Liv Morgan tries to submit Becky Lynch

Becky Lynch puts the RAW Women’s Championship on the line against Liv Morgan on tonight’s RAW. WWE Champion Big E has a non-title cage match against Kevin Owens. And The Miz has invited Edge to be his guest on Miz TV.

I’m Amanda and this is the RAW review.

Match Results

Big E def. Kevin Owens

Queen Zelina def. Nikki A.S.H.

Street Profits def. AJ Styles & Omos

Damian Priest def. Robert Roode

Bianca Belair def. Doudrop

Rey & Dominik Mysterio def. Alpha Academy

Finn Balor def. T-Bar

Becky Lynch def. Liv Morgan

Kevin Owens superkicks Big E

The Show

Seth Rollins narrated the story of Kevin Owens ending up in a steel cage match ahead of the triple threat at Day 1. He’s happy about it because his opponents were going to bash the hell out of each other, but Day 1 is ages away, so it won’t make any practical difference unless someone gets really hurt.

Big E was fired up for his re-match promo. He said he’s been through hell to get his title reign and tonight is no different. There’s no easy way out and he’s not just going to beat Kevin Owens, he’s going to punish him.

Kevin Owens is still annoyed by people calling him a liar. Big E is just holding the title for him until Day 1 and Big E is the one getting punished tonight.

So, Big E vs Kevin Owens – Steel Cage Match – got the action in the arena underway. Despite his bluster about punishing the champion, Owens mostly tried to escape in the opening minute or so. He got crotched on the top rope the first time he tried to climb the cage after unsuccessfully trying to exit through the door. Big E was focused and there to do damage. Owens evading a Spear into the cage looked to have turned it around, but we went to a break.

Owens was in control when we got back. He didn’t do enough damage to Big E before he started up the cage again and he caught him up. The first time, Owens knocked Big E down by smashing his head against the mesh. The second time, he slipped underneath him to deliver a sunset flip powerbomb. But as he kicked and punched Big E in the middle of the ring, it was just firing him up.

Big E came back with a series of suplexes. Owens tried to escape the cage. Big E tried to escape through the door while in a Boston crab.

Then Seth Rollins appeared and slammed the door on both their heads, just in time for ad break two.

Owens raked Big E’s eyes and kicked him in the head to get him in position for a frogsplash, but it wasn’t enough. Big E’s pin attempt after making Owens Sit Down was also unsuccessful, as was Owens’ after the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Seth Rollins was being loudly appreciative of everything they inflicted on each other.

Big E delivered a Big Ending from the second rope and went for the door instead of the pin. Owens grabbed his foot and pulled him back, but Big E kicked him in the head and escaped.

Seth Rollins beat both of them up after the match but Big E came back with a belly to belly suplex for Rollins and another Big Ending for Owens.

During a break, Bobby Lashley ran to the ring and laid out everyone. Commentary talked up through it when we got back.

Bobby Lashley puts Seth Rollins to sleep

The next tag title challengers will be decided with an RK-Bro-nament. Street Profits face AJ Styles and Omos in the first round. Rey & Dominik Mysterio take on Alpha Academy. Winner fight for the right to face RK-Bro.

Queen Zelina, with Carmella, vs Nikki A.S.H., with Rhea Ripley, was good once Vega shut up. She didn’t say anything important or interesting, it was just a chance to rile the crowd with that display mode accent. Nikki A.S.H. had everything under control until Queen Zelina moved out of the way of the crossbody. A.S.H. had no time to recover before the Code Red that pinned her.

Backstage, Ripley was trying to comfort Nikki when someone approached and asked for an autograph. It perked her up for a second until the fan said they were talking to Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, just off-camera. Nikki stomped off when Lawler asked if she wanted an autograph to cheer her up, and Lawler was lucky not to get dropped by Ripley.

Nikki A.S.H. and Zelina Vega

Riddle managed to confuse Kevin Patrick and annoy Orton with his rambling about the tournament and Christmas movies. He tried to get Orton to wear a blazer, and got the crowd on his side. Eventually, Orton relented. They were on commentary for the tournament match.

AJ Styles & Omos vs Street Profits – RK-Bro-nament Round 1 – was good. I feel like Styles and Omos have run their course. AJ Styles has been one of the best wrestlers in the world. Now he’s a bitchy chihuahua with a bodyguard. It was fun for a while. It’s not now.

Orton never says a lot on commentary and Riddle actually reacts to the match, so they’re not the worst guests. Street Profits ganged up on Omos while he was still on the apron. Ford slapped him, then Dawkins, then they double dropkicked him off the apron. He stayed on his feet though. Styles had Ford beaten, but felt the need to show off. He was on the top ropes for the Phenomenal Forearm when Omos tagged himself in.

Dawkins dragged Styles outside and put him down then got levelled by Omos. Ford launched him at Omos who caught him and dumped him on the apron then went back to Dawkins. Styles tried to tell Omos the ref was up to eight, but Omos didn’t listen quick enough and got counted out.

After the match, Styles tried to tell Omos he just had to listen to him. Omos walked away from him. Riddle tried to interview Styles who told him it was all a disagreement, a miscommunication, and threatened to shove the microphone down Riddle’s throat. Riddle asked if Orton had anything to add, but he said ‘Nope’.

Backstage, Orton took the blazer off and told Riddle to enjoy himself because it’s all on him

Omos takes down Angelo Dawkins at ringside while the ref counts him out

Becky Lynch said tonight is a big match, for Liv Morgan. It’s the biggest match of her career, she’s got some momentum, and the crowd is behind her. But the biggest battle for Morgan will be fought in her head and her heart not in the ring, with the people who will turn on her if she does too well. It’s a big night for Morgan, but for Big Time Becks, it’s just another Monday.

Damian Priest vs Robert Roode, with Dolph Ziggler, – United States Championship Open Challenge – was different, and pretty decent until Ziggler caused a distraction. It was Priest’s own fault. If he hadn’t started stalking Ziggler, Roode wouldn’t have snuck up behind him and pushed him into the steps before chucking him over the barricades for the ads.

Roode came close with a spinebuster but Priest countered the Glorious DDT and went for The Reckoning. Roode fought his way free and almost got Priest with a roll-up, but that was his last chance. The Reckoning found its mark on the next attempt and ended the match.

Dolph Ziggler kicked Priest in the head after the match, inexplicably tore his own shirt off, and went to pick his partner up off the floor.

Damian Priest flies towards Robert Roode

This week in WWE History saw Lita and Trish Stratus take the first-ever women’s main-event match. Seventeen years to the day, Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan main event.

Doudrop attacked Bianca Belair from behind on the ramp before their match. Belair had an ad break to recover before Doudrop vs Bianca Belair, but it wasn’t the confident and assertive start to the match she might have wanted. The EST pulled herself together quickly and was soon winding Doudrop up with her dancing and posturing. Doudrop took the wind out of sails, and lungs, with a senton. I’m so happy to be seeing Doudrop wrestling actual matches and being a badass. If she could be Piper Niven again, that would be perfect.

She manhandled Belair in ways the EST just isn’t used to. When it takes enough to pin most people just to get your opponent off her feet, that’s a lot of extra energy requirement. A splash at ringside heading into another break (I swear RAW was half ad breaks this week), having already squashed her spine into the apron, ensured energy was something Belair was likely to struggle with.

The crowd went mad for Belair’s spinebuster, and that was the start of her comeback. Her crossbody from the top kept Doudrop down for two and a half, but the sunset flip attempt was a terrible idea. Doudrop just sat down then went to the top for a splash. It landed perfectly, but Belair kicked out.

At the kickout, Doudrop got a look I haven’t seen for a very long time, one that’s usually bad news for her opponents. For some reason, she decided pulling Belair’s hairclips out was the way to go instead of trying to pin her. She headbutted Belair when she fought back and sent her stumbling into the corner, but by the time she arrived with a cannonball, Belair was no longer there.

Belair attempted a K.O.D. but Doudrop got her feet between the ropes and rolled out of the ring when she was free. Instead of getting back in, Doudrop kept walking. Belair had to settle for a count-out victory.

Doudrop controls Bianca Belair

Austin Theory was in with Vince McMahon again. He’s taking a special interest in him and tonight he’s thinking of putting him in a match. There’s a creepy-weird vibe about the whole thing. I’m not entirely sure what the end game is.

The Miz hosted Miz TV alone because the city they were in (Memphis, Tennessee) is not good enough for Maryse. Edge looked psyched to be there, but he was more enthusiastic about greeting the fans during his entrance than dealing with The Miz… and who can blame him.

Edge said he meant all the compliments he gave Miz last week and he still means them. Miz said he thinks the Rated-R Superstar has lost his, Edge. The old Edge would have speared him out of his shoes. Edge told him not to mistake his kindness for weakness and asked him what the bigger issue was.

Miz is still holding a lot of bitter resentment about the way he was treated as an up and coming superstar. He needed Edge’s kindness when he was thrown out of the locker room, but no one took his side. Edge said he tried to talk to him but Miz brushed him off. It’s an interesting approach to the feud. I like it.

Edge called Miz an ass. Miz called Edge a hypocrite and said he’s vulnerable. He’s surpassed him in and out of the ring and 2022 is going to be the year of Miz. He can’t think of any better way to usher it in than beating him.

Edge accepted the challenge for Day 1 and offered one for tonight. Miz said no. While Miz was explaining he’s not afraid, Edge moved a fraction as if to raise his fist. Miz flinched so hard he fell over.

Edge and The Miz on Miz TV

Liv Morgan believes people do want her to win the title. She’s going to do everything in her power to make sure she does.

Veer Mahaan is still Coming Soon.

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs Alpha Academy – RK-Bro-nament Round 1 – had Riddle on commentary without Orton. If the wrestlers always joined commentary to talk about wrestling and make insightful comments to enrich the experience of what was going on in the ring, I wouldn’t bitch about it anymore. Sadly, it was a short match, won by Dominik Mysterio folding up Gable. Otis never made it into the match.

Riddle tried to interview Alpha Academy after the match, but got slammed by Otis.

The finals of the RK-Bro-Nament will take place on next week’s RAW. Rey & Dominik Mysterio will take on The Street Profits.

Chad Gable tries to submit Dominik Mysterio

Austin Theory isn’t getting a match tonight because he wasn’t in his gear the first time. He told Theory to find another way to impress him. Theory chose unzipping his shirt and doing star jumps. McMahon told him to stop and find a way to impress him using his brains.

Finn Balor vs T-Bar was great but too short. Balor’s resilience was tested by the sheer power of T-Bar, but eventually, he got the win with a Coup de Grace.

Austin Theory attacked Balor and delivered an ATL after the match. He paused for a couple of selfies as well. We’ll see if Vince McMahon is impressed.

Austin Theory takes a selfie after attacking Finn Balor

Dana Brooke was cornered by R-Truth and Akira Tozawa. Truth said he’d have to read the rulebook to find out what to do. Reggie joined her next and was being sweet and possibly flirty. He stepped between her and a charging Tamina to give her time to get away.

Kevin Patrick asked Bobby Ashley and MVP why Lashley attacked everyone earlier. MVP said people get too comfortable disrespecting other people because there are no consequences. That’s not the way it is in The Almighty Era. Organising the triple-threat without mentioning Lashley was disrespectful, those were the consequences.

Morgan got a long ‘Evolution of Liv Morgan’ vignette before Becky Lynch (C) vs Liv Morgan – RAW Women’s Championship Match – got started. The basic message is she knows the confused kid she was and the confident woman she is now.

Of course, Lynch was super-arrogant at the start, throwing Morgan to the mat and telling her, ‘Welcome to the bigtime’. The slap pushes were a step too far and she had to slip out of the ring to avoid Oblivion.

Morgan might have hurt her arm on the suicide dive follow up to double knees to Lynch’s face. She wasn’t able to capitalise on it. It didn’t take anywhere near enough out of the camp for that. Despite them both going for repeated early covers, this one was going to be wear down and drag out and wait for someone to make a mistake.

It was good, but it wasn’t the fiery contest I think everyone expected. It was more methodical, more tit for tat. With only a couple of minutes remaining, they were both laid out on the canvas, Morgan from Lynch bouncing her head off the turnbuckle and Lynch from an enzuigiri.

Morgan was back up first and started building momentum. Lynch thwarted Oblivion but Morgan landed a big kick to her head and springboard double knees to the face. Becky Lynch kicked out and Liv took a moment to work out what to do next. She hesitated too long and gave Lynch time to recover. Stamping Lynch’s backside into the apron looked weird, but it was a good cover for a slip on the ropes.

Into the final moments, Liv Morgan landed a missile dropkick and locked in the Rings of Saturn submission. Lynch rolled her over to make her let go and got the Dis-Arm-Her on but Morgan got to the rope. In a mess of roll-ups, Becky Lynch got the pin with one hand on the ropes, just like she did to Charlotte Flair.

Looks like this one is going to Day 1. There’s no way Liv Morgan doesn’t get a rematch after that.

Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan mid-match

That was a decent episode of RAW, weird Vince McMahon and Austin Theory segments aside. I thought they might have done the title switch considering the historic date, but sadly not. Morgan will get another chance, and with the extra build, the eventual win will be all the sweeter.

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