Date: January 4, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Goldberg challenged Drew McIntyre to a WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble after McIntyre successfully defended the title against Keith Lee in a strong main event.
Outside of the main event, Raw was yet again a poor show (which featured four different roll-up finishes, not even including the 24/7 title stuff).
Teddy Long made a tag team match, Ric Flair got yelled at by Charlotte, Hulk Hogan said “brother,” Sgt. Slaughter called someone a maggot, Ric Flair was called pathetic by Randy Orton, Ron Simmons said “damn,” and the Boogeyman spooked Angel Garza.
Show Recap --
They opened the show with a quick video of Hulk Hogan plugging his fake “hPhone” and saying his catchphrase.
MizTV with The Miz & John Morrison
Miz ran down a couple of tonight’s matches and John Morrison plugged a few of the legends to appear tonight — including Miz himself. Miz said WWE management finally came to their senses by returning the MITB contract to him. They introduced New Day as their guests.
Kofi Kingston welcomed Miz and Morrison to their new talk show: New Day Talks. Xavier Woods talked about their (fake) new show as they both also mocked Miz and Morrison by saying “correct” over and over again. Miz said this was an audition for Woods before he fails on G4.
Kingston asked interview questions. Miz was annoyed as Morrison played along. Miz interrupted but his rant was interrupted by Teddy Long.
Long said he had the perfect solution: Miz and Morrison will face the Undertaker. New Day freaked out, but of course, Adam Pearce entered to whisper something in Long’s ear. Long made a tag team match instead.
It was good to see Teddy Long but this was a bad start to Legends Night.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated The Miz & John Morrison (13:15)
New Day were in full control early on and Kingston took out Miz and Morrison with a dive which led to a break. New Day were still in control afterwards but a slight distraction by Miz allowed Morrison to take control of Kingston. Kingston avoided a Miz Figure Four attempt and hit an SOS before making the hot tag to Woods.
Woods hit Morrison with clotheslines, a roundhouse kick and discus forearm as Kingston took out Miz on the outside. Morrison tried to get his feet on the ropes on a cover but Kingston knocked them off. Woods followed with a shining wizard on Morrison for the pinfall win.
This wasn’t a squash match but New Day took most of it.
28 minutes into the show, they recapped what happened with Alexa Bliss and Randy Orton last week.
Randy Orton interview
Charly Caruso interviewed Orton. She asked him, “Randy, what was going through your mind when you held that burning match?” Orton said the voices were telling him to drop the match and set Bliss on fire, but he couldn’t do it. Orton knew that everyone changed when they faced the Fiend, so he decided to show Bliss mercy and compassion.
He hated himself for that but that hatred can be moulded and sculpted and that meant he could be capable of anything. That new-found hatred inside him could be directed towards someone else. Caruso wanted to ask about the Fiend but Orton didn’t want to talk about him. Orton wanted to walk around and find some old friends and remind them why he’s the legend killer.
They aired a clip from TikTok of New Day and R-Truth hanging out on new year’s eve. Truth was looking forward to 2020. They had to tell him it’s actually 2021. Truth said he just returned from Australia. Angel Garza showed up and pinned him to win the 24/7 title.
In the back, Garza (I think wearing the same suit he wore in the “new year’s eve” video) spoke with Alicia Fox and talked about how beautiful his new championship was. She asked him if he saw the TikTok video of the guy riding around with cranberry juice while listening to Fleetwood Mac. Garza said no. She was appalled. She said he didn’t know what beauty was and left.
Garza kept walking and found Sgt. Slaughter, Mickie James and Tatanka. He tried giving James a rose. Slaughter called him a maggot.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Elias (w/Jaxson Ryker) (9:43)
Yes, this is a rematch from last week. Elias was in control for a lot of it. Styles tried a Phenomenal forearm after a break but Elias caught him with a knee strike for a two count. Styles came back with a brainbuster and Styles Clash for the pinfall win.
After the match, Ryker tried to attack Styles with the guitar but Styles ducked and Omos kicked the guitar into pieces.
They aired an interview from earlier today where Sarah Schrieber asked Charlotte Flair if she had any advice for the Royal Rumble entrants. Charlotte said they shouldn’t listen to the critics. She said she wasn’t one of the favourites to win last year’s Royal Rumble but won it anyway. (She couldn’t even keep a straight face saying this.) Charlotte said he would win again this year.
Riddle spoke with Big Show backstage. Riddle asked if he’d consider being the Big Bro. Show liked the idea. Riddle left to get ready for his match, then Orton confronted Show.
Orton asked how it felt knowing he can’t get back in the ring because of him. Show said he could get in the ring anytime. Orton put his hands on Show but Show didn’t bite. He knew Orton was trying to get him to do something stupid. Show was happy to be there with the other legends tonight. Orton basically called him a coward.
Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans defeated Tag Team Champions Asuka & Charlotte Flair (w/Ric Flair) in a non-title match (12:31)
Royce and Evans double-teamed Charlotte to gain the advantage but Asuka tagged in and fought them both off. Royce knocked Asuka off the top as Evans and Ric had a friendly exchange outside the ring. Charlotte took offense to this and slapped Evans in the face. Charlotte confronted Ric about it as Evans tackled her, which led to break.
Evans and Royce worked over Asuka after the break. Asuka fought back and made the tag to Charlotte who hit Evans with a forearm, chops and an exploder suplex. Royce tagged in but Charlotte suplexed her as well.
Charlotte hit a moonsault on both women before Asuka hit Royce with a shining wizard for a nearfall. Asuka kicked Royce and Charlotte hit her with Natural Selection but Evans broke up the cover.
Evans gave Asuka a neckbreaker in between the ropes before deciding to flirt with Ric. Byron Saxton noted how stupid it was to stop mid-match to do that. Charlotte knocked down Evans with a baseball slide.
Charlotte focused on Royce but Royce whipped her into the ropes. Ric wasn’t paying attention and assumed it was Royce coming off the ropes so he put his hand out and tripped Charlotte by mistake. Royce cradled Charlotte for the pinfall win.
Charlotte got in Ric’s face and demanded he stay out of her business. Again. Ric nodded and left. (I know I don’t have to say this, but Charlotte came across like a heel here.)
Backstage, Sheamus wished Drew McIntyre luck in his match. He asked McIntyre to give Keith Lee an extra kick when he was done. McIntyre said he would do whatever it took to win.
Hogan and Jimmy Hart appeared. Hogan put over Sheamus and McIntyre. Hogan said McIntyre reminded him of himself. McIntyre took that as a compliment. McIntyre asked if Sheamus and his big mouth reminded him of Hart. Sheamus was offended. He said he’d see them at the bar later. Hart told Sheamus to lighten up as they left the screen. McIntyre looked into the camera and said Hogan’s catchphrase, directed toward Lee. McIntyre and Hogan posed together.
Riddle defeated US Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) in a non-title match (9:07)
Riddle attacked Lashley before the match began as Lashley was handing his belt to MVP. The referee separated them and started the match. Riddle was on offense until Lashley blocked a PK, hoisted him on his shoulders and ran him into the post. This led to break 90 seconds into the match.
Lashley was in full control until Riddle slipped out of a Dominator and hit a PK for a one count. Riddle followed with the final flash knee for two. Riddle went to the top but Lashley grabbed him and hit a Dominator (the Ron Simmons version).
Lashley applied the Hurt Lock but Riddle tried to counter by kicking off the middle rope. The ref had to dodge as Riddle’s feet flew by him. Lashley still had the hold applied and Riddle tapped out but the ref was still down and out of position.
Lashley let go because he thought he won, but the ref didn’t see Riddle tap. As Lashley argued with the referee, Riddle applied a schoolboy for the pinfall win. This did Riddle no favours.
Backstage, Ricochet thanked Mark Henry for some advice. (Henry had one leg resting on a knee walker.) After Ricochet left, Orton showed up. Orton mocked Henry for scooting around and told him he owed him a lot of receipts for being on the receiving end of the World Strongest Slam over and over again. Orton warned him and told him to leave, so he did.
MVP told Caruso that Riddle tapped out and quit. He called the result a travesty. Lashley said he would punish Riddle’s punk ass.
Shayna Baszler vs. Mandy Rose
The match didn’t happen. Rose made her entrance as they showed a replay of Baszler beating Dana Brooke last week. Baszler abruptly interrupted the replay (which was good) to attack Rose from behind. Brooke ran out and challenged Baszler to a match right now.
Dana Brooke defeated Shayna Baszler (0:39)
Baszler had Brooke in the Kirifuda Clutch but Baszler’s shoulders were down so the ref counted to three. So Brooke pinned Baszler. (To her credit, Brooke did lift Baszler’s leg for the pin). Baszler still had Brooke in the hold and Brooke was about to pass out but Rose made the save.
That’s three straight matches with some sort of roll-up finish.
Ric Flair spoke with Molly Holly and IRS in the back. Molly and IRS abruptly left upon seeing Orton enter the frame. Basically, Orton told Ric that Charlotte was way better than he ever was and Ric was just a pathetic old man.
Lee was getting ready in the back and Riddle wished him luck.
Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy (14:09)
Orton gave Hardy a back suplex on the announce table very early in the match. Orton was in control until Hardy hit a neckbreaker and flying clothesline off the apron. With no explanation, Orton was in control after a break. He stuck fingers in each of Hardy’s earlobe holes and yanked back as the announcers freaked out.
Hardy came back with a jawbreaker, inverted atomic drop and leg drop for two, followed by a Whisper in the Wind for two. Orton followed later with a draping DDT. Hardy tried a Twist of Fate but Orton countered into an RKO for the pinfall win. This was a decisive win for Orton.
Lucha House Party bumped into Melina in the back. She joined them in a “Lucha” chant. That was it.
Lucha House Party defeated Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander (w/MVP) in a non-title match (2:54)
The story of the match was Alexander kept tagging himself in, which Benjamin initially brushed off until it finally led to an argument. As they argued, Lince Dorado kicked Benjamin before tossing Alexander from the ring. Dorado cradled Benjamin for the pinfall win. Another roll-up finish. MVP tried getting Benjamin and Alexander on the same page but Alexander left.
Torrie Wilson spoke with Nikki Cross in the back. Garza tried giving Wilson a rose. Wilson told him that she invited some celebrities to Raw and they were in the other room. She told him Cardi B would love a rose. Garza believed her and went into the room only to find the Boogeyman. Garza bailed but ran into Truth who rolled him up to win the 24/7 title. Truth, Cross and Wilson skipped away together. Ron Simmons showed up. He said damn.
Drew McIntyre defeated Keith Lee to retain the WWE Championship (21:18)
All of the “legends” we’ve seen so far, plus Booker T and Jeff Jarrett, were on the stage to watch the match.
They fought back-and-forth until Lee pounced McIntyre over the barricade. This led to break 4 minutes into the match.
Lee was in control until McIntyre tried mounting a comeback, but he failed twice to get Lee up for a suplex. McIntyre finally nailed an overhead suplex on the third attempt and followed with a neckbreaker. Lee dodged a Claymore and hit a big chokeslam for two.
McIntyre was on the outside and Lee went to the apron but was momentarily distracted by the referee. This allowed McIntyre to grab Lee and powerbomb him through the announce table (Lee hit the corner of the table, which didn’t look fun). This led to a break.
After the break, McIntyre hit a flying clothesline for two. Lee came back with a clothesline for two. McIntyre hit a Future Shock DDT for two. They piped in “this is awesome” chants.
They battled on the top and Lee hit a damn Spanish Fly for two. McIntyre came right back with a spinebuster for two.
McIntyre went for a Claymore but Lee caught his leg to block it. McIntyre slipped out of a Spirit Bomb attempt and hit a Claymore for the pinfall win.
Good match. The “legends” gave them a standing ovation. McIntyre and Lee bumped fists.
McIntyre grabbed a mic and was seemingly about to put over Lee but Goldberg’s music interrupted.
Goldberg entered. Goldberg said he couldn’t think of a better representative of the WWE Championship. McIntyre had size and speed and athleticism. However, he didn’t have respect. Goldberg said McIntyre must look at the legends and think he’s better now than they ever were. That he could beat any of them. Goldberg said he was wrong to think that.
Goldberg didn’t want him to think he was demanding anything. Goldberg challenged McIntyre to a WWE title match at the Rumble. McIntyre said Goldberg was wrong. Everyone knows he respected the legends.
McIntyre also said that Goldberg wasn’t the same man as he was 20 years ago. Fighting him now would be like fighting his dad. Goldberg shoved him down. McIntyre got to his feet and they got face-to-face as they show abruptly ended.