It is the final RAW of the year, and the decade, and WWE are celebrating it with the culmination of one of the worst storylines in recent memory, the wedding of Lana and Bobby Lashley. Randy Orton was injured at a live event which resulted in his match being stopped. He will appear to discuss the results of the subsequent medical evaluation. And there’s a match announced too, Aleister Black versus Buddy Murphy in a TLC rematch.
I’m Amanda and this is the final RAW review of 2019.
Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphy
Erick Rowan def. Kip Stevens
Charlotte Flair def. Natalya
Street Profits def. The OC
Drew McIntyre def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
Andrade def. Ricochet
♦ Kevin Owens opened the show. We just had Vic Joseph and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on commentary. Samoa Joe’s commentary will be missed.
After a recap of the end of last week’s show with Seth Rollins and AOP putting Samoa Joe through the announce table and decimating Rey Mysterio, Owens said Rollins and AOP have been running wild over RAW for weeks now. They’ve sent him to the hospital twice in a month. But that’s ok. He’s going to keep calling them out and keep getting the hell beat out of him and sooner or later he’s taking one of those idiots down with him.
Where he has a problem is when the consequences of their actions impact members of the locker room he respects. He was, of course, talking about Rey Mysterio. Owens said he was convinced that the actions of Rollins and AOP were responsible for Mysterio losing the US Championship to Andrade at Madison Square Garden. They showed the footage of that loss with Lawler saying he watched it and it was obvious Rey Mysterio wasn’t at one hundred percent.
Rollins came out then, with AOP, and said it was all the fault of Owens and people like him who think they know best. All of this is Rollins sacrificing himself for the greater good, to lead the industry into the new decade. Owens left him no choice but to impose his will and if Owens resists, then he saw how AOP enforced his will on Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio.
Kevin Owens had heard enough, rushed AOP and got beaten up. Samoa Joe came out to make the save. He went through AOP and got Seth Rollins in the Coquina Clutch, but Akam and Rezar were back before he could do any damage. Kevin Owens piled in with a chair, then the ring was full of security who did a very poor job of keeping people apart. So bad that Owens managed to get free and launched himself off the top turnbuckle onto AOP, Rollins, and half a dozen security guys.
Backstage after the break, Charly Caruso approached Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens in the locker room, warned them security were on their way, then asked Joe why he got involved. He said he didn’t have a choice. Seth Rollins made a choice for him to be involved. Rollins chose to never be safe again. And Rollins chose for Kevin Owens never to stand alone again.
Owens said he’s known Joe for a long time and he’s the baddest man he knows. After everything Owens has done in the company, he wouldn’t imagine anyone would stand by his side, but he’s glad it was Samoa Joe who did. Security arrived to ask them to leave and Owens and Joe agreed that they’d done all they could this week, so had 7 days to plan. With a final threat from Joe to security about the perils of touching him, they left.
♦ Aleister Black vs Buddy Murphy was the first match of the night, and easily the match of the night. It was superb at TLC and it was at least as good this time. Their styles are so well matched it produces a fast and intricate match that’s incredibly absorbing to watch. Murphy is a little stronger, Black a little quicker and they both kick like mules. Murphy got caught trying to pin Black with his feet on the ropes. He maintained the momentum but he missed out on the pin because earlier damage to his left leg slowed him down.
I would have been happy for them to give this match an extra half hour, or the rest of the show, but it had to end eventually. Aleister Black delivered Black Mass, then delivered a second before making the pin, just to be sure.
♦ Backstage Seth Rollins told AOP they’d all been asked to leave and they were going to go because RAW didn’t stand a chance without him. Security turned up just as he was putting his jacket on and he told them it wasn’t necessary because they were leaving voluntarily.
♦ Erick Rowan approached Lana in makeup to ask whether his invitation to the wedding was misplaced or she doesn’t like him. Then he told her he doesn’t care and roared at her before walking away.
♦ Erick Rowan vs Kip Stevens was yet another squash where the local competitor tried to run away. This one went under the ring and came out too near the cage, and was then destroyed.
♦ Charlotte Flair came to the ring and announced her entry into the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Then she said that it was stating the obvious that she’d be in it and listed all the reasons she’s the greatest. But she’s tired of talking about why she’s The Queen, she wants to show people, so she issued an open challenge and got Natalya. I honestly thought for a second we’d get someone new and interesting, but Charlotte Flair vs Natalya was fine. They work well together because they know each other so well, but we’ve definitely seen it.
The match was interrupted by the 24/7 title chase. Eric Young made the mistake of trying to cut through the ring and took a big boot to the face from Charlotte Flair. Natalya was down outside the ring, but I don’t think she got stepped on. It was a big boot that led to the end of the match as well. That’s what kept Natalya down long enough for Flair to lock her in the Figure Eight and tap her out.
♦ Becky Lynch had a backstage interview to give an update about her match with Asuka. It will take place at Royal Rumble. Lynch said she put her contract negotiations on hold to get this match. She could sign one of the biggest contracts in WWE history if she’d just shut her mouth and move on. And she’d continue being the longest reigning RAW Women’s Champion if she could just forget about Asuka beating her last year, but she can’t. Money and status won’t help her look in the mirror. The decision-makers are telling her to forget about it because she’s on top of the world, but if this is on top of the world she doesn’t want it. What she’s learned is when you’re the golden goose, you also get the golden handcuffs. She doesn’t know if she can beat Asuka but she’s going to try, even if it kills her.
♦ Liv Morgan’s third vignette aired. It sounds like we’re getting closer to her coming back.
♦ The OC appeared and showed a highlight reel of what they did last week. They’ve beaten The Viking Raiders multiple times, including at Crown Jewel, where they officially became the best tag team in the world. They were making a case for a title shot but Street Profits arrived before they got there.
Street Profits agreed that The OC have beaten Viking Raiders and do have the trophy, but Ford and Dawkins beat them on their debut, so what does that make them. AJ Styles said lucky, Luke Gallows invited them into the ring to get their asses beaten, and we got a match.
The OC vs Street Profits was great. AJ Styles got caught grabbing Angelo Dawkins’ leg and was sent to the back, but Gallows and Anderson still took control of the match. Dawkins was forced to watch Ford take a lot of punishment before he got chance to take some retribution, but he got caught by the numbers and narrowly kicked out of a couple of pin attempts. Montez Ford came in and saved the day as The OC were about to finish Dawkins. And it was Ford who got the accolade of pinning Karl Anderson after delivering an enormous frogsplash.
After a break, Street Profits speculated whether beating the best tag team in the world makes them the best tag team in the universe. Dawkins said it makes them the best tag team in the multiverse. They went off on a bit of a tangent, as they do, but they want the smoke.
♦ Drew McIntyre vs Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins – 2 on 1 Match – started with McIntyre bigging himself up a lot and decimating both opponents before the match officially started. I think the talking lasted longer than the match. McIntyre pinned them both in less than 2 minutes.
♦ Randy Orton came out on crutches and very slowly made his way to the ring, only managing to get in with help. His left knee was heavily braced. He said there is a saying in the business that it’s not ballet. Accidents happen. It kills him that he needed help to get in the ring tonight. He’s seen champions who surrendered their titles due to injury and one of the few people he respects, Edge, had to surrender his entire career. He told himself off for rambling and said that last night he screwed his leg up by landing funny. He knew it was bad but not how bad until this morning when he had an MRI. He’s going to be out a very long time and there’s a good chance he won’t be able to come back. Whatever happens, he’s going to do what he can to make sure someone gets RKO’d at WrestleMania.
AJ Styles interrupted and asked if Orton was really saying he won’t get to fight him until WrestleMania and that’s only a maybe. Styles taunted him about whether The Viper was going to strike, for much too long, trying to get Orton to retaliate. Eventually, he said he was a patient man and he could wait until WrestleMania to retire him. Then he kicked one of Orton’s crutches away.
As he was trying to leave, Orton asked if he knows the difference between them… it’s that Styles is patient and he’s not. Orton delivered an RKO and revealed he’s not injured at all.
♦ We saw footage of Andrade winning the US title before Rey Mysterio said he was looking forward to his rematch and Seth Rollins and AOP shouldn’t count him out for facing any of them. He didn’t start this, but he’ll be standing at the end of it.
He gets his rematch next week.
♦ Andrade’s original local competitor opponent was only there for Andrade to beat up enough for Ricochet to come and save him. Ricochet challenged the new champ and Andrade vs Ricochet happened after a break. It was another long match and another good one, right up until the last few moments. Zelina Vega was the deciding factor. She pushed Ricochet off the top turnbuckle and Andrade got him with the hammerlock DDT before he could recover.
After the break, Andrade was asked how he feels about Rey Mysterio’s rematch next week. Zelia Vega answered. They’re not worried.
♦ Brock Lesnar will be on RAW next week. There will also be the US title match and a triple threat RAW Tag Team Championship match featuring The Viking Raiders, Street Profits, and The OC.
♦ To cancel out all the good things in the past 3 hours, the wedding of Lana and Bobby Lashley closed the show. Lashley wore a sleeveless tux jacket. Lana wore white. The ring was decked out all white, with flowers on pillars and huge fake cake. Lana stopped the celebrant part way through when he mentioned kids, berated him for going off script and made it clear she doesn’t want children. She also screamed at the crowd for chanting ‘Rusev Day’.
Lana’s vows consisted of her telling Lashley how lucky he is. She chanted ‘Lana Day’ at the crowd as well. Lashley’s vows were written by Lana. She said it took her ages. They were her vows from his perspective. The crowd hated it and they weren’t wrong.
A man turned up when it got to the objections (which I’m sure should have been earlier). He introduced himself as Lana’s first husband. They got married when she turned 18, left him for Rusev, then left Rusev for Lashley, and she’ll leave Lashley too because that’s what she does. Lashley slammed him into the mat and knocked over a pillar. A woman objected next. She turned out to be Lashley’s first wife. Lana punched her off the apron while she was explaining how she and Lashley met.
Liv Morgan came out to stop the final declaration and declared her love for Lana. Lana started crying as Morgan told her how much she meant to her, then they brawled and screamed at each other until she was dragged away.
Finally, Rusev came out of the massive cake, beat up Lashley, and destroyed the ring. Liv came back to rub Lana’s face in the icing of the oversized cake (why the hell was the fake cake iced?).
Well, after that final segment, I’m off to reconsider my life choices. Honestly, if you turned RAW off before the ‘wedding’, then the show wasn’t terrible. Some of the matches were great and there is some interesting in-ring stuff to look forward to. I’m just not sure it’s enough to make up for that abysmal nonsense.