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WWE Raw preview (Jan. 1, 2024): Triple H kicks off the new year with a big surprise

Raw airs tonight (Jan. 1) with a live show from Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. This is the sixth episode of Raw during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble 2024, which takes place on January 27.

Triple H kicks off the new year with a big surprise

WWE kicks off 2024 with a bang tonight on the Day 1 episode of Raw. Not only will there be multiple title matches on the show, but there’s also a rumored appearance from a mystery former WWE champion. Triple H even commented about this rumor on social media, teasing WWE fans to tune into the show to see if the rumor is true:

There aren’t any other clues as to who the mystery person might be, so fans are left to speculate about the possibilities. Could it be Batista? Undertaker? Bret Hart? Big E? Brock Lesnar? Hulk Hogan? Jinder Mahal? Kane? Steve Austin? The Rock? Chris Jericho?

No, it definitely won’t be Jericho, that’s for sure.

At any rate, some former WWE Champions are no longer able to go in the ring, but there are others who might have some staying power on the road to WrestleMania, perhaps even joining the Royal Rumble match. It will be very interesting to see which name WWE pulls out of the hat for this big surprise.

WWE has been hyping up Day 1 for a while, so I bet this isn’t the only surprise Triple H has in store for WWE fans. For example, will former AEW star Andrade El Idolo return to WWE tonight? Will the internet completely melt down if WWE shows it won The Bidding War of 2024 by bringing in former AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman?

The bottom line is that WWE has done a great job of turning Day 1 into a must-watch episode of Raw, and the company should get the new year off to a strong start with the lineup it has planned for tonight.

The rest of the title scene

World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defends the gold tonight against Drew McIntyre. Drew believes all the family sacrifices he’s made to become a top star in WWE will be for nothing if he loses this match. Meanwhile, Damian Priest still has a Money in the Bank contract to cash in at some point, and CM Punk is taking up a lot of space in Seth’s mind, even though he isn’t advertised for this show.

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Ivy Nile is booked tonight at Day 1. Nile is still relatively new on Raw; this will be her first one-on-one match as a member of the roster. It will be a massive shock if she finds a way to take down the dominant champion.

Katana Chance and Kayden Carter became the new WWE women’s tag team champions on the Dec. 18 episode of Raw. Their first challenger will be determined in a tag team match tonight when Tegan Nox & Natalya take on Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark.

Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER is taking some time off to recharge after successfully defending his belt against The Miz a couple weeks ago. It sounds like Bronson Reed will be waiting for The Ring General whenever he returns.

It’s not clear what’s next for WWE Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest after they closed out 2023 with a win over the Creed Brothers. With the Royal Rumble coming up in less than four weeks, it might be time for The Judgment Day to focus more on how they will win the 30-man over the top Battle Royal and/or orchestrate a plan for cashing in Priest’s Money in the Bank briefcase.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Becky Lynch has been waiting more than five years to get revenge on Nia Jax for breaking her face in the lead-up to Survivor Series 2018. The Man can finally settle this score tonight when they fight at Day 1, although it’s worth pointing out that Nia has yet to lose a one-on-one match since she returned to WWE in September.

- Cody Rhodes brawled with Shinsuke Nakamura a couple weeks ago, but the King of Strong Style escaped before Cody could nail him with Cross Rhodes. The Creeds showed support for Cody as 2023 came to an end, potentially setting up a six-man tag team match if Nakamura can find a couple partners.

- Ricochet hasn’t wrestled on Raw TV since he was knocked loopy in early November, but he did compete in several matches on WWE’s recent holiday house show tour. Does he plan to declare for the Royal Rumble match tonight?

- R-Truth humiliated The Judgment Day by defeating JD McDonagh in a Loser Leaves Judgment Day Miracle on 34th Street Fight. Will the rest of the heel faction try to make Truth pay for the recent trouble he’s caused them, or is it all up to McDonagh to solve this problem?

- Sami Zayn returned to WWE at their holiday house show tour last week, but does that mean we should expect to see him back on TV just yet?

- GUNTHER ordered the rest of Imperium to work their asses off to impress him while he’s away. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci were later beaten up by the duo of Jey Uso and Kofi Kingston. Will these two henchmen try to impress their boss by taking out Uso and Kingston tonight?

- Will The Miz turn on DIY and go back to being a heel now that his hopeless chase for mid-card gold is over?

- Akira Tozawa made the huge mistake of stepping in the ring with Ivar a couple weeks ago. Will he make a similar mistake at Day 1?

- In another sign that Vince McMahon is less involved with the WWE TV product than ever before, Kevin Dunn is finally gone from the company. Good riddance.

- Where the f*** is Raquel Rodriguez?

What will you be looking for on Raw?

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