Date: December 21, 2020
Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL
The Big Takeaway —
WWE followed consecutive bad Raw shows and an all-time bad rating with another poor show. Not only was it not an improvement in any way, but there was nothing new or different about it, besides the returning Charlotte Flair.
The main story of the show was Keith Lee and Sheamus not getting along, with Drew McIntyre trying to keep the peace. Lee got the pin in the main event but Sheamus laid him out with a Brogue Kick.
Bray Wyatt was not on the show but Alexa Bliss returned to issue a warning to Randy Orton.
Show Recap —
The stage was decorated with Christmas trees. The announcers ran down tonight’s show, including some sort of message from Randy Orton.
Charlotte Flair entered and they replayed what happened last night. She said, “Well, well — would you look at this. I am in the Thunderdome. And what would the Thunderdome be without the queen?”
Charlotte said she walked into the Thunderdome for the first time as a champion because she’s always a champion and that hasn’t changed over the past few months. Charlotte said a friend was in need and that friend was considered the heartbeat of this division. She introduced Asuka.
Asuka gleefully boasted about being a double champion. Asuka said Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler was not ready for her or Charlotte. Charlotte was about to ask about the Raw Women’s title but was interrupted by Jax and Baszler.
Jax said it was good to see Charlotte and noted that it must’ve taken six months to recover from the beating she gave her. Jax also noted that six months off didn’t fix Charlotte’s robotic voice. Charlotte told her that she kicked their asses last night. Baszler and Jax bragged about handing out beatings of their own to the likes of Lana and Kairi Sane.
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke interrupted. Brooke said Jax looked like Rudolph after a nose job. Rose made a comment on her looks as well. Basically, they thought she looked like a reindeer. Rose and Brooke wanted their scheduled match against Jax and Baszler right now. Charlotte encouraged a referee to get out there and a referee did indeed enter the ring.
This wasn’t exactly an exciting segment.
Raw Legends Night was announced for January 4th. Guests include Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Beth Phoenix, Torrie Wilson and more.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke (12:52)
Asuka and Charlotte joined commentary. The announcers asked who they wanted to win and Asuka said she was cheering for her “sexy muscle friends” (Rose and Brooke).
Rose and Brooke took down their opponents with dives. This was followed by a clunky spot where Jax knocked Rose off the apron by barely touching her. Jax tossed her into the barricade which led to break. The heels worked over Rose until Rose hit a knee strike and tagged in Brooke. Jax broke up a cover at one point so Rose took her out with a flying knee off the apron.
Brooke got a couple of two counts on Baszler but Baszler caught her in the Kirifuda Clutch for the submission win. (Brooke tapped immediately. It didn’t even seem like the move was fully applied when she tapped.)
As Baszler and Jax bragged to the champs, Brooke and Rose dumped them out of the ring and their music played as the segment ended. This was no good.
Hurt Business bullied some guy wearing a New Day shirt. They ripped off his shirt and put him in a Hurt Business shirt.
Things announced for Smackdown: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns in a cage match, Sami Zayn vs. Big E for the IC title, and Charlotte and Asuka defending the tag titles.
Jeff Hardy & Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley & MVP was announced for tonight.
MVP’s VIP Lounge with The Hurt Business
The Hurt Business entered all wearing black suits and gold accessories. MVP said the VIP Lounge was for people better than you.
Shelton Benjamin began talking about their win but seemed to be interrupted by Cedric Alexander who bragged about beating New Day. (Lashley and Benjamin gave each other a knowing look as he spoke.) Lashley called himself dominant and said nobody could beat him.
MVP brought in a photographer to commemorate the moment. She entered the ring and began taking pictures as R-Truth appeared unknowingly behind them to pose with his 24/7 title. The 24/7 losers ran after him which included everyone running between the X-Mas trees to the back.
Riddle and Hardy interrupted (to Hardy’s music). Riddle congratulated Hurt Business on the win but wondered why they spent so much money on celebrating. Riddle said all you needed to do was hang out with your bros while listening to Joe Rogan or watching Dave Chappelle while making treats and getting toasted.
Riddle said they were all the same: self-aware creatures travelling on a rock through the solar system. Hardy said there were more important things in life than status and money. He said they would rather live with pride than greed. Hardy’s music hit and that was the segment.
It’s been 43 minutes and it doesn’t appear they’ve actually decided to change anything after last week’s rating.
Angel Garza defeated Drew Gulak (2:13)
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Garza before the match. He said he would be fighting Gulak but would be thinking of her. He gave her a rose. As Garza entered, the announcers said we’ve heard from him a lot recently. He hasn’t been on Raw in weeks.
Garza won fairly quickly with a superkick and Wing Clipper.
Chary Caruso approached AJ Styles (who had a large bruise on the left side of his face) and Omos. Styles told Caruso that Miz screwed him out of the WWE title. She wondered why he agreed to be on MizTV. Styles wanted to hear what Miz had to say for himself.
MizTV with The Miz & John Morrison
A morose Miz and Morrison stood in the ring. Miz said he failed at his goal of becoming a two-time WWE champion. Miz apologized to his family for letting them down. Morrison said that wasn’t the only apology he had and Miz called out Styles. Styles and Omos entered.
Miz began to explain himself but Styles quickly interrupted him. Styles said Miz might be the dumbest person on earth. Styles said Miz blew it.
Miz fired up and said he knows what happened. He successfully cashed in the contract 10 years ago and wanted to do it again. After 15 years of hard work, people still don’t respect him. Miz wanted respect from the fans and from Styles and that’s why he tried winning the title last night. Miz said they were both robbed last night. He apologized to Styles.
Miz had a gift for Styles: an opportunity to be in the next Marine movie. Miz showed a Marine poster with himself, Omos and Styles on the poster. Styles was tiny. Styles yelled at Miz. They all argued as Omos pointed out that Morrison is the one who cashed in the briefcase.
As Styles and Morrison argued, Omos left the ring for some reason. Miz realized that Omos was right: Morrison cashed in, not him, so it shouldn’t count. Miz wanted his MITB contract reinstated.
Drew McIntyre interrupted. McIntyre recalled celebrated over pints last night with Sheamus and Keith Lee. They wanted a sequel of the Nightmare Before TLC. He said they (drunkenly) wrote a new story (on napkins): Nightmare After TLC.
Sheamus and Lee entered and they all read a line from the story they came up with. McIntyre realized they didn’t write down an ending so they gave up on it and decided to just come up with a new ending right now. They entered the ring and attacked the heels. (Omos isn’t a very good bodyguard.)
Sheamus was about to finish things off with a Brogue Kick but Styles dropkicked Lee into him. Sheamus got in Lee’s face for ruining his moment. McIntyre tried to calm him down as the heels left.
Lee and Sheamus argued backstage after a break. McIntyre got between them. McIntyre said if they didn’t stop, he’d knock them both out. McIntyre demanded that Sheamus go calm down. McIntyre tried to reason with Lee. He admitted that Sheamus can be a bit of a prick but he’s the guy you want on your team. Lee agreed to leave it alone.
T-Bar (w/Retribution) defeated Ricochet (2:44)
Like last week, Ricochet had to fight off other members of Retribution as the referee just watched. Mustafa Ali tried lecturing him so Ricochet went after him. This allowed T-Bar to grab Ricochet and hit Feast Your Eyes for the pinfall win. This sucked.
T-Bar threatened to end Ricochet’s existence if he doesn’t join them.
There was a pre-taped New Day interview where they tipped their caps to Hurt Business for winning the titles. New Day knew they’d get back on top because they’ve done it before.
US Champion Bobby Lashley & MVP (w/Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) defeated Riddle & Jeff Hardy (11:48)
The good guys were in control through a break but, after the break, Lashley pushed Hardy off the top and he fell awkwardly on the outside. Riddle made a hot tag and ran wild on MVP. Alexander tried distracting Riddle but it didn’t work and he kept going. Riddle hit a fisherman’s suplex but Lashley broke up the cover, tagged himself in, and ran over Riddle.
Riddle kneed out of a delayed vertical suplex and Hardy tagged himself in. Riddle hit Lashley with a knee strike and wiped out Benjamin and Alexander with a dive. Hardy went to the top but had to fend off MVP. Lashley dodged a Swanton attempt and applied the Hurt Lock. This was fine.
Jaxson Ryker (w/Elias) defeated Gran Metalik (w/Lince Dorado) (0:54)
Elias cut a promo before the ring where he basically said nothing. He wanted to show the impact his music could make on someone.
As the match started, Elias climbed to the top rope to perform with his guitar. Metalik dodged a charge by Ryker before yanking Elias down with a rana. Dorado posed with his guitar. Ryker came back and knocked down Metalik with a clothesline before hitting a sit-out bomb for the pinfall win.
Randy Orton segment
Orton entered wearing a smile (and shorts). Tom Phillips tried to rationalize Orton winning the match by setting part of the Fiend on fire because those were the rules but thought he went too far by setting him completely on fire after the match. (They played loud booing for Orton.)
Orton said he’s been called sick, twisted, deranged and demented. He proved that he was all of those things when he “burned the Fiend alive.” Orton said a normal man would have regrets for setting another man on fire but the Fiend was no man and Orton himself was not a normal man. Orton enjoyed every second of watching the Fiend burning.
Orton said he could still see it and smell it. He couldn’t sleep last night because the voices in his head, which are normally like a lullaby, were absent. All he could hear were the screams of the Fiend. “The Fiend is gone. The Fiend is no more. And I am the evil son-of-a-bitch that took him out.” Loud booing continued.
The lights began to go out so Orton bailed from the ring. A dim purple light shined on the ring to reveal Alexa Bliss on a swing set. (There was also a slide in the corner.) She invited Orton to come in the ring and play.
Bliss said maybe “he” was on the beach, hopefully not getting a sunburn, or at his favourite restaurant having his favourite food — BBQ. Bliss thought maybe “he” was absorbed into the mat and into the earth. But maybe he’ll be back one day on Bliss’ playground. And if he does come back, he’ll be unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The lights went out again. They cut to the announcers who looked befuddled.
This was pure detritus.
Non-title match: Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & Charlotte Flair defeated Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans (8:27)
Schreiber interviewed Royce and Evans before the match. Evans was offended that Schrieber thought they might not be ready for this. As Evans began making her entrance, Royce made it clear to Schreiber that she’s the one who got this match made.
They went to break one minute into the match even though not much happened since the previous break. Royce and Evans were in control despite not getting along. Asuka gave Royce a German suplex and tagged in Charlotte who gave Evans a nasty-looking high-angle back suplex before hitting Royce with chops and a big boot.
Charlotte set up for the Figure Four but Evans got in the way so Charlotte suplexed her. Royce put Charlotte in a single-leg crab but Asuka broke it up before knocking down Evans with a kick. Royce used a rollup for two and Charlotte followed with a Figure Eight for the submission win. This was the first babyface win of the evening.
Lee, Sheamus, and McIntyre were shown getting ready together in the back.
They aired a video of Titus O’Neil gifting a longtime school staff member with a new car.
Miz was on the phone with someone trying to explain why he should get the MITB contract back. Styles approached him and ended the call.
Six-man holiday street fight: WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee defeated AJ Styles (w/Omos), The Miz & John Morrison (17:54)
They called this a street fight but everyone was still tagging in and out.
Sheamus and Morrison had an exchange early on that reminded me that these two had a really damn good ladder match at TLC (10 years ago).
The good guys were doing well and getting along just fine until Sheamus and Lee got a little heated. After a break, Sheamus worked over Styles. Sheamus and McIntyre decided to club away at the chests of Miz and Morrison in unison. They pushed Miz and Morrison into Lee who drove them unto the side of the ring.
Morrison threw a gift box into the ring and the announcers let us know there were no DQs. Everyone was still standing on the apron waiting for a tag as he said this.
Sheamus and Morrison battled on the top which resulted in Sheamus falling through a table on the outside. This allowed the heels to take over. McIntyre and Lee just watched from the apron as their teammate got beat up even though there are no DQs.
The Steelers got a fortunate pass interference call in their favour as Sheamus hit a White Noise and tagged in McIntyre, who tossed around Morrison and Miz. Benny Snell Jr. scored a touchdown as McIntyre gave Miz a spinebuster but AJ Styles broke up a cover.
Everyone traded moves until Styles finally decided to grab a kendo stick (dressed as a candy cane) and used it on McIntyre. McIntyre fought back and powerbombed Styles through a table. Sheamus and Morrison battled with kendo sticks on the inside as McIntyre set up Miz for a Claymore kick.
Sheamus tagged himself in before McIntyre could hit the move (which he could have done anyway since it was no DQ). Lee tagged himself in before Sheamus could do anything (not that it matters since it was no DQ). Morrison was about to get involved so Lee knocked him off the apron into the arms of Omos. Morrison was relieved but Omos dropped him through a table.
Lee gave Miz a Spirit Bomb for the pinfall win. As soon as the faces began celebrating, Sheamus gave Lee a Brogue Kick. McIntyre yelled at Sheamus as they abruptly went off the air at 11:00pm.