This week’s WWE Raw featured Damian Priest & Finn Balor defending the WWE Tag Team Titles against Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso as the road to WarGames continued.
It’s going up a few days later than usual because I was on vacation. I’m back at it now.
The opening video package showed highlights of last week’s Raw when The Judgment Day and four top babyfaces from Raw (Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Jey Uso & Sami Zayn) got into a brawl. It led to Raw GM Adam Pearce officially announcing the Men’s WarGames Match at Survivor Series.
Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn & Jey Uso
Cody Rhodes made his entrance for a promo while wearing a suit as usual. The commentary of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett did a rundown of some of the matches coming up this week. Loud “Cody” chants before Rhodes decided to speak.
Cody: “So Washington, DC (cheap pop), what do you guys want to talk about?” Cody said that he had a lot of wonderful memories in this arena and he wants to give us a memory tonight when he challenges for the WWE Tag Team Titles with Jey Uso. Cody said that’s the immediate future, but on the horizon, we have “The Match Beyond” WarGames, so that led to Cody introducing his team.
Jey Uso was next with the fans popping for Jey loudly while doing the hand motions. Sami Zayn was next with the fans singing his song as usual. Lastly, it was the World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins with the fans singing his song loudly. Barrett correctly pointed out how the fans were so engaged in these entrances by singing these songs. It’s what makes it so much fun going to a live show. Rollins stared at Cody when he got into the ring. The fans kept singing Seth’s song after it stopped playing. Rollins: “You’re too kind, DC.”
Cody said they were all in the ring for one reason and that reason is The Judgment Day. Cody said whether he’s gotten along with you his whole career (Zayn), just recently gotten along with you (Jey) or…Cody had a staredown with Rollins.
The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio and their buddy JD McDonagh entered for the interruption. They stood on the apron for a promo. Balor said that these four clowns can’t even look at eachother in the eye, so how on earth can they beat The Judgment Day at WarGames. Priest said they are randoms thrown together while J-Day is a family. Priest said that they would be done with all of them at WarGames.
Balor asked Rollins how it felt being World Heavyweight Champion while standing next to Cody Rhodes, who is the one man Seth could never beat. Priest mocked Cody for being able to beat these guys, but he can’t be a champion. Balor trashed Zayn for losing to Rollins last week on Raw. Priest wondered if the three guys can trust Jey since he screwed them all in the name of The Bloodline.
Dominik tried to talk, so the fans booed him very loudly. Zayn said nobody wanted to hear Dominik talk. Zayn said they can put their individual issues to the side and said this is all about power. Zayn shouted that Survivor Series, it is WarGames and they don’t know what they are in for. Zayn said it would be the most brutal match of their lives. Zayn said you’ll find out the power on Raw lies with the four guys in the ring right now.
Cody said he was shocked that they were able to get out there without Mami (Rhea Ripley). Cody said that Ripley was the leader, then Priest interrupted and Cody asked if Dominik was the leader. Cody suggested maybe JD is the leader. Priest: “Cody, I’m the leader!” Balor didn’t seem to like that.
Rollins spoke up saying he was sick of all this talking. Rollins suggested a tag team match with Sami Zayn against JD and Dominik. Priest said “we accept” while Balor stared at Priest again. Rollins shouted for Pearce to get out there so they could do the match right now. The fans sang Seth’s song.
Analysis: It was a long promo with a lot of different people talking. I liked the Rollins-Rhodes dynamic since they don’t always get along and there’s professional competitiveness between them. It set up a match that was coming after the break while also building up the main event and WarGames as well.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins & Sami Zayn vs. Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh
Rollins with a shoulder tackle and hiptoss to JD. Rollins gave JD a back body drop. After Rollins went after Dominik on the floor, JD hit Rollins with a forearm to the back. Dominik tagged in with some stomps, but Rollins came back with an elbow smash. Zayn jumped off the top with a double axhandle. Zayn with the ten corner punches on Dominik and Rollins was back in. JD and Dominik made quick tags. Dominik hit two rolling vertical suplexes, but Rollins blocked a third with a suplex into a slam. Zayn tagged in and jumped over Dominik leading to a clothesline. Dominik and JD tried to leave, so Zayn and Rollins went after them with punches. Zayn sent Dominik back into the ring with the Exploder Suplex. Dominik bailed to the floor. JD went into the ring, so Rollins clotheslined JD out. Rollins and Zayn each hit dives to the floor with Zayn doing a somersault dive over the top onto Dominik while Rollins did a suicide dive onto JD. That led to a break.
Zayn caught JD going for a move leading to a catapult into the turnbuckle. Rollins hit a uranage slam followed by a Slingblade to Dominik and a clothesline on JD. Rollins hit a gutbuster onto the knee followed by Rollins hitting a running knee to knock Dominik down. JD was illegal as he grabbed Rollins, so Zayn threw JD into the ring post. Dominik tripped Rollins into the ropes and Rollins came back with a superkick. Rollins gave Dominik a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Balor and Priest showed up with Rhea Ripley to attack Rollins, so there’s the DQ finish. It went about 11 minutes.
Winners by disqualification: Seth “Freakin” Rollins & Sami Zayn
Analysis: **3/4 Based on star power in this match, the faces probably could have gotten the win, but I think WWE wanted to book this where the heel side didn’t lose to try to keep them strong. Going into WarGames, I think you don’t want to have a team lose in a match like this, so the non-finish makes sense.
The Judgment Day foursome attacked Rollins & Zayn at ringside, so Cody & Jey ran out for the save. The WWE Officials, referees and indy guys in security shirts tried to break it up. Jey superkicked Priest in the ring and Jey hit a Spear on JD, who shoved Priest out of the way. JD took a bullet for Pearce again.
Adam Pearce did a promo saying he’s sick of these games. Pearce said that everybody involved in WarGames is banned from ringside for the Tag Team Title match. Pearce said that’s not good enough because you’re banned from the building.
Analysis: That’s an interesting stipulation to set up for the main event. It tells the fans there won’t be interference in that match, but obviously, we know there’s a twist to it as well.
Let’s Hear from Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley, the Women’s World Champion, was in the ring with Raw GM Adam Pearce. Ripley complained about his ruling while saying that Raw needs The Judgment Day. Ripley said you can’t just ban them from the arena. Pearce said that Ripley better not show her face during the match as well.
Zoey Stark made her entrance as Ripley’s opponent at Survivor Series. Stark talked about how Ripley is worried about a lot of things right now. Ripley said that she is not overlooking Stark. Ripley credited Stark for sending WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus packing and Stark beat Becky Lynch. Ripley also praised Stark for cementing herself as one of the top women in WWE. Ripley said that Stark is a future champion, but the only way you’ll win a championship is if you’re on the opposite brand of Ripley because “Mami is always on top.” Ripley said she can handle The Judgment Day and everything else because she is Rhea “Bloody” Ripley. The fans cheered. Ripley told Stark to get out of her ring so that Ripley could continue handling Judgment Day business. Stark said she nearly took that title from Ripley at Crown Jewel and Stark will become champion at Survivor Series. Stark threw the microphone at Ripley, so Ripley charged. Stark managed to send Ripley out of the ring. Ripley backed away to avoid Stark.
Analysis: It was a solid promo exchange. I don’t think anybody believes Stark is going to beat Ripley, nor should they. Ripley should retain in their match at Survivor Series. I think as a character, Stark is very basic at this point and she doesn’t get much of a reaction.
Shinsuke Nakamura was shown doing a promo in Japanese with the captions on screen. Nakamura did a promo about somebody, but we never got to know who he was actually talking about.
Otis made his entrance with the Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable, Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri.
Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn were talking backstage with Cody Rhodes walking up to them saying he needed to talk to Seth. Cody said that winning the Tag Team Titles is step one to stopping The Judgment Day. Cody said that he needs Seth for one night at Survivor Series and for 364 days in the year, they can hate each other. Cody said at WarGames, he needs Seth and the team needs Seth. Rollins said he didn’t like Cody, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever like him, but he respects Cody. Rollins said if they need to be good for one night then Rollins promises him that they are good. Rollins told Cody to “go win those damn titles” and patted Cody on the back. What was funny during this is that while Cody was talking to Seth, Ivar was in the background briefly, but somebody in WWE pushed him back because they were filming the scene.
Analysis: This is a reminder that all babyfaces don’t have to get along all the time and be the best of friends. They have a history of rivals, plus they’re competitive in their role as the top guys on Raw, so keeping that rivalry in the forefront is a good thing even though they are teammates at Survivor Series.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Otis (w/Chad Gable, Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri)
Nakamura punched Otis in the gut a few times, but it had no effect, so Otis hit Nakamura with a headbutt. Nakamura did a roundhouse kick to the head. Otis gave Nakamura a body slam. Otis hit a running hip attack on Nakamura as if he were an Uso. Otis hit a splash against the turnbuckle. Otis did his Caterpillar across the ring, so Nakamura slid out of the ring. Otis ran over Nakamura with a clothesline on the floor.
Nakamura delivered some kicks to the chest, but Otis picked up Nakamura and hit a Powerbomb. Otis ran through a clothesline and elbow smash followed by Otis hit a running shoulder tackle. Otis hit a running back elbow against the turnbuckle along with a clothesline. Otis did the Caterpillar leading to an elbow drop for two. Nakamura hit a roundhouse kick. Nakamura charged and Otis hit the World’s Strongest Slam for a two count. Otis went for a splash off the ropes, but Nakamura avoided it. Nakamura with a knee smash off the turnbuckle. Nakamura hit a running knee to the back of the head. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee to the face for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay with Otis getting a lot of offense early before Nakamura figured out how to get some offense going. It took a lot for Nakamura to put Otis away, which is a good thing for Otis because it puts over how tough he is to beat.
After the match, Nakamura shoved Chad Gable in the head. Gable was held back by his friends.
Analysis: That should lead to Nakamura facing Gable, which should be a great match.
There was a video package about the Survivor Series WarGames matches with some clips of WWE WarGames history.
Seth Rollins was backstage with his World Championship. Drew McIntyre walked up to him saying Seth was right that Drew only had to blame himself for losing at Crown. Drew offered a hand for a handshake, so Rollins shook the hand. Drew said he’ll work his ass off, fight his way back and get that rematch. Rollins said he knows Drew will. Rollins walked away.
Analysis: It’s a good segment to have for continuity’s sake while also setting up what was happening later.
Piper Niven, who is one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, entered for a match with her buddy Chelsea Green by her side.
A video aired about Tegan Nox featuring comments from her sounding confident about being a WWE Superstar.
Tegan Nox (w/Natalya) vs. Piper Niven (w/Chelsea Green)
Nox attacked with kicks and a cannonball against the turnbuckle. Niven sent Nox to the apron followed by a headbutt. Niven suplexed Nox into the ring followed by a running senton splash for two. Niven hit a splash on Nox’s left arm. Niven with a short arm clothesline for a two count. Niven hit a shoulder breaker for a two count. Nox hit a kick to the face of Niven. Natalya tried to fans into it, but they were a quiet crowd for this match. Nox got a rollup for two. Nox hit a running knee for a two count. Green was on the apron, so Niven clotheslined Nox. Natalya shoved Green down on the apron and Niven knocked Natalya down. Niven went for a cross body block, but Nox moved. Nox hit the World’s Shiniest Wizard knee for a two count. Nox did a crucifix pin hooking the arms for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tegan Nox
Analysis: **1/4 A tag team champion getting pinned in a singles match is an easy way of setting up a Tag Team Title match. It’s classic wrestling booking. Green loses most of her singles matches, so this was Niven’s turn to lose, I guess. Nox sold for most of it and hit a couple of big moves for the win.
There was a replay of last Monday on Raw when The Miz won a four-way match even though it was supposed to be a tie with Ivar, but a concussed Ricochet kicked out. After the match, Ivar hit a moonsault off the top onto Miz.
The Miz was interviewed backstage by Jackie Redmond, who mentioned Miz could become a 9-time Intercontinental Champion. Miz said he finally got himself a bus. Miz imitated GUNTHER by doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger impressive while Ivar walked in with Valhalla. Ivar said that Miz is not getting by him to make it to Survivor Series. Bronson Reed walked in saying that GUNTHER got lucky by not facing him and Ivar said you already got your shot. Reed and Ivar argued, Ivar shoved him in the face and Valhalla stood in Reed’s face for a staredown.
Analysis: The Miz is better as a heel, but they are trying to make him a face, so that’s why he was doing the impressions to try to be funny.
Tommaso Ciampa entered with Johnny Gargano for a singles match.
Ludwig Kaiser (w/Giovanni Vinci) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (w/Johnny Gargano)
These teams have been feuding for a few weeks, so now we get to see them in a singles match. Ciampa sent Kaiser to the apron followed by a running knee. Ciampa hit a running chop on Kaiser. Kaiser blocked a kick followed by an uppercut punch. Ciampa hit a jawbreaker along with a clothesline. Ciampa went off the ropes, but Vinci grabbed Ciampa’s foot. Kaiser clotheslined Ciampa to knock him down. The referee said he saw Vinci pull the foot, so Vinci was sent back to the dressing room.
Kaiser was in control briefly, but then Ciampa hit a Thesz Press followed by punches. Ciampa hit a reverse DDT for two. Kaiser punched Ciampa in the jaw along with a punch to the jaw. Kaiser put Ciampa on the shoulders leading to a rolling senton along with a kick to the chest for two. Kaiser and Ciampa exchanged forearms. Ciampa stomped on the arm of Kaiser. They battled by the turnbuckle with Kaiser pulling Ciampa off the turnbuckle to send Ciampa into the turnbuckle. They exchanged strikes and then Ciampa hit a jumping knee on Kaiser, who was at ringside. Vinci was back at ringside with a boot to Gargano on the floor. Kaiser did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with tights on Ciampa for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ludwig Kaiser
Analysis: *** A very cheap win by Kaiser in what was a good match between veterans. Even though Vinci was kicked out from ringside, he made his way back there and was a big reason why Kaiser won. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. It was another match where the crowd wasn’t super hot for the action although Ciampa is liked by the fans. They should have a good tag team match when it happens.
The Judgment Day’s Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor & Damian Priest were in their locker room area. Ripley said they need to focus on Finn and Damian defending their titles. Ripley referred to Priest as the “fearless leader” and Priest said he got hot at the time, but he didn’t mean to call himself the leader. Ripley said it does sound good for WarGames. Ripley thinks that Priest is the man for the job at WarGames. Balor was fine with it. Ripley said that JD is in medical at the moment because he took a shot for Priest. Balor said that JD has proved himself time and time again. Balor said it was time to make him a full member of The Judgment Day. Priest had a bag saying he’ll handle this himself because JD had earned it.
Analysis: There’s some storyline progression with Priest saying he didn’t mean to say that he was the leader, but Ripley and Balor are cool with Priest being the leader at WarGames. I think the babyface team winning at WarGames is likely, so maybe it will put some heat on Priest after that. Anyway, I like that JD is finally joining The Judgment Day after this discussion.
Xia Li made her entrance. They plugged the USA Network show Barmageddon with Blake Shelton, but didn’t mention Nikki Bella as a host on the show. This got some wrestling fans riled up because they like to get riled up.
Xia Li vs. Indi Hartwell (w/Candice LeRae)
This is a tough match since neither woman is featured on Raw that often in terms of matches. Indi with a boot to the face followed by a kick to knock Li out of the ring. Li shoved Indi hip-first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Li hit a suplex. Indi worked over Li with punches, two clotheslines and a spinebuster. Li came back with a spinning kick to the head. Referee Eddie Orengo checked on Indi, who was selling it like she was dazed, so Li was announced as the winner.
Winner by referee’s stoppage: Xia Li
Analysis: ** Easy win for Li in front of a dead crowd. The fans just aren’t that into these wrestlers at this point. Indi got more offense than Li, but Li hit that spin kick that is sold like a knockout and that’s enough to win the match.
Becky Lynch made her entrance while Xia Li was in the ring. Lynch thanked Li for hitting her in the head last week because now they will do it on Lynch’s time. Lynch said she came to Washington DC looking for a fight. Lynch went for the Manhandle Slam, Li got out of it and Li left. Lynch was in the ring while Li was in the aisle. Lynch told Li they will have a match next week on Raw. Lynch: “Welcome to the big time.” They did some long distance trash talk.
Analysis: A simple way to set up the match with Lynch going for revenge after Li attacked her last week.
The Miz was backstage when Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER walked up to him and congratulated Miz for winning last week. Nikki Cross was in a trance in the background. The Miz said he does whatever it takes to win. The Miz said that GUNTHER will learn the difference between the longest reigning and greatest IC Champion of all-time since Miz is an eight-time champion. GUNTHER said whatever happens tonight won’t compare to the beating of a lifetime that Miz will have to deal with at Survivor Series. Gunther left.
Analysis: I will pick Gunther in that match with The Miz. I think a lot of people will pick Gunther to win there.
Ivar made his entrance with Valhalla for singles action.
Zoey Stark spoke to her buddy Shayna Baszler in the locker room last week. Baszler claimed she should be champion after Crown Jewel and said that she nearly beat Stark last week. Baszler said that Stark was doing well, so she’s looking forward to Stark’s match with Rhea Ripley at Survivor Series. Raquel Rodriguez walked in saying that Ripley will have her hands full. Nia Jax walked in saying they were pathetic while saying it should be her against Ripley. Raquel asked if Jax is so tough then why isn’t she champion? Raquel said when they fight, she knows she will beat Jax. Nia said keep thinking that.
The Miz vs. Ivar (w/Valhalla)
Miz delivered some punches to start the match. Ivar trapped Miz against the turnbuckle followed by repeated elbows to the head. Miz came back with a hurricanrana/headscissors off the middle rope. Miz tried a clothesline, but Ivar fought back and Miz managed to hit Ivar with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Miz hit a running dropkick to knock Ivar down on the floor. Ivar slammed Miz back-first into the LED board against the ring apron. Ivar hit a running cross body block splash on Miz against the board. Back in the ring, Miz delivered some punches to the body. Miz fought back with kicks and Miz swung around the body of Ivar leading to a DDT for two. Miz tried for his finish, but Ivar drove him to the turnbuckle and Ivar hit a spinning side slam for two. Bronson Reed went down to ringside to watch the match, Ivar was distracted by that and Miz hit a bulldog that Cole called a Tornado DDT for a two count. Miz charged at Ivar, who did a splash sitting on Miz. Reed sat on a chair at ringside.
The Miz went for his corner clothesline, but Ivar blocked that leading to a backbreaker. Ivar hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Ivar went for a corner attack, Miz avoided it and Miz hit a DDT for two. Miz worked over Ivar with kicks to the body, then two kicks to the face and Valhalla managed to get in a cheap shot punch, so Ivar hit a spin kick on Miz for two. Ivar went to the middle rope, Miz stopped him there and Miz hit a jumping kick. Ivar countered a Miz on the turnbuckle and hit a forward falling slam off the middle turnbuckle for two. Ivar went up top, he was distracted by Reed on the floor and Miz got a hold of Ivar leading to a Powerbomb off the ropes. Miz covered while putting his feet on the ropes for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: **3/4 That was a solid match with Miz getting a decent amount of offense before capitalizing on the situation to beat a distracted Ivar with some rope usage. It’s smart booking to have The Miz get the win since Miz is getting the IC Title match against Gunther at Survivor Series. They don’t want to put Miz over clean, but it’s important that he got the win, so I like how it was booked with Miz using the ropes to cheat to win as a babyface. It fits how Miz is as a character.
After the match, Reed went into the ring and ran over Ivar. Reed went up and hit the Tsunami splash on Ivar. Reed left with a smirk on his face.
Analysis: A match between Ivar and Reed should be really good even with both guys as heels.
There was a video package about WarGames showing past matches inside the double cage while also talking about the rules of the match.
Damian Priest walked up to JD McDonagh backstage. Priest said that a part of him doesn’t think JD is ready and a part of him gets annoyed by him. Priest talked about JD took a shot for him earlier in the night, so that’s somebody he can fight with and go to war with. Priest handed JD his Judgment Day jacket. Finn Balor walked in to congratulate his buddy JD. Balor told JD to find Dominik and get out of there. Balor and Priest were ready for their match.
GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, congratulated Giovanni Vinci on a job well done. Ludwig Kaiser thinks that Gunther was talking to him, but Gunther said that he was talking about Vinci. Gunther said it was great thinking by coming back to ringside and winning that match for Imperium. Gunther just stared at Kaiser. Vinci smiled about it while Kaiser was angry. Jinder Mahal and Indus Sher were standing there with Mahal saying they were going to see Adam Pearce. Kaiser left.
Analysis: Gunther has shown tough love to Vinci in the past, but now he’s getting praise for helping Kaiser get the win. We haven’t seen Mahal and Indus Sher much on Raw. I don’t know if they’ll get more TV time soon or if they are part of any plans.
There was a backstage segment with Alpha Academy and The Creed Brothers. Gable told Otis he’ll take care of Shinsuke Nakamura next week. The Creeds talked about being undefeated since their Raw debut. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods walked in with The Creeds pointing out that The New Day lost last week. Maxxine Dupri and Ivy Nile were talking about how they got off on the wrong foot, but they got along now. Akira Tozawa walked in with the Washington Commanders WWE Title while saying he wanted to be a WWE Tag Team Champion. Tozawa did his dancing.
Analysis: A silly segment to get a lot of people on the show. The tag team division is improving on both shows.
Next week on Raw:
* WarGames Advantage Match is One Member from Team Cody vs. One Member from The Judgment Day’s team.
* Becky Lynch vs. Xia Li
* Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nia Jax
Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso made their entrance as the challengers in the main event with Cody followed by Jey. They are also former WWE Tag Team Champions. The fans love these guys as well as their entrances.
The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest entered for their WWE Tag Team Title defense. There was a lot of time left in the show.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
Balor ran over Jey with a shoulder tackle followed by Jey hitting a forearm on Balor. Balor hit a running elbow smash. Jey whipped Balor hard into the turnbuckle. Cody tagged in with an elbow smash to Balor’s left arm. Cody hit a front suplex on Balor for two. Jey tagged in, Balor kicked Jey in the gut and Priest tagged in with a punch to Jey’s jaw. Priest stomped on Jey in the heel corner. Balor was back in with a scissors kick to Jey’s back for a two count. Cody and Priest went into the ring illegally to exchange punches as Jey sent Balor out of the ring. Cody sent Priest out of the ring and slammed Priest’s head into the commentary table.
Cody was in control of Balor with a knee to the ribs. Cody caught Balor on his shoulders, Balor raked the eyes (while the referee was looking at Priest) and the heels took over with Priest punching Cody repeatedly. Priest put his boot against Cody’s throat. Priest sent Cody out of the ring and Balor was legal leading to some chops. Balor charged at Cody, who got a boot up and Balor came back with an abdominal stretch. Cody gave Balor a hiptoss, but Balor brought Priest back in. Priest held Cody upside down leading to a sitout slam almost like Riddle’s Bro Derek move. Cody broke free and Jey got the tag with the fans chanting “Yeet” for Jey’s punches. Jey nailed both opponents with punches, a jumping kick to Priest and Jey jumped off the top leading to a Priest punch. Jey hit an enziguri kick. Balor made a blind tag and tripped up Jey on the floor. Priest sent Jey out of the ring leading to Balor hitting a clothesline on Jey on the floor. Balor sent Jey over the commentary table to the floor.
The match continued with Jey hitting a spin kick to Priest’s back. Cody got the tag against Balor leading to Cody hitting a powerslam and Disaster Kick off the ropes. Cody with the punches leading to the Bionic Elbow on Priest. Cody went for the Cody Cutter, but Balor caught him. Balor broke free from Cody leading to a kick. Cody kicked Balor, Priest tried a dive on Cody, who moved and legal man Jey jumped off the top with a cross body block on Priest for two. Jey superkicked illegal man Balor and Jey hit two superkicks on Priest. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash on Priest for a two count. Good nearfall there. Priest kicked Jey in the body followed by a clothesline. Priest went for a move, Jey broke free and Jey kicked Balor to knock him down. Cody went into the ring and hit Cross Rhodes on Priest. Jey hit a Spear on legal man Balor. Cody and Jey hit their Cody Cutter/1D combo on Balor for two because Priest broke up the pin. Priest whipped Cody into the ring post and part of the ring post was wrecked from that. Priest gave Cody a Chokeslam on the apron. Jey Uso hit a dive over the top onto both Priest & Balor on the floor. Jey was taking a breather on the floor when he looked over to the side where he saw…Drew McIntyre! When Jey got up, Drew hit Jey with a Claymore Kick! Huge boos for that. Drew threw Jey back into the ring. The referee was looking at Balor during that. Legal man Balor covered Jey for the pinfall win after 23 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor
Analysis: ***1/2 A long match with a cheap finish that is usually the case when The Judgment Day guys are in title matches. The seeds had been planted for a Drew McIntyre heel turn for several months, so it’s not a surprise that it happened here with Drew doing the cheap attack on Jey Uso, who Drew doesn’t like. Balor & Priest benefited from the cheap attack. It’s similar to when Balor & Priest won the Tag Team Titles from Owens & Zayn earlier in the year and when they won the titles from Cody & Jey thanks to Jimmy Uso interfering. That’s a common booking method by Triple H by having the heels get some help for the win. I didn’t expect Cody & Jey to win here even though I like them a lot as a team. It just didn’t seem like the right time for them to win the titles back. There are a lot of other full-time tag teams that should be the next champions.
Drew McIntyre walked to the entrance area. They showed replays of what happened. Cody and Jey looked at Drew from inside the ring. Rhea Ripley walked out to where McIntyre was standing. Ripley extended her hand and Drew shook it. The fans booed that. Drew and Ripley were both smiling. End show.
Analysis: This was well done because we didn’t hear from Drew or Rhea. We just know they shook hands to make some sort of deal. It tells the audience to tune in next time to hear what Drew is thinking. It’s pretty well known that the Men’s WarGames match will be 5-on-5 so that means Drew will be on The Judgment Day’s team. I don’t know if it means that Drew is in The Judgment Day full time now or if it’s just for Survivor Series. We’ll find out next time on Raw when they do a promo about this. The rumored babyface partner is Randy Orton, who would be coming back after back surgery and missing about a year and a half.
Three Stars of the Show
- Finn Balor & Damian Priest
- Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso
- Seth Rollins & Sami Zayn
7.25 out of 10
Last week: 8
2023 Average: 7.37
Final Thoughts on WWE Raw
It was the second straight major WWE show where there was a heel turn in the main event. Asuka turned heel on Smackdown while Drew McIntyre turned heel here with his Claymore Kick to Jey Uso to cost Jey & Cody Rhodes their main event match against Finn Balor & Damian Priest. Rhea Ripley shaking hands with Drew signifies some sort of deal being made. I’m intrigued by how WWE handles it next week when trying to explain the story. It has been a good story with Drew obsessed with beating Rollins, but then he came up short and that has forced Drew to join the dark side…so to speak.
The big stars on Raw got good reactions, but there were some matches on the show where the crowd was silent just due to the people in the matches not being featured that much.
I’m intrigued about where things are headed for Survivor Series. While I doubt that GUNTHER and Rhea Ripley will lose their matches, but at least their challengers are looking strong. I like the WarGames concept and there’s going to be a lot of interesting scenarios for the Men’s WarGames match featuring the Raw talent. McIntyre joining the heels and we assume Randy Orton joining the faces is interesting to me.
The next WWE PLE is Survivor Series on November 25th from Chicago. Here’s the lineup:
* Men’s WarGames Match: Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & ??? vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh & ???
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz
* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark
WWE Survivor Series airs on Saturday, November 25th, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
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