Raw airs tonight (Jan. 8) with a live show from Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. This is the seventh episode of Raw during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble 2024, which takes place on January 27.
Cody Rhodes gets to finish another story
Cody Rhodes failed to finish his story last year at WrestleMania 39 when he lost against WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Nothing has changed on that front roughly nine months later, with Cody now focused on making sure he finishes his story this year at WrestleMania 40.
This is pro wrestling, so of course new stories have popped up for Rhodes along the way. First he had to start and finish a story with Brock Lesnar during the course of last summer. Tonight on Raw, Cody now gets to finish a story with Shinsuke Nakamura.
Shinsuke has targeted Cody for the last month with multiple attacks. Nakamura’s pointed out that their respective failures to capture the WWE championship have made it so that their stories are quite similar. The main difference is that Nakamura plans to write a new chapter in his own story by bringing Cody’s championship hopes to an early end.
Cody and Shinsuke fought last month on Raw to an unsatisfying DQ finish. They will have a rematch tonight, which means Cody has a chance to finish this story with a decisive win over the King of Strong Style.
If Cody wins, he can then look ahead to repeating as this year’s Royal Rumble winner. The main problem with that goal is CM Punk is now back in WWE and he plans to win the Rumble too. Punk is in the building tonight, so if Cody wraps up his story with Shinsuke, it might just call for a face-to-face confrontation and escalation of tension between Rhodes and Punk.
The rest of the title scene
World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins retained his title against Drew McIntyre last week. Now that Seth doesn’t need to worry about Drew, perhaps he will more aggressively seek out a fight with CM Punk. However, The Visionary always needs to keep his eyes open for the presence of Damian Priest and the Money in the Bank contract.
WWE Women’s Tag team Champions Katana Chance and Kayden Carter have their first televised defense of the belts tonight against the former champs, Piper Niven and Chelsea Green. Is the party already over for Katana and Kayden?
WWE Tag Team Champion Finn Balor goes one-on-one with Tommaso Ciampa tonight. If Ciampa wins, perhaps DIY will be coming after The Judgment Day’s tag titles in the near future.
Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley beat Ivy Nile at Day 1. Nia Jax has a great case for being the next challenger in line after she busted up Becky Lynch’s face (again) and pinned The Man on that very same card.
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER is taking some time off to recharge his batteries. Will he be back in time to compete in the Royal Rumble match?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Kofi Kingston vs. Ludwig Kaiser takes place tonight on Raw. Kingston took out Giovanni Vince with a dropkick last week, so it’s up to Kaiser to impress The Ring General by beating Kofi.
- The Miz vs. JD McDonagh is booked for tonight. Will R-Truth show up to help his Awesome Truth tag partner, or his new Judgment Day stablemate?
- What’s going on with Ricochet? He’s been working WWE house shows of late, but has yet to wrestle on TV since he was knocked loopy in a match in early November.
- Is Becky Lynch doubting herself at all after losing against Nia Jax last week? And what’s going through Drew McIntyre’s head after losing one of the most important matches of his career at Day 1?
- Will there be any more follow-up on The Rock’s return to WWE? Will a different former WWE champion return on Raw tonight to kick Jinder Mahal’s ass?
- Where the f*** is Omos?
What will you be looking for on Raw?