WWE Raw aired on January 08, 2024, from Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. CM Punk was back on the show. Cody Rhodes battled Shinsuke Nakamura, while Ciampa faced Balor. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven got their rematch for the Women’s Tag Titles. Let’s review everything that happened on Monday Night Raw.
CM Punk and Drew McIntyre Segment
Drew McIntyre was already in the ring as the show kicked off. McIntyre said that he needed the World Heavyweight Championship. He put Seth’s foot on the rope. Drew then blamed Damian Priest for his loss and said that Priest screwed himself and screwed McIntyre too. He took a shot at Punk by saying that maybe he should leave for nine years and then come back to get a hero’s welcome.
CM Punk arrived and told McIntyre to say it to his face. Drew said you were the locker room leader back then, but he is now the locker room leader. Punk said that he is the Voice of the Voiceless. He just wants to do what McIntyre did: return and win the Royal Rumble and go on to the main event of WrestleMania. The Best in the World said that nobody can stop him. Ultimately, Punk told Drew you are a nice guy, so I’ll eliminate you last in the Royal Rumble.
Analysis: It was an intense promo segment. McIntyre put on valid points, and so did CM Punk. These two have no history together in WWE; hence, this little interaction ruled.
Finn Balor vs Tommaso Ciampa
Early on, Balor got the advantage from a distraction by Priest and sent Ciampa into the commentary table, sending us to break. Ciampa later reversed the final cut into an Inverted DDT. Balor kicked out of Project Ciampa. Finn tried to revive and delivered a Slingblade. Ciampa avoided a coup de Grâce attempt from the Dagger. Damian tried to interfere, but Gargano was there to even the odds. Both #DIY members took out Priest at ringside.
Balor went for a suplex in the ring, but Gargano pulled his foot. Ciampa fell over Balor, and the referee counted three.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Analysis: As you would expect from these two, it was a decent match on a weekly show. Ciampa won, so he and Gargano will get a shot at the Undisputed Tag Team Titles.
Kofi Kingston vs Ludwig Kaiser
We were told Vinci would be out for weeks due to an injury during last week’s match. Kaiser is here for revenge, and he took on Kingston from the start. A running dropkick by Kaiser got a springboard crossbody from Kofi. He went for the suicide dive to the outside, but Ludwig delivered a vicious punch in mid-air.
Kofi came with a flying press from steel steps. Kaiser sent him into the ring post. The match ended in a double count-out. Kaiser didn’t stop there and hit a running dropkick on Kingston into the steel steps.
Winner: No Contest
Analysis: These types of finishes are often criticized, but it worked with the story this time. Kaiser got his revenge, and Kofi will be out for weeks to sell this attack.
Nia Jax Segment
Michael Cole asked Nia about her shocking win last week against Becky Lynch. Jax said that it wasn’t shocking. She claimed to win the Royal Rumble and fight Ripley or Iyo at WrestleMania. Rhea interfered and said that she was not Becky Lynch. Ripley warned Jax to keep her out of her mouth unless Nia won the Royal Rumble. Mami also reminded Nia that she eliminated The Irresistible Force from the Royal Rumble last year. Jax promised to pick Rhea Ripley after she won.
Analysis: It was an intense interaction. Nia said that she’s focused on the Royal Rumble. Becky will be in the Royal Rumble match too.
Tag Team Match
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs Piper Niven and Chelsea Green
Next up was the rematch granted to Piper Niven and Chelsea Green for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. The champions dominated on Green early on. Niven got tagged, and she changed the match in her favor. A big splash by Piper in the corner earned a two-count.
Green came back in! Kayden took her out with a superkick. Carter put Green on her shoulders with Chance on the top rope. Katana Chance delivered an insane springboard hurricanrana from there. Chelsea replied with a Rough Ryder on Chance for a near fall.
In the end, a Vader Bomb and Keg Stand connected, and the champions retained their titles.
Winners: Kayden Carter and Katana Chance
Analysis: It was a nice match from the Women’s division. That springboard hurricanrana was the highlight of the match. Carter and Chance have won the titles recently, so they will be champions for some time now.
An Announcement: Before the above-mentioned match, Nakamura and Cody were in a brawl backstage before their match later tonight. Michael Cole has now announced that it will be a street fight between Shin and Cody.
The Miz vs JD McDonagh
A funny video package was shown where R-Truth explained his long run alongside Judgment Day. He had his pictures photoshopped with Rhea’s Royal Rumble win, and Priest’s MITB win. He even had a childhood photograph. In the match, Dominik Mysterio and Truth were at ringside. Miz delivered a beautiful neckbreaker-backbreaker combo. JD got the upper hand with some help from Dominik. McDonagh landed a slingshot corkscrew plancha on the floor.
In the ring, Miz delivered his patented clothesline and IT kicks. Miz applied the Figure 4 leglock. JD escaped. A skull-crushing finale brought victory to the A-Lister.
Winner: The Miz
Analysis: The video package of Truth was hilarious. The Miz is getting a good babyface reaction. The rest of the Judgment Day was backstage, and they were not pleased with the result of the match.
Seth Rollins Promo
The Visionary arrived in the ring. He said he never entered WrestleMania to defend a title, but it will change this year. The crowd chanted, “CM Punk”. Jinder Mahal interrupted. Mahal said that he defeated Randy to become the WWE Champion, and he’s the greatest champion of all time. Seth called him the same old Jinder. This infuriated The Maharaja, who blindsided Rollins. Seth escaped The Khallas and landed a superkick. Jinder retrieved and rolled to the outside.
Analysis: It looks like Jinder’s praise after The Rock’s segment got him there, and he might get an opportunity for the World Heavyweight Championship. It can become an exciting filler rivalry before Rollins moves toward his build-up for WrestleMania.
Otis vs Ivar
Two big men clashed in the center of the ring. Ivar crashed Otis after a leap in the corner. Otis caught Ivar in mid-air and delivered the World’s Strongest Slam. Ivar replied with a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
Ivar was able recover in time to catch Otis climbing the second rope and convert to a sit down power bomb for a near fall. A spinning kick by Ivar followed by a Doomsault for the win.
Analysis: These powerhouse matches recently have been impressive. Ivar has shined in Erik’s absence. Both big men are fun to watch.
Backstage: Jey Uso was interviewed backstage and focused on getting his first singles title this year. Bronson Reed interrupted and called Jey, “Jimmy’s little brother.” He told Uso not to get in his way.
Cody Rhodes vs Shinsuke Nakamura
It was a Street Fight in the main event to settle things between Cody Rhodes and Shinsuke Nakamura. The American Nightmare took on Shin early on and sent him to the floor, followed by a baseball slide. Nakamura took the fight to the commentary table and smashed a water bottle on Cody. “We want Tables,” chants broke out. Nakamura used a kendo stick to get some offense. We saw violent Knee strikes from Shinsuke. Cody bounced back with a power slam and a Disaster Kick for a two-count.
Nakamura delivered a series of strikes with nunchucks. Cody avoided the mist, and it went right into the eyes of the timekeeper. Cody checked on the timekeeper, giving Shin time to attack with a chair. Cody bounced back with a series of punches and hit the iconic Bionic Elbow twice. Rhodes brought the table to the crowd’s joy. Cody set the table but ate a double knee strike from Nakamura through the table. Pin attempt from Shin, but Cody kicked out.
Nakamura set up another table in the corner. He delivered a sliding German Suplex. Nakamura hit a Flying knee. Cody went to life when he countered Kinshasa into a Pedigree for a near fall. He got another near fall after the Cody Cutter. Rhodes avoided another Kinshasa and sent Shinsuke through the table. Cross Rhodes by Cody, and he won.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Analysis: It was an excellent Street Fight to close out the show. We also saw the best use of the chairs, tables, and nunchucks. Nakamura never looked weak until the loss. Cody got the deserving win and continues on his path to the Royal Rumble.
It was a great show overall. It looked stacked, and everything was related to a certain story.