WKPWP - Mailbag w/Keller & Powell talking Goldberg win, Velveteen Dream's character, NWA Squared, AEW on WrestleMania weekend, more
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KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
JANUARY 27, 2020
SAN ANTONIO, TEX.
AIRED ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
-They opened with a series of freeze frames and snippets of the Royal Rumble focused on Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre.
-The Raw opening theme aired.
-The announcers introduced Raw on camera, with Philips replacing Joseph, plus Saxton joining Raw’s announce team. Lawler said Charlotte will announce tonight whom she intends to face at WrestleMania. Phillips plugged Liv Morgan vs. Lana with Bobby Lashley and Rusev barred from ringside. They showed fans going absolutely berserk when Edge’s music played last night. (See how much better it is when that doesn’t get spoiled ahead of time?) Saxton said he’d be on the show tonight.
-Drew McIntyre walked out. Lawler said they should all stand in recognition of what he accomplished at the Rumble. (Lawler’s not helping there at all.) Drew walked out. Saxton wondered if Drew is going to face The Fiend or Brock at WrestleMania. Fans chanted “You deserve it!” Drew soaked it up. He said he’ll need someone to come over to him and pinch him. He said he thinks he’s been dreaming for the past 24 hours. He said it feels so good to be standing before them as the winner of the Rumble. “I’m going to WrestleMania!” he said. He said some of the guys like to play games when they’re in this position and draw things out, but that’s not his style. He said it’s time for his announcement. He said he’s going to make a challenge. “I challenge Brock Lesnar!” he said. Fans began chanting “Yes!” He said most of the guys in the back are terrified of him, “but not me.” He said he looked him in the eye as he entered the ring last night and he knew he could Claymore him right over the top rope, and he did just that. He said he also knows he’s going to beat Brock for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. He said he’s full of energy and would like to give out some Claymores right now. He wanted a Claymore Party (a distant cousin of Superkick Parties, according to 23 & Me, I’m told). He asked who is going to fight him.
The O.C. music played and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson marched out to the ring. Anderson accepted his challenge. Gallows said he wants to fight him tonight. Drew leaned on the ropes and looked around and said, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m the dream-maker right now. You can both fight me tonight. Get me a referee.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Okay, not to overreact here, but his body language leaning on the ropes, looking at the crowd, smiling, and saying he’s a dream-maker was a better, more satisfying babyface moment than anything Roman Reigns was scripted to do in the last five years.)
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. KARL ANDERSON & LUKE GALLOWS
Drew brushed off an early chop by Anderson. Anderson tagged in Gallows. who chopped Drew in the throat and took over, then tagged in Anderson quickly. They tried to set up Magic Killer, but Drew escaped and headbutted Anderson and gave him an overhead toss. He then leaped off the top rope with a clothesline, kipped up, and then gave Gallows a Future Shock DDT. Then he kipped up again and played to the crowd. Phillips said Drew is on a different level right now. He did the 3-2-1 countdown for the Claymore, then kicked Anderson and then again to kick Gallows (which showed some light). Drew put Gallows on top of Anderson and the ref counted to three. Drew jogged if off. Lawler said he just single-handedly beat the “Best Tag Team in the World.” (I wonder if the Saudi Crown Prince is wondering what kind of con he was sold with that whole tag tournament now.)
WINNER: McIntyre in 2:00.
-After the match, Drew threw Gallows and Anderson out of the ring. Fans suddenly began roaring. Lesnar entered the ring suddenly and he gave Drew an angry F5. He tore off his shirt and threw it onto Drew. Lesnar then held up his WWE Title belt, then left the ring. Drew was writhing in pain.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m all for making Drew look really strong, but that was a significant setback for The O.C. to lose that quickly and decisively.) [c]
-Clips aired from WrestleMania 17 in 2001 of Edge & Christian winning the tag team titles in a ladder match. Phillips plugged that he’d be on Raw later.
(2) REY MYSTERIO vs. MVP
Rey Mysterio made his ring entrance first. Then an MVP video package aired with classic footage of him. MVP hit an early big boot. Rey made a comeback by using a drop toe hold to send MVP into the middle turnbuckle face-first. Then he kicked him, so MVP rolled to the floor. Rey ran and leaped off the ring apron and head scissored MVP into the ringside barricade. [c]
There were dueling chants of “Let’s go Rey! / MVP!” Rey rallied with a series of moves for a two count, but then MVP caught him and powerslammed him. He followed with an elbowdrop for a two count; Rey grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Rey went for a 619, but MVP got up. Rey clipped him in the back. MVP went down like he was shot. Rey then slingshot himself onto the back of MVP and scored a three count.
WINNER: Mysterio in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Just once I want a babyface to try to him his opponent with his face down and act confused when the referee doesn’t count as a tribute to Kamala. That was a lost opportunity for Mysterio there.)
-Phillips plugged Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens would face Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy for the Raw Tag Team Titles. Lawler plugged the Charlotte announcement.
-They played the reaction again of the crowd to Edge’s return last night. Saxton plugged his appearance on Raw tonight. Then the announcers hyped the Lesnar vs. Drew match at WrestleMania.
(3) ALEISTER BLACK vs. KENNETH JOHNSON
Black threw an early kick. He avoided a Johnson takedown attempt and struck suddenly and quickly with a Fade to Black.
WINNER: Black in under 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Black is really good at squash matches, and this sequence of beating people with a really well-executed spinning hook cook over and over is effective at making his Fade to Black “the next Stunner/DDT/RKO.”)
-He spoke afterward from mid-ring. He said he got eliminated from the Rumble last night. He said he’s not blaming Buddy Murphy or Seth Rollins. He said the only person responsible for his loss is him. He said the loss is on him and he owns the loss. He said there’s one more thing he is accountable for. He said the last few months he has made the mistake of waiting for people to come to him and knock on his door to pick a fight with him. He sat down mid-ring and said from now on, “I will bring the fight to you.” He set the mic down and smiled.
-They went to the announcers on camera who threw to a video package of Seth & Buddy winning the Raw Tag Team Titles from the Viking Raiders last week on Raw.
-Seth and Buddy made their ring entrance.
-A commercial aired hyping NXT on USA on Wednesday night and then a new episode of “Miz & Mrs” immediately afterward. [c]
-Freeze-frames aired of key moments from the Royal Rumble.
-Seth and Buddy stood in the ring. Seth said he is there to focus on the positives from the Rumble. He bragged that he eliminated Kevin Owens and he eliminated Samoa Joe, and neither of those men are going on to WrestleMania. He then talked about him and his new disciple defeating the Viking Raiders to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions. He said earlier in the day, Owens and Joe laid out a challenge to them for a tag title defense. He said because he is a benevolent leader, he has accepted the challenge. He called them to come to the ring and “get your asses handed to you by the Monday Night Messiah!” Owens walked out first, then Joe joined him. KO said Seth still talks too much. Seth said he barely said anything. KO said the last two months, he’s been an absolute jackass and he sucks now. Joe asked what’s different about tonight because he’s been turning down challenges lately. KO said it seems he has his hired goons hidden somewhere to jump them. Seth said he thought he’d accuse him of that. He said they don’t need the AOP to beat them. He said he told them to keep them in the back. He said he even put a camera on them to prove it. They showed up on the big screen. Seth said that’s proof they’re not hiding out there. Joe said that’s sufficient, but what if it was recorded earlier in the day and they’re running another scam. Seth asked if Joe is calling him a liar. Seth asked for the video to be brought back up. Seth told Akam to tell Kevin something. Akam said something. Seth said that proves he’s not a liar and shows they’re in his locker room right now. KO said now they don’t have to look for them anymore. Then suddenly the Viking Raiders attacked AOP. Referees tried to separate them. KO and Joe entered the ring. Seth and Buddy leaped out of the ring. They cut to a break.
-An NXT commercial hyped Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai, plus the Dusty tournament finals. [c]
-A clip aired of Edge cashing in against John Cena in 2006 at New year’s Revolution to win the WWE Title. Saxton again hyped Edge’s return. He wondered if he’s back as an active member of the roster going forward.
(4) SETH ROLLINS & BUDDY MURPHY vs. KEVIN OWENS & SAMOA JOE – WWE Raw Tag Team Title match
Formal ring introductions took place. Joe and KO isolated Buddy for several minutes at the start of the match including some two counts. Buddy eventually ducked a Joe clothesline, tagged in Seth, and then kicked Joe in the gut. Seth and Buddy took Joe down with a double-elbow as Joe rebounded off the ropes. Seth then took over on Joe. When Buddy tagged back in, Joe side-stepped his charged and avoided his dive off the ropes. Phillips cackled. Joe clotheslined Murphy over the top rope. KO, meanwhile, landed a cannonball flip onto Seth at ringside. Joe then dove through the ropes and forearmed Buddy at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
Back live, they showed a replay of what happened before and during the break. They showed that Joe hit his head hard on the floor after the drive. The ref ordered Joe to the back. He stumbled and protested as he headed to the back. That left KO alone against Seth and Buddy. KO made a comeback after avoiding a Seth attempt at a Stinger splash, then landed a frog splash mid-ring for a two count. Seth and Buddy took over again and beat down KO for several minutes. Seth attempted a stomp on the ring apron, but KO moved. KO turned to give Buddy a stunner, but instead gave one to an interfering Seth. Buddy then rolled up KO from behind for the three count.
WINNERS: Seth & Buddy in 16:00 to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles.
-Another Edge vignette aired, this focused on the Rumble last night. (I’m betting he doesn’t just say it was fun last night, and bye again.)
-Andrade and Zelina Vega made their ring entrance. [c]
-Freeze-frames were shown of the Becky Lynch vs. Asuka match at the Rumble last night.
-Charly Caruso asked Becky if the win accomplished what she wanted. Becky said it accomplished even more. She said last night after she collected on that final debt, something profound happened. She said she iced up, showered, and looked at her title and it hit her. “I really am in a whole different league than the rest of those dopes!” she said with an upbeat smile and vigor. She said she did everything she said she was going to achieve and beat everyone she called out. She said she has beaten them all, so now that everyone who has done her wrong has been collected on, the next person she beats is going to be because she wants to, not because she has to. Caruso asked about Charlotte winning the Rumble match. Becky said if Charlotte challenges her, it won’t be the first time, but it will be the last time.
(5) ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. HUMBERTO CARILLO – U.S. Title match
Humberto finally came out to his entrance theme as Zelina and Andrade waited in the ring. Their ring entrance took place six minutes earlier. Formal ring introductions took place. Andrade dominated early. Saxton said, “Pardon my French, but Andrade is a certifiable A-hole.” Lawler gasped and said he can’t believe he said that. Humberto came back and landed a flip dive over the top rope onto Andrade. They cut to a break as Zelina reacted with a cringe. [c]
Back live, Andrade took over control by shoving Humberto to the ground as he flew in mid-air. He applied a submission hold and then powerbombed him toward the corner of the ring. Humberto made a another comeback a couple minutes later and landed a standing moonsault for a two count. Andrade kicked the ropes as Humberto springboarded off of them, then scored a quick two count. Zelina encouraged Andrade. Humberto came back with the springboard roundkick he was going for earlier. He then climbed to the top rope and landed a moonsault. Zelina interfered to break up the pin. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Humberto via DQ, so Andrade retained the U.S. Title.
-Humberto was furious and attacked Andrade and threw him into the ringside steps. He lifted the ringside mat, signaling he would do to Andrade what Andrade planned to do to Rey and what he did to Humberto last month. Humberto dragged Andrade onto the exposed concrete as Zelina yelled for help. Humberto then delivered a DDT onto the concrete. “He actually did it,” said Lawler. Zelina cried as she leaned over Andrade.
-They plugged Charlotte’s announcement. [c]
-A clip aired of Edge retiring in 2011 due to MRI results regarding his neck injury. They showed teared up fans in the crowd reacting at the time. Edge said he was going to miss it. He said he gave it all he had.
-Saxton said there are so many questions about Edge’s future and whether his neck condition has healed and he’ll back on Raw.
-Charlotte made her ring entrance. Phillips said they’d have an update on Andrade’s condition as soon as they received word. Charlotte said she doesn’t want to brag, but she does want to brag. She said she did what she said she was going to do. She said she’s Charlotte Flair, so indulge her in her pride. She threw to a video of the highlights of her night. She said she doesn’t take this WrestleMania decision lightly and it means a lot to her. She paused and then said, “I am going to challenge for a championship because I’m still thinking about it.” Fans booed a little. Asuka and Kairi Sane interrupted. Asuka congratulated her and said some things in an over-the-top grating way in Japanese. Asuka said had she entered the Women’s Rumble, she would have won. Charlotte smiled and asked if they were challenging her. Asuka and Kairi attacked her. They cut to a sudden break. [c]
(6) CHARLOTTE vs. ASUKA (w/Kairi Sane)
They match was joined in progress after the break. Back and forth action for about six minutes before they cut to another break after Asuka shoved Charlotte off the top rope. [c]
Back from the break, Asuka avoided a moonsault from Charlotte and then applied an octopus on the mat. Charlotte powered out, but then Asuka went for an armbar extension. Charlotte lifted and powerbombed Asuka to escape, then turned it into a near fall. Charlotte ducked an Asuka kick and then landed a spear mid-ring for a believable near fall at 13:00. “What a match!” exclaimed Phillips. When Charlotte applied a Figure-Eight, Kairi leaped off the top rope to break it up. The ref DQ’d Asuka. After the match Charlotte made a comeback against Kairi’s post-match attack. Asuka pulled Kairi to safety.
WINNER: Charlotte via DQ in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Two interference DQ finishes in a row, huh?)
-The Street Profits recapped Raw so far. They kissed up to the crowd with a Coach Popovich reference. They said Raw is “Rated R.” In walked Kelly Kelly. Montez Ford began singing her entrance theme and dancing. Angelo Dawkins called himself Doc Vader. Ford said those two are so cute. Ford then sang, “We want the smoke.”
-Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss made their ring entrance. [c]
-Saxton plugged that FS1’s “WWE Backstage” would feature Roman Reigns and all three New Day members.
-Back in the ring Mojo was doing that weird thing where his body moves but his head doesn’t as he looks into the camera. He said the 24/7 Title is no longer the “hide and go seek cowards championship.” He said anybody can get it anytime, anyplace. He said it can be backstage, in the gym, in the ring, “or at your mother’s house.” He said every franchise quarterback needs a strong offensive lineman to watch his blindside, and that is Riddick Moss. “So anybody that wants to come and take this from me, know that you’re about to get blocked!” he said.
(7) MOJO RAWLEY (w/Riddick Moss) vs. NO WAY JOSE – 24/7 Title defense
Just a squash.
WINNER: Mojo in under a minute to retain the 24/7 Title.
-A member of the Conga Line ran in and rolled up Mojo for a three count to win the NXT Title. It was R-Truth. Moss got his in face. Mojo then gave Truth his face-first drop and scored the pin to regain the title.
-The announcers on camera threw to highlights of the Lana-Lashley wedding.
-Lana made her ring entrance. [c]
(8) LANA vs. LIV MORGAN
Back and forth for a few minutes, then Morgan won with a Flatliner off the ropes.
WINNER: Morgan in 3:00.
-They showed Erick Rowan walking backstage.
-A commercial aired for Smackdown hyping that they’d follow up on the Rumble. Nothing specific hyped. [c]
(9) ERICK ROWAN vs. BRANDEN VICE
Rowan carried his cage covered in a burlap tarp to ringside. Rowan dropkicked Vice out of the ring in the opening seconds and then plowed him down at ringside. Rowen powerslammed Vice back in the ring, but lifted his shoulders before three. Then came a claw slam. He stood on his chest for the win.
WINNER: Rowan in under 2:00.
-Footage aired of Edge in the Royal Rumble last night. [c]
-More images from the Rumble were shown including Drew looking down at Lesnar after eliminating him.
-Edge’s ring entrance took place. He came out with his usual high-energy. (You gotta be planning a comeback for a long time to grow your hair out that long.) “What a moment!” said Lawler. Edge said as a performance, an athlete, and artist – “and trust me, wrestlers are all of those things” – the reaction the fans are giving him means the world to him. “It’s why we do this!” he said. “So thank you.” Fans chanted, “You still got it!” He soaked it up and then said, “You’re damn right I do!” He said nine years ago, he was medically disqualified from ever wrestling again. Fans booed. He said he had the same reaction. He said he refused to live in a world of what-ifs. He said over the years, he started to feel pretty good. He asked himself, “What if? What if I came back home?” He said he got to work. Fans loudly chanted, “Welcome home!” He said he got a second neck surgery and then busted his ass. He said he got in the best shape of his life at 46 years old so he could step back into the ring and end his career on his terms.
He said he found himself in the Rumble and saw some familiar faces and some new faces. He mentioned Randy Orton first. Then Roman Reigns. (Mixed response.) A.J. Styles (Cheers.) Seth (Boos.) Then: “Kevin Owens, Aleister Black, Matt Riddle, the list goes on and on, and boys hopefully I see you down the road.” He said he doesn’t know how long it’s going to last, but he hopes all of them enjoy him on the ride. Fans chanted “Yes!” He said that’s his first Yes chant; he thanked Daniel Bryan for it. He said he’s a little bit older and grey and has some crow’s feet. He said he has one thing they can’t fabricate or fake or force down someone’s throat and tell them you have it unless you have it. He said you can look someone in the eye and tell. “I – have – grit!” he said. “You knock me down, I get back up.” Orton’s music played. Edge turned and watched him walk out to the ring.
Orton entered the ring and hugged Edge. Edge began to cry. Lots of emotions there. Orton said it’s no secret he (Orton) has a bit of a self-destructive personality, more so years ago than now. He said when he dug a hole too deep to dig out of, there was one man who would reach down and pull him out of the hole. Edge’s chin quivered as Orton said, “It was you. Welcome home, Edge.” He said Edge is a brother to him and family to him. He said the energy that he felt when his music hit and the chemistry only they have was special. He said he’s asking about what if’s. He offered a “what if” to Edge. He said he’s not sure how he’ll feel about it, but what if Rated RKO got back together one more time. Edge smiled. Fans cheered. Orton then gave Edge an RKO. “What?!” gasped the Lawler. Boos from the crowd.
Orton then walked to ringside and grabbed a chair. He bashed Edge across his back with a chair. Edge cried out in agony and held the back of his neck. Orton paced around Edge for a good minute, then put Edge’s head in the chair. He sat on the top turnbuckle and thought about things. He got emotional and seemed to have second thoughts. Fans looked on hopeful he would think better of it. Apparently all babyfaces had left the building, as this dragged on for a long time. Orton then yanked the chair off of Edge’s head and threw it to the floor, then left the ring. Then he grabbed two chairs. He slid a chair under Edge’s head. He leaned down and talked with Edge. Then he bashed the chair over Edge’s head. He sat down. Some fans yelled, “Asshole!” The show faded to black.
(Keller’s Analysis: This sure lowers the average time between Orton turns even lower. He can never, ever be a babyface again after this.)