WWE RAW 12/11/2023: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "WWE Raw," the show where we shall fear no evil because if anything bad happens the Creed Brothers will probably make the save! And yes, we have some stuff to say about the Creed Brothers making the save Monday night, as well as some women's wrestling takes and some other takes related to the phrases "yeet" and "beef planet." And of course, we will talk about The Part With CM Punk, don't you worry — though the real question is, was Punk even the biggest star in the segment he was in?

Are we going to talk about everything? Are we going to be objective? No and also no; that's what our live coverage/results page is for. This column is for our opinions, and only the strongest ones. Sorry, Axis Powers But Not Really vs. Team Cleveland, you weren't good or bad enough to make the cut. These are three things we hated and three things we loved about the 12/11/23 episode of "WWE Raw."

Loved: Return of the Yeet

Jey Uso brought back his "Yeet" catchphrase Monday night after just a week of it being gone due to WWE allegedly being unable to get the trademark. I was genuinely surprised that "WWE Raw" kicked off with Uso coming to the ring in his "Yeet" shirt with the crowd not being censored. To me, it's a little old, but damn is it over — to the point that my 40-year-old husband has adopted it into his vernacular. It's not the most annoying thing in the world, and everyone in the crowd has fun chanting it, and when a crowd is having fun, it makes the viewing experience here at home that much better. Also — a loud crowd chanting even a mildly annoying phrase is much better than WWE production constantly muting them. You wouldn't be able to hear any commentary throughout a single Uso match going forward for quite some time if that was the case.

Another aspect is the fact the merch is back up on WWE Shop. While I personally wouldn't ever wear a "Yeet" shirt, even to a WWE show (and I don't think they're ugly at all), that's great for the fans who want to buy one. My main thought, though, is that Uso, who I genuinely like a lot right now, gets a cut of those merch sales. And that's great for him.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: The Ivar/Bronson Reed feud

At first, I was planning on hating Ivar taking on Bronson Reed for the millionth time. That was, until I realized this was only the second time they had faced each other in singles competition and just the third time overall (discounting battle royals).

I think that right there just goes to show how much this feud feels like it's been dragging on. I can't help but feel that it's become real stale, real fast, almost as though WWE views it exclusively as a way for Ivar and Valhalla to do something until Erik returns, giving up on investing any time into things rather than building up an actual story. It's unfortunately just become something that seems to be going nowhere, with it no longer feeling like their issues between the two men are due to the Intercontinental Championship, but with the personal stakes feeling like they've remained at the same low level.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Loved: Punk and Rollins tee up a future classic

CM Punk's return to WWE at Survivor Series lit the wrestling world on fire. His return promo on "Raw" the following Monday seemed to garner a split reaction. On "SmackDown," Punk, with more time, found his footing and started to build some momentum, name-dropping several WWE superstars and teasing possible feuds. At "NXT" Deadline on Saturday, well, he had fun with Shawn Michaels.

Monday night, we kicked things into high gear with Punk not only announcing that "Raw" would be his WWE home and declaring for the Royal Rumble, but getting into it with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth "Freakin'" Rollins, face to face, live and in living colo(u)r.

Yeah, we had Rollins' staged hissyfit at the Rumble, post-Punk return. Yeah, we had subtle barbs back and forth, first at live events, and then on both "Raw" and "SmackDown." And yeah, last week, I wasn't a huge fan of getting nothing from Punk at all on Monday night, the idea being that we were missing an opportunity to further momentum. But I have little faith. I need to be more patient. Just a week later, we're off and running. (For the record, when I think about it, I can dig what has proven to be a slow and measured approach all the while. You can't give everything away all at once, after all.)

It was pretty surreal to see these two jawing in person — a "Wow, this is actually happening" moment that is equal parts something we don't get enough of and something that should always be special. And speaking of special, that's what Punk and Rollins have teed up now for a feud that just has to culminate in a main event match at WrestleMania. (Right?)

Written by Jon Jordan

Hated: Making an example of Maxxine

When I saw the graphic that Rhea Ripley would be taking on Alpha Academy's Maxxine Dupri, I think I cringed. I definitely said to my colleagues, "Well, this isn't going to be pretty." I had a friend reach out to me this afternoon just to say "I'm worried about Maxxine." So it was pretty bad to begin with. Then, in a backstage segment in The Judgment Day's clubhouse, Rhea Ripley actually said something along the lines of "I need my division to RESPECT me." And that gave me pause. Girl. What would beating up and, I assumed, squashing a still-green wrestler like Maxxine do along the lines of making people respect you? To me, that's beating up on the weak and being a bully. This was Maxxine's second-ever singles match — if Ripley needs respect, she should be taking on the likes of someone a bit more established, like Candace LeRae, or maybe even Ivy Nile with Maxxine just in her corner, instead of the other way around. And to top it all off,  the match wasn't even for the Women's World Championship.

I did admire Maxxine's spirit. I really like her a lot, ever since she linked up with Chad Gable and Otis. But she needs more time in the ring, and WWE just isn't giving it to her. This match was sloppy, and she's going to get hurt if she's not careful. Ripley wasn't even able to get her up for her powerbomb finisher, twice, and I don't think that was on Ripley. Maxxine is just someone who would benefit a lot from a stint in "NXT."

This didn't make sense from the get-go, and absolutely everyone knew it. I like Maxxine, but WWE needs to do better by her and get her some better singles reps ... hopefully on Tuesday nights.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Loved: The women's tag team division is finally building up some steam

There haven't been a ton of good vibes around the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship in the last few ... months? Years? Maybe ever? They never get TV time. There aren't enough teams in the division, only partially because everyone who holds the titles seems to get injured. They were left behind when two of the women's division's biggest stars walked out of the company. Hell, the announcement that the titles were being reinstated in the first place was wedged between two other announcements and delivered by Vince McMahon in a Santa costume — not the best of omens.

And yet, we're now in the middle of what will be three straight weeks with a women's tag team match on "Raw." The division has something resembling an actual storyline. And the worst thing you can say about Katana Chance and Kayden Carter vs. Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae is that it was too short.

I was really, really impressed by the in-ring work in this one. It was everything the haters say women's wrestling isn't — fast, crisp, creative, with innovative spots and tremendous counters. It was both well-designed and well-executed, and it's a real shame they didn't get more time, because this could really have turned into something special. As it stands, it's a reminder that Chance and Carter were absolute workhorses in "NXT," that Indi Hartwell can do anything you ask her to do, and that Candice LeRae is somehow still underrated. And with any luck, it's a sign of better days ahead. It really seems like WWE is, finally, starting to put some actual effort into this division, which now has at least four locked-in teams. That momentum could always stall (and it probably will), but for now, it was great to see these four stars actually get to shine.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Hated: The Creed Brothers save the world

This Cody Rhodes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match Monday night was always going to end in some sort of shenanigans; that was pretty easy to see in what was clearly going to be a long-term feud from the start. So when Nakamura spewed his poison red mist into the face of Rhodes, hey, no big deal. As a "blinded" Cody took knee after knee and other offense from Nakamura, surely someone would come to Rhodes' aid. Jey Uso made all the sense in the world, but maybe he was banged up from his show opener with Drew McIntyre, and I guess, beyond that, Rhodes doesn't have a very long list of healthy allies at the moment, at least not with Sami Zayn on the shield.

But what didn't make any sense whatsoever was The Creed Brothers running down to make the save, forcing Nakamura to exit the ring and be held back by the customary gathered pack of WWE officials. The Creed Brothers, recently called up from "NXT" and certainly making an immediate impact on the "Raw" roster, with an upcoming Tag Team Championship match against The Judgment Day and all, rushed to the aid of ... Cody Rhodes? Why? There's no connection there that I can muster. I'd say let's be patient and let it play out and all that, but it wasn't just that it made no sense; they also didn't even do a good job making the save, as Nakamura surged through WWE officials to land another blow to a hobbled Rhodes while the Creeds just sort of stood there. This wasn't even their first time doing this on this episodel earlier in the night, Brutus and Julius also made the save after The Judgment Day assaulted R-Truth. At least they have a connection there with the upcoming title match, but Cody? What am I missing here?

I'm sure WWE can work backwards and make this make sense but for now, no dice. This was all wildly random.

Written by Jon Jordan

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