The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 04/01/24 Review

WWE Raw Deal April 1

This week’s WWE Raw featured The Rock & Roman Reigns in attendance on the final Raw before WrestleMania 40 takes place.

WrestleMania 40 week is here, my friends. We made it. I’m very excited about the show because I think the lineup is strong this year and I think there are a lot of matches to look forward to. The fact that I flying to Philadelphia on Tuesday to attend the WrestleMania 40 festivities makes me even more excited about it. I only take two weeks off in a year and this is one of my two weeks, so getting away from home for a week (I fly back on Monday, April 8th morning) is exciting to me. I wish the weather looked nicer in the coming days because there is rain in the forecast and it won’t be that warm yet. Anyway, if you’re going to Philly, I’ll be around downtown at events like Wrestlecon and WWE World (my hotel is right by it), both nights of WrestleMania, and more. Contact me on socials or an email if you’re around and I’m happy to chat if we meet. I’m a big man who will probably be in a Toronto Blue Jays or LA Rams hat when I’m out there so look for those things and you’ll find me, but I may be hatless sometimes too. I rated last week’s Raw at 8.5/10 as the best Raw of the year, so let’s see how WWE follows up on it this week.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1610 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

A video recap aired showing highlights of last week’s Raw that ended with The Rock brutally beating up Cody Rhodes outside the arena. Cody was a bloody mess while Rock beat on him with a leather strap and threw Cody into the side of Cody’s bus repeatedly. After Raw was done, Raw kept on beating up Cody while swearing at him. It was an awesome ending to the show.

It’s a commercial-free first hour of Raw as Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were at ringside welcoming us to the show. Cole claimed that Cody Rhodes wasn’t medically cleared to be at Raw tonight.

Let’s Hear from The Rock

The Rock made his entrance wearing a black/white vest while getting a huge reaction from the crowd. That entrance that Rock has is very cool with the visuals to go along with his classic theme song. At WrestleMania 40 Saturday, The Rock has his first match in eight years (a 6-second “match” where he beat Erick Rowan with one Rock Bottom) even though it’s really 11 years. Anyway, it’s Rock & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 40 Saturday. The fans were standing throughout the arena while McAfee kissed Rock’s ass as usual.

The Rock started by saying that he made that boy bleed. Rock said that he rammed that boy’s head into that bus, split that head wide open and there was blood over Rock’s hands. The fans were chanting “WHAT” as Rock talked about how he bloodied Cody and wiped it on that belt, but all that was missing was Mama Rhodes’ tears. The Rock said that the Cody Crybabies were so upset about how The Rock made Cody bleed. When Rock asked if there were any Cody Crybabies here tonight, Pat replied: “That’s you, Cole.” That was funny. There were “Cody” chants. The Rock said he laughs about the grown adults crying about Cody. The Rock claimed there was a reaction that Rock saw that stopped Rock in his tracks.

A clip aired of a little girl crying while watching The Rock beat up Cody and the girl said she wouldn’t watch Moana again. There was another little girl who cried about Rock beating up Cody.

The Rock said that it breaks his heart since he’s a proud three-time girl dad. However, to the moms and dads of the little kids crying, The Rock wants you to put the kids in front of the TV because Uncle Rock is going to drop some gospel on you. Rock said that there are moments in life when a man has to do what a man has to do. Rock said that there are moments in life when people stick their noses in business where they don’t belong. Rock mentioned Cody talking shit and saying that there are moments like now where Rock has to beat that punk ass over and over again.

The Rock told Brooklyn that right now, professional wrestling is cool. Rock said that the ratings have skyrocketed because of The Rock and right now you have set the record for the largest gate in the history of Raw. The Rock said “finally” so the fans said Rock’s catchphrase and Rock said finally blood was shed, finally we are five days out of WrestleMania, and finally, The Final Boss has come back to Brooklyn. There were “Rocky” chants again. The Rock told Brooklyn he didn’t come alone.

Analysis: Excellent promo from Rock. The clips of the kids crying was sad just to see fans reacting like that, but it also plays into Rock’s character being a jerk and bragging about how he beat up Cody the way he did.

Roman Reigns and The Bloodline made their entrance to a big reaction as well. Reigns was joined by Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa and the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman as usual. Cole talked about how on the Roman Reigns A&E Biography, he said something about how if he loses to Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania then he’s done. I think that would just be part of a story, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Cole mentioned that Reigns will headline his 8th WrestleMania on Saturday to tie Hulk Hogan and Reigns will headline his 9th WrestleMania on Sunday.

Reigns: “Brooklyn, New York…acknowledge me.” Reigns said if you saw his documentary then you know this and if you see his hoodie then you know it’s Family Above All. The fans were shouting “YEET” in reference to Jey Uso while Reigns said he came here to acknowledge his family. Rock said “No Yeet” and if you continue with that, he’ll leave.

Reigns thanked his cousin The Rock because this is going to be the easiest WrestleMania of his life. Reigns said that a tag team match to determine the stipulation for Sunday night? Come on! Reigns said that they are going to smash those fools and they are going to have their way with Cody. Reigns thanked Rock for what he did to Cody while saying that Rock made that boy bleed. Reigns thanked “Uso” Rock for putting his family above all and it sets the example that only The Final Boss can set. Reigns said that’s how you lead. Reigns said that Cody is not fit to lead because he’s a politician. Reigns claimed when he made this cool in 2020, Cody was off doing something else that didn’t matter and Reigns said WWE allowed Cody back, but they can’t let him get to the top. Reigns said he can’t allow it for his children, The Usos children, The Final Boss’ children. Reigns kept on going, but here’s an interruption from Seth “Freakin” Rollins from the crowd referencing his days with Reigns in The Shield.

Analysis: Good job by Reigns with that promo. I liked the confidence as usual.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins stood in the crowd with the fans beside him and singing his song. Rollins said that if you think that he’s coming to that ring so they can take him out like they did to Cody then that’s not happening. Rollins told them they would have to come fight him up there along with the fans in Brooklyn. Rollins told them that he wanted a fight tonight. Rollins said that WrestleMania five days away, so tonight’s Raw is the biggest Raw in Brooklyn and Rollins said that Brooklyn deserves the biggest main event of all time. Rollins told The Bloodline that they think they are responsible for all the people being at the show, so Rollins told them to put their money where their mouth is. Rock suggested a match for him against “The Final Boss” The Rock. The fans went crazy and chanted “YES” for that. Rollins said that he doesn’t think ol’ DJ has the balls, but his cousin Roman Reigns might have grown a set in the last few years. Rollins said he’d be more than happy to take on Reigns tonight. Rollins said they could pick who is it going to be and they can even pick the stipulation. Rollins suggested a Steel Cage, Bloodline Rules, Ladder Match or even First Blood since that’s their thing. Rollins asked who’s got the balls?

The Rock responded to Rollins about how Rollins disrespected them. Rock said that he gave Rhodes brain damage. Rock told Rollins he isn’t going to find Rock or Reigns, so the fans booed and Rock told them to shut up while enjoying the ride that The Rock was taking you on. The Rock knows that Rollins is a tough son of a bitch, but they always have a plan. Solo Sikoa spoke up saying he’ll face Rollins. The Rock said it would be Bloodline Rules while hyping up the biggest WrestleMania ever and the biggest Raw ever.

Analysis: It’s a big match for later in the show. Solo Sikoa really hasn’t had a lot of TV matches this year, so it’s a big spot for him. The Bloodline Rules stipulation teases the idea that there will be interference in the match. It’s certainly an interesting choice for a main event.

A clip was shown of Rhea Ripley on the MMA Hour show with Ariel Helwani. Becky Lynch called into the show since she was outside the building. Lynch was let into the building and Lynch-Ripley got into an argument at the show.

Analysis: A nice way to build the story even more.

Becky Lynch was interviewed by Cathy Kelley. Lynch said she’ll be out in the ring to call out Ripley later in the show.

The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh vs. #DIY – Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa and The New Day – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

It was J-Day in control early on as Dominik hit a couple of suplexes on Gargano. Balor tagged in with a running double clothesline spot with Gargano. Ciampa tagged in with running clotheslines on JD & Dom repeatedly. Ciampa hit a jumping clothesline while Kofi made the tag and Priest kicked Ciampa out of the ring. Kofi jumped onto Priest with an elbow smash. Kofi went up top and hit a cross body block on JD. Woods got the tag leading to a springboard DDT on JD. Kofi jumped off the top onto Balor on the floor. Woods hit a Jackhammer slam for two as Dom made the save. Dominik sent Ciampa into the ropes, Ciampa blocked a 619 attempt and Gargano kicked Dominik out of the ring. Gargano hit a suicide dive onto Dominik on the floor. Back in the ring, JD hit a standing Spanish Fly on Woods. Priest nailed Ciampa with a running clothesline. Priest with a boot on Gargano and Priest with a Chokeslam on Kofi. Priest hit a Razor’s Edge on Ciampa for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

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

Analysis: **1/2 A dominant win by The Judgment Day. I didn’t think that match would only go five minutes, but that’s all they got. It was fun for the time given and it certainly did a nice job of putting over Damian Priest in a big way.

The Bloodline was backstage looking at Solo Sikoa with Rock & Reigns saying that Solo was ready. Roman Reigns told The Rock he was going to go and Rock said that’s cool because he’ll handle it. Reigns said he was going to write the speech to induct Paul Heyman into the WWE Hall of Fame. Heyman made sure we got the point saying that Reigns will induct him into the Hall of Fame this Friday. The fans cheered. Heyman kissed Rock’s hand and left with Reigns.

Analysis: That’s an interesting development considering it is Bloodline Rules later in the show. Also, it’s a great choice to have Reigns induct Heyman into the WWE Hall of Fame.

A video aired about Chad Gable training Sami Zayn at the WWE Performance Center recently. Zayn was shown taking a lot of moves from guys in the ring and Gable choked out Zayn, who tapped out. Zayn shouted at Gable for being hard on him. Gable said that Gunther isn’t going to let up just because Zayn is exhausted. Zayn admitted that he was afraid of letting people down, he was afraid of seeing people like his wife and son cry just like Chad saw his daughter cry. Gable said he understands that better than anyone. Gable said that he wasn’t telling Zayn what he wanted to hear when he said he couldn’t beat Gunther. Gable said that Zayn is at his best when people doubt him, so Gable wanted to find that hunger and prove them wrong together. The training continued with Zayn doing more training in the ring along with different workouts. This time when Gable tried to choke him out, Zayn was ready and flipped Gable over. Gable was happy about that.

Analysis: That was cool. Some people find this kind of thing to be a bit cheesy, but I didn’t mind it. Zayn admitting that he was scared of letting people down is an honest thing for a man to say while also making Zayn relatable as a regular guy who’s living his dream. The fans can relate to that. Gable was great as the coach in this segment too.

Sami Zayn made his entrance for a match against Bronson Reed. They went to break 53 minutes into the show so it’s not a full hour of commercial-free action, but 53 minutes of commercial-free action.


The Judgment Day was shown backstage talking about their big win. Rhea Ripley bragged about how she has Becky Lynch’s attention now. Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Angel, Berto & Elektra Lopez) walked in, Damian Priest didn’t like that and told Dominik they are fine with Dominik teaming with Escobar at WrestleMania, but he didn’t like this. Priest said he would make a call and he left. Rhea Ripley didn’t like it either. Dominik tried to have everybody get along and suggested darts with Escobar.

Sami Zayn vs. Bronson Reed

Reed beat Zayn last week due to a GUNTHER distraction, so now we get the rematch. Reed was in control early as he went for a splash, but Zayn countered with a pin attempt for two. Reed ran over Zayn with a running body attack. Zayn bounced off the ropes to jump over Reed and Zayn knocked Reed out of the ring. Zayn followed up with a somersault dive over the top onto Reed on the floor. Back in the ring, Zayn jumped onto Reed, who caught Zayn and Reed hit a powerslam. Gable was watching on the TV to support his body Zayn. When Zayn tried to fight back, Reed caught him with a uranage slam along with an elbow drop to the chest. They battled by the ropes with Reed going for something, but Zayn countered with a sunset flip Powerbomb for two. Good nearfall. Zayn tried a lift, Reed fought that off and Reed hit a Death Valley Driver for two.


The match continued with Zayn hitting a Tornado DDT for a two count. Zayn caught Reed going for an Exploder, but Reed countered that into a corkscrew suplex along with a senton splash. Reed went up top slowly, so Zayn was back up with a punch. Reed headbutted Zayn down and Reed jumped off the top with a Tsunami, but Zayn avoided it. GUNTHER was shown in the aisle with Chad Gable. Gunther dragged Gable by a leg to show that Gunther beat him up. Zayn left the ring and checked on Gable in the aisle. Gunther attacked Zayn with a kick, so I guess that’s it for the match. It went about 13 minutes.

Match Result: No Contest or Disqualification

Analysis: *** It was fun while it lasted. I like their chemistry a lot. Reed is so believable as a power guy while Zayn takes a beating very well and he’s terrific at making the babyface comeback when needed. They didn’t announce any kind of finish, but Gunther attacking Zayn would be a DQ ending.

Gunther beat up Zayn by throwing him into the big screens by the entrance. Gunther nailed Zayn wit ha forearm to the head along with chops. Gunther hit Zayn with a big boot to the head. Gunther told Zayn that the mind games are over and to stop dreaming. Gunther picked up Zayn so that Gunther could chop Zayn two more times. Gunther put his foot on Zayn’s chest and posed with the IC Title. After about 20 seconds, Zayn found a way to get back to his feet with fans chanting “Sami” for him. When Zayn got back up, Gunther nailed him with a belt shot to the head. Nobody came out to stop the fight or check on Zayn.

Analysis: What really makes Sami Zayn great is his ability to sell in a believable way and take a beating. The way he took that ass kicking was so perfect and then when he got back up, the crowd was chanting “Sami” and buying into it until Gunther put him down for good. Well booked.

Jey Uso was shown backstage with Grammy Award winner Lil Wayne and Jey invited him to WrestleMania. Lil Wayne said he’ll be there and he’s bringing his new single with him.

Analysis: That’s cool that Lil Wayne will be at WrestleMania. I don’t listen to that much current music, but I certainly know him.

Damage CTRL was shown arriving earlier in the day.


It was announced earlier in the day that The Rock will induct his grandmother Lia Maivia into the WWE Hall of Fame. They also confirmed that Roman Reigns will induct Paul Heyman into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri

The once hot crowd really wasn’t into this one early on. Nile was in there early for her team and then Dupri got in there, so LeRae did her mean girl routine on her. Dupri managed to get a rollup for two. LeRae worked over Dupri with forearms leading to a two count. Indi tagged in, Dupri broke free and Nile tagged in with a headscissors on Indi along with an enziguri kick. Nile hit a running kick in the corner. LeRae shoved Nile off the top rope while the referee wasn’t looking and Indi acted like she wasn’t happy about that. Dupri dropkicked Indi LeRae on the apron, so LeRae bumped to the floor. Dupri did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Indi for the pinfall win. It went about four minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri

Analysis: *3/4 The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. It was decent in terms of advancing the story they are trying to tell with LeRae turning heel. This should lead to something where either Indi starts cheating the way LeRae does or it could lead to a split for LeRae/Indi.

After the match, LeRae told Indi that was embarrassing and that you should be ashamed of yourself for losing to Maxxine Dupri.

The Rock & Roman Reigns will be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night.

Seth Rollins was backstage looking at his World Heavyweight Title. Jey Uso walked up saying he had Seth’s back the way Seth had his back last week. Rollins said he was glad to hear that as they walked off together.


A video aired (sponsored by Snickers) featuring Natalya talking about how her favorite WrestleMania moment is WrestleMania 10 when Owen Hart beat Bret Hart in a matchup between her two uncles. What a great match and upset with Owen getting the win.

Drew McIntyre was shown in a funeral home laughing around a casket. Drew mocked CM Punk for being an injury-prone hasbeen. Drew recapped Punk getting hurt during the Royal Rumble match. Drew spoke about his WrestleMania 40 opponent and said that he’s going to put down the broken down workhorse Seth Rollins and become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

Analysis: It was as if Drew was delivering a eulogy for his rivals. It was more of the same for Drew in terms of what he was saying. Last week’s promo segment with Drew, Seth Rollins and CM Punk was outstanding, so we didn’t need to hear a longer promo.

Ricochet vs. Ivar

Both men will be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. I missed the start of it. They left the ring where Ricochet went for a springboard attack off the middle rope, but Ivar hit him in the leg and Ricochet collapsed to the floor.


Ricochet kicked Ivar into the corner and Ricochet charged, but Ivar sat on him to stop him. They left the ring where Ivar went for a cross body block against the ring apron. Ricochet avoided it and Ivar hit the apron LED board. Ricochet did an impressive handspring move leading to a twisting body attack on Ivar on the floor. That was impressive. Ricochet went up top for something, Ivar moved and Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline off the top. Ricochet went for a springboard twisting body attack, Ivar avoided it and Ivar hit a spin kick. Ivar hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Ricochet avoided a charging Ivar. Ricochet went for a springboard cross body block, Ivar caught him and Ivar hit a spinning slam. Ivar hit a springboard cross body block of his own for two. Ivar went up top for the Doomsault, but Ricochet avoided it. Ivar charged, Ricochet caught him and Ricochet gave Ivar a fallaway slam. Ricochet went up top and hit a 630 Splash for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ricochet

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match that had a lot of action in the ten minutes they were given. It was smart to finish the match shortly after Ricochet caught the big man Ivar and hit a fallaway slam on him. I don’t think many people watching this match expected Ricochet to do a move like that, so it was a terrific move to do leading right into the impressive 630 Splash for the finish. Ricochet continues his winning ways with this third straight win since he’s beaten Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh recently.

The Judgment Day was in their clubhouse with Legado Del Fantasma. Damian Priest wondered why Ricochet wasn’t handled yet. JD McDonagh said he would handle it in the Andre Battle Royal. Dominik said just in case JD can’t handle it, he has just the guy for the job – it’s Andrade. Dominik introduced Andrade to Santos and they shook hands. Dominik told Andrade if he takes care of the Ricochet, they’ll make Andrade a full member of their group. Andrade agreed to it and shook hands with Dominik. Rhea Ripley spoke up saying she heard Becky Lynch was up next so she was going to say hi to her.

Analysis: I don’t know about Andrade being in The Judgment Day. I think he’s going to be more of a babyface, so I doubt it works out.


A video aired about rapper Meek Mill since he has two songs featured during WrestleMania 40. Cole said Meek Mill will be the voice of the WrestleMania 40 open.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley

Becky Lynch made her entrance for a promo. Her match with Rhea Ripley for Ripley’s World Championship will be on WrestleMania Saturday. Lynch got right down to it saying she come out there looking for a fight, so they can finish it right here and right now. Ripley called out Ripley to fight her right now.

Adam Pearce, the Raw General Manager, walked out saying they are not doing this tonight. Pearce said that they can’t jeopardize one of the biggest matches on the biggest WrestleMania of all time. Security guys joined Lynch at ringside. Pearce told Lynch to leave the ring.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance as the Women’s World Champion. Pearce told Ripley to save it for WrestleMania. Ripley acted like she would wait, but then she got right past Pearce and Ripley broke through the security guys. Ripley went after Lynch in the ring. Ripley punched Lynch repeatedly. Lynch beat up some security guys. Lynch jumped off the top and jumped onto Ripley on the floor. Ripley was taken away by several security guys while Lynch was held back. That was it.

Analysis: This only went about four minutes so it was a quick segment. It was the second week in a row where Lynch & Ripley got into a brawl. This time it was set up way quicker compared to last week when they had a chat first. I think Ripley will probably keep her title to continue her year-long reign, but if Lynch wins then that’s fine with me too.

Damage CTRL’s Dakota Kai, Asuka, Kairi Sane & IYO SKY were backstage. Kai did a promo about how they would win over Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill & Naomi at WrestleMania. They are in action up next.

Analysis: I think Belair, Cargill & Naomi winning is the easiest prediction for all of WrestleMania 40.

A video aired to remind us WrestleMania 40 is just five days away. I’m ready.


It was announced that Clash at the Castle will return on Saturday, June 15th in Europe and WWE will announce details about it on Tuesday.

A replay was shown of some of the Becky Lynch-Rhea Ripley brawl with Pat doing his unique replay style.

There was a shot of Rhea Ripley and Becky Lynch still fighting backstage while Pearce was shouting at security guys to keep them separated. Dominik Mysterio pulled Ripley away to end it.

Damage CTRL – Dakota Kai, Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark & Tegan Nox

The Damage CTRL girls were in control early, but then their opponents went back into the ring for a triple German Suplex. Baszler & Nox sent their opponents out of the ring with sliding kicks. Stark followed that by jumping off the ropes onto the women on the floor. They went to break there.


Stark got a tag leading to clotheslines and a German Suplex for Asuka. Stark went up top and hit a missile dropkick for two. Nox tagged in against Kai with a headbutt to the chest, then a knee and a running kick. Nox hit a running corner splash on Kai for a two count because Asuka broke up the pin. Baszler tried to choke out Asuka, but Sane grabbed onto Baszler’s leg. Asuka kicked Baszler out of the ring. Stark knocked down Asuka, then Sane got involved and Kai superkicked Stark. Nox went for a cannonball on Kai, but Kai moved out of the way and Kai hit a running kick. Asuka held Sane, who jumped off the top with the Insane Elbow for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Damage CTRL – Dakota Kai, Asuka & Kairi Sane

Analysis: **3/4 A solid tag team to put over Damage CTRL before they lose at WrestleMania. I get why it’s done. It just felt like a flat match without any kind of story. The other team worked hard, but really had no chance to win here. Stark was probably the most impressive person in the match. It’s good to see Kai back in the ring after missing most of the last year with a knee injury.

Solo Sikoa was shown taping up his hand/wrist to get ready for the main event.


There was a graphic showing the ridiculous amount of content coming for WrestleMania 40 weekend with all the shows that WWE is doing. That led to the rundown of the WrestleMania card.

The WrestleMania 40 Saturday Matches:

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

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

* Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso

* Jade Cargill, Naomi & Bianca Belair vs. Damage CTRL’s Asuka, Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai

* 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. A-Town Down Under – Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. New Catch Republic – Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate

* LWO – Rey Mysterio & Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar & Dominik Mysterio

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

The WrestleMania 40 Sunday Matches:

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

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

* Philly Street Fight – Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. Karrion Kross & Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)

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

* LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

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

Analysis: It’s good to know what matches are on what nights. Some outstanding matches are going to happen this weekend. I’m looking forward to being there live.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown walking backstage as Cathy Kelley spoke to him for a walk-n-talk interview. Rollins said that he only has one gear, pedal to the metal and empty the tank. Rollins said he always has a plan B. Drew McIntyre was sitting on some equipment cases and Rollins told him he ain’t dead yet. Drew shouted: “Yet.” Rollins made his way to the ring and we saw a cool camera angle showing what his entrance looked like from his perspective.

That Seth Rollins-Solo Sikoa match is next.


Bloodline Rules: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Solo Sikoa

This is Seth’s first match on Raw since January when he hurt his knee. The fans were chanting “we want tables” early in the match. They left the ring quickly and Rollins sent Solo into the steel steps. Solo rammed Seth’s head into the hood of the commentary table. Solo tossed Rollins over the barricade at ringside. Rollins threw four steel chairs at Solo, who used his arms to try to block them. Rollins nailed Solo with a chair to the back. Rollins gave Solo a DDT onto a steel chair that was opened up on the floor. Rollins set up a table in the ring as Solo got back into the ring. Rollins superkicked Solo two times to put Solo face first onto the table. Rollins went up top, Solo got him up there and Solo gave Rollins a Samoan Drop off the middle turnbuckle through the table. That was cool and looked about as good as you can do it. The show went to break.


Solo was in full control with about 11 minutes left in the show. Solo rammed Seth’s head into the steel steps. Solo charged, Rollins moved out of the way and Solo hit the steel steps. Rollins picked up the steps to knock Solo down. Rollins set up another table in the ring. Solo blocked a suplex attempt by sending Rollins throat-first into the top rope. Solo put Rollins on the top rope, Rollins did a sunset flip to get out of it and Rollins hit a Powerbomb through the table. Rollins hit The Stomp. Jimmy Uso ran down to the ring and superkicked Rollins. Jey Uso’s music as he emerged to fight with brother Jimmy. The Usos fought all the way to the entrance way, but then The Rock showed up. Rock threw Jey into the LED screens by the entrance and tossed Jey backstage.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: It’s difficult to rate because there was no match rating announced. It just sort of stopped after what happened next. I did like what Seth & Solo did before it just kind of ended there. There was no match ending.

The Rock walked down to ringside and got into the ring with Rollins, who was smiling. Cody Rhodes’s music hit as Cody ran down to the ring with some tape on his forehead. Cody was in a tank top and pants rather than in a suit. Cody punched and kicked Rock a few times. Rollins and Cody cleared off the commentary table. Cody teased putting Rock through a table, but Roman Reigns was there and Reigns saved Rock by beating up Cody. Reigns sent Rollins into the ring post. Cole said that Reigns came from under the ring. The fans chanted “CM Punk” who was not there. Back in the ring, Reigns nailed Rollins with a Superman Punch. Reigns also nailed Cody with a Spear. Reigns trash talked Cody said that this is it and this is everything. Rock and Roman hugged in the ring. The Rock took out a blue leather belt that he used to hit Cody and Seth in the back. Reigns also used the leather belt to hit Cody & Seth. After several more belt shots, Rollins tried to get back up, but Rock whipped Rollins with the leather belt a few times. Solo held Cody against the ropes, Rock took off Cody’s shirt and Rock whipped Cody’s back with the leather belt a few times. Rock was swearing so there was muting going on. Reigns told his fallen opponents that this is what it looks like and they aren’t ever going to get it. The fans chanted “Rocky Sucks” at The Final Boss. Reigns and Rock stood together while Reigns held up the Universal Title and Rock held up the leather strap. Reigns trash talked Rollins some more while Rock hit Cody with the leather strap again.

Analysis: It was yet another dominant showing for The Rock just like last week except this time Roman Reigns was there with him. I think that Rock & Reigns winning at WrestleMania Saturday is very possible, but maybe after these last two weeks, it could be a Cody & Seth win. I don’t know now. I think as a beatdown, it worked in terms of being vicious thanks to the use of the leather strap. It didn’t come across as a rushed segment or anything like that. They took their team and it was an ass-kicking that made the viewers feel sorry for Cody & Seth going into WrestleMania Saturday. It’s really good as an angle. The Rock has been incredible as The Final Boss while I am glad that Reigns was a part of it. Just a reminder that Reigns said he was leaving earlier, which is another example of a phrase I use often…heels lie. Anyway, good job by Cody & Seth taking another beating and it did an excellent job of setting the stage for WrestleMania Saturday & Sunday.


Three Stars of the Show

1. The Rock

2. Roman Reigns

3. Seth Rollins


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 8.5

2024 Average: 7.60


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

I thought it was a very good episode for the most part. The Rock & Roman Reigns absolutely decimating Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins is a smart final message going into WrestleMania 40 because it will make fans want to see the babyfaces Cody & Seth try to get revenge. It was a dominant showing for The Bloodline just like last week when Rock beat up Cody for several minutes to end the show.

In terms of matches, two of them ended without a finish being booked due to extended heel beatdowns. That includes the Seth Rollins-Solo Sikoa main event and Sami Zayn’s match with Bronson Reed due to Gunther destroying Zayn. If you’re a fan of match finishes then maybe you’ll be disappointed in this show, but I didn’t mind it.

They did a nice job of focusing on WrestleMania 40 by pushing the stories of the people involved in the card while some others had matches too. I also liked that they announced what WM40 matches are on Saturday and what ones are on Sunday too. That’s good for the fans and the talent to know.

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

The WrestleMania 40 Saturday Matches:

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

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

* Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso

* Jade Cargill, Naomi & Bianca Belair vs. Damage CTRL’s Asuka, Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai

* 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. A-Town Down Under – Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. New Catch Republic – Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate

* LWO – Rey Mysterio & Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar & Dominik Mysterio

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

The WrestleMania 40 Sunday Matches:

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

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

* Philly Street Fight – Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. Karrion Kross & Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)

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

* LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

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

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