1/25 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on final Royal Rumble hype for Raw roster, Asuka defends against Alexa Bliss, McIntyre-Goldberg

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Full analysis and results of this week's episode of WWE Raw


JANUARY 25, 2021

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe

Tonight after the show, join PWTorch assistant editor Zack Heydorn live with guest cohost Robert Vallejos of the “MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans” PWTorch Dailycast to break down the show with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com


-The Raw opening theme aired.

-Phillips said “the Road to WrestleMania begins this Sunday” as the camera panned the ThunderDome.

-Drew McIntyre’s ring entrance began. He entered the ring and said it feels so good to be back on Raw. “I can’t even tell you how good I feel right now,” he said. He thanked fast for the get-well wishes. He said the outpouring of support meant the world to him. He said he had a little fatigue and lost his sense of smell, but had mild symptoms and was training by day four. He said he’ll be 100 percent by Sunday. He dedicated his match to everyone dealing with “this horrible virus.” He said, “We’ll beat it.”

He shifted to talking about facing Goldberg in a WWE Title defense. He said he’d be out of his mind to take him lightly. He said he’s been watching him since he was teenager. He said he went 173-0 until he defeated Hulk Hogan for “the championship.” He said he rolled through The Rock like he was nothing, then disappeared for years. He said the last thing to go in a fighter is their power. He said he’s started a whole new streak. He said every champion he’s challenged since he returned to WWE he has defeated. He said this Sunday, he will remain the WWE Champion. He said he’s fired up, at which point Miz’s music interrupted. Drew looked exasperated.

Miz and John Morrison walked out. Miz said Drew vs. Goldberg will be WWE’s version of Kong vs. Godzilla. Miz said it’ll be a hellacious clash, but there will likely be consequences. He said one or both of them could end up injured. They feigned concern. Morrison asked what would happen then. Miz said the winner will be a sitting duck, and they will beat the holy hell out of them. “Then I am going to cash in,” Miz said. Morrison announced Miz as the new champion.

Goldberg’s music played and he walked through the spray of pyro. Drew held his ground center-ring as Goldberg entered the ring. Miz and Morrison stood on the ring apron looking on with great interest. Goldberg said, “You, me, Sunday. You’re next.” He dropped the mic. Miz and Morrison yapped at them. Drew and Goldberg threw Miz and Morrison into the ring. Goldberg speared Miz. Drew gave a Claymore to Morrison. Drew and Goldberg then had a face-off. Drew held up his belt as Goldberg had some words for him. Goldberg then turned and left. Drew tossed Miz’s Money in the Bank briefcase out of the ring, then stepped on Morrison’s body as he left the ring.

-Phillips plugged Asuka defending the Women’s Title against Asuka. Saxton plugged Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler was next. [c]

-Charly Caruso interviewed Charlotte backstage. Charlotte said she performs well under pressure. She said she helps Baszler to bring her invisible crown with her. She said this weekend she’ll be defending the WWE Tag Team Titles with Asuka and also entering the Rumble. She said she always defies the odds, and she’ll bet on herself. “That’s why they call me Miss WrestleMania.” Caruso asked if the situation with Ric Flair and Lacey Evans is a distraction. Charlotte said she’s seen her dad in a lot of dark places, and this is the darkest. She said she knows what Lacey is up to. She said it’s one thing to be named Flair, but another to carry the weight of the last name Flair. “But tonight, I have Shayna Baszler.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Charlotte’s still so arrogant that you’re almost rooting for the Lacey-Ric relationship to work out well just to show up Charlotte.)

-The announcers commented on a replay of Charlotte beating Peyton Royce last week despite a distraction by Lacey.


As they locked up, Phillips said it’s a first-time ever one-on-one match-up. Charlotte slide kicked Jax who was just standing at ringside. Baszler took the opening to apply a Kirafuda Clutch. Charlotte escaped and hit Baszler with a big boot. She applied a figure-four, and as she began a bridge, Jax ran in and legdropped her. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Charlotte via DQ in 2:00.

-As Baszler and Jax double-teamed Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose ran out for the save. Lacey then entered and went after Charlotte. They cut to a break mid-brawl. [c]


No shock that this match was created out of the chaos in the previous segment, especially after the one-on-one match was so short. Charlotte gave Baszler a fallaway slam a couple minutes in. A graphic hyped Sheamus vs. John Morrison later on the show. Charlotte dragged Baszler by her head to the floor, then pursued her at ringside. Charlotte and Jax exchanged some words. Baszler shoved Charlotte into the ring, but Baszler didn’t beat the ten count.

WINNER: Charlotte & Rose & Brooke via countout in 5:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Talk about two letdown finishes in a row.)

-Phillips hyped a Riddle gauntlet match where, if he beats Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, and MVP, then he can get a rematch against Bobby Lashley. [c]


They restarted the match. They showed a clip from during the break of Adam Pearce hearing Jax, Baszler, and Lacey complaining. Pearce asked Charlotte, Brooke, and Rose and they enthusiastically agreed to restart the match. Phillips said they didn’t need to agree to restart the match. Joe said they didn’t want to win by countout.

Jax wrapped up Brooke mid-ring. Brooke powered out, but Jax went for a powerbomb. Brooke turned it into a sunset flip. Jax was going to sit on her, but Brooke rolled away and hot-tagged in Rose. Lacey also tagged in, so they battled. Rose then tagged in and took out Lacey with a running knee. Baszler made the save. Charlotte went after her. Jax went after Charlotte. Lacey yanked Charlotte to the floor, but then ran away once Charlotte shot her a look. Rose tagged in Brooke. Jax charged at her, but she moved. Brooke landed a somersault face-plant for a two count. Jax threw Brooke off the top rope seconds later, then choke slammed her. She followed with a legdrop for the win.

WINNERS: Jax & Baszler & Lacey in 6:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This “creative avoidance” of going to a commercial with a match in progress continues to more annoying than missing out on action during longer matches with commercial breaks. Now and then, it’s fine, but it can seem contrived and convoluted quickly.)

-They went to the announcers at ringside who commented on a replay of Mace beating Xavier Woods last week.

-A new promo aired with Mustafa Ali who spoke more about how Kofi Kingston’s WrestleMania Moment came at his expense.

-Retribution made their ring entrance. [c]

(3) XAVIER WOODS vs. SLAPJACK (w/Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Mace, Reckoning)

Xavier’s ring entrance took place after the break. Phillips noted he’s alone again, as Kofi Kingston is out of action nursing a broken jaw. Slapjack got in early offense. A graphic on the screen hyped MVP’s VIP Lounge with Hurt Business as his special guests. Saxton said Ali had nice things to say about Xavier the last two years during and after Kofi-mania, and now he’s taking it all back. Xavier rallied. Phillips said Xavier is thriving on this chance to show off his singles skills after being a tag wrestler his entire WWE career. Ali ordered T-Bar to distract Xavier. Xavier overcame and landed a Shining Wizard on Slapjack for the win.

WINNER: Xavier in 3:00.

-After the match, T-Bar kicked Xavier at ringside and then threw him back into the ring. T-Barr and Slapjack double choke slammed Xavier. Ali brought a chair into the ring. He wound up to swing it, but then pulled back and sat down on the chair in front of Xavier. He said he would show mercy upon him, and in exchanged, he will do exactly what he says. He said he’ll deliver a message to Kingston. He said he heard the unfortunate news that Kingston won’t compete in the Rumble match. He said a replacement has been found, “and his name is Mustafa Ali.”

-Backstage R-Truth approached Riddle and said he heard Hurt Business are throwing him a surprise birthday party. He said they have a surprise gift for him – they bought him 24 carrots. He said he’s got to get ready. He said he’ll split the carrots with him if he doesn’t tell anyone. Riddle agreed. [c]

-The announcers hyped that Bad Bunny would perform at the Royal Rumble. Bad Bunny has the hit single “Booker T” featuring Booker T in the music video.

-The Hurt Business made their ring entrance. Shelton came out wearing a facemark. (Interesting. That’s a first.) Then he tore it off. (What was that about? Did he forget he was wearing it?)


They entered the ring, which was st up for the MVP Lounge with black and yellow balloons in the corners of the ring. MVP said he knows Bobby Lashley wants to bring something to his attention, but first he has to talk about Riddle. He said Riddle “might be a brain dead moron,” but he can be crafty and luck is often on his side. He told them to focus on the task at hand.

Lashley said they look good. He admired their belts. He said they believe in themselves and the beauty of it is they’ve just begun. Shelton said it’s hard to believe that just over a year ago… at which point Cedric cut him off. Cedric said what Shelton is trying to say is the Hurt Business are on a roll lately because of MVP. Shelton resented being interrupted. Lashley said they want to give MVP a little gold of his own. He opened a box that had a pendant inside that had the letters THB. MVP hung it around his neck and looked really happy. “This is outstanding!” he said. “It’s not often I’m at a loss for words.”

As Cedric talked about working with the designer, Shelton interrupted and said he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Truth danced out to the ring to his music. MVP insisted they cut his music. He asked what Truth was doing there. Truth said it’s not often the guest of honor isn’t on the guest list for his own surprise party. Truth said his birthday was last week, but better late than never. Cedric said this has nothing to do with him, it’s all about MVP. Truth said THB stands for “Truth Happy Birthday.” He said they said they had 24 gold carrots for him. Shelton said, “Now is not the time.” Truth asked if it’s time for the dance break. Lashley said Truth is right.

Lashley said he wants to make it up to him that he forgot his birthday last week. He invited him into the ring. MVP played along. Truth saw Humberto Carillo, Drew Gulak, Tucker, and Tozawa. Carillo broke up Tucker’s roll-up of Truth. Shelton, Cedric, and Lashley went after everyone at ringside. Riddle then gave MVP a Final Flash Knee to the face, then bailed out to ringside. As Hurt Business yelled at him, Riddle danced his music at ringside.

(Keller’s Analysis: Can imagine the pride that the person in WWE feels who realized The Hurt Business and Truth Happy Birthday have the same acronym?)

-Phillips plugged the Gauntlet match with Riddle vs. Hurt Business members. Saxton plugged Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss. [c]\

-Backstage Truth was posing next to a baseball player statue, trying to be incognito. He asked Pearce to let him enter “that Money in the Bank ladder match.” A.J. Styles and Omas walked up to them. Styles said he’d love to help Truth and give him an opportunity because he’s benevolent. Truth was excited and said he’s a Capricorn. Pearce said he’d take it under advisement. Truth asked Omos if he’s a Taurus. He said he had a Taurus once, but it broke down with him and Road Dogg one night. Styles and Omos left.

-They went back to the announcers at ringside who reacted, then pivoted to reviewing the opening segment. They hyped the McIntyre vs. Goldberg match at the Rumble.

-Sheamus made his ring entrance. [c]

-Back from the break, the screen said WWE Network will be moving to the Peacock streaming network. It said more than 17,000 hours of new, original, and library WWE Network programming on demand, plus every live WWE PPV including WrestleMania. Phillips said they’d have more on that incredible news later.

(Keller’s Analysis: Considering how many questions viewers would have about that news if they hadn’t heard about it earlier in the day, why not answer the obvious questions right away instead of leaving people concerned until later or rushing to their phone or laptop?)


Back and forth action for several minutes. As Sheamus leaped off the ropes, Morrison kicked him in the knees. Then he kicked away at Sheamus at ringside. Morrison grounded Morrison in the ring and worked over his legs. Sheamus made a comeback, but kept favoring his legs as he fought back. Sheamus caught Morrison mid-air and slammed him for a two count.

Sheamus applied a half Boston Crab. Morrison reached the bottom rope to force a break. Miz gave Morrison a pep talk. Morrison snapped Sheamus’s neck over the top rope, but Sheamus came right back with a knee to the face and a White Noise for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus in 10:00.

-Miz challenged Morrison to a two-on-one fight afterward. Sheamus agreed, after looking down at how battered Morrison was.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good basic match f0llowed by another transition into a commercial break and  a “reset and restart” of sorts.) [c]


Miz went after Sheamus at the bell, and Morrison then leaped onto Sheamus’s back. Sheamus tossed him to the floor, then elbowed a charging Miz. Phillips said if this was a Rumble match, Morrison would have just been eliminated by Sheamus. Miz and Morrison took over seconds later, two-on-one. Morrison leaped over the top rope onto Sheamus a minute later.

Sheamus pounded away at Miz’s chest bent back over the top rope. Morrison went for the save, but Sheamus delivered forearms to his chest instead. Sheamus then leaped off the top rope and clotheslined both Miz and Morrison on the floor. He threw Miz back into the ring. He set up a Brogue Kick on Miz, but Morrison grabbed his leg. Sheamus gave Morrison a Brogue Kick seconds later, but Miz suddenly caught Sheamus with a Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Saxton put over Sheamus for his valiant effort fighting two matches and agains two men.

WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Not sure this effectively built up Miz as a credible threat to be a WWE Champion by cashing in MITB, but it filled TV time effectively and over the course of 20 minutes further built Sheamus up to be a babyface with perseverance. It seems to indicate Keith Lee will be the one turning heel out of those two.)

-Backstage Ric Flair was training Lacey Evans in how to escape various rear bearhugs. In walked Charlotte who eyed them and then walked in. She asked Lacey to have a moment with her dad. Lacey left. Ric said just because she’s a big star doesn’t mean there’s not a place for him in the locker room. He said just because someone wants to get some of his wisdom, so be it. He said he’ll just be himself. Charlotte asked if him being him is him spending all of his money on everyone but him. She said when she was young, “this was cute,” but she said he’s going from Legend to Old Man, and she has no problem saying that to his face. “I’m not the bad guy,” she said. She backed away as Ric stared her down. Lacey re-entered and punched Charlotte just as she was turning around. She stomped on Charlotte. As Ric bent over to check on her, Lacey led Ric out of the room and asked him to teach her how to properly “woo!” She began “wooo’ing” with him in the hallway. [c]

(6) A.J. STYLES (w/Omos) vs. R-TRUTH

Phillips congratulated former 24/7 Champion Gronk for the success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are Super Bowl bound. As Styles and Omos walked out, Saxton talked about the Charlotte-Ric-Lacey situation. As the bell rang, Truth was adjusting his kneepads. Styles attacked him as he was bent over.

Styles declared he was about to throw Truth over the top rope like he’ll do to 29 other men at the Rumble. Truth reversed Styles and threw him over the top. Styles angrily attacked Truth, who then looked up and saw Omos. He was intimidated. Styles springboard at Truth, but Truth avoided him and then slammed him. He went into John Cena’s You Can’t See Me routine. Styles countered into a calf crusher and Truth tapped out.

WINNER: Styles in 3:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Styles is kind of being defined down to a mid-card utility guy lately. They can rev him up again and he can deliver, but lately this all seems beneath him.) [c]

-The announcers threw to highlights of the Randy Orton monologue that started last week’s Raw.


-Alexa Bliss swung on her swing set and said last week was so much fun. “Did you see what Randy’s face looked like after what we did?” she asked. Then the view shifted to an old console TV set showing Bliss shooting a fireball at Orton’s face. She then giggled in glee. “I think he looks better too,” she said to whomever she sees on the empty swing to her left.

She said she invited Asuka to her playground, but she didn’t want to play nice. A clip aired on the old TV of Bliss being upset when Asuka said “Fiend.” Bliss then said, “But neither did I (want to place nice].” Then a replay aired of Bliss giving Asuka a Sister Abigail for the win.

She said: “Did you like my trick? He taught it to me. He taught me a lot of things. I can’t wait to see him again so I can thank him.” She said tonight, she has the opportunity to win a shiny new toy. “And just like last week, I don’t feel like playing nice,” she said in a sinister tone. She then started swinging again and singing “Ring around the rosie.” They went to a close-up and then she said in Fiend’s voice, “Let me in!”

-Riddle made his way the ring as he was introduced for the Gauntlet match. [c]

(7a) RIDDLE vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/MVP, Cedric Alexander) – Gauntlet Match

Shelton controlled the match for a while. Riddle made a comeback, but Cedric jumped onto the ring apron. Shelton came up behind Riddle, but Riddle reversed him and rolled him up. Shelton rolled through and had a visual three count as the ref was distracted by Cedric. Shelton complained to Cedric, who said he was trying to help. MVP yelled, “Do nothing!”

WINNER: Riddle in 5:00.

(7b) RIDDLE vs. MVP (w/Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander) – Gauntlet Match

As MVP was yelling at Cedric and Shelton, who were arguing at ringside, Riddle gave MVP a quick heel hook for a tapout win. MVP appeared to be mostly upset with Cedric afterward.

WINNER: Riddle via tapout in under 15 seconds. [c]

(7c) RIDDLE vs. Cedric Alexander (w/MVP, Shelton Benjamin) – Gauntlet Match

Cedric grounded Riddle early with an armbar. Riddle made a comeback a few minutes in, but Cedric cut it short with a brain buster suplex for a two count. MVP yelled at Cedric. Joe said MVP is frustrated with the approach to this match by Cedric. Cedric got aggressive with punches and stomps. When Cedric leaped off the top rope with a stomp attempt, Riddle moved and then applied a triangle. Cedric powerbombed Riddle to break his grip, but Riddle reapplied it right away. Riddle captured and rolled up Cedric for a leverage three count seconds later. Joe called this a worst-case scenario for Hurt Business.

WINNER: Riddle in 6:00.

-As Riddle returned the stage, he yelled back at the ring, “It’s only a matter of time!” Lashley came out and and attacked Riddle. He put him in a Hurt Lock. Joe called it a sneak peak at his future. He shook him around and tossed him hard into the barricade at ringside. Phillips called it a message for his future U.S. Title challenger.

-Phillips plugged that Edge would have his first words since being injured last summer. They showed a clip from the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.” It led to a rare clip from the Performance Center era of WWE during the pandemic.

-A commercial aired for WWE Backstage on FS1 on Saturday night at 8 ET featuring the return of Renee Young along with Booker T and Paige with a “Royal Rumble Backstage Special.” [c]

-Phillips updated the Peacock announcement regarding WWE Network. He said it’s “the new home of WWE Network in the United States.” He touted the 17,000 hours of programming, plus every live WWE PPV including this year’s WrestleMania. He directed viewers to WWE.com for more information.

(Keller’s Analysis: Very short on details about the status of existing WWE Network subs. It’d be easy to say they’ll roll over into Peacock access. Maybe they’re not 100 percent sure on the logistics yet.)

-A clip aired of Goldberg & McIntyre beating up Miz & Morrison earlier. Then they hyped the Rumble match-up between Drew and Goldberg.

-An Edge monologue aired. He said 2020 has taught everyone “you can’t sleep on tomorrow.” He said if you have a dream, you have to act on it and fight for it every day. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed,” he said. He said when you have a setback, you have to pick yourself and dust yourself off and keep walking forward.

He said he went to bed after WrestleMania 27 the WWE Champion and felt on top of the world. He said within a week, he had to forfeit the championship. He said his career, the only one he ever wanted, ended. He said when he told his mom he was going to be a wrestler, she told him, “Just go do it.” He said those are simple words, but they were the jet fuel that lit the fire in his gut to make him fight for nine years to make a return and get his dream back. He said at Backlash, Orton tore his triceps and gave him another reminder case he forgot or needed that it everything you hold close or dear can be torn away just like that. “You can’t live in that space,” he said. “You gotta fight. And I know what my mom would say.”

He said with that in mind, he is entering the Royal Rumble. He said the stakes are higher because he knows the window closes for him more and more every day. He said he needs to win the Rumble and take back at WrestleMania that which he never lost. He said he will fight with every breath left in his body to make this maybe far-fetched dream come true. He said anyone who knows him knows he’s got to try. He said a world without fighters and dreamers is a much less magical place. He quoted Henry Ford who said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” He closed with, “Well, I think I can. We’ll see you at the Rumble.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Nicely done. That adds a very key hook to Sunday’s Rumble and confirmed what was always an X-factor in any Rumble and WrestleMania predictions.)

-They showed Asuka heading toward the entrance stage. [c]

-Phillips hyped Raw Talk with feature Ryker & Elias, Charlotte, and MVP & Lashley.

(8) ASUKA vs. ALEXA BLISS – WWE Raw Title match

Asuka made her ring entrance first. Then Bliss skipped cheerfully to the ring to the “Firefly Funhouse” theme song. Mike Rome made formal ring introductions. The bell rang 48 minutes into the third hour. Saxton said there are “so many layers to unpack” when it comes to Bliss. Asuka applied an early armlock. Bliss fought free, but Asuka dropkicked her seconds later. She then went for a hip attack, but Bliss side-stepped her and kicked her to the floor. Suddenly Bliss was rocking on a hobby horse mid-ring. They cut to a break as Asuka looked on confused and flustered. [c]

Phillips said one second Bliss was on a wooden rocking horse, then they blinked and it was gone. Bliss was on a roll with a flurry of offense against Asuka. Bliss settled into a chinlock mid-ring. It seemed pretty loose, but Asuka sold it like she was being choked into oblivion. Asuka broke free and kicked Bliss in the face. Both were down and slow to get up.

Bliss checked for blood. Asuka knocked her down and gave her a knee to the face. Then she hit a Hip Attack followed by a German suplex and a basement kick to the face for a near fall. Asuka threw Bliss into the corner and kicked away at her. Bliss’s regular theme music began. Bliss began sobbing in the corner. Asuka looked down at her with concern. Bliss stood and looked at her body as if not recognizing herself and not realizing where she was. Saxton wondered if she was now set free. Asuka charged, but Bliss side-stepped her and threw face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Bliss looked off into space. Joe asked, “What’s she looking at?” She stood in the corner and looked down. The Fiend effects began to take over ThunderDome. The lights went black. More creepy crib music played. Suddenly Bliss was leaning backwards like Bray Wyatt, but with a change of clothing and black make-up with her hair in a new style pinned up. Asuka charged, but Bliss blocked her every strike attempt. Bliss absorbed a knee to the face and no-sold it. Asuka then caught Bliss with a sudden Asuka Lock. Bliss slipped out. Saxton said Bliss was overpowering Asuka. Bliss applied the Mandible Claw. Suddenly Orton was standing behind her, his face covered in red burn marks. Bliss turned around. Orton gave her an RKO.

WINNER: Apparent no contest in 12:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: The Bliss stuff continues to be well-executed for what they are doing, thanks mostly due to Bliss’s performances. The price they’re paying is making fans invested in match outcomes feel like fools for believing that was what the match was about in the first place. It’s pretty clear to the average viewer that WWE Raw isn’t live anymore when there are sudden complete costume changes, and that eats away at one of the forever-hooks of pro wrestling – which is that while it might not be “real” in the sense of wrestlers trying to legitimately hurt each other, at least everything they were doing was a skill akin to a magician. And magicians lose all respect when it comes out that they’re using post-production to fake tricks. Not sure how much that applies here if at all. It depends on how forgiving wrestling fans for that kind of outside the box stuff. The brief moment of Bliss’s old entrance theme playing and her having an moment of not knowing who she had become is an interesting moment in whatever this is and wherever it’s going.)

Tonight after the show, join PWTorch assistant editor Zack Heydorn live with guest cohost Robert Vallejos of the “MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans” PWTorch Dailycast to break down the show with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com

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