The John Report: WWE Raw Deal 05/06/24 Review

WWE Raw Deal May 6

It’s WWE Raw featuring some huge qualifying matches for the King and Queen of the Ring tournaments.

The new WWE rosters are set following the end of the recent WWE Draft and those new rosters become official starting with this show. It’s also time for some King and Queen of the Ring qualifying matches. I’m excited about GUNTHER vs. Sheamus the most. You can see Drew McIntyre on the banner up top. That was made earlier in the day, but then we found out Drew is out of action for Raw likely due to his ongoing elbow injury, so best wishes to Drew and I hope that he heals from it soon.

Before we move ahead to King and Queen of the Ring in less than three weeks, a shoutout to the amazing fans in Lyon, France at the Backlash France PLE from Saturday. That was one of the best crowds ever and that crowd made the show better than it was. Some of those chants are going to stick with us for a long time. I also loved how they sang the theme songs for Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes while going crazy for Jey Uso’s entrance. The cameras were shaking due to the singing they were doing for AJ Styles. It was a memorable event because of the crowd, so kudos to that amazing crowd. I liked the show overall although it was predictable in terms of winners and losers. The only Raw match saw Damian Priest beat Jey Uso to retain the World Heavyweight Title because Priest got some help from The Judgment Day even though he didn’t want the help.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1615 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

There was a video package showing highlights of the Backlash France PLE event.

Let’s Hear from Damian Priest and The Judgment Day

The World Heavyweight Champion Damian Priest made his entrance with The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor, JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio, whose left arm was in a sling. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed us to the show.

Priest mentioned “Main Event” Jey Uso saying the fans loved him and the entire country of France loved him, but it didn’t matter because Priest was still the World Heavyweight Champion. Balor said that when he and JD McDonagh apologized after Backlash, they meant it. Priest said they are good. Priest said what went down after the match, he lost his cool and Priest apologized while saying thank you to them for helping him. Priest said he appreciated JD. Priest called Finn his brother and the three of them hugged. Dominik joined in on the hug too as the fans booed.

Priest said that he’s still the champion and they are the most dominant faction in this entire business. Priest said that Balor is the next King of the Ring. Balor claimed he gets a first round bye in the King of the Ring tournament because Drew McIntyre is injured. Balor wanted Samantha Irvin to announce him as the winner.

The Raw General Manager Adam Pearce told Balor that Drew McIntyre is out of the tournament and Balor isn’t getting a bye. Pearce told Balor he would have to earn it. Pearce told Balor that his match was next and his opponent was “Main Event” Jey Uso.

The fans popped huge for Jey Uso making his entrance to a huge pop. McAfee was doing the Yeeting on commentary. The fans were popping huge while doing the arm swinging. They were using the cell phone light as well. It wasn’t the full crowd doing the light, but still enough of them. That Jey-Balor match was next.

Analysis: At Backlash it was looking like The Judgment Day might be having issues, but they squashed those problems here with Priest saying sorry to the guys for being mad at them. I like how they announced Jey Uso as the replacement. The fans popped huge for it.

This Friday on Smackdown: King and Queen of the Ring qualifying matches continue.


King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Finn Balor vs. Jey Uso

Balor and Jey each got some nearfalls early in the match. Balor sent Jey into the turnbuckle followed by some stomps. Jey jumped over a charging Balor leading to an uppercut punch. Balor countered a Jey move leading to a basement dropkick for two. Balor grounded Jey with a chinlock. Balor worked over Jey with shoulder tackles to the ribs along with a hard chop. Jey sent Balor out of the ring leading to Jey hitting a suicide dive onto Balor on the floor. Jey sent Balor into the ring, so Balor rolled out the other side. Jey tried an attack, but Balor was ready for it as Balor sent Jey into the ring post. Balor sent Jey over the commentary table as the show went to break.


The match continued with Balor hitting a basement dropkick again for a two count. After a Balor chinlock, Jey rocked Balor with some punches. Jey to the apron where he delivered a kick along with a top rope cross body block on Balor for two. Jey charged, but Balor stopped that with a clothesline. Balor hit a reverse DDT with an elbow drop for two. Jey came back with a kick to the gut, uppercut punch and a superkick. Jey went up top, he jumped off and Balor moved, so Jey landed on his feet. Balor dropkicked Jey into the turnbuckle. Balor jumped off the top with Coup de Grace, Jey avoided it and Jey hit a Spear for two. Drew McIntyre arrived at ringside with a brace on his right elbow. Balor capitalized with a Slingblade neckbreaker on Jey. Balor charged and Jey hit Balor with a Spear for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jey Uso

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match between two talented veterans. Drew McIntyre appearing at ringside did give Balor a bit of an advantage, but Jey was able to bounce back quicky with a Spear for the win. I don’t mind Jey using a Spear as a finisher sometimes. It tells fans that he can win with more than just the Uso Splash off the top.

Jey Uso celebrated the win while Drew McIntyre stared at him. Drew made some angry faces while Jey did some arm swinging with the fans.

They showed Ivy Nile and Zoey Stark each getting ready for their match.

Becky Lynch, the Women’s World Champion, was shown walking backstage.


A video package aired about the rivalry between GUNTHER and Sheamus showing highlights of their Clash at the Castle 2022 classic match. That match will main event Raw later.

Drew McIntyre was backstage complaining to Raw GM Adam Pearce. Drew complained about Jey Uso taking his spot. Pearce said it was about Drew being hurt and Drew not being medically cleared to compete. Drew said “screw you” to Pearce and Drew left in a sports car. A QR Code appeared on TV right after. CM Punk was shown driving up in a yellow car. Punk asked Pearce where Drew McIntyre was and Pearce said he just missed him because Drew just left. Punk told the truck to play his music because Punk had something to say. Punk took a shot at my Toronto Maple Leafs losing to somebody backstage (he said “Redmond” so it was my fellow Canadian Jackie Redmond) and Punk touched fists with Chad Gable as we saw Punk walk through the Gorilla Position to make it out to the ring.

Analysis: That was well booked with CM Punk arriving right after Drew McIntyre left. I also love the backstage scenes that lead to the camera following a wrestler on the way to the ring.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk looked like he was in great shape without a brace on his surgically repaired torn right triceps. There were loud “CM Punk” chants when Punk got into the ring. Punk apologized for showing up late while saying he got locked in WWE headquarters and got out to drive here to Hartford to hang out with the maniacs referring to the fans. Punk said that he also came here to fight Drew McIntyre, who just left.

Punk mentioned Drew losing the World Heavyweight Title in 5:46 at WrestleMania. Punk said maybe this week he’ll stay longer than that. Punk said that you know Drew is looking at his phone and he wanted the fans to tweet at Drew to get Drew to come back. Punk said if Drew is not a coward then he will come back to this building and catch the beating that he deserves. Punk talked about Gordie Howe skating on this ice, which was cool.

Punk spoke about how at the Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre DDT’d him so hard and Punk put his arm down to limit the damage to his neck and Punk tore his triceps. Punk said that Drew didn’t ruin Punk’s WrestleMania dreams. Punk said that Drew postponed Punk’s WrestleMania dreams. Punk spoke about how in baseball terms he’s like a five-tool player who can do everything like Punk did commentary at WrestleMania. Punk called Drew a tool. Punk said that Drew claimed he prayed for this and now Drew picked a fight with the pettiest man on the roster and maybe on Earth. Punk talked about how Drew complains about Punk all the time while saying that Drew hates the way Punk walks and talks. Punk said that Drew tried to be like Punk, which led Punk to wonder if Drew hates himself. Punk said that Drew is a choke artist not like Punk is a choke artist (Punk referring to his submissions but also his AEW choking of Jack Perry I guess). Punk told Drew that he broke his elbow and if he sees Drew again he’ll break his face and break his heart. Punk said that the fact that Drew hasn’t shown up proves that there is one name that he fears: CM Punk. After that, Punk spoke into the camera saying he’ll even show up in Glasgow, Scotland, and get in his face.

Analysis: I thought that Punk was going to provide an update on his health with some good news, but we didn’t get that yet. Punk’s promo was the usual quality work from him with some shots about how Drew is a coward who complains all the time. They are doing a nice job of building up this rivalry. When they have the match at some point in the next few months (when Punk is cleared) it will be a big deal. What Punk said at the end about going to Glasgow, Scotland is a reference to the June PPV called Clash at the Castle in Drew’s home country, so it was interesting to hear Punk talk about that.

Ricochet was interviewed by Cathy Kelley backstage talking about Ricochet facing Ilja Dragunov. Ricochet said that tonight was his chance. Braun Strowman walked up to hug his former tag team partner Ricochet. Braun said that he’s always going to stand up to bullies like The Judgment Day. Braun said that Ricochet would show them why he is called King Ricochet. Braun left while Ricochet looked focused.

IYO SKY made her entrance with Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai.


Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Natalya vs. IYO SKY (w/Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane)

Natalya hit an overhead suplex. Natalya worked over Sky with a kneebar submission. Sky jumped to the apron leading to a forearm smash to the face. Natalya slid out of the ring, so Sky jumped off the middle ropes with a moonsault. Natalya sent Sky into the apron and a kick to the head. Sky used her momentum to send Natalya into the second rope. Sky hit a springboard missile dropkick for two.


The match returned with Sky running the ropes right into a Michinoku Driver by Natalya. They battled by the turnbuckle with Natalya hitting an impressive superplex for two. Sky came back with a Crossface submission. After Natalya got out of it, Sky connected with a running dropkick. Sky and Natalya exchanged pin attempts. Natalya rolled through during a pin attempt leading to Natalya hitting a sitout Powerbomb for two. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, Kai went on the ropes to distract and Sky used her legs to send Nataya’s back into the turnbuckle. Sky hit a running double knee attack. Sky went up top and hit Over the Moonsault for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a lot of fun. It was their first time in a singles match, so you could tell they were excited about it and did a lot of great counters throughout the match. That counter by Natalya leading to a Powerbomb was a terrific spot. Sky got a bit of a distraction assist from Kai and that was enough for Sky to hit a few moves leading to the win.

Dakota Kai did a promo saying that Asuka was injured, so she’s going to take on Lyra Valkyria. Kai warned Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill to enjoy their titles for now. Kai said that when Becky Lynch is done with the charity case Liv Morgan, they will take everything from Lynch too.

A video package aired about former NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov, who is set for his debut match on the Raw roster.

Analysis: If you aren’t an NXT viewer and haven’t seen Dragunov, trust me when I tell you he’s one of the best in-ring performers in all of WWE. Dragunov’s offense looks good, but it’s his very believable selling that really makes him stand out.

Ilja Dragunov entered for his King of the Ring match. Ricochet was up next as the WWE Speed Champion, but Ricochet didn’t have that title with him.

King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Ilja Dragunov vs. Ricochet

Ilja nailed Ricochet with a couple of chops. Ilja hit a step-up enziguri. Ricochet came back with a flying knee to the jaw. They went to break one minute into this match.


Ricochet stunned Ilja with a kick followed by Ricochet hitting a springboard clothesline. Ricochet hit a standing Shooting Star Press for two. Ilja hit a jumping kick to the face. Ilja hit two German Suplexes in a row. Ricochet with an elbow to the face and Ricochet landed on his feet after a suplex attempt. Ricochet sent Ilja to the apron followed by a springboard kick. Ricochet went for a moonsault onto Ricochet on the floor, but Ilja moved and Ila hit a German Suplex on the floor while Ricochet did a moonsault bump to sell it. Back in the ring, Ilja hit a missile dropkick into the ropes for a two count. Ilja went up top, Ricochet went after him there with a springboard hurricanrana that sent Ilja out of the ring. That was amazing. Ricochet hit a suicide dive on Ilja on the floor. Ricochet hit a second suicide dive on Ilja on the floor. Ilja hit a corkscrew plancha over the top onto Ilja on the floor. That was amazing. The fans chanted “holy shit” going into the break.


Ilja went for a lifting move, but Ricochet shoved him into the turnbuckle. Ilja came back with his spinning clothesline for two. Ilja went up top and hit a senton splash for a two count. Ilja chopped Ricochet repeatedly. Ricochet was back to his feet leading to a superkick. They each hit kicks to the face followed by Ricochet hitting a fireman’s carry slam followed by a springboard moonsault aka Lionsault for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Ricochet jumped off the top, Ilja moved and hit a knee to the ribs. Ilja hit a running knee to the face. Ricochet avoided a move leading to a reverse Rana. Ricochet went for a moonsault again, but Ilja punched him in the ribs. Ilja with a Powerbomb. Ilja hit an H-Bomb forearm. Ilja charged, but Ricochet stopped that with Recoil for two. Great nearfall. Ilja went up top leading to a superplex. Ilja hit a running H-Bomb forearm to the head for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ilja Dragunov

Analysis: **** That was an outstanding match that was given a lot of time. Getting a four-star level match on television isn’t that common, but they got plenty of time and made the most of it with a competitive match. Dragunov is one of the best in-ring performers in WWE while Ricochet is damn good too especially when he’s in a lengthy match like this. They had some clever nearfall spots throughout the match until Dragunov found a way to put Ricochet away. The crowd was into it, but if this was a hotter crowd it would have been a lot louder and even more memorable.

Ilja Dragunov moves on to the second round where he’ll go on to face Jey Uso.

After the match, Dragunov picked up Ricochet and wanted a handshake. Ricochet shook his hand. Ricochet said this isn’t the last one. The fans cheered for them.

Sheamus was interviewed by Jackie Redmond backstage. Sheamus said he had medical procedures to get back into the ring. Sheamus said that Gunther frustrates him more than anybody in his career. Sheamus said that they have had banger after banger but tonight he’s finally going to end him.


They showed highlights of WWE’s European shows over the weekend.

Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Zoey Stark vs. Ivy Nile

Stark with a clothesline. Nile hit a shoulder tackle. Nile hit a delayed vertical suplex to show off her power. Nile kicked Stark to the apron. Stark pulled on Nile’s arms to send her into the ropes. Stark delivered a kick followed by a missile dropkick for two. They battled by the turnbuckle, Nile elbowed Stark to knock her down a bit and Nile hit a top rope bulldog for two. Stark came back with a running knee for two. Stark tripped up Nile by the turnbuckle. Stark hit a spinning slam followed by Stark hitting Z360 for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zoey Stark

Analysis: ** A match with a quiet crowd during the whole way because neither character stands out that much. It was also a tough spot following the match before it. Stark is pushed more than Nile, so I expected that result.

R-Truth was shown talking to Raw GM Adam Pearce and Truth brought in UCONN Men’s Basketball Coach Dan Hurley. The Miz didn’t want Truth to book them in a match. Truth thinks that Hurley has an independent promotion called the NCAA. Miz and Truth argued so Miz said he’ll talk to Pearce in the future about their next title opportunity. Miz, Truth, and Hurley left.

Bron Breakker walked up to Adam Pearce and Bron asked why he was not in the King of the Ring tournament. Pearce told Bron they could talk about it in his office.

Analysis: A valid question from Bron.

Chad Gable entered for a match with Bronson Reed up next.


A video aired about GUNTHER beating Sheamus on Smackdown on October 7, 2022. Gunther got the win thanks to a shillelagh that he was given by his Imperium buddies.

The Judgment Day were in their clubhouse where Finn Balor was frustrated about his loss. Damian Priest said it’s not a big deal because it’s one loss. Balor complained about Braun Strowman and Priest said that JD McDonagh could take care of him. Dominik Mysterio walked in with Carlito. Priest said that one year ago today Carlito cost Priest with his match with Bad Bunny. Carlito said he needed help with the LWO and they needed help. Priest said to get him out of here. Dominik told Carlito that Priest would come around and they left. JD asked what were they talking about with Strowman? It ended there.

Analysis: It is nice when they remember history like Carlito helping Bad Bunny against Priest last year. Carlito being in a group would be better for him, I think.

Chad Gable vs. Bronson Reed

This is not a King of the Ring match. Reed hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Gable avoided a splash attempt followed by Gable hitting a bridging German Suplex for two. Gable went up, he jumped off with a headbutt and Reed avoided it. Reed hit a senton splash. Reed went up top, Gable met him up there and Gable threw Reed off the top with a suplex. That led to Sami Zayn going into the ring and went after Gable so that’s it for this match. It went about two minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Chad Gable

Analysis: ** They were doing their big moves early in the match, so it was pretty obvious it would be a shorter match due to interference.

Zayn beat up Gable with punches. Zayn clotheslined Reed out of the ring. Grable was back up with a German Suplex on Zayn. Gable charged, Zayn caught him and hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Reed hit a uranage slam on Zayn and a uranage slam on Gable. Reed’s music played to end it.

When Bronson Reed walked backstage, Raw GM Adam Pearce wondered why they couldn’t control themselves. Reed said all he cares about is that Intercontinental Championship. Reed said if you want control, you know what to do.

Analysis: It is obviously setting up a triple threat match for the Intercontinental. That’s fine with me because I like all three guys and the constant interference will make fans want to see the match. The booking has been similar to the Bayley-Naomi-Tiffany Stratton story that happened on Smackdown.

A video aired about the former NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria ahead of her Raw debut. The talented former Irishwoman beat Becky Lynch to win the NXT Women’s Title and she’s ready for the challenge.

Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage for an interview up next.


GUNTHER did a backstage promo saying he didn’t care about putting on bangers like Sheamus. Gunther said he’s concerned about being the greatest of all time. Gunther said that Sheamus would be no obstacle for him. Gunther said he’s already the General of the Ring and soon to be your King of the Ring.

Becky Lynch Interview

Becky Lynch, the Women’s World Champion, entered for an in-ring interview with Michael Cole. They had two chairs in the ring for the interview. Lynch was cheered as usual.

Cole spoke about Lynch had to represent WWE all around the world. Cole mentioned Lynch was at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. They showed a photo of Lynch in a unique outfit. Lynch said that she was representing at the biggest events outfit and Lynch said she thinks the hat worked. Cole asked Lynch who she was looking forward to facing. Lynch said that there’s some newness and winds of change. Lynch welcomes people wanting to slap her in the face. Lynch said nine years ago she came up to Raw and she wanted to make a change and be a groundbreaker. Lynch mentioned women like Alba Fyre, Isla Dawn, Kiana James and also Lyra Valkyria saying that she would trust her. Cole said they are both from Ireland and Lyra battled Lynch for the NXT Women’s Championship. Lynch said that Lyra was the most gifted wrestler she’s been in the ring with. Lynch said she knows Zelina Vega is hungry and with passion.

They moved on to talking about the last month when Lynch lost to Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania. Lynch said that would haunt her and make her better, which it already has because two weeks later, Lynch went on to beat 14 women to become the Women’s World Champion.

Liv Morgan interrupted the promo complaining about how Lynch made no mention of Liv. Morgan said she was tired of being overlooked. Morgan talked about being a former Women’s Champion, MITB winner, Tag Team Champion, she beat Nia Jax and took out Rhea Ripley which led to Lynch winning that title. Morgan mentioned Lynch giving her a title shot. Lynch said you’ve got it at the King and Queen of the Ring in three weeks. Lynch mentioned Liv hasn’t beaten her. Liv said now that she has her purpose, she knows she can finally beat Lynch. Liv said that she’ll take everything that Women’s World Champion and she’ll do that by becoming Women’s World Champion.

Dakota Kai walked out with Damage CTRL’s Iyo Sky and Kairi Sane. Kai complained about Morgan getting a title shot even though she did nothing to earn it. Kai said that they had the Queen of the Ring tournament on lock since Sky already won and Kai was about to win. Lynch and Morgan were standing back to back looking like they wanted to fight together, but instead, Liv left the ring. Liv said that it was not her problem. Lynch tried to fight the three Damage CTRL women, but it didn’t work and Lyra Valkyria made her entrance to fight with Lynch. The duo of Lynch and Lyra cleared the ring. That led to a break.

Analysis: The Becky Lynch promo wasn’t the most exciting thing by any means, but it set up what was next since Lynch spoke about a bunch of women without mentioning Morgan. That gave Morgan something to complain about for her promo. Doing the Lynch-Morgan match at the King and Queen of the Ring PLE is a good spot for it. I doubt Lynch loses the title, but I do think that Liv winning the title before Rhea Ripley comes back is a good idea. I just don’t think it should happen yet. Morgan came across as heelish by refusing to fight with Lynch there. I think some fans are going to keep chanting Liv because they do like her, but I’m fine with her being heelish or even a tweener sometimes. Lyra helping Lynch works as a fellow Irishwoman and it will give Lyra some fan support by having her on the same page with Lynch.


A video aired about WWE bringing WrestleMania 41 to Las Vegas on April 19th & April 20th. That’s going to be awesome.

Sami Zayn, the Intercontinental Champion, was interviewed by Jackie Redmond backstage. Zayn said that it’s a very personal issue with Chad Gable that should be over because he beat Gable. Zayn said that Bronson Reed is coming for the IC Title. Zayn suggested a triple threat match at King and Queen of the Ring in Saudi Arabia. Zayn said when this championship is on the line, that is when Zayn is at his best and he’ll walk out still Intercontinental Champion.

Analysis: There’s the triple threat IC Title match set up. I think Zayn will retain.

Queen of the Ring Tournament – First Round: Lyra Valkyria vs. Dakota Kai

The match started and Lyra got a hiptoss takedown. They had a short ad for the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie. Lyra hit a jumping kick to the head followed by a Northern Lights Suplex. Kai countered a suplex into an inside cradle. Kai tripped up Lyra on the turnbuckle and Lyra bumped onto the turnbuckle. Kai kicked Lyra on the apron and that led to a break.


Lyra kicked Kai out of the ring followed by a dropkick through the ropes. Back in the ring, Lyra hit a dropkick. Lyra followed up with a vertical suplex. Kai did a hair pull takedown and Kai followed up with a stomp to the back to send Lyra into the mat. Kai charged, Lyra avoided that and Lyra got a rollup. Lyra hit two forearms, but Kai came back with a running kick to the face for two. Kai went for a rising kick, but Lyra avoided it. Kai hit a Scorpion kick to the head and Lyra hit the Nightwing sitout slam for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lyra Valkyria

Analysis: **1/2 An average match with a crowd that wasn’t into it that much. It’s a bit of a struggle for the new talent from NXT like Lyra because the fans on the main roster don’t know her as well, so they barely react. Kai is a solid vet. However, Kai doesn’t have a big personality on her own so I think it’s tough for a crowd to get into a match like this. I’m glad Lyra got the win.

Kofi Kingston did a promo in the locker room saying this was supposed to be where Xavier Woods made history by winning King of the Ring for the second time in a row. Kofi said because of Gunther, Woods hurt his leg last week and he’s out of the tournament. Kofi said that he is coming for Gunther, but he has to beat Rey Mysterio, who is a man that Kofi respects. Kofi ended it by saying “New Day Rocks” to end it.

Analysis: That Kofi Kingston/Rey Mysterio match will be at a WWE live event this weekend. It is disappointing that it isn’t on Raw, but that’s just how the tournament is. I guess WWE felt like they couldn’t fit it into the show.

A clip was shown of the Cleveland Cavaliers game when they did the Jey Uso “Yeet” entrance with the lights in the crowd.

Next week on Raw:

* Men’s King of the Ring Tournament: Jey Uso vs. Ilja Dragunov

* Men’s King of the Ring Tournament: Gunther or Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston or Rey Mysterio

* Women’s Queen of the Ring: Zoey Stark vs. Lyra Valkyria

* Women’s Queen of the Ring Tournament: IYO SKY vs. Shayna Baszler or Zelina Vega

Sheamus and Gunther were shown getting ready separately. That main event match was up next.


There were images shown of media coverage of the WWE Backlash France PLE.

It was main event time with GUNTHER making his entrance joined by Ludwig Kaiser. Gunther said something to Kaiser. Sheamus made his entrance with the start of his song being the most recent song and then the classic “too many limes” followed that.

King of the Ring Tournament – First Round: GUNTHER vs. Sheamus

This should be awesome as the bell rang with about 20 minutes left in the show. Gunther drove Sheamus into the turnbuckle leading to Gunther throwing chops while Sheamus did a lifting slam. Gunther hit a charging boot at Sheamus to send him to the apron. Gunther set up Sheamus for forearms to the chest briefly because Sheamus blocked them. Gunther clotheslined Sheamus on the apron. Sheamus hit a back body drop on Sheamus. Sheamus jumped off the top with a clothesline on Gunther on the floor.


The match returned with Gunther stopping a charging Sheamus and then Gunther chopped Sheamus in the back. Gunther grounded Sheamus with a chinlock. Gunther delivered some chops, so Sheamus told him to bring some more. Sheamus avoided a clothesline and hit his backbreaker. Gunther went behind Sheamus, hit him with a forearm to the back along with a running clothesline. Sheamus hit a White Noise slam. Gunther delivered a neckbreaker using the ropes, but Sheamus came back with a powerslam for two. Sheamus delivered the beats to the chest and he did about 17 of them instead of 10 of them. The fans counted them. Sheamus wanted a Brogue Kick, but Gunther avoided it and Gunther grabbed a waistlock. Sheamus was caught against the ropes and Kaiser wrenched the right leg against the ropes. Gunther distracted the referee. Kaiser hit a running dropkick to the right knee. The referee Rod Zapata sent Kaiser to the back. They went to break there.


The match continued with Gunther working over Sheamus’ right knee since it was injured before the break. Gunther ripped off the right knee pad followed by Gunther hitting a couple of knee drops on the right knee. Gunther ran the ropes, but Sheamus hit him with a clothesline. Sheamus hit a jumping knee (with a loud leg slap) to Gunther’s face for a two count. The fans were coming alive with “Let’s go Sheamus” chants. Sheamus charged, the right knee gave out so he stumbled and Gunther hit a Powerbomb for two. Gunther applied a half crab submission on the bad right knee, but Sheamus got to the ropes to break the hold. Gunther stomped on the right knee. Gunther went up top. Sheamus punched Gunther and Sheamus hit the Celtic Cross aka Razor’s Edge for a two count. Gunther kicked the right knee followed by a German Suplex. Sheamus hit a jumping knee to the head. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick but he was slow to make the cover for the one…two…and no because Gunther kicked out. Gunther applied the half crab submission on the right knee again. Gunther pulled Sheamus toward the middle of the ring and Sheamus was forced to tap out. Gunther got the win by submission. It went 20 minutes.

Winner by submission: GUNTHER

Analysis: ****1/4 It was the usual outstanding match by these two. I won’t say it was as great as their Clash 2022 match or WM39 2023 three way with Drew, but it was still very entertaining the whole way. I think at some point we should see Sheamus beat Gunther just to see him do it. I just didn’t think that was going to happen here. We need to get a Gunther-Dragunov match in this tournament and I think that’s going to happen. I wish the crowd was louder, but it was a long night and they did pretty well. I just think there are louder crowds in the US who would do a better job of making noise for a match like this. Anyway, Sheamus lost because Kaiser helped Gunther by attacking the right knee of Sheamus and Gunther capitalized to win.

Gunther’s win means he goes to the quarterfinals. Gunther had his hand raised and the show ended there.

Sheamus shared this photo showing the damage from the match and it looks like he’s not interested in another match with Gunther.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Gunther/Sheamus
  2. Ilja Dragunov/Ricochet
  3. Jey Uso


The Scoreboard

8.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2024 Average: 7.62


Final Thoughts on WWE Raw

It was a great show in terms of in-ring action since there were six King & Queen of the Ring Tournament Matches along with the short Gable-Reed match to further the IC Title story. The GUNTHER-Sheamus and Dragunov-Ricochet match were both outstanding and a big reason why this show was rated so highly. I recommend both matches if you didn’t see them.

Everything else on the show seemed to have a purpose. They set up two title matches at the next PLE in three weeks so that’s cool to see.

I don’t have much more to add because it was such a wrestling-heavy show focused on the King & Queen tournaments. Some fans love that while others don’t. I really liked the show overall.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X @johnreport