Event: WWE RAW
Date: December 16, 2019
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Recently turned heel Seth Rollins kicked off Monday Night RAW after TLC, by introducing AOP to the fans. He called himself a visionary and said that AOP would deal with anyone who stood against him. Rollins said that he has something to take care of at the end of the show and that the fans would not like it. He offered an advanced apology for what’s coming, to end the session.
The Viking Raiders defeated Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a non-title match: The champions started hot but gave up control of the bout heading into the commercial break. After the commercial, as the action broke down, Ivar tried for a massive moonsault. Anderson rolled out of the way, and the heels deposited Erik to the arena floor. Back inside, The O.C. delivered the Magic Killer for the win.
Erick Rowan defeated an unknown enhancement talent in yet another squash match.
A new teaser vignette for Liv Morgan’s “makeover” and return to RAW was aired. She said that all she ever wanted to be was to be herself and she has to destroy herself so that her real self could emerge!
Lana and Bobby Lashley made their way to the ring and The Ravishing Russian asked Lashley to ask her to marry him. The Almighty obliged and Lana accepted the proposal, saying, “I will allow you to marry me.” She said the ceremony would happen on Lana Day before the two embraced to end the segment.
Gauntlet Match to decide the No.1 Contender for the United States Championship: WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth and Akira Tozawa started the match, but Tozawa stunned Truth to pick up the first fall of the match. R-Truth eliminated.
Ricochet was second to enter and back-and-forth action dominated the contest before a big kick from The One and Only led to a springboard clothesline. Tozawa caught Ricochet with a double knee on a Shooting Star Press attempt and nearly scored the win. Instead, the former U.S. champion recovered and delivered the Recoil for the win. Tozawa eliminated.
Matt Hardy arrived next and tried to make quick work of an exhausted Ricochet. Hardy delivered a Razor’s Edge and a couple of Side Effects, but Ricochet bounced back and delivered a Recoil to eliminate Hardy. Matt Hardy eliminated.
The new and upcoming Mexican star Humberto Carrillo was the next to enter. Both superstars displayed excellent in-ring skills while Zelina Vega appeared and started scouting Andrade’s opponents. Neither Superstar earned complete control of the bout until a late running destroyer by Carrillo gave way to the moonsault for a pinfall win. Ricochet eliminated.
Andrade attacked Carrillo from behind, capitalizing on the decoy that Vega provided and delivered consecutive running double knees. El Idolo delivered a hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete outside the ring, drawing out Rey Mysterio to make the save. The match ended in a no-contest as the officials checked on Carrillo.
Post-match, Seth Rollins and AOP appeared with the pipe that Mysterio gave to Owens last week. Rollins taunted Mysterio, handing over the pipe and then watched Akam and Rezar obliterate the U.S. champion. The Architect delivered one last Stomp to a helpless Mysterio before exiting. Later, Rollins issued a formal challenge to Mysterio for a match next week.
Asuka defeated Deonna Purrazzo: NXT superstar Purrazzo jumped Asuka before the bell and tried to gain upperhand, only to receive the wrath of a focused and vengeful Asuka. Both the submission specialists transitioned from one submission to another throughout the match and Asuka eventually trapped Purrazzo in an Asuka Lock to pick up the win.
Backstage: Becky Lynch, in an interview with Charly Caruso, said she realized that she was not taken out of singles competition and put into tag team action to bury her or hold her down; she was put there to protect her because she’s the golden goose now, and they don’t want that to change. The Man then begged, implored, Asuka to fight her so she can prove that she is the best.
WWE Raw Main Event | Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles: Styles worked Orton’s legs throughout the match while The Viper went for RKO at every possible turn. After initial domination by Styles, Orton recovered and delivered a DDT and went for an RKO, but Styles countered and went for the Calf Crusher. Styles set up for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Orton caught him in midair with the RKO for the win.
Post-match, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows entered the ring and beat down Orton. The Viking Raiders made the save, but The O.C. still gained the upper hand and stood tall to close out the show.
Takeaways from Monday Night Raw
1. The Visionary
For years, Rollins referred to himself as The Architect and the future of the industry, but his inability to see beyond himself makes him a misguided hero more than a villain. so it will be interesting to see how creative more firmly establishes him as a traditional heel.
His challenge to Mysterio for a match next week sets up a huge main event for a typically low-rated holiday episode of Raw.
2. Not So Ravishing Russian
When we all thought there could be nothing more to the Lana-Lashley storyline, the ‘couple’ threw in a little proposal. It has become more and more apparent that her act is just that: an attempt to garner heat by being as unbearable as possible, and it is working.
It was a great representation of her heel work and a sign that the self-centered princess has the potential to become a genuine breakout star for Raw.
3. The Mexican Standoff
WWE has been pushing both the Luchadors, and in recent weeks, it looked as if WWE was done with Andrade when he suffered back to back losses against Humberto Carrillo. El Idolo came back strongly this week and further established himself as a dangerous heel.
Carrillo, on the other hand, has been performing exceptionally well and been utilizing the opportunities given to him. The change in his entry music has worked and the WWE Universe is starting to get behind him. WWE has done an excellent job here by creating a heel and a babyface out of the two talented superstars.
4. What’s Next For The Man?
Lynch has fully established herself as one of the faces of WWE but has become directionless since she climbed to the top of the mountain. This week’s promo might just have changed that. Lynch can’t shake the fact that she cannot find a way to beat Asuka. No matter the scenario, Asuka beats Lynch every single time.
The fire is back in Lynch’s belly. If done right, Becky Lynch and Asuka once again feuding could be something special. This will not only help Lynch get her footing back, but could also revive the singles career of the once undefeated Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka.