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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 11/28/22 Review

wwe raw nov 28

This week’s WWE Raw followed Survivor Series with Becky Lynch back on Raw, The Miz facing Dexter Lumis, Kevin Owens taking on Jey Uso in the main event and more.

It was the first Raw after Survivor Series from this past Saturday. I thought it was a very good show that was one of the better WWE PLE/PPV shows this year.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1539 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video package showed highlights of Survivor Series in the Men’s WarGames match with Sami Zayn helping The Bloodline win.

They showed The Bloodline’s The Usos (Jimmy & Jey), Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa arriving at the building. No Roman Reigns or Paul Heyman with them.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch made her entrance wearing her regular clothes including a black leather jacket instead of ridiculous glasses like she did when she was a heel. Lynch welcomed us to Raw while telling us that it was great for her to be back on the show. Lynch went into the crowd to greet some of the people she’s “The Man” of the people. Becky talked to a bearded guy named Bobby leading to a “Bobby” chant. Bobby was filming it on his phone as Becky talked to him. Becky just talked to some of the fans as she talked about she’s willing to do anything like jump off a cage. Lynch said she’s seen new faces come in and some familiar faces come back and she wants to slap the head off all of them. Lynch mentioned Bayley during her talk, so here comes Bayley in some tight black leather.

Bayley was booed by the crowd while Lynch was still in the crowd near the fans. Bayley had a brace on her right knee as she trashed Lynch for hanging out with the “idiot peasants” in the crowd. Bayley kept on ranting leading to “Becky” chants. Bayley said that she gets no respect after everything she’s been doing the last four months. Bayley mentioned Ladder Match, Last Woman Standing and WarGames, but you have no appreciation for your role model referring to herself. Becky told Bayley not to call Bobby a peasant. More “Becky” chants. Bayley: “Hey Bob, you do not suck.” Lynch said that Bayley wasn’t appreciated because she lost and she kept losing. Lynch said if Bayley wants a fight she can fight right now. Bobby told Becky to “go kick her butt” so Becky walked down the steps.

Dakota Kai and IYO SKY met Lynch in the crowd. Bayley joined them while Sky was wearing a neck brace. They went up the steps and into the concourse area near where fans were by concession stands. Lynch flipped a table over and threw merchandise at Damage CTRL. Bayley hit Lynch with a Money in the Bank lunch box! Lynch fought back against all three women as security and referees finally showed up to try to break it up. The women were separated at that point.

Analysis: It was a fun way to start the show with Becky going into the crowd for a promo, which you don’t see that often. I’m not surprised that it was Bayley who interrupted the promo because that’s a rivalry they should do now that Becky is back in action.

The Raw commentary team of Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves were shown at ringside welcoming us to the show.

A video aired about The OC’s feud with The Judgment Day while focusing on Mia Yim joining The OC to counter Rhea Ripley. It was sponsored by a movie called Violent Night.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance with Dominik Mysterio as Graves said “love is in the air.” Dominik was wearing an “I’m your mami” shirt for Ripley. They are not really a couple since Dominik posts about his long-term girlfriend on Instagram while Ripley is dating Buddy Matthews. They announced her opponent as “Michin” Mia Yim, who didn’t get much of a reaction.

“Michin” Mia Yim vs. Rhea Ripley (w/Dominik Mysterio)

The word “Michin” means crazy in Korean. Yim got a hiptoss on Ripley leading to Ripley bailing to the floor. Ripley with some kicks, but Yim trapped Ripley against the ropes leading to a Tarantula submission against the ropes. Ripley kicked Yim away, then a head smash in to the knee and Ripley hit a clothesline. Ripley with a kick to the ribs followed by some choking against the middle rope. Ripley did a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Ripley continued on offense with a vertical suplex for two. Ripley pounded on Yim with forearms to the head. Yim came back with knees to the head, kicks to the legs and kicks to the upper body. Yim hit a running dropkick. Ripley sent Yim to the apron, but Yim came back with a DDT off the ropes. Yim wanted Eat Defeat, Ripley blocked it and Yim countered Ripley with a DDT. Dominik got into the ring, so then AJ Styles went into the ring and there was a brawl leading to a double DQ. It went about seven minutes.

Match Result: Double Disqualification

Analysis: ** It was okay as a match with Yim getting plenty of offense while Ripley showed off some impressive power during the match. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to have a clean finish.

The brawl continued after the match with The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor & Damian Priest getting into the ring. That led to Luke Gallows & Anderson making the save for their buddies in The OC. Styles said he thought it was done at Survivor Series, but he was wrong and Styles challenged them to an 8-person tag team match. It was accepted.

The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & Mia Yim) vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio & Ripley)

The rules are that men have to face men and women have to face women.

There was a wild brawl with the eight wrestlers. Styles hit Balor with a forearm on the floor, Gallows slammed Priest on the floor by the entrance area and Styles/Balor got into the ring to start the match. Styles hit Balor with a suplex followed by a backbreaker. Anderson tagged in to work over Balor a bit and Gallows tagged in with a suplex. Anderson with a kick on Balor, Styles tagged in with a corner clothesline and Gallows hit a running splash in the corner. Balor broke free to bring in Priest to have a showdown with Gallows. Priest hit a jumping back elbow in the corner. Priest with kicks to the body, then Gallows hit him with an uppercut and they each hit kicks. Priest hit a running punch, Gallows with a flatliner and he worked over Priest with punches. Dominik got into the ring to distract, so Priest hit a spinning kick. The heel team made some quick teams for some moves on Gallows, but then Gallows punched Dominik and Gallows kicked Priest. Anderson back in with uppercuts and strikes. Anderson with a jumping kick followed by a spinebuster on Dominik and a senton on Balor. That allowed Priest to recover with a clothesline for two. Anderson tried fighting out of the heel corner, but Priest drove him back into the turnbuckle. More quick tags by the heels leading to Priest hitting a leg drop on Anderson for two. Balor grounded Anderson with a chinlock. Anderson hit a neckbreaker to break free. Dominik did the Three Amigos suplex on Anderson with Dom hitting all three for two. Anderson with a jawbreaker to get out of a chinlock by Balor. Anderson nearly tagged out, but Balor caught him with a slam for two. Anderson finally broke free to bring in Styles.

Styles decked Balor with a clothesline followed by a forearm. Styles knocked Priest off the apron, so Gallows tackled Priest onto the commentary table. Styles with kick on Dominik and Styles hit a flip off the ropes leading to a reverse DDT on Balor for two since Ripley broke it up. Balor rolled up Styles for two and Balor hit a Slingblade takedown on Styles. The women tagged in as Yim faced off against Ripley with Yim hitting two dropkicks, a flatliner and Yim hit a running kick to the chest. Yim hit a running kick to the head followed by a cannonball in the corner. Ripley to the floor, so Yim hit her with a suicide dive. The guys were back in the ring with Dominik saving Priest from a Magic Killer, but Gallows punched Dominik. Priest hit a South of Heaven Chokeslam on Gallows. Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Priest and Balor tossed Styles out of the ring. Yim body slammed Balor. Yim tried a move on Dominik, Ripley kicked Yim in the leg and Ripley hit a Riptide on Yim for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio & Ripley)

Analysis: ***1/2 A long match with a lot of action. They spent a long time working on Gallows and Anderson as the faces in peril at different points in the match until the chaotic finish in the last few minutes. Balor and Ripley both lost at Survivor Series, so now they get their wins back with a tag team match victory. I liked how it was booked towards the end with Yim doing a body slam to Balor, then she tried it to Dominik, but it was a mistake because Yim took her eyes off Ripley and Ripley made Yim pay for it by hitting Riptide for the win.

A video aired showing The Street Profits arriving earlier in the day with Byron Saxton asking how it felt to be back. Montez Ford talked about how it was good to be back and they are back in business. They were interrupted by Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable & Otis with Gable saying he’s been there working while they were gone. Gable said he requested a match with them. Gable said that Alpha Academy will put them on the shelf. Angelo Dawkins made a joke about short and he’s like an elf on the shelf. The Street Profits said “we want the smoke” to end it.

Analysis: Welcome back to The Street Profits. Montez Ford had an injury, so now they are back and the tag team division gets stronger with them coming back.

Let’s Hear From The Bloodline

The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) made their entrance with Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa. They walked out to the music of The Usos. They got in the ring for a promo.

Jimmy: “The Bloodline is now in your city.” Jey talked about how on Saturday they went to war at WarGames and Jey said he thinks he broke his hand for real, but they are standing tall. Jimmy said for the first time ever, there are no cracks in The Bloodline. Jimmy said there’s somebody mad back there because Kevin Owens is mad that Sami Zayn isn’t his dog because Sami Zayn is The Bloodline’s dog. Sami said “my dog” and did his handshake with Jimmy.

Sami said that Jimmy has accepted him no matter what and has been on Sami’s side from the beginning. Sami said that Jimmy has been “down since day one” and that means everything. Sami said that the last six months have not always been easy. Sami knows that Jey didn’t always trust and like Sami, but at WarGames at Survivor Series, the way that Jey accepted Sami in this family, the way Jey embraced Sami…that was “ucey.” The fans chanted “ucey” for that. Sami said that if there’s any Bloodline business that they have to handle, they are in the same page. Sami wanted a handshake. Jey slapped the hand and Jey hugged Sami. Both Usos hugged Sami. Solo just stood there with his arms crossed. Solo didn’t hug them, but there was an interruption…it’s Kevin Owens.

Kevin Owens made his entrance in a KO shirt. Zayn told Owens to stop right there and said before Kevin tries to fight Sami…but Owens said that’s not why he’s out there at all. Owens said that he totally gets it. Owens said he completely understands why Zayn chose to do what he did because Owens admitted he turned on Zayn many times, so he gets. Owens said for 20 years, his career and Sami’s career been linked together, but Owens said that he doesn’t want to fight Zayn, team with him or ride to shows together – Owens said he is done. Owens said he doesn’t want anything to do with Zayn. Sami said he felt exactly the same way. Zayn said he didn’t want to team with Owens or fight with Owens. Zayn didn’t want to be in the same room as Owens because he didn’t need him anymore with Zayn saying he had family now. Owens talked about how he was happy for Zayn because finally everyone can see just how great Sami Zayn is. Owens said he’s seen it for 20 years. Owens said he loves it. Owens said it didn’t matter how many times Sami calls them family, just remember that he isn’t their real blood and he never will be. Jey told Zayn not to worry about him.

Jey said that Owens is mad because he doesn’t have a damn family around him. Jey said if you have a problem with Zayn then you’ve got a problem with “Main Event” Jey Uso now. Owens said he’s done with Sami Uso, but he’s not done with Jey Uso, so Owens suggested they meet in that ring later tonight and see what happens. Jey said that he pinned Owens in WarGames and he’ll pin him on Raw, so the challenge is accepted. KO’s music hit to end it.

Analysis: It was an interesting promo with Owens saying he was done with Zayn while also saying he was happy about Sami’s success. Just because they say there are done with eachother doesn’t mean it’s true and we know that at some point Sami will get attacked by The Bloodline to become a face that is likely aligned with Owens again. However, for their character’s sake at this point, neither guy is going to say that. We just know as viewers watching the show that it will happen eventually. There’s no need to rush it or anything like that. I’m intrigued to see how it evolves in the weeks and months ahead.

A video was shown of Candice LeRae getting attacked by Damage CTRL in a backstage segment last month.

Candice LeRae was shown walking backstage looking ready for a match with Cathy Kelley showing up for an interview. Candice grabbed the microphone and spoke into the camera saying she’s going to take Dakota Kai out tonight.

The Street Profits made their entrance for their return to action after Ford was dealing with a calf injury. Ford was out for about two months They did their entrance where they jumped the barricade and walked into the crowd on their way to the ring. Alpha Academy were next as the opponents. That led to the first commercial of the night.

(Commercial)

The duo of Matt Riddle and Elias were interviewed by Byron Saxton talking about their success as the tag team. They spoke about having some success, so maybe they should go for some tag team gold. The Usos and rest of The Bloodline walked up to them telling they were the “twos” since The Bloodline were “the ones.” Elias challenged them to a tag team match, Jey Uso said “any time, any place” and The Bloodline members all stared at them as they left.

The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

Ford and Gable started the match with some exchanges on the mat. Otis tagged in with forearms on Ford, Gable was back in and Ford tripped him up with a leg trip. Dawkins tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Gable. They did a spot with Gable running off the ropes with Dawkins getting a takedown like a clothesline. Dawkins and Gable did a nice exchange of arm drags leading to Dawkins hitting a dropkick. Ford tagged in with a clothesline on Gable. Ford sent Otis out of the ring and gave Gable a back body drop over the top to the floor. Ford and Dawkins each hit somersault dives over the top onto their opponents on the floor.

(Commercial)

Gable was in control of Ford, who managed to break free and get a rollup, but Otis distracted the referee. Ford hit Otis with a forearm while he was on the apron. Ford jumped from the apron into a suplex by Gable for two. They do that spot every time and it looks great. Ford elbowed out of a suplex attempt leading to Ford hitting a DDT on Gable. Otis went for a running attack, but Ford moved and Otis hit the turnbuckle. Dawkins was back in with clotheslines, a punch to Otis, a back elbow on Gable, corner splash, kick to the head and the Silencer slam for a two count with Otis making the save. Dawkins with a jumping kick on Otis. Gable with a dragon screw leg whip on Dawkins leading to the bridging German Suplex for two as Ford barely made the save. Ford showed off his power by giving Otis a body slam, which was impressive to see. Dawkins punched Gable, tagged in Ford and Dawkins hit a spinebuster. Ford went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Gable for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Analysis: ***1/4 This was an entertaining match between two teams that worked together a lot this year. I like the Profits a lot and it’s great to see Ford back in the ring after two months. The crowd wasn’t into all of it, but the last few minutes were exciting as Dawkins was on fire after the hot tag, Ford hit the big body slam on Otis and Ford’s Frog Splash is one of the best top rope moves in the business because of how high he gets on that leap. Gable loses nearly every match while always having good matches and Otis is certainly useful in his role as well.

A video aired about the US Title match at Survivor Series that saw Austin Theory leave with the title after Bobby Lashley hit Rollins with a Spear during a Falcon Arrow attempt and Theory covered Rollins to win. It was a great match.

Austin Theory was shown walking backstage with the US Title.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear From Austin Theory

Austin Theory made his entrance with the US Title on his shoulder as the announcers push the story that Theory is “The Now” because that’s what they are saying about him now instead of always talking about the future.

Theory was booed as usual. Theory asked: “Who’s the kid now?” Theory said that the fans thought that Theory had the worst Money in the Bank cash-in all time and that he was stupid, but who looks stupid now? Theory said he didn’t want to be called a kid again after he beat Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Bobby Lashley at the same time at Survivor Series. That victory made Theory a two-time US Champion. Theory is no longer the next big that, he is the now and he is the face of Monday Night Raw. The fans booed that. Theory said since day one, people are jealous because everybody wants to be Austin Theory. Theory said he’s younger, stronger, better and he is he unescapable and the Austin Theory Era begins now.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins showed up for the interruption with the crowd popping for him. Rollins had on a unique outfit, even for him. It was like a see-through top and pants to match. I don’t really get it, but he likes to wear strange outfits to get attention. The fans sang Austin’s song on his way to the ring.

When Theory tried to talk, Rollins told him to shut his mouth and let them sing, so the crowd did the Rollins song even while it wasn’t playing. Theory talked about how he made the one-time “undisputed future” look like the past. Rollins said that Theory lucked his way into winning that championship, but that doesn’t change a damn thing because he knows deep down in his soul that Monday nights belong to Rollins, which led to the song from the crowd again. Rollins said he only had one thing left to say: “Congratulations, kid.” The fans popped for the “kid” bit while Theory was furious about it. Rollins told Theory that if he wants to hit him and fight him then they can do it right here, right now. Rollins was daring Theory to him, but Theory said “I’ll fight you, but on the champ’s time.” Theory spoke into Seth’s ear: “And I’m not your damn kid.” Theory left while Rollins smirked in the ring. Theory posed with the title as he got to the entrance while the fans sang Seth’s song again.

Analysis: It was a nice way for Rollins to try to get into Theory’s head by getting right in his face and taunting him. Theory showed a lot of confidence before Rollins got out there while also trying to keep his composure after Rollins was in the ring with him. I assume they’ll probably do this match as a Raw match in the coming month since waiting until the Royal Rumble in two months seems too far away. The crowd certainly cares about the story and the US Title a lot, so that’s a great thing about the booking.

There was a “WWE Investigates” video hosted by Byron Saxton covering the story between The Miz and Dexter Lumis. It summarized the story that also involved Johnny Gargano exposing the story of The Miz paying Lumis to attack him, but then Miz refused to pay him and Lumis sought revenge. That led to this week’s match.

That Lumis/Miz match was next.

This Friday on Smackdown on FS1 for those of you in the US, Sami Zayn officially becomes family with The Bloodline. Plus, the Smackdown World Cup Finals between Ricochet and Santos Escobar.

(Commercial)

The Miz was interviewed by Byron Saxton with The Miz carrying a bag of money. Miz claimed the match is not happening since he re-injured his hand while his left hand was taped. WWE Official Adam Pearce showed up saying that is not the right hand, then Miz said it was the left and Miz whined some more. Pearce said that this match will take place tonight. Miz said that Dexter’s hopes of becoming a WWE superstar will end. Miz said before the night is over, Pearce will be hearing from Miz’s lawyer.

Dexter Lumis made his entrance to some ominous music while getting some light cheers from the crowd. The Miz made his entrance with the bag of money. Miz tried to leave, but Adam Pearce showed up, took the bag of money and put it ringside. Lumis hit Miz with a clothesline on the floor. They went into the ring with Miz hitting a DDT while Graves called Miz valiant and brave for it.

Anything Goes Match: Dexter Lumis vs. The Miz

The bell rang with Lumis hitting a Thesz Press followed by punches and a forearm. Lumis rammed Miz into the LED board at ringside. Lumis whipped Miz into the barricade. Lumis sent Miz into the hood of the commentary table. They went onto the table, Lumis tried a move there, Miz countered a Skull Crushing Finale attempt and Lumis sent Miz into the barricade again. They went to break.

(Commercial)

When the match returned, Miz was holding Lumis by the head with a vice, which is a metal tool, on Lumis’ head for an interesting visual. Lumis punched Miz while tossing the vice out of the ring with Graves screaming about it. Lumis hit a spinebuster. Miz left the ring and went into the crowd with Lumis following him. They went fighting into the crowd with Lumis tossing Miz into a screen with Miz using his arms to hit it. Lumis put Miz on the table. Lumis jumped off a barricade with an elbow drop that put Miz through a table. Back in the ring, Miz took a turnbuckle pad off the middle turnbuckle and hit Lumis with a back elbow to the head. Miz sent a charging Lumis into the exposed steal for a rollup with the feet on the ropes for a two count. Lumis hit a uranage slam leading into the Silence submission with Miz tapping out to give Lumis the win. It went about 10 minutes.

Winner by submission: Dexter Lumis

Analysis: **1/2 When it comes to Lumis matches, they rarely are that great as I have mentioned many times in his NXT days. Lumis is a unique character unlike anybody else, so it’s not always about the matches with him. It’s about the story and in this case, Lumis getting the win was the obvious result. Miz loses quite a bit and this was just another case of him losing a match.

After the match, Lumis signed a contract that Pearce had with Pearce welcoming Lumis to Raw. Lumis was given the bag of money and he handed some money to lucky fans at ringside. Graves was screaming about how it was never about the money, it was about teaching Miz a lesson. Lumis continued to give money to kids in the crowd. Miz knocked down Lumis from behind. Miz grabbed money from a kid and had the bag. Johnny Gargano showed up and superkicked Miz. Gargano gave the money back to the kid. Gargano gave Lumis the bag, Lumis did a thumbs up and Gargano raised Dexter’s hand.

Analysis: Lumis finally “earned” a WWE contract even though he’s been on TV for most of the last four months. A happy ending to end this long-term story.

There was a replay of Becky Lynch fighting against Damage CTRL earlier in the show.

Dakota Kai, who is one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions, made her entrance for singles action.

(Commercial)

Candice LeRae vs. Dakota Kai

There was some picture-in-picture action that was not shown here in Canada on Sportsnet, but the match started during the break. Bayley and IYO SKY were forced to go backstage instead of going ringside to support Kai. Candice got multiple pin attempts for two counts. Kai got some offense going as she sent Candice out of the ring. Back in the ring, Kai stomped on Candice, who came back with a necksnap, but Kai came back with a pump kick to the face. Kai sent Candice into the turnbuckle. Candice avoided a running kick in the corner. When Candice went to the apron, Kai kicked her in the head again. They were on the apron with Candice hitting a move that was like a flatliner into the apron. Candice went up top and hit a missile dropkick for two. Kai to the floor, Candice charged and Kai kicked her in the head as both women were down.

(Commercial)

Kai was working over Candice with kicks, but Candice overpowered her with strikes in the corner and Candice hit a bridging back suplex for a two count. Candice jumped off the middle rope with nothing as Kai hit a superkick for two. Kai hit the running corner kick, Candice ducked another kick attempt and got a rollup for two. Candice hit a running dropkick to the upper chest. Candice went for a springboard moonsault, but Kai moved. They exchanged forearms, then it turned into punches, Kai with a Scorpion Kick and Kai hit a jumping up kick for a two count. They battled by the turnbuckle with Kai getting a kick, but Candice hit a neckbreaker off the middle ropes for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Candice LeRae

Analysis: *** A good match between two talented women that got a lot of time because Raw is such a long show. The crowd was quiet during some of it, which isn’t much of a surprise since Candice is barely featured on TV and has been off for the last month. Kai hit a lot of kicks as usual because that’s what a lot of her offense is. Candice getting the win got her some revenge after getting attacked by Damage CTRL last month.

The Bloodline’s dressing room was shown with Jey Uso doing push-ups to warm up for his match against Kevin Owens in the main event.

(Commercial)

A video package aired showing highlights of the Men’s and Women’s WarGames matches at Survivor Series. The women’s matches had three dives off the top while the men’s match had none. Both matches were great, in my opinion.

The Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss were backstage with Cathy Kelley there to interview them. There was a screen behind them. Belair talked about how she holds the division down and she made the call to bring back Becky Lynch, so she was very happy with the team because they did what they had to do to win at WarGames. Asuka spoke in Japanese. Bliss looked like she was off in another world and they had the Bray Wyatt logo behind her at one point.

Analysis: It looks like Alexa Bliss will be going through a character change again. The Bray Wyatt logo behind her could mean it is back to the story where she was affiliated with Wyatt like she was in the past.

Kevin Owens made his entrance for the main event.

(Commercial)

Jey Uso made his entrance holding the two sets of Tag Team Titles since he’s a Tag Team Champion with brother Jimmy, who was with him, along with Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa.

Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso (w/Sami Zayn, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa)

They exchanged strikes early on. Owens knocked down Jey with a back elbow that led to Jey trying to regroup on the floor. Owens chopped Jey and sent him into the barricade. Owens hit a senton splash on Jey on the floor while Owens had a staredown with Solo on the floor. Owens sent Jey back in, Owens looked at Solo and Jey hit a spin kick that knocked Owens off the apron to the floor.

(Commercial)

Owens got a kick to the gut followed by a DDT for two. Owens went for a Swanton Bomb off the top rope, but Jey got the knees up to block. Jey whipped Owens into the turnbuckle for a hard whip into the corner. Jey stomped on Owens repeatedly, then Owens came back to hit a corner clothesline and cannonball by Owens on Jey against the turnbuckle. Zayn was telling Jey to stay on KO’s back. Owens with punches to the face followed by Jey sending KO into the turnbuckle as Owens did an upside-down bump leading to Jey getting a two count. Jey hit a running hip attack on Owens in the corner. They went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with about eight minutes left. Zayn was telling Jey to work on KO’s back. Jey lifted up Owens leading to a popup neckbreaker. Owens fought back with punches, Jey with forearms to the head and Jey worked over Owens with punches. Owens came back with a clothesline. Owens went to the turnbuckle where Jey met him with an uppercut punch to the face. Owens blocked a move off the ropes leading to Owens hitting a spinning suplex off the middle ropes. Owens does that move often and it always looks great. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Owens went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Jey for a two count. Owens was selling his sore back for a bit, then Owens picked up Jey and Jey hit him with a superkick that knocked both guys down. Great sell by Owens as he collapsed to the mat. Owens charged leading to Jey hitting a great superkick for a two count. That one looked impressive. Jey does those superkicks so well and the leg slapping makes it sound loud. They exchanged holds again, Jey avoided a Stunner and hit another superkick for two. Zayn was yelling at the referee that it was three. Jey went for a superkick again, Owens blocked it and hit his own superkick. Owens wanted a Popup Powerbomb, Owens sold a back injury again and Jey hit ANOTHER superkick for one…two…no! Owens to the apron, Jimmy went on the apron and Owens superkicked Jimmy down. As Jey punched Owens, the referee pulled Jey back since they were by the ropes and Solo tripped up Owens on the apron. Jey went up top with a splash, Owens avoided it and Owens hit a kick to the gut followed by a Stunner for the pinfall win after 22 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***3/4 A great match between two talented guys that got a lot of time. They did a nice job of selling throughout the match by not rushing through spots. By doing that, it put over the physicality of the WarGames match two days earlier. Selling is important. I like matches that don’t rush and where the wrestlers sell properly. Jey kept on hitting Owens with superkick and Owens kept on kicking out. Owens showed a lot of resilience as the babyface that kept on fighting back. It’s interesting to note that Jimmy and Solo got involved in the match while Sami did not, so maybe that’s something Jey will mention on Smackdown. The crowd really got into it in the second half of the match and I thought it was booked very well in terms of the finish. Jey is a tag team wrestler, but as we have seen for the past two years, he’s a main event level singles guy too. I was so impressed by both guys in this match.

Owens left the ring as soon as he got the win to avoid an attack and the show ended there.

Analysis: It’s clear that Owens is going to be built as the next Undisputed Universal WWE Title challenger against Roman Reigns, so he’s going to pick up wins in matches like that. We have a report on the Owens-Reigns upcoming rivalry right here. Jey was the guy that beat Owens in the WarGames match, so now Owens was able to get some revenge by beating Jey in a singles match.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kevin Owens
  2. Jey Uso
  3. The Judgment Day

The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 7

Final Thoughts

It was a very good episode of Raw this week. I liked a lot of the matches. They followed up plenty of things from Survivor Series and the matches all seemed to have a purpose instead of randomly throwing them out there. Some people that lost at Survivor Series picked up wins including Kevin Owens, Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor. The Owens match with Jey Uso in the main event was really good, just like the eight-person tag team match involving The OC and The Judgment Day. They were long matches, but they advanced stories really well.

They finally wrapped up the Dexter Lumis story with The Miz, which went on for several months. Lumis got the win to earn a WWE contract and gave away some of The Miz’s money after the match. Maybe they can move on from this now. The first hour of Raw being commercial-free was entertaining. I liked that Becky Lynch promo in the crowd with some fans getting involved leading to a fight against Damage CTRL.

The next WWE PLE/PPV is Royal Rumble in two months, so there’s nothing immediate to build to. That’s not a bad thing as they can tell stories on TV and try to make televised matches feel more important. They clearly are building an Austin Theory-Seth Rollins (interesting outfit choice by Seth) US Title match that would make for a good TV main event soon.

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Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport