Going into Raw, we know that Cody Rhodes is going to do an in-ring interview with Michael Cole. Obviously, he’s going to talk about the slap heard around the world on SmackDown. That should be interesting. We also know there’s going to be a women’s tag team title match. I can kind of predict the outcome, but it should still be a good match.

And we have Liv Morgan versus Becky Lynch. I did a whole video on this talking about which one of them might turn heel, if not both of them. So I’m definitely interested in this match. But the thing that really has me hooked is the gauntlet match to determine Gunther’s opponent for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.

WWE Raw is in the, once again, sold out Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on March 11th, 2024. These are my thoughts.

Here is the full review in audio podcast form:

Read the transcript (.txt format with timestamps, right click and “Save As…”


  • Drew McIntyre kicked off the show with his usual provocative heel crowd work, and I particularly liked how he dealt with the “What?” chants: telling the people to say “What?” if they liked how he took out CM Punk. What’s interesting this time is that he got even closer to accepting The Bloodline when he put over The Rock.
  • World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins, who interrupted Drew’s promo, scored, I think, a verbal victory when he pointed out Drew’s hypocrisy. Drew’s response was decent, but I think Seth won this exchange, which he hasn’t been doing with McIntyre lately.
  • Becky Lynch versus Liv Morgan was a real banger of a match. Both came off really strong, Liv more so, hitting a bunch of nice-looking Codebreakers, but her frustration started to show and Lynch won with a Manhandle Slam.
Liv Morgan dropkicks Becky Lynch on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • I had made a video asking if Becky or Liv may turn heel, so I was looking for signs in this match, and after it. No dice for either before WrestleMania, I feel. But that moment before Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley came out was tense.
  • Rhea and Becky’s promo exchange was well-executed, and necessary. We know their Mania encounter will be a great match, just as Ripley’s match with Charlotte Flair was last year. But I hope that, unlike last year, the storyline build to it is more than too little too late paint-by-numbers.
  • I like the 6-Pack Ladder Match for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania that Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis announced. I’m glad they’re not splitting the titles, though, they very well could end up doing that with this match.
  • Finn Bálor saying he didn’t like the match because he is “afraid of heights” is hilarious, as his finisher involves him coming off the top rope. Damian Priest’s anger seemed more serious and legit, and R-Truth, one of the guys who had the idea for the match, showing up because he didn’t know Monday Night RAW was on a Monday was classic R-Truth.
  • Playing on people at a House Show booing Maxxine Dupri, in a video that went viral, and using it to make Candice LeRae a despicable heel was a smart move. Fans know what happened to Dupri, and Candice just wasn’t getting over as a babyface. Now we’ve got the crowd rooting for Maxxine, and Indi Hartwell confused as to what her partner is doing. I don’t cafre that the match itself (Dupri and Ivy Nile versus Le Rae and Hartwell) wasn’t much, and got cut short.
Candice LeRae stops Maxxine Dupri from hitting a Reverse Caterpillar on Indi Hartwell on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • When I found out Maxxine really had a brother who died young, and Candice wasn’t just bringing up her kayfabe brother Max, who stopped existing when he turned back into LA Knight, I thought that the line was really rough. Maxxine must have been okay with it, so fair play.
  • Cody Rhodes’ in-ring interview with Michael Cole was something else. I liked how Cole echoed some fans’ doubt about Rollins’ loyalty as a tag partner, which Cody handled beautifully, believably, and honestly: “People change”. Mentioning smashing HHH’s throne in AEW, saying it was nice to slap the boss, and bringing up receipts were also nice touches. But, of course, the really emotional, and memorable part came almost at the end, where Rhodes cried when talking about his mother, wife, and family. It raised the emotional stakes on a match where I didn’t think it was possible to do that. Real good stuff.
Michael Cole interviews Cody Rhodes on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • Women’s Tag Team Championship Match ended with The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka and Kairi Sane, retaining their titles, as anticipated. That’s not to say that challengers Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark didn’t look strong. In fact, they dominated for a good portion of the match, with Asuka holding her own, and Sane doing sneak attacks. It also took Damage CTRL member Dakota Kai grabbing Baszler’s foot from outside of the ring to stop the Kirifuda Clutch and set up the Reverse DDT/Insane Elbow combo for the win. So the Kabuki Warriors needed help.
Dakota Kai grabs Shayna Baszler’s foot, causing her to lose hold of Kairi Sane during the Women’s Tag Team Championship Match on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • Damian Priest versus R-Truth was a good showcase of Priest’s mean streak, with him attacking Truth even before the bell rang, when the announcers were still plugging the WWE 2K24 video game. Truth took charge of the match after DIY came out, but when JD McDonagh and Finn Bálor showed up and attacked Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, Truth tried to help, and Priest took over. He hit a South of Heaven Chokeslam for the win, and the ensuing beatdown. Reinforcing Priest as a top heel is important this close to Mania, and having him lose it on the beloved Truth is a solid way to do that.
R-Truth tries to submit Damian Priest as Tommaso Ciampa watches on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • Jey Uso sounded like a preacher when challenging his brother. He had a real nice pacing, got right to the point, and got the audience to work with him beautifully. The guy’s over like rover. Yeet!
  • As we headed into the Gauntlet Match to determine who Gunther would face for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, I realized that everyone got a video promo except for Sami Zayn. It got me a bit concerned, but, of course, realize I shouldn’t have.
  • Ricochet versus JD McDonagh was a full-length match, and a solid one to kick off the Gauntlet. Ricochet did a good job of selling his injured mid-section after McDonagh got his legs up during a Crossbody attempt. But Ricochet ended up hitting a beautiful Shooting Star Press for the win.
  • Bronson Reed versus Ricochet was short and to the point. Ricochet, still stinging from the previous match, tries to get the jump on Reed, but Big Bronson stops the attack soon enough, hits a Tsunami, and that was all she wrote.
  • I’m glad the announcers let us know that Sami Zayn had been fasting all day for the first day of Ramadan
  • Sami Zayn versus Bronson Reed was equally short. Zayn evaded Reed’s moves, which is pretty much the only formula most smaller guys can employ to beat him, and finishes him off with a nice Sunset Flip Powerbomb.
  • Of course, after the match, the challenges, and outright roadblocks for Sami winning mounted, as Reed, still in the ring, cheap-shotted him and hit a Tsunami as Shinsuke Nakamura entered and headed down to face Sami. Nakamura wasn’t above taking advantage of the situation, and went for the Kinshasa right out of the gate, but Sami dodged it, and shortly after the commercial break hit the Helluva Kick and won.
  • The match still took quite a bit out of Zayn, and this whole Gauntlet remains a story of him overcoming the odds, which carries into the final match against Chad Gable, the presumptive winner. Gable even remained a solid babyface at the start of the match, by encouraging Sami to get to his feet before they started.
Chad Gable encouraging Sami Zayn to get back to his feet before their Gauntlet Match on WWE RAW March 11 2024
  • With Zayn properly pumped up, Gable hit him with a barrage of suplexes, straight into an ankle lock. That wasn’t the only such hold. In fact, most of this truly exciting match had Zayn escaping from ankle locks, and selling, and working through the stress of said locks, even stopping short of completing a Helluva Kick because of it. Gable was strong, and also resilient throughout most of the match, kicking out of a Blue Thunder Bomb, and a successfully executed Helluva Kick. Zayn ended up turning an ankle lock into a rollup for the win. Putting a quick end to this stellar match.
  • Gable looked devastated, but he helped Sami up after and the two shook hands and hugged. Then Gunther came out for the staredown with Zayn. I felt quite thrilled with how this show ended. But not everyone online felt the same way. I get it, I was hoping for Gable/Gunther at Mania six months ago, but when Sami didn’t have a spot on the Show of Shows, I really wanted him to land this one. I talk about this situation in a video:

This was a very exciting RAW that saw a few excellent matches, built up three Mania matches, including the Night Two Main Event, which I didn’t think was possible, and made two new matches, giving Sami Zayn a path to Mania, against Gunther, no less. I was quite satisfied.

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