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WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW PRIMER
DECEMBER 21, 2020
TAMPA, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe
Thoughts on Raw’s Low Rating from Last Week
Multiple reports are out there that the USA Network is furious with WWE over Raw doing a 1.12 rating last week, its lowest rating ever. I don’t necessarily buy nor do I care to confirm their validity because it doesn’t matter. All we need to do is watch the product. A tweet was put out by @PWTorch asking for what two pieces of advice would you give Vince McMahon:
If you were to offer Vince McMahon two concise specific pieces of advice to improve the WWE TV product and win back viewers, what would those top two specific priorities/changes be? @VinceMcMahon @WWE
— Pro Wrestling Torch (@PWTorch) December 16, 2020
Many responded including myself, and I regret that I did and here’s why. You can’t offer advice to someone who doesn’t want it. Do we honestly think Vince is looking to see how he can improve the product? If WWE can watch their product and not see a problem, that’s the real issue. He’s got Matt Riddle … oh I’m sorry “Riddle” (how stupid is that by the way) … walking around eating doughnuts and trying to market them as Bronuts and being nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying, the Hurt Business pouring milk on people, Dominick Dijakovic & Mia Yim running around in bad Halloween costumes in a dead-on-arrival angle in Retribution, Miz & Morrison telling Christmas tales with arguable the best bell-to-bell wrestler in A.J. Styles, and Randy Orton burning the Fiend alive (granted a dummy) in the middle of the ring.
They make a fortune from their TV deals with NBC Universal and Fox and other streams of revenue, and thus they’re well-insulated and have ZERO motivation to change their ways. Why would they? It almost feels like they read the criticism (Vince in particular), purposely put out bad material to see how low the audience can go and see that they’re still making great money. It sounds crazy, but there may be something to it.
There are no bringing people up from NXT, Wild Card rules, Superstar Shakeups and the like that will usher in the change WWE so desperately needs. Remember when “we were the authority?” They were going to present fresh ideas and matches. It’s funny because that was two years ago around this time. Nothing changed, and that is the reason I have little to no faith.
Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- The Miz & John Morrison opened the show with the Dirt Sheet with A.J. Styles as his guest. He told the Nightmare Before TLC, a book written by A.J. Sheamus interrupted, got a Christmas tree thrown at him before throwing a giant box at A.J. They then had their scheduled match, won by A.J.
- The Hurt Business threw milk on someone eating a doughnut. Bobby Lashley had milk all over his suit. They then defeated Jeff Hardy & Raw Tag Team Champions New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods).
- Lana defeated Nia Jax, ½ of the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Nia and her partner Shayna Baszler attacked Lana after the match. It was announced later that Lana would miss the upcoming match at TLC, in which she was scheduled to pair with Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and challenge Jax & Baszler for the titles. Asuka would now have a mystery partner. This was Lana getting medical attention and Asuka being supportive after the match:
- Elias introduced Jaxson Ryker as “part of the future.” 24/7 Champion R-Truth interrupted Elias’ performance and the cavalry of 24/7 idiots chased Truth around the ring.
- The Miz & John Morrison defeated Keith Lee in a handicap match. Both Miz and Morrison were on top of Lee, but apparently the referee didn’t care. This is what I’m talking about.
- Bray Wyatt stood mid-ring with his stupid Firefly Funhouse puppets around and talked about some craziness and Randy Orton, his opponent at TLC. Orton challenged Bray to come and find him. Later, Orton and Bray caught up, brawled, and Orton put him in a crate. Luckily, there was a gas can and lighter nearby and Orton lit the crate on fire. Bray emerged a moment later as the Fiend and choked out Orton. Again, this is the garbage I was talking about earlier. How did any of this make you want to see a professional wrestling match which was announced alter in the week as a Firefly Inferno match. WHAT? And then they pull what they pull last night?
- Mace of Retribution defeated Ricochet in about three minutes. Everybody was so excited about Ricochet being on Raw Talk, and then they do this to him. This is why I don’t watch any of that stuff. Here’s Dio Madden in his ugly Mace costume in an exclusive:
- Dana Brooke defeated Shayna Baszler via DQ when Nia Jax got involved. This is … eh, it’s not worth it.
- Riddle defeated MVP in about a minute, a match they somewhat hyped throughout the night. Why hype it and give us that? I don’t get it.
- WWE Drew McIntyre and his TLC challenger A.J. Styles had an “ascension ceremony” in order to officially raise the WWE Championship above the ring for their upcoming TLC match. Blah blah blah and then Miz and John Morrison came out to attack Drew, who fought back but was eventually thwarted by A.J. He then climbed to ladder to retrieve the belt. This was A.J. in an exclusive after the show:
TLC Results Pertinent to Raw
- Drew McIntyre defeated A.J. Styles and the Miz in what turned out to be a triple threat Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship. Miz cashed in his contract when both Drew and A.J. were vulnerable.
- The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) defeated New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) to win the Raw Tag Team Championship.
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka & a returning Charlotte Flair defeated Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler to win the Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- Randy Orton defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Inferno Match. Randy burned Bray alive mid-ring after the match to close out the show.
Here are Asuka & Charlotte, Drew, and the Hurt Business in WWE exclusives:
Items Advertised by WWE
We now head towards the holidays, which means we’ll likely see nothing of consequence and a continuation of stupidity over the next few weeks. WWE announced last night that it will take place on January 31. They don’t have their official preview up for tonight yet as is typical following a PPV, but have follow-up items advertised:
- What’s in store after the most shocking chapter yet in the rivalry between Randy Orton and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt?
- What’s next for Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles after their epic clash?
Next Up for Randy Orton after Burning the Fiend
Randy Orton stood with his signature pose after the defeating and burning “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt alive in a Firefly Inferno match. He pushed Bray into the flames outside the ring to “win the match,” although the bell never rang. The understanding was whomever lit their opponent on fire would win the match, as has been the case in Inferno Matches of the past. Ironically, Bray was involved in the last match of this type when he defeated Kane in a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam 2013.
WWE has advertised they will follow up on “what’s next” for Randy after his actions last night.
Frank’s Analysis: WWE took a fairly good show and flushed it down the toilet with such an awful match and ending. It seems like that happens with the Fiend a lot doesn’t it? Here’s my question. If you sat your family member, friend, neighbor or whomever next to you to watch that show, it would be quite embarrassing wouldn’t it? By the way, were the police called since there was televised attempted murder? I didn’t like this supernatural horsesh*t when they used to pull it with the Undertaker and Kane, and I can’t stand it now. I knew this would be bad, but I didn’t realize it would be an unequivocal steaming piece of sh*t.
Next Up for Drew McIntyre after TLC Match with A.J. Styles
Drew McIntyre retained his WWE Championship last night after defeating both A.J. Styles and the Miz, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract mid-match to make it a triple threat match. The last time someone cashed in Money in the Bank as such was Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31, when he got involved with Roman Reigns and then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and won the title. That would not be the case for Miz last night as Omos, A.J.’s “heavy,” would pull Miz off the ladder as he was climbing to retrieve the title. John Morrison attacked Omos with a chair, but Omos no sold it and chased Morrison to the back. Drew, Miz, and A.J. took turns climbing the ladder before Drew pushed A.J. off the ladder and out of the ring and Claymore Kicked Miz. He climbed the ladder and grabbed the title to retain.
WWE has advertised follow-up on what’s next for Drew after the defeat of A.J. and the Miz. A.J. is blaming Miz for what happened as he indicates on social media. Prior to the match, you can tell he looked forward to this match:
A main event a lot of people have talked about with a competitor I’ve wanted to face in the ring for awhile.
Enjoy the show folks! #WWETLC
— AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg) December 20, 2020
This is all Miz’s fault.
— AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg) December 21, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: Since their advertising this as such, with a picture of both Drew and A.J., and based on A.J.’s social media, my guess is they’re doing another match. Now bear in mind that Omos was there to help A.J. and he stopped Miz from winning the match at one point. It doesn’t matter, WWE will ignore that or work around it. I could see them doing a match on the first Raw of 2021.
Other Expectations and Final Thoughts
I said what I needed to say earlier and throughout the report. I don’t know what they’re really thinking when they write these shows. They could genuinely think it’s good. Vince could be writing bad material on spite. It could be none of those things. It doesn’t matter. Here’s the bottom line. The audience is reducing. You want to play around WWE? That’s fine. Things might look okay financially for now, but sooner or later the check comes. None of us will be chipping in to pay the bill. You’re on your own.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!