WWE Raw Results
January 22, 2024
New Orleans, Louisiana (Smoothie King Center)
Commentary: Michael Cole and Wade Barrett
Results by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Then. Now. Forever. Together.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
We see an overhead shot of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Video of CM Punk and “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes walking into the Smoothie King Center earlier today is shown. They will go face-to-face in the ring tonight.
World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins addresses his future
“BURN IT DOWN!”
World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins makes his way to the ring in a lime green suit and a knee brace around his left knee. Rollins is wearing sunglasses and limps down to the ring. Michael Cole mentions that Rollins was injured last week, and his WrestleMania dreams are in jeopardy.
Rollins stands in the ring, and the New Orleans crowd loudly sings his song. Rollins looks moved by the reception and takes his sunglasses off. You can see that Rollins is holding back tears. A loud “Thank you, Seth” chant picks up. Rollins has tears in his eyes and shouts, “New Orleans, welcome to Monday Night Rollins.” Rollins says it has been a long week, so he really appreciates the reception. The crowd gives him another nice ovation.
Seven days ago, he was in this ring, defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Jinder Mahal (the crowd boos, so Rollins points out that he beat him), he jumped off the ropes and hit him with a moonsault like he does in most of his matches, and he felt his knee go in a way it is not supposed to. Rollins did what he does and finished the match and beat Jinder Mahal. Rollins then spoke to the crowd and went to the back. When he sat down in the back, it set in that he might be out for a long time. Earlier in that night, he spoke backstage about how every single title defense sees him only getting better and stronger. Rollins felt helpless after the match and felt like a liar. Rollins thought for the first time that it was a real possibility that he might miss WrestleMania. A “NO” chant picks up. They had an MRI and got the results back. It wasn’t great. He has a grade 2 tear of his MCL and a partially torn medial meniscus as well. With surgery, we’re looking at three to four months. If it were up to him, he’d be out here next week stomping people’s heads into the mat because that’s what he loves to do. Unfortunately, it’s not up to him. We don’t really know what the future holds. Rollins is taking it day by day and week by week.
Imperium makes their way to the ring. WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther makes his way to the ring alongside Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Gunther has a noticeable smirk on his face. The crowd loudly boos Gunther as he gets in the ring.
Rollins says he hasn’t got time for this. If they’re here to make an example of him, then they can just get it over with. Kaiser and Vinci are at ringside. Gunther tells Rollins not to worry about them. They’ve got a match against the New Day later. Rollins should concentrate on Gunther. They’ve been avoiding each other for quite some time. Today is a great opportunity to come out here and let Rollins know what he thinks of him. Rollins tells him to have at it. Gunther says right from the beginning, Rollins has been in the top spot. Rollins has to come out every week and fight for every victory. Rollins had to bring dignity, respect, and honor to the championship. He’s a champion everyone can be proud of… just like Gunther. Rollins chuckles. Gunther says it pulls on his heartstrings to see Rollins like this. Now he’s finding out that Rollins might not make it to WrestleMania. It makes Gunther sad.
Rollins says Gunther and his boys should have let him finish. What he was about to say is he doesn’t give a damn what the doctors tell him or how hard he has to rehab and push this knee. He WILL keep his promise. Rollins WILL take this title into WrestleMania! Rollins will do everything in his power to walk about of WrestleMania as the World Heavyweight Champion.
Gunther is happy to hear that. Last week, he thought he’d see the big champion fall. Now, he says he’s going to get to WrestleMania as champion and leave as one. Gunther admires and respects that. He would do the same thing in his position. Rollins reminds Gunther of himself. From one great champion to another great champion, on Sunday, Gunther is going to win the Royal Rumble. Gunther will choose Rollins as his opponent for WrestleMania. With all due respect, Gunther is going to target his knee, his back, and everything that is not 100%. Gunther will beat Rollins and become the World Heavyweight Champion.
Rollins stares back at the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time. A “You Suck” chant picks up. Rollins appreciates Gunther’s honesty. Gunther can challenge him at WrestleMania if he wins the Royal Rumble, but Rollins warns him to remember who he is coming after. Gunther says Rollins better remember who is coming after him. They shake hands, and Gunther walks off.
Suddenly, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston of the New Day jump Kaiser and Vinci. They get them in the ring and beat on them before throwing them over the top rope. Gunther is not happy about this.
Tag Team Match
Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
We join this match in progress. Kingston sends Vinci into the ropes, but Vinci runs him over with a running cross-body block. Vinci chops and kicks Kingston down in the corner. This is Vinci’s first match since being knocked out by Kingston on the Day 1 Raw. Kingston fights back, but he has a whip reversed on him. Kingston scales the ropes and hits a missile dropkick. Xavier Woods tags in and wildly stomps away at Vinci. Wood stands him up and chops the chest. Vinci quickly grabs him and hits a hot shot on the top rope before hitting a clothesline to the back of the head. Ludwig Kaiser tags in and punches away at Woods. Kaiser kicks Woods in the face and stares at Kingston, whom Kaiser took out two weeks ago. Kaiser chops Woods and stomps him down. Woods fights back and chops the chest. Kaiser is not happy about that and viciously punches away at him. Woods blocks a kick and chops the chest a few times before hitting a step-up enzuigiri. Kaiser rolls out of the ring to recover. Vinci runs in, but Woods gives him a back body drop out of the ring. A “New Day rocks” chant picks up. Woods crawls to his corner, but Kaiser pulls him out of the ring. Vinci hits a back suplex on the apron, and Kaiser sends Woods into the barricade. Kingston runs over to check on his partner.
Back from the break, we see Vinci sends Woods to the corner, but Woods rebounds with a superkick. Both men are down.
Kingston and Kaiser tag in. Kingston hits a springboard ax handle off the top rope on Kaiser and knocks Vinci off the apron. Kingston beats Kaiser down in the corner. Vinci grabs him, but Kingston punches him down. Kingston clotheslines Kaiser over the top rope and hits Vinci with a suicide dive. Kingston immediately gets in the ring and hits Kaiser with a suicide dive. Kingston wildly punches away at Kaiser until Vinci wipes him out with a baseball slide. Woods takes out Imperium with a baseball slide. Kingston and Woods punch away at Kaiser and Vinci, respectively. Kingston sends Kaiser into the barricade. The referee counts them all out.
Kingston sends Vinci into the barricade and charges, but Vinci gives him a back body drop into the crowd. Woods sends Kaiser into the timekeeper’s area. Kingston and Vinci fight through the crowd. At ringside, Woods punches and knees Kaiser in the face. Kaiser fights back and sends him into the ring post headfirst. Kaiser sends him to the timekeeper’s area and stomps him. Kaiser grabs a steel chair and heads into the crowd. Vinci holds Kingston up. Kaiser winds up, but Woods takes him out. Woods beats Vinci down.
Woods grabs Kaiser and climbs onto some equipment cases. Woods punches away at Kaiser. The crowd is buzzing. Woods lifts Kaiser up, but Vinci makes the save. Imperium goes for a double-team suplex on Woods through some tables, but Kingston makes the save. Kingston then tackles Imperium off the crates, and they crash through some tables. Woods also goes down with them! Imperium and The New Day are not moving.
Trailer: WWE2K24 is coming soon.
“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes and CM Punk will go Face-To-Face later tonight.
Replays of what just happened with The New Day and Imperium are shown. During the break, they were all helped to the back.
Video Package: Drew McIntyre vs. Damian Priest
The Judgment Day Clubhouse
The Judgment Day is watching backstage. Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley says this is not good. Raw General Manager Adam Pearce told her that next week on Raw, Finn Bálor and Damian Priest will defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against #DIY. She thinks Drew McIntyre is the least of their worries. Priest says he’s not trying to fight everyone. McIntyre will be handled by Priest. He’s not the one walking around with a big head because they’re on the cover of 2K. Priest also isn’t the one going to Pearce’s office to make matches for the Judgment Day every other week. Priest wants her to stop going to Pearce’s office. Priest is going to clear his head for this match. Judgment Day business is under control. Priest walks off.
Ripley tells JD McDonagh and “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio that #DIY should have been taken care of long ago. Bálor is laughing. Ripley asks Bálor what is so funny. Priest will take care of McIntyre alone. She tells Bálor he’ll be at ringside with JD for Dom’s match. It’s been a while since she’s seen the vicious side of Bálor. Bálor asks if she wants vicious. He’ll show her vicious.
Jackie Redmond is backstage with Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri. She asks Nile what a win against Valhalla would do for her. Dupri answers for Nile. Valhalla isn’t ready for Nile. They don’t call her the Pitbull for nothing. The Creed Brothers walk up to get her excited. Nile says she’s going to get that barefoot freak.
Ivy Nile makes her entrance alongside Maxxine Dupri. She’ll take on Valhalla next.
Nita Strauss, who performed at WrestleMania 34, is at ringside.
Ivy Nile w/ Maxxine Dupri vs. Valhalla
Valhalla charges, but Nile lifts her. Valhalla slides off, but Nile takes her down and kicks her. Valhalla knees Nile and clubs away at her chest. Nile falls to the apron and then to ringside. Valhalla goes to ringside and runs her over with a running forearm. Valhalla gets Nile in the ring and rips at her face. Nile fights up and hits a step-up enzuigiri. Valhalla bites the bottom rope in frustration. Nile takes it to Valhalla and hits a head-scissor takeover. Nile charges Valhalla, but Valhalla lifts her and connects with a head-butt. Valhalla covers her feet and gets them on the ropes, but the referee catches her. Dupri also shouted that Valhalla’s feet were on the bottom rope. Valhalla claws away at Nile on the ropes. Nile fights back and stands on the top rope. Nile hits an avalanche bulldog for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Ivy Nile
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are recovering backstage when “Main Event” Jey Uso walks up to them. Jey is excited about what they did to Imperium. Jackie Redmond asks the New Day where it ends with Imperium. Woods says they’re tired of everyone forgetting that they’re 12-time Tag Team Champions. Kingston says because of the unicorns, Booty-O’s, pancakes, and high-fiving kids, people think they can’t go when they need to. This is a perfect example of what happens when you push them too far. Jey isn’t the only one planning on winning titles this year. They took out the henchmen. Now they want the big boss. Kingston is challenging Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship next week on Raw. Jey says, “YEET!”
We see shots of Bourbon Street.
The Undertaker’s 1 deadMan Show is coming to Clearwater, Florida, this Sunday.
Nia Jax addresses the potential of Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch at WrestleMania
Nia Jax makes her way to the ring. She’s undefeated in singles competition since returning in September. Jax says the first time she came face-to-face with Rhea Ripley, one of the most dominant champions in Women’s Wrestling history, she got squashed. The first time she went one-on-one with Becky Lynch, “The Man,” one of the greatest superstars of this business, she got squashed. Some people might think she’s upset that Ripley and Lynch were in the ring talking about WrestleMania, but she’s not. Ripley wants to face someone she thinks she can beat, like Becky Lynch. Ripley knows she can’t beat Jax. Becky is on her path to WrestleMania. Any path with Jax in it ends with her getting squashed again. This Saturday at the Royal Rumble, she’ll kill both of their dreams.
Becky Lynch’s music hits. Lynch calls her a dope and tells her to shut up. Jax did beat her, so it gives her something new to talk about for the next five years. Lynch gets in the ring. What is interesting is going into this Royal Rumble match, she knows she has a target on her back. No one has a bigger target than Jax. It’s not because she’s bigger than everybody. It’s because that locker room doesn’t agree on anything except one thing: nobody likes Jax. Jax throws her weight around and has probably injured half of them. This Saturday, she’s not sure what she’ll enjoy more. Winning the Royal Rumble for the second time in her career or watching Nia Jax lose.
Bayley’s music hits, and she makes her way to the ring. Bayley says, “Ding-dong!” Both of these “idiots” are going to lose. She was going to find Rhea Ripley, but this is even better. Her two old pals. Bayley gets in the ring. Bayley is here to make one thing absolutely clear: she is winning the Royal Rumble. She’ll point to the WrestleMania sign because 2024 is the year of… Bayley shoves Lynch into Jax, who knocks her down. Jax then takes Bayley down and stomps her. Lynch gets up and attacks Jax. Lynch hits Bayley with a Manhandle Slam. Jax then sends Lynch over the top rope, which is something that would eliminate Lynch from the Royal Rumble on Saturday. Jax then drops a leg on Bayley. Jax smiles at Lynch, who looks a little worried at ringside.
Video: It’s all about the numbers with the Royal Rumble, Part I.
“Dirty” Dominik Mysterio makes his way to the ring alongside JD McDonagh and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion Finn Bálor. Mysterio will face The Miz next.
A dejected Becky Lynch is walking backstage. Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley says she might have to make other plans for WrestleMania. Lynch pouts as Ripley walks off.
A video from earlier in the day is shown of The Miz trying to warn R-Truth about the Judgment Day. R-Truth tells him not to tag in and to watch out for the Mysterio boys, Tom and Nick Mysterio. Miz looks confused and tells him that Dominik is one guy.
“Dirty” Dominik Mysterio w/ Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion Finn Bálor and JD McDonagh vs. The Miz
The bell rings, and they lock up. A “We want Truth” chant picks up. Mysterio turns Miz in the corner and shoves him. Miz is not happy about that. They lock up again, and Miz shoves him to the corner before feigning a chop. Mysterio charges and hits a pair of deep arm drags. Mysterio avoids a third, but Miz rolls him up for a two-count. Miz avoids a kick and clotheslines Mysterio down. Miz kicks and punches Mysterio into the corner. Mysterio kicks him in the midsection and punches him before sending him through the middle ropes. Mysterio distracts the referee, and Finn Bálor punches Miz in the head. Mysterio takes out Miz with a suicide dive before posing.
Mysterio gets Miz in the ring and shimmies a la Eddie Guerrero. Mysterio hits Miz with a slingshot senton bomb for a two-count. Mysterio quickly pounces on Miz and continues to punch away at him. Mysterio again taunts the crowd. Mysterio punches Miz a few times, but Miz chops back at him. Miz sends him into the ropes and connects with a kitchen sink knee to the midsection. Miz hits his patented corner clothesline. Miz kicks toward JD McDonagh, but he avoids it. Mysterio attacks Miz as he gets in the ring and knocks him to the floor.
We come back from the break to see both men down. They soon get up, and Miz punches away at him. Mysterio kicks him in the knee. Miz fights back with a pair of clotheslines followed by a Reality Check to pick up a two-count. Miz gets fired up. Bálor gets on the apron, so Miz scares him off. Mysterio rolls him up, but Miz rolls through and picks up a two-count. Miz hits Bálor with a baseball slide and hits McDonagh with a hurricanrana on the floor. Miz then hits a springboard cross-body block on Mysterio for a two-count.
Miz gets the crowd going and starts up the IT Kicks. Miz connects with a roundhouse to the back of the head and kicks him in the face. Miz sets up for a Skull Crushing Finale, but Mysterio counters by sending him into the ropes. Miz avoids a 619 and waits for Bálor to attack him, who missed his cue. McDonagh distracts the referee as Bálor finally attacks him. Mysterio hits Miz with a 619 and heads to the top rope for a Frog Splash to pick up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio
Finn Bálor viciously attacks Miz after the match with punches to the head. #DIY heads to the ring to make the save. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano take out the Judgment Day. Gargano hits McDonagh with a slingshot spear. Miz takes McDonagh and hits him with a Skull Crushing Finale. #DIY sets up for Meet in the Middle, but Bálor pulls McDonagh out of the ring. #DIY stands tall with the Miz in the ring.
Jackie Redmond asks Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion Damian Priest what his mindset is going into a match against Drew McIntyre, which has been building for months. Priest congratulates “Dirty” Dom on handling his business, just like Priest knew he would. R-Truth walks up with a big stack of cash. This is Priest’s cut. They have to talk about JD McDonagh. Priest says he has some serious stuff going on and appreciates his sense of humor. R-Truth realizes it’s not the time and says he’ll catch him later.
Priest goes back to Drew McIntyre. McIntyre likes to talk, so let’s do some real talk about McIntyre. McIntyre talks about being the man around here, but it was at a time when everyone was struggling. As soon as everyone got back to 100%, he couldn’t beat Roman Reigns, Gunther, and now Seth Rollins. Out of pure jealousy, he wants to make sure Priest doesn’t become champion. Whether it’s cashing in or winning the Rumble and getting the title at WrestleMania, he will be champion. As far as Drew goes, tonight he will receive his punishment.
Drew McIntyre will battle Damian Priest later tonight.
Chad Gable makes his way to the ring. He’ll battle Ivar next.
“Big” Bronson Reed says he is fully aware that Jey Uso intends on becoming a singles champion in WWE, but so does Reed. That means their paths will eventually cross. The sooner, the better. Reed challenges Jey to face him on Raw next week so he can be made an example of by “Big” Bronson Reed.
Video: Earlier today, Chad Gable was lifting Otis backstage. Maxxine Dupri has a new rally towel for them. Akira Tozawa tries to lift Otis, but he is unsuccessful.
Chad Gable vs. Ivar
The bell rings, and Gable attacks Ivar with a rolling calf kick. Gable comes off the top rope with an attack and chops Ivar. Ivar reverses a whip to the corner, but Gable slingshots over him. Gable ducks a clothesline, but Ivar hits a spinning slam to cut off the momentum. Ivar goes for a back suplex, but Gable flips through. Gable dropkicks Ivar and avoids an elbow drop. Gable forearms and knees Ivar. Gable ducks a clothesline and kicks the knee before hitting a flipping neckbreaker. Gable goes to the top rope and connects with a diving head-butt for a near fall. Gable lifts Ivar for a German Suplex, but Ivar elbows out. Gable tries to lift him again, but Ivar fights out again. Ivar goes for a suplex, but Gable attempts to pull him over the top rope. They are unsuccessful with that. Ivar then comes off the apron and splashes Gable at ringside.
Back from the break, Gable has Ivar on the top rope. Gable then hits him with a superplex! Wow! During the commercial break, Ivar hit Gable with a cross-body block into the LED apron. Back to live action, Gable hits a cross-body block that sends them over the top rope. Gable attacks Ivar and gets him in the ring. Ivar quickly grabs Gable and hits a double underhook sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
Gable fights back with a dragon screw. Ivar’s knee isn’t too damaged from it as he quickly gets Gable in the electric chair position. Gable rolls through and applies an Ankle Lock. Ivar kicks him away and hits a seated senton out of the corner. Ivar isn’t selling the ankle either. Ivar comes off the second rope with a diving leg drop for a near fall. Ivar cannot believe that didn’t put Gable away. Ivar starts to sell the ankle now. Ivar goes for a spin kick, but Gable ducks it and takes him down with an Ankle Lock. Ivar screams in pain, but he gets a hand on the bottom rope to break this up.
Ivar takes Gable down with a sit-out spinebuster for a two-count. Ivar heads to the top rope for a Doomsault, but Gable moves. Gable hits a bridging German Suplex for a near fall! Gable heads to the top rope, but Ivar cuts him off. Ivar goes for a superplex, but Gable swings through and hits a German Suplex off the second rope! Gable heads to the top rope, but Valhalla appears and screams in his face. Ivar grabs Gable and loses him, nearly dumping him on his head. That was scary. Gable landed hard on his shoulder. Ivar goes to the top rope for a Doomsault to pick up the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Ivar
CM Punk is walking backstage. He’ll go face-to-face with Cody Rhodes next.
Elsewhere backstage, Cody Rhodes is also making his way to the ring.
“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes and CM Punk go face-to-face
“Wrestling has more than one royal family.”
“Kingdom” plays, and “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes makes his way to the ring to a big reception from the crowd. Rhodes stops to sign an autograph for a young fan. Rhodes gets in the ring.
Before he says anything, CM Punk’s music hits to a huge reaction. 10 years ago, CM Punk would compete in the Royal Rumble match. It would be his final match for almost a decade. This Saturday, CM Punk returns to action in that same match.
Rhodes and Punk stand in the ring across from each other. The crowd is absolutely buzzing. A loud “CM Punk” chant picks up before “Cody” chants emerge. Punk says he was going to say before they start, they should take a moment to appreciate this moment. They’ve taken very different paths to this moment. Saturday night, things change. He hopes on Sunday morning that they’re still friends. For now, Punk wants them to enjoy this moment. The crowd continues to cheer and buzz for them.
Rhodes says, “So, NOLA, more specifically CM Punk, what do you want to talk about?” Punk looks up at the ceiling and appears to be pondering something. Another loud “CM Punk” chant picks up. Punk says he wants to talk about Rhodes’ dad. The crowd is shocked. In 2007, Rhodes’ father called him to tell Punk that he was sending his youngest son, Cody, to Ohio Valley Wrestling to start his journey as a professional wrestler. Dusty wanted Punk to keep an eye on Cody. Punk didn’t know if he was the guy for the job. He didn’t know if Cody would need a guardian angel. When “The American Dream” asks you for a favor, you say yes. It wasn’t a hard job. Punk stayed out of Cody’s way. He didn’t get into any trouble he couldn’t talk himself out of and didn’t fall into the vices some of their contemporaries did. Punk watched Cody grow from a preliminary wrestler into a bonafide main event, championship-caliber superstar. It might sound condescending coming from Punk, but Rhodes knows Punk. Punk is proud of Rhodes.
Punk brings this story up and Dusty Rhodes up because on Saturday, he feels like he’s breaking a promise. In the Royal Rumble, when the bell rings, and they cross paths, he would be looking out for Rhodes. He’ll be looking FOR Rhodes. He’ll do what he has to do. He’ll punch Cody in the face and throw him over the top rope because CM Punk is going to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania.
Rhodes says Punk is not alone in that feeling of talking to Rhodes but thinking about Dusty. He has worked with countless legends, luminaries, and dignitaries in this industry such as “Freebird” Michael Hayes, Bruce Prichard, Triple H, and Mr. Heyman. When they see him, they can’t help but see “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. It’s a large shadow, but he’s done everything in his power since he left here to be the light in the shadow. He wants to subvert expectations of his last name and be his own man. Rhodes showed up to OVW with no matches under his belt, a complete nepotism hire, and there was CM Punk, who toiled on the independent scene for 10 years, who could have treated him horribly, but he didn’t. They became great friends. That’s what makes this bittersweet because, in the Royal Rumble, there are no friends.
Punk asks about Sunday morning. Punk knows about the Royal Rumble because he’s been in more of them than Rhodes. Punk can separate business from personal. Can Rhodes? Punk wasn’t born into this business. Cody was. Personal to Rhodes is this business. Rhodes is the son of one of the most legendary professional wrestlers of all time. One of the greatest. Punk said they’ve traveled different paths. Punk didn’t have a famous dad. When Cody showed up at OVW, others saw Dusty. Punk saw Cody. Punk saw the burden of his last name and how hard it would be to come out of that shadow. Punk congratulates him on doing that with flying colors. For all their differences, such as Rhodes in a nice suit and Punk in what he wore to the gym today, they’ve taken different paths but have similar goals. Punk didn’t have a famous dad. He didn’t have “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, the son of a plumber, who has dined with kings and queens. How does the rest go? Rhodes answers, “And slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans.” Punk didn’t have a famous father. His father was an electrician. It’s kind of ironic. CM Punk is more of The American Dream than Cody is.
Rhodes turns and starts to pace in the ring. Rhodes says he has something to talk about. Let’s talk about “the pipe bomb.” Punk removes the WWE brand from the microphone and tosses it out of the ring. Punk sat on the stage and said a few words, rattling off the formula for a revolution. Punk inspired so many and got so many into the business because of that. Rhodes was one of those that were inspired. But then Punk left. When Punk left, he didn’t pass the torch. He dropped it. Punk didn’t care who picked it up, but he knows who did. Rhodes did. Everything Punk spoke about, Rhodes did. Where Punk talked, he actually walked. That makes Rhodes more CM Punk than CM Punk.
Punk now begins to pace. A “Cody” chant picks up. Punk takes off his jacket. Punk gets in his face. He’ll give him the full Road to WrestleMania CM Punk experience. Rhodes has carried this company on his back for a soul-crushing two years. Rhodes is right around the corner, and they hand him the cover of the WWE 2K24 video game. Right when he’s about to cross the finish line and finish his story, what’s in the distance? A much bigger Superstar who hasn’t been around in a very long time coming to take it all from him. Punk is talking about himself.
Rhodes says there is CM Punk looking out for him again. Punk might be right. Punk talked about “The American Dream.” Dusty was Cody’s best friend and liked to quote John Wayne. Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Punk may be right, but Rhodes has only one direction he can go, and that’s forward. That’s in the Royal Rumble. That direction goes through CM Punk. Rhodes goes to walk off, but Punk spins him around. They go face-to-face and nose-to-nose. They angrily stare at each other. They eventually back up and leave at opposite sides of the ring, each man looking extremely intense.
Michael Cole and Wade Barrett start talking about the 40th anniversary of Hulkamania. CM Punk walks over and embraces Wade Barrett before telling him that he’ll win the Royal Rumble. You can put your money on him.
Video Package: 40 years of Hulkamania. Hulk Hogan puts over the Superstars of today and says how he sees vestiges of Hulkamania in them all. Hogan then talks about how you never know who will be in the Royal Rumble. Maybe he has one more in him.
Tag Team Match
Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark vs. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Katana Chance and Kayden Carter are at ringside to watch this match.
Candice LeRae starts against Shayna Baszler. They lock up, and Baszler throws her down. LeRae angrily gets up. They lock up, and Baszler backs her to the corner before messing with her hair. Baszler shoves her down and dances. LeRae pops up and kicks Baszler’s feet out from under her to take her down. LeRae hits a trio of deep arm drags. Baszler gets to her corner and tags in Zoey Stark. Stark says she’s got this. Indi Hartwell tags in and takes Stark down. Hartwell puts Stark on the apron and boots her. Baszler runs in, but Hartwell sends her out of the ring. LeRae walks the top rope with Hartwell helping to hold her up. LeRae then hits Stark with a hurricanrana off the apron into Baszler!
LeRae and Baszler tag in. LeRae takes her out before kicking Stark down. LeRae hits Stark with a codebreaker while hitting Baszler with a senton bomb. LeRae covers, but Stark breaks it up. LeRae gets Stark out of the ring and fights off a Kirifuda Clutch from Baszler. Stark blind tags in and hits LeRae with a Z-360 for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark
Katana Chance and Kayden Carter get in the ring to stare at Baszler and Stark. The Kabuki Warriors then attack Chance and Carter from behind. They’ll face Chance and Carter for the titles this Friday on SmackDown.
Jackie Redmond is backstage with Drew McIntyre. She asks if he has anything to say about the war of words with Cody Rhodes and CM Punk. McIntyre says he doesn’t. They’re following in his footsteps. Speaking of words, he heard what Damian Priest had to say. He’s sick of people putting a negative spin on that time in his career. People have told him they saved their lives by being consistent. You need to be physically and mentally tough to be a World Champion. There’s only room for one Chosen One, and you’re looking at him.
Drew McIntyre will battle Damian Priest next.
Damage CTRL is happily walking backstage. Natalya and Tegan Nox walk up and are not happy with what they just did. They get into an argument, so Raw General Manager Adam Pearce interrupts it. Pearce invited Bayley here to promote the Royal Rumble and the Tag Title match on Friday. Dakota Kai says if she has a problem, he can take it up with Nick Aldis. Bayley says when the Kabuki Warriors win, he’ll be seeing a lot more of them.
Pearce walks away and turns into Sanga and Veer of Indus Sher. Jinder Mahal also comes up to him. Mahal says he’s the most talked-about star of 2024. He went face-to-face with The Rock and injured the World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Pearce says he’ll meet them in his office. They walk off. Pearce says he needs a drink.
Video: It’s all about the numbers with the Royal Rumble, Part II.
The commentators run down the Royal Rumble card.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion “Señor Money in the Bank” Damian Priest makes his way to the ring. He’ll face Drew McIntyre in the main event next.
Next week on Raw, Finn Bálor and Damian Priest of the Judgment Day will defend their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against #DIY. Jey Uso will also battle “Big” Bronson Reed. “The Ring General” Gunther will also battle Kofi Kingston with his history-making Intercontinental Championship reign on the line.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion “Señor Money in the Bank” Damian Priest vs. Drew McIntyre
The bell rings, and they stare at each other. They lock up before McIntyre hooks a side headlock. Priest whips him off, but McIntyre runs over him with a shoulder tackle. Priest gets up and shoves him. McIntyre quickly hooks a side headlock again. Priest whips him off and absorbs a shoulder tackle before bouncing into the ropes and taking McIntyre down with a shoulder tackle. McIntyre quickly pops up and shoves Priest back. Priest forearms McIntyre in the head and kicks away at him in the corner before laying in some right hands. Priest sends McIntyre to the corner, but McIntyre pops out and connects with a clothesline. McIntyre punches and chops Priest in the corner. Priest furiously absorbs the pain and clotheslines McIntyre out of the ring. Priest follows him out and jumps off the steps, but McIntyre catches him and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on the floor.
McIntyre gets Priest back in the ring and chops the chest. They exchange punches in the ring. Priest hits the ropes, but McIntyre follows him and clotheslines him over the top rope. McIntyre goes after him, but Priest kicks him. McIntyre goes for another belly-to-belly on the floor, but Priest shoves him headfirst into the LED ring post. Priest then hits a Broken Arrow on the commentary table! The table doesn’t break.
Back from the final break of the evening of the 1,600th episode of Raw, we see Priest kicking away at McIntyre. Priest reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. McIntyre hits the ropes, but Priest follows him in and clotheslines him down for a two-count. Priest applies a chin lock. McIntyre fights up, but Priest hammers him in the lower back. Priest shoves him into the ropes, but McIntyre hangs onto the ropes. McIntyre elbows him back. They then take each other out with dual big boots.
McIntyre angrily gets up and hits a pair of clotheslines on Priest before hitting a big overhead belly-to-belly suplex. McIntyre connects with a neckbreaker and kips up. McIntyre counts down and charges for a Claymore Kick, but Priest sidesteps him. Priest goes for a spin kick, but McIntyre avoids it. McIntyre hits a spinebuster and a jackknife pin for a two-count. McIntyre holds his ribs in pain. McIntyre lifts Priest, but Priest slides off the shoulders and forearms him. Priest charges, but McIntyre boots him back. Priest catches him charging with a flatline for a near fall. Priest charges for a back elbow, but McIntyre catches him and throws him off. Priest kicks away at him, but McIntyre rocks him with a Glasgow Kiss. McIntyre goes to the top rope, but Priest avoids him. Priest slings over McIntyre and hits a nice Broken Arrow for a near fall.
McIntyre rolls out of the ring to recover. Priest then CRUSHES McIntyre with a WILD springboard somersault senton to the floor! Priest puts McIntyre back in the ring. R-Truth emerges from the crowd to give Priest his cut of the merchandise. Priest shoves him down. R-Truth says he’ll put it in the briefcase. Priest kicks McIntyre back and jumps off the ropes into the ring, but McIntyre catches him with a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre sizes Priest up in the corner. R-Truth gets on the ropes and asks Priest what the password is to his briefcase. McIntyre punches him down. Priest hits McIntyre with South of Heaven, but the referee is messing around with R-Truth. Priest is irate and angrily throws R-Truth out of the ring. McIntyre catches Priest with the Claymore Kick for the win.