Monday Night Raw
Date: January 20, 2020
Location: Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler
There’s no football to contend with tonight and it’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble, meaning it’s time to take the exit for the Road to Wrestlemania. The big story coming out of last week was Buddy Murphy joining forces with Seth Rollins and the AOP, meaning it’s fallout time. Other than that, we have a ladder match for the US Title with Andrade defending against Rey Mysterio. Let’s get to it.
Here are Seth Rollins, the AOP and Buddy Murphy to open things up. Rollins says that all of this has happened because of the fans driving him to do this. Last week though, they needed the help of someone and we see a clip of Murphy joining them to beat down Big Show/Samoa Joe/Kevin Owens. Rollins says this is predestination and this is your time to decide. Everyone in the back needs to choose a side because you’re with them or against them.
Cue Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe, with Owens talking about how Big Show will be back soon but for now, it’s time to fight. Rollins says we can fight but at a proper time in a proper place. Joe thinks he sees a Monday night Messiah in the ring but he hears a lawyered up a** hat. Rollins says come get some, so Joe brings out their backup: that would be the Viking Raiders (the only option they had and a good one) so the fight is on. House is cleaned in a hurry with Rollins and company bailing.
Video on Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade.
Rollins isn’t happy, so tonight it’s Rollins/Murphy challenging for the Tag Team Titles.
United States Title: Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio is challenging in a ladder match and we get Big Match Intros. They both drop to the floor for a ladder to start but Rey head fakes him and dropkicks a ladder into Andrade instead. A hurricanrana off the apron is countered into a swing into the barricade though and it’s Andrade throwing the first ladder inside. Rey blocks a superplex onto the ladder though and sends Andrade down hard onto it instead as we take a break.
Back with Mysterio backdropping Andrade onto the floor, setting up a top rope seated senton to take him down again. Mysterio sends him back inside and knocks him to the floor again, meaning it’s time for a big ladder (makes sense for Rey) but Andrade makes the save and bridges a ladder into the standing one. A superbomb onto the bridged ladder has Rey screaming in pain and we take a break.
Back with the big ladder in the middle and two ladder bridged through it and into the corners. Andrade gets sent to the floor so Rey can climb, only to have Andrade get back up. Andrade loads up a Gory Bomb on top of the ladder but Rey reverses into a sunset bomb. The problem is that he can’t hold on and they both fall onto the ladder for a very nasty crash.
Rey is right back up with a 619 to put him on the floor and there’s the climb. That’s still not enough for Rey to pull it down as Andrade moves the ladder….so Rey drops down into what was supposed to be a hurricanrana but was more just Rey landing on him. Andrade is backdropped to the floor but this time Zelina is waiting on top, meaning she can slap Rey back down. The hammerlock DDT THROUGH THE LADDER finishes Rey and Andrade pulls the title down to retain at 18:45.
Rating: B+. Some of those spots were as intense as I’ve seen in awhile and I liked the ending with Zelina costing Rey the title. This should allow Mysterio to move on to something else and the best thing is that now Andrade is beefed up with a win in a major feud under his belt. That would be the United States belt, which could do some good things for him as well. I mean it probably won’t because that’s what not how WWE uses them but you can always hope.
Post match Vega pulls back the floor mat for the hammerlock DDT onto the concrete but someone in a Rey Mysterio mask makes the save. It’s Humberto Carrillo (not exactly hard to tell) and Andrade bails.
Martin Luther King Jr. video.
Aleister Black b. ???
Black Mass in eight seconds. With that destruction out of the way, it should be noted that Joseph mentioned that the winner of the Rumble can pick his champion to face again.
Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a chat. Heyman talks about being a soothsayer with his spoilers but that shouldn’t be a surprise because he’s talking about Brock Lesnar. The fans aren’t happy but Heyman tells them not to be that harsh on themselves. Heyman explains the concept of the Royal Rumble: Brock starts, throws out someone, throws out the next person, throws out the next person, and so on until the end.
See, Brock doesn’t think there is anyone backstage willing to challenge him at Wrestlemania so he isn’t going to let anyone. Heyman doesn’t like the booing and asks the fans who they think they are to boo Lesnar. Who could possibly challenge Brock Lesnar? Heyman: “Name one! Don’t worry! We’ll wait!”
Cue Ricochet (Heyman: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”) to say Heyman talks a lot about how important it is for Brock to enter #1. A lot of people are afraid, but Ricochet isn’t one of them. Heyman thinks that means Ricochet must have been educated in Wichita, because Brock is a hungry champion and Ricochet is lunch meat.
Ricochet is staying right here because he has a chance to fight at the Royal Rumble and could go to Wrestlemania. He’s not scared and gets in the ring and asks if Brock is scared. Brock drops him with one kick to the ribs and says he’s not scared. For some reason Brock and Heyman leave near the announcers’ table instead of through the main entrance.
Randy Orton is ready for the Rumble and tonight, he’s ready for Drew McIntyre, who isn’t on his level.
Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre runs him over with a shoulder to start and Orton needs a breather on the floor. McIntyre follows and whips Randy into various things, only to have the Claymore hit the timekeeper. Back from a break with McIntyre chopping away but Orton wins a strike off and, with a Hulk Hogan hand to the ear, drops McIntyre with a hanging DDT. An overhead belly to belly and a vertical suplex plant Orton right back but he counters the Claymore into a powerslam for two.
Orton one ups McIntyre’s suplexes with a top rope superplex, only to roll outside instead of covering. Cue the OC to jump McIntyre but he fights back until a chop block takes him down. Orton makes the save with a chair and we’ll say the match was thrown out (because people not in the match running in and attacking one person isn’t a DQ anymore) at 11:50.
Rating: C. I liked what we got but I really hope the ending doesn’t set up some tag match later tonight. Orton and McIntyre are both people to watch in the Rumble, which isn’t entirely set in stone this year. I don’t think they’ll win, but it’s nice to have a more open field with wrestlers talking about how important a win would be to them.
Post match Orton makes the save with a chair and says something we can’t hear to McIntyre. Drew nods…and gets hit with the RKO. Orton leaves so Drew grabs a mic and calls him by his full name. He says get him a mic that works and throws that one down before saying that he should have Claymored Orton. That one was on him and now he knows why it’s the RKO out of nowhere. It won’t happen again though because on Sunday because Drew is going to kick his head off and win the Royal Rumble.
Charlotte says she’s ready to win the Rumble, even as Becky Lynch pops up next to her.
Becky Lynch vs. Kairi Sane
Non-title. Before the match, Becky says Asuka did a favor last week when she sprayed mist in Becky’s eyes. Maybe Asuka should be the one doubting her and maybe that’s why Asuka won’t face her head on. Yeah Asuka won last year, but then Becky went on to make history around the world, while Asuka went onto YouTube to make soup. On Sunday, Becky collects her last debt because Asuka can’t beat her anymore.
Sane mocks Becky to start and it’s an Asuka distraction so Sane can take out the knee. Another shot to the same knee sends us to an early break. Back with Asuka sitting on the post as Sane grabs a chinlock. Becky jawbreaks her way to freedom and starts the comeback with some clotheslines.
Another distraction lets Sane hit a forearm but Becky grabs a reverse DDT, setting up the middle rope legdrop for two. The Disarm-Her is blocked and Sane grabs a bridging rollup for two of her own. Becky’s suplex is countered into a DDT for another near fall but Becky is right back up. This time she knocks Asuka down and hits the Bexploder on Sane. A kick to the face sets up the Disarm-Her to make Sane tap at 9:02.
Rating: C. The match was fine but what got my attention more here was the camera angle looking different. They had to pan out a bit to show Asuka and it gave the match a different feeling. Raw and Smackdown are shot the same way and it’s cool to see something a little different every now and then. I know there are only so many ways to shoot a wrestling match and make it look good, but changing things up every now and then is nice.
Post match Asuka hits a Shining Wizard and grabs the Asuka Lock before kicking Becky in the head to leave her laying.
Rocky Johnson tribute video. They put some effort in this one.
Asuka and Sane are asked about their cheating and if this is the kind of champion they want to be known as. They rant in Japanese until Asuka says Becky won’t be ready for her on Sunday.
Tag Team Titles: Viking Raiders vs. Seth Rollins/Buddy Murphy
The Raiders are defending and the AOP, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe are all at ringside. Murphy tags himself in to start with Erik and Seth gives him a hug. That means a running knee from Erik and everything breaks down in a hurry, with the four outside brawling into the crowd to leave the match on its own as we take a break.
Back with Rollins hammering on Erik in the corner but Erik sends Murphy outside. Ivar gets pulled off the apron though and it’s a knee to Erik’s face. Rollins drops a frog splash for two but Erik is back with a knee to the face of his own. The diving tag brings in Ivar to clean house but Rollins breaks up the Viking Experience. The champs put them on the floor for the double suicide dives, followed by the Viking Experience to Murphy back inside.
Rollins makes the save so Ivar kicks him in the face. Murphy is back up and gets kicked in the corner, setting up a double superbomb out of said corner for two. Now it’s Ivar coming back in for the double handspring elbow. The hot tag brings in Erik but Murphy knees him in the head, allowing Rollins to hit a Stomp onto the apron to give Murphy the pin at 11:05.
Rating: B-. They had some drama here but there was no option other than giving Murphy and Rollins the win here. You can’t put a new team together like that one week and then have them lose in their first match. Giving them some silver is a good idea and while they might not have them very long, it’s the right way to go at the moment.
Post break Rollins is rather happy and says that this is Murphy moving in the right direction. We’ll see that again on Sunday when Rollins wins the Royal Rumble for the second year in a row.
Now it’s time for the Monday After The Weekend Update with the Street Profits. Montez Ford makes fun of Paul Heyman and Angelo Dawkins talks about how sick he is of reboots, though he changes his mind upon seeing a picture of the Miz and John Morrison. As for the Royal Rumble, we get a special report from R-Truth….who talks about the city of Houston instead of talking FROM Houston. Dawkins: “Brock Lesnar is entering the Royal Rumble at #1 but R-Truth is entering at 4:20.”
Finally, in regards to Otis and Mandy Rose, here’s what Mandy has to look forward to after Netflix and chill: that would be a video of Otis stripping and gyrating to Val Venis’ music. This is something that could EASILY be a weekly YouTube/Network show instead of an infrequent Raw segment.
Erick Rowan vs. Matt Hardy
Rowan starts fast and hits a splash before sending Matt over the top. A big boot knocks him off the apron so Rowan goes to the crate, only to get bitten on the hand. Rowan slams it onto the steps and then crushes Matt with a running crossbody. The Iron Claw finishes Matt at 2:08.
We recap the Rusev/Lana/Bobby Lashley/Liv Morgan story, starting with the wedding.
Owens and Joe aren’t worried about Seth being in the Rumble because they’ll enter as well. Joe will go through Owens if he needs to though.
The Singh Brothers fail to steal the 24/7 Title from Mojo Rawley, who beats them up instead.
Here are Lashley and Lana for the main event, but first Lana needs to declare Rusev Day canceled. Lashley has to cover her ears from all of the booing as Lana talks about how it’s not their fault they’re pathetic losers. Lana wants a THANK YOU BOBBY/THANK YOU LANA chant because they have shared their love.
Rusev/Liv Morgan vs. Bobby Lashley/Lana
Liv chases Lana around on the floor to start but gets caught as they come back inside. Lana whips her into the corner and gets two off a snap suplex. Liv is right back up though and it’s a double tag to bring in the men. It’s Rusev cleaning house but he pauses before running Lana off the apron. Lashley’s spinning Big Ending gets two with Liv making the save. Rusev is thrown outside so Liv hits an enziguri on Lashley. Lana breaks up the jumping superkick though and Lashley spears Rusev down for the pin at 4:21.
Rating: D. So that ends the feud right? Other than the nightmare inducing idea of Lana vs. Liv in a singles match, I have no idea what else there could be in the whole thing. Lashley has now pinned Rusev three times in a row in singles matches and a tag match. I’m not sure what reason there could be to continue things but I’m sure WWE will figure something out. The match felt like it was supposed to be earlier in the show and they had to cram it in before TV time ran out, which might be better given how it went.
Side note: I think we can officially say we’re never hearing about the Lana/Liv stuff again and I can’t say I’m surprised. They pulled the plug on the Sasha Banks/Bayley idea almost immediately and that seems to be the case again here. It’s what WWE does: they’ll introduce something that could be interesting and then pull back on it because it might be too controversial. I don’t think if it would have been good, but either do it or don’t set it up.
Overall Rating: B-. Rather bad (but quick) main event aside, I liked what we got here. They’re setting up the pay per view very well and we could be in for a good show on Sunday. Rollins and company are getting somewhere and a lot of that has to do with the feeling that some people are getting elevated. At some point you need some fresh blood involved and getting Samoa Joe and Buddy Murphy into the mix is a nice change of pace. I’m not sure how well it’s going to go as we get towards Wrestlemania season, but it’s working for now.
Andrade b. Rey Mysterio – Andrade pulled down the title
Aleister Black b. ??? – Black Mass
Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre went to a no contest when OC interfered
Becky Lynch b. Kairi Sane – Disarm-Her
Seth Rollins/Buddy Murphy b. Viking Raiders – Stomp to Erik
Erick Rowan b. Matt Hardy – Iron Claw
Bobby Lashley/Lana b. Rusev/Liv Morgan – Spear to Rusev
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