Event: WWE RAW
Date: December 2, 2019
Location: Nashville, TN
The show opened with the Authors of Pain, Akam and Rezar, arriving in their car to the arena. They muttered a few lines in their native language, before complimenting Charly Caruso in English and made their way inside.
Seth Rollins entered the ring to a mixed reaction and tried to explain his actions from last week. Rollins said he didn’t mean to disrespect anyone and invited Kevin Owens to issue an apology. Owens entered the ring and questioned Rollins about AOP’s actions from last week.
Rollins denied being involved with AOP, and both the superstars were interrupted by Rezar and Akam, who challenged them to a tag match. Rollins left the ring, and Owens was left alone, who challenged the duo to come and fight him. AOP turned their backs to Owens and walked away, but The Prizefighter’s challenge was answered by Bobby Lashley who made his way to the ring with Lana.
Kevin Owens def. Bobby Lashley by DQ: Owens and Lana exchanged words before the match, and the match eventually ended in DQ, as the Authors of Pain attacked Owens and dragged him backstage. Rusev entered the ring and manhandled Lashley, before running away from ringside. Lashley and Lana were arrested after laying hands on police officers whom they had hired for their own protection.
Drew McIntyre def. Akira Tozawa: The Scottish Psychopath picked up a victory against the former Cruiserweight Champion and immediately took the mic to call out Randy Orton. Orton made his way to the ring, and the duo exchanged verbal jabs before they were interrupted by The OC who ganged up on The Viper, until Ricochet, Humberto Carrillo and Rey Mysterio made the save.
Aleister Black def. Tony Nese: The former NXT Champion took down Nese in a quick matchup with the devastating Black Mass, as Buddy Murphy looked on from backstage.
Andrade def. Eric Young: Continuing his dominant run, Andrade picked up the victory over the former Sanity leader with the Hammerlock DDT.
NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip helped 24/7 Champion R-Truth before Busch pinned Truth to become the new champion.
Erick Rowan def. No Way Jose: Rowan continued his series of dominant victories after he took out No Way Jose and his conga line. Rowan continued to tease a mystery pet inside the cage, refusing to give any details about it.
The Kabuki Warriors def. Charlotte Flair: In a fantastic matchup, the 10-time Women’s Champion couldn’t overcome the 2-on-1 odds against the WWE Women’s Tag-Team Champions. Kairi Sane picked up the victory for her team after hitting the Insane Elbow.
The Viking Raiders def. Mark Sterling and Mitchell Lyons: The RAW Tag Team Champions continued their run of squash victories with a win over two local enhancement talents.
The OC def. Rey Mysterio, Ricochet & Humberto Carrillo: AJ Styles picked up the victory for the heel trio after he hit a Super Styles Clash on Ricochet for the pinfall. After the match, Randy Orton hit an RKO on Styles to end the show.
Takeaways from Monday Night RAW
1. More Talents, But More Squashes
We’ve noted in the last few weeks how RAW has featured more-and-more inconsequential and squash matches and the same trend continued this week, and the number of such matches increased even more!
Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Aleister Black, Erick Rowan, and Viking Raiders, all five picked up victories over superstars who won’t even matter next week. WWE is clearly trying to establish more and more top-level talents with the likes of McIntyre and Andrade, but with each passing week, it makes for stale, predictable and boring show.
A random win for a superstar like Tozawa or Nese would spice things up a bit, but WWE has relegated them to being enhancement talents at this point.
2. Becky Lynch M.I.A
The RAW Women’s Champion stayed off the show for a second straight week, and it doesn’t help the matters for the RAW Women’s Division, which had a total of one segment in a three-hour show.
The match itself was fantastic, but WWE is clearly building towards a Champion vs. Champion match at TLC, and it doesn’t help in establishing the other superstars of the RAW’s Women Roster.
With both Brock Lesnar and Becky M.I.A, the show lacked a top champion and it’s never a good thing to keep your main guys away from the show for too long.
3. CM Punk 2012 Revisited
Seven years ago, The Shield debuted and sent shockwaves throughout the professional wrestling industry. CM Punk was dubbed as their leader, but he repeatedly denied the allegations and said he had nothing to do with them.
A similar story is playing out on RAW once again, as Seth Rollins, who is clearly on the cusp of a full-fledged heel turn, vehemently denied any connection to the Authors of Pain, who destroyed Kevin Owens two weeks in a row.
WWE should pull the trigger on Rollins as soon as possible, and bring back the self-centered, narcissistic heel from the golden era of Rollins in 2014-15.
4. An Eventful Jumble
Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles have resentment towards Randy Orton, who was helped by Rey Mysterio, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo. Orton doesn’t want to be friends with the three individuals who helped him, while Styles already has a great history with all the three guys.
All these are making for interesting television, as we have quite a story involving two heels, three babyfaces, and a viper. Randy Orton is often labeled as boring and stagnant, but his current work is helping him to get back to relevancy.
We will have to wait and find out how this mashup of several rivalries eventually plays out.