Reviews

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 12/13/21 Review

wwe raw dec 13

This week’s Raw continues to build to WWE’s Day 1 PPV on New Year’s Day 2022. It is less than three weeks away.

This is the Raw Deal for episode #1490 of Monday Night Raw. It’s taking place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The show began with a video of Big E beating Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match last week on Raw. After that match, Seth Rollins attacked Big E. That led to Bobby Lashley destroying Rollins, Owens and Big E. Going into this Raw, we would get an explanation from Lashley.

Let’s Hear from Bobby Lashley and MVP

The “All Mighty” Bobby Lashley entered in a suit with a suit-wearing MVP by his side for a show opening promo. The Raw commentary team was Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual.

Bobby Lashley said last he showed what happens when you disrespect the All Mighty. MVP said that Lashley is the most terrifying man in the entire WWE because people are terrified to say his name. MVP mentioned guys like Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins whining, complaining and backstabbing to try to get a WWE Title match, but Lashley doesn’t do that because he makes statements. MVP said it’s imperative that Lashley is added to the WWE Title match at the Day 1 PPV on New Year’s Day.

Kevin Owens was up first with a promo interruption with Owens saying he hasn’t paid attention to anything they have done in like two years. Owens said that he was attacked from behind last week when he was already down. Owens gave Rollins credit for earning his way into the title match and so did Owens. KO said in 19 days, he needs to be WWE Champion for the fans to be proud of. Owens complained about it saying that he didn’t want Lashley in the match.

Seth Rollins arrived in a purple and black suit with Seth informing us that he was the star of the show. Rollins said while he does admire Lashley’s suit and he despises Owens, he has to agree with Owens that Lashley should not be in Seth’s title match at Day 1. Owens said that he earned the match.

MVP told Lashley that they are terrified. Lashley dared them to come into the ring to do something about Lashley being in the match. Owens suggested they go after Lashley with Owens saying Rollins can go in first and they argued about that.

Big E was next as the WWE Champion calling them a “collection of idiots.” Big E reminded them that he beat Lashley to become WWE Champion (Lashley said after a match when he was injured) and Big E also beat Lashley in a Steel Cage and Big E has no problem doing it one more time.

The WWE Official duo of Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville appeared by the entrance to make an announcement. Sonya said that a Fatal 4-Way match is a great idea with Lashley added, but Pearce had more to say. Pearce said that Lashley will be added if he can defeat (in no particular order) Big E, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins in singles matches tonight on Raw. Lashley was fine with that.

Analysis: It’s a show long story to see if Lashley will be added to the WWE Title match at Day 1. It sounds difficult for Lashley, but he also responded to it as if he’s okay with it. I thought all the promos were fine with a few good lines by Owens and Rollins interacting with eachother.

They showed last week when Otis slammed Riddle the journalist.

There was a video from earlier in the day with Riddle chatting with Randy Orton in the locker room. Riddle had the brown announcer’s jacket there. Orton told Riddle his broadcasting career is over before it began and he wanted Riddle to focus on tag teams. Riddle kept on rambling about things like podcast because Pat McAfee got a sweet deal, then he mentioned the Jackass guys from Smackdown last week. Orton tried to get Riddle to focus with Orton telling Riddle to focus on Otis tonight and then one day in the distant future then Orton will let Riddle put that blazer on.

Analysis: The usual Riddle promo where he rambles on, tells stories and Orton has to try to get him to calm down to focus on the match at hand.

Riddle and Randy Orton made their entrance with Riddle in singles action.

This Tuesday on NXT, the mysterious big man Harland makes his in-ring debut.

(Commercial)

The trio of Big E, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens were backstage with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. The wrestlers complained about the Lashley addition while Pearce said that since Owens was the last man added to the match, he’ll face Lashley first. Owens left and Rollins was frustrated, so he left too. Big E said that he is confident he will still remain the WWE Champion at Day 1.

Riddle (w/Randy Orton) vs. Otis (w/Chad Gable)

Riddle went for an armbar, Otis caught him and Otis slammed Riddle down. Riddle with a running forearm, then he ran the ropes again and Otis hit a clothesline. Otis tossed Riddle out of the ring near where Orton and Gable were. Otis with a forearm to the back. Otis to the apron, Riddle kicked him and Otis caught Riddle leading to Otis slamming Riddle into the barricade.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Otis knocking down a running Riddle. Otis charged at Riddle, who moved and Otis hit the turnbuckle/ring post area. Riddle with a kick. Riddle jumped off the top, Otis caught him and Riddle came back with a knee. Riddle with a springboard knee attack. Riddle hit a twisting body attack off the ropes. The fans came alive for Riddle. When Otis turned around, he blocked a charging Riddle, Otis sent Riddle into the ropes and Otis hit a popup Powerslam for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Otis

Analysis: **1/2 A decent match to put over the power of Otis. The fans really got into it when Riddle was making his comeback, but then it fell short and Otis got the win.

Post match, Orton wanted an RKO on Otis, who shoved Randy off and Randy hit the RKO on Gable. Otis hit a spinning back elbow on Orton to knock him down, so the heels Otis and Gable stood tall.

Analysis: It could lead to a title match with RK-Bro getting the win whenever they meet.

Bianca Belair entered for singles action after Doudrop lost by countout on purpose last week. Belair did a pre-tape promo about being the EST in WWE.

(Commercial)

Doudrop made her entrance as they showed a pre-tape promo with Doudrop talking about how she was going to steal the spotlight.

Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop

They locked up going into the ropes, Belair hit a dropkick and then she wasn’t able to slam Doudrop, so Doudrop gave Belair a body slam for two. Doudrop worked over Belair with a forearm to the back. Doudrop with a corner whip, Belair got a boot to the face and Belair hit a headscissors out of the ring to the floor. Belair and Doudrop exchanged punches while Doudrop was on the apron. Doudrop caught Belair trying a move and stretched Belair against the ropes. Doudrop with an elbow drop.

(Commercial)

Belair started her comeback with a shoulder tackle along with corner punches. Doudrop caught a leaping Belair, then Doudrop hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Belair tried a comeback, but Doudrop with a belly to back suplex for a two count. Doudrop went to the turnbuckle to tease doing a move from there, but Belair was up and hit a huge Powerbomb. The fans loved that. Belair up top and she hit a 450 Splash! That was great. Belair covered for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: **3/4 It was just an average match with the bigger name Belair looking impressive in picking up the win. I think Doudrop does a nice job of using power moves and then she also takes bumps well. The crowd popped big when Belair hit that Powerbomb. Doudrop came close to winning a few times although this was all about putting over Belair.

After the match was over, Doudrop attacked Belair while Belair was celebrating by the entrance area. Doudrop hit Belair with a forearm to the back. The fans booed.

Analysis: I thought the feud was finished. Nope. They will probably have another match.

Kevin Owens was interviewed by Kevin Patrick in the backstage area. Owens said it was trash if Lashley is added, Owens said him going first is trash and St. Paul, Minnesota is trash too. That drew boos. Owens talked about beating Lashley and then going on to winning the WWE Title at Day 1.

Kevin Owens entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

They mentioned some NIL athletes that WWE has signed. They are college athletes that have signed NIL deals with WWE so they can be future prospects for the company.

They showed two-time All-American, NCAA National Champion from the University of Minnesota and the Olympic Gold Medallist Gable Steveson. Gable was drafted to Raw back in October. Gable had his gold medal with him. The fans cheered for him.

Analysis: Gable is going to be a huge star in WWE. I look forward to his WWE career starting in a few months after his college wrestling season ends.

Bobby Lashley entered with MVP. Lashley walked over to Steveson and touched fists with the young prospect. MVP shook Steveson’s hand too.

Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Kevin Owens

Owens attacked Lashley with punches, but Lashley quickly came back with a running shoulder tackle. Lashley hit an impressive delayed vertical suplex on Owens. Lashley charged, Owens sent him to the apron and did a necksnap against the ropes. Owens ran the apron, Lashley moved and Owens did a flipping dive on the floor. Ouch. Lashley left the ring to hit Owens with a shoulder tackle. Back in the ring, Owens with a superkick, a whip into the turnbuckle and Owens hit a senton splash for two. Lashley sent Owens into the turnbuckle, Owens got a foot up and Owens hit a Tornado DDT for a two count. Owens with punches/kicks, but Lashley came back with a shoulder tackle and then Lashley hit a neckbreaker. Lashley lifted up Owens onto his shoulder and hit a Dominator slam. Lashley fought off a Stunner attempt and Lashley hit a spinebuster. Lashley went for the Million Dollar Dream sleeper, he nearly had it applied, but then Owens tapped out before the submission was even locked in. It went about five minutes.

Winner by submission: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ** Easy win for Lashley over Owens, who did the cowardly thing by tapping out before he was even put in the hold. Owens also lost to Big E last week in a Steel Cage Match.

Kevin Owens left the ring while the announcers explained it was a smart strategy for Owens, who tapped before any damage was inflicted by him.

Seth Rollins was frustrated about how Owens didn’t try. Sonya Deville informed Rollins he was up next.

A replay was shown of Becky Lynch cheating to retain her Women’s Title because Lynch reached for other stars at 7.

Becky Lynch made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.

(Commercial)

A video aired about how Veer Mahaan is coming soon. The guy was on Raw for months, then drafted in early October and he’s still coming to Raw apparently.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch

Lynch said that a lot of the fans wished that Liv was going to win last week. Lynch went on and on about how Liv disappointed her fans, so they showed a sad fan on Raw last week. Lynch said she would hold onto that championship for a very long time.

Liv Morgan said that St. Paul was getting sick and tired of Becky sounding like a broken record. Lynch said that the only person doubting Morgan is why Lynch almost lost last week. Morgan called for a photo of Lynch putting her hand on the ropes, so they showed that. Morgan said that the only thing Becky is the best at is cheating to win. Liv admitted she cried, but not because she’s weak. Liv said she was disappointed and then she snapped out of it because she knows that she can beat her. Liv said that just like that little girl, she believes in herself.

Liv said if Becky is really Big Time Becks then she’ll accept a match at Day 1. Lynch said don’t blame her for using the ropes, blame Morgan for not being ready. Lynch told Morgan she doesn’t have the killer instinct.

Morgan went into the ring and took down Lynch followed by kicks to the body. Lynch to the floor, Morgan followed and Lynch sent Morgan into the steel steps. Lynch trapped Liv’s left arm against the steel steps and Lynch kept kicking the steps while Liv’s arm was trapped. Lynch said if Morgan wants that match then she’s on. Lynch said that there are no other able-bodied women to face her, so Lynch is going to go home, train, hang out with her hot husband, her baby and suggested that Liv puts some ice on the arm.

Analysis: It was fine for a promo exchange with Becky Lynch acting really heelish during the entire promo while Liv Morgan showed a lot of fire as a babyface. A rematch at Day 1 makes a lot of sense. They really established that Lynch was the heel here while it was easy to be sympathetic towards Morgan not just because Lynch cheated last week, but because of the cheap attack by Lynch as well.

AJ Styles was shown walking down a hallway on his own. Styles admitted that his team with Omos wasn’t at their best last week. Styles said he’s not ready to give up on this tag team. Styles said he’s never seen anybody like Omos because if it’s on him then it’s his fault. Styles said working with Omos is like giving back and an investment. Styles claimed that Omos is a good kid and he wants him to succeed in this business. Omos was there asking if they were good. AJ said yes and Omos assured him he wanted to stay together too.

Finn Balor entered for singles action.

(Commercial)

They showed 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke and Reggie walking in a park earlier in the day. Reggie wondered if he could talk to her over some hot chocolate and Dana was open to any advice he had. R-Truth and Akira Tozawa were hiding in costumes. Tamina was also in the park, she tried punching Brooke, but then Brooke hit her with elbows and forearms. Brooke ran away with Reggie following her to help her. Tamina yelled Truth and Tozawa telling them that they messed that up for her. Tamina told them to stay out of her way. Truth and Tozawa argued about it.

Analysis: Yawn. I guess if I’m reaching for a positive thing to say it’s that this does get more people on the show. I just think the 24/7 Title is useless for the most part.

Damian Priest & Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Roode with punches on Priest, then a knee lift and Roode punched Balor off the apron. Priest with a spin kick on Roode. Ziggler in, so Priest hit him with a flapjack into the mat. Priest hit running splashes on both opponents. Priest kicked Roode off the apron and gave Ziggler a back body drop over the top to the floor. Priest jumped off the steel steps with a takedown on both heels on the floor.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Roode and Priest doing a double knockdown. Balor tagged in against Ziggler with a running forearm, trip and a double foot stomp to the ribs. Balor with an elbow drop slam into a pin on Ziggler for two. Roode got a hold of Priest on the floor and Roode hit a spinebuster. Balor with a clothesline on Ziggler out of the ring. Balor with a somersault dive onto both heels on the floor. Back in the ring, Balor with a running dropkick on Ziggler. Austin Theory was on the apron taking a selfie with his phone, Balor knocked him down and Ziggler hit a Zig Zag on Balor for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Analysis: **1/4 Good for the time given, but we only got to see about five minutes of action. It’s rare for Priest to be on the losing end of a match although it was Balor that took the pin here. I don’t recall the last time Ziggler won a match with a Zig Zag since he’s started using the superkick as his finisher, but it was the right move after the distraction from Theory. Balor losing sucks because he should be booked better although obviously, the presence of Theory is why Balor lost. It furthers the Balor/Theory feud.

After the match, Theory went into the ring and took pictures with a fallen Balor. Theory left the ring before Priest could get him. Theory celebrated his selfie with Theory saying he impressed Mr. McMahon.

A Progressive Match Flo replay showed Queen Zelina Vega beating Nikki A.S.H. in a match last week. Nikki was sad about it after the match.

Rhea Ripley was shown getting ready with Nikki A.S.H. encouraging her friend. Nikki said she is stumbling and letting Rhea down. Rhea said that she saw that fire in Nikki, she believed in herself and never gave up. Rhea reminded Nikki that she won Money in the Bank and the Raw Women’s Title. Rhea said Nikki had that championship mentality and encouraged her. Nikki thanked her for the talk.

Rhea Ripley entered for her match with Nikki joining her.

(Commercial)

You can text TORNADO to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross to support people affected by the awful tornado that went through Kentucky and other states a few days ago. It was brutal.

Queen Zelina Vega entered with Carmella, who are the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Carmella wanted us to pay attention to her. Zelina did a promo with a fake British accent saying she’ll accept applause, so the fans booed. Then Zelina spoke in Spanish and in a New York accent. It was back to the fake British voice while trashing Ripley, Nikki and Minnesota all at the same time.

Rhea Ripley (w/Nikki A.S.H.) vs. Queen Zelina Vega (w/Carmella)

Ripley with a dropkick to Vega. Carmella on the apron, so Ripley slammed Vega down. Nikki chased Carmella into the ring, Carmella hit a superkick on Nikki. Ripley had Vega set up for Riptide, but Ripley checked on Nikki and Vega did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! while hooking the arms for the pinfall win in about one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Queen Zelina Vega

Analysis: 1/4* Poor Ripley. She is one of the most poorly booked women in the company right now considering how good she is and where she should be on the card. Short match that was shorter than the entrances and pre-match promo. Lame finish.

Seth Rollins was shown getting ready for his match. Kevin Owens walked up to him with Owens wondering why Rollins was yelling at him. Owens wanted Rollins to have Owens go with him to ringside. Rollins noted that Owens didn’t even get locked into a hold and he still tapped out. Owens said he knows nobody gets out of the Hurt Lock, so he tapped out. Rollins said he would beat Lashley on his own, Owens said that was a mistake and Rollins left.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance for his second match of the night. That was near the end of hour two.

(Commercial)

They showed a clip of the group Migos making a special appearance at Day 1 in Atlanta. They are from Atlanta.

Seth Rollins made his entrance for the match against Bobby Lashley.

Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) vs. Seth Rollins

Rollins tried a headlock, but Lashley powered out of it, so Rollins bailed to the floor. Rollins managed to send Lashley into the ring post two times. The referee counted Lashley out, but Bobby was back in at nine. Rollins with two elbows to the head, but then Lashley caught Rollins with an overhead suplex. Lashley hit another overhead suplex followed by a flatliner into the mat. Rollins left the ring. Kevin Owens went down to the ring, he punched Rollins and stomped on him. The referee called for the bell, so the idea was that Lashley would get disqualified due to Owens hitting Rollins.

Owens did a thumbs up while Rollins celebrated. Lashley and MVP were furious. WWE Officials Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce showed up. Pearce said it’s not going like that in St. Paul. Pearce said that they will restart the match and any match that Bobby has tonight will be No Disqualification.

The bell rang to restart the match, Rollins turned around and Lashley hit a Spear on Rollins. Lashley pinned Rollins for the three count with Seth kicking out right after three. The whole thing was about four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: * It’s hard to rate it as a match because it was more of an angle than a match. Owens had a plan, but the WWE Officials put a stop to it and Lashley managed to get the win due to the chaos. I don’t think Rollins will be hurt by the loss even though it was one move. Due to how it was booked, it was more of a fluke loss for Rollins more than anything else.

Bobby Lashley celebrated the win with MVP while Kevin Owens was frustrated in the aisle. Rollins was selling the ribs after the finish.

They showed Mr. (Vince) McMahon in his office talking to Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez. Austin Theory walked in saying Finn Balor didn’t expect the unexpected just like Vince taught him. Apollo and Azeez left. Vince told Theory it was impressive and then said not really. Vince wondered if he should give him a trophy or his autograph. Theory said if he had a match he can show Vince what he’s capable of. Vince yelled at Theory to shut up. Vince said that Theory is not his friend, Vince has no friends because he doesn’t want any friends and he told Theory he hasn’t impressed Vince yet. Vince pulled out a pencil from his desk. Vince explained to Theory that the eraser was important.

Analysis: The random Vince appearances with Theory continue to be strange. The assumption is that Theory will benefit from these segments, but it depends on what the payoffs are. Theory feuding with Finn Balor is a good thing for Theory at least.

Maryse made her entrance because Miz TV is up next.

(Commercial)

Miz TV

Maryse welcomed us to Miz TV where she said it was a special edition because she is the host. Maryse said she can tell that these people aren’t used to seeing a woman like her around there. Maryse introduced her husband, the father of her children and the most awesome human being on the planet, The Miz. That led to The Miz making his entrance in his wrestling gear including his weird robe attire. Miz complimented his wife in the ring.

The Miz said with WrestleMania season quickly approaching, he wanted to endorse who he thinks should be in the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame. Miz said that this superstar truly deserves it. Miz said for your consideration, his 2022 WWE Hall of Fame inductee is…The Miz. They showed a video package showing Miz career highlights showing all of his big moments including Money in the Bank wins leading to becoming WWE Champion, main eventing WrestleMania (a bad match), media appearances and more. The video ended saying he was a WWE Hall of Famer.

Analysis: That’s not legit, but I am sure he will be in the WWE Hall of Fame many years after he retires.

Miz had glasses of champagne in the ring saying he will beat Edge at Day 1 to send Edge into retirement and this time, Edge’s retirement will be permanent.

Edge made his entrance to a huge pop with Edge feeding off the crowd’s energy as usual. Graves was screaming about how Miz, Maryse and both daughters should have been put in the Hall of Fame last year. Edge made his way into the ring.

Edge said that sometimes the squeaky wheel doesn’t get the grease. Edge said “and squeaks” repeatedly. Miz was annoyed by that, so Edge said that’s how the rest of us feel when Miz opens his mouth. Edge said that Miz get the Hall of Fame praise that he craves if Miz would just shut up. Edge said he knows why Miz acts the way he acts. Miz: “You think you know me?” Edge said well played. Edge said that Miz was just hiding the fact that he’s insecure while adding that he’s afraid. Miz said sure, everybody was afraid of old Edge, but this Edge…nah.

Edge said that Miz was told he wasn’t good enough so many times that now Miz overcompensates by being an overbearing jackoff. Edge said that he knows he has his hands full with Miz at Day 1. Edge told Miz that he will have to teach him a lesson. Edge said maybe in 2006, he didn’t help Miz enough and said that he’ll show Miz he still has lessons to learn. Edge said he’ll knock that stupid, constipated look off Miz’s face.

Miz threw some champagne on Edge, they exchanged punches and then Edge hit a DDT. Edge charged at Miz, who put Maryse in front of him. Miz with a boot to the face and then Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale into the ring. Miz celebrated with Maryse, who wasn’t happy about Miz putting Maryse in front of him. Miz and Maryse argued about it, so Maryse slapped Miz in the face. The fans popped for that. Maryse walked out of the ring while Miz followed her to the back.

Analysis: It was yet another promo segment to further the Edge/Miz story for the third week in a row. This time Miz got the upper hand in terms of hitting his finisher to plant Edge in the ring. Miz also got heat with his lovely wife Maryse for putting her in front of him, so that’s going to play into the story as well. There are rumors that Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix might get involved in this story perhaps leading to a mixed tag team match at some point or maybe Beth would just be at ringside watching Edge’s back to prevent Maryse from interfering. Anyway, I like the feud for the most part due to the fact that they are great talkers and a match between Edge/Miz will feel fresh at Day 1.

Big E, the WWE Champion, was backstage getting ready. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins walked up to him with Big E telling them to stay away from the ring. Owens tried to say he had a plan, including a Powerpoint on his phone! Big E left.

Bobby Lashley was backstage with MVP prior to Bobby’s third match of the night.

(Commercial)

A Smackdown Rebound video aired showing highlights from last Friday’s Smackdown. The main story was Paul Heyman hyped up Brock Lesnar a lot leading to Lesnar destroying Sami Zayn, so we will see how Roman Reigns reacts to that this Friday on Smackdown. Reigns was off Smackdown last week, but he is back this week.

There was a recap of Lashley’s two wins earlier in the night.

Bobby Lashley and MVP were interviewed by Sarah Schreiber. MVP said that Lashley has done so far is a Herculean task. MVP said that when he beats Big E you can’t deny that the All Mighty Era is here. Lashley said that a New Year’s Revolution for everybody is to bow down to him as the new WWE Champion.

Big E made his entrance as the WWE Champion and he got a good ovation from the crowd.

(Commercial)

This week on Raw Talk the guests were Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode, Queen Zelina/Carmella and AJ Styles/Omos.

The end of Bobby Lashley’s entrance was shown with MVP by his side. I believe the fans heard Lashley’s theme song four times on this show. I don’t mind the song because it’s cool, but that’s a lot of the same song in one night.

No Disqualification Match: Big E vs. Bobby Lashley (w/MVP)

Big E with a clothesline. Big E left the ring and brought out a table from under the ring. Lashley punched Big E followed by Lashley sending Big E into the barricade two times. Back in the ring, Lashley charged right into a uranage slam from Big E. That led to Big E going for the table angle with Big E sliding the table into the ring. Big E set up a table against the turnbuckle. Lashley hit a flatliner in the ring for a two count. Lashley brought in a steel chair, but Big E was ready with two belly to belly suplexes followed by the belly to belly slam. Lashley avoided a splash attempt. Big E countered Lashley to send Lashley into a chair that was wedged against the turnbuckle.

(Commercial)

Lashley and Big E were fighting over a suplex near the table in the ring, but Big E countered it into a suplex. Big E worked over Lashley with repeated forearms to the chest. Big E hit a running splash on Lashley on the apron. That is one of Big E’s favorite moves to do. Lashley lifted up Big E, I think a camera guy was knocked down and then Lashley picked up Big E again, which led to Lashley driving Big E into the ring post. Lashley set up a table on the floor while MVP also set up a table on the other side of the ring. Lashley teased a suplex through a table, but Big E punched Lashley a few times to rock Bobby. Big E charged, Lashley with a knee to block and Lashley gave Big E a spinebuster through the table…for just two. Great spot.

(Commercial)

There were only five minutes left in the show at this point. Big E and Lashley were on the floor with Big E sending Lashley into the steel steps. Big E body slammed Lashley onto the bottom of the steel steps. That looked like a rough bump for Bobby’s lower back especially. Back in the ring, Big E tried a Big Ending, Lashley tried the Hurt Lock, but Big E fought it off. Lashley hit a Spear. That led to Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens going to the ring to attack Lashley. Owens even stomped on MVP a bit. Big E back up and he went after Rollins, but Owens saved Rollins by punching Big E repeatedly. Lashley went after Rollins and Owens as well. Owens whipped Big E into the barricade two times. Owens tried a move through a table, but Big E gave Owens a uranage slam through the table. Back in the ring, Lashley gave Rollins a Spear through a table that was against the turnbuckle. Big E wanted Lashley to get back up to finish this. MVP went into the ring and hit Big E in the left knee with his cane. That staggered Big E, so Lashley hit a Spear on Big E for the one…two…and three! Lashley got the win in this match after 19 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a pretty good match before the chaos erupted towards the end of it. The cool thing about that chaos was that there were a couple of table bumps that the fans loved, so it popped the crowd. Lashley’s first two matches were short without much action, so this was more of a regular match for him. Big E hasn’t been pinned much since he’s been WWE Champion, but in this case, it was part of a storyline and followed a cheap shot by MVP. I liked the match.

Lashley celebrated the win. That means the WWE Championship match at WWE Day 1 is a Fatal 4-Way Match with Big E defending the WWE Championship vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley. Lashley did the belt motion while Big E, Rollins and Owens were all down around the ring. Lashley celebrated some more. That was it.

Analysis: I am leaning towards Big E retaining the WWE Championship as my prediction, but if he were to lose it then I think Seth Rollins is the most likely choice. The WWE contract of Kevin Owens apparently expires at the end of January, so maybe if he signs a new deal they’ll put the WWE Title on him, but I am not going to predict that. I doubt Lashley wins, but his presence helps as a former WWE Champion.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bobby Lashley
  2. Big E
  3. Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins

 

The Scoreboard

5.75 out of 10

Last week: 7

2021 Average: 6.16

 

Final Thoughts

This week’s Raw felt average to me. The last two weeks were better shows mainly because the match quality was better. There were more short matches this week and it felt like a lot of talking too.

It was a busy night for Bobby Lashley wrestling three matches. I think in terms of the story of the matches, they were booked well, but it’s not like they were great matches. I think the match quality on this episode of Raw was below average and below what they have been doing of late. Lashley beating Owens, Rollins and Big E in one night makes Lashley look very strong going into Day 1.

The promos for the Becky Lynch/Liv Morgan and Edge/Miz feuds were fine. They also felt repetitive at times.

The next WWE pay-per-view is called Day 1 on January 1 in Atlanta. Here’s what we know so far:

wwe day 1 big e owens rollins lashley

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship: Big E (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Liv Morgan

The Miz vs. Edge

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs. The New Day (King Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston)

You can watch WWE Day 1 streaming LIVE on New Year’s Day, Saturday Jan. 1 at 8 ET / 5 PT on WWE Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

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Check out the WWE PPV Review archive right here. You can contact me using any of the methods below. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. Be safe and smart out there.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport