Monday Night Raw
Date: November 30, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe
We are on the way to TLC and also on the way to new Thunder Dome at Tropicana Field in the next few weeks. That could make for some interesting changes along the way, though the biggest surprise is that last week’s show was actually good. I’m not sure how much reason I should have to believe that is going to repeat itself but maybe we’re in for a holiday miracle. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Alexa Bliss for A Moment Of Bliss with Randy Orton. After a clip of last week when the Fiend interfered and cost Orton his match against AJ Styles, Orton talks about how well he knows Bray Wyatt. He hasn’t met the Fiend yet, but he understands that Fiend wears his pain and suffering on his exterior. Orton on the other hand keeps all of his pain and suffering inside. They both hear voices too, but the Fiend’s voices are Orton’s. Bliss: “Well that’s not what he told me.”
Orton thinks he has gotten inside of Fiend’s head, which Bliss thinks is what the voices have told him. Or are they telling Orton lies? Who is manipulating who? The lights go half off and Orton asks if Bliss sees what he means. More of them go off and Bliss asks Orton the same thing. The lights come back up and Bliss has jumped into Orton’s arms as Fiend pops up. Orton hands Bliss to him (as Fiend seemed to be begging for her) and bails, before asking who is laughing now.
Commentary throws us to a package on Jeff Hardy vs. Elias as I wonder what they’re watching Fiend do at the moment. We actually see a clip of Hardy attacking Elias on Main Event, which is probably the first reference to the show on Raw in the last three years minimum.
We look back at Drew McIntyre eliminating Brock Lesnar from the Royal Rumble.
We recap Elias vs. Jeff Hardy. Elias accuses Hardy of running him over with a car earlier this year to put him out of action for several months. Various guitar shots have ensued so now it’s a Symphony of Destruction match, meaning hardcore with musical weapons provided.
Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
Symphony of Destruction with Hardy slugging away to start. They head outside with Elias’ jumping knee blocking a violin shot. Hardy drops him face first onto the apron and then sends him face first into a piano. Hold on though as the piano starts moving, revealing R-Truth inside. Cue the band of misfits to give chase, though Hardy and Elias pick some of them off for interrupting. They break guitars over Drew Gulak and Lince Dorado as we take a break.
Back with Elias loading guitar picks on his hand to punch Hardy in the head over and over. Joe: “He’s picking Hardy’s mind!” They go outside with Hardy being sent into the drums, only to send Elias right back into them. Back in and Elias cuts off a guitar shot but Hardy gets in a hurricanrana.
Elias gets in the guitar shot for two, as Hardy grabs the ropes (in a falls count anywhere match). They head back outside with Elias picking up part of the broken guitar and stabbing the speaker to electrocute himself (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was because of the guitar strings). Jeff gets in a cello shot to the back and hits a swanton through a table for the pin at 12:24.
Rating: C-. Electrical and rope break issues aside, this wasn’t quite as epic as they seemed to be hoping for. Above all else, the musical weapons made it feel more like a joke than anything else, thereby defeating a lot of the point. Throw in the 24/7 cameos and it wasn’t quite the most thrilling idea.
Hardy even gets a tambourine as a prize.
Riddle comes up to Keith Lee to talk about how cool it will be if one of them gets the title shot. He’s always wanted to hear Drew McIntyre talk alike he’s Fat B****** from Austin Powers and yes we get an impression. Lee vanishes in the meantime, probably falling into the void of the 18 years since that character was introduced.
New Day wants you to buy Cyber Monday merchandise.
We look back at three weeks ago when Mustafa Ali beat Ricochet thanks to a Retribution distraction.
Ali talks about Ricochet pushing the same boulder up the same mountain week after week. Ricochet has been lied to just like them so why isn’t he next to them? Slapjack says Ali has shown him the way and saw him for what he really is: a weapon for Retribution. Tonight, maybe Ricochet will see what Ali sees.
Slapjack vs. Ricochet
Ali is ringside. Ricochet uppercuts him into the corner and fires off a forearm, only to glare down at Ali. That’s enough for Slapjack to pull Ricochet out of the corner for two but Ricochet is right back with a dropkick. The standing shooting star press gives Ricochet two but here are Mace and T-Bar, who are dropped by Ricochet’s big running flip dive.
Back in and Ali shouts instructions to Slapjack as Dana Brooke comes out to slap Ali in the face. She yells about Reckoning attacking her as Ricochet kicks Slapjack in the face. Ricochet takes out the monsters again but gets caught in a swinging belly to back suplex for the pin at 3:30.
Rating: C. They were cranking up the action here, though there was a bit too much going on at once. That being said, it was nice to see Retribution keeping up the momentum as you kind of expect WWE to have them lose every chance they can. The match was the usual good enough stuff, though the idea of Retribution adding Ricochet is a little more intriguing.
Commentary IMMEDIATELY sends us to a look at Drew McIntyre defeating Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.
And now, MizTV because we haven’t had a freaking talk show in an hour. After the usual Miz and Mrs. plug, Sheamus is brought out as this week’s guest. Sheamus wants to get this over with because they already have a match tonight. Miz and Morrison bring up Sheamus returning the McIntyre family chest a few weeks ago and ask why McIntyre forgot about Sheamus. That’s not cool with Sheamus, so Miz brings up how friends are supposed to act.
See, when Miz wins the title, Morrison gets the first title shot because that’s what friends do. So tonight, how about Sheamus turns on McIntyre and Miz gets the title? Sheamus laughs it off so Miz gets serious by bringing up Sheamus being WWE Champion five years ago. Now his career is a joke. That makes Sheamus take off his jacket and the beatdown is on. Miz and Morrison are taken out until Miz gets in a briefcase shot to leave Sheamus laying. I could go with not seeing a talk show again for a good eight months.
We look back at Lana saving Asuka from Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler last week.
Asuka and Lana fire each other up.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler bicker about last week’s loss.
Asuka/Lana vs. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax
Non-title. Baszler grabs Lana in a waistlock to start but Lana reverses into a quick rollup. It’s off to Asuka as Lana holds the ropes open, which Nia clearly sees, charges at anyway, and then dives through the ropes to the floor. That was one of the most fake looking spots I’ve seen in a very long time. Lana and Asuka hit stereo suicide dives and we take a break. Back with Nia throwing Lana around without much effort whatsoever.
Shayna gets to work on the leg a bit before handing it back to Jax in a hurry. They head outside with Lana managing to post her, allowing the hot tag to Asuka. House is cleaned until Shayna and Asuka trade kicks to the head. Lana tags herself in and hits a high crossbody on Shayna, who pulls her into the Kirifuda Clutch. Asuka breaks that up with a sliding knee and Lana pins Baszler at 9:28.
Rating: D. This story is getting more and more grating every week as the Lana push goes down our throats harder and harder. Lana isn’t particularly good at anything and Jax is only slightly less worse, but we’re supposed to want to cheer for Lana because….and that’s where the story falls apart because there is still no reason to cheer for Lana. Yeah Nia is annoying and mean, but Lana is really bad at this wrestling thing and is only winning because of Asuka. Lana beating Jax or Baszler off a fluke doesn’t make her look like a hero. It makes her look like James Ellsworth in better gear.
Sheamus is banged up when Drew McIntyre comes in to say that looked fun. Sheamus isn’t sure why Drew didn’t come out there for the save but now it’s time to beat up those Muppets. Hey now. Sheamus is a Muppet so don’t tell him to beat up his family so close to the holidays.
Here’s New Day for a match but first, Kofi Kingston talks about how cool it is for Xavier Woods to be a host on the relaunched G4. Woods talks about how important video games are to him and thanks anyone who has ever supported him in any way. In a preview of his hosting gig, Woods recaps New Day beating the Hurt Business a few times, but here’s the Hurt Business with a rebuttal, because these teams can’t have a match without a five minute discussion first. MVP says they’re 2-2 against each other and Cedric Alexander says G4 better be a dream job because he’s about to end Woods’ wrestling career.
Cedric Alexander vs. Xavier Woods
Alexander jumps him before the bell and we take a break. We’re joined in progress with Alexander hammering away and driving in elbows to the back. Woods fights back to limited avail but manages to drop Alexander with a few shots to the face. The Honor Roll gets two on Alexander, who is back with a brainbuster for the same. Woods gets knocked outside but he counters a suicide dive by whipping Alexander hard into the barricade. Back in and Alexander quickly hits the Lumbar Check for the pin at 3:26.
Rating: C. I really could go for getting rid of WWE’s booking technique of having title matches where the champions retain and then continuing the feud anyway. New Day beat Hurt Business twice in three matches and yet we are still probably going to see a fourth match between them at the pay per view. Kind of like the Women’s Tag Team Title match, because WWE really does do these things more than once on the same show.
Alexander goes off celebrating without the Hurt Business for some reason.
Riddle annoys AJ Styles by calling him Skipper. Omos: “Skipper is his rabbit.” AJ wants to know why Omos knows that and why Riddle didn’t name his rabbit Hoppy. That’s Riddle’s turtle’s name but AJ is more like a rabbit anyway: good hops, soft and furry. AJ shoves Riddle and says tonight is serious.
We recap the opening sequence.
Keith Lee vs. Riddle vs. AJ Styles
The winner gets McIntyre at TLC for the title shot. AJ and Riddle are sent outside so Lee teases the big dive, sending the other two scattering in advance. Since Lee isn’t Nia Jax, he stops when he sees his target gone and the leapfrogs both of them back inside. A running crossbody gets two on Riddle and AJ is sent into Riddle in the corner. With AJ down on the floor, Lee stands on Riddle’s hand but AJ is back up to knock Lee outside. Riddle dropkicks AJ down to join him and then hits a springboard dive onto the two of them.
Back from a break with Riddle hitting a series of Brotons on Lee for one but the Floating bro misses AJ. It’s Lee’s turn to clean house again, this time throwing Riddle around with ease. Riddle slips out of the Spirit Bomb though and grabs a triangle, only to be swung into AJ while pulling on Lee’s arm.
Lee breaks it up and Riddle kicks him in the head, setting up the running forearms in the corner. A Pounce sends Riddle flying so it’s AJ finally getting to hammer on Lee. AJ gets caught on top so Riddle pulls Lee off, only have AJ hit a high crossbody for two on Riddle. Some jumping knees put Lee on the floor but it’s AJ hitting the Phenomenal Forearm to pin Riddle for the title shot at 13:59.
Rating: B-. It felt like a lot of triple threats we’ve seen before but the action was good and they went with the safe and acceptable ending. Riddle isn’t ready for the spot and Lee REALLY doesn’t need another big loss. That leaves you with AJ, who can take loss after loss and still be just fine so they went with the right call here after a good match.
Miz and Morrison are ready for the tag match.
Dana Brooke vs. Reckoning
Before the match, we get a quick promo from Mustafa Ali and Reckoning talking about how Brooke is going to be punished for putting her hands on Ali. Reckoning jumps her to start and hits a few shots in the corner. We’re already in the chinlock but Brooke fights up and makes the comeback. Ali gets on the apron but has to drop out of the way of the threat of r a right hand. Reckoning misses a kick to Brooke and gets rolled up for the pin at 2:24.
Post match, Ali yells at Reckoning because there is no losing around here.
Miz and Morrison (geez) come up to AJ and Omos in the back and offer him a peach pie for help against McIntyre tonight. AJ agrees, only because it would be easier to beat Miz to get the title. They’ll see AJ out there, but he does tell them to lave the pie.
MVP comes up to Riddle, who has a new idea: the Weed Bros Gardening Service. They’ll come over and get rid of all your weeds in a flash. MVP says Riddle’s ideas are stupid and shoves him away, meaning it’s time for a fight. Bobby Lashley runs in to jump Riddle and the Hurt Lock goes on.
Keith Lee comes up to Sheamus in the back and asks if he plans on turning on Drew McIntyre tonight. Sheamus says it’s none of his business.
Here’s McIntyre for a chat before the main event. He talks about doing everything he promised to do and says you can tell a lot about a man by looking into his eyes. He had Roman Reigns in trouble at Survivor Series but then Jey Uso had to get involved. Their paths will cross again and next time, he is taking Roman down. You can believe that. As for TLC, McIntyre is coming for AJ and retaining the title.
Miz/John Morrison vs. Sheamus/Drew McIntyre
AJ Styles is on commentary. Sheamus throws Morrison around to start and then gives him a rather large boot to the chest. McIntyre come in to run Morrison over and it’s ten forearms each to Miz and Morrison’s chests. Sheamus shouts at AJ to come get in here and goes outside to get in his face. Miz’s cheap shot doesn’t work but an Omos distraction lets Morrison hit a dropkick through the ropes.
We take a break and come back with Miz driving knees into Sheamus’ back and ripping at his face. Morrison comes in to knee Sheamus down in the corner and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up in a hurry with the hot tag bringing in McIntyre to clean house. AJ does not exactly approve as McIntyre snaps off belly to belly suplexes and then nips up. The Claymore is loaded up but AJ comes in with the Phenomenal Forearm to McIntyre for the DQ at 9:50.
Rating: C-. Not much to this one as it was all about waiting around for the ending and then whatever they have planned for after the match. Miz and Morrison are a good tag team but both they and Miz’s briefcase are props in other feuds. Sheamus and McIntyre work well together, though I could go for a one off title match between them down the road.
Post match AJ has Miz and Morrison hit a bunch of finishers on McIntyre (I must have misses Sheamus being taken out) but Miz argues with Styles over bossing him around. McIntyre fights up and takes care of Miz and Morrison, leaving AJ to need Omos to get him out of trouble. Omos carries AJ away to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This was not a horrible show but it certainly was a boring one. They did their thing of having the same matches that they have had before to set up another version of the same match, leaving fans to need to watch the same match they have already seen, only this time on pay per view. There were good things on the show though, with AJ vs. McIntyre being a good setup, Retribution only lost one of their matches, and Orton vs. Fiend is intriguing. They have some good ideas and goals, but they need to find a way to get there go well. Fix that and things will get better, because this didn’t quite work.
Jeff Hardy b. Elias – Swanton through a table
Slapjack b. Ricochet – Swinging belly to back suplex
Lana/Asuka b. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax – Sliding knee to Baszler
Cedric Alexander b. Xavier Woods – Lumbar Check
AJ Styles b. Riddle and Keith Lee – Phenomenal Forearm to Riddle
Dana Brooke b. Reckoning – Rollup
Sheamus/Drew McIntyre b. Miz/John Morrison via DQ when AJ Styles interfered
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