WWE Raw is continuing its road to WWE Royal Rumble 2024, which is shaping up with some top candidates like CM Punk and Bayley being potential Rumble winners this year.
On this week’s episode of WWE Raw, five matches have been officially scheduled: Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamuara in the main event, KC^2 (c) vs. Chelsea and Piper for the Women's Tag Team Titles, Kofi Kingston vs. Ludwig Kaiser, The Miz vs. JD McDonagh, and Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa. CM Punk is also set to appear and address the WWE Universe after announcing that he will officially enter the Royal Rumble Match. It will be interesting to see if he has a response for World Champion Seth Rollins and/or The Rock, who returned last week and called out Roman Reigns.
In other news regarding WWE Raw, Seth Rollins retained his World Title against Drew McIntyre for the second time on Day 1 with ringside distractions from Judgment Day. Rhea Ripley retained her title in an amazing match against Ivy Nile and Nia Jax got a huge career-defining victory over Becky Lynch, which implies a future World Title opportunity for the Irrestible Force. Since Nia and Rhea are both Australian, a title match between them at Elimination Chamber in February would be suitable. R-Truth even reunited with Miz as the Awesome Truth to take down Dirty Dom and JD McDonagh.
With that being said, the following will focus on the two announced matches and the idea of CM Punk exposing The Rock on the road to WWE Royal Rumble 2024.
Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura [Grudge Match]
Cody Rhodes will defeat Shinsuke Nakamura because he cannot lose singles matches on random episodes of Raw before he finishes the story against Roman Reigns. WWE has a compelling storyline here, as Nakamura drew parallels between his and Rhodes’ Royal Rumble victories and roads to WrestleMania, where they lost their respective world title matches against AJ Styles and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34 and WrestleMania 39. The objective for Cody Rhodes is to differentiate those stories by proving that he will redeem himself at ‘Mania 40, unlike Nakamura.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes
KC^2 (c) vs. Chelsea Green & Piper Niven [Women's Tag Team Championships]
KC^2 will defeat Chelsea and Piper Niven to retain the tag titles because they just won the belts from Chelsea and Piper, and WWE needs a babyface team as transitional champs to lose to the heel Kabuki Warriors. Bayley herself expressed that Damage Control has an aspiration to win all the gold.
Kofi Kingston vs. Ludwig Kaiser [Grudge Match]
Kofi Kingston will defeat Ludwig Kaiser because he was supposed to win with Jey Uso last week in a tag match until an unexpected referee stoppage occured due to a Giovanni Vinci injury during the match. This match will merely buy time until the aforementioned tag match happens again.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston
The Miz vs. JD McDonagh [Grudge Match]
The Miz will defeat JD McDonagh because he is regaining his momentum with his reunited tag partner, R-Trith, after losing to Gunther in his IC Title hunt. This is the start of a new babyface turn for Miz, so he needs these victories to remind everyone why he is a former World Champion.
Prediction: The Miz
Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa [Grudge Match]
Tommaso Ciampa will defeat Finn Balor because this match was created to build up DIY for future tag title opportunities. DIY had a New Years Resolution that they want to win tag gold in 2024, and they would be the perfect team to dethrone Judgment Day. That way, DIY can reignite this tag division just like they did in their NXT days whilst Mr. MITB Damian Priest can carve his own path to the world title. Damian Priest cannot cash in to win the World Title with the tag titles still in his possesion. Now that WWE is on the road to WrestleMania, it's time to pull the trigger on this title change.
Prediction: Tommaso Ciampa
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