Monday Night Raw
Date: November 29, 2021
Location: UBS Arena, New York City, New York
Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We’re on the way to Day 1, which hasn’t actually been mentioned on the show so far. As for this week, we have the return of Edge, who will probably set up his next match. Other than that, Big E. is facing Kevin Owens, as we are setting up what should be (at least) a triple threat title match at the pay per view. Let’s get to it.
Here is Seth Rollins to say he should be upset after last week, but no one can keep him down. Not Finn Balor, not Kevin Owens and not Big E., no one. He’s in a good mood tonight because he has a secret. The breaking news: he’s getting his WWE Title match against Big E. at Day 1. It will be a reign that defines the future of WWE but here is Finn Balor to interrupt. The fight is on in a hurry and Balor sends him into the timekeeper’s area. Rollins is sent back inside but hits a dive to take Balor down. The steps rock Rollins but they head back inside for the opening bell (for a match which was at least scheduled).
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
Balor hits the shotgun dropkick to set up the Coup de Grace but Rollins rolls outside. That means the big flip dive and we take a break. Back with Balor hitting an enziguri and heading up, only to get crotched back down. Rollins hits the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for two but the frog splash hits Balor’s raised knees.
The Sling Blade seems to be a bit mistimed but Rollins hits one of his own. What looks to be the Stomp is countered into Balor’s Sling Blade but the Coup de Grace misses again. Balor avoids the Stomp and they knock each other down. They slug it out until Rollins hits an enziguri, but the ripcord knee is countered into 1916. That’s countered with a shot to the face though (possibly in the eye), setting up a forearm to the back of Balor’s head. Now the Stomp can finish Balor at 8:44.
Rating: C+. I think you know the kind of match you’re going to get from these two and it’s really more about how much time they have. The shot to the eye is enough of a way for Rollins to cheat before pinning Balor, as Rollins needs the win on the way to the title match. Not a bad way to start the show at least and that’s better than some weeks.
We recap Becky Lynch egging Liv Morgan on last week until Morgan hit her in the face. Lynch looked a bit shaken.
Vince McMahon is in the back when Austin Theory comes in. Theory asks how he is doing and Vince tells him about an in-grown toenail and an ear ache. We recap Theory getting the WWE Title match, plus a photo with Vince, last week, before Vince tells Theory that they’re going to watch the show together. Vince says we’ll see if anyone does the unexpected….and threatens to kill Theory if he ever steals from him again.
Here is Becky Lynch for the contract signing with Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville moderating. Lynch realizes this is Morgan’s first contract signing and says Morgan is welcome for this chance, plus last week’s fire. But then Morgan held herself back last week, just like always. It’s going to take more than one punch to finish Lynch, who has already signed the contract.
It turns out that the title match is next week but Lynch goes onto a rant about how no one ever wins in this arena. Morgan asks if she can shut up for once and then signs the contract. Yeah she got upset last week and then channeled her emotions by using her fist instead of crying….like Lynch did after Survivor Series.
We see a clip (Morgan: “Courtesy of WWE’s social media team.”) of Lynch crying after beating Charlotte, leaving Lynch looking rather annoyed. Morgan says Lynch’s big contract is the reason Morgan’s friends are gone and that has Lynch all the more upset. Violence is teased but Deville holds them back as Lynch goes on about how she deserves to be paid and we hear about a ten woman tag for tonight. Morgan is in and shouting ensues. This was almost a good segment, but Morgan having to read rather obviously memorized lines killed it.
We recap Riddle dressing up like Randy Orton last week to beat Dolph Ziggler.
Riddle isn’t sure why Randy Orton isn’t dressed up like him this week and suggests a Freaky Friday remake. Orton isn’t going to the ring on a scooter….so Riddle puts a blond wig on him instead. Orton: “You have two seconds to get this off my head. One…” and the wig is off.
Tag Team Titles: RKBro vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler
Roode and Ziggler are challenging. Riddle gets taken down by Roode to start and a catapult into a DDT gives Ziggler two. Riddle gets over for the tag off to Orton though and everything breaks down with the fight heading to the floor. Orton gets taken down and Riddle gets dropped onto the announcers’ table as we take a break.
Back with Roode driving a knee into Orton’s back and grabbing a chinlock. That’s broken up with a belly to back suplex and the hot tag brings in Riddle to clean house. Everything breaks down and a Zig Zag gets two on Orton. The superkick is countered into a rollup for two on Ziggler, setting up the RKO to retain the titles at 10:30.
Rating: C. RKBro continues to be one of the better things going on Raw and that shouldn’t be a surprise. They have some awesome chemistry and the good thing is that they have been a team for so long now that they can do these teases of issues without it meaning a breakup. That’s going to make the actual breakup (assuming they have one) all the better and that’s a good thing.
Seth Rollins is rather happy when he runs into Kevin Owens. Things get serious as Owens says he’s added to the title match at Day 1 if he beats Big E. tonight. Rollins isn’t happy, but Owens tells him to go ask Adam Pearce (Owens: “The bald guy.”). Dig Owens’ old school Survivor Series shirt.
Post break, Rollins comes in to see Pearce about Owens’ idea…..but Owens was lying. Rollins leaves and is replaced by Sonya Deville, who thinks it’s not a bad idea.
Here is the returning Edge for a chat. The last time you saw him, he was winning a match inside the Cell but now it is time for him to see who he can face on Raw. We hear about AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Damian Priest and Big E. Instead, here is the returning Miz (with Maryse) to interrupt. We see a package of Miz on Dancing With The Stars before Miz talks about how Edge does nothing but make comebacks. While Edge was gone, Miz was representing WWE every week on national TV. Edge asks why he came in ninth place and Miz blames the fans. His dancing was REVOLUTIONARY!
Edge isn’t convinced and suggests he could get a MIZ SUCKS chant going anytime he wants. With said chant out of the way, Miz talks about how he was WWE Champion six months ago but Edge hasn’t won a major title in like forever. Edge was great once, but this time he should have stayed home for good. It’s true that Edge is dancing with a body that doesn’t have much left but he is the same person that everyone wants to face these days.
Edge says Miz has made it further than anyone thought he would, becoming WWE Champion and being someone whose name is used on other shows to get a reaction (there’s your reference). No one but Miz ever believed in him but here Miz is anyway. The fight is teased but Miz bails. This was absolutely inspired by MJF vs. CM Punk, though it absolutely wasn’t a parody or a bunch of shots at it. That’s quite the relief and this was a good segment, as it felt like serious Miz again.
AJ Styles is in sunglasses and says his eyes were damaged last week by the Street Profits’ fire extinguisher. Omos had to help him shave this morning! Revenge is promised.
Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
Omos leads a still mostly blind AJ Styles to commentary. Ford gets pulled out of the air by Otis to start as AJ is asking who is winning. It’s quickly off to Dawkins for the Anointment but Gable is pulled outside. That leaves Ford to hit a big dive to the floor but AJ pops up on the apron to distract Ford. Not that it matters as Ford shoves Gable off the top and finishes with the frog splash for the pin at 3:13.
Rating: C. This was about AJ and I could have gone for more of playing up the angle a bit longer. They didn’t waste time on this one though and while it is good to keep up the Street Profits vs. Styles/Omos, but the Academy doesn’t exactly seem to have the brightest future at the moment.
Vince McMahon thinks Austin Theory should have seen that win coming. He wants Theory to look at him when he is speaking too.
We recap Dana Brooke winning the 24/7 Title last week.
Reggie is talking calmly to Dana Brooke in the back and not trying to take the title.
Seth Rollins comes up to Kevin Owens in the back and accuses him of being a liar. It turns out that now, if Owens wins, he WILL be added to the Day 1 title match. Sure.
US Title: Apollo Crews vs. Damian Priest
Crews, with Commander Azeez, is challenging. Priest throws him around to start but has to pause for a showdown with Azeez. The distraction lets Crews get in a cheap shot to send us to a break. Back with Crews hitting a toss powerbomb for two but Priest kicks him in the face. A DDT gets two on Crews and he bails to the floor but gets away before Priest can bust out the big dive. Instead Priest hits a flip dive off the steps (without much height) and goes up, only to have Azeez pull him face first onto the apron. That’s enough for an ejection and Priest is all angry. The beating is on and the Reckoning finishes Crews at 8:27.
Rating: C. They didn’t have much time here but Priest gets another win over another established name. WWE has actually done a good job with him in recent months and he feels like a big deal. Keep that going and do it with more people and they might get somewhere for a change.
Seth Rollins comes in to see Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, thinking that Kevin Owens is still lying. Actually he was telling the truth this time and the stipulation is set.
Hurt Business vs. Mysterios
Dominik walks toe rope to wristdrag Benjamin, earning a heck of a shoulder down. Alexander comes in with a slingshot hilo and we get the required Eddie Guerrero dance. A superkick gets Dominik out of trouble though and it’s off to Rey to pick up the pace. Rey hits a basement dropkick for two on Alexander and everything breaks down, setting up a double 619. Rey dives onto Benjamin and the frog splash pins Alexander at 2:59.
We recap the contract signing and set up the ten women tag.
Team Liv vs. Team Becks
Liv Morgan/Bianca Belair/Dana Brooke/Nikki Ash/Rhea Ripley
Becky Lynch/Carmella/Queen Zelina/Doudrop/Tamina
Becky and Liv start things off with Becky being taken down in a hurry. Carmella comes in for a rollup and trash talk so Liv brings in Ripley to scare Carmella off. Vega gets tagged in against her will but all of Team Becks (that’s what the graphic said) comes in to go after Ripley at once. Team Liv is perfectly fine with this until Tamina is left alone. Ripley clotheslines her down and this time it’s a string of tags to bring in all of Team Liv to surround Tamina. The villains bail to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Doudrop chinlocking Ash and handing it off to Lynch for a legdrop. Carmella beats on Ash in the corner and grabs a chinlock of her own. That’s broken up and it’s back to Ripley, who is caught in the Code of Silence. Brooke breaks that up and it’s time for the parade of secondary finishers. Carmella superkicks Ripley for two and we take another break.
Back again with Brooke kicking Tamina away and handing it back to Liv to clean house. Dana loads up the superplex onto the pile but gets shoved down into the big crash instead. That leaves Liv to enziguri Carmella and hit an STO on Vega. Tamina gets kicked into the ropes and Oblivion finishes for Liv at 19:50.
Rating: D. It wasn’t the worst, but this was a pretty hard sit. Ultimately, it was too long and they had too many people involved. There is enough talent in the division to do a heck of a six woman tag, but some of them aren’t quite set up for a nearly twenty minute match. Morgan vs. Lynch is going to feel big time, but Doudrop, Tamina, Ash (not her fault) and arguably Carmella/Vega don’t feel like they belong on this level and were there to just make the match bigger.
Post match Liv takes out Becky again.
Back in Vince McMahon’s office, Vince teaches Austin Theory about expecting the unexpected. Theory keeps looking away and Vince doesn’t like it.
Veer Maahan is coming.
Video on Bobby Lashley, complete with a look back at his amateur career. I believe we’ve seen this kind of thing several times for Lashley. This kind of felt like a setup for a face turn and if so…I hope the Impact World Title is available because that’s not a good thing these days in WWE.
Big E. isn’t worried about Kevin Owens tonight and promises to take care of that duplicitous scourge (Big E.: “Yes I said DUPLICITOUS SCOURGE!”).
Austin Theory thinks he has learned to expect the unexpected. Then Vince McMahon slaps him and says he has a lot to learn. If there was a point to this, it’s eluding me.
Big E. vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title but if Owens wins, he’s added to the Day 1 title match. Hold on though as here is Seth Rollins to join commentary. Big E. powers him into the corner to start and Rollins is rather pleased. Owens takes it to the mat and starts working on the leg. Back up and Owens is sent outside, where Owens hits Rollins in the face. That’s not enough to sucker Rollins in though and Owens clotheslines Big E. down instead. They head back outside and Big E. gets dropped onto the steps as we take a break.
Back with Owens muscling him over for a superplex as commentary explains the triple threat concept (again). Big E. muscles his way out of a chinlock and hits the overhead belly to belly though, setting up the Warrior Splash for two. Owens superkicks him down for two of his own but charges into the Rock Bottom out of the corner for the next near fall.
The pop up sitout powerbomb (Rollins: “NO!!!!”) gives Owens two more and they’re both down. Owens goes to the apron but drops outside to run Rollins over. Back in and the Stunner is broken up so Big E. can blast him with a running clothesline. Rollins runs in to jump Owens for the DQ at 14:27.
Rating: C+. I was a bit surprised at the ending as it almost seemed too obvious of a way to go. That being said, they did build up the idea of Rollins getting more and more nervous (that “NO!” was a great touch) throughout the match until he was finally pushed too far and his insanity got the better of him. The triple threat is a good idea as well and we should be in for a solid pay per view match.
The triple threat match is officially declared and Owens shouts “I GOT YOU” at Rollins to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This show was kind of a weird one, with the Vince/Theory stuff not meaning much but there was some good wrestling throughout and they set up a pair of matches. Liv vs. Becky is sounding like a big deal and we could be in for a nice triple threat at Day 1. Edge vs. Miz makes it even better, as that could be a heck of a match if they do it right. Some of the other stories were advanced a bit here and there, though that ten woman tag brought things down a good bit. Not the worst show, and that is a step up for Raw.
Seth Rollins b. Finn Balor – Stomp
RKBro b. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler – RKO to Ziggler
Street Profits b. Alpha Academy – Frog splash to Gable
Damian Priest b. Apollo Crews – Reckoning
Mysterios b. Hurt Business – Frog splash to Alexander
Team Liv b. Team Becky – Oblivion to Tamina
Kevin Owens b. Big E. via DQ when Seth Rollins interfered
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