KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
DECEMBER 2, 2019
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, Samoa Joe
-A black van drove up in the parking garage. AOP got out. Charly Caruso approached them and asked why they beat up Kevin Owens last week. They answered in Punjabi and Albanian. Charly said she doesn’t speak either of those languages, so could they translate. Akam said, “Charly, you look lovely tonight.” She made a face and they walked away.
-The Raw opening theme played.
-Pyro blasted in the arena as the camera panned the crowd. The graphic noted they were in Nashville, Tenn. Vic Joseph said Seth Rollins is ready to address the locker room and apologize.
-Seth made his ring entrance. Lawler said he hoped Seth doesn’t apologize. Samoa Joe said Seth had a lot to say about roster deficiencies, but it all happened on his watch. Lawler said what Seth said last week is what the Raw roster needed. Seth stood mid-ring and there was a very small “Burn it down!” chant. Maybe one or two guys. Seth said last week he addressed the entire roster at ringside. He said he will say it as plainly and frankly as he did last week. “We all sucked,” he said. “That was a little bit too harsh, but I want you guys to understand it was coming from a good place, it was coming from my heart.” He said this isn’t just his job, it’s also his life. He said everyone backstage are family, and they fight and struggle together. He said he wants to motivate everyone to get the absolute best out of each of them. “But I may have gone overboard,” he said. He apologized to the fans and the locker room. He singled out Kevin Owens and asked him to kindly come to the ring so he can apologize to him face to face, man to man.
Owens made his way to the ring. Joseph asked why Lawler is so against Seth apologizing. Lawler said what Seth said last week was what they needed to hear. KO said he smells something, and it reminds him of when the rodeo comes to Nashville. He asked him if the two closet members of his so-called family are AOP. Seth said he knows nothing about it. KO said he knows he’s lying “because your lips are moving.” He said the smell he’s referring to is “bullshit.” Seth promised and swore to him that wasn’t true.
AOP then walked out onto the stage to their entrance theme. Owens stepped back and looked a little concerned. They challenged Seth and KO to a two-on-two match later. Seth quickly accepted. KO smiled and said the way he sees it – one of three things can happen, and all of them result in the three of them beating the crap out of him. He asked them to beat him now if that’s the ultimately plan. Seth said he tried. “You do you, I’ll do me, you’re on your own, man,” he said. He dropped the mic and walked to the stage. He started at AOP. They stepped aside and Seth walked to the back. KO said Seth might be gone, but he’d love to get a piece of AOP. He called them to come to the ring, “preferably one at a time.” They turned to leave, instead. Owens said he wants a fight.
-They cut backstage to Lana and Bobby Lashley. Joseph wondered if they were going to accept KO’s challenge.
(Keller’s Analysis: I loved that KO was smart to the plan of AOP and Seth, or at least obviously suspected it was the plan, and didn’t “get wrapped up in the moment” and accept a suspicious challenge to team with Seth against AOP. I also loved KO asking AOP to come to the ring to “fight preferably one at a time.” He comes across as 30 IQ points higher than the average babyface who too often is easily manipulated by heels. Seth was good here at being transparently not-at-all sincere. I like this spot for AOP, too. They are different enough to really stand out as fresh in the mix with top acts like Seth and KO.) [c]
-Lana came out and said the fans’ beloved Rusev won’t be there tonight because she has filed a restraining order against him in the state of Tennessee. She said Rusev is a danger to all of them and all of society. She said he’ll go to jail for a very long time if he shows up today. KO said he’s never known anyone to talk so much but say nothing. He said she might be beautiful on the outside, but on the inside, she’s repulsive. She said KO is a “basic everyday man” and a “candy eater, pizza eater.” She said her hot boyfriend is the only man she’s ever been with her entire life and he will finish KO. “Let’s get to it!” KO said.
(1) KEVIN OWENS vs. BOBBY LASHLEY (w/Lana)
Lashley scored with an early spinebuster. Owens tripped Lashley on the ring apron, then landed a quick frog splash on the floor. They cut to an early break. [c]
Back from the break, KO crotch chopped before charging with a cannonball in the corner for a near fall on Lashley. There were two plain-clothed officers at ringside protecting Lana from Rusev. Lashley avoided an Owens moonsault. A few minutes later Lashley set up a full nelson, but Owens elbowed out of it and then delivered a Pop-Up Powerbomb. Both were down and slow to get up. AOP then marched to the ring and attacked KO and dragged him to the back.
WINNER: KO via DQ in 8:00.
-An NXT commercial aired with a clip of Finn Balor attacking Adam Cole at the end of last week’s show.
-Caruso asked Lashley in the ring if she knows about AOP’s attack on KO. Lashley said he doesn’t know about that, all he knows about is that he was about to beat KO. He said he cares about Lana’s welfare. Lana said she’s tired of everyone booing her. Rusev entered the ring and attacked Lashley with a machka kick. Lana yelled for help. The plain-clothed police slowly entered the ring. Rusev ran away through the crowd. Fans chanted “Rusev Day!” although they couldn’t quite get in sync. Lashley yelled at the police. One of the officers said he’s a WWE fan and in the State of Tennessee they do things differently. Lashley bumped shoulders with the cop as he walked past him. They handcuffed Lashley and read him his rights as a result. Lana chewed out the officer and slapped him, then realized what she did and apologized. They handcuffed Lana and walked both to the back. [c]
-They replayed what happened before the break, then cut backstage to Lana and Lashley being put in the back of an unmarked squad car. She said Rusev should be arrested because “he broke all of the laws.” They showed R-Truth and the Street Profits watching and making incredulous faces.
(2) DREW MCINTYRE vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
Lawler said Tozawa’s favorite pastime is climbing tall people. Drew overpowered Tozawa, then dropped to his knees to present a more fair fight. He told Tozawa to leave now or he’ll beat his ass. He said this is his one chance. Tozawa turned to apparently leave, but then turned back and attacked. Tozawa dove at Drew on the floor, but Drew made a quick comeback and flapjacked Tozawa onto the mat. He lifted him onto his shoulders and threw him through the ropes back into the ring. Drew then grounded Tozawa with a chinlock. Tozawa showed some signs of life, but Drew cut him off with a sudden Claymore Kick for the win.
WINNER: Drew in 4:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good way for Drew to come across as dominant and arrogant.)
-Drew said afterward that was fun. He said some people like to issue a challenge in a cryptic way because they’re a bunch of bloody cowards. He said he’s going to be direct about it. “Randy Orton, I’ve got a problem with you, so bring yourself to this ring right now so we can bloody talk about.” They cut to a break before Orton could answer. [c]
-A Smackdown commercial teased that they’d find out what happened to Daniel Bryan.
-Drew was still in the ring after the break. He called for Orton to come out there again. He called for footage to air. A clip aired from last Monday of Drew and Orton getting into it, including an eye poke. Drew said he’d describe what he just watched in three words: “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” He called Orton to the ring again. Orton came out this time to his music. Drew asked Orton how his chest is feeling and asked if the noise from the chops drowned out the voices in his head. Orton laughed at his question and turned to leave. Drew told him to face him when he’s talking to him and not to disrespect him. Drew said his problem with him is that he walks around like he owns the place and always has. He insisted Orton look at him. Orton stared at him. Drew said he doesn’t have the right to speak to him like he’s a damn child. He said he was the most ferocious man in WWE in the past, but in 2019, the only thing he’s ferocious at is posting on social media. Orton grinded his teeth a little. Drew said even the people of Nashville can understand what he’s about to tell him. “Past, future, RKO Out of Nowhere out, Claymore Out of Nowhere in.” Orton said there’s not an Orton-McIntyre problem, that’s a McIntyre-Reality problem. He said he does what he wants when he wants to because he has earned the right to do so. He said Drew, on the other hand, hasn’t earned a damn thing. He said they’re good and cool, but if Drew thinks they still have a problem, let’s solve it right now. They were interrupted by The O.C.
Luke Gallows said Orton is an unapologetic jerk who ruins people’s lives. Orton nodded proudly. Karl Anderson said he ruined Uncle Allen’s life. He said A.J. Styles lost the U.S. Title because of him. Anderson asked if he’s okay. Styles said he’s not. He said he’d feel better if he got his hands on Orton. He said he doesn’t care what kind of match it is, he just wants to get his hands on Orton. Drew said this doesn’t seem like a Drew problem, it seems more like an Orton/O.C. problem, “so I bid you adieu.” He left. Drew waved bye-bye. Orton held his ground in the ring as The O.C. approached the ring from three sides. When they entered, Orton tried to fight tall three at once. They swarmed and overwhelmed him, though. Ricochet made the save, darting to the ring. He was overwhelmed quickly, though. Next, Humberto Carrillo ran out. He was beat down three-on-two, also. Then Rey Mysterio ran out. He took Styles out of the ring with a head scissors. He cleared the ring of Gallows and Anderson next, with some help from Ricochet. Rey, Ricochet, and Carrillo celebrated in the ring as Orton stood at ringside. They cut to a break.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m more entertained by Orton now than in years. He seems more at ease and more himself and less scripted-sounding than in a while. This was a good performance from both Orton and McIntyre on the mic. Interesting to hear Drew sounding a bit like Kenny Omega at the end there.) [c]
-They showed postcard shots of Nashville. Then they showed race car drivers Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip at ringside.
-They went backstage to Orton who was nursing his sore shoulder. Rey, Carrillo, and Ricochet asked if he was okay. Orton said he appreciates the assistance, but he didn’t need it. He walked away.
(3) TONY NESE vs. ALEISTER BLACK
They showed Buddy Murphy watching backstage on a monitor. Nese bailed out to the floor. Black teased a dive, but then backflipped and sat mid-ring. Joe said Black “even sits down intensely.” Joseph said Nese doesn’t know what to make of Black. Nese struck Black in the throat to take control, then raked his eyes. Black came back with the Black Mass kick for the win.
WINNER: Black in 4:00.
-Charly asked Murphy if he regrets knocking on Black’s door. He said Black takes himself way too seriously and he’s a hot-head, whereas he’s calm, cool, and collected. He told Black to calm down. He said if he doesn’t want to calm down, he’ll be the one to calm him down.
-Andrade and Zelina Vega made their ring entrance. [c]
(4) ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. ERIC YOUNG
Young is a former TNA World Hvt. Champion, by the way. Joe said Young has had success everywhere he’s gone and is a journeyman, and a win against Andrade would make a real statement. Lawler said he’s wrestling in front of his hometown crowd. When Andrade set up a move on the top rope, Young punched him to the mat and landed a flying elbow drop for a two count. Andrade made a comeback and scored a two count after a low dropkick. Young rallied again. Andrade ultimately finished Young with a hammerlock DDT for the win.
WINNER: Andrade in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s kind of sad watching Young, who has so much personality, be as plain and bland as anyone in WWE today. He’s a serviceable jobber, but you’d never know watching him now how much TNA for years leaned on his personality to fill a lot of TV time effectively. That said, glad to see enhancement matches on Raw to give solid wins to top tier pushed talent like Drew and Andrade.)
-R-Truth ran to the ring with his 24/7 Title belt and hid in the front row with the race car drivers. Cedric Alexander, Titus O’Neal, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, and Mojo Rawley ran to ringside. The drivers said Truth went to the back. Truth thanked them and hugged Busch. Waltrip unzipped his jacket and revealed a referee shirt. Busch then rolled up Truth. Waltrip made the three count. Busch celebrated on his way to the back with the 24/7 Title belt. Truth angrily marched to the back. [c]
-A Cyber Monday commercial aired with the Street Profits. The No Way Jose conga line danced by them. Angelo said, “Tis the season to want some smoke.”
-They replayed the angle with KO, Seth, and The O.C. earlier.
-Charly caught up with Seth who was leaving the arena with his rolling luggage. She said earlier he said everybody was part of his family, so why wouldn’t he help KO when he was attacked by AOP. Seth asked what she’s even talking about. He said he tried. Seth said KO didn’t want his help. He got worked up, then apologized to Charly. Charly said a lot of people are questioning the sincerity of his apology. He asked, “What do you want from me?” Seth said it seems like a no-win situation for him. He said no matter what he says or does, he’s the bad guy and it’s always his fault. He asked what’s the point. He said everyone is a critic, but not everyone has the guts to be a leader.
-They went to the announcers on camera who reacted to Seth briefly, then pivoted to a video feature on Rey Mysterio becoming U.S. Champion last week.
-Erick Rowan spoke to his mystery pet in the cage who is apparently wearing a Go Pro camera. He said he wouldn’t know what to do if anything happened to him. [c]
(5) NO WAY JOE vs. ERICK ROWAN
Joe said he can’t believe No Way Jose finds so many people each week in every city with so little rhythm. Joe said he gives him credit for celebrating now, because after the match he won’t have anything to celebrate. Rowan carried the cage to the ring with a burlap tarp over it. A member of the Conga Line tried to peek under the tarp. Rowan attacked him and a couple other conga line members. No Way Jose made a hapless attempt at a save. The rest of the conga line fled to the back. He yelled at Jose to tell his friends not to touch his stuff. Rowan had Jose pinned, but lifted his shoulders before the three count and gave him a second claw slam. Then he allowed the three count. Joseph asked Joe if he had any insight on what’s under the burlap covering.
WINNER: Rowan in 2:00.
-They showed the Kabuki Warriors backstage warming up.
-A commercial aired for WWE Network documentary Trish Stratus. [c]
-Joseph plugged that Seth would join Renee Young and Booker T on “WWE Backstage” tomorrow night.
-Sarah Schreiber interviewed Rowan backstage. She said everyone is wondering what’s in the cage. She asked him about what’s in the cage. He glared at her and walked away.
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(6) CHARLOTTE vs. ASUKA & KAIRI SANE
Charlotte came out first. (I still think it’s so stupid referees hold the ropes open for Charlotte, whom they’re about to have authority over as a rule enforcer during her match.) Caruso asked Asuka about facing Charlotte, who broke her streak. Asuka spoke obnoxiously in Japanese as Kairi laughed. They jumped Charlotte two-on-one before the bell. Kairi used her umbrella as a weapon. The ref scolded them and then checked on Charlotte. He called for the bell. It began with Asuka vs. Charlotte, but a quick tag by Asuka to Kairi. Lawler said he doesn’t understand Charlotte’s decision to accept this match. Charlotte managed to in some offense, but Kairi yanked Charlotte off the ring apron. Charlotte awkwardly reversed Kairi into the ringside barricade. Asuka then blindsided her with a kick off the ring apron. Charlotte dove onto both opponents at ringside. She threw Asuka back into the ring, then fended off Kairi. Joseph asked if Charlotte can overcome the odds. [c]
Lawler said during the break, Charlotte didn’t get in one offensive move. She made a comeback by catching Kairi with a boot, then kicking Asuka. She put Kairi next to Asuka and then moonsaulted both of them. They lifted their knees. Charlotte blocked a Kairi dropkick and grabbed her legs and rolled her into a camel clutch. Asuka round kicked Charlotte in the head to break it. Kairi then tagged in Asuka who then hit Charlotte with a missile dropkick off the top rope. Charlotte set up a figure-four on Asuka, but Asuka turned it into a triangle armbar. Charlotte lifted Asuka and powerbombed herself free. Kairi then attacked Charlotte. Kairi climbed to the top rope to execute an Insane Elbow, but Charlotte got up and blocked it. She set up a superplex, but Asuka tagged herself in and worked with Kairi to drop Charlotte on the mat. Kairi then landed a double-stomp onto Charlotte’s back. Asuka made the cover for a two count. Seconds later, Charlotte double-speared them and scored a near fall on Asuka. Charlotte set up a figure-four on Asuka, but when Kairi looked like she was going to interfere, Charlotte fended her off. Then Charlotte put the figure-four on Asuka. She bridged into the Figure-Eight, but Asuka had tagged out. Kairi then landed an Insane Elbow for the win.
WINNERS: Asuka & Sane in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I wasn’t a fan at all of having Charlotte last 15 minutes with both Asuka and Kairi. It really diminished both Asuka and Kairi that it took them that long to win, and that Charlotte late in the match still had opportunities to win. I don’t get the point of this at all. Some good action, and some awkward moments too.)
-They showed the Viking Raiders making cartoon faces backstage with fog and red lighting. [c]
-Schreiber asked Charlotte backstage if she regrets challenging the Kabuki Warriors given the result of the match. Charlotte said no and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: Is that Charlotte’s first interview where she didn’t spew a cliché about being queen and ending with “Wooo!”)
(7) THE VIKING RAIDERS vs. MARK STERLING & MITCHELL LYONS
One of the Raiders’ opponents tried to run away seconds into the match, but they caught him, clotheslined him, and slammed him. Back in the ring, the Raiders attacked the other guy and finished him quickly with the Viking Experience.
WINNERS: Raiders in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really liking WWE’s use of squash matches to establish the overpowering strength and signature moves of certain pushed acts. It’ll make the more competitive match-ups seem more special when they’re not burning through them on all of the weekly TV time they have to fill.)
-Joseph plugged the six-man tag main event.
-Backstage Ricochet told Rey and Carrillo that he wants to prove superheroes can be real. He said that will have to be shoved to the sidelines with their match because it’s all about being a team who shuts up The O.C. Carrillo talked about what an honor it is to team with Rey. Rey said the real honor is teaming with wrestlers who are the future of the sport. Rey said they’ll shut then down. “Get ready for the future and the legend,” he said. [c]
-They replayed the Lashley/Lana arrest angle from earlier after the run-in from Rusev. Lawler said he’s almost ashamed to be from Tennessee after witnessing that earlier.
-After the babyface ring entrances one at a time, they aired a backstage promo from The O.C. who said they are the only club that matters. They cut to a break before the match began. [c]
(8) REY MYSTERIO & HUMBERT CARRILLO & RICOCHET vs. THE O.C. (A.J. Styles & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
The O.C. dominated the early minutes. Rey got a hot-tag and rallied. When he went for a 619 on Styles, Anderson blocked it and rammed Rey back-first into the ringside barricade and then tossed him into the ringpost. Joseph asked if he can bounce back as they cut to a break. [c]
The O.C. controlled Rey for a while until he hot-tagged Ricochet. Ricochet and Styles went back and forth with near falls. Anderson broke up a Ricochet cover after a Recoil. Rey then gave Anderson a 619. Gallows kicked Rey off the ring apron. Carrillo then superkicked Gallows and then flip dove onto Gallows at ringside. “This is what Monday Night Raw is all about!” exclaimed Joseph. Styles set up a Styles Clash on Ricochet, but Ricochet countered with a roll-up for a near fall. Styles then landed Pelé kick. Styles set up Ricochet for a top rope move. Ricochet slipped free, but then had to fend off Anderson. He moonsaulted onto him on the floor. He went back after Styles with a springboard huracanrana attempt, but Styles caught him and delivered a Styles Clash for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: The O.C. in 16:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match throughout, with an especially strong final few minutes.)
-Randy snuck in behind Styles as he celebrated and gave him an RKO.
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