WWE RAW 3/4/2024: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "WWE Raw," the show where Drew McIntyre continues to be the best character on WWE TV and it isn't particularly close. That said, we're taking a little break from singing Drew's praises this week — this column can't cover everything, especially for a three-hour show, and there was some other stuff that caught the eye of WINC's writing and editorial staff on this fine Monday evening. As always, you can check out our "Raw" results page for an in-depth, objective breakdown of everything that occurred on the episode. This right here? The opposite of objective.


So, what did we think about Seth Rollins' new nickname for The Rock, and the fact that he's getting more and more involved with The Bloodline? Are we excited to find out who GUNTHER's WrestleMania challenger will be? And most importantly, did they really say Sting's name on the broadcast? Here are three things we hated and three things we loved about the 3/4/24 episode of "WWE Raw."

Hated: Opening segment accomplishes nothing except 'Diarrhea Dwayne'

On Friday, I wrote about how much I loved the stipulations and matches put forth by The Rock for WrestleMania, even though the segment was about a million and a half years long on a two-hour show. A few days later, I'm hating on yet another talking segment that opened up "Raw." For some reason, Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins' segment to open the show, though it was only about 24 minutes, felt much longer than Rock and the Bloodline's opener on "WWE SmackDown." I think that's because on Friday, there was actually something interesting to be discussed. Sure, we had to go through Rock's ridiculous '90s Attitude Era-esque heel promo on the fans in Arizona, but when it came down to it, he really did have an interesting challenge to put forth to Rhodes and Rollins. Monday's opener really didn't accomplish anything for me.


Jokes about calling Rock "Diarrhea Dwayne" absolutely did not land with me, because I detest that kind of humor, and it sounded like something Rock himself wrote in his late-90s, early-2000s-style promos he's been cutting of late. It also sounded awfully weird coming from Rollins, who is usually pretty darn eloquent. Despite that nonsense, the opener was basically the two men going back and forth about whether or not they had each other's backs at WrestleMania. Rhodes even awkwardly gave Rollins an out — which made sense for him to focus all his energy on his World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania against Drew McIntyre – but Rollins didn't take it. Rollins said that there are some things even bigger than them, and taking down the Bloodline is the biggest thing that he can do. And to that, I say... not exactly, you should probably be more concerned about your championship when you're up against a raging Scotsman who is hell-bent on getting the title in front of fans (something he actually does really deserve, but I'll save that argument for another day).


To end the segment, Rollins said he'd be on "SmackDown" on Friday to confront the Bloodline, before asking if Cody had HIS back, which he had already kind of confirmed minutes earlier. Rhodes then said he had a message for the Rock, and said he's also going to "SmackDown" with Rollins to stand across for the entire Bloodline and give Rock a face-to-face, clear, obvious answer for what's happening at WrestleMania. Rhodes actually said the word "obvious." So, why not confirm the obvious on tonight's show, accept the challenge, and then just meet them face-to-face on Friday to talk some smack? This segment just seemed pretty unnecessary and very long. Rhodes spent quite a lot of time running down Rock's super-long social media promo, which seemed quite ironic. I love everything about this feud and having a tag-team match on night one of WrestleMania with implications for Rhodes vs. Reigns II, but this segment just didn't land with me tonight, and now we know we're getting another obvious face-to-face on Friday, where Rhodes and Rollins accept. Maybe, at least there will be some physicality in the opening half hour of Friday's "SmackDown" between the two teams.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Loved: The girls are fighting!

Monday night, Liv Morgan dedicated the San Antonio stop on her revenge tour to Becky Lynch. Everything after that was magnificent.

Morgan gave Lynch her receipt by interfering in a match between Lynch and Nia Jax, causing a disqualification. After temporarily taking Jax out with a diving elbow strike, she rolled into the ring to verbally berate an exhausted and despairing Lynch. Of course, "The Man" did not take kindly to Morgan's taunts, and both women were nose-to-nose in a violent argument. Only the insane power of a much-improved-since-Elimination-Chamber Jax separated the two, and the segment ended in single-handed annihilation (pun fully intended).


Having Lynch confront the fact that her actions have collateral damage is a way to make her TV presence more interesting before WrestleMania, and I wish we saw more nuanced babyfaces on television. Sure, a babyface may have legitimate and noble reasons for engaging in violence, but there are often unintended victims of that violence. Think about any time a fight has ended in an unsatisfying way because of outside interference from someone involved in a feud with one of the in-ring performers. The person uninvolved in that feud is often robbed of any catharsis or momentum. That is obviously not the most honorable thing to do, but usually, a babyface will not be held accountable for these actions. It's sort of like a superhero causing millions of dollars in collateral damage, and seeing no bill for it. It's a bit unrealistic when you really look into it, and I'm glad that we're seeing that even the company's biggest female babyface can be held accountable. If anything, this is definitely more preferable than seeing the same "I'm "The Man"" promo week-in and week-out before she meets Ripley in Philadelphia.


We also have to talk about Morgan. Back when Morgan lost to Ronda Rousey, there were whisperings of a more unhinged version of Morgan in the works. For a time, it seemed like Morgan was going off the deep end, and it looked to be a promising gimmick. However, she started to team with Raquel Rodriguez, and any hopes of a tweener Morgan were sufficiently dashed. When she returned, she still lacked that killer instinct that she was hinting at during the loss of her "Smackdown" Women's Championship. Now, while she doesn't quite have that disturbed touch to her, Morgan is proving herself to be a formidable tough girl on the roster, who is just as scrappy — if not more — than Lynch was at the height of her 2019, pre-WrestleMania 35 run. You can just feel how confident Morgan is now in her character work, and she is putting in the work to improve her craft week after week. The sky's the limit for Morgan, and if you don't like it, you can cry about it.

I usually don't have lavish praise for Jax, but I can absolutely commend the improvement she's exhibited after her match with Rhea Ripley at Elimination Chamber. She just feels so much more serious as a competitor now — before, she was on Omos-levels of "big competitor hit hard" booking. Now, she feels more like a ruthless predator who is sadistic in her punishment. Like Morgan, you can see her getting more and more comfortable in her sassiness and mean girl ruthlessness. Jax might not be your favorite, but her improvement is visible and it is welcomed.


This segment was great for everyone involved. Having Lynch face the repercussions of her actions added another layer of nuance to her character. It felt so good to see Morgan tap into a more sinister and violent character, instead of a happy-go-lucky Barbie with tears made of glitter. It's reassuring Jax's booking has not taken a hit after her loss to Ripley. Whether or not this leads to a multi-woman match at WrestleMania, as I'm sure some of you may be speculating, I just want to applaud the women's division for, once again, outshining the men. The girls are fighting, and it is awesome.

Written by Angeline Phu

Hated: IYO SKY can't speak, but Shinsuke Nakamura can

IYO SKY is a woman of few words, at least in English. SKY does speak English on television, but it's generally short and sweet. One could see why that might be part of what's hindering IYO's WrestleMania 40 match with Bayley from getting more focus. The story is there, and it's a great one. Even with limited TV time, they've managed to tell a long story that includes multiple women; imagine if Damage CTRL got even half the TV time that The Bloodline gets.


One of the key things missing, especially when compared to The Bloodline, Cody Rhodes, and Seth Rollins, is promo time, and we saw that Monday night. Rhodes and Rollins got nearly half an hour of promo time. IYO got zero. In her segment, Dakota Kai did all of the talking, save for one line from Shayna Baszler. Later, backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura came into their segment — and spoke English. It was only a few lines, but it stands out in a segment where Japanese women are not speaking. A double whammy of racism and misogyny!

Nakamura uses subtitles in his vignettes. If they can do it for him, they can do it for the WWE Women's Champion and the Women's Tag Team Champions. These women are in a central story and have been for nearly two years. SKY has a WrestleMania 40 match that should be main eventing Night One. We should be hearing from her.


WWE has long had a history of both misogyny and racism, and we still see it in 2024. It's played out over and over again with Asuka, especially when she first came up from "NXT." There had long been rumors that Vince McMahon didn't want to push her due to her thick accent and lack of English speaking skills. He also reportedly thought the same of Becky Lynch due to her thick Irish accent, and those are just two examples. Even without him there, people who worked closely with McMahon are still around and seemingly hold the same beliefs he did. If they are still concerned with SKY's promo skills, they can find ways to work around it. They can work at her level and still enhance the story she's telling with both Bayley and Damage CTRL.

Do better.

Written by Samantha Schipman

Loved: Intercontinental title contenders galore

We all know that GUNTHER's time with the Intercontinental Championship has to be numbered — no fault of his own, of course, it's just that he and the company have got to have bigger and better things in their sights. At 633 days as champion and counting, the all-time longest reign for that particular title ever, there isn't much more he can get out of it. But see, that's the thing — what he put into it is so impressive and valuable that others can now benefit from conquering the beast that GUNTHER has become.


Monday night, we found out, in an announcement by "Raw" GM Adam Pearce, that he who challenges GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Championship will be determined by a six-man gauntlet match on next week's episode. The competitors in that match are solid enough to likely have many people wishing that more than one could win (which is a great question, really, if you start to wonder what, if anything, those who don't win might do at WrestleMania!)

In the match will be Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn, JD McDonagh, "Big" Bronson Reed, and Chad Gable. Ricochet, Nakamura, and Zayn are former Intercontinental Champions, and Gable memorably challenged GUNTHER twice on "Raw" in late August and early September of last year, winning their first encounter (albeit via countout) and suffering the closest of losses in the return engagement. McDonagh is the only disappointing entry for me, if only because I would have preferred to see a freshly re-debuted Andrade in this mix, and in a high-profile program thereafter (but there was some interaction between "El Idolo" and The Judgment Day backstage so maybe that'll be something).


The equity that GUNTHER has built in the Intercontinental Championship is valuable enough to absolutely make the next title holder, and it's exciting to think of the possibilities for the announced names in next week's gauntlet match right from the jump.

Written by Jon Jordan

Hated: Who judges The Judgment Day? (hi, it's me, I do)

When I wrote my grades for Elimination Chamber, I examined the question of what WWE is doing with the tag titles, currently held by Finn Balor and Damian Priest of The Judgment Day. Now, it's time to ask: What the hell is WWE doing with The Judgment Day?


GUNTHER, who is a heel, got cheered Monday night for beating up fellow heel Dominik Mysterio, and not just by the crowd — even Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were pulling for him. Later in the show, Balor and Priest got massive babyface pops in their match with Imperium, another supposed heel vs. heel contest. In that one, commentary was supportive of The Judgment Day, particularly Priest, who Cole said was hearing all the fan comments about his less than stellar run with the MITB briefcase and using them as fuel, or something. And as for Rhea Ripley, does it even matter? She barely even hangs out with them anymore.

This dissonance in how WWE is acting toward various members of the same stable highlights the fact that, aside from Ripley, they have nothing going on for WrestleMania. This is a group that ran roughshod over "Raw" for basically the entirety of 2023; now they're directionless and fragmented. R-Truth, Miz, and DIY made a little noise about taking the titles off them in a backstage comedy segment, but the R-Truth/Judgment Day story seems like it already ended to me, and at this point, can that really be the plan for Mania? A tag title defense, probably involving multiple teams, that has almost zero real build behind it?


It's becoming increasingly clear that the time to break up Judgment Day was months ago. Priest doesn't seem to care about the briefcase anymore, Rhea and Dominik aren't even accompanying each other to the ring anymore, and JD McDonagh has added less than nothing to the group. What's the point of building up a dominant stable if they're just going to fizzle out come Mania season? Something has to change, and quickly, or The Judgment Day are going to be remembered for the R-Truth segments and nothing else.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: Sting Gets An Iconic Shoutout

WWE has created its own little world over the past few years, opting to choose to forget about the people their wrestlers were outside of it and other wrestlers who exist outside of it altogether. While it's understandable that they don't want to bring attention to anything else except for their company, it's a great change of pace to see them start to change the policy, especially for the monumental career moment of an icon.


Michael Cole and Pat McAfee gave a special call-out to Sting during Monday's show following his final match ever and retirement at AEW Revolution Sunday night. Although he may have only had a total of four matches in WWE and is (obviously) no longer in the company, he is a Hall of Famer and was a staple on WCW programming for years. I can only hope to see more of this kind of thing from WWE in the future, and if this is anything to go by, it goes to show that WWE is truly capable of respecting the breadth and history of the industry without promoting their competition.

Written by Olivia Quinlan