WWE Raw Review: December 23, 2019
Kevin Owens vs. Mojo Rawley in a No Disqualification Match
This episode of Raw was tapped one week earlier but aired on December 23. We kicked off the show with Kevin Owens who held a short promo but got interrupted by Mojo Rawley as he still was upset due to Owens’ attack two weeks ago. KO told him that they would have a match next anyways, so why should they have a discussion when they can settle the score in the ring.
The match was solid and Rawley wasn’t completely dominated by KO and also showed off some of his offence. In the end, Owens performed the Stunner and a Pick Up Powerbomb through a table for the win.
After the match, Owens said that he would still have some fight left in him and called out Seth Rollins and the AOP so they could beat him up. Rollins’ entrance music played, and he came out accomplished by the AOP. The Architect entered the ring while Akam and Rezar were at ringside. Rollins offered KO a handshake but received instead a Superkick by Owens. Akam and Rezar entered the ring to beat up Owens together with Rollins.
Opinion: The pre-match promos were really unnecessary and thank god they kept it short. The match was a good opener for the show while the post-match angle was interesting. Rollins once more wanted to clear the situation without violence while KO hit him with a Superkick what led to the beating which he demanded.
Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana) vs. Cedric Alexander
Ahead of this match, we saw the first from several pre-taped segments around R-Truth, Akira Tozawa and the 24/7 Title as they were in New York. The segments were typical for the 24/7 Championship and so here is the short revision. Tozawa won the title from Truth and then lost it to a man dressed as Santa. In the end, R-Truth won it back and he and Tozawa enjoyed their time together as it was Christmas.
Bobby Lashley and Cedric Alexander showed a good match what was no surprise as Alexander was in it. During the match, Lana entered the ring with a mic to hold a little promo as she said that next week would be the most important day of her life as she’ll marry Lashley. She asked for a classic Greco-Roman wrestling match. In the end, Lashley performed the Spear and Alexander was after that move not able to kick out.
Rollins and AOP were shown walking backstage as Charley Caruso wanted to interview them. She asked what they would want to achieve by attacking all the superstars of Raw like for example Owens. Rollins noted that they didn’t want to attack Owens, but he gave him a kick. He added that Caruso should ask KO what he hopes to accomplish by picking up a fight with Rollins and AOP every week.
Opinion: Solid match between Lashley and Alexander with that unnecessary promo by Lana in it. Besides that, it was a well-worked match. Also, Rollins continues to show his full potential as a heel.
Drew McIntyre vs. Zack Ryder (w/ Curt Hawkins)
It didn’t take long at all until Drew McIntyre hit Zack Ryder with the Claymore Kick for the win. After the match, Curt Hawkins entered the ring to check on his partner. However, McIntyre gave Ryder a Future Shock DDT and Hawkins a Claymore Kick to put both away. Then, McIntyre grabbed a mic and said that he would have had fun. He then told the crowd that they just witnessed the definition of fun. His final words were that 2020 would belong to him.
Opinion: No special match but I liked the post-match promo by McIntyre. I truly hope that he’ll go on to challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, but for that, he would need to turn face. We’ll see what WWE truly plans with him for 2020.
Becky Lynch’s promo
The Raw Women’s Champion made her entrance and positioned herself in the ring. She said that even though she’s the face of the WWE, she doesn’t give a damn what the company wants. She added that the match between her and Asuka would need to take place and added that she wouldn’t accept a no as a response. She noted that Asuka would be the only woman who has beaten her fair and square and asked what Asuka would think about it.
Asuka’s music hit and he came out accompanied by Kairi Sane. They stood on the stage and Asuka asked the Man if she would remember TLC. The two Japanese women showed their titles and Asuka noted that they would still be the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Then, she continued to talk in Japanese and brought up the idea of Asuka Two Belts. The Man answered that she should just tell her the time and the place before adding that she would put it in other words, so Asuka could understand it. Lynch said a sentence in Japanese and then her music played before the segment ended.
Opinion: In general, I like this feud, but it’s hard to be interested in a feud when one of the two wrestlers can’t even hold a real promo. I also had the same problem back when Asuka had a match with Charlotte at WrestleMania.
Aleister Black vs. Deonn Rusman and Buddy Murphy vs. Joeasa
First, Aleister Black fought Deonn Rusmann and shortly ahead of this match it was announced that Black would face Buddy Murphy next week on Raw. Just as the match started, Black performed a jumping knee, lifted Rusman’s head with his foot to then give him a Black Mass Kick. After the three count, Black went up the stage as Murphy’s music hit and he went down the ramp past Black for his match. Black watched the match from the stage.
Murphy hit Joeasa after a few seconds with a knee what sent his opponent to the ground. He lifted Joeasa’s head up with his foot as Black did to then perform his finisher. After the successful pinfall, Black headed back to the ring for a face-off. In the end, Black offered Murphy a handshake, but Murphy didn’t accept it and walked past him to leave the ring. As he suddenly turned around, he had to eat a Black Mass Kick and the segment closed with Black sitting cross-legged next to Murphy who was lying on the mat.
Opinion: The idea that both squash matches had the exact similar style was good. However, I’m not sure if Black needed to hit Murphy with his finisher just one week ahead of their rematch.
Ricochet vs. Tony Nese and Charlotte Flair vs. Chelsea Green
Not much to say about any of these two matches as in both cases the favourite went over pretty fast. Ricochet gave Nese no chance while Chelsea Green had at least a bit a chance to show her offence before tapping out to the Figure Eight.
Ahead of these two matches, we saw a little interview with Rey Mysterio in which he talked about this night’s match with Rollins for the United States Championship.
Opinion: The two matches were really meaningless while Rey did once more a good job at the mic.
Randy Orton and “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. “The OC” AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
They worked throughout the match with the angle that Randy Orton would have a knee injury after last week’s match with AJ Styles. In the end, the Viper hit Anderson with an RKO and wanted to hit Gallows also with one, but Gallows shoved him away. Orton once more sold the knee injury what allowed Styles to perform the Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Opinion: Last week Orton picked up the win while this week Styles is the one. So, nothing to complain about but the Viking Raiders once more lost to the OC and due to that a title match should just be a matter of time.
Erick Rowan vs. Travis Horn and Rusev vs. No Way Jose (w/ his conga line)
Erick Rowan once more brought his pet cage with him to the ring. Travis Horn offered Rowan candy cans and wanted to put one into the animal cage. However, Rowan destroyed him with two Claw Slams and after the pin, he dropped a candy cane into the pet cage.
Ahead of Rusev’s match, he held a short promo. He said that he wouldn’t be upset about Lashley’s a and Lana’s marriage next week and explained that this would be the worst punishment for Lashley. The match with No Way Jose was quickly over as Rusev performed a Machka Kick. After the fight, he helped Jose to the ring and started to dance. No Way Jose’s entrance music hit as Rusev joined the dancers of the conga line at ringside and danced together with them. As they reached the stage, snow fell down.
Opinion: Well, I would say it is hard to deny that Rusev is one of the biggest babyfaces in all of WWE while it’s horrible to watch every week the same style of a match for Rowan without any kind of development.
Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins (w/ Akam and Rezar) for the United States Championship
The two men performed a good match what is no surprise as both men are great in-ring athletes. Mysterio was able to perform the 619 and as he went up to the top rope to finish Rollins off, Akam and Rezar got involved and attacked him. So, Mysterio defended his title by DQ. Akam and Rezar destroyed Mysterio at ringside while Rollins watched. Rollins then told them to drag Mysterio up the ramp and they did so. They cleared the broadcast table and told Samoa Joe (who was on commentary for the whole episode) to leave while Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler already ran off.
Joe stood up and looked as he would be ready for a fight. Rollins approached him to calm him down, but then turned around and walked away. He then told Akam and Rezar to finish off Joe and they sent him through the broadcast table while Rollins gave Mysterio a Curb Stomp on the stage.
Opinion: It’s safe to say that the main event and the post-match segment were clearly the best things about this whole episode. I’m happy that Joe is back and besides, it was a good way to bring him back.
All in all, I didn’t like that episode of Raw as we had more than 10 matches and almost all of them were squash matches. Raw has too many superstars which they want to bring over and due to that, there is almost no time to build good storylines with longer matches or segments. The two fights of Murphy and Black, as well as the main event, were clearly my highlights. Besides that, there were way too many matches without any certain meaning just to let superstars pick up wins which will lead to nothing or which they don’t even need (for example Charlotte). The Queen is the perfect example as she doesn’t need such a squash match at the moment. We know that she is one of the top faces of the WWE and won’t challenge Lynch for the title within the next weeks as Asuka is in the title picture. Hopefully, WWE will work on that aspect of Raw.