Date: November 23, 2020
Location: Amway Center in Orlando, FL
The Big Takeaway --
Riddle, Keith Lee, and AJ Styles will compete in a triple threat next week with the winner facing Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. To qualify, Riddle beat Sheamus, Lee beat Bobby Lashley via DQ, and Styles beat Randy Orton after the Fiend distracted Orton.
New Day successfully defended the tag titles against Hurt Business, Asuka and Lana beat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a non-title match, and Alexa Bliss beat Nikki Cross.
Drew McIntyre was not on the show.
Show Recap --
Raw’s men’s team was in the ring with Adam Pearce. He spoke about Survivor Series and Raw’s dominant victory. He thought they should be rewarded and wanted to give them each a chance to state their case about why they should be next in line for Drew McIntyre.
Sheamus congratulated McIntyre on winning the title again and called himself the MVP of team Raw. Styles thought that was ridiculous and thought Sheamus might try to use his friendship with McIntyre to get the shot.
Keith Lee reminded them that he secured the win by pinning Jey Uso. Riddle said he beat King Corbin which makes him King Bro. He thought winning the title would be dope and maybe he would take McIntyre’s sword which would also be dope.
Pearce wanted to hear from Braun Strowman, who was last but not least. Strowman, an idiot, took offense to being called last. Pearce tried to explain that it was just a common expression. Strowman headbutted him. Pearce went down. Lee and Styles checked on Pearce as they abruptly went to break.
The announcers talked about how heinous Strowman’s actions were.
There was footage from earlier today of Hurt Business giving New Day a hard time for losing last night. Shelton Benjamin thought they should be champions instead. Xavier Woods reminded them that they did this already and it didn’t end well for Hurt Business. Alexander got in Woods’ face and demanded a shot. Kofi Kingston didn’t seem to like the idea because it was their day off but Woods accepted.
Raw Tag Team Championship match: Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander (w/MVP) ended in a double countout (7:56)
Benjamin worked over Woods and kneed Kingston off the apron which led to a break two minutes into the match. Benjamin was still working over Woods after a long break but Kingston made a hot tag right after they returned.
The referee was distracted by Benjamin so Alexander yanked Kingston off the top to the outside. The announcers went on about how this would’ve been a DQ because Alexander wasn’t the legal man. Benjamin attacked Kingston but before they could get back in the ring, the ref called for a double countout.
It felt like they messed this up. They announced it as a double countout but then the ref raised the hands of the Hurt Business. Everyone looked confused and the announcers were confused.
MVP grabbed a mic and challenged New Day to another match. They agree and the match was restarted (after a break).
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander (w/MVP) to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships (8:21)
Kingston and Benjamin were faced off and ready to go before the break (the bell didn’t ring yet). When they returned from break, they were still pacing around like they had been doing that throughout the break.
Hurt Business worked over Kingston’s leg after he landed awkwardly on it on the outside. Kingston fought back and tried to make a tag but Alexander yanked Woods off the apron. Kingston managed to give Benjamin an SOS for a nearfall. Alexander chop-blocked Kingston and took over again.
Woods finally got the tag and ran wild on both guys. However, Alexander gave him a tornado DDT and Benjamin followed with an Angle Slam but Kingston broke up the cover. Kingston took out Alexander with a dive while Woods gave Benjamin a sunset flip bomb for the pinfall win. New Day retain.
Adam Pearce emerged from the trainer’s room with a bruise on his head located nowhere near where Strowman headbutted him. He told Charly Caruso that the doctors told him to take it easy for a week. He said that Strowman has been escorted out of the building and if it were up to him, Strowman would be fired.
Caruso asked what announcement he was about to make in the ring. Before he could answer, Bobby Lashley approached. Lashley said he was the only champion on Raw to come out victorious last night and wanted a word with Pearce before he made a decision.
After a break, Caruso asked Pearce for an update but before he could answer, Randy Orton approached. They cut back to the announcers.
Sarah Schrieber interviewed Lana. Lana was shocked and surprised and felt amazing. She called last night the highlight of her career. Schreiber wondered what was next, like maybe a title match against Asuka. Lana said she was dreaming and couldn’t even think about that right now.
Back to Caruso and Pearce. Pearce announced a series of matches and the winners would face off in a triple threat next week with the winner of that earning the shot against McIntyre. He said the first match was right now. (I guess he told Riddle in the few seconds we didn’t see him on camera because Riddle’s music hit immediately and he went to the ring.)
The other qualifying matches tonight are Orton vs. Styles and Lee vs. Lashley.
Riddle defeated Sheamus (20:48)
This was long but it was a pretty good match that featured more than a few nearfalls.
Riddle got a nearfall after a knee strike and Sheamus got one after a White Noise from the second rope. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick but Riddle collapsed before he could hit it. Sheamus taunted Riddle who responded with a headbutt. Sheamus tried a cloverleaf but Riddle countered into a cradle for the pinfall win. Riddle advances to next week’s triple threat.
Asuka approached Lana in the back and said she heard that Lana wanted a title match. Lana tried to clarify what was said during her interview earlier but Asuka accepted a title match anyway (even though Lana didn’t challenge her). Asuka smiled and said maybe Lana will become champion tonight. Lana seemed worried initially but became excited.
(There’s a commercial for Raw in Canada that focuses on Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Charlotte Flair and The OC.)
Firefly Fun House
The theme of the episode was friendship and there was a new puppet named Friendship Frog. Bray whispered something into Alexa Bliss’s ear which caused her eyes to change colour. She smashed the frog to death (as a warning to Nikki Cross). They had a tribute video for the frog which was admittedly pretty funny. Bray joked about the frog’s death and they both laughed.
Raw Women’s Championship match: Asuka defeated Lana via DQ (1:01)
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler entered to join commentary. Asuka was outside the ring so Jax and Baszler taunted her. Asuka dumped water on them so Jax attacked and the ref called for a DQ. Jax wanted to put her through the table but Lana saved her. Jax and Baszler challenged them to a tag match and they accepted.
Women’s Champion Asuka & Lana defeated Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler in a non-title match
They beat up Lana for a while until Asuka tagged in and hit Baszler with strikes, a running hip attack and a German suplex for two. Baszler came back with a knee strike for two.
Jax wanted to put Lana through the table but she slipped away and fought back. Jax tried running over Lana but she dodged and Jax tumbled over the announce table.
Baszler put Lana in the Kirifuda Clutch but Asuka caught her in a schoolboy for the pinfall win. Lana sprinted up the ramp to the stage so they couldn’t put her through the table again.
Riddle approached MVP in the back. Riddle knew MVP was a businessman and had ideas for him, like pizza-flavoured yogurt. MVP couldn’t believe him and said he wasn’t his bro. Riddle was disappointed. MVP agreed to listen to his ideas next week but if he didn’t like them, that would be bad news for Riddle.
They recapped McIntyre vs. Reigns.
Keith Lee defeated US Champion Bobby Lashley (w/MVP) via DQ in a non-title match (12:36)
Lashley hit a clothesline but was stunned when Lee didn’t fall down. Lashley responded with a flatliner but only got a one count. Lee blocked a Hurt Lock and knocked down Lashley with a shoulder block. Lee was about to attempt a dive but MVP got in his way for a distraction. It worked because he walked right into a Lashley clothesline.
Lashley pushed Lee into the barricade before hoisting him on this shoulders. Even Lashley struggled to keep Lee on his shoulders. Lashley ran toward the post to drive Lee’s head into it. They sold it like that’s what happened, but really, Lashley fell into the post himself because Lee was too damn big. The camera only focused on Lee after the spot and they went to break.
They showed a replay after the commercials even though it looked like the spot hurt Lashley worse than Lee. In fact, Lashley was bleeding from the head.
Lashley worked over Lee until he came back with a forearm. Lashley responded with a clothesline, which knocked down Lee, and a very impressive vertical suplex. Lee used a back elbow before leapfrogging over Lashley. Lee followed with a pounce which sent Lashley out of the ring. Lee hit a running crossbody on the outside.
The ref checked on Lashley in the ring and MVP used the opportunity to post Lee. Lee powered out of a Hurt Lock and slammed him down.
MVP jumped in the ring and attacked Lee for the DQ. Lee advances to next week’s triple threat. (Byron Saxton thought Lee had the match won which is why MVP got involved.) This was pretty fun until the finish.
There was an Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross video package.
Cross told Sarah Schreiber that she didn’t give up on Bliss, Bliss gave up on her. Cross was done trying and would beat the Fiend out of Bliss. Cross was good here.
Alexa Bliss defeated Nikki Cross (4:17)
Cross was beating up Bliss but Bliss laughed after getting hit with clotheslines. Cross continued to attack and drove Bliss’s head into the mat before hitting a running crossbody in the corner.
Bliss began weeping and looked around as if she was surprised to be there. She continued crying as Cross checked on her. Bliss apologized and hugged Cross. She turned the hug into a Sister Abigail (sort of) for the pinfall win. Bliss smiled as she covered Cross.
They aired an Undertaker video package which included clips from last night.
AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Randy Orton (12:51)
Orton used an Irish whip on the outside but Styles ran right into Omos. Omos caught Styles and easily hoisted him up onto the ring apron. Styles used a sliding kick and gave Orton his own back suplex on top of the announce desk which led to break.
Orton wanted to try a superplex but Styles slipped out and used a chop-block. Styles targetted his leg from there. Orton avoided a calf crusher and dropped Styles over the top rope. Styles avoided a suplex and used another chop-block but Orton came back with a neckbreaker.
Styles countered a draping DDT attempt into the calf crusher but Orton got a rope break. Orton followed with a powerslam for two. Styles dodged an RKO and hit an enziguri but Orton slipped out of the ring. Orton dropped Styles onto the ring apron.
As Orton leaned against the barricade, the Fiend’s music hit, the lights turned red, and he appeared behind Orton. Orton looked behind him but the Fiend was gone when the lights came back.
Orton went back in the ring and managed to block a Phenomenal forearm. Before he could follow up, the lights turned red and the Fiend appeared behind Orton again. He was gone when the lights came back on.
Styles gave a distracted Orton a Phenomenal forearm for the pinfall win. Styles advances to next week’s triple threat match.
The match wasn’t anything special but the Fiend stuff made it much, much worse. It was silly that only Orton seemed to notice the lights and the music and the Fiend himself. Styles and the referee seemed completely unbothered by it.