Seth Rollins reveals himself as the world’s most evil Uber pool passenger! Sami Zayn is on Raw again because Brand Split LOL. And Liv Morgan is finally getting a makeover – that sounds mean, she doesn’t need a makeover, it’s just WWE’s way of saying a gimmick change. Some of my best mums are women!
All that, and WWE managed to botch the ending to Raw, and there’s rumblings NXT stars are getting released!
Click the timestamps below to jump to any of those stories right now.
I’m Oli Davis, and welcome to the 9th December 2019 Raw… in about 4 minutes!
Divorce Expert Jerry Lawler (he’s had three!) opened the episode to end Rusev and Lana’s marriage. Lana brought a lawyer, but Rusev ain’t no heel, so he takes on his legal issues like a man – i.e. without professional advice and wearing a Donald Duck shirt under his jacket.
It’s that lack of legal expertise that probably led to Rusev thinking a wrestling match could be part of the settlement, with him only signing if he got to face Bobby Lashley.
Lana and Rusev were actually really good together here, with Lana particularly nailing her ranting, hysterical promos.
Lashley announced he’s going to marry Lana once the divorce goes through, so Rusev put him through a table.
Caruso alert. Kevin Owens told Charly that AOP and Seth Rollins are working together, setting up an episode-long storyline of KO looking for AOP backstage, complete with Rey Mysterio gifting him the Bat that Didn’t Slay Brock Lesnar – +5 Dominic to your armour class – and Owens slapping Mojojojojo Rawley for being a troll.
Oddly this led to SmackDown’s Sami Zayn confronting KO in the ring later representing Rawley with his new managerial license, meaning he can appear on both Raw and SmackDown. Because Brand Split LOL. Owens beat up Rawley with a pipe, so this didn’t even play into anything.
Drew McIntyre made fun of Matt Hardy’s past issues, mocked his newborn child, and then beat him in about 2 minutes with a Claymore. I think Matt might be leaving when his contract is up in February.
The Viking DON’T MENTION THE WAR EXPERIENCE Raiders issued an open challenge for the Raw tag team titles – which was answered by the Street Profits. This was a great idea, and a really exciting five minutes, until the Raiders won with the Viking Experience. This was clearly designed as a way to get the Street Profits over in defeat, especially with the show of respect afterwards, but this match was nowhere near long enough to achieve that.
It was actually more likely just a way to get Seth some heat, who interrupted to deny he’s working with AOP, and then seemingly left the arena.
But it was all a rouse! As later in the show when Owens was hitting AOP’s SUV with Rey’s bat, Akam and Rezar jumped him, unveiling a hooded figure who swung round on a chair like a parody of a Bond villain, to reveal themselves as… yeah, it was always really obviously Seth Rollins.
That big angle happened in a backstage bit in the middle of the show. It was a very lamely structured reveal, simultaneously hotshotting and undermining a storyline that had another month left in it. Rollins then blamed the fans for driving him to side with AOP, which at least is the right character motivation.
It’s time for our weekly Akira Tozawa’s really good, but will unfortunately lose all the time match! Aleister Black beat him with a sick Black Mass here, while Buddy Murphy dominated Zack Ryder later on. What a novel approach to booking – making both guys look individually strong by winning matches, to make me want to see the eventual Black vs Murphy clash at TLC!
A graphic then announced Liv Morgan would be returning soon with a make over, which will probably be eventually unveiled in six months’ time.
Caruso alert! Charly introduced Humberto Carillo as one of the most impressive debuts in WWE this year, despite him losing practically every match. Thankfully he finally got a win here in a very good bout with Andrade, where Zelina Vega was accidentally taken out, letting Carillo win with a roll up.
Becky Lynch did a rerun of Charlotte’s match from last week, taking on both Kabuki Warriors with a 2-on-1 handicap. Again, this was a well booked match to get over Lynch in the babyface position, but I can’t shake the knowing disappointment that this isn’t here to make Asuka and Kairi Sane look good. It’s just WWE’s latest way to feed Charlotte and Becky.
Becky had the match won several times, undermining the Women’s Tag Team Champions, so Asuka used a chair for the DQ, and Sane hit an elbow off the top rope through a table outside.
A few backstage brawls later, and – Caruso alert! – Charlotte and Becky vs the Kabuki Warriors for TLC was announced.
WWE really struggled to find clips of Sean Waltman in the nWo for their Hall of Fame induction package.
Erick Rowan squashed another jobber, who rather ingeniously attempted a countout victory by stealing his beloved pet carrier.
The Street Profits had a slightly amusing, but ultimately overly produced SNL Weekend Update segment running down the TLC card, because someone’s got to sell that pay-per-view.
And AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio had a very good main event to close the show.
Unfortunately, though, the finish was heavily botched – with both men stumbling off the turnbuckle during an Avalanche Styles Clash, for Randy Orton to awkwardly slide in for a distraction, and Rey to roll Styles up to retain. The broadcast was cut off suddenly, and in some areas, people didn’t even get to see the pin – Pete’s got more on that in a bit.
That was this week’s Raw in about 4 minutes but probably 5. Click the i above my head to let me know what you thought of the show, where you can choose from Rawsome, Cor, AvRAWge, Poor, and Rawful.
As a go-home show, this was an absolute failure, devoid of any really intriguing cliffhanger angles to sell matches on Sunday’s TLC. And I thought the full Rollins heel reveal was flat. I do appreciate WWE trying to build more talent with Murphy, Black, Andrade and Carillo, though, and Rey Mysterio is on another level at the moment. All in all, this week’s Raw is a low AvRAWge.
And now onto Pete for that big ending botch…
Thanks Oli, and yes I’m back from my week off! Did you miss me? You…didn’t even notice I was gone did you? This is…awkward.
Now I’m back I’ll be bringing you my WrestleLeague punishment music video very very soon, which is Tyler Breeze’s #MMMGorgeous. Can’t wait.
But now let’s do some news, and while Raw culminated with a United States Championship match between Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles, not everyone got to see how it ended. It seems some viewers’ experience of Raw was cut off right as the finishing sequence was taking place.
A report from WrestleZone stated that one of their own writers couldn’t see the finish, only seeing Randy Orton roll out of the ring after distracting AJ Styles. The finish would take place seconds later, but it seems those watching via Xfinity were cut off, with some Twitter users also airing their grievances.
Other platforms seem to have been okay, with another WrestleZone writer stating they could watch the whole show on Dish Network. Dish Network? Is that a network about cleaning plates?
WWE have since shown what happened after the broadcast was cut off on YouTube and their website, but it is uncharacteristic of WWE to overrun on a show, since Raw no longer has an overrun on their program. The full segment without the abrupt ending can be seen on their YouTube channel as well.
Speaking of being uncharacteristic, while I was away there was a whole bunch of releases in WWE, including Luke Harper, Sin Cara and The Ascension. These however may not be the last releases coming, as a report from Fightful states:
“A couple of members of the NXT roster have also told [Fightful] that word is going around that if NXT cuts are coming, it could be in January or early February.”
Considering the reported reason for these releases in the first place was to save money, it absolutely wouldn’t be surprising to see some NXT talent get the future endeavour treatment sooner rather than later, especially since the Performance Center currently has about 17 million residents.
Speaking of residents, and there’s going to be some more residents in the WWE Hall of Fame come April! That was a bad segue, Pete.
As announced yesterday by WWE themselves, the nWo and Batista are the first two acts to be officially announced for 2020’s ceremony, which is odd considering you’d think both acts would be big enough draws to headline their own Hall of Fame ceremonies, especially with actual Hall of Fame-worthy talent will be running short sooner rather than later.
When thinking of who would induct Batista, a mind would instantly think of Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, hell maybe even John Cena, but Batista himself has revealed who he has personally requested be the person to induct him on Twitter.
“I owe a lot to all those names mentioned and many more but for personal reasons I’ve personally requested that Fit Finlay induct me into the #WWEHOF … I’m sure that anyone who knows Fit Finlay will not question my request.”
What those personal reasons are, no-one is really sure, but that’s why they’re personal reasons. It will be nice to see Batista getting his Hall of Fame induction, and it’ll be great to see the original trio of the nWo getting inducted too. Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash….and Sean Waltman. For absolutely no reason, I’m sure.
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The real reason behind all these WWE releases has been revealed! Press the video to the right to found out more, and the video below that to find out more about a WWE wrestler have a fan altercation at a house show! Thank you to our pledgehammers on Patreon who you can see scrolling below me right now, and make sure to check out wrestletalkmerch.com to get your hands on some sweet WrestleTalk merch! I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.