SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE RAW TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 5, 2024
ST. LOUIS, MO. AT ENTERPRISE CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
Attendance: WrestleTix reports today that 12,459 tickets were distributed so far; arena set up for 12,840.
– The show opened with a video package recapping the face-off between Roman Reigns and The Rock on SmackDown.
– Seth Rollins made his way to the ring to talk about Cody Rhodes, as numerous ‘We Want Cody’ signs were shown on-screen. Cody made his way to the ring to ask Rollins what he wanted to talk about. Rollins simply told Cody that he wanted answers, claiming that he needed the match more than Cody thought. Rollins said that he needed to know if he was better than the last time they fought, asking Cody if they would fight at WrestleMania.
– Drew McIntyre interrupted to claim that he and Rollins were supposed to face at WrestleMania while showing a shirt mocking CM Punk’s injury. Drew told Cody that he has to finish his story that he hasn’t stopped talking about for the past two years. Rollins interrupted Drew to remind him that he already beat him twice, only for Drew to make excuses. Drew told Rollins that did a great job, but it was time for him to take it from here before clocking him with a Glasgow Kiss. Drew retreated before Cody could attack him.
(Pomares’s Analysis: Some good performances in this segment, especially from Drew McIntyre who continues being the highlight of Raw. However, there were no real answers given and it seems like WWE is teasing the possibility of doing a triple threat. WWE’s clear acknowledgement of the crowd’s signs was odd to see and leaves the door open to a change in plans given the intense fan backlash. I think they’ll stick with Rock vs. Roman, but it seems like WWE is going out of their way to leave the answer ambiguous until the WrestleMania Press Conference.)
(1) NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. CREED BROTHERS (Julius Creed & Brutus Creed) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. IMPERIUM (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)
Ciampa knocked Woods down with a shoulder tackle, only for Woods to respond with a dropkick. Kofi crushed Ciampa with a springboard crossbody, setting him up for a Penalty kick. Kofi hit Ciampa with a leaping splash, followed by a jumping elbow drop from Woods. Ciampa evaded Kofi’s strikes and hit him with a boot to the face, but Vinci stole the tag from him. Imperium crushed Kofi with a pair of dropkicks on the apron, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Kofi caught Kaiser with a springboard dropkick, reaching Woods for the hot tag. Woods nailed Vinci and Kaiser with a series of clotheslines and elbow strikes, followed by a flipping clothesline on Julius. Woods blasted Vinci with a leg lariat from Vinci, only for Gargano to hit him with a slingshot Spear. DIY took care of Brutus with a tg team Sliced Bread, followed by stereo Pescados on the Creeds.
Kofi knocked DIY off the apron with a dropkick, but couldn’t follow up with a suicide dive after Imperium pulled him out. Gargano hit Imperium with a suicide dive, only for Julius to crash all of them with a top turnbuckle somersault plancha. Ciampa stopped Woods atop the turnbuckle and crashed into everyone at ringside with an avalanche Air Raid Crash, as WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, Vinci hit Ciampa with a chop to the chest, as he and Kaiser prepared to drop him with a superplex. New Day stopped Imperium and planted them with stereo powerbombs. Brutus crushed Kaiser with a moonsault, but Woods and Kofi broke the pinfall. Vinci hit Brutus with a running clothesline, only for Julius to crack him with a jumping knee. Gargano clocked Julius with an enzuigiri before receiving a Famouser from Kofi. Kaiser blasted Kofi with a discus elbow strike, but Woods shut him down with a gutbuster.
Ciampa knocked Woods off the apron with a pump knee, only for Brutus to launch him away with a Pounce. Brutus blocked a high crossbody to trap Vinci in an Ankle lock. Julius took care of everyone with a barrage of belly-to-belly suplexes, until all of them teamed up to knock him down. Imperium and New Day continued brawling at ringside before receiving a Brutus Bomb. The Creeds dropped Vinci with their assisted Brutus Bomb, only for DIY to take them down with thrust kicks. DIY crushed Vinci with Meet in the Middle to score the pinfall.
WINNERS: DIY at 17:33
(Pomares’s Analysis: An outstanding encounter with lots of moving parts to truly showcase the potential of the tag division. The Creeds keep showing that they are destined to be tag champions sooner rather than later. And DIY continue their strong run in 2024, establishing themselves near the top of the division.)
– Backstage, Shayna Baszler talked about dominating the Elimination Chamber last time, but coming up short against Becky Lynch. Baszler said that this time she would dismantle Lynch limb-by-limb before the Chamber.
– Backstage, Becky Lynch said that she needed to beat Shayna Baszler because her future was on the line, as she made her way to the ring.
(2) BECKY LYNCH vs. SHAYNA BASZLER – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
Baszler put Lynch down with a waist lock takeover and blocked a pinning combination. Lynch nailed Baszler with a jawbreaker, nearly scoring a pinfall with a roll-through. Baszler blasted Lynch with a pump knee, only for Lynch to send her out of the ring and attack her with a sliding dropkick. Lynch blocked the Kirifuda Clutch, but Baszler shut her down with a kick to the head. Baszler crushed Lynch’s arm with a running kick into the step, as WWE Raw went to a commercial brak.
Back from break, Lynch knocked Baszler down with a shoulder tackle before receiving a German suplex and a sliding knee strike. Baszler put Lynch in a sleeper hold, but Lynch broke it and knocked her down with a missile dropkick. Lynch trapped Baszler in the Dis-Arm-Her, until Baszler tripped her onto the ropes. Baszler threw Lynch’s body across the ring and clobbered her with a running knee for a nearfall. Lynch dropped Baszler with a reverse DDT for a close two count.
Baszler countered the Manhandle Slam with an Ankle Lock, but Lynch was able to break the hold. Baszler avoided a diving leg drop and put her in a hammerlock using the ropes. Lynch stopped Baszler atop the turnbuckle, setting her up for a superplex and a cross armbreaker. Baszler broke the hold and put Lynch down with a gutwrench facebuster for a two count. They traded numerous chops, until Lynch countered the Kirifuda Clutch into a pinning combination. Lynch blocked a gutwrench move to finish Baszler with the Manhandle Slam.
WINNER: Becky Lynch at 12:41
(Pomares’s Analysis: A good match that struggled early on due to the lack of crowd reaction for Shayna Baszler. However, after a few rapid and well-executed exchanges, the match got a much better reception. Lynch and Baszler had good chemistry and made up for their lackluster encounter at Mania 36.)
– Backstage, Jackie Redmond interviewed Liv Morgan about her return from injury. Liv said that she had no business with the other girls in the roster and that her revenge was about Rhea Ripley.
– A recap of Shinsuke Nakamura blinding Cody Rhodes with mist on a house show was shown.
– Backstage, Adam Pearce reprimanded Drew McIntyre for attacking CM Punk and Seth Rollins. Before Pearce could continue, Rhea Ripley was shown making unannounced appearance in the ring, forcing Pearce to deal with it.
– Rhea Ripley reached the ring and called Nia Jax out, so she could rip her apart. Adam Pearce interrupted to tell Ripley to leave the ring, confirming that he booked her in a title match at Elimination Chamber. Jax made her way to the ring to get into a brawl with Ripley, as security guards showed up to separate them. Jax crushed Ripley with a corner splash, setting her up for the Annihilator.
(Pomares’s Analysis: Decent segment to finally make the Rhea vs. Nia match official. Only wish they didn’t overuse the pull-apart brawl so much, making this one feel like just another one of the bunch.)
– A recap of Bayley challenging Iyo Sky to a title match at WrestleMania was shown.
– Alpha Academy made their way to the ring, ahead of their match against Ivar and Valhalla.
(3) ALPHA ACADEMY (Akira Tozawa & Maxxine Dupri) vs. IVAR & VALHALLA – Mixed Tag Team Match
Tozawa took Ivar down with a cyclone kick while Valhalla stomped Dupri down. Tozawa took care of iVAR WITH A SUICIDE DIVE while Dupri clocked Valhalla with an enzuigiri. Dupri hit Valhalla with a corner splash, as Tozawa got the blind tag. Dupri and Tozawa crushed Ivar with a pair of high crossbodies for a two count. Valhalla sent Dupri out of the ring, only for Dupri to knock her down with a clothesline. Dupri tried to distract Ivar, only for Valhalla to crack her with a headbutt. Ivar blocked a sunset flip powerbomb and finished him with an avalanche powerslam.
WINNERS: Ivar & Valhalla at 2:04
(Pomares’s Analysis: Not very good, but at least it was kept short. Maxxine Dupri is very much still a work-in-progress and Valhalla is clearly more of a manager than a wrestler at this point.)
– A recap of the Judgment Day assaulting R-Truth and The Miz last week was shown.
– Backstage, Damian Priest & Finn Bálor said that they didn’t care who they faced at Elimination Chamber. They discussed how Rhea Ripley would take care of Nia Jax, until R-Truth showed up, still thinking that he was a part of their group. Truth insisted that this was some kind of re-initiation, angering Priest and Finn into walking away.
– JD McDonagh made his way to the ring, ahead of his match against The Miz.
– Backstage, Jackie Redmond interviewed The Miz about the status of R-Truth. Miz said that Truth is walking the line between crazy and genius and said that last week’s attack was a declaration of war from the Judgment Day.
(4) THE MIZ vs. JD MCDONAGH (w/Dominik Mysterio)
JD stomped Miz down and knocked him down with a running back elbow. Miz catapulted JD into the corner before turning him inside out with a clothesline. Miz dropped JD with a back body drop, followed by a clothesline over the ropes. At ringside, Miz laid JD out with a vertical suplex, but couldn’t follow up after Dominik grabbed his leg. JD knocked Miz off the apron and onto the announce table, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, JD put Miz down with a uranage and a standing moonsault for a two count. R-Truth showed up on the entrance ramp to throw loads of Judgment Day shirts into the crowd. Miz blocked a moonsault with his boots before hitting JD with a series of kicks to the chest and a corner clothesline. Miz crashed into JD with a high crossbody, but he managed to kick out at two. JD blocked the Skull Crushing Finale, only for Miz to throw him out of the ring.
Miz knocked Dominik down with a dropkick through the ropes, followed by a hurracarrana on JD. Truth forced a shirt onto Dominik, allowing Miz to blast him with a big boot. Back in the ring, JD clocked Miz with a headbutt, setting him up for a moonsault and a nearfall. Truth offered JD his part of the money, but the distraction allowed Miz to knock JD out with the Skull Crushing Finale.
WINNER: The Miz at 9:48
(Pomares’s Analysis: Match was fine, but it felt mostly like a backdrop to more R-Truth shenanigans. I like R-Truth as a foil to Judgment Day, but I’m really hoping this isn’t leading to a match at WrestleMania.)
– A video package hyping up the tag title match between the Kabuki Warriors, Katana Chance & Kayden Carter was shown.
– Backstage, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci asked Adam Pearce if everything was going according to plan for Gunther’s celebration. Bron Breakker interrupted to discuss the possibility of signing with Raw.
– A video package showcasing CM Punk coming out of surgery was shown.
– Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci stood in the ring to introduce Gunther for his 600-day celebration. Gunther thanked Kaiser for preparing all of this, but asked him to not do it again because it wouldn’t matter, as long as he was still champion. Gunther said that he was running out of competition before being interrupted by Jey Uso. Before Jey could make his case, Gunther called him disrespectful for interrupting his celebration. Jey said that he didn’t mean no disrespect and put over how much Gunther has accomplished.
– Gunther praised Jey’s success as a tag champion, only to minimize it by pointing out that he only had to do 50% of the work. Jey dared Gunther to put his title on the line, so he could win his first singles title. Gunther told Jey that he wasn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last, claiming that he would hurt him more than his family ever did. Jey tackled Gunther into the mat, only for Imperium to quickly overpower him. The New Day ran down to make the save, forcing Imperium to retreat.
(Pomares’s Analysis: A pretty good set up for Gunther’s next title contender, likely at Elimination Chamber. Jey is incredibly popular and at any other time of the year could be a threat to Gunther’s reign. However, since we are so close to WrestleMania, I think this match will serve as a set up for the expected encounter between Jimmy and Jey.)
– Backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura said that he would beat Cody Rhodes in a match that his family invented.
– Katana Chance & Kayden Carter made their way to the ring, ahead of their match against the Kabuki Warriors.
(5) KABUKI WARRIORS (Asuka & Kairi Sane) vs. KATANA CHANCE & KAYDEN CARTER – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Chance attacked Asuka with a couple of forearm strikes, only for Asuka to knock her down with a shoulder tackle. Asuka attacked Chance with a barrage of kicks to the head, but Chance evaded a follow-up roundhouse kick. Asuka missed a hip attack, allowing Carter to pull her out of the ring. Carter nailed Asuka into Sane before launching Chance onto both, a WWE Raw went to an ad break.
Back from break, the Kabuki Warriors nailed Carter with a series of dropkicks. Carter clocked Asuka with a boot to the face, but missed a diving clothesline. Carter kicked Sane away, reaching Chance for the hot tag. Chance put Sane down with a dropkick and a series of stomps, followed by a diving double stomp to the back for a two count. Asuka and Sane hit Chance with a Codebreaker and blockbuster combination, followed by a pair of kicks to the head for a nearfall.
Sane stopped Asuka in the corner, setting her up for an assisted double knee drop. Chance and Carter crushed Asuka with the Afterparty, but Sane broke the pinfall. Sane pulled Carter out of the ring, making her drop Chance on the mat. Asuka cracked Chance with a kick to the head before Sane finished her with the Insane Elbow.
WINNERS: Kabuki Warriors at 9:50 (Still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
(Pomares’s Analysis: Decent match with a couple of clunky spots that was immensely hurt by an completely apathetic crowd. After the great Damage CTRL segment from last week, I’m shocked the Kabuki Warriors didn’t get more heat from the fans.)
– Earlier today, Jackie Redmond interviewed Sami Zayn about his recent losses to Drew McIntyre. Sami talked about coming up short in his Universal title match last year and still trying to prove himself to the people that believed in him.
– It was announced that next week, Imperium would take on Jey Uso & the New Day; R-Truth would face JD McDonagh; and Liv Morgan and Zoey Stark would battle for a spot inside the Elimination Chamber.
(6) CODY RHODES vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – Bull Rope Match
Nakamura immediately knocked Cody down with a kick to the head, only for Cody to respond with a drop-down punch. Cody stopped Nakamura from walking away, pulling him into the barricade, as WWE Raw went to commercials.
Back from break, Cody pulled the rope, making Nakamura crash face-first into the ring post. Nakamura nailed Cody with a couple of kicks to the arm, followed by a rising knee to the abdomen. Cody blocked a kick, only for Nakamura to take him down with a dropkick to the knee. Cody trapped Nakamura in the Figure 4 Leg lock, but Nakamura broke the hold by whacking him with the bell, as WWE Raw went to its final commercial break.
Back from break, Cody hit Nakamura with a shoulder tackle and a snap powerslam, followed by a Disaster Kick for a two count. Nakamura nailed Cody with a kick to the back and a sliding German suplex. Nakamura hit Cody with a series of knees to the back, but couldn’t follow up with the Kinshasa. Cody put Nakamura down with a Cody Cutter before they got into a strike exchange.
Cody evaded an axe kick, but Nakamura still took him down with a Pele kick. Nakamura dropped Cody with an inverted Xploder, only for Cody to counter the Kinshasa with a Pedigree for a nearfall. Nakamura blinded Cody with red mist before receiving a surprise Cross Rhodes for a shocking nearfall. Cody blocked the Kinshasa and hit Nakamura with a low blow using the bull rope, setting him up for the Cross Rhodes and the win.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes at 16:44
– After the match, Drew McIntyre attacked Cody Rhodes from behind and hit him with Claymore.
(Pomares’s Analysis: A decent main event that felt like a placeholder until they sort out the title picture. Aside from the final few minutes were the action was pretty exciting, this encounter went on for too long, just like this Cody vs. Nakamura feud. The post-match angle should definitely set up a future match, but it’s still unclear when it will happen.)