The November 20, 2023 WWE RAW, the go-home RAW for Survivor Series, was an excellent display of not forgetting the past, making sense, and attention to detail. Plus there were some nice matches to boot.

The venue was the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and these are my thoughts:

  • Drew McIntyre is now clearly a heel, but he’s making a good argument that he’s still the same guy, and it’s the world around him that has changed. He has the same look, after all, and, as those watching at home would find out later, the same entrance music. As I (and others) predicted, he’s not joining Judgement Day, but he will be their partner at WarGames.
Drew McIntyre kicks off WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • I like how Adam Pearce gave both Men’s WarGames teams until 9pm to pick who will fight for the advantage, and also gave Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, and Jey Uso until the end of the show to pick a fifth partner. This gave the episode a real throughline, like Nick Aldis did on last Friday’s Smackdown.
  • I’m happy the sort-of tension within Judgement Day is still continuing, they’ve just added another player in Drew.
  • Raquel Rodriguez versus Nia Jax told a story, a David and Goliath-type story to be specific, and Rodriguez, one of the more physically imposing women wrestlers out there, took the David role. She tried, and failed to lift Jax off her feet multiple times, almost had her the last time, but it resulted in Jax hitting the Annihilator for the 1-2-3. While admittedly I wasn’t really all that interested in either of these two before, I would now be interested in a program with just them.
Raquel Rodriguez tries to lift Nia Jax on WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • It’s great how Team Cody is picking their partner, especially how Sami confirmed the Nick Aldis is okay with them asking Smackdown stars. Of course he would ask Kevin Owens…as I said above, attention to detail.
  • Becky Lynch versus Xia Li was a great match. And no, not just a great RAW match, this would have worked on a PLE, too. I had never given Xia much credit, and didn’t really see the point of her recent push. But here, she looked real strong, and competitive against The Man. While I suspect it may have been Lynch getting the performance out of her, Xia still had to have that performance in her for it to work. This match told a story, too, revolving around Li escaping holds, and Lynch trying to avoid Li’s deadly, incapacitating kick, which she did, until she got half of one. It zoned her for a bit outside of the ring, but eventually Becky got enough energy back and hit the Manhandle Slam on Li for the win.
Becky Lynch tries to apply the Manhandle Slam on Xia Li on WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • I’m glad they waited until after the match for the run-ins, and run-ins there were. Damage CTRL, followed by the rest of Team Bianca hit the ring, and fought until security pulled them apart. It’s also a nice bit of attention to detail that these Smackdown stars entered through the crowd, rather than just hanging out backstage on a different brand in the current GM climate. It would have been better if they came from different sides of the arena, not just one group behind the other, but that’s a small complaint. The fight was what this Grand Rapids crowd wanted to see.
  • Ludwig Kaiser Johnny Gargano
  • I was into the Women’s Fatal 4-Way Match to determine the Number One Contenders for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships before it started. Adam Pearce dealing with Chelsea Green and Piper Niven making a fuss about dressing rooms by creating the match was a solid bit of comedy, but when Maxxine Dupri and Ivy Nile entered the discussion to talk about something unrelated, and Pearce put them in the match, it was golden.
  • I have to admit that I wanted Dupri and Nile to win the thing. Not because they deserved to, but because they were the most fun. When Maxxine borrowed the Caterpillar from Otis, I thought “That’s it, give them the belts!” and they almost won, only for Tegan Nox to pull off a surprise rollup on Dupri, giving her team with Natalya the win, and the title shot, which is where this was building all along. Kayden Carter and Katana Chance, the only actual full-time tag team in the match, put on a strong performance, as did Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell.
Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri celebrating a bit too early on WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • Chelsea Green and Piper Niven on commentary was a fun as you might expect (“Matthew Cole”), though it wasn’t just because of Chelsea. Piper is really getting into her character, and adapting to working with Chelsea nicely.
  • Sports Entertainer versus Old School Wrestler isn’t what’s going to get people fully behind The Miz when he takes on Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series. Sure, Miz bringing up the legends like Macho Man Randy Savage was great, but it’s what Gunther said and did in this in-ring face-to-face that really will seal the deal. The Ring General said Miz was bullied, called him Mike, then proceeded to shove him, to bully him right there. That got people really on Miz’ side, it got me on his side. While I’m still sure The Ring General will retain, I’ll be rooting for Miz with the upset. His low blow this segment, which set Gunther up for the Skull Crushing Finale. also hinted that maybe this wasn’t a full babyface turn for Miz, but rather a turn to a heel you can root for in this instance.
Gunther after shoving The Miz on WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • Shinsuke Nakamura versus Chad Gable was a real good match, because of course it was. I was hoping for Gable to win, and he almost did on a few occasions, but, of course, since Nakamura is being pushed to someone bigger (who knows who), he won. At one point Michael Cole called Gable Angle, and then corrected himself. Maybe it’s because Gablw turned the Kinshasa into an Ankle Lock. While I would have liked Gable to get the W, he did only fall prey to a surprise rollup because he stopped himself from banging into the turnbuckle, which Shinsuke had exposed earlier.
  • Yet more attention to detail. KO (I’m guessing) is a no-go, probably because he is suspended.
  • The Main Event was action-packed, and the advantage in the WarGames Advantage Match flipped back and forth. I love how whenever Jey hits a punch, the crowd chants “Yeet!”, but all the yeeting wasn’t enough in this case. Eventually Drew got a clean win, which surely won’t be the end of the feud.
Jey Uso punches Drew McIntyre on WWE RAW November 20 2023
  • Of course, after the match, we got Drew’s Rhea-encouraged beatdown of Jey, stopped by the rest of the Judgement Day, and Team Cody running in, and then, what everyone was waiting for, the sort-of announcement of the fifth partner. Cody hinted, but it was crystal clear to everyone, including the crowd, that he had successfully recruited Randy Orton to his team. The Judgement Day and Drew were shocked, Sami Zayn and Seth “Freakin” Rollins were quite excited, and Jey Uso seemed a little bit nervous. Now that’s a final nice bit of attention to detail. It was, after all, a Bloodline beatdown that put Orton out in storyline, and in particular, The Usos effectively stealing the RAW Tag Team Championships from him and Matt Riddle.
Drew McIntyre and The Judgement Day are shocked by what Cody Rhodes is saying on WWE RAW November 20 2023

I was impressed with the matches on this Go-Home RAW, but mainly by the attention to detail. I\m looking forward to Survivor Series, as well as next Monday.

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