WWE RAW Review: Brock Lesnar is Officialy Entering The Royal Rumble Match and New RAW Womens Champion Crowned


Spectrum Center In Charlotte N.C. presented another big week of Monday Night Raw as there are two title matches announced coming into the show. This week we have New Day coming down the home stretch to the Tag Team Title record with a defense against Anderson and Gallows, plus Charlotte defending the Women’s Title against Sasha Banks (again). Let’s get to it.

We open with a look at last week’s main event. Here’s Chris Jericho to open us up with the Highlight Reel. This week’s guest is Kevin Owens, who is setting a record with his second consecutive appearance on the show. Owens rips on America in general for their actions on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, which you would never see from Canadians like them.

They’re thankful for each other but Jericho is also thankful for Seth Rollins, who blew another title shot last week. People have been accusing Jericho of interfering last week but that was clearly Sin Cara wearing a Chris Jericho match. “He got the Mast of Jericho and he put it on maaaaan.” Apparently Rollins isn’t medically cleared to be here tonight so here’s Roman Reigns instead. Jericho calls Reigns a joke but Roman thinks Owens being Universal Champion is the real joke.

Owens stumbles over the name of his title so Reigns says Owens would have lost that title in any of his recent defenses. That’s enough for Jericho who asks if Reigns knows what that means but Owens tells Jericho to shut up because he’s got this (smart move as YOU JUST MADE THE LIST would have gotten a face pop). Owens threatens to powerbomb on the apron just like Rollins, which sounds fine to Reigns. Roman thinks if he wins tonight, he should get a title shot at Roadblock. The match is made.

Post break, Kevin and Chris get in an argument over whether or not Owens needs him. They split up until Mick Foley comes in to say Jericho won’t interfere in the match tonight. Jericho is more than willing to walk away on his own.

R-Truth vs. Braun Strowman

Truth gets in a few shots but the powerslam puts him away in 38 seconds. Post match Goldust goes after Strowman until Sami Zayn runs in for some revenge after last week. This goes as badly as you would expect it to with Sami being put in the Tree of Woe again. Foley comes out to help break it up as we take a break. Back with Foley saying Sami is never going to quit, meaning he needs to be saved from himself.

That sets Sami off on a rant about Foley being bossed around by Stephanie. Foley says he saved Sami’s job by making Zayn vs. Strowman because Stephanie was going to fire him for not winning the Intercontinental Title (GOOD GRIEF PICK A SIDE WITH STEPHANIE ALREADY!). Sami wants Foley to be himself because he’s a hero to these people. All Sami sees when he looks at Foley is a hypocrite.  All I saw was Foley’s teeth falling out as he talked for a very weird visual.

Charlotte is ready for her championship celebration and sends Dana off to get things ready.

Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese

Cedric is the hometown boy and starts fast with a monkey flip. We see Alicia Fox watching in the back and smiling rather heartily at Cedric. Drew Gulak trips Alexander up so Nese can get two off a moonsault. We hit a bodyscissors for a bit until Cedric knees him in the face. Gulak offers another distraction though and a pumphandle driver ends Alexander at 3:24.

Rating: D+. Not much to see here but they’re setting up people as the cruiserweights get their own show tomorrow night. If Rich Swann gets the title tomorrow, Nese could be a potential first challenger for the title, which would be an upgrade over Brian Kendrick’s nothing character.

Enzo and Big Cass shill merchandise for Cyber Monday.

We recap the Jericho/Owens issues.

Jericho is offended at being asked if this argument is real. He goes to his care and the limo driver knocks the List out of his hands, only to have Rollins appear and beat Jericho down, including a big Pedigree on top of a car.

Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte #1

Charlotte is defending and we get Big Match Intros. Sasha gets in the Banks Statement about thirty seconds in but Charlotte is no Lesnar and makes the ropes. They’re quickly on the floor with Sasha being sent into the barricade to set up some chops. It’s actually a double countout at 3:09.

Rating: D+. What am I even supposed to say about this? I know WWE loves to keep these two fighting forever but I’m getting a little tired of it, especially when this is almost a guaranteed way to set up something else between them down the line. Of course this didn’t have time to go anywhere but what we got was the usual goodness between them.

Hang on a second as here’s Foley to say they’re restarting this match later tonight with no countouts, no disqualifications and falls count anywhere.

Rusev vs. Enzo Amore

Enzo says Rusev had the luckiest day of his life last week and it came on the luckiest day of his wife’s life because she got to see why Enzo is the realest guy in the room. We hear what Rusev and Lana might have had for Thanksgiving dinner but Enzo thinks she was thinking about him stuffing her turkey. A low blow DQ’s Rusev at 30 seconds.

Mark Henry is in a new movie and shoves Titus O’Neil down for saying it should have been his part.

Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar

Brian Kendrick is on commentary to yell about how he’s the champ and won’t be going anywhere because he needs to take care of his family. Swann starts fast as is his custom but Dar sends him throat first into the bottom rope to take over. A neck crank goes nowhere and it’s Swann’s spinning kick to the head ending Dar at 3:29.

Rating: C-. Words cannot express how much anything associated with Kendrick sucks the life out of a show. The guy is one of the least interesting heels in a long time and is really just there. You know what he reminds me of? Chavo Guerrero as ECW Champion. Yeah he can have watchable matches but there’s no energy to him at all and no one is looking forward to his matches.

Post match Swann calls Kendrick out and promises to win the title.

Sheamus and Cesaro are in a bar and talk about being the best team in WWE, even though they can’t stand each other. Various drunk guys come up and make fun of them, triggering a bar fight with the wrestlers cleaning house. They celebrate with a drink and seem to be on the same page.

Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens

Non-title. Owens jumps him before the bell but Reigns says ring the bell anyway (WAY too common anymore). The beating is on in a hurry with Owens knocking him to the floor before a backsplash gets two inside. Back with Reigns hitting a clothesline but having to put the brakes on to avoid hitting the referee.

That means a chinlock and Cannonball, followed by a long chinlock to keep Reigns down. Another backsplash hits knees though and they trade big forearms. A superkick gets two for Owens but he takes so long going up that Reigns nails a Superman Punch. Another one off the steps knocks Kevin silly and the spear finishes clean at 14:33.

Rating: C. Of course that’s the only way they can set up the pay per view rematch. It’s not like they could have had Owens get counted out or something (because we just HAD TO DO THAT FINISH earlier) because the solution was to just pin one of the weakest booked champions in recent years.

Owens is annoyed at being asked about the match. He blames Foley for the loss because he should have been at Jericho’s side. They’re still best friends you see.

We get a sitdown interview with Paul Heyman, who says he and Brock Lesnar screwed up by underestimating Goldberg. After twelve years on the sidelines, Goldberg stepped into the ring and cracked Lesnar’s ribs with a spear. This is now part of Lesnar’s legacy and it’s an embarrassment. The loss makes Lesnar think he has something to prove, which really scares Heyman, who doesn’t know what it’s going to turn Lesnar into. If Goldberg is in the Royal Rumble, so is Brock, which means there will be one conqueror, 28 losers, and one victim.

Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Andeson and Gallows

New Day is defending of course. An early powerbomb gets two on Woods and a fireman’s carry flapjack gets the same. With Big E. down on the floor, Gallows kicks Woods in the head as we go to a break. Back with Big E. coming in off the hot tag to clean house. A belly to belly suplex drops Anderson but a Gallows distraction lets Karl get in a kick to the chest.

That earns Anderson the spear through the ropes but the Midnight Hour is broken up with a boot to the head. The Magic Killer doesn’t work either so Woods blasts Anderson with forearms to the face. Karl tries a rollup with a handful of trunks but Woods reverses into one of his own to retain at 9:58.

Rating: C. The match was fine but there was no way the titles were changing with two weeks to go before the record. If they’re going to do that (and I’m not sure who it would be against unless we get Cesaro and Sheamus again), it’s not going to be until two days before the record is broken. New Day still cheated again but it felt more like the fun cheating instead of the evil version last week.

Bayley gives Sasha a pep talk and it turns into a speech about the greatness of Ric Flair.

Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks

Charlotte is defending and this is anything goes with falls counting anywhere. Sasha starts fast by knocking the champ outside and scoring with a suicide dive. A double clothesline puts both women down as we take a break. Back with Sasha fighting out of a bodyscissors and kneeing Charlotte in the face.

The double knees in the corner miss though and a big boot knocks Sasha off the apron for two on the floor. Natural Selection on the floor gets the same and the champ is annoyed. The annoyance takes so long that Sasha pulls out a kendo stick and swings away, drawing the ECW chants. Charlotte knocks her down again and grabs the Figure Eight, only to have a stick shot break it up.

They fight towards the announcers’ table where Charlotte moonsaults onto Sasha….or at least a few feet to Sasha’s right, for a near fall. Sasha gets in a Thesz press off the barricade for two more and both of them are down. They head into the crowd and Sasha ties her up in a handrail, setting up the Bank Statement to make Charlotte tap out

Highlight of The Night

Ric Flair comes out, raises Sasha’s hand, and is gone in less than thirty seconds. Banks celebrates to end the show.

Our Vital Grade To The Show: B-(minus) Paul Heyman Taped Interview was really Phenomenal.

Follow: @TheVitalClash

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