WWE Raw Review: Randy Orton Set To Return For WarGames

WWE Raw 

November 20, 2023 | Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The showed with a highlight package recapping Drew McIntyre costing Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles last week on Raw. The show closed with McIntyre shaking hands with Rhea Ripley. 

Drew McIntyre Promo 

The crowd booed as Drew McIntyre was standing inside the ring. McIntyre said he’s not Dominik Mysterio and earns the right to listen. McIntyre noted he was upset from the reactions he heard last week on Raw. McIntyre said he was the same person the entire time. McIntyre said he didn’t lie to anyone. McIntyre said if you are his fan he doesn’t have to explain anything. McIntyre said if you aren’t him fan he doesn’t care about any of you and doesn’t have to explain anything. McIntyre spoke about looking Jey in the eye before attacking him last week. McIntyre said Jey might be looking for an apology after last week. McIntyre noted he didn’t remember one time Jey or The Bloodline apologized for costing everyone in the locker room. McIntyre spoke about Cody Rhodes bringing Jey over to Raw. McIntyre told Jey the Bloodline cost him and his family everything at Clash at the Castle. McIntyre said he hasn’t joined The Judgment Day. McIntyre said he will be on Judgment Day team at WarGames. McIntyre said Rhea Ripley gave him a chance to face Jey inside a cage.

Amin’s Thoughts: A strong promo from McIntyre making great points explaining his reason for turning on Jey Uso. I also liked McIntyre reasoning for wanting to be in the WarGames match to face Jey for everything he’s been through with Bloodline. This Drew McIntyre is off to a great start and is going to really fun to watch. 

Men’s WarGames Teams Come Face-to-Face 

The crowd cheered as Jey Uso came out to a great reaction. YEET chants from the crowd. Jey told McIntyre to let it go. Jey told McIntyre he will catch this beat down. The Judgment Day appeared as they stood on the ring apron. The crowd cheered as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn came out to great reaction. The music played as Cody Rhodes came out to a huge reaction. WWE Raw GM Adam Pearce appeared and stood between both teams. Pearce said who ever throws the first punch will cost the team advantage in WarGames. Pearce told Cody and his team to pick a partner by the end of the night. Pearce told both teams to pick partners for the advantage match. McIntyre had a stare down with Jey before leaving. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a nice hook getting the babyface to pick the partner before the end of the show. This was smart because you want WWE to reveal the partner. You don’t want portions of the crowd to chant CM Punk and possibly takeover the match. Overall, this was good stuff as the Men’s WarGames feels like a really big match. 

Finn Balor was speaking to Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh inside the Judgment Day locker room. Damian Priest told Ripley it was good business for adding McIntyre to the Judgment Day team for WarGames. Priest told Ripley as the leader for WarGame she should’ve told him about McIntyre joining the team. Ripley told Priest it worked out. Ripley agreed she should’ve told Priest. Priest wondered where’s McIntyre? Ripley told Priest that McIntyre will appear. Priest volunteered to be the person in the advantage match. Ripley said they should all wait for McIntyre and discuss as a team. Balor told Priest to take it easy. 

Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nia Jax 
Rodriguez wasted no time rocking Jax with shoulder tackles. Jax quickly took control catching Rodriguez with a Uranage Slam. Rodriguez responded tacking Jax through the ropes. Rodriguez connected with a flying crossbody to Jax on the floor. Jax responded launching Rodriguez into the ring post. Jax rocked Rodriguez with a head butt as they returned from break. Jax applied a Cobra Clutch. The crowd popped as Rodriguez tried to lift Jax but her knees buckled. Rodriguez battled back catching Jax with a Hurricanrana. The crowd popped as Rodriguez connected with a Corkscrew Elbow. Rodriguez went for a Samoan Drop but her back gave out. Jax responded crushing Rodriguez with a back senton. Jax called for the Annihilator but Rodriguez broke free. The crowd popped as Rodriguez went for a Powerbomb. Rodriguez couldn’t get Jax up as he back gave out. Jax sat on Rodriguez. Jax delivered the Annihilator for the win. 

WINNER: Nia Jax 
Amin’s Thoughts: A pretty fun match. The action was good as both Jax and Rodriguez worked great together. The crowd reaction made the match more fun as they were completely behind Rodriguez. Jax gets some credit for the crowd reactions as she’s great playing heel. There was ready to pop huge once Rodriguez got Jax up but didn’t happen. A strong win for Jax possibly setting her up for either Becky Lynch or Rhea Ripley. 

They aired a highlight package of Xia Li training for her match against Becky Lynch. 

Judgment Day were inside the locker room as Drew McIntyre appeared. McIntyre asked Priest if he wanted the WarGames matches. Ripley noted Priest was the leader of WarGame so he wanted the match. McIntyre suggested he takes the match. McIntyre told everyone else he doesn’t like Judgment Day but despises Jey Uso. Priest said he doesn’t like McIntyre either. They both told each other to take it easy. Priest told McIntyre he can have the match. Priest told McIntyre to give them the WarGames advantage. McIntyre said he will do that and left. Priest told Ripley that McIntyre better give them the advantage. 

Michael Cole announced that WWE announced that they’ve opened more seats and limited tickets are available for both SmackDown and Survivor Series. 

They showed highlights of Becky Lynch joining the babyface team for the Women’s WarGames match last week on SmackDown. They announced fans can vote to see who gets the advantage for the Women’s WarGames match. 

We saw Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Jey Uso and Sami Zayn backstage. Cody spoke about knowing Drew McIntyre will be the person for the WarGames match. Rollins volunteered for the match. Jey Uso said he wanted to the match. Rollins told Jey they need him for his team. Jey delivered a passionate promo speaking about McIntyre speaking about his family. Jey wanted the match. Rollins accepted. Sami asked everyone who will be the fifth member of the team? Sami spoke about Cody speaking to Nick Aldis about SmackDown superstars not being off limits for the match. Sami noted he had a partner in mind. Rollins mentioned he knows partners as well. Cody mentioned “he has an old friend, who he can call.” The crowd was cheering. 

Amin’s Thoughts: The surprise return of Randy Orton looks to be the mystery partner Cody was talking about when he mentioned he has an old friend. The Men’s WarGames match is turning into something really special. It would be awesome to see Orton back inside a WWE ring. 

Becky Lynch vs. Xia Li
Becky Lynch received a great reaction from the crowd. NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria was shown in the crowd watching. Lynch  and Li were evenly matched to start. Lynch went for a Manhandle Slam but Li blocked. Lynch took control rocking Li with a baseball slide. Lynch rocked Li with a flying clothesline to the floor. Huge chants of Becky from the crowd. Lynch went for a Hook Kick but Li caught her against the ropes. Li took control rocking Lynch with a high kick. Lynch caught Li with a jaw breaker as they returned from break. The crowd cheered as Lynch rocked Li with huge strikes. Lynch delivered an Exploder Suplex for a two count. Lynch called for the Dis-Arm-Her but Li blocked. Li took back control slingshotting Lynch off the ropes. Li connected with a Corkscrew Kick for a two count. Lynch responded catching Li in an arm bar. Li reversed into a rollup for a tow count. Li responded catching Lynch with an Airplane Spin Slam for a two count. Huge chants of Becky from the crowd. Li caught Lynch with a body scissors against the ropes. Lynch stopped Li from climbing the ropes. Lynch battled back planting Li with a Superplex for a good two count. Lynch called for the Manhandle Slam but Li broke free. Li rocked Lynch with her Roundhouse Kick. Lynch bounced against the ropes. Li used Lynch’s momentum sending her to the floor. Li went for a Corkscrew Kick but Lynch ducked. Lynch responded running Li into the ring post. The crowd popped as Lynch and Li exchanged big strikes. Li went for a Corkscrew Kick but Lynch ducked. Lynch caught Li with a Manhandle Slam for the win. 

WINNER: Becky Lynch
Amin’s Thoughts: A really good match. This had to be Xia Li’s best performance since coming up to the main roster. A great showing from Li as she had a strong showing. Becky Lynch has been on a tremendous run having great matches. Lynch has done wonders for both the Raw and NXT Women’s division making all her opponent look great. I didn’t think Li should’ve lost clean if she’s going to challenge for the NXT Women’s Title. Lynch winning was perfectly fine because she’s in the Women’s WarGames match. They could’ve built the match longer if Li was first going to challenge for the NXT Women’s Title.

The crowd booed as Damage CTRL was shown appearing from the crowd. The crowd cheered as Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair and Shotzi attacked Damage CTRL. A huge brawl broke out. Adam Pearce sent out WWE officials to hold everyone back. The crowd chanted “Let Them Fight!” 

Amin’s Thoughts: I didn’t mind members from SmackDown appearing on Raw. There was a purpose to build the Women’s WarGames which feels like another big match on the Survivor Series show.

Giovanni Vinci asked Ludwig Kaiser if he’s ready for the match. Kaiser didn’t appreciate Vinci getting on Gunther’s good side. Vinci said he’s going to do what’s best for Imperium. Kaiser mentioned Gunther told him that Vinci was his responsibility. Kaiser told Vinci to stay backstage when he faces Johnny Gargano.

They aired a highlight package on Zoey Stark who will challenge Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title at Survivor Series.

Johnny Gargano (w/Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Ludwig Kaiser 
Kaiser took control early rocking Gargano with a huge palm strike. Gargano responded catching Kaiser with a Hurricanrana. Kaiser responded rocking Gargano with a throat thrust. Gargano responded catching Kaiser with a Flying Hurricanrana. Gargano went for a dive but Kaiser intercepted with a right hand. Kaiser took control rocking Gargano with a running uppercut on the floor. The crowd chanted Johnny Wrestling as they returned from break. Gargano went for a Springboard but Kaiser intercepted with a right hand. Gargano responded catching Kaiser with a Slingshot Spear. Gargano made a comeback rocking Kaiser with a rolling kick. Gargano connected with a tope to the floor. Gargano called for One Final Beat DDT but Kaiser caught him. Gargano rocked Kaiser with a Superkick. Gargano followed with a Tornado Flatliner for a two count. Kaiser responded nailing Gargano with a Discus Lariat for a two count. Johnny Wrestling chants from the crowd. Gargano went for a rolling kick but Kaiser blocked. Kaiser went for a PK but Gargano ducked. Gargano nailed Kaiser with a running enzuigiri. Kaiser responded catching Gargano with a Reverse Tilt-A-Whirl Suplex. Gargano responded catching Kaiser with La Mistica. Kaiser responded catching Kaiser with a Rolling Senton. Kaiser rocked Gargano with a PK. Kaiser got distracted as Vinci came out. Gargano took advantage catching Kaiser with a One Final Beat DDT for the win. 

WINNER: Johnny Gargano 
Amin’s Thoughts: A great match. Gargano and Kaiser got time as they made the best of it having a great action packed match. Nice to see the crowd chanting along for Gargano and seeing him get the win. We’ve see too many distraction finishes in wrestling. The distraction worked here because they continuing to tease more tension between Kaiser and Vinci. 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven were complaining to Pearce about sharing the locker room with the rest of the teams earlier in the day. A bunch of teams appeared as they wanted a match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Pearce announced a Fatal-4-Way Match. Green told Pearce she was going to complain to Nick Aldis. Pearce told Green to tell Aldis he said hi. 

Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio saw Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler sitting inside the Judgment Day locker room. Stark noted they wanted to check out the locker room. Baszler and Ripley had a stare down. Baszler said she’s heard enough and left. Stark told Ripley she’s distracted with everything. Stark told Ripley the Women’s World Title stood out in the Judgment Day locker room. Ripley noted most people would get a beating for stepping inside their locker room. Ripley told Stark she respected what she did. Ripley told Stark she will get her beating at Survivor Series. Stark told Ripley that’s the way she likes it. Stark patted Ripley on her shoulder and left.

Fatal-4-Way Number One Contender’s Match: Tegan Nox & Natalya vs. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Maxxine Dupri & Ivy Nile vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter 
Chelsea Green and Piper Niven joined the commentary team for the match. Nox rocked Nile for a PK for a near fall. Nile responded rocking Natalya with a flying kick. Natalya went for an arm bar but Dupri broke free. Dupri caught Natalya with a leg trip. Hartwell tagged herself into the match. Harwell planted Nile with a scoop slam. LeRae rocked Nile with a dropkick. Chance connected with an assisted Moonsault to LeRae but Hartwell made the save. Carter launched Chance who delivered a Monkey Flip Cannonball to LeRae. Carter connected with a flying crossbody to Hartwell and LeRae on the floor. Dupri delivered a flying crossbody onto everyone on the floor. Cole screamed “You Go Girl!” Natalya planted Chance with a powerlsam for a two count as they returned from break. Natalya caught Chance with a Michinoku Driver for a two count. This took a second attempt to deliver. Someone might’ve lost communication on a spot. Nile showed her power delivering a Double Powerbomb to Natalya and Nox. Chance delivered an assisted Splash to Natalya and Nox but everyone made the save. The action broke down as everyone got a big move in. Natalya placed Carter in the Sharpshooter but Nile made the save. The crowd popped as Dupri delivered the Caterpillar to Nox. Dupri delivered a bridging suplex to Nox for a close two count. Dupri planted Nox with a Double Suplex. Natalya yanked Nile off the ropes. Dupri went for a flying crossbody. Nox rolled through catching Dupri with a pinning combination for the flash win. 

WINNERS: Tegan Nox & Natalya 
Amin’s Thoughts: This was nice to see the women’s tag division get a chance to have a showcase match on Raw. The match was fine as everyone got a chance to shine. I would like to see Carter and Chance get some more chances on Raw as they looked great in the match. They really put the focus on Maxxine Durpi who’s shown glimpses of potential of becoming a breakout wrestler in the women’s division. Natalya and Nox winning was the right choice as they’ve been building with them as Green and Niven. 

Gunther appeared as Kaiser and Vinci stopped arguing. Gunther told them to explain themselves. Kaiser noted he would’ve beat Gargano if it wasn’t for Vinci. Gunther thought Kaiser could’ve held the prestige of the group. Gunther appreciated Vinci for his effort. Gunther wondered if he put the wrong person in charge. Gunther told Kaiser watch him how he handles Miz and maybe he will learn something.

A bunch of tag teams were arguing backstage. Pearce announced a Tag Team Turmoil for next week on Raw. The winners will challenge for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Akira Tozawa appeared and began celebrating with the Detroit Lions replica NFL title. Pearce told a stage hand for Nick Aldis to meet him in his office. Aldis appeared. They had a stare down. They both wanted to talk. 

Gunther and Miz Face-To-Face 

The Miz wanted to speak about respect for the WWE Superstars. Miz wanted to speak about the respect for the fans who cheer or boo. Miz spoke about Gunther’s lack of respect for him. The music played as WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther came out. Gunther called him Miz as Mike. Gunther said he has zero respect for him. Gunther called Miz an entertainer. Miz said he can get it done inside the ring and outside the ring. Miz spoke about the WWE Superstars he grew up loving. Miz spoke about battling for 20 years to hold the WWE Intercontinental Title. Gunther noted he was amused by hearing what Miz said. 

Miz spoke about adapting when he was knocked down and doing whatever it takes to win. Miz noted we don’t know much about Gunther because he never hit the bottom. Miz wondered if Gunther can climb up from the bottom and earn the crowd’s respect. Miz claimed he would beat respect into Gunther and be a 9x WWE Intercontinental Champion. The crowd cheered. Gunther spoke about Miz accomplishments but noted he sees through him. Gunther said he’s facing little Mike Mizanin. Gunther said he’s facing a little weirdo who idolized a bunch of heroes in school. Gunther spoke about Miz becoming a WWE Superstar and meeting his heroes. Gunther noted Miz same heroes bullied him because he doesn’t belong in this great sport.

Gunther noted it’s 20 years later and Miz still doesn’t belong inside the ring with him. Gunther said Miz belongs behind the guardrail with the rest of the weirdos. The crowd chanted USA. Gunther noted the crowd was insecure like little Mike. Gunther told Miz he hasn’t been bullied enough. Gunther showed Miz. Gunther told Miz to stand up for himself. The crowd cheered as Miz attacked Gunther. Gunther rocked Miz with a big boot. Gunther taunted Miz with the IC Title. Miz gave Gunther a low blow. Miz delivered the Skull Crushing Finale. The crowd cheered as Miz posed with the Intercontinental Title.

Amin’s Thoughts: A really strong angle. Miz continues to show time and time again he’s one of the best people in WWE on the mic. Gunther has such a commanding presence and just felt so comfortable on the mic. The way Gunther shut down the USA chants from the crowd was great stuff. I’m very interested to see how the match does because Gunther and Miz worked a complete different style of match. Gunther has been on a tremendous roll as Intercontinental Champion. I’m really looking forward to seeing the match Gunther brings out of Miz. 

Seth Rollins approached Jey Uso backstage. Rollins told Jey he has to win. Rollins told Jey he knows how to win WarGames match. Jey told Rollins he got this. YEET. Rollins nodded his head. 

Ivar and Valhalla called out Bronson Reed. Ivar challenged Reed to a match next week on Raw. 

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chad Gable (w/Alpha Academy) 
Gable took control early wrestling Nakamura to the mat. Nakamura responded rocking Gable with knee strikes. Nakamura sent out some Good Vibrations. Gable responded catching Nakamura with an arm bar against the ropes. Gable delivered an Overhead Suplex launching Nakamura to the floor. Gable connected with a flying cannonball to the floor. Nakamura rocked Gable with a running knee strike for a two count as they returned from break. Gable responded catching Nakamura with a running neck breaker for a two count. Nakamura responded planting Gable with a sliding German Suplex. Nakamura connected with a flying knee strike for a two count. Gable responded rolling through applying an ankle lock but Nakamura broke free. Gable planted Nakamura with a Cliffhanger DDT. Gable connected with a flying head butt for a two count. Gable went for Chaos Theory Suplex. Nakamura held onto the turnbuckle which got exposed. Nakamura rocked Gable with spin kick. Nakamura called for the Kinshasa. Gable rolled through hitting a Stalling German Suplex for a two count. Gable planted Nakamura with a Dragon Suplex. Gable went for a Flying Moonsault but Nakamura got his knees up. Nakamura planted Gable with a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura called for the Kinshasa. Gable countered into the ankle lock but Nakamura broke free. Gable held onto the brakes before going into the exposed turnbuckle. Nakamura caught Gable with a reverse rollup for the win. 

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura 
Amin’s Thoughts: A pretty solid match. The wrestling was great as expected as both Gable and Nakamura worked great together. Nice to see Nakamura get another win as they are keeping him strong for the eventual mystery opponent he faces. They haven’t announced Nakamura for the Survivor Series. I think that’s fine because you don’t want fans thinking Nakamura might face a mystery opponent. WWE would be basically asking fans to chant for CM Punk. 

The Judgment Day were backstage. McIntyre told Priest he doesn’t need help. Priest said they weren’t offering. McIntyre said good and walked off. Ripley grabbed McIntyre’s arm and told him to get them the advantage. McIntyre said he would get the advantage and take Jey out for good. 

Bronson Reed accepted Ivar’s challenge for a match on Raw next week. Reed said Ivar long boat won’t survive the crashing waves of the Tsunami. 

Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins told Cody Rhodes they had no luck with their partners. Rollins wondered if Cody had any luck? Cody noted he picked up the phone and he’s in. Sami and Rollins were excited by the news. 

Survivor Series WarGames Advantage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso
Drew McIntyre received a great heel reaction. McIntyre came out to his same theme song. Jey Uso received a great reaction from the crowd. Jey and McIntyre began exchanging strikes. McIntyre took the lead catching Jey with a corner kick. Jey used McIntyre’s momentum sending him to the floor. Jey took control hitting a tope. McIntyre took control over Jey as they returned from break. Jey responded catching McIntyre with a leaping kick. Jey connected with a flying crossbody for a two count. Jey went for a tope but McIntyre rocked him with a right hand. McIntyre took control planting Jey onto both the barricade and ring apron. McIntyre taunted Jey who responded with a spin kick. Jey went for a Springboard but McIntyre caught him with a Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre launched Jey over the announcers table. Jey rocked McIntyre with strikes as they returned from break. Jey connected with a Samoan Drop for a two count. McIntyre responded catching Jey with a neck breaker for a double down. McIntyre called for a Claymore Kick. Jey intercepted McIntyre with a flying Superkick for a two count. Jey went for an Uso Splash. McIntyre responded catching Jey on the ropes. McIntyre hit the Future Shock DDT for the win. 

WINNER: Drew McIntyre 
Amin’s Thoughts: A really good match. The wrestling was solid as both Jey and McIntyre worked great together. McIntyre needed the strong win since he just turned heel. McIntyre beating Jey with the Future Shock DDT was a great way to showcase another signature move. 

Randy Orton announced for Men’s WarGames Match

Rhea Ripley made her way ringside. McIntyre attacked Jey Uso after the match. Jey grabbed a chair but Judgment Day stopped him. The crowd cheered as Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn ran down with chairs to make the save. Cody was glad Judgment Day got the advantage. Cody was glad Judgment Day has someone with the talent of Drew McIntyre. Cody noted they aren’t alone. Cody said he found some who he has a LEGACY with. The crowd began cheering. Cody spoke the Apex Predator with them. There was a great camera shot as Jey had a look of concern on his face. Cody noted the fans know who he’s speaking about. Huge chants of Randy broke out. Cody noted the fans aren’t just hearing voices in their head. Cody noted the fans are right. The show ended.  

Amin’s Thoughts: WWE basically told you Randy Orton is going to the be the mystery partner for Cody’s team without saying his name. This was a smart thing for WWE to announce the mystery partner on the Raw show. The camera panning to Jey Uso who had a concerned look was something to pay attention to. I could see Orton having a big program with Jey when he turns heel at some point down the road. I’m glad they are saving Orton’s big return for the Survivor Series show. Men’s WarGames match feels like a really big match.

Overall Thoughts: The goal of the show was to build the key matches for Survivor Series. Gunther/Miz segment was very strong making you want to see the match. The main focus was building the Men’s WarGames match. They did great establishing McIntyre as a key player giving Judgment Day the advantage with his win over Jey Uso. They’ve added more star power with Randy Orton’s return. There was also a nice balance with some strong wrestling matches. Overall, a strong episode of Raw. WWE has done a great job making Survivor Series feel like a really special show.