WWE Raw Review – 12.9.19
Raw kicked off with Jerry Lawler in the ring, he was here to oversee the divorce of Rusev and Lana. The two made their way to the ring, Lana of course was booed, while Rusev walked out in a Donald Duck T-Shirt, to cheers and “Rusev Day!” chants.
Lana was screaming into the microphone about how Rusev was selfish, and their marriage failing was because of the WWE Universe. Rusev, who was happy as a clam, just wanted to sign the divorce papers and get on with his life.
But Rusev had one demand before signing the papers, he wanted a match with Bobby Lashley. The All-Mighty came down to the ring, and Rusev told him to pick any match of his choosing, and he’ll be there. The two men briefly fought before Rusev got ahold of Lashley and put him through the table.
Well, this was quite a segment. Lana was borderline unbearable on the mic with her screeching the same three lines over and over again. The one positive I gained from this was that Rusev and “Rusev Day” are still over, and the fans still want to get behind him. I am all for a Rusev push going into 2020, but as for this opening segement…yikes!
Below is the rest of what went down on Raw, followed by my rating.
Becky Lynch vs. The Kabuki Warriors:
Lynch went on the attack early, hitting kicks in the corner, followed up by a suplex that sent Asuka to the outside. Becky kicks Kairi Sane off the apron, but this allows Asuka to get back in and take advantage. Asuka takes Lynch into the corner and continues the attack, and then hits a kick to Becky’s back for a two-count.
After the break, Sane was now in the match and had a stranglehold locked on Lynch. Becky was able to escape, and Sane tagged in Asuka. Lynch dodged an attack and then hit a dropkick through the ropes onto Asuka. Becky then takes out both women, and then takes it to Sane in the corner and then hit double DDT on both Kabuki Warriors.
Asuka ran interference on Lynch while she was on the top rope, allowing Sane to gain the edge. Sane went to the top rope for her elbow drop, but Asuka tagged in, and Becky dodged Sane’s attack as well as Asuka’s. Lynch missed a leg drop from the middle rope, which allowed Asuka to lock in the Asuka lock.
Becky throws Asuka into the turnbuckle and then applies the Asuka lock onto Asuka, but Sane breaks it up. On the outside, Lynch catches a kick attempt from Asuka and plants her but took too long to regroup, and Becky leaps off the apron, but Asuka hits a knee strike, and all three women are down.
Becky barely makes it back in the ring before the ten-count but was greeted with a shining wizard from Asuka for a near-fall. Lynch fought back briefly, but the numbers advantage, and with Becky up on Asuka’s shoulders, Sane hits a forearm to Lynch for another two-count.
Kabuki Warriors are frustrated, and Sane goes back to the top rope, but Lynch got her knees up and went for the Dis-Arm-Her. However, Asuka interfered and was planted with a rock bottom from ‘The Man,’ and then Lynch went back to Sane for the submission, but Asuka saves her partner.
On the outside, Lynch and Asuka trade shots before Asuka ends the match with a chair strike to Becky. The Kabuki Warriors then break out a table, and Sane hits the Insane Elbow on Lynch, which sends her through the table.
After the break, the Kabuki Warriors ambush Charlotte Flair from behind after confronting Becky in the trainer’s room.
Later in the night, Becky and Charlotte are back in the trainer’s room. They agree to fight the Kabuki Warriors at TLC for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, but up the ante by making it a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
KO finally finds the AOP:
Backstage, Owens finds AOP’s van and strikes it with the steel pipe. Owens opens the back of the van, and there is someone there. However, Akam and Rezar attack from behind and throw Owens around for a bit before slamming his head into the van door. The camera pans back to the van and lo and behold its Seth Rollins!
Rollins tells KO it’s a shame things have come to this, and he is sorry before hitting a stomp. The newly formed trio walks away from a battered and beaten Owens.
After the break, Rollins walks out and addresses the crowd. He says that he did everything right, he does not take nights off and he lays it all on the line for everyone each time he steps in the ring. Rollins then says he sticks his neck out for the fans in the media, and he gets disrespected, and he’s sick of it.
He then berated the fans for siding with Kevin Owens, calling KO a flavor of the month, and he could not lace his boots. Rollins points out he brought the Universal Title back to Raw, and it still was not good enough. Rollins finally says the fans drove him to side with the AOP, and the trio briefly appears before walking backstage.
United States Title Match:
This match was built up throughout the night, as Mysterio was set to defend his newly won title for the first time.
There was a flurry of near falls early on in the match. After the early stalemate, Syles would slingshot Rey into the top turnbuckle a couple of times to gain the edge. Rey would counter the third attempt into a near fall.
Rey is able to send Styles to the outside then hits a dropkick followed by a moonsault on the outside that lays Styles out. Just as Rey sends Styles back into the ring, the O.C. makes their way to the ring, and this distraction allows Styles to hit a forearm strike, and then he sends Mysterio into the ring post.
Back from the break, Rey went for a springboard, but Styles nails him with a dropkick that leads to a near fall. Mysterio is then sent to the outside and barely beats the ten-count. Mysterio would fight off an attack from Styles and sent him to the outside, where Rey would then land a sunset flip powerbomb that planted Styles into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Mysterio landed a hurricanrana on Styles followed a seated senton and a leg drop for a two-count! Not wasting time, Mysterio went for a springboard but was caught, yet managed to turn it around into a DDT for another near fall. Styles whips Rey into the corner and counter a rolling sunset flip, planting Rey on his face.
Mysterio would get back up and land an enzuigiri, which set Styles up for the 619, but Gallows stepped in and took it for AJ. Mysterio then had to fend off Anderson, and back in the ring, Styles is able to connect with the Ushigoroshi. Rey went for a hurrucanrana, but Styles was able to counter that into a powerbomb and then a Styles Clash.
But wait! Randy Orton appears from out of nowhere and just winks at Styles, which led to Rey hooking an inside cradle in for the win. This finished may have been rushed due to the show going off-air moments later.
Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo:
Humberto was about to give an interview backstage when Zelina Vega and Andrade confronted him. The two men had a loud confrontation backstage and went to go settle their dispute in the ring.
Andrade starts fast with a dropkick and then chops in the corner on Carrillo. Andrade then picked up an early near fall off a back body drop. Andrade stayed on the attack with an elbow strike, followed up by another chop in the corner, and then a low dropkick for a two-count.
Carrillo got back in the match with a crossbody, followed by a springboard arm drag which sent Andrade to the outside. Carrillo then headed to the top rope and landed a moonsault before the break. Back from the break, Carrillo hit a springboard cross body followed by a roundhouse kick and a standing moonsault for a two-count.
Carrillo went to the top rope, but Andrade cut him off and landed a double stomp for a near fall. Carrillo was able to dodge the double knee strike from Andrade and then hit a missile dropkick, followed by an Aztec Press (did not land it cleanly) for a two count.
Humberto then missed on another kick, and Andrade landed a wicked elbow strike, but only got a two count! Andrade wasted little time and hit the double knee strike, but then Carrillo counters with a dropkick.
Andrade nearly sends Humberto into Vega on the apron, but then accidentally blasts her off the apron, and Carrillo hit a victory roll for the win! Wow, this was an excellent match. These two men have great chemistry in the ring, and I have a feeling their paths will cross again.
After the match, Andrade confronted Vega, saying she is the problem. Could this be the end of their partnership?
Seth Rollins still isn’t making friends:
Rollins interrupted the Street Profits and the Viking Raiders, saying he had something to take care of now. The four men already in the ring walked off, still showing Rollins no respect after he berated them two weeks ago.
Seth, with no backup, said he wants to fight the AOP. However, Kevin Owens music hit and confronted Seth. He said he knew it was only a matter of time before the AOP showed up to join Rollins and attack him 3-on-1, so just get on with it already.
Before the break, we see AOP show up to the arena. After the commercial, Kevin was not having any of this and said he would attack Rollins now before AOP came down to the ring, so at least it would 2-on-1. Rollins bolts out of the ring and walks off backstage.
KO then calls out the AOP, and they briefly appear on the Tron and cut a promo, but then Sami Zayn’s music hits. He is out here with Mojo Rawley, saying what Owens did earlier to Mojo backstage (slapped him) was wrong and demanded him to apologize to KO.
Mojo tells Owens that everyone is tough with a steel pipe in their hands, Owens tests this theory out by tossing the pipe to Mojo and then hitting a stunner. Owens then gets the pipe back and beats down Rawley.
Viking Raiders issue an open challenge:
After weeks of just claiming victims, the Viking Raiders were out here looking for worthy opponents for their tag team championships. Their open challenge was answered by the Street Profits! Finally, some worthy competition for the Raw tag team champions.
Street Profits started out hot, as Montez Ford dodged Erik and hit a dropkick to Ivar on the apron. Dawkins tagged in and speared Erik while Ford hit dive over the ropes. Back in the ring, Dawkins hit a Sky High, and Ford, the legal man, hit a splash for a two-count.
Viking Raiders took over after the Profits missed on a move from the top rope. Ivar and Erik then worked over Ford in their own corner for a bit and slowed the match down. Dawkins was able to tag in and hit a dropkick and an exploder suplex for a near fall.
Ivar, back on his feet, is able to take down both Street Profits. Erik hit a wicked knee strike on Dawkins, before tagging in Ivar and hit the Viking Experience on Ford for the win.
This was an impressive match, I would have liked to see it go longer than five minutes. Hopefully, these teams meet again, possibly at a pay-per-view?
Monday After Weekend Update:
Despite losing a title match earlier on, the Street Profits were here doing a riff on SNL’s Weekend Update. The duo talked about the women’s tag title match, as well as Miz facing Bray Wyatt this Sunday. They then make jokes about the Lana/Rusev divorce segment, and about how “small” Baron Corbin is where it counts. Funny stuff from this charismatic duo, but maybe not the best time to debut this after their loss just hours before.
Aleister Black vs. Akira Tozawa:
Before the match got underway, we actually had a match announced for TLC! Buddy Murphy will take on Aleister Black, given time, this should be a great match.
There was not much action early on as both men would apply wristlocks and arm wringers to each other. Black finally got a bit of an edge with a couple of arm drags. Tozawa would later counter with a hurricanrana that sent Black to the outside, but Black would land a jumping knee strike that knocked Tozawa off his feet.
Back in the ring, he hit a Black Mass for the win. Another dominant win for Aleister Black, he is picking up dominant wins left and right, and hopefully wins on Sunday to continue his push.
Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre:
Before this scheduled match even got underway, McIntyre cut a promo on Hardy, telling him that making kids (Hardy & his wife just had their third child) is not the best idea given his past outside the ring. Hardy was incensed and attacked Drew right as he entered the ring, hitting a Twist of Fate.
Back from the break, Hardy gets a jump on Drew early on and clotheslines him to the outside. But McIntyre was lying in wait and shoves Hardy into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hardy would get a near fall off a Side Effect. Hardy would then try for a backslide, but Drew countered to a future shock DDT and then a Claymore for the win.
This was not much of a match, but the fans are still clearly behind Hardy. It is a shame to see a legend in this role of essentially being a jobber. I totally understand wanting to make Drew look strong, but can it not be at a legends expense?
Buddy Murphy vs. Zack Ryder:
Murphy dominated this match from the opening bell, but Ryder got in a moment of offense as he hit a missile dropkick followed up by the Broski Boot. On the outside, Murphy took out Curt Hawkins with a forearm, which prompted Ryder to dropkick Buddy into the barricade. But back in the ring, Murphy hit a knee strike and then Murphy’s Law for the win.
Rowan was set to face Tracer X. Before the bell, Tracer X ran off with Rowan’s cage and nearly won by count-out. Rowan hit claw slams on Tracer X until the referee called the match. What the hell is going on with Rowan and this caged creature?
Well, this was actually the go-home episode for TLC this Sunday. And the buildup to that pay-per-view was so-so. The divorce segment was brutal, mainly because of Lana and her screaming into the mic. Liv Morgan is getting a makeover too, so let’s see how long it takes to actually see her on TV.
The matches between Becky and the Kabuki Warriors as well as Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles were very good, and the Seth Rollins heel turn and scathing promo on the WWE Universe were well put together. Andrade and Humberto also had an excellent TV match.
Overall, for an episode of Raw, this was okay, but considering the fact, it was a go-home episode. It was fairly disappointing overall.
My rating: 2.75 out of 5.