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The WWE Raw Reaction for 1/3/22

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Welcome to the WWE Raw Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Greenville, SC.

As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.

We kick things off with a highlight package of the Day 1 PLC before the lights went out and when they came back on, Paul Heyman is standing in the ring to welcome us to Promo Time with Brock Lesnar. I had concerns about Paul Heyman pulling off a babyface act and he proved me wrong with this promo. Heyman put Reigns down before listing off each of tonight’s Fatal Four Way participants and the reason for them being in the match before leaving. This was really great and I highly recommend it.

Our opening match has RK-Bro taking on Alpha Academy in a tag team match. It was not announced as a championship contender’s match, but Creative probably forgot about that. Anyway, we got a Three Minute Raw Special and, shockingly, Alpha Academy actually won with Otis pinning Riddle while Orton didn’t even tag in due to getting attacked. I’m going for a tag title match at the Rumble.

Tamina got a new tag team partner in Akira Tozawa to take on Reggie and Dana Brooke in a 24/7 Mixed Tag Team Title Match. Reggie picked up the win for his team but did not win the title. If they lost, who would have been awarded the 24/7 title? Then again, who cares?

Promo Time with Becky Lynch is up next. Lynch brags about defeating Liv Morgan at Day 1. Morgan comes out to confront Lynch but is interrupted by Bianca Belair. Belair wants another shot at the title but Morgan said she wasn’t finished with Lynch. A fight breaks out and Lynch ends up standing tall. I’m starting to have some doubts about Morgan and the Rumble. Perhaps my original prediction of Morgan and Money in the Bank is more accurate.

Oh look, Seth Rollins defeated the WWE Random Name Shortener and won a middle name. I smell a rematch, though.

The entire WWE Women’s Tag Team Division is featured next as the tag champs Carmella and Queen Zelina defend against Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. in a throwaway match that nobody cared about. It’s a shame to see what Nikki’s character turned into after having such promise. Well, that’s what happens when you enter into a feud with Super Charlotte and her golden shovel.

The Street Profits are up next to take on Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez. We get another crazy short match, but Azeez at least shows us he knows how to bump. The Street Profits win and Crews needs to find some winning ways. Another great gimmick that went nowhere fast.

Next week, we get Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, and Doudrop in a triple threat match to determine who faces Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble. That’ll be a tough one to call.

Damian Priest defends the United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler again. The prematch stipulation has Ziggler winning the title if Priest gets counted out or disqualified. Well, that just told us who wins now doesn’t it? The match was pretty good with Ziggler trying to bring Damian out of Priest so he could win the title. Damian outsmarts Ziggler and Priest retains. Ziggler did a really good job of putting both sides of Priest over.

What’s the point of these Vince McMahon/Austin Theory segments?

Promo Time with The Miz and Maryse is up. Miz was complaining, per usual, about Edge beating him at Day 1. Maryse shot her mouth off about Beth Phoenix to cue Beth’s entrance with Edge. I do have to admit, the Edge/Beth pose for the pyro is pretty cool looking. Edge thankfully cuts to the chase and issues a mixed tag match challenge for the Royal Rumble. Miz accepts it.

AJ Styles takes on Omos next. As expected, Styles puts Omos over and the match was not as terrible as I thought it would be. At least they kept it short.

Alexa Bliss’s journey back to Raw begins next week. Hopefully, she’s learned how to properly bump and not making hits for Ryan Cabrera.

Main event time with the originally scheduled Day 1 Fatal Four Way match between Big E, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and Bobby Lashley. This time, the winner gets Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. The match was excellent with lots of action. Rollins and Owens teamed up for quite a bit of it and let each other try to get the win. That was an interesting twist. Lashley and Big E would eventually team up to take on Owens and Rollins. The ensuing brawl was great and when the dust settled, Bobby Lashley picked up the win after spearing Kevin Owens. The Lashley/Lesnar dream match is now set for the Rumble. Lesnar was asked for the closing comment backstage and he said he was going to see Roman Reigns at Smackdown on Friday.

 

Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.

The Highs

The Fatal Four Way main event was terrific. I wonder (outside of the winner) if this was how the original match was going to be planned out before Lesnar got inserted into it. It was great from bell to bell and worth checking out.

Paul Heyman’s opening promo was different with him in the babyface role. He did really well and can pull off either heel or face with ease. I can’t wait for the dueling promos with MVP.

The Lows

Why are the 24/7 and Women’s Tag Team Championships still a thing? Both title matches today were throwaway matches that took longer to write up a reaction for than the actual match. If both titles disappeared, I don’t think anybody would notice.

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You can hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any comments or discussion.

That’s all I’ve got, until next time.