WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JANUARY 6, 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler
-A two minute recap aired of the Lana-Bobby Lashley wedding with comedic music.
-The Raw opening theme aired. They went to a wide shot of the arena with a graphic on the screen noting they were in Oklahoma City, Okla. No mention of the city, though, by Joseph. They hyped matches announced for the show.
-Brock Lesnar walked out with Paul Heyman. Joseph said Lesnar has held a world title in WWE longer than anyone else in this millennium. Lawler said he’s the most decorated champion in WWE “in my opinion.” (Facts don’t back that up if you’re counting title reigns or days as champion.) When the crowd booed, Paul Heyman said, “Well, Happy New Year to you, too, bitches.” He said he is the advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, Brock Lesnar.
Heyman said he’s going to kick off the new decade by making history, which is what his client does. Heyman when Brock was asked who is worthy of facing him, Lesnar said there isn’t one single member of the Raw, Smackdown, or NXT roster man enough to step into the ring, let alone worthy of sharing the spotlight with Brock Lesnar. (C.M. Punk? Tyson Fury?) Heyman said: “Let me get one thing straight. You don’t boo Brock Lesnar.” Boos broke out! “Not when Brock Lesnar is about to do something unprecedented,” he said. Heyman said they can legitimately advertise it as unprecedented. He said people said Undertaker couldn’t be defeated at WrestleMania, but his client conquered his undefeated streak. He said people said he couldn’t be NCAA, UFC, Universal, and WWE heavyweight champion, but Lesnar did. Lawler interjected that this is all true.
Heyman said there is a universe he hasn’t conquered yet. He said if you want to see Lesnar in a dream match at the Royal Rumble, how about every single challenger who wants Lesnar at the Rumble can have Lesnar at the Rumble, because Lesnar is entering himself into the Rumble. He said Lesnar will enter first. Heyman said that means the Royal Rumble is Lesnar versus every wrestler who enters the Rumble at some point because he will be standing victorious at the end. Heyman said that might be ambitious, unprecedented, historic, and brazen. He said his client is the Beast of Brazen. He said Lesnar will conquer the Royal Rumble and win the Royal Rumble and will enter the Rumble first. “And that’s not just a prediction, ladies and gentleman, that is a spoiler.” He threw the mic and left the ring with Lesnar.
(Keller’s Analysis: Instantly interesting. If Lesnar were to win, that means WWE can save the announcement of who will be challenging for both world titles for another time. Or it can set up Lesnar demanding to face the person who eliminates him, even if that person doesn’t win.)
-Joseph and Lawler immediately reacted on camera. Lawler said he thinks Lesnar and Heyman just made a believer out of him. Lesnar walked past Lawler and Joseph, shoving Lawler a little as he did. Heyman posed next to Lawler who said he and Lesnar made a believer out of him. (They go way back, and Lawler sure had issues with Heyman early in their careers. Read all about it in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter back issues that date back to 1988 when you become a VIP member.)
-Backstage, Sarah Schreiber interviewed Rey Mysterio. Joseph threw to her by name, which was a welcome change. Rey spoke in Spanish passionately first. She asked how much the U.S. Title match means to him. Rey said it means the world to him. He said at this point in his career, he only has days left, not years. He thanked his son Dominic for staying and competing against the top of the top and the best of the best. He said Andrade doesn’t deserve to represent Latinos, so he’s taking his U.S. Title back.
-Rey’s ring entrance took place. [c]
(1) ANDRADE (w/Zelina) vs. REY MYSTERIO – U.S. Title match
Lawler complained that the ring announcer didn’t mention Zelina. Rey took Andrade down early with a head scissors, sending Andrade to the floor. Then he slide under the ropes and took Andrade down with a head scissors. Joseph said Rey is the “GMOAT – the greatest masked Superstar of all time.” Andrade took over back in the ring briefly, but Rey leaped onto his shoulders and top Andrade over the top rope to the floor. Rey rolled through and drove Andrade face-first into the ringside steps. Nice sequence. Both were slow to get up. Joseph talked more about Dominic (which should make any long-time wrestling fan suspicious of something). They finally returned to the ring. Andrade caught Rey flying at him with a dropkick. They cut to a break with both men down. [c]
Back live, Rey and Andrade battled on the second rope. Andrade went for a sunset flip, but Rey popped up and round kicked Andrade to the side of his head. They stood and exchanged punches, with Rey getting the better of Andrade. Rey springboarded at Andrade and landed a twisting DDT despite Andrade trying to counter him. That led to a near fall. Andrade went for a double stomp off the top rope, but Rey leaned back to avoid it (like everyone should, by the way!). Rey slid under the bottom rope and sunset flipped Andrade, but Andrade rolled through and hit Rey with double knees to the chest and head. Andrade flung himself over the top onto Rey with a flip senton for a two count. The announcers talked about the Lesnar news from earlier. Andrade went for three consecutive suplexes, but Rey turned the third into an inside cradle for a near fall. Rey then went for 619, but Andrade move. Andrade then landed a spinning back elbow for a near fall. Rey then hit a Canadian Destroyer for a near fall. Rey covered Andrade for a three count, but Zelina put Andrade’s foot on the bottom rope. The ref saw it and restarted the match, even though Rey’s music was already playing. The ref explained his decision to Rey, who was dismayed. They cut to a break as Andrade caught his breath on the floor at ringside. [c]
Back live, Andrade was in control. Andrade charged Rey in the corner with a flying knee, but Rey ducked and Andrade tumbled to the floor. Rey sent Andrade hard into the barricade with a flying head scissors off the ring apron. Zelina was very expressive at ringside. Rey went for a jackknife pin seconds later for a near fall. Joseph kept stressing that Rey already pinned Andrade tonight, and Lawler was defending Zelina’s actions. They fought on the ring apron. Rey sent Andrade hard with a sunset powerbomb into the ringpost. Andrade crashed to the floor. A “This is awesome!” chant broke. (They were right. This is really good.) Rey then springboard legdropped Andrade in the head back in the ring for a believable near fall. Andrade caught Rey coming off the top rope and slammed him chest and face first on the mat to take over. He scored a quick two count. Zelina stomped the mat as Andrade went for his flying double knees in the corner. Rey avoided him and then landed the 619 seconds later. Rey climbed to the top rope, but Zelina pulled Andrade to safety.
Rey leaped at Andrade, but Andrade caught him and threw him over his shoulders where Zelina was standing. Rey crashed onto her. Fans popped. Rey looked at what happened. Andrade grabbed him from behind and threw him into the ringside steps. Back in the ring, Andrade went for a Hammerlock DDT. The ref stepped in and stopped it, apparently noticing Rey might have been legitimately hurt. He checked on Rey’s condition, then went over to explain something to Andrade. Rey rolled to the floor to check on Zelina. He seemed sorrowful. Back in the ring, Andrade grabbed Rey and immediately Hammerlock DDT’d him for the win. Andrade ripped Rey’s mask off his head afterward. Zelina was on her feet and seemed to like that they had a trophy. Lawler said Andrade presented it to her as a peace offering for the collision earlier.
WINNER: Andrade in 20:00 to retain the U.S. Title (with a stop and restart in there).
(Keller’s Analysis: A really really good match with a bizarre ending that took away from it a little. I’m not sure if the ref was concerned for Rey legit or just trying to stop Andrade storyline-wise from capitalizing on attacking Rey from behind or if he was given a command in his earpiece for Rey to show more concern for Zelina before they went to the finish. Strange either way. But what an entertaining, athletically novel match.)
-The announcers threw to clips of Samoa Joe attacking AOP, but when AOP and Seth Rollins got the advantage, Kevin Owens showed up with a chair, leading to a pull apart with security.
-Charly Caruso interviewed Joe and Owens backstage. She said earlier Seth Rollins revealed a gameplan to divide and conquer because he sees them both as individualists. Owens said he has proven he doesn’t play well with others, and Joe doesn’t play with anybody else ever. He said therefore Seth is right, but right now the enemy of his enemy is his friend. Owens said Joe needs him to watch his back as much as he needs that from Joe. Joe said it’s no secret that he is a prideful man, but even he recognizes when a little back-up is needed. He said Seth and the AOP should face “the three of us.” Owens said he’s assuming Joe’s not including Charly. Joe said he has a guy. Owens wanted to know. Joe said to let Seth and AOP worry, because they should be worried. Owens gave Joe a quizzical look, but seemed to accept the notion that keeping it secret was better (and that Joe couldn’t tell him privately without the camera mic on).
(Keller’s Analysis: Good interview. I think they’re handling the KO-Joe dynamic well, addressing what needs to be addressed so they are staying true to their characters and owning their past in a vague way, but also being likable in contrast to Seth and AOP.) [c]
[A local commercial aired on my cable system for AEW Dynamite which included Cody, Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Pac, Kenny Omega, and other AEW stars.]
-Backstage Caruso approached Seth and AOP. She said she had a message to relay to them. Seth said he knew about it and he faces challenges every single day. He said the challenge he is most concerned about is “taking Monday Night Raw to the next level.” He said he did not ask to be the chosen one, but instead the WWE Universe has made him the chosen one. He said he has sacrificed everything he stood for to be this person, this visionary, this beacon of hope, the Messiah of Monday Nights. He said no one stands by Joe or KO, whereas he and AOP are a united front. He said it’s fate and inevitable that anyone who stands up to him will be taken care of by AOP.
-The Street Profits made their journey through the crowd as their music played. Joseph told Lawler he can’t hate the confidence of the Street Profits. Lawler seemed thrown by the question, saying if he’s saying he hates them, he doesn’t. “I just don’t get it,” he said. The Profits entered the ring and Montez Ford said everyone is talking about the Golden Globes, but they’re there to change the conversation. Angelo Dawkins said they’re not bringing in the decade, they’re blinging it in. Not much crowd pop. Ford said The O.C. can hold up their little hands signs, but tonight they’re not clicking/kliqing. He said they might be Vikings, but tonight they’re pillaging. They said they want the smoke. Lawler asked who wants the smoke. “I don’t get it,” he said.
(Keller’s Analysis: They went to a crowd shot after that and while four fans held up signs that said “We Want The Smoke,” almost nobody else reacted. Maybe OKC isn’t the best city for this act.)
-A.J. Styles accompanied The O.C. onto the stage, but then returned to the back as they headed to the ring. Joseph plugged “WWE Backstage” tomorrow night with The Miz. He said they’d have a scoop on why John Morrison was in Miz’s locker room last Friday on Smackdown. The Viking Raiders then walked out.
-A Smackdown commercial aired showing the returns of Sheamus, The Usos, and John Morrison, plus Daniel Bryan, The Fiend, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns. Notable that no women were featured in the ad other than a dive onto a crowd by that flashed by so far you couldn’t make out anyone.
(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar) vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS vs. THE STREET PROFITS – WWE Raw Tag Team Title match
A couple minutes in, Ford and Ivar had a cartwheel contest. (I really don’t think its becoming for either of them to do that. It especially undercuts the Viking Raiders’ gimmick. I mean, just because you *can* do a cartwheel doesn’t mean you should.) Everyone took turns battling with frequent tags. At 7:00 the Raiders gave Ford the Viking Experience for a near fall, broken up by The O.C. The Raiders cleared the ring. Ivar then dove onto Anderson and Ford. On the other side of the ring, Gallows caught a flying Erik and threw him into the ringside barricade. They cut to a break. [c]
Several more minutes of action led to Ford landing a flip dive onto Gallows and his partner Dawkins. Then Anderson went after Erik, but Erik caught him and powerbombed him, setting up a top rope splash by Ivar on Anderson for the three count. The Raiders posed with their belts inside the ring.
WINNERS: The Viking Raiders in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Nice work from everyone and they kept the intensity up start to finish.)
-Caruso approached Joe and asked if he’d divulge the third person yet. Joe said he’s sure Seth is excited. KO walked in and said he’s sure, too. He said he’s done a lot of bad things to a lot of people, and he’d like to know who he has to trust tonight. Joe asked if it’d be better if he showed him. KO said yes and they walked away. Caruso quietly followed behind.
-An NXT on USA commercial aired hyping that “the future has arrived.” No specific matches.
-Back from the break, the camera showed Joe and KO arriving at a locker room door. Caruso was behind them. Joe told her to relax and stand back. KO looked in there and smiled. He walked out and said, “We’re good. Seth and AOP, though, are not.” Charly asked again. Joe said, “Good things come to those who wait.” Joe asked the person inside to lock the door. (Nice touch.)
-Becky Lynch made her way to the ring with her WWE Title belt. She entered the ring and solemnly said she let the doubters get to her and she forced the powers that be to give her a rematch against Asuka at the Royal Rumble. “But to be honest with you, I’m kind of doubting my wisdom on that one.” She said she’s been living on the road in a whirlwind, but over the holidays she had a chance to think about what it really means to be The Man. She asked if she should just be happy now that she’s made the history she said she would with the cereal boxes and red carpet, etc. She wondered if she should take the advice of everyone who is looking out for her and avoid the one woman she can’t seem to beat. A video then aired of the Rumble last year where Asuka got a tapout win over Becky. Graves said at the time he wondered if Becky was doubting herself. Then a clip aired of Asuka pinning Becky two months ago in a tag match on Raw. And finally clips aired from TLC of Asuka yanking Becky off the ladder at TLC and then climbing the ladder to get the belts to win.
Back live, Becky said what she figured out in all of this is that – at which point Asuka interrupted. She walked out and spoke in Japanese with an obnoxious tone. She walked to the ring and laughed and had just an overall noxious aura. Asuka entered the ring and flung her hair aside and smiled, then got in Becky’s face. Becky punched her in the shoulder, but Asuka sold it like she was punched in the face. Asuka threw a fit as Becky walked to the back.
(Keller’s Analysis: I liked that as a continuum of what Becky has been saying in promos, with an added chapter. The video package was really well done and provided visual reminders of the case that Asuka has Becky’s number. Well done. Asuka is really insufferable as a heel, in the way you want heels to be insufferable.)
-An NXT on USA commercial aired hyping the beginning of the Rhea Ripley era and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
-Backstage Mojo Rawley walked up to Erick Rowan and asked if he could take one look at what’s inside that cage. Rowan told Mojo to help himself, but don’t tell anybody. Mojo peeked. He jumped back and yelled, “Noooo! What is wrong with you? What the hell?” (Based on that, I’m guessing it’s Baby Yoda strapped down to the bottom of the cage with duct tape over his mouth.)
-The announcers talked over clips of the Rey-Andrade match from earlier. [c]
-Schreiber interviewed Zelina and Andrade. She asked Andrade if he crossed a line by taking Rey’s mask. Zelina was still selling the injury from earlier and looked upset. Rey jumped Andrade as he began talking. He had no mask, but he took his mask back and put it on. Zelina yelled for Rey to get off of Andrade. Rey didn’t. Some officials ran in and convinced Rey to back away.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good follow-up to the angle after the match earlier. They’re really establishing how much Rey cares about the mask, not just telling us.)
(3) ERIK ROWAN vs. K.J. ORSO
Lawler said he has been curious what’s in the cage, but he thought it was probably a cute pet. Based on Mojo’s reaction, he’s scared now. Rowan grabbed Orso and said he knows he wants to see what’s in the cage. He dragged him his hair toward the cage. Orso broke free and entered the ring and called for Rowan to come fight. Rowan entered and the bell rang. He dropped Orso with a spin wheel kick and then splashed him in the corner. Then came the Claw Slam. He stood on his chest for the three count. After the match, Rowan shoved Orso’s face under the tarp. He screamed and came up with red all over his face. He screeched his way to the back, rubbing his face in a panic.
WINNER: Rowan in 15 seconds.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a new twist on this. How can they pay this off? Maybe it’s this year’s election results in November?)
-They showed Seth and AOP backstage showing signs of nerves. [c]
-An ad aired for NXT UK Takeover Blackpool this Saturday on WWE Network starting at 12 ET / 5 p.m. GMT.
-A.J. Styles made his ring entrance. They cut to Randy Orton last week tricking him into being vulnerable and susceptible to a surprise RKO after faking a knee injury. Joseph said next week Styles faces Orton one-on-one on Raw.
(4) A.J. STYLES vs. TOZAWA
Joseph talked about this being a big opportunity for Tozawa. Styles landed a springboard Phenomenal Forearm a minute into the match and appeared to have a three count, but he lifted Tozawa’s shoulders before the three count. He then set up a Styles Clash, but paused. Instead, he delivered a draping DDT to send a message to Orton. He then thought some more before dropping to the mat and pounding the mat, and then delivering an RKO for the three count. Lawler said he can’t imagine what’ll happen if Styles tries to use Orton’s moves against him next week. Styles began posing like Orton on the second rope. Joseph asked if this is smart to continue to poke Orton like this. Lawler said he’s smiling and thinks it’s so cool.
WINNER: Styles in under 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Fans know that Orton will be pissed that Styles just utilized his signature moves to win because those moves are so protected and emphasized as being part of Orton’s identity for so long. Another example of how useful squash matches can be.)
-The camera stayed on Styles as he walked toward the back. Then in the background, “a fan” ran into the ring. Two security guys quickly smothered him. They actually went to the hard camera shot of the ring, then a ringside shot, and then a quick cut away.
(Keller’s Analysis: I assumed that was planting a seed for something, because otherwise why would the director go to two different direct camera angles of it before going to the break?) [c]
-Lana and Bobby Lashley walked to the ring. Lana seemed to be in a mood. Lawler said their wedding last week was too late in the day. He said when he got married, he did it earlier in the day so that if it didn’t work out, at least he wouldn’t have wasted a full day. The Justice of the Peace from last week was standing mid-ring. Lawler called him a Bill Belichick look-alike. Lana said for everyone who didn’t want them to get married last week, “that is too damn bad.” Fans booed. Lashley smiled. Lana talked to him off-mic briefly. She said they’re going to get married “right here, right now.” She shoved the mic into the chest of the Justice. He said, “Now that we’ve heard enough objections, Bobby, Lana, by the emergency power vested in me by the great state of Oklahoma, I now pronounce you husband and wife.” He said Bobby could now kiss his bride. He moved in and smooched her. It was a very light kiss. They smiled. Lana then yanked the mic away from the Justice, who then walked away. She said, “You are so boring. For all the money I’ve paid you, I have no words.” (At first I thought she was talking to Bobby.)
She said she’s supposed to happy, but she doesn’t feel happy. She said she is feeling extremely extremely sad. She said it has nothing to do with her. She said it’s not her fault or her Bobby’s fault. She said it’s due to everyone who doesn’t want to see the ring on her finger. She held up her hand. Fans booed. She said they should take a long look at that because they should all be honored to be in her midst.
Lana said all of their ex’s interrupted their wedding over and over and over again. She said it’s so frustrating that those people are so jealous of their love. She said the most miserable one of them all is her sorry excuse for an ex-husband. Lashley took exception to Rusev’s interruption last week. He said it was just so he could have a laugh with his fans. Fans chanted “Rusev Day!” Lashley said he wasn’t man enough to keep his own wife. Rusev showed up on the big screen in front of an obviously fake backdrop of the ocean and a palm tree. He was in a beach shirt. He waved and said those two seem more miserable than anyone else in the arena. He said since they aren’t going on a honeymoon, he’s having it for them. He said it was rude of him not to give them a wedding present. He said he wants it to be a Lana and Bob Wedding Album. Then the wedding song played as freeze-frames of the wedding breaking down into chaos was shown ending with a close-up of Lana with cake all over her face.
Back live, Rusev made faces at that and laughed. “Rusev Day!” chanted the fans. Lashley gave him a piercing stare. He started talking, but Lana interrupted and yelled, “I hate you! I hate you! You ruin everything! I hate you!” Lashley said, “Shut up!” Lana stared at Lashley as he told Rusev that he used to be a man, but it appears his ex-wife stripped him of his manhood. He asked if Rusev has any balls left. He told him to show up at Raw “so I can strip them off and shove them down your damn throat.” Rusev yelled back, “No!” He said that is not going to happen. He said next week will be the return of the Bulgarian Brute and he will do unspeakable things to him and brutalize his body. He said if there is anything left, “it’s all yours, Lana.”
(Keller’s Analysis: It sounded like that “No!” was actually Rusev accepting Lashley’s challenge, but disagreeing with the idea that he’ll allow Lashley to feed him his own testicles?)
-The announcers wondered who the surprise partner would be later in the six-man tag main event. Then they showed Charlotte walking backstage, heading toward the entrance stage. [c]
-The announcers said Rusev vs. Lashley was officially booked for next week’s Raw in Lexington, Ky.
-Caruso interviewed R-Truth for setting the record for holding the most titles in WWE history. She asked what’s in store for his 2020. Liv Morgan interrupted Truth as he was about to talk. Caruso said she had a lot of questions for her and is glad she showed up. Liv congratulated Truth on his record. Liv said she couldn’t help but hear Rusev is facing Lashley next week, which means Lana will be Lashley’s corner. She said Rusev will need someone in his corner, “and that is a moment I’d live for.” She smiled.
(5) CHARLOTTE vs. SARAH LOGAN
Logan attacked Charlotte as she was removing her robe. She aggressively and viciously attacked her at ringside. Logan attacked Charlotte’s robe inside the ring. Lawler said that robe was given to her by her father, Ric Flair. She threw it at Charlotte at ringside, then tried to attack her at ringside. Charlotte speared her and then threw her into the ringside barricade. Then she gave her a fallaway slam into the barricade. Joseph said Charlotte has vowed to win the Rumble this year. Logan then shoved Charlotte face-first into the ringpost. Logan stomped on Charlotte, but Charlotte fired back with a boot to the face. The ref yelled, “That’s enough! Please!” Charlotte ordered the referee to get her robe. The referee complied as if he worked for her. (I hate the way referees cater to Charlotte like they’re servants working for an actual queen.) Charlotte put the robe back on, smiled, and walked away. Lawler said, “You don’t mess with the queen.”
-They showed Drew McIntyre backstage heading to the entrance stage for a match. [c]
-They showed a graphic showing Erick Rowan, Styles, Roman Reigns, Lesnar, Orton, Mysterio, and Ricochet as already being entered in the 30-Man Rumble match.
(6) DREW MCINTYRE vs. NO WAY JOSE (w/the Conga Line)
Joseph said Drew has talked about making examples out of his opponents. Drew approached the Conga Line and attacked the guy in front with a headbutt. He tossed another guy. Jose went out to check on them. Drew entered the ring. Jose punched away at Drew when the bell rang, but Drew cut off his flurry quickly. Once he had Jose down, Drew attacked another Conga Line member. He then catapulted him into the ring apron face-first. Drew was nearly counted out. Drew brushed off a running boot by Jose and kicked out of a rollup at one. Then he hit his Future Shock DDT. He played to the crowd and then counted down from three before hitting the Claymore Kick for the win. He made a big production out of the referee raising his arm in victory. Then he threw Jose over the top rope onto a crowd below at ringside.
WINNER McIntyre in 2:00.
-Drew addressed the crowd afterward. He asked who dares him to do one more Claymore. Fans cheered. Drew then asked who double-dared him. More cheers. He dropped the mic and threw Jose into the ring. Fans chanted, “One more time!” He counted down from three and delivered another, then kipped up. He said, “I didn’t even drop the microphone, thank you very much.” He said he doesn’t like the Conga Line, but the cheeseburger guy seems like a nice guy. Drew said he’s never had one opportunity to fight for the world title. He said since everybody is too scared to fight him, so he has to put himself in the Royal Rumble. A little bit of cheering. He closed with: “When it’s all said and done, there can be only 3-2-1.” He dropped the mic and then played to the crowd.
(Keller’s Analysis: He was a heel, but he was also playing to the crowd in a way that suggests a foundation is being laid for him to turn babyface.)
-They showed Aleister Black backstage. [c]
(6) ALEISTER BLACK vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
Benjamin got in some offense, but Black cut it off with a leaping knee and then the Black Mass spinning hook kick for the win.
WINNER: Black in 3:00.
-Buddy Murphy attacked Black afterward. He stomped away at him in the ring, then threw him into the ringpost and then the ringside barricade. (The barricade has had quite the night.) He threw him into the time keeper’s area and then landed a running knee to the jaw. He pulled out a chair and put Black’s jaw on it and then kneed him again. “Good grief!” said Lawler. The ref called for help from the back as Murphy sat cross-legged on the barricade and relished his accomplishment.
-They showed Seth and AOP heading to the entrance stage. [c]
-Seth and AOP made their ring entrance. Seth said he has been chosen to lead Raw to the promised land by all of the fans. Seth said he gave the fans Monday Night Rollins, but that wasn’t good enough for them. He said they don’t know what’s good for them, but he knows what is best for them. He said what is best for them is to eliminate people who impede progress. He said tonight that is KO and Joe and whomever has decided to take up arms with them. He called for them to come on out and meet their fate at the hands of the AOP and the Monday Night Messiah.
Owens came out first. Then Joe. Joseph wondered who their partner was. After a dramatic pause, out came Big Show. Joseph said they haven’t seen him in two years on Raw. He said there is no way the Monday Night Messiah saw that coming. The two threesomes faced off mid-ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: This show just keeps feeling more and more like a Paul Heyman product.)
(7) SAMOA JOE & KEVIN OWENS & BIG SHOW vs. THE AOP & SETH ROLLINS
Show overpowered Big Show at the start. He knocked AOP out of the ring and then threw Seth into the ring. He slapped Seth’s chest. Seth rolled to the floor. They cut to an early break. [c]
The heel trio dominated KO after the break until Big Show got the hot-tag. He set up a double chokslam on AOP, but Seth hit Show in the back with a chair. The ref called for the DQ.
WINNERS: Joe & KO & Show via DQ in 10:00.
-Joe made the save, but was swarmed by AOP. Seth signaled for a stomp on Big Show, but KO grabbed his leg. Show then hit Seth with the KO Punch. As Big Show’s music played, Joseph hyped that Lesnar would be on Raw again next week, plus Styles vs. Orton, Rusev vs. Lashley, Black vs. Murphy, and breaking news that KO & Joe & Show vs. Seth & AOP in a first-ever WWE “Fist Fight.” Lawler wondered what the rules of a Fist Fight are.