Monday Night Raw – November 25, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 25, 2019
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler

It’s the final important show in Chicago and that means we should be in for the start of something new around here. We’ve been dealing with the NXT Invasion for so long now that I’m almost not sure where things are supposed to go from here. Raw came in dead last on Sunday though and that means it’s time to hold some people responsible. Oh and TLC is in less than three weeks because we’re not allowed to have a breather from major shows. Let’s get to it.

I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the upper deck and looking straight at the Titantron.

Opening sequence.

The locker room is around the ring and it’s Seth Rollins, billed as the locker room leader, running a town hall. We wait for the CM Punk chants to wrap up (Seth: “I tried to get him here. He wants to sit behind a desk in Los Angeles.”) before Rollins admits that NXT destroyed them last night. Rollins grew up a fan of Raw and watched people like Steve Austin and DX, but last night, everyone around this ring sucked. If anyone wants to say something, now would be the time.

With no one saying anything, Rollins calls out Orton for being the weak link on the team last night. Orton looks at him and walks out so Rollins calls out Charlotte for failing as a leader last night. Rollins: “And you call yourself a Flair.” Charlotte walks out too and Rollins wants to know where AOP were last night.

They leave when told they aren’t needed, so Rollins focuses on Rey Mysterio. Rollins says he beat Brock Lesnar twice this year but Rey couldn’t do it with a lead pipe and his stupid kid. Rey leaves and so does everyone else, save for Kevin Owens. Rollins rants about Owens being Mr. NXT and how he does nothing on Raw these days. He’ll never be Seth Rollins….and there’s a Stunner to leave Rollins laying. Turning Rollins from the guy who says stupid things on Twitter while still being a face on Raw into a delusional heel is a good idea and something they had to do after how loudly he was getting booed.

Post break Rollins challenges Owens to a match tonight.

Earlier today, Rusev was held out of the arena by a restraining order.

Bobby Lashley vs. Titus O’Neil

Lana is out with Lashley. Titus tries to start and chops away but walks into a spinebuster….as Rusev runs in through the crowd for the DQ at 1:05.

Post match the beatdown is on with Rusev hammering away and sending Lashley into the steps. They fight up the ramp with Rusev sending him into the set and then onto the announcers’ table. Rusev shouts that this isn’t about Lana but here are the cops to arrest Rusev and drag him out. Hang on though as Rusev breaks away and tackles Lashley off the stage and through a table. One of the big steel beams gets kicked onto Lashley for a bonus and a smiling Rusev is finally taken away. And yes, that does get the biggest reaction Rusev has had in months because he actually fought back for a change. It’s not hard people.

Lashley had to be taken out on a stretcher while Lana screamed a lot.

AOP vs. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder

AOP wastes no time in hitting the Last Chapter on Hawkins and some knees put Hawkins down. Stereo Death Valley Drivers into the corner set up the Super Collider into the powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for the pin on Ryder at 1:22. Complete and utter squash.

Andrade vs. Akira Tozawa

Are they giving the big names the first hour off tonight? Andrade chops away to start and stomps a downed Tozawa for a bonus. The armbar is countered into a small package for two on Andrade as Tozawa picks up the pace. A release German suplex connects but Andrade sends him into the corner. The running knees in the corner and it’s the hammerlock DDT to finish Tozawa at 2:29.

Aleister Black didn’t like Buddy Murphy coming after him last week. Murphy’s mere presence in this arena tonight means that Murphy wants to pick a fight with him.

Matt Hardy vs. Buddy Murphy

Hardy hammers away to start and sends him into the buckle early on. Some more right hands connect in the corner but Murphy takes him to the floor for a whip into the barricade. Back in and the Side Effect gives Buddy a breather but the corner bulldog is blocked. A middle rope elbow to the back of the head connects, only to have Murphy knee the heck out of Matt. More knees to the face are enough for the pin on Hardy at 2:58.

Post match Murphy confirms that he is picking a fight with Aleister Black so here’s Black to strike away, with Murphy bailing in a hurry. How WWE managed to not get what to do with Black for six month astounds me.

Charlotte says she has never claimed to be a team player. Asuka was clearly bitter after losing to her twice so tonight Charlotte will prove how great she is.

We recap the opening segment. Owens vs. Rollins is set for later.

US Title: AJ Styles vs. Humberto Carrillo

Carrillo is challenging….or at least he would be if the OC didn’t jump him at ringside and lay him out.

Ricochet comes out to check on Carrillo, with AJ mocking the superhero for not making the save in time. With Carrillo down, Ricochet challenges him for the title tonight. That won’t be happening, so here’s Randy Orton to challenge as well. That’s shot down so Drew McIntyre and Rey Mysterio come out to do the same and get denied as well. Ricochet has an idea though: a four way with the winner getting a title shot later in the night. AJ calls it stupid but Gallows thinks it sounds kind of compelling. AJ: “THAT’S WHY I WAS TALKING TO KARL!” Anderson says it’s a hot crowd in Chicago so do it. That’s enough for AJ and it’s on.

Ricochet vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre

The winner gets a title shot at AJ later in the night. Ricochet and Rey clear the ring to start but Orton comes back in before the mini dream match can start. That just earns him a dropkick and an enziguri rocks Rey. McIntyre pulls Ricochet to the floor for a slam though and Rey is thrown on top of him for the crash.

Ricochet gets thrown back inside with McIntyre tossing him around with ease. Orton charges into a boot to the face and the rolling dropkick puts McIntyre into the corner. It’s Rey coming back in with a springboard seated senton to Orton and a kick to Ricochet’s head. McIntyre’s superplex is broken up as he gets caught in the Tree of Woe, only to sit up and German superplex Orton, who superplexes Rey at the same time. Cue the OC as we take a break.

Back with Ricochet slugging away at both villains but getting caught in Orton’s hanging DDT. It’s time for the required showdown between Orton and McIntyre so they chop it out with Orton’s ears ringing after a hard one. Ricochet comes back in and reverses McIntyre’s reverse Alabama Slam into a victory roll for two. A heck of a Batista Bomb gives McIntyre the same on Ricochet but Orton cuts off the Claymore with an RKO. The OC pulls Orton to the floor though, leaving Rey to springboard back in for a moonsault press into a small package to pin Ricochet at 14:28.

Rating: B-. This took some time to get going but they got into a groove by the end and had an entertaining match. That’s all you can ask for out of something like this as there are a lot of people doing stuff at the same time. It also gives us AJ vs. Mysterio tonight and AJ vs. Orton later so nice job of setting up a few things at once.

US Title: Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles

Rey is challenging and gets sent into various turnbuckles to start. A backbreaker keeps Rey in trouble for a bit and AJ ties him in the Tree of Woe for a baseball slide to make it worse. The catapult sends Rey’s throat into the rope as AJ isn’t seeming worried here. Rey gets in a few shots to the ribs but his knee gives out on a springboard attempt. He’s fine enough to send AJ shoulder first into the post though and they’re both down. It’s Rey up first but Anderson breaks up the 619, which is good for a double ejection.

We take a break and come back with Rey getting sent chest first into the buckle because he isn’t banged up enough already. The Tree of Woe is on again but the baseball slide earns AJ a crotching this time (Lawler: “Oh no! Oh no!”). The seated senton and the sitout bulldog combine for two but Rey is running out of steam.

AJ catches him on top and it’s the fireman’s carry backbreaker for two. Rey is right back with Code Red for two of his own and now the 619 connects….to bump the referee. Cue the OC but Orton runs out as well to cut them off. A 619 sends AJ into the RKO and the frog splash gives Rey the pin and the title at 15:08.

Rating: B. This was the big culmination of the whole story and the fans got completely behind Mysterio. That’s what Mysterio does as well as almost anyone ever and this was a very well done story. Mysterio overcame the odds again and won the title as a nice consolation prize after last night. And of course it was a good match given who was out there. Well done all around and the feel good moment they were shooting for.

Kevin Owens has known who he is since the beginning, unlike Rollins, who has been doing everything he can to become whatever someone else wants him to be. All Rollins is is insufferable so tonight, Owens is Stunning Rollins.

Charlotte vs. Asuka

Kairi Sane is here with Asuka. Charlotte points to her hair, which got misted so badly last night. Asuka gets hammered out to the floor and sent into the barricade as Charlotte gets to work off some frustration. Charlotte has to deal with Sane but Asuka’s kicks to the legs have no effect. Some elbows to the face stagger Asuka but the Figure Eight is kicked away in a hurry.

Asuka slugs away and hits the backfist, only to run into the big boot to give Charlotte two. With Asuka taking a breaker on the floor, Charlotte goes after Sane, who runs through the crowd (high fiving every fan on the way up, which isn’t shown on camera for obvious reasons). Back from a break with Asuka getting kicked off the apron but managing a kick to the face. The German suplex rocks Charlotte for the first time but Asuka can’t follow up.

The Asuka Lock is countered into a rollup for two and Charlotte throws her down with the fall away slam. A running flip splash gets two more but Charlotte runs into something like a Codebreaker for another near fall. Natural Selection is countered into a triangle choke, which is countered into a Boston crab. With that not working, Charlotte goes after the knee before spearing her down for two. Cue Sane again for the distraction, which earns herself a posting. Asuka uses the breather to hit the mist (with Charlotte clearly pulling her hair back before it hit) and cradle Charlotte for the pin at 17:23.

Rating: B-. The ending holds things back a lot here as Charlotte pulling her hair right before the mist looked stupid, but what makes it even worse is the refereeing. In the previous match, Anderson and Gallows get ejected for maybe tripping Mysterio but Charlotte looks like she just got off a Nickelodeon game show (and the mist is all over Asuka’s chin) and that’s not enough evidence? The saving grace is that it comes at the end of a rather good match, which is all you would expect from these two.

Erick Rowan vs. Kyle Roberts

Roberts goes outside to check on what is in Rowan’s crate and you just don’t do that. Total destruction into the Iron Claw for the pin at 1:24.

Buy stuff for Black Friday! R-Truth and the IIconics are a rather nifty sales team.

AJ Styles is so upset at losing his title that he can only manage to say Randy Orton.

We recap Rusev attacking Lashley.

Lana is crushed over Lashley being hurt but she’ll be fine during this trying time. And thank you for asking.

Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

Rollins sends him to the floor to start but the suicide dive hits an elbow to the face. A half crab has Owens down but he’s right back up with a superkick to the floor. That’s enough for Rollins to grab a chair, which isn’t going to be allowed as the refereeing seems to have been upgraded after the mist nonsense. Back with Owens in a reverse chinlock, followed by some chops in the corner.

A DDT gives Owens a breather and the Cannonball crushes Rollins again. Rollins rolls outside so it’s a backsplash to make it even worse, plus the frog splash for two. The Pop Up Powerbomb is countered though and Rollins hits the Blockbuster. The Stomp misses though and now the Pop Up Powerbomb gets two. They hit a superkick each and Owens grabs the Stunner but can’t cover. Instead….here’s the AOP to jump Owens for the DQ at 14:03.

Rating: C+. The ending is going to be what matters here and I’m not sure how well it’s going to go. Rollins as a top heel with some big lackeys behind him could work, especially if this sets up a rematch against Owens at TLC. The wrestling was fine enough but you could sense that they were tired after a long weekend, which is understandable.

The fans are NOT happy with this and call it BS, with some fans in my section shouting about how it makes no sense and is therefore bad. That suggests to me that they suggesting that they don’t quite get how wrestling works. Owens gets sent into the post but AOP walks away from Rollins. The Stomp to Owens ends the show.

Overall Rating: B-. There was a lot of stuff going on here and the high quality wrestling was a big part of it. The wrestling was the best part of the whole thing but the angle advancement wasn’t quite as strong. Rollins as a heel sounds good but other than the Mysterio stuff, there wasn’t much to be seen in the way of good storytelling. It’s more good than bad, but I’m not sure how well this is going to work week to week.


Bobby Lashley b. Titus O’Neil via DQ when Rusev interfered

AOP b. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder – Powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Ryder

Andrade b. Akira Tozawa – Hammerlock DDT

Buddy Murphy b. Matt Hardy – Knee to the face

Rey Mysterio b. Ricochet, Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre – Small package to Ricochet

Rey Mysterio b. AJ Styles – Frog splash

Asuka b. Charlotte – Cradle

Erick Rowan b. Kyle Roberts – Iron Claw

Kevin Owens b. Seth Rollins via DQ when AOP interfered

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