Monday Night Raw
Date: January 13, 2020
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Vic Joseph
We’re less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble and that means things need to pick up a lot. The Rumbles themselves have barely meant anything so far as it seems to be all about Brock Lesnar for the men and Charlotte seems destined for the women’s. You know, in case you were worrying about something fresh sneaking in. Let’s get to it.
I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the end zone in the lower arena.
Your regular rant that only I care about: this show is not on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Rupp Arena is not owned by the University nor on its campus. I know just saying “Lexington” is too much to ask for WWE, but when you spend four years of your life at a school, it can get annoying hearing them get it wrong (or intentionally saying it wrong) EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Here’s Randy Orton for an opening chat. The music stops but Orton gets cheered so much that he has to get on the ropes for one more pose. Orton, not on the mic: “I had to.” Orton says he was asked to come out here and excitedly welcome everyone to Raw. He isn’t the excitedly kind of guy though so he’ll invited one single person out here instead.
That would be AJ Styles and sweet goodness that hair has a life of its own. AJ mocks Orton for faking a knee injury and having the gall to suggest that he is the favorite to win the Royal Rumble. Last week, the world saw AJ Styles hit the greatest RKO anyone has ever seen. AJ: “It was beautiful!” People even said it was phenomenal but AJ would rather talk about the Rumble, which draws out Drew McIntyre.
Drew says he’s been tested lately, with the Conga Line putting him on the ropes last week. Now he wants some more competition, so here are AJ Styles and Randy Orton having an RKO size measuring contest. Drew: “My Claymore is bigger.” That makes Orton drop his mic and McIntyre wants a triple threat right now. Ring the bell.
Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre gets knocked to the floor early on and Orton breaks up a way too soon Phenomenal Forearm attempt. Cue the Good Brothers in a hurry with an RKO taking down Anderson and a Claymore to Gallows as we take a break. Back with AJ sitting on top and getting chopped by Drew, who gets crotched on top. Orton joins them and tries a superplex on AJ, only to have Drew sit up and German superplex Orton who superplexes AJ for a rather cool spot.
The fans accurately think this is awesome as Drew beats on both of them in turn. There’s the Futureshock to AJ and a headbutt to Orton but the Claymore is cut off with a dropkick. They all head outside with Orton hitting Drew in the face to knock him silly before staring AJ down. Back in and AJ catches Orton with a hanging DDT but Orton blocks an RKO (that’s weird to say). Another attempt is countered….and that means a Styles Clash to AJ for a close two. AJ is back up but walks into the RKO, only to get Claymored by Drew, who pins Orton for the win at 10:22.
Rating: C+. This was a weird setup where they were trying to do two things at once: advance AJ vs. Orton and make Drew seem like more of a threat. That was a little hard to do in a match that has nothing to do with winning the Royal Rumble but it was good for him to get this kind of a win. The Styles Clash to AJ was a great touch and I’m curious to see how they blow the thing off. Good match too, even with the triple threat formula.
We recap Big Show returning last week to help Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe against Seth Rollins and the AOP.
Rollins talks to the AOP about how you’re either with us or against us but no one can stop them. That includes Owens, Joe and Big Show in case that wasn’t clear. Rollins has done everything to make sure their destiny is intact and tonight, you will see what happens when you don’t embrace his vision.
Ricochet vs. Mojo Rawley
Ricochet starts fast with an anklescissors into a dropkick, allowing him to get in a little dancing for a bonus. Mojo gets thrown outside and that means a big flip dive as the announcers talk about what that would mean in the Royal Rumble. Back in and Mojo hits a quick Pounce for two, followed by a corner splash to make it worse. The Alabama Slam out of the corner is blocked though and Ricochet kicks him in the head, setting up the Recoil. Ricochet hits the 630 for the pin at 3:21.
Rating: C-. Rawley is still someone who I’d like to see a bit more from but he was just a warm body for Ricochet to pin here. That’s all well and good too as Ricochet is one of the brightest stars around. I could go for seeing him get a big run in the Rumble, though there is no way he’s getting close to the main event because he’s never been in the main event before so we can’t put him there for the first time.
The Street Profits are excited about what is coming for the rest of the of the night, but Dawkins is too concerned with his Oscar ballot. Ford: “WOW! An important pop culture reference!” For now though, ring Charlotte’s music.
Charlotte vs. Sarah Logan
Fallout (not a rematch since the bell never rang) from last week when Sarah jumped Charlotte and attacked her robe. Charlotte kicks her in the face at the bell and Logan is already on the floor for a breather as Lawler recites nursery rhymes. Charlotte follows her outside for some chops so Logan hammers away at the ribs. The rather slow paced count continues as they keep brawling but they dive back in at nine. That works for Charlotte, who sends her into the buckle and slaps on the Figure Eight for the pin at 2:04. Just give Charlotte the Rumble already, unless there’s a heck of a surprise in the works.
Post match Charlotte puts on her robe and leaves but comes back to throw Logan over the top in a nice touch.
Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens are looking forward to the Fist Fight. Big Show comes in and says it’s time to reintroduce Seth Rollins to his fist.
Here are Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, with Heyman making fun of the crowd. Heyman: “Ladies and gentlemen and things that live in Kentucky….” The fans then cheer his introduction so Heyman calls them stupid for not getting the idea. Now it’s a YOU SUCK chant so the two of them walk to the ramp and think about leaving. Heyman: “My client DOES NOT suck!” They get back in the ring so Heyman can recap the fact that Lesnar is in the Royal Rumble and entering #1, though it takes some shouting to get over the fans booing him out of the building.
Heyman talks about the new Streak in WWE, which is different from the one that Brock Lesnar broke. This Streak is made up of his spoilers, like the one where he says Brock will win the Royal Rumble despite entering at #1. The spoilers will set you free because they are truth….and here’s R-Truth to interrupt. He’s heard about the big man being in the Rumble and just like his childhood hero John Cena taught him, he’ll never give up. That’s why at the Royal Rumble, he’s throwing Paul Heyman over the top.
Paul is stunned and Lesnar is DONE, laughing his head off and not being able to look at Truth. That doesn’t stop Truth from talking about how he’ll get rid of Heyman, who calls Truth “Bong Hit” and says Brock is the one in the Rumble. Truth unenters the Rumble and says it’s hard to keep track of what Heyman says because “you talk a lot”. Brock can barely stand up straight from the laughter and even Heyman can’t calm him down.
Truth says he doesn’t want to be taken to Sioux Falls City. Heyman: “IT’S SUPLEX CITY! SUPLEX CITY! SUPLEX CITY! YOU’RE NOT FUNNY!” Brock gets in Truth’s face so Truth asks what’s up and starts dancing, only to get taken down by a clothesline. The F5 leaves Truth laying and Brock picks up the 24/7 Title, which he throws back at Truth. Brock: “That’s what’s up.” This was hysterical, even if it added nothing. Seeing Brock not being able to control himself was a special feeling and I can’t blame him as Truth was great here, as always.
Post break Truth is being helped to the back so here’s Mojo Rawley to pin him and steal the title.
Earlier tonight, Lana and Bobby Lashley arrived. They’re not happy with being asked about the wedding and we see some highlights. Lana understands that everyone is jealous of them because they’re so amazing. They’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions: accept that everyone is jealous of them and CRUSH RUSEV.
Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev
They go straight into the brawl and Rusev gets two off a spinwheel kick. Lashley is right back with right hands in the corner but a suplex gets Rusev out of trouble. Some kicks to the back and another suplex have Lashley down, and the Cannonball gets two. A thumb to the eye and a running clothesline put Rusev on the floor though and a spear takes us to a break.
Back with Rusev fighting out of a chinlock but getting kicked in the knee to cut that off in a hurry. Rusev kicks his way out of trouble and hits a Samoa drop. Lashley’s German suplex is no sold and it’s the jumping superkick to put Lashley down. Lana offers a distraction though and Lashley gets in a cheap shot.
Cue Liv Morgan to go after Lana and threaten to rip the wig off her hair, among other insults that we can’t make out due to rapid fire camera cuts. Lana steals a drink from a fan to throw in her face and send her into the barricade, leaving Lashley to hit the spear and finish Rusev at 14:22.
Rating: C-. This felt a lot shorter than it was and the match wasn’t all that good. That’s a big part of the feud as we are not in the fifth month and we have only seen two matches. Neither of them have been very good either, and now we are likely setting up a mixed tag with the men needing to take care of the not very good women. How is this supposed to be an upgrade?
Post match Lana rants about how no one mistreats her because she’s a supermodel, a fashionista, a fashionista and a celebrity. Therefore, next week it’s a mixed tag, with Lashley not exactly being happy with needing to take care of Rusev and Lana at the same time.
Here are the Viking Raiders to issue an open challenge because they want to fight.
Viking Raiders vs. ???
Non-title, Open Challenge, Singh Brothers, Viking Experience, 38 seconds. That’s still too much Singh Brothers.
Rusev and Liv accept, with Liv saying she is the “living embodiment of karma and karma isn’t a goddess.” NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS! And they’re never going to go into what could have been an interesting story with Liv and Lana are they?
Here’s Becky Lynch to sign the contract for her Royal Rumble title defense against Asuka. Before Asuka comes out, Lynch can’t manage to say anything, which is rather out of character for her. Asuka comes out with Kairi Sane and rants in Japanese. Kairi messes with Becky with the umbrella so Becky throws it out in an emotional outburst.
Asuka, looking bored, signs and Becky, with a heavy sigh, does as well. Becky says may the best woman win and takes the mist to the face as Asuka laughs a lot and leaves with Sane. Replays show that it hit her square in the eyes too. The medics come out and work on Becky’s eyes as she screams in pain.
She demands a microphone though and talks about how the money and the fame are poison to people who fight for a living and her veins are full of it. Asuka has brought out something in her and she is coming to the Rumble to fight. If she goes down, she is going down swinging and taking Asuka with her. This was the fired up promo that Becky can deliver very well and I really, really want to see this match.
We look back at Andrade retaining the United States Title over Rey Mysterio and stealing Mysterio’s mask, only to have Rey snap and take it back later in the night.
Next week: Andrade defends against Mysterio in a ladder match.
Zelina Vega talks about how Andrade was man enough to take the title from Mysterio and then beat him again last week. Then Andrade was man enough to take Rey’s mask but Rey had to attack and steal the title from them. That’s why they have filed a criminal complaint against him and why Mysterio is a horrible example to Latinos everywhere. Andrade promise to defeat Mysterio again and then rants in Spanish about keeping his title.
Mysterio talks about representing Latinos with all of his heart. He’s coming for the title next week and will give it everything he has because he’s fighting for respect as well.
Video on Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy.
Buddy Murphy vs. Aleister Black
They go straight for the strikes until Black just glares at him. The threat of Black Mass sends Murphy to the floor and they brawl against the barricade. Black gets the better of it and they fight up the aisle with Lawler talking about various opponents he just could not beat over the years. Black gets slammed hard onto the ramp but Murphy is smart (I think?) enough to break up the count.
Another kick to the leg knocks Murphy off the barricade though and they head back inside for the first time in a good while. Back in and Black gets sent into the post, setting up a suplex to the floor and we take a break. We come back with Black hitting a running knee to send Murphy into the timekeeper’s area. They get back in with the fans finding it awesome as Black strikes away.
Neither Black Mass nor Murphy’s Law can connect though so Murphy sends him outside again, only to have Black slide back in for a running knee to the face. Murphy hits a kick to the head though and drops Black off the top. He spends too much time on top though and gets kicked out to the floor for the massive crash. Black crashes to the floor also though and we need a bit of a breather.
They both crawl back in to beat the count and the slugout is on again. Black gets the better of it again by kicking him in the head, only to get superkicked out of the air on a moonsault attempt. Murphy’s Law connects for two as Black puts his foot on the rope. With nothing else working, Murphy tries his own Black Mass, only to get caught with the real thing. That’s only good for two, due to what seems to be a ridiculous complaint from the referee about a shoulder being up. That’s fine with Black, who hits a second for the pin at 13:48.
Rating: B. These two have awesome chemistry together and I could watch Black strike away for days. Murphy has been excellent as well as he tries to figure out a way to stop the monster that is Black. They have found a nice feud here and even though Buddy has lost three times in a row, he has moved forward and away from 205 Live so it’s a step in the right direction.
Erick Rowan vs. ???
Murphy is still sitting at ringside and says not now on the questions. Rowan throws him outside and then into the barricade but it’s time to look into the cage. Rowan even reaches inside, only to be bitten to draw some blood. That’s not cool with Rowan, who takes it out on the jobber. The Iron Claw finishes at 1:32.
Big Show/Kevin Owens/Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins/AOP
Fist Fight, meaning anything goes and the only way to win is for the referee to say your team can’t continue. The AOP and Rollins jump Show during his entrance so here are Owens and Joe with kendo sticks for the save. The fight is on and it’s Show and Rollins in the ring while the other four fight by the entrance.
Show chops Rollins against the barricade but Rollins manages a posting. Owens one ups that by running up the curved set and flip diving onto the AOP on the floor (very cool moment). Joe dives off the ramp onto Akam and everyone is down again. Rollins is sent outside and finds the still seated Murphy, who he begs for help.
That’s just what happens, as Murphy gets in and hits Show low, allowing the two of them to put Show through a table in the corner. Joe and Owens are sent through the announcers’ table for the huge crash and now it’s time to surround Show. The AOP powerbomb Show and it’s the Stomp to make the referee end it at 5:17.
Rating: D+. The angle with Murphy was the point of course and that’s the right way to go. Rollins as the Monday Night Messiah is interesting and having him get some followers is a good idea. What matters most here though is getting someone fresh on a higher level and that includes Murphy. I don’t know if he’s the big solution, but you have to upgrade someone at some point and they tried it here. The surprise was better in person as Murphy wasn’t shown on the big screen, or at least not shown for more than a split second, so it was an even bigger surprise.
Post match Rollins hugs the AOP and then Murphy to end the show. Nothing happened after the show went off the air.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a show dedicated to moving things forward but at the same time they had some pretty good wrestling to go with it. The deal at the end with Murphy helped more than anything else and it was a show that helped get things ready for the Rumble. Throw in Lesnar dying of laughter as he couldn’t handle Truth’s antics and I had a rather good time with the show. Maybe part of it was being there live, but I had fun with this one.
Drew McIntyre b. AJ Styles and Randy Orton – Claymore to Orton
Ricochet b. Mojo Rawley – 630
Charlotte b. Sarah Logan – Figure Eight
Bobby Lashley b. Rusev – Spear
Viking Raiders b. Singh Brothers – Viking Experience to Samir
Aleister Black b. Buddy Murphy – Black Mass
Erick Rowan b. ??? – Iron Claw
Seth Rollins/AOP b. Big Show/Kevin Owens/Samoa Joe via knockout
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