Reviews

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

wwe raw deal dec 12

This week’s WWE Raw featured two number one contender’s matches with Seth Rollins facing Bobby Lashley and Bayley taking on Alexa Bliss.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1541 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Raw opening video aired to start the show.

Damage CTRL was up first with Bayley joined by the Women’s Tag Team Champions Dakota Kai & IYO SKY. Becky Lynch showed up at ringside to beat up Sky and Kai by sending them into some objects along with a back body drop over the barricade. Lynch chased Kai and Sky to the backstage area. Alexa Bliss was up next. The Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance to watch the match from ringside. The commentary team was Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves as usual.

Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

The winner of this match gets to face Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Title.

Bayley hit a running elbow in the corner. Bliss came back with a Code Red for a two count. Bayley with a necksnap against the middle rop followed by a suplex for two. Bliss with double knees followed by a senton splash onto the back. Bliss hit a running cross body block for a two count. Bayley went to the floor, Bliss was on the apron, Bayley got a hold of her and Bayley sent Bliss into the ring post.

(Commercial)

Bayley worked over Bliss with a knee to the back as Belair sat on a chair at ringside. Bliss came back with some weak punches and a hair whip, but Bayley hit a running clothesline to the back for two. Bayley remained in control with another clothesline. Bayley hit a spinning slam off the shoulders for two. Bliss caught a charging Bayley and drove her into the middle turnbuckle. They were on the floor with Bliss kicking Bayley in the leg followed by a kick to knock Bayley down on the floor. Bliss hit a somersault off the apron onto Bayley on the floor for two. Bliss hit a DDT for two. Bliss went for a move off the ropes, but Bayley caught her and sent Bliss into the turnbuckle for a two count. Bayley hit Bayley to Belly, which used to be her finisher, but it was just a two count. Bayley took the middle turnbuckle pad off, so Belair told the referee. They went to the floor, Bliss avoided a punch and Belair caught the punch. Back in the ring, Bliss hit a dropkick into the corner. Bliss went up top (she slipped at first) and hit Twisted Bliss for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss

Analysis: **3/4 The match was average although not that exciting overall. It was a bit flat at times and I think the finishing sequence could have been more interesting. The key thing was that Belair caught one of Bayley’s punches, so Bayley was thrown off after that as well as the turnbuckle spot. I figured Bliss would win because of Becky Lynch interfering, but they used Lynch to take care of Kai & SKY before the match.

Post match, Belair went into the ring and held the Raw Women’s Title in the air. Bliss hugged Belair, then the Wyatt logo appeared on the screen and Bliss teased doing the Sister Abigail move, but then she stopped herself. Bliss went to the back.

Analysis: The teases of Bliss slowly turning back to somebody associated with The Fiend continue.

The ending of last week’s Smackdown was shown with Kurt Angle (with Gable Steveson) spraying milk onto Chad Gable & Otis to end the show. It an Angle birthday celebration.

They showed Chad Gable and Otis arriving earlier in the day with Byron Saxton interviewing them about the milk truck incident on Smackdown. Gable complained about it. The OC walked up with AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Mia Yim there with AJ saying they were laughing about something Karl Anderson sent them from Japan. Gable trashed Styles, so Styles challenged him to a match and that’s coming up.

(Commercial)

There was a video about the United States Champion Austin Theory.

AJ Styles (w/Luke Gallows & “Michin” Mia Yim) vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis)

They are two of the best in-ring performers in WWE. Gable went for a front facelock, but Styles went to the ropes for the break. Styles hit a dropkick along with a backbreaker. Styles gave Gable a back body drop over the top, btu Otis caught his buddy Gable. When Styles went for a kick, Gable blocked it to send Styles into the apron. Gable sent Styles into the steel steps. Gable shouted: “THANK YOU!”

(Commercial)

Styles with a clothesline followed by a running forearm. Styles hit a slam off the shoulders leading into a slam on the knee. Gable hit two German Suplex, Styles with a Pele Kick and then Gable hit another German Suplex this time with Styles flipping over onto his stomach to see it in a big way. Gable with an Ankle Lock submission, Styles got a trip and applied the Calf Crusher submission, but Gable got out of it and applied an Ankle Lock again. Styles got out of that, so Gable hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Gable jumped off the top with a moonsault, Styles avoided it. There was a pin attempt by Styles, Gable kicked out, Styles managed to turn it around and get back to his feet leading to a Styles Clash for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: ***1/4 This was very good It’s the usual story for a Gable match on Raw where he looks great, he gets a lot of time and then he loses. That finish was really cool with Styles going for a pin, Gable got out of it and Styles managed to turn it into the Styles Clash for the win. I certainly have no problem with Styles getting some positive momentum as a singles guy after he beat Finn Balor at Survivor Series, so let’s see Styles keep that momentum going.

There was a backstage scene with Johnny Gargano talking to Dexter Lumis, who drew some stuff on a board. Candice LeRae asked them what they were doing. They were trying to figure out what to do with Dexter’s money and Candice said it’s the time of giving, so Gargano said he had an idea. Lumis left with Gargano.

The Judgment Day group entered for their match after a break.

(Commercial)

The Street Profits and Akira Tozawa were interviewed backstage by Cathy Kelley. Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins talked about how they came to the aid about Tozawa because they like him with Dawkins calling Tozawa a ninja. Tozawa shouted “we want the smoke” then he had a drink and they all yelled.

Akira Tozawa and The Street Profits made their entrance for this six-man tag team match. Last week, The Judgment Day was going to beat up Tozawa after Dominik won the match against Tozawa and The Street Profits made the save. That brings us to this match.

The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) & Akira Tozawa vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio) (w/Rhea Ripley)

Dawkins hit Priest with a dropkick, then Priest drove Dawkins into the corner leading to some J-Day quick tags. Dawkins with a dropkick on Balor followed by Ford tagging in with his own dropkick. Tozawa tagged in with a kick to Balor, who came back with a running chop. Tozawa with a headscissors that sent Balor out of the ring. Priest blocked Tozawa’s attempt to run the ropes, so Tozawa chopped Priest to no effect and Balor hit a clothesline. J-Day posed together as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Tozawa breaking free of Priest and bringing in Ford, who hit a running clothesline. Ford hit a running blockbuster neckbreaker, Ford knocked down Balor on the apron and a kick knocked down Dominik on the floor. Priest ran over Ford with a shoulder tackle that launched Ford onto the commentary table and Ford was down on the floor behind the commentary table. When Ford got back in the ring, Priest hit a two count. Graves was screaming about the Dominik-Ripley “romance” as Dominik hit a suplex. Balor applied a front facelock on Ford, who made the tag, but the referee was distracted, so he never saw it and the tag wasn’t allowed. Balor with a stomp onto Ford and Dominik hit a senton on Ford. Balor hit a backbreaker on Ford for two. Ford hit a jumping kick to Balor, then a back elbow and a clothesline. Dawkins hit a jumping back elbow, a spinning splash in the corner, a jumping kick and a sitout neckbreaker for a two count because Dom made the save. Balor with a reverse DDT with an elbow drop. Tozawa got the tag against Dominik with Tozawa hitting a kick and a dropkick off the middle rope. Ford hit a cross body block on a standing Balor. Priest wit ha superkick on Ford and a lifting flatliner on Dawkins. Priest hit a South of Heaven Chokeslam on Ford and a clothesline sent Dawkins out of the ring. Dominik with a rollup on Tozawa. Tozawa sent Dominik out of the ring and he hit a suicide dive. Tozawa jumped off the top over Dom leading to Tozawa hitting a DDT on Balor as well as a DDT on Dom. The referee was dealing with Balor in the ring, so Priest grabbed Tozawa off the top rope and gave him a Razor’s Edge in the ring. The referee didn’t see it and Dominik covered Tozawa for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

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

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good tag team match with an exciting final few minutes as The Judgment Day worked well together as usual to pick up the win. Prior to that, it was a typical WWE tag team match with faces being isolated for several minutes. It’s not much of a surprise to see Tozawa getting pinned even though he is being booked in a more serious way now, so that’s good to see. This is also why you should book finishes that use the “referee didn’t see it” spot in the match finishes. In other wrestling companies, the referees are made to look like fools and they don’t do those kinds of spots. This is a better way of doing it.

Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis had the bag of money and they gave some money to the guy at the merchandise stand so they purchased a lot of merchandise. Gargano said they were going to the ring. Lumis handed a teddy bear to a kid nearby with the kid saying “thank you.” Lumis is a friendly, weird guy.

This Friday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns is back with the question asking if Reigns had plans for the Honorary Uce Sami Zayn. Plus, GUNTHER defends the Intercontinental Title against Ricochet and Dakota Kai & IYO SKY defend the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Liv Morgan & Tegan Nox.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Johnny Gargano along with Dexter Lumis

Johnny Gargano & Dexter Lumis showed up in the arena with a wagon full of merchandise that they tossed to some fans around the ring. Gargano stood on the commentary table and used the t-shirt cannon to send a shirt into the crowd.

The Miz showed up with a hood and sunglasses to knock down Gargano at ringside. The Miz grabbed the bag of money. The Miz tried to leave, but WWE Official Adam Pearce showed up to say that Miz had to give Lumis his money back.

Gargano, Lumis, Miz and Pearce were all in the ring to talk about it. Miz said that this is his money. Lumis wanted to leave, Gargano said that Lumis was going to get his ax and Pearce stopped Lumis. Miz said he wants to get the money back while saying he’ll even have a match. Gargano suggested something to Lumis, who gave a thumbs up to the idea. Gargano kept on saying “Mike” so Miz said that his name was The Miz. Gargano said that Dexter will give Miz a rematch next week, but how about they raise the stakes…literally. Gargano said that the rematch will be a Ladder Match. Whoever climbs the ladder and retrieves both bags of money. Miz questioned “both bags of money” so Gargano said it would be winner take all, double or nothing. Miz complained saying he didn’t have cash. Gargano said that we all know Miz is rich, Miz said he has a lot of money in his accounts “that my wife controls” so that led to some laughs. Miz said that Johnny’s wife Candice probably controls his money and Johnny said good point. Miz said he has an allowance so the fans chanted “tiny balls” at Miz. Gargano reiterated what the fans were chanting, Miz said he had gigantic balls and so on. Gargano said he wanted Miz to ask Maryse for a raise for his allowance and Miz said he’ll find a way to get the money. Gargano said he wanted Miz to give away some of the merchandise away dressed as an elf. Pearce told Miz to do it because it’s official.

Analysis: I wouldn’t call this a great story, but at least it was a long-time storyline. It has had some fun moments at least. I didn’t expect yet another Lumis-Miz match out of this after the first match happened. Bring on the ladder match for next week. This dragged a bit by the end of it.

Damage CTRL was shown backstage for IYO SKY’s match up next.

(Commercial)

Candice LeRae vs. IYO SKY (w/Bayley & Dakota Kai)

Bayley joined commentary without a headset due to her loss earlier in the show. LeRae with a senton onto Sky’s back. Sky hit a flapjack into the mat. Sky grabbed LeRae by the hair to toss LeRae to the apron. Bayley left commentary as LeRae hit a neck snap on Sky by the ropes.

(Commercial)

Sky had LeRae grounded with a submission, but LeRae got out of it with a back body drop. LeRae bounced off the turnbuckle with a clothesline, then a running back splash in the corner and a DDT off the ropes. The fans didn’t react at all to that two count. LeRae went to the top rope, so Sky hit a dropkick to knock LeRae off the apron to the floor. Sky went after LeRae n the floor and LeRae hit a poison rana on the floor and back in the ring for a two count. Sky hit an uppercut followed by a bridging German Suplex for two. Sky went up top, LeRae tripped her up there and Sky shoved LeRae down. Sky hit the Over The Moonsault off the top for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match between two good workers, but it really wasn’t that interesting or intense in terms of getting the crowd into it. The fans barely reacted to anything in this match. That poison rana spot on the floor was pretty big and should have got a better reaction. It gives Sky some momentum as a tag team champion with a title match on Smackdown.

They showed last week’s Raw when Solo Sikoa and The Bloodline beat up Elias backstage. The Usos beat Matt Riddle & Kevin Owens in a title match. Solo Sikoa destroyed Riddle with a Samoan Spike along with a steel chair attack on the throat. Riddle was taken away in an ambulance. The announcers talked about how Riddle is out for six weeks due to damage to the trachea (throat area).

Analysis: The real reason for Riddle’s absence is that he failed a second drug test and apparently he’s in a rehab program for about 30 days. The first drug test failure happened before SummerSlam, which is why he wasn’t in a match on that show as originally scheduled. That’s why WWE is saying six weeks (42 days) to give him some time to get better. We don’t know what the drug is. They don’t test or suspend for marijuana. It would be something more serious than that. Riddle got a divorce over the last year and he doesn’t see his three kids that often, so that can affect a person’s mental health a lot too. I hope he gets better soon and comes back to wrestling because he’s a good performer.

Kevin Owens was interviewed by Cathy Kelley, who asked about what The Bloodline did to Matt Riddle. Owens said that Solo Sikoa is a very dangerous man and Elias walked into the screen asking if he can talk to Owens. Elias wondered if Owens can be in his corner tonight. Owens mentioned the months of mental torment that Elias put Owens through and Elias said that was his brother Ezekiel. Owens said that the last time he was in the ring with Elias, he was smashed in the head with a guitar, so why would he have his back? Elias said that Owens took out his brother, but it’s all in the past. Elias said he needs him out there, Owens said: “You need me?” Owens walked away, walked back in and walked away again.

Analysis: That was funny. Owens was great there. It’s important to not ignore history between performers and since Owens hated the Ezekiel thing so much, he should be reluctant to work with Elias.

(Commercial)

Elias was in the ring playing his guitar while a photo of Matt Riddle was behind him along with Riddle’s bongo drums on a table. Elias claimed it was a Matt Riddle Tribute Concert. Elias did his “WWE stands for Walk With Elias” bit with the fans chanting along right on cue. Elias said he misses Riddle playing the bongos with him. Elias pulled out some lyrics written on a paper, so Elias was going to perform it. Elias sang the song with the words “Elias, you’re my bro” repeated a few times, so I guess that’s the song title.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance as the opponent with the “Honorary Uce” Sami Zayn dancing by his side. The black carpet as taken out of the ring to start the match.

Elias vs. Solo Sikoa (w/Sami Zayn)

Solo had his right thumb taped up in tribute to his late uncle Umaga. Elias was aggressive with punches, Solo fought back with headbutts and the fans greeted Zayn with “Sami Uso” chants. Elias with a double boot leading to Solo hitting an uppercut. Elias kicked Solo out of the ring along with a kick into the commentary table. Zayn tried to calm Solo down.

(Commercial)

Solo hit Elias with a Samoan Drop for two. Solo went for a headbutt off the middle rope, but he took way too long and Elias moved. Elias avoided a corner splash attempt, Elias worked over Solo with punches and a running corner splash. Elias hit a spinebuster while Zayn was frustrated at ringside. Elias with a rising knee on Solo followed by a neckbreaker for a two count. Elias was distracted by Zayn a bit, but then Elias got a rollup for two. Solo sent Elias to the apron leading to a superkick. Solo hit the Spinning Solo slam for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: **1/4 It was an average match intended to put over Solo as usual. Solo continues to look dominant in every match he has. Elias really isn’t pushed that much, so it’s an easy guy for Solo to beat. Elias got plenty of offense and then it took just two big moves for Solo to put him away.

Post match, Solo attacked Elias with punches and forearm smashes. Solo hit Elias with the Samoan Spike to the throat with a nod to uncle Umaga. Solo put the steel chair around the head/neck of Elias just like he did to Riddle last week, but Kevin Owens made the save without KO’s music playing. Owens hit Solo with a Stunner while Zayn ran away instead of fighting his buddy Owens. Zayn pulled Solo back. When Elias put his hand on KO’s shoulder, Owens kicked him in the gut and hit a Stunner on Elias as well. The fans cheered.

Analysis: They can do a match between Owens and Solo in the weeks ahead. Owens continues to be the kind of babyface that is very determined and doesn’t really want to have a lot of allies.

A video aired about the 20th edition of Tribute to the Troops airing this Saturday. The video was narrated by John Cena with some highlights of the WWE troops going to Baghdad, Iraq for the first time in 2003. Some WWE legends like Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, John Cena, Eddie Guerrero and others were part of it. They showed more videos/photos of WWE stars interacting with the troops over the last 20 years. The 2022 Tribute to the Troops episode airs this Saturday 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Analysis: This year’s show was taped after Smackdown a few weeks back.

Asuka entered for singles action. She doesn’t have face paint anymore. She has been teasing on social media about possibly going back to her Kana persona. It should mean a change is coming for Asuka.

(Commercial)

They showed photos of The Miz dressed as an elf handing gifts to fans and a fan even got to hug him with Miz making an angry face.

Rhea Ripley (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. Asuka

Dom was wearing the “I’m your Mami” shirt while Ripley has “Mami” on her shirt. The announcers mentioned Asuka didn’t have her face paint and her cryptic tweets. Ripley blocked Asuka from using an armbar takedown. They exchanged some holds, Ripley to the apron, Asuka went after her and Asuka hit a hip attack sending Ripley into the ring post. Asuka with double knees while on the apron.

(Commercial)

Ripley was back in control with a kick to the back, but Asuka avoided a dropkick. Ripley with a kick to the gut along with a stomp on the back. Ripley applied a bearhug, Asuka got out of that and Ripley kicked Asuka to keep her down. Ripley went for a suplex, but Asuka turned it into a cradle for two. Asuka with a kick to he head and Ripley responded with a rising kick of her own. Asuka hit Ripley with multiple kicks including a spin kick. Asuka with a hard slap to the face, then a kick to the head and a sliding kick. With Ripley on the apron, Asuka hit a running hip attack to knock Ripley down on the floor. Dominik stood in front of Asuka, then he cowered a bit and Ripley tackled Asuka into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Asuka jumped on Ripley’s back leading to the Asuka Lock, but Dominik put Ripley’s foot on the bottom rope (the referee didn’t see that). Asuka spit some blue mist in Dominik’s face, Ripley shoved Asuka into Dominik and Ripley hit Riptide for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: *** Ripley wins nearly every singles match she has, so it was a continuation of that. Dominik was a factor when he saved Ripley in the Asuka Lock and provided a distraction as well. Ripley lost a triple threat match last week, but she wasn’t the one that took the pin. I feel like they are going to put her against Bianca Belair at some point in 2023, which means Ripley will keep winning matches to keep her strong. Asuka keeps losing, so it should lead her to change and perhaps a heel turn.

Post match, Dominik was freaking out about how he can’t see while Graves handed Ripley a towel to help Dominik. Ripley shouted about how somebody should help Dominik as they went to the back. Asuka was frustrated after the loss.

They showed what happened last Monday on Raw when Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Bobby Lashley got into a wild brawl after Rollins got Lashley worked up. Lashley hit a Spear on Pete (Petey as we know him) Williams by accident during the brawl.

Bobby Lashley was shown getting ready backstage.

(Commercial)

Dominik Mysterio was in the trainer’s room with The Judgment Day as a gave Dominik some eye drops. Priest: “It could always be worse. Something else can burn worse.” That was funny. They cut away from it.

They showed highlights of Austin Theory’s interactions with Dolph Ziggler of late including Ziggler stopping Theory’s match against Mustafa Ali.

Dolph Ziggler did a backstage promo talking to the promo. Dolph put over the importance of the US Title saying that the title means a lot to everybody. Ziggler said that Theory is the US Champion on paper, he’s done it all and said that Theory needs to be able to put the title on his shoulder and put this show on his back. Ziggler said that Theory’s cocky arrogance will be his downfall and that’s why he’s not a deserving US Champion. Ziggler: “Watch your back, kid.”

Analysis: While Ziggler is a veteran babyface now, he was the cocky heel with a midcard title like Theory, so his advice sounds very hypocritical. Perhaps that was the point of it since Ziggler is now the veteran role.

A video package aired showed Bobby Lashley highlights ahead of his main event match.

The “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley made his entrance to a good pop. Lashley has been a bit heelish of late, but I think we should still consider him a babyface for the most part.

(Commercial)

Next week on Raw: Dexter Lumis vs. The Miz in a Winner Take All Ladder Match.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance with the fans singing along to the song as usual. It gets louder all the time as Rollins goes back into babyface mode.

Bobby Lashley vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

The winner of this gets a championship match against the United States Champion Austin Theory.

Rollins ran right into a shoulder block by Lashley, who followed up with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Rollins avoided a move into the ring post by sending Lashley into the ring post. Rollins jumped off the apron with a knee to the face. Rollins tried to piss off Lashley saying that Lesnar was stronger than him. Lashley countered a Pedigree attempt with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Austin Theory was shown watching a TV backstage. Lashley sent Rollins into the steel steps. Lashley grabbed the steel steps, but the referee Chad Patton told Lashley he would get disqualified if he used the steps. Lashley gave Rollins a back body drop over the barricade at ringside. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Lashley hit Rollins with a neckbreaker. Lashley set up Rollins on the top turnbuckle, Rollins bit Lashley in the head to knock him down and Rollins jumped off the top with a cross body block for a two count. Rollins with a jumping kick to the head. Rollins ducked a charging Lashley and sent him out of the ring. Rollins hit two straight suicide dives to send Lashley into the barricade. Back in the ring, Rollins avoided a clothesline and hit a superkick. Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow slam for two. Lashley went to the floor to regroup, Rollins charged at him, Lashley put Rollins on his shoulders and Lashley ran Rollins into the ring post in a spot that Lashley loves to do. Back in the ring, Lashley went for a Spear, Rollins avoided it and got a rollup for two. Rollins with a superkick for two. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Rollins wanted The Stomp, but Lashley had his hands pressed to the mat and didn’t budge. Lashley hit a powerslam. The referee Chad Patton bumped to the floor when they were near the turnbuckle and Patton sold it like his ankle was hurt. Lashley hit a Spear. Patton was a bit slow to get into the ring, so he counted and Lashley got a two count. Lashley complained about it. Lashley charged with a Spear, but Rollins countered with a Pedigree! Lashley covered for the pinfall win at 13:16.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: ***1/2 A great match as usual when Rollins is in a main event level match while Lashley is really talented as well. I liked the Spear spot with Lashley hitting his big move and the referee wasn’t there to count right away after tweaking his ankle on the floor, so that led to a delayed count and it gave Rollins time to get back up. Rollins followed up with the Pedigree counter of a Spear for the win. Rollins does that Pedigree often, but usually doesn’t win with it anymore. It’s good to have him win with it sometimes to show that it can be a finisher just like The Stomp is. I liked the match. The crowd wasn’t into it as much as they should have been, but the guys worked hard and it had a clever finish.

Rollins left the ring while Lashley didn’t sell it much. Lashley was arguing with the referee Chad Patton about not counting the pinfall quickly after the Spear. Lashley bulled Patton in the corner, another referee Eddie Orengo went behind Lashley and Lashley hit a back elbow to knock Eddie down. Eddie is a former wrestler, so he sold it great.

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, confronted Lashley at ringside. Pearce was asking Lashley why he did it and Lashley didn’t want to talk about it. Pearce said they talked about this. Lashley shoved Pearce out of his face and into the barricade. Pearce swore at him. Pearce got in Lashley’s face and said: “You are fired!” Lashley freaked out while Pearce left to the back. Lashley: “What?” Lashley was confused while some fans sang “na na na hey hey goodbye” and the show ended there. They didn’t have Pearce say it into the microphone, so a lot of the crowd likely didn’t hear it.

Analysis: It’s been a while since there was a firing angle, so I don’t know where it’s going. It’s a way to give Lashley a bit of a break to end the year perhaps. I don’t know what the plan is or anything like that. I assume Lashley will be back in January at some point. Perhaps it will lead to Lashley being a heel again or something along those lines. I hope it leads to The Hurt Business group coming back because I know Lashley has talked about wanting to revive it.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
  2. Bobby Lashley
  3. Alexa Bliss/Bayley

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

Final Thoughts

It was a pretty good show although with two contender’s matches starting and finishing the show. It would be nice if there more exciting moments and memorable things that happened, but Lashley getting “fired” was an interesting ending. They work hard to put on good matches, but I wouldn’t call it an exciting period for Raw right now. That’s December in WWE, though. The excitement should pick up in January as we head to the Royal Rumble.

I thought the Rollins-Lashley match was the best of the show while Styles-Gable and The Judgment Day’s six-man tag win was great too. Alexa Bliss beat Bayley thanks to a bit of an assist from Bianca Belair. Bliss is clearly showing some Wyatt-like tendencies as she perhaps goes back to her Fiend-ish ways soon. Lashley getting “fired” after the match is the first firing angle they have done in the Triple H era of booking, so we’ll see how it goes. I enjoyed the Kevin Owens bit with Elias in that interview and then Owens giving him a Stunner after saving him. Solo Sikoa continues to look dominant as well. There’s also Asuka going through some changes too after losing to Rhea Ripley. Slow building character development all over the place.

The booking is good from week to week. I usually rate Raw in the 7 to 7.5 out of 10 range. There were a few times in the summer and early fall when I was going higher than that, so hopefully they can get back to it.

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John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport