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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/21/22 Review

wwe raw deal nov 21

This week’s WWE Raw featured Asuka facing Rhea Ripley on the last Raw before Survivor Series takes place this Saturday.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1539 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw opening video aired. They don’t show it every week.

Let’s Hear from Kevin Owens, The Brawling Brutes & Drew McIntyre

Kevin Owens was up first making his return to Raw after nearly two months away. Big pop for KO, who returned to Smackdown this past Friday to join the Men’s WarGames match with Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland against The Bloodline this Saturday at Survivor Series. They showed Owens having a staredown with Sami Zayn and also hitting Roman Reigns with a Stunner.

Owens said that on Smackdown, he joined the WarGames match against The Bloodline. Owens talked about how he still considers Sami Zayn like a brother. Owens said that the person he’s coming to Survivor Series for is Roman Reigns. Owens talked about how it’s been two years since he faced Reigns in the ring (not that long, but close to that) and Owens will remind Reigns who he is. Owens said he took Reigns to the limit three times. Owens said if it wasn’t for Roman’s Bloodline, he would have ended the title reign before it started. Owens said he’ll take out the entire Bloodline so the next time he gets a shot at Reigns, he’ll be the guy that takes Roman’s title. The fans loved it as they chanted KO’s name.

Owens said he got to go to Smackdown because he was extended an invitation by some guys, so he decided to return the favor and tonight, he didn’t come alone.

It’s fight night! Sheamus, Butch and Ridge Holland aka The Brawling Brutes were in the crowd in the back part of the arena. Drew McIntyre was there too. That foursome walked down the steps to make their way down to the ring. Sheamus, Ridge and Butch were in their wrestling gear while Drew was not. They all joined KO in the ring. Ridge the Fridge and Butch shouted that it’s fight night.

Sheamus said “there’s a banger cooking in the stove” because this Saturday night will be one of the biggest career-altering matches in the history of WWE because it’s WarGames. Sheamus said he told Sami Zayn that he’d crap his pants when he found out who their fifth team member was and that’s Kevin Owens.

Drew McIntyre said he can’t remember the time when The Bloodline wasn’t holding the top titles. Drew said that this Saturday, it’s all going to change. Drew said that there will be two rings, two cages and no rules. Drew asked if we are ready for a war and the fans cheered that.

Analysis: Good promos from the men’s babyface team to get the crowd excited about WarGames at Survivor Series. Lots of energy by them.

The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley appeared. Ripley told Drew to shut up and said that the only thing people will talk about after Survivor Series is how dominant she is in the Women’s WarGames match. Ripley said they run Raw. Priest and Dominik each spoke up with Dominik telling them to say hello to his deadbeat dad Rey Mysterio on Smackdown. Finn Balor trash-talked AJ Styles a bit ahead of their match at Survivor Series.

Sheamus told Balor that their houses in Ireland are pretty close to eachother, but he doesn’t like him and called him a “plastic paddy.” Balor said he’s a salty Irish bastard. Sheamus said he’s been salivating his entire career to tear Balor apart one on one, but since they are all there, why not do The Judgment Day vs. The Brawling Brutes right now. Balor and Priest accepted, so the six-man tag team match was on.

The Judgment Day guys and Brawling Brutes got into a brawl in the ring, the Brutes tossed J-Day out of the ring and the match would begin after a break.

Analysis: It was obvious what was coming based on who was wearing their wrestling gear, so it was just a matter of how they got there. It’s a fresh matchup to do The Brawling Brutes facing The Judgment Day since they are on separate shows. I like fresh matchups like that.

(Commercial)

The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Butch) vs. The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Balor & Dominik Mysterio)

Kevin Owens was on commentary. Sheamus worked over Priest with punches, Priest charged and Sheamus got two boots up to knock Priest down. Sheamus knocked Priest down with a clothesline followed by Sheamus jumping off the top with a clothesline for two. Holland tagged in with a suplex attempt, but Priest fought back with a back elbow. Priest hit a sitout Broken Arrow slam. Dominik tagged in with punched on Holland while Owens called Dom a scumbag for turning on Rey. Balor tagged in with a running dropkick followed by a running dropkick and suplex. The fans chanted “who’s your daddy?” to Dominik leading to Holland hitting a suplex. Butch tagged in against Balor with a kick followed by a knee drop on the arm. Butch hit a dropkick to the left leg, stomp on the hands and Butch sent Dominik out of the ring. Butch tried a submission on Balor, but Priest grabbed Butch and gave him a Chokeslam onto the ring apron as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

Priest hit a running splash on Butch in the corner. J-Day continued working over Butch as Priest hit a leg drop. After Dominik tagged in, Butch did a finger snap on him. Balor was back in and Butch hit an enziguri kick. Dominik shoved Sheamus into the ring post, which led to Owens saying that Dominik was getting better. Butch avoided a charging Balor and Holland tagged in with a running shoulder tackle. Holland hit running corner splashes on Balor along with a spinning powerslam. Balor hit a driving elbow drop into a reverse DDT. Sheamus tagged in against Dominik, who was terrified, so Dominik ran away. The OC group of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & Mia Yim showed up. Sheamus worked over Dominik in the ring with forearm smashes along with a backbreaker. Priest got involved, Dominik with a necksnap, Priest hit a flatliner on Holland and Butch hit an enziguri on Priest followed by a moonsault on the floor. Balor with a forearm to knock Butch down. Dominik got a rollup on Sheamus for two, but Sheamus got back up with a rising knee. Sheamus gave Dominik the beats (forearms) to the chest and get going with 20 strikes as the fans chanted along. Sheamus set up in the corner and hit a Brogue Kick with Dominik doing a flip bump to sell it. Sheamus covered Dominik for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Butch)

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a pretty good tag team match with a satisfying ending as The Brawling Brutes leader Sheamus got the win over The Judgment Day’s weak link Dominik. That’s how it should go because The Brutes are in the WarGames match and should have positive momentum going into that match. It was booked well. I’d love to see a Sheamus-Balor feud some day because they are two talented Irishmen that haven’t really interacted much, so that makes it an interesting match to have in the future.

Post match, Sheamus was attacked by Balor and Priest got involved with Sheamus leaving the ring along with Priest. Gallows nailed Priest with a kick to the head. Owens went into the ring, Balor had no idea he was there and Owens hit a Stunner on Balor. Drew McIntyre went on commentary to say that it was good for him to have some friends because usually he’s on his own. The five faces posed together in the ring.

Analysis: It made The Judgment Day look weak a bit, but since The Brutes, McIntyre and Owens are in the Survivor Series main event it makes more sense for them to look strong as a cohesive unit. Plus, it makes the fans happy, so that helps too.

John Gargano was interviewed by Cathy Kelley talking about how The Miz beat him recently by hitting him in the head with an object to win. Gargano said he wants to help Dexter Lumis get what he deserves, but they agreed not get involved in eachohter’s matches with Miz. Gargano said he gets to face Miz tonight and Lumis will face Miz next week. Gargano left to have his match.

This Friday on Smackdown: The Usos face Drew McIntyre & Sheamus in a WarGames Advantage Match. That’s going to be outstanding.

(Commercial)

Johnny Gargano’s “Rebel Heart” theme song got a remix. I liked the original, but I guess everything changes in wrestling.

The Miz walked out in a suit saying he injured himself doing a TikTok and had his hand bandaged. Miz said he’ll defeat Dexter Lumis next week. Miz said since he can’t compete, he found Gargano a worthy opponent…it’s Omos with MVP.

Omos (w/MVP) vs. Johnny Gargano

Big size difference with Omos at 7’3” and Gargano is about 5’9” or so. The Miz joined commentary. Gargano tried attacking with punches, but Omos hit Gargano with a boot to knock Gargano out of the ring. Gargano knocked Omos off the apron to the floor, but when Gargano tried a dive, Omos caught him and slammed Gargano onto the apron. Gargano hit Omos with jumping kick to the head. Miz grabbed Gargano on the apron while the referee was looking at Omos. Gargano broke free of Omos with a knee. Omos charged, Gargano moved and Omos hit the turnbuckle to knock Omos down. Gargano hit a seated Omos with three superkicks in a row. Gargano went up top, Omos was sitting up, so Gargano tried to attack, btu Omos caught him and hit a Chokeslam for the pinfall win after about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Omos

Analysis: *1/2 A dominant win by Omos thanks to the size advantage. Gargano got some offense with the superkicks towards the end, but he really didn’t have much of a chance here. This made Gargano look awful. I guess Omos needed a win.

Omos and MVP celebrated the win while The Miz was happy about it as well.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown backstage with the US Title for an interview up next.

(Commercial)

A video package aired showing highlights from last week’s Raw showing Austin Theory getting disqualified in a match against Dolph Ziggler because he was too aggressive. Theory also attacked Seth Rollins to end the show and looked strong to end Raw.

It’s official for Survivor Series: Seth “Freakin” Rollins defends the US Title against Bobby Lashley and Austin Theory.

Interview With Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Seth Rollins said he asked for this match at Survivor Series because it’s a two-birds-with-one-stone situation. Rollins said you try to survive against a wild Bobby Lashley and he’ll never say die. Rollins ripped on Austin Theory for being the stupidest person on the face of the Earth. Rollins said it’s not because of his cash-in attempt, Rollins said he’s the stupidest person for jumping Rollins from behind and beat Rollins at his own game. Rollins said that never ends well for anybody. Rollins asked Theory to ask Cody Rhodes how his rehab is going and he laughed about it. Rollins said they’re not in the WarGames match, but he promises it will be a war. Rollins said they do not like eachother and they can all snap at any second. Rollins said he knows Theory because he used to be Theory. Rollins wondered what those boys were going to do to prepare for him. Rollins went over his nicknames and said after Survivor Series, he’ll still be United States Champion.

Analysis: Rollins is still a bit heelish, but the fans cheer him when he’s in the ring. Good promo as usual by him.

Austin Theory was shown watching on a TV backstage. Theory said that Rollins doesn’t understand him and nobody understands him. Theory said that hitting rock bottom was the best thing for him. Theory said he’s not that kid, he’s a new man and he’s a man that’s serious. Theory told Rollins and Lashley to pay close attention to what Theory does to Mustafa Ali because it’s going to happen at Survivor Series.

Analysis: I liked the intensity shown by Theory in that promo.

Mustafa Ali entered with his ribs still taped up from Bobby Lashley beating him up last week on Raw and then he lost to Ricochet on Smackdown. Austin Theory was next with Graves really putting him over talking about how confident Theory is and saying he’s different than what he was two weeks ago.

Analysis: Austin Theory dumping the cell phone selfie gimmick is a good thing for him.

Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali

Theory was aggressive with shoulder tackles, then a knee and a stomps to the ribs. Ali tried some offense, but Theory came back with a backbreaker. Ali got some offense going with a jumping DDT. Theory charged right into a rising knee by Ali, who followed up with a belly to back suplex. Theory to the floor, so Ali went for a suicide dive. Theory caught Ali, sent him into the side of the ring and barricade. Back in the ring, Theory tried a move, but Ali stopped him with a superkick. Theory sent Ali into the ropes leading to a cradle suplex into the knee. They were battling by the turnbuckle with Ali hitting a sunset flip Powerbomb off the ropes. Ali followed up with a 450 Splash, but he wasn’t able to cover right away as Theory left the ring. Theory knocked Ali off the apron and into the barricade. Theory hit the A-Town Down onto the knee for the pinfall win after five minutes. Theory had a small cut on his head, but it was not much.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: **1/2 A simple match to give Theory the win going into the US Title match. It sucks for Ali losing again. I don’t know if it’s leading to some story with Ali continuing to take beatings and finding a way to win at one point or if he’s just a talented guy that loses.

Bobby Lashley was shown on camera backstage saying that Theory should stay in the ring while Lashley comes out there and gives them a preview of Survivor Series right now.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley & Austin Theory

Bobby Lashley made his entrance playing to the crowd even though he has looked a bit heelish of late. I guess he’s still in babyface mode. Theory’s bloody forehead was cleaned up. Lashley said he’s surprised that Theory was still in the ring and thought he’d be in the first SUV out of town. Lashley trashed Theory for not being able to get the job done when he cashed in Money in the Bank on Rollins. Theory said he’d be the US Champion if it wasn’t for Bobby Lashley. Theory said he remembered that Brock Lesnar kicked Bobby’s ass and then Rollins beat Lashley for the US Title. Theory said that Lashley couldn’t get the job done against Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Theory told Lashley that “the kid is dead and gone” while telling Lashley that he’s going to walk out of Survivor Series as the US Champion.

Lashley got into the ring telling Theory he isn’t going to walk out of tonight. Lashley attacked Theory with punches and a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Theory was on the floor, so Lashley whipped Theory into the barricade. Theory tried shoving Lashley into the ring post, but Lashley stopped himself. Theory jabbed Lashley in the ribs with a chair, then a hard chair shot to the back and Lashley no sold it. Theory ran away through the crowd and towards the back with Lashley chasing after him. When they got behind the curtain, Theory shoved Ali (who was getting looked at by a doctor) into Lashley. Theory ran away while Ali shoved Lashley. Big mistake.

Lashley attacked Ali by the entrance area by sending him into the screens. Lashley gave Ali the Hurt Lock submission and Lashley’s music played while Bobby posed for the fans.

Analysis: This was an effective segment to push the Lashley-Theory story as challengers for the US Title. I don’t think Rollins will lose the title to either of them although I think the story has been solid.

(Commercial)

Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. Elias & Matt Riddle

Elias started with Gable as they exchanged some moves and Elias hit a back body drop. They went to break about one minute into it.

(Commercial)

Riddle with a kick on Gable followed by a forearm by Elias leading to a two count by Riddle. Gable hit a Northern Lights Suplex. Otis tagged in with a body slam on Riddle. Gable tagged in with a forearm smash followed by an armbar on the left arm leading into a belly to back suplex. Gable wrenched on the left leg of Riddle, but Riddle came back with a kick using his right leg. Elias back in with a double team elbow smash and Riddle hit a broton on Gable after Riddle was on Elias’s shoulders. Otis caught Elias on the floor and ran Elias into the barricade. Gable hit a German Suplex on Riddle on the apron leading to another break.

(Commercial)

The Alpha boys were still in control as Otis put Riddle on his shoulder and Gable jumped off the top with a bulldog. That’s a Steiner Brothers move for a two count. Otis wanted a Vader Bomb off the turnbuckle, but Riddle moved and Otis hit the mat. Elias tagged in with an overhead suplex, then two running corner splashes and a spinebuster. Elias hit a neckbreaker on Gable for two. Otis made a blind tag and hit a reverse DDT. Gable jumped off the top with a headbutt, but Riddle stopped a pin attempt with a broton splash on Otis’ back. Otis tossed Riddle out of the ring and Gable was back in. Elias with a boot on Otis to stop a double team, Riddle made the tag with chops and kicks on Gable along with a headscissors over the top to the floor. Riddle hit a Floating Bro off the ropes onto both opponents on the floor. There was a light “this is awesome” chant. Back in the ring, Riddle with a knee to the face, Elias tagged in and hit a twisting neckbreaker. Riddle went up top and hit a Floating Bro splash on Gable for the pinfall win. They went 16 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Elias & Matt Riddle

Analysis: *** It ended up being a good match by the end of it. Gable and Otis came close throughout the match, but Elias & Riddle found a way to get the job done. It’s nice to give wrestlers a long match like this, but this felt like a “Raw is three hours, so you are getting more time” and it wasn’t that exciting. If this was on Smackdown, it would have been about seven minutes shorter, which is all it needed. This TV feud has been going on for the last month, so I think Elias and Riddle should move on after this. I think Riddle should be a singles guy instead of teaming with Elias, but maybe this team will continue moving forward.

There was a poker game scene featuring Baron Corbin and John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who had poker chips and money on the table. They trashed Albany, New York. Drew McIntyre walked up to them with JBL trash-talking Drew a bit with JBL saying Corbin would have beat McIntyre at WrestleMania if JBL was with him. Drew challenged Corbin to a match. Drew told JBL he respected his elders, but not Corbin and Drew punched Corbin. Drew left while JBL and Corbin were mad about it.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a match between familiar opponents.

(Commercial)

There was a video package about the WarGames cage to get us excited for The Bloodline’s match against Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Butch & Ridge Holland. They had comments from the babyface team talking about it with Sheamus saying the lads are going to have some fun. Owens said this match will be special since it’s five of the best brawlers in this industry against The Bloodline. Owens: “This Saturday at Survivor Series, we’re going to war.”

The announcers did a rundown of the WarGames lineup:

* Men’s WarGames Match: The Bloodline – Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa vs. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland & Kevin Owens

* AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor

* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Shotzi

* United States Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory

* Women’s WarGames Match: Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Michin (Mia Yim) & one more partner.

We will have a preview on TJRWrestling this Friday and I’ll write a live review of Survivor Series on Saturday night.

Baron Corbin and JBL made their entrance for Corbin’s match which was already set up.

(Commercial)

Drew McIntyre was up next with Angela the sword to a positive reaction from the crowd.

Baron Corbin (w/John Bradshaw Layfield) vs. Drew McIntyre

Corbin immediately bailed to the floor to get some heat. Corbin took control by sending Drew into the turnbuckle followed by some punches. Drew came back with a clothesline and another clothesline that sent Corbin over the top to the floor. Drew sent Corbin into the barricade at ringside. Drew slammed Corbin onto the commentary table, but not enough to break it. Drew broke the referee’s count leading to Drew hitting Corbin with a hard chop. JBL distracted Drew a bit, so Corbin punched Drew and sent Drew into the ring post leading to Drew bumping to the floor. Corbin sent Drew into the turnbuckle followed by a running clothesline in the corner. After some stalling/bragging from Corbin, Drew hit clotheslines, an overhead suplex and a neckbreaker leading to Drew doing a kip-up to get back to his feet. Corbin with forearms, but Drew came back with a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Drew ran the ropes, Corbin caught him and Corbin hit a fallaway slam, which was a JBL move (Scott Hall too). Corbin slid out of the ring, then back in, Drew hit the Glasgow Kiss headbutt (in theory) and Corbin hit a clothesline leading to a break as both guys were down.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Corbin hitting a superplex while standing on the middle rope. They exchanged some strikes, Drew charged and Corbin hit a back elbow, but Drew came back with a spinebuster for two. Corbin hit a Chokeslam for a two count. Drew countered a Corbin move and hit a Future Shock DDT although it didn’t hit perfectly. Drew wanted a Claymore Kick, Corbin moved out of the way and Drew hit the mat. Corbin put Drew on his shoulders and fell back for a Samoan Drop for a two count. Drew left the ring, so Corbin hit him with forearms to the back of the neck. Corbin sent Drew into the ring post and went back into the ring to break the count. Some fans chanted “you can’t wrestle” at Corbin, which is one of the dumbest fan chants. Drew came back with a suplex into the barricade. Back in the ring, JBL distracted Drew, which allowed Corbin to hit the Deep Six slam for a two count. That’s what that move usually gets. Corbin argued with the referee about the count while a blonde-haired Akira Tozawa showed up at ringside and jumped in JBL’s arms. Tozawa took JBL’s hat and left over the barricade. Corbin was distracted by all that, Drew ran the ropes and hit a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***1/4 The match was good with the predictable result because Drew should win this match going into WarGames. The question is, does this really need 18 minutes? I get that it makes Corbin look impressive for lasting that long, but I think it was too long and another example of just filling some time on a three-hour Raw. Shave off five minutes and it would be even better with more action. I also don’t really like that somebody of Drew’s caliber needed Corbin to be distracted to put him away. I’d rather see Drew win in a cleaner way.

Drew McIntyre celebrated the win while JBL was furious. Patrick pointed out that it was Corbin’s first loss since JBL became his manager.

The OC was shown talking backstage because they’re up next.

(Commercial)

They showed highlights from earlier in the night with Sheamus picking up the win for the Brawling Brutes in the tag team match against The Judgment Day.

The OC was interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. AJ Styles talked about how he was closed with Finn Balor, but The OC is his family and this thing with Finn has to come to an end. Styles said he’ll give Finn a phenomenal beating. Finn Balor walked in saying he’s not a bad, he’s worse and he said he’s The Devil, so when you dance with The Devil, you never dance again. Rhea Ripley and the rest of The Judgment Day showed up, so the two groups got into a fight in the backstage area.

The fight between The OC and The Judgment Day went out to the parking lot. Anderson body-slammed Dominik onto the hood of a car. Priest was slamming a door into Gallows while Styles and Balor fought out there as well. Some officials showed up to break it up.

Analysis: Another wrestler saying he’s The Devil. That’s a popular thing in wrestling these days. Anyway, more brawling between these groups. Since they did the tag team match at Crown Jewel, I’m fine with doing Styles vs. Balor at Survivor Series.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for tickets being on sale for WrestleMania and all the other events surrounding that weekend in LA.

Let’s Hear from Bianca Belair and Friends

Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss & Asuka made their entrance. The graphic said “Michin” Mia Yim as well, but she was backstage fighting before the break. On WWE.com it says Michin as her name now.

Belair did a promo talking about how this battle with Bayley is going to end this Saturday at WarGames. Belair said that there’s nobody she wants to go to war with other than her girls. Belair mentioned Alexa Bliss, she said Michin was ready and Asuka, who will win the WarGames advantage tonight. Belair said that they are ready for war. Bliss said she’s ready to get payback on everybody in Damage CTRL and throw Nikki Cross in the trash where she belongs. Asuka said we’re ready for war. Belair said wait until you see their fifth member and Asuka talked about how Rhea Ripley isn’t ready for Asuka. Belair said they’ll make their decision Friday on Smackdown about their fifth member. The fans booed that because they wanted to find out the fifth member of the team on Raw.

Analysis: I don’t agree with saving the announcement until Smackdown. The fans booed because they wanted to know now. It is rumored/expected to be Becky Lynch in that fifth spot. It may not be her, so we’ll find out on Smackdown.

Bayley walked out with Dakota Kai, IYO SKY, Nikki Cross and Rhea Ripley. Bayley said that it sounds like Belair is stalling. Bayley said it’s hard for Belair to find somebody that likes her. Bayley said that Belair’s teammates are sucking up because they want to be next in line. Bayley trashed Bianca’s team saying that Belair is throwing Asuka into the fire instead of stepping up like a champion. Asuka told Bayley to shut up and Asuka told Rhea to do this right now. Ripley said just like at WrestleMania (that’s WM37 in 2021), “mami” is going to eradicate her.

Analysis: The promos were okay. Basic trash talk.

(Commercial)

Survivor Series WarGames Advantage Match: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley

The winner gets the advantage for their team in the WarGames match, which means they get to be 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4 in the match before all ten women are inside WarGames.

Ripley was in control early with a running dropkick while Asuka was down. Their teammates were watching backstage and in the locker room. Asuka with strikes to the head followed by a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Asuka went for a sliding attack on Ripley on the floor, but Ripley caught her and Asuka sent Ripley into the apron. Asuka hit a running hip attack on Ripley off the apron. Ripley bailed to the floor to do some stalling. After the stalling, Ripley went back into the ring and beat down Asuka with punches. Ripley hit Asuka with forearms to the back. Asuka tried to fight back, but Ripley hit a clothesline for two. Ripley grounded Asuka with a body scissors submission on the mat. Asuka came countered Ripley leading to a kneebar submission, but Ripley powered out of it and slammed Asuka down. Ripley sent Asuka into the middle turnbuckle followed by punches. Ripley set up Asuka on the top turnbuckle and Ripley hit a running dropkick to knock Asuka to the floor.

(Commercial)

There were about ten minutes left in the show as Ripley charged, Asuka moved and Ripley went crashing her right shoulder into the ring post. Asuka with back fists, then a double knee attack and Asuka hit a running hip attack in the corner. Asuka hit a bridging German Suplex. Ripley blocked an Asuka move leading to Ripley applying a submission on the legs, but Asuka countered it to send Ripley out of the ring. Ripley went up top, Asuka hit her with a sliding knee to the face and that got Asuka a two count. Asuka went for a running attack, Ripley moved and Ripley got a back kick to knock Asuka down. Ripley with a headbutt and a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Ripley went for a lifting move, Asuka went to the back and applied an Asuka Lock. Damage CTRL and Cross appeared at ringside to support Ripley, who drove Asuka into the turnbuckle. That led to Belair and Bliss showing up at ringside as well. Asuka kicked Ripley in the head followed by an armbar, but Ripley countered it into a pin attempt. Ripley ducked strikes from Asuka and Ripley hit the Riptide for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with Ripley on offense for most of it, then Asuka made a comeback and Ripley found a way to win hitting the Riptide for the decisive win. The crowd really wasn’t into the match that much. I think they could have used some more nearfalls, especially for Asuka to make it look like she had a shot to win. Ripley is likely going to be pushed strongly moving forward. Anyway, Ripley winning makes sense because the heel side getting the WarGames advantage is common booking. Maybe the babyface guys will get it after the tag team match on Smackdown.

After the match, Damage CTRL and Cross attacked Asuka. That led to others getting involved with Belair and Bliss getting into a fight. Michin (Mia Yim) showed up at ringside to fight with Ripley into the card. Asuka went up top and hit a cross body block on all the women fighting around ringside. All of the women were down. Referees showed up to try to break it up.

A graphic was shown for the Women’s WarGames match with another mention that the fifth woman on Bayley’s team will be announced on Smackdown. They showed the Men’s WarGames match graphic as well while mentioning other matches. They showed the women brawling at ringside earlier. End show.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens & The Brawling Brutes
  2. Rhea Ripley
  3. Austin Theory

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 6.75

 

Final Thoughts

I think the best part of this week’s show was the opening promo by the Men’s WarGames team and the match that followed. It would have been even better if The Bloodline was there as well, but we’ll see them on Smackdown, which is only one day before Survivor Series. The build could have been better for sure. It was tough because Survivor Series is only three weeks after Crown Jewel and they chose to announce the Men’s WarGames match only eight days before Survivor Series. I guess in WWE’s eyes the WarGames name is the selling point and there’s a lot of star power in that match, so they are hoping fans will be interested to watch it.

This show was filled with long matches because Raw’s a three-hour show and you need to fill that time. Since Wargames has only five matches, you can’t devote the entire show to that, so there were some other matches that went long. I don’t think going 15-18 minutes was necessary for some of the matches, so some of them dragged a bit like Riddle/Elias beating Alpha Academy. The results were fine with wrestlers like Drew McIntyre and Austin Theory getting momentum going into Survivor Series while Omos made Johnny Gargano look like a nobody. That probably made people think of when Vince McMahon was booking this show.

I don’t know if I would summarize this as a great Raw, but they did build to the WarGames matches involving the Raw talent. It was also good that the babyface men’s WarGames team was there. It wasn’t really a must-see Raw or anything like that. I enjoyed most of it.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Survivor Series on November 26th.

wwe survivor series 2022 mens wargames

* Men’s WarGames Match: The Bloodline – Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa vs. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland & Kevin Owens

* Women’s WarGames Match: Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Michin (Mia Yim) & one more partner.

* United States Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory

* AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor

* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Shotzi

You can watch WWE Survivor Series streaming live on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, November 26th.

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Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport