Stretch in the ring, but Gunther got to the ropes. Gunther left the ring to regroup.


Gunther was in control with arm control as he chopped Ciampa down. Ciampa with chops, but Gunther came back with a body slam. Ciampa with a clothesline and Gunther caught him with a sleeper. Gunther delivered a knee drive to the ribs. Ciampa did a jawbreaker, but Gunther was back up with a big boot to the face for two. Ciampa sent Gunther face first into the turnbuckle followed by Ciampa applying the Sicilian Stretch submission and Gunther made it to the bottom rope to break the hold. Gunther pulled Ciampa out of the ring leading to two hard chops and a belly-to-back slam onto the apron.


Gunther smashed Ciampa with hard chops and then put his boot to the throat to knock Ciampa out of the ring. Gunther delivered a hard chop to the chest. Gunther went for a chop, Ciampa moved and Gunther chopped the top of the commentary table. Ciampa knocked Gunther off the apron to the floor. Ciampa hit a jumping knee smash on Gunther on the floor. Ciampa rammed Gunther’s right hand into the commentary table three times. Gunther delivered a lefty chop to the chest. Gunther was on the apron again leading to Ciampa hitting the Willow’s Bell DDT for a two count. Ciampa stomped on Gunther repeatedly. Ciampa charged for an attack, but Gunther stopped that with a dropkick for two. Gunther with a lift, but Ciampa slipped out and hit a reverse DDT. Ciampa hit a running knee for a two count. The crowd reacted big for that nearfall. Gunther delivered a hard chop to the chest along with a sleeper into a Dragon Suplex for a two count. Painful bump there. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Took ya long enough, crowd. Gunther charged, Ciampa did a forearm smash to the arms and Ciampa went for the Sicilian Stretch submission. Gunther managed to get his right foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Ciampa with chops, Gunther was selling the right arm injury and still use it for chops. Ciampa with a kick to the face. Gunther hit a double Powerbomb followed by a sleeper/rear naked choke hold. Gunther choked him out with Ciampa slipping out of his arms and passing out on the mat. The referee called for the bell.

Winner by submission: GUNTHER

Analysis: **** Awesome match as usual by GUNTHER and Ciampa is more than capable as well. Gunther was on offense for a lot of it, but he also sold really well for Ciampa throughout the match. It was similar to the Gunther-Chad Gable match recently as well although I’d say that match was a bit better. The good thing is WWE is giving 20 minutes for matches like this, so it’s great to see. That nearfall with Ciampa getting the two count after the running knee really got the crowd going. I like how Gunther won with the sleeper/rear naked choke because it puts over his ability to win in different ways instead of always using a Powerbomb or other moves. That tells the audience that Gunther can beat opponents in multiple ways. This was a lot of fun to watch. Great performance by both men.

After the match, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci stomped on Ciampa while Gunther left with his title and went to the back. Gunther was shown walking backstage and that’s when Johnny Gargano ran out for the save.

Johnny Gargano ran out to the ring and hit a Spear on Kaiser. Gargano with punches to Vinci. Gargano with a superkick for Kaiser and a superkick for Vinci. Cole shouted that #DIY was back tonight on Raw. The show ended abruptly while Gargano and Ciampa set up for their double team move.

On WWE’s X/Twitter account, they showed the video of Gargano & Ciampa aka #DIY doing the Meet in the Middle (superkick/knee) combo. End show.

Analysis: It’s great to see Johnny Gargano back. I think pairing him with Ciampa as the #DIY team again will add a significant boost to the tag team division and be good for both guys as well. I don’t know if Gargano had some injury that kept him on the shelf for several months, but I believe he was healthy. I think it was just WWE waiting for the right time to bring Gargano back.


Three Stars of the Show

  2. Tommaso Ciampa
  3. Drew McIntyre


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 8

2023 Average: 7.33


Final Thoughts

The show was solid for the most part, but last week was definitely better. They are advancing storylines well and built to the Fastlane matches fairly well. A lot of talking on the show from in-ring promos to backstage segments. The opening promos went so long that it was about 30 minutes until they got to the first match. I did like the Drew McIntyre promo segment and I am intrigued by how he is being used of late.

That match with GUNTHER-Tommaso Ciampa was excellent. Similar in a lot of ways to the GUNTHER-Chad Gable match recently where they got plenty of time (over 20 minutes) and the challenger looked like he might win before Gunther found a way to put him away. The value of the Intercontinental Title is very high right now because of how well Gunther is presented and how great these IC Title matches are.

A lot of the show had shorter matches with decisive, obvious winners. It’s okay to do that, but also less interesting for the viewer at home. Fastlane is not going to be the best WWE PLE of the year, but there should be some good matches. I have enjoyed the Rollins-Nakamura build a lot and Nakamura got the upper hand on Raw to get some more heat. Rollins winning at Fastlane makes sense to me. Adding a match or two would help as well.

The next WWE PLE is Fastlane on October 7th with this lineup so far:

* World Heavyweight Championship – Last Man Standing Match: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

* John Cena & LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa

* WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (c) vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso

* Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. LWO – Rey Mysterio, Santos Escobar & Joaquin Wilde (or Cruz Del Toro)

You can watch WWE Fastlane on Saturday, October 7, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, streaming LIVE on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport