Monday Night Raw – December 20, 2021

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 20, 2021
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re less than two weeks away from Day One and the Raw World Title match has grown. Last week Bobby Lashley won a series of matches to earn the right to be added to the match as the bad guys had a big night. Now we need to change things up a bit on the way to the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Bobby Lashley running the gauntlet last week to earn the Day One title shot.

Here are MVP and Bobby Lashley for a chat. MVP hypes up Lashley’s accomplishments last week and explains just how impressive it really was. Now no one can hang with him, but here is Big E. to interrupt. Big E. was impressed last week, but the Lashley that he knows (the one with a lot of sisters) has all of his success on his own.

That made it all the more surprising when MVP hit Big E. in the knee with a cane last week. Lashley says he’s a monster but he’ll take a win how he can. Besides, MVP said if he couldn’t do it, MVP could…so let’s do that right now. Lashley heads outside so MVP loads up the cane, only to have Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins jump him from behind. The brawl is on, until Big E. helps Lashley clear the ring. Just announce the tag match.

We recap Bianca Belair vs. Doudrop.

Belair is ready for the final showdown with Doudrop so she can take her out once and for all.

Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens are panicking over Bobby Lashley when Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce come in. They make the main event tag match for later tonight.

Doudrop vs. Bianca Belair

Belair wastes no time in trying the KOD, sending Doudrop bailing to the floor. Doudrop s smart enough to snap the throat across the top rope and take her into the corner for the big forearms. A World’s Strongest Slam plants Belair but she rolls away from the backsplash. Belair rolls outside, where she catches Doudrop with a spinebuster to send us to a break. Back with Belair getting crotched on top and then failing at a sunset bomb.

Instead, Doudrop hits a splash in the corner, setting up a Cannonball. The confidence is starting to pick up so Belair strikes away to start the comeback. Belair scores with a middle rope crossbody and the handspring moonsault gets two (hit the shocked kickout face). It’s time for Belair to go up top this time but Doudrop powerbombs her down in a heap. Another Vader Bomb misses though and now the KOD can finish Doudrop at 10:48.

Rating: C+. This was a showcase for Belair as the power game was on full display. The KOD at the end looked very good as she muscled Doudrop up and planted her perfectly. They billed this as the big finale of the feud and it would be nice to see Belair move back into the title picture. It’s not like there is anything else for her to do at the moment.

We recap Austin Theory attacking Finn Balor over the last few weeks.

Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory

Balor goes right after him to start and the fight heads out to the floor. Theory actually gets the better of things and takes it back inside for corner clotheslines. We hit the chinlock to keep Balor down but he fights up, only to get neckbreakered off the apron to send us to a break. Back with Balor scoring with a quick double stomp to get a breather, setting up more kicks to the downed Theory. Balor gets crotched on top though, setting up a springboard Spanish Fly. Theory is so happy that he grabs the phone, allowing Balor to reverse into a cradle for two. ATL is escaped though and the Coup de Grace connects for the pin at 9:03.

Rating: C+. I’m not wild on having Theory lose but it was to one of the more established stars on the show. Theory seems to be one of the projects on Raw at the moment, which could be good or bad. I could go for more of both of these guys and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them do this again at Day One.

AJ Styles and Omos are ready to fix things on MizTV.

Smackdown Rebound.

It’s time for MizTV. Before we get to the point, Miz wants to clear everything up: he and Maryse are perfectly fine. With that out of the way, we get our guests for the week with AJ Styles and Omos. The two of them have been having problems but Styles wants them to get together and win ALL of the titles. That’s not what Miz has heard though, as Omos has been saying that Styles holds him back and Omos could do all of this himself. Styles recruited Omos to WWE but now he is ready to be the big star all on his own. Styles doesn’t know what to say but he has to worry about that later.

AJ Styles/Omos vs. Mysterios

Dominik picks up the pace to start but gets pulled into an abdominal stretch to slow him down. That’s fine with Dominik, who flips out and brings Rey in to hammer away. The tornado DDT sets up a 619 but the frog splash hits knees. Back up and Omos won’t tag in, allowing Rey to grab a rollup for the pin at 2:23.

Post match AJ yells at Omos, who shoves him away. That’s enough for Styles, who starts hammering on Omos to limited avail. Omos catches him in a fireman’s carry faceplant and says he’ll see Styles in a match.

Austin Theory goes to Vince McMahon’s office.

Randy Orton vs. Chad Gable

Orton is here alone while Otis is with Gable. Orton goes after the arm to start but gets taken to the mat without much trouble. Gable wrestles him down again and Orton needs a breather on the floor. Back in and Orton grabs a headlock takeover but Gable quickly reverses into an armbar. Some armdrags set up another armbar as Orton is getting frustrated. Orton sends him outside and catches Gable with the hanging DDT on the way back in. That’s broken up and Gable hits an armdrag (not a German suplex Graves) but misses another, allowing Orton to hit the RKO for the pin at 2:59.

Post match Otis goes after Orton, who bails when he can’t hit the RKO.

Bobby Lashley/Big E. vs. Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens is set for later.

Lashley can’t trust Big E. but he can beat up all three of them tonight. MVP isn’t worried either.

Earlier today, Dana Brooke and Reggie went on another not-date, this time around a bunch of nice looking Christmas trees. This time Akira Tozawa is an elf but Tamina is here to yell at him for getting in the way. Santa Truth showed up and the brawl was on between the women and Dana escapes again. I’d rather just look at the Christmas lights.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damian Priest

Non-title but a Champion’s Contenders match, with Robert Roode in Ziggler’s corner. Ziggler kicks at the knee to start but has to counter a powerbomb attempt into a sunset flip for two. Priest takes him down and goes up top though, only to get superplexed back down as we take a break.

Back with Ziggler hitting his running DDT for two but Priest strikes away to cut him down. The Broken Arrow gets two and a kick to the face knocks Ziggler silly. The referee has to check on Ziggler, allowing Roode to trip Priest off the apron. That sends Priest too far so he goes after Roode, earning himself a countout at 9:01.

Rating: C. Not exactly a surprise here as Ziggler has a tendency to get more title shots and rematches than anyone in the history of wrestling. Priest getting to beat him up will work out well enough for him in the future, but for now this wasn’t exactly an interesting match. At least Priest didn’t take a pin here, so I’ll call that a minor victory.

Post match Priest chases Ziggler off and beats Roode up again, including the Reckoning on the floor.

Finn Balor is on to more important things but Austin Theory jumps him. Theory drops him hard onto the anvil case and Balor is grimacing.

Post break, Austin Theory goes in to see Vince McMahon, who liked Theory getting at Balor again. Not that it matters though as Theory lost his match. Vince likes watching revenge though, as it makes him feel like he had a good meal. Next week, Theory gets to face Balor again and Vince threatens him with the eraser again. Then he blows eraser shavings at Theory and says Ho Ho Ho.

It’s time for the Cutting Edge, because this show needed two talk shows. Edge talks about how much he has in common with his guest, in that they are both Canadian and frustrated with Miz. The guest is Maryse, who isn’t here to be Edge’s friend, but she goes on a rant about how she can’t get a word in around Miz. She has a lump in her stomach but she wants people to know that there is a woman behind Maryse. It has been fifteen years with Mike Mizanin and she wants a thank you. She takes care of everything from the house to the kids and now she is exhausted.

Edge looks a bit stunned as Maryse moves on to how she almost got hurt last week. If something happens to her, who is taking care of her kids? Would Edge have ever done this to his wife? Edge apologizes that Maryse’s life is some kind of horrible country song. Is anyone else buying this? Of course he wouldn’t do this to Beth Phoenix because he respects her. Get Miz out here already, so here is Miz to interrupt. Edge catches him coming in from behind but Maryse hits Edge with her purse, setting up the Skull Crushing Finale. Of course everything is ok with Miz and Maryse. Phoenix has to be showing up soon right?

Rhea Ripley vs. Queen Zelina

Nikki Ash and Carmella are barred from ringside. Zelina promises that Ripley won’t be able to end her reign. Ripley blocks a kick to the ribs to start but misses a big boot. Instead Vega tries a tornado DDT, which is blocked as well. Vega spins into a jawbreaker for two on Ripley, who easily blocks a running knee. A delayed superplex doesn’t work for Ripley as Vega slips between the legs and hits a running knee for two. Not that it matters as Ripley hits Riptide for the pin at 2:09, meaning she is a bit better without Ash.

Big E. doesn’t have to team well with Bobby Lashley tonight. Cue Lashley, with Big E. wondering where MVP is to jump him again. Lashley says don’t worry about that, but just be ready for later.

Here is Liv Morgan for a chat, complete with a kendo stick. Morgan talks about how Becky Lynch accepted the rematch for Day One, but only after she injured Morgan’s arm. She talks about going to Iowa to jump Becky at her gym in Iowa and we see a clip of the attack. Morgan showed up and went after Becky, but it was a lookalike so the real Becky could jump her (ignore the pretty big gap in logic to get there).

Instead, Becky got beaten up anyway and Morgan is ready for Day One. Becky can try to break her arm, but she’s going to break Becky’s face. Cue Becky, who asks how Morgan feels about beating up an innocent woman. Morgan says Becky went after her arm but she beat Becky up with one good arm. That gets some respect from Becky, but she doesn’t think Morgan can handle the heat. Morgan throws the stick to Becky, who leaves anyway.

I like Morgan a good bit, but STOP HAVING HER DO THESE LONG RECITED PROMOS. They don’t sound like things she would say and it’s obvious that she is just reading words given to her. She got popular doing one thing and now they’re having her do the opposite to weaker effect. Why is this a surprise anymore?

Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens vs. Big E./Bobby Lashley

Lashley wrecks them both to start and we take a break less than a minute in. Back with Lashley hitting a one armed delayed vertical suplex to drop Rollins again. Rollins manages to send him outside though and Owens stomps away to take over. Lashley gets thrown back inside to keep up the beating, which he shrugs off without much trouble.

Big E. comes in for the suplexes and gyrating, setting up a clothesline to send Rollins outside. Owens gets in a cheap shot though and Rollins adds a frog splash for two. We take another break and come back with Lashley wrecking things again, allowing the tag back to Big E. Everything breaks down and Lashley spears Big E., followed by another spear to Owens for the pin at 14:04.

Rating: C. I’m curious about how that ending was supposed to go as it felt like the match was going to end sooner rather than later anyway. The good thing is that Lashley gets another big win, as he is looking more and more like an unstoppable monster. I don’t know what that means for his chances at Day One, but he’s looking awesome on the way there.

Post match Rollins makes a save about ten seconds late, as it seems the ending wasn’t as it was supposed to be. The Stomp hits Big E. and Lashley gets hit with the steps. The apron powerbomb and a Stomp on the steps leave Lashley laying. Owens and Rollins celebrate

Overall Rating: C-. While it wasn’t the mess that last week’s was in this area, this show continued to make me wonder why I would cheer for any of the heroes around here. Save for one or two, this show was filled with heroes who were either inept, lame or just stupid. Between Big E. being left laying again, Morgan not being able to tell which redhead was which (and Lynch being some genius strategist) and Edge knowing Miz’s plan and getting laid out anyway, there wasn’t much to get excited about here.

That’s been a major WWE problem for a long time and it was on full display this week. It’s like WWE builds someone up, gets us to cheer for them and then changes their minds and decides to cut them back down to size. Why they would want to do that is beyond me, but it is making for some dreadful television. The wrestling was fine, but egads it would be nice to have a main event face stand tall and look smart for a change around here.

Bianca Belair b. Doudrop – KOD
Finn Balor b. Austin Theory – Coup de Grace
Mysterios b. AJ Styles/Omos – Rollup to Styles
Randy Orton b. Chad Gable – RKO
Dolph Ziggler b. Damian Priest via countout
Rhea Ripley b. Queen Zelina – Riptide
Big E./Bobby Lashley b. Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens – Spear to Owens




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