The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 03/18/24 Review

WWE Raw Deal March 18

This week’s WWE Raw featured a Last Woman Standing with Becky Lynch taking on Nia Jax, a GUNTHER-Sami Zayn contract signing, three tag team qualifying matches and more.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1608 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Raw started with Michael Cole mentioning WrestleMania 40 is 19 days away. Cody Rhodes was shown arriving earlier in the day. They also showed tag team arrivals including #DIY and The Creed Brothers.

Let’s Hear from Jimmy Uso

Jey Uso made his entrance to a huge pop with the fans doing the arm-swinging entrance. It was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary. Pat was doing the arm swinging as usual. Jey Uso started his promo calling out his brother Jimmy Uso, who he’ll face at WrestleMania 40. Jimmy entered through the back part of the arena joined by The Usos younger brother Solo Sikoa.

Jimmy got into the ring to face off with Jey while Solo stayed on the floor. Jey said regardless of what happened and the bad blood between them, he misses Jimmy. Jey said they don’t talk, they don’t ride together and he doesn’t see Jimmy any more. Jey told Jimmy to come back. Jimmy said that he never left. Jimmy said that it was Jey’s idea to leave The Bloodline, then Jey went off to be a big star on Raw and Jey became Tag Team Champions without Jimmy by being a champion with Cody Rhodes. Jimmy said that Jey had forgotten about him and that everything that Jey had done was because of Jimmy. Jimmy told Jey the biggest moment of his career is because of Jimmy…and the fans booed that. Jimmy said it was because of him again.

Jey replied back to his brother saying that the biggest moment of his career will be his dream match at WrestleMania 40 when he faces Jimmy and he knocks the “Yeet out of your ass.” Jey punched Jimmy, Jey punched Solo on the apron, so Jimmy came back with a superkick and knocked Jey down. Solo Sikoa held Jey in the ring, so Cody Rhodes ran out for the save to a HUGE pop from the crowd. Cody knocked down Jimmy on the floor. Cody went into the ring and hit a Cody Cutter on Solo as The Bloodline retreated. Cody celebrated with Jey Uso to end it. There are a lot of #WeWantCody signs in the crowd.

Analysis: I liked that. It wasn’t too long and they made their points well. Jimmy was right to say that Jey left him, but the reason that Jey left him is because Jimmy cost Jey the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at SummerSlam last night. It will be a very big deal when The Usos reunite as a team again although I don’t expect that to be any time soon. These guys don’t need to be doing ten minute promos each. The fans know the story well, so they are behind Jey and against Jimmy. It’s simple enough. I have said many times that I think WWE could have booked Jimmy better in recent months because he hasn’t won a singles match in about six months or something like that, so if it was me I’d have him get some wins to build him up a bit. Jey doesn’t win all the time, but at least he is in singles matches a lot on Raw. Anyway, it made storyline sense for Cody Rhodes to save Jey there, so it was a smart way to end it. The crowd was into it the whole way.

A short video package aired about the Becky Lynch-Nia Jax rivalry. Becky Lynch was shown walking around earlier in the day.

The #DIY team of Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano entered for tag team action.


Adam Pearce, the Raw GM, was on the phone calling somebody a hypocrite for not keeping his roster in check. That makes it seem like it was Smackdown GM Nick Aldis. Pearce hung up when he saw WWE Hall of Famer Paul Heyman. Heyman, the Wise Man, claimed that Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa did that on their own. Heyman said it was not called by Roman Reigns or The Rock. Heyman told Pearce he was delayed in getting there. Heyman said that he had official business and then he’ll be gone. Heyman claimed that when he does that official business, everyone will be caught off guard. Heyman called Roman Reigns as he left.

Analysis: That’s a nice tease about what Heyman might do later in the show.

WrestleMania 40 Tag Team Championship Qualifying Match: #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano vs. The Creed Brothers – Julius & Brutus Creed

The winners of this match will be in the Six Pack Challenge Ladder Match at WrestleMania 40.

Julius started the match with Ciampa as he went for an Ankle Lock, but Ciampa got out of it. Brutus tagged in with a forearm to knock Ciampa down. Gargano tagged in, Ciampa clotheslined Brutus and Gargano hit a flipping neckbreaker on Julius. The #DIY boys hit slingshot dives over the top over both Creeds on the floor. The #DIY guys did their clapping routine on the apron as the show went to break.


Ciampa went for a suplex on Julius, but Julius avoided that and brought in Brutus. That led to Brutus hitting Gargano with a suplex along with a power slam on Ciampa. Brutus went for a pin attempt on Ciampa along with a suplex on Gargano at the same time. Julius was back in as Brutus slammed Julius onto Ciampa. Julius was on his knees as he picked up Ciampa, got back to his feet and hit a vertical suplex on Ciampa. Brutus hit a delayed vertical suplex on Gargano too. Julius hit a standing moonsault onto Ciampa while Brutus hit a standing moonsault on Gargano and Julius got a two count. Ciampa went in illegally to save his partner for a double team move. Brutus caught Gargano on his shoulders as Julius hit a running knee. Brutus knocked Ciampa over the commentary table on the floor with a Pounce-like move. Brutus picked up Ciampa at ringside and the show went to break there.


The action continued with Ciampa hitting a reverse DDT on Julius. Gargano got the hot tag with kicks and strikes along with a bulldog/clothesline combo. Gargano hit a jumping kick to Julius, then a kick to Brutus on the floor and Gargano hit a slingshot Spear on Julius for two. Gargano hit a suicide dive on Brutus on the floor while Ciampa got the tag. Ciampa hit the Air Raid Crash/White Noise slam off the middle turnbuckle on Julius for two. Ciampa and Julius exchanged strikes until Ciampa hit a forearm to the side of the head. Julius tackled Ciampa leading to an Ankle Lock on the left foot. Gargano went after Julius, who picked up Gargano and hit a Powerbomb. Julius put the Ankle Lock on Ciampa again while Brutus put the Ankle Lock on Gargano. Ciampa and Gargano escaped leading to Ciampa’s Sicilian Stretch while Gargano applied the Gargano Escape. The Creeds got back up, used their power and threw the #DIY guys into eachother. Julius went up top and hit a moonsault on Ciampa. Brutus also hit a moonsault off the top onto Ciampa for one…two…no. The fans thought that was it. Brutus went up top while Julius had Ciampa on his shoulders, Brutus jumped off for the Brutus Ball and Ciampa avoided it. Ciampa covered Julius, Brutus broke up the pin, then Julius covered Ciampa and Gargano made the save by superkicking Julius in the face. Gargano sent Brutus out of the ring too. Ciampa sat on top of Julius for the pinfall win after about 18 minutes. It looked like Julius kicked out after the three count, so it was a close pin.

Winners by pinfall: #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano

That win means that #DIY are in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for that WWE Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania 40.

Analysis: ***3/4 It was an excellent match that got plenty of time because Raw’s a three-hour show, so there are some matches that are going to get a lot of time and that’s great to see in this case. I like both teams a lot. I’m fine with the result because the Ciampa/Gargano team are the veterans that have yet to be part of a WrestleMania, so now they get that chance after being in wrestling for about 20 years each. The Creeds will have their time in the future, I’m sure. I didn’t really like how there was a lot of action featuring guys that weren’t legal in the match. There was more of that than usual in a WWE match. I liked it a lot other than that. There were plenty of nearfalls for both teams throughout the match and the finish worked very well. Nice job by The Creed Bros and #DIY in this match. I’m genuinely happy for #DIY getting a match at WrestleMania after being pro wrestlers for two decades.

Andrade was hanging around with The Judgment Day in their clubhouse. Rhea Ripley told Andrade they are an exclusive group and if he impresses them, maybe something can happen. Finn Balor mentioned that they knew Andrade had a match next week and said they would be watching. Damian Priest walked in while Andrade walked away. Priest mentioned JD McDonagh losing last week and JD said he showed that he belonged. Ripley said that Ricochet made a fool of JD last week, so Ripley wanted Dom to make things right against Ricochet. Dom and McDonagh left to talk to Pearce to make the match happen.


A graphic was shown about Thunderbolt Patterson making the WWE Hall of Fame in this year’s class. The class is Paul Heyman, US Express (Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham), Bull Nakano, Muhammad Ali & Thunderbolt Patterson.

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

They didn’t get televised entrances. A replay was shown of LeRae being mean to Maxxine Dupri last week. Carter knocked down LeRae with kicks and Indi tagged in with a kick to the head. LeRae tagged in with punches. Chance tagged in against Indi with a dropkick that sent Indi into the turnbuckle. Indi did a backdrop to knock Chance down and Chance was selling a right knee injury. LeRae tagged in for a sliding dropkick on Carter on the floor. LeRae rammed Chance’s right knee against the ring post. LeRae aggressively pulled back on Chance’s leg, so Chance tapped out quickly. It went two minutes.

Winners by submission: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell

Analysis: *1/2 It was a cheap attack by LeRae when Chance appeared to be injured and LeRae took advantage to get the win. It was obvious that Chance was just selling a worked injury, but they tried to make it legit. It continued the story from last week when LeRae did the mean girl routine to Maxxine Dupri leading to a win in that match. The story is that LeRae is mean now because she lost so many matches in the past. It’s not an amazing storyline or anything like that, but at least it’s a story for LeRae, so hopefully it works out long term.

There was a replay shown of The Rock in concert on Smackdown last week. The Rock also trashed Cody Rhodes heavily and said he would make Cody’s family pay including Cody’s mom. The Rock made more threats about beating up Cody with a weightlifting belt and hand that belt to Cody’s mom. It was a tremendous promo.

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

A commercial aired for the WWE Women’s Title between champion IYO SKY and challenger Bayley at WrestleMania 40.


A video aired about the Bray Wyatt documentary that will air on Peacock. It will air on Monday, April 1st on Peacock. That’s going to be a sad watch, but I’m sure they will also honor him very well too. The fans held their phones up as the “fireflies” in the crowd.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes made his entrance in a black suit for a promo at the top of hour two. Cody got into the ring saying that for the second year in a row, he’s going to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania. Cody spoke about how there are complications and combustible elements, namely The Rock. Cody spoke about how The Rock took to Instagram last week along with an entertaining Rock Concert. Cody said that Rock referred to himself as “our favorite heel” which is an insider term that means he’s a bad guy. Cody mentioned some heels over the years like Bobby Heenan, Billy Graham and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Cody said he didn’t think Rock was a heel, he thinks that Rock is an a**hole. It was muted. Loud reaction from the crowd to that.

Cody said that Rock poked fun at Cole for crying about finishing his story. Cody said that Rock has been crying behind the scenes. Cody trashed Rock for thinking that WWE needed saving. Cody said that the TKO folks said “yes” to everything that The Rock wanted and Cody said that the TKO folks are enablers that don’t tell you what it is. Cody said that Rock is a lot of wonderful things. Cody said that Rock is the Brahma Bull, he’s the Great One, Cody has shoes with Rock’s logo and he thinks that Rock is a Mount Rushmore wrestler. Cody also trashed Rock for being a terrible salesman and called Rock a “whiny bitch.” Cody said that this locker room doesn’t need him. Cody said he brought his mom up in a promo, so it’s fair game. Cody spoke about how he knew The Rock’s mom and said that he had nothing but respect for Rock’s mom. Cody talked about how Rock spoke about a bloody weight belt and handing it to Cody’s mom. Cody said that his mom ain’t scared of nothing while saying she beat up an undercover cop at a Willie Nelson concert, so she’s not afraid of Rock.

Cody talked about the tag team match on April 6th and said he didn’t know what April 7th would look like. Cody said he didn’t know if it would be Bloodline Rules or not and he didn’t know if he would finish the story. Cody wondered how Rock could be so sure of his own self. Cody said that Rock hasn’t been in the ring in years in real-time action and what happens when the bell rings? Cody wondered if Rock will have the Big Dwayne Energy or LDS – Little Dick Syndrome. The fans had an “ohhh” reaction and a brief “LDS” chant. Cody said that Rock calls himself the Final Boss and credited The Rock’s writer Brian Gewirtz for that nickname. Cody said that he doesn’t think Rock will be The Final Boss because he thinks that Rock will be Roman’s “side chick.” It was interruption time.

Analysis: Awesome promo. I really liked it. There was some colorful language in there. You don’t usually hear people use the word “heel” on television the way that Cody did, so that was interesting too. Cody calling Rock an a**hole, saying he had “Little Dick Syndrome” and saying that Rock is a “whiny bitch” all drew big reactions. This was the best promo that Cody Rhodes has done this year and I don’t know when the last time he did one as good as this. That’s not a shot at Cody because I like him a lot and his promos are excellent. I’m just saying that this one was especially great. I highly recommend it if you don’t remember it.

Paul Heyman, the Wise Man, made his entrance on his own. Paul asked Cody if he hated it when somebody wanted an apology. Paul slowly went into the ring while Cody welcomed Paul into the ring since he’s a Hall of Famer.

Heyman stood on the apron rather than go in the ring. Heyman said that he had a message form the “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns. Heyman said that you can talk about heels while adding that he is not a trustworthy individual. Heyman told Cody that Roman is a man of his word. Heyman said this Friday on Smackdown, Roman and Cody will go face to face. Heyman told Cody when he goes face to face with Roman is there, there won’t be anybody from The Bloodline except for Heyman, who is no physical threat. Heyman said that if Cody shows up this Friday on Smackdown, Reigns will show up alone.

Cody responded by saying that Reigns shows up alone, except for Heyman and that’s a deal. Heyman said that he forgot one crucial point since he had jet lag. Heyman said that if Roman Reigns shows up alone on Smackdown then Cody should show up alone too. Cody walked over to Heyman: “Deal.” Cody shook Heyman’s hand. That was it.

Analysis: It sets the stage for the Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes “Face to Face” segment on Smackdown this week. I don’t know if Roman Reigns will really be alone like Paul Heyman said, but it will be a big segment. I said in the last Smackdown review that both guys need to deliver strong promos to put over their two WrestleMania matches. I know the matches have gotten a lot of attention. I just think the spotlight has been off Roman too much due to The Rock, so hopefully Reigns & Cody do a great job in that segment. I expect them to do well.

Nia Jax did a promo talking to the camera saying that Becky Lynch has never beat her and never will. Jax said after she breaks Lynch’s face, she’ll finish her business with Rhea Ripley and become the Women’s World Champion. Good luck with that.

Ricochet made his entrance for singles action.

This Friday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns goes face to face with Cody Rhodes.


A video aired (sponsored by Snickers) featuring LA Knight sharing WrestleMania moments that he loved. Knight mentioned Hulk Hogan beating Andre The Giant at WM3, Randy Savage becoming WWE Champion at WM4 and The Rock-Hulk Hogan’s memorable match at WM18. All great moments for sure.

Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage. Jey Uso spoke to Cody offering help for the Face to Face Cody’s having with Roman Reigns on Smackdown. Cody said he made a deal. Jey said he’s got you if you need him. Cody thanked him for that and Jey left.

There was a Pat McAfee replay from earlier in the night when Pat nearly fell doing the arm-swinging from Jey Uso’s entrance.

Dominik Mysterio (w/JD McDonagh) vs. Ricochet

Ricochet jumped over Dominik and hit a springboard back elbow. Pat said that Dominik is the kind of guy who would get booed at his own wedding, which happened at Dom’s actual wedding two weeks ago. Ricochet jumped over the top with a corkscrew plancha onto Dominik. JD held onto Ricochet while Dominik distracted the referee. Dominik hit a sliding kick to knock Ricochet down as the show went to break.


Dominik was in control with a vertical suplex and he wanted another, but Ricochet hit his own suplex. Ricochet hit a jumping kick for a two count. Dominik got a rollup for a two count. Ricochet came back with a nasty spin kick to the face. Ricochet went up top, he went for a 450 Splash, Dominik moved and Ricochet rolled through. Ricochet hit a leaping kick on Dominik and a dropkick to knock JD down. Dominik sent Ricochet into the ropes and Ricochet went for a 619 kick. Ricochet hit the Recoil knee to the face for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ricochet

Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match that was just average. I’m not sure what this it leading to, but it’s nice to see Ricochet get some wins since he beat Dominik here as well as the win over JD in the Gauntlet Match last week.

After the match, Ricochet avoided a charging attack by JD by kicking him in the face and doing a backflip out of the ring.

Sami Zayn walked up to Chad Gable backstage saying that they had a great match last week. Gable didn’t seem interested in talking much, so Zayn asked what was up to him since they’ve known eachother for a long time. Gable said that the title opportunity means more to him. Zayn said that’s not fair to him. Zayn said he has a family too. Gable told Zayn it’s not just about that, so Zayn asked what is this about? Gable told Zayn that he can’t beat GUNTHER. Gable walked away while Sami was shocked. Sami’s contract signing with GUNTHER is next.

Analysis: A bold statement by Gable there because he doesn’t think Zayn can beat Gunther. Interesting development.


Contract Signing: GUNTHER And Sami Zayn

The Raw GM Adam Pearce was in the ring along with the table, two chairs and black carpet. There was the contract on the table. Sami Zayn entered first followed by the Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, who was in a suit.

Gunther did a promo saying this was such an important contract signing while he ripped on Zayn for dressing like the fans. Zayn said he respected Gunther for beating everybody that he has faced and he has done it alone. Zayn talked about how a lot of people didn’t believe in him in his career. Zayn said that last year he ended The Usos longest reign ever as Tag Team Champions and at this year’s WrestleMania, Zayn will end the longest Intercontinental Title reign of all time. Zayn signed the contract first. There were “Sami” chants.

Gunther said that Zayn should listen to Gable since Chad doesn’t think that Zayn can beat him. Gunther said that the fans love Zayn, but Gunther thinks people don’t believe that Zayn can win. Gunther claimed that Zayn doesn’t think he can win. Gunther told Zayn to keep on dreaming and believing. Gunther said that at WrestleMania, his dreams will meet reality. Gunther signed the contract. Gunther stood up with the Intercontinental Title. As Gunther was about to leave, Zayn told him to wait.

Zayn said that Gunther thinks that Zayn doesn’t believe in himself, huh? Zayn got in Gunther’s face and stared at him. Zayn told Gunther that he was looking into the eyes of the man who would take Gunther down at WrestleMania. Zayn stared at Gunther and Zayn walked away.

Analysis: It felt quicker than most contract signings. Gunther was very confident as usual while dismissing Zayn as a guy who can’t beat him. Zayn did a nice job of making the point that he beat The Usos last year to end their record title reign and he can do it to Gunther this year. Zayn might get the win at WrestleMania although I don’t know if that’s my official prediction. I think this was just average as a contract signing even though I like both guys a lot.

Sami Zayn was shown walking backstage with the camera following him on his way to the back. The Miz & R-Truth were talking to #DIY about qualifying for WrestleMania. Indus Sher and Jinder Mahal walked up to them. Miz & Truth made their entrance for the match up next. Truth did the What’s Up entrance with the remix as Miz joined in to tell the fans they are the Awesome Truth. Their match is next.

Analysis: That was cool how they had the camera follow Zayn backstage leading right into Miz & Truth doing their entrance. I liked that.


WrestleMania 40 Tag Team Championship Qualifying Match: Awesome Truth – The Miz & R-Truth vs. Indus Sher – Sanga & Veer (w/Jinder Mahal)

Sanga grunted at Truth, so Truth tagged out and Miz tagged in. Sanga body slammed Miz leading to Veer tagging in with an elbow drop. Veer hit Miz with a knee to the ribs, Miz broke free and Truth tagged in. Truth hit the two shoulder tackles along with the spinning slam on Veer and the Five Knuckle Shuffle paying tribute to Truth’s “childhood” hero John Cena. Truth applied the STF on Veer, but Sanga broke that up. Miz & Truth hit a double dropkick on Sanga. Miz and Truth hit an assisted Skull Crushing Finale on Veer. Miz tripped up Sanga while Truth fell backward onto Veer for the pinfall win. It went about three minutes. The replay showed that Sanga elbowed Truth and Truth fell onto Veer to win.

Winners by pinfall: Awesome Truth – The Miz & R-Truth

The win means that Awesome Truth – The Miz & R-Truth are in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania.

Analysis: *1/2 It was a comedic finish since Veer took the assisted Skull Crushing Finale and then Truth was elbowed onto Veer for the win. Indus Sher is rarely on television, so the result was obvious here since Miz & Truth are regularly on Raw most weeks.

Drew McIntyre was shown walking backstage wearing a shirt that says “The Savior of WrestleMania” on it. Drew’s promo was up next at the top of hour three.


Sami Zayn walked up to Chad Gable, so Zayn said he wanted to know why Gable didn’t believe in Zayn. Gable said that Zayn has made his career out of being an underdog and finding a way to win, but it’s not the same against Gunther. Gable said that Gunther was different and Gable left.

A video aired featuring CM Punk rehabbing his torn right triceps injury. Punk said that you can’t have WrestleMania in Philadelphia without Phil so he’ll be there. Punk is back on Raw next week.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins

Drew McIntyre made his entrance and before he could finish his entrance. Drew was interrupted by the music of the World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins. As Rollins made his entrance, he walked right by Drew, who was standing in the aisle looking frustrated. Rollins got into the ring followed by McIntyre getting into the ring right after him.

Rollins apologized to Drew for interrupting him and Rollins said that he was soaking up the spotlight. Drew said that after WrestleMania, the spotlight is all his. Rollins said that Drew is stupid and a hypocrite who has said a lot of dumb things. Rollins wanted to admit something to Drew’s face right here in front of the fans. Rollins said his name while adding that he’s a “spotlight junkie” like Drew has said in the past. The fans chanted “Spotlight Junkie” after that.

Drew said that everything was just a joke to Rollins. Drew said that Rollins has become a parody of himself. Drew told Rollins that he only cared about their match and that title. Drew told the fans that saying “What” means they are happy that Drew took out CM Punk. Drew told Rollins that the punch line is when Drew takes the World Title from Seth at WrestleMania. The fans chanted “CM Punk” so Drew said that Punk would be there next week. Rollins told Drew to shut up. Rollins said that he’s been doing this for 20 years just like Drew and every single time he comes out of that curtain, that’s his fix and it gets better every single time. Rollins said that when he hears the people sing his song so loud he can barely speak…that’s his fix. Rollins said that is the spotlight he craves. Rollins said he knows Drew has been entertaining people on Twitter. Rollins spoke about how at Night 1 at WrestleMania, he’ll take the biggest star in Hollywood and his side chick and make them his bitches. Rollins said that Night 2 will be all about their World Heavyweight Championship.

Drew said that they have both done this for 20 years and they have given their lives to this business. Drew said that it was about that workhorse championship. Drew told Rollins his priorities have been all wrong. Drew told Rollins all that he cares about is that Rollins makes it in the ring at Night 2 of WrestleMania. Drew said he won’t get the moment he deserves because it’s the moment he has bloody earned.

Rollins said that Drew wants the spotlight just like Seth and he’s an addict just like Seth. Rollins reminded us that Drew won the WWE Title in an empty warehouse four years ago and ever since then Drew has whined that he deserves more. Rollins told Drew that he had fumbled the ball since the lights had come back on. Rollins said that he shines bright when the lights are on. Rollins told Drew at WrestleMania 40, the lights will be bright and Drew will find out he’s not as good as he thinks he is. Rollins left to end the promo.

Analysis: It was the usual good promo from these guys making a lot of the same points they have made for months. Saying it was more of the same isn’t complaining. I liked it. It just felt like a lot of their promos where Drew talks about getting what he deserves while Rollins claims he’s the better man. I’m probably predicting a McIntyre win at WrestleMania 40 and I hope he’s agreed to a new contract because otherwise it would be a Rollins win.

Becky Lynch did a promo backstage saying she’s a wanted woman even though she doesn’t have a title. Lynch said that all she knows is fighting. Lynch said she’s going to be the last woman standing.

The New Day entered for tag team action.


PLUG CITY: Please check out the Too Much To Cover podcast hosted by my close friends John V and Justin, who are lifelong wrestling fans like me. They have very interesting personalities and are funny guys, so if you tune in you’ll have a lot of laughs. Plus, they reference a lot of my work in it too, so that’s wise. It’s available right now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and it should be everywhere else too. The latest episode was a lot of fun as they covered current topics including the build to this year’s WrestleMania, they mentioned some awards of another publication and a look back at WrestleMania 17 as well, which is a beloved show by a lot of us. Please give it a listen if you support what I do because it would mean a lot to me. Thank you.

WrestleMania 40 Tag Team Championship Qualifying Match: The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Akira Tozawa

Otis started with Woods as Otis used his stomach to attack. Tozawa tagged in against Kofi leading to Tozawa hitting an impressive hurricanrana. Kofi was on the floor, so Tozawa hit a suicide dive onto Kofi on the floor. The show went to break there.


The match returned with Otis hitting running body attacks on Kofi along with a back elbow. Woods went into the ring, so Otis hit him with a lefty clothesline. Kofi jumped onto Otis, who hit a front slam. Otis did a Caterpillar leading into an elbow drop for two. Tozawa tagged in, Otis missed a splash on Kofi and Tozawa hit a cross body block on Kofi. Woods tagged back in leading to a springboard Tornado DDT for two. Tozawa battled Woods on the turnbuckle, Woods countered Tozawa on the turnbuckle and Tozawa hit a hurricanrana out of the corner. Tozawa hit a Senton Bomb off the top on Woods for a two count because Kofi broke up the pin. Otis pulled Kofi out of the ring leading to Kofi countering a move and Kofi hit a DDT on Otis on the floor. Tozawa kicked Kofi off the apron. Woods blocked a Tozawa move by catching him and Woods hit a sitout Powerbomb. Woods went up top, walked the ropes and Woods hit an elbow drop off the top for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

That win means The New Day will be in the Six-Pack Ladder Match for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania 40.

Analysis: **1/2 An easy win for The New Day to qualify for WrestleMania 40, which is certainly fine with me. The New Day are the more established team. Tozawa pulled off some good moves, but it was pretty obvious he was taking the pin here. At least Otis had some funny spots in the match before he was taken out.

Liv Morgan walked up to Becky Lynch backstage. Morgan told Lynch that she wanted Lynch to kick Nia Jax’s ass. Liv looked like she was cold. I’m sure some fans were excited about it.


Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage with Pharaoh the dog. Seth Rollins was there with the World Heavyweight Title asking if Cody was going to be one on one this Friday on Smackdown. Cody assured Seth that’s what it would be as Cody left.

The Rock is back on WWE Raw on Monday, April 1st in Brooklyn for the final Raw before WrestleMania 40.

Next week on Raw:

* CM Punk returns.

* Ricochet vs. JD McDonagh

Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax

Lynch knocked Jax out of the ring with a missile dropkick. Lynch attacked on the floor, but Jax put Lynch on her shoulders. Jax smashed Lynch into the ring post and Jax gave Lynch a Samoan Drop into the barricade. Lynch fought back with punches as the show went to break.


It continued with Lynch setting up a table on the floor. Jax went Lynch into the ring and Jax tossed five steel chairs in the ring. Jax set up a table on the floor, but it appeared that one side of the table was broken. In the ring, Lynch hit Jax with a chair to the body. Jax gave Lynch a Samoan Drop onto the pile of steel chairs. Lynch came back with a running bulldog onto a steel chair that was opened up. Referee Shawn Bennett countered Jax down until Jax was up at eight. Lynch jumped off the top, but Jax hit her with a chair to the body. Jax hit Becky a few times with chair shots to the back. Jax brought kendo sticks into the ring leading to kendo stick attacks to the back. Jax body slammed Lynch on a chair followed by a leg drop on Lynch on the chair. When Lynch got back up, Jax hit Lynch in the back with the chair. Jax sat on the chair that was on Lynch, but Lynch used a kendo stick to attack Jax and send Jax out of the ring. They battled on the floor again with Jax hitting Lynch in the head with a steel chair. Jax missed a leg drop on the apron when Lynch moved and Pat goes “a whole lot of pain” for Nia in reference to Nia yelling “My Hole” in the past. Lynch gave Jax a DDT onto the steel steps. Lynch pulled out a table from under the ring and put it in the ring. That led to a break.


Jax was in control as Lynch was set up on a table. Jax did a very slow ladder climb and Lynch came back with a fire extinguisher spray in the face. Back in the ring, Lynch charged and Jax gave Lynch a Samoan Drop into the table that was against the turnbuckle. Jax hit her Annihilator splash leading to the referee counting Lynch down, but Lynch was able to get back up. Jax had Lynch on her shoulders on the apron, but Lynch fought back. Jax teased a Samoan Drop off the apron through the table and that was never going to happen. Lynch gave Jax a Manhandle Slam off the apron onto Jax through the table. The referee counted Jax down but got back up at nine to end it. Lynch went up the ladder at ringside and Jax was kind enough to lay across the commentary table so Lynch drove Jax through the commentary with a leg drop from Lynch. The referee countered Jax down. It went about 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Becky Lynch

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good, physical match with a smart use of weapons throughout the match and then a memorable finish. I would have done the finish after Lynch hit the Manhandle Slam through the table, but I think they want to keep Jax strong even in defeat. It’s a win for Lynch although it wasn’t a pinfall victory, so they can go back to saying that “Lynch has never beaten Jax by pinfall or submission” whenever they do the match again. It counts as a big win for Lynch since Jax beat her in the past.

After the match, the Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley went down to the ring with her title. Lynch was sitting on the mat until Ripley walked up to her, so Lynch got up and they had a staredown. Ripley held her title in the air. It sounded like a lot of “Mami” chants for Ripley. Becky and Rhea exchanged words as the show ended there.

Analysis: It was nice to see the Ripley-Lynch match getting some attention there. Only one minute on a three-hour show is disappointing although I know obviously that Lynch got to have a long main event. I would have liked more to be done to build the Ripley-Lynch match.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Cody Rhodes
  2. #DIY-The Creed Brothers
  3. Becky Lynch-Nia Jax


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 8

2024 Average: 7.54


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

This was a good episode of Raw for the most part. A lot of talking as usual during WrestleMania. Cody Rhodes did an excellent promo that was a lot more aggressive and edgier than what he usually does. I thought he nailed it in terms of insulting The Rock while calling him an asshole, saying he had “Little Dick Syndrome” and saying that Rock is a “whiny bitch” too. I’m a bit concerned that the attention isn’t on Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes enough, but that’s what their Smackdown segment is for. That’s a very important segment on Friday. Other promos like what Seth Rollins-Drew McIntyre was fine, but it really felt like a repeat of stuff they’ve said in the past. I thought the GUNTHER-Sami Zayn contract signing was a bit flat. They certainly could have tried to make it more interesting. What I liked about the Jey Uso-Jimmy Uso promo was that it was quick. Get right to the point, and then follow it up with the physicality.

It was a big night for tag team matches with four tag team matches on the show. Three of them were Qualifying Matches for the WrestleMania Ladder Match Tag. I really liked the #DIY-Creed Brothers match and obviously, that was given the most time of the three men’s tag team matches. The others were fine with The New Day and Miz/R-Truth getting into the Ladder Match.

Becky Lynch finally got a big win over Nia Jax in that Last Woman Standing Match. Good effort by both ladies. Rhea Ripley and Becky Lynch only had one minute on screen together at the end. That’s a WrestleMania match that needs more of a story going on. Too many of the matches feature a cocky champion while the challengers are all “I believe in myself” and it feels so repetitive. I’m not saying the matches will be hurt. I just think the build to some of the matches are too similar.

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.

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

* The Rock & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins (SATURDAY)

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

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

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

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Sami Zayn

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

* LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

* Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso

* Six-Pack Ladder Match For WWE Tag Team Championships: Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano vs. Awesome Truth – The Miz & R-Truth vs. The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. two other teams.

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