Monday Night Raw
Date: November 14, 2022
Location: KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
We are less than two weeks away from Survivor Series and that means it is time to start building some things up for the show. While we have a few matches, the real focus is going to be on WarGames. It looks like Raw will only be supplying the women’s match and more of the lineup needs to be locked in. Let’s get to it.
Here is Seth Rollins to get things going and we see a package on Austin Theory’s failed cash in last week. Last week, he put out an open challenge and now there are people coming out of the woodwork for a shot at the title. Rollins talks about the cash-in and the fans say THAT WAS STUPID. Rollins is ready to defend against Finn Balor tonight but here is Bobby Lashley to interrupt. Rollins isn’t worried and brings up the loss to Brock Lesnar, so here is Mustafa Ali to interrupt. Lashley tosses him out with ease so Ali jumps on him again, only to be thrown right back to the floor. That’s not enough for Lashley, who says ring the bell.
Mustafa Ali vs. Bobby Lashley
Ali charges at him to start and gets knocked outside. Lashley gives him the posting and the spinning Big Ending connects back inside. A pair of spinebusters drop Ali but he says bring it. Lashley jumps over a charge in the corner and grabs a tornado DDT for a breather. And then the spear turns Ali inside out, setting up the Hurt Lock to finish at 4:23.
Rating: C-. This was little more than a squash with Ali trying what he could but getting run over almost every time. I’m not sure why WWE feels the need to crush Ali over and over but that’s what he had to deal with again here. The match was a way to make Lashley look great, but I’m not sure why Ali needed to be the sacrifice.
The OC is happy to have Mia Yim, with AJ Styles challenging Finn Balor for Survivor Series. Tonight though, Mia Yim is returning to the ring.
Mia Yim vs. Tamina
Tamina jumps her to start and hammers away as Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio come out to watch. Yim fights up and grabs a quick Eat Defeat for the pin at 1:54.
Post match Ripley teases the big brawl but walks away instead.
Matt Riddle says Elias is off doing his rock star thing and getting them their gig. Chad Gable comes in for some SHUSHING and brags about Otis’ win last week. The SHUSH vs. the bongo deal was about as annoying as you could imagine.
Damage Ctrl comes up to Mia Yim in the back and teases violence, but the OC comes in with the beer for the celebration.
Matt Riddle vs. Chad Gable
Otis is here with Gable. They grapple to start until Gable dragon screw leg whips him out of the corner. Another one slows Riddle down again but he’s back up with a kick to the chest. Riddle goes up top but Otis messes with the steps for a distraction, allowing Gable to grab a release German superplex to drop them both.
We take a break and come back with Riddle striking away, including a jumping knee to the face. There’s an overhead belly to belly into the running backsplash sets up a powerbomb for two on Gable. A triangle choke is broken up so Riddle grabs a hanging DDT instead. Gable is back up with a backslide and puts his feet on the rope, with Otis holding on, for the pin at 9:49.
Rating: C+. This was mostly good stuff, though the ending was kind of weird to see. Riddle has fallen a pretty long way in the last few months, as the lack of Randy Orton is hurting him a lot. The Alpha Academy winning a match, even by cheating, feels weird and I’m not sure what the point is in having them beat Riddle. We’ll get a rematch I’m sure but dang that was out of nowhere.
JBL and Baron Corbin are winning at poker and don’t like being offered Kentucky bourbon. Akira Tozawa sits down to gamble, despite not knowing any of the rules. JBL: “Your money is good here!”
It’s time for MizTV, with Miz as the guest and Byron Saxton asking the questions. Miz has a statement about the Dexter Lumis situation: he regrets paying Lumis, but all he wanted was empathy. Miz has been in WWE for 18 years and he has worked so hard without ever getting so much as a cheer. All he wanted was for people to care about him, but here is Johnny Gargano to cut him off. Gargano says Miz wasn’t depressed because Maryse posted pictures of their vacation in Cabo over the weekend.
Miz says he was depressed in his hotel room but Gargano mocks Miz’s sweater (Miz: “IT’S A CARDIGAN!”) and calls him Mr. Rogers. Miz is ready to move on but Gargano wants Miz to pay Lumis what he is owed. It’s cool though because Gargano has an idea: in two weeks, it’s Miz vs. Lumis and if Lumis wins, he gets Miz’s money and a contract. Miz says beating Lumis will be AWESOME. Then a cameraman pops up and it’s Lumis, who steals Miz’s sweater as Miz runs to the back. This was rather bad, but Miz did make the cardigan work.
Earlier today, Dominik Mysterio mocked Shelton Benjamin, who threatened him with a beating. Damian Priest got in between them and we get Dominik vs. Benjamin later tonight.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Shelton Benjamin
Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley are here too. Dominik bails to the floor to start but a Judgment Day distraction lets him get in a few cheap shots. Benjamin punches him down without much effort and Dominik bails to the floor again. Back in and Dominik tries a 619 but gets caught in a powerslam. A t-bone suplex has Dominik on the floor for the third time so Benjamin finally goes after him. The ankle lock goes on back inside but Benjamin gets rolled into the corner. Dominik goes straight up and hits a frog splash for the pin at 4:59.
Rating: C. This wasn’t a great match, but Dominik as the pest is a much better use of him going forward. He isn’t going to get anywhere based on his own abilities so having him do something like this is the right way to go. Not a terrible match and I can go for more Shelton, even though he is out there as a jobber.
Austin Theory says he didn’t fail last week because now he feels more alive than he ever did. That briefcase was an anchor around him but he was trying to make the most of an opportunity. Cue Dolph Ziggler to say it was the worst cash in ever but Theory doesn’t want to hear it from him. This is Theory’s time, but Ziggler doesn’t seem to buy it.
Video on WarGames.
Dana Brooke vs. Iyo Sky
The rest of Damage Ctrl is here with Sky and we get an inset promo from Brooke, who promises to never give up. Sky wastes no time in kicking her down and hitting a springboard missile dropkick. Brooke fights up but gets dropped again, allowing Sky to pose near the ropes. Back up and Brooke grabs a DDT but the handspring elbow is countered into a release German suplex. Running knees in the corner sets up Over The Moonsault for the pin on Brooke at 3:13.
Rating: C. Commentary was getting to the point with Brooke here: she’s trying, but at some point you have to win something. That has haunted her throughout most of her career, as she doesn’t really do anything outside of stuff like the 24/7 Title. Sky wasn’t going to lose here and Brooke tried, but she was in over her head.
Post match Mia Yim comes out to join Team Belair in WarGames.
Tozawa has cleaned out JBL and Baron Corbin. The villains try to cheat but Tozawa doesn’t fall for it.
Austin Theory vs. Dolph Ziggler
Theory takes him down to start and chokes on the rope, allowing for some trash talk. Back up and Ziggler charges into an elbow for two but he slips over Theory in the corner. Theory blasts him with a clothesline and sends Ziggler shoulder first into the post though and we take a break.
We come back with Ziggler hitting the running DDT but getting caught in a torture rack powerbomb for two. A Town Down is reversed into a sleeper but Theory slips out as well. The Fameasser gives Ziggler two, only to have Theory send him shoulder first into the post. Ziggler reverses another whip though and hits the Zig Zag for a rather near fall.
Back up and Theory forearms him in the face before hitting A Town Down….for no cover. Instead he hits a second one and stomps away before taking Ziggler outside for a whip into the steps. Theory rams him into the announcers’ table enough times to draw a rather violent DQ at 14:33.
Rating: C+. This started rather slowly but then they got going near the end. That being said, it was more about the Theory angle than the match itself. Theory going all angry is a different direction, but having it be against Dolph Ziggler isn’t exactly helping him. Cut a few minutes out of the beginning and it’s better, but Ziggler has a firm ceiling these days and that was on display here.
Post match Theory destroys Ziggler and sends him over the barricade to keep up the beating until agents break it up.
Rhea Ripley joins Team Damage Ctrl.
Baron Corbin vs. Akira Tozawa
JBL is here with Corbin, who shoulders Tozawa down to start. A chokeslam is countered into a DDT and a missile dropkick gets one on Corbin. They head outside with Corbin sending him into the steps, only for Tozawa to come back with a top rope headbutt to a standing Corbin back inside. Tozawa tries it again but dives into End of Days for the pin at 3:31.
Rating: D+. I have no idea what they were going for with the angle and the match, as Tozawa beat Corbin in poker and then had him in trouble here. The action was ok, but then you realize that it’s Tozawa giving Corbin a run for his money. Of all the people on the roster for something like this, Tozawa? How long has it been since he meant anything anywhere? Really not seeing what they were trying to do here but it didn’t quite work.
We look back at Austin Theory snapping.
Team Belair is ready for a singles match next week against Team Damage Ctrl. Damage Ctrl is all about games but Team Belair is all about war.
The Alpha Academy comes in to brag about their win but Seth Rollins dances by while singing shush. Ok then.
Finn Balor accepts AJ Styles’ Survivor Series challenge. For tonight though, he’s winning the US Title.
US Title: Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
Rollins is defending and gets taken down into an early chinlock. With that broken up, Rollins sends him outside for a heck of a dive as we take a break. Back with Balor knocking Rollins into the corner and mocking the conducting the fans motion. The abdominal stretch goes on but Rollins slips out and slugs away. Balor gets knocked outside for a suicide dive into the barricade but the Sling Blade is cut off back inside. Rollins kicks him down and hits a frog splash for two as we take another break.
We come back again with Rollins swinging Balor into the barricade but Balor hits a running dropkick to send him into the barricade as well. Back in and Rollins grabs a sitout powerbomb for two but Balor knocks him down again. Rollins catches him on top with a superplex but the Falcon Arrow is countered into 1916, leaving Balor rather frustrated. The Pedigree and Buckle Bomb are blocked and Rollins is right back with the Falcon Arrow for two.
The Stomp is loaded up but here is the Judgment Day for a distraction. Balor sweeps the legs and hits the jumping double stomp but here is the OC to take out Judgment Day. The shotgun dropkick sends Rollins into the corner, only to have AJ Styles break up the Coup de Grace. Rollins hits the Stomp to retain at 20:02.
Rating: B. This was the best part of the show as you had two guys who know how to work that kind of a match. At the same time, the ending with that much chaos and the referee being fine with the whole thing was a bit much to take. It does move us towards Styles vs. Balor at Survivor Series, but they went a few steps too far with the interference. Anyway, good match, which shouldn’t be a surprise.
Post match Austin Theory runs in to beat up Rollins. The beatdown is on with Theory hitting a belt shot to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. What was this show? This felt like they dipped into the Vince McMahon playbook for some reason, with a bunch of weird choices and only a handful of decent matches. They did advance Survivor Series a bit and the show wasn’t a disaster, but it was one of the least interesting shows since McMahon left. Hopefully this is just a misfire, as it felt like a major step backwards after weeks of much better stuff.
Bobby Lashley b. Mustafa Ali – Hurt Lock
Mia Yim b. Tamina – Eat Defeat
Chad Gable b. Matt Riddle – Backslide with feet on the ropes
Dominik Mysterio b. Shelton Benjamin – Frog splash
Iyo Sky b. Dana Brooke – Over The Moonsault
Dolph Ziggler b. Austin Theory via DQ when Theory attacked Ziggler on the floor
Baron Corbin b. Akira Tozawa – End of Days
Seth Rollins b. Finn Balor – Stomp
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