WWE Raw Review: A Long Road Ahead To WrestleMania

Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri

We saw highlights of Cody Rhodes stepping aside last week on SmackDown for The Rock. 

Cody Rhodes / Seth Rollins / Drew McIntyre Segment 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins came out to start the show. Rollins got a huge reaction. Seth was a knee brace over his pants. Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were on commentary. Cole said it’s been an interesting week to say the least. He welcomed everyone to Monday Night Rollins. The crowd sang Rollins song. Rollins said that sounds like a pretty good pop to him. Rollins did his catchphrase. Rollins said it’s been a helluva week here in WWE. Rollins said after SmackDown he definitely smells what he’s cooking. The crowd started booing. There were tons of “We Want Cody” signs. There were huge chants of Cody from the fans. Rollins said he senses the crowd want Cody. The crowd cheered. Rollins said he wants Cody as well. Rollins said after SmackDown he has more questions. Rollins called Cody Rhodes to the ring. 

Cody Rhodes came out to a huge reaction and awesome firework display. The WOAHHH are getting louder. Huge Cody chants from the fans. Cody asked Rollins and the fans what they wanted to talk about? The fans chanted “Rocky Sucks!” Cole said is it 1996 again! Rollins said he wasn’t sure he was going to hear that chant. The fans began chanting “We Want Cody!” The fans cheered as Cody posed for the crowd. More chants of “Rocky Sucks!” 

Rollins said he understands what Cody is going through. Rollins said he stands by the word that the World Heavyweight Title was the most prestigious title in the industry. The fans booed this. Rollins said he needs this match with Cody as much as he does. Rollins said he’s being real with Cody. Rollins said he wants to know if he’s better this time than the first time they faced Cody. Rollins said he needs to know if he’s the best. Rollins said he would know if he test himself against the best. Rollins said Cody was the best. The fans cheered. Rollins asked Cody if he’s going to face him at WrestleMania. The fans booed. 

Drew McIntyre came out to a strong heel reaction. McIntyre looked at the WrestleMania sign before entering the ring. McIntyre said “I think I speak for everybody when I say what the hell?” McIntyre said Rollins is the only other person who hates CM Punk as much as him. McIntyre said he took him out. McIntyre said he was suppose to be talking to Rollins about their WrestleMania main event match. The fans cheered. McIntyre asked “Do you like that?” The fans cheered more. McIntyre revealed his new WWE T-Shirt a meme of him celebrating about CM Punk not having a WrestleMania main event match. McIntyre told Cody to not listen to him. McIntyre said Cody has to finish the story. The fans cheered. McIntyre said Cody has been talking about for two years. McIntyre said Cody worked to get this moment. McIntyre told Cody to not let him down, his family down or the people down. McIntyre said he doesn’t want to go there. McIntyre acknowledged being close to Dusty Rhodes in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).

Rollins told McIntyre to not be a prick. Rollins asked McIntyre why should he get a World Title match at WrestleMania. Rollins said he beat McIntyre twice. McIntyre said he lost due to outside interference. McIntyre responded saying Rollins lost to Cody three times. The crowd oohed. McIntyre said Rollins has done a great job as World Heavyweight Champion. McIntyre said whoever challenges Roman Reigns his family always interferes. Cody went to speak. McIntyre immediately cut him off. The fans booed. McIntyre said Rollins went as far as he can do with his injures. McIntyre said he should take it from here. McIntyre rocked Rollins with a Glasgow Kiss. Cody made the save going after McIntyre. The segment ended. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really interesting segment. I gotta give Seth Rollins credit for doing his best to build up the World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins is in a tough spot as he’s babyface hyping up the World Title but the fans don’t want to see Cody challenge for that title. Drew McIntyre continues to be one of the biggest highlights on the show. McIntyre was great playing babyface pushing for Cody to finish his story. McIntyre attacking Rollins was a nice touch to go back to his heel character. There were tons of We Want Cody signs and the commentary team were speaking about the fans online reaction. This definitely now feels like an angle to build Cody into a bigger babyface star. It looks like they are going in the direction of Cody vs. Roman Reigns vs. The Rock in. Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania. 

Fatal-4-Way Qualifying Match: DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) vs. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci

Kofi shined early catching Ciampa with a springboard crossbody for a near fall. Ciampa responded nailing Woods with a big boot. Vinci tagged himself into the match. Kaiser and Vinci rocking Woods with a double dropkick combo. Kofi responded nailing Kaiser with a flying kick. Woods ran wild nailing Vinci with a leg lariat. Woods rocked Julius with a rolling clothesline. Gargano intercepted Woods with a slingshot spear. Gargano caught Brutus with an assisted sliced bread. Ciampa and Gargano delivered stereo plancha to The Creed Brothers on the floor. Gargano caught Kaiser and Vinci with a tope on the floor. Julius delivered a flying cannonball onto everyone on the floor. Ciampa grabbed Woods delivering a Super Air Raid Crash onto everyone on the floor. Kofi and Woods delivered a Tower of Doom Powerbomb/Superplex combo onto Ciampa and Imperium. Brutus delivered a flying moonsault onto Kaiser but Woods made the save. The action broke down again with everyone hitting big moves. Brutus caught Vinci flying off the ropes with an ankle lock. Julius sent Gargano and Kofi flying with overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Julius delivered a double Northern Lights Suplex to Kofi and Ciampa. Everyone made the save free Vinci of the ankle lock. This Is Awesome chants. Imperium and New Day brawled on the floor. Brutus delivered a flying Brutus Ball onto Imperium and New Day on the floor. Ciampa tagged himself into the match. Brutus delivered a Super Brutus Ball to Vinci. Ciampa and Gargano delivered Meet in the Middle to Vinci for the win. 

WINNERS: Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really good action packed tag team match. A great showing from all the teams as they got a chance to shine. You can see The Creed Brothers are still finding their footing but are so fun to watch as they will be big stars on the main roster. This was interesting as they were three babyface teams in this match. I thought they might’ve went with Imperium as the heel team to face Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate on SmackDown. A strong showcase for Ciampa and Gargano keeping they as strong challengers for the titles. DIY vs. Bate and Dunne should be a great match on SmackDown. 

Shayna Baszler said she destroyed everyone last time she was in an Elimination Chamber match in order to face Becky Lynch. Baszler said that match with Becky didn’t go the way she wanted. Baszler said she gets to take care of Becky tonight. 

The crowd cheered as Becky Lynch was walking backstage. Becky said she wanted to beat Baszler last time because her title was on the line. Becky said she needs to beat Baszler this time because her future is on the line. 

Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler 

Becky Lynch came out to a big reaction. Becky and Baszler began with some nice mat wrestling. Baszler took control catching Becky with a knee strike. Zoey Stark was watching backstage. Becky responded using Baszler’s momentum sending her to the floor. Baszler caught Becky going for a flying forearm. Baszler trapped Becky’s arm against the ring post. Baszler kicked Becky’s arm into the ring steps. Baszler sent Becky flying with a German Suplex. Baszler connected with a sliding knee strike for two. Baszler went for a stomp but Becky moved. Becky battled back catching Baszler with a missile dropkick for two. Becky went for the Dis-Arm-Her but Baszler broke free. Baszler yanked Becky off the ropes. Baszler rocked Becky with a knee strike for two. Liv Morgan was watching backstage. Becky responded catching Baszler with a Final Cut for two. Becky called for the Manhandle Slam. Baszler countered into an ankle lock. Becky broke free sending Baszler into the ropes. Becky went for a dive but Baszler moved. Becky caught Baszler with a Superplex. Becky went for an arm bar. Baszler broke free hitting a gut wrench suplex for two. Becky and Baszler exchanged strikes. Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch. Becky countered into a reverse rollup for two. Becky went for an arm bar but Baszler broke free. Becky avoided a knee strike catching Baszler with a Manhandle Slam for the win. 

WINNER: Becky Lynch 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really good match. The back and forth counters and chain wrestling was stellar stuff as Becky and Baszler worked really hard. A good win for Becky as she should be the favourite to win the Elimination Chamber and face Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania. 

Cathy Kelly interviewed Liv Morgan backstage. Liv said these girls have nothing to do with her business. Liv said her business has nothing to do with these girls. Liv said she almost one year taken from her. Liv said next week is about her revenge. Liv said her revenge is about Rhea Ripley. Liv said watch me. 

Drew McIntyre was in Adam Pearce office. Pearce told McIntyre he was fined for attacking both CM Punk and Seth Rollins who weren’t cleared to complete. Pearce heard Rhea Ripley’s music play. McIntyre told Pearce he should do his job. McIntyre told Pearce made he should go deal with that. Pearce told McIntyre thanks for the tip. 

Rhea Ripley challenges Nia Jax

WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley came out to a big reaction. Huge Mami chants from the fans. Ripley said Becky Lynch qualified for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match. (A tease) Ripley said she’s not out her to talk about qualifying matches. Ripley said she’s out here to talk about Nia Jax. Ripley called Jax to the ring. 

Adam Pearce said this isn’t the time. Pearce said Ripley will defend the Women’s World Title against Nia Jax at the WWE Elimination Chamber PLE. Ripley got excited as Jax made her way to the ring. Jax and Ripley began brawling. Pearce was shoved off the ring apron. Security pulled Ripley and Jax apart. Jax delivered a running splash to Ripley. The crowd booed as Jax roared. Jax delivered the Annihilator to Ripley. The crowd booed. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Rhea Ripley has an incredible presence as she comes off as a superstar. Ripley was good showing great intensity in her promo. Ripley is going to be a mega babyface superstar returning to her home country of Australia to defend her title at the Elimination Chamber show. A good straight forward angle heat angle to present Nia Jax as Ripley’s biggest challenger for her title. 

They showed highlights of Bayley challenging Iyo Sky to WrestleMania. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka and Kairi Sane were warming up backstage. 

Michael Cole and Pat McAfee hyped the WWE WrestleMania Kickoff event on Thursday. 

Mixed-Tag Team Match: Alpha Academy (Akira Tozawa & Maxxine Dupri) vs. Viking Raiders (Ivar & Valhalla) 

Tozawa shined early catching Ivar with a spin kick. Tozawa caught Ivar with a tope onto the floor. Dupri caught Valhalla with a sunset flip for a near fall. Tozawa tagged into the match. Ivar caught Tozawa going for a dive. Dupri delivered a flying crossbody onto Ivar. Dupri and Tozawa both covered Ivar but Valhalla made the save. Ivar rocked Tozawa with a spin kick. Valhalla rocked Dupri with a popup head butt. Tozawa went for Sunset Bomb but Ivar blocked. Ivar delivered a Super World’s Strongest Slam to Tozawa for the win. 

WINNERS: Ivar & Valhalla 

Amin’s Thoughts: The good part was they kept the match short. The bad part was Dupri still a work-in-progress and isn’t quite ready to have WWE TV matches. A good win for Ivar who can now most past this and go back on his single’s run. 

They showed highlights of Judgement Day attacking Miz and R-Truth last week on Raw. 

Judgement Day was inside their clubhouse. Finn Bálor told Damian Priest they aren’t worried about who challenges them for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Dominik Mysterio appeared. Dominik said Ripley is fine but needs her space. Priest said Ripley will continuing keeping her division on lock. Priest said he and Balor will keep keeping the tag division on lock. R-Truth appeared in the Judgment Day clubhouse. McDonagh told R-Truth’s he’s lucky he has a match with The Miz. Dominik held McDonagh away. R-Truth thought he passed the pre ignition with Judgment Day. Balor couldn’t believe what R-Truth was saying and left. Priest told R-Truth to make himself at home and left. The fans cheered. Priest left. 

Jackie Redmond interviewed The Miz backstage. Miz said he isn’t sure if R-Truth is a genius or crazy for thinking he’s still part of Judgment Day. Miz said the fans love R-Truth because he fits the line between crazy and genius. Miz said the battle lines has been draw with him and Judgment Day. Miz said he’s Awesome. 

The Miz vs. JD McDonagh (w/Dominik Mysterio) 

Miz took control early clotheslines McDonagh to the floor. Miz planted McDonagh with a suplex on the floor. Dominik grabbed onto Miz’s leg. McDonagh took advantage sending Miz crashing onto the announcers table. McDonagh connected with a standing moonsault for a two count. The crowd cheered as R-Truth came out. R-Truth tossed Judgment Day t-shirts into the crowd. Miz made a comeback connecting with a flying crossbody for a two count. Miz caught McDonagh with a hurricanrana on the floor. R-Truth placed a Judgment Day t-shirt on Dominik. McDonagh rocked Miz with a head butt. McDonagh delivered a flying moonsault to Miz for a two count. R-Truth handed McDonagh some cash. Miz caught McDonagh with a Skull Crushing Finale. The money went flying. Miz covered McDonagh for the win. 

WINNER: The Miz 

Amin’s Thoughts: The match itself was fine. The crowd was more interested with R-Truth who continues to cause Judgment Day trouble. I wouldn’t mind if R-Truth causes a split within Judgement Day. I just don’t want to see this lead to Miz and R-Truth challenging Judgment Day for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania. The reason being is WWE has so many great tag teams who could challenge for the titles at WrestleMania. 

Highlight package on Kayden Carter and Katana Chance ahead of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Title match. 

Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci were inside Adam Pearce’s office. Kaiser wanted to make sure with Pearce that everything is prepared for Gunther’s 600-day celebration as WWE Intercontinental Champion. Pearce said everything will go as discussed. Pearce said he has a meeting. Bron Breakker appeared. The fans began barking. Pearce asked Kaiser and Vinci if they met Breakker? Kaiser and Vinci walked off. Pearce showed Breakker a Raw contract. 

We saw a highlight package of CM Punk having successful triceps surgery last week. Punk said his comeback will be the greatest of the all-time. 

WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther’s 600-Day Celebration

Ludwig Kaiser and Giovani Vinci were inside the ring. Kaiser did his awesome introduction. Gunther came out to a strong heel reaction. Gunther had a huge firework display. Gunther said he was standing here 600 days as Intercontinental Champion. Gunther said he appreciated Kaiser setting up this celebration. Gunther said he doesn’t want it anymore. Gunther said his championship run is a given. Gunther said he’s the greatest and longest reigning IC Champion of all-time. Gunther said he’s running out of competition. Gunther wondered who’s left? 

The fans cheered as Jey Uso came out to a big reaction. McAfee stood on the announcer’s table doing Jey pose. The fans cheered as Jey Uso said he was in your city. Gunther said he eliminated Jey from the Royal Rumble. Gunther said he was sensing some sort of disrespect. The fans chanted YEET. Jey said he didn’t mean any disrespect.

Gunther said Jey is also an accomplished man himself. Gunther said Jey was one of the most decorated tag team wrestlers of all-time. Gunther said Jey was part of the greatest tag team in WWE history. Gunther said Jey holds the record for longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champion. Gunther said Jey had to put in just 50 percent of the work. Gunther said he put in his work on your own. 

Jey said he wanted to reintroduce himself. Jey said he was part of the first tag team to main event WrestleMania. Jey said it’s 2024 and wants his first single’s champion. Jey told the crowd to say YEET if they want to see him as IC Champion. The fans chanted YEET. 

Gunther congratulated Jey for having the guts to step out of the shadow of his family and achieve something for himself. Gunther said Jey won’t be the first and won’t be the last to ride the cocktails of the Ring General. Gunther said he’s going to beat Jey worse than his family beat him. Gunther said he’s going to beat Jey so bad that people won’t recognize him from his brother. Gunther shoved Jey. Jey tackled Gunther to the mat. Kaiser and Vinci attacked Jey. The fans cheered as Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods ran down to make the save. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Gunther just continues to shine on the mic as he an incredible presence. Jey Uso showed great intensity on the mic and the fans are ready for him to have a single’s run. I could see Jimmy Uso costing Jey which leads to their WrestleMania match. Bron Breakker backstage skit with Imperium was interesting possibly teasing a Gunther match. 

We saw a Shinsuke Nakamura vignette. Nakamura spoke in Japanese with English subtitles. Nakamura said “Cody, you want to fight me so badly, fine. You chose a Bull Rope Match because you thought it will bring you an advantage. But the only thing it will do, is bring embarrassment to your family name…when I beat you in the match your family made famous. That is what you will get from this match: Pain. Loss, Shame. I see people saying “We want Cody.” But, no, no, no, no. I want Cody.” 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) [c] vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance 

Asuka’s ribs were tapped up after Bayley attacked her with a pipe on SmackDown. The rest of the WWE Women’s tag team division were watching backstage. Asuka took control early rocking Chance with combination kick. Asuka went for a roundhouse kick but Chance countered into a Matrix spot which looked cool. Carter launched Chance onto Asuka and Sane on the floor. The champs took control after the commercial break with Sane nailing Carter with a basement dropkick for a two count. Sane went for a flying forearm but Carter moved. Chance ran wild rocking Sane with a running dropkick. Chance connected with a flying double stomp to Sane for a two count. Asuka made a tag. Asuka and Sane delivered a Codebreaker/Blockbuster combo. Asuka and Sane delivered a Shining Wizard/Sliding D combo to Chance for two. Chance battled back running Asuka into the ropes. Carter launched Chance who splashed Asuka in the corner. Carter and Chance delivered the After Party to Asuka but Sane made the save. Chance and Carter called for the Keg Stand. Sane yanked Carter to the floor. Asuka rocked Chance with a roundhouse kick. Asuka and Sane delivered an InSane Elbow/Reverse DDT combo onto Chance. Sane covered Chance for the win to retain the titles. 

WINNERS: Asuka & Kairi Sane retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a good action packed tag team match. I really liked the pairing of Carter and Chance as they a fun team to watch. A strong showing from Asuka and Sane as they are so great to watch as a team. The crowd didn’t really react much to the match. Good to see Asuka and Sane get the win to keep the heat on Damage CTRL for the Bayley and Iyo Sky program. 

Sami Zayn Interview 

Jackie Redmond interviewed Sami Zayn inside the arena at 4:50pm CT time. Jackie asked what’s going through Sami’s mind and if it has something to do with Drew McIntyre? Sami said he’s being thinking a lot and some has to do with Drew McIntyre. Sami spoke about the time period last year right after the Royal Rumble and before the Elimination Chamber. Sami spoke about coming up short against Roman Reigns. Sami told a story about Triple H pulling him aside after the match. Sami said Triple H told him you have nothing to be down about. Sami said Triple H told him he gave the performance of a lifetime. Sami said Triple H told him you’re Rocky. Sami spoke about Rocky not beating the champion but going the distance. Sami said he will fight like an underdog inside the ring because it means everything to him. Sami said he’s not an underdog anymore. Sami said he’s a contender who will be champion. 

Jackie asked Sami about wanting to be champion and is there something to prove? Sami said part is about proving to himself. Sami said part is about proving the fans who sits in the seats. Sami said he wants to prove the fans right for believing in him. The camera focused on Sami who had an emotional look. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was great stuff. Sami hit all the right notes in the interviews speaking about the high facing Reigns in the main event of his hometown. I really liked how Sami explained why he fights like an underdog inside the ring. The transition was great with Sami saying he’s a contender and wants to be champion. Sami mentioning McIntyre was interesting as well. They could tell a really great story with Sami beating McIntyre to win his first World Title in WWE. 

There was a strong push for the WrestleMania Kickoff Event on Thursday. Pat McAfee said some news might be break during the event. 

Bull Rope Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 

Cody Rhodes got a huge reaction and awesome firework display. The WOAHHH are getting louder and louder. Huge Cody chants. Nakamura attacked Cody before wearing the bull rope. We Want Cody chants. Nakamura tried to escape. Cody pulled Nakamura back. They went to a quick commercial break. Cody pulled Nakamura into the ring post as they returned from break. Cody went for a Cody Cutter but Nakamura yanked him off the ropes. Nakamura sent out some Good Vibrations. Nakamura connected with a knee drop for a near fall. Nakamura connected with a running knee strike for two. Cody battled back catching Nakamura in Figure-4-Leg Lock. Nakamura rocked Cody with the Cowbell to break free. Cody made a comeback catching Nakamura with a snap powerslam. Cody followed with a Disaster Kick for two. Nakamura responded catching Cody with a snap German Suplex. Nakamura called for Kinshasa but Cody stopped him. Cody caught Nakamura with Cody Cutter. Cody chants from the fans. Cody and Nakamura exchanged strikes. Cody nailed Nakamura with a Bionic Elbow. Nakamura responded with a Pele Kick. Nakamura planted Cody with a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura called for the Kinshasa. Cody countered catching Nakamura with a Pedigree for two. Cody grabbed the Cowbell. Nakamura responded spraying mist into Cody’s eyes. Cody responded catching Nakamura with a Cross Rhodes. Nakamura kicked out at two. Nakamura responded rocking Cody with the Cowbell. Nakamura went for the Kinshasa but Cody blocked. Cody delivered a low blow to Nakamura using the Cowbell. Cody delivered Cross Rhodes for the win to a big reaction. 

WINNER: Cody Rhodes 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really good match. A good showing from Cody and Nakamura as they work really well together. I was glad to see they made Nakamura look good having him work a strong match and kick out out of Cross Rhodes. A strong win for Cody which should now move him past the Nakamura program.

The crowd booed as Drew McIntyre attacked Cody after the match. McIntyre rocked Cody with mounted strikes. McIntyre nailed Cody with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre looked at the WrestleMania sign. The show ended. 

Amin’s Thoughts: A strong closing angle to add more heat on McIntyre having him attack Cody the biggest babyface in WWE. Cody and McIntyre program should be fun to watch.


This was a pretty interesting episode of Raw. This was all about how WWE would react after the fans reaction to SmackDown. It definitely looks like Cody will be involved with Roman Reigns and The Rock at WrestleMania. I could see them having a Men’s Elimination Chamber and the winner challenges Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Title. The Raw show itself was pretty good. There were some solid match and build towards the Elimination Chamber show. Overall, a good show of Raw. It looks like WWE is going to course correct with Cody Rhodes getting his WrestleMania match. I gotta say there’s lots of more interest in the product heading into WrestleMania.