The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 03/04/24 Review

WWE Raw Deal March 4

This week’s WWE Raw featured Jey Uso facing off against Drew McIntyre while the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Nia Jax continued.

There was some big news on last Friday’s WWE SmackDown episode featuring The Rock turning down a singles match with Cody Rhodes. Instead, The Rock challenged Cody Rhodes & World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins to a WrestleMania 40 Night 1 tag team match against Rock and the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. If Cody’s team wins then his match with Reigns at WrestleMania 40 Night 2 will be free of The Bloodline. However, if Rock & Reigns win then it would be “Bloodline Rules” for the Reigns-Rhodes match. Cody & Seth will be on Smackdown this Friday to answer the challenge, but it will be addressed on this episode of Raw as well.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1606 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Frost Bank Center in San Antonio, Texas. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It started with a shot of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to remind us that WrestleMania is coming soon. There were arrivals shown from earlier in the day including Jey Uso and Nia Jax.

A video package aired recapping Cody Rhodes challenging The Rock to a singles match. On Smackdown, The Rock said no and he made the counter offer that I mentioned in the opening of this review. After The Rock did the challenge, Roman Reigns wanted Rock to acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief and The Rock did it due to his loyalty to the family.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Cody Rhodes made his entrance wearing a suit to a huge pop as usual. It was mentioned by Michael Cole that the Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title is taking place on WrestleMania 38 Sunday. That’s not a surprise. There were loud “Cody” chants before he said a word.

Cody: “So San Antonio…what do we want to talk about?” Cody said that he would love to speak about how at WrestleMania 40 in the main event with the lights on brightest and the biggest game of the year, he will stand across from the greatest champion in company history, the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. The fans booed the Reigns mention. Cody said that he’s unable to talk about that because of a distraction that stings quite a bit (referencing The Rock slapping him) and Cody said he was talking about The Rock, which led to boos.

Cody spoke about The Rock’s long Instagram message last week that was 16 minutes, then deleted and then a director’s cut that went 21 minutes. Cody mentioned Rock’s promo on Smackdown where he called the fans meth heads and even talked about Cody’s dog, so Cody told him not to talk about his dog. Cody said that Rock did not accept the challenge for a one on one match. Instead, Rock changed it like the master politician that he is and that’s why people want Rock to run for office. Cody claimed that Rock told him that the people don’t want Cody against Reigns because the people want Rock versus Roman. Cody said the fans started chanting something else, so that led to “We Want Cody” chants. Cody mentioned that Rock referred to the fans as crybabies, so Cody asked if we had crybabies here and the fans cheered. Cody spoke about how Rock’s challenge involves Cody’s friend and Cody said yeah they are friends…it’s the World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

That led to the entrance of Seth “Freakin” Rollins in bright colored outfit while the fans sang along with the entrance song. The Rollins match with Drew McIntyre was called the second co-main event of WrestleMania 40 Sunday.

Rollins welcomed us to Monday Night Rollins and he asked “Mr. Nightmare” what he was thinking. Cody said that Rollins has offered to have Cody’s back against The Bloodline. Cody said that Rollins was there for him even with a bad knee and he has said he’ll be there for Cody when he needs him. Cody said that after he saw Rock’s PowerPoint presentation, he knew he had to go back on his word, which was his right because he won the Royal Rumble. Cody said that Rollins has to face the only other guy who has faced Cody besides Roman and that’s Drew McIntyre. Cody spoke about how Rock and Roman Reigns together are two Mount Rushmore wrestlers together. Cody said that he fully understands if Seth wants to focus on Drew and if he is not on board with having Cody’s back.

Rollins said he’ll take care of Drew McIntyre. Rollins said there are things bigger than us and taking down The Bloodline is the biggest thing they can do. Rollins said it is not just Cody’s story, but it is Seth’s story too. Rollins claimed he wants to give the power to the people while Reigns wants to keep the power for himself. Rollins said that they are this close because with The Rock in The Bloodline, they are this close to Roman Reigns having absolute power. Rollins said he’s kind of over The Rock and there were some “Rocky sucks” chants. Rollins said Rock hasn’t been the People’s Champ for a long time. Rollins suggested a new name for The Rock – he’s going to call him Diarrhea Dwayne. Rollins said that Rock running his mouth has the consistency of wet baby poop. There were some “Diarrhea” chants. You don’t hear that one all the time. Rollins mocked The Rock for doing a 21-minute video on Instagram and Rollins said that Rock claimed that Rock could get rid of the World Heavyweight Title. Rollins said that Rock claims that he made professional wrestling cool again. Rollins said that Diarrhea Dwayne hasn’t been cool in about 20 years.

Seth Rollins announced that he has received 100% medical clearance. Rollins said that he is back and he is ready to go. Rollins said that he was going to be at Smackdown to confront The Bloodline. Rollins asked Cody if he had Seth’s back in this fight against The Bloodline?

Cody said that he also had a message for The Rock. Cody spoke about how he’s coming to Smackdown with Seth Rollins to confront Rock, Roman Reigns and The Bloodline. Cody said that he is going to give Rock his very clear and obvious answer for what’s happening at WrestleMania. Cody and Rollins shook hands and hugged. The fans cheered.

Analysis: It took about 23 minutes to get through all of that. I’m not complaining about the length of it because both guys are great talkers. I just think sometimes these things drag on too much kind of like a Triple H promo back in the day and we know Triple H is running the show these days. Anyway, it was not much of a surprise to have Cody and Seth announce that they are going to Smackdown this week after The Rock invited them last week. That should lead to the WrestleMania 40 tag team match becoming official, which is obviously a big deal. I don’t know about the “Diarrhea Dwayne” nickname that Rollins suggested for The Rock. I think that was a big miss and people are going to remember it in a bad way. I doubt it’s going to stick around that long, but you never know with wrestling fans. I like how Cody and Seth took shots at Rock for not being cool anymore. They know the fans are supporting them now, so it’s going to lead to fans booing Rock even more, which is the right way to do these promos.

A match between GUNTHER and Dominik Mysterio was coming up next.

There was a commercial for the WWE 2K4 video game that is available this week.


GUNTHER made his entrance as the Intercontinental Champion. Pat McAfee was standing on the commentary table saluting Gunther as a way to suck up to him. I forgot to mention it earlier, but it’s Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary as usual.

Dominik Mysterio (w/JD McDonagh) vs. GUNTHER

Gunther has been Intercontinental Champion for 633 days. This is a non-title match. Cole gave a shoutout to Sting for retiring last night after a great match and congratulated him while thanking him for the memories. McAfee mentioned an epic match last night and Cole moved on quickly.

Analysis: It was a surprise to hear WWE commentary mention an AEW wrestler retiring, but Sting is a wrestling legend and Hall of Famer. They did not mention AEW by name or the PPV name Revolution.

The match spilled out to the floor quickly where Dominik rammed Gunther’s right hand into the ring post. Back in the ring, Gunther grabbed a sleeper, but Dominik got out of that. Dominik tried a move after an arm wringer, Gunther blocked that and Gunther hit a hard chop to the chest. Dominik bailed to the floor, which led to a break.


Gunther was in control with hard chops to the chest with the fans cheering it and chanting “one more time” for it. Gunther went for a Boston Crab, JD with a distraction, Gunther looked at JD and Dominik dropkicked Gunther off the apron to the floor. Dominik hit a springboard cross body block onto Gunther on the floor. Back in the ring, Dominik tripped up Gunther into the ropes, but Gunther came back with a lariat and that led to Dominik doing a flip bump to sell that. Gunther picked up Dominik after a two count because he wants to keep beating him up. Gunther lifted up Dominik, who countered with a Code Red pin attempt for two. Dominik hit a running forearm smash. Dominik hit a 619 kick against the ropes. Dominik went up top, jumped off with noting and Gunther hit a dropkick. Gunther nailed Dominik with a Powerbomb followed by a Boston Crab submission. Dominik tapped out to give Gunther the win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: GUNTHER

Analysis: *** That was a fun match with the fans cheering Gunther because the fans don’t like Dominik at all. Gunther picking up Dominik to give him more punishment shows how evil Gunther can be and also how confident he is. That’s something could cost him in the future, but it wasn’t going to cost him here. It was fun to hear the crowd cheering Gunther a bit while he was chopping Dominik because the fans don’t like Dirty Dom at all.

They showed Damage CTRL’s IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Asuka and Kairi Sane walking backstage. The Raw GM Adam Pearce asked what they are doing here tonight and Kai said that Asuka & Sane can go anywhere they want as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Pearce asked why are they here? Kai said they want to scout the tag team competition. Shinsuke Nakamura walked up to Pearce saying they need to talk. Pearce said he assumed this was about the Intercontinental Title and Nakamura said yes. Kai left with the girls saying they won’t be a problem tonight. Pearce said he’ll have an announcement about the Intercontinental Title later and told Nakamura to talk to Pearce in his office.

It was Chance & Carter against Baszler & Stark after a break.


Andrade was shown arriving earlier in the day. It was mentioned that Andrade will be in action later for his Raw “debut” even though it’s more like a return.

Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

The Damage CTRL foursome of WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY, Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka & Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai were sitting on the commentary table to watch this match. Carter fought out of the heel corner with a kick to Stark, but Stark kicked Carter. Baszler tagged in with a running knee smash onto Carter, who bumped to the floor. They went to break there.


Chance was legal for her team as she charged at Stark, who kicked Chance to knock her down. Stark went to the turnbuckle, Carter tagged in and Carter/Chance did a double Spanish Fly on Stark. Cole called it a double superplex, but Pat correctly called it right and Cole corrected himself after seeing the replay. Chance tagged in, jumped off the top of Carter/Stark and gave a headscissors to Baszler to send her out of the ring. Chance hit the After Party 450 Splash/neckbreaker combo on Stark, but Baszler made the save. Baszler choked out Carter while Stark rolled up Chance with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark

Analysis: **1/4 It was okay for what we got to see, but if you’re only getting seven minutes then show the whole match instead of showing us only about four minutes of the match due to the commercial. I also thought the finish was lame because Chance & Carter did all these cool moves while Stark & Baszler really didn’t do a lot, yet the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! won the match. I’d rather see a more decisive finish in that spot.

Dakota Kai went into the ring saying that after the Kabuki Warriors retain their Women’s Tag Team Titles at NXT Roadblock, they’ll come back to Raw next week in Houston and give them a title shot. Kai took a shot at San Antonio saying Houston was a far superior city so the fans booed that. Baszler said it was about time and they left.

Analysis: Those are both heel teams, so I’m not sure who the fans would root for or if they would care. I think WWE needs to work on creating babyface women’s tag teams in order to get this division some momentum.

Becky Lynch was shown backstage getting ready for her match up next.


The Judgment Day was in the trainer’s room checking on Dominik Mysterio, who was selling an injury. Damian Priest told Dominik to take care of himself after the match with Gunther. Priest told Finn Balor that they’ll make things right with Imperium. Priest wanted JD McDonagh to go after Gunther and JD was shocked by that. Andrade was nearby, so Dominik spoke to him in Spanish and Andrade left to get ready for his match. Dominik said something in Spanish to Priest about it.

Analysis: I think it’s teasing the idea that Dominik is friends with Andrade, so there could be a story about The Judgment Day working with Andrade or maybe he rebuffs them.

A video package aired about Becky Lynch’s rivalry with Nia Jax. Lynch won the Women’s Elimination Chamber match over a week ago and had a promo showdown with Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley, but Nia Jax did a cheap attack on Lynch. Later in the show, Lynch attacked Jax for revenge.

Nia Jax vs. Becky Lynch

When they did this match on Day 1 Raw on New Year’s Day two months ago, Jax beat Lynch clean. This is Lynch’s chance to avenge that loss.

Lynch went for a charging attack, but Jax caught her and hit a body slam. Jax hit a running splash on Lynch against the turnbuckle followed by a headbutt and a very safe elbow drop. Jax splashed Lynch against the turnbuckle followed by some ass rubbing in the face. Jax choked Lynch against the bottom rope: “Did you like that?” No comment from me. I’m staying neutral. Lynch hit a chop block followed by some kicks to the butt. Lynch hit Jax with a boot to the face and Lynch went up top leading to a missile dropkick. Lynch kicked Jax while on the floor. Lynch jumped onto Jax on the floor, Jax caught her and Jax hit a Samoan Drop on the floor. Nice sequence of moves there.


The match continued with Lynch going for a superplex from the middle rope, but Jax blocked it leading to Jax sending Lynch face first into the mat. Jax hit a leg drop off the middle rope for a two count because Lynch got her left shoulder up. Jax teased a running punch, Lynch avoided it and Lynch did a headscissors sending Jax into the turnbuckle. Lynch went up top and hit a Molly Go Round although it wasn’t smooth. Lynch covered leading to Jax doing a power kickout. Jax hit a Samoan Drop. Jax went for the Annihilator, but Lynch moved and Jax hit the match. Thanks to Jax for not yelling “My Hole” after that. Lynch took down Jax leading to an armbar on the left, but Jax left the ring to get out of it. Jax sent Lynch crashing into the barricade. Liv Morgan showed up at ringside, jumped off the barricade and punched Jax in the face leading to the DQ finish. That’s exactly what Becky Lynch did to Jax during Morgan’s match with Jax last week. It went 11 minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Nia Jax

Analysis: *** It was payback for Morgan because that punch she did to Jax was similar to what Lynch did last week to Jax when Morgan was in a match with Jax. It also ruined a pretty good match, so it is frustrating a bit, but I get why it was booked that way because of what happened last week. It doesn’t make Morgan look heelish either. It’s just Morgan repaying Lynch for last week.

After the match, Morgan told Lynch to “cry about it.” Lynch argued with Morgan about it. Jax pulled Morgan out of the ring to the floor. Jax sent Lynch into the ring post. Jax hit a leg drop on Morgan on the floor. Jax’s music played to end it.

Analysis: I thought that Lynch would beat Jax in this match, so I’m a bit surprised at the result. With that said, they have also created a triple threat match situation.

Ricochet was shown talking to Raw GM Adam Pearce complaining about not getting an opportunity at the Intercontinental Title. Pearce said he has nearly finalized his plan for the Intercontinental Title and he respects Ricochet, so he’ll keep him in mind. The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor & JD McDonagh walked in with Priest telling Pearce to give JD a shot at the Intercontinental Title. Pearce let JD pitch to him while Pearce said he was about to make an announcement.

This Friday on Smackdown: The Rock & Roman Reigns will be there while we know Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins will be there too. That will be a big one.


Liv Morgan was shown walking backstage when Becky Lynch walked up to her saying she knew this was Liv’s revenge tour. Lynch said that when she did it last week it was because of Jax and not because of Morgan. Lynch suggested they could cry about it or they could fight about it next week. Morgan said she would love to. After Liv left, Rhea Ripley walked in with the Women’s World Title and laughed at Lynch. Ripley walked away.

Analysis: That’s a big match for next week with Morgan facing Lynch. Maybe Nia Jax will cause a DQ in that match.

A video package aired about the Drew McIntyre-Jey Uso story leading to their match later in the show. Jey Uso was shown backstage getting ready.

Andrade was introduced as just that name rather than the Andrade El Idolo name. Andrade had a mask as part of the entrance, but then he took the mask as usual. Andrade was in action after a break.


It was announced that Cody Rhodes will be at WWE World in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 4th. Pat McAfee will host his Pat McAfee Show at WWE World on Friday, April 5th as well.

A video aired featuring Adam Pearce talking about the challenge of trying to pick who deserves an opportunity at GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Title. Pearce mentioned six men competing in a match next week in a Gauntlet Match and the winner gets to challenge GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 40. The six men are: Ricochet, Chad Gable, Sami Zayn, Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura & JD McDonagh.

Analysis: That’s a huge match for next week. I hope Sami Zayn wins and that he also wins the IC Title, but I wouldn’t mind seeing GUNTHER against Gable on the big stage too.

Andrade vs. Apollo Crews

They showed The Judgment Day watching on a TV backstage to tease the possible alliance with Andrade. I don’t remember the last time Crews had a TV match. Anyway, they shook hands to start the match. They exchanged some moves early on and then Crews hit a superplex off the top. Andrade came back with the Three Amigos vertical suplexes for a two count. Crews hit a jumping kick to the head. Andrade came back with a spinning back elbow for a two count. Andrade hit the double running knees against the turnbuckle. Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT called La Sombra for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Andrade

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Andrade picking up the victory in a short match. Since Crews isn’t used on TV that much, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen here. I like Andrade and I’m happy about him being back in WWE.

Sami Zayn was interviewed by Jackie Redmond, who spoke about how Zayn can be the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title match by winning the Gauntlet Match next week. Zayn said that the opportunity has presented itself and now a path to WrestleMania has been revealed. Zayn said that now he can possibly get in the ring with perhaps the most dominant champion ever. Zayn said that this Gauntlet Match is do or die and it’s the most important match of his career. Ivar interrupted with Valhalla, who complained about Zayn being in a match like this instead of Ivar. That led to Ivar saying that he knows that he can beat Gunther while Zayn knows that Zayn can’t beat Gunther. Zayn told Ivar he knows that he can beat him. Zayn challenged Ivar to a match tonight and Ivar said that Zayn can forget about WrestleMania since he won’t make it to next week. Ivar and Valhalla left while Zayn looked on.

Analysis: It’s easy to support Zayn and want to see him get that title shot at WrestleMania. Zayn has been Intercontinental Champion multiple times, but that was when eh was a heel and this would be a different experience for him as a popular babyface going against a heel like Gunther.

The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest made their entrance as the WWE Tag Team Champions. It’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest against Imperium up next.


A graphic was shown in memory of Paul “Butcher” Vachon.

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell were talking backstage about their recent loss. Natalya & Tegan Nox were also talking backstage with Natalya telling Nox to listen to her since Natalya is a veteran. They left. LeRae told Indi maybe they need to forget their manners. Maxxine Dupri & Ivy Nile walked in with Dupri saying that LeRae will look fierce. LeRae said she didn’t need to hear from somebody who has wrestled three matches. LeRae left while Indi apologized and said she’d talk to Candice about it.

Analysis: It seems like they are going to do a multi-team women’s tag team match at WrestleMania 40. Just a guess.

The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

This is not a title match. Fans chanted “We Want Mami” for Rhea Ripley. Kaiser and Vinci made tags working over Balor in their corner. Balor rolled through on Vinci leading to a basement dropkick. Priest worked over Vinci with punches. Kaiser tagged in leading to Priest hitting a boot to the face. Priest sent Kaiser into the turnbuckle, Priest missed a splash and Vinci did a distraction, so Kaiser punched Priest. Balor did a cheap shot to Kaiser and Priest hit a forearm smash to Kaiser. Balor was back in leading to a scissors kick for two. Kaiser did a hiptoss on Balor and sent Balor into the ring post. Imperium hit a running double dropkick on Balor to knock him out of the ring.


Imperium remained in control with High-Low attack with a clothesline/chop block combo on Balor for two. Vinci delivered a body slam to Balor along with an elbow drop. Vinci nailed Balor with a clothesline. The fans chanted “Let’s Go Balor” because they wanted to root for somebody. Kaiser was back in with a running kick. Balor kicked Kaiser to knock him down followed by Balor hitting a back kick. Priest tagged in with forearms followed by a flatliner and a lifting slam to send Vinci into the mat. Priest hit running back elbows on both guys against the turnbuckle and Priest tossed Vinci out of the ring. Priest hit the Broken Arrow on Kaiser for two. Balor made a blind tag leading to a rollup for two. Balor hit Slingblade on Kaiser. Vinci grabbed Balor’s ankle, so Kaiser hit a slam off the shoulders. Kaiser tried to toss Balor onto Vinci, there was a slip and Balor rolled up Vinci for two. Vinci got his own two count after. Balor hit Slingblade on Vinci followed by a running dropkick. Balor went up top and hit a Coup de Grace double foot stomp for two because Kaiser broke up the pin. Priest tossed Kaiser over the top to the floor. Balor dove onto Kaiser with a somersault dive. Vinci rolled up Priest for two. Priest came back with a clothesline followed by the South of Heaven slam on Vinci for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match technically speaking. They are both heel teams, so it was a bit of an odd choice for a match. The fans chose to support The Judgment Day even though they are the top heel group on Raw. I certainly hope they don’t go babyface because they are needed in the heel role and it shouldn’t end now. This just felt like a match where WWE wanted The Judgment Day to beat a quality tag team that aren’t contenders because it’s important to keep the other teams strong.

Paul Heyman WWE Hall of Fame Inductee

Michael Cole spoke about how when he was on Smackdown, Paul Heyman would teach Cole and Tazz how to do commentary. Cole said that Heyman taught them about passion and emotion for this business. This would be around 2002 before Heyman was fired as Smackdown’s lead writer in early 2003.

A short video was shown about Paul Heyman being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. They showed some media coverage about it since it was announced earlier on Monday. I would have liked to see a lengthy video here, but I guess we’ll have to see it at WrestleMania 40 weekend.

Analysis: Congratulations to the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman. He’s a legend and one of my favorite non-wrestlers in wrestling history. I know Paul’s still active in WWE, but Philly is the right spot for it as the home of ECW and Heyman was the guy that ran ECW. There will be a lot of ECW chants that weekend.

Drew McIntyre was interviewed by Jackie Redmond backstage. Drew spoke about how Seth Rollins is a junkie that is addicted to the spotlight. Drew talked about how when guys like CM Punk, Cody Rhodes and The Rock came back, Seth got involved with all of them. Drew said that he’ll put Rollins down at WrestleMania 40 because this show deserves better than Rollins. Drew said that he was sorry for Jey because he knew how much Jey needed this victory, but there was not a chance in hell that Jey can beat Drew tonight.

Analysis: A confident Drew McIntyre as well. I enjoy Drew’s promos as a heel.

Sami Zayn made his entrance for singles action.


Rhea Ripley walked up to Damage CTRL backstage. The Women’s World Champion Ripley told the WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY to stay out of her territory. Sky didn’t say anything and left with the group.

Sami Zayn vs. Ivar (w/Valhalla)

Valhalla wore the antlers, Cole was excited about it and Valhalla put the antlers on Cole. The fans chanted for Cole.

Ivar caught a running Zayn and gave him a spinning powerslam. Cole spoke about getting to wear antlers during a match and now he knows what JR felt like with a cowboy hat on for all those years. Zayn jumped over Ivar with a leapfrog followed by Zayn clotheslining Ivar out of the ring. Zayn hit a somersault dive over the top onto Ivar on the floor. Back in the ring, Zayn went for a Tornado DDT, Ivar blocked it and Ivar tossed Zayn over the top to the floor. Ivar hit a flipping dive off the apron onto Zayn on the floor. They went to break there.


The match continued with Zayn countering an Ivar suplex off the turnbuckle. Zayn landed on top of Ivar for a two count. Zayn hit a Tornado DDT. Zayn charged at Ivar, who hit a spin kick to the head. Ivar hit a Ligerbomb for a two count. Ivar tried a move off the turnbuckle, but Zayn countered it with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb for a two count. There were “Sami” chants from the crowd. Ivar charged, Zayn caught him and Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn charged, but Ivar sat down on Zayn’s chest to stop that. Ivar went up top, Ivar took way too long to go up there and Ivar jumped off with a Doomsault, but Zayn avoided it. Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Ivar for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sami Zayn

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match to put over Zayn and give him some positive momentum going into the Gauntlet Match next week. Ivar is a solid worker who always has entertaining matches. They just don’t want to push him that much.

After the match, “Big” Bronson Reed went into the ring and hit a running body attack on Zayn. Reed went up top and hit a Tsunami splash on Zayn. Reed celebrated to end it.

Analysis: A cheap attack to put over Reed as a threat in the Gauntlet Match next week. I’ll predict Zayn and Reed are the final two with Zayn getting the win.

GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, was interviewed by Cathy Kelley backstage. Gunter was impressed by Dominik Mysterio to step up to face him, but Gunther wasn’t surprised by that win. Gunther talked about the stacked Gauntlet Match next week leading to an Intercontinental Title match against him. Gunther said that the winner would be outclassed by him. Chad Gable walked up to Gunther saying Gunther insulted Gable as a father because he made Gable’s daughter cry. Gable talked about how he was going to take that title and put a smile on his daughter’s face. Gable said that this match “just means more” for him. Gunther walked away without saying a word.

Analysis: Chad Gable makes a nice case for himself since he came close to beating Gunther back in September. A rematch wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I think Zayn in the match is more likely.

Jey Uso was shown backstage saying that he’s sorry to Drew McIntyre for what he’s about to do to him. Jey told Drew he’ll find out that Jey don’t play and Jey put on sunglasses that say “YEET” on them.


The New Day’s Xavier Woods was backstage playing WWE 2K24 with R-Truth, the #DIY team and The Miz. Truth said that Ciampa & Gargano were playing as Triple H & Shawn Michaels. Truth: “They love playing as themselves.” The Miz talked to the guys about how they needed to take The Tag Team Titles from The Judgment Day. The “Re-Generation X” guys posed together.

Analysis: I thought The Miz & R-Truth were going to be the ones to beat The Judgment Day for the Tag Team Titles. However, I would rather see the #DIY team win.

They showed a picture of Michael Cole wearing the antlers and Pat McAfee mocked him for it.

Next week on Raw:

* Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan

* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kabuki Warriors – Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark

* Six-Man Gauntlet Match for an Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania 40: Ricochet, Chad Gable, Sami Zayn, Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura & JD McDonagh

Jey Uso made his entrance to a huge pop wearing his “YEET” glasses. Pat McAfee went onto the table doing the arm swinging with the crowd. Cole was telling Pat that he was going to break the table. Pat loved it. Drew McIntyre was up next as the opponent in the main event.

Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso

Jey sent Drew to the apron followed by a spinning kick that knocked Drew out of the ring. Drew caught Jey on the floor and tossed Jey onto the commentary table. Drew into camera: “Yeet.” Cole: “No Yeet.” That led to a break.


The match returned with Jey getting a cross body block for a two count. Jey went for something off the turnbuckle, but Drew caught him with a jumping kick to the head. Drew punched Jey to keep him down. Jey charged at Drew, who hit Jey with an elbow smash. Drew chopped Jey a few times and Drew went for a move off the turnbuckle, but Jey hit a Powerbomb for two. Jey went up top, jumped off with a splash attempt and Drew got his knees up. Drew hit a spinebuster for two. Drew clubbed Jey with a punch over the top to the floor. Drew suplexed Jey on the floor as the show went to break.


Drew was in full control as he rammed Jey’s back into the barricade and ring apron repeatedly. Drew picked Jey, who shoved Drew into the turnbuckle. Jey knocked down a running Drew with two boots to the face. Jey worked over Drew with punches as the fans chanted “YEET” for the punches. Jey with a kick to the gut, a punch and a Samoan Drop for two. Jey ran at Drew with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Drew bailed to the floor, so Jey hit a suicide dive onto Drew on the floor. When Jey sent Drew back into the ring, his brother Solo Sikoa appeared at ringside. Jey jumped off the top, Drew caught him and Drew hit a Future Shock DDT. Cody Rhodes’ music hit as he went down to ringside to brawl with Solo. Cody clotheslined Solo over the barricade and they went into the crowd. Drew wanted a Claymore Kick, but Jey stopped that with three superkicks. Jey hit a Spear. Jimmy Uso appeared at ringside. Pat: “That son of a bitch is back.” Jey was distracted by that. When Jey turned around, Drew hit a Claymore Kick on Jey for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a good match as usual by these guys, but it had a tainted finish thanks to The Bloodline. Considering that Jimmy Uso cost Jey Uso the IC Title in the past, it seemed likely it would happen again here. That kind of booking protects Jey because it wasn’t a clean loss. There’s no reason for Drew McIntyre to be losing when he’s getting a World Title match at WrestleMania, so it gives Drew some positive momentum while pushing the story that Drew took advantage of the situation. Also, having Cody Rhodes take out Solo Sikoa shows that Cody is focused on going after The Bloodline guys.

After the match, Jimmy Uso brought a steel chair into the ring. Seth Rollins ran down to the ring and ran by his WrestleMania 40 opponent Drew McIntyre. Rollins went into the ring and superkicked Jimmy to knock him out of the ring. When Rollins turned around, Drew was there and Drew hit Rollins with a Claymore Kick. Drew told Rollins to not be selfish. Drew told Rollins to do the right thing. There were some “CM Punk” chants at Drew. That led to Drew saying into the camera this isn’t about CM Punk, it’s about the World Title. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That was booked well with Rollins showing he was focused on The Bloodline, but that also meant that Rollins wasn’t focused on his WrestleMania 40 opponent Drew McIntyre. That led to Drew taking advantage of the situation again and laying out Rollins. That really was the right way to book that.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Cody Rhodes


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.53


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

The show was good for the most part, but maybe a notch below where I’d like it to be this time of year. I’ve rated a few Raw’s at 8/10 this year. I don’t think this one was at that level. I thought the Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins promo went too long. I’m all for WrestleMania main eventers getting promo time. I just think it dragged a bit. Rollins calling The Rock “Diarrhea Dwayne” felt like a lame joke that I’d call a big miss. I get trying to be funny. I just don’t think it worked at all. Anyway, they got to the point eventually to say they’ll be on Smackdown to confront Rock & Roman Reigns to likely set up the WrestleMania 40 tag team match.

There were good matches as usual because they are always going to get time on the three-hour show. I just think some of the finishes were a bit weaker. Drew McIntyre beating Jey Uso because of a Jimmy Uso distraction is fine with me. The Lynch-Jax match ended in a DQ because Liv Morgan got revenge on Lynch causing a DQ in Liv’s match with Jax last week. Sami Zayn’s win over Ivar was an entertaining match. It was weird having two heel-heel matches on the show, which led to The Judgment Day tag team being cheered against Imperium while the fans loved Gunther beating up Dominik. Triple H isn’t afraid to book heel-heel matches, but I think two on the show is too many.

I like the idea of the 6-man Gauntlet Match next week for a shot at the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 40. I think Sami Zayn is the best choice there, but I wouldn’t mind a Chad Gable win either. It will be interesting how they set up the Men’s and Women’s Tag Team Title matches too. We want to see people earn their title matches at WrestleMania. I think this creative team does a good job of remembering that.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is WrestleMania 40 on April 6 & 7 from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Here’s the lineup so far.

wwe wrestlemania 40 rhea ripley becky lynch

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

* WWE Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch

* WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY (c) vs. Bayley

You can watch WrestleMania 40 on April 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. 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 Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport