Date: November 30, 2020
Location: Amway Center in Orlando, FL
The Big Takeaway --
AJ Styles will face Drew McIntyre for the WWE title at TLC.
Raw was quite bad outside of the triple threat match where Styles beat Riddle and Keith Lee.
Show Recap --
The announcers ran down some of tonight’s card which includes Drew McIntyre teaming with his “best friend” Sheamus against Miz and John Morrison.
A Moment of Bliss
Bliss introduced Randy Orton, whom she called her favourite superstar. Orton entered wearing a zip-up hoodie and shorts. Bliss showed a replay of what happened next week. She pretended to be surprised that the Fiend got involved in Orton’s match but thought Orton would have a better idea why.
Orton said he’s known Wyatt a long time but has never met the Fiend and certainly doesn’t know him like Bliss does. Orton noted that the Fiend shows his pain and suffering on his face while Orton keeps it bottled inside so he can blend in.
Orton recalled finding Wyatt’s weakness years ago and burning it down to the ground. It was time to find the Fiend’s weakness and Orton thought that Bliss was that weakness. Bliss stopped speaking like a child and stood up to him before saying, “who’s manipulating who?”
The screens slowly went off and the lights turned red. Bliss was suddenly in Orton’s arms and the Fiend was in the ring.
Orton carefully handed Bliss back to Wyatt and quickly bailed from the ring. Orton smiled and said, “who’s laughing now?”
This was not good.
The announcers plugged the upcoming Jeff Hardy/Elias match and called it the final chapter. I’m not sure how they would know that.
Symphony of Destruction match: Jeff Hardy defeated Elias (12:29)
Early in the match, R-Truth popped out of a piano that he was hiding in. Erik and Tozawa immediately ran out so perhaps they were waiting in Gorilla. They ran after Truth who ran away. Drew Gulak ran out but Hardy gave him a back body drop. Gran Metalik ran out but Elias clotheslined him. Elias hit Lince Dorado with a guitar and Hardy hit Gulak with a chair.
This led to a break about three minutes into the match. Hardy tried a Whisper in the Wind but Elias hit him with a guitar. Elias tried jabbing him with something but Hardy moved and Elias jabbed a speaker which “electrocuted” him. Hardy hit him with a bass.
The big spot came at the finish. Hardy placed Elias on a table on the outside (and put some small instruments on top of him). Hardy then hit a Swanton Bomb off the top to the outside through the table for the pinfall win.
It was a spectacular spot but also a dangerous one as Hardy’s head came way too close to hitting the steel steps. I have no idea why they didn’t think to move the steps away. Hardy appeared to be just fine, thankfully.
(The other annoying thing about the match was the announcers chuckling throughout. They laughed at Hardy hurting his tailbone and Elias presumably getting electrocuted.)
Riddle approached Keith Lee who was warming up in the back. Riddle rambled on and on and Lee didn’t seem amused. The camera zoomed in on Riddle who looked away from Lee for a moment to make an Austin Powers joke. When the camera expanded, Lee was gone. (It was a funny visual but also dumb to think Riddle didn’t notice Lee leaving.)
The New Day plugged WWE Shop.
Mustafa Ali, with Retribution, cut a backstage promo. Ali wondered why Ricochet continued to try pushing the same boulder up the same hill every week just to have it fall back down. Promises made to him will just turn into lies and dreams will turn into nightmares. Slapjack said he was rejected but Ali saw him for what he really was: a weapon. Ali warned Ricochet that he would face consequences.
There was a promo by Ricochet that he apparently did on Twitter. Ricochet’s focus was to be better than Ali in the ring and that would prove that Ali was doing things the wrong way. They need to shoot every Ricochet promo like this because this was way better than usual.
Slapjack (w/Mustafa Ali) defeated Ricochet (3:31)
Ricochet gained control so Ali summoned T-Bar and Mase from the back. Ricochet sent Slapjack to the outside and wiped out all three men with a dive.
Dana Brooke suddenly appeared behind Ali and slapped him. This led to Ricochet fighting off interference attempts by every Retribution member as the referee just watched. Ricochet chased Ali from the apron but Slapjack caught him with his finisher for the pinfall win. Slapjack pinned Ricochet. Brooke vanished. This sucked.
The first hour was quite bad.
MizTV with The Miz & John Morrison
Miz and Morrison introduced Sheamus as their guest. They were very annoying. They basically tried to drive a wedge between Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. Sheamus laughed them off.
Miz fired up and reminded Sheamus he used to be a top guy. Now McIntyre was on top as Sheamus just watched from the sidelines. Miz called him a joke.
Sheamus got serious, removed his jacket and hat (revealing a completely normal hairstyle) and attacked both men. The numbers were too much, though, and Miz clocked him from behind with the briefcase. Miz hit him repeatedly with the briefcase.
Women’s Champion Asuka & Lana defeated Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler in a non-title match (9:17)
Before the match, Jax told Sarah Schreiber that Asuka and Lana got lucky last week (but not before insulting Schrieber’s appearance first). Baszler reminded her that she was fighting Asuka while Jax couldn’t even handle Lana. Baszler said it was one thing to lose to Asuka, but couldn’t stomach a loss to Lana. Jax said they would win and put Lana through a table.
Lana and Asuka each tried a baseball slide but were caught by Jax and Baszler. (Actually, Baszler caught Asuka but Lana came up short because Jax was standing too far away.) Jax and Baszler swung them into the barricade and they went to break barely a minute into the match.
Asuka tagged in Lana immediately upon return from the break. Jax cut her off easily and clobbered her with a forearm. Jax and Baszler worked her over until Lana managed to slip off of Jax’s shoulders before shoving her into the post.
Lana fell into the corner and Asuka tagged herself in before running wild on Baszler. They knocked each other down with kicks so Lana tagged herself in. Lana hit a flying crossbody but Baszler rolled through and applied the Kirifuda Clutch.
Asuka fought off Jax and broke up the cover by giving Baszler a shining wizard. Lana rolled over on Baszler and pinned her for the win. Lana pinned Baszler.
McIntyre approached Sheamus in the back. McIntyre seemed amused that Sheamus was hurting. He figured Sheamus had fun because he’s a physical guy. Sheamus wasn’t amused but cheered up and agreed with McIntyre that it was a bit of fun. They were both looking forward to tonight’s match.
New Day promo
New Day entered. Kofi Kingston put over Xavier Woods being named host of G4. Woods sincerely thanked anyone who has ever been on his channel or supported him in any way. Kingston asked Woods to recap Hurt Business repeatedly failing to win the tag titles. Woods did play-by-play as replays aired. They were very happy with themselves.
Hurt Business interrupted. (Woods could be heard off-mic saying, “where are the other tag teams?”) MVP said they were technically 2-2 against each other. Shelton Benjamin said they would win the titles and hurt them in the process. Cedric Alexander jumped in the ring, got in Woods’ face, and told him it was dumb luck that they were still the champions.
They seemed to be getting ready to start the match when Alexander attacked Woods. This led to commercials.
Cedric Alexander (w/MVP & Shelton Benjamin) defeated Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston)
The match began during the break and Woods was in control when they returned. Woods tried a DDT but Alexander caught him and dropped him over the top rope to take control. Woods came back with chops, a forearm, a clothesline, and an Honor Roll clothesline for two.
Alexander countered a powerbomb into a brainbuster for two. Alexander went for a suicide dive but Woods dodged and Alexander went into the barricade. Woods took too long to capitalize so Alexander nailed him with the Lumbar Check for the pinfall win. A perfectly fine match.
Alexander celebrated big after the match. In fact, he went up the ramp all pumped up but left MVP and Benjamin behind in the ring. MVP and Benjamin seemed confused. (I didn’t mention it earlier, but Alexander took a slight shot at Benjamin earlier for losing last week.)
Riddle approached AJ Styles and Omos in the back. Styles told him tonight’s match was serious. Riddle said he was getting the carrot tonight. Omos laughed. Styles didn’t get it. Omos said Riddle’s bunny was named skipper (which was Riddle’s nickname for Styles).
Styles said that didn’t make sense because bunnies hop. Riddle said his turtle was named hoppy. Riddle said Styles was like his bunny because Styles had great hops, was furry and was cute. Styles shoved him and stormed off.
Triple Threat match: AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Riddle and Keith Lee (12:58)
Lee set up for a dive on both men early in the match but they both ran for their lives before he could attempt it. Lee leaped over both men in the ring before giving Riddle a crossbody for two. Lee gave Styles a big back body drop before working over Riddle. Styles briefly winded Lee (with an assist from Omos) and Riddle took them both down with a springboard dive.
Riddle was all over both guys after a break. He went for a senton but Styles got his feet up. Lee whipped Styles into the corner but he’s so strong that Styles slid into the post and out of the ring. Lee tossed Riddle around the ring. Riddle tried applying a triangle choke but Lee used Riddle’s body to knock down Styles. Riddle did apply the hold but Lee got out of it.
Riddle followed with running forearms in the corner to both guys. He gave Styles an exploder but Lee gave Riddle a pounce for a two count. Styles came back with strikes on Lee for two. Styles went to the top but Lee headbutted him. Riddle tried powerbombing Lee but Lee slipped out and tossed him aside. Styles gave Lee a diving crossbody for two.
Riddle gave Styles a German suplex into a pin for two. Lee and Riddle exchanged strikes which Riddle actually got the better of after a knee strike. With Lee down, Styles flew in with a Phenomenal forearm on Riddle for the pinfall win. Very fun match.
AJ Styles will face Drew McIntyre for the WWE title at TLC.
Charly Caruso interviewed Miz and Morrison. She wondered if they had a plan tonight. They rambled for a bit and she called them out on it. She didn’t believe they actually had a plan. Morrison said he had an idea so Miz left with him.
Dana Brooke defeated Reckoning (w/Mustfa Ali) (2:17)
Yim’s mask came off a few seconds into the match. Ali tried distracting Brooke but Brooke rolled up Yim for the pinfall win. Ali admonished Yim after the match for failing.
Miz and Morrison approached Styles and Omos. Morrison had a peach pie for Styles because Styles was from Georgia. Styles didn’t want to hear them anymore but agreed to help them. Miz seemed surprised. Styles said he’d rather face Miz for the title than McIntyre. Morrison understood. Miz seemed annoyed. Styles told them he’d see them out there. They were about to leave but Styles told Morrison to give him the pie.
MVP approached Riddle. Riddle admitted that losing sucks but at least he had an opportunity, unlike Bobby Lashley. Riddle made some donut jokes so MVP shoved him. Riddle got in his face but Lashley suddenly appeared and put Riddle down with the Hurt Lock.
Elsewhere, Lee approached Sheamus. Lee said this was none of his business but the word in the back was that Sheamus was planning on turning on McIntyre. Sheamus said he was right: this was none of his business.
Charly Caruso in-ring interview with Drew McIntyre
McIntyre said it felt damn good to be WWE champion again. Sometimes, you need to get knocked on your ass to find out what you’re made of. McIntyre was a man of his word when he said he would Claymore kick Orton and regain his title.
McIntyre also claimed that he was right when he said he would bring Roman Reigns back down to earth. He kicked out of spear after spear because he was unlike any man Reigns had faced before. Reigns only won because Jey Uso interfered. McIntyre warned Reigns that their paths would cross again and McIntyre would win the war.
Caruso asked about Styles. McIntyre had no problem with Styles and their match would be phenomenal. McIntyre told Miz not to cash in because the briefcase was the only thing keeping him relevant.
McIntyre was good here.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre & Sheamus defeated The Miz & John Morrison via DQ (9:55)
Styles joined commentary. Sheamus was in complete control early on and began taunting Styles, so he left commentary. Sheamus knocked down Miz who tried to cheap-shot him. Sheamus turned around to face Styles but encountered Omos instead. The distraction allowed Morrison to dropkick Sheamus into the announce desk, which sent us to break.
Styles was back on commentary after the break as Miz and Morrison worked over Sheamus. McIntyre tagged in and tossed Miz and Morrison around the ring. Sheamus wanted a tag but Morrison yanked him off the apron and tossed him over the barricade. (In the Thunderdome, Tom Phillips acts like being sent over the barricade is like being sent into a volcano.)
Styles suddenly gave McIntyre a Phenomenal forearm for the DQ.
Miz and Morrison seemed annoyed because they thought they had things under control but Styles explained his reasoning. Morrison gave McIntyre Starship Pain and Miz gave him a Skull Crushing Finale. Styles gave the ref Miz’s briefcase for a cash-in but Miz stopped it. After some words were exchanged, Miz decided he would cash in.
However, McIntyre wiped out both Miz and Morrison. McIntyre confronted Styles. Styles then bounced out of the ring and into the arms of Omos. Omos carried Styles away. Styles and McIntyre taunted each other as Raw went off the air.
(Styles being carried away by Omos was somewhat amusing but it was funny in the Kurt Angle kind of way where it was actually very detrimental.)