We have two title matches on the card for tonight’s RAW. Seth Rollins will issue an Intercontinental Championship open challenge, and AOP will defend the tag titles against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. Also on the card, Elias takes on Bobby Lashley, Finn Balor faces Baron Corbin, and it looks like there will be more interaction between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey ahead of their match at TLC.
I’m Amanda, and I’m here to give you the important bits of RAW.
Bobby Lashley def. Elias via pinfall
Lucha House Party def. The Revival via pinfall
AOP def. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable via pinfall
Ember Moon def. Alicia Fox via pinfall
Jinder Mahal def. No Way Jose via pinfall
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler
Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin def. Finn Balor via pinfall
The Best Bits
» The show opened with Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Lio Rush, and Drew McIntyre already in the ring. Corbin welcomed everyone, then insulted the way he assumed everyone celebrated Thanksgiving. They took turns in saying what they’re thankful for. Corbin for the job he’s been doing as General Manager. Lashley for all the beta males that sit on the couch and waste their lives while he gets up every morning and takes what he wants, and McIntyre, for the brutal savage extended and well-deserved beating they gave to Braun Strowman last week.
Corbin said that was a moment that will live forever, and showed the footage in case anyone missed it. He said that after a brutal attack like that we wouldn’t be seeing Strowman’s face on RAW for a long time. But Corbin has some sway, so they sent a camera crew to Birmingham Alabama for an interview.
Strowman, from a hospital bed, said his surgeon told him he was going to be on the shelf for a bit because he’s never seen an injury like that or worked on an arm that big. He’s a little apprehensive about the surgery but he’s coming back at one hundred percent. He’s coming for Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre and he’s going to make his injury seem like a papercut.
Corbin allowed the ‘Get These Hands’ chant for a moment before squashing it by saying ‘if those hands even work after his surgery’. He said there was no way Strowman will be medically cleared for TLC, which is too bad because their match is still on and when Braun Strowman fails to show up, Corbin wins by forfeit and becomes permanent GM of RAW. All the superstars need to decide if they want to be on the right side of history or the wrong side. After TLC he will remember which superstars stood with him and against him, so everyone in that locker room…
The place went dark and when the lights came up, with a strum of a guitar, Elias was on stage. After he’d done his schtick he said he can’t think of anyone worse than Baron Corbin to be GM. Even Lio Rush would be better and that violates child labour laws. Drake Maverick pissed himself, and he would do a better job. Then he moved onto Bobby Lashley and sang a catchy little tune I’m assuming is called ‘Bobby Lashley sucks’.
Elias vs Bobby Lashley was the first match of the night. Worryingly, for Elias, Corbin and McIntyre stayed in Lashley’s corner. Good enough match. Elias had it won after an elbow from the top, but Lio Rush pulled the ref out of the ring. The ref disqualified Lashley, so Corbin made it a no-DQ. Lashley attacked Elias as the bell was rung. Elias found himself fighting off all of them, except Rush, and picked his guitar up as an equaliser. Corbin knocked it out of his hands, Lashley destroyed it, Corbin hit Elias with a chair, then the three of them beat Elias up. Elias was flipped over Drew McIntyre’s head into the steps. Corbin and McIntyre had to hold him up for Lashley to run around the ring and spear him in a ‘tribute’ to Braun Strowman. Finally, they remembered it was a match so Lashley rolled Elias into the ring and pinned him.
» Seth Rollins said he’s done chasing Ambrose for answers. He doesn’t believe he’s not there tonight, but he doesn’t give a damn. The Intercontinental Championship open challenge was answered by Dolph Ziggler. He tried to psych Rollins out with some trash-talk, like there is anything left to say after the thousand or so promos they’ve cut on each other before the thousand or so matches they’ve had recently. Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler was really good. it’s always really good. Every. Single. Time. Commentary put a lot of focus on Rollins not quite being on top of his game, but he pulled it through in the end and won with the superplex into falcon arrow combo. Easily match of the night and hopefully the last time we’ll see it for a while.
» Baron Corbin vs Finn Balor took the main event slot. Someone needs to check on the writers, I think they’re stuck in a loop. Balor’s pre-match promo said he was going to stand up and fight for what he believes is the right side of history. It was good, much like their other matches. Balor is still great, Corbin is still Corbin. There was nothing wrong with the match at all, it’s just hard to get excited about a match we’ve seen numerous times with only the most tenuous storyline significance. Balor kicked out of the Deep Six and went into his Coup de Grace sequence. Corbin moved out of the way of the Coup de Grace, got out of the ring and grabbed a mic. He made the match a two on one handicap against him and Drew McIntyre. Balor tried to take Corbin down before McIntyre got there and dived onto McIntyre when he arrived, but he had no chance really. McIntyre beat Balor down, threw him back in the ring, and pinned him from Claymore.
Bobby Lashley came to join the beatdown. After Lashley had taken his turn McIntyre made him and Corbin hold Balor up to take another Claymore. And that was how RAW ended.
The Other Bits
» We got a video from Dean Ambrose at his personal physician’s office. He’s not at RAW, but he’ll be there next week. He was at the doctor to get shots against dysentery, typhoid, distemper, and rabies (that one went in his hip, big needle). He’s really going in on the public being filthy, dirty, and disease-ridden for this turn. Can’t say I’m a fan. He called Rollins and the public vermin. There is no shower that can wash away Rollins’ sins, no medicine for him to cure the sickness in his soul, he is a lost cause. At TLC Ambrose will do the merciful thing and put Rollins out of his mercy for good.
Corey Graves hassled Renee Young for insight again, she made it very clear she doesn’t know.
» The Revival vs Lucha House Party was fun, again. The Revival explained that the Lucha House rules was the reason they lost last week. They were so appalled by the break in their tradition. They were even less impressed when they found out that Lucha House Rules applied to the rematch as well. Short match, very entertaining, same result as last time. Lucha House Party won.
» There was a big hype package for NXT’s Lars Sullivan. Apparently, the McMahon siblings are busily bidding for his services.
» Nia Jax came out with Tamina and said she knows the RAW locker room are thankful for her, but she’s most thankful for breaking Becky Lynch’s face and putting her on the shelf with a concussion. Rousey wanted to face Lynch so much but Jax took that away from her, and at TLC she’ll take her title too. She said Rousey has been on a downward trajectory since facing her at Money in the Bank and showed the footage, then the footage of Rousey being beaten by Flair. She said a bunch more stuff then Ronda Rousey came out and the crowd woke up a little bit.
Rousey said she’ll give Jax credit for the battle royal then said a load of other stuff that amounted to Jax being lucky because her heritage and Becky Lynch’s popularity conspired to give her a moment of infamy. But Jax’s luck has run out and at TLC Rousey’s going to rip her arm off and slap Charlotte Flair across the face with it. But since Jax is so eager to fight, and Rousey was born ready, how would Jax like a shot at the champ tonight. Jax said no, they’re not going to do it that way. She stalled until Tamina got to the other side of Rousey and the attack looked ready.
Natalya ran down to even the odds but never got there because she was ambushed by The Riott Squad. Rousey chased them off and that was a weird end to a massively awkward segment.
» AOP vs Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – RAW Tag Team Championship match – Drake Maverick caused a distraction at the very beginning by stealing Roode’s robe from the timekeeper’s area. And again, halfway through by running off with it. He was shown posing with it in the toilets, then putting it in the toilet and peeing on it. I’m starting to think Drake Maverick has a fetish (or one of the writers does). Unsurprisingly, Bobby Roode was distracted enough to get pinned.
» Ember Moon vs Alicia Fox was, in part, a reveal that Curt Hawkins is Ember Moon’s new Mixed Match Challenge partner. He was ringside with her and Fox had Mahal with her. Hawkins distracted Moon at the start of the match and Fox took control. Moon fought back into it and won with the Eclipse after a short match. No Way Jose came out for his match with Mahal and caught Moon and Hawkins in his conga line.
» Jinder Mahal vs No Way Jose was fine. No more no less. It’s good to see No Way Jose, he seems to have been missing for a while. He lost to the Khallas though.
» Backstage, Baron Corbin fired someone, and Alexa Bliss appeared to praise the job he’s doing and to offer her help. He asked her to oversee the entire women’s division.
Alexa Bliss told Bayley and Sasha Banks about her promotion and said she wanted to get to know them better. Banks tried to kick her out but Bliss informed them they are doing an open forum Q&A with the audience.
Bliss hosted the open forum segment. After she insulted the audience, the first question was, what would they do to change the RAW women’s division? Bayley said nothing at all, and Banks said she’d ship Bliss back to SmackDown. Bayley changed her answer to say she’d ship Bliss back to hell, then they got attacked by Mickie James, Alicia Fox, and Dana Brooke. Bayley and Sasha Banks cleared them all from the ring.
Not the best episode of RAW in recent weeks. Honestly, it might have been the least interesting episode in quite some time. I would feel some sympathy, they’ve been hit hard with injury and illness, but the roster is plenty big enough to cover if anything had been built for most of them. Interestingly, according to Cagematch, Dean Ambrose has only wrestled five times in the last month, house shows on the European tour and at Starrcade, all against Rollins (all tour matches ended in a DQ). I question whether he’s a hundred percent. Anyway, let’s hope next week is a better week.