The RAW after Rumble.
– 27 January 2020 (AT&T Center San Antonio, TX)
Tonight’s episode of RAW comes off the heels of what I consider one of the greatest men’s Royal Rumble matches of all-time. The booking of Brock, while not for everybody, was expertly done. The point of the Rumble is to build stars and the moments given to guys like Keith Lee and eventual winner Drew MacIntyre did just that. This doesn’t even include EDGE (!!!!) making his in-ring return.
Could tonight’s RAW match such lofty heights? In short, no. It was an average night with a few stand out moments, but that ending… WOW. Let me tell you what’s worth your time and what wasn’t from the January 27 episode of RAW.
MacIntyre def. The OC
Mysterio def. MVP
Aleister Black def. Kenneth Johnson
Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy def. Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe
Humberto Carrillo def. Andrade – DQ
Charlotte Flair def. Asuka – DQ
Mojo Rawley def. No Way Jose
Liv Morgan def. Lana
Erick Morgan def. Branden Vice
Drew MacIntyre promo to handicap match vs the OC
Watch. YOU DESERVE IT! YOU DESERVE IT! The chants echo through the AT&T Center as Drew McIntyre lays out his challenge to “The Fiend” for WrestleMania! Just fucking with you, of course it’s Brock Lesnar. Drew says he wants to deliver some Claymores and throws out an open challenge. It turns out The OC is happy to eat those Claymores as he pins both of the Good Brothers on top of each other in short order.
Brock comes out, hits Drew with an F5 to a tidal wave of “boooos” and kickstarts this feud towards The Road to WrestleMania.
Rey Mysterio vs MVP
Watch. Mostly because this is the closest you’ll get to 2006 without a DeLorean.
I assume with the amount of money WWE paid to have M.V.P. spend 20 seconds in the Rumble, they figured to at least have him wrestle a match on RAW. This was your typical Mysterio match with all the classics. It had been so long since I’ve seen Montell in a ring I forgot about the “Ballin elbow.” Unfortunately, MVP seems to botch Rey Mysterio’s 619 attempt, which hits him softly in the back. Rey still finishes the match off with the top rope splash for an awkward win in a match that really didn’t do much for me, but maybe you have the soft spot for M.V.P. that I don’t.
It will be interesting to see if this is more than a one-and-done match. I don’t see where MVP fits in the currently stacked RAW roster where seven of the men’s Rumble final eight reside.
Aleister Black vs Kenneth Johnson
Skip. ENOUGH WITH THE GODDAMN SQUASH MATCHES. If the Cleveland Browns came up to Edmonton to play my co-ed rec-league flag football team, people wouldn’t be like, “wow, the Browns have really turned it around,” as they peel my carcass off the turf.
Black is in need of another good feud over the next few months to stop him from being relegated to the WrestleMania pre-show. Unfortunately, RAW is suffering from a bona-fide lack of heel characters with guys like Drew McIntyre, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and Randy Orton lingering in tweener status. (But more on this later…)
Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy vs Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe
Watch. Rollins as an insufferable prick is A+ stuff. Kevin Owens subtly dancing to Joe’s music was great. The rest of the promo is weird, but I didn’t mind it. Rollins kept trying to convince Kevin Joe-wens that The AOP wasn’t waiting to ambush the pair, which lead to The Viking Raiders attacking The AOP backstage.
After a slow start, Owens and Joe take out Rollins and Murphy with a cannonball and a Tope Suicida to the outside. Strangely, after coming back from the commercial break, it is revealed that Joe has been removed from the match by the medical staff.
Joe looked to be selling a concussion pretty hard, which leads me to believe it is part of an angle.
Owens looks to have the match sewn up and is about to nail Murphy with a Stunner but he instead turns The Rattlesnake’s finisher towards an interfering Rollins instead. Buddy Murphy takes advantage and rolls KO up for the win. It was too early to take the titles off Rollins and Murphy and this allowed for the sneaky heel win and the feud to continue. Hopefully, Joe’s injury is just an angle as he’s missed too much time in his WWE stint already.
Andrade vs Humberto Carrillo – U.S. title match
Watch. A solid match is what you’d expect from these two, but it’s the ending that made this the most engaging part of the episode thus far.
Humberto Carrillo can definitely go in the ring but there hadn’t been enough development outside of it to give fans a reason to get behind him. His return pop was more of a fizzle and as only helped making Andrade look like a star. That changed with the end of the match. It’s Zelina Vega’s interference that brings the match to its conclusion – gifting Carrillo the DQ win, but allowing Andrade to retain the title.
The smirk on Almas’ face is quickly wiped off his face as Carrillo unloads on him. Humberto slowly and calculatedly removes the protective padding around the ring and hits Andrade with the same hammerlock DDT that put him on the shelf for a month. Vega sells it as the most devastating thing to ever happen in a ring and has immediately got me invested in a feud I didn’t care about a few minutes earlier.
Charlotte Flair vs Asuka
Watch. This match was obviously good. It’s two of the best at what they do, going toe-to-toe. Flair laying in chops while screaming “I already beat you!” was a great mid-match moment.
Asuka absorbs all of Charlotte’s heavy offense. The big boot, a gut wrench power bomb, and a spear are all not enough to put “The Empress of Tomorrow” away. The match ends with Kairi Sane dropping a top rope elbow on Flair while she had Asuka bridged into the figure four. Charlotte clears the ring and ends the segment.
This was a great match but it did little to build Asuka again. WWE tried to make her look strong in defeat, but it was just another defeat from the woman who went 914 days without one (remember that?). The women’s division is so unbelievably top heavy on RAW that it appears to be on a collision course for another Becky vs Charlotte match at WrestleMania.
Mojo Rawley with Riddick Moss vs No Way Jose – 24/7 title match
Watch. You’d think this is an easy pass and normally you’d be right. Mojo’s new gimmick is that of a “franchise QB” and he introduces Riddick Moss as his offensive lineman. I see you reaching for the fast-forward button, but just wait. No Way Jose once again conga’s his way to a quick three-count and that looks to be it. However, one of the leftover Rosebud rejects rolls Rawley up for the win.
Of course, you should already know this is R-truth. His victory is short lived as Rawley slams him to regain the title, but the Truth reveal was a nice touch.
Liv Morgan vs Lana
Pass. Liv Morgan looks pretty good in the ring and there’s something to build on with her character once this feud is over, but you’re not going to get a great match out of Lana. Sorry.
Erick Rowan vs Branden Vice
Pass. I’m not even 100% sure if that’s the jobbers name, but no one cares anyways. Week-after-week it’s the same crap.
Watch. Of course you watch this, it’s fucking Edge. Is there any greater five words in wrestling than, “you think you know me?” I still remember his goodbye speech and this was just as impactful as far as the emotions involved, just on a different end of the spectrum. If this helps Edge end his career on his own terms, then I am overjoyed at his return, for however long it is.
What happens next is the closest you’ll get to 80s wrestler heat when guys were getting stabbed by audience members. Randy Orton comes out and offers Edge a Rated-RKO reunion. However, before it can be accepted, Randal Keith hits him with the RKO. The crowd erupts in a chorus of boos that would only reach a crescendo as the beatdown continued. Orton grabs a chair and hits Edge in the FREAKING NECK with it. Not stopping there, Randy then rest Edges head on a chair and hits him with another, ending the show with hate spewing from the San Antonio audience.
This was an unbelievable segment. Cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping television that tugs at your emotions. A WrestleMania match is assured. I just pray they don’t mess up the build with. Luckily, there is likely no two stars in WWE that can call their own shots for a feud like these two, so strap in.
We’re in for a ride over the next few months.