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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/05/22 Review

wwe raw deal december 5

This week’s WWE Raw featured two women’s triple threat matches, The Usos defending the Tag Team Titles and more.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1540 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw intro video aired to start the show.

Let’s Hear From The Usos and The Bloodline

Down since day one-ish, it’s time for The Usos joined by their brother Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn representing The Bloodline. The Raw commentary team was Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves as usual.

A video was shown of The Bloodline arriving earlier in the day. Byron Saxton tried to interview them, but Matt Riddle went riding by on a scooter and The Bloodline didn’t like that. The Usos said they would get them like every team in WWE. Elias showed up wondering what was all the noise about and he got jumped by Solo from behind. The Usos beat up Elias as well. Solo whipped Elias into a steel barricade. Sami: “I think he’s hurt.”

Analysis: When Triple H was booking NXT, there were many parking lot attacks. This was like that. Sometimes in NXT they were mystery attacks, so at least we got to see who did this one.

Jey Uso informed Washington that The Bloodline was in your city. Jimmy said that the Tag Team Title match was officially canceled. Jey said that’s because “The Enforcer” Solo Sikoa bodied Elias in the parking lot. Jimmy said that they will defend the championships against any team that wants to step up because they’re the two’s while “we the ones.”

Bro…it’s Matt Riddle. Riddle said it wasn’t very Ucey to run from a fight. Sami said “hold up my dog” and wanted to explain something to Riddle. Sami said he’s an expert in terms of what’s Ucey and he said he’s a “Uce-ologist.” Zayn said that Solo showing why he’s The Enforcer is Ucey. Sami said that The Usos continuing to be the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in history is Ucey. (The fans chanted it.) Zayn ripped on Riddle for thinking he had a chance at beating The Bloodline saying that it was not Ucey. Zayn wanted Riddle to go home.

Riddle said that he did find a tag team partner and there will be a tag team championship match tonight. Riddle said that they are not bros, but one thing is for sure…they hate The Bloodline. It’s Kevin Owens!

Kevin Owens walked down to the ring with Riddle, the referee kept the teams apart and held up the titles to signify that it’s a title match. The Usos have been champions for 505 days.

Analysis: That’s a big upgrade as a tag team partner since Kevin Owens is a much bigger star compared to Elias. Owens and Riddle aren’t a regular team, but if they are handing out tag team title matches easily then you might as well team up two popular guys. I’d rather have teams earn title matches in the future. Also, Zayn saying “Uce-ologist” was funny and then the fans chanting “Ucey” on cue in the promo just shows how popular the group is even as heels.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos – Jimmy & Jey Uso (w/Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa) vs. Kevin Owens & Matt Riddle

Owens blocked Jey’s superkick attempt and punched Jey followed by a back elbow. Owens hit a senton splash on Jey for two. Owens went for a running attack in the corner, but Jimmy saved his brother. Owens clotheslined Jimmy on the floor and threw Jey into the barricade.

(Commercial)

Owens hit Jimmy with a cannonball in the corner followed by a moonsault off the middle rope for two. The Usos took advantage of the referee not looking leading to Jey getting a cheap kick to the back of the head of Riddle. Jey tagged in with a stomp on Riddle’s stomach. Jimmy tagged in with a top rope elbow smash to Riddle’s chest for a two count. Jimmy decked Riddle with an uppercut along with a cheap punch to knock Owens off the apron. Jey tagged in for a double team spinebuster by the champions for a two count. Jey remained in control against Riddle as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Owens hitting a Swanton Bomb off the top on Jimmy for two. Owens with a superkick on Jimmy, but Jimmy avoided a Popup Powerbomb by jumping over KO and Jimmy hit a superkick. Jey tagged in against Riddle, who hit an up kick and a kip up back to his feet. Jey with an uppercut, but Riddle used his legs to send Riddle out of the ring. Solo got in KO’s face on the floor, so Riddle dove onto Solo on the floor. Jey superkicked Owens. Riddle with a knee on Jey, who was back in the ring and Jimmy made a blind tag. Riddle hit Jimmy with a forearm, Jey with a superkick on Riddle and The Usos hit the 1D with Jimmy pinning Riddle for the win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos – Jimmy & Jey Uso

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match as usual any time The Usos get a lot of time to show what they can do. Owens is awesome, Riddle can really go as well and it was a lot of fun by the end. They spot was that Zayn saved Jey when Riddle hit a dive onto Solo on the floor, that led to Jey superkicking Owens to knock him down on the floor and The Usos finished off Riddle in the ring. It was not blatant cheating by the champions, but the numbers game helped them.

The Usos will defend the Tag Team Titles against Sheamus & Butch on Smackdown. It was going to be Sheamus & Drew McIntyre, but Drew is “medically disqualified” due to some injury. I hope it’s not too serious for Drew and he can be back to action soon.

After the match, The Usos stomped on Riddle. Owens made the save with a steel chair that he used to hit both Usos in the back. Owens chased both Usos and Zayn to the backstage area.

Solo went into the ring and hit a superkick on Riddle. Solo looked at the taped thumb on his right hand and delivered the Samoan Spike (like late uncle Umaga) to Riddle. Solo hit a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Solo put a chair around Riddle’s neck while against the turnbuckle, Solo charged again and hit a running hip attack into the chair that was on Riddle’s head/neck. Riddle was in pain while security and help was slow to get there.

Solo left on his own while EMT’s put a neckbrace on Riddle. They put Riddle on a board and loaded him on a stretcher.

Analysis: Solo Sikoa continues to be booked like a physical force that is tough to spot. I think Solo doing the Samoan Spike like Umaga was a really cool tribute by him. I guess this means Riddle will get a break after working a heavy schedule all year. It took a long time for any security to get there to try to help Riddle, but that’s what happens sometimes when they want to get over a story.

(Commercial)

Rhea Ripley was backstage with The Judgment Day talking about how she’s going to win the triple threat match tonight and she’ll move on to become the Raw Women’s Champion. Ripley said that the women’s locker room is going to be calling her “mami.” She laughed and the guys supported her for her match.

There were replays shown of the end of the tag team match and Solo Sikoa’s attack on Matt Riddle. They showed Riddle on the stretcher.

They showed JBL’s Poker Invitational tournament backstage somewhere with two tables full of wrestlers on the roster. JBL claimed this was as grand of a spectacle as WrestleMania. JBL said nobody like Akira Tozawa. Dexter Lumis showed up with a purse with JBL telling “Jason” Lumis that he didn’t invite him and he trashed Johnny Gargano for being short saying he didn’t invite “you one and a half” instead of saying two. Lumis dumped a pile of money on the table, so JBL welcomed him to the invitational.

Analysis: It’s a way to get some people on the show at least. More comedy to come later in the show.

Bayley made her entrance for a match. Becky Lynch showed up in the crowd with a microphone in hand just like she did last week. Becky talked about how much fun she had last week beating up Bayley and her cronies. Becky made her way down to the ring telling Bayley it’s been three years since they had a singles match. Becky credited Bayley for helping to carry WWE during the Thunderdome Era, then Bayley came back and Bayley was gone (with an injury). Bayley told Lynch to stop reminiscing about the past. Bayley said when Lynch is here, the spotlight is always about her. Bayley talked about how she had Dakota and IYO with her because she’s looking out for the future for the whole locker room because it’s the bigger picture. Bayley yelled at the fans for not cheering her, so the fans cheered for Becky. Lynch said that Damage CTRL has been successful, but then Lynch corrected herself saying she can see two champions (Kai & SKY) and one loser referring to Lynch. Becky said that she hopes Bayley wins her match, so then when Becky wins they can go one on one and make history together.

Analysis: A lengthy feud between Lynch and Bayley some day would be awesome to see. Both women are really good in their roles, they get strong reactions from the crowd and should produce some terrific matches when they get a chance to do it.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance as Lynch stood in the aisle, so there’s a tease of a big match in the future. Lynch and Ripley went face to face for a staredown. It was a long staredown with Lynch wishing Ripley “good luck” for her match. Ripley walked towards the ring for her match while Lynch left.

(Commercial)

Asuka made her entrance as the third woman in the match.

Bayley vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka

The winner of this match faces the winner of the other triple threat women’s match on the show. The winner of that match gets a Raw Women’s Title match against Bianca Belair in the future.

Ripley went for rollups on both opponents to start the match. Ripley drove Bayley’s head into her knee and sent Bayley out of the ring. Ripley hit Asuka with a suplex for two. Ripley with shoulder tackles on Asuka, Bayley was back in and Ripley hit Bayley with a suplex. Ripley whipped Asuka hard into the turnbuckle and she did the same to Bayley as well. Ripley tossed both women across the ring separately. Bayley clotheslined Ripley from behind leading to Asuka hitting a running kick. Bayley and Asuka sent Ripley shoulder-first into the ring post. Asuka knocked Bayley down with a shoulder tackle. Bayley tripped up Asuka, she sent Asuka into the turnbuckle and Ripley jumped off the apron with a somersault onto both women on the floor.

(Commercial)

Ripley and Bayley worked briefly together against Asuka, who came back by tossing Bayley out of the ring. Asuka with strikes to Ripley, then a kick to the head and Ripley slammed Bayley down. Asuka slipped jumping off Bayley’s back and still connected with a kick on Ripley. Asuka with a clothesline on Bayley and a double knee attack on Ripley for a two count. Asuka worked over both opponents with kicks, Bayley got a rollup and Asuka came back with an Ankle Lock on Bayley. Ripley headbutted Bayley leading to Asuka hitting a German Suplex. Asuka hit a roundhouse kick on Ripley to knock her down. Bayley tried to order Ripley to go after Asuka while Bayley rested, but Ripley told Bayley you can’t boss Ripley around. Ripley and Bayley exchanged forearms, they each threw punches and Asuka jumped off the top with a double knee smash on both opponents. Asuka got nearfalls on both women after that. Asuka with a missile dropkick off the top onto Bayley for a two count. Asuka applied the Asuka Lock on Bayley. Ripley ran the ropes leading to a running dropkick to break the hold as Ripley got a two count on Asuka. Ripley hit Asuka with two clotheslines, but Asuka came back with an armbar submission. Bayley broke that up with an elbow drop off the middle rope on Asuka for two. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly on Asuka for two with Ripley making the save. Ripley with three headbutts on Bayley along with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Ripley had Asuka on her shoulders leading to a slam into the mat for a two count. Ripley dropkicked Bayley off the apron to the floor. Ripley hit the mat on the floor hard and Bayley went back into the ring with Asuka getting a rollup. Bayley with repeated back fists to the head. Asuka went for a dropkick off the middle ropes, Bayley avoided it and Bayley hit the Roseplant sending Asuka to the mat for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good match. The crowd wasn’t into all of it, but I think they got into it more toward the finish. Bayley winning is what I expected. I like Bayley a lot although I’m not a huge fan of the Roseplant finisher unless it’s from a standing position. It just doesn’t look that impactful sometimes. It’s worth noting that a triple threat match has no disqualifications and no countouts, so they could use weapons, but they didn’t go that route at all.

After the match, Ripley went into the ring and punched Asuka repeatedly followed by a kick. Ripley hit Asuka with a Riptide slam.

Analysis: It was a cheap attack for Ripley after she was upset that Asuka lost the match.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.

A commercial aired for NXT Deadline this Saturday, December 10th while hyping up the Iron Survivor Challenge and Bron Breakker defending the NXT Title against Apollo Crews. I’ll review that on Saturday night.

(Commercial)

They showed Drew McIntyre’s tweet about how he is medically disqualified from wrestling this week. Get back soon, Drew.

The Usos defending the WWE Tag Team Titles against Sheamus & Butch is on for this Friday’s Smackdown.

Let’s Hear from Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance wearing a jacket that looked small for him, btu he wasn’t wearing a shirt so that’s probably fine. Next week on Raw, Rollins faces Bobby Lashley in a US Championship #1 Contender’s match. The fans were singing Seth’s song as usual.

Rollins welcomed us to “Monday Night Rollins” while going over his nicknames and telling us who he is. Rollins talked about one week from tonight he’s going one on one with the “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley. Rollins said that the winner of that match will be the new number one contender for the United States Championship. Rollins mentioned his song, so the fans sang it again.

Bobby Lashley interrupted the singalong. Lashley has a good song too. Lashley got into the ring with Rollins as the fans chanted “Bobby” for him.

Lashley said he’s here, so what would Rollins like to tell him? Rollins said that Lashley hasn’t been the same since Crown Jewel when he lost to Brock Lesnar. Rollins wondered about Lashley’s obsession with Lesnar. Rollins wondered if Lashley was scared of Lesnar. Lashley said he knows Rollins is trying to get under Lashley’s skin. Rollins said that if you’re not scared of Lesnar then you must be jealous. Rollins said because Lesnar is a bigger star that’s won more championships. Rollins claimed that Lesnar had the career that Lashley wishes he had and Lashley said this is not about Lesnar, this is about them and the US Title.

Rollins said that the US Title won’t fill the void that Lashley has where he knows that he can’t beat Lesnar. Rollins said that beating Lashley next week will be easier than it was the first time. That led to a brawl with Lashley sending Rollins into the barricade multiple times. Lashley lifted up Rollins for a move, but officials tried to break it up. Rollins ran at Lashley again until that was stopped again. Rollins dared Lashley to bring it again, so Lashley went back into the ring to tackle Rollins into the turnbuckle. Lashley charged at Rollins, who moved and Lashley hit a Spear on Producer Petey Williams (they called him Pete). Rollins left. They replayed it to show Rollins moved out of the way leading to Lashley hitting Williams by mistake. Adam Pearce was checking on Williams as Rollins left towards the back.

Analysis: The story they were going with here was to have Rollins lure Lashley in and have Lashley hit an official/producer like Williams. What Rollins said about Lesnar was a good way to remind people about the Lesnar-Lashley story that will likely be picked up again in the new year.

Austin Theory, the US Champion, was shown backstage with Byron Saxton asking Theory about it. Theory said they were champions in the past, but we live in the now and we run on Theory’s time. Mustafa Ali was there to get in Theory’s face, Theory told Ali to just quit and Ali said he’s there to fight. Theory said that he’s going to get back up, he’ll get in Theory’s face and become the US Champion. Theory said that they can have a US Title match tonight, but after tonight he never wants to hear about opportunity ever again.

Analysis: I like Ali, so that title match is fine to do on Raw without much of a build. The promo exchange was done well.

(Commercial)

They showed the poker game again with Luke Gallows calling Chad Gable a nerd while Gable shouted “shoosh” at him repeatedly. Baron Corbin was trying to get a read on Dexter Lumis with Corbin thinking that Lumis was bluffing. Corbin had a straight, but Lumis had a full house to win the pot. JBL said that Lumis is a savant, Otis thought that meant food and Corbin threatened Lumis, so Lumis revealed that he had an ax. They showed the other table with Akira Tozawa winning a pot and Dominik Mysterio tried to steal some chips. Tozawa and Dominik argued, then Dominik said that Tozawa was as short as his deadbeat dad and JBL told them to go outside if they want to fight. Tozawa told Dominik he’ll see him in the ring. Dominik took some chips and left.

Analysis: The poker game was just a way to set up some matches for some random opponents, which is fine.

Austin Theory made his entrance as the US Champion. Mustafa Ali was the opponent with a decent crowd reaction supporting him.

United States Championship: Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali

Theory ran over Ali with a shoulder tackle. Ali with a hard chop, so Theory came back with a running clothesline. Ali with a headscissors to send Theory out of the ring followed by a suicide dive on the floor. Theory came back by launching Ali into the ring post. Theory rammed Ali into the barricade leading to a break. Ali sells moves like that so well.

(Commercial)

Ali was in control with a neckbreaker out of the corner. Ali with a backstabber knees to the back. Ali went for a hurricanrana out of the corner, it wasn’t hit smoothly, but nobody was hurt and Ali came back with a spinning DDT for a two count. Theory had Ali trapped upside down against the turnbuckle leading to Theory stomping on Ali repeatedly. The referee made Theory move back and then Dolph Ziggler randomly showed up in the ring with a superkick to knock Theory out of the ring. The referee called for the DQ due to Ziggler’s attack. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Austin Theory

Analysis: ** It was going well until the DQ finish. I know the hurricanrana spot didn’t work, but that happens and they moved on from it quickly. Ziggler has wrestled Theory in the past, so there was a bit of a history there. I just didn’t think that was going to be the finish.

After the match, Ali yelled at Ziggler about what he did. Ziggler said he was getting revenge. Theory knocked both guys down and sent Ali into the ring post. Theory gave Ziggler the A-Town Down spinning slam onto the knee.

Analysis: Ali was justified in complaining about Ziggler ruining Ali’s title opportunity. Theory ended up looking strong by the end of it.

John Bradshaw Layfield was outside the poker room invitational, then The Miz showed up and wanted in the poker game. JBL said he didn’t know Miz played cards. JBL told Miz there was a buy-in, Miz said he didn’t have enough money and offered his Rolex watch, but JBL told him that wasn’t real. Miz left.

Analysis: I guess we are supposed to think Miz is hurting financially since he had to give Dexter Lumis some money last week.

This Friday on Smackdown, The Usos defend the Tag Team Titles against Sheamus & Butch while Kurt Angle is there for a birthday celebration in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

(Commercial)

They showed the poker game again with Baron Corbin trying to cheat because he hid cards in his shirt sleeve that fell out, but AJ Styles and The OC caught him. That led to some arguing with JBL shouting about how they were ruining his tournament. The OC challenged Corbin and Alpha Academy to a tag team match. Gargano said that he and Lumis won, then Lumis threw some money at the dealer as a tip.

Analysis: The poker skits filled some time and set up some matches as I mentioned earlier. They weren’t that funny or that interesting.

Bianca Belair, the Raw Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Cathy Kelley, who asked about potentially facing Bayley again. Belair said she knows how to handle Bayley as she has proven in the past. Belair mentioned Rhea Ripley attacking Asuka after the match. Belair spoke about the other three women in the main event match saying that whoever the challenger is will have to get ready for the EST in reference to herself.

Analysis: A typical promo from Belair showing confidence as usual.

The OC group made their entrance for tag team action.

(Commercial)

There was another replay of Matt Riddle getting destroyed by Solo Sikoa earlier in the show and Riddle got taken away in an ambulance.

The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (w/Mia Yim) vs. Chad Gable, Otis & Baron Corbin (w/John Bradshaw Layfield)

JBL joined commentary for the match. Corbin pounded Styles with a forearm to the back followed by a shoulder tackle. Styles came back with a kick followed by a DDT. Gable got a takedown on Anderson followed by a shoulder tackle. Anderson with a hiptoss, Gable tagged in and they did a double shoulder block knocking Gable down. Gallows called Gable a “Nerd” repeatedly while Gable shouted “Shoosh” and Gallows punched him. Anderson tagged in, Gable brought him to the heel corner and Otis tagged in with a lifting slam on Anderson. Corbin was back in with a slide out of the ring and back in with a clothesline. Corbin worked over Anderson with repeated elbows to the shoulders. Anderson managed to bring in Styles, who unleashed on Corbin with a strikes and a clothesline. Gable pulled the top rope down, so a running Styles bumped over the top to the floor, which led to Otis hitting a clothesline on the floor. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Otis was in control with a running splash on Styles. After Corbin tagged in, he decked a leaking Styles with a punch to the win. Gable tagged in with an armbar to work over Styles a bit while knocking Anderson down on the apron. Styles with a back body drop, the referee didn’t see Gallows getting the tag and Corbin hit the Deep Six slam on Styles leading to Gable getting a two count. Otis back in, Styles avoided a corner charge and Styles hit a jumping kick to the head. Anderson got the tag against Gable with Anderson hitting clotheslines, a body slam, a senton splash and Anderson jumped off the middle rope with a neckbreaker for two. Gable with a leg pick leading into an Ankle Lock, but Anderson got out of it and Anderson hit a spinebuster for two because Corbin made the save. Corbin with a backbreaker on Styles, then Corbin slid back in the ring and Styles hit a forearm. Gallows knocked down Corbin, Otis hit an overhead suplex on Gallows (that was impressive) and Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm on Otis. Gable with a German Suplex on Styles, who flipped over and took it on his stomach. Anderson decked Gable with an uppercut. Gallows tagged, he kicked Gable and they hit a Magic Killer double team move for the pinfall win after 15 minutes. JBL shouted about how Gallows wasn’t legal, but Gallows clearly got the tag.

Winners by pinfall: The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Analysis: ***1/4 A competitive match with all six guys getting plenty of time in the ring. It’s not a surprise that Gable took the pin as the smallest guy on his team that usually takes the pin in matches like that. Gallows & Anderson winning for their team was the right call because Styles wins plenty of times, so you might as well put over the tag team to give them some momentum.

Alexa Bliss was shown stretching for the main event. There was a TV behind her and the Bray Wyatt logo appeared briefly. It was not mentioned by the announcers.

(Commercial)

Candice LeRae was interviewed by Byron Saxton, who asked Candice if she’s a marked woman on Raw while noting she has to face IYO SKY next week. Candice said she’s a new mom that has so much to fight for and she won’t let anybody push her around. Johnny Gargano walked up to his wife Candice and Dexter Lumis walked up with the money. Candice said they had to go spend some money.

Akira Tozawa vs. Dominik Mysterio (w/Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley)

Dom was wearing an “I’m your mami” shirt to support Ripley. Tozawa got a punch to the jaw, a boot to the face and a headscissors off the middle rope. Dom sent Tozawa into the turnbuckle. Dom hit the Three Amigos suplexes for two. Tozawa countered a move with a headscissors again followed by a Shining Wizard knee for a two count. Tozawa bounced off the ropes with a boot to the head. Tozawa with a jumping kick to the head. Tozawa went up top, he jumped off with a senton, Dom moved and Dom went up top. Dom hit a Frog Splash off the top for the pinfall win. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: *3/4 A simple match to give Dominik a win. They don’t put him over in singles matches very often, but Tozawa is barely on the show, so he’s a guy that Dominik can beat. Tozawa was on offense for most of the match, Dom avoided a big move and Dom finished him off easily.

Dominik Mysterio wanted to do more to Tozawa, but The Street Profits made the save, so The Judgment Day retreated.

Becky Lynch was shown preparing for the triple threat match coming up.

(Commercial)

There was a replay showing Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley fighting earlier.

Bobby Lashley was shown walking down a hallway with WWE Official Adam Pearce walking up to Lashley to talk about what happened. Pearce said Lashley can’t do what he did to Pete Williams earlier. Lashley said he got in the way. Pearce said he knows it was an accident, so he’s asking Lashley not to make another one. Lashley told Pearce to make sure nobody else stands in his way.

Next week on Raw:

* Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins with the winner earning a US Title match.

* Candice LeRae vs. IYO SKY

* Bayley vs. the winner of the main event in a Raw Women’s Championship number one contender’s match.

Analysis: Two number one contender’s matches next week.

It was main event time with Alexa Bliss up first in this match between three former Raw Women’s Champions that are battling to get a title match. Nikki Cross was next making crazy faces as usual.

(Commercial)

Becky Lynch was up last with “THE MAN” being displayed on the screen. I guess they are cutting back on the “Big Time Becks” name and going with The Man again.

Nikki Cross vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch

The winner of this match will face Bayley next week on Raw with the winner of that match getting a Raw Women’s Title match.

There are no countouts and no disqualifications in a triple threat match. Lynch punched Cross and Bliss dropkicked Cross out of the ring. Lynch and Bliss exchanged some hods leading to multiple nearfalls. Lynch bridged out of a pin followed by a kick to the head. Bliss teased going for a Wyatt move (Sister Abigail), but Lynch got out of it and Lynch did a STO trip. Cross was back in to knock Bliss down followed by Cross hitting running splashes on both women in the opposite turnbuckles. Lynch jumped off Alexa’s back with a forearm on Cross, but it wasn’t a great move. Lynch jumped off the ropes with kicks for both opponents. Lynch hit the Bexploder Suplex on Cross to send her out of the ring. Bliss with a knee on Lynch followed by a dropkick. Lynch to the apron, she sent Bliss into the turnbuckle and Cross pulled Lynch down followed by Cross sending Lynch into the apron repeatedly with Lynch slapping the mat to make some noise. Cross hit a neckbreaker on Bliss on the floor. Cross cleared off the commentary table and they went to break.

(Commercial)

Cross had control of Bliss pulling back on the arms while Lynch was out of the ring. Bliss with some weak looking punches leading to Cross hitting a neckbreaker. Lynch was back in with a forearm, then uppercuts to the chest and Lynch did a sweep kick followed by a facebuster. Lynch jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a leg drop (she landed hard on her ass there) for a two count. Lynch with a Bexploder Suplex on Cross, Bliss back in and she sent Lynch to the apron. Cross grabbed Lynch’s foot, so Bliss sent Lynch into the ring post. Bliss hit a somersault flip onto both women on the floor and Bliss covered Cross for a two count. Bliss went up top, Cross went after Bliss on the turnbuckle and Lynch got into position for a Tower of Doom spot (powerbomb/superplex) with Lynch getting a two count on Cross. Lynch and Cross exchanged strikes with Cross sending Lynch into the turnbuckle. Cross jumped off the top with a cross body block and Bliss broke up a pin attempt. Cross splashed Bliss against the turnbuckle followed by a turnbuckle Bliss tossed Cross out of the ring. Bliss and Cross battled on the floor with Cross splashing Bliss against the apron. Cross held Bliss in position by the ropes and Bliss hit a leg drop on Bliss’ back leading to a two count by Lynch on Bliss. Lynch and Cross battled on the apron leading to Lynch giving Cross a Manhandle Slam on the apron, but Lynch barely lifted her. Dakota Kai and IYO SKY went after Lynch to prevent a cover. Kai and Sky picked up Lynch and gave her a Powerbomb through the commentary table that was cleared off earlier. Bliss was on the top rope and hit Twisted Bliss on Cross for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: ***1/4 A long match with a crowd that sounded pretty quiet because they might have been tired or just not that interested in the match. I thought they’d care more about a match with Lynch in it. I liked most of it better than the first women’s match, but then the interference happened to taint the finish, so that ends up hurting the rating. I get why they did it because it’s Bayley’s group costing Lynch a win, so that should lead to Lynch seeking revenge. Going into the match I thought a Lynch win was possible although screwing her out of the win is a good storyline way to build Lynch’s rivalry with Bayley since it was Bayley’s buddies Kai & Sky getting involved. Cross was always going to be the one to take the pin. Bliss just capitalized on the situation to get the win and it’s a big one for her.

The win by Bliss means she faces Bayley next week on Raw with the winner of that match getting a Raw Women’s Title match against Bianca Belair.

Bliss celebrated the win to end the show.

Analysis: I think Bliss will win because Lynch is going to interfere as payback on Bayley, so Bliss will capitalize on that. Bianca Belair will beat Bliss, but after Bliss loses, I think she’ll attack Belair and go heel.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Usos
  2. Bayley
  3. Becky Lynch/Alexa Bliss

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

Final Thoughts

A good Raw as usual. Lots of quality matches with several of them going two segments, which means they were long. The two women’s triple threat matches were very good and the winners face eachother next week for a title shot, so at least there are matches where the winners are rewarded. The Bayley win was well booked and Becky Lynch was screwed out of the win by Bayley’s allies Kai & SKY, so I think Lynch will cost Bayley next week against Alexa Bliss. That can set up Bliss going after Bianca Belair and possibly turning heel. There’s a lot of depth in the Raw women’s division right now.

I thought the opening tag team match with The Usos facing Matt Riddle & Kevin Owens was a lot of fun. They worked hard and the finish played into the story of The Bloodline working well together. Sami Zayn saving Jey Uso from a diving Riddle led to the finish.

There was a JBL poker tournament backstage that was used to set up some matches, which is fine because it’s better than randomly putting matches out there. The six man tag with The OC winning was pretty good.

Lastly, I really liked seeing Solo Sikoa doing a Samoan Spike tribute to his late uncle Umaga. I know Umaga’s death date was recent. That needs to be a regular thing in his arsenal moving forward. I think it will be.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport