WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (1/29): CM Punk’s injury update, Cody-Seth exchange, Judgment Day vs. DIY, R-Truth, Drew vs. Sami, Jey vs. Bronson

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Opening Segment – HIT: It is obviously very unfortunate that C.M. Punk tore a triceps muscle in the Royal Rumble, both for Punk himself and for WWE’s WrestleMania plans. They have to move on, and this was a great way to start that process. Punk was very good in talking about getting hurt, and what it means to him, and vowing to be back and still get his main event match at WM some day. Drew McIntyre interrupted and was also very good in going full on heel, as opposed to being a more reasonable heel with some babyface tendencies. The physicality at the end with the save from Sami Zayn worked very well. Clearly, Punk vs. McIntyre is set up for Punk’s return. This furthered the feud between Zayn and McIntyre and set up their main event match. It also positions McIntyre as a potential opponent for Seth Rollins at WM, depending on what WWE does with Cody Rhodes.

DIY vs. Judgment Day – HIT: This was a really good Tag Team Championship match. WWE has done a nice job of building up DIY as a challenger to Damian Priest & Finn Balor. I didn’t expect them to win the Titles here, but the near falls were still done well enough to get a pop from the crowd. The wrestling action was very strong throughout the match. I loved seeing it go commercial free. I loved seeing Judgment Day getting a clean win. It was nice to see no R-Truth, or any actual other member of Judgment Day getting involved. Johnny Gargano & Tomasso Ciampa are getting better reactions than they were a few months ago. Hopefully they can build on that momentum, despite the loss here.

Judgment Day – R-Truth – HIT: Thankfully this was the end of R-Truth’s relationship with Judgment Day. The climax was the Royal Rumble when Truth got the hot tag from Dominik Mysterio. That was great. But, it wasn’t a big deal as a fun comedy spot in the middle of the Rumble. But, the story has ruined some matches including a recent Raw main event. The story has run its course. They’ve sold some t-shirts. Now, get Judgment Day back on track by having them destroy Truth so that it is clear that he won’t be trying to be part of the faction any more.

Cody Rhodes – Seth Rollins – HIT: Cody Rhodes continues to be a top star in WWE. He was the right choice to again win the Rumble. The response to him was huge from the crowd. We all assumed that this promo would lead to him challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship at WM. But, Seth Rollins’ interruption was intriguing. He did a very nice job of making the case for Rhodes to challenge him. Now, I didn’t like the idea that he put down the other older Title with actual lineage. I had some issues with that. I also don’t want to see Rhodes vs. Rollins. I know that it could open the door for The Rock to face Reigns, with Rhodes still finishing his story by winning a Title at WM. But, the bigger issue is Reigns’ Title reign has to come to an end. It was great for a long time, but that time has come and gone. The infrequent Title defenses and the constant interference from the Bloodline has brought the reign down so much in the last year. Rock isn’t going to beat Reigns. So, Rhodes has to. However, I am assuming that is still where we get, so this segment remains a Hit based on the strong performances from Rhodes and Rollins and the decent intrigue created.

Jey Uso vs. Bronson Reed – HIT: This was a good match between Jey Uso and Bronson Reed. It wasn’t great and at 9 minutes with a commercial break, we didn’t get to see a lot of it. But, what we saw was good enough to get a Hit. I assumed Uso would win, but wasn’t convinced. Reed winning was a possibility, so there was some mystery to the outcome for me. Presumably, there will be an Elimination Chamber match to name Rollins’ WM opponent. Uso will be in that match. Reed is a possibility too, but this loss doesn’t help his chances. But, that’s ok. Sometimes wrestlers have to lose like this.

Gunther vs. Kofi Kingston – HIT: This was another good Title match on this good episode of Raw. I wasn’t buying Kofi Kingston as a possible winner here, but they still performed so well in the match, that it was fun to watch from start to finish. As much as I liked seeing the Tag Title match go commercial free, here we had two commercials interrupting the Intercontinental Title match which was unfortunate. However, the action was so good after the second commercial that the match was carried into the Hit column. Gunther has to be considered a possibility to face Rollins at WM also. They keep going with this Imperium vs. New Day feud. With rumors about a possible Big E return, could he be the one to ultimately dethrone Gunther?

Damage CTRL / Rhea Ripley / Nia Jax – HIT: This was another good segment involving a Royal Rumble winner. Bayley promised to win the Rumble and face Rhea Ripley at WM to complete her master plan for Damage CTRL to hold on the women’s gold in WWE. The interruption from Ripley was the opposite of Rollins earlier in the show where Ripley was trying to dissuade Bayley from challenging her. The look in Iyo Sky’s face when Bayley said that she would make her announcement on Smackdown was great. How will it play out? That’s a nice hook for Friday. The Nia Jax attack on Ripley worked well. It set her up to face Ripley at Elimination Chamber for the Women’s Championship. Ripley will be the biggest babyface at that show in that match.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn – HIT: There were a few matches and segments on this show which weren’t Hits, including the two women’s tag matches. They were fine, not Misses, but not Hits either. Overall, this was a very good show with nothing big to complain about culminating in a good main event. It was also nice to see the main event without any outside interference. It did have the inadvertent low blow at the end, but that wasn’t a major cheating moment, and played into Drew’s new heel persona perfectly in the way he took advantage of the situation to get the win over Zayn. This clearly positions Drew as a strong candidate to face Rollins at WrestleMania.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Raw Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: Lawsuit filed against Vince McMahon accusing him of sex trafficking and making payments to staffer to stay quiet

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: McGuire’s Mondays: We can’t stop talking about Vince McMahon

CLICK HERE FOR PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION (Includes 35 years of PWTorch Newsletter archives, 20 years of insider podcast archives, hundreds of retro radio shows from the 1990s, multiple daily ad-free VIP podcasts compatible with podcast apps including Apple’s native app and Spotify, and an ad-free version of PWTorch.com with exclusive articles.)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply