The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/27/23 Review

wwe raw deal november 27

This week’s WWE Raw featured the TV returns of CM Punk & Randy Orton, plus Tag Team Turmoil, the Women’s Tag Team Titles on the line and more.

It’s a highly anticipated edition of Raw this week due to CM Punk’s shocking return to WWE at Survivor Series in Chicago on Saturday night. CM Punk appeared at the end of the show after the Cody Rhodes team won the WarGames match. Punk didn’t speak on the microphone or get physical. Punk shouted, “It’s Clobberin’ Time” and the fans cheered for two minutes straight as the show went off the air. For Punk, it was his WWE return after nearly ten years away. Randy Orton also returned at Survivor Series after 18 months on the shelf with a serious back injury. That’s two big names back in the mix for WWE at a time when they are selling out nearly every TV taping and PLE shows are doing record numbers. I’m glad to see Punk back. I hope he’s in the right mindset, and that he’s a team player that is happy to be there as well.

When it comes to WWE PLE/PPV shows, we have a two-month break for the main roster because the next PLE is the Royal Rumble on January 27th.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1592 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video package was about the Men’s WarGames match at Survivor Series won by the Cody Rhodes-led team that included a returning Randy Orton. They also showed CM Punk’s shocking return at the end of the show.

There was a new Raw theme song and opening video. They didn’t have CM Punk in the video, for what it’s worth..

Michael Cole called it one of the most anticipated episodes of Raw ever. Cole was on hand to call the action with Wade Barrett. They noted that Raw is commercial-free in the first hour.

Let’s Hear from Randy Orton

Randy Orton made his entrance to a huge ovation. Orton was wearing a black shirt and pants. Some wrestlers wear a shirt with their own merchandise, but Orton didn’t do that here. Orton even signed an action figure for a kid at ringside. Orton is back after missing 18 months due to major back surgery. Orton took his time until he did his signature arms extended pose on the turnbuckles. There were loud “Randy” chants before Orton could say a word.

Orton welcomed us to Raw while noting that it sounds like the fans have missed him. Orton spoke about how he has accomplished a lot in his career and he’s not going to list them, but he never competed in a WarGames match. Orton said when Cody Rhodes asked him, of course Randy wanted to be in there. Orton spoke about Cody’s father Dusty Rhodes inventing that match and Orton said that match is about making history. Orton spoke about how he got to make a moment at Survivor Series.

Orton talked about how he had unfinished business to attend to and that unfinished business has to do with The Bloodline. Orton said that maybe he can forgive, but he can’t forget. Orton said that he had a bag full of receipts for The Bloodline and he had receipts for every single member of The Bloodline while saying “every single member” twice. Orton said those receipts are going to come in the form of the three most dangerous letters in WWE and sports entertainment: “RKO.” The fans chanted “RKO” for Orton.

Analysis: I think that means Randy Orton might be coming for Roman Reigns. Perhaps they go with Orton against Reigns at Royal Rumble even though is on Raw right now. Perhaps Orton can go to Smackdown and set up his rivalry with Reigns that way. That’s just my hunch at this point.

Rhea Ripley, the Women’s World Champion, of The Judgment Day walked out on her own with her title around her waist. Ripley got in the ring and welcomed Orton back. Ripley said she didn’t think Orton would do favors with others or team with somebody who tried to take him out. Ripley also mentioned that Orton’s big return was upstaged. Ripley spoke about how Orton looks as dangerous as ever. Ripley told Orton that The Bloodline has fallen while The Judgment Day has risen as the most dominant force in WWE. Ripley called WarGames just a bump in the road because the reality is they are all dripping in gold. Ripley claimed that if it wasn’t for Randy, Damian Priest would be the World Heavyweight Champion. Ripley told Orton to stop focusing on The Bloodline because they (J-Day) get the job done and they’ll put him out permanently. The fans were chanting “RKO” for Orton.

Orton replied that every week it’s Rhea this, Rhea that, Mami this, Mami that and Orton said: “Guess what…daddy’s back.” The fans popped for that. The fans also chanted “Who’s your daddy?” Orton said that a lot of things have changed, but what hasn’t changed and will never change is that nobody tells Randy Orton what to do.

Ripley said she tried to warn Orton and give him an out, but Orton has made them their enemy now. Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh (with a neckbrace) attacked Orton from behind. Orton fought back by sending JD into the ring post and Orton wanted a DDT on Dominik. JD stopped that, so Orton hit an RKO on JD. Cole called it an “RKO out of nowhere” as usual even though JD was standing in front of him. Orton told Dominik he was going to find Adam Pearce and get a match with Dominik tonight. Orton’s music played to end it.

Analysis: That was a good promo segment with Randy Orton offering up a mission statement about how he is going after The Bloodline. I already posted my theory about how it could lead to Orton and Reigns. Ripley has tried to convince a lot of guys to join the group only to get turned down, so it is no different with Orton. It’s smart to have Orton as a face at this point in his career although maybe we’ll see a heel turn in 2024 at some point.

There was a video from earlier in the day for the teams in the Tag Team Turmoil match. Chad Gable said that Otis & Akira Tozawa are teaming up for Alpha Academy in the match. Maxxine Dupri & Ivy Nile introduced singer Jelly Roll, who bumped stomachs with Otis. The fans popped for Jelly Roll, who said that he is from Nashville. R-Truth walked into the scene looking for some jelly rolls, but the big guy said that his name was Jelly Roll. Truth said that he had to go to catering to get some. Tozawa did his dance while the others acted like he farted, so they sold the idea that it smelled.

Analysis: I’m glad R-Truth is back. I don’t know much about this Jelly Roll singer, but he’s a big dude and the fans liked him.

A WWEShop commercial aired featuring Cody Rhodes shilling some merchandise. It was 30 seconds leading into the first match.

#1 Contender Tag Team Turmoil Match: #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Akira Tozawa (w/Chad Gable & Maxxine Dupri)

Tozawa punched Ciampa in the jaw followed by his dancing move. Gargano tagged in leading to Ciampa hitting a clothesline before leaving the ring. Gargano went for a move off the middle turnbuckle, but Tozawa got the double knees up. Otis tagged in with a double shoulder tackle. Otis hit a spinning back elbow on both guys. Otis hit a back splash on Gargano and a running splash on Ciampa. Tozawa failed to rip his shirt, so Otis ripped the shirt. Otis and Tozawa each did their Caterpillar elbow spot. Tozawa tagged back in, Gable superkicked Otis and Ciampa hit a knee to Tozawa’s jaw. Ciampa & Gargano hit the Meet In The Middle superkick/knee combo for the pinfall. That went about four minutes.

Alpha Academy have been eliminated.

#1 Contender Tag Team Turmoil Match: #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Indus Sher – Veer & Sanga (w/Jinder Mahal)

Veer & Sanga caught their opponents in the arms and rammed them into the ring posts. Veer hit a running splash on Gargano followed by Sanga tagging with a shoulder tackle. Veer held Gargano while Sanga ran the ropes with a running kick. Gargano avoided a charging Veer and Gargano did a rollup into a sunset flip style pin for the win. That went only two minutes.

Indus Sher have been eliminated.

#1 Contender Tag Team Turmoil Match: #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile)

Julius held Ciampa with an armbar, but Ciampa came back with a reverse DDT slam. Gargano tagged in against Brutus leading to a bulldog/clothesline combo. Gargano went to the apron leading to a slingshot Spear on Brutus for a two count. Ciampa was back in as Gargano hit a flipping neckbreaker and Ciampa hit a running dropkick. Brutus hit a splash on Ciampa while Julius tagged in for a leaping double team move slamming Ciampa into the mat. Gargano jumped onto Brutus on the floor. Ciampa got a rollup on Julius for two. Gargano and Ciampa each hit kicks. Brutus blocked a double team move. Julius caught Gargano with a Powerbomb. Brutus tagged in and Brutus jumped off the top for the Brutus Ball double team splash/slam for the pinfall win.

#DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa have been eliminated.

#1 Contender Tag Team Turmoil Match: The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile) vs. The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

The New Day are 11-time former WWE Tag Team Champions. Woods dropkicked Julius into the turnbuckle and Kofi tagged in with a dropkick. Kofi hit a double foot stomp to Julius’ left arm. Woods was back in as New Day hit a bunch of combo moves including Woods hitting an elbow drop for two. Woods tripped up Julius while Kofi hit a splash on Julius’ back for two. Kofi got an inside cradle for two on Julius, who managed to come back with a body slam. Brutus tagged in against Woods with an overhead suplex. Brutus hit an impressive suplex for a two count. Julius tagged in hitting back to back standing SSPs for a two count on Woods. Brutus was back in leading to Woods hitting a Tornado DDT for two. Kofi was back in with a double foot stomp on Brutus. Kofi went for an attack, Brutus slipped out and brought in Julius. Kofi went for a top rope cross body block, Julius caught him and hit a fallaway slam. Brutus took out Woods on the floor. The Creeds hit a Brutus Ball splash on Kofi and Brutus got the pinfall win. It was 18 minutes into the match.

The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods have been eliminated.

#1 Contender Tag Team Turmoil Match: The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile) vs. Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

This is the final part of the Tag Team Turmoil Match. Imperium attacked The Creeds with strikes as soon as they got in there. Vinci hit a crossbody block on Julius followed by a clothesline. Imperium continued to work over Julius a bit, but Julius broke free. Brutus tagged in with a clothesline on Kaiser followed by some forearms on Vinci. Brutus lifted Vinci, but Kaiser did a chop block to the knee of Brutus. Kaiser worked over Brutus with a punch. Vinci hit a backbreaker for two on Brutus. Ciampa and Brutus knocked eachother down with kicks. Julius tagged in with four straight overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. Julius hit a double overhead suplex. Julius hit a powerslam for two on Vinci for two as Kaiser made the save. Kaiser hit an uppercut punch on Julius. Julius hit an impressive gutwrench into a Powerbomb. Brutus tagged back in, Brutus went up top and Kaiser raked the eyes. Vinci shoved Brutus off the top and Kaiser sent Julius into the ring post. Kaiser hit a clothesline on Brutus. Julius stopped a double team move by jumping up top and hit a superplex. Julius actually slipped, but then he hit the superplex. Brutus also slammed Vinci. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Brutus was legal as he jumped off the top with a Brutus Ball on Vinci for the pinfall as well. I think they were confused about who the legal man was because the referee had to talk to Brutus before the fall. It went 27 minutes.

Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vincihave been eliminated.

Winner of the Tag Team Turmoil Match: The Creed Brothers – Brutus & Julius Creed

The win means that The Creed Brothers have earned a WWE Tag Team Title match.

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was good for the most part with The Creed Brothers really standing out. This was done to put over The Creed Brothers in a big way by having them beat three established teams with their finishing move. Julius and Brutus got to show off a lot. The fans weren’t into the whole match in terms of giving loud reactions, but they did chant “this is awesome” toward the end of the match, so that was nice to see. I figured a babyface team would win and The Creeds make sense since they have been booked very strongly since being on the main roster. I thought #DIY did a really nice job in this match too.

The Judgment Day was shown in their locker room area. Finn Balor spoke about how The Creeds looked impressive. Damian Priest said that he knows that they are mad at him about how they lost at WarGames. Rhea Ripley said that just because they didn’t win at WarGames, they aren’t going to hold a grudge against him. Priest asked Balor how JD was doing and Balor said he was being checked on by medical, so they should go check on him. They left.

Analysis: The group is still together even though they lost at WarGames. A segment like that is needed to show they are still a cohesive unit.

Cody Rhodes was up next.

A commercial aired for NXT on Tuesday night. They were back to regular commercials so the commercial-free first hour lasted about 55 minutes.


Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes was in a suit as the fans popped huge for him as usual. Cody asked what do we want to talk about as usual? Cody thanked his teammates for helping him win at WarGames: Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, our champion on Raw Seth Rollins (the fans sang Seth’s song a bit) and the “Legend Killer” Randy Orton, who came through for Cody. Cody said that Orton was a mentor for him and still is to this day. Cody said that Orton allowed Cody to hit the Cross Rhodes to Damian Priest not just in any match, but in his dad’s match. The fans did a “DUSTY” match as Cody looked emotional.

Cody mentioned the other story being the return of CM Punk. Cody said that nobody knew that was going to happen and nobody knows what is going to happen because of it. Cody said “welcome back” to CM Punk. Cody said that a fisherman always spots another fisherman from afar, so with all this news being made, all these stories, he would like to make some news himself and do it right here.

Cody said at this point you truly know him. Cody said there was only one destination for him. Cody said he was granted the authority by Adam Pearce to announce that he will be in the 2024 Royal Rumble Match.

Analysis: They teased Cody making an announcement, so that’s what it was. I like what he said about CM Punk as well. Cody should be considered a favorite in the Royal Rumble match since he’s likely against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40, but it’s not like Cody has to win. They could get to the Cody-Reigns match by doing something else.

The lights went out in the arena and there was a spotlight on Cody. That’s when Shinsuke Nakamura appeared on the video screen.

Nakamura spoke in Japanese while the subtitles appeared on screen. Nakamura claimed that he was done waiting for Cody to be free. Nakamura said he would bring chaos to him. The lights came back on and Nakamura was behind Cody, so Nakamura sprayed the red mist into Cody’s eyes. Nakamura bowed while Cody was handed a towel to deal with the red mist in the eyes. They went to break with Cody selling the eye injury.

Analysis: It’s a rivalry to keep Cody Rhodes busy in the two months leading up to the Royal Rumble. That’s fine with me because Nakamura is a very good heel. Nakamura using the mist like his idol The Great Muta is cool to see.

This Friday on Smackdown: Will Damage CTRL’s loss cause a breaking point or a new level of danger? Plus, US Champion Logan Paul will be there looking for his first title challenger.


The announcers thanked the band Living Colour for the song Cult of Personality for CM Punk. It’s a remastered version of the song.

Bronson Reed vs. Ivar (w/Valhalla)

They are two big men in this match about slapping meat. They are both heels who are tough guys. Ivar hit a running shoulder tackle and Reed came back with a running body attack. Reed hit an elbow drop. Reed charged, which led to Ivar hitting a running splash sitting on Reed. Reed hit a suplex, so Ivar bailed to the floor. Valhalla distracted Reed, so Ivar pulled Reed off the apron and hit a spin kick. Ivar hit a running splash on Reed against the ring apron.


Reed got some offense going with a Samoan Drop and a senton splash. Ivar caught Reed in his arms leading to a spinning powerslam for two. Ivar slowly went up top, he jumped off with a moonsault and Reed moved. Reed went up top, Valhalla on the apron to distract and Reed climbed down. The referee ejected Valhalla from ringside. Ivar clotheslined Reed, who went under the bottom rope. Ivar jumped onto Reed, who couldn’t catch him. Reed sent Ivar over the barricade. Ivar kicked Reed on the floor. The referee was counting them out as Ivar put Reed on his shoulders and gave Ivar a Death Valley Driver into the barricade. The referee called for the bell because it was a double countout. It went about eight minutes.

Match Result: Double Countout

Analysis: **3/4 It was fun while it lasted as two powerful athletes that can move around the ring well. The double countout finish usually means a rematch is coming.

After the match, Ivar was back up with a steel chair to the back. There were WWE Officials and security guys who showed up to break it up. They beat up some of the security (indy wrestlers). Ivar jumped off a tech case with a somersault dive onto Reed on the floor. The fans chanted “holy shit” for them. The wrestlers were separated.

Analysis: That was an impressive leap by Ivar off the tech case. I assume they are going to have a rematch that allows brawling around the arena, so Falls Count Anywhere or something like that.

Zoey Stark was shown talking to Shayna Baszler earlier in the day with Baszler telling Stark she’ll have other title matches since she’s still new. Nia Jax interrupted them with some trash talk. Stark stepped up to challenge Jax to a match tonight. Jax accepted it.

Nia Jax did her entrance for her singles match.


A video aired showing some fan reactions to CM Punk’s WWE return at Survivor Series. They showed some streamers reacting along with people watching in groups. They showed media coverage as well as fans in the crowd. A graphic said it was the most social moment in WWE history with over 71 million views and over 24 million views on Twitter/X.

R-Truth was backstage in The Judgment Day’s clubhouse with some jelly rolls food. R-Truth said he would team with them for WarGames as the fifth member. They informed Truth that WarGames already happened. Truth asked how they did and how did he do? Priest said they lost. Truth let them know that Randy Orton is back as Truth left. JD McDonagh said he’ll take care of Truth.

Analysis: I missed R-Truth. I don’t miss the 24/7 Title at all, but I missed having Truth around. I’m glad he’s back from his serious leg injury.

Zoey Stark vs. Nia Jax

It’s the second straight match between two heels. Stark attacked with strikes, but Jax stopped the momentum with a forearm. Jax hit a body slam. Jax hit a running splash against the turnbuckle. Jax charged, Stark moved and Jax bumped to the floor. Stark jumped onto Jax with a clothesline on the floor. They went to break two minutes into it.


Jax was in full control as she held Stark by the legs and swung her into the turnbuckle. Stark came back with kicks, but Jax knocked her down with a forearm. Stark hit a corkscrew springboard senton on Jax for two. Jax managed to knock down Stark by the turnbuckle and Jax did a hip attack. Stark came back with a kick leading to a two count. Stark hit a missile dropkick for two. Stark went up top leading to Jax hitting the rope to knock her down. Jax hit a Samoan Drop and a running senton splash. Jax hit the Annihilator (or A-Nia-lator) splash off the turnbuckle for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: ** A dominant win by Nia Jax. Stark got a couple of nearfalls during the match, but I doubt anybody thought Stark had a chance here. I assume the plan is for Jax to challenge Rhea Ripley at the Royal Rumble, so I doubt Jax will lose before that.

A video aired about Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER beating The Miz at Survivor Series. The Miz put up a fight, but GUNTHER was able to win to continue his record long IC Title reign.

GUNTHER walked up to Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci telling them to handle their #DIY problem. Vinci said that they would and Kaiser told Vinci to shut up, so they left. Kaiser made it seem like he would do the talking.

The Miz walked up to GUNTHER to issue a challenge for a rematch. GUNTHER credited Miz for his performance and admitted that The Miz deserves to be in that ring, just not with GUNTHER. The champion left.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance as the World Heavyweight Champion for some promo time up next.


Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin” Rollins

The fans were singing Seth’s song as Rollins welcomed us to Monday Night Rollins two hours into the show. Rollins went over his nicknames and name as usual while the fans sang the song again. There were also some “CM Punk” chants, so Rollins threw his sunglasses down. Rollins told them to bring it as more fans chanted “CM Punk” at him.

Seth Rollins said that he doesn’t want to spend one more second or ounce of energy on that hypocrite. Rollins said that instead of talking about somebody that don’t matter at all, let’s talk about the title that Rollins has built as the most important championship in this entire industry – the World Heavyweight Title. Rollins admitted that he’s not feeling too good two days after WarGames. Rollins said that he’s getting the itch to be a fighting champion again, so he went to see Adam Pearce earlier in the day.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance to confront Rollins while Cole said that Drew has been in a mood and it didn’t get better at WarGames. Wade mentioned Rollins beating Drew at Crown Jewel earlier this month as well.

Drew was in the ring with Seth saying it’s been a crazy 48 hours. Drew said that people are talking about both of them even for what’s happening out of the ring. Drew shook hands with Rollins to congratulate him on winning the WarGames match. Drew didn’t seem happy about The Judgment Day’s lack of a plan. Drew said he needs to put Jey Uso on the backburner and focus on what’s important – the World Heavyweight Title. Drew asked Rollins if he remembered what Seth said before their match at Crown Jewel.

Rollins said that he told Drew that he had nobody to blame but himself if he lost. Rollins asked if it was right and Drew said it was right. Drew said that he could see at one point in the match when Rollins was done, but Drew had sympathy and compassion. Drew said that he was thinking about Rollins with his little girl backstage, Drew showed him compassion and Rollins slapped him in the face. Drew said he realized to swim with sharks, he has to be the biggest shark of them all. Drew said he wanted a rematch. Rollins admitted that Drew deserves a rematch. Rollins thinks that there might be other people who deserve a title opportunity more than Drew.

Rollins said that right here next week, Seth will defend the World Heavyweight Championship live on Raw. Drew said that Seth calls the shots, so he asked who is the match with? Seth said he’s defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Jey Uso. Drew was furious while the fans cheered and chanted “YEET” for that. Rollins said it wasn’t personal as Drew headbutted Rollins. Drew had a small trickle of blood on his head. Drew tackled Rollins into the turnbuckle and hit a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Drew said that he beat Jey two weeks ago (it was last week) and he was ahead of Jey in the line. Drew punched Rollins.

Jey Uso made his way out to the ring with Jey going after Drew as Jey connected with punches and a superkick. Rollins and Jey hit a double superkick to knock Drew out of the ring. Jey picked up the World Heavyweight Title and handed it over to Rollins. They shook hands. Drew was making angry faces from the aisle.

Analysis: The heel turn from Drew McIntyre continues even though Drew has said in the past he’s not a heel. Drew doing the headbutt to Rollins was a cheap shot after they kept things civil before that. Drew did make a correct point that he beat Jey Uso, so it isn’t far that Drew was passed over by Jey. Anyway, I like this side of Drew.

The team of Natalya & Tegan Nox entered for a tag team match.


Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage with a bloody forehead. Sami Zayn walked up to Drew backstage wondering what’s up with him. Sami said that he’s been screwed out of WWE Title in front of his family (that’s Elimination Chamber) and Zayn said that he nearly beat Rollins for the World Title too. Zayn told Drew he’s a great athlete that’s a big guy who’s acting like a spoiled brat. Zayn said that Drew is better than that. Drew said that he needs to work his way up the ladder again so he’s going to ask for a match with…Sami Zayn. Drew left.

Analysis: Good points made by Sami Zayn trying to motivate Drew, but it only made Drew mad and Drew wants to beat Sami because of it.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Natalya & Tegan Nox

Natalya knocked down Green leading to a Sharpshooter attempt, but Green broke free and brought Niven into the match. Niven with a headbutt, Natalya broke free and Nox tagged in. Nox hit a neckbreaker along with a running kick. Natalya tagged in with a cross body block on Niven leading to a break.


The champions were in control as Green tried a move on Natalya on the turnbuckle, but Natalya managed to break free with a sitout Powerbomb. Nox tagged in with two clotheslines, an uppercut and Green slapped Nox. Nox with a headbutt, front suplex and a kick to the head. Nox hit a Molly Go Round off the top onto Green for two as Niven made the save. Green hit a Codebreaker on Nox while Niven hit a senton splash. Niven covered Nox for a two count. Niven sent Natalya out of the ring. Green was legal, then Nox tagged in and Green jumped onto both opponents on the floor. Green was double suplexed into the barricade. Niven hit a cannonball off the apron onto both opponents on the floor. Back in the ring, Niven hit the running cross body block on Nox for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven

Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid with Niven looking dominant to get the win while Green got her ass kicked on the floor and had nothing to do with the win. It’s how this team is booked sometimes to put over Niven as a threat while Green is more of a comedic character. Natalya and Nox worked well together, but it just didn’t seem like a title change was coming.

Next week on Raw:

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Jey Uso

* Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre

Analysis: Two big matches right there for next week.

Randy Orton was shown backstage taping up his wrists. Jey Uso walked up to Orton saying thank you for having their backs at WarGames. Jey said that he heard Orton talking about receipts for The Bloodline. Jey said he’s trying to do right on Raw and leave the past in the past. Orton said that he’s seen how Jey has had Cody’s back and a lot of these guys trust him. Orton told Jey let bygones and bygones. Orton said that he’s still going to handle business with The Bloodline, but as long as Jey is out of The Bloodline, then they are good. They shook hands as Jey wished Orton good luck tonight. Randy thanked him for that.

Analysis: That was a necessary segment to show they are cool. Orton said he was going after The Bloodline, but since Jey is out of the group, they aren’t going to have any issues.

Dominik Mysterio, the NXT North American Champion, entered with JD McDonagh for singles action.


Becky Lynch was interviewed by Jackie Redmond, who asked how Lynch was feeling after the WarGames match. Lynch said it was a night about making amends. Lynch spoke about how there were a couple of fights on the horizon and left without specifying.

Analysis: I think long term the plan is Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, so maybe they’ll have Lynch announce that she’s in the Women’s Royal Rumble match soon. Lynch might not win the Rumble again, but it’s certainly a possibility.

Randy Orton got a big ovation for his entrance. The announcers spoke about Orton looking more muscular with Cole saying that Orton changed his training regimen to support his recovery from back surgery. Barrett said Orton looked like he could win Mr. Olympia with that physique.

Dominik Mysterio (w/JD McDonagh) vs. Randy Orton

Orton attacked with strikes, so Dominik bailed to the floor. Orton gave Dominik a back body drop leading to Dominik leaving the ring again.


Orton tried a suplex onto the commentary table, but Dominik avoided it and shoved Orton into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Orton made the comeback easily with a powerslam along with a draping DDT off the ropes. JD pulled Dominik out of the ring. Jelly Roll was in the front row and he shoved JD down, which the fans loved. Jelly Roll shoved Dominik and Orton shook hands with him. Orton picked up Dominik and slammed him onto the commentary table. It didn’t break the table. The fans chanted “one more time” so Orton slammed Dominik on the table again. JD was back up, so Orton hit him with a DDT off the ropes. Dominik hit a dropkick and a 619 kick while Orton was against the ropes. Dominik went for a Frog Splash, Orton moved and Dominik hit the mat. Orton hit the RKO for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: **3/4 Easy win for Orton as expected. Dominik had no shot here and that’s fine because it was all about giving Orton some momentum after coming back from a lengthy injury. The fans were popping for all of Orton’s signature moves, so that made it okay to watch. A fun squash match.

The locker room door of CM Punk was shown backstage because that main event promo was next.


There was a plug for WWE Bash in Berlin on Saturday, August 31 and Smackdown one night earlier in Berlin. Tickets go on sale this Thursday.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk made his entrance wearing one of his new shirts as Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” played in the arena. The crowd reaction was loud, but nowhere near as loud as Survivor Series in Chicago. It was eight minutes until the top of the hour. Punk went into the ring to soak up the cheers. At 45 years old, he has a lot more grey hairs in his beard.

CM Punk said that it looks like hell froze over. Punk said that this is him with a live microphone in his hand on Monday Night Raw. Punk mentioned being a Blackhawks fan in the Predators barn since he loved the NHL. Punk said that lately he’s been feeling like himself ever since Saturday, which was a career highlight. Punk said that he has come to two words and he’s a bit scared of how true they are. He said it doesn’t sound like CM Punk, but he’s changed. Punk said that an American Dream (Dusty Rhodes) taught him that as long as you speak from the heart, you cannot go wrong because it’s the truth. Punk said this is the truth: “I’m Home.” The fans cheered.

CM Punk said that he came back to this familiar place because this has made him feel at home. Punk said he’s been gone for ten years and you people never forgot him. Punk said that the people watching at home and people in the building never stopped chanting his name, which led to yet another “CM Punk” chant. Punk thanked the fans saying he heard you, that’s why he’s back and he said that he loved you guys. Punk said that he wished he had to say that he never had to leave. Punk spoke about how the Wise Man (hey Paul Heyman) told him that in order to get everything he needed out of this place, Punk had to leave and come back. Punk said that the Wise Man was right.

Punk said that it feels like a family reunion. Punk said that there were a lot of hugs backstage and even some people kissing him too. There have been a lot of people asking how his wife AJ (Lee) is doing and Punk said that AJ is fabulous and sends her regards. Punk said that everybody has welcomed him back with open arms…but then said almost everybody. Punk said that they are afraid of the truth. Punk said that the competition here is the best in the world, but the Best in the World hasn’t been here for ten years. Punk said that they are afraid that the most dangerous, most controversial, and most feared man just walked through the door and they can’t do anything about it. Punk spoke about being the Best in the World and referenced what he said in that famous July 2011 promo about being the best in the world in this ring, on this microphone and even on commentary.

Punk said that the best in the world is back standing in the ring, live in living color and his name is…the fans chanted “CM Punk” right on cue. Punk spoke into the camera saying he was back. Punk said into the camera he’s not here to make friends, he’s here to make money. That was it.

Analysis: I thought he did a great job. It wasn’t Earth shattering or shocking or anything like that. Punk didn’t bash AEW at all. It was a mission statement saying that he felt like he was at home being in WWE again. It sounded genuine to me. It was cool to hear him reference Dusty Rhodes and Paul Heyman as two guys who have helped him a lot while also shouting out his wife AJ Lee. To Punk’s credit, he also timed it perfectly so that it happened right before the show came to a close and he didn’t run long. They have a lot of time to build the CM Punk story with Seth Rollins and have Punk declare for the Royal Rumble if that’s the plan. For now, it was fine as a bit of a mission statement to have Punk say he was happy to be there.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. CM Punk – Welcome back.
  2. Randy Orton – Welcome back.
  3. The Creed Brothers


The Scoreboard

7.75 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

2023 Average: 7.38


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

It was an eventful night of Raw with some newsworthy items due to CM Punk’s first WWE promo in nearly a decade. Punk didn’t mock another promotion in his promo, nor did he trash any wrestlers who are not in WWE. Instead, it was about telling the fans that he heard them and missed them, so now he’s back. Seth Rollins briefly mentioning and dismissing Punk makes it obvious that is a long-term feud. There’s no need to rush it. WWE spent nearly three hours pushing the Punk promo and he was given under ten minutes for it. I thought he did a great job.

Randy Orton got a lot of time since he did the show’s opening promo and beat Dominik Mysterio as well. It was good to see Randy back as he made it clear he was going after The Bloodline, so we’ll probably see him on Smackdown soon. Perhaps we can pencil in Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble. I liked the Seth Rollins-Drew McIntyre segment a lot too. Cody Rhodes starting a rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura sounds cool to me too.

I think in terms of match quality, it was lacking a great match and even had a few matches that were just average. The Tag Team Turmoil match ended up being a lot of fun while putting over The Creed Brothers in a big way. Anyway, there was a nice mix of promos and matches throughout the show. I think if some of the matches were better then it’s a greater show overall, but still very good in my eyes.


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.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport