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WWE Raw results, live blog (Jan. 8, 2023): CM Punk returns

WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 8, 2024) from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble event scheduled for later this month in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Advertised for tonight: CM Punk makes his return to television after a brief break, Cody Rhodes takes on Shinsuke Nakamura in a singles match after weeks of build up and a misting in their first showdown, Piper Niven & Chelsea Green get their shot to regain the women’s tag team titles from Kayden Carter & Katana Chance, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Finn Balor, 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.


In the valley, we will gather there, helpless in our surrender. Tomorrow the plow becomes the sword, make us stronger in our danger. But tonight? Tonight I liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with Cody Rhodes walking backstage.

Drew McIntyre is in the ring and on the mic.

He says he needed the World Heavyweight Championship but as you see, he does not have the World Heavyweight Championship, and explains how he feels he lost the match. Maybe Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn are right and he’s the only one holding him down. If that’s the case he needs to step away from WWE for a while to get his priorities right.

He replayed the match over and over in his head before deciding that’s not true after all, it’s all Damian Priest’s fault for trying to cash in during the match. He rants about how maybe he should leave so we can all chant his name during matches—

Enter CM Punk.

He gets on the mic and says we’re in Roddy Piper country and he’s disappointed Drew didn’t wear the kilt, but then people might like him. Piper was known for talking, CM Punk is known for talking, but Drew McIntyre not so much. And yet all he’s doing lately is talking, and since Punk heard his name and stand here so he can say whatever he has to his face.

CM lounges in the ropes and waits politely for a response, holding his microphone aloft as the crowd chants for him.

Drew says if the floor is his, first of all, congratulations, it’s been a month and Punk is still here. Some of the guys and him have a bet going for when he’ll crash and burn and self-destruct, and he’s starting to cost people money! He says he doesn’t care what CM said outside of the company, he gets it, what he cares about is what he does personally.

He’s one of the few people on the roster who traveled with him for years and who knows what the real CM Punk is like, and he asks if he remembered when he was champion and referred to himself as a locker room leader. Back then, Drew actually needed a leader, but he didn’t have it back then.

He was just a kid, he lost his mom, his career was in a tailspin, and he could have done with a leader to tell him it’s okay and to help him navigate the place but Punk saw him as a threat. He says Punk doesn’t have any demons because he’s straight-edge, he IS the demon, a narcissistic succubus (uh... that’s uh... Drew the thing about succubi is...)

Anyway, point is McIntyre’s the leader now.

Punk says if he needs a leader he can shave his head and pledge to the Straight Edge Society right now, but he talks about how he left and saw Drew come back in and decided he wanted to follow the path McIntyre set and now he’s upset about it like Seth Rollins? As far as being a demon, he’s not a demon. When pushed, he’s Satan himself, and if you’re one of the people that saw that side of him, it says way more about him than it does Punk, who is a real nice guy until it’s time not to be.

...and it’s getting to be that time. He’s not here to be nice or make friends, he’s here to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania.

Drew says his own title reigns weren’t for himself, it was about stepping up during the pandemic, and this time he’s entering the Royal Rumble and he’ll exorcise Punk, win Royal Rumble, and main event WrestleMania, but this time it’ll be for himself.

Punk steps up to him, face to face. He says it’s getting spicy in here so he’ll lead by example and walk away before he knocks Drew’s teeth out. The only person who can stop him is himself, and he got out of his own way a long time ago. McIntyre, Rollins, Rhodes, none of them can stop him winning the Royal Rumble.

And, leader-to-leader, since he’s a nice guy, he’ll throw Drew out of the Royal Rumble last.

Judgment Day make their entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, #DIY are walking and Tommaso Ciampa cuts a promo about how this match tonight isn’t just can’t lose, it’s must win, and their new year’s resolution is to win the tag titles in 2024.

Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Feeling out, Balor with a dropkick for a nearfall, overhead elbow, in control sending Tom to the floor as we go to break!

Back from commercial, Ciampa running hot, corner lariat, inverted DDT... NOPE! Balor with a double stomp, lining him up, Tom cuts him off with a running knee... PROJECT CIAMPA CONNECTS BUT BALOR KICKS OUT! Off the top, nobody home, crucifix pin from Tom for two! Ripcord elbow, underhooks, taking a beat to hit Priest on the apron, Johnny Gargano equalizes!

Back inside...

Tommaso Ciampa wins with a flash pin.

Becky Lynch is interviewed backstage.

She says before the match, Nia Jax told her to imagine her full weight behind the punch, and she did, imagining broken bones and hospitalizations, but then she put her full weight behind that punch and yes she fell and lost, but then she got up and walked to the back and declared for the Royal Rumble.

She’s already way ahead of the last time, and last time she won the Royal Rumble and main evented WrestleMania, so either Nia is weaker or she’s stronger, and this is just the beginning.

Kofi Kingston makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial we see Katana Chance and Kayden Carter warming up, then Chelsea Green and Piper Niven doing the same.

Kofi Kingston vs. Ludwig Kaiser

Kaiser hard out the gates, mounted punches, trading hard chops, Kingston backing him into the corner, mounted punches but Ludwig counters with a Gallon Throw! Kofi on the comeback, Kaiser ducks Trouble in Paradise, back body drop sends him to the floor, Kingston off the ropes and Ludwig cuts him off with a hard right hand and sends him hard into the barricade after!

Penalty kick, jawing at Kofi, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Kaiser laying slingshot stomps in, Kofi with a trust fall senton to the floor! Springboard lariat off the steel steps, but Ludwig pops up and puts Kingston into the ringpost! Duck an uppercut, Kofi rushes back in, Kaiser blocks him just before the count...

The match goes to a double countout draw.

Post-match, Kingston lands a suicide dive and hammers Kaiser with punches but Ludwig grinds his thumb into Kofi’s eyesocket! Back body drop over the table, road agents and referees trying to separate them! LUDWIG THROWS A CHAIR AT KINGSTON’S FACE AND KNOCKS HIM OUT!

Choking Kofi on the steps, referees and agents impotent, Ludwig evading them... RUNNING DROPKICK PUTS KINGSTON’S HEAD INTO THE STEEL!

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a recap of what we just saw, because Raw is three hours long. (Three hours long.)

Ludwig Kaiser is interviewed backstage.

He blows his top and asks what we want from him, it’s not his fault, it’s Kofi’s fault, because he had it coming, and he’s carrying the whole weight of Imperium.

Michael Cole interviews Nia Jax in the ring.

She says she’s a different Nia Jax, she’s more focused and she’ll break Becky Lynch’s face again. What would be shocking is if she broke Cole’s face. She’s going to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania and there’s not a man or woman who can stop h—

Enter Rhea Ripley.

She says Nia’s talking a big game like she’s already won the Royal Rumble, but Rhea eliminated her last year, and she can beat Becky Lynch, but Becky isn’t Rhea bloody Ripley, and Jax had better stop walking around like she owns the division. And take this as a warning, but if she wins the Royal Rumble, she better keep Ripley’s name out of her mouth.

Jax gives her credit for being the most dominant champion in the history of the women’s division, but she put Rhea on her back and the only reasons she doesn’t have the title is that Ripley is too scared to give her a shot. So when she wins the Royal Rumble, she’ll choose Rhea and leave her without excuses.

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven make their entrance and send us to break.

Back from commercial, Cody Rhodes is interviewed backstage.

Before he can say much, Shinsuke Nakamura attacks him from behind and they have a nice little brawl as referees and road agents try to break them up!

Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Katana Chance & Kayden Carter (c) (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)

Carter and Green to start, Chelsea on the wrong side of town, quick tags working her over and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Kayden with a nearfall on Green, choking her in the ropes, springboard leg drop connects! Tag to Chance, avalanche Frankensteiner... SO CLOSE! Niven tags in, cover, Katana breaks it up! Match breaks down, Niven scoops Kayden, float over, charge in, big Rock Bottom plants Carter!

Tag to Green, Chance makes the save and Niven hits the Vader Bomb on her own partner! Diving Codebreaker, tag made...

Katana Chance & Kayden Carter win by pinfall with Afterparty on Chelsea Green, retaining the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.

We’re informed our main event between Cody Rhodes and Shinsuke Nakamura is now a street fight after the brawl earlier.

We get a video package detailing R-Truth’s involvement with Judgment Day in a completely factual way, starting with newborn Ron Killings telling the doctor that delivered him that he was gonna be in Judgment Day someday.

The actual Judgment Day are backstage and JD McDonagh gets mad at R-Truth because he’s a little nerd. Damian Priest tells him to cool it and admits that the video package was actually funny before saying that he’ll handle Truth when the time comes.

DIY? Finn Balor says they’ll need CPR, MRIs, and EMTs when he’s done. Damian says Drew can’t be his enemy because he’s too much of a joke and warns Rhea to handle Nia Jax. Ripley tells JD to take care of the Miz and he says he won’t know what hit him.

The Miz makes his entrance to send us to break.

JD McDonagh vs. the Miz

R-Truth immediately appears at ringside, jawing with Dominik Mysterio, whip across, Miz with a shoulder block, off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, big hip toss, duck a lariat, kitchen sink knee lift! Off the ropes, McDonagh ducks a big boot and rolls to the floor for a breather with Dom.

JD laying chest kicks in, Miz goes for the figure four leglock, blocked, Reality Check, big back body drop! Boot up, Dom with a cheap shot, JD with a jawbreaker and an elbow drop and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Miz breaks his grip, back elbow to the midsection, McDonagh goes for a back suplex but the A-Lister lands on his feet! JD with a sleeper, jawbreaker to get out of it, sidestep the charge, tornillo for two! Miz hammering punches in the corner, Awesome Clothesline connects, folding press for two!

Chest kicks, kicking McDonagh’s leg out from under him, figure four leglock applied in the middle of the ring! JD crawls for the ropes, jawbreaker over the ropes...

The Miz wins by pinfall with Skull-Crushing Finale.

The rest of Judgment Day are in disbelief at their second loss tonight.

Seth Rollins walks jauntily backstage to send us to break.

Back from commercial, we get a media hype reel for the Rock’s return last week.

Seth Rollins makes his entrance and gets on the mic.

He says his WrestleMania record has been pretty good but he’s never taken a world title into WrestleMania. He said he was gonna be fighting champion, a workhorse champion, and the work is not done, so who is he going to beat at WrestleMania?

Enter Jinder Mahal.

He asks how is it that last week in five minutes he was more of a revolutionary than Seth has been in the entire time he called himself that. He accuses Seth of pushing an agenda of degeneracy and complains that he’s never given Jinder himself an opportunity.

Rollins admits he’s right, we have been overlooking Jinder Mahal! But that wasn’t an accident, they’ve been doing it on purpose and then last week the Rock showed up and put his balls in a vise. But he’s got to admit, he admires Jinder for showing back up after the Rock humbled him last week.

But he doesn’t respect Jinder coming out here, ruining the party, and getting in his face. So yeah, he has his attention, and if he’s sick of being overlooked, he can take a swing. Jinder refuses, Seth says he suspected as much and turns to leave, and THEN Mahal attacks him from behind!

They brawl, Rollins ducks Khallas and goes for Blackout but Jinder runs away!

We see Shinsuke Nakamura shadowboxing backstage.

Otis makes his entrance and we go to break.

Ivar vs. Otis

Big boys a-clubberin’, Ivar walking into him with punches, Otis fires back, World’s Strongest Slam for two! Caterpillar follows... NOPE! Goozle, blocked, elbow from Warbeard, big boot, cartwheel into the reverse roundhouse! Climbing up top...

Ivar wins by pinfall with a moonsault.

Post-match, Akira Tozawa says he’s next, to which Ivar simply states that he’s big.

“Main Event” Jey Uso is interviewed backstage.

He says it’s a new year and he’s got a new resolution, and that’s to win a singles title this year.

Enter Bronson Reed.

He tells Uso not to get in his way and we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes next week’s show up, including the return of GUNTHER from paternity leave.

We get a video package for our main event.

Shinsuke Nakamura makes his entrance and we go to break.

“American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Street Fight)

Feeling out, Nakamura bails to the floor and Rhodes follows with a baseball slide! Fighting up the ramp, to the stage, back to the announce desk and Cody blasts him with a bottle to the face! Back inside, Nakamura beating him with a kendo stick and this time Rhodes rolls to the floor and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Kinshasa for two, Rhodes on the comeback, snap scoop powerslam for two! To the floor, getting a table out from under the ring... NAKAMURA BLASTS HIM WITH NUNCHAKU!

Passing Cody into the timekeeper’s area, showing off with the nunchaku, whipping Cody with them! Off the barricade but Rhodes lands a body blow to the breadbasket to cut him off and we go to break shortly after!

Back from commercial, Nakamura raining chairshots down on Rhodes, Cody passes him into a chair wedged in the corner! Trading punches, Bionic Elbows from Rhodes! Shinsuke sets him on the table, Bombs Away knee drop through the table... STILL NO! Nakamura gets another table, jockeying for position, setting Rhodes up, sliding German through the ropes!

Diving Kinshasa... SO CLOSE! Lying in wait, Cody cuts him off with a superkick, Pedigree connects... NOT ENOUGH! Cody Cutter... SHINSUKE WON’T STAY DOWN! Cross Rhodes, reversed to a victory roll, no deal, Rhodes passes him into the table in the corner! Inverted facelock...

Cody Rhodes wins by pinfall with Cross Rhodes.

That’s the show, folks.

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