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From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is the Raw Deal for episode #1436 of Monday Night Raw. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s roll.
The Raw intro video aired to begin the show. The announcers went over the big matches coming up later including AJ Styles vs. Riddle vs. Keith Lee and Drew McIntyre teaming up with Sheamus against The Miz and John Morrison.
Moment of Bliss with Randy Orton
Alexa Bliss was in the ring to host her talk show in her FunHouse style look. Bliss was sitting in a yellow chair you might see in a kids playroom and Bliss had a doll inside of a cage. Bliss called Randy Orton her favorite WWE superstar.
Randy Orton made his entrance wearing a sweatshirt, shorts and his wrestling boots on. As Orton got into the ring, Bliss said that he looks like he’s in a foul mood as she brought up a replay of last week’s Raw when The Fiend distracted Randy Orton to cost him a match against AJ Styles.
Bliss laughed about it while saying she couldn’t believe “he” did that to Orton. Bliss wondered if Orton thought about why The Fiend would do that to him. Orton said that he’s known Bray Wyatt for a very long time but he doesn’t know The Fiend that well. Bliss said that The Fiend is one of her best friends. Orton, who was standing, said that he has a lot in common with The Fiend because he wears his pain on the exterior while Orton’s pain is suppressed deep inside so he can blend in. Orton said he hears voices while The Fiend hears voices too, which is another similarity. Orton said that the voices that The Fiend hears are Randy’s voice. Orton said that years ago, he had to figure out what Bray Wyatt’s weakness was and he found that vulnerability, so he burned it to the ground. Orton said he needs to find The Fiend’s weakness, The Fiend’s vulnerability and he stared at Bliss saying “it looks like he has” found the vulnerability. Bliss asked if that’s what the voices in his head are telling him. Bliss wondered if those voices are telling him lies. Bliss asked Orton: “Who is manipulating who?”
That led to the power slowly going out in the arena, Orton said “see what I mean?” and then Bliss said the same thing to him. The lights went out in the arena at that point and Orton was holding Bliss in his arms as The Fiend entered the ring with the red lights and noises in the arena. Orton handed Bliss over to The Fiend and Orton slithered his way out of the ring. Orton: “Who’s laughing now?” He was. They had a staredown as the strange noises continued to play in the arena.
Analysis: It was a different feeling than a typical Fiend segment because instead of The Fiend attacking and looking strong, Orton managed to outsmart The Fiend since Orton had Bliss in his arms, which led to The Fiend wanting Orton to hand her over. It shows that maybe Orton will be able to outsmart The Fiend at times. Since The Fiend is more of a face now while Orton is a heel, it’s important to make The Fiend look vulnerable occasionally, so this was a way to do that. Also, I need to add that Bliss is great in her role too. She’s really doing well as this unique character.
The announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton appeared on camera. Philips noted that Orton may have found that weakness while commenting that they have never seen The Fiend beg like that.
The musical instruments were in the arena for the “final chapter” (according to Phillips) in this rivalry between Elias and Jeff Hardy, so that match is after the break.
There was a commercial for NXT Takeover WarGames this Sunday, December 6 on WWE Network. We will have a preview up later in the week and then I’ll review it on Sunday night.
They showed clips of Drew McIntyre winning the Royal Rumble back in January. It’s part of videos that aired during the show to hype up McIntyre’s appearance on Raw later in the show.
Analysis: That elimination of Brock Lesnar led to such a big ovation for Drew. I loved that moment and it was such a great Rumble that stands out even more because fans weren’t at shows by mid-March due to the global pandemic going on in the world.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance. There was a video package for the Hardy feud with Elias over the last few months. Elias made his entrance with Tom noting it’s the third Symphony of Destruction Match with Elias taking part in all of them.
Symphony of Destruction Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
There are musical instruments surrounding the ring and on the ramp, so the wrestlers were able to use them in the match.
Hardy with a boot, then a clothesline over the top and a dropkick that put Elias down. Hardy went for a dreaded violin attack, but Elias stopped him with a jumping knee to the face. Elias slammed Hardy face first into the ring apron. Elias sent Hardy into a piano, which was shaking, so Elias revealed that 24/7 Champion R-Truth was hiding there. Truth ran away with his 24/7 Title while Erik chased after him. Hardy gave Drew Gulak a back body drop, Elias knocked down Gran Metalik and when Lince Dorado checked on Metalik, Elias hit Dorado with a guitar to the back. Hardy hit Gulak in the back with a guitar as well. They went to break about three minutes into the match.
The match continued in the ring with Hardy hitting an atomic drop, leg drop, dropkick and a light splash for a two count. That’s a common sequence of moves for Hardy, who should probably stop doing the splash part of it. Elias managed to whip Hardy face first into a guitar that was against a turnbuckle and that got a two count. The guitars that WWE uses for these matches are so thin. It wouldn’t hurt that much, but it’s about the selling. Elias put three guitar picks on his fist, so then he punched Hardy in the side of the face and then grinding the guitar picks into the face. Elias sent Hardy into a drum set and crashing into a cymbal as well. Elias sent Hardy face first into the ring post. Elias charged, Hardy moved and Elias went right first into the gong, which is a giant cymbal. Hardy whipped Elias hard into the drum set. Hardy grabbed a guitar, but Elias stopped his attack with a kick and a whip into the turnbuckle. Hardy countered a powerbomb into a headscissors takedown. Hardy jumped off the top with a twisting splash, but Elias hit Hardy with a guitar for just two as Hardy got his hand on the bottom rope. Elias covered again for a two count. Elias went for an attack with a guitar, Jeff moved, so Elias hit some kind of speaker that was also like an electrical outlet and Elias sold it like he was electrocuted or some kind of shock anyway. Hardy hit Elias with a bass to the back. Jeff put some instruments onto Elias while Elias was on a table. Hardy climbed up, then stood on the ring post and hit a Swanton Bomb on Elias to put him through the table. Hardy covered Elias on the floor for the pinfall win after 12 minutes. When Jeff landed, the back of his head was right by the steel steps, but he seemed to be okay.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match with an insane spot by Jeff Hardy to win it. I’m not sure about the rope break spot in a match where weapons are allowed, but they used it. I say insane spot because Hardy almost cracked his head open trying to land the Swanton Bomb there. I can understand why they did it in that spot since Jeff jumped off the ring post that had a flat surface, but they should have put the table somewhere else or moved the steel steps because that was close. Anyway, Elias had a few moments on offense there, but I think everybody expected Jeff to win and I’m glad he did because it’s the right way to end the feud. They need to be smarter about that Hardy spot, though. That could have caused a major injury.
Jeff left as the victor while Elias was down on the floor selling the table bump.
Keith Lee was shown warming up backstage with Riddle walking up to him. Riddle spoke about how amazing it would be to challenge for the WWE Title, then Riddle wondered if Drew could do an Austin Powers impression and as Riddle kept on rambling, Lee walked off without Riddle realizing it.
Analysis: It doesn’t take much to tell Riddle to act like a bizarre stoner guy. It’s who he is.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were promoting WWE Shop merchandise for Cyber Monday deals.
Mustafa Ali and his Retribution group were backstage were for a promo. Ali said that everything that is happening to Ricochet has already happened to every member of Retribution. Just like him, they were discarded and disrespected. Slapjack spoke about how he was discarded, but Ali saw him as a weapon for retribution. Ali said that tonight, Slapjack will show Ricochet the consequences of not joining Retribution and maybe Ricochet will see what Ali sees.
Ricochet made his entrance. They showed a promo from Ricochet saying that he had to prove he was better than Ali to show that Ali was going about this the wrong way.
Slapjack from the Retribution group made his entrance with Mustafa Ali joining him. Slapjack is the former Shane Thorne in case you forgot.
Ricochet vs. Slapjack (w/Mustafa Ali)
Ricochet with a springboard cross body block to start the match. Slapjack came back with a forearm to the face, Ricochet with an elbow, he stared at Ali and Slapjack sent him into the turnbuckle. Slapjack hit a cannonball attack against the turnbuckle for a two count. Ricochet with a shotgun dropkick, a running forearm and a rising knee to the face. Ricochet jumped off the top with a clothesline followed by a standing Shooting Star Press for two, so Ali called T-Bar and Mace out to the ring. Ali tossed Slapjack onto Mace and T-Bar on the floor. Ali hit a somersault dive to take out the three guys on the floor. Dana Brooke showed up at ringside and slapped Ali in the face because Retribution (Mia Yim) attacked Brooke leading up to Survivor Series. Brooke asked where is she at? Slapjack got a rollup. Ricochet came back with a kick, then kicks to T-Bar and Mace on the apron. Ricochet went after Ali on the apron and then Slapjack hit a twisting slam for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Slapjack
Analysis: *1/4 It’s the classic WWE booking scenario with the heel wrestler beating the face wrestler because of the dreaded “numbers game” with Slapjack’s friends at ringside causing Ricochet to be distracted and Slapjack capitalized on that to get the win. Retribution needs wins to gain credibility, but I also think Ricochet is one of the most poorly booked wrestlers in all of WWE. It’s been that way for most of the year.
Drew McIntyre’s 2020 highlights continued with clips of Drew beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 36 earlier this year. It was a short match that was under five minutes with McIntyre hitting multiple Claymore Kicks to win the WWE Title for the first time.
This year’s WWE Tribute to the Troops show will air Sunday, December 6th on Fox. Check local listings.
Later on Raw: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus vs. The Miz and John Morrison. That’s the main event.
Miz TV with Sheamus as the guest
The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring hosting Miz TV with Miz holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. They were both wearing suits with Miz wearing a ridiculous black/white suit. They introduced the “Celtic Warrior” Sheamus as the guest.
Sheamus walked out in street clothes meaning a hat, long jacket, pants and a white shirt. Miz and Morrison asked how Sheamus’ Thanksgiving was, but Sheamus didn’t seem interested. Morrison and Miz did some goofy commentary as usual. Miz said that they wanted to talk to Sheamus about Drew McIntyre, so Sheamus asked what did they want to know? Miz said that Sheamus returned Drew’s family chest from Scotland, which included a kilt and sword. Miz wondered why Drew forgot about Sheamus with John saying that maybe Drew knew that Sheamus would be jealous that Drew is the WWE Champion. They kept saying “correct” a lot. Sheamus said he didn’t accept anything in return. Sheamus said that he’s like brothers with Drew because they go way back. Miz said that Drew has something that Miz wants and Sheamus wants…the WWE Championship match. Morrison said if Sheamus was friends with Drew then Sheamus would have got a WWE Championship match. Miz said that when he becomes WWE Champion, John Morrison is first in line because that’s what real friends do. Miz suggested that Sheamus cash in years of resentment while Miz cashes in his Money in the Bank contract. Sheamus laughed at Miz. Sheamus said that Miz has his moments and he’s got a good sense of humor.
Miz fired up by yelling at Sheamus as he said that Sheamus last tasted the WWE Championship five years ago for about two months. Miz said that Sheamus let his best friend be at the top of the heap. Miz said if you want to laugh at something, you should laugh at your career because it’s a joke. Sheamus stood up, removed his coat and got in the face of Miz.
Sheamus told Miz that the difference between them is that Miz will talk about what he will do, but Sheamus likes to use his hands. Sheamus punched Morrison and Miz down. Sheamus sent Miz out of the ring, but Miz came back with the Money in the Bank briefcase in the back with two shots to the back. Miz hit Sheamus in the back for the third time. Samoa Joe said that Miz and Morrison did what they needed to do. The music of Miz played to end this.
Analysis: I thought this was effective in terms of planting a seed that Sheamus may turn on Drew at some point because Sheamus wants to be WWE Champion. Miz and Morrison are the right guys to be in that spot. Sheamus wasn’t going for it at all, but fans know Sheamus has been a heel for most of his career, so it makes sense that Miz would try to suggest that Sheamus is going to turn on Drew. I’m not sure if they are going to book Sheamus as a babyface long term, but I think his friendship with Drew should be strong for a few months until Sheamus does attack his friend.
A replay was shown of last week when Asuka and Lana beat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a non-title match.
The team of Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Lana were shown talking backstage prior to their match. They were excited about having another match as Asuka left for the ring. Lana was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber with Lana smiling about teaming with Asuka again.
Asuka made her entrance for tag team action.
This week on Smackdown: Kevin Owens continues his acts of defiance as he targets Roman Reigns, plus King Corbin vs. Murphy again.
Lana made her entrance for the tag team match.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. They’re the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Jax said “eww” at Sarah’s hairstyle. Baszler and Jax argued about their loss last week. Baszler said that losing to Asuka is one thing, but losing to Lana…are you serious? Jax said tonight there will be no mistakes, they’ll be on their A game, bring Asuka to her knees and put Lana through a table.
Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. Asuka and Lana
This is not for Baszler and Jax’s titles. Lana hooked the arms of Baszler into a two count, but then Baszler came back with a shoulder tackle. Lana with a kick, Asuka hit a dropkick and Lana sent Jax out of the ring by pulling down the rope. Baszler and Jax got hold of their opponents and swung them into the barricade repeatedly as the show went to break.
Lana was on Jax’s back going for a sleeper, but then Jax swung her off and hit a back elbow. Jax tossed Lana across the ring followed by a running splash. Baszler tagged in with punches to Lana while pulling on the left leg of Lana and stomping on the ankle. Baszler tossed Lana out of the ring with Jax getting the tag. Jax whipped Lana into the barricade, but then Lana countered a slam attempt by shoving Jax into the ring. Baszler tagged in, Asuka tagged in with a facebreaker (Codebreaker’s new name), Asuka with a kick, a dropkick and a running hip attack on Baszler for two. Asuka and Baszler kicked eachother at the same time as Lana tagged herself into the match. Lana jumped off the top with a cross body block, Baszler hooked Lana in the Kirifuda Clutch, Asuka fought off Jax on the floor and Asuka hit a running knee on Baszler leading to Asuka getting the pin to win the match after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Asuka and Lana
Analysis: *3/4 It was a boring match at times with a weak finish while having Lana get the pin (despite not doing much just like at Survivor Series) to try to give her more credibility as a wrestler. I think it was a weak finish because Baszler lost after a running knee from Asuka that was just a pin breakup. It makes Baszler look weak. There is WWE’s favorite booking method with the champions losing non-title again. It’s setting up a title match most likely at TLC.
Drew McIntyre was shown checking on his buddy Sheamus in the backstage area. Drew was laughing, Sheamus said it wasn’t funny and Drew laughed about it a bit. Sheamus wondered why Drew wasn’t out there to help. Drew said now Sheamus is in the zone, he’s ready and ready to knock the head off the two muppets. Sheamus said that was just the appetizer, later tonight is the main course and they touched fists to show they are ready.
Xavier Woods entered with Kofi Kingston because Xavier was in a match.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were in the ring with the Raw Tag Team Titles. Kofi mentioned that Woods was announced as a new host of the G4 network. Woods spoke about becoming a sports entertainer was important to him, he wants to be King of the Ring, video games are his happy place and he thanked everybody who has supported the UpUpDownDown Youtube channel and said “thank you” for the support. Kofi spoke about how Woods was going to talk about how Hurt Business has failed to beat New Day for the Raw Tag Team Titles three times. That led to highlights from Raw two weeks ago with Woods talking over their win over Hurt Business. Then last week on Raw, there was a countout win for Hurt Business, but New Day retains the titles. Immediately after that was part three when New Day beat Hurt Business to retain the titles again with Woods pinning Benjamin.
The Hurt Business interrupted with MVP joined by Shelton Benjamin in a suit and Cedric Alexander in wrestling gear. Woods: “Where are the other tag teams?” They don’t have many teams on Raw, pal. MVP said that they are actually 2-2 since their hands were raised when they won by countout. MVP was confident in saying that they’re going to win the titles the next time they have a title match. Benjamin said that they are taking the titles. Alexander said that Xavier’s G4 job might be his dream, but Cedric’s about to deliver a nightmare.
Analysis: A lot of talking to set up another match between these two sides.
Cedric attacked Woods with a forearm to the head before the bell rang to start the match. Cedric took the Raw Tag Team Title off of Woods and the show went to break there.
Cedric Alexander (w/MVP and Shelton Benjamin) vs. Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston)
Woods with an arm wringer, Cedric with a shoulder tackle and Woods knocked him down with a double chop. Woods hit a running dropkick on Cedric to send him into the barricade. Cedric caught Woods and sent him ribs first into the top rope. Cedric grabbed a chinlock, Woods got out of that and hit some chops. Woods with a jawbreaker, then more chops, a forearm, a clothesline and a jumping side-kick. Woods with a running splash onto the back of Cedric by the ropes. Woods was back in the ring with the Honor Roll clothesline for two. Cedric avoided a slam and hit a brainbuster for a two count. Cedric worked over Woods with kicks to the back, then Cedric sent Woods into the barricade. Cedric went for a suicide dive, Woods moved out of the way and sent Cedric into the barricade. They both took their time to get back in the ring with Woods send Cedric back in there first. Back in the ring, Cedric was in there first and he hit a Lumbar Check (double knees to the back) for the pinfall win after about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander
Analysis: **1/2 A solid match between two great athletes who worked well together here. It’s another instance of WWE booking a champion to lose a match in order to build up a challenger (or challengers in this case) so that it can set up a title match. Good offense by both guys. I liked the finish in the sense that even though Cedric went into the barricade before that, he was back in the ring before Woods, so he was in position to hit the Lumbar Check to win, which means that Cedric outsmarted Woods there.
After the match, Alexander went up the ramp to celebrate by himself while MVP and Shelton were in the ring wondering what he was doing. Alexander was fired up.
AJ Styles was shown talking to Omos backstage. Riddle walked up to “Skipper” with Styles told him that this is serious. Riddle apparently has a rabbit named Skipper, which Omos seems to know. Riddle said that Styles reminds him of Skipper the bunny for having great jumping ability, he’s super furry and totally cute. Styles shoved him, wondered if that was cute and left while Riddle said he would get him back.
Keith Lee made his entrance for the big triple threat match.
AJ Styles made his entrance with the big man Omos by his side. Riddle was up next as the third man in the match, complete with pyro going off as he kicked his flip flops out of the ring.
Analysis: This was billed as a “Sudden Death” triple threat match. I don’t know why. If it’s an elimination match that’s one thing, but a regular triple threat is always first fall wins. It’s the same rules as most triple threat matches in WWE where the first pin or submission wins the match. There’s no need to add the term “Sudden Death” to the match, but that’s what WWE did. If you want to complain about WWE adding “Sudden Death” to this, you have every right to do so. It’s totally unnecessary.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle
The winner of this gets a WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre at TLC on December 20. There are no disqualifications or countouts in WWE triple threat matches.
Lee sent both guys out of the ring and teased a dive, but Styles/Riddle got out of the way. Lee managed to hit a running cross-body block on Riddle to knock him down. Lee with a left-handed punch to the face. Lee sent Styles into Riddle and then Lee with a back body drop on styles. Lee with another running punch on Riddle. There were forearms from Riddle, but then Lee decked him with another shot to the face. Lee sent Riddle into the turnbuckle, Omos lifted Styles to the apron and Styles with a kick on Lee. Riddle with a knee to Styles. Riddle jumped off the middle ropes with a twisting body press onto both standing opponents.
The match returned with Riddle working over the three guys, then he hit broton splashes on both guys and Lee kicked out at one. Riddle with a gutwrench suplex on Styles and he went for a broton, but Styles got his feet up to block. Lee whipped Styles so that AJ went ribs first into the ring post. Lee with a splash on Riddle, then a toss across the ring and another corner splash. Lee tossed Riddle across the ring again. Lee went for a Spirit Bomb, but Riddle countered with an armbar and Lee swung Riddle into AJ’s face to knock Styles down. Riddle broke free, he hit an exploder suplex on Styles and Lee hit a running pounce on Riddle to knock him down for two. Styles hit a running forearm on Lee for a two count. Riddle tried a Powerbomb on Lee after Lee was attacking Styles by the turnbuckle, Lee suplexed Riddle across the ring, Styles with a cross body block on Lee for two and Styles covered Riddle for two as well. Riddle hit an overhead kick on Styles followed by a bridging German Suplex for two. Lee with a forearm to the face, Riddle with a punch, Lee with a double chop, then Riddle hit a knee, then another knee from Riddle and Styles came off the top with a Phenomenal Forearm on Riddle for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match as you would expect from these guys. I would have liked to see weapons involved at least a little bit since it’s No DQ rules in a match like this. Styles getting the win was my prediction earlier on Monday in the Raw preview that I did. Riddle as the guy that got pinned makes sense since Lee is rarely pinned, so you can say Lee was protected there. Lee dominated much of the match, he wasn’t knocked down that often and then Styles capitalized on the situation of Riddle battling Lee because Styles hit the forearm on Riddle for the pinfall win. I thought it was booked well with a clean finish. Just don’t call it “Sudden Death” next time, please.
The win by Styles means he gets to challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title at TLC on December 20.
Analysis: It makes sense since Styles is a former WWE Champion that has yet to face McIntyre. That’s a fresh matchup that should also produce an outstanding match. The rumor last week was that Braun Strowman would challenge Drew McIntyre, but Braun has a leg injury, so he’s out of TLC and WWE has said he’s suspended for headbutting Adam Pearce. Maybe it will be Drew vs. Braun at Royal Rumble in January.
The Miz and John Morrison were interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. There was a replay of Miz TV earlier in the night when Miz/Morrison had a 2 on 1 attack on Sheamus. Miz said that they had a strategy when they focused on Randy Orton, but then Drew McIntyre got the WWE Title back, so now Drew has to worry about AJ Styles and his own tag team partner Sheamus. Miz said that they also had the Money in the Bank contract. Charly said that they weren’t presenting any type of real plan, so then Miz and Morrison left.
Dana Brooke made her entrance for a match. Two weeks ago, Brooke was attacked by Reckoning backstage on Raw. That’s why Brooke slapped Mustafa Ali of Retribution earlier in the show.
Reckoning of Retribution was in the ring for her first Raw match. Reckoning (Mia Yim) did a pre-tape promo with Mustafa Ali with Reckoning saying that Dana is her problem, so she will be her reckoning. What a cheesy line.
Dana Brooke vs. Reckoning (w/Mustafa Ali)
This was Reckoning’s first match on Raw. Reckoning hit a dropkick, then when Reckoning went for a kick, Brooke moved and Reckoning’s mask came off. We all know it’s Mia Yim, but the announcers don’t say that. Brooke was aggressive with punches along with a clothesline. Reckoning came back with a clothesline. Reckoning with a kick to the back followed by a submission pulling back on the arms. Brooke with a jawbreaker, then a kick to the face and two clotheslines. Brooke with a handspring elbow, Brooke went after Ali on the apron, Reckoning went for a kick and Brooke did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win in a match that was under three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dana Brooke
Analysis: * The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. They worked hard and I liked the intensity shown by Brooke, but it wasn’t that interesting overall. This doesn’t make Reckoning look like a threat since she lost her first match on Raw in under three minutes.
Post match, Ali yelled at Reckoning telling her she let Dana embarrass him. Ali told Reckoning that there is no failure in Retribution as Reckoning just sat there not saying a word.
Analysis: I don’t know where this is leading. Maybe Reckoning is kicked out of the group and goes by the name Mia Yim that we all know her as. Maybe Reckoning attacks Brooke again to set up another match. It’s also comical to hear Ali say there’s no failure in Retribution when they lose most of their matches.
The Miz and John Morrison showed up with a peach pie for AJ Styles, who was with Omos. AJ is from Georgia, so that’s why it’s a peach. Styles said he’ll help them. Styles said it would be a lot easier to beat Miz at TLC than it would be to beat Drew McIntyre. Styles told them he’ll see them out there as Miz and Morrison left. Styles held up the pie, so Omos said: “That’s not a pie. That’s a cupcake.” Omos is a unique guy.
A clip was shown from Raw two weeks ago when Drew McIntyre won back the WWE Title from Randy Orton. Drew is up next.
This week on Raw Talk the guests were Sheamus, Ricochet and Dana Brooke.
Riddle was shown grabbing his neck while sitting down. MVP walked up to him wondering what happened. Riddle said that losing sucks, but at least he had the opportunity unlike Bobby Lashley. Riddle suggested business ideas, MVP asked if he wants to pitch, Riddle said he didn’t like baseball and Riddle suggested a Lawn Bros business to take care of weeds. Riddle also suggested Bronuts instead of donuts. MVP said Riddle is dumb, ridiculous and he’s glad he lost. Bobby Lashley showed up for a cheap attack and Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock submission to put Riddle down.
Analysis: I mentioned last week that when Riddle interacted with MVP, it seemed like it would lead to Riddle going after Lashley’s US Title. Now it looks like that’s the direction they are going in, which is fine with me.
Keith Lee approached Sheamus in the backstage area. Lee told Sheamus that some of the fellas think that Sheamus is going to turn on his so-called friend Drew McIntyre. Sheamus said it is none of his business and said he better go out there to turn on his tag team partner. He said it in a sarcastic way.
Let’s Hear from Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre, the WWE Champion, was introduced as the “Scottish Warrior” by Charly Caruso, who was in the ring for an interview. McIntyre entered with the sword along with the kilt that is now part of his entrance. Drew said it feels good to stand there once again as the WWE Champion. Drew said that sometimes you have to get knocked on your ass to see what you’re made of. Drew said two weeks ago he Claymore’d Randy Orton’s head off to become WWE Champion. Drew said he was going to humble Roman Reigns and he did that. Drew said that Roman was the most confident man in the world, but that confidence turned to confusion and frustration because he knew Drew wasn’t like anybody he had fought before. Drew said Jey Uso interfered, so Roman won the battle. Drew talked about how their paths will cross again, Reigns may have won the battle, but Drew will win the war and you can believe that.
Drew was asked about AJ Styles while there’s a looming threat with The Miz carrying around the Money in the Bank contract. Drew said that match with AJ will be phenomenal…nice touch. Drew said if Miz tries to cash in, he’ll fold Morrison into that briefcase and stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Analysis: A lot of confidence shown by McIntyre, who is a very likable babyface champion and he has been for most of the year.
Sheamus made his entrance to join best friend Drew McIntyre as they did a forearm smash greeting.
AJ Styles was on commentary with big man Omos standing behind him. Drew McIntyre was holding the WWE Championship in front of Styles.
The Miz and John Morrison made their entrance with Miz carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Drew McIntyre and Sheamus vs. The Miz and John Morrison
Sheamus beat up Miz with punches along with a fallaway slam and a clothesline. Morrison tagged in, Sheamus decked him with a clothesline and Sheamus stomped away on Morrison. McIntyre tagged in with two shoulder tackles with Morrison doing a flip bump to sell it. Sheamus tagged in with a rising knee to Morrison to send him to the apron. Sheamus with the forearms to Morrison, then he did the forearms to Miz as well and Sheamus hit a rolling senton on both guys including one of them to Miz onto Morrison. Sheamus talked trash to Styles on commentary, so Styles got up and Sheamus got in his face. Sheamus punched Miz to knock him down while Omos had a staredown with Sheamus. Morrison capitalized on all of that with a dropkick on Sheamus onto the announce table.
The match returned with Morrison grounding Sheamus with a kick to the ribs and Miz hit a DDT on Sheamus for two while Styles was back on commentary. Morrison with a knee, Miz with a kick and Morrison with a standing Shooting Star Press for two. After Morrison got some strikes in, Sheamus came back with a pump knee that looked brutal. It put Morrison down as Drew tagged in against Miz. Drew with an overhead suplex on Miz and then another suplex across the ring. McIntyre suplexed Morrison across the ring and Drew hit a neckbreaker on Miz as well. Sheamus wanted a tag, but Morrison pulled Sheamus off the apron and sent him into the ring post. Morrison tossed Sheamus over the barricade. Meanwhile, Styles jumped off the top with a Phenomenal Forearm on McIntyre for the DQ finish at around 10 minutes.
Winners by disqualification: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus
Analysis: **1/2 It was just average for a main event tag team match with a cheap finish. I thought Drew or Sheamus would win the match before Styles got involved, but I think doing a DQ finish is a way to do the match again next week. That’s just a guess on my part. Sheamus working as the face in peril is a rare sight, but that was the right story to tell here to build up to McIntyre getting the tag. Some fans are probably going to hate the ending although I get it because they need to build up the McIntyre match with Styles, so doing something cheap to end the match is a smart way to get some heat on Styles.
There were still a few minutes left in the match with Miz and Morrison asking Styles what he was doing. Styles was telling Miz to cash in the briefcase. Morrison hit the Starship Pain splash off the ropes. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on McIntyre in the center of the ring. Omos handed Styles the briefcase. Miz wasn’t sure about it, then Styles pointed out that Drew was down. Miz handed the briefcase to referee Chad Patton, but there was no official cash in as McIntyre hit a back body drop on Morrison out of the ring, then a Claymore Kick to Miz and then Styles faced off with McIntyre. Styles flipped out of the ring with Omos carrying him on his shoulder.
Styles, who was being carried on the shoulder of Omos, told McIntyre that Omos rescued him. Styles told McIntyre he was a lucky man. McIntyre said he didn’t give a damn about “Jackass and the beanstalk over there.” Good line. Omos put Styles down as Styles and McIntyre faced off to tease their match at TLC. That was the end of Raw.
Analysis: It was another Money in the Bank cash-in tease. We have seen it a few times already with Miz holding the contract and I would expect to see it again down the road. Styles getting away before McIntyre could get his hands on him is a nice tease for the future when Drew gets to destroy Styles with a Claymore Kick when the time is right.
Three Stars of the Show
- AJ Styles
- Drew McIntyre
- Riddle/Keith Lee
5.75 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2020 Average: 6.24
This week’s Raw was a step back after the last two weeks of pretty good shows. This episode was more of an average Raw. The match quality wasn’t as good this week aside from the Styles/Lee/Riddle triple threat match, which I enjoyed a lot. None of the other matches really stood out while some of the finishes were disappointing. Hey Jeff Hardy, be careful with that Swanton Bomb through the table with your head hitting the steps. That spot could have been set up better. We got the same thing as usual with champions losing non-title and the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! used to win matches. It gets so repetitive when I see it on every Raw and Smackdown episode week after week.
I thought some of the promos were okay. There was also a lot of talking. Raw is such a long show that WWE feels the need to do promos before nearly every match, which is okay in theory, but some of the promos are lacking in substance. The advancement of the Randy Orton story with The Fiend/Alexa Bliss was pretty good in the opening segment.
I’m looking forward to Drew McIntyre facing AJ Styles at TLC later this month. If it’s a TLC match then that’s fine with me. Drew has had a lot of great matches this year, but working with Styles might see him have his best match of the year. There’s also The Miz hanging around with Money in the Bank and Sheamus possibly turning on McIntyre at some point. There are a lot of things going on to keep things fresh for Drew for the time being.
The next WWE pay-per-view is WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs on Sunday, December 20. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles
I assume we can add Jax/Baszler vs. Asuka/Lana to the card. Maybe New Day vs. Hurt Business and Randy Orton vs. The Fiend as well. Bobby Lashley vs. Riddle is possible too.
The Universal Title match is likely Roman Reigns defending that title against Kevin Owens.
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