SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW TV REPORT
DECEMBER 4, 2023
ALBANY, N.Y. AT MVP ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA
REPORT BY MAURICIO POMARES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
– The show opened with Drew McIntyre making his way to the ring to welcome the audience to Monday Night Raw. Drew complained about hypocrites who did whatever they wanted being instantly forgiven these days and called Seth Rollins out for giving Jey Uso a title shot. Drew said that Jey’s would come before being interrupted by Sami Zayn. Sami told Drew to say whatever he has to say to his face.
– Drew said that they are nothing alike because Sami actually deserved to be screwed over by the Bloodline. Sami agreed that they are nothing alike because he is not delusional and actually stood motivated going into a victory in the main event of WrestleMania. Sami said that he got redemption before asking Drew if he is making his family proud. Drew told Sami that only one of them would be walking out of here tonight.
(Pomares’s Analysis: More excellent promo work from both Sami Zayn and Drew McIntyre. Drew’s slow and steady turn to the dark side is low-key one of the best WWE storylines this whole year. Meanwhile, Sami has been killing it since going back to the singles division.)
(1) SAMI ZAYN vs. DREW MCINTYRE
Drew immediately launched Sami away with a belly-to-belly suplex, followed by a shot into the apron. Sami smashed Drew’s head into the ring post, setting him up for a Tope con Hilo, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Sami blasted Drew with a handful of chops to the chest, followed by a moonsault off the barricade. Drew clobbered Sami with a lariat and a series of chops to the chest. Sami clocked Drew with a back elbow and a diving elbow strike, but couldn’t follow up with a suplex. Sami evaded a suplex and made Drew crash into the ring post, setting him up for a fisherman suplex.
Drew missed a clothesline, allowing Sami to spike him with a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. Drew blocked a diving elbow strike with two back-to-back belly-to-belly suplexes and a hanging neckbreaker. Sami fired up and sent Drew out of the ring with a clothesline, only for Drew to block a Pescado. Drew swung Sami’s body into the announce table, as WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, Sami surprised Drew with a Victory Roll before receiving a spinebuster for a two count. Drew immediately floored Sami with a sitout powerbomb for a shocking nearfall. Sami blocked an avalanche Air Raid Crash with a sunset flip powerbomb for a close two count. Sami pummeled Drew with numerous shots to the back, only for Drew to shut him down with a Glasgow Kiss. Drew went for the Claymore, but Sami blocked it with a boot to the face and a Blue Thunderbomb for a close nearfall. Sami hurt his ankle while leaping over Drew before sending Drew out of the ring. Drew knocked Sami down with a chop block to the damaged leg, setting him up for the Claymore and the win.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre at 20:08
(Pomares’s Analysis: An excellent encounter that wouldn’t have felt out of place on PPV. Drew following up on his promise that he wouldn’t have compassion to beat an already hurt Sami was a brilliant ending. This could eventually be blown off at a major show and could easily steal the match of the night.)
– Backstage, Byron Saxton interviewed Shayna Baszler about her upcoming match against Nia Jax. Baszler reminded Saxton that she was the one that put Jax out of action two years ago and would do it again.
– A video package hyping up the title match between Seth Rollins and Jey Uso was shown. Jey talked about getting his first world title shot after being betrayed by his own brother.
– Backstage, Jackie Redmond tried to interview Sami Zayn, but Drew McIntyre immediately assaulted him. Drew stomped Sami’s damaged ankle, as agents and referees showed up to separate them.
– A recap of Drew McIntyre attacking Sami Zayn was shown.
– Backstage, Jey Uso checked on Sami Zayn while medics tried to attend to him.
– Backstage, Byron Saxton tried to interview Becky Lynch, but Nia Jax interrupted. Lynch said that she wasn’t talking about her, but she still owed her a receipt.
(2) SHAYNA BASZLER vs. NIA JAX
Baszler nailed Jax with a pair of kicks to the leg, only for Jax to throw her across the ring. Jax missed a corner splash, allowing Baszler to crack her with a pump knee. Baszler tried to put Jax in a Triangle Choke, but Jax shut her down with a powerbomb. Baszler shoved Jax head-first into the ring post, only for Jax to sweep her off her feet on the apron. Jax crushed Baszler with a leg drop on the apron, as WWE Raw went to a commercial break.
Back from break, Baszler tried to make a comeback with a couple of body shots before receiving a uranage. Jax drove Baszler into the ring post and crushed her head into it with a hip attack for a two count. Jax dropped Baszler with a side slam, withstood a couple of kicks and laid Baszler out with a Samoan Drop.
Baszler evaded a running hip attack, followed by a knee strike to the head for a two count. Jax caught Baszler with a body block and a senton, but she kicked out at two. Baszler managed to take Jax down with a German suplex, setting her up for a sleeper hold. Jax dropped backwards to crush Baszer, setting her up for the Banzai Drop and the three count.
WINNER: Nia Jax at 12:11
– After the match, Becky Lynch showed up to confront Nia Jax, but she immediately walked away.
(Pomares’s Analysis: A mediocre match with a mostly silent crowd that overstayed its welcome. The current plan seems to be to book Jax vs. Becky Lynch which should be a fine program to give Becky a win right before the Road to WrestleMania begins.)
– A recap of CM Punk returning at Survivor Series and his first promo on Raw was shown.
– Backstage, DIY, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell hyped themselves up ahead of their tag matches tonight. Imperium interrupted to make fun of them, only for Indi to warn them about Gunther. Ludwig Kaiser told Giovanni Vinci to not mess up tonight before Vinci told him the exact same thing.
(3) IMPERIUM (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) – 2 Out of 3 Falls Match
Kaiser withstood Ciampa’s chops and knocked him off his feet with a huge palm strike to the head. Vinci evaded a clothesline and blasted Ciampa with a running crossbody. Kaiser stomped Ciampa’s face and clocked him with a back elbow for a one count. Ciampa drove Kaiser head-first into the turnbuckle, reaching Gargano for the tag.
Gargano hit Kaiser with a slingshot boot, followed by La Mistica. Gargano clocked Kaiser with an enzuigiri, setting him up for a slingshot Spear. Vinci pulled Gargano out of the ring while Kaiser scored the first fall on Ciampa with a roll-up. Gargano crushed Vinci with a cannonball off the apron while Ciampa nailed Kaiser with a Pescado, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Kaiser dropped Gargano with a modified facebuster before driving him into the ring post. Imperium crushed Gargano with a double dropkick into the corner for a two count. Ciampa grabbed Kaiser’s leg atop the turnbuckle while Gargano pinned Vinci with a Victory Roll for the second fall. Ciampa immediately attacked Kaiser and Vinci with a series of chops, followed by a double clothesline and a DDT and flatliner combination. DIY planted Vicni with a powerbomb and back suplex combination for a nearfall. Gargano caught Vinci with a thrust kick to the knee before receiving a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count.
Gargano surprised Vinci with a hurracarrana, only for Kaiser to floor with a cartwheel Death Valley Driver. Kaiser hit Gargano with a Penalty kick, setting him up for a springboard moonsault from Vinci for a close nearfall. Both DIY and Impierum exchanged numerous strikes, until Gargano countered a powerbomb with a DDT on Vinci. Ciampa dropped Kaiser with an avalanche Air Raid Crash, but couldn’t follow up with Meet in the Middle. Ciampa drove Vinci into the steel steps while Kaiser got a nearfall on Gargano with a roll-up. DIY put Kaiser down with two thrust kicks and Meet in the Middle for the victory.
WINNERS: DIY at 15:10
(Pomares’s Analysis: Just a great match to properly establish DIY as a top team in the tag division. I’m not a fan of Imperium’s constant dissension, but at least we got a great showing of them as a team which might as well be their last with the current storyline they are in.)
– Backstage, Chelsea Green and Piper Niven made fun of Tegan Nox and Natalya for still trying to fight for the tag titles.
– A recap of the Creed Brothers winning the tag team gauntlet last week was shown.
– Backstage, The Creed Brothers trained by lifting the New Day before being interrupted by Alpha Academy. Chad Gable congratulated the Creeds for their win and offered the Academy’s services.
– Backstage, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh found R-Truth still hanging in their clubhouse. They ordered Truth to leave, claiming that he would never be a part of Judgment Day. Priest told Dominik and JD that they would handle the group’s business while Finn Bálor and Rhea Ripley were gone this week.
– Katana Chance and Kayden Carter made their way to the ring, ahead of their tag match.
– Chelsea Green and Piper Niven were on the commentary table for the next match.
(4) KATANA CHANCE & KAYDEN CARTER vs. TEGAN NOX & NATALYA
Natalya knocked Chance off her feet before laying her out with a powerslam for a two count. Chance caught Natalya with a back elbow, setting her up for an assisted splash for a two count. Carter got a blind tag and planted Natalya with a facebuster, forcing her to tag Nox in. Nox clocked Carter with an uppercut, followed by a series of clotheslines. Carter caught Nox with a kick to the head, setting her up for a back elbow and an inverted cannonball.
Nox crushed Carter with the Molly-Go-Round before receiving some sort of flatliner from Chance. Natalya missed a clothesline, allowing Chance to crack her with a Codebreaker. Natalya managed to put Chance and Carter down with a double powerbomb for a nearfall. Carter knocked Natalya down with a thrust kick, setting her up for an assisted headstand splash from Chance for the victory.
WINNERS: Katana Chance & Kayden Carter at 4:51
(Pomares’ Analysis: Fine match for the time given, but the crowd wasn’t very into it and there were some very noticeable botches and awkwards spots that actively damaged the match. Chance and Carter are a solid team and should make for credible challengers to the titles.)
– After the match, Chelsea Green tried to confront Kayden Carter and Katana Chance, only to be knocked off the apron with a dropkick.
– Cody Rhodes made his way to the ring while a recap of Shinsuke Nakamura’s attack was shown. Cody talked about being terrified by the mist after seeing it from the Great Muta when he was young. He told Nakamura that he has his attention and that he could come out to explain his actions or come out to fight him. Nakamura appeared on-screen to tell Cody that he would show him what he hasn’t seen.
– Nakamura told Cody that they have taken the same path, showing clips of both of them winning the Royal Rumble, only to fail at WrestleMania. He told Cody that they suffered the same humiliation and fell from grace. Nakamura said that Cody has awakened and inspired him to step in Cody’s shoes and take his story. Nakamura finished by telling Cody that he would be the one to finish his story. Cody told Nakamura to prove that they are the same.
(Pomares’s Analysis: I’m still not very interested in seeing Cody vs. Nakamura, but that was a pretty good segment to explain Nakamura’s actions while referencing their similarities.)
– A recap of Drew McIntyre defeating and assaulting Sami Zayn earlier tonight was shown.
– Backstage, Jey Uso told Adam Pearce to solve the Drew McIntyre problem before leaving to get prepared for his match tonight. Gunther showed up to speak with Pearce about his title.
– Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh made their way to the ring, ahead of their match against the Creed Brothers.
(5) JUDGMENT DAY (Dominik Mysterio & J.D. McDonagh) vs. CREED BROTHERS (Julius Creed & Brutus Creed w/Ivy Nile)
Brutus and Julius started the match by hitting him with a delayed vertical suplex. R-Truth showed up at ringside while Dominik gave JD the tag. The Creeds took JD down with a couple of fireman’s carry takeovers, followed by a back body drop. The Creeds pummeled JD with a couple of knee strikes and a double gutbuster for a two count. JD low-bridged Brutus while Dominik knocked Julius off the apron, setting them up for an Asai moonsault, as WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, Dominik hit Brutus with the Three Amigos, only for Brutus to counter the last suplex. Julius got the hot tag to launch JD and Dominik with a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. Julius tossed Dominik out of the ring and caught JD on his shoulders. Dominik pulled Brutus off the apron, allowing JD to spike him with a poison rana. JD crashed into Brutus with a Tope con Hilo while Dominik cracked Julius with a 619 for a nearfall. Julius put JD and Dominik down with a double back body drop. Brutus pounced Dominik over the announce table before finishing JD with the Brutus Bomb.
WINNERS: Creed Brothers at 10:48
(Pomares’s Analysis: Solid tag match to give the Creed Brothers another strong showing ahead of their future title shot. I don’t know when this title match will take place, but I think there’s enough of an argument to crown the Creeds as champions already.)
– A recap of Randy Orton signing his SmackDown contract was shown.
– Backstage, Adam Pearce told Seth Rollins that he intended to sign CM Punk to an exclusive contract. Rollins said that he didn’t care, as long as he got out of his way when he showed his true colors. Jey Uso interrupted, fired up about his title match, telling Rollins that tonight was his night.
– Jey Uso made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against Seth Rollins.
– Backstage, Damian Priest confronted Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh about their defeat. Dominik told Priest that the Creed Brothers are legit and that they should take care of themselves.
– It was announced that Cody Rhodes would take on Shinsuke Nakamura and CM Punk would return next week.
(6) SETH ROLLINS vs. JEY USO – World Heavyweight Championship
Rollins knocked Jey down with a shoulder tackle, only for Jey to respond with one of his own. Jey evaded the Curb Stomp and got a two count out of a roll-up, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Rollins nailed Jey with a running kick to the face, followed by a springboard senton and a Lionsault for a two count. Rollins planted Jey with a back suplex, but he kicked out at two. Jey landed on his feet off a back suplex and dropped Rollins with a pop up neckbreaker for a close two count. Jey hit Rollins with a backbreaker, followed by an enzuigiri. Rollins knocked Jey off the top turnbuckle with an enzuigiri of his own, but couldn’t follow up with a powerbomb on the floor. Rollins clobbered Jey with a forearm strike, only for Jey to respond with a DDT, as WWE Raw went to its final commercial break.
Back from break, Rollins clotheslined Jey out of the ring, setting him up for a suicide dive. Jey caught Rollins off-guard with a clothesline over the ropes and a suicide dive of his own. Rollins and Jey ran into each other with crossbodies at the same time. Rollins nailed Jey with a kick to the abdomen and a lariat, but missed a follow-up corner clothesline. Jey knocked Rollins off his feet with an enzuigiri, followed by a hip attack.
Rollins managed to take Jey down with a sling blade and a Frog Splash, but he kicked out at two. They exchanged a couple of strikes, until Jey blasted Rollins with a superkick and an Uso Splash for a nearfall. Rollins stopped Jey atop the turnbuckle, setting him up for the superplex and the Falcon Arrow for a close two count. Rollins immediately dropped Jey with a Pedigree, but he managed to kick out at two.
Jey avoided the Curb Stomp and put Rollins down with a Spear for a close nearfall. Rollins blocked a second Spear with a rising kick before taking Jey down with a Buckle Bomb. Jey caught Rollins off-guard with a Spear and an Uso Splash for a shocking nearfall. Jey nailed Rollins with a superkick, only for Rollins to counter a Spear with a Pedigree. Rollins immediately rushed Jey with a Curb Stomp for the victory.
WINNER: Seth Rollins at 22:56 (Still World Heavyweight Champion)
– After the match, Drew McIntyre nailed Jey Uso with a Claymore and Seth Rollins with a belly-to-belly suplex. Drew put Jey through the announce table with a release suplex, as the show came to an end.
(Pomares’s Analysis: A top-notch world title match to end the show on a high note. Jey Uso has been near the top of the card for a long while, but this has been his greatest singles performance in nearly a year. Adding to that, the post-match assault immediately brought him back into a feud against another top star in the form of Drew McIntyre. Don’t know when they’ll have the match, but it makes all the sense in the world to give Jey the win at the end.)