The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 01/08/24 Review

wwe raw january 8

This week’s WWE Raw featured Cody Rhodes facing Shinsuke Nakamura, CM Punk is back and more.

I am watching this on Tuesday morning since I was at another house watching the College Football Finals on Monday night. I’m glad Michigan beat Washington so congrats to the Michigan Wolverines on their championship. There’s an NFL Monday game next week too. After that, most of my Raw reviews until late August will be live on TJRWrestling. There might be some exceptions, but most weeks it will be a live review or at least posted late Monday night.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1598 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage in his suit getting ready for his main event against Shinsuke Nakamura.

Let’s Hear From Drew McIntyre…and CM Punk

Drew McIntyre was in the ring doing a promo wearing a black tank top and jeans. Drew didn’t get an entrance because he was already in the ring. Drew said that last week against Seth Rollins he needed to win to get the title, but he doesn’t have the title. Drew recalled hitting the Claymore Kick on Rollins, he pinned him and he was so overzealous he put Seth’s foot on the rope to cost himself the damn match. Drew said that maybe Seth and Sami have been right in saying that the person holding Drew back is Drew himself. Drew said he needs to get his head on right and get his priorities. Drew said maybe he needs to step away from WWE for a while. The fans booed that. Drew said up to two days ago, he really felt that way. Drew said that he didn’t win straight up. Drew complained about Damian Priest trying to cast in during the match and cost him during the match. Drew spoke into the camera saying Priest screwed himself and screwed Drew too while calling Priest an idiot too. Drew complained about Priest, Seth, Sami, Jey Uso moving to Raw because Cody’s magical political powers and CM Punk returning with wide open arms. The fans cheered. Drew said maybe he needs to revisit the company thing, maybe he’ll leave for nine years and get a hero’s reception when he returns.

CM Punk’s music hit as the fans popped loudly. Punk entered wearing one of his shirts and a jacket, along with jeans. The fans were happy to see Punk as Punk got into the ring with Drew. There were “CM Punk” chants before Punk said anything.

Punk said they are in Piper country. Punk said that he was disappointed that Drew wasn’t wearing a kilt because then the fans might actually like him. Punk said Piper was known for talking just like CM Punk. That led to Punk asking if Drew was known for talking and the fans booed. Punk said that all he hears is Drew talking. Punk said he heard his name, so Drew could say it to his face and Punk sat on the top rope.

Drew congratulated CM Punk for still being here after a month. Drew joked that they had a bet in the back that Punk was going to be gone. Punk laughed and said that was good. Drew said that he gets what Punk said when he was outside the company. Drew talked about how he was one of the few people on the roster who traveled the world with Punk for years. Drew spoke about how when Punk was champion and he would tell the locker room he was a leader. Drew talked about being in a real dark place. Drew said right now he’ll kick them down and he’s got it these days. Drew said he had personal issues going on, he lost the person he was closest to in the world (his mother, I believe), his career was in a tailspin and he could have used a real leader to tell him it was okay, but Punk saw him as a threat, so that was never going to happen. Drew said he spoke to Randy Orton about this before and he understood that Randy couldn’t help him because Randy had his own demons. Drew said that Punk is Straight Edge, so he doesn’t have any demons, but Punk is a demon. Drew called Punk a self-serving narcissist while Drew got fired and he stepped up to become the man he is today. Drew talked about how after Punk has been gone for nine years, Drew is Punk’s leader now…kid. Drew sat on the top rope like Punk did so Punk could listen.

Punk spoke up saying he’s called himself a lot of things in his life and his WWE career. Punk said he never called himself a leader because he led by example. Punk said if you need a leader you can pledge yourself to the Straight Edge Society, we can shave your head and you can lead this clean life. Punk said that Drew saw Punk walk out of the company. Punk credited Drew for walking back in to become bigger, faster, stronger and Drew won the Royal Rumble while going on to main event WrestleMania. Punk said that he’s following Drew’s way back in. Punk said he’s back bigger, stronger, faster and he’s going to go on to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. And you’re upset about it just like Seth? Punk said that he’s not a demon. Punk said when pushed, he is Satan himself. Punk said that if you saw that side of Punk then that’s on you for seeing that side. Punk said he’s a real nice guy until it’s time not to be. Punk told Drew it’s getting to be that time. Punk said he is not here to be a nice guy or make friends because he is here to win the Royal Rumble and the main event of WrestleMania.

Drew talked about winning the Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania, which is something that Punk has never done. Drew said that the timing wasn’t right because the world shut down. Drew spoke about how he stepped up while others stepped away and Punk would have stepped away too. Drew said he’ll eliminate Punk from the Royal Rumble, he’s going to win the Royal Rumble, he’ll main event WrestleMania and this time he’ll win the title for himself.

Punk responded saying he’ll lead by example and walk away before he knocks Drew’s teeth down his throat. Punk said the only person that can stop him is himself. Punk said that Drew can’t stop him from winning the Royal Rumble, Seth can’t stop him, Cody can’t stop him and leader to leader…Punk told Drew that in the Royal Rumble, he’s going to throw Drew out last. Punk left while Drew was left in the ing to ponder what Punk said.

Analysis: I thought both guys did great in terms of talking about some history and building up the Royal Rumble match. I thought it might get physical, but it didn’t need to go that way because the words were more than enough. Drew McIntyre continues to do an excellent job of being a heel that blames everybody else for his issues. CM Punk fired off some nice lines as usual. That’s a nice way to tease a CM Punk-Drew McIntyre confrontation in the Royal Rumble. Perhaps the final two in the Royal Rumble will be Punk and Drew with Punk eliminating Drew to win just like Punk said. I think Punk winning the Royal Rumble will be a popular prediction. It might be my prediction. I don’t even know at this point.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were shown on camera welcoming us to the show.

Finn Balor and Senor Money in the Bank Damian Priest entered as the WWE Tag Team Champions. Balor was in a singles match.


Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were shown walking backstage. Ciampa said it’s 19 years since his first match. Ciampa said they have gone on a long road. Ciampa said their New Year’s Resolution is for #DIY to be the new Tag Team Champions.

Finn Balor (w/Damian Priest) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (w/Johnny Gargano)

A matchup between perhaps the top two wrestlers in NXT history. Johnny Gargano is certainly one of the best as well. Ciampa nailed Balor with a back elbow. Balor hit a dropkick after rolling out of a pin attempt. Ciampa hit a Thesz Press followed by punches. Balor ran away, Ciampa went after him and Priest stood in Ciampa’s way. Back on the apron, Ciampa sent Balor into the turnbuckle. Priest with a brief distraction, so Balor hit Ciampa on the apron and Ciampa bumped into the commentary table.


Ciampa ran the ropes with a running clothesline along with a reverse DDT for two. Balor came back with a stomp to the body. Ciampa hit a knee to the body along with the Project Ciampa move onto the double knees. Balor with a Slingblade along with a dropkick that sent Ciampa into the turnbuckle. Balor went up top with a double foot stomp attempt, but Ciampa moved and Ciampa rolled up Balor for two. Ciampa punched Balor. Priest was on the apron, so Ciampa punched him. Gargano pulled Priest off the apron, Priest teased a move and Ciampa hit a jumping knee on Priest on the floor so Priest went into the table. Ciampa was on the apron where Balor kicked the apron to crotch Ciampa. Balor went for a suplex, Gargano tripped Balor (the referee never saw that) and Ciampa landed on top of Balor to win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tommaso Ciampa

Analysis: *** A good match between two talented veterans to further the Tag Team Title storyline. Gargano cheating to help Ciampa win might be a bit of a surprise for a babyface team, but since Priest did get involved a bit, it makes sense for the faces to do what they did. Balor and Ciampa worked well together. I think this will lead to #DIY getting a Tag Team Title match against Balor & Priest perhaps at the Royal Rumble unless they do the match on Raw instead.

A replay was shown of Nia Jax beating Becky Lynch last week on Raw.

Becky Lynch was interviewed by Jackie Redmond, who asked about Lynch’s loss last week. Lynch said that Jax’s punch busted Lynch’s mouth open and Lynch lost, but she got up and walked to the back. Lynch declared herself for the Royal Rumble. Lynch said that the last time she won the entire Royal Rumble, so either Jax is getting weaker or Lynch is getting stronger. Lynch said maybe this isn’t the end, maybe this is the beginning. Lynch walked off.

Analysis: Becky Lynch might be my pick to win the Women’s Royal Rumble because I think Rhea Ripley-Becky Lynch is a lock at WrestleMania. Lynch doesn’t have to win the Rumble to set up that much, but I think it’s a possibility for sure.

Kofi Kingston entered for singles action.


Prior to the next match, it was mentioned that Giovanni Vinci was out of action due to injury last week. Kofi dropkicked Vinci during the match and Vinci’s head hit the mat. They didn’t say if it was a concussion, but they said that Vinci will be out for a “number of weeks.” That’s vague.

Ludwig Kaiser vs. Kofi Kingston

Kaiser was aggressive with a clothesline along with punches. Kaiser chopped Kofi in the chest. Kofi fought back with chops and punches of his own. Kaiser managed to send Kofi face first into the turnbuckle. Kaiser set up Kofi against the turnbuckle leading to a running dropkick. Kofi hit a jumping kick followed by a cross body block off the top. Kofi sent Kaiser over the top to the floor with a back body drop. Kofi tried a dive, but Kaiser stopped that with a punch. Kaiser threw Kofi into the barricade followed by a running kick.


Kaiser worked over Kofi with stomps to the chest. Kaiser jumped off the turnbuckle, but Kofi got his boots up to block that. Kofi jumped off the top with a trust fall dive onto Kaiser on the floor. They continued to fight on the floor with Kofi hitting a forearm. Kaiser shoved Kofi into the ring post. The referee was counting as Kaiser tried an uppercut, but Kofi moved and Kaiser hit the turnbuckle. Kaiser prevented Kofi from stopping the referee’s count. It went about nine minutes.

Match Result: Double countout

Analysis: **3/4 That should lead to another match between them, especially because of what happened after the match. Kaiser wanted revenge for Vinci getting hurt, so it felt like a fight between Kofi and Kaiser.

The fight continued as Kofi hit a suicide dive onto Kaiser on the floor. Kaiser put his fingers into Kofi’s eyes to try to blind him. Kofi hit a back body drop onto Kaiser on the commentary table. Kaiser threw one of the chairs at ringside into Kofi’s head. Kofi sold it great. There were officials there to try to stop it. as fans chanted for Kofi. Kaiser worked over Kofi with punches. Kaiser was pulled off, but then Kaiser ran around the ring and hit a running dropkick on Kofi against the steel steps. It was essentially Kaiser kicking the steps, but the way it was shot made it look brutal for Kofi. Kaiser finally left while Kofi was checked on by the medical team that looked liked indy wrestlers.

Analysis: It was a vicious attack from Kaiser with the chair launch to the face and the dropkick against the steps. I thought it was well done as an angle to set up another match between them.


Ludwig Kaiser was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. Kaiser said it was Kofi’s fault and he had it coming. Kaiser said that he is carrying the whole weight of Imperium because of Kofi Kingston. Kaiser said that Kofi took Vinci’s head so tonight, Kaiser took Kofi’s head.

Let’s Hear from Nia Jax…and Rhea Ripley

Michael Cole was in the ring as he introduced Nia Jax, who defeated Becky Lynch last week and is a threat to win the Royal Rumble. Jax said she wasn’t shocked about beating Lynch last week. Jax threatened to break Cole’s face. Jax said she’ll run go through 29 other women and whether it’s Rhea Ripley or IYO SKY, there’s not a man or woman that can stop her.

Rhea Ripley arrived as the Women’s World Champion with the fans popping for Ripley even though she’s a heel. Ripley got into the ring with Jax while Cole left the ring. The fans were cheering for Ripley and chanting “Mami” for her.

Ripley said that these people know what’s up. Ripley trashed Jax for acting like she already won the Royal Rumble as Ripley reminded Jax that she threw Jax out of the Royal Rumble. Ripley said that Becky Lynch is an accomplishment, but Lynch isn’t “Rhea bloody Ripley.” Rhea told Jax to stop acting like she owns this division. Ripley told Jax that if she wins the Royal Rumble, it’s best to keep Ripley’s name out of her mouth.

Jax reminded Ripley that she put Rhea on her ass when she came back. Jax claimed that Ripley was too scared to face Jax one on one. Jax said after she wins the Royal Rumble, she’s going to choose Ripley and Ripley will have no choice but to face her. Jax said she would see Ripley soon.

Analysis: It was a solid promo exchange. The fans love Ripley even though she’s a heel in some ways. I thought they might do Ripley-Jax at the Royal Rumble, but since Jax is in the Rumble match, it will be at another show. Elimination Chamber makes sense for Ripley-Jax since it’s in Australia and Ripley will be cheered there while Jax will get booed heavily.

A video aired about The Rock returning to WWE on Raw last week. The fans booed Jinder Mahal, but then they were thrilled about The Rock’s return.

The team of Piper Niven & Chelsea Green entered for tag team action.


Cody Rhodes was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. Cody said that this rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura should be over. Nakamura attacked Cody from behind, so they fought backstage a bit. It was broken up by officials while Raw General Manager Adam Pearce was there to calm them down.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Piper Niven & Chelsea Green

This is the former champions challenging the current champions. Samantha Irvin didn’t get to say Chelsea Green’s name in a cheeky way. That’s a shame.

Carter was sent out of the ring early, but then Carter came back with a dropkick. Chance tagged in with double knees to Green. Carter back in with a superkick for Green. Niven stopped a double team move by the champions. Green missed a kick and Green sent Chance into the middle turnbuckle. Niven hit a cannonball splash on Chance against the turnbuckle. The women’s locker room was shown watching backstage as the show went to break.


Chance avoided an attack from Niven and Green tagged in, but Chance managed to tag out. Carter delivered a couple of kicks to Green for two. Carter hit a running kick and a springboard leg drop for two. Chance kicked Niven to knock Niven down on the apron. Chance tagged in and hit a hurricanrana on Green, who was on Carter’s shoulders and that got a two count. Green got her knees up to block a double team move. Green hit a Rough Ryder leg drop lariat that her husband Matt Cardona uses and that got a two count. Carter rolled up Green for two. Green with double knees and Niven tagged in with a senton to the back of Carter, but Chance broke up the pin. Niven went for a body slam, Carter superkicked Niven into the turnbuckle and Niven hit a uranage slam. Green tagged in and told Niven to get to the middle turnbuckle, then the champions put Green under Niven and Niven hit a Vader Bomb splash on Green as if she couldn’t see her partner there. Chance with a lung blower on Niven to knock her out of the ring. Carter & Chance hit the Keg Stand double team splash move for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

Analysis: *** A pretty good match to put over the champions with a clean win. It’s important for WWE to keep using the Women’s Tag Team Champions in matches and having them retain the titles to build up some credibility. Hopefully they get an interesting storyline with another team instead of just random matches.

It was announced that the Cody Rhodes-Shinsuke Nakamura match was going to be a Street Fight.

R-Truth Interview

R-Truth was featured in a video where he claims he told a doctor that he would be in The Judgment Day. They showed images of The Judgment Day and inserted Truth into the images. Truth even mentioned the Judgment Day In Your House show. Truth reminded us of his win over JD McDonagh. Truth said they are a real family without JD. Truth said “Tom & Nick” Mysterio instead of Dominik Mysterio because Truth is ridiculous like that. Truth said that The Judgment Day is always here while claiming that they always say live, laugh and love.

Analysis: That was a funny segment that was classic R-Truth with some ridiculous claims and images inserted into it. Truth saying “Tom & Nick” instead of Dominik was so silly, yet Truth can pull it off.

The Judgment Day was shown watching on a TV backstage. Damian Priest said that was funny. Rhea Ripley wondered when they will handle the R-Truth situation and Priest said he’ll handle it. Finn Balor was angry about losing earlier in the show. Priest complained about not handling Drew McIntyre and Rhea said they shouldn’t make Drew an enemy. Ripley said she’ll handle Nia Jax. Ripley told JD she needed him to handle The Miz.

The Miz entered for singles action.


JD McDonagh (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. The Miz

The bell rang and R-Truth arrived at ringside to stand beside Dominik as the fans chanted for “R-Truth.” Miz knocked down JD with a shoulder tackle along with a hiptoss. Miz hit JD with a knee to the ribs. JD left the ring to regroup. JD got a bit of offense with a few kicks, but Miz came back with a backbreaker and neckbreaker. Miz hit a back body drop. Dominik did a cheap shot to Miz that the referee didn’t see and JD hit an elbow drop leading to a break.


JD went for a sleeper, but Miz hit a jawbreaker. JD hit a corkscrew splash onto Miz for a two count. JD hit an enziguri kick followed by a suplex into a pin for two. Truth told JD he was cheering for him. The Miz worked over JD with punches along with a running clothesline. Miz did his “It Kicks” routine although the fans chanted “yes” for them. JD rolled up Miz for a two count. Miz hit a knee drop to the back of the knee followed by Miz kicking JD in the leg a couple of times. Miz applied a Figure Four Leglock submission leading to JD getting to the bottom rope to force a break. JD did a neck snap to Miz across the top rope. Miz kicked JD into Dominik on the floor. Back in the ring, Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match that got a few minutes more than the matches before it. This story with Truth and The Judgment Day is silly, but it’s working. JD McDonagh was put into The Judgment Day to lose matches and that’s what he continues to do. I like JD as a performer, but they just aren’t booking him in a strong way. The Miz got the win to continue his momentum as a babyface.

After the match, R-Truth went into the ring and celebrated with The Miz.

The Judgment Day was in their clubhouse with Rhea Ripley saying that she’ll talk to Adam Pearce about next week. Finn Balor and Damian Priest were upset about what happened.

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage for a promo up next.


Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin” Rollins

The WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance to a big pop and the fans sang his song as usual. Seth welcomed us to “Monday Night Rollins” at the top of the third hour. Rollins spoke about how the Royal Rumble is coming up and then we are on the Road to WrestleMania. Rollins said his WrestleMania track record is pretty good. Rollins said there is one thing he has never done when it comes to WrestleMania – he has never taken a World Title into WrestleMania. Rollins said that all changes this year because this is the year of Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Seth said he worked too hard and too long. Rollins talked about turning this title into the most important prize in this industry. Rollins said he did it the way he said he would do it as a fighting champion and a workhorse champion. Rollins said that the work is not done. Rollins wondered who he was going to beat at the Grandest Stage of Them All? That’s a reference to WrestleMania. Some fans chanted “CM Punk” and Rollins said, “in his dreams, maybe.” Rollins said that the Raw roster is loaded from top to bottom…and here’s Jinder Mahal.

Jinder Mahal walked out in dress clothes as the fans booed and Rollins acted like he was shocked about it. Mahal got into the ring with Rollins.

Mahal wondered how last week within five minutes, he was more of a revolutionary than Rollins was in the last five years. Mahal complained about the fans saying there was degeneracy in every street corner. Mahal talked about how Rollins instilled no change and spoke no truth. Mahal says that Rollins throws childish temper tantrums when things don’t go his way. Mahal told Rollins he doesn’t give opportunities to a former WWE Champion like Mahal. Jinder complained about Rollins and the fans overlooking Maha. Jinder said that he beat Randy Orton – the greatest of all time – and he did it with ease. Mahal said that this disrespect will not be tolerated. Mahal said that for the first time in a long time, Jinder had Seth’s attention.

Rollins said that they had overlooked Mahal on purpose. Rollins ripped on Mahal saying that The Rock put his balls in a vice. Rollins said he respected Mahal for getting back up. Rollins yelled at Mahal about ruining the party and getting in Seth’s face. Rollins dared Jinder to take a swing, but Jinder didn’t do anything. Rollins said “same old Jinder” so Mahal attacked from behind. Rollins fought back, but Mahal decked Rollins with a clothesline. Rollins kicked Mahal and Mahal bailed to avoid The Stomp. Rollins stood tall in the ring while Mahal was out on the floor.

Analysis: It was the usual solid promo from Seth Rollins talking about his championship reign and being a fighting champion. I don’t remember the last time Jinder Mahal won a match on TV, but somehow he’s going to get a World Title match next week. Jinder isn’t a bad performer by any means. It’s just hard to believe in him as a believable threat when he’s barely on television.

Otis made his entrance with Alpha Academy’s Akira Tozawa & Maxxine Dupri for a match up next. I guess Chad Gable is on vacation this week. Good for him.


Ivar (w/Valhalla) vs. Otis (w/Akira Tozawa & Maxxine Dupri)

It was a meat match since they are a combined 635 pounds. They ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline. Otis hit a spinning back elbow. Ivar used his lower half to jump onto Otis’ chest and knock him down. Ivar went for a springboard attack, but Otis caught him with a powerslam for two. Otis went to the turnbuckle, so Ivar stopped that with punches and Ivar hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Ivar went for a spin kick, Otis avoided it and Otis hit a clothesline. Otis did the Caterpillar leading to the elbow drop for two. Ivar delivered a kick followed by a spinning heel kick. Ivar went up top and hit a moonsault onto Otis for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ivar

Analysis: **1/4 A short match that was a lot of fun because they are athletic big guys. It didn’t need to be a long match. A dominant win by Ivar was the right way to book this.

After the match, Tozawa got in Ivar’s face, so Ivar shoved Tozawa out of the ring.

Jey Uso was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. Jey said his New Year’s Resolution was to win his first-ever WWE singles championship. Bronson Reed walked into the picture to call him “Jimmy Uso’s little brother.” Reed advised Jey to not get in Reed’s way.

Analysis: It sounds like a future match right there.

The Rhodes-Nakamura main event was next.


Next week on the January 15th edition of Raw.

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal

* Finn Balor & Damian Priest vs. The Miz & R-Truth. That is a non-title match.

* #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh

* The Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER returns

A video package aired to set up the Cody Rhodes-Shinsuke Nakamura match.

Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance for the main event.


Street Fight: Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

There were a lot of “Cody” chants to start the match. Cody with punches, Nakamura bailed to the floor and Cody went after him. They went fighting near the entrance area. Cody sent Nakamura into the barricade twice. Cody worked over Nakamura with punches and a bottle smash to the face. Nakamura used a broom to hit Cody in the body. Nakamura used a kendo stick to hit Cody in the back and the ribs. Cody went to the floor as the show went to break.


Nakamura went for a knee drop, but Cody avoided it. Cody worked over Nakamura with a kendo stick to the body a few times. Nakamura hit a running knee to the ribs while Cody was across the top rope. Nakamura worked over Cody with knees to the body. Cody hit a jawbreaker, but Nakamura came back with a kick to the back. Nakamura applied a submission that was like a half crab. Nakamura kicked Cody in the body a couple of times. Nakamura hit a jumping kick to the head. Cody came back with a running forearm and a powerslam. Cody hit a Disaster Kick for a two count. Cody pulled a table out from under the ring, which drew a big applause because fans love table spots. Nakamura attacked Cody on the floor with nunchuks to the body. Nakamura clotheslined Cody over the barricade. Nakamura hit Cody with the nunchuks to the back. Cody came back with a punch to the ribs. Cody grabbed a chair, Nakamura got up and spit the red mist into the timekeeper at ringside! That’s some nasty mist to the face! Cody called for help for the timekeeper, so Nakamura hit Cody in the back with a steel chair. Nakamura hit Cody with the chair to the back again.


Nakamura remained in control while using the chair against Cody’s body. Cody came back by sending Nakamura crashing into a steel chair that was against the turnbuckle. Cody was back up with punches along with the Dusty bionic elbow two times. Cody set up a table in the ring. Nakamura delivered a headbutt and put Cody on the table. Nakamura went to the middle rope and hit double knees to the ribs to drive Cody through the table. Nakamura got a two count. Nakamura brought another table into the ring. The fans cheered for that as well. Nakamura set up a table against the turnbuckle. Cody was back up, Nakamura tried a suplex, Cody landed on his feet and Nakamura hit an enziguri kick. Nakamura hit his sliding German Suplex while Cody was against the ropes. Nakamura jumped off the middle rope with a knee smash for two. Nakamura charged, Cody hit a kick to the face and Cody hit a Pedigree for two. Cody jumped off the ropes leading to a Cody Cutter for two. Nakamura countered a Cody move into a pin for two. Nakamura hit a spinning kick to the head. Nakamura charged, Cody avoided it and Cody sent Nakamura crashing through the table. Cody hit Cross Rhodes for the pinfall win after 24 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match between two talented veterans. Nakamura was built up like a threat and lost the match just like his feud with Seth Rollins. Cody getting the win was the right booking move to continue Cody’s positive momentum on the road to the Royal Rumble. I thought the finish was booked well with Cody avoiding the Kinshasa and sending Nakamura through the table. Cody got the Cross Rhodes right after to win.

Cody Rhodes celebrated the win. That was the end of the show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Cody Rhodes
  2. CM Punk & Drew McIntyre
  3. R-Truth


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.75

2024 Average: 7.5


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

I thought it was a good show, but last week was better. Maybe they didn’t load it up as much due to going against the college football final (I’m glad Michigan won). Cody Rhodes beating Shinsuke Nakamura in the Street Fight main event was a very good match with the decisive finish to put Cody over strong going into the Royal Rumble. Other matches were solid throughout the night.

The Drew McIntyre-CM Punk promo was terrific. I think Drew is doing a fantastic job as this heelish character who doesn’t think he’s a bad guy, yet he’s acting like a jerk in a lot of ways. CM Punk fired back at him saying he didn’t want to be a leader while also making a lot of good points on his own.

Lastly, the R-Truth video about The Judgment Day was hilarious. He’s so great and credit for WWE for producing such a silly video. We want to laugh sometimes when we watch this stuff and the current Truth storyline is certainly delivering those laughs.

The Royal Rumble PLE is on January 27th at Tropicana Field in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. Here’s the lineup so far.

wwe royal rumble 2024 reigns orton knight styles

* 30-Man Royal Rumble Match

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. LA Knight

* 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match

* United States Championship: Logan Paul (c) vs. Kevin Owens

You can watch the Royal Rumble on Saturday, January 27, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT 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.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport