Monday Night Raw – December 13, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 13, 2021
Location: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re less than three weeks away from Day One and the card seems to be at least somewhat set. That being said, it seems that we might be seeing a new addition to the Raw main event in the form of Bobby Lashley. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the change made official tonight so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s cage match with Big E. defeating Kevin Owens, followed by Bobby Lashley laying out Owens, Big E. and Seth Rollins.

Here are MVP and Bobby Lashley to get things going. MVP says last week is what happens when you disrespect Lashley and that’s a problem with this generation. That’s why it is imperative to have Lashley added to the Day One WWE Title match, because that’s a great way to start the year.

Cue Kevin Owens to say he hasn’t been disrespecting the two of them because he hasn’t been paying attention to anything they have done in two years. Owens earned his way into the title match and in nineteen days, he becomes WWE Champion so the fans can have someone to believe in.

Now it’s Seth Rollins interrupting, saying you can’t start the show without the star. Rollins respects Lashley’s suit game and has to take Owens’ side, even though he can’t blame him. Lashley shouldn’t be in Rollins’ title match, which has MVP thinking the two of them are terrified. Lashley says get in the ring and do something about it, so Owens thinks they should go after him together. Rollins is in, so Owens tells Rollins to go first.

Arguing ensues so now it’s Big E. to interrupt, calling this his favorite group of idiots. Big E. talks about beating Lashley a few times so he has no problem doing it one more time. Cue Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to say the four way sounds like a good idea, so Lashley is in….if he can beat all three of the others tonight.

We look back at the Alpha Academy attacking Riddle last week.

Earlier today, Riddle is looking at the blazers, saying he has been watching tapes for ideas. Randy Orton says he hopes Riddle is focusing on their potential opponents, but Riddle is focusing on podcasting. Orton doesn’t want to hear about podcasting, being a shaman, or hanging out with jackasses on Smackdown. Riddle goes into a thing about the Jackass cast being at Smackdown, but Orton wants him to focus on Otis. If Riddle can beat Otis tonight, maybe, one day, a long time from now, he can put the blazer back on.

Kevin Owens is told that he has to face Bobby Lashley first and isn’t overly happy. Seth Rollins is reminded he has to face Lashley as well and storms off to get ready. Big E. is fine with a triple threat or a four way.

Riddle vs. Otis

Randy Orton and Chad Gable are here too. Otis knocks him outside to start and then drives Riddle back first into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Otis missing a charge to go shoulder first into the post. Riddle hits a kick to the face but a high crossbody is pulled out of the air. That’s broken up and Riddle strikes away, setting up the Floating Bro to a standing Otis. Somehow Otis gets back up and blocks the RKO, setting up the pop up World’s Strongest Slam to finish Riddle at 8:25.

Rating: C. This didn’t have time to get very far due to the commercial, but at least they were doing something to make Otis look like a monster. I’m not sure how that is going to work since the Alpha Academy was eliminated from the tournament last week, but maybe we get a bit of a swerve.

Post match Orton hits the RKO on Gable but Otis elbows him down.

We look back at Doudrop attacking Bianca Belair.

Doudrop vs. Bianca Belair

They fight over a lockup to start with Belair having to climb the corner. That doesn’t work so well for Doudrop, as Belair armdrags her way out. Back up and Belair can’t drop her again, so it’s time for that dance she does in every match. Doudrop sends her into the corner but Belair is back with a pretty ugly hurricane into said corner and out to the floor.

Back in and Belair gets her own legs tied over the ropes, allowing Doudrop to hit a hard elbow as we take a break. We come back with Doudrop hitting a Michinoku Driver for two as Belair is in trouble. Doudrop loads up a Vader Bomb but gets reversed into a powerbomb, setting up a 450 to give Belair the pin at 10:33.

Rating: C+. I can go for the idea of Belair getting to show off her power and that 450 looked great. Doudrop is good as the monster but she was just there for Belair to slay. This should be enough to move on to something else, though that isn’t how WWE tends to work most of the time.

Post match, Doudrop jumps Belair again because a pinfall isn’t enough to finish a feud.

We look at the Next In Line signings from the NCAA.

Gable Steveson is here, complete with gold medal.

Kevin Owens says a lot of this is trash, but him winning the WWE Title will help.

Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens

The first of three matches Lashley has to win to get into the Day One title match. Lashley powers him around to start but gets sent outside. The Cannonball from the apron misses though and Lashley runs him over again. Back in and Owens scores with a quick superkick, setting up the Cannonball in the corner.

There’s a backsplash for two on Lashley, followed by a tornado DDT for the same. Owens hits him in the face though and Lashley is mad, earning Owens a whip into the corner for an upside down crash. The Hurt Lock is blocked but so is the Stunner, allowing Lashley to hit a spinebuster. Lashley gets one arm up for the Hurt Lock and Owens taps immediately at 4:33.

Rating: C+. They packed a good bit of stuff in here and it was a good showcase for Lashley as a result. Owens tapping out immediately makes sense as he is the kind of guy who would hope Big E. and Seth Rollins will do the hard work for him. It’s just part one of three though, so we have a long way to go.

In the back, Seth Rollins is annoyed but is told that he is up next. Growling and walking ensue.

We look back at Liv Morgan coming up short in her title match against Becky Lynch.

Veer Mahaan is still coming.

Here is Becky Lynch for a chat. She’s still the champ, though some fans might be happier than others. Those people who are booing her are the same ones who begged for her to come back but then didn’t like her being mean. We see the Angry Liv Girl from last week, which makes me miss Angry Miz Girl. They aren’t the ones who got in this ring and broke down those gender barriers to become the biggest star in the industry. If you don’t evolve in this business, you get left behind, but don’t worry because she is holding this title for a long time.

Cue Liv Morgan to say that she made Becky doubt herself, hence the cheating to win. Girl in the crowd: “NO!!! BECKY RULES!!!” We see a photo of Becky cheating to win last week, which makes Liv know she can win. That’s why she wants a rematch at Day One, but the fight is on for now. Becky stomps gets her down onto the steps and stomps on the arm to leave Liv laying. With that out of the way, Becky accepts the challenge for Day One, but says she’s off to her house with her baby girl and hot husband.

We look back at Omos snapping and costing himself and AJ Styles a tag match last week. The team seemed to split after the match.

AJ Styles says this team isn’t done and you don’t give up on someone like Omos. Styles praises Omos as someone special, so here is Omos behind him. Omos thanks him and they seem good.

Reggie and Dana Brooke were in the snowy park earlier today, with Reggie offering some tips on keeping the 24/7 Title. Maybe over hot chocolate? Dana seems interested but R-Truth and Akira Tozawa are there in costumes. Cue Tamina to jump Brooke but she escapes, leading to a big chase into a pile of snow. Tamina tells Truth and Akira Tozawa to stay out of their way.

Damian Priest/Finn Balor vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler

Priest throws Ziggler around to start but Roode comes in, allowing Priest to beat up both of them at once. Ziggler is sent outside with Roode following him, meaning Priest can drop them both as we take a break. Back with Priest beating up Ziggler until he is sent outside for a spinebuster from Roode. Balor comes in to clean house but cue Austin Theory for a distraction. Ziggler uses said distraction to hit the Zig Zag for the fast pin at 7:24.

Rating: D+. This was barely long enough to rate but the point was to move Theory vs. Balor (and maybe/hopefully Priest as well). That being said, being pinned by Ziggler in 2021 is not exactly the best sign for a wrestler’s future and I’m not sure how much more Balor is going to be doing in WWE. Maybe he sticks around, but egads it’s not the smoothest course for him.

We look at Zelina Vega beating Nikki Ash last week, setting up Jerry Lawler’s return to accidentally humiliate her even more.

Nikki Ash talks about how depressing things have been but Rhea Ripley wants the old Nikki back.

Queen Zelina vs. Rhea Ripley

Carmella and Nikki Ash are here too. Before the match, Vega talks about how the fans can cheer her, but loses the accent when they boo. Ripley shoves Vega around to start but Carmella goes after Nikki. A superkick leaves her laying so Ripley gets rid of Carmella, allowing Vega to grab a rollup for the pin at 58 seconds.

Kevin Owens pitches Seth Rollins another alliance but Rollins storms off.

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley

Second match Lashley has to win to be added to the Day One title match. Lashley knocks him outside without much effort to start but Rollins escapes the ram into the post. Back in and Lashley snaps off some suplexes, setting up the Downward Spiral. MVP: “BOBBY! SMASH!” Rollins bails outside to escape the Dominator but here is Kevin Owens to punch Rollins in the face…and that’s a DQ at 2:23. Hold on though as Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville come out to say not so fast. It’s being restarted as a No DQ match (which will be the case for Big E. vs. Lashley as well) so Lashley spears Rollins down for the pin at 3:36.

Austin Theory comes in to see Vince McMahon, who is meeting with Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez, to brag about taking out Finn Balor. Vince offers a pat on the back or a participation trophy, but Theory would rather have a match. Vince says they’re not friends and Theory hasn’t impressed him. Instead, Vince gives him a pencil and points out the eraser. I don’t think I get it.

Here is Maryse to host MizTV, with special guest….the Miz. After saying Maryse looks especially gorgeous tonight, Miz gets to the point: it’s almost the Road to Wrestlemania, and that means the Hall of Fame class will be announced soon. Miz would like to officially nominate himself to be the first member of the class, complete with a career highlight video. Miz and Maryse are near tears, but still toast the champagne to the idea of retiring Edge again at Day One.

Cue Edge to mock Miz for talking too much and telling him to shut up. Edge doesn’t get why Miz complains so much, but Miz doesn’t see what is so scary about him. We hear about Edge not helping him in 2006 so Miz throws the champagne in his eyes. The fight is on with Miz hiding behind Maryse to avoid the spear. The Skull Crushing Finale lays out Edge but Maryse yells at Miz for using her as a shield. Maryse slaps him and leaves. I’m not sure about this one, as Edge didn’t add anything with his comments, but the Maryse deal seems to open up the mixed tag door.

Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins give Big E. a pep talk but he calls them idiots and leaves.

Smackdown Rebound.

Commentary recaps Bobby Lashley’s gauntlet. Three fans get up from the front row and walk away as they’re talking.

We recap Lashley’s efforts so far.

MVP says Lashley is ready for Big E. in a No DQ match.

Big E. vs. Bobby Lashley

Non-title and No DQ, with Lashley needing a win to advance to the Day One WWE Title match. It’s a power brawl to start with Big E. knocking him down, meaning it’s already table time. Hold on though as Big E. has to go back inside and plant Lashley again. NOW the table can be tossed in but Big E. has to save himself from going through it. Lashley grabs a Downward Spiral but gets sent face first into a chair in the corner.

We take a break and come back with Big E. blocking a suplex through a table. Instead Big E. knocks him to the apron for some forearms to the chest and an apron splash. They head outside with Lashley driving him into the post but having to block the spear through the ropes. Back in and Lashley hits a heck of a spinebuster through the table as we take another break.

We come back with Big E. dropping Lashley onto the steps and then heading back inside. The Hurt Lock is blocked and a spear connects, but here are Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens to go after Lashley. Big E. fights both of them off but then gets double teamed down. Owens and Big E. head outside, where a Rock Bottom puts Owens through a table. Lashley spears Rollins through a table in the corner, allowing Big E. to get back in. That’s fine with MVP, who hits Big E. in the knee with the cane. Lashley’s spear is enough to send him to Day One at 19:45.

Rating: C+. It was a good power brawl and would have made a fine house show main event when Lashley was still champion, but egads this didn’t do Big E. any favors. I can only assume that Lashley is becoming a face after this as he has now beaten three former World Champions in one night, including in this match where two of them had to save the third. I’m not a fan of the champ losing, but it certainly made Lashley look like the biggest star on the show, which he pretty much is at this point.

Overall Rating: D. This is a show where the wrestling absolutely does not make up for everything else. I don’t remember the last time I felt like a company was trying to take away every single person I might want to cheer for on one night. Belair wins, then gets taken out two minutes later. That is the lone face win on the night, with everyone else losing or being laid out, including Liv Morgan and Edge in the big interview segments.

Then you have the main story of the night, with Lashley running through pretty much the entire main event scene so he can be added to the main event scene. That’s something that could have been stretched out for weeks but instead we gt it here in the span of a few hours. What does this leave for the story for the next two weeks? Talking and/or wacky tag matches? How lucky we are to receive such Christmas gifts.

Overall, this show felt like WWE was trying to take away the fun from the show and they certainly succeeded. There was nothing to cheer about all night and the show just kept dragging on. Day One has gone from a show I wanted to see to a show we need to get through so we can move on to the Road to Wrestlemania. Maybe it winds up working, but this was one of the most depressing episodes of WWE TV I can remember in a long, long time.

Results
Otis b. Riddle – Pop up World’s Strongest Slam
Bianca Belair b. Doudrop – 450
Bobby Lashley b. Kevin Owens – Hurt Lock
Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler b. Damian Priest/Finn Balor – Zig Zag to Balor
Queen Zelina b. Rhea Ripley – Rollup
Bobby Lashley b. Seth Rollins – Spear
Bobby Lashley b. Big E. – Spear

 

 

 

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