WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 22, 2024) from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble event scheduled for this coming Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Advertised for tonight: Seth Rollins kicks off the show addressing his future as world heavyweight champion after suffering a knee injury, CM Punk and Cody Rhodes come face-to-face just days before the Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre takes on Damian Priest in a singles match, The Miz vs. Dominik Mysterio, Ivar vs. Chad Gable, and a whole lot more.
Come right back here at 8 pm ET when the Raw live blog will kick off once the show starts on USA Network. It will be below this line here. Reminder: GIFs and pics allowed, but no links to illegal streams, please.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 22
Oh Rock of Ages, do not crumble, love is breathing still. Oh Lady Moon, shine down a little people magic if you will, while I liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
We see footage of CM Punk and Cody Rhodes arriving separately at the arena earlier today and we’re informed they’ll have a face-to-face confrontation later tonight.
Seth Rollins makes his entrance in an incredibly neon green satin suit, left knee in a brace, limping his way down the aisle and gently climbing into the ring to get on the mic.
He stands somber for a beat while the crowd sings his song, and he begins, taking his sunglasses off and revealing red-shot eyes that have definitely been crying as the crowd changes their tune to “Thank you, Seth!” chants.
He welcomes us to the show and says it’s been a long week and he appreciates the reaction and thanks us for it. Seven days ago he was in this ring defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Jinder Mahal, who he beat, and when he hit him with the moonsault he felt his knee go in in a way that it’s not really supposed.
He did what he does, he finished the match, beat Jinder Mahal, spoke to the crowd, and then he went to the back and sat down and that was the first time it really set in that he might be out for a long time. Earlier in the night he had spoken backstage about how with every single title defense he only gets better and stronger and he couldn’t help feeling like he was a bit of a liar.
He felt for the first time it might be a real possibility that he’d miss WrestleMania, which gets “No!” chants from the crowd. He appreciates that but still had an MRI to get done and the results weren’t great— he has a grade two tear of his MCL and a partially torn medial meniscus, and with surgery he’s looking at three to four months.
If it was up to him he’d be out here next week stomping heads into mats, but it’s not up to him and we don’t really know what the future holds. He’s taking it day by day, week by week, and—
GUNTHER gets in the ring and squares up to Rollins, champion to champion, Intercontinental Championship on his shoulder. Seth says he doesn’t have time for this and if they’re here to make an example of him, they should do it and get it over with. The Ring General tells him not to worry about them, and he should be concentrating on him.
He feels like he and Seth have been avoiding each other for some time, and he wanted to just come out here and honestly let Rollins know what he thinks about him. Seth tells him to have at it, and GUNTHER says right from the beginning Rollins has been in a tough spot, labeled as a workhorse and having to come out here and fight every week for an honest victory, being a champion who brings dignity, respect, and honor to a championship.
A champion that everybody can be proud of, just like the Ring General. Now it kind of pulls on his heartstrings to see him like that and finding out that he might not make WrestleMania honestly makes GUNTHER sad. Rollins says the thing is he and his boys should have let him finish.
Seth says what he was about to say is that he doesn’t give a damn what the doctors tell him, how hard he has to rehab or push the knee, he will keep his promise and he’ll take the title into WrestleMania. He’ll do every single thing in his power to walk out of WrestleMania as World Heavyweight Champion!
GUNTHER says that’s great and he’s really happy to hear it, because last week he thought we’d all see a big champion fall, and this week he’s standing here proclaiming he’ll do everything to get to WrestleMania and walk out of WrestleMania, and he admires him for it, because he’d do the same thing in that position.
Seth reminds him of himself, in fact, so from one great champion to another great champion, he’s going to win the Royal Rumble and choose Rollins as his WrestleMania opponent, target everything that isn’t at 100%, and become World Heavyweight Champion. Rollins appreciates his honesty and returns it— he wants GUNTHER to remember who he’s coming after, and he offers a handshake.
The Ring General tells him to remember who’s coming after him, and he shakes Seth’s hand. As GUNTHER leaves the ring, New Day attack Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser and the four of them brawl into the ring! New Day send them packing and we go to break!
Imperium (Giovanni Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser) vs. New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Back from commercial, match joined in progress and Vinci takes Kingston down with a lariat! Strikes in the corner, stomping a proverbial mudhole, tag to Woods and New Day turn things around with an extended Unicorn Stampede! Referee Danilo Anfibio warns Xavier off, Giovanni with a Hot Shot, northern lariat, tag to Kaiser!
Mounted punches, short-arm Penalty Kick! Taking X to the woodshed, but he sends Vinci to the floor with a back body drop and the path is clear but Imperium cut him off and we go to break.
Back from commercial, they’re fighting on the floor and Anfibio has to call it...
The match goes to a double count-out draw.
Post-match, New Day and Imperium fight out into the crowd, Woods and Kaiser on a road case, fireman’s carry but Vinci saves his pal! Double suplex lift but Kofi makes the save... NEW DAY WITH STEREO SPEARS ON IMPERIUM THROUGH A TABLE AND TO THE FLOOR!
We get an ad for WWE 2K24 and go to break.
Back from commercial we get a recap of what we just saw because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)
A video package for Drew McIntyre vs. Damian Priest follows.
Judgment Day are hanging out backstage and Rhea Ripley informs Damian Priest and Finn Balor that they’re gonna defend the tag titles against DIY next week. Priest says he’s not getting a big head or going into Adam Pearce’s office and getting matches made and storms off and tells them everything’s under control.
Rhea tells JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio that she’s not mad they didn’t take care of DIY themselves, she’s just disappointed. She tells Finn to be ringside for JD’s match and that it’s been a while since she’s seen him be vicious.
Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri are interviewed in Gorilla.
Dupri says Valhalla isn’t ready for Ivy Nile and the Creed Brothers roll up to give their girl a pep talk.
Ivy makes her entrance and we go to break.
Ivy Nile vs. Valhalla
Nile with a fireman’s carry, Valhalla slips out, rear chinlock, Ivy slings her off and backs her into the ropes with a kick. Whip reversed, right hands from the Viking and Nile spills to the floor! Back inside, back to the rear chinlock, Ivy with vicious elbows, tijeras sends her sprawling!
Up in the turnbuckles... IVY WITH AN AVALANCHE BULLDOG! IT’S OVER!
Ivy Nile wins by pinfall with an avalanche bulldog.
Backstage, New Day are recovering when Jey Uso rolls up with some bags of ice and pep in his step for them.’
An interview rolls up after pleasantries are exchanged.
New Day say first things first, their sick and tired of people thinking they don’t do this. They’re twelve-time tag champions for a reason and they’re the best tag team around for over a decade. Kofi Kingston says Imperium found out what happens when you cross New Day, and he challenges GUNTHER to a title match next week.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Nia Jax makes her entrance and gets on the mic.
She says the first time she came face-to-face with Rhea Ripley, one of the most dominant champions in history, she got squashed. The first time she went one-on-one with Becky Lynch, one of the greatest superstars in the history of this business, she got squashed.
She knows we think she’s coming out here to complain, but she understands that Rhea doesn’t want to face her because she knows she can’t beat her.
Enter Becky Lynch.
She tells Nia to shut up and find something new to talk about. She knows she has a target on her back in the Royal Rumble, but nobody has a bigger target on her back than Jax, because that locker room doesn’t agree on anything except that they don’t like her. On Saturday she doesn’t know whether she’ll enjoy winning the Royal Rumble or watching Nia lose more.
She says both of them are going to lose and she was looking for Rhea Ripley but this is almost better. She gets in the ring and uses her promo to cheapshot Becky, Nia attacks her, Lynch pulls Jax off, Manhandle Slam on The Man and Nia Jax reminds us how the Royal Rumble works before dropping a leg on the Role Model!
We get our annual Royal Rumble explainer video.
Judgment Day make their entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Becky Lynch runs into Rhea Ripley backstage.
Dominik Mysterio vs. the Miz
Collar and elbow, Mysterio turns it around and breaks dirty with a shove. Another lockup, Miz puts him into the corner and breaks clean but fakes out a chop! Schoolboy, whip across, front kick gets a lariat! Dom with right hands, passing the A-Lister to the floor, where Finn Balor drops him with a right hand!
Mysterio with a suicide dive, back inside with a slingshot senton atomico and a cover for two. Miz screaming out of the ropes with chops, whip reversed, Kitchen Sink knee, Awesome Clothesline connects! JD McDonagh runs interference and Dominik sends the A-Lister to the floor as we go to break!
Back from commercial, both men down and out, Miz to his feet, fending off punches and landing his own, big lariats, Reality Check for a nearfall! O’Connor roll for two, wrecking ball dropkick on Balor and a tijeras to the floor for McDonagh! Springboard crossbody... MYSTERIO KICKS OUT!
Kicks land true, full nelson, reversed, la casadora puts Miz on the ropes, he ducks the 619! JD with a cheap shot, Dom hits the 619 this time, off the top...
Dominik Mysterio wins by pinfall with a frog splash.
Post-match, Finn rushes the ring and beats the Miz down! #DIY MAKE THE SAVE!
Backstage, Damian Priest is interviewed.
R-Truth rolls up to give him another wad of cash and Priest says he appreciates his sense of humor but it’s not the right time, and Truth takes the note. He says Drew McIntyre likes to talk about when he was the man around here and when everybody was back to 100, he couldn’t beat Roman Reigns, or GUNTHER, or Seth Rollins.
Now, out of pure jealousy, he wants to make sure Priest doesn’t win the title, but Damian will take it one way or the other, and tonight, Drew WILL receive his punishment.
Chad Gable makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, “Big” Bronson Reed cuts a promo about how he’s gonna win gold this year and Jey Uso won’t stand in his way, so he wants to have a match against him next week to make an example of him.
Chad Gable vs. Ivar
Gable up top almost immediately, diving lariat, chops into the corner, whip reversed, up and over, duck a lariat, crossbody reversed into a Black Hole Slam! Back suplex, Chad lands on his feet, dropkick, sidestep a senton, strikes put Warbeard off-balance and a kick takes him down!
Chad up top again, diving headbutt... NOPE! To the floor, Ivar with a diving splash and we go to break!
Back from commercial, jockeying for position in the turnbuckles, Gable hits an exploder superplex! Slow to capitalize, Chad follows it with a Cactus Crossbody! Ducking the reverse roundhouse, Ivar kicks the post! Back inside, the Olympian gets caught, Tiger Driver... STILL NO!
Victory roll into an ankle lock, Ivar rolls out of it, Banzai Drop when Chad charges in! Warbeard off the second... GABLE KICKS OUT OF A DIVING LEG DROP! Leg pick, back to the ankle lock, but Ivar gets the ropes to force the break! Spinebuster, Gable kicks out! Ivar back up top, diving moonsault, nobody home! Bridging German suplex, Warbeard kicks out!
Chad back up top, Ivar cuts him off, jockeying for position, huge high-angle German suplex out of the turnbuckles! Gable back up top, but Valhalla runs interference! Warbeard with a Burning Hammer out of the corner, back up top...
Ivar wins by pinfall with the Doomsault.
CM Punk is shown walking backstage, as is Cody Rhodes, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, commentary hypes up Love & WWE, the Bianca Belair/Montez Ford show.
“American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes makes his entrance.
CM Punk follows immediately thereafter.
They square up and Punk says that he just hopes they can continue to be friends after the Royal Rumble, and then Cody, per Punk’s request, asks him what he wants to talk about.
CM wants to talk about his dad, and he doesn’t know if Cody knows this story, he’s certainly never told it. 2007, Dusty Rhodes calls Punk up and tells him he’s sending his youngest son to OVW to start his career as a professional wrestler, and he wanted Punk to keep an eye on him.
He didn’t know if he was the right guy, but if the American Dream asks you for a favor, you say yes. It wasn’t a hard job, Punk stayed out of his way, Cody doesn’t have a lot of the same vices their contemporaries do, and he saw Rhodes grow to be the main event superstar he sees today.
It might sound a little condescending, but Cody knows him, and he’s proud of him. He brings this up because on Saturday it feels like breaking a promise. In the Royal Rumble, he’s going to do what he has to do in order to win the Rumble and main event WrestleMania.
Rhodes says he’s not alone in that feeling of talking to Cody but thinking of Dusty, and he rattles off a list of names and says he’s done everything he can to be the light in the shadow and be his own man. He showed up to OVW with no matches under his belt, a complete nepotism hire, and there was CM Punk, who had toiled on the independents for ten years but still treated Cody like a peer.
They did become friends, and that’s the tragedy, is there’s no friends in the Royal Rumble. CM Punk asks about Sunday morning and says he can separate business from personal, but can Cody? He grew up in this business, the son of one of the most legendary professional wrestlers of all time, one of the greatest!
They’ve traveled very different paths, and because he scratched and clawed to get where he was, he saw the burden of that shadow and how hard Cody would have to work to get out of it. Two very different paths, one very similar goal. His father was blue collar, just a regular guy, an electrician which makes it ironic that he’s more of the American Dream than Cody is.
Rhodes takes a few steps around the ring to try and shrug the taunt off and says it’s his turn and he wants to talk about the Pipe Bomb. Punk throws his mic out of the ring and Cody says he rattled off the formula for a revolution and he was inspired by it. But then, Punk left, and when he left, he REALLY left.
He didn’t pass the torch, he dropped it and Cody picked it up. Everything he spoke about, he did. And what’s ironic is that makes him more CM Punk than CM Punk. That gets Punk to take his hoodie off and get in his face and tells him he’s getting the full Road to WrestleMania CM Punk experience.
He’s carried this company for an excruciating two years and they gave him the video game cover and he’s ready to finish his story but what’s that? It’s a much bigger superstar come to derail his story, and he’s talking about himself. Cody says he might be right, but he should know that Dusty was his best friend and he quoted John Wayne all the time, and one of his favorites is that courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.
His direction goes through CM Punk.
Cody gives Punk the cold shoulder but CM whips him around and goes forehead-to-forehead with him!
Punk backs off first and they leave the ring.
Commentary talks about the rarity of back-to-back Rumble wins.
Noted racist Hulk Hogan gets a vignette where he talks about Hulkamania and how he sees himself in many superstars today but he thinks Cody Rhodes is going to win it, unless CM Punk or a wildcard up to and including himself does, and we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a 40 Years of Hulkamania bumper, which is just incorrect— forty years since Hogan won the title from the Iron Sheik, sure, but Hulkamania was running wild in the AWA for a year or two before that.
Anyway, moving on.
Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs. Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark
LeRae and Baszler to start, Candice one step ahead, infuriating Shayna, a couple of arm drags and she gets away and tags Stark in! LeRae with a tijeras to the floor and we go to break!
Back from commercial, tags made while Chelsea Green and Piper Niven watch backstage. Candice taking it to the heels with kicks, backsplash, snapmare, step-up Codebreaker / senton combination but Zoey breaks it up! Indi sent to the floor, Stark after her, Kirifuda Clutch applied and Zoey tags back in!
Candice reverses it but Shayna isn’t legal, Stark picks her up...
Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark win by pinfall with Z360 from Stark on Candice LeRae.
Kabuki Warriors attack tag champs Katana Chance and Kayden Carter from behind and put boots to them while Dakota Kai cheers them on!
Drew McIntyre is interviewed backstage.
He has nothing more to say about Cody Rhodes or CM Punk and he couldn’t care less about their big bad words. He says Damian Priest isn’t ready, he’s not tough enough physically or mentally, and there’s only room for one Chosen One and you’re looking at him.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Damage CTRL are walking and laughing backstage when Natalya and Tegan Nox confront them.
They all shout at each other, Adam Pearce pops up and tells them to save it for the Royal Rumble. Pearce chastises Bayley for going into business for herself and starting stuff, and Bayley warns him that after the Kabuki Warriors win the title, he’ll be seeing a lot more of them.
Jinder Mahal and Indus Sher roll up to have a chat with Pearce next.
Mahal goes over his bonafides and Adam tells him to meet him in his office.
We get another Royal Rumble hype reel.
Commentary hypes up the Royal Rumble card.
Damian Priest makes his entrance and we go to break.
Damian Priest vs. Drew McIntyre
Circling, collar and elbow, Priest shoots him off and gets shoulder blocked to the mat! Side headlock from McIntyre, shot off, shoulder block gets a shoulder block gets a shove gets an elbow! Damian with kicks and windmill punches in the corner, Drew to the floor and the Punishment follows him around the ring only to eat a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor!
Back inside, chops and forearms, huge right from Priest but McIntyre clotheslines him to the floor! Following after, Damian with a side kick, whip blocked rake of the eyes and Drew goes face-first into the ringpost! Priest hooks him near the table... BROKEN ARROW INTO THE ANNOUNCE DESK AS WE GO TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, Priest laying kicks in, rear chinlock, McIntyre breaks his grip but Damian shifts gears and plants an elbow in his kidneys! Off the ropes, back elbow cuts Priest off, double boots and both men are down and out! Drew powering back up, neckbreaker and the kip-up and he’s fired up!
Counting down, Damian sidesteps the Claymore! Duck a kick, big chop, spinebuster follows, jackknife pin... PRIEST KICKS OUT! Damian boxes his ears and throws him into the turnbuckles, boot up on the charge but Priest catches him with the reverse STO for two!
Charging in, Drew catches him and sets him on his feet, Damian with kicks, McIntyre plants a headbutt on him! To the apron, up top, nobody home! Jumping roundhouse kick, off the ropes, float over, Broken Arrow for two! Sending Drew crashing to the floor, he throws him back inside, and R-Truth arrives to give him his money!
Damian shoves him down and Truth decides that means Priest wants the money in his briefcase! Drew cuts Damian off, Future Shock connects, Truth runs interference, McIntyre lays him out, money everwhere, South of Heaven but R-Truth has referee Rod Zapata distracted accidentally!
Priest grabs Truth and throws him out of the ring, turning back to Drew...
Drew McIntyre wins by pinfall with Claymore.
That’s the show, folks.