WWE Raw Review – 12.16.19

Fresh off his heel turn last week, Seth Rollins kicked off Raw from his home state. Rollins said he’s always been “the future” of WWE, and shortly after he beat Brock Lesnar twice, something changed with the fans.

Rollins still thinks he is a leader, and if anyone resists, the AOP is going to enforce his will. Rollins then said he has a score to settle tonight and apologizes in advance to the crowd for what he has to do tonight.

For what else happened on Raw last night, the full recap is below.

Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles:

Orton backed Styles into the corner, but Styles turned it around and hit a chop. Orton then went for an RKO and Styles rolled out of the ring.

On the outside, Randy throws Styles into the ring apron and then into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Randy landed a few shots on AJ to slow the pace down. Orton then went for the draping DDT, but Styles would counter into the calf crusher and had it locked in deep.

Randy retreated to the outside, but Styles would run out and hit a chop block on Orton. After the break, Styles was on top, landing kicks. Orton fought back with shots in the corner and then poked AJ in the eye to get some separation.

Orton then threw AJ into the post, and on a bad leg, Randy threw more punches at Styles. AJ stopped the onslaught of strikes with a kick to the knee. Randy hit a power slam, power slam, and the knee was giving him an issue.

Randy went to the top rope for a superplex, but Styles escaped and knocked Orton down with a chop block and picked up a near fall off a moonsault. Orton got up and landed the draping DDT, but when he went for the RKO, Styles countered into the calf crusher.

Each man teased their finisher at the end before Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but the Viper was lying in wait and picked up the win.

The O.C. would run out and attack and were able to fend off the Viking Raiders to stand tall as Raw went off the air.

United States title gauntlet match:

Ricochet, Matt Hardy, Andrade, R-Truth, Humberto Carrillo, and Akira Tozawa were in a No. 1 contenders gauntlet match for the United States Title.

R-Truth and Tozawa started the match. Truth went on offense early, but Tozawa sidestepped him, and Truth flew the ring post. Tozawa then hit a cannonball off the apron. Truth would then miss with the scissors kick, and Tozawa picked up the pinfall.

As Truth ran away from the 24/7 calvary, Ricochet would make his way out to the ring. Both men dodged each other’s moves early before Ricochet sends Tozawa to the outside with a hurricanrana. But Tozawa bounced back and hit a pair of dives on the outside. Ricochet was able to take over control again after hitting a dropkick.

Ricochet then locked in an octopus hold and then planted Tozawa down to the mat for a two-count. The two men then traded strikes before Tozawa hit a German Suplex that resulted in a near fall. Ricochet then was able to land a standing shooting star press, but Tozawa rolled him up for another two-count.

Tozawa tried to go up top, but Ricochet caught him and then hit the recoil for the pinfall. But with no time to rest, Matt Hardy was up next.

Hardy came out fast, hitting the Side Effect for a two-count. Hardy then threw Ricochet into the corner and slammed his face into the turnbuckles. Hardy then got another near fall off a suplex followed by a two-count off a back body drop.

After all that offense, Hardy then would land a powerbomb for yet another two-count. Ricochet landed a dropkick and then hit the head scissors to string together some offense, but Hardy would counter with another Side Effect for a near fall.

Ricochet bounced back with a standing shooting star press for a two-count, and when Hardy went for the Twist of Fate, Ricochet rolled him up for the pinfall.

Up next, Carrillo vs. Ricochet. Right away, Ricochet rolls Carrillo up for a two-count. The two men then missed on a flurry of kick attempts before Carrillo landed one. He then corkscrew dive over the top rope.

Back in the ring, Carrillo slowed the match down and targeted Ricochet’s shoulder. After a few minutes, Ricochet was able to break free, but as he went for a move off the ropes but Carrillo kicked his arm out from underneath him for a two-count.

Every time Ricochet tried to mount a comeback, Carrillo was there to slow him down. Finally, Ricochet hit a sunset flip for a near fall and then a Michinoku Driver for another near fall.

Back from the break, Zelina Vega was on the stage. Ricochet would land another standing shooting star press for a two-count. Humberto would rebound and hit a dropkick on Ricochet, who was hung up in the ropes.

Carrillo missed on a moonsault, and two men traded kicks, and then both went over the top rope to the outside. They both barely beat the count. Up on the top rope, they traded blows before Ricochet hit a superplex, and that was good for a near fall.

Carrillo then barely survived after Ricochet hit a twisting suplex for yet ANOTHER two-count. The two men again headed to the top rope, and Humberto landed a reverse hurricanrana, but Ricochet landed on his feet. Carrillo finally was able to put Ricochet away after a beautiful moonsault.

Humberto was waiting for Andrade to enter, but he snuck up from behind and attacked. Andrade then pulled up the mats outside and threw Carrillo around. To add insult to injury, Andrade hit the hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete. Rey Mysterio came out for the save, and Andrade left through the crowd.

After the break, Carrillo was being stretchered off. Not the best ending to a gauntlet match, but given the recent history between Carrillo and Andrade, the ending made some sense.


Seth Rollins attacks:

As Humberto was being taken away on a stretcher, Rollins and the AOP came out, and Seth had the metal pipe that K.O. got from Rey last week. The AOP then laid out Mysterio, but Rollins told him he was going to let him off. However, Seth turned around and hit the stomp onto Rey.

After the break, Seth challenged Mysterio to a U.S. Title match. What the heck was the point of that near hour-long gauntlet match to determine the No. 1 contender if Rollins was just going to be handed the opportunity? It makes no sense.

Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.

After their Raw Tag Team match ended in a double count-out last night, the rematch between the O.C. and the Viking Raiders took place here.

Gallows and Ivar began the match, but Erik and Anderson both quickly tagged into the match. Early on, the Viking Raiders cornered Karl in their corner and traded turns taking shots and slowing down the match.

Anderson finally broke free off a thumb to the eye by Anderson, and in came Gallows. Erik tried a dive to the outside, but Gallows caught him and then hit a fallaway slam on the outside. After the break, the O.C. was in full control, taking it to Erik.

Erik finally escaped out of the corner and made the tag to Ivar, who tagged in and then hit a crossbody and then cartwheel into the lariat, which led to a near fall. Both Raiders then hit a dive through the middle ropes.

Back from another break, the O.C. was back in control and hit the Boot of Doom for a two-count. Erik would hit a vicious knee strike and then threw Ivar into Gallows, but that was only good for a two-count.

After a brief O.C. offensive run, Ivar tagged back in, went to the top rope for a moonsault, but no one was home. This led to the O.C. hitting the magic killer for the win!

However, this was met with little crowd reaction. It makes sense to change the titles after the Viking Raiders reign seemed quite underwhelming.

Asuka vs. Deonna Purrazzo:

Purrazzo, an NXT superstar, was here to take on the Empress of Tomorrow. Purrazzo hit a pump kick on Asuka before she could even blink. Asuka went on the attack early on, but Purrazzo locked in an armbar. Asuka rolled through and picked up a near fall.

Asuka would then gain the advantage when she locked in an armbar and transitioned into an STF. Purrazzo then fights back and picks up a near fall, but Asuka caught a kick and took over with rapid-fire kicks. She then tapped out Purrazzo with the Asuka lock.

Backstage Becky Lynch said the powers that be don’t want her to face Asuka because they think she will be beaten. Becky said Asuka is the best in the world, and she needs her. Becky needs to prove something to herself. A rematch of Asuka and Becky at the Royal Rumble? Sign me up.

Bobby Lashley and Lana:

Fresh off of Lana’s divorce and Lashley’s win over Rusev, everyone’s new favorite couple was out here to celebrate. Honestly, I tuned out most of Lana’s promo, and I’m I didn’t miss much, but she wants Bobby to ask her to marry her and even handed him a ring.

So Lashley got down on one knee and asked Lana, and of course, she went berserk. And so this storyline takes another interesting turn, but this segment wasn’t all that good.

Another Erick Rowan squash:

Rowan’s opponent Dante Leon tried to reach the cage, which made Rowan angry. Erick then took care of Dante in a matter of moments with a claw slam. Still not quite sure where this storyline is going, and at this point, I’m not sure I care.

Well, overall I thought Raw was underwhelming. The gauntlet match I thought was superb, especially Richochet vs. Carrillo. But to have that long of a match and not have any payoff seems like a waste of a gauntlet match to me. The Lana/Lashley storyline is back on the bad side of the spectrum.

I did think the Becky Lynch backstage promo was excellent, you can tell she is personally affected by her loss to Auksa earlier this year and last night. She is starting to show doubt for the first time as “The Man” and she will not stop until she gets that one-on-one rematch. I am also liking the Seth Rollins/AOP storyline. Seth is still acting like the good guy here, but with the AOP by his side, if anyone does not listen to him, his backup is there to handle his business.

My rating for Raw: 3 out of 5.