The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 02/19/24 Review

wwe raw deal february 19

This week’s WWE Raw featured Cody Rhodes against Drew McIntyre, GUNTHER defending the Intercontinental Title against Jey Uso, and more.

It’s the last Raw before Elimination Chamber this Saturday in Perth, Australia. I like the two big matches set up for this week’s Raw. I think Raw has been consistently very good to start the year.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1604 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

They showed Jey Uso arriving earlier in the day. They also showed the four men in The Judgment Day arriving earlier in the day.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the opening match with the fans booing him. Drew is one of the six men in the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match with Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, LA Knight (yeah), Bobby Lashley & US Champion Logan Paul.

It was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary welcoming us to the show. It was another sold out show, which has become the norm for most WWE TV events. Pat was talking and they cut to a video about the Cody Rhodes-Drew McIntyre match coming right up.

Cody Rhodes entered to a huge ovation as usual. The fans love this guy and with good reason. The fans were singing Cody’s song as usual with the loud “WHOA-OH” chant at the right time. It’s a huge match to start the show.

Drew McIntyre vs. Cody Rhodes

This is a WWE PLE main event level match to start the show. There were “Cody” chants to start the show. Drew opened up with chops. Cody got a kick to the gut followed by a punch to the head. Drew decked Cody with a kick. Drew stomped on Cody’s left hand while it was on the mat. Cody sent a charging Drew over the top to the floor. Drew nailed Cody with a punch to the head to prevent a dive. Cody came back with a leg whip takedown followed by a Figure Four Leglock by Cody. Drew sold it well until it was time to turn over so the pressure was on Cody, who got to the ropes to force the break. Cody rolled out of the ring for the first break.


Drew was in control with a backbreaker. Drew put his boot up against Cody’s head against the ring post. Drew chopped Cody a few times, so Cody fought back with punches and Drew kicked the knee leading to some punches by Drew. McIntyre charged, Cody got a boot up and Cody hit a bulldog. Cody continued the offensive attack with a powerslam along with a Disaster Kick for two. Cody hit the Cody Cutter off the middle ropes for a two count. Drew hit a knee to the face, but Cody came back with a clothesline sending Drew over the top to the floor.


Cody hit the Dusty combo, but Drew came back with an impressive spinebuster for two. Drew picked up Cody off the mat and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for the action about 15 minutes into the match. Drew charged, Cody kicked him in the face and they each countered moves until Cody managed to hit a Pedigree. Cody went for a move off the ropes, but Drew blocked that with a headbutt. Drew hit the Future Shock DDT for a two count. That’s the move that led to CM Punk’s torn triceps injury due to how Punk landed when he took the move. Drew went to the turnbuckle, Cody met him there and Cody hit an impressive superplex off the top rope. Cody did an incredible leap off the top rope leading to a Cody Cutter for two. That’s normally a move he does off the middle rope, so doing it off the top gives it a bigger feel. Jimmy Uso ran out to the ring, so Cody punched him and Cole screamed about it. Solo Sikoa grabbed Cody from behind and hit Cody with a Samoan Spike. The referee never saw it because he was looking at Jimmy Uso. Drew hit a Claymore Kick and Drew did a spinning bump. Drew got the pinfall win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***3/4 It was an excellent match. I nearly went four stars out of five, but the finish knocks it down a bit. Cody was ready when Jimmy Uso was on the apron and knocked him down, but that led to Solo hitting the Samoan Spike on Cody to cost him the match. It’s rare to see Cody lose any match although obviously, it’s not a clean loss. Drew capitalizing to win thanks to The Bloodline is interesting because we heard him complain about The Bloodline for over a year and now he was benefitting from them. It puts over the story that The Bloodline is going to make Cody’s life hell because he’s going after Roman Reigns at WrestleMania and they showed what they can do here. It also gives Drew a win over Cody so if Cody wins the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania then Drew can say he won over Cody (even if it was cheap) and Drew can get a title shot down the road. That is assuming Drew sticks around in WWE long-term with a new contract hopefully.

After the match, Drew looked almost puzzled about what happened. Jimmy wanted a high five from brother Solo, but Solo was just looking at his taped thumb instead.

There was a video package for the GUNTHER-Jey Uso match coming up later for GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Title.

The women’s battle royal was next.

A commercial aired for WWE Rivals on A&E spotlighting The Rock’s feud with Triple H. There is also a Biography about Randy Orton. Those air on Sunday. I like those shows.


A video package aired about Andrade, who talked about how he’s a third-generation wrestler who didn’t have a choice because his father, cousins and his wife (Charlotte Flair) are wrestlers. Andrade said he defines his destiny. Andrade said his destiny is here in WWE and he said the era of Andrade El Idolo has begun.

Analysis: I hope Andrade does well in this WWE run. I like showing the video packages to tell fans more about him.

There was a replay of Solo Sikoa doing the cheap attack on Cody Rhodes leading to Drew McIntyre hitting a Claymore Kick on Cody for the pinfall win. McAfee & Cole used a telestrator to assist with the replay.

Cody Rhodes was shown in the WWE Medical room. Raw GM Adam Pearce was there asking if there was anything he could do and Cody said he was fine. Seth “Freakin” Rollins walked into the ring, didn’t say a word and patted Cody on the leg. No words were spoken by Rollins there.

Analysis: That was Rollins telling Cody that he needs Seth’s help to deal with The Bloodline and what happened in the match was an example of why Cody needs that help.

A video aired about the Women’s Elimination Chamber Match at Elimination Chamber. The winner of that match gets to challenge for the Women’s World Title at WrestleMania 40.

There were entrances shown for the women’s battle royal: Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark. Also, Raquel Rodriguez is back from a lengthy absence and she still has those strong back muscles. They went to break there.


There was a recap of #DIY saving R-Truth from The Judgment Day last week. That will lead to an eight-man tag team match this week.

Last Chance Battle Royal To Qualify For Women’s Elimination Chamber Match

The ring was full of women from Raw & Smackdown. They showed Zelina Vega, Chelsea Green & Natalya making their entrances.

Green nearly eliminated Maxxine Dupri, but Dupri held on, Green also stayed alive and Valhalla eliminated Dupri. Raquel dumped out Valhalla right after that. Raquel dumped Xia Li onto the apron and clotheslined Li to eliminate her. Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre attacked Raquel together leading to Fyre hitting a DDT. Dawn saved Fyre from an elimination, so Raquel sent Dawn over the top to the floor and Raquel kicked Dawn off the apron to the floor.


There were still a lot women left as Tegan Nox saved Natalya from an elimination by Fyre. Natalya held on from an elimination attempt. Natalya hugged her buddy Nox and Natalya eliminated Nox. That was payback for the Royal Rumble. Stark superkicked B-Fab, so that led to Baszler & Stark eliminating B-Fab. Zelina Vega did a 619 kick to Elektra Lopez, then Vega knocked down Chelsea Green and Lopez hit a pump kick on Vega. Michin eliminated Lopez over the top to the floor. Vega and Lopez fought on the floor a bit since they have had issues on Smackdown. Indi Hartwell nailed Michin with a boot to the face. Green eliminated Candice LeRae, who I guess went over the top. Stark & Baszler worked together to eliminate Indi Hartwell with Baszler being the one to do it. Katana Chance tried to elimination Stark, so Stark sent Chance over the top to the apron and Baszler kicked Chance to eliminate her. Raquel Rodriguez blocked a DDT attempt by Fyre and Raquel sent Fyre over the top to the floor.

There were six women left as Natalya battled Raquel with strikes. Raquel went for a Powerbomb to send Natalya to the apron, Natalya sent Raquel to the apron and Ivy Nile hit a running forearm on Natalya to eliminate Natalya from the match. Stark hit kicked Nile and Baszler sent Nile over the top to the floor.

The final four (or so we thought) were Raquel Rodriguez, Michin, Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark. Michin hit a German Suplex on Stark and sent Stark to the apron. Baszler saved Stark and Stark hit a missile dropkick on Michin. Baszler & Stark hit a double clothesline on Michin to eliminate Michin.

Raquel hit clotheslines on both heels. Raquel sent Stark to the apron, Baszler went for a kick, Raquel caught her foot and Raquel sent Baszler over the top to the floor. Baszler tried to save Stark, but Raquel kicked Stark off the apron to the floor. Chelsea Green was back in, she tried to toss Raquel, but Raquel turned it around and tossed Green over the top for the win. I forgot to time it. I think it was around 12 minutes.

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez

Analysis: *** I thought it was an entertaining battle royal that was booked very well. When Raquel Rodriguez returned for the battle royal I figured she might win and she had a dominant performance. I liked how Zoey & Shayna had a strong showing because it made it look like one of them would win, so Raquel managing to get rid of them was huge. The spot with Green nearly eliminating Raquel is fitting for Green’s character, but obviously Raquel was able to get rid of Green easily.

The win means Raquel Rodriguez is in the Women’s Elimination Chamber match with Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Tiffany Stratton, Liv Morgan & Naomi.

Analysis: I am picking Becky Lynch to win that.

Jey Uso was shown walking backstage talking about his match with GUNTHER and how Jey was going to be the new Intercontinental Champion.

Rhea Ripley and Nia Jax will be interviewed up next.

This Friday on Smackdown: LA Knight against Drew McIntyre. It was taped last week.


Rhea Ripley & Nia Jax Interview

The Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley and Nia Jax were featured in a split screen interview. Both women were backstage as Cole asked one question. Ripley said that this is the first time she gets to wrestle in Australia since becoming a WWE Superstar. Raquel said there were times when she wasn’t comfortable and she nearly quit, but she had to remind herself who she was – Rhea Bloody Ripley. Ripley said she was the most dominant woman in WWE. Jax said that she is twice Ripley’s size and has triple her talent. Jax said when she squashes Ripley again, Mami will go crying to her mommy. Ripley said that Jax can attack Ripley all that she wants, but when you hear everybody in that stadium screaming for Mami, Jax is going to crumble. Ripley said that Jax’s nightmares will be a reality when she realizes she is just not good enough. Ripley said she would see Jax in Perth and Ripley got up and left while Jax said nothing.

Analysis: It only took a few minutes. Cole only asked one question and the women took it from there. Ripley did a nice job of being the babyface in the situation since she will be cheered at Elimination Chamber in Australia while Jax did her usual “I’m bigger than you” line. I think Ripley should win at Elimination Chamber and the fans are going to love it.

They showed some folks from Netflix sitting in the front row behind Cole. They were applauding because Netflix will be the home of Raw starting in 2025.

A video aired featuring R-Truth talking to Jackie Redmond about The Judgment Day. They had edited photos of The Judgment Day and Truth as kids. Truth said it was special the first time he was with The Judgment Day. Jackie mentioned Damian Priest and we saw Priest beating up Truth. Truth said that Damian broke his heart and he hasn’t cried this much since the finale of This is Us. Redmond asked if Truth would be able to let anybody in and Truth said that this is how he felt when Ginuwine wrote Pony. Truth said he had D-Generation X (Ciampa & Gargano) and said they’ll show it to The Judgment Day tonight. Truth did a heart shape with his hands.

Analysis: It was funny and weird like most R-Truth segments. It’s hard for me to recap these kinds of segments because I’m laughing as I write because of how silly Truth is. He’s so great.

The Judgment Day guys were shown backstage because their match was up next.


It was mentioned that UFC and WWE had a five-year deal for the Honda Center in Anaheim. UFC ran there on Saturday and WWE is there for this episode of Raw. It’s an example of what WWE & UFC can do together as TKO Group.

They showed UFC Lightweight fighter Michael Chandler at ringside. Chandler said he was the most entertaining UFC fighter on the planet. Chandler said that a man from Ireland has kept him waiting for too long. Chandler called out Conor McGregor to meet him in the Octagon. McAfee talked about how the Chandler-McGregor fight has been rumored for a while and he hopes it happens.

Analysis: Using Raw to have a UFC fighter do a promo for the legendary Conor McGregor is interesting, but it’s part of the new world we live in with TKO Group being involved as WWE & UFC owners.

Chad Gable did a promo about facing Ivar. That led to Ivar responding to the promo with his own. They’ll have a match later.

R-Truth made his entrance followed by The Miz. Their tag team partners #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) were next. The constantly confused R-Truth think they are Triple H & Shawn Michaels aka D-Generation X. The Judgment Day foursome made their entrance after that.

The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh vs. R-Truth, The Miz and DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano

The Miz started with JD to start the match. The J-Day guys went into the ring to brawl, so the four faces cleared the ring. The four faces did DX crotch chops as the show went to break.


The match returned with Gargano & Ciampa getting in some double team offense on Balor with Ciampa hitting a clothesline. Balor drove Gargano into the J-Day corner so Priest took over with a clothesline. Priest whipped Gargano hard into the middle turnbuckle. Balor back in with a stomp on Gargano. The fans chanted “We Want Truth” although it wasn’t that loud. Gargano hit a suplex on Balor and JD tagged in leading to Truth getting the tag. Truth was on fire with two shoulder tackles along with the belly-to-back suplex. Truth hit his Five Knuckle Shuffle to pay tribute to John Cena. Truth with a lift, Priest got the tag and JD headbutted Truth out of the ring. Priest whipped Truth hard into the ring post as the show went to break.


Ciampa got the tag from Truth leading to Ciampa hitting a lot of clotheslines on Balor & JD. Ciampa ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline spot. That sequence always gets a strong reaction and it did here too. Ciampa spiked JD with a Willow’s Bell DDT on JD and Ciampa went over the top to dive onto Priest. Ciampa hit Dominik with a knee on the floor. Balor tried a cradle on Ciampa for two. Ciampa hit a reverse DDT on Balor. Everybody in the match went into the ring to hit one move and left the ring. Ciampa and Miz ran the ropes leading to a cross body block collision spot. The fans chanted “this is awesome” as a wide shot of the arena was shown. Truth got the tag against Priest leading to Truth hitting a running forearm splash. Truth nailed a running splash on Priest against the turnbuckle. Truth kicked Priest in the ribs followed by a Scissors Kick to the back of the head. Truth punched Dominik off the apron. The fans chanted “R-Truth” as Priest tried a charge and Truth hit a flatliner for two. The babyface guys all went into the ring to clear the ring leading to slingshot dives onto the heels on the floor. Truth did the splits to avoid Priest followed by Truth hitting a leg lariat. Truth charged, but Priest caught him. Truth countered a move and sat on top for two. Priest did the bell clap on the ears. Priest hit South of Heaven on Truth for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh

Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining match that upset the fans because they loved R-Truth the most and poor Truth was the one that ate the pin. They didn’t feature Miz or Gargano much on that side while JD & Dominik didn’t do much on the other side. There were some illegal offense spots and guys randomly running into the ring, but it usually led to the guys leaving the ring quickly too. Priest didn’t get much offense on Truth. It just took two moves to beat him. It was cool to hear the fans supporting Truth a lot. I have written in the past that I think it will be Truth & Miz that beat Priest & Balor for the Tag Team Titles, but it’s certainly not a lock. I just think in terms of the story, it would make sense for Truth to get the win.

It was noted by Cole that Cody Rhodes suffered his first pinfall loss since WrestleMania 39 last year. Cody also lost to Brock Lesnar once last year by submission, but they aren’t going to mention Brock anymore.

A video aired from Smackdown last Friday when Roman Reigns confirmed that The Rock is a member of The Bloodline. That led to The Rock trashing the fans in Salt Lake City. Rock ended his promo saying: “If you smell what The Bloodline is cooking.” That led to The Rock doing the pose with his finger in the air with The Bloodline.

Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage because she was up next.


Sami Zayn was interviewed by Jackie Redmond in the locker room. Zayn said he made a decision saying he has to hit the pause button on this whole thing with Drew McIntyre. Zayn said he doesn’t want to get stuck being obsessed about it. Zayn spoke about how there was a path, he doesn’t know what it is and he wants to be able to see it when it comes his way. Zayn said he knows there is a path for him at WrestleMania and to do something historic. Zayn said he’ll prove that he will be a champion.

Analysis: I assume there is some plan in place for Sami Zayn on this path he keeps talking about. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m certainly going to root for Zayn to do well because he’s one of my favorite people in WWE these days.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch And Others

It was Becky Lynch promo time as the show got to the top of hour three. Lynch told the fans they have been an amazing crowd tonight. Lynch said she’s been lucky enough in her career where she’s gotten to do a lot of amazing things. Lynch said there are not many new things for her anymore except the hat look and the fans cheered when Lynch asked if they like the hat.

Lynch said for the first time in her career, she will step inside the Elimination Chamber. Lynch said she needs to win so she can face Rhea Ripley (or Nia Jax) for the Women’s World Title at WrestleMania. Lynch said that they have had multiple staredowns while prolonging the inevitable when Lynch and Mami (Ripley) collide. Lynch said that they both live for this. Lynch talked about how Ripley has been riding a wave of momentum while adding that Ripley has been propped up by The Judgment Day. Lynch said she is the biggest threat to Ripley’s championship. Lynch spoke confidently saying that this very moment, she is the best that she has ever been. The fans cheered that. Lynch said everybody is the best they have ever been too.

Lynch talked about stepping into the ring with five of WWE”s most promising star: Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, Raquel Rodriguez, Naomi & Tiffany Stratton. Lynch spoke about how she has beaten most of them, but never inside the confines of a cage with steel and glass with WrestleMania hanging in the balance.

Liv Morgan arrived for the interruption. It was obvious that somebody was going to interrupt. Liv said she was a big fan of the hat. Liv said she’s not a fan of Lynch explaining why she’s the one that will face Ripley at WrestleMania. Liv said that she didn’t care about who was the best because this was about her redemption and her life. Liv spoke about how Ripley was her tag team partner, Ripley turned on her and Liv became two-time Tag Team Champions with Raquel Rodriguez. Liv spoke about how Ripley attacked Liv’s shoulder and took her out for six months when Liv was at her very best. Liv said she was the last person to defeat Rhea Ripley.

Raquel Rodriguez walked out saying that they are making great points while adding that Rhea Ripley could be champion, but it could be Nia Jax. Raquel said that she is the one woman who is big enough and strong enough to take them on.

Naomi was next feeling the glow. Naomi is a Smackdown wrestler, but it’s fine to ignore the brand split. Naomi said that she came back with a whole new purpose. Naomi said that she is here to climb her way back to the top.

It’s Tiffy Time as Tiffany Stratton made her entrance. I guess she got a new theme song. Stratton is also a Smackdown wrestler. Stratton told Naomi she left an empty space and Stratton is concerned about being the center of the universe. Stratton said that nobody cares about the past and looking at all of them, they are the past. Stratton said that she is the future.

Bianca Belair was the final woman to join the promo party. Belair told Stratton she was the EST and Belair has been at the tippy top for a long time. Belair said that Stratton would never do it better than her. Belair said that she was the only woman in this match that has won an Elimination Chamber Match. Belair said she would continue her undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Belair mentioned she could pin them all. Belair said that you can’t spell WrestleMania without EST, which is factual information.

The women started fighting at that point. Morgan and Stratton spilled out to the floor. Nia Jax went into the ring where she splashed multiple women. Jax hit a Samoan Drop on Naomi. Jax beat up Morgan & Stratton on the floor. Jax with a leg drop on Raquel, a headbutt to Lynch and a splash on Naomi. Jax hit a leg drop on Morgan and Jax hit a leg drop on Lynch too. Jax was the only woman standing as Jax’s music played.

Analysis: It was the usual promo exchange that we usually get before a match with so many opponents. I thought Becky Lynch did a great job of talking about her story with Rhea Ripley. Liv Morgan also made a lot of correct points about how Ripley took her out, so Morgan was coming after Ripley for revenge. The others were more brief and it was fine. Nia Jax destroying everybody puts over Jax as a huge threat against Ripley at Elimination Chamber, so it was certainly effective in terms of making a point to have Jax look strong.

GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, was shown backstage somewhere talking about how he was the longest reigning and greatest IC Champion of all time. Gunther said he’ll make Jey Uso understand that he doesn’t belong in the main event and he’ll make sure Jey keeps on dreaming.

The Chad Gable-Ivar match was up next.


Shinsuke Nakamura did a promo in Japanese with the translation on screen. Nakamura talked about how he’ll give Sami Zayn a spotlight and he’ll make sure Zayn stays an underdog. Nakamura said that he’ll defeat Zayn again. Nakamura claimed he would show that Zayn is not a contender, but a pretender. Nakamura said he’d fight Zayn anywhere.

They showed “King” Callum Walsh, an undefeated professional boxer at ringside.

Ivar vs. Chad Gable

Ivar beat Gable a few weeks ago when Valhalla distracted Gable. This time there is nobody at ringside. Ivar knocked Gable down and went to the middle rope, but Gable hit a spinning kick to the head. Ivar was on the floor and Gable jumped off the top onto Ivar on the floor. Gable charged, but Ivar avoided that and Ivar hit a Powerbomb onto the top of the barricade. Gable was down on the floor as the show went to break.


Ivar tried a slam off the turnbuckle, Gable countered it into a slam off the ropes for two. Ivar sent a charging Gable into the air. Ivar hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Ivar went for a spin kick, Gable avoided it and Gable hit a chop block to the left knee. Gable did a sunset flip for two. Gable applied an Ankle Lock submission and Ivar kicked Gable out of the ring. Gable was back in for a running cross body block that sent both guys over the top to the floor. Ivar shoved Gable back first into the LED boards on the apron. Ivar missed a running splash when Gable moved and Ivar hit the LED boards. Gable teased a German Suplex, but Ivar was too big. Back in the ring, Ivar jumped off the top with a seated senton move that Rey Mysterio uses and it got a two count. Ivar went up top, he jumped off with a Doomsault, Gable avoided it and Gable hit an impressive German Suplex. Gable went up top leading to his own moonsault for two. Gable applied an Ankle Lock submission on the left foot and Ivar tapped. Gable got the submission win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Chad Gable

Analysis: *** I liked the match with Gable getting the clean win over his bigger opponent. It could have gone either way, but Gable certainly needed a big win like that. I like that decision. Giving Gable a win with the Ankle Lock is also a way to build up Chad’s credibility using that move.

After the match, Alpha Academy went into the ring to celebrate with Gable.

The announcers talked about the different start times for Elimination Chamber depending on where you live. There will be an Elimination Chamber Press Event on Thursday/Friday depending on where you live. The announcers did a rundown of the card.

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

* Grayson Waller Effect with Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

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

* Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Liv Morgan vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi vs. Raquel Rodriguez

* Men’s Elimination Chamber Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton vs. Bobby Lashley vs. LA Knight vs. Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul

Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Drew said that only one person has pinned Cody over the last year up until tonight and that second person was Drew. Drew said that he wanted to attack The Bloodline, but he had to think big picture. Drew said that he’s doing it for the World Title and for the fans. Drew said that he’s going to beat LA Knight on Smackdown and then go to Elimination Chamber to win that too. Drew said he was the true workhorse of WWE.

Analysis: A strong promo from Drew as usual.

The GUNTHER-Jey Uso match was next.


The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods did a backstage promo. Woods said Jey Uso will walk out as Intercontinental Champion and this week it’s their turn. Kofi spoke about how Imperium has been coming after them. Kofi said it ain’t over until they say it’s over. Woods said they had a surprise for Imperium. Kofi said next week it’s no rules. Woods said next week it’s New Day against Imperium in a Street Fight. Kofi & Woods each had kendo sticks.

Next week on Raw:

* Street Fight: The New Day vs. Imperium

* Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The end of GUNTHER’s entrance was shown as the Intercontinental Champion. They didn’t show the start of it for some reason and had the camera on a bull riding guy at ringside. Jey Uso made his entrance doing the arm-swinging routine with the fans. McAfee was doing the arm swinging too and Gunther stared at Pat. Gunther was not impressed. The fans loved Jey as usual. Samantha Irvin did the championship introductions for the match.

Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER vs. Jey Uso

The match started with about 20 minutes left in the show. Gunther nailed a boot to the face followed by two chops to the chest. Gunther put his boot against Jey’s throat to send Jey out of the ring. Gunther gave Jey a belly-to-back slam onto the barricade and onto the ring apron as well. They went to break one minute into the match.


Jey was on the apron hitting a jumping kick to the head. Jey jumped off the top, but Gunther stopped that with a chop. Gunther used his feet for a neck twist followed by a backbreaker. They left the ring with Gunther going a Powerbomb, but Jey hit a back body drop on the floor. Jey gave Gunther a Samoan Drop onto the hood of the commentary table. Jey sent Gunther back into the ring leading to an uppercut. Jey with a kick to the gut along with an uppercut. Jey charged, but Gunther stopped that with a dropkick. Gunther hit a Powerbomb with a stack pin for two. Jey went for a superkick, Gunther blocked that and Gunther hit a stiff clothesline. Gunther applied the Boston Crab submission, but Jey made it to the bottom rope to force a break. Gunther nailed an uppercut. Gunther charged, Jey moved and Gunther went out to the floor. Jey hit a suicide dive onto Gunther on the floor. They went to a break.


The match returned as they exchanged punches and forearms as the fans chanted “YEET” for Jey’s strikes, but Gunther stopped that with a huge chop. Gunther delivered three more hard chops to the chest. Gunther did some trash talk, so Jey fought back and slipped out of a move leading to Jey running the ropes leading to a Spear for two. Jey went up top, but Gunther stopped him with a punch. Gunther went to the middle rope leading to a suplex across the ring. Gunther went up top and hit a Superfly Splash of sorts for a two count. Gunther nailed Jey with a few more chops. Jey nailed forearms followed by Jey hitting another Spear. Gunther rolled out to the apron, so Jey gave Gunther a Spear on the apron too. Jey gave Gunther another Spear on the floor. Back in the ring, Jey hit another Spear. That was the fifth Spear although this was more of a headbutt to the ribs. Jey went up top and Jey went for an Uso Splash for the cover…but somebody was ringing the ring bell. It was Jimmy Uso wearing a hoodie. Security made Jimmy get out of there, but Gunther capitalized with a chop to Jey’s back. Jey countered a move into a pin attempt for two. Jey hit a suicide dive onto Jimmy and the two security guys on the floor. Back in the ring, Jey jumped off the top with an Uso Splash, but Gunther got the knees up. Gunther pinned Jey with a cradle pin for the win after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: GUNTHER

Analysis: ***3/4 It was the second great match on this show that ended with a screwy finish that involved Jimmy Uso. I think Jey went into this match as a viable threat to win the title, but I certainly didn’t expect a title change. I’m just saying that Jey has a lot of credibility as a challenger and I think a lot of those nearfalls that he had were very believable throughout the match. Gunther beat the shit out of Jey with a lot of chops and it was really entertaining to watch Jey come back from it to nearly win a few times. Jey hit the Spear a bunch of times to weaken Gunther and just when it looked like Jey might win, there’s Jimmy to screw his brother out of a title win. It’s a perfect way to get heat on Jimmy while having Gunther escape with his title.

After the match, Jimmy Uso went into the ring and hit a running superkick on Jey. Jimmy said no matter how big you get, Jimmy will always be the big brother. Jimmy went up top and Jimmy jumped off the top with an Uso Splash.

After some replays were shown, Jimmy went up top and hit an Uso Splash on Jey again. Jimmy held up his finger for The Bloodline as the fans booed. The show ended there.

Analysis: At WrestleMania 40 obviously it’s Jimmy Uso against Jey Uso, which is cool for the brothers to have that moment. The story was cooled for months and now it’s hot again with Jimmy costing Jey the IC Title. That will be an awesome match. I think the card is going to be so strong, but I’m so glad that the Usos match will likely be a part of it. That needs to be at WrestleMania 40 for sure.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre/Cody Rhodes
  2. GUNTHER/Jey Uso
  3. Raquel Rodriguez


The Scoreboard

8 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.56


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

I thought it was a great episode of Raw. It’s tied for my highest rating of the year with an 8 out of 10 score. The two main matches got plenty of time. Lots of great nearfalls in those matches with a hot crowd. They also had similar finishes since Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa cost Cody Rhodes the match against Drew McIntyre. The main event saw Jimmy cost brother Jey Uso against GUNTHER, which should lead to WWE setting up the Jey-Jimmy match at WrestleMania 40 that was set up last summer when Jimmy turned on Jey. That’s a great way of following up an excellent match by reminding us of that twin brother story.

There were some other good matches on the show. Since they only had five matches, they were all given plenty of time. Raquel Rodriguez was very impressive in the battle royal. I’m glad that Chad Gable got the win over Ivar in their match. The 8-man tag team match was entertaining fans really rallying behind R-Truth, but he fell short against The Judgment Day and Damian Priest. I don’t think that story is done.

They have done a fine job of building the Elimination Chamber card. The six women in the Chamber all got their turns to do promos and then Nia Jax kicked their asses to remind people how much of a threat that Jax is. It’s only a four match card at Elimination Chamber plus one talk show segment. It should be a fun event in Australia this Saturday.

The next WWE PLE is Elimination Chamber on Saturday, 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. Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul

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

* Women’s Elimination Chamber Match: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Liv Morgan vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi vs. Raquel Rodriguez

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

* Grayson Waller Effect with Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Elimination Chamber takes place on Saturday, February 24th 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