11/30 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s “alt perspective” report on Riddle vs. Lee vs. Styles, Sheamus & McIntyre vs. Miz & Morrison, Orton visits A Moment of Bliss

By Bruce Hazelwood, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 30, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER (THE “THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe

Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

(Hazelwood’s take: I’m just hoping we have ONE match that doesn’t involve either a rollup victory, a distraction finish, or a DQ. Is it that hard to just have a clean 1-2-3 or submission? Give me one clean finish and I’ll consider the night a victory.)

[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with the Raw intro video. Tom Phillips then welcomed us to the “award winning and critically acclaimed” Thunderdome, “tailor-made for the WWE Universe.” (Sigh.) He hyped WWE Champion Dre McIntyre appearing later, and then Byron Saxton informed us McIntyre and Sheamus will face The Miz & John Morrison. Samoa Joe hyped the sudden death triple threat match between Keith Lee, Riddle, and AJ Styles to determine the #1 contender for McIntyre’s championship.

They shifted to “A Moment of Bliss,” and Alexa Bliss welcomed her guest (in her childlike “Firefly Fun House” mannerisms), the 14-time champ Randy Orton. The announcers discussed how they think Orton needed to confront the mind games of The Fiend head on. Saxton then described Bliss as “a changed young lady.” Orton donned a black hoodie and black gym shorts.

Bliss said someone isn’t in a “phenomenal” mood, but she wouldn’t be if what happened to Orton happened to her. She threw to a video package that highlighted last week’s Orton-Styles match. Orton discussed how he and The Fiend have similarities. They’ve both suffered, but Orton said he tucked his pain away while The Fiend displays it for all to see. Orton said he hears voices, but that The Fiend also hears voices. He said the difference is the voices The Fiend hears are Orton’s voices. Bliss said that’s not what he told her, but Orton interrupted and said The Fiend hasn’t told her many things. Orton said he found a vulnerability in Bray Wyatt and burned it to the ground (can we just forget that please?). He said he needs to find The Fiend’s weakness, The Fiend’s vulnerability. He slowly looked at Bliss, and said he thinks he found it. Bliss just cackled and asked if that’s what the voices in his head are telling him, or if they’re telling him lies. She asked, “Who’s manipulating who?” They stared at each other, the scene more stark with the height difference. The lights dimmed a little. Orton said, “See what I mean?” They dimmed more and Bliss responded with the same. The lights go out and come back with Bliss in Orton’s arms and The Fiend staring at them from across the ring. Bliss looked between the two as The Fiend put his arms out to receive her. Orton slowly walked forward, The Fiend took Bliss, and Orton quickly exited the ring. He said, “Who’s laughing now?” twice as he retreated up the entrance.

Phillips said The Fiend’s weakness has been revealed, and it’s Bliss. Joe said it’s time to stop playing games. Phillips turned to recapping the Elias-Jeff Hardy feud with back-and-forth guitar shots, leading to tonight’s “Symphony of Destruction” match. They cut to break. [c]

-A War Games ad aired for NXT prior to returning (airs this Sunday).

-Phillips welcomed us back by throwing to what I assume to be the first of multiple videos on the night recapping McIntyre’s year. They began with his winning the Royal Rumble, including eliminating Brock Lesnar. They remind us after the video that McIntyre will appear later.

(1) JEFF HARDY vs. ELIAS – “Symphony of Destruction” match (no DQ)

-Hardy’s music hit as he made his entrance (with pyro!). He observed the many musical instruments surrounding the ring, available for use as weapons as Phillips shifted to yet another package on this month-long rivalry, dating back to the Hardy-ran-over-Elias angle. The video was set to an Elias musical performance. Elias then made his entrance as Phillips reminded us Elias has been in all three of these types of matches. Joe said this is Elias’ wheelhouse because this is what he understands.

They began by trading strikes with Elias gaining the upper hand. Hardy sent Elias outside, then grabbed a violin. He attempted a running strike off of the steps, but was met by a high running knee from Elias. He then put Hardy in the electric chair and draped him across the apron. He bashed Hardy’s head on the “Shinsuke Nakamura Memorial Grand Piano” as Phillips said. He opened the piano to reveal R-Truth, who was followed by Erik, Akira Tozawa, and then Drew Gulak and Gran Metalik, who were taken out by the competitors. Lince Dorado checked on his buddy only to be struck with an instrument across the back. They cut to break. [c]

(2) RICOCHET vs. SLAPJACK (w/Mustafa Ali)

-They returned with Retribution’s music as Slapjack made his entrance, flanked by Ali. Saxton said the absence of the other three members was conspicuous. Ricochet quickly gained control as the bell run. He worked over Slapjack a little before saying a word to Ali, which allowed Slapjack a moment to retaliate. He hit a cannonball on Ricochet in the corner for a two-count. Ricochet fought back and hit a rolling dropkick, followed by some strikes, and punctuated with a springboard clothesline into a standing shooting star press for a two-count. Ali then summoned Mace and T-BAR, but Ricochet took out all three members with a Fosbury Flop. He tossed Slapjack back in. Ali is turned around by Dana Brooke, who slapped him across the face. She demanded to know where Reckoning was. Ricochet was nearly pinned off of the distraction, and he fought off Mace and T-BAR again. Slapjack hit Ricochet with a swinging belly-to-back suplex for the pinfall victory.

WINNER: Slapjack in 3:30

-They quickly cut to anther McIntyre package, this one of his victory over Lesnar at WrestleMania. They cut to break after, the first being a Tribute to the Troops promo. [c]

[HOUR TWO]

They returned hyping the tag match with McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Miz & Morrison for later. They cut to MizTV with The Miz and Morrison in the ring, and do yourself a favor and look up The Miz’s suit. The Miz said he made some phone calls and he was able to score an interview with one of their opponents as they gave an enthusiastic intro for Sheamus. Joe said this must be a strategy session. Sheamus entered to his music, wearing his Ridge Holland getup (the suspenders are a nice touch).

The two hosts did some bantering as Sheamus asked them to get to the point. The Miz said they don’t want to talk about Sheamus, but instead McIntyre. Sheamus asked what they want to know. The hosts discussed Sheamus presenting McIntyre with his family’s heirlooms a few weeks ago, but don’t see anything that Sheamus gained from that act. They said maybe the success has gone to McIntyre’s head or that Sheamus would be jealous. They held a long “CORRECT!” Sheamus said that’s the difference: he gives a friend a gift and doesn’t expect anything in return. He said they’re like brothers who go way back, but The Miz interrupted saying McIntyre has something they both want in the WWE Championship. Morrison said if McIntyre was his true friend, Sheamus would already have had a title match, and said The Miz’s first defense would be against Morrison if he cashes in successfully. Sheamus just laughed at The Miz, and The Miz asked what it feels like to be an afterthought. “When was the last time you even sniffed the WWE Championship? What, five years ago for two months?” He said if Sheamus wants to laugh about something, it should be his career because it’s a joke. Sheamus stood, removed his jacked, repeated his difference between me and you line, and proceeded to punch the hosts in the mouth with his taped fists. The Miz responded by hitting Sheamus twice with the Money in the Bank briefcase, then a third time to a downed Sheamus. The Miz’s music played as the segment ended.

Phillips shifted to the happenings of last week that resulted in the Asuka & Lana vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler match with the former emerging victorious. They showed Asuka talking to Lana in Japanese in Gorilla. Her music hit, then Sarah Schreiber approached Lana for a word. She said Schreiber wouldn’t understand Asuka’s word. They cut to break as Asuka danced in the ring. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Yeah, The Miz gives a good promo, but does anyone take him seriously? The slow face turn that was hinted at with Sheamus gifting McIntyre seems to be in motion, but don’t be surprised if Sheamus Brogue Kick’s McIntyre between now and the Royal Rumble. On another note, I’m sad Ricochet and Slapjack only had three minutes that were marred by continued interference. Those two could put on one fantastic match if given the time and lack of distractions.)

-Asuka’s music was still playing as they returned. Lana then made her entrance. They cut to the back with Schreiber asking Jax and Baszler how tonight would be any different than last week. Jax said, “First of all, ew,” looking at Schreiber. They argued over whose fault the loss was. Baszler said losing to Asuka is one thing, but losing to Lana? She looked infuriated. Jax once again said “ew” at Schreiber as they made their entrance to Jax’s music.

(3) ASUKA & LANA vs. NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER

-Lana and Baszler started. Baszler toyed with Lana, but Lana gained the upper hand using some grappling for a two-count, then is flattened with a lariat from Baszler. Lana made the tag, but grabbed the ropes down for Jax to run through way too early; Jax hadn’t even attempted her lariate on Asuka at that point to set that spot. After, they tried for tandem baseball slides. They were each caught into the powerbomb position as the Women’s Tag Team Champion holders swung them into the barricade a few times. They cut to break. [c]

They returned with Jax in control, but Asuka slid out of a hold and made the tag. Lana tried a sleeper, but was slung over the shoulder to the mat. Jax grabbed Lana’s arm and screamed, “Who do you think you are?!” before giving her a short-arm back elbow that looked like it hit Lana hard. Jax threw Lana across the ring with a biel, and Lana’s face looked anguished. She tried to fight back to no avail. Baszler tagged in and began to work the left knee/leg of Lana. She stomped n Lana’s ankle, then tossed her outside. Jax tagged, then threw Lana into the barricade back-first. Lana countered Jax and shoved her into the ring post. Baszler tagged in and applied the Kirifuda Clutch, but Lana was standing and made the tag. Asuka took out Baszler and Jax, then scored a two-count on Baszler with a hip attack. Both women kicked each other in the face. Lana tagged, climbed to the top, hit a crossbody on Baszler, but Baszler rolled through and applied the Clutch. Jax dragged out Asuka, but Asuka escaped and hit a shining wizard on Baszler to break the hold. Lana just fell onto Baszler for the victory.

WINNER: Asuka & Lana in 9:20

-They cut to Sheamus in the back after, favoring his back, as McIntyre approached looking amused. Sheamus asked him if he thinks that was funny, and McIntyre said kind of. He rubbed it in some more, and Sheamus then “thanked” McIntyre for coming to his aid. He said if the roles were reversed, he would have done the same thing. McIntyre said that’s why they get along so well. The New Day’s music hit as Woods made his entrance (accompanied by Kingston) for his match with Cedric Alexander. They cut to break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Well, after two-plus months of Lana being decimated, that…still happened, but now she’s winning! Does it make me more interested? No. I’m just waiting for the announcement of the Tag Team Championship match at the PPV. Also, Sheamus is definitely Brogue Kicking McIntyre soon, huh?)

-They returned to Kingston on the mic, congratulating Woods on being named a host for the revived G4 video gaming channel (I did watch a bit during my undergrad years…over a decade ago). Woods said video games are where he’s from, so he’s thankful for being back there and thanked everyone who’s supported him. Kingston then said they would give a play-by-play on how The Hurt Business can’t take the titles from them as they failed three times. Woods said it all started two weeks ago as they did a dream sequence transition. They recapped the first victory, used the dream sequence again to cut back to the present time, then did it again to shift to last week’s first match. They showed the double countout, which they admit meant The Hurt Business won, but not the titles. The shifted to part three, last week’s second match, that showed Woods winning with a sunset flip on Shelton Benjamin. Woods said they were gracious enough to give them an immediate rematch.

The Hurt Business interrupted (sans Bobby Lashley), with Alexander in his wrestling gear for the match. MVP called them clowns and said they need a wakeup call with a dose of reality. He said the math is off and the record is actually 2-2 since the ref raised The Hurt Business’ hand after the countout. He said their reign will seem like a distant dream, and Benjamin chimed in that they’re going to hurt them. Alexander stormed into the ring and screamed it was dumb luck and that he’s not Benjamin (ouch, stray shots at Benjamin). Alexander attacked Woods before the bell, grabbed the title, and yelled at him as they cut to another break. [c]

-Asuka’s music was still playing as they returned. Lana then made her entrance. They cut to the back with Schreiber asking Jax and Baszler how tonight would be any different than last week. Jax said, “First of all, ew,” looking at Schreiber. They argued over whose fault the loss was. Baszler said losing to Asuka is one thing, but losing to Lana? She looked infuriated. Jax once again said “ew” at Schreiber as they made their entrance to Jax’s music.

(3) ASUKA & LANA vs. NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER

-Lana and Baszler started. Baszler toyed with Lana, but Lana gained the upper hand using some grappling for a two-count, then is flattened with a lariat from Baszler. Lana made the tag, but grabbed the ropes down for Jax to run through way too early; Jax hadn’t even attempted her lariate on Asuka at that point to set that spot. After, they tried for tandem baseball slides. They were each caught into the powerbomb position as the Women’s Tag Team Champion holders swung them into the barricade a few times. They cut to break. [c]

They returned with Jax in control, but Asuka slid out of a hold and made the tag. Lana tried a sleeper, but was slung over the shoulder to the mat. Jax grabbed Lana’s arm and screamed, “Who do you think you are?!” before giving her a short-arm back elbow that looked like it hit Lana hard. Jax threw Lana across the ring with a biel, and Lana’s face looked anguished. She tried to fight back to no avail. Baszler tagged in and began to work the left knee/leg of Lana. She stomped n Lana’s ankle, then tossed her outside. Jax tagged, then threw Lana into the barricade back-first. Lana countered Jax and shoved her into the ring post. Baszler tagged in and applied the Kirifuda Clutch, but Lana was standing and made the tag. Asuka took out Baszler and Jax, then scored a two-count on Baszler with a hip attack. Both women kicked each other in the face. Lana tagged, climbed to the top, hit a crossbody on Baszler, but Baszler rolled through and applied the Clutch. Jax dragged out Asuka, but Asuka escaped and hit a shining wizard on Baszler to break the hold. Lana just fell onto Baszler for the victory.

WINNER: Asuka & Lana in 9:20

-They cut to Sheamus in the back after, favoring his back, as McIntyre approached looking amused. Sheamus asked him if he thinks that was funny, and McIntyre said kind of. He rubbed it in some more, and Sheamus then “thanked” McIntyre for coming to his aid. He said if the roles were reversed, he would have done the same thing. McIntyre said that’s why they get along so well. The New Day’s music hit as Woods made his entrance (accompanied by Kingston) for his match with Cedric Alexander. They cut to break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Well, after two-plus months of Lana being decimated, that…still happened, but now she’s winning! Does it make me more interested? No. I’m just waiting for the announcement of the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match at the PPV. Also, Sheamus is definitely Brogue Kicking McIntyre soon, huh?)

-They returned to Kingston on the mic, congratulating Woods on being named a host for the revived G4 video gaming channel (I did watch a bit during my undergrad years…over a decade ago). Woods said video games are where he’s from, so he’s thankful for being back there and thanked everyone who’s supported him. Kingston then said they would give a play-by-play on how The Hurt Business can’t take the titles from them as they failed three times. Woods said it all started two weeks ago as they did a dream sequence transition. They recapped the first victory, used the dream sequence again to cut back to the present time, then did it again to shift to last week’s first match. They showed the double countout, which they admit meant The Hurt Business won, but not the titles. The shifted to part three, last week’s second match, that showed Woods winning with a sunset flip on Shelton Benjamin. Woods said they were gracious enough to give them an immediate rematch.

(4) XAVIER WOODS (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER (w/MVP & Shelton Benjamin)

-They returned with the match in progress, Alexander in control. Woods fought back, but as he went for his slingshot DDT, Alexander caught him (showing his strength), and draped him gut-first across the top rope. He held Woods down with a rear waist lock, but Woods fought back to the feet. Phillips reminded viewers that due to injury, this was Woods’ first singles match in over a year. Woods chopped Alexander, then hit a jawbreaker. Woods hit rapid fire chops and a forearm to Alexander, followed by a leg lariat. Woods hit the Honor Roll rolling lariat for a two-count (shoutout Kelly Wells and Tom Stoup). Woods attempted a powerbomb, but Alexander reversed into a brainbuster for a two-count. Alexander kicked Woods over and over in the back, then looked to suplex Woods into the ring from the apron. After some resistance, he kicked Woods, shoved him off, and went for a tope. Woods, countered by using Alexander’s momentum to throw him into the barricade. They returned to the ring, but Alexander hit a vicious Lumbar Check out of nowhere for the victory.

WINNER: Cedric Alexander in 8:00

-After the match, as MVP and Benjamin enter the ring, Alexander heads up the ramp yelling some positives at himself to the bewilderment of the former two.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: The New Day surprisingly are becoming MORE silly without Big E, and it’s not endearing. The dream sequence was too cute, and that long preamble was just for Alexander to attack Woods before the match. At least Alexander showed fire on the mic, in his match, and after the match as he hyped himself up. He has talent. Let’s hope WWE lets him shine.)

-Phillips then shifted to a package recapping how Styles qualified for the match, though it focused mostly on The Fiend’s interference on Orton. They showed Styles in the back talking to Omos. Riddle approached, and Styles asked him what he wants because this is serious. Riddle said he knows it’s serious, and told Styles, “He better hop out of the way skipper cuz this bunny’s getting the carrot.” Omos laughs and said Riddle’s bunny is named Skipper. Riddle said Styles reminded him of Skipper because he’s jumpy and that’s cute. Styles shoved Riddle and walked away with Omos. Lee made his entrance to his revamped music. They cut to break. [c]

-They returned showing a “WWE Superstar Facts” highlighting McIntyre again. They then replayed a part of the opening segment with Orton saying he needed to find The Fiend’s vulnerability and the end-of-segment actions.

[HOUR THREE]

-Styles made his entrance next, accompanied by Omos. Saxton said Styles is “perhaps the most qualified person in this matchup.” Phillips reminded us of the upcoming tag match involving the WWE Champion and Money in the Bank contract holder. Riddle made his entrance last, as aloof as ever, with piped in “Bro” chants. Saxton said don’t let the “chillaxed” demeanor fool you.

(5) KEITH LEE vs. A.J. STYLES (w/Omos) vs. RIDDLE – “Sudden Death” triple threat match to determine #1 contender for WWE Championship

-Riddle attempted a Final Flash, but Styles slid outside. Lee attempted to tope on both, but they moved and Lee casually went outside. As he entered, Styles met him with kicks, who was then met by kicks from Riddle. Styles took control with a throat chop, but Lee took control after Riddle kicked Styles in the chest with a crossbody on Riddle. Joe called it a “crossBuick.” Lee hit body shots in the corner on Riddle, then turned around and threw Styles into Riddle, followed by a huge back body drop to Styles. Corner avalanche to Riddle, but Riddle fought back with palm strikes. The bigger Lee hit a haymaker across the back, then stepped on Riddle’s hand. Riddle fought back, but another single haymaker sent Riddle to the canvas. Riddle ducked a strike and kicked Lee onto the apron. Styles attacked Lee from behind, but Lee pushed Styles into Omos who assisted Styles. Styles hit a sliding knee to Lee, but then hit by a kick from Riddle. Riddle with a springboard corkscrew to both men outside as they cut to break. [c]

The Hurt Business interrupted (sans Bobby Lashley), with Alexander in his wrestling gear for the match. MVP called them clowns and said they need a wakeup call with a dose of reality. He said the math is off and the record is actually 2-2 since the ref raised The Hurt Business’ hand after the countout. He said their reign will seem like a distant dream, and Benjamin chimed in that they’re going to hurt them. Alexander stormed into the ring and screamed it was dumb luck and that he’s not Benjamin (ouch, stray shots at Benjamin). Alexander attacked Woods before the bell, grabbed the title, and yelled at him as they cut to another break. [c]

They returned with Riddle kicking his opponents and giving each Brotons. Gutwrench suplex to Styles, but Styles kicked Riddle with both legs as Riddle went for another Broton. Lee Irish whipped Styles so hard he slid under the ropes into the ring post with his body, falling to the outside. Lee then hit a huge biel to Riddle, followed by a corner avalanche and another biel. Riddle fought back with strikes, but headbutt from Lee. Lee went for the Spirit Bomb, but Riddle into an armbar. Lee used Riddle as a bat to swat Styles, then lifted Riddle, who flipped out and hit a kick. Riddle hit running clotheslines into the corner to each opponent, hit an exploder to Styles, then was hit with a big pounce from Lee for a two-count. Lee targeted Styles, but Styles with a flurry of strikes and a sliding forearm smash for a two-count on Lee. He dragged Lee to the corner as he climbed to the top rope. Lee responded with a rising headbutt that seated Styles on the top rope. Lee on the second rope, but Riddle came from behind. He tried a powerbomb, but his back gave out. Styles hit Lee with a crossbody for a two, then to Riddle for a two. He tried a Styles Clash on Riddle, but broke up by Lee. Riddle looked to kick Styles, but Styles ducked and he hit Lee. Riddle with a bridging German suplex for a two count on Styles. Lee and Riddle trade strikes, Final Flash hit twice, floored Lee, but Styles followed immediately with a Phenomenal 4-Arm to Riddle for the victory.

WINNER: A.J. Styles in 13:00

-After the match, they replayed the final sequence and confirm McIntyre vs. Styles at TLC for the WWE Championship. It’s being billed as a “first time ever” match.

-They cut to the back as Charly Caruso approached The Miz & Morrison, then replayed the events from earlier in the night. Caruso said that while they’re celebrating, it looked like their plan to stir the pot backfired and if they have a strategy. They said of course they do. He said McIntyre can’t trust Sheamus and he has “this looming threat” as he slowly raised the briefcase. Caruso said she heard him, but it sounded like The Miz was just spouting off facts with no plans. They made their escape.

-Brooke made her entrance for her match against Reckoning, flexing all the way to the ring. They recapped Reckoning attacking Brooke two weeks ago, followed by Brooke slapping Ali earlier in the night. They cut to break as they hyped Reckoning’s Raw debut. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: They packed a lot into 13 minutes, and while a spot or two were a bit sloppy, it was a pretty fun match. I do think giving these three eight more minutes on a PPV would lead to a barnburner of a match, but this served its purpose as well. If you’re not ready to put the title on Riddle or Lee, then Styles was the correct choice. Neither of the former two can afford a WWE Championship match loss at this juncture in their careers. As for Reckoning, it’s taken them this long for her to have a match on Raw? That’s unconscionable considering the state of the Raw women’s division that has both the Women’s Champion and Women’s Tag Team Champion embroiled in the same story.)

-They returned with Reckoning already in the ring (no entrance for her Raw debut). They cut to a promo Reckoning cut with Ali earlier in the night after the slap. Reckoning said when they have a problem, they annihilate it.

(6) DANA BROOKE vs. RECKONING (w/Mustafa Ali)

-The match started with Brooke hitting an immediate dropkick and looking for quick pins after beating on her some more. Reckoning fought back with a lariat and took control. Reckoning chopped away at Brooke in the corner, then a snapmare-kick combo, followed by a rear chinlock. Brooke fought back with a jawbreaker, kick, back elbow, and a few lariats. She fired up and hit a front handspring forearm to Reckoning. Ali interfered, Reckoning looked to capitalize, but Brooke rolled her up for the vitory.

WINNER: Dana Brooke in 3:20

-Ali entered the ring and berated Reckoning for losing after being slapped. He yelled there is no failure in Retribution.

-They cut to Styles and Omos in the back, being interrupted by The Miz and Morrison. Styles said he would help them in their plan. The Miz asked why he would help them, and Styles said it would be much easier to defeat him than McIntyre. Morrison agreed, and Styles asked them to leave the peach pie. Omos said, “That’s not pie, that’s a cupcake.”

-They cut to another video package on McIntyre, this one of his victory on Raw a few weeks ago to regain the WWE Championship. They cut to break hyping an in-ring interview with McIntyre. [c]

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Wow, what a way to define Reckoning so far down in her Raw debut. What, exactly, has Brooke done recently that would make you think a loss here is nothing but a negative for Reckoning? I mean, kudos to Brooke, but this seems like an ill-advised choice sacrificing Reckoning to build Brooke, even if only as mid-card fodder.)

-They returned hyping Raw Talk with Brooke, Sheamus, and Ricochet. They then cut to Riddle in the back, approached by MVP. MVP asked what happened, and Riddle said losing sucks. He said at least he had the opportunity unlike Lashley. MVP reacted angrily, then asked if Riddle was trying to pitch him now. Riddle said he “doesn’t like baseball,” then proceeded to pitch a lawn care company and a Dunkin’ Donuts crossover. MVP called him dumb, his ideas ridiculous, and glad that Riddle lost. He mushed Riddle in the face, then Lashley came from behind and applied The Hurt Lock to lay out Riddle.

-The showed Sheamus in the back pacing as he prepared for the match. Lee approached him and said some of the “fellas” said Sheamus has a tendency to turn on his friends. Sheamus said he’s right, but it’s none of his business. They cut to the ring where Caruso introduced McIntyre, who has a new sword unsheathing sound at the beginning of his entrance. He entered with the claymore, holding it by each side of the pommel, then plunged the sword into the ramp.

Caruso asked McIntyre to take us back through the last two weeks (they were standing shoulder-to-shoulder instead of like regular people talking to each other). McIntyre said sometimes, you have to get knocked on your ass to find out what you’re truly made of. He said he was going to Claymore Orton’s head off and win his championship back, and he did just that; he’s a man of his word. He said brought Roman Reigns back down to Earth, and that while Reigns started the match with confidence, the look in his eyes turned to fear because Reigns knew McIntyre was unlike anyone before. He said while Reigns won the battle, McIntyre will win the war. He said let’s look to the future at TLC. Caruso asked about how he can keep his focus on Styles while also worrying about The Miz. He said there’s no beef between him and Styles. He said the briefcase is the only thing holding The Miz up, and if The Miz isn’t careful, he’s going to have to put Morrison in the briefcase and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Sheamus’ music hit as he entered and they cut to break. [c]

(Hazelwood’s take: Solid promo from McIntyre, and definitely setting up a long-term match with Reigns, possibly at SummerSlam 2021 or WrestleMania 2022.)

-They returned with McIntyre and Sheamus in the ring while Styles joined commentary (with Omos standing behind him). McIntyre looked at Styles and said this is as close as Styles would get to the WWE Championship. The Miz’s music hit as he entered, followed by Morrison’s music and their dual slomo entrance.

(7) DREW MCINTYRE & SHEAMUS vs. THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON

-Sheamus and The Miz started, with Sheamus immediately taking it to The Miz. He tossed The Miz into the corner and pointed at Morrison to tag. Morris tagged, showed off some parkour, but then was met with a boot. McIntyre tagged himself in to the chagrin of Sheamus and proceeded to chop Morrison. Morrison tried to hit a shoulder block, but was spun a good four rotations in the air before landing as he was struck by McIntyre. Sheamus back in as he hit the Ten Beats of the Bodhran that was interrupted by The Miz, but he’s then struck by the Beats. Sheamus turned around and hit a rolling senton on Morrison, then one on The Miz onto Morrison. Sheamus then yelled at Styles, proceeded outside as Styles responded, then blasted The Miz who tried to take advantage. He turned back around to Omos, then looked to climb the apron. He was met with a dropkick that sent him onto the announce table. They cut to break. [c]

They returned with Morrison in control. The Miz tagged in and hit a DDT for a two-count. Morrison tagged back in and they hit running knees, followed by a standing shooting star press from Morrison for another two-count. Morrison grounded Sheamus using some mat grappling, almost locking in a version of the Coquina Clutch. Sheamus fought his way to his feet, some elbows to the gut, then a lifting knee strike that floored Morrison. Both men tagged out. McIntyre took out The Miz and then an interfering Morrison. Neckbreaker and kip-up from McIntyre. As he looked for a Claymore, Sheamus called for the tag. Morrison took Sheamus off the apron and threw him over the barricade. Styles flew in with a Phenomenal Forearm to McIntyre for a DQ.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus in 10:00 by DQ

-After, Styles directed traffic: a Starship Pain from Morrison, Skull Crushing Finale from The Miz. The Miz thought about cashing in, but McIntyre recovered and laid him out with a Claymore. He stared down Styles, Styles backed to the ropes, then flipped over onto Omos’ shoulder, looking like a sack of potatoes being carried. He yelled insults at McIntyre the ENITER time Omos slowly walked back up the ramp. Styles finally stood on his feet as the show ended.

(Hazelwood’s Analysis: Ah, yes, another DQ finish. Great. I do like the story being told of Sheamus trying to gain some limelight at the expense of McIntyre, and the subtle hints at him turning on McIntyre. I can do without The Miz and Morrison in the main event picture, but I think they actually pair well with Styles. I’m intrigued to see if this is just a short-term TLC thing, or if these four (including Omos) continue with some sort of alliance.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: All in all, not a bad show. Weird, sure, but not necessarily bad. By my count, three matches out of seven had definitive, non-rollup/distraction finishes. Since I said I would count one as a success, let’s say tonight’s show was a MASSIVE success in the finish department alone. I do like how most of the segments tonight actually served a purpose and advanced stories, even if subtly (I’m looking at you, Sheamus). The right booking choice was made with Styles, and now it looks like Lee might be feuding with Sheamus. I’m down.

1 Comment on 11/30 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW REPORT: Hazelwood’s “alt perspective” report on Riddle vs. Lee vs. Styles, Sheamus & McIntyre vs. Miz & Morrison, Orton visits A Moment of Bliss

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