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WWE Raw live results: Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss

Date: January 18, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL 

The Big Takeaway -- 

A match between AJ Styles and Ricochet was the lone highlight of an all-time bad Raw show. 

Show Recap -- 

The show opened with a Martin Luther King Jr. tribute video. 

There was a Randy Orton video where he cut a promo in a dark space while wearing a mask (which sort of looked like a Mr. Wrestling II mask). You could see “burn” marks on his face/nose. He recapped recent events in great detail (and included replays). 

Orton doesn’t blame Alexa Bliss for what happened, he blames the Fiend. He knew everyone in the locker room was happy to see his face get “burnt to a crisp” but even chopping off all of his limbs wouldn’t stop him from winning the Royal Rumble. Not only can he tolerate the pain, but he enjoys it. Orton lit a match and blew it out as he said he would main event WrestleMania. 

This was very long. 

They announced Goldberg appearing on Miz and Morrison’s Dirt Sheet. 

Charly Caruso caught up with Lacey Evans and Ric Flair earlier today. Evans was appalled by her question about the nature of their relationship. Evans said there’s a reason Ric is called the dirtiest player in the game and she was with him to learn from the greatest ever. (Ric tried to answer but Evans wouldn’t let him talk.) 

Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Peyton Royce (12:04) 

Royce attacked Charlotte from behind during her entrance which led to break. The match began after the break. 

Royce took control after Charlotte chopped the post until Charlotte came back with a neckbreaker. As Charlotte went for the cover (Royce kicked out), Ric Flair’s music hit and he entered. Evans pranced out while wearing Ric’s robe. The distraction allowed Royce to hit a roundhouse kick for a nearfall which led to break. 

Evans and Ric were gone after the break. Charlotte gained control and dared them to come back out. Royce came back with strikes and a jumping kick for two. Charlotte went after Royce’s leg and applied the Figure Eight for the submission win. 

Charlotte held the submission after the bell rang for a moment until referees stopped her. 

They announced that Alexa Bliss has invited Asuka to her Playground. 

The Hurt Business antagonized Riddle backstage. Riddle said he would take the high road. Shelton Benjamin responded, “I bet you would.” Riddle complimented their attire but made a crack about “Sloppy Bobby.” Bobby Lashley said he liked Riddle’s flip flops but said they were bad for his feet. Lashley stomped his foot and Riddle went down. Riddle yelled, “you’re gonna see this foot later… right up your ass!” 

This was unintentionally very funny. Lashley came nowhere close to stomping Riddle’s foot and the camera angle made that pretty clear. 

There was a promo by Mustafa Ali from earlier today. He saw Kofi Kingston’s injury as an opportunity. Ali hoped that the injury would keep Kingston out of the Rumble and WrestleMania and then Kingston would know how Ali felt. The announcers explained that Ali was referring to Kingston taking his spot two years ago in Elimination Chamber which led to KofiMania. 

Mace (w/Retribution) defeated Xavier Woods (4:05) 

Before the match, Ali yelled at Woods so Woods punched him in the face. Retribution wanted to go after Woods but Ali stopped them. This led to break which means they all just stood around for a few minutes. 

Woods was doing well for a moment but became distracted when Retribution decided to surround the ring instead of just standing on one side of it, I guess. Mace then botched his own finisher and won via pinfall.  

Ali wished Kingston well after the match. (I do like the idea of an Ali/Kingston feud.) 

Sarah Schrieber asked Asuka what she expected from Bliss’ Playground. She said, “I don’t know” and they abruptly aired a replay of what Bliss did to Orton. They cut back to Asuka who seemed to be mid-sentence and said something about Bliss having a dark side. 

They aired the “WrestleMania Report” video with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, Sasha Banks, and John Cena. Don’t go out of your way to watch this. 

[Second hour] 

Alexa Bliss’ Playground with guest Asuka 

The Playground now has field turf, presumably provided by the Tampa Bay Rays. Bliss spoke like a child and made cheesy jokes about burning Orton. 

Bliss introduced Asuka. Asuka was going to sit on the swingset next to Bliss but Bliss told her not to. Bliss acted like someone invisible was sitting there. Bliss announced she was entering the Rumble match. Asuka was happy for her. Bliss deduced that she could face Asuka at Mania if she won the Rumble. 

Asuka said she would be honoured because she was a big fan. Asuka excitedly said, “yowie wowie!” Bliss looked to her invisible friend and apologized for her saying that. Asuka called for her music to be played and started dancing. Bliss demanded that she stop. They cut the music. 

Bliss started whining to her invisible friend. Asuka tried to cheer her up before asking if the Fiend was still here. Bliss told her not to say his name. A rocking horse (rocking chair) began rocking on his own and Bliss waved at it. Asuka was weirded out and left. 

This was extremely bad. 

Schreiber asked Miz and Morrison what was in store for Goldberg tonight. They mocked her in an annoying manner. They said tonight would be controversial and controversy created cash. 

Shayna Baszler said she would win the Rumble and didn’t care who she had to eliminate, even if it was her own partner. Nia Jax was somehow surprised by this. They bickered as they made their way through the back. 

Jeff Jarrett (from his home) predicted that Goldberg would easily defeat Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Championship. 

Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax) defeated Mandy Rose (w/Dana Brooke) (3:44) 

Tom Phillips wondered how these four women would coexist at the Rumble. Byron Saxton had to tell him that the match isn’t designed for them to coexist. 

Rose made a brief comeback but Baszler won with the Kirifuda Clutch. The highlight of this match was Jax telling Saxton to shut up. After the match, Brooke dropkicked Jax into Baszler and they fell into the ring post. 

After a break, Caruso asked Jax and Baszler about them not getting along. Jax and Baszler said they never got along but that didn’t stop them from previously winning the tag titles. Baszler thought now would be a good time to get their rematch for the tag titles. 

Schreiber asked Charlotte about Evans and Ric. Charlotte knew that Evans was just using her dad to get to her. Charlotte’s been learning from the dirtiest player in the game her whole life, she just never chose to go down that path. Maybe now was the time to do it because one person could only take so much trash. Evans could wear Ric’s robe but she would never take her crown. 

They aired a recap of the Adam Pearce/Roman Reigns/Kevin Owens angle on Smackdown. 

Ricochet thanked Pearce for an opportunity tonight against AJ Styles to prove he belongs in the Rumble. (So, like Drew Gulak, he isn’t quite good enough to simply declare for the match.) 

Styles and Omos joined the segment. Styles couldn’t believe Pearce just walked away from a WWE title match instead of fighting and losing. Styles said Ricochet would lose tonight but at least he’d have his dignity. Ricochet made comparisons to Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. This led to Ricochet saying he would win tonight and prove he belongs in the Rumble. 

AJ Styles (w/Omos) defeated Ricochet (12:59) 

Ricochet was all over Styles until he attempted a dive and landed in the arms of Omos. The referee demanded that Omos drop Ricochet, so he did. Of course, this meant Ricochet splatted on mats. 

Styles was in control after a break but Ricochet quickly came back with a DDT. Ricochet did a backflip into a German suplex for two. He tried a springboard move but Styles knocked him down and hit a brainbuster for two, followed by an Ushigoroshi for two. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Ricochet countered into the Recoil for a nearfall. 

Ricochet came off the top rope but Styles caught him, dropped him over the top, and Ricochet bounced right into Styles’ arms and into a Styles Clash for the pinfall. Good match and a fantastic finish. 

[Third hour] 

Miz & Morrison’s Dirt Sheet

They introduced Goldberg but Gillberg came out instead. Miz and Morrison acted as if it was really Goldberg. They asked what he would do to prepare. Gillberg said he would bash his own head against the wall. 

Drew McIntyre’s music hit but some guy came out in a wig with a toy sword. The guy looked like actor David Krumholtz (it’s entirely possible it was him). He was out-of-shape and couldn’t keep his wig on. He tried to cut a promo but Morrison wanted to do his Scottish accent instead. 

Miz and Morrison argued over whether or not this segment was a bad idea. They decided to focus and said neither McIntyre nor Goldberg would win because Miz was Mr. Money in the Bank and he would be “next.” 

This was another bad segment for any numb3r of reasons. 

The Hurt Business (w/MVP) defeated Riddle & Lucha House Party (12:19) 

The announcers wondered if MVP got Hurt Business on the same page after the issues Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin have had. As soon as the match started, Alexander was showing off and trying to do it on his own. When he got into some trouble, he tried to tag out but Benjamin and Lashley ignored him. 

Lince Dorado hit a springboard moonsault for a nearfall so Benjamin tagged himself in. They worked over Dorado but Benjamin and Alexander continued to argue. Dorado hit a handspring stunner but that didn’t really lead to anything because Alexander got up first anyway and dragged him to the corner. 

Alexander tagged Benjamin and immediately began yelling at him. Benjamin shoved Alexander and he fell out of the ring. MVP got in Alexander’s face as they went to break. 

They continued arguing after a break as they continued beating up Dorado until he finally came back with a crossbody on Alexander. Riddle made the hot tag and hit Benjamin with the final flash knee for two. Riddle missed the Floating Bro so Gran Metalik tagged in but Benjamin fought him off. 

Alexander tagged himself in and hit a brainbuster before yelling at Benjamin. Lashley, who had enough, tagged himself in, knocked Riddle off the apron, speared Metalik and applied the Hurt Lock for the submission win. 

As the Hurt Business argued, Riddle kicked Lashley and ran away. 

Elias and Jaxson Ryker spoke about their miscommunication last week. (So they haven’t spoken all week.) Ryker apologized and said he would teach Jeff Hardy a lesson. Before leaving the locker room, Ryker wanted Elias to clarify their plan one more time. Elias was annoyed. 

Drew McIntyre promo 

There was a video by Drew McIntyre. He said he was feeling stronger than ever. He got a laugh out of the Dirt Sheet segment and said that was the great thing about Raw — there was something for everyone. McIntyre let Miz and Morrison know he’d be seeing them soon. 

McIntyre respected Goldberg. McIntyre warned him that he’d be willing to do anything to defend his title. He said you can check his title defense record — he never misses (except that time against Randy Orton). McIntyre told Goldberg he needs to be at his best or else he’ll get eaten alive in two minutes. McIntyre announced he’d be back at Raw next week. 

(I don’t think they advertised this earlier in the show, which is strange.) 

Jeff Hardy defeated Jaxson Ryker (w/Elias) via DQ (3:09) 

Hardy went to the top but Elias pushed him off so the ref called for the DQ. Ryker argued with Elias. Hardy attacked Ryker from behind but Ryker caught him with a swinging side slam. 

Alexa Bliss skipped through the back like a child. 

They announced that McIntyre and Goldberg would both be on Raw next week. 

Alexa Bliss defeated Raw Women’s Champion and Tag Team Champion Asuka in a non-title match (11:37) 

One of the announcers said this could be a preview of the WrestleMania main event. 

Asuka was in control until Bliss dodged a baseball slide and slipped back into the ring. Phillips said this was meant to mess with Asuka’s mind. I think she was just trying to not get dropkicked. The lights began to go out and they went to break. 

After the break, Bliss stood in the middle of the ring, now wearing black lipstick and a black t-shirt (which she was previously in a pink shirt). The lights were dimmed purple. Bliss acted emotionless. 

Asuka took a moment to assess the situation before attacking. Bliss easily countered her attacks before knocking her down with a shoulder tackle. 

Asuka nailed a knee strike but came to a running stop when Bliss leaned backward out of the corner like Bray Wyatt (which caused one of the announcers to scream, “oh god!”). Bliss tried a mandible claw but Asuka fought her off. Bliss punched her instead for a two count. 

Bliss slowly paced around Asuka who eventually nailed two kicks to the head and a back fist. Bliss abruptly caught her and hit Sister Abigail for the pinfall win. 

As the camera zoomed in on Bliss, the regular lights came back on and she was back in her pink shirt and no lipstick. They played audio of the Fiend saying “let me in” as Bliss mouthed the words.