This week’s RAW featured fall-out from last night’s Survivor Series and saw the start for several new storylines.
Event: WWE RAW
Date: November 25, 2019
Location: Chicago, IL
Seth Rollins opened the show with a Town Hall segment featuring the complete RAW roster at ringside. Rollins went on to talk about how RAW suffered a devastating loss at Survivor Series and started blaming the superstars one-by-one. In a very heelish promo, Rollins called out Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, AOP, and Rey Mysterio which did not go down well with the members of the RAW team and they left ringside.
Rollins got hit by a Stunner from Kevin Owens to end the segment after he called out Owens for being on Team NXT. A visibly upset Rollins called for a singles match against Owens later in the night.
Bobby Lashley def. Titus O Neil by Disqualification: The match never got going as Rusev, who was presented with a restraining order, made his way to the ring and laid a vicious beatdown on Lashley. Police handcuffed Rusev, who continued to beat down the Almighty for a big pop from the Chicago audience.
Authors of Pain def. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins: The two big-men made their return to the ring in new attire and easily squashed the former Edgeheads.
Andrade def. Akira Tozawa: Andrade continued his dominant run on the red brand with an easy victory over the Japanese superstar. Andrade delivered his signature Hammerlock DDT to win the encounter.
Buddy Murphy def. Matt Hardy: The veteran made his return to in-ring competition, but couldn’t take down the former Cruiserweight Champion. Murphy hit triple knee strikes to win the match.
Aleister Black made his way out to the ring, and both the superstars ripped into each other, before Black threw Murphy out of the ring. Murphy retreated to the back to end the segment.
WWE United States Championship Match – AJ Styles vs. Humberto Carillo: The match never got going as Carillo was taken out by Gallows and Anderson during his entrance. Ricochet made the save, and challenged AJ Styles to a match. Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, and Rey Mysterio also laid down a challenge to AJ.
Ricochet proposed a Fatal 4 Way, which AJ accepted and said he’ll have an easy task defeating the winner of the matchup.
Rey Mysterio def. Ricochet, Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre: A fun matchup between the top talent of RAW roster saw Mysterio pick up the win and become the No.1 contender after rolling up Ricochet for the pin.
WWE United States Championship Match-AJ Styles(c) vs. Rey Mysterio: Mysterio tried to overcome the numbers disadvantage before Randy Orton took out the Good Brothers and hit an RKO on AJ, helping Rey Mysterio to win the US title for the second time since his return.
Backstage: Kevin Owens ripped into Seth Rollins and called him an insufferable prick. He said he’ll turn Monday Night Rollins into The Kevin Owens Show and will expose Rollins.
Asuka def. Charlotte Flair: The two long-time rivals resumed their rivalries after Asuka’s betrayal at Survivor Series. Asuka once again got a win with the help of the green mist.
Erick Rowan def. Kyle Roberts: Erick Rowan squashed an enhancement talent yet again, and continued teasing his mystery pet hidden in the cage.
Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins by DQ: A great main-event matchup saw an abrupt ending when Akam and Rezar made their way to the ring and destroyed Kevin Owens. Seth Rollins followed up with a Stomp of his own, and talked trash to the Prizefighter, seemingly confirming his heel turn.
Takeaways from Monday Night RAW
1. Seth Rollins Is a Heel, Finally!
WWE absolutely butchered Seth Rollins’ character in recent months, and Seth himself made a lot of comments which made the fans turn on him. After weeks of booing for the Architect, he finally turned heel on this week’s episode, which is a fantastic direction for his character.
The story behind Rollins’ heel turn is quite good, as he has seemingly turned into an annoying prick who no one wants to do anything with, which is rather different from his last heel turn in 2014.
With Rollins turning heel, it officially puts Kevin Owens in the #1 babyface spot, which he has deserved for quite some time now. Owens is one of the best wrestlers in the company, and will hopefully be booked better than Rollins’ face run.
2. The Same Old Story
Last week’s RAW saw some proper matches with significant implications on the current storylines, but WWE returned to the old and tired formula of several inconsequential matchups in the show. Erick Rowan, AOP, Andrade and Buddy Murphy, all featured in matchups which didn’t advance their stories in any way.
RAW shows are much difficult to book than a two-hour SmackDown or NXT, but with the kind of talent they have at their disposal, the fans should be getting better than random matches on a weekly basis.
Hopefully, WWE puts guys like Andrade and Erick Rowan in meaningful storylines soon.
3. Lucha Party
After a sad loss against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, Rey Mysterio defeated AJ Styles for the US title on RAW, which gave him his second US title reign. Although Mysterio is not a spring chicken anymore, he still commands a loyal following and him holding a title is a good sign.
It remains to be seen if and when WWE pulls the trigger on the inevitable Rey vs. Dominik feud, and a father-son feud will be one of its kind in WWE. Vince McMahon and Shane featured in a feud years ago, but both were non-wrestlers.
RAW has several quality heels including Rey’s former rival Andrade, Drew McIntyre, Erick Rowan, Samoa Joe, among others. It will be interesting to see who gets the chance to feature in a title matchup.
4. Win for Asuka? Perfect!
It is not often that we see Charlotte Flair, the 10-time Women’s Champion lose matches on weekly television. Asuka pinned the Queen on RAW after spraying her with the green mist once again.
With Becky Lynch nowhere to be seen this week and rumors of a TLC match between the Kabuki Warriors and Flair-Lynch already doing the rounds, Asuka picking up the win is a good thing for her character.