The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 04/29/24 Review (WWE Draft Part 2)

WWE Raw Deal April 29

It’s WWE Raw featuring the second part of the WWE Draft.

The big news coming out of last week’s Raw was that Becky Lynch won the vacant Women’s World Title in a battle royal.

I also want to congratulate Drew McIntyre on his new WWE contract. It’s apparently a three-year deal for the Scottish Warrior, who is truly one of the best pro wrestlers anywhere in the world. I’m a big fan of Drew and glad he’s staying because he is thriving as a heel. We have been covering the Drew McIntyre story for over a year, so I’m glad he was able to make a deal to stick around for many more years. Whenever CM Punk returns to the ring, his rivalry with McIntyre will certainly be one of the best in WWE this year.

This past Friday on Smackdown was the start of the WWE Draft featuring wrestlers who were eligible to be drafted on Smackdown. More wrestlers will be picked tonight on Raw. I’ll re-post the rules below. There will be 24 picks announced during Raw tonight. This is the final Raw before Backlash France. The new rosters start next Monday on Raw on May 6th.


  1. Champions on each brand will be protected and are not eligible to be drafted. As a result, Damian Priest, Becky Lynch, Awesome Truth and Sami Zayn will remain on Raw. Cody Rhodes, Bayley, A-Town Down Under and Logan Paul will remain on SmackDown.
  2. Even though their status as champions allows them to go to both brands, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka and Kairi Sane are eligible to be drafted. They will be assigned to that brand if they lose the titles.
  3. Friday’s SmackDown will feature four rounds of draft picks being announced. Each round will consist of the brands making two picks apiece for a total of 16 picks being announced (8 for SmackDown and 8 for Raw).
  4. Monday’s Raw will feature six rounds of draft picks being announced. Each round will consist of the brands making two picks apiece for a total of 24 picks (12 for Raw and 12 for SmackDown).
  5. SmackDown will have the first pick on Friday, and Raw will have first pick on Monday.
  6. Rosters will go into effect on Monday, May 6, two days after Backlash France.

Here are the wrestlers available to be drafted on tonight’s Raw.


This is the Raw Deal for episode #1614 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Raw started with the arrival of WWE United States Champion Logan Paul. They also had Patrick Mahomes of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, who are three-time Super Bowl Champions. The Judgment Day congratulated Paul on the great job he was doing. They walked into the building together.

Analysis: That’s a nice get the NFL’s Patrick Mahomes on the show. He’s the best player in the NFL who has won back to back Super Bowls and is a God in KC.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were standing at ringside to welcome us to Raw. Pat made the fans acknowledge Roman Reigns, who withdrew from the draft. They showed a graphic of the Raw and Smackdown wrestlers drafted. The rules were shown.

They showed the Raw and Smackdown “war rooms” as they thought about their picks. The NXT roster was seated in the WWE PC building just like this past Friday on Smackdown. A graphic was shown of superstars eligible to be drafted.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

The new Women’s World Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance to a big pop as she held the championship in her hands. Lynch spoke about how they had some history together because a lot of people say this was where “The Man” was born. Lynch said six years ago she was on those steps with a bloody face when she let everybody know this was her show now. Lynch said six years later she’s the Women’s World Champion saying the same damn thing.

Lynch said there’s a whole new division waiting in the wings. Lynch said that it has taken her two years to win back a championship. That led to the friendly “you deserve it” chant although the chant wasn’t that loud. Lynch said they needed to find a number one contender and she wants to fight the best.

Liv Morgan interrupted the promo saying if you’re looking for a number one contender, here is Liv. The fans chanted “Mami” for Rhea Ripley as Liv got into the ring. Liv claimed that Lynch owed her a title match. Liv said that she took Rhea Ripley, which Lynch couldn’t do at WrestleMania. Liv said that this is her revenge tour and we all knew the endgame was going to be her. Liv said she won’t stop until she has everything that she wants.

Lynch said that Liv was right that Lynch wouldn’t be holding this if not for what Liv did to Ripley. Lynch pointed out that Liv would be holding this if Lynch didn’t beat her last week in the battle royal.

Nia Jax, who was drafted to Smackdown (the new rosters start next week), was booed heavily. Jax claimed she dominated both of them last week, so she should be the champion. The only reason Jax is not the champion is because they teamed up to eliminate her. Jax said that she got drafted to the superior show Smackdown and that’s why she is wearing blue. Jax said she will soon be champion on Smackdown as Bayley, Naomi and Tiffany saw. Jax said it was her last night on Raw, which led to cheers from the crowd. Jax claimed if she was leaving, she is taking one of them with her. Liv dropkicked Jax off the apron and Liv told Jax she accepts if Jax was going to issue a match challenge. That was it.

Analysis: I liked the promo exchange between Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan. While Liv was correct that she took out Rhea Ripley, Lynch was correct in pointing out that she beat Liv in the battle royal last week and that’s why Lynch is holding the title. I wonder if Liv will be more heelish moving forward since she has bragged about taking out Rhea Ripley and the fans love Rhea, so it’s a way to get some heat on Liv. Maybe they will make her more of a heel when Ripley is back in a few months. Anyway, it was a fine way to set up a Jax-Morgan match.

Jey Uso was shown arriving. He was the top pick for Raw last Friday on Smackdown.

Stephanie McMahon was shown walking backstage to kick off the WWE Draft.


Sami Zayn and Bronson Reed were shown arriving earlier in the day. Zayn will defend the Intercontinental Title against Reed later in the show.

WWE Draft Round 1

Stephanie McMahon said it felt great to be back there in Kansas City (cheap pop). Stephanie welcomed us to the WWE Draft.

Raw – Imperium’s GUNTHER & Ludwig Kaiser. No more Giovanni Vinci with the group.

Smackdown – Jade Cargill

Raw – Damage CTRL’s IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Asuka & Kairi Sane. Asuka & Sane are the Women’s Tag Team Champions who can appear on any brand, but when they lose the titles, they will be on Raw.

Smackdown – Kevin Owens

Analysis: I’m certainly fine with GUNTHER staying on Raw where I hope he gets elevated to the main event level. Jade Cargill is staying on Smackdown with Bianca Belair so that doesn’t change anything. Damage CTRL going to Raw keeps them away from Bayley. Kevin Owens stays on Smackdown where he has been for the last year.

GUNTHER (w/Ludwig Kaiser) vs. Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston)

The match started with Gunther sending Woods into the turnbuckle. Woods came back with a forearm. Woods sent Gunther out of the ring, Gunther avoided an attack and Gunther chopped Woods to knock him down. They went to break there.


Gunther was in control with a body slam. Woods tried to fight back, but Gunther nailed him with an open hand chop to the chest that was very loud. Gunther hit Woods with more chops along with a clothesline. Gunther tried a Powerbomb, Woods landed on his feet and kicked Gunther in the ribs. Woods chopped Gunther a few times to knock him down followed by Woods going up top and Woods hit a missile dropkick for two. Woods tried a suplex, but Gunther got out of that and hit a chop. Gunther shoved Woods on the apron and Woods’ right leg/foot got caught against the ropes. Gunther stomped on the right leg a few times. The referee freed Woods’ right leg as the show went to break.


The match continued with Gunther doing a knee drop on Xavier’s lower right leg. Gunther bodyslammed Woods into the ropes so that Woods’ leg hit the ropes. Gunther set up Woods upside down leading to strikes to the right knee as Woods continued to sell it. Gunther chopped Woods down. Gunther went up top, Gunther jumped off the top and Woods got both knees up to block it. Woods was selling the knee injury again. Gunther came back with a half crab submission on the right knee. Woods refused to give up. Kofi had a towel and he was on the apron to throw in the towel, but Woods was shouting: “I can do it.” Kofi threw the towel into the crowd. Woods nearly got to the ropes, so Gunther pulled Woods to the center of the ring and applied a modified STF where he bent back the right leg and applied a facelock at the same time. Woods tried to fight it, but Woods couldn’t take it and Woods tapped out. The match went 17 minutes.

Winner by submission: GUNTHER

Analysis: ***1/2 A classic Gunther match where he worked over Woods’ right leg for most of it and wore him down while Woods sold it very well. I liked the towel spot just to add to the drama some more. There wasn’t much of a babyface comeback from Woods since he was selling the leg injury so much and Woods had to tap out from the pain. I liked how it was a slow, methodical kind of match that reminded the viewer of how Gunther is capable of winning in a lot of different ways.

After the match, Gunther took an imaginary crown and put it on his head since Woods was the last King of the Ring while Gunther thinks he will be King of the Ring soon.

Analysis: King Gunther? Sounds good to me.

Jey Uso was asked by Cathy Kelley about the pressure of being the number one pick on Raw and challenging for the World Heavyweight Title. Jey was fine with the pressure. When Cathy mentioned Logan Paul being at Raw, Jey said he’s glad WWE signed a Paul brother, but maybe they should have got the one with a winning record. Jey left.


There were images shown of the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and having a Super Bowl parade. The announcers talked about how there was a shooting during a tragedy. They showed a young kid named Joey who hung out with some of the KC Chiefs like Tre Smith. They talked about their love for WWE. A clip was shown of Joey welcoming the crowd to Raw earlier. Chiefs players Tre Smith and Creed Humphrey were at ringside as well.

Analysis: That’s a cool moment for young Joey and the Chiefs players. That Super Bowl parade shooting was a tragedy, but they did save lives by stopping the shooters.

WWE Draft Round 2

Logan Paul and IShowSpeed were at the podium to announce more picks. There was also a special introduction for Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs at ringside. Patrick had his three Super Bowl rings on his right hand. The fans popped huge. Speed announced the Raw picks and Paul announced the Smackdown picks.

Raw – CM Punk

Smackdown – The Pride’s Bobby Lashley, Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins & B-Fab

Raw – Braun Strowman

Smackdown – Tiffany Stratton

Analysis: CM Punk as a Raw guy is what I expected. I assume Drew McIntyre will be on Raw too, yet he hasn’t been picked yet. Smackdown keeps The Pride group along with Tiffany Stratton, so there is no change there for them. Braun Strowman is back from missing a year after having major neck surgery.

Let’s Hear from Logan Paul

The US Champion Logan Paul and IShowSpeed walked down to the ring. Logan said that he heard Jey Uso running his mouth. Logan said that Damian Priest will beat Jey. Logan said that Jey is incapable of being a champion on his own, which is something Logan has become a master at. Logan went into the ring and Jey Uso’s music hit to interrupt.

Jey Uso got into the ring asking the crowd if they think he’s going to be World Heavyweight Champion and if should knock Logan Paul out. The fans answered questions with “Yeet” every time. Logan claimed he was saying “Yeet” since 2017. Logan had some backup from The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & JD McDonagh. Logan trashed Jey for being stupid. Jey fought against Balor & JD, but that didn’t go well for Jey. Mahomes put three Super Bowl rings on Logan’s hand (I assume they are replica rings, not the real thing) and Logan tried to punch Jey, but Jey moved, so Logan punched JD by accident. Jey was laughing about it and attacked Balor with punches. Paul punched Jey with the loaded right hands with rings on it.

Braun Strowman made his return after a year away. Big pop for Braun. Logan Paul left the ring. Braun picked up Balor and hit a huge Chokeslam on Balor. Strowman chased after Paul, who left through the crowd. Strowman stopped when he walked by Mahomes. Strowman stared at Mahomes, who had his two offensive linemen beside him. Jey pulled Strowman back. Braun celebrated his return.

Analysis: It was an entertaining segment. Logan Paul did a good job of acting like the cocky guy that was going to dominate this segment, but instead, it was Braun Strowman making his triumphant return to a big pop. Welcome back to Braun after missing a year. It was a good segment to bring back Braun and establish him as a babyface to save Jey Uso from a tough spot. I also liked how they used Patrick Mahomes to assist Paul and then the little staredown with Strowman to end it. Good stuff here.

R-Truth was backstage talking to Chad Gable, who said Truth won’t regret it. The Miz walked in saying that Adam Pearce said that they have a Tag Team Title match tonight. Truth said that he did a deal with Gable, who said it was a 2-on-1. Truth thinks that it’s the WWE Draft, so they could be drafted to the Kansas City Chiefs. Miz said that it’s not the NFL Draft. Miz mentioned Patrick Mahomes being there. Truth thinks that Mahomes is the insurance guy referring to Pat’s commercials. Gable mocked Miz for having Truth as a negotiator. Miz did his “really” bit and left. When Gable turned around, Sami Zayn was there to knock him down with a Helluva Kick that knocked Gable down on the floor. Pat: “That had to feel so good.” Yep.

Analysis: I laughed at Truth thinking that Mahomes is an insurance guy based on the State Farm commercials that he does. Truth is gold as usual. It’s nice to see Zayn get some revenge on Gable as well.


Booker T was interviewed by Cathy Kelley backstage. Booker was apparently a draft analyst. Booker mentioned Smackdown picking Jade Cargill while Raw getting CM Punk was huge. Drew McIntyre walked up to Booker saying “tell me you didn’t just say that” which is a Booker line. Drew wasn’t happy about not being picked yet and mentioned Punk being hurt after one match. Drew complained about not being World Champion and Booker argued with him a bit. Drew said that Booker knew what Punk was like, but Booker has changed. Drew left angrily.

Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn vs. Bronson Reed

Reed was in control using his power in the first minute. Zayn managed to send Reed out of the ring followed by a springboard moonsault on the floor. Pat said something in Spanish and Cole said “nothing generic about that” as a reference to Zayn’s El Generico name in the past. Back in the ring, Zayn jumped off the top, Reed caught him and Reed hit a powerslam for two. Reed hit a senton splash on Zayn leading to a break.


It looked like Reed was in control until Zayn did a springboard leap over Reed and Zayn hit a clothesline. Zayn jumped off the turnbuckle, but Reed caught him leading to a uranage slam for two. Reed hit a Buckle Bomb followed by a sitout Powerbomb for two. When Zayn was on the floor, Reed nailed him with a shoulder tackle. Reed sent Zayn into the ring and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick. Zayn went for the cover, but Chad Gable appeared from out nowhere to grab Zayn. Gable hit Zayn with a German Suplex. It was a DQ after about eight minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Sami Zayn

Analysis: **1/2 They were on their way to a pretty good match, but then it ended abruptly as Gable attacked Zayn as payback for Zayn’s attack earlier. Plus, Gable turned heel on Zayn and wants to take the IC Title from Zayn. I did like the spot where Zayn hit the Helluva Kick on an unsuspecting Reed to show that Zayn could win with that move at any time.

After the match, Chad Gable worked over Zayn with punches. Gable applied an Ankle Lock along with Gable trapping Zayn’s leg on the mat. The referees made Gable let go, so Reed jumped off the top with a Tsunami splash on Zayn. Reed hit a Death Valley Driver on Gable. Reed posed with the Intercontinental Title.

Analysis: That should lead to a triple threat match. It shows that Zayn has numerous contenders coming after him.

There was a video from Smackdown when NXT’s Kiana James was drafted to Raw.

A video aired about the movie Fall Guy featuring Ryan Gosling, who was born in the same year, same city, same hospital as me and is eight days younger than me. True story.


WWE Draft Round 3

The WWE Hall of Famers Ron Simmons & John Bradshaw Layfield (aka the Acolyte Protection Agency) were up next to announce the next draft picks.

Raw – LWO’s Rey Mysterio, Dragon Lee, Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde, Zelina Vega & Carlito

Smackdown – Legado Del Fantasma’s Santos Escobar, Angel, Berto & Elektra Lopez

Raw – Drew McIntyre

Smackdown – Shinsuke Nakamura

Analysis: The LWO moves to Raw from Smackdown so that separates them from the Legado group, who are staying on the blue brand. It really makes no sense that it would take this long to pick Drew McIntyre, who is a legitimate main event performer. I get that it’s done to have Drew complain about it, but it’s not that logical. Shinsuke Nakamura is fine as an upper midcard heel at this point.

Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre

Drew McIntyre arrived to do a promo by the entrance area. Drew complained about how he was a pick in the third round. The fans chanted “CM Punk” at him. Drew said that Punk is a corporate ass kisser. Drew said that Punk hurt Drew since Drew had his right elbow in a brace. Drew said that Punk fractured his elbow. Drew said that he tapes it up and he gets on with it because he’s a real man.

CM Punk’s music hit and Punk wasn’t by the entrance area. Punk was in a suite. Punk said that he’s not sitting at home because he’s right here, you little bitch. Drew walked backstage while Punk waved at him. Simmons: “DAMN!”

Analysis: What Drew said in that promo was absolutely logical and correct. Like I said above, I know that’s why he was picked this late, but I’m just saying logically it’s a stretch to not have him go earlier in the draft. CM Punk was advertised for this episode of Raw, so there he was in the suite. Drew continuing to obsess about Punk is very entertaining.

Alpha Academy was backstage with Maxxine Dupri telling Chad Gable that Otis & Akira Tozawa were hyping her up. Chad Gable ripped Dupri for coming close to winning last night, but she didn’t win so he yelled at her. Gable told Otis & Tozawa to go win him a championship while telling Tozawa not to do his stupid dance. Gable left. Ivy Nile walked up to Dupri and they left to warm up for their match.

Analysis: Chad Gable continues to be a jerk toward his friends. There are rumors that The Creed Brothers will be in his stable instead of the current people, so we’ll see if that actually happens. I would like to see it.


Bron Breakker, who was drafted to Raw, was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Bron said he was here to take this place over. Sheamus walked up to him saying he was a big fan. Sheamus said that Bron reminds him of a young, hungry Sheamus having banger after banger…and Drew McIntyre was shown walking behind Sheamus. Bron walked away to end that.

Analysis: I’m excited about Bron Breakker being on Raw. I hope he gets a meaningful storyline soon.

Maxxine Dupri (w/Ivy Nile) vs. Candice LeRae (w/Indi Hartwell)

Dupri tripped up LeRae followed by Dupri hitting a spin kick. Dupri hit a fisherman’s suplex along with a bulldog. Dupri did a reverse caterpillar leading to an elbow drop. Dupri applied an Ankle Lock on LeRae. Indi sent Nile into the ring post and that distracted Dupri, so LeRae sent Dupri into the ropes. LeRae kicked Dupri in the head. LeRae stomped on Dupri’s back into the mat called the Wicked Stepmother for the pinfall win after two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Candice LeRae

Analysis: * A short match to put over LeRae with her new heel attitude. The story is that Indi Hartwell has bought into LeRae’s cheating ways and Indi played a key role in LeRae winning this match. Dupri did look pretty good in this match. She is getting better.

A replay was shown of Friday’s Smackdown when we saw security footage of Carlito attacking Dragon Lee the night before WrestleMania. Carlito attacked Dragon Lee on Smackdown and then Carlito left through the crowd.

The LWO’s Rey Mysterio, Dragon Lee, Zelina Vega, Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde were interviewed. Rey said they were excited to be on Raw. Rey said they don’t know why Carlito did what he did on Raw. Dominik Mysterio walked up with his left arm in a sling with some mean words for his father Rey. Dom saying he runs Raw. Rey pointed out that Dominik hasn’t been drafted yet. Rey mocked Dominik’s dirty sanchez mustache and Dominik said that Rey was lucky Dom isn’t cleared. Dom left while Rey laughed with his group.

Analysis: I’m not sure if Carlito will get much of a heel push as a singles wrestler, but I like him more as a heel, so having him turn on Dragon Lee was fine with me.


This Friday at 10 AM ET, there will be a Backlash France Kickoff show hosted by Michael Cole. Triple H will be there with Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles. It’s going to be on YouTube along with other places.

Drew McIntyre was shown upstairs in the arena looking for what suite that CM Punk was in. When Drew found it, there was no sign of Punk. Instead, there was a signed photo of Punk that Drew found.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk made his entrance in the arena for an in-ring promo. Punk did not have a brace on the right arm while Drew stood in the suite. Punk said that he’s going to do this in less time than Drew was the World Heavyweight Champion for 5:46.

Punk sat down in the ring asking if he has your attention now. Punk said that Drew is like an ex-girlfriend that Punk can’t get rid of. Punk said that it’s good that Drew got hurt. Punk said that he thought Drew got hurt from tweeting because that’s all that he is good for. Punk said that’s why he was drafted before Drew. Punk said that Drew has given him purpose. Punk told Drew that it’s simple wrestling economics because Punk is the best in the ring, on the microphone and even on commentary. Punk said that losers hope for things to happen and winners make things happen. Punk said that when he is cleared, when he’s 100% he’s going to make Drew’s life a living hell. Punk’s music played to end it while Drew looked angrily from the suite. Pat said that it was only 2:37 for the promo as Punk’s music was playing.

WWE Draft Round 4

The next picks were announced by WWE Hall of Famers Teddy Long for Raw and Alundra Blayze for Smackdown.

Raw – The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh. They stay on Raw with World Heavyweight Champion Damian Priest.

Smackdown – Naomi

Raw – Ilja Dragunov

They showed NXT boss Shawn Michaels handing Dragunov a Raw hat while the rest of the NXT roster celebrated with Dragunov.

Smackdown – Chelsea Green & Piper Niven

Analysis: The Judgment Day group stays on Raw where they have been a main focus on the show for the last couple of years. Naomi is staying on Smackdown. I assume her husband Jimmy Uso will be there when he comes back. Former NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov going to Raw is a great addition to the Raw brand. Give us a GUNTHER-Dragunov match soon. Green & Niven moving to Smackdown is a new show for them.

Nia Jax vs. Liv Morgan

Jax tossed down Liv a few times. Jax rammed Liv’s leg into the mat. Jax tossed Liv across the ring. Liv hit a jawbreaker followed by a step up enziguri kick to the head. Liv hit a basement dropkick to knock Jax down. Liv hit a dropkick to the back along with two running back attacks. Jax stopped that with a clothesline. Jax tried for her finisher off the ropes, but Liv got back up to knock Jax upside down. Liv stomped on Jax to knock Jax out of the ring. Jax grabbed Liv on the floor leading to Jax slamming Morgan into the commentary table. Tiffany Stratton was shown seated at ringside to watch the match. Stratton wins outfit of the night as awarded by me. The show went to break there.


Liv got some offense by kicking Jax into the turnbuckle. Jax came back with a Samoan Drop for two. Liv did an impressive move sending Jax face first into the middle turnbuckle. Liv stomped on Jax’s back for a two count. They kept showing Tiffany Stratton at ringside. Jax came back with a spinebuster. Jax went to the middle rope for the Annihilator, but Liv was back up and pulled on Jax’s arm repeatedly. Liv hit a Powerbomb on Jax out of the corner. They showed Stratton at ringside and Naomi was there to attack her. Naomi rammed Stratton into the barricade and they were fighting at ringside. Naomi sent Stratton into the hood of the commentary table. Naomi kicked Stratton. Jax knocked Naomi off the apron the floor. Liv hit Jax with a Codebreaker and Liv hit Oblivion (flatliner off the ropes) for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan

Analysis: *** A good match with Liv Morgan picking up the victory thanks to Jax knocking Bayley off the apron. Since Jax is heading to Smackdown, it’s fine for her to lose her last match on Raw while also giving Morgan a meaningful win to build her up as a Women’s World Title contender. Naomi going after Stratton continued their issues from Smackdown.

Booker T was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Booker congratulated Ilja Dragunov on being drafted to Raw since Booker is an NXT announcer. Pearce said that his favorite pick is Chelsea Green going to Smackdown because she is gone. Pearce walked away with a card because they had more picks to announce. Pat: “Grab a tennis racket, Pearce.” That was a reference to Pearce wearing a Jim Cornette-style suit.


WWE Draft Round 5

The next picks were announced by WWE Hall of Famers Bubba Ray (Raw) & D-Von Dudley (Smackdown) aka The Dudley Boyz. They had a table with them while doing some of their catchphrases.

Raw – The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Smackdown – Pretty Deadly’s Elton Prince & Kit Wilson

Raw – Lyra Valkyria. The former NXT Women’s Champion was given a red Raw hat by Shawn Michaels.

Smackdown – Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell

Analysis: The New Day stays on Raw where they have been for a long time. It’s the same for Pretty Deadly since they are staying on the Smackdown brand. Good for Lyra Valkyria heading to Raw after a great reign as the NXT Women’s Champion. Candice & Indi get moved to Smackdown after being on Raw previously.

The Awesome Truth duo of The Miz & R-Truth made their entrance as the World Tag Team Champions. That match is after a break.


World Tag Team Championships: Awesome Truth – The Miz & R-Truth vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Akira Tozawa

The match started during the break as Truth gave Tozawa a belly-to-back suplex. Miz tagged in against Otis leading to Miz getting some offense including a corner clothesline. Miz kicked Tozawa off the apron and Tozawa did a flip to bump to the floor. Otis caught Miz in his arms leading to a powerslam. Otis did his Caterpillar routine leading to an elbow drop. Tozawa tagged in with a senton bomb attempt, but Miz got his knees up to block. Truth tagged in, Miz held Tozawa and they did the Truth Crushing Finale (TCF) combo move on Tozawa. Miz kicked Otis to stop him from saving. Truth covered Tozawa for the pinfall win after three minutes.

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

Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Miz &Truth as the champions. Otis got some offense and the crowd liked that, but as soon as he tagged out you knew that Tozawa was going to get beat.

The Judgment Day was in their clubhouse. Dominik Mysterio complained about how they fell to the fourth round. Damien Priest criticized them and said he didn’t need their help to beat Jey Uso. JD McDonagh had a huge bruise on the left side of his head to sell getting hit by the rings. Priest left on his own.


Liv Morgan was shown walking backstage when she saw Women’s World Champion Becky Lynch, who had the title on her shoulder. Lynch congratulated Liv on her win and Lynch said that Liv will get her title shot. Damage CTRL walked up to Lynch saying they’ll see her on Mondays.

WWE Draft Round 6

The Raw GM Adam Pearce and Smackdown GM Nick Aldis were there to announce their next picks.

Raw – The Final Testament’s Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Akam, Rezar & Paul Ellering

Smackdown – #DIY’s Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano

Raw – Bronson Reed

Smackdown – Blair Davenport. Shawn Michaels was there to give Blair a blue Smackdown hat.

Analysis: A fresh start for The Final Testament and #DIY switching brands. Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae was already picked to Smackdown, so it made sense for Gargano to go to Smackdown as well. Bronson Reed is staying on Raw where he has been. Blair Davenport is a solid heel who is good in the ring, so I hope she does well on the Smackdown brand.

There will be more draft picks announced later in the evening on social media.

Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event six-man tag team match up next.


The entrances took place for the rest of the main event with Ricochet and Andrade joining Jey Uso. The Judgment Day’s World Heavyweight Champion Damian Priest, Finn Balor & JD McDonagh were up next as the opponents. JD had a discolored left side of his forehead to sell getting punched in the head by the rings on Logan Paul’s head.

The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor & JD McDonagh vs. Jey Uso, Andrade & Ricochet

Balor took down Andrade with a side headlock. Balor sent Andrade into the ropes, but Andrade did his rope pose and Andrade sent Balor out of the ring. Andrade sent JD out of the ring. Ricochet tagged in, so Andrade & Ricochet did a double clothesline to knock Priest out of the ring. Andrade & Ricochet each hit suicide dives on Balor & JD. Jey hit a suicide dive on Priest. The faces celebrated as the show went to break.


Priest was in control of Ricochet with a Broken Arrow slam for a two count. Priest hit a spinning punch to Ricochet’s jaw to knock him down. Priest kicked Jey off the apron to knock him down. Priest hit a jumping elbow smash on Ricochet. The J-Day guys made quick tags leading to Priest tagging in with an assisted leg drop on Ricochet while Balor was holding Ricochet. Andrade broke up the pin, so Priest sent Andrade into the ring post. JD tagged in, so Ricochet him with the Recoil knee and Jey tagged in. Jey worked over Balor with punches, a kick to the gut, an uppercut punch and Jey hit a step up enziguri kick. Jey punched Priest on the apron. Jey kicked Balor followed by Jey going up top and hitting a cross body block. Andrade hit a spinning elbow on JD. Priest kicked Andrade down and Priest hit a flatliner on Ricochet. Priest tagged himself in with a clothesline on Jey. Priest teased a Razor’s Edge, but Jey slipped out of it and Jey hit a Samoan Drop. Jey went up top, Dominik distracted the referee and Priest grabbed Jey, so JD shoved Jey off the top. Jey superkicked Priest twice and Finn got knocked off the apron. Jey knocked JD out of the ring. Jey hit a Spear on Finn, who apparently made a tag to become legal. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash on Balor for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Jey Uso, Andrade & Ricochet

Analysis: *** It was a pretty good main event tag team match. It made sense for Jey to get the win to build him up for the World Heavyweight Title match against Priest at Backlash. By having Balor get beat, it protects Priest since Priest didn’t take the fall in the match. I thought for sure that JD would be the loser here, but they went with Balor instead. Andrade really didn’t do much in the match while Ricochet was mostly there to be the face in peril.

There was a quick rundown of the Backlash matches that we already knew about. Damian Priest and Jey Uso had a staredown. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: I’m surprised they didn’t do a rundown of the entire Backlash card during the show. They should have promoted Backlash more.


There were more draft picks announced after Raw went off the air. They were announced on WWE social media.

Raw – Dijak, The Creed Brothers, Ivy Nile, New Catch Republic (Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne), Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, Natalya, and Odyssey Jones

Smackdown – Giovanni Vinci, Tegan Nox, and Apollo Crews


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Gunther
  2. Jey Uso
  3. Liv Morgan


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2024 Average: 7.58


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

It was a solid edition of Raw that was better than the Smackdown draft show. Since Raw is three hours, they were able to have some longer matches like the terrific Gunther-Xavier Woods match that saw Gunther wear out Woods to get the win. Liv Morgan had a good night from her promo with Becky Lynch to beating Nia Jax. Jey Uso got the big win in the tag team main event to give him momentum going into his Backlash match with Damian Priest. The angle with Sami Zayn-Chad Gable-Bronson Reed was booked well too. I like that as a triple threat match. The angle with Logan Paul and Jey Uso that also involved Braun Strowman’s comeback was good too. Welcome back to Braun after missing a year. Patrick Mahomes of the NFL was also part of it, so maybe WWE will get some attention for that.

As for the WWE Draft itself, I don’t think there were many shocking moments just like on Smackdown. I’m really happy that former NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov is heading to Raw to be on the same show as Gunther because anybody who knows their history would be excited to see more matches between them. Drew McIntyre getting picked as late as he did was illogical, but it was also done to have him bitch about it and set up his argument with CM Punk, who did a quick promo as well.

I think the build to Backlash has been weak, especially on the Raw side. Of the five matches announced going into Raw, four of them were Smackdown matches so the Raw brand is being poorly represented. They could add a match or two in the days ahead like a Zayn IC Title triple threat match or the Lynch/Morgan match, but at the end of Raw, there were only five official matches. I just think the Backlash PLE could have been promoted better.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Backlash on May 4th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* Undisputed WWE Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

* World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Jey Uso

* WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Naomi vs. Tiffany Stratton

* The Bloodline – Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga vs. Randy Orton & Kevin Owens

* Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kabuki Warriors – Asuka & Kairi Sane (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill

You can watch Backlash France, streaming live, on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport