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WWE RAW TV REPORT
DECEMBER 4, 2023
ALBANY, N.Y. AT MVP ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
-The Raw opening aired.
-Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the stage and the crowd. Cole said Raw is the longest-running episodic TV show in history.
-As Drew McIntyre made his ring entrance, Cole and Wade Barrett hyped scheduled matches. McIntyre said, “It’s been a minute since I’ve done this, but welcome to Monday Night Raw!” He said it feels like everyone has lost their mind around there recently. “Liars, hypocrites, cowards, just plain idiots” he said. “Apparently you can get fired, released, leave, do what you want for a bunch of time, come back to the company and you’re instantly forgiven these days.” A chant of “C.M. Punk!” broke out. Drew grinned and said, “I could be talking about anybody.”
He talked about Jey Uso running to Randy Orton with his tail tucked between his legs to apologize. He said his time is coming. He said he’s forgetting someone. He then said Sami Zayn’s name. Sami’s music played and he came out and soaked up fans singing his song. Sami entered the ring and told Drew if he’s got something to say about him, he might as well say it to his face.
Drew said he does. He said Sami is the one person in the world who deserved to get screwed over by The Bloodline. He said he was their little lapdog and errand boy. He said he joined them, and then screwed them over. “What the hell did you think was going to happen?” he said.
Sami said they are not anything alike. He said he’s not a delusional person or someone who points a finger at everyone else for their own shortcomings. He said when he lost in front of his family, he stayed hungry and stayed driven and it carried him to victory at the main event of WrestleMania. Fans cheered. He said he got redemption and he made his family proud. “Do you think you’re making your family proud,” Sami asked. Drew said one of them is not walking out of the ring tonight. He asked for a referee and a bell. Barrett said Sami hit a raw nerve with those comments. Cole said Sami can get “over-exuberant” when he runs his mouth.
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SAMI ZAYN
The bell rang 9 minutes into the hour. Drew overhead tossed Sami early. Sami fought back at ringside and threw Drew into the ringpost. He then landed a running flip dive over the top rope. As he celebrated, they cut to an early break. [c]
Cole said Drew is becoming increasingly paranoid in recent weeks and twisting things to make the narrative match what he thinks. (Cole, until now, had been defending Drew as speaking the truth.) Sami clutched his left ankle as if he hurt it leaping off the top rope.
Sami landed a tilt-a-whirl DDT for a near fall at 9:00. Fans chanted “Sami! Sami!” Drew came back with a belly-to-belly toss and a neckbreaker. Both were down and slow to get up. Drew took a few breaths, then kipped up. He shook the top rope; fans booed. Sami clotheslined Drew over the top rope. He slingshot himself over the top rope, but Drew caught him and tossed him over the announce desk. They cut to another break at 11:00. [c]
They exchanged near falls. Sami went for a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Drew blocked it and headbutted him. Sami went down. When he stood, Drew went for a Claymore. Sami kicked him instead, though, and then landed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall at 18:00. A “This is awesome!” chant broke out.
Sami leapfrogged Drew, then his knee gave out again. The ref backed Drew away. Sami punched a charging Drew. Sami thought of a running dive at Drew, but he couldn’t put weight on his leg. When he finally stood, Drew clipped his leg from behind. Boos rang out. The ref scolded Drew. (Why is going after a wrestler’s weakened body part suddenly shameful? Isn’t that literally a key strategy to winning most matches?) Drew delivered a Claymore and scored the three count. Cole said Drew showed no compassion or remorse.
WINNER: McIntyre in 20:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Sami did a great job selling the injured knee throughout. I’m not sure why Drew going after an injured body part in order to try to win the match makes him a bad guy. This isn’t a gymnastics competition.)
-Byron Saxton interviewed Shayna Baszler backstage, alongside Zoey Stark. She said she put Nia Jax on the shelf two years ago by breaking her arm, and tonight she’s going to remind her of that “limb by limb.” Stark liked what she heard.
-Cole hyped that Baszler vs. Jax was up next. [c]
-They went to Cole and Barrett who talked about the “Tribute to the Troops” special on Friday in Providence, R.I. Barrett said a lot of troops would be there because the Army-Navy game is just up the road that weekend in Foxboro. Cole threw to a video package on Jey Uso.
-A video package aired with Jey speaking about his title match tonight. He said Jimmy ripped away his win over Roman Reigns “and that hurt me more than you could ever know.” He said he couldn’t be around the sport anymore and had to walk away for a while. He said he thought he was done until he received call from Cody Rhodes. He said Cody talked him into returning and fighting for himself instead of others. He said tonight he’ll prove to the world and his family and himself why they call him “Main Event Jey Uso.”
-Cole said Jey is “starving and ready to eat.” He said he’s put a lot of pressure on himself.
-Jackie Redmond approached Sami backstage to get an update on his condition. Drew attacked him and yelled at him for bringing up his family. He said he is nothing like him. He said he brought this on himself. He gave Sami one final hard stomp to the leg and then left as Sami cried out in pain. Raw G.M. Adam Pearce and other officials came to check on him. [c]
-They replayed what Drew did to Sami moments earlier.
-They cut to Jey telling Sami he’ll be alright as a trainer checked on his ankle.
-They went to Cole and Barrett at ringside. Cole said Drew has gone too far. Barrett said maybe Sami will learn not to run his mouth like that, especially around Drew.
-Saxton interviewed Becky Lynch backstage. Nia Jax walked in and told Saxton to get lost. Jax asked if she was referring to her last week when she spoke of opponents on her list. Becky said she is on that list. Jax said when she’s done with Baszler, Becky is all hers.
-Cole hyped NXT Deadline on Saturday.
(2) SHAYNA BASZLER vs. NIA JAX
Jax made her entrance first. Then Baszler. The bell rang 47 minutes into the hour. Baszler landed a high knee in the corner and went for an armbar. Jax powered Baszler hard to the mat to break her grip. At ringside, Jax rammed Baszler into the announce desk. Baszler fought back and tried to stomp on Jax’s arm on the ring apron, but Jax swept her legs and then landed a guillotine legdrop. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
Jax was in control after the break. She landed a Samoan Drop for a near fall at 9:00. Baszler came back with a barrage of kicks to Jax while she was on her knees. Jax made a quick comeback and collided with Baszler against the ropes. She then landed a running senton for a believable near fall. Jax dragged Baszler to the corner and set up her corner Annihilator sit-splash. Baszler suplexed Jax off the second rope, but Jax knocked into her head on the way down. Baszler applied her Kirafuda Clutch mid-ring. Jax went down, but then stood and leaped backwards to break it. Jax then landed the Annihilator for the win.
WINNER: Jax in 13:00.
-Becky made her way to the ring to her music as Jax was celebrated. Jax bailed out to ringside as Becky had some words for her.
(Keller’s Analysis: The Becky promo before the Jax-Baszler match tipped off pretty clearly that Jax was beating Baszler. Not that there was a ton of doubt, but that segment pretty much erased any. So do they book Becky to beat Jax or does Jax beat her to build up a different wrestler ending her streak eventually, such as Jade Cargill.)
-A video recap aired of C.M. Punk’s return to WWE last week.
-Cole said Punk is a free agent and it remains to be seen which G.M. will offer him the most lucrative opportunities to sign with their show.
-Backstage, Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa were chatting when Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae walked up to give them a pep talk. Giovani Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser walked up to them and said they’re losers. Kaiser said he hopes Vinci doesn’t let him down. Vinci said same to him. Kaiser shot him a look.
-Gargano and Ciampa made their ring entrance first. Cole called them “an inspirational team.” [c]
(3) DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tomasso Ciampa) vs. IMPERIUM (Giovani Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser) – Two out of Three Falls
The bell rang 12 minutes into the hour. Vinci landed a running crossbody on Ciampa. Barrett said he’s never seen a sudden crossbody like quite like that before. Gargano tagged in and rallied against Kaiser at 3:00. Gargano landed a slingshot spear. Ciampa tagged in. They set up their finisher, but Vinci yanked Gargano out of the ring from ringside and the Kaiser ducked Ciampa and rolled him and yanked on his tights for a three count.
1ST FALL: Vinci & Kaiser in 4:00. [c]
Back from the break, the match continued. A loud “DIY!” chant rang out. DIY broke up Imperium’s attempt at a double-team finisher. Gargano then rolled up Vinci for a three count.
2ND FALL: Gargano & Ciampa in 9:00.
As they battled back and forth, a “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Barrett said he was with the fans. DIY eventually hit their Meet in the Middle finisher on Kaiser for the win. Vinci told Kaiser afterward that he has to explain himself to Gunther.
WINNERS: DIY in 14:00.
-Chelsea Green and Piper Niven approached Natalya and Tegan Nox backstage. The exchanged some words.
-Cole plugged Seth vs. Jey. [c]
-The Creed Brothers had Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods on their shoulders and were doing squats. Xavier said the Creeds crushed it last week. In walked Chad Gable, Tozawa, Otis, and Maxxine. Maxxine ended up lifting Tozawa and doing squats.
(Keller’s Analysis: These weekly segments with these teams is painful to watch, especially because the punchline at the end is so often something not funny involving Tozawa. These segments are defining the Creeds down early.)
-R-Truth was hanging out with The Judgment Day. J.D. McDonagh told Truth he’s not part of Judgment Day and he should get out of their clubhouse. Truth left. Damian Priest said Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor aren’t there this week (fans booed in disappointment). He gave McDonagh and Dom a pep talk to handle the Creed Brothers.
-Kayden Carter and Katana Chance made their ring entrance. [c]
(4) KAYDEN CARTER & KATANA CHANCE vs. NATALYA & TEGAN NOX
Chelsea Green and Piper Niven joined in on commentary. The bell rang 43 minutes into the hour. Natalya pressed Chance over her head and then powerslammed her to the mat and scored a two count. Cole said, after a few minutes of Chelsea talking, “I guess there’s a reason a lot of people don’t like you.”
Chance cut off Natalya’s offense with a Code Breaker at 3:00. They double-teamed Natalya and went for a superplex, but Natalya slipped out and powerbombed both to the mat at once. Chance almost landed on Carter’s head. Natalya scored a two count. Carter kicked Natalya in the head and then launched Chance off over her shoulders with an assisted splash for the three count.
Green stood on the ring apron and yelled at Chance and Cater. Carter dropkicked her off the ring apron to the floor.
WINNERS: Carter & Chance in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Some of the spots were overly complicated and didn’t go smoothly, but it was never boring.)
-They showed Cody Rhodes backstage. [c]
-Cody made his ring entrance. They replayed last week’s angle with Shinsuke Nakamura spraying Cody with red mist. Cody then talked about being scared as a kid when he first saw the mist from Great Muta. He said he experienced “the poison mist” first-hand himself last week and his fears as a kid were justified.
He said Nakamura could come to the ring and explain himself to him or they could just fight right now. After a pause, he said he had a feeling he wouldn’t answer him. The lights went out and then a video from Nakamura popped up.
Nakamura, via captions, said last week he made his eyes burn, but tonight he will open them and show him what he is not seeing. He said the path they have taken is the very same story. Clips aired of Nakamura’s aspirations to win the WWE Title at WrestleMania and Cody coming up short against Roman Reigns. “Like you, I slipped and tumbled. I fell into a bottomless pit.” He said Cody has inspired him “and I am here to unburden you.” He said he wants to step into his shoes “and take that story off your hands.” He said he never got to finish his story, “so now I will finish yours.”
Back live, Cody looked around, then said he appreciates Nakamura explaining why he attacked him. He said until he meets him in the ring, he doesn’t respect him. He said it has never been part of his story to run from a fight.
(Keller’s Analysis: These Nakamura videos are really well done. Taking the angle that Nakamura didn’t finish his story either and that they came up short in similar ways is a cool foundation for this feud.)
-Clips aired of what happened earlier between Drew and Sami.
-Jey Uso approached Adam Pearce who was on his phone backstage. Jey asked how Sami was doing. Pearce said he doesn’t have an update, but he’s being evaluated. Jey said he’s turned up and tonight is his night. He jumped excitedly and said, “We got this!” Gunther walked in and told Pearce they need to talk. Pearce said he has some ideas so he’s glad he’s there. They cut away as the conversation began.
-Dominik and McDonagh made their ring entrance. [c]
(5) J.D. MCDONAGH & DOMINIK MYSTERIO vs. THE CREED BROTHERS (w/Ivy Nile)
The bell rang 11 minutes into the hour. R-Truth was at ringside. McDonagh springboard moonsaulted onto the Creeds at 3:00. They cut to a break with McDonagh and Dom celebrating. [c]
Back from the break, Brutus hot-tagged Julius just as Dom tagged in McDonagh. Julius gave overhead suplexes to Dom and McDonagh and kipped up after each of them. He gave each three suplexes. Cole said he had never seen that before. After tossing Dom into the announce desk, Julius and Brutus finished McDonagh with their Brutus Ball finisher. Cole said the Creeds proved why they’re the no. 1 contenders.
WINNERS: Creeds in 11:00.
-They went to Cole and Barrett at ringside. They threw to a video package on Randy Orton deciding to sign with Smackdown last Friday.
-Pearce approached Seth Rollins backstage. He said he invited Punk to be on Raw next week and he intends to sign him to an exclusive Raw contract. Seth said when Punk shows the world his true colors and this blows up in his face, stay out of his way as he does what he has to do. He said first things first, though, and that is defend his title against Jey. In walked Jey, smiling and clapping. Jey said it took him almost 15 years to get this opportunity and it’s his night. He said he’s going to become the new champion. Seth said he’s going to stomp his face into the mat first chance he gets. Jey said that’s cool because he’s going to kick his face off first chance he gets. They fist bumped. Seth said that’s as friendly as they’re going to be.
-Jey made his ring entrance. [c]
-Backstage, Priest asked McDonagh what happened early. McDonagh blamed Truth. Dom said the Creeds are the real deal and he and Balor need to look out. Priest said, “Fair enough.” He looked concerned.
-Cole plugged Cody vs. Nakamura next week. Barrett said Punk will be back on Raw next Monday.
(6) SETH ROLLINS vs. JEY USO – WWE World Hvt. Title match
Seth’s ring entrance took place. The bell rang 36 minutes into the hour. They cut to a very early break a minute in. [c]
Seth dominated for several minutes after the break. He set up a Pedigree on the ring apron, but Jey lifted him. Seth flipped over and went for a buckle bomb, but Jey punched out of it. Seth punched Jey. Jey DDT’d Seth. They cut to a break with both men down at 9:00. [c]
Seth dove through the ropes and tackled Jey at ringside. Jey fought back inside the ring. He ducked a charging Seth and kicked Seth in the chest. Jey led the crowd in chanting “U-so!” He landed a hip attack and then leaped off the top rope. Seth avoided him and then landed a slingblade. Seth quickly climbed to the top rope and landed a splash for a near fall.
Jey made a comeback and landed a top rope frog splash for a near fall. Jey regrouped and climbed to the top rope. Seth met him up there and landed a superplex into a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Seth followed with a Pedigree for a near fall at 19:00. Seth then went for the Stomp, but Jey avoided it and speared Seth for a dramatic two count that popped the crowd.
Seth gave Jey a bucklebomb a minute later, but Jey fired right back with a spear. He followed with a frog splash for another dramatic near fall. Both were down and slow to get up. Seth turned a spear attempt into a Pedigree. He followed with a stomp for the win. Jey and Seth slapped hands in a friendly way after the finish.
WINNER: Rollins in 22:00 to retain the World Hvt. Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Very good match. They did a really good job building up the idea this could be Jey’s night and the crowd was into both guys.)
-As Seth celebrated, Drew jumped Jey at ringside, Seth tried to help, but Drew overhead tossed him to the floor. Drew then slammed Jey through the announce desk. Cole called him “delusional.”