We have arrived at the final Raw of the decade and what a time it has been for the red brand. I have had the pleasure of writing the Raw blog for a year or so now and there have certainly been some highs and some lows. Raw has been pretty good over the last few weeks so let us see how they close out the decade.
Kevin Owens In-Ring
Kevin Owens came out to start Raw and he was ready to get right down to business as he walked with a purpose to the ring. He came to the ring and started to recap all the recent events that have taken place involving Seth Rollins and AOP. Loved the passion from him and he would end up calling out Seth and AOP. They then made their way out to the ring and I love how Seth has embraced this heel role because he acts like he is in the right in everything he does. That is top heel work and having AOP as the muscle adds to it. Seth talked about how he hasn’t chosen this life but that it was put upon him by everybody. They would continue to the ring and Owens would bring the fight to them. The numbers looked like they would be too much when Samoa Joe’s music hit, and he could come down for the save. Joe came in like a ball of fire and started to clean house and even put Seth in the Coquina Clutch. AOP would come in and save Seth and Owens would then bring a chair to the equation to even the odds. The brawl continued until security came down to separate the men. Owens did a dive to the outside on all the men to continue the brawl as they went to commercial. A brawl is always a good way to start off a show in my opinion and this was a good one.
Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens Backstage
First off, how awesome is it that Owens and Joe are partnering up because both men kill it on the mic, and they were able to show that off here. They were in the locker room discussing what just happened when Charly Caruso came in to ask them about the brawl. Joe then did what he does best and absolutely nailed it on the mic. I have long said that he would be perfect in a Tarantino movie because the way Tarantino writes dialog is totally up Joe’s alley. Owens is no slouch either and he brought it here as well. Joe and Owens is a dream pairing because they are so darn good at what they do and I am looking forward to seeing how this builds. Security came in to escort them out of the building and looks like Joe and Owens have some things in store for Seth and AOP.
Aleister Black vs Sir Mitch Round 2
Normally I am against seeing rematches from pay-per-views but this one was just as good as their encounter at TLC. Spoiler alert, Black would pick up the win again, but this match was just so dang good. The striking was superb, and they moved so quick in there. Really great back and forth action in this match and it looked like Mitch would pick up the win over Black here. As I already stated, that didn’t end up being the case as Black would secure his second straight win over Mitch. I know this recap/review of this match is short, but it is intentional. This is a match you really should see because it is a darn good one.
Seth Rollins & AOP Backstage
It is now Seth and AOP’s turn to talk about what happened at the start of the show and I love how AOP still speak in their native tongues. I wondered if they would drop that after joining Seth, but it looks like something that is sticking around. I love how Seth expressed his “joy” over management asking them to leave the arena and security would walk in. Seth then told them that he and AOP would be leaving on their own accord and that was that.
Lana Backstage With Rowan
SKIP! Seriously, no redeeming qualities here. SKIP!
Erick Rowan Squash
SKIP! Word is that VKM loves these squash matches, and I feel like he is the only one. These matches are so skippable and add nothing to Raw. Say it with me for one last time in 2019, SKIP!
Charlotte Flair In-Ring
Charlotte came down to the ring and I was a bit curious as to what she was going to say. She listed her accolades that she has accomplished and then said she was entering the Royal Rumble. She even stated that we all knew she would be in there and you have to agree with that. She isn’t going to be in the title match, so it makes perfect sense for her to be in the Royal Rumble. She kept the promo going and would eventually issue an open challenge. I was hoping we would see someone like the IIconics, Sarah Logan but instead we got Natalya. I am sorry but Natalya just doesn’t do anything for me. Sure, she can bring it in the ring but other than that, there is nothing to her at all. She has done plenty and maybe it should be time she moves on and maybe think about becoming a coach in NXT or just having her own school.
Charlotte Flair vs Natalya
Like I said, Natalya may bore me in terms of character, but her ring work is never in question. This was a fun little match here between these two. That shouldn’t be a surprise since they have had so many matches dating back to NXT. Solid back and forth action between these two women and Charlotte would end up picking up the win here. There wasn’t much doubt that she would win, and I feel like she will be on a bit of a winning streak going into the build for the Royal Rumble. Some 24/7 Championship shenanigans happened during the match as well and that just felt out of place.
Becky Lynch Backstage
Becky Lynch was interviewed backstage regarding her match with Asuka and she gave a date as to when it is happening. She said it is taking place at the Royal Rumble and it is for the Raw Women’s Championship. She then moved on and spoke about collecting her debts and that Asuka is the last one she needs before feeling satisfied. She then spoke about her contract status and how she hasn’t signed a new deal like everybody else has of late. She spoke about becoming the face of the company and I wonder where they are going with this. The mentioning of the contract feels like there is more to it and it has me a bit intrigued.
Liv Morgan Vignette
We had ourselves another Liv vignette and she spoke about being different this time. She spoke about how someone made her feel different before and we will see how that plays out. I know some have felt like this could be an Emmalina or Mandy Rose clone, but you could tell it wasn’t that by Liv’s line delivery the music and her body language. There is more to this and we will certainly see what that is.
The OC In-Ring
The OC made their way out to the ring and they bragged about how they have beaten the Viking Raiders. They moved on and spoke about how they deserve a title shot against them and that would bring out the Street Profits. The energy Montez and Dawkins bring is infectious and I can’t help but love what they have to say. Montez and Dawkins brought up the fact that they beat the OC before and that they deserve a shot more than them. I love how Montez pointed out how the OC is named after the old Fox teen drama and even sang the theme song. Sadly, I think many in the crowd didn’t get that reference and that makes me feel old. This would lead to a match between the Street Profits and the OC and that would come up next.
The Street Profits vs The OC
This was a fun little match featuring these two teams. I have said how much I enjoy the Profits’ backstage segments, but it is long overdue for them to work the ring more to get over. This match showed that they are more than just promos and can bring it in the ring. Fun back and forth and I love the facial expressions Montez brings. They are so unique to him and they work all the time. AJ Styles would end up getting tossed from ringside and it would be a much more even affair. I thought there was a chance the OC would win here but that would not be the case. Dawkins would come in with the hot tag and I will say that he has one of the best hot tags in all of wrestling. He would eventually hit Anderson with the Sky High and Montez would hit his ever-impressive frog splash for the win. Fun enough match and the right team went over. It would then be revealed that both teams would take on the Viking Raiders next week for the tag titles and that should be a fun match.
Street Profits Backstage
Like I said, the Profits are so much fun, and this was a fun backstage segment. I love how Dawkins educated Montez on the multiverse theory and how he cleared his throat. That look towards the camera as he did that was just the right amount. They moved on and spoke about Lana’s wedding and I love how Dawkins was only interested in the bridesmaids. The moved on and spoke about their match next week and I love the confidence they have. Is it too soon to strap them? Maybe, but it would certainly bring a nice pop for the crowd I believe.
Hawkins & Ryder vs Drew McIntyre
As far as a match goes, this was not much of one and that is taking into account that it was a handicap match. Match alone warrants a zero probably, but I will give credit to Drew because I think he nailed his promo before the match. Queen felt like he didn’t deliver but I will respectfully disagree. I think his cockiness/overconfidence came through so much that he knew he was going to win, and that led to it coming off as if he didn’t care. Drew was also having a ton of fun on the mic there as well and the man truly has what it takes to have the rocket strapped to him for a push. McIntyre would pick up the win after a Claymore and Future Shock DDT.
Randy Orton In-Ring
So, Meltzer ending up being right and I am sure he was pleased with himself over that. The man has a reputation for the news he has broken but nowadays we really should take what he says with a grain of salt. Enough of Meltzer, Randy Orton came to the ring to talk about his knee injury he suffered at a live event and he mentioned that it was a bad one. The crowd was hot for him and he knew how to command them very well. He spoke about possibly missing a lot of time but that he would make sure to give someone an RKO at Wrestlemania. That brought out AJ Styles and I love how he talked trash and taunted Randy. AJ is having so much fun as a heel and it translates into his work. Orton did a great job selling his knee and had a great reaction when AJ kicked a crutch out from under him. Orton then would give AJ an RKO and stood tall. Looks like he isn’t done with AJ and Orton really nailed this segment.
Rey Mysterio Promo
They played a video of a promo that Rey cut after his loss to Andrade last Thursday. Rey talked about how Andrade was the better man that night, but he has plans to take back the US title next week. He then moved on and spoke about Seth and AOP and he isn’t done with them either. He is ready to make them pay for what they have done, and it sure feels like we are heading towards a six-man tag match at the Rumble.
Andrade vs Local Talent
I have said it once and I will say it again, champions should not be in local talent squashes. Once you reach that level, you should not go back down to the local talent. I was totally ready to crap on all of this but then something happened that kept me from that. Andrade went to the outside and removed the padding on the floor to deliver a Hammerlock DDT on that and Ricochet would come down to stop him. The match was stopped, and Ricochet issued a challenge to Andrade and he would accept it.
Andrade vs Ricochet
Now this was a fun match and one that I want to see more of. These two men are among the best in the world and we got a taste of what they can do with one another here. Really fun back and forth with both men and Andrade would have the advantage after hitting Ricochet with a suplex on the exposed floor. Andrade kept using advantage throughout the match until Ricochet was able to muster up a comeback. Ricochet came back and had an answer for whatever Andrade would throw at him. It looked like Ricochet would pick up the win here but Zelina Vega would prove why she is the best thing for Andrade again and knocked Ricochet off the top rope. That was all Andrade needed as he then hit him with the Hammerlock DDT for the win. Andrade and Zelina were interviewed backstage after the match and I love how they oozed confidence. Both believe that Andrade will retain over Rey and he can move on. Andrade feels like he is ready to take over and I also believe that. Also, it doesn’t have anything to do with him dating Charlotte either because the man is more than talented enough for a push. I must also say that Andrade does look darn good with a title.
Lana & Lashley’s Wedding
Yep, your eyes do not deceive you because this segment is getting that high of a rating. Love or hate this angle, this has gotten Rusev over once again and it was further proved during this segment. I love how Lana micromanaged the heck out of the wedding because she wanted it to go exactly like she wanted it to. The fans were chanting “Rusev Day” to her and I love how she kept fighting the chants. It went perfectly with her character now and it worked for me. It looked like the wedding would end up going down without any drama until the objection part came. A man interrupted and objected to the wedding because he said he was Lana’s first husband. He went off on Lana and the man she left him for and Lashley would beat him down. It then looked like the marriage would be made official until someone else came down to object. A woman came out and said she was Lashley’s first wife and Lana would slap her down. The wedding continued and that is when the big thing happened. Liv Morgan came out and proclaimed that she was in love with someone in the ring. Right away I knew where they may be going with it and I had to see if they would. They totally did and Liv said that she was in love with Lana and that she helped her during a difficult time. Everybody was shocked and I wondered what Lana was going to do and she proceeded to attack Liv. The two had a cat fight in the ring and they would drag Liv away for the time being. Rusev then popped out of the cake and attacked Lashley to a nice pop from the crowd. Liv then reentered the ring and attacked Lana and would put Lana into the wedding cake as Raw came to a close.
What a way for Raw to close out the decade and I will say they went out with a fun show. It started off with a brawl and it ended with a brawl. Both brawls were highlights and the Murphy/Black match was one as well. Honestly, most of Raw was a highlight and there were only three true low points. The Erick Rowan stuff, Natalya answering Charlotte’s open challenge and Jerry on commentary are the only real complaints I have. The Orton stuff was well done, the tag match was fun, and Drew McIntyre was good on the mic. The Becky Lynch promo was good as well and the Ricochet/Andrade match was fun too. All in all, this was a fun way to close out 2019 and the decade for WWE and I am looking to see what they have in store for 2020. Hope everybody in the WRC has a safe and happy new year. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see you next year for another Sovereign Statement.