Monday Night Raw
Date: November 21, 2022
Location: MVP Arena, Albany, New York
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Corey Graves
It’s the last Raw before Survivor Series and the card is mostly set. Both WarGames matches are almost entirely ready to go following the return of Kevin Owens on Smackdown. Tonight is going to be about finding the final woman in the other WarGames match and adding in some other stuff to the show. Let’s get to it.
Here is Kevin Owens to quite the welcome. Owens says he is joining WarGames for the sake of one person and it’s not Sami Zayn. No matter what, he and Zayn are like brothers and they can deal with that later. No he’s doing this to remind Roman Reigns who he is. If it wasn’t for the Bloodline, the history making title reign would have been stopped earlier. Now he wants to take out the Bloodline so there is no one standing between him and the Universal Title.
Owens isn’t here alone tonight so here are the Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre (through the crowd, because it’s Survivor Series season). Sheamus talks about being ready for the big fight on Saturday and their fifth member is Kevin Owens. McIntyre talks about Reigns abusing his power and the numbers game, but all of that changes in WarGames.
Cue the Judgment Day to interrupt, with Dominik Mysterio telling them to go back to Smackdown and say hi to his deadbeat dad. Finn Balor is sick of AJ Styles but also hopes the Bloodline smashes everyone in the ring. Sheamus says that he and Balor lived ten miles apart in Ireland but they might as well be a million miles apart here. He calls Balor a “plastic paddy” (I think) but Balor describes himself as salty. The challenge is on for a six man and let’s do it.
Judgment Day vs. Brawling Brutes
The fight is on before the bell with the Brutes clearing the ring and we take a break. Back with Sheamus and Priest having a staredown and then slugging it out in the corner. Kevin Owens is on commentary and enjoys seeing Holland come in, only to get taken down by Balor’s suplex. Butch comes in but gets pulled out to the floor for an apron chokeslam from Priest as we take a break.
Back again with Butch fighting out of trouble by hitting an enziguri to Balor, but Dominik breaks up the tag attempt. Dominik hides behind Rhea Ripley on the floor but the hot tag brings in Holland without much effort. Sheamus chases Dominik up the ramp as the OC is here to cut him off. Back in the ring and Sheamus hits the twenty forearms to Dominik, setting up the Brogue Kick for the pin at 14:04.
Rating: C+. Pretty nice six man here with the OC vs. Judgment Day feud being tied in to make things more interesting. Other than that, it’s fine to have the Brawling Brutes, an established team, beat the Judgment Day as it isn’t like some thrown together group is taking them down. Good hard hitting opener, which shouldn’t be a surprise given who was involved.
Post match Sheamus and company clear the ring, with a Stunner dropping Balor.
Johnny Gargano is ready to take care of the Miz tonight and wants to do the right thing regarding Dexter Lumis. He and Lumis have an agreement to say out of each others’ business so things should be fine tonight.
Johnny Gargano vs. The Miz
Hold on though as the Miz is in street clothes. He has an injured hand (he chopped a cactus, because he is rich enough to own one in California) but worry not, because he has an opponent for Gargano.
Johnny Gargano vs. Omos
MVP is here with Omos. Miz is on commentary as Omos kicks Gargano outside and easily throws him back inside. Gargano gets dropped onto the apron but manages a quick shot for a breather. That’s enough for Miz to offer a distraction and Gargano sends Omos into the corner. Three basement superkicks set up a top rope…dive into a chokeslam to give Omos the pin at 3:05.
Rating: D+. What are you supposed to say about a match like this? They didn’t have much time and there is little that Omos can do aside from the big power spots. The good thing is that Gargano was there to bounce off of him and get in a few hope spots before falling short. That’s how it should have gone and it isn’t like losing to the monster is going to hut anything.
We look at Austin Theory and Bobby Lashley coming after Seth Rollins and the US Title. The triple threat title match is set for Survivor Series.
Rollins joins us in a sitdown interview and talks about how he’s looking forward to killing two birds with one stone. Theory and Lashley keep jumping him but he knows how to keep getting up. That’s what he’s going to do again and Theory can call Cody Rhodes to ask him about picking a fight with Rollins. They aren’t in WarGames but they’re going to be in a war because none of them like each other. Rollins is one of one and after Survivor Series, he will still be the US Champion.
Austin Theory watches what we just saw and says he is tired of this disrespect. He is a new man and he knows Rollins and Lashley will be watching when he takes out Mustafa Ali tonight.
Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali
Ali has taped up ribs coming in so Theory knees him in the tape and stomps away. The waistlock goes on but Ali is up with a knee to the face. Theory is sent outside but he cuts the dive off and sends Ali into the barricade. Back in and Ali hits a fast superkick for two but Theory knocks him into the corner. Ali is right back with a sunset bomb into a 450 but the bad ribs mean there’s no cover. A-Town Down finishes Ali at 5:05.
Rating: C. Ali’s losses are piling up and just pointing to the ribs as an excuse is only going to get him so far. I know Ali might not be the biggest guy, but you would think there would be something he could do other than lose over and over. Theory needs to get some wins together though and this was a clean pin, which is more than he did for most of his time as Mr. Money In The Bank.
Post match Bobby Lashley pops up on screen to say he’s coming for Theory right now.
Post break here is Lashley to say he’s surprised Theory is still here if he knows the pain that is coming for him. Theory talks about Lashley getting beaten up by Brock Lesnar and how he keeps failing over and over. The kid that Lashley and Rollins knew is dead and gone so the new Theory is coming for them at Survivor Series.
The fight is on with Lashley not quite being able to post him. Theory hits Lashley with a chair to no effect so Theory runs to the back. Once at the Gorilla Position, Theory jumps Mustafa Ali and throws him at Lashley before sprinting off. Ali shoves Lashley and gets taken into the arena for the Hurt Lock. Seems like a waste of a change of scenery.
Alpha Academy vs. Matt Riddle/Elias
Elias can’t get very far with a wristlock on Gable, who takes him down into an armbar. Back up and Elias clears the ring without much trouble and we take a break. We come back with Riddle getting two on Gable but a shot to the arm takes Riddle down. Otis and Gable take turns on the arm, with Gable hitting a belly to back suplex for two.
A dragon screw legwhip takes Riddle down again but he’s fine enough to get over to Elias without much effort. The assisted Broton hits Gable and Otis gets knocked to the floor. Elias’ dive off the steps is broken up though and Otis drives him into the barricade. Gable German suplexes Riddle onto the apron and we take another break. Back again with Gable driving Riddle face first so Otis can get two. Riddle fights up without much trouble though and it’s Elias coming in to clean house.
A hangman’s neckbreaker gets two on Gable but he hurricanranas his way out of a sitout powerbomb. Otis comes in for a reverse DDT and Gable adds a top rope headbutt for two more. Riddle makes the save and gets the tag, setting up the springboard Floating Bro onto the Academy. Back in and Elias plants Gable, allowing Riddle to hit the Floating Bro for the pin at 15:55.
Rating: C. This is a good example of a match that was more long than good. While not a terrible match by any means, they never got into any kind of a higher gear and it kind of kept going more than anything else. It’s nice to see slightly more serious Riddle, but the Alpha Academy going from something interesting to Gable doing his sound effect has taken away a lot of their steam.
JBL and Baron Corbin are playing poker again and complain about Akira Tozawa last week. Drew McIntyre come in so JBL can mock him, resulting in McIntyre challenging Corbin for tonight. McIntyre decks him and I think that’s a yes.
Video on the Men’s WarGames match.
Survivor Series rundown.
Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre
JBL is here with Corbin, who bails to the floor to start. A cheap shot lets Corbin take over but McIntyre slugs away to come back. They head outside with McIntyre sending him over the barricade and then dropping him onto the announcers’ table. A JBL distraction lets Corbin get in another shot though and a corner clothesline has McIntyre in trouble.
McIntyre fights up and runs over Corbin in the corner but Corbin breaks up the Futureshock. Instead McIntyre hits a Michinoku Driver for two, only to have Corbin get in a shot of his own for a double knockdown. We take a break and come back with Corbin hitting a superplex for a delayed two, followed by the chokeslam for the non-delayed version of a near fall.
A torture rack dropped back into a slam gives Corbin two more and Deep Six is good for two more. Corbin yells at the referee but here is Akira Tozawa (now with Blond hair) to jump into JBL’s arms and steal his hat. That’s enough of a distraction for McIntyre to hit the Claymore for the pin at 17:41.
Rating: C+. And that is a good example of the problem with Corbin: you know almost exactly what you are going to get out of a Corbin match because he barely ever changes anything up. It’s the same offense in the same sequence with the same pretty good looking power moves. You know what he is going to do in any given match and the only question is how will the finish go. The surprise here was Tozawa, who seems like he is actually going to go at least a little somewhere out of last week’s random match and segment. Cool, as taking some of the talent you already have and doing something with them is often a wise move.
The OC is ready for Finn Balor on Saturday. Balor comes in to say he’s ready for Styles and indeed here is the Judgment Day to start the big fight. They brawl to the floor with the OC getting beaten up on and around a rental car. Security and referees finally get out there to break it up with the OC down.
Here is Team Belair for a pre-main event chat. Belair talks about how her team is ready for war and promises to reveal the fifth member….on Smackdown. Cue Team Damage Ctrl, with Bayley mocking the entire team, mainly because Belair couldn’t possibly find someone else to team with her. Asuka tells Rhea Ripley to get in there and we’re ready to go.
Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka
For WarGames control and everyone else has been sent backstage. Ripley powers her into the corner to start but Asuka is back up with some strikes to knock her to the apron. The running hip attack rocks Ripley again and it’s time for a rather long breather on the floor. Back in and Ripley pulls her down by the hair for some smacks to the back of the head.
A hard clothesline drops Asuka again but she’s back with a kneebar out of nowhere. That doesn’t work for Ripley, who rolls backwards and muscles her up for the escape. Ripley kicks her off the top and out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Asuka kicking away and grabbing a German suplex.
Ripley is back up and pulls her into the Prism Trap (I’ve missed that) but Asuka makes the rope. Asuka catches her on top and kicks her in the face for two but can’t follow up. An armbar has Ripley in more trouble but it’s Damage Ctrl appearing for a distraction. Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss come out to even things up a bit as Ripley slips out. Riptide finishes Asuka at 16:16.
Rating: B-. These two hit each other rather hard and it made for a good main event style match. Ripley winning was the only way to go as having the good women control WarGames would make no sense. They kept the interference until the ending, which was nice as it let the stars involved do their thing for a long while before the screwy (as it should have been) ending.
Post match the big brawl is on with Mia Yim running in to brawl with Ripley over the apron. Asuka hits a big dive to leave everyone laying.
We run down the Survivor Series card again as the women seemed to wrap up a bit too early. The rundown goes on so long that the show cuts off and we’re done.
Overall Rating: C+. The best thing that this show did was make me care more about the men’s WarGames match. That seemed to be the goal of the show and they did it well enough. At the same time, OC vs. Judgment Day got a nice boost while being tied into the bigger story. Things got a bit dull in the middle, but the show did its important job while tying some stories together. That is more than some of the late McMahon shows can say so this is a step up in at least one regard.
Brawling Brutes b. Judgment Day – Brogue Kick to Dominik
Omos b. Johnny Gargano – Chokeslam
Austin Theory b. Mustafa Ali – A Town Down
Matt Riddle/Elias b. Alpha Academy – Floating Bro to Gable
Drew McIntyre b. Baron Corbin – Claymore
Rhea Ripley b. Asuka – Riptide
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: