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WWE RAW TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 20, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. AT VAN ANDEL ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA
REPORT BY MAURICIO POMARES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
– The show opened with a recap of Drew McIntyre costing Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso the tag titles last week.
– Drew McIntyre stood in the middle of the ring amidst a chorus of boos. Drew said that he was angry at being called a traitor and called out all the fans that turned on him. He said that unlike Jey Uso, he looked him in the eyes before attacking him. Drew questioned why he should get over it when Cody Rhodes just showed up on SmackDown to confront the Bloodline. Drew said that he never got any kind of apology from Jey for costing the chance to win the world title in front of his family. He claimed to not have joined the Judgment Day before confirming that he would be part of their team at War Games.
– Drew said that the reason he accepted was because Rhea Ripley gave him Jey in a cage. Jey showed up to tell Drew that he would beat him down, only for the Judgment Day to join Drew’s side. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Cody Rhodes made their way to the ring, but Adam Pearce stopped from getting into a brawl. Pearce warned them not to touch each other or they would lose the advantage. Pearce told Sami’s team that they would need to find a fifth partner by the end of the night and pick a representative by 9 to fight for the advantage.
(Pomares’ Analysis: A really good promo that easily explains why Drew McIntyre is on Judgment Day’s team. Everything afterwards was more of the same we’ve seen from theses teams, but I like the way they hyped up the reveal of the fifth member and the advantage match.)
– The commentary team ran down tonight’s match card.
– Nia Jax made her way to the ring, ahead of her match against Raquel Rodriguez.
– Backstage, Damian Priest told Rhea Ripley that she should have told him that she got Drew McIntyre to join their team. Priest said that he should be the one in the advantage match, only for Ripley to tell him that they should wait for Drew McIntyre to make a choice.
(1) RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ vs. NIA JAX
Raquel immediately nailed Jax with a big boot, followed by an Irish-whip into the corner. Jax laid Raquel out with a uranage, only for Raquel to pummel her down with forearm strikes. Raquel sent Jax out of the ring with a body block, followed by a high crossbody off the apron. Jax tossed Raquel into the barricade and nailed her back-first into the ring post, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Jax knocked Rodriguez off her feet with a headbutt. Raquel managed to break a headlock and knock Jax off her feet, setting her up for a couple of clotheslines. Raquel took Jax down with a hurracarrana, followed by a lariat to the back, a big boot and a corkscrew Vader Bomb. Jax blocked a power move and crushed Raquel with a senton. Raquel tried to hit Jax with a powerbomb, but Jax countered it with a seated senton for the win.
WINNER: Nia Jax at 9:00
(Pomares’s Analysis: Fine match with the crowd popping for some of Raquel Rodriguez’s power moves. I’m not particularly interested in this becoming a feud, but I’m expecting Raquel to eventually get her win back.)
– A video package was shown recapping the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Xia Li.
– Backstage, Drew McIntyre showed up to discuss tonight’s advantage match. Drew insisted that he should fight for the advantage tonight, convincing Priest to give it to him.
– A recap of Becky Lynch joining the team against Damage CTRL on SmackDown was shown.
– Becky Lynch made her way to the ring, ahead of her match against Xia Li.
– Backstage, Seth Rollins and Jey Uso argued about being the one that faces Drew McIntyre tonight. They agreed Jey would take part of the advantage match before Sami Zayn asked Cody Rhodes about the fifth member. Cody said that he had an old friend that he could give a call to.
(2) BECKY LYNCH vs. XIA LI
Li caught Lynch with a chop to the chest, only for Lynch to surprise with a pinning combination. Lynch attacked Li with a chop to the chest and a couple of arm drags. Li clobbered Lynch with a strike to the head, but Lynch responded with a sliding dropkick out of the ring. Lynch knocked Li off her feet with a clothesline off the apron, following it with a knee strike. Li caught Lynch with a roundhouse kick, as WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, Lynch hit Li with a jawbreaker before they started exchanging forearm strikes. Lynch took Li down with a shoulder tackle, followed by a corner forearm strike and a Xploder for a two count. Li clocked Lynch with a kick to the back of the head, setting her up for a spinning kick to the back. Lynch planted Li with a butterfly suplex, setting her up for an armbar. Li nailed Lynch with a knee to the head, followed by a modified UFO slam for a two count.
Li put Lynch in a sleeper hold using the top rope, but Lynch retaliated with a superplex for a nearfall. Lynch missed a clothesline, allowing Li to send her out of the ring with a spinning kick to the head. Lynch evaded a spinning kick and drove Li head-first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Lynch avoided a roundhouse kick before finishing Li with the Manhandle Slam.
WINNER: Becky Lynch at 12:39
– After the match, Damage CTRL showed up, only for Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair and Shotzi to make the save. Both teams brawled, until security guards and referees separated them.
(Pomares’s Analysis: Probably Xia Li’s best singles match ever. It kind of felt like a remnant from Becky Lynch’s NXT title reign that they had to delay. This is a rare case where I think a non-finish would have benefitted Xia Li, instead of losing clean one day before a title shot.)
– Backstage, Ludwig Kaiser called Giovanni Vinci out for taking credit for his victory against Tommaso Ciampa. Vinci said that he would do what is best for Imperium, only for Kaiser to order him to stay in the back.
– A video package was shown hyping up the title match between Rhea Ripley and Zoey Stark.
(3) JOHNNY GARGANO (w/Tommaso Ciampa) vs. LUDWIG KAISER
Kaiser knocked Gargano off his feet with a shoulder tackle, followed by an elbow strike to the back. Gargano caught Kaiser with a hurracarrana and a dropkick, only for Kaiser to shut him down with a cross chop. Gargano clocked Kaiser with an enzuigiri, but Kaiser responded with one of his own. Before Kaiser could go for a superplex, Gargano took him down with a diving hurracarrana and a dropkick. Kaiser blocked a suicide dive with a forearm strike, followed by an uppercut, as WWE Raw went to a commercial break.
Back from break, Kaiser blocked a slingshot move with a palm strike to the head. Gargano surprised Kaiser with the slingshot Spear, followed by a couple of clotheslines and a spinning kick to the head. Gargano nailed Kaiser with a suicide dive before they exchanged a pair of pinning combinations. Before Kaiser could react, Gargano cracked him with a roundhouse kick and a diving flatliner for a nearfall. Kaiser blasted Gargano with a rising kick and a discus clothesline for a two count.
Kaiser blocked the spinning kick to the head, but was still able to drop Gargano with his modified facebuster. They traded forearm strikes, until Gargano planted Kaiser with La Mistica. Kaiser managed to drop Gargano with a Death Valley Driver, setting him up for a Penalty Kick. Giovanni Vinci showed up at ringside, accidentally distracting Kaiser. Gargano cracked Kaiser with an enzuigiri, following it with One Final Beat for the victory.
WINNER: Johnny Gargano at 10:55
(Pomares’s Analysis: Really fun match with an ending that I wasn’t the biggest fan of. I’m happy to see Johnny Gargano win a singles match and I think both Vinci and Kaiser are performing pretty well in this storyline. My problem is that I don’t want to see them break up before they even scratch the surface of what they can do as a tag team.)
– Earlier today, numerous tag teams tried to make a case for a women’s tag title shot. Pearce angrily booked all of them in a four-way match to determine title contenders.
– Backstage, Rhea Ripley found Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark hanging out in the Judgment Day’s clubhouse. Stark said that she would take Ripley’s world title, only for Ripley to tell her that she would get her beating at Survivor Series.
(4) TEGAN NOX & NATALYA vs. KATANA CHANCE & KAYDEN CARTER vs. INDI HARTWELL & CANDICE LERAE vs. MAXXINE DUPRI & IVY NILE – Women’s Tag Team Championship Contender’s Match
Natalya knocked Nile off her feet, setting her up for a Penalty kick from Nox. Nile hit Natalya with a leaping dropkick before giving Dupri the tag. Dupri swept Natalya off her feet before Nile tried to beat her with an O’Connor Roll. Nile blocked the Sharpshooter and kicked Natalya into a corner, allowing Indi to tag herself in. Indi dropped Nile with a bodyslam before dropping LeRae on top of her for a two count.
Carter and Chance tagged themselves in to hit LeRae with a tag team splash for a nearfall. Carter launched Chance into a cannonball on Indi in the corner. Chance and Carter sent Nox and Natalya out of the ring, setting them up for a diving splash. Dupri crashed into everyone with a high crossbody, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Natalya dropped Chance with a bodyslam and a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Nile hit Nox and Natalya with a double powerbomb before they could drop Chance with a superplex. Carter blasted Nile with a thrust kick and dropped Chance on top of Nox and Natalya for a nearfall. Nile blasted Indi with a cyclone kick before receiving a suplex into a facebuster from Nox. Carter blasted Nox with a thrust kick, only for LeRae to hit her with a missile dropkick.
Chance sent LeRae out of the ring, only for Natalya to trap her in a Sharpshooter. Nile broke Natalya’s hold while Dupri hit Nox with a bodyslam and a Caterpillar. Dupri laid Nox out with a bridging suplex, but she managed to kick out at two. Nile and Dupri floored Nox with a double suplex before climbing the top turnbuckle. Natalya pulled Nile off the apron while Nox countered a high crossbody with an inside cradle for the win.
WINNERS: Tegan Nox & Natalya at 11:46
(Pomares’s Analysis: Arguably the greatest showcase the women’s tag division has had all year long, including the four-way match at WrestleMania. It’s also good to finally see Chelsea Green and Piper Niven finally have a proper storyline beyond annoying Adam Pearce backstage.)
– Backstage, Gunther demanded Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci to explain themselves. Kaiser blamed his loss on Vinci, only for Gunther to tell him that he was disappointed. Gunther praised Vinci’s efforts, wondering if he put the wrong person in charge.
– The Miz made his way to the ring, ahead of his face-off against Gunther.
– Backstage, the tag teams confronted Adam Pearce about a shot for the tag titles. Pearce agreed to book them in a Gauntlet match next week. Nick Aldis showed up to talk with Pearce, as they stared tensely at each other.
– The Miz complained about Gunther not respecting what he has accomplished, only for Gunther to interrupt. Gunther reminded Miz that the ring is for fighting while Miz is simply an entertainer. Miz said that he was proud of being a WWE superstar before listing numerous legends that inspired him. Miz called Gunther a one-note robot and said that he has adapted to stay at the top. He told Gunther that they don’t know anything about him because he has yet to hit the bottom.
– Miz told Gunther that if he doesn’t respect him, then he would beat it into him. Gunther listed Miz’s accomplishments, only to call him a little weirdo that got bullied in school. Gunther told Miz that he doesn’t belong in this ring and instead belonged on the other side of the guardrail. He told Miz that he wasn’t bullied enough and started shoving him while taunting him. Miz tried to fight back with right hands, but Gunther shut him down with a big boot. Miz caught Gunther with a low blow and dropped him with a Skull Crushing Finale.
(Pomares’s Analysis: The performances were good and the crowd was hot, but this segment didn’t do anything for me. None of Miz’s talking points really connected with me with how sudden and out-of-nowhere his face turn was. The match will probably be good, but I don’t care about this story.)
– Backstage, Seth Rollins told Jey Uso how important it is for their team to obtain the advantage for War Games.
– Shinsuke Nakamura made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against Chad Gable.
– Backstage, Ivar and Valhalla dared Bronson Reed to fight them.
(5) CHAD GABLE (w/Otis, Maxxine Dupri, Akira Tozawa) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Gable knocked Nakamura off his feet and took him down with a pair of arm drags. Nakamura nailed Gable with a pair of knee strikes before pressing his boot on Gable’s chest. Gable picked Nakamura’s leg and took him down with a dragon screw. Nakamura stopped Gable atop the turnbuckle with an enzuigiri, only for Gable to trap him in an armbar using the top rope. Gable launched Nakamura out of the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex, followed by a cannonball off the apron, as WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, Nakamura clocked Gable with a rising knee to the abdomen before putting him in a headlock. Gable caught Nakamura with a chop block and a Mule kick, setting him up for a leaping neckbreaker for a two count. Nakamura knocked Gable down with a sliding German suplex, followed by a diving knee strike for a two count. Gable surprised Nakamura with an ankle lock, but Nakamura quickly broke the hold. Gable spiked Nakamura with a cliffhanger DDT, setting him up for a diving headbutt and a nearfall.
Nakamura pulled the turnbuckle pad while trying to block a German suplex. Gable countered the Kinshasa with a German suplex, but he kicked out at two. Gable dropped Kaiser with a release German suplex, only for Nakamura to block a follow-up moonsault. Nakamura planted Gable with an inverted Xploder, but Gable countered the Kinshasa with an Ankle Lock. Gable managed to block a shot into the exposed turnbuckle, only for Nakamura to take the win with a roll-through.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura at 12:08
(Pomares’s Analysis: Pretty good match to continue this Shinsuke Nakamura storyline, ahead of whoever his mystery opponent is. Once again, I don’t think it’s that great of an idea to have your title contender lose the night before they challenge for a title. However, my biggest problem with Gable is that it really feels like he’s lost so much momentum coming off the Gunther feud.)
– Backstage, Drew McIntyre told Judgment Day that he would not only get the advantage, but take Jey Uso out for good.
– Drew McIntyre made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against Jey Uso.
– Backstage, Bronson Reed called Ivar a cosplayer and agreed to face him next week.
– The commentary ran down the match card for Survivor Series.
– Backstage, Jey Uso told Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins that he would get the job done. Cody Rhodes showed up to tell Sami and Rollins that his old friend agreed to join in.
(6) JEY USO vs. DREW MCINTYRE
Jey took control early on with a series of right hands, until Drew shut him down with a kick to the head. Drew withstood a couple of jabs and knocked Jey down with a back elbow. Jey sent Drew out of the ring and crashed into him with a suicide dive, as WWE Raw went to a commercial break.
Back from break, Drew blasted Jey with a couple of chops to the chest before receiving an enzuigiri and a high crossbody. Drew blocked a suicide dive with a forearm strike and rammed him back-first into the barricade. Jey managed to hit Drew with a slap and an enzuigiri, followed by a series of shoulder strikes. Drew knocked Jey off the apron with a Glasgow Kiss and tossed his body over the announce table, as WWE Raw went to its final commercial break.
Back from break, Jey caught Drew with a thrust kick to the chest and a Samoan drop for a two count. Drew caught Jey with a forearm strike and a neckbreaker, only for Jey to block the Claymore with a superkick. Drew pulled Jey off the top turnbuckle and spiked him with the Future Shock DDT for the three count.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre at 18:34.
– After the match, Drew McIntyre and the rest of Judgment Day assaulted Jey Uso. Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins ran down with chairs in hand to force the Judgment Day to retreat. Cody said that they aren’t alone, overtly teasing that their partner is a returning Randy Orton.
(Pomares’s Analysis: Match was fine, but the only thing that people are going to remember is the post-match angle with the Randy Orton tease. I got the idea of saving Orton’s official return for Survivor Series, but it kind of made the ending of the show a tad deflating.)