WWE RAW aired live from the ThunderDome. It was the first episode of RAW following Survivor Series. New Day defended the RAW Tag Team Championships on the line against the Hurt Business and Asuka defended the RAW Women’s Championship against Lana tonight.
RAW Results (11/23)
- New Day def. Hurt Business to retain the RAW Tag Team Championships
- Riddle def. Sheamus to advance to the #1 Contender Triple Threat match next week
- Asuka & Lana def. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
- Keith Lee def. Bobby Lashley via DQ to advance to the #1 Contender Triple Threat match next week
- Alexa Bliss def. Nikki Cross
- AJ Styles def. Randy Orton to advance to the #1 Contender Triple Threat match next week
Here are the takeaways from this week’s show:
Braun Strowman Attacked Adam Pearce
Sheamus congratulated Drew McIntyre on becoming a two time WWE Champion. Sheamus claimed that he was the MVP of Team RAW and AJ Styles interrupted. Styles claimed that he deserved the title opportunity and Keith Lee claimed that he should get the title shot because he beat Team SmackDown’s captain to secure the victory.
Riddle stated that he wanted to be champion and get that dope sword from McIntyre. Sheamus called Riddle an idiot and Riddle responded by calling Sheamus “fire face”. Pearce said “last but not least” in reference to Braun Strowman and the Monster Among Men flipped out. Strowman grabbed Adam Pearce and slammed him to the canvas.
New Day Retained
New Day defended their RAW Tag Team Championships against Hurt Business tonight on RAW. Hurt Business confronted New Day backstage and talked them into having the match tonight.
Match Recap: Alexander and Benjamin isolated Xavier Woods to start off the match. Benajamin planted Woods with a Suplex for a near fall. When RAW returned from a break, Kingston and Benjamin were battling in the ring. Kingston climbed to the top rope but Alexander tripped him up. Somehow this resulted in a double count-out and New Day retained. MVP then asked the referee to restart the match and New Day accepted.
After a commercial break, the match was restarted and Hurt Business was in control. Cedric hit Kofi with a Clothesline and followed it up with an Elbow Drop for a near fall. Alexander went to work on Kofi’s left leg and applied a Half Crab. Kofi escaped and went for a tag but Alexander dragged Woods off the apron.
Kofi connected with SOS on Benjamin for a two count. Woods finally tagged back in and hit Alexander with a boot to the face. Woods sent Benjamin out of the ring and hit him with a Dropkick through the ropes. Back in the ring, Woods slammed Cedric to the canvas for a near fall.
Cedric hit Woods with a DDT and tagged in Shelton. Benjamin connected with an Olympic Slam and went for the cover but Kofi broke it up at two. Woods then rolled up Benjamin for the pinfall victory.
Opinion: I’m hoping that the double count-out was a mistake and WWE called an audible because it was executed terribly. I figured that Hurt Business would win after the match restarted. They did not and I have no idea what the point of this match was. The Hurt Business are one of the only teams/factions on the RAW roster that pose a threat to New Day for the titles and they have already defeated them twice.
Riddle Advanced To Next Week’s Triple Threat Match
Adam Pearce announced that there will be three singles matches tonight and the winners of those matches will battle in a Triple Threat match next week to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship. Riddle battled Sheamus in the first singles match.
Match Recap: Sheamus controlled the match early and kept Riddle on the canvas. Riddle went for an Arm Bar but Sheamus was able to get his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Sheamus applied a Headlock in the middle of the ring. The action spilled out of the ring and Riddle connected with an Exploder Suplex.
Back in the ring, Riddle hit Sheamus with the Broton for a two count. Sheamus connected with the Irish Curse Backbreaker for a two count. Sheamus charged at Riddle but he moved and the Celtic Warrior crashed into the ring post. Riddle unloaded several kicks to Sheamus’ chest but he countered into an Alabama Slam as RAW went to a break.
When RAW returned, Sheamus applied a Heel Hook in the middle of the ring. Sheamus brought Riddle up to the middle turnbuckle and hit White Noise but somehow Riddle was able to kick out at two. Sheamus then locked in the Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring but Riddle countered into a roll-up for the pinfall victory. Riddle is the first superstar to qualify for the Triple Threat #1 contender’s match next week.
Opinion: I know we saw this match recently SmackDown but Riddle and Sheamus work so well together. I thought this match awesome.
Alexa Bliss Defeated Nikki Cross
Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss hosted another episode of Firefly Fun House. Tonight’s episode was about friendship and how friends always let you down. The Friendship Frog showed up and said that he believes that true friendship lasts forever. Bray told Alexa to show Friendship Frog what she is going to do to Nikki Cross later tonight. Bliss bashed the frog over the head several times and then Wyatt called for a brief moment of silence for Friendship Frog who passed away at the age of 40. Wyatt said it was a real shame he croaked and the two laughed to end the segment.
Nikki Cross battled Alexa Bliss later on RAW. Before the match, Nikki was interviewed backstage and said Alexa gave up on their friendship. Cross said she has done nothing but try and help her but she is done trying because she clearly wants The Fiend. Cross added that the only thing she cares about tonight and that is to beat The Fiend out of Alexa tonight.
Match Recap: Cross shouted “what is wrong with you?” at Alexa to start off the match. Bliss giggled and slapped Nikki’s hands. Alexa ducked under a Clothesline and then tripped Nikki up. Bliss rolled out of the ring and Nikki chased after her. Cross caught her and leveled Alexa with a Clothesline.
Back in the ring, Cross hit Bliss with another Clothesline as Alexa continued to laugh. Cross bashed Alexa’s head off the canvas several times and followed it up with a Senton for a two count. Alexa started crying in the ring and Nikki helped her up. Bliss told Nikki that she was sorry and hugged her. Bliss then planted Nikki with the Sister Abigail for the pinfall victory.
Asuka & Lana Defeated The Women’s Tag Team Champions
Asuka defended her RAW Women’s Championship against Lana tonight on RAW. Before the match began, Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax joined commentary.
Match Recap: Lana applied a Headlock and transitioned into a roll-up for a near fall. Asuka got out of the ring and poured water on Nia and Shayna. Jax and Nia then attacked Asuka but Lana made the save. Nia challenged them to a tag team match and they accepted as RAW went to a break.
When RAW returned, Jax launched Lana across the ring and began taunting her. Baszler tagged in and beat down Lana for a few more minutes. Asuka finally got the tag and hit Shayna with Double knees to the face. Asuka followed it up with a German Suplex and then a Shining Wizard.
Shayna connected with a knee to the face and went for the cover but the RAW Women’s Champion kicked out at two. Jax leveled Asuka and then cleared off the announce table. Nia charged at Lana but she moved and Jax tumbled over the announce desk. Shayna got distracted by this and Asuka capitalized with a roll-up for the pinfall victory.
Keith Lee Advanced To The Triple Threat Match
Keith Lee battled Bobby Lashley tonight on RAW. The winner will advance tot he #1 contender Triple Threat match next week. MVP was ringside for the match.
Match Recap: Lashley controlled the action early and got Keith Lee in a Headlock. Keith broke free and hit Bobby with a chop to the chest. Lashley connected with a Flatliner but Lee kicked out at one.
Keith Lee avoided the Hurt Lock and leveled Lashley with a shoulder tackle. MVP distracted Keith and Lashley capitalized by shoving him into the ring post. Lashley shoved Lee into the barricade and rolled back into the ring. Lashley then lifted Lee up on his shoulders and slammed him into the ring post against as RAW went to a commercial break.
When RAW returned, Lashley was still in control and had Lee in another Headlock. Keith broke free with a forearm to the face but Lashley shrugged it off and hit a Clothesline. Lashley followed it up with a massive Suplex and went for the Hurt Lock but Keith Lee blocked it.
Keith sent Lashley tumbling out of the ring with a shoulder tackle and hit him with a Crossbody. MVP shoved Lee into the ring post as the official was checking on Lashley in the ring. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock but Lee countered into a slam. MVP jumped into the ring and attacked Lee to end the match in a DQ. Keith Lee advanced to the Triple Threat match next week.
AJ Styles Advanced To The Triple Threat Match
Match Recap: AJ tried to end it early and rolled up Orton for a two count. Styles connected with a Dropkick for another two count. Orton poked AJ in the eye and tossed him out of the ring.
Randy followed AJ out of the ring and got distracted by his associate. Styles caught Orton with a knee to the face and slammed Orton on top of the announce table as RAW went to a commercial break.
When RAW returned, Orton and Styles were battling on the top rope. Orton went for a Superplex but Styles escaped and hit Randy with a chop block to his knee. Styles focused his attack on Orton’s knee and applied a submission hold.
AJ went for the Calf Crusher but Orton escaped and draped Styles across the top rope. Orton went for the cover but AJ kicked out at two. Styles hit another chop block but Orton battled back with a Backbreaker for a two count.
Orton went for a DDT but AJ dodged it and locked in the Calf Crusher in the center of the ring. Randy slowly made his way across the ring and grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold.
Randy connected with a Powerslam for a near fall. Orton went for the RKO but Styles countered with an Enziguri but Randy fell out of the ring and AJ couldn’t go for the cover. Orton then tripped up AJ on the apron and leaned up against the barricade.
The Fiend then popped up from behind the barricade but disappeared when Orton went after him. Back in the ring, AJ went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Orton blocked it and hit the Draping DDT.
Orton geared up for the RKO but the lights in the ThunderDome went out. When they came back on, The Fiend was behind Randy Orton and shouted at him. The lights went out again and when they came back on Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the pinfall victory. AJ Styles will face Riddle and Keith Lee next week in the #1 Contender Triple Threat match. The Fiend’s laughter echoed throughout the ThunderDome to close the show.
Opinion: Orton and AJ Styles had a forgettable match to end an underwhelming edition of RAW. Sheamus and Riddle easily had the match of the night. I expect Braun Strowman will factor into the Triple Threat match next week or it will become a Fatal 4-Way. I’m glad Orton is out of the title picture and feuding with The Fiend. I had no interest in another Orton and McIntyre match next month at WWE TLC.