WWE Raw results (3/11): Powell’s live review of Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed vs. JD McDonagh vs. Chad Gable in a gauntlet match for a shot at the IC Title, Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Raw (Episode 1,607)
Houston, Texas at Toyota Center
Aired live March 11, 2024 on USA Network

[Hour One] Raw opened with a shot of Lincoln Financial Field while Michael Cole checked in on commentary and said we are 26 days away from the event. He hyped Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins vs. The Rock and Roman Reigns for WrestleMania night one. A shot aired of the Toyota Center’s exterior, which Cole said was sold out.

Footage aired of rapper Travis Scott arriving earlier in the day and being greeted by Jey Uso. A separate timestamped shot aired of Gunther’s arrival earlier in the day… Pat McAfee was on commentary with Cole, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance while a graphic listed him as having beaten Jey Uso last week. Some fans gave McIntyre the “What?” treatment. He put it to rest by saying, “Say ‘what’ if you’re glad I took out CM Punk.” Funny. McIntyre said he always tells the truth and he always has the answers.

McIntyre asked the fans if they wanted to know the answers to the bigger picture. A “CM Punk” chant broke out. McIntyre laughed and said absolutely not, then looked into the camera and said he expected a thank you from Punk because he’s the only thing keeping him relevant.

McIntyre brought up The Rock. He spoke about how pro wrestling started at carnivals and then moved to armories and now they work with one of the most powerful people on earth. McIntyre said he gets why Cody Rhodes is upset, but it doesn’t involve him, nor does it involve Seth Rollins. McIntyre said everyone from the locker room to the board knows that he is a champion the company can be proud of.

World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins made his entrance and told McIntyre to do everyone a favor by shutting his mouth. Rollins entered the ring and said McIntyre has been begging for his attention. Rollins dropped down to his knees and dared McIntyre to give him a Claymore Kick. Rollins said he forgot that McIntyre is a coward, so he stood up and turned his back to him.

McIntyre said that before things get weirder, he just wanted to talk with Rollins. McIntyre said Rollins was right when he told him to get over The Bloodline. McIntyre said he gave Rollins the same advice, but all Rollins cares about is himself.

Rollin said McIntyre is starting to remind him of CM Punk. Rollins said he thought Punk was the biggest hypocrite in the world until he met McIntyre. Rollins said McIntyre complained about The Bloodline and now it seems like he’s an honorary member. Rollins pointed to the help that McIntyre received when he beat Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso.

Rollins said he believes McIntyre would love nothing more than to have The Bloodline help him take the title. Rollins said it won’t happen. Rollins said he and Cody will take down The Bloodline on night one of WrestleMania, and then he’ll Stomp and pin McIntyre on night two.

McIntyre said he knew Rollins wanted him to put him out of his misery, but there was nothing he could say that would provoke him. McIntyre exited the ring. Rollins called out to him and said he hasn’t paid much attention to McIntyre on the road to WrestleMania because of all the things he has to worry about going into the show, McIntyre is at the very bottom of the list.

McIntyre showed through his facial expression that the line got to him. McIntyre turned back and walked to the ring, but then he stopped and declined to reenter despite Rollins attempting to goad him into doing so. Rollins danced while McIntyre stormed to the back…

Powell’s POV: I feels odd to have the World Heavyweight Champion making it seem like he’s not concerned by his challenger heading into the biggest show of the year, but they also made it clear that Rollins was trying to get under the skin of McIntyre. I enjoyed the exchange, but I think they need to have Rollins treat McIntyre as a serious threat. I suppose the idea could be that overlooking McIntyre will be an out for Rollins losing, but that seems like a strange approach for a babyface.

Cole and McAfee spoke at ringside while timestamped footage aired of Damage CTRL arriving earlier in the day…

Becky Lynch made her entrance for the opening match with Liv Morgan heading into the first commercial break… [C] Cole touted WWE topping 100 million YouTube subscribers…

A Chad Gable video package aired about his quest to win the Intercontinental Championship and how “it just means more”… Cole hyped the gauntlet match for later in the show… Liv Morgan made her entrance…

1. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan. Cole said this was the first time in over two years that Lynch and Morgan were meeting in a match. Morgan hit her feet on the top rope while performing a clunky suicide dive heading into an early break. [C]

Morgan performed a springboard into a Codebreaker for a near fall. Lynch fought back and attempted a suplex off the apron, but Morgan blocked it. Morgan executed a sunset bomb off the apron. Back in the ring, Morgan covered Lynch for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Lynch hit Morgan with a Manhandle Slam out of nowhere, but Morgan rolled to the floor. [C]

Lynch caught Morgan in an armbar, but Morgan rolled onto her and got a two count. They traded pin attempts. Morgan hit her Oblivion finisher, but Lynch rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. Morgan followed to ringside and slammed Lynch’s head on the apron a few times before throwing her back inside the ring. Morgan went for a move from the middle rope, but Lynch caught her and hit the Manhandle Slam and then got the three count.

Becky Lynch defeated Liv Morgan in 15:30.

After the match, Lynch and Morgan sat in opposite corners of the ring. Lynch nodded at Morgan in a sign of respect before Lynch stood up and had her arm raised by the referee.

Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley made her entrance while Morgan was about to leave. Morgan stood next to the barricade while Ripley approached her. Morgan was held back by the referee and jawed at Ripley, who blew her a kiss before heading to the ring.

Ripley congratulated Lynch on her win while a “Mami” chant broke out. Ripley noted that Lynch beat Morgan and then asked her if it was all worth it. Ripley said Lynch keeps getting into fights and leaving it all in the ring as they get closer and closer to WrestleMania.

Ripley said Lynch claims she fights anyone, anywhere for the people and her family. Ripley said Lynch does it to prove to herself that she’s still the best. “You know deep down that I am better than you,” Ripley said. She accused Lynch of taking so many matches leading into WrestleMania so that she will have an excuse for why she couldn’t beat her. Ripley said that Lynch won’t walk out The Man, she’ll leave WrestleMania a disappointment.

Lynch recalled saying before the Royal Rumble that Ripley might be better than her. Lynch said she planted a seed and now it’s lead to roots and vines that have spread around the world. Lynch said she is good when people believe in her, but she’s great when they doubt her. Lynch said if it has to be her against the whole world, then the world doesn’t stand a chance. Lynch dropped the mic and left the ring…

Powell’s POV: A good competitive opening match. Morgan looked strong in defeat despite the early flub on the suicide dive. The post match verbal exchange was well done with Ripley looking extremely confident and telling a logical story about Lynch, who fired back in a brief, yet extremely confident manner.

Raw General Manager Adam Pearce and Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis announced in a video package that Damian Priest and Finn Balor will defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles in a Six-Pack Ladder Match. They said teams will compete on Raw and Smackdown to qualify for the match…

Priest, Balor, and JD McDonagh were shown talking in the Judgment Day clubhouse. Priest and Balor were unhappy about the announcement and said they were going to talk to the Pearce… [C]

Powell’s POV: So we’re having a six-team ladder match to get a whole bunch of people on the show. I suspect we’ll get something similar with the women’s tag team titles to get even more people on the show.

Cole recapped The Rock, Bad Bunny, and John Cena’s appearances at the Academy Awards… Rapper Travis Scott was shown in the crowd. Scott stood up on his chair and played to the fans…

2. Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri vs. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell. Neither team’s entrance was televised. Durpri got some early offense on Hartwell, prompting Cole to say that she was showing she belongs. Dupri went for a reverse Caterpillar, but she backed off when LeRae was waiting for her. LeRae barked at Dupri that she doesn’t belong and mocked her for the internet hurting her feelings. Dupri shoved LeRae aside and it looked like she was going to leave, but Hartwell dropped her with a kick and pinned her.

Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell beat Ivy Nile and Maxxine Dupri in 2:00.

The broadcast team expressed disbelief over the things LeRae said to Dupri and called her actions despicable…

Powell’s POV: Wow, that felt really forced. The crowd sat in the usual silence for Raw’s random women’s tag team match of the week. They really should have had LeRae cut into Dupri over the mic so that the live crowd could have actually heard her comments. It didn’t help that Cole and McAfee struggled to be convincing with their fake outrage.

Cody Rhodes was shown exiting his tour bus in the parking area while Cole said he would speak with him after the break… [C]

[Hour Two] Cole plugged ticket information for Money in the Bank weekend…

Backstage, Pearce and Aldis spoke about the tag title match at WrestleMania and said there will be three challenging teams from Raw and two from Smackdown. Priest and Balor stormed into the office with McDonagh and complained about the match. Priest demanded to know whose idea it was. Pearce said they had a conversation with The Miz and R-Truth.

Priest called for a match against them. Pearce said Miz and Truth were not at Raw because they were doing media. Truth walked into the room and didn’t realize it was Monday. Priest told Pearce to make the match…

Cole stood in the ring and set up a video package that recapped the segment involving The Rock, Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes, and Seth Rollins…

Cody Rhodes was introduced by Cole. Cody headed to the ring dressed in a suit and slapped hands along the way. A “Cody” chant broke out. Cody and Cole sat in two chairs that were set up inside the ring. “What do you want to talk about?” Cole asked. “I had to.”

Cole recalled The Rock pointing out that he’s on the board of directors and is Cody’s boss. Cole asked Cody why he slapped Rock. Cody said he knows Rock claims to be his boss, but he’s not sure that he is. Cody said that if Rock is his boss, it felt good to slap his boss. Cody said The Rock was a great wrestler before everything else came along. Cody said the slap was a receipt.

Cole asked Cody and Rollins about agreeing to have a tag team match on night one when they have championship matches on Sunday. Cole also asked Cody how he can trust Rollins. Cody said people change. Cody recalled Cole’s heel character. He also recalled when he smashed a throne and he said the person who sits on that throne has now become his closest working ally. Cody said he even teamed with Jey Uso.

Cody said he and Rollins haven’t always gotten along, but Rollins has always had his respect. Cody said this is his shot at getting a fair fight against Reigns on night two. Cody set up footage on the big screen of Cole asking him in October whether coming close to winning the title would be Cody’s story, just as it was his father’ story.

Cody said it was a good question. He asked Cole if he looked nervous and scared. Cody said the old head podcasters can’t believe he’s wearing suits and using big words. He said the story is no longer about him and Reigns, it’s about the fans who have followed him to the absolute end. Cody told a story about a blind fan who came to the show to feel the cheers, and another who underwent spinal fusion surgery and wanted nothing more than to get his weight belt.

Cody brought up his sister that Rock didn’t mention and his mother. Cody got emotional while he said he couldn’t hand the title belt to his father, but he could still hand it to his mother Michelle Rubio. Cody also brought up his wife Brandi Rhodes and said she took a shot on him when he was wearing a goofy mask and taking RKO’s every night.

Cody said the story is beyond him, but it’s up to him. Cody stood up and looked into the camera while recalling Roman Reigns stating last year at WrestleMania that they were in the third inning. Cody declared they are in the final inning. Cody said Cole will get to say at WrestleMania that Cody Rhodes finished the story. Cody shook hands with Cole and hugged him…

Powell’s POV: A great show of emotion from Cody. He’s done a tremendous job of emphasizing that his story isn’t all about him, it’s also about his family and fans. Really well done. I’m anxious to see what Cody has in store for go-home week.

Ricochet and JD McDonagh video packages aired to set up their involvement in the gauntlet match… Footage aired of the legends who have won the Intercontinental Championship and then Cole hyped the gauntlet match for later in the show…

Damage CTRL made their entrance for The Kabuki Warriors’ title defense… [C]

Backstage, Becky Lynch approached Liv Morgan. They looked at one another intensely and then Lynch offered a handshake, which Morgan accepted. Nia Jax attacked both women and put Lynch through a merch table that was set up in the backstage area for some strange reason…

Cast members from The McBee Dynasty reality show were shown in the crowd…

Powell’s POV: I haven’t seen their Peacock show, but one can only hope that the McBees wake up every morning and say a prayer of thanks for the success of Yellowstone.

Shayna Bazler and Zoey Stark made their entrance to a flat reaction. A brief pre-taped promo aired with the duo talking about winning the tag titles…

3. “The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane (w/Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky) vs. Shayna Bazler and Zoey Stark for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. They went to break roughly two minutes into the match. [C]

Late in the match, Stark caught Sane with a superkick and tagged out before hitting the Z360. Baszler blasted Sane with a knee strike and had her pinned until Asuka broke it up. Stark went for a dive from the ring, but Asuka moved out of the way, causing Stark to crash and burn.

Baszler caught Sane in the Kirifuda Clutch. Sane rolled onto her and got a two count, but Baszler maintained the hold as they stood up. Kai reached in and grabbed Baszler’s foot to cause a distraction. Asuka tagged in and put Baszler down with a kick. Sane tagged in and hit her Insane Elbow drop on Baszler and then pinned her…

“The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Bazler and Zoey Stark in 10:20 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: The crowd didn’t really choose sides, but they did react to some of the bigger moves. Both teams worked hard and put together a nice match.

Backstage, Rhea Ripley, Priest, Balor, and McDonagh met with Andrade. Ripley said Dominik Mysterio wasn’t present, but she invited him to meet and speak business. Andrade accepted the invitation and then made his exit. Balor said he agrees with Dom about Andrade and said he brings a lot to the table. Priest said he wanted to focus on the five teams they’ll face at WrestleMania. Priest said it would start when he takes care of R-Truth…

R-Truth sang his entrance theme as he headed to the ring… [C] Shinsuke Nakamura and Bronson Reed were featured in video packages for the gauntlet match… Damian Priest made his entrance and brought the Money in the Bank briefcase with him…

4. Damian Priest vs. R-Truth. Priest punched Truth before the opening bell, but they had to replay it because Cole was doing a read for the WWE video game. The referee apparently rewarded the heel by calling for the bell. Priest dominated Truth.

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa ran out to ringside. Priest set up Truth for a Razor’s Edge on the broadcast table, but Truth slipped away. Truth hit Priest with a clothesline from the apron. Both men were down at ringside heading into a break. [C]

Priest performed a flatliner on Truth and covered him for a near fall. Priest went up top, but Truth fell into the top rope, causing Priest to crotch himself. Truth performed some John Cena offense and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Truth followed up with the Attitude Adjustment for a near fall.

Truth applied the STF. Finn Balor and JD McDonagh attacked Gargano and Ciampa at ringside. Truth went up top and dove onto the pile of wrestlers on the floor, which drew a censored “holy shit” chant from the crowd. Truth returned to the ring and ate a clothesline. Priest lowered his straps and then hit the South of Heaven chokeslam and scored the pin.

Damian Priest beat R-Truth in 8:00.

After the match, Priest chokeslammed Ciampa on the apron and then Balor hit the Coup de Grace on Gargano…

Powell’s POV: That was fun. The crowd was hot for Truth using Cena’s moves.

Jey Uso made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. Jey said he came to Raw for a fresh start, but The Bloodline and his brother Jimmy Uso won’t let him go. Jey challenged Jimmy to face him at WrestleMania. The fans cheered and then chanted “Yeet”. Jey told Jimmy to accept his challenge because he intends to “knock the yeet out of your ass”…

A video package aired on Gunther’s Intercontinental Title reign…

Gunther was interviewed on the backstage set by Jackie Redmond, who noted that he has held the title for 640 days. Redmond said there are some who believe Gunther has become overconfident and might be underestimating the six men in the gauntlet match.

Gunther said it’s none of his concern. He said he beat Ricochet to become champion and elevated the title to heights never seen before. Gunther said he’s flattered in knowing that six men would leave it all in the ring to earn the right to face him. Gunther wished good luck to whoever wins the gauntlet match…

Ricochet made his entrance for the gauntlet match… Cole touted Muhammad Ali being added to the WWE Hall of Fame’s class of 2024…

The following matches were announced for next week’s Raw in Raleigh, North Carolina: “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Otis and Akira Tozawa in a ladder match qualifier, “DIY” Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Julius Creed and Brutus Creed in a ladder match qualifier, R-Truth and The Miz vs. “Indus Sher” Veer Mahaan and Sanga in a ladder match qualifier, and Becky Lynch vs. Nia Jax in a Last Woman Standing match…

Cole hyped CM Punk’s appearance on the March 25 edition of Raw from Allstate Arena in Chicago… Country singer Cody Jinks was shown in the crowd… JD McDonagh made his entrance for the gauntlet match…

5. Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bronson Reed vs. JD McDonagh vs. Chad Gable in a gauntlet match for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XL. Ricochet and McDonagh started the match. McDonagh performed an early standing moonsault for a two count. Ricochet came back with a springboard elbow.

Ricochet went for a Lionsault, but McDonagh put his knees up. McDonagh performed a brainbuster for a near fall. Ricochet performed a Poison Rana, but McDonagh came right back with a standing Spanish Fly for a near fall. [C]

Ricochet had a nice flurry of offense that resulted in a near fall. McDonagh threw Ricochet under the ropes and into the post for a two count of his own. McDonagh set Ricochet on the top turnbuckle and chopped him. McDonagh set up for a top rope move, but Ricochet pushed him off and then hit a shooting star press and got the three count. Cole played up a rib injury that Ricochet sold throughout the match.

Ricochet defeated JD McDonagh in roughly 12:00 to advance in the gauntlet match.

5B. Ricochet vs. Bronson Reed in the second stage of a gauntlet match. Ricochet dove onto Reed at ringside. Ricochet sent Reed out of the other side of the ring and then hit him with another dive. Reed returned to the ring first, but Ricochet caught him with a kick and then went for a springboard move.

Reed caught Ricochet and slammed him into the corner and then powerslammed him for a two count. Reed put Ricochet down and hit him with a senton. Reed followed up with the Tsunami splash and then pinned him.

Bronson Reed defeated Ricochet in 14:05 to advance in the gauntlet match.

Powell’s POV: I’m going with running time for the whole match, meaning the Reed vs. Ricochet leg of the match only lasted a couple of minutes.

5C. Bronson Reed vs. Sami Zayn in the third stage of a gauntlet match. Zayn ducked a clothesline and then tossed Reed to the floor. Zayn followed and threw chops at Reed on the floor and then took a chop and a headbutt. A “Sami” chant broke out. Reed whipped Sami toward the barricade, but Zayn jumped on it and hit Reed with a moonsault. [C]

Cole noted that Zayn observed the first day of Ramadan and was able to eat or drink throughout the day. Reed got Zayn on the top turnbuckle and set up for a move, but Zayn countered into a sunset bomb and scored the pin.

Sami Zayn defeated Bronson Reed in roughly 21:10 to advance in the gauntlet match.

After the match, Reed attacked Zayn and hit him with a Tsunami splash while Shinsuke Nakamura slowly made his entrance.

5D. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn in the fourth stage of a gauntlet match. Nakamura went for a Kinshasa, but Zayn avoided it and rolled him up for a two count. Nakamura stood up and caught Zayn with a kick. Zayn rolled to the floor. Nakamura followed him to ringside and hit Zayn with a leaping kick that knocked him over the broadcast table. [C]

McAfee used the telestrator to recap Reed’s post match Tsunami on Zayn. In the ring, Nakamura set up for his finisher. Zayn stuffed it and went for an exploder suplex, but Nakamura avoided that. Moments later, Zayn caught Nakamura with a Helluva Kick and pinned him.

Sami Zayn beat Shinsuke Nakamura in 28:30 to advance in the gauntlet match.

5E. Chad Gable vs. Sami Zayn in the final stage of a gauntlet match. Zayn was down when Gable entered the ring. Gable picked Zayn up and tried to pump him up while pointing at the WrestleMania sign. Zayn fired up, but Gable hit him with two German suplexes. Gable caught Zayn in an ankle lock. Zayn reached the ropes and rolled to the apron. Gable slid under the ropes and reapplied the ankle lock. Zayn kicked Gable into the ring steps. [C]

Gable went to the ropes, but Zayn cut him off from behind. Zayn went for a suplex, but Gable stuffed it and knocked Zayn to the mat with elbow strikes. Gable attempted a moonsault, but Zayn put his knees up and then hooked Gable into a pin for a near fall.

Gable came back with an ankle lock. Zayn reached the ropes to break the hold. Gable reapplied the hold a short time later. Zayn reached for the ropes, but Gable pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Zayn rolled onto his back and kicked Gable, who still maintained the hold. Zayn teased tapping out and then stood up. Gable released the hold and executed a German suplex.

Gable went for a top rope moonsault that Zayn avoided. Zayn limped before he connected with a Helluva Kick. Zayn slowly made the cover for a two count and then Gable hooked him into a pin for a strong near fall. Cole said there were 13,907 fans in attendance at the sold out show.

Both wrestlers got to their knees. Gable grabbed Zayn from behind. Zayn elbowed Gable, who blasted him with forearm shots to the head. Gable, who was bleeding from the mouth, lowered the strap on his singlet and let out a primal scream before suplexing into a bridge for a two count. Gable applied the ankle lock. Zayn countered into a pin and got the three count.

Sami Zayn defeated Chad Gable in the final stage of a gauntlet match in roughly 41:30 to earn a shot at the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XL.

After the match, Gable pulled Zayn to his feet and then they hugged. Gunther’s music played and he walked out dressed in a suit with the Intercontinental Championship belt over his shoulder. Gunther smiled as he looked at Zayn to close out the show…

Powell’s POV: A strong match once it was down to the final two of the gauntlet match. The creative team did a nice job of making Gable feel like a viable threat to win by giving him a catchphrase and playing up the promise he made to beat Gunther. Zayn vs. Gunther was the most appealing match of the six possibilities for this viewer, and I’m really looking forward to their match at WrestleMania.

Overall, a quality show with the gauntlet match carrying the majority of the final hour. The build to WrestleMania XL is going really well. I will be back later tonight with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Raw by grading the show below.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. That women’s tag team “match” was a) poorly booked and b) poorly received. what a waste of talent. I hope the Tag team championship match later is actually a match

  2. I have zero interest in a Bloodline rules garbage match between Cody and Roman, or, worse, in seeing a new wrestler debut, who joins the Bloodline the next night, and they have more members than the NWO.

    I would just like Cody and Roman to be trusted to put on a great match and win clean. Anything else would be overbooked WCW.

  3. So WWE claims it has a “massive” (that was their word) announcement, and that MASSIVE announcement is…. a six pack tag team ladder match. WWE fans mock Tony Khan whenever he says he has a huge announcement, yet will claim this fits the “massive announcement” description.

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