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WWE Raw preview (Jan. 15, 2024): Is WWE really about to give Jinder Mahal the world heavyweight championship?

Raw airs tonight (Jan. 15) with a live show from Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the eighth episode of Raw during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble 2024, which takes place on January 27.

Is WWE really about to give Jinder Mahal the world heavyweight championship?

Jinder Mahal was the WWE champion for roughly half of 2017 despite being a jobber at the very beginning of the year. Here we are now in 2024, and he essentially has the chance to do it all over again when he challenges World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins tonight on Raw.

AEW President Tony Khan was so bothered by Mahal getting a shot at the gold that he vented about it on social media like a weirdo, which has only helped get Jinder’s name out there and promote his big match tonight.

So, is WWE really planning to give Jinder Mahal the world title? No, it really doesn’t seem like it at all. In 2017, WWE actually booked Mahal to win matches on TV for a month straight prior to his championship win. That’s not the case in 2024. Mahal has not received a push heading into this fight; he’s still a jobber who barely receives TV time and hasn’t won a match in a year. It especially makes no sense for Seth to lose to Mahal when it looks like he has a much bigger fight with CM Punk coming up soon.

Even so, the fact that this title match between Rollins and Mahal is even happening means Jinder has the slightest chance of victory. Keep in mind that WWE has already stopped two TV matches this year due to legitimate injury; all it takes is one bump gone wrong for the ref to call the match, and Jinder is the new world champion. Crazier things have happened.

If Seth is losing his belt tonight, the much more likely case is that it will be due to Damian Priest finally cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Will that actually happen this time? You’ll have to tune in to Raw to find out.

The rest of the title scene

WWE Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest have a match tonight against The Miz and R-Truth. Priest seemed to enjoy the way Truth recently humiliated JD McDonagh, but is it now time to get serious and solve The Judgment Day’s R-Truth problem?

Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER returns on Raw tonight after taking a few weeks away to recharge. Will he immediately declare for the Royal Rumble match and become one of the favorites to win the whole damn thing?

WWE Women’s Tag team Champions Katana Chance and Kayden Carter beat Piper Niven and Chelsea Gren last week. When will it be time for Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark to get their shot at the gold?

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley had it out on the mic with Nia Jax last week. Could Nia be her opponent for next month’s Elimination Chamber event in Australia? Will Ripley also cross paths with Becky Lynch before we get to the Royal Rumble?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Cody Rhodes will kick off Raw tonight, and I bet he’ll want to talk about how he plans to win the Royal Rumble and get a WrestleMania rematch against Roman Reigns. Will Cody take any verbal shots at CM Punk, given CM is the biggest obstacle that stands in his way of winning the Rumble again? Punk isn’t advertised for tonight, so Drew McIntyre might have to be the guy who interrupts Cody’s speech.

- Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are focused on winning tag team gold. To that end, they have a tag match tonight against JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio, who happen to be the B-squad for The Judgment Day. I think McDonagh could be looking at another loss here.

- Jey Uso wants to win singles gold in WWE this year. Bronson Reed has the same goal and already told Jey to stay out of his way. I think there’s a zero percent chance of that happening.

- Ivar out-meated Otis last week, and it sounds like Akira Tozawa wants the next shot at the Viking Raider.

- Ricochet has been wrestling on house shows over the last month, but not on TV. What’s going on here?

- Was GUNTHER impressed with the way Ludwig Kaiser destroyed Kofi Kingston last week? Is it time for Xavier Woods to return to have Kofi’s back, especially now that The Ring General is back?

- Where the f*** is Omos Brock Lesnar? He’s only missed one Royal Rumble event (in 2021) over the last 10 years. Is The Beast about to miss another one?

What will you be looking for on Raw?

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