Monday Night Raw – December 30, 2019

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 30, 2019
Location: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Vic Joseph

It’s the final show of the decade for WWE and that means…well not much as the major draw of the show is a wedding between Lana and Bobby Lashley, which has all time crash possibilities. Other than that we should be getting some updates on Randy Orton’s health status after he suffered a knee injury last night. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s an annoyed Kevin Owens to get things going. Owens gets right to the point and promises fireworks for what happened last week. We see a clip of Seth Rollins and the AOP laying out Samoa Joe last week. Owens promises to take one of them out with him because he saw someone he respects get taken out.

That would be Rey Mysterio, and it made him sick to see Mysterio get beaten down a few weeks back. The beatdown is why Andrade defeated Mysterio for the United States Title and we see a clip of the title change. Cue Rollins and the AOP to say this wasn’t Seth’s decision. He was forced into this roll and now the AOP will enforce his will.

The fight is on with Owens getting crushed in the corner, only to have Samoa Joe come down for the save. Joe beats up the AOP and chokes Rollins but AOP comes back in. Owens makes the next save with some chair shots to the back as security comes down to break it up. Owens hits a bit flip dive onto the three of them plus security, with Joe joining in.

Post break, here’s everything you just saw before the commercial.

Joe and Owens are talking in the back when Charly Caruso comes in to say security is going to be coming after them. Joe says he doesn’t have a choice to do what he did, just like Rollins. Owens is glad to have someone like Joe by his side. Security comes in and the two of them leave, with promises to be back next week.

Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy

Rematch from TLC. Murphy wastes no time in hurricanranaing him to the floor and having a seat ala Black to get in his head. Back in and Black sends him outside, only to have a seat of his own when Murphy comes in again. Black elbows him down and we hit the front facelock to slow things down a bit. That’s broken up with some shots to the face so Black shows him how it’s done with a sliding kick to the face.

The armbar goes on for a bit until Murphy sends him face first into the buckle. He takes too long going up though and Black kicks him in the face, setting Black to go up top. That earns him a face first drop onto the turnbuckle though and we take a break. Back with Black hitting a middle rope moonsault, followed by even more kicks to the face and chest.

Another shot to the face looks to set up the top rope moonsault but Murphy rolls away instead. A corner dropkick sets up a rollup with feet on the ropes for two but the referee catches him red footed. Black gets sent outside again for the big flip dive and seems to be favoring his knee.

Back in and Murphy’s top rope Meteora gets two as they’re both spent. Murphy is up first and goes to the top, only to have to reverse a superplex attempt into a rolling sitout powerbomb for a very close two. For some reason Murphy tries his own Black Mass and gets superkicked for his efforts. A brainbuster gives Black two so it’s time for Black Mass. That’s blocked so Murphy grabs a quick Murphy’s Law attempt. That’s reversed into a victory roll and Black Mass connects for the pin on Murphy at 14:31.

Rating: B. This might not have been as good as their first match but it is still a heck of a match. What they did here was the same match they had before but it was very entertaining with Black looking like a killer while Murphy looks like someone who could wrestle with anyone. They’re both benefiting from these matches and that’s exactly the point.

Rollins and the AOP want revenge but are willing to leave peacefully when security shows up.

Erick Rowan comes up to Lana to ask why he wasn’t invited. He and whatever is in the cage don’t care anyway.

Erick Rowan vs. Kip Stevens

Just like every week, Stevens goes for the cage and gets mauled for his efforts. A ram into the apron, a big boot and a splash inside set up the Iron Claw for the pin at 1:37. Same as always.

Lana is getting ready and talks about Rowan being obsessed with her.

Here’s Charlotte for a chat, after the pyro of course. She’s here to announce her introduction into the Women’s Royal Rumble, which isn’t a surprise. Charlotte lists off some of her accomplishments and thinks she needs something else on her list. As for tonight though, let’s hit that open challenge. Like she said: did anyone expect otherwise?

Charlotte vs. Natalya

Charlotte starts fast with a headscissors takeover and then a headlock takeover, only to have Natalya nip up. The Flair Strut is on but Natalya sends her to the apron. That’s fine with Charlotte, who shoulders her in the ribs and hits a clothesline to drop Natalya again. A hard clothesline gives Natalya her own two and the surfboard is on. That’s broken up in a hurry as well and Charlotte boots her down for another near fall.

Natalya is right back up to send Charlotte face first into the steps and then suplex her on the ramp. Back in and Natalya kicks away in the corner, only to miss a charge into the post. Charlotte poses while Natalya is mostly done on the floor….and here’s the Mob to chase R-Truth. A big boot drops Eric Young and we take a break with Truth running away. Back with Natalya getting two off a high crossbody but Charlotte kicks her away.

The moonsault is countered into a sitout powerbomb though and Charlotte is rocked. Natalya slugs away but the discus forearm is cut off with a big boot to the arm. The spear gets two on Natalya but she sends Charlotte face first into the corner. It’s too early for a Sharpshooter attempt though as Charlotte kicks her in the face for two more. Another big boot rocks Natalya and it’s the Figure Eight to give Charlotte the win at 14:31.

Rating: C+. These two always work well together and that was the case here, albeit made slightly better for the lack of a mention of either of their older male relatives. Charlotte winning makes sense and it’s not like Natalya has any real reason to exist other than to put someone over like this most of the time. Just find something else for Charlotte to do, as in without making her champion again.

Becky Lynch is ready to face Asuka at the Royal Rumble. She knows that to be the golden child, you have to be ready to be the golden goose. Maybe she can’t beat Asuka, but she has to know.

Liv Morgan video on wanting to be different. Someone has made her feel different.

Here’s the OC for a chat. We see a clip of the OC beating the Viking Raiders two weeks ago and then the whole team winning a six man tag last week. Anderson talks about the Vikings being unbeatable but the OC has beaten them twice now. So they should get the next title shot, but here are the Street Profits to interrupt. The Profits talk about the OC’s resume before throwing in that they beat the OC in their debut. The OC calls them lucky for that win but the Profits want the smoke so ring the bell.

OC vs. Street Profits

Anderson is taken into the corner to start and it’s Ford snapping off an armbar to take over early on. AJ offers a quick distraction to trip up Dawkins but that’s an ejection as we take a break. Back with Anderson holding Ford in a chinlock after a Gallows drop onto the barricade during the break. A neckbreaker gives Anderson two so he pulls Ford back to the corner by the ear (that’s too far). Gallows gets two more off a suplex and we hit another chinlock.

The legdrop sets up the third chinlock but Gallows spends too much time going after Dawkins, allowing Ford to hit an enziguri. One heck of a diving tag brings Dawkins in and it’s time to clean house. A powerslam gets two on Anderson but Anderson’s spinebuster connects for the same. There’s the belly to back neckbreaker for another two and everything breaks down with Ford making the save. A big running flip dive hits Gallows and it’s the Sky High to Anderson, setting up Ford’s frog splash for the pin at 11:36.

Rating: C-. Pretty standard match here with Ford getting to showcase himself as usual, though Dawkins had some highlights of his own. The Profits are showing some staying power so far and that’s a great sign for their future. Their natural charisma is more than enough to keep them around and the fact that they can have some exciting matches makes things even better.

Post break the Profits are fired up over their win, which makes them the best tag team in the multiverse. Ford: “The multiverse???” Dawkins then explains the multiverse and Ford is rather confused, meaning we should talk about the wedding again. All Dawkins wants to know is where his bridesmaids are. Ford on the other hand wants the smoke.

Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins vs. Drew McIntyre

Before the match, Drew says he doesn’t think he’s the one in a handicap here, but he does a poll to see what the audience thinks. Hawkins and Ryder jump him before the bell but get beaten down as well, meaning it’s a suplex to send Hawkins flying. The Claymore drops Hawkins and it’s a Future Shock to Ryder, with McIntyre nipping up for the double pin at 51 seconds. Remember when these guys won the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania?

Next week: Brock Lesnar is back, Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio for the US Title and Street Profits/OC/Viking Raiders in a triple threat match for the Tag Team Titles.

Here’s Randy Orton in street clothes and on crutches to slowly make his way to the ring. Orton talks about how you never know what is going to happen in this ring and sounds a lot more serious than usual. He has seen titles lost over injuries, including Edge, who is someone he respects.

Last night he hurt his knee really badly but we need to pause for the RANDY chants. He’s going to be out for a long time and he might not be able to come back at all. Orton promises to try to RKO someone at Wrestlemania but here’s AJ Styles to interrupt. He isn’t waiting until Wrestlemania to get his hands on Orton and teases taking Orton out right here.

AJ is feeling sporty though and sticks out his chin so Orton can RKO him. Since Orton didn’t do it, AJ says he can’t wait until Wrestlemania to end Orton’s career in the Calf Crusher. AJ kicks the crutch away and laughs but Orton calls him back over. Orton says AJ may be patient but he isn’t….and there’s the RKO on a completely healthy leg. That was a great one and they sold me on the injury. It’s a unique enough segment too and I was suckered in on the whole thing. Nicely done.

We look at Andrade winning the United States Title from Rey Mysterio at Madison Square Garden.

Mysterio promises to win the title back. Then he’s coming for Rollins and the AOP.

Andrade vs. ???

Non-title and the beating is on in a hurry. Some stomping in the corner sets up some knees to the face, but Zelina Vega calls off the hammerlock DDT. She wants the floor mats pulled back but cue Ricochet for the save and I think we have a replacement.

Andrade vs. Ricochet

Non-title again. Feeling out process to start with Ricochet being sent to the apron but having to deal with a Zelina distraction. That lets Andrade dropkick a springboard out of the way. There’s a back elbow to keep Ricochet down as the ring mats are still pulled up. A standing double underhook pull has Ricochet in more trouble but Ricochet slips out and sends him outside.

Now the twisting flip dive to the floor puts Andrade down again. The tease of Andrade leaving draws Ricochet over so Andrade can sent him back first into the apron. A backdrop onto the concrete has Ricochet screaming and we take a break. Back with Ricochet fighting up from a chinlock and rolling forward for a dropkick.

Vega grabs Andrade’s hand for a failed save attempt but Andrade is able to block to Recoil. The spinning back elbow gives Andrade two more but Ricochet is back with a superkick. A swinging suplex looks to set up the 630, only to have Vega offer another distraction. Andrade is right back with the hammerlock DDT for the pin at 11:33.

Rating: C+. This worked quite well for a thrown together match. It’s a case where you probably knew it was going to go well because of who was in the ring. Ricochet can wrestle a good match with anyone and Andrade looks like the star of the future. Give them time and a reason for a rematch and it’s a nice combination.

Post match, Vega and Andre aren’t worried about the title match next week.

Preview of next week’s show.

It’s wedding time…with a big cake in the corner. Lashley in a sleeveless, shirtless tuxedo but Lana on the other hand is in a VERY short wedding dress and seems rather enthralled. The minister gives the big intro about how great marriage is and how it leads to personal growth. Lana does NOT want a baby though, because it would turn her into someone ugly like the fans. She insists that the minister read the script, so he asks Lashley if he’s REALLY sure.

They get to read their own vows but Lana screeches about the fans chanting RUSEV DAY and how they’re trying to make this day anyone but her. Lana tells Lashley about how awesome she is and starts her own LANA DAY chant. She’s so happy that she wants to jump on him right now….and so she does.

With that broken up, Lana hands Lashley the vows she wrote for him. Lashley reads the very complimentary statements about Lana but has to pause for the WHAT chants. Those don’t sit well with Lana, who spells her name because it’s WHO, not WHAT. He finally wraps it up, with the minister saying that was different. The ring statements go on so long that Lana says “ok we’ve got it, thank you.”

Now we get to the part the minister really dreads and he asks if anyone has reason why they shouldn’t be married. This brings out an unidentified man who says that he’s Lana’s first husband. They got married when she was 18 and then she left him for Rusev, just like she’ll leave Lashley for someone else. Lashley chokeslams him so the minister asks again, which draws out Lashley’s first wife (Minister: “WHO ARE YOU???”), who Lana didn’t seem to know about. Lana beats her up so we ask one more time….and here’s Liv Morgan.

She talks about how she was a lost soul earlier this year but the love of her life brought her to where she needed to be. How could they do this to her? Lashley insists he never laid a finger on her (Minister: “OH COME ON!”), but Liv is talking about Lana. That finally gives the fans something to care about and Liv is near tears, only to be driven into the corner.

A flower pot to the head starts the catfight as Lashley isn’t sure what to do. They’re taken to the floor but Lana gets back in so we can try this one more time. Cue Rusev out of the cake and the fight is on again, with Liv getting back in as the wedding set is destroyed. Lana gets sent into the cake but manages to slap Rusev to end the show.

This was REALLY long at nearly thirty minutes, including an eleven minute overrun. The Liv stuff is at least a twist, but it took so long to get here (both tonight and for the last three months) that it didn’t have much of an impact. This could have been worse, but they needed to cut out a lot of the same stuff going on over and over again.

Overall Rating: C-. This show was trying to be good but that wedding just did not have the lift to get where it needed to go. It could have been a lot worse and there was some good wrestling, but the wedding/love….shape with a lot of sides is hurting things badly. Maybe Lesnar being back next week will help, but if he goes away again right after the Rumble, we’re right back where we were before. In other words, we’re going to be right back where we started in about four weeks. Not a bad show this week, but the big problems remain


Aleister Black b. Buddy Murphy – Black Mass

Erick Rowan b. Kip Stevens – Iron Claw

Charlotte b. Natalya – Figure Eight

Street Profits b. OC – Frog splash to Anderson

Drew McIntyre b. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder – Double pin

Andrade vs. ??? went to a no contest when Ricochet interfered

Andrade b. Ricochet – Hammerlock DDT

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