The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 02/12/24 Review

wwe raw deal february 12

This week’s WWE Raw featured words from Cody Rhodes, GUNTHER’s Imperium group against The New Day & Jey Uso, plus more Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1603 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Cody Rhodes was shown arriving earlier in the day. Michael Cole mentioned Cody facing Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania 40.

The New Day and Jey Uso made their entrances for the first match. It was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary. Pat was on the table doing the arm swinging for Jey’s entrance. The Imperium trio were up next led by the Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER of course.

Imperium – GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci vs. Jey Uso, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Jey made it clear last week that he was coming after GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Title so that led to this match. GUNTHER has been IC Champion for 612 days.

Kaiser started with Kofi with strikes, but Kofi came back with a dropkick. Woods tagged in with a splash and fist drop combo. Jey tagged in with stomps on Kaiser along with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Gunther tagged in, walked around the ring a bit and brought in Vinci, who stomped on Jey. Gunther tagged in while Jey was down so Gunther nailed Jey with a hard chop to the chest. Kaiser tagged in, Jey fought back with punches and then Kaiser clotheslined Jey over the top to the floor. Gunther nailed Jey with a boot to the head on the floor. They went to break there.


The match continued with Jey tagging out to Kofi, who hit a Fameasser on Vinci, Woods tagged in with Tornado DDT and Kofi was back in with a Frog Splash to Vinci’s back for a two count. Woods pulled Kaiser off the apron, so Kaiser gouged the eyes. Kofi kicked Kaiser to knock him down and Kofi hit a leaping clothesline. Kofi hit the Boom Drop leg drop on Vinci. Kaiser grabbed Kofi’s foot, so Vinci sent Kofi out of the ring. Kaiser sent Kofi into the steel steps. Vinci sent Kofi back into the ring for a two count. Gunther nailed Kofi with an uppercut to the chest. Kofi fought out of the heel corner, but Gunther stopped a tag and Gunther chopped Kofi to knock him down. Gunther applied a Boston Crab submission while taunting Jey on the apron, so Jey walked into the ring and slapped Gunther in the face. The referee broke that up as the show went to break.


The action kept going with Kofi making the hot tag to Jey Uso, who was on fire against Vinci and Kaiser, which included a Samoan Drop. Jey hit running hip attacks on both guys. Jey wanted Gunther, who went to the floor. Jey superkicked Vinci and Kaiser back to back. Gunther tagged in to face off against Jey, who unloaded with punches until Gunther nailed a hard chop to the chest. Jey hit a spinning kick to the back of Gunther’s head. Gunther sent Jey to the apron, Jey punched back and Jey hit a cross body block off the top for two. Jey went for a Spear, but Gunther stopped that and hit another hard chop to the chest. Gunther nailed Jey with a stiff lariat for two. Gunther went up top, mocked Jey’s hand motions and Gunther jumped off the top with a splash, but Jey got the knees up. Jey hit a Spear for two because Kaiser broke up the pin. Woods sent Kaiser into the ring post on the floor. Vinci got the tag, Jey hit a superkick and New Day went into the ring to launch Vinci into the air for the 1D or 1-Day. New Day took care of Vinci on the floor. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash on Vinci for the pinfall win after 19 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Jey Uso, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good tag team match that got a lot of time. I think the result was rather obvious because it was used to give Jey a big win while Vinci is the guy that usually takes the fall when Imperium is in a six-man tag. We know Gunther is going to get pinned. I did enjoy the action that featured long face-in-peril segments and the Jey-Gunther showdown that was very entertaining. Getting nearly 20 minutes for the opening match on Raw is cool to see. I like that.

Post match, Jey Uso made it clear he was coming after GUNTHER, who held up his Intercontinental Title.

A video recap aired of the WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Event from last Thursday in Las Vegas. Roman Reigns and The Rock wanted to face eachother at WrestleMania 40, but there was an interruption from Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes. Cody informed everybody that he was choosing Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Reigns insulted Cody and his late father Dusty, so Cody said that Roman & Rock’s grandparents would be ashamed of them. Rock didn’t like that, so he slapped Cody. Backstage after the segment, The Rock told Triple H to fix it. Cody is still to come on Raw.

Analysis: That WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Event was a great idea and certainly got people talking. I really enjoyed it.

Bobby Lashley entered for a match with The Street Profits and B-Fab by his side. Lashley hugged his group members, who went to the back. Lashley is a Smackdown guy, but he’s in this qualifying match on Raw.

This Friday on Smackdown: The Rock and Roman Reigns return. Plus, Logan Paul faces The Miz & Kevin Owens vs. Dominik Mysterio in Men’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches and Naomi vs. Zelina Vega & Tiffany Stratton vs. Shotzi in Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches.


A video aired featuring Andrade talking about how he loves this business. Andrade said he had his first match when he was 13 years old, then he became a champion and he came to WWE where he became a champion. Andrade talked about being NXT Champion and US Champion in WWE. Andrade said three years ago he needed to leave to remember who he was, now he’s back and now he knows. Andrade said that the direction is clear.

Analysis: I look forward to seeing how WWE books Andrade going forward. They brought him back after his AEW run ended, so I figure there will be a good plan for him to be featured on Raw.

Bronson Reed entered for his match. They showed Smackdown highlights with Drew McIntyre beating AJ Styles and Randy Orton beating Sami Zayn in Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches.

Men’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed

Reed is from Australia, which is where the Elimination Chamber takes place. Reed headbutted Lashley followed by a splash against the turnbuckle. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock, but Reed backed Lashley into the corner. Lashley with a clothesline, then a leapfrog and a running clothesline. Lashley charged, Reed avoided that and Reed sent Lashley into the ring post. Reed hit Lashley with a shoulder tackle to send Lashley over the barricade.


Reed was in control with consecutive clotheslines. Lashley hit a flatliner followed by an impressive suplex on the 330-pounder Reed. Lashley hit a running shoulder tackle. Reed nailed a superkick followed by a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Reed hit a running body attack on Lashley, but Lashley came back with a spinebuster for two. Reed caught Lashley with a uranage slam followed by a senton splash. Reed went up top, but Lashley slammed Reed off the top rope. Lashley hit a Spear on Reed for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: *** Good match by two talented power guys. Lashley is the bigger name, so it’s not a huge surprise that he won. I thought Reed might win because I thought WWE would want Reed to be on the Australia PPV in his home country, but instead, it was a clean win by Lashley. I thought that maybe Karrion Kross and his Final Testament group might cost Lashley to give Reed the win, but that didn’t happen.

Bobby Lashley has qualified for the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match with Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre. Three more men will be in the match.

Sami Zayn was interviewed by Jackie Redmond in the empty seats a few hours before the show just like last week. Zayn talked about how he has an unwavering belief in himself. Zayn said that last week he spoke about where he was last year and he was in the ring talking to Cody Rhodes about believing in himself. Zayn said that he is a contender and he will be a champion. Zayn said it’s a path he is willing to walk to get there. There was an interruption by Shinsuke Nakamura talking on the screen as the translation appeared on screen. Nakamura talked about how Zayn talks like he’s in misery even though he has had success. Nakamura spoke about wanting to see Zayn in the ring tonight. Nakamura said he’d pick Zayn’s soul and continue his warpath forward.

Analysis: It was a different way to set up a match for later with Zayn facing Nakamura later in the show.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage in a suit for a promo up next.

This Tuesday on NXT: Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin challenge Tony D’Angelo & Stacks for the NXT Tag Team Titles. Plus, more from Carmelo Hayes.


There was media coverage about the WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Press Event. Cole claimed over 200 million social views.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

It was the top of hour two as the suit wearing Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a big ovation as usual. There were loud “Cody” chants as he entered the ring to a huge ovation.

Cody: “So Lexington, Kentucky…what do we want to talk about?” Cody said that we could talk about how in the main event at WrestleMania 40, he will be challenging for the WWE Championship against Roman Reigns. Cody said it took him a while to be able to say that and the only reason he’s able to say that is because of the fans.

Cody talked about the fan support, trending online for a week and spreading the word and the words were…WE WANT CODY. The fans chanted. Cody was humbled by it. Cody asked how he could ever repay them and he looked at the WrestleMania sign. Cody said he’s a passionate guy. Cody talked about how his astrological sign is a Cancer and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Cody didn’t want to get emotional because then he would be a…crybaby. The fans chanted “Rocky Sucks” in response to that.

Cody spoke about how one man didn’t want to hear “We Want Cody” and Cody talked about how he might be the most famous man alive who might be a future President. Cody spoke about how this man coined the term the Cody Crybabies. They showed a clip from The Rock on Pat McAfee’s show while mocking the Cody Crybabies. Cody turned to Pat McAfee.

Cody noted that promos are different from when he was here. Cody asked what are we supposed to do with the nuggets? Cody asked Pat what he was supposed to do. Pat tried to explain. Cody said that he is a fan of The Rock and said that all of us have been fans of The Rock, but the fans booed that. Cody said that The Rock chose to slap Cody in the face and he slapped Cody in the face in public. Cody talked about how he recognized the look in The Rock’s eyes. Cody spoke about how Rock and Roman Reigns together is the perfect storm. Cody told Rock that he slapped Cody across the face, so that meant Cody was going to hit him back.

Analysis: Well said by Cody as usual. The fans are totally behind him while they are also enjoying their mockery of The Rock. Cody summarized everything well talking about how The Rock slapped him, so Cody did the right thing saying he was going to hit The Rock back.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins, the World Heavyweight Champion, made his entrance for this promo party. Rollins had a leopard coat of some kind that most people probably wouldn’t wear, but he likes that kind of thing. Rollins danced out to the ring as usual while the fans chanted Seth’s song.

Before Rollins could speak, Cody thanked Rollins for coming to his aid at the press conference. Rollins said you’re welcome.

Rollins said that as much as he was looking forward to defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Cody at WrestleMania, he understands why he picked Roman Reigns and why he needs Roman’s title – to finish that story. Rollins talked about how millions of people around the world want Cody to finish his story. Rollins told Cody he needed to finish his story. Rollins told Cody to finish the story for himself, his dad, for Rollins, and for everybody here tonight. Rollins told Cody if he doesn’t take the title from Reigns then the landscape after WrestleMania becomes very dark. Rollins said that Reigns will get more power, more leverage and he’ll show up less and defend his title less. Rollins told Rhodes that this is probably the last real chance that any of us have to take that title and give it to the people. The fans cheered while chanting “Cody” again.

Rollins asked Cody what was his plan? Rollins said that Cody got screwed out of his title because of The Usos, Solo and Paul Heyman, but Cody fought his way back by winning the Royal Rumble again. Rollins told Cody that the deck is stacked against you again because now the bar is raised because it’s not just Heyman, Solo, Jimmy and Roman because it’s the biggest star and the most influential man in the entertainment industry because you have to deal with The Rock. The fans booed and chanted “Rocky Sucks” again. Rollins told Lexington he agrees. Rollins told Cody he did not have to fight this battle alone.

Rollins said that they don’t always see eye to eye, but Seth felt what Cody said when he told Reigns that he wanted to take everything from Reigns. Rollins said he’s sick of these arrogant, entitled pricks like The Rock & Roman Reigns who always get away with it.

Rollins talked about how the man that Reigns is partly his fault because 12 years ago they came into WWE together as The Shield. Rollins said he couldn’t have imagined the monster that Reigns has become. Rollins said that now Reigns is standing by people who are entitled and selfish like he is. Rollins said when it comes to fighting The Bloodline, The Rock and Roman Reigns, there is only one man who is uniquely suited to be Cody’s Shield. Rollins said that he was once an Architect, he is now a Visionary, he is a Revolutionary and he is “Seth Freakin’ Rollins.” The fans said it for Rollins as Seth left and Cody had a big smile on his face.

Analysis: That was an excellent promo by Rollins. There are certainly rumors that Rollins & Cody might team up against Reigns & Rock at WrestleMania 40 on Night 1 and I think that’s a great idea based on the story going on in WWE right now. Rollins made a lot of great points about his history with Roman Reigns in The Shield and how Cody was screwed last year, so he needs to have a better plan this year. Rollins is known for his success in The Shield when they worked together to succeed as a group, so having Rollins pitch the idea that he would help Cody is a wonderful idea. The fans loved what Seth was saying while Cody reacted to it well with his facial expressions ending with a smile on his face.

The New Day and Jey Uso were interviewed by Cathy Kelley, who informed them that Gunther has to defend the Intercontinental Title against Jey Uso next week on Raw. Jey was excited about it while Kofi & Woods were happy for him.

Analysis: A huge match for next week. There is the story that Gunther can’t leave the US due to some sort of legal issue, so that’s why it’s happening on Raw instead of at Elimination Chamber in Australia. I don’t think there will be a title change, but I guess there is a possibility of it happening.

Liv Morgan entered for singles action.


There was a video shown of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrating with the WWE Championship after winning the Super Bowl on Sunday. I bet on the Chiefs and I’m glad they won rather than the 49ers. I also won a nice amount of money that will go toward the WrestleMania 40 trip I’m going on. Thank you Chiefs for the win.

Liv Morgan and Zoey Stark were featured in pre-tape promos talking about wanting to qualify for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. When Liv Morgan says “watch me” I believe a lot of fans enjoy doing that…if you smell what I’m cooking.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Liv Morgan vs. Zoey Stark

Stark was in control early with a running clothesline. Morgan came back with a hurricanrana and Morgan sent Stark into the turnbuckle. Morgan hit a springboard kick to knock Stark off the apron to the floor. Stark came back with a punch. Morgan punched Stark off the apron to the floor. Stark hat a hold of Morgan on the apron and Stark slammed Morgan on the apron. That led to a break.


Morgan was on offense with the Codebreaker double knee attack for a two count. Stark caught a charging Morgan leading to a Powerbomb for two. Morgan jumped on Stark’s back leading to a crucifix pin attempt for two. Stark blocked a move by Liv and sent Liv into the turnbuckle. Morgan did a double stomp to the chest. Morgan charged, but Stark hit a superkick for two. Morgan went up top, she went for a spinning splash and Morgan moved. Morgan hit the double knee attack again. Morgan hit the Oblivion off the ropes for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan

Analysis: *** This was pretty good. It was also predictable because you know Morgan is pushed more than Stark and they are going to want to put Morgan into the Chamber match. Stark is technically sound, but as a character, she’s just not over that much so the fans barely react to her. The fans did react for some of Morgan’s offense at least and they popped for the win. It was mostly a quiet crowd for this match.

The win means that Liv Morgan joins Becky Lynch & Bianca Belair in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. There are three spots left.

The Judgment Day was shown walking backstage when R-Truth walked up to them. Damian Priest said that it was enough. Priest said that Truth has never been part of The Judgment Day. Priest said that every beating has been just a beating. Priest told Truth that tonight it’s going to be an execution.

The Judgment Day’s four male wrestlers Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh made their entrance. JD is against R-Truth in singles action.


R-Truth was backstage looking at his phone. Raw GM Adam Pearce tried to talk to Truth, who called The Miz. Truth told Miz to hop on a plane in LA and fly to Raw right now while saying that The Judgment Day was going to kill him. Pearce made Truth go out there for his match.

JD McDonagh (w/Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio) vs. R-Truth

Truth handed his phone to somebody at ringside and told them to let him know if Miz calls. Truth sent JD face first into the turnbuckle a few times. Truth hit a hiptoss followed by a running splash against the turnbuckle and Truth hit a back body drop. Truth hit the Attitude Adjustment from his “childhood idol” John Cena, but Dominik pulled JD out of the ring to save his friend.


Truth did the Cena offense with the shoulder tackles along with the belly-to-back slam. Truth hit a jumping side kick. Truth hit Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop to the head. Truth lifted up JD, Priest was on the apron and JD rolled up Truth for two. Truth came back with a jumping forearm smash. JD kicked the knee followed by a lifting belly-to-back slam called the Devil Inside for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: JD McDonagh

Analysis: **1/4 A rare clean win by JD McDonagh. Truth put up a fight and got plenty of offense, but it was time for JD to get a much-needed win.

After the match, The Judgment Day attacked Truth, who fought back. Priest decked Truth with a forearm smash to the face. The Judgment Day stomped on Truth until #DIY’s Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano made the save with steel chairs. The Judgment Day left at that point.

Analysis: Truth is a beloved guy, so it makes sense that a babyface team like #DIY would make the save there. That could set up a six-man tag team match. I think long term it might lead to Truth & The Miz beating Priest & Balor for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania 40. It just seems like the right story for this angle. Best wishes to The Miz’s wife Maryse going through some serious health issues as well. I hope she feels better soon.

Sami Zayn was shown taping his wrists while Cody Rhodes thanked Sami for having Cody’s back last week. Cody said that he believes in Zayn and more importantly, the fans believe in Zayn too. Cody wanted a handshake, so Zayn hugged Cody.

Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage for some promo time up next.


There were some images shown of celebrities at Super Bowl parties that got to hold Snoop Dogg’s WWE Title.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

It was promo time at the top of hour three for “The Man” Becky Lynch, who got a big ovation as usual.

Lynch said that we are officially on the Road to WrestleMania and she loves how unpredictable it is. Lynch said that she was 15 years old the first time she was in a wrestling ring and she has been obsessed ever since. Lynch said that it’s the reason why she’s traveled the world while also being in front of you people. Lynch talked about how she once failed gym class while talking about going on to main event WrestleMania. Lynch spoke about how this is why she has her husband and a daughter. Lynch talked about how she has missed weddings while talking about how she missed her own father’s funeral. Lynch spoke about how she has to explain things to her daughter because of this business. Lynch said that her daughter is going to see her face thrown into the cage, but she’ll also see Lynch inside the Elimination Chamber. Lynch spoke about how she was going to win Elimination Chamber and win back a championship she hasn’t held in nearly two years. Lynch said that Rhea Ripley has never faced anybody quite like Lynch. Lynch spoke about how whether you like Ripley or hate her or like Lynch or hate her, Lynch wants to make a little toast for the wild journey we are about to go on while on the road to WrestleMania. Lynch held up a drink that looked like lemonade saying here’s a toast to Rhea Ripley to enjoy her final few weeks as champion.

Nia Jax interrupted the prom as the fans booed her. Jax said she had something to say to Lynch, so she wanted to get in the ring with her and Lynch was cool with that.

Jax told Lynch she had so much respect for her. Jax said if her mom was half the mother that Lynch is, Jax would be so lucky. Jax said God willing she may become a mother and lead as an example like Lynch is. The fans were booing this. Jax told Lynch that she was going win that match at Elimination Chamber. Jax said that there’s nothing that will stop Lynch from winning that match and going to WrestleMania. Jax said that there is nothing that will stop her from beating Rhea Ripley and being the Women’s World Champion.

Rhea Ripley joined this promo party as the Women’s World Champion. Ripley ran out to the ring and went after Jax with a double leg takedown while Lynch stood in the corner watching. Jax headbutted Ripley and Jax splashed Ripley against Lynch against the turnbuckle. Jax punched Ripley. Lynch went up top and hit a missile dropkick to knock Jax out of the ring. Ripley hit a running boot to knock Jax off the apron to the floor. Ripley told Jax she was going to have to kill her. Ripley stared at both women to end it.

Analysis: That was solid. I think most of us feel confident in predicting the Ripley match against Lynch at WrestleMania 40, but we still have to see the Elimination Chamber match as well as Ripley’s match with Jax at that show. Lynch’s promo was the usual from her talking about her passion for the business and it’s why we love her. Jax was not genuine to start the promo and then reminded Lynch of the threat that Jax is. Ripley wanting to fight with Jax makes sense since they have had a physical rivalry for weeks now. Lynch and Ripley working together a bit at the end is fine because there’s respect between them.

Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage by Jackie Redmond, who mentioned that next week Drew will face Cody Rhodes. Drew talked about how pushing Cody in the right direction is why Cody made the right decision. Drew said that Cody should be thanking him, not trying to fight him. Drew claimed he was an underdog who had to beat AJ Styles just to get into Elimination Chamber and then he had to win Elimination Chamber to get a World Title match. Drew told Cody to get out of his match against Drew, who warned Cody that he may not make it to WrestleMania…just like CM Punk.

Analysis: I enjoy Drew’s promos these days and how he always mocks CM Punk. Drew against Cody next week is going to be a great match.

LA Knight made his entrance for singles action. Yeah.


R-Truth was backstage with #DIY’s Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, who said they didn’t mind because they were friends with The Miz, R-Truth thought that it was DX while thinking Johnny Gargano was Shawn Michaels and Tommaso Ciampa was Triple H. Truth had two words for them: “Thank you.” #DIY was confused by Truth, which is how most people react to Truth these days.

Men’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: LA Knight vs. Ivar (w/Valhalla)

Knight worked over Ivar with punches along with a DDT. They left the ring where Knight rammed Ivar’s head/arm into the commentary table hood repeatedly. Knight sent Ivar into the barricade. Ivar lifted up Knight and sent Knight ribs first into the barricade. Ivar hit a running cross body block on Knight against the barricade. That led to a break.


They battled on the top rope with Ivar knocking Knight down, but then Knight jumped up to the top rope leading to Knight hitting a superplex. Knight went for a lift, but Ivar was too heavy and Knight let him go. Ivar hit a spinning sidewalk slam for two. Knight with a neck snap against the ropes. Ivar came back with a double underhook into a sitout Powerbomb for two. Ivar charged, Knight moved and Ivar hit the turnbuckle. Knight hit a body slam followed by an elbow drop for two. Knight stomped on Ivar as the fans chanted “YEAH” repeatedly. Valhalla with a distraction, Knight avoided Ivar’s charge and Ivar came back with a spin kick. Ivar went up top for a Doomsault, but Knight avoided it. Knight hit Blount Force Trauma (BFT) for the pinfall win after seven minutes…yeah.

Winner by pinfall: LA Knight

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good match for the time given. I think if you’re only going to get seven minutes then it could be timed better so that there isn’t a commercial in between the match. There were a few matches like that, but I do get that they have to get the commercials in. Anyway, that likely won’t be an issue next year when Raw is on Netflix. Knight beating Ivar is another obvious result because Knight is a pushed singles star while Ivar does get some wins, but not over a bigger name like Knight. I liked some of Ivar’s power moves in the match. The finish was simple with Knight moving out of the way before hitting the BFT for the win.

LA Knight has qualified for the Men’s Elimination Chamber match joining Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and two more wrestlers.

Sami Zayn was shown walking backstage for his match. Drew McIntyre was there telling Zayn to keep Drew’s name out of his mouth and to keep Drew’s nose out of his bloody business. Zayn told Drew he was in his way, so Drew let Zayn walk past him.

Analysis: I don’t think that rivalry is done even though Drew won their last match.


Next week on Raw:

* Cody Rhodes vs. Drew McIntyre

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Jey Uso

* The Miz, R-Truth & #DIY vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh

* Last Chance Battle Royal to Qualify for the Women’s Elimination Chamber Match

There was a scene in Raw GM Adam Pearce’s office with Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell there. Chelsea Green walked in complaining about how she should be in the battle royal next week. Indi Hartwell talked about how she wanted to qualify to compete in her home country of Australia. Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark walked in leading to Baszler threatening to destroy Green next week.

Analysis: That’s a good lineup for next week, especially the top two matches.

Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance for the main event. Sami Zayn was up next as Nakamura’s opponent and the fans popped for Zayn.

Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura delivered a kick to the chest. Zayn sent a charging Nakamura over the top to the floor. Zayn used the ropes to jump back into the ring and did the “Come On” gesture to Nakamura. That led to a break.


Zayn hit an elbow smash off the middle ropes for two. Nakamura kicked Zayn against the turnbuckle followed by a running knee lift for two. Nakamura hit a jumping kick to the head for a two count. Zayn got some momentum going with an elbow to the face, but Nakamura trapped Zayn against the ropes leading to a sliding German Suplex for two. Zayn landed on his feet to counter a move and Zayn hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Zayn did a leapfrog over Nakamura followed by a clothesline to send Shin out of the ring. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Nakamura. Zayn landed hard on his left elbow as the show went to break.


Zayn and Nakamura exchanged strikes. Nakamura broke free leading to a spinning kick to the head. Nakamura charged, Zayn avoided it and Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. That’s the usual for that move. Zayn charged, Nakamura avoided it by leaving the ring and Zayn went for a leaping attack, but Nakamura hit a jumping kick to stop that. Nakamura hit a knee smash to the back of the head for two. Nakamura hit Zayn with another knee to the back of the head, but Zayn got his right shoulder up at two. Nakamura charged, so Zayn nailed him with a clothesline. Zayn worked over Nakamura with punches followed by Zayn hitting an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Drew McIntyre went out to ringside, Zayn looked at him and Nakamura kicked the back of Zayn’s left leg. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee to Zayn’s head for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual great match for these two veterans. The distraction by Drew McIntyre is what led to Nakamura picking up the win because Zayn was distracted. I think Zayn is one of the best opponents for Nakamura in WWE. Their styles just really mesh well together and they always have entertaining matches going back eight years ago when Nakamura had his WWE debut match against Zayn, which was a WWE Match of the Year. Anyway, cheap win due to Drew’s distraction as Zayn continues to lose big matches. Hopefully, some wins are coming Sami’s way soon.

After the match, Drew & Nakamura stomped on Zayn repeatedly. Cody Rhodes ran out for the save. Cody knocked down Nakamura with a punch. Cody fought with Drew in the ring leading to Cody hitting a Cody Cutter. Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Nakamura as well. Cody celebrated in the ring with Zayn while McIntyre made an angry face from the aisle. End show.

Analysis: I think Cody should beat Drew next week, but neither guy loses clean, so it will be interesting to see how it is booked.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jey Uso & The New Day
  2. Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins
  3. Shinsuke Nakamura/Sami Zayn


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.5


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

A good show featuring several matches with stakes since there were Men’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches and one Women’s Chamber Qualifying match too. Those three matches were predictable, but still solid action. The opening match with The New Day & Jey Uso beating Imperium was a lot of fun and got plenty of time.

I thought the Cody Rhodes-Seth Rollins promo segment was excellent. To be more specific, Rollins stood out as a true babyface who said he was going to help Cody fight against Roman Reigns, The Rock & The Bloodline. It was a great speech by Rollins.

It was an interesting choice to have Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura in a long main event match. Both guys went into this match with losses, so it was about building momentum and the win went to Nakamura due to Drew McIntyre distracting Zayn. Cody saved Zayn, which sets up the big Cody-Drew match next week on Raw. I hope there’s some long-term plan for Zayn because he has been losing a lot and I hope there’s a payoff for it.

The next WWE PLE is Elimination Chamber on February 24th from Perth, Australia with this lineup:

* Men’s Elimination Chamber Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton vs. Bobby Lashley vs. LA Knight vs. two other opponents.

* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Nia Jax

* Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Liv Morgan vs. three other opponents.

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate

Elimination Chamber takes place at Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, at 5 AM ET/2 AM PT streaming LIVE on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport