WWE Raw Review: CM Punk Returns On The Road To WrestleMania

WWE Raw 
Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois

We saw a shot outside Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as we are less than two weeks away from WrestleMania. We saw CM Punk arriving to the arena earlier in the day. They showed highlights from Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns face-to-face segment from SmackDown. 

Cody Rhodes Promo

Cody Rhodes came out to a huge reaction. Cody got a great firework display for his entrance. Huge Cody chants from the crowd. Cody asked the crowd what they wanted to talk about? Cody said we are in that final awkward two weeks before WrestleMania when the time for talking is over. Cody recalled Roman Reigns appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. Cody asked the crowd to cheer for Pat McAfee. That got a big reaction. Cody got the crowd to cheer for Michael Cole which got a big reaction. The crowd booed as Cody brought up Reigns name. 

Cody brought up how Reigns called hm a Politician. The crowd chanted “Roman Sucks!” Cody brought up how Reigns mentioned that Cody doesn’t keep his promises. Cody said Chicago should know off all cities that he keeps his promises. Cody recalled being invited to be a fan’s best man at someone’s wedding. Cody said imagine having to explain to your wife, that he was going and paying for the bachelor party. Cody brought up going to Hudson’s birthday party. Cody said he asks for nothing in return. Cody brought up having one last chance against Reigns. Cody said he pretends to be the champion “because the champion isn’t here.” This got a big reaction. Huge Cody chants. 

Cody said he respects Roman Reigns. Cody brought up Reigns screwing him at WrestleMania last year. Cody said he hates Reigns guts. The crowd cheered. Cody said he could understand why Reigns hates him as well because Reigns and his cousin The Rock can’t have their “wank fest” at WrestleMania. Cody brought up winning the Royal Rumble twice. Cody said he can’t do it alone. Cody asked the fans if they would ride with him during the WrestleMania Night One Tag Team. Cody asked the crowd if they would fight would him on WrestleMania Night Two. Cody got the crowd to point at the WrestleMania sign with him. Cody was about vow to beat Reigns at WrestleMania

The Rock’s music played. The fans went wild. Rock stood on the entrance ramp. Rock’s new entrance is awesome. Going from the Rock’s new theme to Hollywood Rock theme is awesome. Rock posed on the ropes. Cody and Rock had a long stare down. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it” which was censored. The fans chanted for Cody. The fans then chanted “This Is Awesome!” The fans began chanting “CM Punk!”  Rock placed his hands behind his back. Rock approached Cody and whispered something into his ears. Cody seemed taken aback. Rock smiled and left the ring. The fans booed. The fans chanted “Rocky Sucks!” Rock smiled as he looked at the crowd and then walked to the back. Cody’s music played.

They aired a highlight of The Rock making a surprise appearance and whispering something into Cody’s ear. Jackie Redmond saw Rock leaving backstage. Jackie asked Rock what he whispered to Cody. Rock told Jackie to ask Cody. 

We saw The Judgment Day in their clubhouse. Finn Balor and Damian Priest were playing darts. Rhea Ripley said she knows Dominik has unfinished business with Rey Mysterio. Ripley told Dominik to let Judgment Day know next time. Ripley said they would like to come. Dominik said he would tell them. Priest turned his attention to JD McDonagh for his match against Ricochet. McDonagh said he got Ricochet’s number. Ripley told McDonagh to just win. Dominik and McDonagh bumped fists with all members of Judgment Day before heading for the match. 

Ricochet def. JD McDonagh (w/Dominik Mysterio) in 14:30. Ricochet came out to a solid reaction. Ricochet shined early catching McDonagh with a handstand head scissors. Ricochet followed hitting a Fosbury Flop to the floor. McDonagh caught Ricochet with a Uranage Slam. McDonagh went for a standing Moonsault but Ricochet moved. Ricochet caught McDonagh with a handspring elbow. Ricochet battled back hitting a springbaord clothesline. Ricochet followed hitting a standing Shooting Star Press for two. Ricochet called for a Detonation Kick but McDonagh blocked. Ricochet responded nailing McDonagh with a backflip enzuigiri. McDonagh responded catching Ricochet with a standing Spanish Fly for two. McDonagh planted Ricochet with a Brainbuster for another two count. McDonagh went for a Super Spanish Fly but Ricochet blocked. Ricochet caught McDonagh with a Super Poisonrana. Ricochet followed hitting a Recoil. Dominik placed McDonagh’s foot on the ropes. Ricochet went for a Springboard 450 Splash but McDonagh got his knees up. McDonagh applied a rollup for two. McDonagh planted Ricochet with a Sit-Out Powerbomb for two. McDonagh called for Devlin’s Slide but Ricochet countered into a Canadian Destroyer in an awesome spot. This got a big reaction. Dominik distracted Ricochet from climbing the ropes. The crowd cheered as the referee sent Dominik to the back. Ricochet caught McDonagh with an awesome looking standing Shooting Star Press for the win. 

We saw CM Punk walking backstage holding a Chicago Cubs replica MLB Title belt.  

CM Punk / Drew McIntrye / Seth Rollins Promo 

CM Punk came out to a huge reaction. Punk was wearing his arm brace. Punk made his around ringside. Punk shook Samatha Irvin’s hand. Punk grabbed the mic. Punk stood on the announcers table. The camera panned with the WrestleMania sign behind him. That was a nice shot. Huge CM Punk chants from the fans. Punk said he had a lot of things he wanted to say. Punk said it’s good to be alive in Chicago on a Monday night. The fans cheered. Punk said people are asking if he’s going to be at WrestleMania. Punk said yes. The fans cheered. Punk said everyone is asking him about his elbow. Punk said it’s not great but his mouth works. 

Punk said he was asked if he would host WrestleMania. Punk said 10 years ago that would be beneath him. Punk said he just wants to be in front of the crowd. The fans cheered. Punk said he wishes WrestleMania was in Chicago. Punk said “Hint Hint!” This got a big reaction. Punk brought up the idea of being a referee. Punk wondered if there’s a match that’ needs an impartial referee. Punk said there are a lot of people who talk about him and need to talk about him. Punk pointed to Pat McAfee. Punk said he’s not a daily listener because he listens to The Experience and The Drive-Thru (Jim Cornette’s podcast.) 

Punk said McAfee had Roman Reigns on his podcast. Punk wondered why Reigns brought him up. Punk said Reigns earned the right and he respected it. Punk said that he expected to see Reigns while he’s on his way down the mountain and while Punk is climbing the mountain. Punk brought up Seth Rollins. Punk said Rollins is magically taller than he is now that he wears high heels. Punk said Rollins laughed at him for paying the price of being a pro wrestler since he was 15. Punk said maybe Rollins has earned the right. Punk said it was kind of funny coming from someone with two bad knees. Punk said The Rock is someone who hasn’t said a word about him. Punk said he’d like to think it’s because ten years ago Rock came face to face with the Second City Saint and realized that his arms are too short to box with God. Punk brought up Drew McIntyre. The crowd booed. Punk said he doesn’t live on the internet. Punk said that when you have a problem in Chicago, you handle it face to face like a man.

Drew McIntyre came out. Punk asked for McIntyre’s music to stop because nobody wanted to hear it. The fans cheered and chanted for Punk. Punk said he wasn’t medically cleared, but he wasn’t looking to have a wrestling match. Punk told McIntyre “Why don’t you get your bitch ass in here.” McIntyre said he would love to get in the ring. McIntyre said last time they were in the ring together he stomped his arm and he deserved it. Punk asked if he was a Scottish Psychopath in a kilt or an internet troll in a skirt. McIntyre said it’s 2024 and Punk can get cancelled for talk like that. 

McIntyre made his way to ringside and showed off his Punk inspired t-shirts. Punk said he never had to put another man’s name on a shirt to sell it. McIntyre climbed onto the commentary table. McIntyre said Punk doesn’t drink or do drugs and yet he spends all of his time in rehab. McIntyre said he doesn’t hate Punk. McIntyre said Punk actually completes him. McIntyre spoke about how thinking about Punk helps him in the gym and when he won the Elimination Chamber. 

Punk told McIntyre to get in the ring. McIntyre said Punk probably had a weapon and would try to take him out before WrestleMania. Punk laid down in the ring. McIntyre sat crossed on the commentary’s table. McIntyre said he hopes Punk has a front row seat at WrestleMania.McIntyre boasted that he’s always been the Chosen One. Punk dared McIntyre to say who dubbed him the Chosen One? That was a great line. Punk said it wasn’t the fans. McIntyre told Punk to get it all out because it would still be months before he would be back in the ring. McIntyre suggested that Punk be the guest commentator at WrestleMania so he could see him win the championship.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins came out. The fans sang Rollins song. Rollins welcomed everyone to Monday Night Rollins. The fans chanted for Punk. Punk said it could be Rollins’ show. Punk said this is his city. Rollins told Punk that he doesn’t get to make decisions about a title match at WrestleMania when he’s not in it. Rollins asked the fans if Punk should be on commentary. This got a fine reaction. The fans chanted “Referee” which made Punk laugh. Rollins pointed at Punk’s arm and said that’s his counting arm. Punk dropped down to the mat and counted. This was great. Punk said he didn’t think he could be objective as he called Rollins and McIntrye both “dips*its” which was bleeped. 

Rollins asked Punk if he wanted to know his thoughts. Punk said “nope!” Rollins said he doesn’t think of Punk and he hasn’t crossed his mind since the last time they were in the ring together. Rollins said Punk is a non-factor. Rollins said Punk needs him to have a moment at WrestleMania. Rollins said he likes the idea of Punk being on commentary calling his finest hour. Rollins said this would be the closest Punk would get to the World Heavyweight Title. Rollins told Punk to stay out of his way. Punk said he would sit on commentary. Punk said he would something the company couldn’t do in his ten-year absence. Punk said he would make both McIntyre and Rollins interesting. Punk asked for his music as he left the ring. McIntyre called for the music to stop. McIntyre said Punk is obsessed with him. McIntyre said he is living Punk’s dream. McIntyre said Punk is his number one Stan. (A reference to Eminem’s song Stan.) McIntyre entered the ring and continued to jaw at Punk. Rollins nailed McIntyre with a Superkick. Rollins followed with a Curb Stomp. Rollins left the ring and walked past Punk. Punk looked back at McIntyre. 

We saw a Shinsuke Nakamura vignette as he’s ready for his match against Jey Uso. 

Candice LeRae (w/Indi Hartwell) def. Ivy Nile (w/Maxinne Dupri) in 2:00. Nile shined early rocking LeRae with a running kick. Nile planted LeRae with a stalling suplex for two. LeRae responded running Nile against the ropes. LeRae distracted the referee. Hartwell didn’t attack Nile. LeRae knocked Dupri off the ring apron. LeRae faked her knee injury. Nile charged at LeRae. LeRae caught Nile with a leverage pin for the win. 

LeRae celebrated after the match. Hartwell didn’t look pleased. 

We saw New Day and DIY backstage wondering about why they call each other by their tag names. Miz and R-Truth appeared. R-Truth was looking forward to seeing New Day vs. DX. R-Truth said he was doing commentary. Drew McIntyre and Paul Heyman were shown chatting in the background. 

New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) ended in a No Contest in 6:26. The Miz and R-Truth joined commentary for the match. Kofi shined early nailing Ciampa with a leg lariat for a near fall. Ciampa and Gargano responded nailing Kofi with a series of combination strikes. Gargano went for a rolling kick but Kofi ducked. Kofi caught Gargano with a Famouser for two. Kofi and Woods took turns stomping away at Gargano in the corner. Ciampa rocked Kofi and Woods with a double clothesline as they retuned from break. Gargano planted Woods with Sliced Bread. Gargano followed hitting a tope onto Kofi and Woods on the floor. Finn Balor and Damian Priest came out. Balor and Priest attacked Gargano as the match ended. 

The Judgment Day took out New Day and DIY. Miz tried to make the save. Priest gave Miz the South of Heaven Chokeslam. Judgment Day left the ring as they saw R-Truth on commentary. R-Truth battled the Judgement Day. Priest laid out R-Truth with the Razor’s Edge. Balor followed hitting an awesome Coup De Grace. 

Jackie Redmond interviewed Cody Rhodes backstage. Cody apologized and said it’s something he can’t repeat. Cody said it was a promise Rock can’t keep. 

Cathy Kelly interviewed WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther backstage. Gunther said Sami Zayn’s words from last week was empty. Gunther said he doesn’t think Sami can beat Bronson Reed. Cathy asked Gunther if he will be ringside watching the match. Gunther repeated what he said and left. Cathy thanked Gunther for the time. 

Andrade def. Giovanni Vinci in 7:10. Andrade received a strong reaction. Vinci whipped Andrade against the ropes. Andrade did his signature pose. Vinci went for a springboard but Andrade caught him with a missile dropkick. Andrade followed hitting a beautiful flying Moonsault to the floor. Andrade connected with a double Moonsault for two. Andrade called for the 3 Amigos but Vinci blocked. Vinci caught Andrade charging with a running crossbody. Andrade caught Vinci with a pair of Dragon Screws as they returned from break. Andrade took the lead rocking Vinci with a running double knees for two. Vinci responded rocking Andrade with a lariat. Andrade responded rocking Vinci with a Judas Effect. Andrade connected with a double underhook Twisting Suplex for the win. Cole called the move The Message. 

Becky Lynch / Rhea Ripley Promo 

WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley came out to a big reaction. Ripley came out with Dominik Mysterio. The fans chanted Mami. Ripley said she’s not getting attention from a certain someone. Ripley said she could have attacked but that’s not her. Ripley noted it’s WrestleMania season and she’s getting impatient. Ripley handed Dominik the mic. The crowd booed as Dominik went to speak. 

Becky Lynch came out to a big reaction. Becky noted The Man has come around to Chicago, Huge Becky chants. Becky said she was fresh as a daisy and didn’t need to wait after a match to confront Ripley. Becky noted Ripley doesn’t wrestle on Raw. Ripley noted she doesn’t need to get in the ring to get everyone’s attention. Ripley said she can post video online and everyone will eat it up. The crowd cheered this. 

Becky told Ripley they have two different interpretations of what a champion is. Becky said that for Ripley, it’s posting her ass on the internet for attention. Becky said for her it’s busting her ass in the ring night in and night out to prove herself. Becky said there will always be someone newer, younger, and hotter. Becky said it’s a long game that is about skill, merit, and survival. She said it’s how you come back when you’re in the muck when you’re not the champion anymore. Becky said Ripley hasn’t experienced that yet. Becky said she will give Ripley an experience at WrestleMania. 

Ripley said Becky is a survivor and labeled her as a cockroach. Ripley said Lynch is hard to kill, but it’s not impossible. Ripley said she wouldn’t take it that far. Ripley said she wouldn’t take it that far at WrestleMania. Ripley said she wants Becky to be home on her couch watching her do her thing. Ripley said she wanted Becky’s daughter and listen to her refer to Ripley as Mami. The fans chanted Mami. 

Becky got really emotional here. Becky told Ripley that was her one pass. Becky said if Ripley mentions her daughter again, it will be the last words she ever says. Becky said it’s not funny to her. Becky said her father never got to meet her daughter. Becky said her father was proud of what she did in the ring. Becky said her dad would be most proud of is the mother that she’s become. Becky said it might be a joke to Ripley, but it’s not to her.Becky said there is nothing respectful about Ripley. Becky said that neither one of them would be the same again after WrestleMania. Becky threw her mic aside. Ripley did the same. They jawed at each other. 

The crowd booed as Dominik held Ripley back. Becky spoke to Dominik about holding Ripley back. Dominik stepped up to Becky. This led to Becky punching Dominik right in the face. Dominik took an awesome bump. The fans cheered as Becky and Ripley began brawling. Ripley rocked Becky with a mid kick and ran her into the ring post. Ripley went to check on Dominik. Becky leaped off the ring post brawling with Ripley. WWE referees ran down to pull Becky and Ripley apart. Becky’s music played. 

We saw Sami Zayn approach Chad Gable backstage. Gable wanted to speak to Sami about what happened last week on Raw. Sami said it was fine with what Gable said. Sami said he heard Gunther say Sami can’t beat Bronson Reed. Sami said it’s about Gunther making him eat his words. Gable told Sami it’s not about Gunther. Gable told Sami it’s about the task in hand. Gable told Sami to get his head out of his ass. Sami said Gable was right. They shook hands. 

Bronson Reed def. Sami Zayn in 9:31. Sami got a good reaction from the crowd. Sami used Reed’s momentum sending him to the floor. Sami took the lead hitting a Tope Con Hilo to the floor. Sami went for a flying crossbody but Reed caught him. Reed took control rocking Sami with a huge palm strike. Reed connected with a flying shoulder tackle from the ring apron to the floor. Reed was bleeding from the nose as they returned from break. Sami made a comeback rocking Reed with a lariat. Gunther stood on the entrance ramp. Sami went for a Blue Thunder Bomb but Reed blocked. Sami moved as Reed charged into the turnbuckle. Sami caught Reed with a rollup for a near fall. Sami went for a scoop slam but Reed fell onto him. Reed planted Sami with a Twisting Suplex for two. Sami battled back catching Reed with a Tornado DDT. Sami looked at Gunther’s direction. Reed caught Sami with a huge lariat. Reed connected with a back senton. Reed climb the ropes and delivered the Tsunami Splash for the win. 

We saw Jey Uso backstage hyping his match with Shinsuke Nakamura. The crowd popped as Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa appeared. Jimmy said “No Yeet!” Jimmy left. Jimmy and Sikoa had a stare down. Sikoa left. 

We saw Chad Gable approach Sami Zayn backstage. Sami was upset because he let Gunther get to his head. Gable said it’s more mental than physical when facing Gunther. Gable told Sami he will need a different approach when he faces Gunther at WrestleMania. Gable offers Sami if he wants to talk. Sami agrees. 

We saw Jey Uso backstage. Seth Rollins appeared. Rollins told Jey he doesn’t have a good feeling about tonight. Rollins said he and Cody have Jey’s back. Rollins told Jey to go win. They bumped fists. 

Jey Uso def. Shinsuke Nakamura in 7:34. Jey Uso came out to a big reaction. Nakamura got a strong heel reaction. Nakamura shined early nailing Jey with a sliding kick. Nakamura followed rocking Jey with a pair of running knee strikes. Jey made a comeback rocking Nakamura with strikes as they returned from break. Nakamura responded catching Jey with a sliding German Suplex for two. Nakamura went for a flying kick but Jey ducked. Jey rocked Nakamura with a superkick. Nakamura responded nailing Jey with a sliding kick. The crowd popped as Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa appeared from the crowd. The fans cheered as Cody and Rollins appeared as they brawled with Jimmy and Sikoa. Drew McIntyre appeared as he took out Rollins with a Future Shock DDT on the floor. Nakamura went for a reverse Exploder Suplex but Jey landed on his feet. Jey rocked Nakamura with a superkick. Jey connected with a spear for the win. 

The Rock Attacks Cody Rhodes

The camera cut backstage with Cody brawling with Jimmy and Solo Sikoa. The Rock appeared and attacked Cody from behind. Rock tossed Cody into a tool box. Rock whacked Cody with a trash can. The camera cut outside as it was raining. Rock continued to attack Cody outside. Rock was talking smack to Cody. The camera showed Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena on the WWE truck. (A Clue) Rock attacked Cody against his tour bus. Rock spoke into the camera. The camera cut as Cody was bleeding. Rock grabbed his weightlifting belt. The belt said “Mama Rhodes.” Rock said Cody’s dad Dusty Rhodes spoke about hard times. Rock said Cody doesn’t know about hard times, but will. Rock smeared Cody’s blood over his hands. Rock placed Cody’s blood on his weight belt. Rock said “This is what happens when you F— with the Final Boss. Rock said it didn’t have to be this way, but now it’s the only way. 


WWE came into this episode of Raw and turned the volume to the max. There were some great promos and angles to build up the big WrestleMania matches. The closing angle between Cody and Rock was tremendous stuff setting the stage for the WrestleMania Night One tag match. The added star power with CM Punk and Rock made the show feel more bigger. Overall, this was the best Raw of the 2024 so far. A fantastic show which got me even more excited for heading into WrestleMania.