I’m going to leave my predictions as I had them mixed in with my thoughts on this review, and not because I was right. Rather, because I was wrong for a very specific reason. I didn’t forget about Drew McIntyre completely, as the title suggests, but I continued to see him as a means to an end, rather than the end itself. He was all over this episode.

So, with that in mind, on December 4, 2023, WWE RAW was at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York, and these are my thoughts:

  • Are they starting with a match? Drew McIntyre’s out first, and he’s scheduled to fight Sami Zayn tonight. Plus he seems dressed to wrestle. And here comes Sami. No it’s just back-and-forth promos. Sami’s lines are great, Drew has some good points, too (well, heel-ishly good points) and this emerging feud seems real. No, wait, we’re going right into the match. Short and sweet, and a good, fresh way to kick off the show.
  • And as far as RAW matches go, this was a great one. Sami tweaked his leg coming off the rope near the beginning, which would serve as a bit of a throughline. He managed to powerbomb Drew with the injured leg. He would get back his footing, and there would be a number of reversals. Near the end of the match, when the audience was chanting “This is Awesome!”, Zayn turned an attempted White Noise by McIntyre into a Sunset Powerbomb, and an attempted Claymore into a Blue Thunderbomb. The leg would act up again, and Drew would notice it, and attack it, then finish Sami with a Claymore. It was action-packed, and told two stories: Zayn fighting through an injury, and McIntyre’s newfound viciousness. A great start to RAW.
Sami Zayn hits the Blue Thunderbomb on Drew McIntyre on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • I’m starting to think that Drew attacking Sami backstage may serve to eliminate one potential helper in the event of a cash-in later.
  • The Jey Uso video package is making the Main Event feel like, well, a Main Event.
  • Shayna Baszler put up a good fight against Nia Jax, but it would not be her night. This became apparent just before the match started, when Becky Lynch and Jax made it clear to each other that their re-ignited feud from years ago was next.
Nia Jax tries to pin Shayna Baszler on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • Imperium versus DIY in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match? This could either be an excuse to fill time, of a good way to showcase talents who can keep things interesting for the full match. Fortunately, it was the latter. Ludwig Kaiser, Giovanni Vinci, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa can all work. This match had plenty of nice reversals. After a really cool Slingshot Spear by Gargano, it looked like they would get the first fall, but Imperium foiled the Meet in the Middle attempt and got it for themselves. DIY snuck out the second fall, and eventually stopped Vinci from interfering, and successfully hit the Meet in the Middle on Kaiser. Now, there will be hell to pay when the rest of Imperium meet Gunther. But for who?
Ludwig Kaiser clotheslines Tommaso Ciampa as DIY face Imperium on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • I’m glad Kayden Carter and Katana Chance are getting some main roster screen time, and a win. They put on a good match, the quite acrobatic Keg Stand being a highlight, and so did Tegan Nox and Natalya. Unfortunately, there weren’t any real stakes, and no storyline, so I wasn’t all that into this match.
  • I did like seeing, and hearing Undisputed WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven on commentary once again. They’re just plain entertaining, and their interplay with Michael Cole and Wade Barret. And after the match, we got a potential angle setup when Chance knocked Chelsea off the ring apron, when she stood up there to complain for some reason (does she even need a reason?).
Undisputed WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Piper Niven and Chelsea Green joining Commentary on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • Okay, Shinsuke’s reasons behind his attack on Cody Rhodes make sense, or at least WWE’s production team can make anything make sense. Their histories don’t exactly parallel each other: Cody got screwed, while Shinsuke simply lost. But it still works as motivation. Plus I really liked Cody’s callback to seeing The Great Muta mist someone.
Shinsuke Nakamura appears on the Titantron to explain himself as Cody Rhodes stands in the ring on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • Maxxine Dupri lifting Akira Tozawa was just great. She’s the best part of these Alpha Academy backstage segments. Now try doing that with Otis! I kid, I kid.
  • Wait, Finn Bálor isn’t there, and the title match against the Creeds isn’t this week? So Damian Priest won’t be too tired for a cash-in? The plot thickens.
  • It looks like R-Truth thinking he’s in The Judgement Day is becoming a full-on comedy version of Sami trying to be in The Bloodline.
  • The Creed Brothers versus Dominik Mysterio and JD McDonagh was a first Judgement Day test for the Creeds before they fight Bálor and Priest for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships. And that’s exactly how it felt. It was a decent match, but I think we all knew Brutus and Julius would prevail. There was a bit of comedy with R-Truth at ringside, a failed Three Amigos by Mysterio, and some suplexes. EventuallyJD fell to the Brutus Ball, and that was all she wrote for this match.
Julius Creed suplexes Dominik Mysterio on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • Priest’s management style after the match seems levelheaded, and Mysterio was surprisingly honest. But we also got to see Gunther chewing out Kaiser in the background when Damian was talking to JD and Dom. So that answers that question.
  • Seth “Freakin” Rollins defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Jey Uso did feel like a real Main Event. While the Drew and Sami match was better, this title match was a banger, too. There was a slew of false finishes, and after Uso’s splash, I genuinely thought he was the new champ, and so, presumably, did the audience. There were warranted “This is Awesome!” chants during this one, too. Rollins prevailed, and there was mutual respect at the end, which was to be expected from two babyfaces as over as these guys were.
Jey Uso dives through the ropes at Seth “Freakin” Rollins during the World Heavyweight Championship Match on WWE RAW December 4 2023
  • Expecting a cash-in, and seeing less than two minutes left on the broadcast, I thought that it was going to happen, just didn’t realize how they had enough time to pull it off. Of course, something was going to happen, but it wasn’t a cash-in. It was Drew attacking Jey, as he had been talking about doing for weeks. Potentially taking Sami out of commission for a bit cemented Drew’s full heel turn, and throwing Jey through the announce put a proverbial bow in it.
Drew McIntyre throws Jey Uso through the announce table on WWE RAW as Wade Barrett watches in surprise on WWE RAW December 4 2023

This episode of RAW didn’t have CM Punk, or a Damian Priest cash-in. It started and ended with Drew McIntyre’s bad attitude, with a couple of great matches, and some decent ones, in between. You can’t forget about Drew.

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