The October 2nd, 2023 WWE RAW was in the SAP Center in San Jose, California, and this crowd got more than they bargained for . Here are my thoughts:

  • I love it when WWE start a show with a brawl already in progress. Even better when it means RAW has changed its formula. I was fine with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler kicking it off, also with Raquel Rodriguez joining. But when Rhea Ripley’s music hit, oh man, Mami’s back! Such a massive babyface pop, for an uber heel.
  • Rhea fixed it quick, by calling out the rest of Judgement Day, or at least those who were present. Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio joined her in the ring, and she promptly ripped into Priest for letting Dirty Dom lose his NXT North American Championship, as well as Finn Bálor’s injury. Essentially for not running things well when she was away. Priest apologized and turned her ire towards Dom. Rhea’s Mami, but Priest is like her eldest son.
Rhea Ripley gives Dominik Mysterio an ultimatum as Damian Priest looks watches on WWE RAW October 2 2023
  • Jey Uso’s flirtation, after his interruption, inadvertently clued me into something: Rhea is basically the Roman Reigns of RAW (except with a full schedule). People cheer Roman, too, but that doesn’t make him a Babyface. Mami equals Tribal Chief.
  • Speaking of Jey, he and Cody Rhodes have got themselves a tag title match at Fastlane against Bálor and Priest. I may be going out on a limb, but if they win, it would be weird, but it could also get Cody back into the whole Bloodline mix with a match against Jimmy and Solo.
  • Adam Pearce made that match, and had quite the night. From making this match, to the IC Title contract signing, to dealing with Chelsea Green, and later Drew McIntyre, he was all over this show.
  • Alpha Academy versus Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci was decent, and also a good way to keep the Chad Gable/Gunther feud alive, without actually mentioning it. We got the cringey Kaiser flirtation with Maxxine Dupri, and Otis was on a run there for a bit, but ultimately took the pin. So another loss for the Alphas. I hope that changes soon.
  • They really don’t have to call Bronson Reed “Big”. It’s kind of obvious. “Dirty” Dom works, this one just sounds redundant. Also, that was pretty much a squash match. Yes, Reed is impressive, and should be pushed, but Cedric Alexander deserves better.
  • The Intercontinental Championship Contract Signing accomplished what it needed to: Show people who don’t know Tommaso Ciampa that well why they should want him to be the one to dethrone Gunther. It gave them a reason to root for him, and also let Gunther be Gunther. But this signing also flipped the script a bit, making the match for the end of this very episode, and not next week. Now that was an exciting twist, and one the San Jose crowd must have loved.
Gunther, Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Pearce during the Intercontinental Championship Match Contract Signing on WWE RAW October 2 2023s
  • Xavier Woods was impressive against Viking Raider Ivar, who showed up without the injured Erik, and surprisingly without Valhalla as well. Someone of Drew McIntyre’s size lifting the man is quite a feat, but a smaller guy like Xavier doing it has a real wow factor. Kofi Kingston on commentary is always a treat, too. I like how they’re letting this feud breathe on its own, without tying it into other, bigger storylines.
  • I like that Michael Cole is getting some mic time with the live audience with in-ring interviews. It would make more sense for him to temporarily leave the three-man Smackdown booth than the two-man RAW operation, but I guess there’s just more time for these segments on a three hour show. His interplay with World Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins helped put both of them over. It felt real and honest on both parts, that is right up until Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Rollins from behind, and instead of warning him, Cole was quickly back beside Wade Barrett calling the action.
  • The action itself, Rollins trying to beat the 10 count as Nakamura looked on taunting him, was a good way to make everyone feel that Shinsuke could actually win at Fastlane. He won’t, but I do think Rollins will barely retain, and depending on where the Tag Team Championship Match is on the card, Priest may cash in and become the new World champ while losing the tag straps on the same night.
Shinsuke Nakamura sits and counts as Seth “Freakin” Rollins tries to get back up on WWE RAW October 2 2023
  • Tegan Nox versus Chelsea Green wasn’t a true replacement for Nox versus the injured Becky Lynch (and what a nasty injury at that). It was more of a setup for where they may be sending Nox next, with Piper Niven and Natalya at ringside. The match itself was fun, and fast-paced, if short. We got an Unpretty Her attempt, some dives, a Shiniest Wizard, and a 1-2-3.
Chelsea Green Versus Tegan Nox on WWE RAW October 2 2023
  • I’m a bit confused by what they’re doing with Drew McIntyre. The heel turn seems inevitable, so I find myself wishing they’d just pull the trigger, and I thought they already had last week, but here he is fighting The Miz again. I must admit that this slow burn is interesting, and a program with The Miz could be great to watch, as this impromptu match was. However calling for a Claymore, then pulling out Angela the sword to distract the referee, removing the Turnbuckle Pad, and finishing with a Future Shock DDT is not going to get boos against The Miz. Maybe he’s Grey Drew right now. Like Kevin Owens with a sword and no Sami. I am very curious to see where this goes.
  • The main event was a great match, because how can a Gunther title defense not be. It was intense, it was mat-based. There was drama, there were false finishes. Ciampa almost had it with a Sicilian Stretch, but Gunther got his foot on the ropes. A couple of Powerbombs and a sleeper later, and Ciampa passed out, giving Gunther the victory. That recap doesn’t really do it justice, this match was allowed to breathe, and it helped introduce, or reintroduce, Ciampa to a larger audience.
Tommaso Ciampa applies the Sicilian Stretch on Gunther during the Intercontinental Championship Match on WWE RAW October 2 2023
  • Of course, the other Imperium stooges came down after Gunther’s victory, and started the beatdown on the passed out Ciampa. This led to something many people have been waiting for a long time. The return of DIY, with Johnny Gargano returning to reunite with his former partner

This week’s WWE RAW delivered what was expected as the Fastlane go-home show…and then some.

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>