Monday 5 February 2024

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WWE Raw 2/5/24 February 5th 2024


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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Live Grades, Reaction and Highlights From Feb. 5

Zazi Baloch


    Amid a passionate #WeWantCody social media movement and uncertainty surrounding the WrestleMania 40 card, WWE Raw was headlined by Cody Rhodes renewing his rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura in a bull rope match.

    The American Nightmare figured to be the topic of the conversation Monday following Friday's SmackDown, which saw him step aside and give up his WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns for The Rock.

    What did the 2024 men's Royal Rumble winner have to say and would he be able to score another big win over Nakamura?

    Find out with this recap of the latest episode of WWE's flagship show at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Match Card

1 OF 11

    Announced in advance for Monday:

    • Bull rope match: Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
    • Fatal 4-Way match: The New Day vs. The Creed Brothers vs. DIY vs. Imperium
    • Gunther's 600-day celebration
    • The Miz vs. JD McDonagh 
    • Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri vs. Ivar and Valhalla
    • WWE Women's Tag Team Championship: Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Asuka and Kairi Sane (c)
    • Elimination Chamber qualifying match: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler

Seth Rollins Promo

2 OF 11


    World heavyweight champion Seth Rollins kicked off the show and wasted little time calling out Cody Rhodes, seeking an answer to whether the two of them would dance at WrestleMania 40 in one of the weekend's main events.

    Rhodes made his way to the ring but before he could answer, Drew McIntyre interfered.

    The Scot attempted to convince The American Nightmare to finish his story, opening up Rollins to defend the title against McIntyre on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

    A cheap shot to The Visionary and a quick exchange with Rhodes ended with The Scottish Warrior fleeing and the babyfaces standing tall.

    McIntyre was great here but nothing about this made any sense or helped clarify what is going on in the minds of the creative forces within WWE. Some will argue it is early and we should enjoy the ride, but when the ride lacks sense or direction and feels too thrown together, it's significantly less fun.


    C+ (with the plus being for McIntyre's excellence)

    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • "That sounds like a pretty big pop to me," Rollins said, referencing Roman Reigns' dig that the world champ doesn't get the same reaction he does.
    • The crowd unleashed a heartless "Rocky sucks" chant, to which Michael Cole said on commentary, "Is it 1996 again?"
    • "I need this match as much as you do," Rollins said, claiming he needed to prove he is the best by beating the man who previously beat him three consecutive times. 
    • "You know what happens in Roman's matches? No one wants to fight for it anymore because we know the finish. His family are gonna interfere, every single time," McIntyre said, the most valid, least petty point he has made since turning heel. 

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match

3 OF 11


    DIY's Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are headed to SmackDown Friday night to battle Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate in a No. 1 Contender's match after defeating Imperium, The New Day, and The Creed Brothers in a Fatal 4-Way contest Monday night.

    Ciampa and Gargano won an action-packed bout in which the intense rivalry between New Day and Imperium continued to heat up and both Julius and Brutus Creed again showed out.

    Despite the jaw-dropping feats of athleticism, dramatic near-falls and frenetic pace, it was the veteran tandem that earned the win and set up the match with their fellow NXT cornerstones.

    DIY vs. British Strong Style is going to tear the house down on Friday and will be a must-watch match for any fan.

    That the winner will head to Elimination Chamber on Feb. 24 and compete against The Judgment Day's Finn Bálor and Damian Priest makes it even more appealing.


    DIY defeated The New Day, Imperium and The Creed Brothers



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • The Creed Brothers' raw athleticism and willingness to throw their bodies around the squared circle is always impressive.
    • Ciampa delivered White Noise to Xavier Woods from the top rope and onto the rest of the competitors on the floor.
    • Kingston broke out a Fameasser in a nice ode to WWE Hall of Famer and current All Elite Wrestling competitor Billy Gunn.

Elimination Chamber Qualifier: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler

4 OF 11


    Becky Lynch will compete in the women's Elimination Chamber match for the first time following her victory over Shayna Baszler.

    Baszler countered, blocked and resisted everything Lynch threw at her. She prevented the Disarmer and looked like she may be able to exploit an arm injury at one point and pick up a submission victory of her own.

    The resilient Lynch fought back, though, and delivered the Manhandle Slam for the win in a competitive match that served as a reminder of their in-ring chemistry.

    It's almost astonishing that The Man has yet to compete inside the Elimination Chamber.

    Given the previous confrontation with Rhea Ripley, in which she expressed her need to challenge The Eradicator and beat her at WrestleMania, Lynch should be the clear favorite to win in Perth, Australia, regardless of who else makes the field.

    Speaking of which, Cathy Kelly interviewed Liv Morgan, who said her path of revenge ends with Ripley and starts next week against Zoey Stark in a qualifying match.


    Lynch defeated Baszler to qualify for Elimination Chamber



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Cole did a great job reminding fans of Baszler's dominance in the 2020 women's Elimination Chamber match. A victory there propelled her to WrestleMania, where she fell just short of dethroning women's champion Lynch.
    • The Queen of Spades trapped The Man's hand in the ring steps and kicked it, setting up her target for the rest of the bout.
    • This was another example of WWE's inconsistent heating up of Baszler from time to time, usually when it benefits the company.

Rhea Ripley Interrupts the Show

5 OF 11


    Women's world champion Rhea Ripley was enraged over the attack she suffered at the hands of Nia Jax a week ago.

    Raw general manager Adam Pearce interjected himself in the promo, revealing he has booked The Eradicator against Jax at Elimination Chamber.

    This brought out The Irresistible Force, who benefited from security holding Ripley back, rushing across the ring and squashing her in the corner. She flattened the champion and left to a chorus of boos while the Australian was left writhing in pain.

    WWE has done a fantastic job of building Jax as an unstoppable force. She enters Elimination Chamber as a legitimate contender but also as the perfect heel opponent for a Ripley who will be the biggest babyface on the card when she competes in her home nation.



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Ripley is such a star. From her presentation to the way she commands attention, she is exactly what her greatest supporters in WWE expected her to be.
    • Jax is doing the best work of her career right now and has earned her championship shot at Elimination Chamber. 

Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri vs. Ivar and Valhalla

6 OF 11


    Ivar and Valhalla rolled through Alpha Academy's Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri, overwhelming them en route to Ivar delivering a second-rope powerslam for the win.

    However, the match was too fast, rushed even, for it to accomplish much.

    The feud does not feel like it's over, as evidenced by the look on Dupri's face as she watched Ivar and Valhalla celebrate from the floor. That may be a good thing in terms of keeping them busy, but this does feel like a rivalry that has run its course.


    Ivar and Valhalla defeated Dupri and Tozawa



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Dupri attempted to distract Ivar, only for Valhalla to rock her with a headbutt.
    • Cole's obsession with Valhalla wearing horns to the ring is becoming a fun little shtick.

The Miz vs. JD McDonagh

7 OF 11


    Backstage, R-Truth caught up with The Judgment Day, believing himself to be part of the group despite the beatdown he caught a week ago.

    Exasperated by it all, Damian Priest told him to make himself at home, creating hope that Truth may still be kinda, sorta part of the faction.

    In the arena, The Miz squared off with JD McDonagh in the continuation of a week-long feud. A back-and-forth encounter saw Truth interrupt and throw T-shirts into the crowd, even collecting cash from some.

    The distraction proved costly for the very Judgment Day teammates he claims to be tight with, as Miz capitalized and delivered the Skull-Crushing Finale for the win.

    The Truth stuff has been fantastic and even if you would prefer it not to involve a faction that is supposed to be destructive like The Judgment Day, it has got over everyone involved.


    The Miz defeated McDonagh



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Truth sold concern for Dominik Mysterio after Miz wiped him out at ringside, against pledging allegiance to The Judgment Day instead of his Awesome Truth teammate.
    • Backstage, Imperium told Pearce that everything better be ready for Gunther's 600-day celebration, but Bron Breakker interrupted proceedings and the Raw GM started his pitch to acquire the former NXT champion's services. The same Breakker who remains the last man to defeat Gunther.

Gunther's 600-Day Celebration

8 OF 11


    Intercontinental champion Gunther made his way to the ring to celebrate over 600 days with the gold and told Imperium teammate Ludwig Kaiser that while he appreciated the decor, he should not do it again.

    After all, no man can beat him.

    Jey Uso took exception and made his way to the ring. The two sparred verbally before a disrespected Uso threw down with Gunther, leaving the champion to flee to the sanctuary of the floor before standing tall.

    And with that, we have a WrestleMania 40 program.

    Uso has never held a singles title in his career. Gunther discounted his work with Jimmy Uso, setting the table for Jey to defeat him and claim the IC title.

    A red-hot babyface against one of the most credible heels on the roster is a recipe for success.



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Gunther made the cardinal wrestling mistake of claiming there was no man worthy enough left to face him. Cue "Uso!" 
    • The champion criticized Uso for thinking he had a chance against him when he made a career in tag team wrestling, where he only had to do 50 percent of the work.
    • Gunther told Uso he would beat him so badly that fans would not be able to tell the difference between him and his brother.

Women's Tag Team Title Match: Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Kabuki Warriors

9 OF 11


    Asuka and Kairi Sane defeated Katana Chance and Kayden Carter to win the Women's Tag Team Championship on SmackDown before the Royal Rumble. Monday night, they defended against the former titleholders in a high-stakes rematch.

    The match was perfectly acceptable pro wrestling, but the lack of investment from a quiet crowd hurt it significantly.

    Ultimately, Sane delivered her In-Sane Elbow to score the win and retain the titles.

    The question now is where the champions go from here and which team steps up to challenge them in time for WrestleMania.


    The Kabuki Warriors defeated Carter and Chance to retain



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Sane jumped awkwardly off the top rope and completely missed Carter in an ugly spot.
    • The crowd heat for this was non-existent. The effort is there from the babyfaces, but there has been no character development from Chance and Carter to convince fans to get behind them.

Bull Rope Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

10 OF 11


    Cody Rhodes finally (?) exorcised the demon known as Shinsuke Nakamura by defeating The Artist in a bull rope match Monday night.

    Another in a string of perfectly OK contests hurt by the lack of crowd heat early on, it intensified and by the time Rhodes fired up late, the fans were right there with him.

    Drew McIntyre attacked Rhodes afterward, leaving him lying after a Claymore and further muddying the 'Mania title scene, something that appears to be an initiative of the creative forces on this road to Philadelphia.

    It helps create intrigue and interest in the show, but it does hurt the overall quality of the product as twists and turns occur in a manner that makes certain angles and segments feel rushed or thrown together on the fly.

    Maybe the stuff involving Rhodes, The Rock and Roman Reigns is a masterful story that will unfold in the coming weeks and make perfect sense but it feels messy right now, which is not what fans want out of WWE TV at the hottest period of the year.


    Rhodes defeated Nakamura



    Top Moments and Takeaways

    • Cole revealed on commentary that the bull rope used for the match is the same one used by Dusty Rhodes in his iconic match against "Superstar" Billy Graham.
    • The crowd struggled to care much about the Nakamura offensive, mostly because he has yet to win any of the big matches he has been a part of over the last six months. 
    • Rhodes gave a sustained glance at the WrestleMania 40 sign, a hint that it's all that is on his mind.
    • Nakamura sprayed his rival with the red mist. The American Nightmare responded with Cross Rhodes but could not keep him down.

Overall Grade

11 OF 11

    There were plenty of things to like about Monday's episode but one cannot help but think, given all the buzz surrounding WWE following the controversial creative call on Friday's SmackDown, that the show was somewhat flat.

    There was quality in-ring content, thanks to the opening four-way tag match and some quality story developments, but this show lacked urgency and failed to build on Friday, mostly because WWE has all its eggs in the WrestleMania Kickoff event Thursday in Las Vegas.

    That should be an explosive press conference and may provide more answers to the questions fans have, but Monday's Raw felt more like a placeholder broadcast than anything

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