Raw airs tonight (Dec. 4) with a live show from MVP Arena in Albany, New York. This is the second episode of Raw during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble 2024, which takes place on January 27.
Seth Rollins needs to stay away from the CM Punk drama
Unlike SmackDown, WWE Raw doesn’t have multiple part-time champions. As a a result, World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins casually announced last week that he’s defending the gold tonight against Jey Uso.
Seth is a workhorse champion who is busy juggling several things at once right now. That includes his unhappiness with CM Punk’s return to WWE, which has been getting quite a bit of attention lately.
As soon as Seth appeared in the ring for his segment last week, he was showered in Punk chants. Rollins responded to those chants by calling CM a hypocrite and saying he doesn’t want to spend another second thinking about him. For Seth’s sake that better be true, because he has way too much on his plate right now to worry about whatever is on Punk’s agenda.
Obviously, the biggest threat Seth needs to worry about in the immediate short-term is Jey Uso, who can take away his title tonight. Keep in mind that Jey had Roman Reigns beat for the WWE Universal championship at SummerSlam if it wasn’t for his brother’s betrayal, so Seth needs to be laser-focused on defeating Uso tonight.
If Seth beats Jey, he still has Drew McIntyre breathing down his neck for another world title shot. Drew hates Jey Uso and snapped last week when he learned that Seth is giving Jey a championship match over him. McIntyre started to beat the shit out of Seth before Uso ran him off. With that in mind, it’s certainly possible that Drew will get involved in tonight’s world championship match and affect the outcome.
Even if Seth beats Jey and is better prepared to defend himself against Drew, he still needs to always be mindful of Damian Priest’s whereabouts. Priest has been holding onto that Money in the Bank contract waiting for the right time to cash it in; that moment could happen tonight or in the coming weeks.
The cherry on top is that Seth is dealing with all of these threats to his title reign after coming out of a story with Shinsuke Nakamura that revealed he is doing this with a broken back.
So yeah, Rollins has way too much shit going on right now to also be able to handle dealing with Punk. Seth needs to ignore the Punk chants and focus on Jey, Drew, and Damian for now.
Can Rollins actually block out Punk while clearing some of these other names off his plate first? We’ll start to get some of those answers tonight when he defends the world title against Jey Uso.
The rest of the title scene
Tegan Nox and Natalya came up short last week against WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Piper Niven and Chelsea Green. Nox and Nattie are back in the ring tonight for a tag team match against Kayden Carter and Katana Chance. If WWE thinks it’s time for a new team to go after the champs, this match could end up being a showcase for Kayden and Katana.
The Creed Brothers were victorious in last week’s Tag Team Turmoil and earned a future title match against WWE Tag Team Champions Damian Priest and Finn Balor. Julius and Brutus will get a taste of The Judgment Day tonight when they face JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio in tag team action. Will Finn and Damian ambush The Creeds after the match is over?
Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley needs a new challenger after disposing of Zoey Stark at Survivor Series. Nia Jax happened to also beat Stark last week on Raw, so she’s probably next in line for Rhea. Jax has a singles match against Shayna Baszler tonight after Shayna told Nia to shut her hole last week. Shayna hasn’t lost a one-on-one match since she ran Ronda Rousey out of WWE at SummerSlam, while Jax hasn’t lost a one-on-one match since she returned to WWE in September.
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER was confronted by The Miz last week, which seems to indicate WWE might book a rematch here before GUNTHER moves on to find an opponent who’s an actual threat to beat him.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Sami Zayn tried to talk some sense into Drew McIntyre last week, but to no avail. Sami now faces Drew in a singles match tonight, with each man determined to prove they have what it takes to be the world champion on Raw.
- Shinsuke Nakamura spit red mist into Cody Rhodes’ face last week after revealing that Cody is the man he’s been patiently waiting to target. This will be Cody’s TV feud as he prepares to win the Royal Rumble match again. Rhodes responds to Shinsuke’s actions tonight.
- The recently rivalry between DIY and Imperium may come to an end tonight when the two teams battle it out in a two-out-of-three falls match. Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser have been getting on each other’s nerves in recent weeks, so I don’t like their chances here.
- Some wrestlers in WWE can simply declare they will be in the Royal Rumble match, while others have to win qualifying matches in order to join the fray. Will we see either of these things happening tonight?
- Becky Lynch said she sees some fights on the horizon, but she didn’t elaborate on what exactly that means. If anybody is declaring for the Royal Rumble match tonight, I’d expect it to be The Man.
- Bronson Reed and Ivar didn’t settle their meat-slapping issues last week when their match went to a double count-out, and their beef even spilled into NXT the following night. When will WWE officially book a rematch?
- Where the f*** is Omos?
What will you be looking for on Raw?