This week’s WWE Raw featured a match to determine WarGames advantage, Chad Gable facing Shinsuke Nakamura, GUNTHER goes face to face with The Miz, Becky Lynch in action, and more.
It’s the last Raw before Survivor Series on Saturday night. I’ll have a Survivor Series preview on Friday, perhaps after SmackDown that night. Last week’s Raw episode ended with Drew McIntyre costing Jey Uso & Cody Rhodes in their WWE Tag Team Title match against Finn Balor & Damian Priest. Drew hit Jey with a Claymore Kick and Balor pinned Jey to win. Drew also shook hands with The Judgment Day’s Rhea Ripley, so it looks like Drew has done the heel turn that has been rumored for many months. I’m interested to see how they follow up.
A friend of mine named Tara Villarreal wrote a children’s book that is available now. The book is called “And It Was Good: A Creation Story” and it’s available on Amazon right now. It makes for a great gift for Christmas or just something fun for a little one to read. Tara’s husband John is one of my best friends and so is she. If you can support them by getting this book, it would mean a lot to me. Thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday to those of you in the US. We had our Thanksgiving in Canada last month, but I enjoy American Thanksgiving and all the Black Friday deals the next day too. Thursday is a writing day off for me, so I’ll be watching football as usual. I’ll even have turkey sandwich too. I enjoy the holiday season and I hope you do too.
There was a video package showing the ending of last week’s Raw.
Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre was in the ring with the fans booing him. There was a blue spotlight on Drew as he did the promo. Drew said that over the last week, people have been wondering what he has done. Drew said that if you’re a fan of Drew McIntyre then he doesn’t have to explain himself. Drew said if you turned on him then he doesn’t give a damn what you think. Drew spoke about how he looked Jey in the eye before he dropped his ass (or “arse” as he said). Drew talked about an apology, but then he said that he didn’t hear Jey and his family apologize after they screwed people over in matches. Drew said that Cody technically brought Jey to Raw, but then Cody was on Smackdown attacking Jimmy and Solo. Drew spoke about how Jey and his family cost Drew the biggest moment of his life in front of his family. Drew said that 16 years he’s been sacrificing his life away from his family, it was going to be his moment and then Jey’s family took that from Drew’s family.
Drew asked the fans if they think he has joined The Judgment Day? He asked for “yes” or “no” replies. There was a lot of booing. Drew said he has not joined The Judgment Day, but he said he will be on their team at WarGames. Drew said that’s because Rhea Ripley gave him what nobody else can give him – Jey Uso in a cage. Drew said that this is a warning to Jey Uso saying he will drop him whenever he sees him.
Analysis: I thought Drew McIntyre did a nice job with that promo. He explained himself well complaining about Jey Uso as usual and that’s why he did what he did. Drew also said he’s not in The Judgment Day, but he’s working with them so he can get his hands on Jey Uso in the WarGames cage. We have been waiting for Drew’s heel turn for several months, so now it’s here and I hope it works out well for him.
Jey Uso interrupted the promo wearing his “YEET” shirt. Jey spoke about how there’s been enough talking and he said that it was time for a beatdown, but then Jey called it a Yeetdown. As Jey got to the ring, Drew was backed up by The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Rhea Ripley on the apron.
Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn and Seth “Freakin” Rollins arrived for a staredown. Raw GM Adam Pearce arrived saying that until the WarGames advantage match tonight, nobody is fighting. Pearce said if somebody throws a punch before that match, the other team will have the advantage.
Pearce said that Drew McIntyre is the fifth team member, which means the other team has to pick a fifth team member by the end of the night.
Pearce said by 9 p.m. tonight he needs to know which member of each team will fight one on one in this WarGames Advantage match. Pearce said that you pick or he will pick for them. Drew McIntyre left the ring first while the others all left the ring.
Analysis: I thought this was done well because it builds up anticipation for announcements coming later in the show. We will find out who faces off in the WarGames Advantage match and also the fifth member of the babyface team. Also, by having Pearce say these wrestlers can’t touch before the WarGames Advantage match builds up anticipation for that match and then a potential brawl after the match as well.
The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show while mentioning what’s coming up.
Nia Jax made her entrance for singles action.
The Judgment Day was shown talking in their locker room area. Damian Priest spoke to Rhea Ripley saying he’s cool with Drew McIntyre on the team, but as the leader, he wanted to know why Ripley didn’t tell him about it. Ripley seemed to dance around that. Priest said he wanted to be in the WarGames Advantage Match. Ripley said they’ll wait for Drew McIntyre to join them and then they’ll discuss it.
Nia Jax vs. Raquel Rodriguez
Raquel attacked with punches, but Jax caught her with a one-armed uranage slam. Raquel came back with punches, forearms and a running shoulder tackle that knocked Jax out of the ring. Raquel hit a cross body block off the apron onto Jax on the floor. Jax shoved Raquel back-first into the barricade and Jax sent Raquel back-first into the ring post.
Jax was in control pulling on the limbs of Raquel against the ring post. Jax went for a chinlock submission, then she was on Raquel’s back briefly and Raquel collapsed but that broke the hold. Jax headbutted Raquel only for Raquel to come back with a headscissors along with a big boot. Raquel hit the corkscrew elbow off the middle turnbuckle. Raquel tried a lift, but Jax was too heavy and Jax hit a double axhandle to knock Raquel down. Jax hit a running senton splash on Raquel. Jax went to the turnbuckle, Raquel got a hold of Jax and Jax collapsed on Raquel. Jax hit the Annihilator (A-Nia-Lator?) splash off the middle turnbuckle for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match that told a story well in terms of Jax looking dominant and Raquel trying to do power moves. Raquel wasn’t able to do it, which led to Jax capitalizing for the win. The fans weren’t into it that much, but as Raquel made that comeback, the crowd got into it more and that’s great to see.
A video aired showing Xia Li training for her match against Becky Lynch. That’s coming up later.
The Judgment Day was shown talking in their locker room area. Drew McIntyre arrived to talk to the team. Drew said he heard that Priest wants to be in the WarGames Advantage match. Drew suggested he is the one that goes into the match. Drew said he didn’t like any of them, but he despised Jey Uso. Priest mentioned Drew stopped him during a Money in the Bank cash-in attempt. Priest and Drew argued a bit, so Priest said that if Drew wants the match, it was Drew’s match to have. Priest told Drew to give them the advantage. Drew said that’s leadership. Priest told Rhea that Drew better get them the advantage.
Analysis: I like that Drew McIntyre is in the match. Good choice.
A video aired about last Friday’s Smackdown when the two women’s teams were formed to set up the Women’s WarGames Match at Survivor Series. It’s Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi.
There’s a fan vote at WWE.com/Ruffles and WWE social media channel to vote for the WarGames Advantage in that women’s match. The faces are obviously going to win the fan vote.
Becky Lynch made her entrance for singles action.
The WarGames team of Seth Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Cody Rhodes talked about their match. Rollins wanted the match, but then Jey said he wanted the match. Jey said that Drew has been on his back since Jey got to Raw, so Jey really wants it and Rollins said that it is Jey. Zayn spoke about the fifth member of the team. Zayn said that Cody spoke to Nick Aldis and they can pick somebody from Smackdown, so Cody said yeah. Rollins said he had some guys in mind. Cody said that he had an old friend he thinks he can call who can come through for them. The fans popped at Cody mentioning an old friend and the guys left.
That means it is Jey Uso facing Drew McIntyre in the main event.
Analysis: I like how that was done. Jey Uso wants revenge against McIntyre, so it’s a big match to have in the main event. The fans know who the partner is going to be because it has been leaked. I’ll mention it when it’s announced.
Xia Li made her entrance with the cheesy lighting graphics. The NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria was shown in the crowd with her title.
Becky Lynch vs. Xia Li
Li kicked Lynch in the ribs followed by a shoulder tackle. Li delivered a chop. Lynch ducked a kick and got a cradle for two. Lynch took down Li with arm drag takedowns. They each countered moves, so Lynch tossed Li out of the ring. Lynch hit a baseball slide dropkick to knock Li down. Lynch was on the apron, Li avoided a kick and Li kicked Lynch off the apron to the floor.
Lynch made the comeback with a jawbreaker. Li charged, Lynch moved and Li hit the turnbuckle. Lynch hit repeated forearms followed by Lynch running the ropes leading to a running elbow. Lynch hit a Bexploder Suplex for two. Li kicked Lynch in the back and then Li hit a spinning kick to the back while Lynch was crouched over. Lynch with a kick to the gut leading to the armbar on the mat, then you could see Lynch tell Li what to do next and Li countered by grabbing the arm. Li put Lynch on her shoulders, Li did an airplane spin and covered Lynch for a two count. Li applied a choke hold using the ropes for four seconds before letting go. Lynch hit a superplex on Li for two with the fans getting into it. Cole put over Li for improving a lot. Li countered a Manhandle Slam by hitting a spinning kick that Li uses as a finisher. Li dumped Lynch out of the ring. Li went after Lynch on the floor, Lynch avoided a kick and Lynch shoved Li into the ring post. Back in the ring, Li went for a spinning kick, Lynch avoided it and Lynch hit the Manhandle Slam for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Becky Lynch
Analysis: ***1/4 The result wasn’t a surprise here. What surprised me is that they got 14 minutes for this match because you might think that Lynch would get the win more decisively, but instead, there was a bit of a struggle before she put Li away. That makes Li look tough to beat so even though Li lost, booking wise it helps her. This is yet another example of Lynch elevating an opponent by having a competitive match and giving that opponent plenty of offense to look credible. I enjoyed it.
After the match, Damage CTRL’s Bayley, IYO SKY, Kairi Sane, Asuka and Dakota Kai walked down the steps and arrived at ringside. However, they were met by Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair and Shotzi at ringside. The eight women (Kai isn’t cleared yet) got into a brawl around the ringside area while Raw GM Adam Pearce showed up and brought security down to ringside to break up the fighting.
Analysis: The Women’s WarGames match should be really good. It was a brawl teasing the fight that they are going to have at Survivor Series. It made sense to bring the Smackdown women to Raw to tease the match.
Ludwig Kaiser was backstage talking to Giovanni Vinci, who said he was going to do what is best for Imperium. Kaiser said that Vinci is Kaiser’s responsibility and Kaiser said that Vinci should stay back here so that Kaiser can take care of Johnny Gargano.
This Friday on Smackdown on FS1 (for those of you in the US), The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against The Street Profits. Plus, Kevin Owens is the guest on the Grayson Waller Effect talk show.
A video aired about Zoey Stark to put her over ahead of her Survivor Series match against Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley. Stark claimed it was her destiny and she is unstoppable.
Johnny Gargano (w/Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Kaiser really likes putting on baby oil for some shine while Gargano does not. Kaiser knocked down Gargano with a shoulder tackle. Gargano came back with a hurricanrana and a dropkick. Kaiser knocked down Gargano with a chop to the chest. Gargano to the turnbuckle, Kaiser with a kick and Gargano hit a hurricanrana. Gargano sent Kaiser out of the ring, Gargano tried a dive, but Kaiser stopped that with a punch. Kaiser hit a running uppercut to knock Gargano down on the floor.
The action continued with Kaiser in control on the apron. There were “Johnny Wrestling” chants for Gargano, who came back with lefty chops to the chest. Gargano tried a leaping attack, but Kaiser stopped it with an uppercut. Gargano came back with a slingshot Spear to stop a charging Kaiser. Gargano hit a rolling kick to knock Kaiser out of the ring followed by Gargano hitting a suicide dive. Kaiser and Gargano each got nearfalls. Gargano with a kick to the head with a loud leg slap. Gargano jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a tornado flatliner for two. Great move. Kaiser came back with a discus lariat for a two count. The fans were chanting “Johnny Wrestling” as Ciampa fired up the crowd. Gargano came back with an enziguri kick. Kaiser hit a spinning slam for two. Gargano charged, spun around the upper body of Kaiser and sent Kaiser into the mat. Kaiser with a rolling senton followed by a kick to the chest. Giovanni Vinci arrived at ringside, Kaiser yelled at him and Gargano took advantage and kicked Kaiser in the head. Gargano jumped over the top with the One Final Beat (leaping DDT) for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Johnny Gargano
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match between two talented veterans who are so skilled in the ring. They didn’t get as long as some matches on the show, but the pacing was so fast and it was an action-filled match that was fun to watch. What’s cool about watching Gargano and Kaiser is they are so smooth. They are technically sound and make everything look easy. It was a distraction finish because of Kaiser’s own ally Vinci showing up and Gargano capitalized on it the win. I think Raw has too many distraction finishes, but I did understand it in this case.
There was a backstage scene earlier in the day with Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green & Piper Niven complaining about things to Raw GM Adam Pearce. Four teams walked into the picture leading to Pearce booking a four-team match where the winners get a title shot.
The announcers talked about Backlash going to France on Saturday, May 4th. They are also doing Smackdown in France one night earlier.
Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio were walking backstage where they saw Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler sitting in The Judgment Day clubhouse. Stark told Ripley that at Survivor Series, that Women’s World Title is coming to her. Ripley said that Stark will get her beating at Survivor Series. Stark said good because that’s the way she liked it.
Analysis: That’s a win for Ripley at Survivor Series. That’s not a bold prediction.
Number One Contenders Fatal 4-Way Match: Natalya & Tegan Nox vs. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Maxxine Dupri & Ivy Nile vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
Two women are legal in the ring while the other six are on the apron. Chelsea Green & Piper Niven were on commentary with Green thinking that Cole’s name is Matthew.
Natalya started with Nile leading to a nearfall. Nox tagged in with a running kick on Nile. Nile hit a jumping kick on Natalya. Maxxine tagged in with a rollup. Maxxine showed off leading to a trip on Natalya and Nile came back in with a rollup for two. Natalya hit a neckbreaker on Nile. Indi tagged in with a body slam on Nile. Indi kicked Nile while LeRae tagged in so Indi slammed LeRae onto Nile for a two count. Carter tagged in with a kick on LeRae and Chance tagged in with a moonsault on LeRae for two. Carter did a monkey flip to Chance onto LeRae against the turnbuckle. Carter and Chance sent Natalya and Nox out of the ring. Carter hit a dive onto a bunch of women on the floor while Nox hit a forearm. Maxxine hit a cross body block onto the women on the floor.
Natalya was in there against Chance with Natalya hitting a Michinoku Driver for two. They teased doing a Tower of Doom spot, but Natalya hit a double Powerbomb on Natalya and Nox. Chance was on the top as Chance launched her partner Chance onto Natalya & Nox for a two count because the other teams broke up the pin attempt. Nile hit a spin kick on Indi. Nox hit a front suplex on Nile onto Indi. Carter superkicked Nox, LeRae with a missile dropkick, Chance with an enziguri kick on LeRae and Natalya applied a Sharpshooter on Chance, but Nile broke it up with a bulldog. Maxxine did two body slams to Nox followed by a Caterpillar leading to an elbow drop on Nox for two. Maxxine hit a bridging suplex for a two count. Nile was back in with a jumping kick. Maxxine and Nile hit a double suplex on Nox followed by a “THANK YOU” shout. Natalya pulled Nox off the apron. Maxxine jumped off the top with a cross body block on Nox, who rolled over and Nix pinned Maxxine for the three count. It went 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Natalya & Tegan Nox
Analysis: **3/4 It was a bit chaotic at times and it’s difficult to let all eight women “shine” in the match, but they did a nice job of putting on an entertaining match. Maxxine really got to show off some of her moves while the fans really supported her and Nile as a team. The Indi/LeRae and Chance/Carter teams didn’t get to do that much although there were some nice double team moves. Natalya & Nox winning is the right choice as a team that has been building chemistry. The finish was fine with the cross body block counter into the pinfall win.
The win means that Natalya & Tegan Nox get a Women’s Tag Team Title match against Chelsea Green & Piper Niven. Green was shouting that she never agreed to this.
GUNTHER was shown walking with the Intercontinental Title while his Imperium buddies Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci were arguing. Kaiser complained about how Vinci was supposed to stay away. GUNTHER said he thought that Kaiser would uphold the prestige of their group. GUNTHER applauded Vinci’s efforts tonight and thought maybe he put the wrong person in charge. GUNTHER told them to watch him deal with The Miz and in the meantime, they can sort this out.
The Miz made his entrance for the in-ring chat with GUNTHER after a break.
There were a bunch of men’s tag teams backstage talking about wanting a title shot. Raw GM Adam Pearce was there saying next week there will be a Tag Team Turmoil match where the winners get a Tag Team Title shot. The teams liked that. Akira Tozawa was there with a Detroit Lions WWE Title doing his dance.
Adam Pearce left that scene to walk over to the Smackdown GM Nick Aldis. Pearce said they need to have a conversation.
Face To Face: GUNTHER and The Miz
The Miz was in the ring in a suit talking about respect for the WWE superstars in the ring and for the fans whether they were booing or cheering. Miz complained about Gunther’s lack of respect for everything that The Miz has done.
Gunther made his entrance as the Intercontinental Champion with Cole noting he has been the champion for a record 528 days. Gunther was also in a suit like The Miz and he joined The Miz in the ring.
Gunther said that he had no respect for Miz at all. Gunther said that this ring is for fighting and competition while Miz is an entertainer.
Miz said that he’s proud of it because he gets it done in the ring and out. Miz spoke about the superstars he grew up loving that were larger than life like Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels and when Bret Hart would give a kid his sunglasses, he wanted to be that kid. Miz said they held that prestigious title, so The Miz battled for 20 years and he hoped and prayed that he could hold the title that his heroes held. Miz said that they are remembered because they are not a one-note robot like Gunther. Gunther said that Miz is very entertaining while he said he was amused by him. Miz said he’s been to top and knocked down many times. Miz said that he knows how to adapt and change. Miz said he’ll do whatever it takes to survive and whatever it takes to win because that’s who he is. Miz said we won’t know who Gunther is until he hits the bottom of that mountain and then we’ll find out if Gunther deserves Miz’s respect and the fans respect. Miz wondered if Gunther will bounce back or a cog in the machine with zero personality. Miz said if you don’t respect him now, he will beat it into Gunther and become a 9-time Intercontinental Champion.
Gunther mentioned some of The Miz’s accomplishments as a guy with a 20-year career, a time Grand Slam Champion and a future Hall of Famer. Gunther said who he is really facing on Saturday is like everybody else in the building – little Mike Mizanin, who was a little weirdo who got bullied in high school because he idolized the heroes he named. Gunther said that when he got out of high school, he got to WWE and they bullied him because The Miz did not belong in this sport. Gunther said that after 20 years, The Miz still doesn’t belong in this sport and in this ring. Gunther said that Miz belongs behind the guardrail with the other weirdos who are just like Miz. The fans booed leading to a “USA” reason for some reason because Gunther is from Austria. Gunther ripped on the fans for chanting USA at him. Gunther said that the fans are insecure like Little Mike.
Gunther thinks that Miz hasn’t been bullied enough. Gunther shoved Miz twice. Gunther shoved Miz two more times and wanted Mike to stand up for himself. Miz came back with punches, but Gunther knocked him down with a big boot. Gunther picked up Miz, who hit him with a low blow back kick to the groin. The fans cheered for that. Miz hit Gunther with a Skull Crashing Finale. Cole: “Do it for all us weirdos, Miz!” Miz held up the Intercontinental Title while Gunther was down on the mat selling.
Analysis: I thought it was a very good segment with each guy making good points. The Miz is proud of what he’s accomplished and proud of being a wrestler who is also known for his work out of the ring. Gunther is very old school in his thinking about what a wrestler should be, so that conflict there leads to a difference of opinions. Gunther tried to bully Miz and Miz showed he can fight back. Miz showed that he would resort to a cheap move like a low blow because he was a heel for a long time. I think in their Survivor Series match we might see Miz hit a low blow and get a nearfall because of this spot they just did. I will pick Gunther to win at Survivor Series, of course. It should be a good match and the crowd will be behind Miz based on the story that has taken place over the last month.
Jey Uso was backstage with Seth “Freakin” Rollins walking up to talk to him. Rollins said that they need to get the advantage in WarGames. Rollins said Jey knows has been in WarGames and knows what it takes to win WarGames. Rollins said that Jey needs to beat Drew, and come back in one piece and they need Jey. Jey said he’s got him while saying “Yeet” a couple of times. Rollins nodded and left.
Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance for singles action.
A video aired featuring Ivar and Valhalla warning Bronson Reed. Ivar said that he’s weathered the storm, but here he stands. Ivar said that in one week’s time the Earth will shake while Ivar challenged Reed to a match.
Chad Gable (w/Otis, Maxxine Dupri & Akira Tozawa) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura beat Tozawa and Otis, so now it is Gable’s turn to face Shinsuke. Nakamura worked over Gable with kicks and knees. Gable came back with a dragon screw leg whip. Nakamura went after Gable by the turnbuckle, Gable grabbed the arm and pulled it against the top rope. Gable launched Nakamura over the top to the floor. Gable hit a somersault attack onto a standing Nakamura on the floor. Thank you! That led to a break.
The match returned with Nakamura in control with a running knee lift to the ribs while Gable was on the top turnbuckle. Gable came back with a forearm, a kick to the gut and a neckbreaker for two. Nakamura delivered repeated elbows, then a kick to the back while Gable was by the ropes and Nakamura hit a sliding German Suplex. Nakamura jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a knee strike to knock Gable down for a two count. Gable ran the ropes leading to an ankle lock, but Nakamura kicked him in the face. Gable had Nakamura on his shoulders leading to a powerslam followed by Gable going up top and hitting a headbutt off the top for two. I think Cole called Gable “Angle” for one of those moves, which Cole mentioned as well. Gable with a waistlock leading to Nakamura pulling the turnbuckle pad off. Nakamura hit a spinning kick to the head. Gable hit a German Suplex for a two count. Gable hit a Full Nelson suplex with Nakamura taking a bump onto his head/neck hard. Gable went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault, Nakamura got his feet up and Nakamura hit a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura charged, but Gable picked the ankle leading to the Ankle Lock submission. Nakamura rolled out of it, Gable stopped himself from hitting the turnbuckle, then Nakamura managed to get Gable down and Nakamura sat on top of Gable while holding the legs for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: ***1/4 I liked it a lot. Nakamura won without the Kinshasa, which isn’t that common, but shows that Gable is tough to beat. They teased the turnbuckle spot, yet it wasn’t used when it came to the finish, so that tells the audience that Nakamura can win without cheating and without the Kinshasha. It was an entertaining match.
Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage where The Judgment Day was standing. Drew said he didn’t need them and Damian Priest said they weren’t offering. Rhea Ripley told Drew to get them the advantage.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance with the kilt and sword as usual except this time he was getting booed by the fans.
Bronson Reed replied to the Ivar match challenge. Reed said that Ivar is not a true player, he’s a cosplayer. Reed said that Ivar’s challenge is accepted and Ivar won’t survive “Big” Bronson Reed.
Analysis: That should be a fun match between two big dudes that can really go in the ring.
The announcers did a rundown of the Survivor Series card:
* Women’s WarGames Match: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi
* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark
* Carlito vs. Santos Escobar
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz
* Men’s WarGames Match: Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & ??? vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Drew McIntyre
Analysis: It’s interesting that they are going for 4-on-4 for the women and 5-on-5 for the men. They certainly could have added a woman on each team, but if it feels right with eight people then so be it.
A video package aired explaining how WarGames works. They showed highlights of past WWE WarGames matches from last year as well as the NXT days.
Jey Uso was backstage with Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn. Jey said he would handle business and left. Cody Rhodes walked in asking if they had any luck with a fifth member, so Sami & Seth said no. Cody said that he picked up and we’re in business. Cody: “He’s in.” Seth and Zayn were happy about it.
Analysis: We are supposed to assume that Seth & Sami have no friends that would want to be in a WarGames match? That’s a bit silly. I would have had them say they got people, but if Cody got his guy then go with him. Anyway, it’s a nice tease for later in the show.
Jey Uso made his entrance to a big pop. The fans love the up/down arm swinging that Jey does.
WarGames Advantage Match: Jey Uso vs. Drew McIntyre
The WarGames Advantage means that after two wrestlers start, The Judgment Day team will have the next man in for a 2 on 1, 3 on 2, 4 on 3 and 5 on 4 situation before all ten wrestlers are in the match.
They exchanged punches to start the match. Jey hit an uppercut punch. Drew hit a jumping kick to the ribs. Drew stomped on Jey on the mat. Drew hit a back elbow smash to knock Jey down followed by a stomp to the face. Jey sent Drew out of the ring leading to a suicide dive on the floor. Jey whipped Drew face first into the ring post leading to a break.
Jey got some offense going with a jumping kick to the head. Jey jumped off the top with a cross body block on Drew for a two count. Jey charged, but Drew stopped that dive attempt with a forearm to the face. Drew picked up Drew leading to Drew ramming Jey’s back into the ring apron and barricade repeatedly. Drew put his foot against Jey’s head against the ring post. Drew trash talked Jey, who managed to get back up with a jumping kick to the left arm. Jey tried a leaping attack, but Drew came back with the Glasgow Kiss headbutt to knock Jey down. Drew held Jey on the floor and tossed Jey onto the commentary table leading to Jey bumping to the floor.
The match continued with Jey connecting with punches to the head as the fans chanted “YEET” for them. Jey delivered a kick followed by a punch and a Samoan Drop for two. Drew fought back with a forearm. Drew was on the apron, he went up top and jumped off with nothing since Jey moved. Drew came back with a neckbreaker. Drew did a kip up back to his feet while staring into the hard camera like the veteran wrestler he is. Drew charged, but Jey caught him with a superkick to the face for a two count. Jey went up top, but Drew crotched him there. Drew pulled Jey to the middle of the ring and hit a Future Shock DDT for the pinfall win. It went 19 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a slower-paced main event match with some stakes, so it made the win feel like a big deal. I don’t remember the last time Drew McIntyre won with a Future Shock DDT. I think it is WWE’s way of showing that Drew doesn’t always have to hit a Claymore Kick for the win. It was not that surprising that Drew won since the heels usually have advantage in Men’s WarGames matches over the years. That’s just how it is traditionally booked. Jey worked well with Drew here and looked competitive, but I think it was important for Drew to get the win since he’s a heel now.
The win by McIntyre means that The Judgment Day’s team has the WarGames Advantage at Survivor Series.
The Judgment Day’s Rhea Ripley arrived at ringside telling Drew to beat up Jey more. Drew cleaned off the commentary table. Jey fought back with punches. Jey grabbed a chair while the rest of The Judgment Day’s Priest, Balor, Dominik & McDonagh joined Drew. That led to Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins making the save with steel chairs. Cody, Seth and Sami cleaned house with well-placed chair shots to the backs of their rivals.
Cody Rhodes said he’s so glad that The Judgment Day has the advantage and they have a star like Drew McIntyre with them. Cody said that they are not alone. Cody said that it was somebody that he “had a legacy with.” The fans cheered that Randy Orton reference. Cody said that with them is the Apex Predator, which is Randy Orton’s nickname. Cody said that the fans knew who it was too. There were “Randy” chants for Randy Orton. Cody referenced Orton again saying you’re not just hearing voices in your head because these people are right. That was the end of Raw.
After Raw, WWE posted this on social media confirming Randy Orton as the fifth partner on the Cody Rhodes team.
Analysis: I think it’s great that WWE announced Randy Orton as the partner to let the fans know who it is rather than keep them guessing. Some fans might have thought that it would be CM Punk since it was in Chicago. However, this Orton inclusion as well as McIntyre being in the match was known several weeks ago due to backstage reports about it, so it wasn’t a total surprise to most of us. I will probably pick the Cody team to win the WarGames match although I certainly may change my mind when I do the preview. Part of me thinks that Randy Orton could attack Cody leading to a feud between them, but I don’t know if that’s the plan. I could see WWE keeping Orton in a babyface role for at least a few months. There are a lot of options, of course. I’m looking forward to it.
Three Stars of the Show
- Drew McIntyre
2. Jey Uso
3. Johnny Gargano
7.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2023 Average: 7.38
Final Thoughts on WWE Raw
I felt like it was a great show for the most part. They did a tremendous job of building up the Men’s WarGames match with the opening promo, numerous backstage segments, the Drew McIntyre-Jey Uso main event match and then Cody announcing Randy Orton (without saying his name) as the babyface team’s WarGames partner. The fans were into everything involving the teams in the WarGames match, which is a great sign going into Survivor Series on Saturday.
I think in terms of match quality it was very good for the most part. Everything got ten minutes or more and most of them were two segment matches. The shortest match was nearly ten minutes with Nia Jax in it and that was pretty good for a Jax match. There are some matches that have distraction finishes where I don’t think they are needed, but at least Nakamura and McIntyre got clean wins as heels.
That promo segment with GUNTHER and The Miz was also really well done. GUNTHER talked about how Miz was like a weirdo fan while GUNTHER is a true athlete, but then Miz wouldn’t back down when GUNTHER tried to bully him. Miz got the advantage, which is fine going into their Intercontinental Title match. I look forward to the match. Overall, I enjoyed the show quite a bit.
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 & Randy Orton vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Drew McIntyre
* Women’s WarGames Match: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz
* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark
* Carlito vs. Santos Escobar
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.
Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.