WWE Raw Review: Drew McIntyre Makes His Presence Felt


December 4, 2023 | MVP Arena, Albany, New York

Drew McIntyre Promo 

Drew McIntyre came out to a strong heel reaction to start the show. McIntyre welcomed everyone to WWE Raw. McIntyre spoke about people losing their minds recently. He said liars, hypocrites, cowards and just plain idiots. He said apparently you can talk crap, leave the company, do what you want, come back and you’re instantly forgiven these days. This led to the crowd chanting CM Punk. McIntyre said he could be talking about anybody. OHHHHHHH. He mentioned Seth Rollins pulling a fast one. McIntyre rightfully noted he beat Jey Uso but that’s who’s getting the World Heavyweight Title match. McIntyre mentioned that’s why he head butted Rollins in the face. McIntyre spoke about Jey apologizing to Randy Orton. McIntyre told Jey his time is coming. McIntyre mentioned he’s forgetting someone. 

Sami Zayn who came out to a great reaction. Huge “Sami” chants from the crowd. Zayn told McIntyre to tell him to it face. McIntyre said he and Zayn are not alike. McIntyre said Zayn deserved to be screwed by the Bloodline. McIntyre mentioned Zayn was part of the Bloodline helping them out. McIntyre mentioned Zayn screwed over The Bloodline so what did he expect was going to happen. Zayn said he and McIntyre are not alike. Zayn mentions he doesn’t point the fingers at everyone. Zayn mentioned when he lost in front of his family, he stayed hungry, driven, motivated and carried him to victory in the main event of WrestleMania. Zayn asked Drew does he think he’s making his family proud? McIntyre takes offence saying one of them aren’t walking out on their own tonight. McIntyre wants the referee to ring the bell. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Drew McIntyre was just absolutely fantastic in this segment here. McIntyre’s character is the one of the best on WWE TV. McIntyre is playing heel but is making all valid points that a babyface would make. McIntyre giving himself a reason to take action the way he wants. Zayn is great playing the underdog babyface as he made a strong comeback with his promo explaining how he lost his title match to being driven to win the main event of WrestleMania. A strong opening segment to start Raw. 

Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn 

McIntyre took control early sending Zayn flying with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. The action moved the floor as Zayn sent McIntyre into the ring post. Zayn followed hitting a Tope Con Hilo to the floor. McIntyre and Zayn exchanged huge chops as they returned from break. McIntyre launched Zayn who leaped off the barricade hitting a moonsault to the floor. McIntyre stopped Zayn’s momentum rocking him with a huge lariat. Zayn responded catching McIntyre with a flying elbow drop. Zayn tweaked his leg on the landing. Zayn moved as McIntyre charged into the ring post. Zayn planted McIntyre with a suplex. Zayn connected with a satellite DDT for a two count.

McIntyre caught Zayn flying with an overhead suplex. McIntyre launched Zayn with another huge overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Zayn went for a plancha but McIntyre caught and launched him over the announcers table. McIntyre went for a reverse Alabama Slam but Zayn countered into a victory roll for a two count. McIntyre caught Zayn with a spinebuster for a two count. McIntyre planted Zayn with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count.

McIntyre went for an avalanche White Noise but Zayn countered into a Sunset Bomb for a good two count. Zayn went for a Blue Thunder Bomb but McIntyre countered with a Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre called for a Claymore Kick but Zayn intercepted him with a big boot. Zayn delivered a Blue Thunder Bomb for a good two count. The crowd chanted “This Is Awesome.” Zayn went for a springboard but landed on his injured leg. McIntyre had an angry look. McIntyre delivered a chop block. McIntyre delivered a huge Claymore Kick for the win. 

WINNER: Drew McIntyre 
Amin’s Thoughts: A really good PPV calibre match to start the show as McIntyre and Zayn work so great together. They protected Zayn with the knee injury that lead to the finish. I liked the finish with McIntyre showing more viciousness just going after Zayn’s injured knee. This was a strong win for McIntyre heating him back up for a World Heavyweight Title rematch with Rollins.

Byron Saxton interviewed Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark backstage. Baszler spoke taking out Nia Jax two years ago. Baszler said she will take out Jax again limb by limb. (Nikki Cross was watching way in the background.)

They aired a great Jey Uso video package where he spoke about Jimmy Uso costing him the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. He spoke about walking away from WWE until he got a call from Cody Rhodes to have a fresh start on Raw. Jey spoke about always fighting for others but now he was fighting for his legacy. He spoke about Seth Rollins fighting with and against him. He said Rollins will find out why they call him “Main Event Jey Uso!”

Amin’s Thoughts: This was very good as they used a video package to show the change in Jey Uso from being part of Bloodline to now focusing on him wanting to be a single’s superstar. The added visual showing clips of Jey’s match from SummerSlam to coming to Raw was a nice added touch to overall video package. 

Jackie Redmond was backstage. She wanted to get an update from Zayn who was being checked on by WWE trainer. McIntyre appeared attacking Zayn backstage. McIntyre launched Zayn into some equipment crates. McIntyre yelled at Zayn saying he’s nothing like him. McIntyre stomped on Zayn’s injured foot. They returned from break with WWE trainers checking on Zayn. Jey Uso appeared and told Zayn he was going to be alright. 

Amin’s Thoughts: A strong followup angle to the opening segment after McIntyre telling Zayn he won’t be walking out on his own. 

Byron Saxton interviewed Becky Lynch backstage. Nia Jax appeared wondering if Becky was speaking about her in the promo last week. Becky mentioned she still owes Jax a receipt. Jax said once she squashes Baszler, Becky can get some next. Becky told Jax can’t wait. 

Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler 

Jax took control early launching Baszler across the ring. Baszler moved as Jax charged into the turnbuckle. Baszler rocked Jax with a corner knee strike. Baszler placed Jax in an arm bar against the ropes. Jax broke free planted Baszler with a powerbomb. The action moved to the floor as Baszler sent Jax into the ring post. Baszler went to stomp on Jax’s arm. Jax responded yanked Baszler onto the ring apron. Jax connected with a leg drop to Baszler against the ropes. Jax planted Baszler with a uranage slam as they returned from break.

Jax delivered a running hip attack into the ring post for a two count. Jax caught Baszler with a Samoan drop. Baszler moved as Jax charged into the turnbuckle. Baszler battled back rocking Jax with a running knee strike for a two count. Jax caught Baszler with a running splash. Jax connected with a running senton for a two count. Jax called for the Annihilator. Baszler caught her with an ankle lock. Baszler launched Jax with a German suplex. Baszler applied a Kirifuda Clutch. Jax powered out of the hold planting Baszler on her back. Jax delivered the Annihilator for the win. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a solid match. Baszler was the standout here as she gave Jax one of her best matches on WWE TV. I thought Jax looked fine as does good playing a dominant heel. Jax winning was expected after the backstage segment with Becky. 

The crowd cheered as Becky Lynch came out to a big reaction. Jax left the ring. 

They aired a highlight package of CM Punk returning back to WWE. They showed highlights from Punk’s promo on Raw. Micheal Cole mentioned CM Punk was a free agent and will be appearing on SmackDown. 

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell wished Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa luck in their match. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci appeared calling them a lovely couple of losers. LeRae and Hartwell left saying Imperium better impress Gunther. DIY left as well. Kaiser told Vinci how important this match. Kaiser told Vinci to bring his best. Vinci hoped Kaiser would bring his best as well. 

2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) 

Vinci took control early rocking Ciampa with a running crossbody. Ciampa responded sending Kaiser into the turnbuckle. Gargano ran wild planting Kaiser with La Mistica. Gargano rocked Kaiser with a slingshot spear. DIY called for Meeting in the Middle. Vinci pulled Gargano to the floor. Kaiser rolled up Ciampa grabbing a handful of tights to win the first fall. 

Imperium won first fall

Kaiser planted Gargano with a reverse overhead suplex as they returned from break. Kaiser and Vinci rocked Gargano with a double dropkick for a near fall. Ciampa stopped Imperium from delivering the Imperium Bomb. Gargano caught Vinci with a sunset flip to win the second fall. 

DIY won second fall.

Ciampa plants Kaiser and Vinci with a double DDT. Gargano and Ciampa delivered a running clothesline/backdrop suplex combo to Vinci for a two count. Vinci caught Gargano with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count. Kaiser and Vinci called for the Imperium Bomb. Gargano caught Vinci with a hurricanrana. Kaiser caught Gargano with a Kaiser Roll. Kaiser followed with a PK. Vinci connected with a beautiful springboard moonsault to Gargano but Ciampa made the save.

The action broke down as Kaiser rocked Ciampa with a rolling forearm. Vinci went for a powerbomb but Gargano countered into a DDT. The crowd chanted “This Is Awesome.” Ciampa delivered an avalanche Air Raid Crash to Kaiser. DIY called for Meeting in the Middle but Vinci pulled Gargano to the floor. Kaiser applied a rollup grabbing tights but Gargano kicked out at two. Ciampa and Gargano rocked Kaiser with a pair of superkicks. DIY delivered Meeting in the Middle for the win. 

WINNERS: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa 
Amin’s Thoughts: They worked the first two falls like a standard 2/3 falls match on WWE TV. This was a great back-and-forth action packed tag team match. They have been teasing dissension within Imperium so it worked they would take the fall. This turned out well because both Kaiser and Vinci had a strong showing even though they took the fall. Was nice to see the crowd getting slowly more into DIY. A strong win for Gargano and Ciampa to heat them back up in the Raw tag team division which is looking pretty strong right now. 

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven mocked Natalya & Tegan Nox backstage. Nox went for a punch on Green who flinched. Natalya told them after they win their match on Raw. They are coming after the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. 

The Creed Brothers were doing squats with members of The New Day on their shoulders. Julius and Brutus told Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods they were feeling good about their upcoming match against Judgment Day. Alpha Academy appeared. Chad Gable offered some tips. The Creeds politely declined and wanted to stick to their methods. Akira Tozawa was about to do his dance. Maxxine Dupri placed Tozawa on her shoulders and did squats. 

R-Truth was trying to get the television to work inside the Judgment Day clubhouse. Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh were annoyed. Priest mentioned McDonagh said he was going to take care of it. McDonagh told R-Truth to leave. R-Truth mentioned they should’ve tightened up security. Priest wasn’t pleased with McIntyre either. Dominik reminded Priest that Rhea Ripley told him to not touch McIntyre. Priest mentioned Finn Bálor and Ripley weren’t on Raw. The crowd booed after hearing Ripley wasn’t on the show either. Priest mentioned he was in charge and told Dominik to McDonagh to handle The Creed Brothers. 

Kayden Carter & Katana Chance vs. Natalya & Tegan Nox 

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven joined commentary for the match. Carter launched Chance who delivered an assisted moonsault to Natalya for a near fall. Carter grabbed Natalya by the leg who broke free. Nox ran wild rocking Carter with a running uppercut. Nox connected with a Molly-Go-Round which looked rough on the landing. Chance stopped Natalya with a Codebreaker. Carter and Chance went for a double powerbomb. Natalya countered hitting a double powerbomb for a two count. Carter responded catching Natalya with a superkick. Chance stood on Carter’s shoulders delivering an assisted moonsault splash to Natalya for the win. 

WINNERS: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance
Amin’s Thoughts: The timing was a bit off with some stuff between both team. This still turned into a fine match as both teams got some shine. Was glad to see Nox didn’t take the pin for her team since she’s still fresh on the main roster. Carter and Chance work a really fun style of match. Liked seeing Carter and Chance win as they are the established team and have been former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.

Green taunted Carter and Chance after the match. Carter launched Chance who kicked Green off the ring apron. 

Cody Rhodes Challenges Shinsuke Nakamura 

Cody Rhodes came out to a huge reaction and firework display. The WOAHHH are getting louder and louder. He spoke about the first time he encountered the poison mist was as a child and mentioned was terrified of the man who did it. The Great Muta. He mentioned after seeing last week, his fears a child were justified. He mentioned that he should’ve paid attention to the clues that Shinsuke Nakamura was dropping. Cody mentioned he declared himself for the Royal Rumble which got a huge reaction. Cody spoke about Nakamura getting his attention. Cody told Nakamura he could explain himself or they could fight right now. 

The lights in the arena dimmed. Nakamura appeared on the screen. Nakamura spoke in Japanese which had English subtitles. He said, last week he made Cody’s eyes burn. But tonight, he will open them. He said he will show Cody what he’s not seeing. He spoke about the same path that he and Cody have taken. They showed clips of both Cody and Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble match. He mentioned they could be see the top. They showed clips of both Cody and Nakamura losing their respective WWE Championship matches at WrestleMania. He spoke about Cody awaken him. He said he’s here to unburden Cody. He spoke about never finishing his story. He said he will finish Cody’s story. 

Cody mentioned he appreciated Nakamura explaining why he attacked him. Cody said he won’t respect Nakamura until he faces him inside the ring. Cody said if Nakamura thought they were the same. Cody said Nakamura should prove it. 

Amin’s Thoughts: The way these Nakamura vignettes are shot looks awesome. The added English subtitles just adds so much to the vignettes. This was just tremendous storytelling. Nakamura showing similarities explaining how he and Cody didn’t finish their stories was a great way to begin the start of their program. McIntyre’s opening promo explaining his reasoning was awesome. You could make the case this was even better. The attention to detail for both the McIntyre and Nakamura characters on Raw has been fantastic. 

Jey Uso asked Adam Pearce for an update on Sami Zayn. Pearce noted Zayn was still being evaluated. Jey wanted to go after McIntyre. Pearce told Jey that he has a World Heavyweight Title match to focus on. Jey mentioned he was aware and focused for his match. Jey left. WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther walked in. Gunther and Pearce agreed to talk about some ideas. 

The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) (w/Ivy Nile) vs. The Judgment Day (NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh)

Brutus placed Dominik in suplex position marching around the ring. Brutus handed Dominik to Julius as he delivered a delayed suplex. R-Truth made his way ringside. McDonagh tagged into the match. Brutus and Julius planted McDonagh with a double gut buster for a two count. Dominik tagged in rocking The Creeds with a cheap shot. McDonagh connected with a springboard moonsault to the floor. Dominik went for the 3 Amigos but Brutus countered into a stalling suplex as they returned from break.

Julius ran wild sending Dominik and McDonagh flying with a series of overhead belly-to-belly suplex. McDonagh went for a Poisonrana but Julius blocked. Dominik yanked Brutus to the floor. McDonagh caught Julius with a Poiosonrana. McDonagh connected with a Tope Con Hilo to Brutus on the floor. Dominik delivered a 619 to Julius for a two count. Julius battled back hitting a double northern lights suplex to Dominik and McDonagh. Brutus launched Dominik sending him flying onto the announcers table. Brutus delivered a Super Brutus Ball to McDonagh for the win. 

WINNERS: Brutus & Julius Creed 
Amin’s Thoughts: A fun tag team match. The action was good as both teams got a chance to shine. Nice to see The Creeds get the win against the secondary team Judgment Day team to keep their momentum going before they face Balor and Priest for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. The Creeds work a really fun style and it was nice to see the crowd get behind them. 

They showed highlights of Randy Orton signing with SmackDown after laying out Jimmy Uso with an RKO. 

Adam Pearce approached Seth Rollins backstage. Pearce told Rollins that he’s inviting CM Punk to Raw next week and planning to sign him to an exclusive contract on Raw. Rollins said he didn’t care. Rollins told Pearce when this decision blows up in Pearce face. He told Pearce to stay out of his business. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This makes sense. Randy Orton signed with SmackDown since he’s in a program with Roman Reigns and Bloodline. CM Punk signs with Raw since they are teasing a big program with Rollins. 

Jey approached Rollins backstage. Jey mentioned he’s been waiting 15 years for this opportunity and said Rollins was looking at the next World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins said he would stomp Jey’s head if he got the chance. Jey said he would kick Rollins face off if he got the chance. They bumped fists. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Good stuff here. Two babyface showing each other respect but telling each other it’s all about the World Heavyweight Title in the match. 

Priest asked Dominik and McDonagh what happened in the match against The Creed Brothers. McDonagh noted they got distracted because R-Truth was ringside wearing a Ripley shirt. Dominik told Priest the Creed Brothers are legit. McDonagh mentioned he was confident in Balor and Priest. McDonagh agreed with Dominik noting The Creeds are legit. Priest understood. (You could see Gunther in the background speaking to Kaiser.) 

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Jey Uso 

Jey Uso received a great reaction from the crowd. Rollins also got a great reaction. The crowd sang along to Rollins theme. Cole noted this was an emotional night for Jey. Cole mentioned Jey was dedicating the match to Umaga who passed way 14 years to the date. The match began with an aggressive tie-up. Jey and Rollins had a fun counter exchange which led to a stare down. Rollins rocked Jey with a running boot as they returned from break.

Rollins connected with a springboard senton. Rollins followed with a Lionsault for a two count. Rollins connected with a back suplex for a near fall. There was a CM Punk chant from the crowd. The crowd chanted Uso. Jey caught Rollins with a popup neck breaker for a two count. Jey connected with a backbreaker for a two count. Rollins stopped Jey from climbing the ropes. Rollins went for a Pedigree but Jey blocked. Jey escaped a Buckle Bomb delivering a DDT to Rollins on the floor.

Jey and Rollins exchanged strikes as they returned from break. Jey and Rollins exchanged tope. Jey and Rollins connected with a double crossbody. Rollins fired up rocking Jey with combination strikes. The crowd broke into another CM Punk chant. Jey moved as Rollins charged into the turnbuckle. Jey rocked Rollins with an enzuigiri. Jey connected with a Umaga Hip Attack. Rollins avoided a dive catching Jey with a slingblade. Rollins connected with a frog splash for a two count. Jey blocked a Pedigree catching Rollins with a rollup for a near fall. Jey and Rollins exchanged strikes. Jey rocked Rollins with a superkick. Jey delivered an Uso Splash for a great two count. The crowd chanted “This Is Awesome.”

Rollins caught Jey with a leaping superplex. Rollins maintained control hitting a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Rollins delivered a Pedigree for a good two count. Rollins called for the Curb Stomp but Jey moved. Jey caught Rollins with a spear for another great two count. Jey went for a spear but Rollins countered hitting a Buckle Bomb. Jey bounced off the ropes rocking Rollins with a spear. Jey followed with an Uso Splash but Rollins kicked out for another great two count. Jey rocked Rollins with a superkick. Rollins caught Jey charging with a jumping Pedigree. Rollins delivered a Curb Stomp for the win. 

WINNER: Seth Rollins retained the WWE World Heavyweight Title
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a PPV quality match we got on Raw. The wrestling was just tremendous as both Jey and Rollins worked a very good action packed back-and-forth match. There was some great near falls leading to the finish teasing Jey might win the World Heavyweight Title. A really strong showing from Jey showing he belongs in the main event. A great showing from Rollins delivering another stellar match as World Champion. Nice to see the World Heavyweight Title defended on Raw with so much time before the Royal Rumble. 

Jey and Rollins showed each other respect after the match. Rollins posed on the turnbuckle. Jey left the ring. McIntyre appeared ringside rocking Jey with a Claymore Kick. Rollins went to make the save. McIntyre caught Rollins with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. McIntyre delivered an overhead suplex sending Jey crashing through the announcers table. McIntyre told Jey “The Truth Will Set You Free.” The show ended. 

Amin’s Thoughts: A strong closing angle to establish McIntyre as a top heel on Raw. This should set up programs with Jey and a rematch with Rollins for the World Heavyweight Title. 

Overall Thoughts

Last week’s show was all about the in-ring promos and returns of both CM Punk and Randy Orton. This week’s show was a nice change of pace. The focus was mostly about the in-ring wrestling as we got some great matches on Raw. There is still lots of time before the Royal Rumble so there’s need to start rushing programs. There was also storyline progress with Cody Rhodes and Shinsuke Nakamura. CM Punk returning to Raw next week should bring more buzz and star power to the show. Overall, a very strong episode of Raw.