The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/22/21 Review
This week’s Raw is the follow-up to what was WWE’s last main roster pay-per-view of the year, Survivor Series. Just like Survivor Series was at Barclays Center on Sunday, Raw is taking place there as well.
If you missed my WWE Survivor Series review on Sunday, you can check it out here. I thought it was good as a wrestling show in terms of having four great matches, but in terms of storylines and big angles, it was really lacking. I think they need to try to make Survivor Series into a bigger deal in the future because the booking was lazy. The next main roster PPV is simply called “Day 1” on January 1, so WWE will use the next six weeks to build to that.
This is the Raw Deal for episode #1486 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
Raw began with a shot of a case where the golden egg used to be, but it was not there. They showed WWE Chairman Vince McMahon sitting in his chair looking angry while WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. That led to a video package with Vince telling Roman Reigns that Cleopatra’s Golden Egg is worth $100 million. Later in the show, Vince realized that the egg was stolen. It was all done to promote The Rock’s new movie Red Notice on Netflix, which is doing really well.
Vince said that it meant something to him because The Rock gave it to him and he didn’t like that somebody stole it from him. Sonya and Adam said that they interviewed all of the superstars while the authorities have been there. Vince said that if they don’t find out who did it then Sonya and Adam will be fired. Sonya and Adam said there was some surveillance footage where they saw somebody with a bare chest and bare legs, but they don’t know who it was. Vince said it could be a woman. Vince went on to say there could be a reward for whoever finds out who stole the egg because he could give a WWE Championship match to that person.
Analysis: The stolen egg story is lame, but it is a way to promote the Red Notice movie that has done really well on Netflix starring The Rock and Ryan Reynolds. I’ll probably check out the movie soon. There are reports that WWE got paid a good amount of money to promote the movie, so that’s what they are doing. Do I love it as a storyline? Not really, but it’s not like it’s the first time WWE has promoted a movie or a product during a show. Anyway, the stolen egg story must be WWE’s way of trying to do a show-long storyline to keep people interested all night long.
Randy Orton was interviewed by Kevin Patrick backstage with Randy saying he didn’t know where Riddle was. Riddle showed up dressed like Orton along with a fake mustache and goatee like Orton. Riddle went over all of Orton’s nicknames and said he’s got a lot of sweet nicknames. Riddle kept on doing a promo about how he’s going to hit Dolph Ziggler with the RK-Bro. Orton said that Riddle should “be like me” but doesn’t mean he should dress and look like him. Riddle called for Randy’s music and Riddle made his entrance for his match.
Riddle made his entrance with Randy Orton and Riddle, who was dressed like Orton. Riddle was still barefoot although he taped up his feet with black tape. Riddle posed on the turnbuckle like Orton with Randy looking frustrated. They showed a clip of Randy and Riddle beating The Usos at Survivor Series. They went to break there.
Dolph Ziggler was with Robert Roode for singles action. The commentary team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual. They went over some other matches coming up like Bobby Lashley vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins and Rhea Ripley/Nikki A.S.H. defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Carmella/Queen Zelina Vega.
Riddle (w/Randy Orton) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode)
Riddle still has the facial hair of Orton as the match began. Ziggler got a hold of Riddle leading to a rollup for two. Riddle went for an armbar. Ziggler came back with a dropkick and Ziggler pulled off Riddle’s fake mustache. Graves was sarcastically calling it the greatest dropkick ever because it knocked off the mustache, but Ziggler pulled it off. Ziggler pulled the fake goatee off as well. The back of Riddle’s trunks say “Gulak” on them, so I guess he borrowed them from Drew. Riddle with a backflip off the ropes followed by a spinning gutwrench slam. Riddle went for a slingshot attack over the top to the floor, but Ziggler hit a superkick to knock Riddle down on the floor.
Riddle got some momentum with an up kick, then two forearms and Ziggler ran right into Riddle hitting a powerslam like Orton does. Ziggler to the apron, so Riddle went for the draping DDT off the ropes, but Ziggler hit a back body drop over the top to the floor. Ziggler hit a Fameasser (that he got from Billy Gunn) for a two count. Ziggler drove his knee to the face. Ziggler charged for a superkick, but Riddle came back with a rising knee to the face. Riddle hit a perfectly executed RKO for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Riddle
Analysis: **1/2 A decent match that was pretty basic for the most part with Riddle hitting some Orton moves and putting away Ziggler easily.
Post match, Randy Orton was happy about Riddle’s win. Robert Roode went into the ring for the cheap attack, but Orton was ready for him and Orton hit the Bro Derek slam on Roode just like Riddle does. Riddle was excited about it. Graves referenced wearing Drew Gulak’s trunks, so that was funny. Orton and Riddle celebrated.
Analysis: The Orton and Riddle pairing is really on the same page right now. It won’t last forever, but it’s working now. The long-term plan is likely to see them drop the titles before WrestleMania, maybe Orton goes heel and Riddle beats Orton a WrestleMania. Just my guess at this point.
There was a backstage scene with wrestlers searching all over a room for Cleopatra’s Egg. At one point R-Truth thought a football was the egg, but it was not that. Truth went into a room, some women screamed, and Truth said “it ain’t in there.” Truth rules.
Becky Lynch made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion and she got a big ovation as she posed with her title. A Survivor Series video package was shown with Lynch beating Flair while holding onto the ropes. Lynch did that after Flair tried to cheat using the ropes, but the referee caught her. The referee did not catch Lynch. A very good match that ended in a cheap way.
This Tuesday on NXT: Carmelo Hayes defends the NXT North American Title against Johnny Gargano and Pete Dunne in a triple threat match.
Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch
The fans were chanting “Becky” repeatedly so she said “Brooklyn” a few times. Lynch said she had some of the biggest moments of her life. Lynch said three years ago she slapped Charlotte Flair across the face. Lynch said it was almost a decade of friendship and then hate. Lynch noted she wanted to hurt Flair and Flair wanted to do it to her while noting that the people wanted them to hurt eachother. Lynch said it was never a question of her winning, certainly not to her anyway.
Lynch talked about how it was onto something fresh and new. Lynch wondered who that’s fresh and new that they want to see on top? Lynch mentioned Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair (loud cheers) and then she mentioned the new number one contender Liv Morgan, which drew cheers. Lynch said she used to put a lot of stock in your opinion and then she insulted the crowd. Lynch noted that the crowd did their stupid little chants and stupid little songs during the 10-woman tag team match last night. Lynch said she actually agreed with them because none of them can beat her while singling out Liv Morgan. Lynch said you love Morgan because she’s an underdog that has won like one match in four years. Lynch said that Morgan won’t beat her, so you’ll bitch and moan about it. Lynch noted that she has a death grip on this title and she doesn’t care what you think. Lynch said that nobody is getting this title off of Big Time Becks.
Analysis: Lynch was cheered to start and then turned heel by the end of the promo. It’s something Lynch has done recently in other promos as well. I liked how Lynch ripped on the crowd for losing interest in the women’s elimination tag team match at Survivor Series too. I kept waiting for Liv Morgan to interrupt to huge cheers, but there was no sign of her. Lynch does a good job of showing confidence in her promos and since she is booked so strongly, Lynch can back it up in the ring.
They showed Bianca Belair becoming the Sole Survivor during the Women’s Elimination Tag Team Match at Survivor Series, so she won the match for Team Raw.
Bianca Belair made her entrance for a match with the fans chanting “EST” for her. Belair said that she came back from being down 4 to 1 in the elimination match. Belair did it because the WWE Universe was cheering her on, so she showed what she could do and now she is the B-E-S-T and she was the Sole Survivor. There were “EST” chants. Belair said now Doudrop should find something else to do with her time like find the stolen egg instead of coming after Belair. Bianca said she’s going to show Tamina that nobody can whoop her because she’s the “EST” of WWE.
Analysis: A quick babyface promo to have Belair thank the fans for supporting her.
Tamina made her entrance with Natalya, who is from Smackdown. Graves mentioned that Vince McMahon wanted Smackdown superstars at Raw as well, so that’s why Natalya was there.
Bianca Belair vs. Tamina (w/Natalya)
Belair did a flip out of the corner to avoid a charging Tamina. Belair with two dropkicks, a kick to the gut and a suplex on her bigger opponent. Belair with a cartwheel into the ropes leading to a standing moonsault for two. Tamina charged, Belair with a boot to the face and Tamina pulled Belair off the ropes leading to a two count. Tamina with a running back splash on Belair against the turnbuckle. Tamina held Belair in a chinlock for about a minute. When Belair got up, she ran the ropes leading to Tamina hitting a back elbow. Belair avoided Tamina going towards the turnbuckle, so Tamina went crashing into the turnbuckle. Belair with a kick. Belair picked up Tamina and hit a Kiss of Death (KOD) slam for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Belair against Tamina just like last week. I guess WWE liked how impressive Belair looked by picking up Tamina to hit the KOD slam, so Bianca got to do it again. I prefer fresher matches.
After the match, Natalya attacked Belair with a forearm to the back. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, but Belair kicked her out of the ring. Doudrop attacked Belair from behind and hit a running cross body block splash on Belair to leave Belair down in the ring.
Analysis: The rivalry between Belair and Doudrop continues with Doudrop in the heel role. It should be okay with Belair likely getting the win when they have a match.
They showed highlights of the Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match with Seth Rollins winning the match for Team Raw as the Sole Survivor.
Seth Rollins made his entrance with a red/black puffy jacket along with his ring gear. Rollins was in a celebratory mood for his match against Finn Balor coming up after a break.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins did a pre-match promo at the top of hour two. Rollins wanted Brooklyn to give it up for your Sole Survivor, which led to boos. Rollins said he did what he was born to do since he put the show on his shoulder and he led Team Raw to victory. Graves thanked Rollins for that while some of the crowd hummed some of Seth’s song. Rollins said he did it all by himself because the rest of the team was eliminated. Rollins mentioned Kevin Owens walking out on them, Bobby Lashley got himself counted out, Austin Theory just wasn’t good enough and Finn Balor got Brogue Kicked by Sheamus and was pinned right there in the ring. Rollins said in a few minutes, Balor will get in the ring and Seth will lead by example when he shows Balor what it means to be the best because he is a revolutionary, a visionary and he is Seth Freakin…here comes Balor.
Finn Balor made his entrance and when he got to the ring, Rollins attacked Balor before the match could begin. They went into the ring with Balor doing a double leg takedown and Balor hit a forearm to knock Rollins out of the ring. Balor ran the ropes leading to a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Rollins got a hold of Balor on the floor and Rollins sent Balor into the barricade. Rollins whipped Balor into the announce table, ring post, barricade and another part of the barricade. Rollins kicked Balor repeatedly. Rollins hit Balor with the steel steps. Rollins sent Balor into the ring with Rollins hitting The Stomp in the middle of the ring. Rollins left while medical personnel and referees checked on Balor. Rollins went back into the ring and hit The Stomp on Balor again. Balor sold it like he was knocked out.
Analysis: No match for Rollins and Balor, but it should set up a future match between them. That’s fine with me because they’re great workers. Maybe it will be a Street Fight type match since Rollins kicked Balor’s ass.
When Rollins walked toward the back, a fan tackled him in the aisle. The camera cut away quickly. They showed replays of Seth’s attack on Finn Balor, then they cut back to Seth’s face without mentioning the fan. Here’s the video.
a fan attacked seth oh my god #RAWpic.twitter.com/yjXNmmeEWg
— ashley 🌸 (@visionembracer) November 23, 2021
Analysis: Good job by the first referee Eddie Orengo going after the fan and helping Rollins before more help arrived. Seth tried to grab a headlock to hold the guy, but the guy slipped out of it. The fan is an idiot. There is no reason to do something like that, but I’m glad Seth is okay. That video above got over 1 million views within an hour of Raw ending last night. That person’s video and other videos of the incident are going to be popular.
There was a backstage scene with wrestlers running around in a group down a hallway as if they were going to find the egg.
Sami Zayn was shown talking to Vince McMahon in his office. Zayn said that he heard that anybody that has information about the stolen egg gets a WWE Title shot? Vince said yes. Zayn claimed he thought he knew who took the egg. Zayn claimed that this person is not there yet and Vince wanted Sami to bring that person to him. Sami left.
The Street Profits made their entrance with Angelo Dawkins carrying a bag. AJ Styles and Omos were their opponents after a break.
The Smackdown commercial asked the question wondering who will be brave enough to step up to Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
Kevin Owens was shown looking for something with Sarah Schreiber showing up for an interview. Owens said he didn’t listen to Seth Rollins because he’s a delusional idiot. Owens said he was looking for the egg and Owens said he’ll be paying attention to whoever has the egg and that’s no lie.
AJ Styles and Omos entered for tag team action. Omos was coming off winning the battle royal at Survivor Series.
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
Ford with a running shoulder tackle on Styles, Dawkins with a shoulder block on Styles and Dawkins flipped Ford onto Styles. AJ was sick of getting attacked, so he tagged in Omos and the Profits regrouped on the floor. They went to break.
The heels were in control with Styles working over Dawkins with a front headlock. Styles with elbows to the head, then he went after Ford and Dawkins hit the Silencer double underhook slam. Ford tagged in, he jumped over Styles and hit a leaping clothesline. Ford avoided strikes from Styles leading to a belly to back slam along with a standing moonsault for two. Ford jumped off the top, Styles avoided it and Styles hit a Pele Kick to the head. Ford with a back body drop sent Styles into the corner, so Omos tagged in. Ford with a running cross body block that had no effect. Ford with a jumping kick to the head, but then Omos hit a clothesline. Dawkins into the ring illegally, so Omos tossed him over the top to the floor. Dawkins opened his bag, he had a fire extinguisher and he sprayed it in the face of Omos, so that led to a DQ. Styles went for an attack off the ropes, Dawkins sprayed AJ with the fire extinguisher and Dawkins left with Ford. It went about eight minutes.
Winners by disqualification: AJ Styles & Omos
Analysis: ** It was getting to be an okay before the lame finish. WWE relies on disqualification and countout finishes far too often although maybe I’m saying that since they did so many of them at Survivor Series. Having the faces get intentionally disqualified is weird although it puts over the idea that the Street Profits are scared of dealing with Omos. Since it’s Raw, expect a rematch next week.
Dawkins and Ford went up the aisle with their music playing even though they lost the match.
Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. Carmella said that they are not worried about Nikki and they are not scared of Ripley’s scrappy little sidekick. Vega did some fake British accent talking about how their “royal beauty” and spoke about how they were going to take their championships. Carmella said that they had smarts, strategy and strength. Vega said that they’ll be the new Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. entered as the Women’s Tag Team Champions for a title match up next. I don’t remember the last time they defended the titles, but here they are.
A video aired about Veer Mahaan letting us know he is coming soon. This has been airing for over a month.
Carmella made her entrance with her buddy Queen Zelina Vega for this title match with Graves getting excited for fiancée Carmella.
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. vs. Queen Zelina Vega & Carmella
Carmella had some ringside attendants put on her red mask to begin the match. Ripley kicked Carmella in the gut and tossed Carmella in the ring. Ripley with a headbutt to the shoulder followed by a low dropkick. Vega tagged in, she tried to grab Ripley by the leg, so Ripley tossed Vega across the ring. Vega with a slap, so Ripley hit her with a headbutt. Vega countered a Ripley power move into a DDT for two. Nikki with a necksnap, then a running clothesline and punches against the turnbuckle. Nikki hit a running bulldog followed by a swinging neckbreaker for two with Carmella making the save by sending Nikki face first into the mat. Ripley chased Carmella around the ring. Ripley broke up Vega pinning Nikki, so Carmella kicked Ripley multiple times and kicked Ripley into the ring post. Vega choked Nikki across the ropes, Carmella with a superkick and Vega hit the Code Red sunset flip Powerbomb for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Queen Zelina Vega & Carmella
Analysis: *3/4 It was booked well with Carmella taking out Ripley with that superkick into the ring post and then poor Nikki was left alone after that. Vega continues her positive momentum since winning the Queen’s Crown tournament.
Vega and Carmella celebrated with the Women’s Tag Team Titles while on the announce table.
Analysis: The titles are barely defended and there are not enough teams, so changing them every few months is fine. The Ripley/Nikki team lost a lot of momentum of late anyway.
Vince McMahon was in the office looking on his phone (reading TJRWrestling probably) with Sonya Deville showing up to tell him that they know who took the egg and Sonya said Adam Pearce was going to bring him into the room. They went to break.
Analysis: Egg drama continues. Thrilling.
It was back to Vince McMahon in his office with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville there. Sami Zayn was there as well. Austin Theory showed up with the egg in his hands. Theory said he wanted to take a selfie with the egg. Theory said he wanted to take a selfie with it, but there was security everywhere here, so he took it to the hotel and took a selfie with it. Theory showed Vince his selfie. Vince said he was dropping the charges and told Theory he was going to get the championship match tonight. Theory asked for a selfie and took a picture with Vince. Sami: “You’re posing for the selfie with the egg!” Theory left. Sami said that Vince said whoever got the culprit was going to get the title match and Vince told Sami to shut up. Vince told Sami that nobody likes a snitch. That ended it.
Analysis: The egg drama is finished for now with Austin Theory as the culprit leading to him getting a title shot. That’s fine, I guess, even logically it doesn’t make sense to reward the guy that “stole” the egg. It’s heel Mr. McMahon rewarding a heel. A simple way to get out of it. Sami was funny in this segment.
24/7 Championship: Reggie vs. Cedric Alexander
Alexander with a punch to the face followed by some stomps. Reggie tried some punches, but Alexander decked him with another punch. Reggie countered a move and got a hurricanrana for a two count. Alexander came back with a shot to the body. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on Reggie and pinned him to win the title. It went two minutes.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Cedric Alexander
Analysis: 1/4* The Lumbar Check is a great finishing move. That’s really all I have for that.
Other wrestlers ran down to the ring to go after Alexander. Dana Brooke jumped off the top rope and hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker on Alexander for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW 24/7 Champion: Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke celebrated with the title while none of the male wrestlers did anything because they are not allowed to do a move to a woman.
Analysis: That is Dana’s first title win in WWE, so even though it’s a comedy title, at least it is something for her to be happy about. I like Dana, for what it’s worth. She’s a hard worker and easy on the eyes. They need to use her more.
They showed a video of Bobby Lashley’s recent dominance over Rey and Dominik Mysterio.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio were in the locker room. Rey talked about how Bobby Lashley was not the first monster he will face while Rey listed some names off. Rey said tonight they will fight together, Rey will fight by Dominik’s side and Lashley is the one that should be shaking in his boots. Rey said let’s give him a Mysterio whooping and they were ready to go.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance with his buddy MVP by his side.
They showed Dana Brooke walking with the 24/7 Championship with Sarah Schreiber congratulating Dana on the win. Dana said that she created an opportunity and she captured it. Dana said she lives life like a champion. Dana said that she knows she has a target on her back, but now she can show everyone who Dana Brooke is.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio entered for the handicap match against Lashley.
MVP did a promo saying that Rey has been an icon in this industry and he has become a giant. MVP said that as a father, he’s disappointed in him. MVP spoke about how Rey has defeated many monsters, but he’s never defeated a monster the likes of the All Mighty. MVP wondered what Rey is going to do when Dominik is crying out for him. MVP said when Rey’s wife Angie is disgusted at him about what happens, just give her MVP’s number and tell her to call MVP.
Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio
Lashley ran over Dominik with a shoulder tackle followed by a flatliner. Lashley went for a suplex, Dominik slipped out and Rey hit a dropkick. Dominik tagged back in with punches, Rey with more punches and Lashley overpowered Rey to get out of the corner. Lashley caught Rey on the shoulder leading to a running powerslam. Lashley went for a Hurt Lock on Rey, so Dominik hit a dropkick to Lashley to break it up. Lashley got Dominik on the floor and he was going for the ringpost, but Rey hit a suicide dive to knock Lashley/Dominik down.
Lashley was in control with a slam off the shoulders to the mat. MVP did a cheap shot punch on Dominik before that. They were on the floor with Lashley put Dominik on his shoulders and Lashley ran Dominik into the ring post. Lashley drove Dominik back first into the barricade. Lashley wanted Dominik to hit him, so he did and it had no effect on Lashley. Dominik managed to hit an enziguri kick to the head. Dominik landed on his feet to counter a move and Rey got the hot tag with kicks to the body. Rey with a boot to the face followed by a moonsault, but Dominik swung his dad’s feet and Rey hit a Tornado DDT with Dominik getting a two count. Rey tagged back in with a leap off the top into a senton splash for two. Lashley was set up against the rope and ate a double 619 by Rey and Dominik at the same time. Dominik up top with a Frog Splash, Rey up top with a Frog Splash and a double cover, but Lashley kicked out. Lashley took out Rey with a Spear. Dominik jumped off the top, Lashley caught him and applied the Hurt Lock for the submission win. It went about 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: **1/2 An impressive showing from Lashley as usual with a destruction of the two Mysterios in the same match. A lot of offense from Lashley throughout the match. I liked that spot with the double Frog Splash from the Mysterios with Lashley still finding a way to kick out. They continue to book Lashley well as a dominant heel. It’s nice to see that.
Big E was interviewed by Kevin Patrick saying that his loss at Survivor Series was on him. Big E spoke about moving on while worrying about Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens while tonight he faces Austin Theory. Big E said that after he retains his WWE Championship, he’s going to be feeling pretty, pretty good. I love Curb Your Enthusiasm references.
Damian Priest entered for his US Title defense.
Liv Morgan was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Liv spoke about Team Raw’s win when Becky Lynch showed up to interrupt. Lynch said that Liv undelivered while Bianca Belair won it for the team. Lynch taunted Liv about how Morgan failed to win Money in the Bank. Lynch said that Liv could have come closer to a title said she’ll never hold. Liv said she held the title last week. Lynch had a great line about letting kids hold her title, but it doesn’t make them a champion either. Lynch said that Liv has embarrassed herself, her friends that aren’t even there anymore (ouch Riott Squad) and Lynch teased Morgan since she was about to cry. Morgan punched Lynch to end it.
Analysis: That was Becky Lynch in strong heel mode there. Morgan is pretty easy to like as a face. Lynch is awesome.
Apollo Crews got in the ring with Commander Azeez, who did a promo about how Crews is going to be the next US Champion. Crews said that Priest is a split personality that is ashamed of who he is. Crews said when he fights Priest for that US Title, he’ll decimate him. Crews said he’d show the world why Priest isn’t fit to be US Champion. Priest mentioned being in New York with Priest saying if you want to tell the world about your story, start a podcast or shut your damn mouth. Priest said they can fight now for the title, but Apollo said no.
Sami Zayn did a promo talking about how there was a conspiracy in WWE against him. Zayn said he was walking out of Brooklyn as the United States Champion.
United States Championship: Damian Priest vs. Sami Zayn
Sami ran away to the floor, but Priest got a hold of him and tossed him back in the ring. Sami went back out and hit an elbow to the face. Sami connected with the Exploder Suplex from Sami into the barricade. That led to a break.
Zayn with a chinlock. Priest with kicks, then a forearm, corner splash and a bell clap on the head. Zayn came back with Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Sheamus went up top, Zayn hit a sunset flip Powerbomb off the ropes for a two count. Zayn worked over Priest with punches as the fans chanted “Sami sucks” and Priest hit a huge uppercut. Priest went for his finish, Zayn countered into a rollup for two and then Priest hit a spin kick. Zayn to the apron, He choked Priest with a necksnap against the top rope and against the middle rope. Zayn shoved Priest in the face, so Priest made his crazy faces to set up the comeback. Priest with a South of Heaven slam followed by The Reckoning for the pinfall win at around nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Damian Priest
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match with Priest hulking up to put Zayn away after a slow-paced match. I did like a couple of Sami’s spots like the Powerbomb out of the corner and that generated a good reaction. Priest wasn’t heelish here like he was at Survivor Series although he does the angry man routine to get fired up.
Austin Theory was interviewed by Kevin Patrick. Theory said that tonight he’ll become the youngest WWE Champion in history. Theory said that Big E was a Big Loser at Survivor Series. Theory said that Mr. McMahon knows that Austin Theory is the future and Big E will know it soon.
Big E made his entrance as the WWE Champion wearing an outfit and jacket full of Festivus phrases from the great Seinfeld TV show. It’s a Festivus for the rest of us!
Austin Theory made his entrance. Seth Rollins went out there as well to watch the match.
WWE Championship: Big E vs. Austin Theory
Theory got a slap to the face followed by Big E coming back power moves including a back elbow. Big E set up Theory on the apron leading to Big E hitting big splash on the apron. Kevin Owens walked out there to watch the match. Big E was distracted by that, Theory with a back elbow and Theory hit a cradle suplex into the knee. Big E to the floor, so Theory hit a running dropkick on the floor.
Theory was working over Big E with punches, then a run into the ropes and a DDT. Big E made his come back with the two belly to belly suplexes, the belly to belly slam and a running splash. Big E charged, Theory moved to send Big E into the apron and then Theory hit a dropkick for a two count. Big E sent Theory to the apron, Theory with a knee attack on a charging Big E and then Big E hit a uranage slam for two. Big E sent Theory back in the ring, Big E stared at the two heels on the floor, so Rollins pulled on E’s leg. Theory hit a rolling neckbreaker on Big E. Owens threw Rollins into the ring, so then they bickered about it. Theory turned around and Big E hit the Big Ending for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Big E
Analysis: **1/4 Just an average match like the championship match before it. Theory hit some cool moves during the match, but it’s not like anybody thought he was going to win. Big E gets a win back after losing at Survivor Series.
Rollins and Owens argued at ringside so Big E sent Rollins into Owens. Big E sent Rollins over the announce table. Big E sent Owens into the ring, but Owens bailed out of the ring on the other side. Big E got a hold of Rollins to hit a Big Ending.
Big E posed on the apron, Rollins was in the aisle and Owens was by the entrance area. They did some three-way trash-talking and staredowns to end the show.
Analysis: The story is that Rollins is the number one contender for a shot at the WWE Title. I can see them adding Owens to the title match perhaps at the Day One PPV on January 1, but maybe it will just be a singles match. They have a lot of time to set it up.
Three Stars of the Show
- Becky Lynch
- Big E
- Randy Orton & Riddle
6 out of 10
Last week: 6.25
2021 Average: 6.13
It was another Raw in the average range. There wasn’t really a standout match or anything like that, but enough good stuff that it was a passable show.
They solved the “egg” story leading to Austin Theory getting a WWE Title match that he obviously lost. I’m not sure why they felt like they needed some Smackdown people on the show, but at least having Sami on Raw fit a need for them.
I thought Becky Lynch really stood out with her promo work, I really enjoyed the Orton/Riddle stuff a lot and Big E continues his dominance other than the Survivor Series loss.
Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.
Thanks for reading.