WWE Raw Review: CM Punk Speaks


November 27. 2023 | Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

The show opened with a highlight package of Randy Orton making his return in the Men’s WarGames match. The highlight package showcased CM Punk returning back to WWE. 

New Raw theme played. There was a big firework display. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed everyone to Raw. They hyped Raw being first hour commercial free. Cole said CM Punk will be on Raw and will have a live mic. 

Randy Orton Returns to WWE Raw 

Randy Orton came out to a huge reaction to start the show. Orton looked in incredible shape. Huge chants of Randy from the crowd. Orton said he’s back. He welcomed everyone to Raw. The crowd chanted “Welcome Back” Orton said he had time to go over his accomplishments. Orton spoke about never thinking about competing in WarGames. Orton spoke about accepting Cody Rhodes invitation. He spoke about Dusty Rhodes inventing the match. He spoke about being part of Professional Wrestling history. He spoke about having unfinished business with Bloodline. Orton spoke about forgiving but not forgetting. He said he had recites for all members of Bloodline. He said it’s coming by RKO which got a huge reaction. 

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley came out and welcomed Orton back. Ripley spoke about Orton’s performance at Survivor Series. Ripley spoke about the Bloodline falling and Judgment Day being the most dominant force. She spoke about WarGames being a bump in the road. She spoke about Judgment Day dripping in gold. Ripley blamed Orton for Damian Priest not being World Champion. Crowd chanted RKO. Orton spoke about watching the product when he was gone. Orton spoke about hearing a lot about Mami. Orton said “Daddy’s back.” Orton spoke about nobody telling him what to do. Ripley noted Orton made an enemy out of Judgment Day. Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh attacked Orton from behind. Orton made his own comeback hitting McDonagh with an RKO which got a huge reaction. Orton said he wants Dominik in a match on Raw.

Amin’s Thoughts: I really liked the opening segment. Orton sounded genuine happy to be back inside the WWE ring and receiving the reaction with the crowd. Ripley looked like such a star and sounded great on the mic. Overall, really good stuff here and this will be a treat for the crowd to see Orton have his first match back on Raw after 18 months. 

A bunch of tag team were backstage hyping up the tag team turmoil match. Chad Gable noted Akira Tozawa and Otis will represent Alpha Academy in the tag team turmoil. Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri appeared as they introduced musician Jelly Roll. R-Truth appeared to a nice reaction. R-Truth mentioned he was hungry upon hearing Jelly Roll. Tozawa did his comedy dance. 

Cody Rhodes did a WWE Shop advertisement.

Number One Contender Tag Team Turmoil: DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Alpha Academy (Akira Tozawa & Otis) (w/Alpha Academy) 
Tozawa shined early rocking Ciampa with a jab. Ciampa responded rocking Tozawa with a huge lariat. Gargano went for a flying crossbody but Tozawa countered into a gut buster. Otis ran wild rocking Gargano and Ciampa with a double tackle. The crowd popped as Otis and Tozawa delivered double Caterpillar. Otis went for a Rocker Launcher but was stopped. DIY hit Meeting in the Middle to Tozawa as Alpha Academy was eliminated. 

WINNERS: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa 

DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Indus Sher (Sanga & Veer) (w/Jinder Mahal) 
Veer and Sanga took control early ramming Gargano and Ciampa together. Veer rocked Gargano with a jumping shoulder tackle. Sanga rocked Gargano with a running boot. Garggano moved as Sanga charged into the turnbuckle. Gargano rolled up Sanga as Indus Sher was eliminated. 

WINNERS: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa 

DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs The Creed Brother (Brutus & Julius Creed) (w/Ivy Nile) 
Brutus and Julius delivered a double fireman’s carry to Ciampa. Ciampa battled his way getting Gargano the tag. Gargano caught Brutus with a Slingshot Tackle for a two count. Gargano connected with Sliced Bread to Brutus for two. DIY called for Meeting in Middle but was stopped. Julius planted Gargano with a pair of Powerbombs. Brutus delivered a Super Brutus Ball to eliminate DIY. 

WINNERS: Brutus & Julius Creed 

The Creed Brother (Brutus & Julius Creed) (w/Ivy Nile) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) 
New Day Rocks chants. Kofi and Woods delivered combinations strikes to Julius for a two count. Kofi connected with a standing splash to Julius for two. Kofi caught Julius with an inside cradle for two count. Julius countered catching Kofi with an overhead suplex. Brutus ran wild sending Woods flying with an Exploder Suplex. Brutus connected with a deadlift suplex to Woods for two. Brutus and Julius delivered a pair of standing Moonsaults to Woods for two. Woods responded catching Brutus with a Swing DDT for two. New Day Rocks chants from the crowd. Kofi and Woods hit a backbreaker/flying stomp combo to Brutus but Julius made the save. Kofi went dor a flying crossbody but Julius rolled through. Julius sent Kofi flying with a hallway slam. Brutus hit a Flying Moonsault to Woods on the floor. The Creeds hit a Super Brutus Ball to eliminate New Day. 

WINNERS: Brutus & Julius Creed 

The Creed Brother (Brutus & Julius Creed) (w/Ivy Nile) vs. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) 
Vinci planted Julius with a Spinebuster. Kaiser followed with a PK. Kaiser and Vinci hit the European Bomb but Brutus made the save. Kaiser yelled at Vinci. Julius used Vinci momentum sending him to the floor. Brutus ran wild rocking Vinci with Brutus Smash. Vinci responded catching Brutus with a chop block. Vinci connected with a backbreaker to Brutus for two. Brutus and Vinci hit stereo boots. Julis ran wild sending Kaiser and Vinci flying with series of Overhead Suplex. Julius hit a double nothern lights suplex to Kaiser and Vinci which got a big pop. Julius planted Kaiser with a Powerslam but Vinci made the save. Julius planted Kaiser with a Gut Wrench Powerbomb.Kaiser rocked Brutus with a Discus Lariat. Imperium called for European Bomb. Julius went to leap off Brtus but slipped. Julius maintained control hitting a Leaping Superplex. This is Awesome chants. The Creed delivered a Super Brutus Ball for the win. 

WINNERS: Brutus & Julius Creed 
Amin’s Thoughts: A pretty solid tag team turmoil. They gave the match lots of time as all the teams got a chance to shine. Nice to see Ciampa and Gargano get some shine as they were only other team to pick up wins. The main focus was to showcase The Creed Brothers a top level team on Raw. They are really high on the Creed Brothers so it’s possible they could defeat Judgment Day for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. 

Rhea Ripley, Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio in the Judgement Day clubhouse. Finn Balor appeared and told Priest they need to be ready for the Creed Brothers. Priest had his attention distracted thinking Judgement Day would blame him for the Judgement Day loss in WarGames. Balor, Ripley and Dominik told Priest everything is fine and they were family. Priest was relieved. Priest asked Balor how McDonagh was doing? Balor mentioned he was in medical and they should check on him. Ripley smirked at Priest after he left. 

Cody Rhodes Promo 

Cody Rhodes came out to a huge reaction and firework display. The WOAHHH are getting louder and louder. Huge chants of Cody from the crowd. He wanted to thank every member on his WarGames team individually for the win. He mentioned Sami Zayn’s name which got a big reaction. He mentioned Jey Uso. The crowd chanted YEET. He mentioned Seth Rollins. The crowd sang Rollins theme. He mentioned Orton who got a huge reaction. He spoke about Orton allowing his team to pick up the win. He spoke about winning Dusty Rhodes match. He got emotional. He spoke about the other big story which was CM Punk returning to WWE. He told Punk “Welcome Back.” He spoke about a lot of stories happening right now. He spoke about the fans knowing where he was going. He declared himself for the Royal Rumble match. This got a huge reaction. 

The lights dimmed in the arena. Shinsuke Nakamura appeared on the screen. Nakamura spoke about continuing his story. Nakamura noted he needed Cody to set him free. Nakamura spoke about being patient but was tired of waiting. Nakamura said “I will bring CHAOS to you.” Cody looked at the TitanTron. The crowd reacted as Nakamura was standing behind Cody. Nakamura blew red mist into Cody’s face. WWE official checked on Cody. Nakamura posed. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Cody has to be one of the clear favourites to win the Royal Rumble match. He won the Rumble from the 30th spot. He could win the Rumble from the number one spot this year. They could also go the route with Cody winning the Elimination Chamber to get his rematch with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. They paid off the mystery angle with Nakamura targeting Cody. This could be a cool program giving Cody something to do before Rumble. The chaos line from Nakamura was interesting. I don’t if it will happen. Could that be a tease of WWE maybe bringing in Kazuchika Okada? 

WWE thanked Living Color for Cult of Personality the theme song for CM Punk. Cole plugged Punk’s appearance on Raw. Cole mentioned again Punk would have a live mic in hand. 

Bronson Reed vs. Ivar (w/Valhalla) 
Reed took control early rocking Ivar with a shoulder tackle. Ivar responded catching Reed with a corner seated senton. Reed responded planting Ivar with a suplex. Valhalla caused a distraction. This led to Ivar yanking Reed off the ring apron. Ivar rocked Reed with a spin kick. Ivar delivered a sliding crossbody to Reed against the ring apron. They returned from break with Reed rocking Ivar with rapid chops. Reed rocked Ivar with a Superkick. Reed caught Ivar charging with a Samoan Drop. Reed connected with a running senton for a two count. Ivar avoided the Rainmaker catching Reed with a spinning slam for two. Ivar went for a Flying Moonsault but Reed moved. Valhalla caused a distraction as Reed tried to climb the ropes. The referee sent Valhalla to the back. Reed caught Ivar off the barricade. He dropped him to the floor out of exhaustion. Ivar stood on the barricade. Reed delivered a Death Valley Driver sending Ivar crashing into the barricade. The match ended in a double count-out. 

WINNER: Double Count-Out 
Amin’s Thoughts: This match was the definition of two big meaty men slapping meat. The action was good as both Ivar and Reed worked well together. The match ended on a flat note with the count-out. There’s a good chance a rematch is coming with a possible stipulation. 

Ivar whacked Reed with a chair after the match. They brawled through the crowd. They both attacked security guards. Reed launched a security guard onto Ivar. The kept brawling as security tried to hold Reed back. Ivar stood on a crate delivering a flying somersault senton to Reed. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it.” 

Zoey Stark spoke to Shayna Baszler being so close to defeat Rhea Ripley at Survivor Series. Nia Jax appeared and sarcastically mocked Stark for her performance. Baszler told Jax to shut up teasing violence. Stark confronted Jax and challenged her to a match. Jax agreed. 

They showed social media clips of fans reacting to CM Punk returning to WWE. 

Balor, Priest and McDonagh walked back to the Judgement Day clubhouse. They saw R-Truth laying on a couch eating Twinkies. They wondered what R-Truth was doing? R-Truth offered to be their partner for WarGames. Priest mentioned the match already happened. R-Truth asked how they did? They kicked R-Truth out. McDonagh said he would take care of R-Truth. 

Zoey Stark vs. Nia Jax 
Stark used her quickness rocking Jax with combination strikes. Stark went for a Springboard but Jax caught her with a forearm smash. Stark used Jax momentum sending her to the floor. Stark delivered a flying clothesline to Jax on the floor. Jax placed Stark in a Torture Rack as they returned from break. Jax swung Stark into the turnbuckle which looked vicious. Stark battled back rocking Jax with a pair of Superkick. Stark moved as Jax charged into ring post. Stark battled back hitting a Slingshot Corkscrew Senton. Stark connected with a sliding kick for a near fall. Jax responded splashing Stark against the ropes. Stark responded kicking the ropes against Jax. Stark connected with a Springboard Dropkick for two count. Jax draped Stark against the ropes. Jax took control hitting a Samoan Drop. Jax connected with a running senton. Jax followed with the Annihilator for the win. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a solid match. A good showing from Stark being the fighting babyface wanting to take on all challengers. Seeing babyface work against Jax who has a dominance presence has made for fine matches. Jax got a strong win as they are looking to set up match possibly against Becky Lynch or Ripley. 

They showed highlights of Gunther retaining the WWE Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. 

Kaiser and Vinci were arguing backstage. Gunther appeared as he told Kaiser and Vinci to sort of DIY. They left. Miz appeared. Miz mentioned seeing Gunther’s press conference and mentioned he’s looking for a challenger to face. Miz challenged him. Gunther asked Miz if he was sure about that? Miz claimed he knew he could take the title and Gunther knew it too. Gunther gave Miz credit for bringing the fight to him. Gunther said Miz belong in the ring, not with him. 

Seth Rollins / Drew McIntyre Segment

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins came out to a huge reaction. The crowd loudly sang along to Rollins theme. He welcomed everyone to “Monday Night Rollins” He went over his catchphrases. The crowd sang his song. A portion of the crowd began loudly chanting CM Punk’s name. He told the crowd to get it out it there systems. He called Punk a hypocrite. He wanted to speak about something that matters. He spoke about making the World Title Heavyweight the most important in the industry. The crowd sang his song. Rollins noted he’s not feeling too well after WarGames. Rollins spoke about getting the itch to get a World Title match. He spoke about to Adam Pearce about the World Title. 

Drew McIntyre came out. He spoke about the last 48 hours being crazy. He spoke about people talking about the two of them and things that happened outside the ring. He wanted to shake Rollins’ hand for his team getting the victory. Rollins shook his hand. McIntyre spoke about Judgment Day had a plan but lost. He spoke about wanting to keep Jey Uso in the back burner and focus on the World Title. McIntyre mentioned Rollins was right about him blaming himself for the Crown Jewel loss. McIntyre mentioned he had a momentum of hesitation when he saw Rollins selling his back. He thought about Rollins daughter and told him to stay down. McIntyre mentioned this led to Rollins slapping him. McIntyre said Rollins was right about that. McIntyre said he’s done with the sympathy and wants a rematch. 

Rollins noted he came out here to speak about who’s next for the World Title. Rollins mentioned McIntyre deserves a rematch. Rollins mentioned somebody else got the rematch. Rollins mentioned he will face Jey Uso for the World Title. Rollins wanted to explain to McIntyre his reasoning. McIntyre rocked Rollins with a head butt. (McIntyre was bleeding above his head. Possibly due to the World Title cutting him.) McIntyre sent Rollins flying with an overhead suplex. McIntyre told Rollins he beat Jey two weeks ago. The crowd cheered as Jey Uso ran down to make the save. Jey and Rollins rocked McIntyre with a Double Superkick. Jey looked at the World Title and then handed back to Rollins.

Amin’s Thoughts: This was great stuff. Rollins acknowledging the CM Punk chants was a nice touch. They are beginning the slow burn for a Rollins and Punk match. McIntyre continues to be one of the best onscreen characters on WWE TV. McIntyre is great at playing heel but is giving the right reasons to justify his actions. McIntyre should get another World Title match since he already beat Jey Uso clean. I could see McIntyre costing Jey the World Title match next week on Raw. McIntyre giving his reasoning saying Bloodline costed him the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at Clash at the Castle. McIntyre and Rollins rematch for the World Title is something that could happen at the Royal Rumble. 

Sami Zayn confronted McIntyre backstage. McIntyre mentioned Zayn couldn’t understand what he was going through. Zayn mentioned he knew exactly what he’s going through. Zayn spoke to McIntyre about both of them losing World Titles matches to both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Zayn mentioned he kept moving forward to his end goal to win the World Heavyweight Title. Zayn spoke about McIntyre being a two-time WWE Champion. Zayn mentioned McIntyre was acting like a spoiled brat. He told McIntyre that he’s better than that. McIntyre mentioned he going to Pearce to request a match with Zayn for Raw next week. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Zayn does a really good at cutting passionate promos. The end goal here is for Zayn to win the World Heavyweight Title. There is a direction they could go with Zayn beating McIntyre to win his first World Title. 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven [c] vs. Tegan Nox & Natalya 
A pretty basic start to the match. They went to the quick commercial break. Green had control over Natalya as they returned from break. Natalya caught Green with a powerbombed for two . Nox ran wild rocking Green with a head butt. Nox rocked Niven with a running senton. Nox connected with a Molly-Go-Round to Green but Niven made the save. Niven tagged into the match. Green caught Nox with a Codebreaker. Niven followed with a running senton to Nox but Natalya made the save. Green called for the Unprettier but Nox broke free. Natalya and Nox caught Green on a dive. Natalya and Nox delivered a suplex sending Green crashing into the barricade. Niven delivered a Flying Cannonball onto Natalya and Nox on the floor. Niven delivered a sliding crossbody to Nox for the win. 

WINNERS: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles 
Amin’s Thoughts: A solid match as both teams worked well together. Kinda surprised we didn’t see the title switch here as Natalya and Nox were gaining some momentum. This was a nice win for Green and Niven to showcase them as strong champions. 

Jey Uso spoke to Randy Orton backstage. He spoke about hearing what Orton said about giving Bloodline receipts for what happened in the past. Jey spoke about Cody giving him a fresh start and started trusting him. Orton mentioned he’s been watching along and seeing that he had Cody’s back. Orton told Jey they are good as long as he’s not part of the Bloodline. They are good. They shared a hug and YEET. 

Jackie Redmond interviewed Becky Lynch backstage. She spoke the Women’s WarGames match and pointed at her scars. She spoke about making amends at Survivor Series. She spoke about there being a thin line between love and hate. She spoke about having a couple fights on the horizon. She said one was more pressing than the other. 

Amin’s Thoughts: It could be possible she’s possibly taking about a match with Nia Jax and then moving onto the bigger match with Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title at WrestleMania. 

Randy Orton vs. NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio (w/JD McDonagh) – Non-Title Match 
Dominik came out to huge boos. Randy Orton came out receiving a huge reaction from the crowd. Orton took control rocking Dominik with strikes. Orton launched Dominik with a huge backdrop. The action moved to the floor. Orton went for launch backdrop onto the announcers table but Dominik escaped. Dominik sent Orton into the ring steps. Orton made a comeback hitting a Snap Powerslam. Orton followed with a Draping DDT. The crowd cheered as Orton called for the RKO. The crowd booed as McDonagh pulled Orton to the floor. McDonagh confronted Jelly Roll who was seated ringside. Jelly Roll showed McDoangh which got a big pop. Jelly Roll shoved Dominik which got another big reaction. Orton launched Dominik onto the announcers table. The crowds chanted “one more time.” Orton launched Dominik onto the announcers again. Orton gave McDonagh a Draping DDT. Dominik took advantage hitting a 619. Dominik went for a Frog Splash but Orton moved. Orton delivered an RKO for the win. 

WINNER: Randy Orton 
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a house show opening match. This match worked perfectly. Dominik and McDonagh were great taking bumps for all of Orton’s moves. Orton looks awesome and was great in the match. This was just so much fun seeing Orton back wrestling inside a WWE ring. 

CM Punk Returns to WWE Raw

CM Punk came out to a huge reaction. Huge chants of CM Punk from the crowd. He said “Hell has frozen over.” He’s standing inside a WWE ring with a live mic in hand. He spoke about being a Chicago Blackhawks fan was getting cheered in the home of the Nashville Predators. That got slight boos. He said he was just being honest. He spoke about feeling like himself since Saturday which was a career highlight. He said he came to two words. He said he’s feeling scared because of how true the words actually are. He said it’s a little bit corny and cheesy. He said it’s not going to sound like CM Punk but he’s changed. He said an American Dream (Dusty Rhodes) once taught him that as long as you speak from the heart you cannot go wrong because it was the truth. He said “He’s Home.” This got a huge reaction from the crowd. The crowd chanted “Welcome Home.” 

He spoke about the fans not forgetting about him. He’s mentioned being gone for 10 years but in that time, the fans never forgot him even when he maybe wanted to forget himself. People all over the world never stopped chanting his name. This led to huge chants of CM Punk. He mentioned the Voiceless for their voice. He’s back because he loved the fans. He said he wished he never had to leave. He mentioned once upon a time, a Wise Man (Paul Heyman) said he’d have to leave and come back. He hated to admit the wise man was right. Nice tease there. 

He spoke about Survivor Series and Raw both being amazing nights. He spoke about everyone in the back happy to see him again. He brought up AJ Lee. He mentioned she was doing fabulous and gives everyone her regards. This got a huge reaction from the crowd. He spoke about everyone welcoming him back with open arms. He said “well almost everybody.” Seth Rollins tease likely. He said they are afraid of the truth and what they don’t understand. He said everything he’s ever wanted was always in WWE. He spoke of competing and said the best in the world hasn’t been there for almost 10 years. 

He said they are afraid he will set the bar to an unattainable level and that he has the bar in his back pocket. He said some people are afraid that when they wake up tomorrow, they would have to come to terms with the fact that their best efforts to be the best in the world in the ring, on the microphone, and even on commentary isn’t just false, it’s a lie. He said the Best in the World is standing in the middle of the ring in living colour in Nashville, Tennessee. He said his name is. He held up the mic. The crowd yelled “CM PUNK!” Punk’s music played. He looked into the camera and said ” I’m back. I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to make money.”

Amin’s Thoughts: CM Punk has tremendous delivery in his promos. Punk sounded like he was genuine happy to return to WWE TV. There will be some people who might not be fans because he being to gushy and praising WWE. There were some seeds planted for programs with Rollins and possible Reigns as well with the Wise Man line. I also liked the AJ Lee reference. A possible tease of AJ Lee making an appearance on WWE TV. Punk’s big promos will come once he gets into his first program. The closing like sounded like a dig at The Elite. Overall, this was great and WWE did an awesome job presenting Punk like the biggest star on the show. 

Overall Thoughts

A very interesting and newsworthy episode of Raw. They did really good capitalizing following-up on momentum of Survivor Series. They got Cody into a program with Nakamura before the Royal Rumble. They are teased a rematch between McIntyre and Rollins. They made both CM Punk and Randy Orton both feel like huge superstars. They did a great job opening the door teasing programs with Punk between Reigns and Rollins. You can see they have a long term story played out. They have a long way to go before Royal Rumble. They are just taking time. Overall, a solid episode of RAW. WWE just feels really hot with both CM Punk and Orton returning at the same time.