WWE Raw Review – 1.13.20
Just two weeks away from the Royal Rumble and the scene on Monday Night Raw is only getting more chaotic. This week’s show opened up with the Viper, Randy Orton making his way to the ring.
Orton said he was told to come out and get the crowd fired up, but that is not really his style, so he just ends up calling out A.J. Styles. Only two weeks ago, Orton faked an injury to pull a fast one on Styles, who ended up suffering an RKO.
But last week, Styles says he hit the sweetest RKO anyone has ever seen, some who even say it was “phenomenal.” But Styles was eventually cut off by Drew McIntyre, and he demands the three of them have a match right now!
These three men would go on to have an incredible opening match, and at times Styles and Orton appeared to work together in spurts to eliminate McIntyre and make the match a true one-on-one bout. After going hard into the post, Drew was struck with the steel steps, giving the other two competitors what they wanted.
Toward the end of the match, Styles set Orton up to hit another “Phenomenal RKO,” but Randy blocked it twice and then countered it into a Styles Clash of his own, which nearly won him the match! But the Viper was lying in wait and delivered an RKO to AJ. However, McIntyre came from the outside to hit a Claymore on Randy and then pin Styles for his most significant win of 2020.
While this was meant to be a showcase for a few of the men in the 2020 Rumble, this really gave Drew a push into that upper card level, a place I have said he should be for quite some time. Any time there is less talking and more wrestling in the opening segment, I am a fan, and we saw that here. This match got the crowd engaged and set the stage for the remainder of the show.
Below is the rest of what happened on Raw, ranked best to worst, followed by my rating at the bottom.
Black and Murphy steal the show…again:
After a sneak attack from Buddy left Black laying out in pain ringside, Aleister was here for revenge. As these men have faced off a few times over the recent weeks, they know each other pretty well and have their opponents scouted reasonably well.
Later on in the match, Buddy looked like he would pick up the win, as he hit Murphy’s Law on Black, but Aleister got his foot on the ropes before the referee counted to three. Murphy then got a bit cocky and went to try and hit Black’s own finisher on him, but Black countered and put Murphy away with two Black Masses. A frustrated Muprhy sat against the barricade in disbelief that he has not been able to conquer Black.
Finally, the crowd got behind these two incredible performers, and this is an early candidate for TV match of the year.
WWE’s First Fist Fight:
After a returning Big Show laid waste to Seth Rollins last week, he was back as part of the first-ever fistfight. The fight began right away, and the competitors brawled around the arena, including Kevin Owens jumping off the stage and onto the AOP. This means the Big Show had Rollins in the ring one-on-one.
Rollins looked to the aide of Murphy, who still sat in disbelief ringside. It was not until Big Show threatened to put Rollins through a table where WWE’s best-kept secret took action, nailing Big Show below the belt. The four heels would beat up Big Show before Seth hit a stomp for the win.
Murphy then embraced the Monday Night Messiah, signifying he was joining his faction.
While the fistfight concept was a bit silly, this was a wild finish to Raw. Three losses to Aleister Black officially sent Murphy to the dark side, but he will benefit from being alongside Rollins in the top heel faction on Raw. This could be the move to take Murphy to new heights, as he already has proven he can put on show-stealing matches.
Becky gets bested:
Lynch was out here to sign the contract for her championship match with Asuka in two weeks at the Royal Rumble. She was still unsure of herself and even turned down an opportunity to cut a promo beforehand.
Asuka and Kairi Sane were out here, and Sane taunted Lynch for a bit before Becky ripped the umbrella out of her hands and threw it to the outside. All things are going well until Asuka hits the Green Mist on Lynch, who is instantly blinded and then attended to ringside.
As the challenger walks away, admiring her work, Becky gets on the mic. She states that she has become happy and complacent while Asuka is the more hungry competitor. But when someone messes with her, it lights a fire in her. Becky also said that she does not care if they (WWE management) have tried to erase her or hide her from Asuka, she is walking into the buzzsaw because she’s going down swinging, but Lynch swears that even if she goes, she will be taking Asuka with her.
This feud has really brought out the best in Becky, her character work is outstanding, she is now even admitting to getting stale. Even with all the success she was having, the match with Asuka was at the front of her mind, and she will not be able to move on until she faces Asuka. This has been an excellent feud in my eyes, as Becky’s badass attitude appears to be peaking from behind the watered-down version of her we have seen in recent months.
Brock Lesnar knows What’s Up:
Wow, seeing Brock Lesnar on Raw every week is a strange sight, it’s like there is a big event coming up? Heyman did his usual schtick here, berating the fans of Kentucky, who turned on Heyman and his client, chanting “you suck!” in their direction.
This looked to be the same Heyman promo when R-Truth’s music hit?!? He was summoned by Heyman, saying the worth “truth” several times. This was a nice swerve I did not see coming. Truth says the “24/7 48/7 7/11 I-95 South Lexington, Kentucky European TV Champion” is entering the Rumble and is going after Heyman.
But when Truth finds out he must face Lesnar and not Heyman, he takes his name out of the Royal Rumble. Lesnar finds this whole promo amusing, but then decks Truth with a forearm and hits an F-5 on the champion. Well, this segment was a nice twist from the usual boring promo Heyman gives about his client. Truth’s comedy was an excellent way to freshen this act up, I really enjoyed this change.
Things also went from bad to worse for Truth, as he would lose his 24/7 title to Mojo Rawley after the commercial break.
Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley:
The saga of this storyline continues, and Rusev and Lashley were here to settle things once and for all (I think?). Rusev jumped out on the attack early on, but just before the break, Lashley hit a spear on the outside that stopped all momentum for the Bulgarian Brute.
After the commercial, Lashley slowed down the match, even hitting a wicked suplex on Rusev, who no-sold this and immediately got to his feet for a Machka Kick. Just as he looked like he would pick up the win, Rusev’s crush was interrupted by Lana, who jumped on the apron to cause a distraction.
Of course, this allowed Lashley to chop block Rusev, but all of a sudden, Liv Morgan came out to even the odds, and the crowd reacted to this positivity. Lana, though, threw a drink onto Liv and threw her into the barricade. This then led to Lashley landing a spear for the win. But the fun is not over, as next week Lana and Lashley will take on Rusev and Liv in a mixed tag match.
The payoff to this feud is going to lead to a match on Raw? Man, I hope that is not the case; at worst, I thought it would wait until a pay-per-view, but maybe WWE has something bigger planned for this already wild storyline.
Mojo Rawley vs. Ricochet:
Rawley has been featured several times on television in the past few weeks, but all of his matches have ended in defeat. While this match did not go on for long, Ricochet dominated about 90 percent, and the full display of his offensive arsenal was on display. There were was a tope to the outside and a few powerful kicks.
In the end, Ricochet would land a kick from the apron, which led him to hit a recoil and then a magnificent 630 splash for the win. Another star set for a big year, Ricochet, is bound to enter a championship picture sooner rather than later.
Sarah Logan vs. Charlotte Flair:
These two women were meant to have a match last week, but it never officially got underway. Logan would wind up taunting Flair by messing with her sacred robe given to her by her father.
Flair was not here to play, and this match winded up on the outside, where the two women nearly got counted out. But Flair withstood any attack from Logan and put her away with the figure-eight leg lock. Then because it Rumble season, Flair would hoist Logan up and dump her over the top rope.
While the men’s Royal Rumble is getting a lot of buzz, the women’s Rumble has not received much attention. Flair is really the only woman getting any attention when it comes to the Rumble and will be presented as the odds on favorite. That way, when someone inevitably eliminates her, it will be seen as a big deal. But it is a bit troublesome we’re two weeks out from the Women’s Rumble, and it is getting little attention.
Viking Raiders back to square one:
After taking on the Street Profits and the O.C. last week in a tag team triple threat match, they were out here to say they have run over the whole tag division. This led to a throwaway match with The Singh Brothers, who lasted mere seconds. I really hope we are not going to get more months with squash matches for the Raiders, they were finally starting to build momentum.
Rinse and Repeat. Rowan beat another jobber here, but there was a bit of a twist as whatever was in the cage appeared to bite Rowan. This angered Rowan, who took it out on his opponent. Whatever the point of this story is, I hope they get to the point soon, but even if they do, I feel as if it is too late, and the WWE universe simply won’t react to this feud at all.
Wow, this three-hour show was enjoyable from nearly start to finish. To me, almost every segment furthered a storyline, and with the Rumble just two weeks away, that is pretty important. The opening match really set the tone of the night, and the closing angle furthers the storyline of Seth being the Monday Night Messiah.
Also, Liv Morgan feels like a big deal, and WWE needs to capitalize on building her up over the past month. Also, the Becky/Asuka feud is truly hitting the mark for me. Becky is showing her vulnerability for the first time in ages, but getting hit with that mist lit a fire in her, and “The Man” seemingly re-appear.
Raw is getting better by the week, which is something I did not think I would say six months ago.
My rating: 4.25 out of 5.