Event: WWE RAW
Date: December 30, 2019
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
WWE RAW Results and Highlights
After last week’s record-low viewership, big things were planned for the latest installment for the red brand, which was WWE’s last wrestling show of the year.
The show opened with Kevin Owens, who once again called out Seth Rollins and AOP for attacking him, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe last week. Owens blamed Rollins for Mysterio’s title loss, and issued them a challenge for a fight.
The heel trio interrupted and Rollins went on to speak why he had to make a sacrifice and lead the industry into the new decade. Owens charged at AOP, but couldn’t overcome the numbers disadvantage. Samoa Joe made his return to a huge pop and helped Owens to level the odds, somewhat.
Backstage: Owens had great things to say about Joe, and both of them showed mutual respect to each other and promised to take down the heels next week, while they were escorted out of the building by the security.
Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphy: In a rematch from their exceptional encounter at TLC, Black and Murphy once again produced a stellar bout of high intensity. The fans chanted ‘this is awesome’ as both the individuals tried to kick each other into oblivion. Black won with two Black Mass kicks to Murphy, and kept his undefeated record intact.
Backstage: Seth Rollins and AOP had been instructed to leave the building and a bunch of security guards came in to escort them out, but Rollins voluntarily left the building with the former RAW Tag Team Champions.
Erick Rowan def. Kip Stevens: Before the match, Rowan confronted Lana backstage and screamed in her face for not inviting him and his pet to her wedding which was set to take place later on.
Rowan continued his menacing run by taking out yet another enhancement talent. He delivered a running splash by the destructive Iron Claw Slam for the win.
Charlotte Flair def. Natalya: Flair announced her entry into this year’s Royal Rumble, and issued a challenge to the locker room, which was answered by Natalya. R-Truth and the rest of the low-card interrupted the match with the 24/7 chaos, which saw Eric Young eat a kick from a frustrated Flair. The Queen eventually won the match with the Figure Eight.
Backstage: Becky Lynch declared the RAW Women’s Championship match against Asuka at Royal Rumble, and said she won’t be signing a new contract extension if she doesn’t get what she wants. Lynch said she doesn’t care about money or status but wants to lay a beating on the Empress of Tomorrow.
Yet another vignette for Liv Morgan was displayed, where she said she is ready to strike when the time is right.
The Street Profits def. Gallows and Anderson: After trading a few verbal jabs, both the teams got in the ring for a fun encounter. AJ Styles was ejected to the back for interrupting again and again, and Ford hit the frog splash on Anderson for the win.
Handicap Match | Drew McIntyre def. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder: McIntyre cut a promo before the match, calling himself the Sexy Scotsman, and went on to talk about the brutality he will unleash in the ring. McIntyre hit the FutureShock DDT and piled the duo on top of each other for the win.
Randy Orton entered the ring on crutches following his injury at a Live Event the night before. Orton talked about the seriousness of the injury and related it to former wrestlers, namely Edge, who had to end their career early following injuries.
AJ Styles made his way to the ring and proceeded to taunt Orton. Styles wanted Orton to ready up for a match at WrestleMania and said he’ll end Orton’s career with a Calf Crusher. Orton suddenly dropped AJ with an RKO, confirming the fake nature of his injury and did his signature pose to end the segment.
Andrade vs. Enhancement Talent: The newly crowned US Champion faced off against a local talent, and was about to win before being interrupted by former US Champion, Ricochet.
Andrade def. Ricochet: Andrade took down Ricochet with some help from his manager Zelina Vega in this non-title matchup. Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT for the win.
Lana – Lashley Wedding: Lana and Lashley made their way out to the ring for the final segment of the decade, with an officiant for their wedding. Lana spoke first and rambled on-and-on about Rusev and her love for Lashley. Lashley did not speak much and immediately put the ring on her finger.
A man entered the arena claiming to be Lana’s first husband and tried to persuade Lashley to not trust her but Lashley chokeslammed him in the ring. Later, a woman entered the arena claiming to be Lashley’s first wife but Lana took her down this time. Liv Morgan made her much-anticipated return, and proclaimed her love for Lana! A frustrated Lana and Morgan brawled in the middle of the ring, while Rusev popped out of the wedding cake and attacked the All Mighty.
Rusev hit Lashley with a Machka Kick and stood tall with Liv Morgan to end the final RAW of the decade.
Takeaways from Monday Night RAW
1. So Bad That It’s Good
Ever since the Lashley-Lana-Rusev storyline started all those weeks ago, the whole development reeked of the Attitude Era, with over the top stuff happening every week. This week we were subjected to a live wedding ceremony of Lashley and Lana, and as is the case with every wedding ceremony in WWE, this one didn’t end well either.
The final segment was an absolute trainwreck but was quality entertainment nonetheless. Liv Morgan returning for a lesbian storyline with Lana was the last thing anyone would have guessed, which made it even more hilarious.
Rusev continuing his stride towards the top is always a fun sight, and him getting one-up on Lana and Lashley on their wedding night was marvelous. Rusev and Liv Morgan ending the final RAW of the decade is one of the most random things ever, but it was all kinds of fun.
2. The Darkest Timelines for Babyfaces
Just to reiterate, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton and Kevin Owens are the four biggest faces on RAW currently, which is arguably one of the weirdest sights in the world. If anyone was told that Owens and Joe will be teaming up, as babyfaces, in the top storyline on the show, he would have laughed his guts out.
However, WWE has changed the tide completely with a slew of extremely good babyfaces, along with quality heels in Drew McIntyre, AJ Styles, Andrade, and Seth Rollins. RAW currently feels filled with quality superstars and doesn’t feel like a one-man show, which was often the problem with WWE booking.
3. The Need for the WWE Championship
Although Rollins, Joe, and Owens are engrossed in a pretty interesting rivalry, the feud is in desperate need of the top title. Brock Lesnar, who won the title over two months ago and has defended it exactly twice until now, will be returning next week. However, who stands up to Lesnar will be an interesting sight, as the top stars (Rollins, Joe, Owens, Drew) are all deserving of a shot, at Royal Rumble.
Lesnar hoarding the championship has caused problems in the past as well, as his time as Universal Champion had several moments where it felt the show had no direction due to the absence of the top guy.
Without the title, the main-event stars have nothing to fight for, and hopefully, a proper storyline is established with Lesnar’s return next week.
4. An Inexplicable Heel Turn?
Although there are zero problems with Charlotte Flair turning heel, as she works much better as a heel than a babyface, but it came absolutely out of nowhere. A few weeks ago she was teaming up Becky Lynch to tackle the Kabuki Warriors, and now she is a heel once again, defeating Natalya in a random matchup.
Flair vowed to win the Rumble and main-event WrestleMania once again, which isn’t far-fetched as WWE has consistently positioned her in the top spot from time to time.
Apart from Asuka, Lynch and Flair, there is absolutely zero depth in the Women’s Division of RAW. Hopefully the arrival of Liv Morgan changes things a bit, but it still needs a lot of work.