We’ve got another edition of Monday Night Raw here tonight and as always I, the One Zeel One of 1Z1 Pro Wrestling am bound to be with you all night to recap the show as it airs in written form so watch this space for the results from WWE Raw!
Funnily the show begins with Charlotte Flair, one of the new Women’s Tag Team Champions, coming out alone. Says when a friend needs help – and there’s something in it for her – she’s always there. Introduces her partner, Asuka. She comes in and they have a cute hug. Asuka says the Empress of Tomorrow is the double champion of today! She celebrates her victory. Charlotte starts to ask about that Raw Women’s Championship but Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler interrupt them.
Nia mocks Charlotte’s robotic voice. Flair says she kicked her ass last night. They start to challenge for their titles back but Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose interrupt. They call Nia and Shayna reindeers, and mock them for losing their titles. Tell them to move over. Charlotte asks for a ref, says she wants to watch this. Looking like an impromptu tag match between the only two genuine women’s teams on the show.
Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Shayna with a front facelock on Mandy when we come back. She’s trying to struggle out of it. Mandy cartwheels free eventually, kick for a cover for 2. Pounds her in the corner. Pulls her out, tag to Dana. Double suplex. Nia with a corner clothesline. Headbutt drops Dana. Biel toss. Avalanche in the corner. Dana sidesteps a charge. Handspring Back Elbow.
Handspring Round-The-World Headscissor follows. Mandy tags in, driving knee to the back sends Jax to the floor. Baseball slide to Shayna from Dana! Stereo Crossbodies from the apron take out both heels! The Sexy Muscle Friends as they’re called flexing and celebrating. Mandy drags Nia slowly into the ring. Jax weakly knocks her off the apron in one of the slowest moving spots of the year. Pulls Mandy up outside, slams her into the barricade before the commercial.
They’re beating up on Mandy but Dana tags in and the faces make a comeback. Pump Knee, Cartwheel Splash for a 2 count. Dana up top, Senton Bomb, Nia pulls her off the cover. Mandy with a flying knee off the apron! Dana with yet another damn Cartwheel, this one on the floor for a back elbow to Nia! Into the ring, Shayna takes her down, tries to stomp the arm but Dana drives her into the buckle. Rolls her up for 2 but Shayna kicks out and pulls her right into the Kirifuda Clutch for the immediate tapout.
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
Afterwards sore losers Dana and Mandy knock Nia and Shayna off the apron just to make their music play.
Hurt Business with their usual bullying. They found a skinny dude that kinda reminds me of Marko Stunt, although naturally he’s taller than him.
Hurt Business then make their way out to the ring, got themselves a championship celebration now that they’ve got so much gold. MVP says once again the Hurt Business are in the ring and that can only mean one thing, little things stoppin’, big things poppin’. So enjoy the view as the champions, Bobby Lashley, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin, are people better than you. Shelton says they proved that they are better than any tag team in the locker room.
Cedric yells ‘Especially New Day’! He says the come-up is over because Cedric is in his prime now! He seems quite fired up these days, talking about custom made suits. Lashley guarantees there is not a man alive that can beat him for this United States title. MVP has a special photographer, himself, to take an all-champions picture. R-Truth photobombs with his 24/7 Championship. This lures out the 24/7 Club to chase him down.
Now out comes Jeff Hardy and Riddle, who have a tag match against them later, guess they want it to be now. MVP says they weren’t invited. Riddle congratulates them on the big win last night and he’s really digging the celebration but he feels they’re doing a couple of things wrong. Why spend so much money at the club?
Riddle says they don’t need fancy bottles of champagne. They need to chill out and relax with the homies. Get a little toasted and listen to the Joe Rogan podcast or Dave Chapelle and escape from the existential day to day grind that life is. Tells them that they don’t need to be bullies. They’re all the same self-aware carbon matter on a rock spinning through the void of space! MVP says they’re not the same, they’re bigger than his hair-brained ideas. Jeff says there’s more to life than status. Character is the most important criterion. They are bonded by the most important thing to them, their faith.
Backstage Angel Garza continues flirting with interviewers. Says he might be fighting with Drew Gulak but after his victory, she can interview him under the mistletoe.
Drew Gulak vs. Angel Garza
Angel tosses the pants at Gulak and pummels him. Gulak fights back but a charging knee drops him. Abdominal Stretch, reversed repeatedly. Garza with his knuckles in the ribs, trip. Whip, Hip Toss for a 2 count. German Suplex blocked, Superkick follows. Wing Clipper gets the fairly quick win.
Winner: Angel Garza
Shame that Gulak’s push in the first half of this year was so short-lived, but nice that they’re finally giving Garza wins.
AJ Styles is backstage, he’s got a bad looking red bruise on his cheek. Says he’s not happy with Miz and Morrison but is appearing on their show anyway to give them a piece of his mind.
We come back to see Miz and Morrison in the ring for MizTV again. Miz says in life you’re not often given the opportunity to be WWE Champion. He had the chance to etch his name into the history books as a 2-time champion. He not only failed himself but his family and he’s sorry. Morrison says that’s not the only apology that needs to be delivered tonight. Miz introduces AJ Styles.
He comes out clearly annoyed. Miz says he’s not usually an impulsive man but he thinks AJ would do the same thing. Styles says he’s heard enough. Tells Miz he may be the biggest idiot on Earth. Tells him he’s selfish and incompetent. He cost him the WWE Championship and on top of that, cashed in his contract ‘in a ladder match’. Because of him they both lost! Miz shouts that he knows that! Says ten years ago he cashed in and won the WWE Championship and took it to the main event of WrestleMania and it was supposed to be the same thing this year!
Fifteen years he’s been fighting to get respect and nobody respects him! He thought he could finally do it last night and lead Raw to new heights. Now all he can do is make this right. From the bottom of his heart he apologizes, they were both robbed last night. It’s the Holidays, time for giving and forgiving, so let’s make things right. He presents AJ an opportunity to co-star in a new installment of The Marine. They show a poster where AJ is tiny. AJ complains and Morrison notes he’s not even on the poster.
Omos points out that Morrison technically cashed the contract in. AJ and Morrison start bickering but Miz gets between them. Says Omos is right, Morrison cashed it in but only he can cash it in! He now demands to get it back. McIntyre comes out to interrupt. Says he’s working on a sequel to the Nightmare Before TLC and reads them the script for Nightmare After TLC. Sheamus and Keith Lee chime in too, mocking the heels for their failure. The faces come into the ring and start wrecking house but then AJ dropkicks Keith Lee into Sheamus to stop a Brogue Kick. Sheamus bickers with Lee as the heels escape.
We see a recap of Retribution’s one-sided feud with Ricochet. The group makes their way out as it’s now T-Bar’s turn.
Backstage Sheamus and Lee continue arguing. McIntyre gets between them and tells them to stop or he knocks them both on their asses. He tells Sheamus to cool the hell down, they have a six-man tonight, he’ll take care of it. Tells Lee that he knows it was an accident. Sheamus is his brother but he can be a prick sometimes. Keith says he knows. Drew says there’s nobody you’d rather want on your team than Sheamus. Imagine the damage they could do together, on the same page. They bump forearms.
Ricochet vs. T-Bar
Ricochet with a charging dropkick. Tries a springboard but T-Bar catches him, drives his knee repeatedly into his sides, then hurls him aside. Batters Ricochet in the corner. Huge lariat flips him. Rear chinlock. Ricochet fights back and drives him out of the ring. He wants to go for a dive but the interference stops him. He starts taking them out one by one with dives but T-Bar attacks him from behind. Ali yells at him to stop thinking with his heart and start thinking with his mind. Yells that he belongs with them. Ricochet attacks Ali with a series of punches until T-Bar pulls him away, Feast Your Eyes for the win.
T-Bar on the mic for a growly promo. Asks him when he will learn that Retribution is not his enemy, they are his ally. Join them or they’ll end his existence.
New Day have an exclusive interview, giving props to the Hurt Business. Kofi says he was spitting out teeth all night. But success is not measured by how high they climb but how high they bounce from the bottom when they fall.
The Hardy Bros vs. MVP & Bobby Lashley
Jeff and Lashley start. Hardy charges and pummels him. Tag to Riddle, piggybacks him until Lashley throws him off. Clothesline drops him. Pummels him in the corner. Neckbreaker for a 2 count. Lashley blocks a kick but Riddle with an enziguri, Jeff Hardy tags in. Comeback sequence, Inverted Atomic Drop, double leg, Legal Low Blow, Basement Dropkick, Standing Splash, Lashley kicks out immediately!
Riddle tags in, Broetry In Motion. MVP rushes in, Jeff double legs him, Assisted Sky Twister from Riddle! Heels on the outside, Hardy with a baseball slide to Lashley, Riddle with a running kick to MVP! Commercial break. We come back to see Jeff fending Lashley off, goes for Whisper In The Wind but Lashley dumps him off the top rope and into the stairs! Lashley pulls him into the ring. Working over his arm. Isolation, MVP covers for a 2 count. MVP hits a Ballin’ Elbow for nearfall. Jeff evades a Playa’s Boot, Whisper In The Wind nailed!
Riddle wants the tag. Jeff makes it, Riddle leaps in, series of blows to the torso. Pele Kick! Kip-Up! Charging forearm in the corner, and another! Cedric with a distraction. But it doesn’t matter, Riddle hits MVP with an Exploder! Broton! Pulls MVP up, Fisherman’s Buster! Lashley breaks up the pin. Tags in, Flatliner drills Riddle. Pulls him up for a Delayed Vertical Suplex. Riddle knees himself free, makes it to the face corner.
Jeff knocks Lashley away and tags himself in, Riddle with a Pump Knee drops Lashley. Leaps off Jeff’s back for a tope onto Shelton and Cedric on the outside! Jeff goes up top, kicks MVP away, Lashley rolls out of the way of the Swanton Bomb. Tries a Spear but Hardy blocks with a kick to the face, only to be pulled into the Hurt Lock! And that’s that.
Winners: The Hurt Business
I keep expecting the faces to pin Lashley or atleast MVP to setup a US title match but it ain’t happening. Mind you I’m not complaining about a midcard champ that doesn’t lose non-title matches all the time.
Elias and Ryker are in the ring. Elias thanks all the fans who put Universal Truth on their year-end list. Anyone who hasn’t, he can only assume they haven’t heard it yet. His music changes people’s lives. Ryker has been reborn in the Universal Truth. Tonight they test just how powerful his music can be. Lucha House Party interrupt him.
Gran Metalik vs. Jaxson Ryker
Metalik with some chops. Elias climbs the turnbuckle to watch and strum his guitar. Ryker pummels him as Elias sings that he’s gonna lose. Metalik with a side step sends him into the post. Metalik leaps over to the second rope and gets Elias with a Super Rana! Charges but Ryker nails him with a lariat. Sit-Out Chokebomb for the win.
Winner: Jaxson Ryker
Sorta struggling to have comments, other than Ryker looks good in short matches but I already knew that.
Randy Orton comes out to the ring. Says the Fiend is no man and Orton is not normal. He enjoyed every single second as he stood by and watched the Fiend burn. He says he rested peacefully at night for the first time, the voices were gone. The only thing he’s hearing right now is the sound of the Fiend gasping for his last breath as the fire grew hotter and the flames grew higher. Randy says the Fiend is gone, the Fiend is no more. And he is the evil son of a bitch that took him out.
The lights go down. Orton goes out of the ring expecting the Fiend but when the lights come back up, Alexa Bliss is in a swingset in the ring. She says he built this for her. We can call it Alexa’s Playground. Says Orton must be wondering where he is. Could be at a tanning salon, since he was pretty pale. Or he could be at the beach! Hope he doesn’t get… sunburnt. Says he could be eating his favorite food, BBQ! She cackles.
Alexa steps up and says Randy’s right. It was right here, where you can still see and smell what he did to his flesh. It’s almost as if he absorbed into the mat, under the ground and each layer of the Earth. He’s home… but if he ever leaves home he may come back to Alexa’s playground! And if he does, it’ll be like nothing he’s ever seen before. The lights go out slowly again and Alexa and her playground disappear.
Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce cut a promo backstage, fairly generic heel stuff except Royce just kinda decides to continue hating her, making sure we know that SHE’s the one who got them this match with her challenging Charlotte.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair & Asuka vs. Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans (Non-Title)
Peyton and Asuka lock-up. Royce shoots her off, Asuka with a shoulderblock. Roundhouse kick ducked. Standing switches. Evans tags herself in as Asuka gets Peyton into the Asukalock. Evans rips her off of her, Lacey taken to the apron but gets a legsweep. Misses a Pulleover Stomp, Asuka takes her back to the apron, charging hip attack sends her to the floor but not before Peyton tags herself in. Spinning heel kick for a 2 count, commercial break.
Royce and Evans argue in the middle of their damn isolation because they’re evidently a truly garbage team and this lets Asuka make her comeback and get the hot tag to Charlotte. She suplexes the hell out of Evans, chops to Royce. Royce gets Charlotte down in a Single Leg Boston Crab, Asuka evades Evans to break up the hold. Asuka with a roundhouse kick drops Evans on the floor. Victory Roll for a nearfall. Charlotte with a judo trip. Grabs the leg for the Figure Four, right into the Figure Eight for the win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka
They’re trying to pretend to have a real women’s tag division on this episode but that’d be a lot easier to buy if Evans and Royce actually acted like a team.
We see Titus O’Neil gifting a car to an old lady from a family in need.
Backstage we see Miz and Morrison warming up, meanwhile Miz is on the phone talking about the MITB loophole he thought of earlier. AJ forces him to hang up as they head out for their match.
Holiday Street Fight: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee vs. AJ Styles, The Miz & John Morrison
Morrison starts with Sheamus. Sheamus batters John, big uppercut. Morrison fights back with forearms, single leg trip. Pulls him over, grapevine as he tags in Miz. Miz with a series of blows. Chokes him in the ropes, distracts the ref as Morrison hits an enziguri. AJ tags in and tries to throw him into the buckle, Sheamus blocks and hits a Short-Arm Clothesline. Styles drives Sheamus into the corner. Morrison tags in, thrust kicks and looks for a snapmare but Sheamus takes him down.
McIntyre tags in, Wishbone spot. Drew throws Morrison to the corner, big chop! Morrison fights back, kick to the taped up knee which AJ worked over extensively last night. Dragonscrew Legwhip! McIntyre with Glasgow Kiss to fight back. Clubbering blow to the back. Lee tags in, McIntyre and Lee with the world’s most unnecessary Double Team Suplex, Morrison goes FLYING! Nobody is eager to tag in on the heel side after that. Lee even grabs John’s wrist and offers the tag but they don’t bite, so he pulls Morrison to his feet. Sheamus tags in, double whip, double shoulderblock.
Miz runs in but a double back elbow stops him, then a Double Hip Toss to AJ! Sheamus and Lee enjoy getting together but start nudging each other harder and harder until Lee just up and nails him with Grizzly Magnum, Sheamus is pissed and McIntyre has to stop them from fighting. Commercial break. We come back to see Sheamus holding AJ down in an armbar. Styles fights back. Sheamus with a hip toss. Miz and Morrison try to interfere but McIntyre intercepts Morrison and Sheamus nails Miz.
They take them to the apron. Stereo Ten Beats of the Bowery! Keith Lee is standing on the floor under them and they toss him the twosome, he drives each of them into the apron! Then he tosses Miz and Morrison into the present decorations. I just remembered this was a Street Fight. Sheamus with a chinlock, battering AJ’s chest. As AJ is fighting back, Morrison throws a present into the ring but it achieves nothing. Miz tags in and they batter him in the corner, McIntyre comes in to drive Morrison down with a big chop. Sheamus hoists Morrison up, Regal Roller!
Now Sheamus is going up top. Morrison goes to stop him but a big punch drives him away. AJ looks to stop Sheamus, he spooks him off but Morrison leaps up there and throws him from the top rope through a table, spilling tons of milk and cookies in the process. Morrison with a punch to the face, tag to Miz. They each pull Sheamus up, double team Gutbuster! Miz rakes the eyes. Sheamus is scrambling to the corner but Miz is blocking him. Pounds on his back, pulls him up for a Snap DDT. Nearfall.
AJ tags in, Sheamus tries to fight back but an enziguri takes him down. Another enziguri takes Keith Lee to the floor. Sheamus hits White Noise on AJ outta nowhere. Simultags to McIntyre and Miz and the former is a house of fire! Big overhead belly to bellies to Miz and Morrison, kip up but the knee bothers him on the landing. Charging back elbow to Morrison, pulls him up, Reverse Alabama Slam sends Morrison onto Miz! Future Shock attempted to Miz but he blocks it, kick to the injured knee! Man he never seems to manage to hit that move… McIntyre still blocks the DDT though, Spinebuster, Styles breaks up the pin.
Keith Lee with the Pounce to Styles, Morrison with a Flying Chuck to Lee, Sheamus with an Irish Curse to Morrison, Styles nails Sheamus and then starts lacing McIntyre with a candy cane kendo stick! But the fight spills to the outside, McIntyre powerbombs Styles through a table!
Sheamus wins a kendo stick fight with Morrison, McIntyre wants a Claymore, Sheamus tags himself in and Drew goes with it. Lee tags himself in before the Brogue as well though. He shoves Morrison into the arms of Omos. Morrison is happy until Omos drops him through a table, Lee with a Spirit Bomb to Miz for the win.
Winners: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee
Solid TV main, Sheamus with an abrupt Brogue Kick to the face of Keith Lee. And since we’re bumping up close to the top of the hour it just fades as McIntyre is bickering with Sheamus, they must’ve finished that match a bit late. That’s the show.