The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/04/23 Review

wwe raw deal december 4

This week’s WWE Raw featured Seth Rollins-Jey Uso for the World Title, Drew McIntyre against Sami Zayn and more.

It was one of those weeks where WWE decided to advertises six matches going into this show. It’s a good lineup as WWE looks to close out 2023 strong in the final month of the year.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1593 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The commentary team was Michael Cole and Wade Barrett as usual.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for a promo before his match with Sami Zayn. Drew did a promo about how it’s a crazy time because apparently you can leave the company for years and come back as if all is forgiven. The fans chanted “CM Punk” and Drew said he could be talking about anybody. Drew recapped last week when he headbutted Seth Rollins last week because he gave Jey Uso a World Title match even though Drew beat Jey a week earlier. Drew said he saw Jey Uso forgive Randy Orton last week so he knows Jey is capable of saying sorry and Drew said that Jey’s time is coming. Drew mentioned somebody else, then he said Sami Zayn and here comes Sami.

Sami Zayn walked out in his wrestling gear for a promo with the fans cheering him loudly. Zayn said he wanted Drew to talk to his face. Drew said that Sami was the one person in the world that deserved to get screwed over by The Bloodline. Drew said that Zayn joined The Bloodline to get away from Drew and then he got screwed over, but then Sami deserved it. Zayn said that he thought they were alike, but now he realizes they are not anything like. Zayn said he’s not a delusional person who points a finger at everybody else for their own shortcomings. Zayn said when he lost in front of his family, he stayed hungry and motivated and it carried him to victory in the main event of WrestleMania. Zayn said he made his family proud while he asked Drew if he was making his family proud. Drew said that one of them was not walking out of there tonight, so Drew called for a referee and to ring the bell.

Analysis: It was refreshing to have an opening promo that didn’t involve The Judgment Day. Good job by both guys in making this feel like a big match. I thought each man made valid points during the promo exchange. I liked it.

Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew got a hold of Zayn leading to an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. They left the ring where Zayn sent Drew into the ring post, but Drew slammed Zayn into the ring apron. Zayn recovered by running the ropes leading to a somersault dive over the top onto Drew on the floor. That led to a break.


The match continued on the floor with Drew hitting a moonsault off the barricade onto Zayn on the floor. Back in the ring, Drew hit a clothesline to take over. Drew knocked down Zayn with chops followed by stomps. Zayn managed to come back with an elbow smash off the middle rope. They battled over a suplex, Zayn landed on his feet and Drew went running shoulder-first into the ring post. Zayn hit Drew with a suplex while Zayn was holding his left foot/ankle to sell an injury. They exchanged some moves leading to Zayn hitting a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two leading to “Sami” chants from the crowd. Zayn went for the elbow off the ropes again, but Drew caught him with a belly-to-belly suplex two times in a row. Drew hit a neckbreaker followed by his usual kip up to show he had a lot left. Drew was shaking the ropes to taunt the fans, so Zayn hit Drew with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Zayn jumped onto Drew on the floor, but Drew caught him there and tossed Zayn onto the commentary table leading to Zayn bumping off the table to the floor. Ouch.


Drew was in control as he went for a reverse Alabama Slam, but Zayn did an incredible counter for a two count. Drew hit a spinebuster for two. Drew hit a sitout Powerbomb for two again. Drew was frustrated about the two counts. Drew went for a White Noise off the middle turnbuckle, but Zayn countered with a sunset flip Powerbomb for two. Awesome counter there. Zayn wanted a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Drew countered that with a headbutt. Drew set up for a Claymore Kick, but Zayn kicked Drew in the head and Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Great nearfall there since Zayn usually gets a two count with that move, but he did win a match with it recently. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for the match. Drew with chops, Zayn hit two kicks and Zayn did a springboard jump over Drew leading to Zayn selling the left leg injury again. Zayn sent a charging Drew out of the ring, but then Zayn was unable to capitalize with a dive. Drew hit a running chop block to the left leg to knock Zayn down. Zayn barely got back up and Drew hit a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***3/4 A great match by two of the best wrestlers in all of WWE. They got plenty of time, had a lot of nearfalls throughout the match and there was a lot of intensity shown by both guys. Zayn sold the left leg injury well, then he went away for it a bit and then there was a tweak later in the match leading to Drew’s aggressive chop block that led to the finish. While I would like to see Zayn win big matches like this, I think it was important for Drew to get the win since it furthers his story of feeling like he deserves to be treated better.

Drew McIntyre had a serious look on his face after the win. Cole said that Drew showed no compassion for Zayn. Zayn was selling his left leg injury while the referee checked on him. Drew spoke into the camera saying, “the truth shall set you free.”

Analysis: The commentary team did a nice job of talking about it with Cole saying Drew showed no compassion to tell the audience that Drew is more of heel now.

Shayna Baszler was interviewed backstage by Byron Saxton with Zoey Stark standing by. Baszler talked about how she took out Jax in the past and she’s going to remind her of that. Nikki Cross was in the background with a spotlight on her.


There was a video package about “Main Event” Jey Uso talking about how big tonight’s match is. Jey talked about facing Roman Reigns at SummerSlam for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title, but that moment was ripped away from him by the man he loves more than anybody in this world – his own twin brother Jimmy Uso. Jey said he walked away because he felt he was done, but then Cody Rhodes brought him to Raw. Jey said he’s fighting for himself now and for his legacy. Jey said that Seth Rollins has fought against him and with him, but tonight he’s against Jey Uso. Jey said he’s going to prove to the whole world why they call him “Main Event” Jey Uso.

Analysis: That was excellent. It’s important to build up a World Title match as a big deal and a video like that certainly adds to the importance of the match.

Sami Zayn was backstage getting looked at by a WWE trainer. Jackie Redmond was there saying she wanted to talk to Sami, but Drew McIntyre showed up to attack Zayn. Drew beat up Zayn with punches and also threw Zayn into some equipment cases. Drew yelled at Sami for talking about Drew’s family, said they are nothing alike and Zayn brought this on himself. Drew stomped on Zayn’s left leg, so Zayn screamed in pain while holding the left leg. WWE Officials ran in to break it up and make Drew back away.

Analysis: There’s the cheap attack. I thought they might have Drew do a cheap attack on Zayn in the ring, but it ended up being here in a backstage setting. I assume Zayn is going to be off for a few weeks due to the leg injury. Enjoy the well-earned vacation, Sami. Remember Drew saying earlier how one of them wasn’t walking out of there? That was the clue that the injury angle was coming. Well played.


The show returned with Sami Zayn getting checked on by the WWE Medical team (aka indy wrestlers) and Jey Uso walked in to say that Sami would be okay.

Becky Lynch was about to be interviewed, but Nia Jax showed up for an interview. Lynch said that they have never settled this. Jax said when she’s done squashing Shayna, she is ready to fight Becky too.

Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax

It’s a match between two heels although Baszler could be cheered since the fans don’t like Jax. Baszler tried some strikes, but Jax sent her into the turnbuckle and hit a splash. Baszler came back with a knee to the face. Baszler tried a submission on the arm, but Jax hit a sitout Powerbomb to break free. They left the ring with Jax sending Baszler into the apron. Baszler countered a Jax lift by sending Jax into the ring post. Baszler tried a stomp on the arm, but Jax swept the leg to counter. Jax hit a leg drop to the back of the neck against the ropes.


Jax was still in control as Baszler tried to fight back, but Jax hit her with a uranage slam. Jax hit a running hip attack on Baszler’s head against the ring post. Jaz delivered a sidewalk slam. Baszler hit a couple of kicks to the body. Baszler ran the ropes and Jax hit a Samoan Drop to put her down. Baszler managed to send Jax into the turnbuckle. Baszler hit a running knee for two. Baszler delivered kicks, but Jax no sold that and hit a running splash. Jax hit a running senton splash for two leading to Jax doing a shocked reaction. Jax went to the middle ropes, Baszler grabbed an ankle and then Baszler hit a German Suplex with some of Jax’s body hitting Baszler in the head. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch submission, Jax managed to get out of it and dropped backward onto Baszler. Jax hit the Annihilator splash off the middle turnbuckle for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nia Jax

Analysis: **1/2 It’s a Nia Jax match, so it’s never really that exciting. The fans weren’t into it much and it’s understandable since they are two heels. Baszler put up a fight with some creative moves while making the comeback, but she wasn’t able to put Jax away. I have mentioned before that I think the plan for Royal Rumble is to do a Rhea Ripley-Nia Jax match, so I think Jax is going to win most of her matches until that match.

After the match, Becky Lynch made her entrance and went into the ring, so Jax left the ring on the other side. Lynch stood in the ring while Jax walked toward the backstage area. Barrett supported Jax saying she just had a match, so she was smart to do that.

Analysis: It’s a tease of a Becky Lynch-Nia Jax match, which will be interesting to see in terms of how it is booked.

A video package aired about CM Punk’s return to WWE at Survivor Series and the Raw that followed.

CM Punk returns to Smackdown this Friday on the Tribute to the Troops show. Cole mentioned Punk is a free agent while wondering what brand Punk will sign with.

The #DIY team of Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa were standing backstage when Johnny’s wife Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell walked up to support the guys. Imperium walked up to them. Candice laughed about how Imperium will lose twice tonight and the faces left. Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci both talked about how important of a match it is.

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa aka #DIY entered for the 2/3 Falls Tag Team Match.


2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

Ciampa started with Kaiser, who caught a boot and hit an uppercut punch. Vinci tagged in with a headbutt to the ribs of Ciampa. Vinci and Ciampa exchanged strikes, then Vinci ran the ropes and hit a running cross body block. Kaiser tagged in with a stomp on Ciampa followed by an elbow smash. Ciampa sent Kaiser face first into the middle turnbuckle. Gargano got the tag with a clothesline along with a spinning headscissors takedown. Gargano with a kick to Kaiser followed by a slingshot Spear. Ciampa tagged in, Vinci pulled Gargano out of the ring and Kaiser did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with tights on Ciampa for the pinfall.

Imperium leads 1-0

After the first fall, Gargano and Ciampa dove onto their opponents on the floor. Gargano and Ciampa did the applause together on the table.


The match continued with Vinci working over Gargano. Ciampa prevented a double team move and Gargano rolled up Vinci and was sitting on top holding the legs for the pinfall win.

The match is tied 1-1

Ciampa tagged in with a double clothesline on both Imperium guys along with a reverse DDT/flatliner combo. DIY hit a double team kick/knee. Ciampa and Gargano hit a double team slam on Vinci for two. Gargano kicked Vinci in the leg and Vinci came back with a backbreaker for two. Gargano fought out of a move with a hurricanrana on Vinci and Kaiser was legal with a rolling senton. Vinci tagged in with a double jump moonsault for a two count because Ciampa was there to break it up. That was an impressive move. Gargano and Kaiser exchanged strikes as the illegal men in the match. Gargano connected with kicks on both opponents, Vinci with a kick on Johnny and Gargano hit a DDT on Vinci. All four guys were down in the ring selling moves. Kaiser hit an uppercut on Ciampa as the legal men while Ciampa hit a boot to the face. Ciampa hit a White Noise/Air Raid Crash off the middle turnbuckle. Gargano tagged back in, Vinci pulled Ciampa out of the ring and Ciampa sent Vinci into the steel steps. Kaiser with a rollup for two. Ciampa tagged back in, multiple superkicks on Kaiser and Meet In the Middle (superkick/knee) connected for #DIY on Kaiser. Ciampa covered Kaiser for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (2-1)

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good tag team match by two of the best teams in WWE. I liked the 2/3 format because it feels different from a regular tag team match. The heels going up 1-0 in the match is the common booking for this kind of match and then the faces made the comeback to tie it up, which led into the finish. Due to Imperium having the story where they don’t seem to get along at times, it made sense to give #DIY a big win in this match. The Raw brand is building a strong tag team division and that’s great to see.

After the match, Giovanni Vinci told Ludwig Kaiser to explain that to GUNTHER because Vinci wasn’t going to do it.

Natalya & Tegan Nox were backstage when Chelsea Green & Piper Niven showed up as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Green said that this isn’t going to work and nobody is buying this. Natalya said after they win their match tonight, they are coming for the titles and they won’t miss. Green & Niven left.

This Friday on Smackdown: Randy Orton’s back on the blue brand, plus two US Title contender’s tournament matches and CM Punk is there for the Tribute to the Troops show.


There was a backstage scene with The Creed Brothers being congratulated by the New Day for The Creeds big win last week. Alpha Academy walked in leading to some more dialogue between tag teams. The Creeds spoke about how they proved they belonged on Raw and they had Ivy Nile to deal with Rhea Ripley when they get their title match. Maxxine Dupri also did some lifts while Akira Tozawa was on her shoulders.

Analysis: There wasn’t much to this. It was a way to get more people on the show.

The Judgment Day were in their clubhouse with R-Truth in their clubhouse trying to fix a small TV that was there. The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest told Truth to leave, so Truth told JD McDonagh to leave. JD told Truth he’s not in The Judgment Day. They yelled at Truth again and he said he’ll leave “our” clubhouse. Damian Priest told Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh that Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley weren’t there, so Priest is taking charge tonight. Priest told Dominik & McDonagh to handle their business.

Analysis: R-Truth is great as always.

Kayden Carter & Katana Chance entered for tag team action.


There were images shown of WWE stars at the Big 12 Conference Championship football game. Stars from WWE like The Undertaker, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Jade Cargill, Michelle McCool & Samantha Irvin were there. The Undertaker presented Texas with a WWE Title as part of the deal there. Good publicity for WWE.

Natalya & Tegan Nox vs. Kayden Cater & Katana Chance

Chelsea Green & Piper Niven were on commentary. Natalya knocked down Chance with a shoulder tackle. Natalya pressed chance above her head along with powerslam like her uncle the British Bulldog. Carter and Chance did a double team move with Chance getting flipped over leading to a moonsault. Carter made a blind tag and did a head slam. Nox tagged in with a running uppercut, two clotheslines and Carter came back with an enziguri kick. Nox hit a cannonball splash on Carter. Nox hit a Molly Go Round on Carter, but Chance was legal and Chance tried a pin on Nox for two because Natalya made the save. Natalya made the tag leading to Chance hitting a Codebreaker. Chance & Carter tried a double team move, but Natalya hit a double Powerbomb on both women for two on Carter. Carter countered a move leading to a superkick. Carter lifted up Chance on her shoulders and spun her around with a slam onto Natalya. Carter superkicked Nox to prevent a save. It went about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid tag team match with some good moves by both teams, but Carter & Chance needed a win at some point. That was a creative finishing move by Carter & Chance to get the clean win. Trying to build up the women’s tag team division more is nice to see.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage because he’s next up on Raw.


Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes…and Shinsuke Nakamura

Cody Rhodes made his entrance wearing his wrestling tights along with one of his American Nightmare shirts rather than a suit. Cody handed his leather belt to an excited kid at ringside. Big pop for Cody as usual with the fans singing “WHOA-OH” on cue too. A video aired from last week when Shinsuke Nakamura did a cheap attack on Cody, which led to Nakamura spitting the red mist in Cody’s face.

Cody didn’t ask his usual question to start the promo. Cody mentioned he was terrified of the man who did the poison mist – The Great Muta. Cody said now that he has felt the poison mist, his fear was justified. Cody said that he should have paid attention to the clues that Shinsuke Nakamura was making. Cody knows that he has a big bullseye on his back especially when he declared for the Royal Rumble. Cody said that Nakamura has his attention and Cody is ready. Cody said that Nakamura could explain himself to him or Nakamura could march down here so they could fight right now.

A video appeared on the screen with Nakamura saying (in Japanese with English translation) that last week he made Cody’s eyes, but tonight he’ll open his eyes. Nakamura said they have taken the same path since Nakamura won the Royal Rumble just like Cody. We saw clips of that. Nakamura lost his match to AJ Styles, but Nakamura said he slipped and stumbled just like Cody did. Nakamura said they suffered the same humiliation. Nakamura said he was there to unburden Cody. Nakamura said that he would take Cody’s story and finish it.

Cody said if you think their stories are the same, you are wrong. Cody said it’s never been his story to run from a fight. Cody said if you think their stories are the same then prove it.

Analysis: It was an interesting explanation from Nakamura saying that his failed WWE Title match at WrestleMania is why he attacked Cody the way he did. That story is similar to Cody in the sense that they both lost after winning the Royal Rumble, but in Cody’s case, he lost because of The Bloodline helping Roman Reigns while Nakamura had a clean loss against AJ Styles. Anyway, it’s a way to keep Cody Rhodes busy on the road to the Royal Rumble with Nakamura as one of Raw’s top heels in the last couple of months.

A recap was shown of Drew McIntyre’s attack on Sami Zayn.

Adam Pearce, the Raw GM, was on the phone in his office. Jey Uso walked in saying he wanted to know about Sami Zayn. Pearce said he’s getting evaluated. Jey said he’ll take care of Drew after this. Pearce said you need to focus on your match tonight and Jey said he was focused and fired up. They shook hands, so Jey left. GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, walked in talking to Pearce saying they needed to talk about his future. The camera cut away.

The Judgment Day’s Dominik Mysterio, who is the NXT North American Champion, and JD McDonagh entered for tag team action.


The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed (w/Ivy Nile) vs. The Judgment Day – Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh

Brutus held Dominik Mysterio in a vertical suplex position, then Julius tagged in for the hand off and Julius finished the suplex. Meanwhile, R-Truth arrived at ringside acting like he’s part of The Judgment Day again. JD tagged in, Brutus tagged back in and hit a fireman’s carry so Julius hit a fireman’s carry as well. Brutus hit a back body drop. Brutus applied an armbar on JD while Truth was in the corner of The Judgment Day supporting them. Julius tagged in as The Creeds took turns hitting knee strikes to the ribs. The Creeds did a double team stomach breaker to JD. Dominik made a tag while JD was against the ropes, they sent Brutus out of the ring and JD hit a moonsault onto both Creeds on the floor. Dominik & JD flexed on the apron leading to a commercial.


Dominik hit two vertical suplexes on Brutus, but then Brutus countered with his own suplex. Julius got the hot tag with six belly-to-belly suplexes in a row along with kip ups after every move. Julius sent Dominik out of the ring. JD tried a reverse rana on Julius, but Julius caught him on his shoulders. Julius walked with JD and JD managed to hit the reverse rana. Dominik tagged in leading to a 619 kick on Julius for a two count. Julius hit a double team Northern Lights Suplex on both guys. Brutus ran over to Dominik on the floor and hit him with a shoulder tackle onto the commentary table. Brutus made the tag, went up top and hit a Brutus Ball to knock down JD, who was on Julius’ shoulders and Brutus pinned JD for the win. It went 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed

Analysis: *** It was a good TV match with The Creeds continuing their positive momentum after earning a title match last week. Dominik & JD are usually guys that lose matches and in this case, their job was to put over The Creeds ahead of their Tag Team Title match. It was fun for me to write about The Creeds on NXT for the last two years and to see them being booked strong on Raw as well is nice to see. They are fun to watch.

A replay was shown of Smackdown last Friday when Randy Orton chose to sign with Smackdown instead of Raw because Orton wants to go after The Bloodline. LA Knight saved Orton from a double team attack from Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso. Orton dropped Jimmy with an RKO and signed with Smackdown. Orton told Paul Heyman to tell Roman Reigns: “Daddy’s back.”

Analysis: That should mean we are getting Roman Reigns-Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was backstage with his World Heavyweight Title. Raw GM Adam Pearce walked up letting Seth know that he invited CM Punk to be there next week and Pearce intends to sign him to Raw. Rollins laughed about it saying he doesn’t give a damn so you can do what you gotta do. Rollins said Punk will show his true colors and stay out of Seth’s way when he does what he has to do. Jey Uso walked in saying it took him nearly 15 years to get this opportunity. Rollins said he is going to stomp his face in the mat the first chance he gets. Jey said he’ll kick Seth’s face off the first chance he gets. Seth said this would be as friendly as they are going to be. They touched knuckles.

Analysis: What Jey said about taking 15 years to get a World Title match is cool, but he did get a WWE Title match at SummerSlam four months ago and he did in 2020 against Roman Reigns as well. I get what he’s saying, though. It’s still a big match. As for the Rollins-Punk thing, that is the obvious direction for WrestleMania, but there’s no rush for it.

Jey Uso made his entrance to a big pop with the fans doing the arm waving with him. There are some trademark issue with “YEET” so WWE isn’t going to use it for Jey moving forward.


Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh were backstage when Damian Priest walked up to them. Gunther was in the background talking to Ludwig Kaiser as well. Dominik & JD told Priest that The Creed Brothers are the real deal and that they are legit. Priest said fair enough and told them to get cleaned up.

Next Monday on Raw in Cleveland:

* Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

* CM Punk returns

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance in a black coat along with gold tights as the fans popped for him and sang the song as usual. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin was in the ring to do the championship introductions and she did a great job as usual. For Jey Uso, she announced a hometown and the weight, but with Rollins she didn’t announce a hometown or a weight, so that was a bit weird. Anyway, it certainly felt like a big match.

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

It was 14 years ago today (December 4th) when Jey’s uncle Umaga died in 2009, so Jey dedicated his match to his late uncle. It wasn’t mentioned by Cole, but it’s well-known that it was Umaga who encouraged The Usos to become pro wrestlers. He meant a lot to the brothers.

They started out doing some basic holds. Jey hit a shoulder tackle and there were a couple of nearfalls from both guys. They had a staredown leading to a break.


Rollins was in control with a boot to the face while Jey was on the apron. Rollins hit a senton splash followed by a springboard moonsault for a two count. Rollins did a snapmare followed by a running kick to the back. There was a light “CM Punk” chant as Rollins hit a belly-to-back suplex for two. Rollins went for a lift, Jey landed on his feet and Jey hit a popup neckbreaker for two. Jey hit a backbreaker for two. Rollins sent Jey to the apron, Jey hit a jumping kick and Jey went up top, but Rollins hit a jumping kick of his own. They battled on the apron. Rollins tried a move, Jey got out of it, they went to the floor and Rollins hit an elbow smash. Jey hit a DDT on Rollins on the floor.


The match continued with the two men exchanging strikes leading to Rollins hitting a clothesline and a suicide dive onto Jey on the floor. They were back in the ring with Jey knocking Rollins out of the ring. Jey hit his own suicide dive on Rollins on the other side of the ring. Back in the ring, they ran the ropes leading to a double cross body block collision spot. Jey delivered several punches to the face including a spit punch similar to The Rock. Rollins came back with kicks leading to a clothesline. Jey came back with a kick, punch and a jumping enziguri kick. Rollins was against the turnbuckle, so Jey hit the running hip attack like uncle Umaga. Jey went up top, Rollins was back up, so Jey jumped over him and Rollins hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Rollins hit a Frog Splash off the top rope for two. Jey countered a pin attempt for a two count. They exchanged strikes, Rollins with a kick and Jey hit a superkick. Jey went up top and Jey hit an Uso Splash off the top for one…two…and no! Rollins kicked out at two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Jey went up top, so Rollins went up top leading to a superplex off the top and a Falcon Arrow for two. Rollins hit a Pedigree for two. Rollins set up for The Stomp, but Jey avoided it and Jey ran the ropes leading to Spear leading to another great two count. That was such an awesome Spear by Jey and yet another believable two count. They were both down selling for a bit. Jey went for a Spear again, but Rollins kicked him. Rollins hit a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Jey came back with another Spear. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash again for one…two…and no! Rollins kicked out at two again. The crowd was going crazy at this point. Jey with a superkick. Jey charged for a Spear, but Rollins caught him with a Pedigree. Rollins hit The Stomp on Jey for the pinfall win after 23 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ****1/4 That was an outstanding match. It felt like a PLE-level main event that we got to see on TV, so that’s pretty cool to see. It was a level above the Drew/Sami match from earlier although both of them were given over 20 minutes. There were so many great nearfalls, counters and exciting moments in this match. When it looked like it was about to end, they kept on going with more big moves and nearfalls to build it up even more. If you don’t believe in Jey Uso as a main event talent then you are missing out because he’s outstanding. As for Rollins, it’s yet another amazing match for that title just like he’s had with Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and others in recent months. The fans loved both guys, so they were really into the match and it certainly helps when you have a lengthy match that is as good as this match was. The reason the World Title means a lot in the last six months is because Rollins has outstanding matches like this. I’m glad they were given as much as they got here.

After the match, Rollins picked up Jey and they slapped hands as a sign of respect. There was no time for replays. Rollins was celebrating with the World Title in the ring. Jey was on the floor, so Drew McIntyre went after Jey with a Claymore Kick! That was a cheap attack. Rollins dove onto Drew, but Drew caught him and hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex to Rollins on the floor. Drew picked up Jey leading to a suplex into a slam through the announce table. Cole was shouting about Drew going after everybody who wronged him and called Drew a bad dude. Drew told Jey: “The truth will set you free.” End show.

Analysis: I like that as an ending because it continues the story from earlier with Drew McIntyre losing his mind and becoming this awful heel that does cheap attacks. Drew did the cheap attack on Sami Zayn and here’s a cheap attack on Jey Uso as well. It makes it easy for the fans to hate Drew for his actions.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Drew McIntyre
  3. Jey Uso and Sami Zayn


The Scoreboard

8.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

2023 Average: 7.40


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

This was one of the best Raw episodes of the year carried by the excellent in-ring action. We started with an awesome Drew McIntyre-Sami Zayn match that got 20 minutes and then it was main evented by an even better Seth Rollins-Jey Uso main event that went over 20 minutes. I wrote in the review that Seth & Jey felt like a PLE main event match that we got to see on TV, so that’s pretty cool. They were given the time to tell an incredible story in the match with big moves, counters and a believable ending that put over Rollins as the winner while Jey was very impressive in defeat.

Drew McIntyre’s heelish ways were featured heavily since he got to do a promo, have that great match with Zayn and then do a cheap attack on Zayn. Drew also attacked Jey Uso after his match as well. This was WWE’s way of telling the fans this guy is a heel now and you should be booing him for his actions even though Drew believes his actions are justified.

There were some other very good matches on the show as the men’s tag team division continues to impress. The win by #DIY over Imperium was a lot of fun while The Creed Brothers continued their positive momentum as well. I liked the continuation of the Cody-Nakamura feud too. I don’t go 8.5 out of 10 for TV shows that often, but this one deserved it. An outstanding episode of Raw this week.


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