Monday Night Raw
Date: January 15, 2024
Location: Simmons Bank Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett

The slow build towards the Royal Rumble continues and that means we’re likely to get some more names added to the show’s namesake matches. In addition, we have Seth Rollins defending the Raw World Title against Jinder Mahal in a match that might just be crazy enough for WWE to do something off the wall. Let’s get to it.

We open with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day video.

Seth Rollins, with daughter, arrived earlier, as did Jinder Mahal.

Here is Cody Rhodes to get things going. Rhodes brings up a song about Little Rock but isn’t sure if that’s what the fans want to talk about. Instead, let’s talk about why he’s back in WWE. The Royal Rumble is just around the corner, but here is Drew McIntyre to interrupt. McIntyre asks Rhodes what he wants to talk about and brings up their time as Tag Team Champions (Rhodes: “The Dashing Ones.”). He brings up their time on the indies, which was good enough that got WWE to call them back.

McIntyre’s last match on the indies was with Rhodes, who told him he would be a World Champion one day. Rhodes needs to keep doing what he has been doing and he’ll be the first member of his family to hold up that title. Rhodes will finish his story…but McIntyre is finishing his first. We hear about some people who could win the Royal Rumble but McIntyre wants him to step up.

Rhodes talks about how thankful and grateful he is while McIntyre is complaining about his second chance. McIntyre brings up the people Rhodes has brought to Raw or endorsed when he could have just left it alone. Rhodes calls him out for his complaints and says the way to do this is look at yourself and to the fans. Yes McIntyre’s last match on the indies was against McIntyre, but who won?

Damian Priest yells at R-Truth for selling bootleg Judgment Day merchandise….until Truth hands him his cut, which is a pile of hundreds. Priest says ok but just don’t talk about selling the merch. Oh and in the tag match tonight: Truth doesn’t tag in.

JD McDonagh/Dominik Mysterio vs. DIY

Gargano and McDonagh get things going and head to the mat for some front facelocks. A hurricanrana sends McDonagh outside but Mysterio knocks Gargano outside as well. Ciampa drops Mysterio and DIY is happy as we take a break. Back with Ciampa blasting McDonagh with a clothesline but another Mysterio cheap shot cuts Gargano off.

The chinlock goes on to keep Gargano down but he’s back up with the slingshot spear. McDonagh pulls Ciampa off the apron before the tag though and we take another break. Back with Ciampa coming back in to clean house again. The Fairy Tale Ending is escaped but a powerbomb/belly to back suplex combination gets two on Mysterio.

We get the big exchange of strikes to the face and everyone is down. Mysterio is back up to dropkick Gargano into a 619 position but Ciampa makes the save as everything stays broken down. A slightly different kind of DDT sets up Meet In The Middle to finish McDonagh at 18:12.

Result: DIY b. JD McDonagh/Dominik Mysteri0 – Meet In The Middle to McDonagh (18:12)

Chelsea Green and Piper Niven met with Adam Pearce, along with Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae. A tag match is made for later tonight.

Chelsea Green/Piper Niven vs. Indi Hartwell/Candice LeRae

Green goes after LeRae to start and it’s quickly of to Niven to hammer away. An early Vader Bomb misses though and it’s LeRae coming in for some step up backsplashes. Everything breaks down and Niven misses the basement crossbody. That leaves Green to get hung in the ropes for a Lionsault from LeRae for the pin at 3:30.

Result: Indi Hartwell/Candice LeRae b. Chelsea Green/Piper Niven – Lionsault to Green (3:30)

Video on Nia Jax.

Judgment Day isn’t happy with R-Truth being around, but Damian Priest whips out the stack of cash to change their mind. Oh and JD McDonagh doesn’t get any because his name isn’t on the shirt.

Ludwig Kaiser introduces the returning Gunther. The fans seem happy to have him back, which almost has Gunther a bit confused. Gunther says he can smell the desperation around here, but that might just be Arkansas. Last year, Gunther entered the Royal Rumble at #1 and was one elimination away from winning. This year, he’s entering again and he’s going to win.

For now though, he wants to focus on Kaiser. We look at Kaiser injuring Kofi Kingston last week, which Gunther loved. Cue the returning Xavier Woods, who says that was too far last week. Woods is here to get revenge on Kaiser, but maybe Kaiser has to ask daddy for permission. Gunther approves so let’s do this, with Woods winning the pre-match fight.

Xavier Woods vs. Ludwig Kaiser

Joined in progress with Woods hammering away but getting kicked in the face. Kaiser stomps away until Woods gets in a shot to the face of his own. Woods goes up top, only to get pulled back down in a crash. Kaiser is right back on him with more shots to the head, plus a kick to the chest for two.

Back up and Woods manages a kick to the head, only to get dropped again with a hard clothesline. A whip sends Woods shoulder first into the post and a running dropkick puts him on the floor as we take a break. Back with Woods hitting another kick to the head, setting up a chop off. Woods unloads with stomps in the corner and hits a dropkick through the ropes for a bonus. The beating is on outside, with Woods eventually hitting him with a chair for the DQ at 10:10.

Result: Ludwig Kaiser b. Xavier Woods via DQ when Woods used a chair (10:10)

With the match over, Woods grabs the chair again, only to have Kaiser kick it into his face. Kaiser loads up the dropkick into the steps but Woods gets up and throws the stairs at his head. Kaiser ducks away and it’s time to run through the crowd as Woods is still looking angry.

Bronson Reed promises to win some unspecified title.

Ludwig Kaiser jumps Xavier Woods in the back but Jey Uso makes the save.

We look at how Jinder Mahal got a World Title shot against Seth Rollins tonight.

Akira Tozawa vs. Ivar

Maxxine Dupri and Valhalla are here too. Ivar runs him over to start but Tozawa is back up with a spinning kick to the head. Tozawa drops him again and rips the shirt off, only to get caught with a spinning slam. Dupri offers a distraction though and Tozawa grabs a sunset bomb for the pin at 1:58.

Result: Akira Tozawa b. Ivar – Sunset bomb (1:58)

Post match Valhalla and Ivar jump Maxxine and Tozawa to leave them laying.

Here is Rhea Ripley for a chat and she gets right to the point: she is going to be waiting on whomever wins the Royal Rumble because Mami always comes out on top. Cue Becky Lynch to interrupt, Becky talks about their similarities, which include going from nothing to the top and making a big splash at Wrestlemania.

The difference is Becky has actually won the Royal Rumble. Here they stand though, with Lynch wondering if this entire thing has been worth it. Lynch thinks Ripley is better than her, but she needs to beat Ripley to prove herself wrong. She needs to win the Rumble and point at the sign, which sounds good to Ripley. She’ll see Lynch at Wrestlemania.

Seth Rollins knows he’s up against Jinder Mahal tonight and we’ve been here before. This is a different Mahal though, and Seth is ready.

Miz/R-Truth vs. Judgment Day

Non-title and most of Judgment Day is here with Damian Priest and Finn Balor. To make it more complicated, Truth comes out with Judgment Day and hands Balor his cut of the merch money. Ruth starts for the team and takes Balor into the corner, which has Balor annoyed. Balor stomps away and we take an early break.

We come back with Truth fighting out of a chinlock and kicking Balor in the head. The diving tag brings Miz in and Priest is thrown over the announcers’ table. Back in and the corner clothesline hits Balor but Truth tags himself in for the ax kick. Priest yells at Truth, who kicks Balor in the face, earning himself the South Of Heaven. Balor gets the pin at 8:00.

Result: Judgment Day b. Miz/R-Truth – South Of Heaven to Truth (8:00)

Jinder Mahal is ready to get his title back because this is twelve years in the making in one night.

Shinsuke Nakamura is mad at his loss to Cody Rhodes but he’s entering the Royal Rumble.

Tegan Nox/Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark

Stark takes Nox into the corner to start and it’s off to Baszler for a stomp to the chest. Nox fights out of said corner but Baszler sends her right back into the corner. The comeback doesn’t take much longer as Nox gets over to Natalya for the necessary tag. Everything breaks down and Stark comes in but Baszler makes a blind tag. That’s fine with Natalya, who hits a discus lariat but Stark breaks up the Hart Attack. Baszler chokes Natalya for the tap at 5:23.

Result: Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark b. Tegan Nox/Natalya – Kirifuda Clutch to Natalya (5:23)

Here’s what’s coming next week.

Raw World Title: Jinder Mahal vs. Seth Rollins

Mahal is challenging and has Indus Sher with him. Sher offers an early distraction and the beating is on to start. It’s too early for the Khallas, Stomp and Pedigree as Rollins is backdropped out to the floor. Rollins fights up….and here is Damian Priest to watch. We take a break and come back with Mahal dropping some knees and grabbing an abdominal stretch. Rollins fights out and hits some forearms of his own.

A crossbody gives Rollins two and it’s a springboard Swanton into a Lionsault for two more. Rollins comes up favoring his knee but he’s fine enough to grab a Falcon Arrow. The Pedigree is loaded up but his knee gives out, meaning Mahal is up at two. Rollins misses another high crossbody….and Priest stands up. Cue Drew McIntyre to brawl with Priest to the back, leaving Mahal to hit a fireman’s carry gutbuster for two. Veer gets in a briefcase shot into the Khallas for two, only to have Rollins come back with the Stomp to retain at 13:03.

Result: Seth Rollins b. Jinder Mahal – Stomp (13:03)

DIY b. Dominik Mysterio/JD McDonagh – Meet In The Middle to McDonagh
Indi Hartwell/Candice LeRae b. Piper Niven/Chelsea Green – Assisted Lionsault to Green
Ludwig Kaiser b. Xavier Woods via DQ when Woods used a chair
Akira Tozawa b. Ivar – Sunset bomb
Judgment Day b. Miz/R-Truth – South Of Heaven to R-Truth
Shayna Baszler/Zoey Stark b. Natalya/Tegan Nox – Kirifuda Clutch to Natalya
Seth Rollins b. Jinder Mahal – Stomp

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